Since I think it's silly to try and review my own story, I decided once again to post it showing the edits that Johnene did. She changed a lot more on this story than she did on the last one. The type in blue is stuff she added.
All in all I thought she made the story tighter. You'll notice she took out the part where Julie and Daniel agree that the latest action flick was too predictable, probably because it was slightly negative (and unnecessary anyway.)
I don't really understand the new title she gave it. I think it's a reference to those combo type meals you can order in Chinese restaurants, but I never look at that part of the menu, so maybe someone can enlighten me. :)
I liked the name she gave the cat. I also liked the different ending. When I emailed her the story, I mentioned in the email that here in Southern California, where I live, it's perfectly plausible that someone might go on a picnic in early February, but in much of the rest of the country, that would be ridiculous. I told her that she might want to address that issue, and she did, finding a good alternative date for them to go on.
I'm pleased with the story. Now, I need to get going on the idea I got in the car the other day. This morning I came up with this great line for the hero to say: "I feel like we both showed up at the prom wearing the same dress." I'll leave you wondering why he'd say that. Mwah-ha-ha-ha.
By Kate Willoughby
After a long day at work, I was way too tired to make dinner
for myself, so I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant, the
“Happy New Year, Julie,” Pearl said. Pearl and her husband, Raymond, owned the place.
“Chinese New Year,” Pearl explained. “Year of the Snake.”
“Oh, Happy New Year to you too
gave her my regular order ordered my usual—beef with
broccoli and pork fried rice—and sat down to wait. It was a relief to get off
my feet. I work in a department store, and today crowds of eager bargain
hunters took advantage of a huge sale it had been a very busy day.
Pearl came over and handed me a
piece sheet of
paper. “ NIt's our new placemat,” she said with a proud smile. “See the snake?”
“What’s wrong?” Pearl asked.
Nothing. It’s justAccording to this…I’m a rat.” I tapped pointed at the bewhiskered rodent illustrated on the placemat and shuddered. “ R Let's just say I think rats are, well, disgusting yucky.” At least that’s
what my sister always said. She’d had the good luck to be born under the
Chinese sign of the tiger.
Whatever you sayIf you say so, Pearl…” I said, smiling.
The bell jangled
on over the door when a man came
in. He was Pearl looked up at the tall and good looking man who'd just entered. We exchanged smiles as Pearl bustled over. “Daniel, good to see you .,” she said.
Good to see you too Hi, Pearl.” He inhaled deeply. "Mmm. “It sSmells so good in here. that I think I’m twice as
hungry as I was before I got here. Tell Will you ask Raymond to make something good for me? His choice-- whatever he wants. I
trust his judgment.”
“First," Pearl handed him a placemat, "
As soon as you look at our new placemats,” she said.
“Wwhat is your Chinese zodiac sign?”
He scanned the print.
, then announced with a grin,
“I'm a Dragon.”
You are Then you're very imaginative and charismatic.”
grin got broader and he rested an elbow jauntily
on the counter. "Tell me more. I'm flattered."
” Pearl continued, pointing at the placemat,
“your ideal partner is a mMonkey or a rRat. Julie here is a rRat.”
rRat, meet Daniel the dDragon.”
“Nice to meet you,” Daniel said
hands with me. He grinned and his beautiful brown eyes twinkled. “You’re too
pretty to be a rat.”
I laughed while Pearl
, that crafty woman, returned went to the kitchen with to put in Daniel’s order.
“Thank you. You’re not scaly enough to be a
dDragon,” I countered.
We chatted. When I found out he was the entertainment editor for the local newspaper, we compared notes on the new action flick at the Cineplex.
that came out recently. I’d found it too predictable and cliché, and he agreed.
We were still talking when Pearl brought out our food two takeout bags.
“Raymond made you blackbean fish, winter melon soup
, and salt and pepper pork chops,” she said to Daniel.
“I always get
the same thing—beef with
broccoli and pork fried rice,” I said as Pearl handed me my bag, “but that
sounds good interesting.”
“I usually let Raymond choose for me, and I'm never sorry. Daniel cocked his head
at me. " Hey, I have
a crazy idea. If you're in the mood to try something new, H how about we share? Pearl could get bring us a couple of plates and we
could eat here in the restaurant continue our conversation here. I’d much rather eat dinner with you than go
home to You'll be a much more interesting dinner companion than my cat, Rocco, . Bbut if you ever tell my cat Rocco that, I’ll deny it,” he winked said with a
twinkle in his eye.
that had been dragging me down
before I'd been feeling vanished. Now I felt energized and excited. "That sounds like a good idea. And I'll never mention it to Rocco. Promise."
I laughed. "And I'm relieved you're not the fire-breathing kind of Dragon."
"Hey, have you ever been to the comedy club in town? I mean, is that something Rats do in their spare time?"
as he went on, “I was wondering…do rats
like to go on picnics? The park on Railroad Avenue is really pretty, and it has
a duck pond.”
I looked down at the place mat. "It doesn't say anything about what we do for entertainment, but I can tell you that this Rat has always wanted to check that place out."
Daniel smiled. "Then maybe next weekend? Dinner here, then the show?"
I nodded my assent. Maybe it wasn't really so bad to be a Rat...and maybe this was going to be a great year after all!