#SOL18: March 7

Scene 2 (see March 6 for the beginning here

What comes next?

From Kevin who slices here:

“She heard the bell ring in the room behind the counter. The grill. The ancient telephone hanging off the wall. A shuffling noise, and then a rough voice barking back.

“Yes. Ten minutes.”

And then, after a pause, the sound of the grill, sizzling. The girl thumbs the menu again, looking at the door.

Ten minutes.

A lifetime to wonder. She wanders over to the window. Her toes wiggle in her summer sandals. Snow is now falling. She’s not worried. The cold never bothered her. Ever. She could walk barefoot in a squall, her grandmother used to say. When you never know winter, and suddenly find winter, you never want to lose it. That’s what she thinks. Her grandmother argued otherwise, calling winter’s snow nothing more than another wall put in their way to a better life.

More sounds from the grill. Singing. He’s singing that song again, in Spanish, about going home to Mexico. She likes the melody but not the message. She won’t be going back home to Mexico, although she misses her Mama and her sister.

“Order up!” and she’s back to the counter, keeping one eye on the shadow on the door while reaching out for the bag from grill.

“Gracias,” she says, as if it were food for her. She can’t help being polite. She’s grateful for the job.”

Scene 3

The sign in the window says “Joe’s Diner, Est. 1961.  It’s a corner lot so customers  see 1st Street and the mercantile store from the window on the left.  On the right, the view includes Sam’s Barber Shop and the hotel on Main Street.

She looks for the customer while tapping her foot on the floor. She wonders whose dog is lounging on the sidewalk – the only living being in sight. No traffic. No vehicles. Not even a bike.  She sits up and counts the distant church bells as they ring once, twice, three times.

Bag in her hand, faint grease stains forming, she steps out onto the sidewalk.  Old school. No drive up window at the diner so it’s “Curb Service”.

Cars and trucks rush down Main Street.  Some stop at the barber shop and others slow and pull into spaces in front of the diner.  She can hear car doors slam and chattering children regale family members with the events of the day.

She walks over to the blue Pontiac Bonneville and trades the bag for a $5.00 bill, a muttered “Keep the change” and follows customers into the diner.

Now, where would you go if you were the author? 

What do you know today that you didn’t know yesterday? 

What do you still need to know? 

Is it time for . . . THE PROBLEM?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

17 responses

  1. Sally Donnelly | Reply

    I do think you are on to something here. This format is like a Choose Your Own Adventure. But YOU get to write it!! And with technology today, maybe a new kind of e-book!

    1. Sally,
      I’m still exploring the possibilities! Fun!

  2. This is a great way to use SOLC. I like how you are setting the scene and slowly uncovering the plot.

    1. And the slowly is an issue. I think I’m ready to rip the band-aid off!

  3. I’m intrigued, Fran. I think it’s time for “the problem.” The scene is thoroughly set, and I want to know the character now. I am waiting for #3!

    1. Diane,
      I had originally thought of weekly installments . . . like old-time radio or even current TV shows, but there’s no way! The story must be told!

      1. dianeandlynne

        Yes! Yes!

  4. Clare Landrigan | Reply

    No problem yet… I still want to know more about the character…

    1. Clare,
      I love that not all readers want the same thing. We’ll see how this plays out today in a workshop setting. ❤ . . . A serial writing piece!

  5. I could learn more about the character – I am so hooked, Fran! But it would be okay to introduce the problem now and weave character description into the plot as you go along. I really could visualize the setting. Could this be the beginning of a novel?

    1. Lynne,
      You are so clever! How to do both! . . . I have no idea where it is going. Open to possibilities at this time!

  6. I like how we learned something about the character that we didn’t know yesterday. I think I am ready to learn the problem. Is it something that has been brewing? Is it something that will be brought in with the next customer? Is it something she sees while looking out the window? I’m hooked, Fran.

  7. Such a fun way to slice! I love the community participation. 😎

  8. Still ready for the problem!

  9. […] 1, Scenes 2 and 3, and then Scene 3 ended […]

  10. […] from Scene 1, Scene 2 & 3, and Scene […]

  11. […] from Scene 1, Scene 2 & 3, Scene 4, and  Scene […]

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