Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Gloomy New Year's Eve - A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

Happy New Year!

Another new year and another new week of Saturday Centus!  I tell you, does it get any better, people?   Yes, of course it does, there could be free chocolate too!  For a Centusian, though, the opportunity to transform a blank page into a literary work worthy of posting for public view is all the satisfaction we require, with or without the chocolate.  Right, Robyn?

Okay, so that topic is still open for debate. 

We are at week #35 of this wildly popular and world renowned writing meme hosted by the high priestess of short, short story writing, Jenny Matlock, at her blog, off on my tangent.   As the first Saturday Centus of 2011, I think it is a good idea to start off the year on the right foot.  Whatever witless comments, extra-long posts and clumsy mistakes we made in the past are now distant memories because we have a clean slate and new chances to get things right moving forward.

The rules of this fun writing exercise are to write a short story of up to 100 words using a supplied prompt (which isn’t included in the total word count) without using any vulgarity, images (this week is an exception) and without splitting the prompt.  After posting your contribution, you are instructed to link it to Jenny’s meme post so that the rest of us can read it and share our thoughts about it with you.  In keeping with the times, vulgarity will now be allowed in the comments section if deemed necessary provided that it is used in a complete sentence.

This week’s prompt is "Her crumpled up list of resolutions..."  I tried the whole New Year’s resolution thing last year and failed miserably on almost all counts.  If that lesson taught me anything it is this.  Don’t try.  Yep, you stand a much better chance of not failing if you don’t try.  So this year I have no resolutions.  None.  Instead of following some old, contrived tradition of trying to address my shortcomings at the beginning of each year, I’m just going to let my lovely wife handle the job.  She’s a natural.

I want to point out that this story is a small milestone in my blogging career, my 100th post.  Though I was much slower in getting to this point than most of you amazingly prolific bloggers, many of whom post daily or even put up multiple posts per day (all of which leaves me feeling quite humble) I am at least pleased to have at long-last cracked the triple digits.   I need to recognize Jenny Matlock for her encouragement and for this meme which has resulted in a third of my posts!  Thanks, Jenny!  At some point I hope to post with greater regularity, but conditions being what they are I must remain noncommittal for the time being.

Here is my first post of 2011.  I have entitled it:

A Gloomy New Year’s Eve

Donna dreaded New Year’s Eve.

It only served as a reminder of what a shambles she’d made of her life. 

She had written out some resolutions - “find love, make friends, stop smoking, get fit” – the usual suspects.   

Staring as coils of smoke rose up from her lit cigarette, she pondered whether she had the strength to get it right this time and escape the cycle of regret and despair. 

In her mind she heard her mother’s voice with the answer. 


Sighing, she went to bed, leaving her crumpled up list of resolutions on the kitchen table.

Another holiday spent home alone.

Jenny Matlock

New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. 

Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

-- Mark Twain



  1. Sounds like her mother was a lot like mine. Fortunately, my mother's remarks fell on deaf ears! You are such a gifted writer, Tom.

  2. Congrats on hitting 100! Great way to begin 1-1-11! Great take on the prompt. :)

  3. Well done. I loved it. First, congrats on your 100th post, and second. I am looking forward to reading more.

  4. The Centusian reaches 100! Congratulations!

    I've so been there with the heroine in your tale. And you captured the resignation that often comes with any thoughts of "breaking free" when you are tied to a totally dysfunctional relationship. Excellent.

    Oh, and my favorite line of your prologue:

    "Instead of following some old, contrived tradition of trying to address my shortcomings at the beginning of each year, I’m just going to let my lovely wife handle the job. She’s a natural."


  5. beautiful! Just b-e-a-utiful :p

  6. It seems a while since I have seen your name pop up...glad to see you back and with #100 no lesss!
    Your Centus is well written, captured such sadness though!

  7. Another good one! Congrats on reaching 100!

  8. hahaha I loved "the usual suspects" and



    Congrats on 100 Popito!!

  9. Poor donna! loveD the 'no' for the mother speaking. I think we all get those voices in our heads still from time to time!

    Happy new year :)

  10. Gee, Tom, thanks for the uplifting start to the new year. ;-)

    The problem with resolutions is that many people try to change too much at once and have no real plan in place to accomplish any of their goals.

    Best of luck to your wife to "fix" you this year.

    Hee Hee.

    Congrats on #100!

  11. This was a really good, if somewhat depressing, take on the prompt. I've given up on resolutions altogether. It is what it is, as all the kids say :)
    Congratulations on hitting 100 posts Tom! I look forward to reading many more. Kat

  12. Dear Tom,
    Congratulations on your 100th-post!
    Keep it up!
    You centus was sad, but very well-written. There are a lot of us who seem to set our goals a little too high, and are doomed to failure.
    But I still think that it is good to strive to be better at what you want to do, even if you don't always succeed. There's a saying in Swedish (and propably a similar one in English): "Sikta mot stjarnorna sa nar du kanske tradtopparna" which means: "Aim for the stars, and perhaps you will reach the top of the trees".

    Happy New Year, Tom! I hope 2011 will be a good one for you!
    Anna's SC#35

  13. So sad! New year can be like that can't it. Good one Tom!

  14. Congratulations on your 100th post. Please don't be one of t hose who have multiple posts daily. They make me feel so inadequate. Even daily seems beyond my means.

    This was touching and sad, but infused with your talent for prose. I'm going to go have a drink now.

  15. Good Job on reaching your 100th post, Tom! I feel like we are kindred spirits, having begun blogging at about the same time, and having been spurred on by your suppport.
    I like your latest installment...and if you don't mind me telling you, this sounds like the BEGINNING of a story...a good one...that I hope you will finish some day. You have a knack for these succinct short-shorts, but I think you also have a novel--or two--in you.
    All the best in 2011, and here's to 200!

  16. Congrats on your 100th post. I'm happy that I've been a reader of 1/3 of them ;-) I think a lot of us had mother's like that. Oh well... Great job on your centus.

  17. 100 posts! Way cool, my friend. This post is another example of your talent for prose. It made me sad, but then, I think it was meant to.

    Thanks for another great centus..........cj

  18. Congratulations on your 100th post!

    I loved your centus and your prologue, I enjoy your writing and this was no exception. :-)

    Happy new year to you.

  19. Good job, Tom. Thanks to you, I am now filled with a sense of utter hopelessness.


    PS. Happy 100th post! (It's an excellent one, as always.)

  20. 100 posts! Woo hoo! Doing a double centus dance here today (and yeah, I know, it IS INDEED pretty ugly...and white women definitely can't dance)

    Great if you have any other speed. I'm hoping for a bit of mediocrity from you this year so that when I talk to Mr. Jenny about the pinnacle of writing achievements I wish to attain he can quit saying, "Seriously, you write as good as Tom, just different..."


    In the meantime, please accept my glowing accolades for another fabulous SC!



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