Weekend Writing Warriors: Anti-Cupids (Expensive Gray)

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Remember Jack’s model friend, not-Renee, she of the beautiful smile and the possible agenda?

Viv is about to meet her.  While walking out of a deli.  With a big ol’ bag of food.


Gray dress

As Viv left, she spotted David’s brother talking with a tall, slender brunette woman, near the sidewalk sign advertising the specials of the day on one side and pithy comments from the staff on the other.  The woman, who had her hand on his arm, was wearing an extremely fitted sleeveless dress in a shade Viv and Kirsten had always called Expensive Gray.

Viv reminded herself that there was nothing wrong with wearing roomy Midrange Black.  Or having a freeform hairstyle made of stubborn springs.  Or being short.

“But I had my heart set on the Jade Prism,” the woman said, giving him a sweet smile that had a lot of lower lip in it.

“But Szabó’s has the best pastrami in Franklinsburg,” Jack said.

“He’s right,” Viv said.


I’m sure she would have walked on by, but the honor of her favorite deli is in question . . .

Franklinsburg, if anyone wondered, is my go-to, made-up, mid-range filler-city I use as a default setting when I don’t have a specific city in mind.  Technically, it’s in eastern Pennsylvania, because that’s where I originally placed it for a drawer novel that will never see the light of day—it’s also the setting for parts of Pigeons, which I’m querying now.  But at this point, I’m thinking Midwest.

Anyone else do this?


46 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Anti-Cupids (Expensive Gray)

  1. I like creating towns – just do a little research in to the general area and plant my fictional town in the middle of it!

    • Exactly, Chelle!

      This is the first story I’ve written in a long time where I didn’t need to figure out local ordinances or state laws—it’s a refreshing change. 🙂

  2. Love it–I identify with Viv, being short. My first book and some short stories took place in a small town in Maine. My e-books are all set in Cincinnati, but I love making up restaurants, etc. (and sports teams).

    • So do I , Nancy. 🙂

      I don’t know if I could pull off setting something in Cincinnati—it’s my home town, but I’ve been away too long. But you know there would be multiple mentions of Skyline Chili in there! 😀

  3. This was wonderful. 🙂 I loved the “roomy Midrange Black” and “sweet smile with a lot of lower lip in it” descriptions. I have a New England town I use for several of my contemporaries that is an amalgamation of several towns I love — this way, nobody knows for sure if I make boo boos with it. LOL

    • Thanks, Donna!

      That’s what I like about made-up towns, too—I might lose a few inside jokes or references, but at least I don’t have to worry about accuracy (consistency, on the other hand . . . 😛 )

  4. There’s no way he’s getting not-Renee into a *deli*–he’ll have to resign himself to little plates of meticulously arranged, expensive food-art. Or, you know, upgrade his date. 😉

  5. Viv definitely isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I love the descriptions and her train of thought.

    I generally use real cities and towns, though my Atlantic City books are set in a fictional neighborhood for the purposes of spoof and satire, and more creative leeway.

  6. Those two women sound like natural opposites. Wonder what comes next?
    I don’t make up sports teams, but I do make up sports. (Plasmaball, pattern chess, avalanche surfing, obstacle racing (on horseback…)

    • I’m sure they’ll get along like a house on fire, Sue Ann (flames, screaming, property damage, people calling 911 . . . ).

      Avalanche surfing sounds like a spectator sport to me . . . from a considerable distance! 🙂

  7. Love this! “Not-Renee” needs to be taken down a peg or two and I think Viv is just the gal to do it.

    I have a couple “Franklinsburgs” of my own & just love ’em. Like King’s Castle Rock–the inside jokes are all his own, and nobody can say “the deli isn’t on that corner”. 🙂

    • Thanks, Charley! She certainly does, and Viv certainly is. 🙂

      It’s a good thing Castle Rock is imaginary—what that man did to that poor town . . .

    • I’m more like Viv, too, Elaine. 🙂

      I personally think tall skinny women are fine, unless they think being tall and skinny is a mark of superior quality instead of genetic odds . . . Whoops, where did this soapbox come from?? 😀

  8. So vivid. Some great details in here that really bring the setting and characters to life: expensive gray, pithy comments on the message board. roomy mid-range black. I love it!

  9. You actually made me attempt a smile “with a lot of lower lip in it.”

    Couldn’t do it. I guess I am not one to smile-pout. I am more than OK with this.

    As usual, with a mere eight sentences, you’ve hurled me into this world you’ve created. No small feat, that. Well done!

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