I got this…

I’ve got a new deadline for the next short story submission (or poetry) for the local magazine in my hometown. I’ve got until Halloween to write something. The theme is surprise and I’m working on a story right now. I’ve tried the last few times to submit my stories but I struggle to finish them. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, that gives me a sort of writer’s block. I wish I could just shut the door and shut out the world. I can’t, of course. My children are five years old and need help with just about everything. They started a pre-kindergarden class last fall and are entering kindergarden this fall. The difference? Not much. They are only in school two-and-a-half hours. Only enough time to get a little exercise, a shower and some breakfast. When they start grade one and are in school for a full day, I’ve told myself I should be going back to work full-time, put the kids in day care until I get home. Ugh. 

I have my doubts that I’ll gain any more time to work on my writing when I go back to work full time. There’s still food to get on the table, kids to bathe and put to bed, before I get any time to myself. My husband has been good enough to give me an office with shelves for my books, a desk and a fancy comfy chair. But I don’t feel relaxed enough to write in that room, not yet. With the kids always knocking or walking in, hearing them play or argue through the door – not to mention the steady drone of the air conditioner outside my window – I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get anything done.

For now I’ll read and reread all of the novels on my shelf, go through the how-to-write books, and maybe try little exercises at a time. Just one page or one paragraph tops. I can swing that, right? And in the mean time I’ll keep working on my short story and see if I can finish it this time.

I do have something to look forward to. My sister is getting married in a couple of years. Her and her fiancé are saving up for an epic wedding in Ireland! In Dublin, specifically. She wants everyone in the family to come. I told my husband I’m not missing it. Going to Ireland is a bucket list item for me. I. Can’t. Wait.

It would be nice to say I’m a writer, not published once because I was lucky. I’ve got talent. I can get a novel published. It may take a little while longer than I planned but I can still pull it off. I got this. 


A little is better than nothing

It’s been hard to visit my blog these last few weeks, not so much because of my personal family life but because of my lousy internet connection. On one hand it has been great, I’ve been able to focus on my writing, figuring out some important things about my story and the characters in it, but on the other hand, trying to do any research or even simple computer work has been interrupted with ‘loading’ icons that stop my train of thought while my old computer struggles to cooperate. I am fortunate to have another laptop but it doesn’t solve the internet connection problem. It’s effecting the whole town, even cellphones. Ugh.

It reminds me of the old days when we didn’t live off the internet. Researching material meant going to the library or the bookstore. Yesterday I realized how many unconfirmed details I have in my story and it looks like my public library will be seeing a lot more of me. It’s going to take awhile to gather more information but a little is better than nothing.

In the meantime I will work on other aspects of my story. My characters’ motivations have been fine tuned and I’m working on incorporating my crazy plot into something more effective. Learning how to write better fiction is always exciting!


Wednesday Weekly Write-In

It’s been busy at home lately. There is lots going on and I’m not writing or reading as much as I would like. It’s hard to create fiction when the mind is racing about other things. There are big plans for the summer, August especially, and there seems like a mountain of things to accomplish before then. Writing takes a backseat. I’m shaking off the guilt and writing something, or thinking about writing, whenever I can. This week I’ve got a poem created from the prompts at CAKE.shortandsweet.

outfox  ::  couture  ::  spell  ::  grate  ::  willow

******

Look at me

dressed in couture wear

they don’t stand a chance

green eyed stare

 

I hear you

whispering false lies

grating my senses

blurred truth dies

 

The wind howls

will I bend or break

not to them I think

plans to make

 

Feel it now

my love spell on you

I dwell in your heart

cold and blue

 

Goodbye dear

understand my words

outfoxed your lovers

free as birds


15 Day Writing Challenge – Day 15

I just realized I forgot to post my last day. Oops! Overall I enjoyed the two week (or so) challenge as it reminded me of why writing is an important part of my life. It’s good to think about what success looks like, reminding yourself of all the wonderful support you have at your fingertips, and how writing makes you feel. For me, that feeling is freedom and joy. It can be a lot of work, but just like parenting, it’s rewarding on a deep level.

Day 15 – The After Party

Drinks Are On Me (50 words)

If I was really successful I’d want to celebrate with my family and close friends. It wouldn’t be loud and crazy, like a dance club. I would rent out a nice restaurant and fill it up for a private party, then invite everyone for wine, great food and good times.


Weekly Wednesday Write-In

Hello Everyone! It’s been a crazy week and a half, but I think I’m starting to get things back to normal. Here is this week’s prompt from CAKE.shortandsweet.

jungle  ::  matchbox  ::  sparrow  ::  hog  ::  mull

******

“I can’t take the pressure,” she groaned and collapsed into the nearest chair. “I’m so stressed out right now I can hardly breathe.”

“What’s the problem?” he asked, cleaning out his pipe. “It’s not that party again, is it? I told you to let it go. You worked it out with the other mother, yes?”

“She said our son could go too, but the birthday party invitation was sent to our daughter not him. He really wanted to go with her.” She sighed.

Her husband struck a light from the matchbox and methodically sucked the flame through the pipe. He seemed to mull over her words. “Call the girl’s mother back and tell them our son isn’t going to a girls party.”

“But what if she invited him as a favour to me, out of politeness?” She jumped to her feet and flitted from the kitchen to the phone like a house trapped sparrow. “I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’m being a bother. Maybe I should leave it alone.”

“Maybe you should.”

“He’ll be fine.”

“He’ll be fine,” he echoed. He patted the seat beside him. “Come sit with me.”

“I can’t,” she lamented. She walked over to him and grabbed his arm. “What if he’s the only boy there? He’ll be surrounded by princesses and half a dozen girls. What if they don’t play with him? He’ll be crushed.”

“He’s a big boy.”

“He’s five years old.”

He sighed, having grown tired of the debate. He looked her in the eyes, willing her to be calm. “He’ll be fine, no need to get worked up about it. If he starts hogging the toys or getting himself into trouble, just bring him home.”

She said nothing for a moment, realizing her children wouldn’t be able to go to every play date and party together anymore. Her babies were growing up.

She put her head on his shoulder, more determined than ever that at home things would be done her way. “I’m going to do a jungle themed party for our kids next year,” she said, her voice muffled in his shirt. “And I’m going to invite everyone in their class, boys and girls.”

“Are you?” said her husband amused. “Miss Social Anxiety is going to throw a birthday party with two dozen children? Not at our house I hope.”

She stood up straight and flashed him a smile, blinking her frustrated tears away. “Just watch me.”


15 Day Writing Challenge – Day 13 &14

Almost there! Below are the last few days. Tomorrow I’ll post the last day. 

Day 13 – Your Message

Looking In (93 words)

I looked at several of my story ideas to find a common theme or thread. What I found were strong women who seemed weak at first who come into their own by the end. They achieve physical and/or emotional freedom, gaining true independence. They create balance in their life and make peace within themselves. They also find happiness, having discovered true love or finally being able to love themselves as they are. I think the main message is “Discover your inner strength and become the person you were always meant to be.”

Day 14 – Going From Here

Write That Book Already (119 words)

I’ll be working on my novel after this writing challenge is over. I have the main characters and a basic outline of the story but I’m struggling to finish the first draft. Part of the problem was getting into a daily writing habit but the other was a mental roadblock brought on by a sticky problem. One of my main characters has a poor motivation for changing her life. It feels weak and contrived. So I plan to delve into her character once more, into her backstory, and figure out something much better. I will read a few ‘creating fiction’ how-to books to help me. In the end I hope to have stronger characters and a stronger story.


Weekly Wednesday Write-In

Here is my weekly flash fiction post with prompts from CAKE.shortandsweet. Enjoy!

plastic  ::  verdant  ::  gingham  ::  lighthouse  ::  bathe

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

“This is your idea of a romantic date?” The wind seemed to find every nook and cranny, leeching the warmth she hoarded beneath her thick sweater.

Reggie bent a plastic tube in his hands until it snapped. He shook it a little and it started to glow. “Wait until you see what I have planned,” he said smiling.

She was sitting on a red and white checkered gingham blanket, laid on top of the verdant meadow by the sea, and beside her was a large wicker basket filled with picnic food stuffs. There was even a bottle of sparkling wine.

“You brought the candles?”

She handed over little tea lights and Reggie brought them to life, a dozen in all, placing them around the blanket. She admitted it was a nice touch.

“Are you ready to be dazzled?”

She laughed in spite of herself. “Oh yes.”

He reached out his hand and she took it. Together they walked to the edge of the small cliff. The wind threatened to push them back but Reggie stood closer to her, letting the breeze torment him instead. The sunset over the water turned the sky and the rolling waves into a fiery display. The sun disappeared into the ocean and the stars emerged from the growing darkness. She caught him looking at her and felt a thrill of excitement.

“See there,” he said and pointed to a flickering light in the distance. “The lighthouse has been here for decades. It’s all electronic now.”

She smiled, taking in the view of the ocean and listening to the peaceful waves as they crashed on the beach. Reggie began to turn her around. “Is this the part where I’m dazzled?” she teased.

“See for yourself,” he gestured with a nod of his dark hair.

She turned to see the picnic blanket surrounded by a warm glow, the candles protected from the wind by the lush grass. Above they were bathed in countless stars.

“What do you think?” He watched her closely, searching her face for a sign of disappointment or pity. There was none.

She smiled. “It’s perfect.”


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