Blog Chain

Absolute Write June Blog Chain

Waveland and Clark Street Signs

Holy Toledo! Can you believe it? It’s blog chain time already. This month was speedy in looping back around to me. Proceeding me in the chain was AuburnAssassin and following me will be WildScribe. Be sure to see the list of all participants at the end of my post. Here is the challenge for this month:

Setting the Scene

Write a location description, and make us feel as if we are there. No dialogue, no introductory comments, just a location. We’re the tourists, you’re the guide.

So, with that in mind, here we go.


Sometimes I look out my bedroom window and imagine the tract homes on my street are charming brownstones with varying facades and postage stamp lawns. I pretend I’m back in Chicago in our three-flat, serenaded by car horns and people talking on the sidewalk. I can smell the stale beer and hot dogs from Wrigley Field across the street and I can hear the roar of the crowd when the Cubs score a home run. At night the “W” flag flaps in the wind, a lullaby for me to fall asleep.

When I focus my eyes, the sights and sounds from home fade away and I’m staring again at the cookie-cutter houses of my new neighborhood. The only difference between them is the color of the cheesy vinyl siding. Ours is yellow. Not even a respectable color like gray. Or brown. I could walk into the house across the street and find the bathroom without asking.  It’s in the hallway, across from the stairs. Guests will have a hard time finding it. They’ll be standing in the kitchen and will try the pantry or basement doors first. And they’ll be all, “Oh! There are so many doors here!” As if Georgian-style houses are all that hard to figure out. Architects in the suburbs have no imagination.

And you should hear my mom go off about the window treatments. The old homeowners left them behind. Mom thinks they add a touch of country charm. I think they are tacky-chic. If she starts putting things like mason jars and antique milk cans on the counter to decorate, I’m so out of here.

I miss the city. Everyday I’m here I try not to think about the street fests I’m missing. Watching eighties tribute bands while eating chicken on a stick and drinking frozen lemonade? How could you not love that?  

Sadly, my parents couldn’t get their matrimonial act together. As if that should be my problem.  A court case and a real estate debacle later and here I am: in the ‘burbs. For life.

Still, it’s not all bad. We’ve got a pool. And there’s this guy across the street who is nice to look at. In fact, he’s down right dreamy. Sometimes I see him doing yard work with his dad and it’s all I can do not to walk over and lick the sweat from his skin. Or dig my fingers into the springy curls on his head. Of course that would make me a world-class freak. “Hi, I’m Leah, your new neighbor. Do you mind if I have a taste?”

So I’ve settled for a little wave at the end of my driveway as I hop on my bike and head to work. He always waves back. So that’s something.


I hope I’ve given you a proper tour (of two locations, actually!). Here are the rest of the participants in this month’s chain:

orion_mk3 – (link to this month’s post)
juniper – (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin – (link to this month’s post)
pezie – <——– YOU ARE HERE
WildScribe – (link to this month’s post)
Inkstrokes – (link to this month’s post)
Irissel – (link to this month’s post)
Guardian – (link to this month’s post)
Lyra Jean – (link to this month’s post)
egoodlett – (link to this month’s post)
cwachob – (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – (link to this month’s post)
Della Odell – (link to this month’s post)
Aheïla – (link to this month’s post)
Robbi Sommers Bryant – (link to this month’s post)
TheMindKiller – (link to this month’s post)

23 thoughts on “Absolute Write June Blog Chain

  1. Really fantastic. My mom was from Chicago and every now and then we’d hear about her neighborhood in just those terms, through the rosy glasses of youth.

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  3. It’s funny — there are so many YA books with suburbia as a setting, but I feel like you described it in a really unique, spot-on way here. So true about all the houses having the same layout! And I liked the contrast between the city and the suburbs too. Two great settings in one scene, well done! 😉

  4. Erin, first of all before I say anything else, I’m trying the recipe you just posted. It looks FAB!!!

    As to your story, I really loved your descriptions. There was something about ‘postage stamp lawns’ that made me jealous I didn’t come up with it first. 🙂 I just love it. You really got all the senses going. It was like I was in Chicago. You show a great contrast between both settings, each of them done equally well. You are definitely a talented writer.

    • Thanks, Jen (for both wanting to try my recipe and for the wonderful compliment) that means a lot! I lived in the city for 8 years and that’s how I used to describe my lawn to people. It took my husband approximately 3 minutes to mow it :).

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  6. I loved how the descriptions morphed from one to the other. Having lived in the city (Toronto) nd moved to the country I can definitely see this and relate, only in reverse. I don’t like the city anymore. The street cleaners and traffic used to put me to sleep and the silence of farm country kept me awake at first.

    Leah is one fiesty character. I really liked her voice.

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  11. I love how she felt her parent’s divorce wasn’t a big and that people felt like she should treat it as the end of the world or something. My parents were divorced when I was four. While not the same situation as your MC I still today see my parent’s divorce as not a huge deal.

    Also while I never visited Chicago for some reason it made me nostalgic for where I did grow up. I used to live on the West Coast of Florida and moved to the East Coast of Florida when I got married. So this scene totally made me miss my own hometown and I didn’t grow up in the big city.

  12. Pingback: AW June Blog Chain: Setting the Scene | The Digital Inkwell

  13. Loved the paragraph about licking the guy across the street. Very funny. Everyone has randomly weird thoughts like that, but we never like to actually say it. At least, I hope that’s true because I have a lot of them.

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