Category Archives: Writing

Old Writing: Untitled

While I am unsure of the class this was written for or my age at the time of its writing, I do remember writing this and being very proud of the phrase, “…explode in a fatal shot of a gun being fired and the scream of pain as the bullet hit its mark.”

Now that I have finished transcribing it, I think it was written from a prompt of a black and white photo of a young man sitting on a balcony. It might have been in high school — possibly Freshman year.

Ever since they were children, Rene's brother, Ryan, was the favored one. Ryan always had the best things, toys in the beginning, then more important things. Ryan even had better women. They said that it was because Ryan was older. Could be, could be.

These thoughts, plus many others passed through Rene's mind as he sat on the balcony of the unused ballroom of his huge home, waiting. Waiting for when the fatal "there he is" would ring out from below.

Rene had no emotion. No fear, sadness, remorse, or even the hateful jealousy he had felt for as long as he could remember. It had subsided into a dull hardness. Hardness was all he felt. His face was set in a hard expression.

He could now hear voices in the passage before the old ballroom. The voices faded into a dream and he was back in his brother's room as he had been only a quarter of an hour before. He heard, now he felt again the terrible, horrible jealousy that he had kept under control for the past seventeen years explode in a fatal shot of a gun being fired and the scream of pain as the bullet hit its mark.

The voices returned, louder than before, closer. The moment was near when he would see his father's wrath and hurt and his mother's expression of unbelievability, hate, and pain all mingled into one.

The door opened; from his viewpoint he could see quite clearly the five people of the small party -- Mother, Father, local father of the church, and two neighbors. It was now that his fear gripped him, it tore through his body like fire. What to do? He could try to escape, he knew a stairway beyond the far wall. It was a chance, unless..., unless he jumped. It was another chance. It would end all his problems. 

He knew no fear like this fear as he heard his mother cry, "There he is!"

"Oh God, help me," pleaded Rene, "help me endure what I am going to..."

Writing #7 (Freshman English assignment)

I thought for sure I’d blogged this, but cannot find it via the search.

I remember when this happened. I still have that backpack!

The teacher gave me a score of 9.5 and wrote, “Fully detailed and evocative — your theme is successful.”

Writing #7                                                           Dona Patrick

My usual routine after math on Wednesdays is to clime the stairs by the lounge, shrug off my backpack full of books, and sit on the stone ledge at the front entrance, waiting until 2:05 when I walk to the bust stop my the North Annex. The bus, usually on time, comes at 2:12. One particular Wednesday, though, I thought I'd leave at 2:00, since the driver hadn't been the regular one for the past two days and consequently the busy schedule was a bit messed up.

As I stood up, putting my right arm through the red strap of my heavy backpack and walking to the revolving door, slipping the other strap in place around my left shoulder, I noticed, through the window, that the bus was already on its way down Fleetwood Drive. In a matter of seconds it would be past the bus stop and I would have to wait a half hour for the next bus.

I pushed through the revolving door, not paying attention to the squeaking sound of the rubber around each door on the glass that usually makes me think of a window washer's squeegee. Then I ran: my shoes making a flapping sound on the cement, and my books in their bag, bouncing back and forth on my back. I  passed two well-dressed men, wondering if they thought I was being pursued. All the while I was watching the bus, which by this time had come to a halt. No one was boarding so I wondered if the bus driver perhaps saw me running. I doubted that so I speeded up my pace and reached the bus in what I thought was the nick of time. I paid my fare of one bus token, taking my books off before I collapsed in the nearest unoccupied seat, panting, waiting for the bus to leave. Ten minutes later the driver put the bus in gear and pulled away from the bus stop, back on schedule, seeming unaware of the panic his early arrival had caused.

Letter to parents from Pittsburgh: October 1981

This letter was written two months after moving to Pittsburgh.

October 13, 1981


Got my Pennsylvania [teaching] certification today. I still have to take a class for my special ed certification though, but I can still sub which I should be doing next week.

Not much has happened otherwise, since I last spoke with you. We got a battery at Sears for the Hornet. Luckily it was on sale.

I got a strange phone call the other night. It was from a friend from the Manor — he used to give me rides home when I worked late. We had everyone convinced he was my older brother. The strange thing was that I haven’t seen him since before I went to England. I was really surprised. He said that he got my phone number from you…?

Dean and I went to a zoo last Sunday. It was ok, but I don’t really like zoos. After the zoo Dean drove the wrong way home and stopped at a park. He had a picnic all planned in the trunk. It was wonderful! A great surprise. ☺️ We ate on an outcrop of stone that formed a large area. Similar to things at Wisconsin Dells.

We picked up some acorns for our friendly squirrel. I put them on the windowsill inside the bedroom. This morning I heard a noise and saw the squirrel scratching at the window, trying to get the nuts. I put some outside but he hasn’t taken them yet. Cinder is keeping watch though.

The people downstairs have a huge Siamese cat who climbs the fire escape and stars in our kitchen window. This upsets Cinder as you can imagine!

My fingers haven’t turned blue or felt numb since I’ve been on the new medication.


Dean is studying in the other room. Every so often I hear a string of cuss words come from that direction. I guess he’s having a hard time with a problem

We bought a roasting chicken last time we went to the store. We decided to have it today. I’ve no idea how to roast it, but I’m sure we’ll manage. I’ve discovered that cookbooks are actually helpful.

The squirrel I mentioned earlier has really gotten bold. Today when He saw me open up the window he came right up to me. I got scared and dropped the acorn, though. But I think he’d take it from me.

Dean thinks he may not go to his Wednesday classes the day before Thanksgiving and therefore be free on Monday evening. We are driving the Chevelle home and leaving it at Dean’s folks’. We will then take a train back here, or a bus.

We saw Private Benjamin last night. It was pretty silly. Her wedding dress at the end was pretty though.

Is Grandma still there? Hi, if she is.

Well — keep well,


P.S. City life is great! Three weeks ago there was a murder a mile or so from here and last week a man held up an electric store two blocks away — two doors down from where we do laundry! One man got shot there! 😲