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Paint Swatch Exercise II

July 6, 2016

During a recent DIY project, I added to my collection of paint swatches with wacky names.  I couldn’t wait to share these with my class. Instead of choosing a couple of swatches, I suggested that students pick up a new colour whenever their piece of writing started to flag. We all had a lot of fun with this. Here’s my contribution, with the paint colour names in bold…

Swatch Pic


Rose pushes the pram down the path into the park. The dawn sky is streaked with burnt apricot and perfect pink. Her breath puffs out white in front of her. She passes the merry-go-round, empty at this hour. She has no destination in mind; her only goal is to keep moving. If she stops walking, even for a moment to blow her runny nose, the baby will start screaming. Her whole life has contracted to two states of being: anticipation of his cries, and determination to get him to stop.

It seems a lifetime since he was conceived, but it’s only been a year. A year since Rose and her then-fiancé lay in bed, smoking, lost in a fantasy about their ideal honeymoon – three weeks in France, driving down the coast to visit his relatives. “You’ll be my Riviera Rose,” he teased, gently tugging her hair.

But then, the haunting hue of those two blue lines on the pregnancy test, brightly positive.

In a panic, Rose and Serge moved their drastically-downsized wedding forward to allow them enough time to prepare for the baby. It takes two to tango, but Rose has always secretly suspected Serge of secretly blaming her for their slapdash contraception. Right now he’s at home, sleeping as if stunned into unconsciousness by the sudden onset of responsibility.

Rose’s shoe has come untied. Shunting the pram back and forth with one hand, she crouches and tries to retie the lace one-handed, but it’s impossible. With a sigh she lets go of the pram. The baby lets out an immediate, piercing wail.

Rockabye baby, on the treetop,” Rose sings wearily. She wipes her nose on her sleeve and makes a mental note to buy shoes with Velcro fastenings.

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