Jesus Angel Garcia, David Corbett,
Evelyn Pine and myself
live writing to some
damn good live music
by Erma Kyriakos
It was Easter Sunday, and perhaps I should have been spending time with my family instead of writing sexy stories. But there I was at the Portuguese Artists Colony reading, heart pounding, typing away for ten minutes as I put together a story based on the first thing that came to my mind upon hearing the prompt "she listened for breath."
What? Am I the only one? Well, I guess I shouldn't be ashamed of the way my mind works, because the story was a success, in the sense that it earned me just enough audience votes to win the crown. My competitors could've easily taken it -- Jesus Angel Garcia, Evelyn Pine and David Corbett each were fabulous, and I was glad just to be writing alongside them. Not to mention how lovely (and distracting!) it was to write to the beautiful live music of Erma Kyriakos.
So this win means that I'll be developing my story to read at the next Portuguese Artists Colony on May 22nd. The good news, for me, is that I'll get to return for another fun evening of music and words, and this time I won't have to be nervous as hell about the live writing part.The bad news is that now, of course, I have to figure out what in the world to do with stripper nuns in a fully developed story. We'll see how this turns out.
But until then, here's part one of my winning story. Edited only to add a title and correct typos. Big thanks to the Portuguese Arists Colony writers and to everyone who was present, in body or in spirit!
She was trying not to judge herself too harshly. You never know when you might end up in this situation, she told herself. You never know when you might end up trying to disguise yourself as a nun. Or a stripper. Or both.
See, she’d just found out that her mother was a nun. And if you do the math, you’ll know that she was the guilty kind of nun. The kind who tried to cover up her sin of lust by giving into gluttony, hoping she could gain enough weight to hide the fact that she was pregnant. It was working pretty well, apparently, until the nun’s daughter dropped out onto the convent floor, and she was kicked out.
That was all the nun’s daughter knew. And it was driving her mad. It was this that would bring her here, to one of those adventures you only find yourself on in a search for something of your past, for the footsteps that once shaped your own.
She stood now on the doorstep of that convent where she apparently took her first living breaths. She knocked firmly on the heavy wooden door, stepped back to let Rosie do the talking.
The door opened. Rosie said something about how they were traveling nuns in need of a short rest. The nun ushered them inside, and beneath the dim red lights a half circle of nuns stood squinting at them.
Now she heard her own breath, heavy beneath the hot habit she’d stitched out of sheets.
“Which convent did you say you were from?” one of the nuns said. They didn’t believe for a second that the two were nuns.
Which was why they were prepared with part two of the plan. Pretend to be wayward strippers who thought they were on their way to a lesbian bachelorette party.
“We’re from the Order of the Naughty girls,” Rosie said, “And we heard there were some naughty ladies in the house tonight!”
In what looked like a much-practiced swoop, Rosie removed her makeshift habit to reveal a 20s gangster stripper get-up. The nun’s daughter hadn’t need her to commit quite so much to the role, of course, but that might just be the perfect pitch to get the nuns to take Rosie aside and try to convert her, an impossible task, as the nun’s daughter snooped around in search of evidence of her mother.
It seemed to be working. The nuns turned their half circle away from the young women, chattering amongst themselves like nervous penguins. The nun’s daughter looked around as she waited, smelling the walls, wondering if her mother’s scent remained anywhere in the wood.
The nuns turned back, the smallest one stepping forward with a sly grin. Now she looked like a penguin with a secret to reveal.
Rosie and the nun’s daughter jumped when the nuns began whooping like teenagers.
“You ladies caught us on our casual Friday night,” the small nun said. “And we want to see a show!”
What kind of covent was this? the nun’s daughter wondered to herself. The nuns gathered around. She was about to find out.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this story next month!