…You ripe, ol’ bastard, creeping in on my day like this when I’d just like to let any chaos drift by me in a hurried mess, sweeping with it the tornado-esque madness of youth. I have too much to do to hold myself accountable to you with every passing moment of my day. I know I didn’t deserve to be called a bitch under his breath even if he thought my expectations of his writing quality were too high because of you. It’s all your fault. You seeded in me a sense of self-respect as a teacher to want a student’s personal best when he or she turns in work to me. It’s the end of April, after all, he’s lucky I told him he had to revise it instead of mark it an F and carry on. But damn you for putting me in that awkward position to decide if I should honor you in my profession and send him up on a referral, or just let him squirm with guilt and sit there, staring me down, shredding his half-ass work into tiny pieces of paper while I deliberately ignored him. Okay, so maybe that might have made me an even bigger bitch, but, sorry dignity, you lost that battle to my stubbornness. At least he threw the confetti that he had made away, and, wouldn’t you know, he even waited and held the door open for me when class was over. He didn’t say a word when I thanked him as I walked by. He didn’t have to.
PS. After lunch, he came by and told me he was going to write another draft, but I already knew that he would.
The Creative Blogger Award!
I have been nominated for the Creative Blogger Award!
A huge thank you to KABOODLEMUM for this honor! Check out her blog here!
One of the greatest gifts of this award is how, as a networking tool, it can spread the word about exciting blogs that might interest fellow followers.
- Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
- Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
- Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
- Pass these rules on to them
(I nominated 10…if you’re among the ten and wish to pass, no worries, or if you’ve already been nominated, feel free to pass on round two, or better yet, share a little bit more about yourself.)
Five Facts About Me:
- I love chocolate of any kind, but sometimes, caramel is all I need.
- It takes me FOOORRREEEVVVEEERRR to get ready to go somewhere.
- I like staycations more than vacations.
- My husband and children are everything to me.
- I can’t catch or throw. I have no aim. None. Not even close.
I nominated the following bloggers and hope that you peruse this list and click their links to discover unique, creative, and exciting bloggers to follow:
My twist on today’s writing challenge is revising the example of what NOT to do. The Writing 101 Task Eleven Size Matters prompt included the passage in quotes below–a perfect illustration of monotonous cadence in writing due to a lack of varied sentence lengths. The prompt asked that we write about the house we lived in when we were twelve. I started messing around with the passage instead and decided to make it my response to the writing task.
“The man rode hard through the woods. The black horse’s effort lay in lather. The sun beat down from high overhead. Dark birds circled, drifted, and then returned. The land baked, and dust hung suspended.”
My revision of the passage:
Naked branches tore at the man’s shirt, gnarled and twisted, bending their claws in desperation, as he broke free from the parched woods. They were closing in. A merciless heat beat down on the wasteland. Desolate. Wrought with lifeless wreckage caused by the blistering sun. His black horse, never faltering once, pressed forward upon the scorched riverbed. Hot breath burst from the beast’s flaring nostrils. Closer still. Men’s cries rang out. Their gunshots shattered dark birds against the stark white sky, once drifting in aimless circles. His freedom neared. He could see the border just over the horizon. Sensing the man’s adrenaline, his horse bore down, and dust hung suspended in the wake of their escape.
Today’s Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
“It never ends, does it?” she comforted him, as the tears he shed tore open her own heart with searing pain once again.
Cora tugged him onto a bench with her across from the elderly woman, who glanced at them with deliberate, nonchalant reserve, as her twisted fingers worked with great fury to crochet a little, red sweater. She had seen them before, but they had never bothered to acknowledge her with even a simple nod of their heads, always wrapped up in their own little world.
“Not a day has gone by that I don’t wonder where he is or what he’s doing now after all these years.” A twisted smile curled Sam’s lips as the last memory of his baby boy, bundled in a bright red blanket, washed over his face.
“Me, too.” A half-hearted laugh escaped her, as she held in her anxiety, avoiding looking directly at the red flag flying in her face from across the path.
The elderly woman’s knitting picked up the pace as her eyes wandered down the path in search of her friend. She spotted him coming towards her walking his Scottish Terrier, sporting a tattered, yellow, crocheted sweater. Her heart leapt inside of her with joy. It had been weeks since they had rendezvoused in the park together.
“We had to do it,” Sam assured them both, glancing at the little, red sweater again, as the elderly woman cleared her throat.
“I know,” Cora agreed, hating herself for knowing that he was right. “How could we? I couldn’t even drive a car, and you were still in foster care.”
She clung to the same excuses with robotic apathy, reconciling with her guilt once more as she recalled how empty her life had become when they had handed their son over to his new mommy.
“I know you said to never bring it up again,” he began, “But, Cora, it’s just that it’s been over nineteen years now. We survived. It didn’t destroy us. We didn’t destroy him.”
“What if he hates us?”
“What if he doesn’t.”
“The agency refused to help us find him. Remember?” She couldn’t face the fear of crushed hope again.
“I remember, but it’s different now, besides, he’s an adult. There are other ways. We could even use social media.”
“That’s true. We didn’t have that option back then when we decided to stay together.”
“So does this mean you’re willing to try to find him again?”
The elderly woman rose from her bench holding the little, red sweater with outstretched arms towards them. She inspected her craft with pride.
They both stared at it in awe.
“He deserves to know,” Sam insisted, rubbing his hand over his wife’s swollen belly, “that he has a sister.”
Cora sighed—a trembling smile spreading across her face.
Writing 101: Day 9 Prompt
Twist: Written in 3rd Person POV, Full-omniscience
My Twist: the skewed perspective of the couple vs the elderly woman, also writing something sad/ heart-wrenching–not my usual forte
Before you even open the door, you know you’re about to step into another world. The sweet aroma of roasted coffee beckons, seeping out of the independent coffee house, curling its fragrant tendrils around you to lure you into its keeping. Artists, writers, dreamers alike take note of you when you step inside. You know you are a stranger. You feel them brand you with half-curious eyes before they delve back into their masterpieces.
Warn, mismatched couches and stuffed, oversized chairs clutter the small retreat, torn open like a portal in time, catapulting you back into the memories of your college days when you had stumbled upon that secret coffee shop in Santa Cruz where you knew that the moment you left you’d never find the place again.
You can’t even understand the menu behind the bar counter because its so cloudy with chalk dust, but it doesn’t even matter what you order, anything will taste like the best coffee you’ve ever had. The barista grins at you as panic washes over your desperate face.
He doesn’t even reply with words. He doesn’t have to. His smile says it all.
You peruse the coffee house once more after he hands you a porcelain cup. All you have is your cappuccino and your eyes to entertain you, so you wedge yourself into a corner and hope that the fervent words tickling your tongue about all that you feel find their way into your journal someday before they are lost in the moment.
Writing101: Day Eight–Death to Adverbs: Describe a Location
(My twist: I wrote in my least favorite style: present tense, secondary POV. I also maintained prepositional clauses starting with when/where/to what extent adverbs.)
Writing 101 Task Five: “You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about the encounter,” using as little words as possible.
“Will she forgive me for prowling?” I whispered, gently refolding the soiled letter riddled with the fervent contents of a dying man’s heart.
I overstepped the puddle before me that I had plucked the abandoned letter from and made haste.
No matter! This true love cannot wait!
Writing 101, Task Three: Write about a Loss
My very first post on Word Press explores the greatest loss of my life, so I am going to cut and paste that post and call the task done because I just don’t feel like crying today:
Sometimes, it takes an accumulation of devastating life-changers to send someone sprinting back into the comfort of writing. To borrow the words of one of my characters, “Beneath the tumultuous sea of tears, there came a revival in her soul, gasping and spitting out the mire from her heart in wicked wretches of laughter.” Over the past couple of years, I have come to the realization that life really is too short to waste one breath NOT doing what I am meant to do. My love for writing began when I scribbled out my first novella at eleven years old and set my heart ablaze. I even earned my BA in English after surviving my poetry-writing teens, and I went on to earn my MA in Humanities with an emphasis in Literature. I have also been teaching English Language Arts full-time since 1996, inspiring others to write nearly everyday.
Funny though, I had only managed to wade in the depths of writing as an adult with just a handful of unfinished manuscripts to be ashamed of. I had allowed circumstances, self-doubt, and the overwhelming fear of where to begin in the publishing industry to keep me on the outside looking in. I finally learned, though, that some things are destined to be in my life, no matter how long I had gravitated towards the wordless, mundane world I had created for myself over time.
Almost three years ago, my dying mother came back to life, and then, several months later, my brother died. When I could finally cope, I turned everything around–for my parents, for my children, for my husband, and for myself. I made some dramatic changes in my life, including snagging my brother’s middle name (Wayne) and embracing the sleeping writer inside of me awaiting the kiss of life after all of these years. I dusted off an old manuscript that I had barely begun over a decade ago and rewrote it from beginning to end with some self-induced writer’s drought in between. And, like the baby that it is to me, I finished developing it in nine months, and I am almost ready to start pitching it.
At my core, I am at peace with the tragedies on my journey, and my cup overflows with joy. I only wish to be contagious with love and laughter, spreading smiles across various platforms as I keep moving forward in my pursuit of becoming a published romance novelist. I am not afraid anymore because I know that my big brother is watching over me, whispering, “Stop wading, Brooke. Go ahead and dive head first with all of your heart!”