Week 2 Showcase: Unshelve the Writer

And that’s a wrap on our second of seven weeks in the Unshelve the Writer challenge!

Did your determination to keep writing wane this week like mine? Was writing dialogue a little less intimidating than you previously thought? Have you discovered a long-buried passion for fan fiction?

Three of our writing challengers (myself included) sent in pieces for the Week 2 Showcase, and since dialogue can be quite long, you’ll find excerpts of each below. Please join in the conversation by adding a comment below about your love/hate relationship with dialogue or to celebrate the work shared!

SETTING: Immigration voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia

TIME: Late 1884

CHARACTERS: Elizabeth “Lizzie” (22) and her sister Bridget “Biddy” (19)

Lizzie grabbed her younger sister’s hand and squeezed. “We’ll be okay as long as we’re together. I promised Ma that I wouldn’t let you out of my sight, and her wrath would reach all the way across the ocean if I broke my word.”

Biddy grinned and exhaled some of the anxiety away on the wind. “I don’t know that I can be as strong as you. I’m so scared that I can’t think of anything but what we left behind.” She felt Lizzie’s grip ease and squeezed back tight. “You gave up a chance at love for our family. I could never be as selfless as you. I promise to always stay at your side. Where you go, I go.” Biddy rested her head on Lizzie’s weighted shoulder and linked their arms.

“Come now, Brig, Mother Nature looks angry. Best to return inside.”

“Just another moment, please. I do so love the smell of the ocean before a storm.”

Lizzie laid her cheek on Biddy’s auburn locks and sighed. “Just another moment then.” Another moment was all Lizzie had wanted with Tommy, but saying goodbye was an impossible task; one she couldn’t bring herself to do.

Excerpt from an untitled work in progress by Kelly Deeny

I don’t think you’re brave,
Little toaster.
You sit on a shelf,
collecting dust-
waiting to burn
my toast into
the ashes of
yesterday’s dreams.

I don’t like mornings.
I’d rather chase my dreams
in blissful slumber
than watch a sunrise-
even a glorious one-
highlight the sky.

I hope you made friends
with the blender or
the mixer.
They actually do something
and they don’t burn
my toast in petty revenge.


“It seems like we have reached the point where I can ask you if you want to go out for dinner.”

“Before I give an answer, let’s discuss hypothetically where we would go. What type of food do you like?”

“There is this hamburger joint downtown that recently opened up.  I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“Can we pass on the burgers, Steve.  You know hamburgers are a “high risk” food because of the high grams of fat.” 

“That’s fine.  Do you like Texas barbecue?  I know of a popular restaurant nearby.”

“Sorry I don’t like foods where I have to use my hands to pick up the food. How about sushi?”

“Sorry Pauline.  I can’t eat raw fish.  How about breakfast?  We could try eating at the local Denny’s.”

“Sorry I’m not a breakfast person.”

 “Ok. No breakfast or dinner.  How about just drinks?   We could find a happy hour spot.  What kind of drinks are you into?”

 “Not sure if I should say it.  Don’t get any ideas but it’s called ‘Sex on the Beach’.  It’s a popular Florida cocktail with vodka.” 

“I didn’t see that one coming.  Just give me a Bud Light any day.”

“Now that we decided on drinks, where are we going?”

“How about that new bar on Fillmore near Grove?”

“Way too noisy Steve.  How about the restaurant on 2nd Ave and Jones?”

“Too dark.   How about the dive on 3rd and Market?

“Too many weirdos near there.  How about we meet at Second and Main St and go from there?  5pm on Tuesday, ok?”

“I can’t do Tuesdays.   I have my knitting and snack club.”

“Friday ok?”

 “Good.  I’ll be in front of the Nincompoop Café on Second near Main wearing a red jacket.”

Excerpt from MY BLIND DATE PHONE CALL by Laurie Hong

Published by Kelly Deeny

I am a writer, singer, jewelry designer, and theatre enthusiast. I use various forms of artistic expression for personal reflection, community discussion and creative inspiration. My premiere novel encapsulates all of the above. Follow along on my journey towards an artistic career!

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