Monthly Archives: January 2018

Why Do You Want to Work Here? Writing Micro-Memoir

The Writer online magazine had a Micro-Memoir contest a while back. The idea was to write a 200 word memoir inspired by an object that holds meaning for you. I was too late to enter the contest, but I wrote one anyway. You might want to try this writing exercise. The article was written by Beth Ann Fennelly, who was inspired by a workshop on writing short fiction taught by Leslie Jamison. You can read about it here:

https://www.writermag.com/2017/07/06/micro-memoir-contest/

The object I chose to write about? A job application. The old fashioned paper kind, not the ones you fill out online. And I made mine a combo of fiction/nonfiction, so it’s not exactly a memoir.

Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Copyright ©  2018 by Sara Jacobelli

I filled out my first job application when I was nine. Mom brought home two, in case I messed up the first one.

“Mr. Cappizotto grabbed me in the elevator today.” She lit a Lucky Strike.

“Ole Onion Breath.  You gonna tell Poppy?”

“Jake’ll kill him and go to prison.” She opened the refrigerator and stared at the scant contents. “Grab a can of tuna and the opener. Fill this out. For the dry cleaners.”

The application reminded me of a giant blinking eye. Who are you? Are you good enough to work here? Name, phone number, address. “What job did you have before Levitt’s Store?”

“Waitress. White’s Diner.” She opened the can, slopped tuna in a bowl.

I completed the application, using that Big Imagination everyone said I had. She got the job. A few weeks later Poppy got fired from the restaurant for punching a customer. He brought me a stack of applications and I filled them out, ignoring my homework, listening to the radio. My brother Nicky handed me his application for a cashier’s job at Food Fair. I made them all sound like glowing job prospects.  I learned the power of the written word.

*****

 

 

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Rafael with the Green Eyes

This flash fiction piece was inspired by a writing prompt from the online journal, Typishly. Start your story with the first sentence, “She lived in a dented silver trailer.”

And, it’s freezing here in New Orleans, I watched a Law and Order SVU Baby it’s Cold Outside Marathon, and I’m procrastinating on some of my other writing projects. 

Check out Typishly, you might want to try some of their writing prompts:

http://typishly.com/

Fiction Copyright © 2017 by Sara Jacobelli

Rafael with the Green Eyes

She lived in a dented silver trailer. Mom found the trailer for rent in the classifieds section of the free weekly paper. Insisted Bernice move in. The rent was cheap; Bernice’s SSI checks would cover the rent and utilities. Food stamps would take care of groceries. I paid her cable and internet bill. Figured the TV and computer would calm her down.  Mom was happy with her cats and her shaggy dog and her library books and her volunteer work and didn’t want Bernice living with her. Bernice with her temper. Her odd ways. Smoking and staring at the wall.

It was my sisterly duty to visit once a week, bring her Chinese for lunch. Bernice never liked going to restaurants, rooms full of people made her nervous.

She had the TV on with the sound off and sat typing furiously on her laptop. She was wearing her purple bathrobe.  I plopped the cartons of food on the cluttered kitchen table.

“You hungry?”

She lit a cigarette. “I gotta finish this. He answered my tweet.”

“Who? What?”

“Rafael. From the TV show. The one with the green eyes.”

“Bernice. You do know those famous people don’t answer their own tweets? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all that crap. They pay people to do that. Secretaries or college students, interns. They don’t answer the five million tweets they get from lovesick fans.” I rooted around in the kitchen, looking for clean plates. “You taking your meds?”

She kept typing. “Not true. He answered me. I think I’ll visit him.” She stopped typing and took a deep breath. She closed her eyes. She was counting.  One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Some trick one of her counselors taught her.

“Just fucking eat something. Do you want the chopsticks or the fork?”

She stubbed out her cigarette, grabbed a dirty fork from the sink and ate her Kung Pao Shrimp straight from the carton.  “I’m going to Los Angeles. To meet him, in person. We have.” She closed her eyes for a few seconds. “We have a connection.”

“Right. A connection with some guy on TV, who’s playing a CHARACTER, he’s ACTING. You’re going to LA with no money—to stalk some poor fucking guy. And get arrested. Remember the LAST TIME you thought you had a fucking connection with someone?”

She grabbed the remote and turned the sound on. “You have to go now. The Law and Order marathon is starting.

“That’s the guy? The one who plays the DA?”

“His name’s Rafael.” Bernice closed her eyes. Counting again. “He answered my tweet. We. Have. A. Connection.”

“Yeah. Sure.”

She opened her eyes, ran her fingers through her hair. She still had that thick shiny red hair, red with natural blonde highlights. When we were kids, she was the pretty one. The smart one. The best speller. The best singer. The best swimmer. The fastest runner. I used to kneel by my bed at night, praying that one day, everyone would like me more than Bernice. When we started high school she changed. Something happened.

I touched her hair. I was the only one who could still touch her. “I don’t think you should go to Los Angeles. I think you should leave this man alone. This man has his own life. Just leave him alone. OK? Bernie? Agreed?”

“I’ll talk to you during the commercial.”

“I gotta admit. He’s kinda cute.”

“Isn’t he? That voice. And those eyes. Those green eyes.”

*****

 

 

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Big Ruby’s Gasoline Heaven

 

My short story, “Big Ruby’s Gasoline Heaven” has been published in Scarlet Leaf Review, an online literary magazine based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Check it out, leave a comment.

Go to www,scarletleafreview.com, Select January 2018, Select Short Stories,

Select Sara Jacobelli

https://www.scarletleafreview.com/short-stories9/category/sara-jacobelli

 

 

 

******

Photo Credit: Pixabay Copyright-free images. “Motel,” by pacoruiz64. https://pixabay.com/en/motel-vintage-retro-light-hotel-2299643/

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Carolyn Levy Book Talk and Peter Cooley Poetry Workshop!

Local author Carolyn Levy will read from and discuss her mystery novel, “Regina,” set in 1980s uptown New Orleans. Bill Lavender from Lavender Ink will introduce Ms. Levy.

Where? Alvar Library

913 Alvar St. New Orleans, LA 70117

504-596-2667

When? Thursday, January 11th, 6:00-7:30 pm

 

Dr. Peter Cooley, Professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University, and the 2015 Poet Laureate of Louisiana, will teach poetry writing at the next “In the Garden Writing Workshop.”

Where? Alvar Library

913 Alvar St. New Orleans, LA 70117

504-596-2667

When? Saturday, January 13th, 2:00-3:45 pm

Both events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Filed under Literature, New Orleans, poetry