Sunday, August 10, 2014

Writing Prompt 12: Volleyball

Wednesday night is volleyball night. 8:45 rolls around and I grab my keys and head out to the car. It's still hot because sometimes it seems like Murrieta only has two seasons: not too hot and way too hot, and in August it's way too hot. The dark leather interior of my car still holds onto the heat of the day even though the sun ducked behind the mountains an hour ago. I climb in, start the car and roll down the windows. Cool air swirls and rushes around me as I press the gas pedal. My radio is on by now and is scanning from station to station until I can find the right song; a steady, pulsing bass or a rich and wild guitar line to get my heart pumping as I sing along and make the seven minute drive from my house to the Stake Center.

First through the glass doors that open up to a quiet and reverent foyer, then down the hall to the wooden doors that open up to a loud and thick atmosphere, complete with the slight odor of sweat. Somewhere between 25 and 35 young single adults are at their places, some in the courts playing the first games of the night, others standing and talking by the stage at the east end. My first steps always seem to be filled with confidence. They land just where I want them to and each foot pushes off of the ground like a spring. People greet me and like me and I like them. This is the night I look forward to most every week. We all line up at 9:00 and count off, 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4...and so on until we have four teams of roughly equal size.

The next three hours seem to come and go as fast as those first fifteen minutes. Tennis shoes squeak and squeal as they slide on the hardwood flooring. People are shouting for all to hear, whether they're in my court or the other. My hair is wet with sweat and my shirt is worse. I can feel the blood rush to my ears and my face turn red as I swing for the ball after a perfect set but my feet never leave the ground. I bashfully watch as what would've been a perfect spike for some of the others turns into an easily returned hit from the other team. Later I forget any trace of that embarrassment and feel a flood of pride fill my chest when I save a wild hit from a teammate from going out of bounds and costing us a point. The night is filled with these ups and downs until midnight comes along and boots all of us out of the church. By the end there is only a handful of us left.

We meet at In-n-Out just up the street. Some just get a drink while others go all out for a double-double with fries and a shake. It's another hour or two of talking and laughing and enjoying the night for us. We compare how early we have to wake up for work the next day and who is going to be the most tired. I can hear Lione's contagious laugh after Jerry cracks a smart remark. I can feel the sweat in my shirt, now cold from the air conditioning. I can taste the sweet and sour lemonade as it runs down my throat and cools my whole body. By the time I make it home it's already 1 or 2 in the morning and I rinse myself off in a cool shower. I lie down in my soft bed with my fuzzy, fleece blanket only covering half of me and I sleep better that night than any other night that week.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

~Walt Disney

Monday, July 14, 2014

Writing Prompt #14

Pick one emotion you felt today. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write down every single synonym you can think of. Then open a thesaurus and find as many synonyms that you love. Pick two from the list that you normally would not use. Now spend the next week trying to insert those words in your speech, emails, text messages, anywhere.

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
~Leo Burnett

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can."

~Arthur Ashe

Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing Prompt #12

"Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of the light on broken glass."
~Anton Chekhov

Take a thing, experience, place, anything and paint a picture. Show others the details of your life and help them see the extraordinary and remarkable in it too.

This prompt was inspired by Martha Dansie.