J's Page

For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

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I’m trying to keep this blog focused on food and travel, but because my work schedule allowed for zero travels this year, I’ll have to get content wherever I can find it.

So let’s go for some shameless self-promotion.

Aside from writing about fried food and beer, every so often I’ll whip out a piece of short fiction. Mostly short-short fiction because a) I have zero attention span and b) I believe in the power of brevity. Most recently, I’ve been working on super-short pieces for Paragraph Planet (@paragraphplanet on Twitter), a creative writing website that features 75-word pieces on one topic. If you’re a writer, please give it a go. There’s something so satisfying about writing just 75 of just-right words. If you’re a reader, click and click daily. There are some real gems there, and they make for a nice breather between phone calls, a shared human moment before another deadline.

Freelance writer Richard Hearn edits the site — when he’s not penning the “Distracted Dad” column for Latest Homes and “Dad Sense” for Mumsense magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @latestdad.

Hearn kindly selected my short “Opera in Private” to be featured on the site Nov. 4. It was inspired in part by long, funny email exchange I was having with my friend Amy about silly things we do when we’re alone or just in the company of our respective spouses: making up new song lyrics, pretending to be an ice skater, and singing as if we’re great singers when nothing could be further from the truth. “I sing opera in private, too!” I wrote. Surely we weren’t the only ones? Are we?

Opera in Private by Jacqui Barrineau

Opera in private. I do that, you know. Sing great songs as if I’m a great soprano, swiping Leontyne’s vigor. Each note a grand guttural release – escaping air once trapped in my belly. Performances nightly, twice on Wednesdays. Sometimes I’m a private dancer, my basement a stage – a prima ballerina pirouetting between loads of whites and darks. These stolen moments only poetic postponement of toilet cleanings and floor waxings. No one minds. Do you?

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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