Very Short Stories, Week 24
I missed the weekend prompts for my posts this week so there a bit short. Hope you don’t mind!
#Fire licked across the stacked logs, surrounded by placed brick. It grew until it crackled and sparked and its flames reached for the starry night sky. She sat with her husband on folding lawn chairs. No words passed between them as the heat warmed them.
She wrapped the #sinew around the willow twigs that formed a circle. It required a soft touch and yet force was needed too. She continued until the web was formed, decorated with beads the colour of rainbows. As she kissed her son’s head that night, she hung the dream catcher
Night #consumes the day and she readies herself. Dressed in black, she lifts herself onto the window sill. Its tracks bite into her palms and she drops when it’s time. The two-storey fall is quick and she lands with a thud, rolling for cover. She draws in a deep breath.
Stars twinkle in distant #universes, lighting skies above alien life. Through telescopes, gazes meet but remain unaware. Life continues its circling dance. She dreams of unknown planets and longs to walk on foreign soil. Her imagination is a playground of planets.
His bare feet were numb on the cold, wet road. The ragged clothes on his body were no shelter from the howling wind. There was no frown on this boy’s face. He wore a stubborn scowl like a shield and pressed forward. It was #inevitable in his mind that he’d find shelter.
The voice in my head is telling me I’ve wasted two years on a dream that will never come true. I had a book idea and I ran with it. I didn’t fight hard enough for it though.
More and more, my husband seems to get mad that I’m not working on my book. That I’m not bringing in any money. That I’m just ‘lounging’ around the house.
It doesn’t matter that I clean the house top to bottom by myself. I weed the gardens and mow the lawn and whippersnip, by myself. I feed the cats and dogs day and night by myself. I do the laundry, by myself. I make the appointments for both of us. Keep a running list of things. Try to be the voice of reason more often than not. (I will admit he helps on occasion, but not near enough…)
I wish I was bringing in money. I wish I had fought harder for my book. It feels like the only choice is to abandon it entirely. It’s not what I want, but I always put everyone else ahead of me.
But then that leaves me with a blog and a twitter account that serve no real purpose anymore, right?
So, I’ve applied to part-time jobs in the mean time. I’ve started freelance transcribing again for Rev. I’ve created a Ko-Fi account in hopes of some additional help so that I can keep writing.
I want to keep writing, I really do, but this voice tells me there’s no point anymore. If I was really passionate about it, I’d be somewhere other than editing, right?
Anyways, that’s the end, (I think), of my self-pitying post. I had to say it before it ate me alive though I still think it might.
https://ko-fi.com/kemwriting is the link to donate to my creative path. I’m sure after a decent cry, I’ll be up to fighting again…
Very Short Stories, Week 16!!!
Hey, guys! I can’t believe it has been FOUR MONTHS since I started doing the very short stories prompts on Twitter. It has kept me writing and challenged me in new ways.
The best thing I like about the #vss365 is it continually challenges my creativity and my ability to show rather than tell. Sometimes, I don’t deliver what I really want, but most of the time I really enjoy them!
My nephew has gone home and so it is time to settle back into a familiar routine that includes working on my manuscript. I’m prepping somemore tools to really help me get it to that polished level.
Anyways, I’ll keep this short. Here are my very short stories for the week!
Birds of a feather #flock together, she told her daughter and ruffled her hair. You’ll be fine! I promise.
The daughter nodded and grabbed the familiar hand of her mother, worn with age. They walked down the gravel road of their drive way to wait for the school bus.
The #Queen of Darkness reigned over nightmares and relished the sounds of screams. Pained wails bounced off the remains of her stone castle that night. The cries mingled with the smell of spilt blood to soothe her soul and she dreamed of red drops in the depths of depravity.
The #cellar doors were smashed bits, surrounding the poorly lit opening. Its stairs descended into the pitch black with no end in sight. The flashlight shook in her hands but she clicked the light on. Cautious steps took her down the steps. The creaking echoed for miles.
#Familiar hands clasped hers, warm and soothing. But she didn’t hear his words. She’d vanished into a funeral in her mind’s eye, surrounded by fragrant flowers and the tears of the mourning. The coffin before her was made of oak, strong and sturdy like her father had been in life.
It’s a tough lesson when it comes to #sacrifice, the teacher said. His high school students sat there, bored but silent. Their gaze weighed on his shoulders and he breathed deeply. You see, certain jobs have more risks than others. They require a willingness to give and not get.
Stars shimmered in the night sky like glitter on a black cloth. The pale face of the moon was absent, waiting rebirth the next night. She moved the telescope slowly, hunting for a different celestial body. Aha! She exclaimed as #Jupiter came into focus. Just beautiful!
The #Empress stood still and silent, an observer of her husband’s power. Her role was nothing more than to enhance his presence.
She loathed him for it.
Her eyes roamed the army til they spotted her soldier. His attire shone in the light. Memories of his touch tempted her again.
Time is My Enemy
Last week, I mentioned I was really excited to start editing/revising my book again. And I was. Honest.
However, I didn’t touch it. Not even once.
Instead my time was consumed by starting a freelance transcription job and a paper route. I was anxious about the flyers being delivered, and waited until they showed up on both Tuesday and Wednesday. For no real reason.
Wednesday night, I started delivering the flyers and my husband helped me after I had started. Thankfully he did, because there was no way I was getting it done on my own! As I type this, my feet still hurt and I think I did something to a nerve in my right leg ’cause it ‘shivers’ randomly.
Needless to say, I have quit the paper route.
My time needs to be focused on my book more than anything else, and it is tough to do that when I’m stressing out about other things. Plus, the route was something I wanted to do by myself, but the size of it makes that impossible which means I’d always need Andrew’s help. That isn’t fair to him.
The transcription job is a different beast. It is something I choose to do on my own time, but I wanted to see how feasible it is. Now, even with a wonky left ear (lately), I’ve managed to transcribe pretty well, and my metrics (which focus on accuracy, formatting, and commitment) are very good for the time being.
What sucks is how time consuming it is to do a short audio clip. Decent audio quality doesn’t take too long until you factor in the speakers and whether they are formulating clear sentences or not.
Still, everything I’m transcribing seems to be interesting and I’m learning in a way I did not expect. I’ll keep going at it, but…
My husband has made it pretty clear that my time should be spent on my book, and transcribing takes a second place to it. Which was super nice to hear.
Sometimes, I mess up my priorities based on what I think he wants me to be doing. I don’t want to disappoint him, but I do need to put myself and what’s best for me first from time to time.
Anyways, moral of this story is… I WILL be editing my book this week or so help me, I’m gonna lose my freakin’ mind!
Take care of yourselves, everyone!
Writing Schedule: My Attempt
After some hard googling, looking at examples, and a firm talk to myself…. I think I have created a workable writing schedule for myself! It will probably adapt as I figure out what works best for me, but this is a good starting point.
Here is what it looks like:
I have four hours of solid writing time, three hours reading, two hours exercise including rest and snack, and one hour TV watching. I’ve built in relax time too (which is usually TV watching, too, but can be doing stuff around the house).
Since we spent the weekend away with Andrew’s family, I didn’t start this Monday or even today. I am going to push myself to abandon my dream land and get a start on the day bright and early. It may seem like 4am is a very early time (it fricken is), but it will help my husband get to work earlier. That will help us both out.
Realistically, if I get bit by the writing bug and NEED to keep writing (known to happen), I will do so. If I wake up at 2:30am needing to work on my book (has happened, too) then I will do so. My writing and reading trump (almost) everything else and will be given priority.
However since I have been having issues incorporating both into my day to day life, this should force me into high gear on both. It will also give me things to write about for my blog since I plan on focusing on writing and reading on here, too. (Other topics may be touched upon now and then, but not weekly).
Wish me luck, followers!
Yesterday was the best day of writing I have had in a looooonnnngggggg time. I managed to get to 1,894 words! That’s equal to one chapter!
I will be honest though. It happened in a short span of time, early afternoon. The desk had not called to me and when I realized I was making excuses, I called myself on it.
“No, Kelsey,” I started in on my own lecture, “You’re not going to fumble about the kitchen until you’ve written for an hour, got it?”
And that forced my to the chair at my desk. What started as an hour, became two, and then three. At that point I needed a very late lunch and Andrew would be home in a few minutes. As much as I wanted to keep writing, I knew it was better not to push myself and burn out, but instead accomplish a few other things around the house.
Andrew was proud of what I managed to do, and thankfully, he help me clean the house this morning as a reward (or so I think). But yesterday, it finally clicked. My passion to truly write was back and I didn’t feel like I was forcing myself. It happened on its own and I didn’t even feel the time fly.
I am hoping to get some more writing done today, but I only do a little on the weekends so I can spend time with my husband. Plus, there’s the matter of my brother and my future sister-in-law’s Stag and Doe tonight!
There is going to be food and drink, and we recently committed to eating healthier. My husband can’t have alcohol thanks to his fatty liver and not long ago episode of pancreatitis. I choose not to drink alcohol, because of an uncle who based away from his addiction to the stuff. (I got really drunk once after his death and realized what I was feeling from its effects was what he had been looking for, too. Since then, don’t have more then 2-3 coolers in a year, if that).
The food will be another problem, too, since it will be all fatty, sugary shit. Andrew can’t have that stuff because of aforementioned pancreatitis and fatty liver. I can’t have it, because I’m sick of being heavy and unhappy. I’ve managed to get us exercising and we don’t really eat out much, but we do have larger portions of things we shouldn’t.
Anyways, wish us luck avoiding pop and junky food tonight! (and don’t forget some for my book, too!)
I woke up today in one of the worst mental states I have ever had. Every part of me told me to go back to sleep, dream away the days and nights to come. I wasn’t able to do that thanks to a shih tzu who enjoys barking way too much.
Once up, for me, it can be tough to go back to bed and my husband offered to take the rest of the week off so that I wasn’t alone. That’s how off my moods have been for the both of us, but I told him not to, that I’d be fine.
I feel more human right now, but it is probably temporary. My body is tired as is my mind. I can feel that, but I am functioning more today than the past couple days.
Today is a down day, still, but I’m hoping I’m moving in the right direction from here.
My trick to keeping sane right now…. Playing video games (Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition). I play by myself, but I have more fun when my husband plays the game with me. It forces me out of my mind, so I am periodically indulging the distraction.
It is early afternoon, and maybe I will manage to get something else done today (like folding laundry). If not, that’s how it was supposed to be today and I can be okay with that, for once.
I forgive myself for not being productive right now, because my mind and body have something they’re trying to get past (don’t know exactly what it is). My self-care for now is giving myself space to get ‘happy’ or ‘energized’. It won’t happen overnight.
Don’t forget to acknowledge your own moods from time to time and give yourself space to be in that place. Take care of yourselves.
Routine Has Run Amuck
I thought I was making progress, waking up at 5 am, but alas it does not seem to be the case. While I did not have a lazy weekend, I very much wanted to relax with my husband, and don’t feel I got a chance to at all.
That is why on Monday when he asked me if I thought he should call in sick (because of his right ankle still recovering from some random injury), I said yes. I needed/wanted that day with him, and I feel like it set me back a bit. We had a good talk about things, but I also took like twenty-three naps, and felt super lazy. I didn’t post a blog or work on my book.
When Tuesday rolled around, my body had to recover from all the sleep the day before or so it seemed. I managed to post a poem (pretty much about this stuff), but no work was done on my book. I didn’t clean the house, and I left assembling garbage and recycling until Andrew got home (something I usually do at the start of the day).
Now, it’s Wednesday and it’s just after noon. I wasted the morning away on a stupid show (Thanks, Netflix, you piece of shit!), and am just now sitting at my computer.
I don’t think I can begin to describe the frustration I feel with myself.
I want to get my book done, honestly, I really do. And yet…. while I work on it, I am in a realm of possibilities instead of certainties. At this point, I don’t know if my book will flop or be successful. It is that very thought that seems to be holding me back right now.
The other fact is, the longer I take to edit/write my book, the longer it will take to embark on the path of being published (be it self published or with the help of a literary agent). That part could take a long ass time on its own, and I need to keep fighting my way there even if my opponent is myself.
This time loop I seem to be in needs to end, and today, I am going to do just that!
I vow to wake up at 5 am tomorrow (and leave behind whatever delicious dreams I find myself in), and write! I will post a blog and I will get more work done on my chapters.
I will do this day after day. It is abundantly clear I can’t give myself weekends off, or latch on to lame excuses. My routine needs to be reestablished, and while today may be lost in terms of productivity, the week will not be!
It is important to acknowledge that we all take steps backwards from time to time, or halt our progress, but that is when we must turn to ourselves (and/or others) for the motivation to move forward! While it is important to take care of ourselves, sometimes pushing to the edge when it doesn’t seem possible is the best way to do it!
I hope you all manage to find it in yourselves to tackle the projects you’re working on!
Best of luck in your journey and don’t forget to share some of that luck with me (and others), too!
Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. ~Lawrence Kasdan