Hello people! Hope this Friday (or Saturday if you are living on the other side of the world) finds you well and planning a wonderful weekend!
Today’s short story was first written in 2012. A different sort of writing for me. I enjoyed it, hope you do too.
They sat, barely touching. The fire crackled softly in front of them. It was cold, but they didn’t feel it. The night sky was full of stars, brightly shining down upon the two. Their soft voices mingled with the slight breeze, wafting upwards among the trees.
They smiled, their quiet laughter muffled under the blanket wrapped around them. The night was quiet, beautiful. It was just the two of them. Hands would touch, then flutter away like birds newly learning to fly. The little puffs of mist when they breathed entwined like lovers.
The snow glistened in the moonlight. Sparkling like a spread of precious gems laid out before them. The small creatures that would normally be heard scuttling in the bushes were quiet this night.
Soft cloth enfolding them in its fibers. Making two seem as one. They exchanged ideas, words flowed freely between the two. They spoke of faraway lands, of people known and cared about. Each so different from the other, yet each the same.
With each word, each idea, each story they grew closer. The found that even though they lived very different lives, they were still the same inside.
I sit, looking at my reflection in the mirror
One year older, another year added
Age is just a number they tell me
Nothing to be concerned about
It’s how you feel inside that matters
Then some days I must be 105
I see the silver in my hair
New lines in my face
Wondering how did I manage to get this far
What happened to all my plans? Dreams?
Now I seem stuck, here in the land of numbers
Neither can I go back nor forward, yet.
Life has not been easy, still I have been blessed
I am alive, able to see dreams become reality
No matter the number in my age
My dreams never fade, not really
Some just become more important than others
They shift, like the sands in my internal hourglass
I may be older, we all age if we are lucky
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but to be proud
I have reached an age where I may move slower
I still question things, still look in wonder
That never ages and never will
Life is to be savored at any age, not taken for granted
So here I sit, a year older, still dreaming my dreams
I look at the wonders of the world, the tragedies.
Still glad to be alive, even if things are tough
As I have the ability to change things still
To live for another day, week, month, year
Gives me that much more time to make my dreams real.
My journey continues, till when? I do not know
I’m just glad that it does. For I have many dreams to fulfill
More adventures to have, people to meet
Never be afraid of aging, that is what I have learned
It’s a lesson I take to heart, one I never forget
As I move a bit slower, but ever onward in life well met.
Room abandoned, beds empty Walls echo with orphan cries Tis nought but bricks, wood, plaster
This dark, gloomy room
Where lines of beds reside
Teary, weary children were kept
Played little, worked much,
Grew to be men, women,
Out in the hard world they go
Walls dingy, windows, tall, doors locked
Room where sadness, loneliness reigns
Children crying in flat pillows at night
Praying for someone to take them home
The hardwood floors soak up their fears
Moonlight dully shines to light the gloom
Shadows dancing on the walls, nightmares come
Brick, wood, plaster walls, muffle their orphan cries
Today’s poem followed the NaPoWriMo website prompt:
Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features walls, bricks, stones, arches, or the like. If that sounds a bit hard, remember that one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems was about a wall. Happy writing!
Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us BARRIERS.
Today’s daily prompt has hit home for me today. I was thinking to myself late last night that I didn’t get half of what I wanted to get done this past week or so.
As for the why, well, there are several contributing factors. The biggest being myself. I have felt restless, edgy and distracted for a few weeks now. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s being housebound for weeks on end. Maybe it’s the weather and it’s most definitely been the awful wind.
I have had a lot on my mind and haven’t been able to find resolutions to some of my problems. I hate that. I’m a thinking person. My mind is always running full speed ahead! The only time it slows down is when I’m sleeping. Lately, though even sleeping has been difficult. Filled with vivid dreams and confusing dialogs.
I try to pay attention to my dreams, as they usually help me find solutions to problems or answers to questions. I’ve trained myself through the years to remember most of my dreams. If you can interpret your dreams, a lot of life’s problems can be solved if you keep your heart and mind open to them.
My dreams have mostly been a reflection of my restlessness it seems. They don’t make any sense no matter how I look at them. I’ve dreamed several times of my late father, which usually comforts me, but these dreams haven’t. They are tiring and confusing and make no sense.
For now I’ll try not to worry about the dreams.
My health was not the best the last few months. I don’t usually talk about my health problems as I want my blog to be uplifting, happy and full of wonderful stories, whether fiction or not. Life has a way of stepping on my toes on this one.
As many of you know, I’m a diabetic. Lately I’ve been having problems keeping my blood sugar stable. Stress is a major factor in that one. Less stress equals lower blood sugars. I don’t see the end of my stress in the near future. It is what it is. Having higher sugars than normal means, for me, more joint pain, more fuzzy eyesight, more fitful sleep and just feeling like my mind is full of cotton. So once again, I try to adjust my eating habits to help lower the sugars. Constant battle. I hate it.
Every joint in my body hurts, all the time. That sucks. I’m not a complainer. I go through my pain and suffer silently. I just withdraw more into myself and just don’t feel like talking. That’s just me. I’m a loner anyway, but these past weeks, even I don’t like my company.
So what are the things that hold me back from accomplishing everything I want to? Diabetes, lack of good sleep, pain, stress and wanting to just get away for a while. It’s been hell lately, but it’s something that I will work through. I’m stubborn that way.
On the good news front, I have started another novel. Some know that I have been working on “The Key” for a year now. I’m more than half way done with it. I need to give it a rest for a bit as I seem to be stuck. My other novel is a memoir. I’ve made the decision to put that on the back burner for now. At least while my mother is alive. It’s a scorcher and some of it I don’t want my mother to know about as it would just give her pain. No sense in doing that.
My new WIP (work in progress) is one I’ve had in my head for over a year. It’s part mystery, part revenge, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. I haven’t come up with a title yet. I’ll have to write a bit more than it will come to me. I’m excited to finally start getting it down in writing. So I suppose my time hasn’t been a complete waste.
I just wish I could get more done than I have. I’m not whining. Well, not much. I just have to figure out what my dad is trying to tell me in my dreams.
This week in WordPress’s weekly writing challenge. We are to write what we observe on our lunch break. As I ‘work’ (work is relative here) from home, I don’t see a lot of different things or people. So I’m going to have to come up with something more creative.
Being a diabetic, I try to stay on a schedule for my meals, as it is easier to control my blood sugars this way. So I usually take a break from my writing about noon or 1:00 to have lunch. Also, I always have it at my desk, sometimes I combine lunch with reading blog posts or doing other paperwork. But on rare occasions I just sit back, gaze out my window and have a leisurely lunch and daydream.
Sam (my dog) is always with me, sometimes begging for a handout. Most times sleeping on his oversized pillow.
The view from my window is the back of the property, past the fence is nothing but open fields and coolies. I’ve always spotted something moving out there. I’ve seen hawks, geese, magpies and various other birds. Once in a while I spot a cat from one of the other homes slinking through the tall grass in search of something to stalk. One day I hope I’ll see deer, or a moose. I’ve heard coyotes out there at night and once I could have sworn I heard wolves as they have a different howl than coyotes. I know it spooked Sam.
I love nature and looking out that window is so peaceful and relaxing. I have to force myself to get back on the computer and do something constructive. It’s nice to know I have that to look at if I need some recharging during the day. It’s certainly one of the perks of living more out in the country.
Here’s a little poem that I wrote about my view from the window.
My window is my view of the world of nature
Hawks swoop down and around seeking food
Tall grass bends with the cold winter winds
Solace and peace fill my heart as my mind relaxes its hold on stress
I don’t have to wait till the next time I’m out and about. I do this all the time. In fact I did this not an hour ago when I went to the grocery store. It’s what happens when you are a writer and you have a vivid imagination.
I saw her as I was on the way home actually.
It’s a beautiful day here in Canada where I live. The day is warm with a bright blue sky and wispy white clouds. I was driving home from the grocery store. Taking my time with the window rolled down and enjoying the beautiful day.
I saw her from quite a way as she was dressed in bright colors. Like a walking, living bouquet of vivid wild flowers she walked gracefully down the country road. She wore a primrose pink jacket with her legs encased in sunshine yellow pants. On her feet she wore white sneakers. On her arm was a bright red purse that swung with each jaunty step.
As I got closer I could see she was old, her face full of well-worn wrinkles in a light brown face. Her dark brown eyes sparkled with happiness as she tucked her white hair into her bright blue head scarf. She gave me a joyous toothless smile as I slowly went by. It was the kind of smile that made your heart sing and your lips turn up in a grin. That smile seemed to say, “Hello! I am so glad we are both alive and able to enjoy this perfect day!”
She may have been going to the same grocery store I had just left. Or maybe she was on her way to visit a close friend, where they would sit and drink coffee and reminisce over old times. Or she was on her way to visit a daughter or son who would hug her and tell her how welcomed she was.
Wherever she ended up I knew she would bring happiness to all she came in contact to. She had that aura about her. A wise woman full of love and kindness. A woman who had a tender touch or a soft kiss with aged lips. A woman who had seen much in life and like her Native Indian ancestors was at peace with her surroundings.
Her smile was such a beautiful present today. It made me feel lighthearted. It made me feel that I was where I should be at this time in my life.
I passed her in my car, a fleeting moment in time. But her image, her smile, her colorful self, will stay with me for much, much longer. With those precious seconds as I slowly passed her and she had a smile only for me I felt the gentle hand of love surround my heart.
With that gift I will go about my day with a lighter step, a joy in living that I had not woken up to this morning. I silently thank her for giving that to me and I hope light and love will be with her always.
Today is a lazy day here. So I thought I would stay with the lazy theme and post the top ten things that inspire me to write.
We all have things or people who inspire us. Things that happen or we wish would happen. People who have amazing stories to write.
Maybe we are lucky enough to have a muse that works overtime. That inspires stories within our minds that we just need to get down for others to read. I know I have a muse that might not exactly work overtime, but puts in a good day’s worth of work everyday.
My muse does take a vacation day now and then, but for the most part is with me to work. I’m always coming across ideas or pictures that help me in my stories. Hopefully it will always be that way.
Anyway, take a look at the things that inspire me to write. Make a list of your own. Or tell me what is the #1 inspiration why you write. I’m always interested in other people.
1. People. They are such interesting creatures. I always like to watch people and make up stories about them. What’s their history? Are they happy? What will become of them? What makes them ‘tick’? What would they do in certain situations? So many questions my mind asks. I will never know the answers so I make them up. It’s fun, sometimes silly, sometimes sad, hopeful, terror filled, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. That’s what makes it so much fun, you are the boss! You can be like a giant and pluck them up and put them down in a different situation and watch what happens! More often than not I am surprised at what happens.
2. Nature. I love nature and all its beauty and wonder. I love it when it’s calm, serene, wild, or putting on an awesome show. I love the calming influence that nature has on my soul. The birds, butterflies and other critters, I love to watch them all as they go about the act of living.
3. Emotions. Everyone knows that emotions always make good fodder for stories. Love, hate, terror, scorn, jealousy and anything in-between. What story isn’t fueled by some emotion? There’s such a wide spectrum to choose from that pulling from that grab bag will never be boring.
4. Beliefs. Or non-beliefs. I think we all believe in something. It doesn’t have to be religious. It can be an ideal, or a way of doing something. It can be a belief in yourself, in someone else or in something else.
5. Motivation. What’s the motivation in writing a piece? There could be any number of them. What do you want the reader to take away from the story? That is your motivation! When I write sometimes the motivation is the key to my story. I want the reader to be surprised, or angry, or sad, or happy, or wondering. The story itself is secondary. I want to motivate you!
6. Memories. We all have them. Good or bad we have memories inside us. They might be recent or from when we were younger. Hopefully they are good ones, but sometimes they aren’t. No one has a perfect life. There are going to be bad memories as well as great ones. Either way they make good stories. We can embellish if we want to or just write them as we remember. I have found memories help me learn also from past mistakes. When I write a memory down as a story it helps me remember other things. It’s like using a muscle. Use it enough and you can become stronger, you can remember more and more things.
7. Pets. Anyonethat has read my blog knows I write about my pets quite often. Especially Sam, my dog. I read lots of blogs that are just about their pets, or they use their pets as the voice of the blog. I enjoy reading those blogs. Pets are always good for a story.
8. Family. Everyone writes about family. Maybe not often but they do. It’s almost impossible to have a blog and not mention family once in a while. They are in your life as a constant, how can you NOT write about them? Some have great families, close and loving. Some, like me, not so much. But family is something you can’t get away from completely even if you try. Your memories might be full of them, your life might be full of them, your future might be full of them. A lot of times I will take certain characteristics from a family member and use it in my stories’ character. It can be deliberate, or sometimes it just seeps in unknowingly, then l I read back what I’ve written and think, “That’s just like so and so!”
9. Situations. Certain things going on in the world might make a good setting for a story. Different real world situations that inspire me to write a fictional story around. With the internet giving us instant news around the world we have infinite situations to choose from!
10. Imagination. I have to admit I have always had a very vivid imagination. Sometimes it’s so vivid I can scare myself silly. Especially at night, alone, when I hear odd noises.
When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?
I liked today’s Daily Prompt. I thought it was a good one for my 251st post. Yea me! Just over 250 posts! I never thought I would get this far, next stop 500 posts!
When I was 10 I already knew what I wanted to be. I just never told anyone, except my journal. I always kept a daily journal, did for many years. That’s where I kept my fears, worries, loves, likes, hates and dreams.
Ever since I was even younger than 10 I knew I wanted to be a writer. That has always been my secret dream. In my family dreams were kept secret, if they weren’t they were shot down pretty quickly. I was never smart enough, pretty enough, whatever enough.
I got this from my mom mostly, but also from my siblings. My dad never said too much. He was even quieter than me. I always had a suspicion that my dad knew I wanted more out of life than to get married and have kids. He knew I had bigger dreams. Like me though, he never said anything.
I had dreams of traveling far and wide and writing wonderful novels full of strong women who did great exciting things! I wanted to write the kind of books that made other girls dream big dreams. I wanted to write so girls and women felt powerful and in control of their lives.
I wanted to be the kind of writer that not necessarily rich, but famous in a good way. Who was looked up to. Who was admired for her ability to write.
That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, when I was 10 or now when I’m much older than 10. A writer.
Ah what dreams we hold when we take a pen in hand and put words down on paper. That’s how I first began to write way back then. With a pen on paper. Now it’s on the computer where I have help in spelling and grammar. After all one must be practical also. While I’m a pretty good at spelling, my grammar sometimes needs work.
So what am I now? Besides a whole lot older? I’m still a dreamer of dreams. A writer of words. Just not quite where I wanted to be at this age. Too many side tracks in life. Did I get married and have those kids after all? Yes and no. Yes I got married. First one was a bust with a capital B. This second one? The jury is still out on it.
As for kids, nope no kids. Couldn’t have them and truthfully, haven’t missed anything as far as I’m concerned. I have my four-legged fur babies and more than content with that. Mother material I’m not.
So here I am. No longer that dreamer of 10, but someone older with dreams still firmly attached. No matter what crap life handed out to me I held on to that dream of being a writer.
I am now trying to make that dream come true. Full steam ahead! So I suppose in many ways the two are still firmly connected. I have held many jobs in my life, done many things, travelled some, changed a lot. But one thing has never differed.
Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . . “
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who has seen too much of life in many respects. I see someone who is tired and stressed out, but who keeps going no matter what.
I see a woman who has shadows in her eyes. A sadness that won’t go away.
When I look in the mirror, I see someone who tries to always see the good side of things, because she doesn’t like negativity. I see a woman who has earned every single silver hair honestly. A woman who worries about others, who cares, but is sometimes afraid to show it.
I see someone who isn’t afraid of life’s challenges, who meets them head on, because she knows that if she doesn’t that’s when they grow bigger than they really are.
When I look in the mirror, I still see the child I used to be. I see the child I wish I had been. I see a child who had been hurt too much and grew up too fast.
I see a woman who still has hold of her dreams and will never let go of them. To let go of dreams is to die inside.
When I look in the mirror, I see past lives and past loves and relish each memory, for each one helped shape me into the woman who stands in front of that mirror today.
I see a woman who has been through hell and came out the other side a different person. A person who kept her dignity intact and her values strong. A woman who no matter how hurt she was refused to stay in that black hole just because someone wanted to step on her to keep her there.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman whose family refuses to see, or can’t see. I see a woman who has a few regrets and learns from them. I see a woman who has grown in so many ways through the years that sometimes it surprises even herself.
I see a woman who has decided ‘things’ are not as important as she once thought because she had those things taken away too many times and still lived to become happy.
When I look in the mirror, I don’t see an older woman, but a young girl, who believes in all those wonderful things that she has been told is not real. Like unicorns, fairies, magic and all those things you can’t touch, but can feel in your soul.
I see wonders where some don’t or can’t see. And I smile to myself as my heart sings with being alive.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who still has a lot of life to live and is looking forward to it all, even the hard parts.
Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?
Ah yes, the “zone”. We all have one I think. I know I do. In fact I have several.
First one is when I read a really good book. I’m in my “book zone”. You know the one where you are so immersed in the book that everything else just falls away. When I’m in that zone I don’t hear anything outside of it. I don’t hear people talking to me, I don’t hear the tv, I don’t think of any problems I may have going on. Nothing. Zilch.
I developed this zone early on. People have gotten irritated with me because I would go into the ‘book zone’. My mom used to get so angry! My ex did too. They couldn’t figure out how I could just ignore everything when I read. It was easy! Maybe they should have thought that they were the reason I zoned out. Nah, they wouldn’t understand.
When I taught myself to paint years ago I developed the “painting zone”. This is where I crank up the music loud and get into whatever I was painting. I love to do animals and peaceful scenery. I started first with oils then moved over to acrylics because I just don’t have the patience to wait for oils to dry.
I taught myself how to shade, highlight, shadow, and anything else oils can do, just using acrylics. It dries fast so a painter has to learn tricks to do some things. But I am one stubborn woman and when I want to learn something …… well I learn it!
I have painted walls, ceilings, doors and windows. Actually anything that stands still long enough I will paint! In one house I was living at in Texas I had a really small, windowless bathroom. I painted a blue sky with fluffy clouds on the ceiling and a garden on the walls. Around the shower walls I painted flower pots with bright cheery flowers in them. It looked like a shelf with flower pots on it. It turned out great! I wish I still had the pictures of it.
This last year or so I have developed a new zone. It’s my “writing zone”. It’s the happy place I go to when I’m in the middle of writing a short story, or flash fiction, or working on my novel. It’s very similar to my reading zone. I tend to block everything out as I write.
It isn’t that hard to do. I must have things very quiet when I write. The complete opposite when I paint. No music, no tv, just quiet. Then I can play the ‘movie’ in my head. That’s how I see my writing, as a movie or a snippet of film in my head. If it doesn’t work that way, it certainly isn’t going to work when I write it. My writing has to be believable. People have to talk like they would if real people were talking. I might be writing Sci-Fi, or fantasy, or something else, but if things don’t work or sound the way they should then how is that good writing?
That’s my theory anyway. Now I’m off to get into the ‘zone’, just not sure which one. 😉