Entry Nickname: Make A Baby With Socks On
Title: You Can Still Make A Baby With Your Socks On
Word count: 60,000
Genre: Women's Fiction
When her husband announces to their entire New Year’s Eve party that having sex with her feels hollow and empty, Aida realizes that she just might be the kind of person who makes truly terrible decisions. Especially about men. What’s even worse is that her divorce therapist believes Aida’s over-involved, hilarious eighty-year-old Italian grandmother might be the key to turning her life around. To prove her point, she challenges Aida to follow one piece of advice from each of her grandmother’s letters.
From telling her to go out on a date before her breasts droop from old age, to having sex without taking her socks off, Aida learns that good things come when she follows her grandmother’s advice. Especially when it comes to men. It’s because of her that Aida finds love again in the most unlikely of places, and realizes that her grandmother knows more about life than just how to make meatballs and go to confession. But after that love leads to a proposal and wedding, tragedy strikes. Aida finds out she’s pregnant with a baby that will most likely die at birth and she’s faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make – to keep the baby or end the pregnancy. Her gut tells her one thing, but her grandmother says another. Now she’s left doubting the one person who has helped her the most. A wrong decision could spiral her back into a deep depression and potentially end her new marriage, but the alternative jeopardizes a relationship that has transcended every obstacle in her life.
You Can Still Make A Baby With Your Socks On is a work of women’s fiction and is complete at 60,000 words.
I hope you got the socks I sent you. When I first mailed them, they were in a regular-sized envelope with one of those return address labels from the Easter Seals. I always feel bad using those since I only donated $5 back in 1992, and since then they've sent me enough labels to cover the Great Wall of China. Of course, I would never actually use those labels on the Great Wall because I wouldn’t want that many people knowing where I live, but it doesn’t matter because two days later the letter I wrote to you was returned for not having enough postage and I had to switch the tube socks out for trouser socks so I wouldn't have to pay more.
How is the new apartment feeling? I know it will take a while to feel like home, but you will heal from this, Aida. You will.
I never liked him. I know you thought it was because he wasn’t Italian but that’s not true. I didn’t like him because he drank too much. It would be different if he was Italian and enjoyed a few glasses of wine at night, but he liked all that beer and I heard that beer is the drink that turns most people into alcoholics. I think that’s why you don’t see any Italian alcoholics.
You’re too young to be sad. Wear one of those bodysuits you used to wear in college, the one that snaps down in the crotch (it’s really amazing you never got an infection down there with how tight those things are). You’re beautiful. Go have some fun before your breasts droop.
Loving you always,
Entry Nickname: Reality Star
Title: I Was a Summer Reality Star
Word Count: 79,000
Genre: Women's fiction
Jen is a bit disillusioned with life after college. She works long hours at an uninspiring job, and she’s suffocating under overdue emergency room bills. When she finds an ad seeking intelligent, puzzle-loving twenty-somethings for a competitive reality show with a cash prize, Jen grasps at a solution to her problems.
Any uncertainties about the wisdom of pinning her future to a TV show evaporate when Jen finds herself unemployed, single, and homeless. She moves into an all-glass, fishbowl-shaped house in Los Angeles with eleven strangers. Jen dives into the competition: solving puzzles, exploring mazes, and having the time of her life. She clicks instantly with fellow contestant Justin, but can't tell whether his interest is real or fabricated for the viewers. When she finds herself battling competitor Ariana for Justin’s attention, Jen discovers that some of her housemates aren’t above backstabbing, lying, and cheating.
Over the course of the summer, she struggles to win challenges— and viewer votes—while trying to figure out how Justin really feels. It’s a tricky balancing act, especially if she isn’t willing to sink to Ariana’s level. When Jen finds out she’s about to be eliminated, she must decide whether to sacrifice her values, the money, or her chance at love.
I huddled at my desk, wrapping a blanket over my hoodie. Maybe one day management would trust employees to turn the heat above sixty degrees. I held my caffeine molecule mug close to my body, futilely trying to gain warmth from the steam drifting off the top. The coffee tasted horrible; drinking it wasn’t an option.
With my right hand, I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, scanning jokes, cartoons, and idle chatter. It wasn’t allowed, but everyone did it. “Marketing assistant” apparently was advertising jargon for “lots of sitting around.” The irony wasn't lost on me. Anyway, after working insane hours all week to include last-minute changes on a major project, I appreciated the break while my boss reviewed it. I turned up the volume on my computer to project my music over the howling November storm. My toes danced on the linoleum floor.
What was that? A post from my old Beginner’s Drama professor caught my eye.
"Do you want to win $250,000? Are you outgoing, vivacious, engaging? Do you always have to be right? Do you love puzzles and trivia? Do you usually find yourself surrounded by less intelligent people? We’re looking for smart, spunky 21- to 25-year-olds for an exciting new reality competition! Email Stephanie your name, age, 2-4 pics, and a little about yourself for more information."
A reality show for smart people? Before I could investigate, a new email popped up at the corner of my screen.
It was Seattle General Hospital’s billing department.