Kim Tyler: The Manicure


Kim Tyler is a member of the Tuesday night writing practice group. She wrote this piece in response to the prompt: Tell me about a skill you never learned.

Only once in my life did I have a manicure. It was hours before my second wedding. It seemed like a good thing to do, at the time. But on my way from the manicurist's chair through the parking lot to my car, I began immediately to tear off the fake nails and throw them away. I hated the claustrophobic feeling of having my nails covered up. Those talons felt like weights on my fingertips. I couldn't even figure out how to open the car door without them clicking and snapping clumsily. To imagine going through an entire day with them was unthinkable. What was I thinking? I never even use nail polish.

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How I Got My Name

In a recent class, we talked about using seeds from real life to create fictional stories. At first, I asked everyone to tell a true story with one lie in it. Then I had them write a story about their mother or father; the piece was to be based on truth, but be at least ¼ fiction. In the final prompt, I asked the class to create a story about one of their grandparents, based on a kernel of fact, with the resulting story mostly imagined.

This is the piece I wrote about my grandfather. All I knew for sure were the bare bones of the story. I made up the rest. It was a very satisfying exercise.

I got my last name because my grandfather, Joe Budjakovski, was a young Jewish boy living in the Pale, the area that spread between Russia and Poland at a time ... [Continue Reading]

What the Nose Knows

"Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines, hidden under the weedy mass of many years and experiences. Hit a tripwire of smell, and memories explode all at once." --Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

Tell me about a smell that reminds you of your mother (if you didn’t have a mother, choose another significant childhood figure).

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