The Dinner Party

August 22, 2010 § 6 Comments

I recently discovered The Red Dress Club, which is, in a nutshell, a writing workshop if you like.

I can’t remember how I found it exactly, but I’m glad I did. I scrolled down through the posts, and found Red Writing Hood.

What you do is, you look at the topics provided, have a look at other people’s entries if you like, and write a tale to correspond with the category.

This week’s provision is: write a first-person piece about either eating your favourite food or taking a shower – without using any personal pronouns.

Now, it seems easy written down. But once you start on the task, the toughness of it all kicks in, and you’re left with writer’s block.

So, I know it says ‘your favourite food’ and everything, but I’m just going to make something up, as I don’t even have a favourite food, or memories worth sharing of my shower and bath experiences, and also because my fiction is better than my non-fiction in all circumstances.

So, with the help of my generous (oh, please. Generous? Her? I had to bloody bribe her) daughter, I came up with this entry for the Red Writing Hood workshop.

The Dinner Party

Opening the cupboards. Realising the ingredients needed are nowhere in sight. Grabbing furiously at whatever is left, the feeling of disappointment and downright horror rising.

The guests will be here. Nothing is ready. Turning the oven up frantically, shoving the pan onto any free hob and dumping the random ingredients collected into it. Grabbing a wooden spoon and stirring it ferociously, staring at the clock all the while. The only sounds in the room are the quick pulse and the menacing ticking of the clock.

The doorbell rings. Early. The whole world stops and comes crashing down.

Running to the door, whipping off the apron and throwing it into the closet. Opening the door and greeting with hugs and the occasional kiss to the cheek. Leading to the living room, pulling out chairs politely and scurrying back to the kitchen, hiding the utter fear.

What to do? The meal isn’t ready, whatever the hell it is. Scooping it onto plates, trying to recognise the carrot and what looks like cabbage medley that has been conjured up. Taking the plates to the table, placing them down and eyeing reactions.

Feedback. Words. Nods. Smiles. No frowns, no vomit, no throwing down napkins and running out of the house forever. Good vibes.

Picking up the napkin sitting on the table and wiping the brow, beads of sweat dissolving into the tissue paper. Crumpling it up and tossing it to one side, it landing perfectly in the waste-paper basket as if professionally.

“Well done!”




The positive feedback roars as forks land on empty plates and full stomachs practically burst out of pretty dresses and shirt and ties.

This was a good dinner party. Must happen again.


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§ 6 Responses to The Dinner Party

  • Catherine says:

    Hi there!
    Just found your blog after a search for fiction. Loved the link you share and will be joining the RDC too.
    Great work on your Dinner Party entry – that is quite a feat to write without using personal pronouns!
    I look forward to participating in some also, once I am a member!
    Keep writing 🙂

    • glummymummy says:


      Thanks, I love it too – I don’t usually have the chance to write fictionally, so this is great for me.

      And thanks very much, took me a long time to write it with the help of my daughter, it’s so hard without personal pronouns! I found myself writing “I” on numerous occasions, and had to change the whole sentence!

      I will definitely be reading your entries, so tell me when you’ve done it!

      Will do 🙂

  • Missy says:

    This was great. I felt my stress level rise at the thought of having to prepare a dinner party in such a rush! Loved it.

    • glummymummy says:

      Thank you!

      I know that as I was writing it, I made mistakes, but also I could feel myself actually there, and I ached to get up off my chair and actually check the cupboards for some reason!

  • Cheryl says:

    SO glad you found our club! Excellent job, I was totally stressed out reading it!

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