Posted in Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Daily Prompt: Exhale

Daily Prompt: Exhale

Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright.

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First off, things for me rarely go right. At least in the beginning.

It could be something simple like nailing a nail in the wall to hold a picture. Easy right? Wrong. If you live in my world it would go something like this.

Search for the hammer and nail. Okay, I found the nail, but where is the darn hammer? I know it was in this drawer last time I used it.

Finally found the hammer on a shelf, where I got distracted last time I wanted to pound something. Think I got caught up in a book, because there are well-loved books on the shelf where the hammer was found.

That’s just a silly, simple illustration. My life has never been easy. Never. Not once.

A more serious example of a time when everything seemed to be going wrong was right after my divorce. Things had not been good for a long time, I had been in an abusive marriage for 13 years and now I left him. I was broke, living with a good friend who had 3 kids and problems of her own. I didn’t have a job, no money, no car and where I was there was no bus service. Now what am I going to do?

Not to mention my ex was stalking me, my family was not speaking to me, again, plus they were all on the other side of the country. I had never felt so alone, scared and worried.

My friend assured me I was always welcomed in her home and I knew her words were true. She never once made me feel like I was a burden. She and her family always made me feel welcomed. I thank the powers that be every day for her friendship. She was a wonderful friend. A person who just wanted to help me. Plus she hated my ex. The lady had good taste.

So there I am, freshly divorced from a wacko. Needing a job and a car. Well a car first. I was in Texas where unless you lived smack in the city there wasn’t much bus service. I literally did not have a penny to my name. Where the hell am I going to get a car? How could I afford it? It seemed a vicious circle. No job, no car, no car, no job.

So I am worrying myself into illness. Really. I had my ex stalking me, I had no money and no family to help.

http://imagerf.photoshelter.com/
http://imagerf.photoshelter.com/

One day while I was sitting at my friend’s house alone. (The kids were in school and my friend was at work.)  I’m sitting there crying because I didn’t know what I would do. I knew I had to move on and take care of myself. I wanted to take care of myself. I wanted to support myself and to show everyone I could do it.

In the back of my mind was  my ex’s hateful words. That day I couldn’t shake them as much as I wanted to. He used to tell me all the time without him I was nothing, I could do nothing. I would always need him to take care of me because I was too stupid to take care of myself. I was worthless. No one would want me, need me, be there for me but him.

I remember crying my heart out that day. I was alone. Totally alone. My mind was racing with terrible thoughts. I was no good, I was stupid, I was fat and ugly. No one would hire me anyway. I hadn’t worked in years. I didn’t know anything. Why didn’t I just die!

When I was crying my hardest everything seemed to still in the house. Everything seemed to stop. Even my crying stopped. It was so quiet. Then I felt a warmth go through me. The only way to describe it was someone/thing gave me a big warm hug.

My tears dried and my mind calmed.

I suddenly knew, just knew, everything was going to be all right. Everything would work out like it was supposed to. I was going to be all right.

That same evening I got a call from my ex mother in law. Her and my  ex father in law decided they wanted to co-sign  a car for me! She said they had talked about it for a while and wanted to surprise me. That very next day they took me car shopping and I got my very first brand new car! It wasn’t even used! They paid the first payment and filled it full of gas.

The next couple of weeks was dedicated to finding work. Which I did in an Antique Mall. I loved that job! It didn’t pay much, but I was able to make my car payments, insurance and get a small apartment. After that my life got better and better. Because of that job, and the goodness of my ex in-laws I met the love of my life.

My life has had lots of downs since that time. But it has also had a lot of ups. I never forgot that warm ‘hug’ I received that day. It was certainly a time to remember.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, nonfiction, Photo Challenges, postaday, Uncategorized

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

THIS WEEK, SHOW US A PHOTO THAT SAYS “GOOD MORNING!”

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So this week’s photo challenge from WordPress is “Good Morning!” I like it. Morning is my favorite time of day!

Morning is as fresh as that first cup of coffee! Oh yeah, when I get up that’s what I head for first. Especially when the husband gets me Tim Horton’s before I’m even up! Large with 2 creams. 🙂

My addiction, Tim Hortons coffee (C)JLPhillips 2013
My addiction, Tim Hortons coffee (C) JLPhillips 2013

Then I have to let my dog Sam outside. After all I have done my morning ritual, now it’s his turn.

Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013
Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013

Depending on the weather I might sit outside with Sam for a bit. Lately it’s been too cold and windy in the morning. So instead I head for my ‘office’ and turn on my computer.

My lifeline, my computer (C) JLPhillips 2013
My lifeline, my computer
(C) JLPhillips 2013

After checking on WordPress, emails and other stuff online I go to the grocery store and see what I can find.

Grocery Store
Grocery Store

Maybe on the way home I can see some wildlife. Who knows right? Except I forgot to take my camera with so I have to borrow a photo of the coolies I pass.

Photo by Ian Blum
Photo by Ian Blum

When I get home I’m greeted by two innocent looking felines. Do I trust them? Not a chance! They are always up to something.

Pouncer (c) JLPhillips 2013
Pouncer (c) JLPhillips 2013
Notwen (c) JLPhillips 2013
Notwen (c) JLPhillips 2013

So that’s my morning! Hope your morning was good.

Take the time and snuggle with your pet, kids, or spouse. Go out and enjoy Mother Nature. You’ll feel better for it.

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man

Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo) man

How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

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I laughed when I read the daily prompt. Seriously I did. Anyone that knows me well will know I am NOT a Fashionista. Not even close. I could care less about clothes.

When I was younger and out in the work force, I may have paid a little more attention to clothes, but probably not. I have never been much interested in clothes and style and fashion. Give me a pair of jeans and a comfortable blouse and I’m good. Don’t even get me started on shoes! If I could go barefoot all year I would. I hate shoes. I hate shoe shopping. I hate clothes shopping.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m always clean and neat in appearance, just was never into dressing to impress. Which reminds me. I don’t even own a dress or skirt! Or heels. Ugh, heels. Torturous devices. Granted they make a woman’s legs look great, but I don’t care for them.

I have two closets in my bedroom. They are not even big closets. But there are two of them. Only one of them has clothes hanging in them. One! That one isn’t even full! So obviously clothes are not that important to me.

Now ask me how many shelves are devoted to books. Ha! Yeah, I have a lot more books than I do clothes. I like it that way. If push came to shove I can always tape some book pages over my body and call it good. hahaha!  Whoa, now that puts a picture in your mind you didn’t want. Terrible injustice to books.

So to erase that picture I’m going to show you a picture of my closet. Don’t forget I warned you. Granted I need to do laundry this week yet, but still it wouldn’t look much different. 🙂

My closet speaks for itself.

My closet, please ignore the really raggedy shirt. (c)JLPhillips 2013
My closet, please ignore the really ragged shirt. (c)JLPhillips 2013

As for appearance impacting how I feel about myself. It has nothing to do with clothes. It shouldn’t have anything to do with clothes. They are just a covering, a drop cloth, an accessory to what and who you are. What impacts how I feel about myself is,  how I feel about myself.

Do I feel better about myself as a whole? Do I feel healthy, happy, in charge of my life? Am I feeling fulfilled as a person? Not how do I look in this piece of clothing, or how my hair looks today, or do I wear makeup or lipstick. None of these things impact how I feel about myself. Anymore.

See how I qualified that? Anymore.

When I was young, I was like most young people. How I looked, how I dressed was more important. Now that I’m older and have been through all the things that I have in my life, I’ve found it doesn’t matter how I dress. I could have myself wrapped in toilet paper and it wouldn’t make any difference about what I think of myself.

Well okay, I might feel silly. But what a good laugh I would have! You get what I’m saying though. You’re smart people. Clothes are just fabric, thread, buttons or zippers. They are not YOU. They are not ME.

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Photo Challenges, stories, writing

Friday Fictioneers ~~ October 4, 2013

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and an end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)

THE KEY:

Make every word count.

I’m a bit early this week, but I’m so busy that I was afraid if I didn’t get this done today I might miss it this week and that simply won’t do!

Once again I want to thank Rochelle for hosting again, (psst….. You really should go read some of Rochelle’s flash fiction, she is phenomenal!) I always learn so much about writing just by reading these flash fiction stories. These people are wonderful writers! So click on Rochelle’s name and go read some great stories! Go on now, don’t be shy! Shoo!

Oh wait!! Read mine first though okay? 🙂   And don’t forget to leave a comment! Thank you so much.

Copyright – E.A. Wicklund
Copyright – E.A. Wicklund

 

 

 

 

Genre: General Fiction (words 100)

 

The screaming of the seagulls penetrated the fog in her mind. She flinched, then blinked in the sunlight.

Looking around she sighed and knew she was  safe. After so many years of yelling, fists and kicks, the birds yells made her flash back for an instant.

Safe, such a small word that meant so much. Courage, another word  she had found recently. The courage to leave, to move,  to be herself.

So many years she lived in fear. She didn’t think he would find her. She hoped, wished, wanted for a new life for so many years. Now she had it.  She smiled.

 

 

(I wrote this to honor Domestic Violence Awareness month. As a survivor sometimes it just takes one person holding out their hand to help to make the difference between life and death. Literally. It’s hard to find that courage when you are in a situation of abuse. You feel alone, helpless and think no one will help. If you or anyone you know is in this kind of situation, reach out your hand for help, we will grasp hold. If you need someone to talk to email me, I will help.     jlroeder (at) mail (dot) com)

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, nonfiction, postaday

Daily Prompt: Reading Material

Daily Prompt: Reading Material

How do you pick what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

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It surprised me that I had to think hard on this prompt. I’ve been reading books for so many years that I don’t even think about how I go about choosing them from the bazillion books out there.

As I sat and thought about the books I read, I found out that I’m an eclectic reader. I will try out new authors and new genres, if they grab my attention. The first few paragraphs are so important to any writer. That is where you will grab your reader by the throat and yell in their face, BUY ME, READ ME!

There are also times that I will just read the blurb of a book. If it doesn’t sound interesting, I will pass on it. Most times I will pass on it. I will have to admit there have been a few times I read the book anyway, even if the blurb or first few paragraphs didn’t interest me. There have been a few times I’m glad I did as the story drew me in and at the end I was sorry it had ended. Granted, these kind of books have been few and far between.

I also have my favorite authors that I read when they have new titles out. For the most part I enjoy mystery, suspense, crime dramas, some fantasy, paranormal and almost everything in between. Okay, maybe it would be easier and less time-consuming to say which types of books I don’t read.

************ um, Hmmm, well damn. That list was short.

I started reading at a young age. Around 4 I believe. As I grew older I would read my dad’s books which were Westerns. Louis L’Amour to be exact. My dad loved his westerns. Then when I was able to go to the local library or the library in my school my reading evolved. I could be found reading anything. I remember finding books by Mary Norton called ‘The Borrowers’. I devoured the whole series within weeks.

www.fantasticfiction.co.uk
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk

Then as I got a little older I found Charlotte Bronte, Lewis Carroll and many other authors which I still love today.

I even managed to read through every single book in my school library that they had on mythology. Then in my teenage years I found the world of Romance. I spent my allowance on romance novels. Then Regency romance, than poetry, then, well you see what I mean by eclectic. I read everything! I just loved to read, period.

Right now I’m more into the mystery/suspense books. I love to see if I can figure things out before I get to the end.

As for blog reading. I pick those for several reasons. I will choose what blogs I read or follow if they interest me. I follow several humor blogs. They make me laugh, smile and feel good. I love humor blogs. I am jealous that it seems so effortless what they do. They write funny stuff. I just can’t seem to write funny, but I love reading it.

Some I follow because they make me feel things. I follow several on domestic abuse and how they managed to leave their abusers and become independent. As a survivor of domestic abuse I cheer for them, I cry, I get angry and want to reach out and hug them. They make me feel less alone. They make me feel. If I can help them in some way I try to do that.  Even if all I can do is give virtual hugs.

Others I follow because they are just great writers. I love reading their stories, poems or whatever they write. I love to cheer them on as they follow a path to published author. They give me hope for myself and they show me how good writers write.

Of course I do have some favorite bloggers. Who doesn’t? I have found some wonderful friendships in this blogging world. A few have carried over into personal friendships where we email and talk about everyday life. I love my friends. They keep me sane. You know who you are. 😉

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, Uncategorized, writing

Picture Writing Prompt ~~~ Part 2

Hello out there in blog world! Today is the second installment of my ongoing story based on pictures that you voted on!

The pictures that were voted on can be found here.  The first installment of the story can be found here. 

At first I was going to write separate stories for each of the winning pictures (there was a 3 way tie!). Then as I wrote the first story I knew I needed to keep going with it. So I decided to incorporate all the pictures in one ongoing story. Each segment would be posted on Tuesdays. Smart hey? Well we’ll see!

Today is part 2 of the story. I suppose I should have a title too, right? Hmm, how about:

On The Run

Now on with the story.

http://wprasek.com/
http://wprasek.com/

The rain had finally stopped. Amber folded up her umbrella without breaking stride. She wanted to be home. Safe and warm and dry. She slowed her steps to one of a fast walk. Her shoeless feet hurt and she was soaking wet, but she kept walking. Every now and then she turned and gave a quick look behind her. Still nothing.

She just wished she would see some people. Amber thought there would be less chance of the man she knew as Donnie doing anything to her if there were people about. She was coming up to the park that was a few blocks from her apartment. Her steps quickened as she knew there was always someone at the park, it was a popular place to sit and visit. Amber also felt relieved that she was that much closer to home.

Amber hadn’t thought much about how she would get into her apartment, as she left her purse and keys at the shop. Maybe she could tell the manager that she lost her keys and he would let her in without too many questions. After that, well she would think of something.

**************************************

Edith and Myrtle sat on their favorite bench in the park. It had been raining earlier but now the rain had stopped. The two women had been fast friends since the second grade. Now they were older, grayer, but still best friends fifty years later.

Every day they took a walk through the park. Rain or shine the two friends never missed a day. They liked to sit and talk about family and friends. Or other people in the park. They loved to gossip, though they never called it gossiping. They were just catching up with each other. After all, talk amoung life long friends couldn’t be gossip they said. Even if they sometimes talked about people they didn’t even know.

The two women grew up together, never lived more than a block away from each other. They married in the same month, the same year. Edith had three kids, Myrtle two. When Edith lost her husband last year, Myrtle was by her side through it all. She comforted and  helped with the funeral arrangements.

Their kids grew up together and used to joke about their mothers finishing each other’s sentences. That’s how close they were.

Edith was the first to spot Amber. She recognized the young woman as a tenet in the same apartment building she lived in.  Amber lived on the floor above Edith, but the older woman knew all about her. Edith knew about all the people in her building. And what Edith knew, Myrtle knew.

“Look Myrtle, isn’t that…..”

“Amber? She’s the one that lives above you, right? Wonder why she is so ….”

“Wet! Look at her Myrtle, she’s even…..”

“Barefoot! Why, where is that child’s shoes Edith? She looks like she’s…..”

“Afraid! Why she looks like she is terrified! Wonder what the…..”

“Trouble is? Maybe we should offer our…..”

“Help! You are always wanting to help others my dear. Such a good person you are. Not sure what…”

“We could do? Why we won’t know unless we ask.”

***************************************

Amber sat on the park bench. There were people around, even though it had rained. She was so very tired, she just had to sit a few minutes. Amber felt safe enough with other people around to rest  before she ran the next few blocks home. She kept her eyes circling the park, on the lookout for Donnie. She wanted to make sure he wasn’t around when she sprinted to her apartment.

She spied the two old ladies purposely moving towards her. She recognized one of them as the tenant below her in the apartment building where she lived. What was her name again? Edith! That was it. She had talked to her a few times, seemed like a nice old lady. A bit nosey, but then wasn’t most old ladies?

“Hello Amber! See Myrtle, I told you it was…….”

“Amber, yes my dear, and you are right. So child why are you…..”

“Barefoot and wet? Can we…..”

“Help in any way child? You look like you’ve seen a ……”

“Ghost! Yes you do, you are so pale. If you are on your way…..”

“Home, we can walk with you dear!”

Amber felt she was watching a tennis match as her head swiveled from one lady to the next. Fascinated she listened to them finish each others sentences and almost forgot Donnie and the danger she was in.

She was soon brought back to earth as she spotted a man next to a tree. It was Donnie! She was sure of it! Even though she had just caught a brief sight of him in the alley behind the store, she knew in her gut it was Donnie. It didn’t seem he had spotted her yet, as Myrtle and Edith were momentarily blocking his view of her.

That had to be Donnie though. Amber was positive it was. The man had stopped, he looked like he was as out of breath as she was. He stood with fists on hips and stood looking around the park. There was a frown on his face as he dug a cell phone from his jacket pocket. No doubt calling for backup. She had to get out of here!

Glancing up at the old ladies, she thought quickly. Donnie would be looking for a single female. With an umbrella. Not three women and only the two older ladies with umbrellas. As she stood to accept Myrtle and Edith’s offer of help, she casually pushed her umbrella off the back of the park bench where it fell to be hidden within the pile of fall leaves.

“Ladies, I would be so grateful for your help. Please may we go home now?” Amber asked as she hooked her arms in theirs and steered them toward her apartment building.

She kept the ladies close to her side as they walked out of the park. She glanced back briefly and watched as Donnie walked toward the other end of the park, cell phone to his ear. He didn’t look happy either.

“Of course dear. We’ll be glad to walk with you. Maybe you could tell us…..”

“What kind of trouble you’re in dear Amber. Myrtle and I would love to help in any…..”

“Way we can! That goes without saying Edith!”

“Thank you ladies for your offer of help. The trouble I’m in might be dangerous and I couldn’t ask you to put yourselves in danger.” Amber told them. She would figure out what to do next herself.

“Don’t worry about us dear! Why we could tell you some…..”

“Stories of when we were growing up! Edith and I were quite adventurous in our youth. Why we…..”

“Quite put the gray in our parents’ hair back in the little shanty town we grew up in! I remember….”

As the two old ladies reminisced about their youth, Amber half listened while she tried to think what she could do to keep Donny and his boss Alesky from finding her.

(This is my stopping point this week! I will continue the story next Tuesday. See you then! I love feedback and comments, so please let me know what you think!)