This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Last lines: Becca, out shopping, sees Lily, Lily’s husband Jason, child, and dog having a picnic.

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Jason walked over to Lily and kissed her. Together they returned to the blanket, Lily winding in the kite as she walked, sat, and opened up the picnic basket.

That should be my life.

Becca tried harder—dyed her hair, spent an hour getting ready, wore colored contacts, worked out three times a week, tanned, and bought expensive clothes. Lily didn’t even have highlights in her black hair and she hardly wore any makeup.

Jason ran his hand down Lily’s shoulder and said something that made her laugh. She scooped up her toddler and perched him on her lap. They made a sickeningly perfect picture.

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Lily Wasn’t There” is a short story I can’t quite get right. I’m hoping the feedback from WeWriWa will help.

Becca’s life hasn’t gone how she planned. Stuck in an accounting job she despises, she scrapes by with a paycheck that doesn’t buy her half of what she deserves. She wants to find a man before she’s thirty, get married, and never work another day in her life. While at work, she people-watches, and one particular coworker is often the focus of her attention–Lily. Lily is everything Becca hates–buttoned-up, bland, and overly dedicated to her job–or so Becca thinks.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

30 responses »

  1. Becca needs to realised that she might just be trying too hard.

  2. J.A. says:

    Sounds like Becca is young–not yet realizing you don’t spend more on the wrapping paper than the gift inside. Well done on the eights.

  3. Gemma Parkes says:

    It certainly sounds like a perfect picture. Becca could learn a lot from observing Lily if she would allow herself to.

  4. Marcia says:

    Definitely realistic! The world has all kinds of people; lots are just like Becca. Still, you show her as sympathetic, a typical 20-something with a lot to learn. 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      I think you’re the only person (other than me) that has any sympathy for Becca.

      She could be a better person… but she reminds me of the little girl who ends up in the trash in Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Spoiled, with parents that didn’t make her take responsibility for her actions for far too long.

  5. historysleuth1 says:

    Becca is getting so obsessed! You have both these characters so spot on. I can visualize their personalities by how you write their actions. Poor Becca just doesn’t get it.
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

  6. Well described scene and we’ve probably all known at least one Becca. You “get” her, for sure…

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’m horrified at how many people say they know a ‘Becca.’ I thought I was exaggerating a bit, compiling a list of terrible traits into one person…

      At least she’s entertaining from the remove of a story.

  7. I wonder when it will hit her that those changes don’t matter.its whats inside that counts

  8. Becca’s spending a lot of effort, but it doesn’t seem like it
    s on the right things.

  9. danitaminnis says:

    Oh, Becca, wake up! great 8. 🙂

  10. evelynjules says:

    Another great eight, Caitlin! Especially loved this paragraph:

    Becca tried harder—dyed her hair, spent an hour getting ready, wore colored contacts, worked out three times a week, tanned, and bought expensive clothes. Lily didn’t even have highlights in her black hair and she hardly wore any makeup. — This is a perfect example of Becca’s self-centeredness and how she thinks if she does all these things she deserves to have a perfect life, or at least a life as good as Lily’s. Nicely done! 🙂

  11. chellecordero says:

    Becca sounds dangerously obsessed. Good tension, nice 8

  12. Aheïla says:

    That jealousy doesn’t bode well. It doesn’t bode well at all. A very rich eight, showing the characters, creating tension and hinting at a dark future!

  13. Heather Boyd says:

    Wanting what someone else has is never going to make Becca happy. Great 8. I’m interested in how her story will play out.

  14. Discovering more of Becca’s personality every week! She definitely is just misunderstood. I hope in the end Becca finds the happiness she’s afraid to admit she actually really truly wants. Great 8!

    • caitlinstern says:

      That makes two people who empathize with Becca. That must be a record. 🙂

      She is a little sad and alone–she’s going about things all wrong in her life, but she blames everyone but herself.

  15. musing5225 says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve read any of this story/I’m not caught up but I did love this 8.

    I really like how Becca is a flawed person, but you get her. She’s trying so hard, but she wants all the superficial things, she doesn’t even take a moment to wonder why she deserves that life. She’s objectified life, and you really get that through this story. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

    • caitlinstern says:

      It’s so easy to lose a series in WeWriWa–part of you wants to read all the offerings, the rest knows that’s not easily done.

      Becca’s an interesting character to write–not a nice one, but still interesting. She can’t seem to understand that she’s unloved because she acts unlovable, and keeps trying the same, unsuccessful things. Eventually, something’s got to give.

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