The Power of Characters’ Memories

Recently the ARGO independent bookshop on Ste. Catherine St. in Montreal held a writers’ workshop.  One exercise included drafting a character’s memory. Revelation! It’s rather like an actor’s asking questions to prepare for a role, e.g., what would this  character’s best/worst childhood memory be? 

Think about your own choice!

Here is the result for Inma (Inmaculada), a heroine in ONE DRESS, ONE DAY. Ideally it occurs in the plot very early in the morning after a tiring nighttime bus ride back to Barcelona from an encounter with her ex-lover, Rubio.

“She [Inma] saw a fine bouquet on the doorstep of her apartment. Its cellophane and ribbons shimmered in the dim corridor.  This mysterious extravagant gesture startled her.  Who had left the flowers? Flattered then fearful, she paused remembering the sweet clover, violets and dandelions that she would pick on the way home from school. Her mother always took them with a smile.  Somehow this floral offering felt different. With no note, no fragrance it felt fake, too fancy, not fresh from the field or from the heart.”




Daily Prompt: Awkward

A key character in One Dress, One Day is Uno  Uno, a blindman who sells ONCE  lottery tickets.

“Uno always took out his standard-issue foldable white cane to ensure sympathy from fellow passengers. People were awkward anyway, but he preferred strangers’ hushing small children to loud whispers about him and stupid questions put to him. He stood at the red light, listening for the chirpy birdlike signal to cross. His condition was not dead obvious and had developed in his youth.”

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

Daily Prompt: Thin

A gown is stolen in One Dress, One Day. This is the thief’s description:

Thin with acne-pocked skin, Francisco possessed wit, charm and street smarts. His overly gummy smile somehow endeared him to policemen and older women. They saw something salvageable in him. Perhaps even a hint of honor.”

via Daily Prompt: Thin


via Daily Prompt: Core

In One Dress, One Day, Francisco, the streetsmart thief, lives in Barcelona.

“His universe was the inner core of Barcelona, a labyrinth of old neighborhoods proud of their original parish names and mentalities. He rarely smelt the salt air or gazed out onto the murky sea. Any experience of a beach, like la Barceloneta, was limited and likely illicit.”


The thief, Francisco aka Calif, is ransacking the car parked on Las Ramblas, Barcelona.  He just broke into it and has not yet found the wedding gown at the heart of One Dress, One Day.

“Bruised apples and mushy black plums, duty-free premium whiskey as well as fluorescent green rain ponchos were rapidly rejected. In the glove compartment, a pair of men’s sunglasses brought a grin to his chapped pale lips. The inventory was not great but worth at least half his debt. Unlocked canvas luggage made for easy work. But within three minutes it was clear: no cash, no cameras, no electronics, no jewelry.”

via Daily Prompt: Rapid


Inma’s key moment after stripping off the dress,

“Listening to the incessant stream of inane game shows on TV, Inma focused enough to fish out her favorite leggings plus her most feminine flowery camisoles in case she stayed the night. She folded, rolled and placed on top the pale pink pashmina that her Romeo had given her in the beginning of their relationship.  It was a piece of chic, an omen, the sign of a new life, or so she once had believed. She zipped up her carry-on, zapped a few channels and paused at a doe-eyed brunette with braids wearing a beige polyester maid’s uniform.  Yet another predictable South American telenovela: luscious palm trees, pastel villas and turquoise swimming pools.  Inma turned the set off abruptly.”

via Daily Prompt: Abrupt

Groom’s short-sleeved shirt pocket

via Daily Prompt: Sleeve

In One Dress, One Day, the French groom has to pay the thief but does not realize what he is getting into while half lost in the underbelly of Barcelona.

“Only then did it dawn on him that this might become an emergency, so he discreetly emptied his pockets of all valuables, except the sum required in pesetas and francs. He even removed his brand new bright wedding band, and left everything else for safekeeping with his bride. The amount negotiated stayed folded in the breast pocket of his short-sleeved shirt with a bit of change in his back pocket.”