Balanced Three Layer Dip

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Balanced Three Layer Dip

Throughout the Mindfulness Workshop, Jenn and Eli connected. They hadn’t known each other before. They had entered at different times, took up different spaces, hadn’t exchanged even a mumbled hello. Yet, sitting diagonally across from each other atop creaky wooden chairs, they connected. One would smile as eyes connected. The other would smile back. The volley continued, intermittently, as they were working on being Mindful of the group leader of the Mindfulness Workshop.

The room filled with their connection nonetheless.

The session was interactive in conversation and small group projects. They joined in readily, paying close attention to what the other offered, laughed at the humor both exhibited. Some banter was tossed about. Eli was the cause of some group laughter, but his ears focused on Jenn’s. She’d fit in a wry quip or three. Their attention was focused.  When the physical projects had them get up and move around, they flitted around each other, trying to “play it cool” but failing. When it was time to return to their seats, they were the last to sit.

Mindfulness continued to buzz around the group. They continued to smile for each other.

The workshop ran seven minutes over time. Eli kept checking his cell phone for the time. Jenn had a full view of the wall clock that was behind where Eli was sitting. Her right leg and knee were jumping while her attention was on the final words from the group leader.

“Thank you for coming, and…” and Jenn made a beeline to Eli. He met her halfway. The others were milling about, exchanging phone numbers, giving hugs and kisses. Jenn and Eli were stuck in the middle with each other.

“Hi, I’m…,” he began.

“Eli. I know. When you introduced yourself to our opening circle, I thought, what a beautiful name. I’m Jenn.” She was truthful to a point: Eli’s name did strike her. It was his eyes, though, that caught her. When he looked her way, the twinkles in them was a spotlight only for her. Jenn felt her cheeks grow warm. She put her hand out for him to hold shake.

The smile on Eli’s face grew Cinematic wide. He reached out and took her hand. It was the briefest of moments, but he had to remind himself to shake it and let go.

“Thank you, Jenn. Jennifer?”

“Jenn. Two N’s. Jennifer is reserved for my parents. And formal me. My friends use all the different ways you can break down my name. The closest of those, though, always call me Jenny.” She wanted to hear his basso tonality say that, to slide over the two syllables.

“Jenn, with two N’s, it is.” Eli coughed slightly, then continued. “I enjoyed your part of the introduction’s sharing. It takes a lot of strength to take such a huge risk. Walking away from a well-paying job to create something that is 100% you? I admire that.”

“Thank you, Eli. It has been a passion of mine for a long time. Easy peasy.”

“It came across. Mindfulness becomes you.” Mentally, Eli was kicking himself for that cheesy line. His stomach began to clench.

Jenn chuckled.

Eli unwound the second she began to laugh and was utterly relaxed again when she smiled. He silently thanked his daughter for pushing him out of the house toward this workshop. To him, mindfulness was the new buzzword, jargon that usually left him cold. Hearing “Let’s unpack…” or any use of the word scaffolding rankled him through his spine.

Yet, even beyond Jenn, he found connections with the content espoused in the past ninety-seven minutes. Yes, he was glad he attended, on several levels. Reluctantly at first: his daughter brought her A-Game “Dhaaaaad” to Sunday dinner. She used it with precision, honing it throughout her teenage years. At twenty-eight, the tool was sharp.

In her words, Eli was: too isolated; too in his head; too withdrawn from friends; too much living in the past. Too “too!” Eli filled in the one part she wouldn’t say out loud: too much into her daily life.

So. Here. Jenn.

Something she said filtered through the inside jumble of thought. “Easy Peasy. I haven’t heard that in a while.”

Jenn shrugged. “Just a thing I got from my grandma and mom. I took it on. Easy…you know.” Caught in the small talk loop she needed to stop before it drove all of this away, Jenn asked: “I know it is not an everyday saying. How did you hear it, if you don’t mind my asking?”

Eli paused a mulling over moment. “uh…a friend I met in college. Used to say it all the time, especially when she met anything tough in her way. She “easy peasyied” her way through the four years, and beyond that.” There was a seriousness in the lessening of his twinkles.

“Still in touch?” Jenn fretted aloud; her smile perma-fixed in place.

A different pregnant pause, another “too” that his daughter brought up too many times. He hoped it was too brief to make it a thing for Jenn.

“No. Not for a while now.”

Jenn did notice, but she carried on. Into her memory book, she jotted “Button” to return to another time if there was another time.

Eli chatted around this bump, discussing the meeting, asking her take on things, how it impacted her life, her new venture. The conversation continued as they joined in folding and stacking the chairs away. Each of them was approached, separately, by the few people still in the room, connecting without really being mindful of the connection they briefly interrupted.

They found each other and left the room, walking down the hallway, then stairway to the parking lot. She discussed her ideals. He listened, showing deep attentiveness by his answers, additions, and the connections it made with his thoughts and life. She did the same.

The conversation, for Eli, was Easy Peasy. That put any dissipated glint firmly back in both eyes. Yet, they were at her car, and the parking lot lights were shutting off.

Jenn said: “It was so wonderful meeting you.” She thought fast, so that didn’t come off as a brush off line like it usually was used. “Eli, I was planning to head over to the dinner. Normally, I jot down my thoughts after workshops like this. Would you join me for coffee/tea?”

She beat him to the punch, and that warmed him.

Eli shook his head yes.

“I’d love to, Jenny.”

 

 

 

 

 

Lists

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LISTS

 

 

Lisa wrote a list for everything. A shopping list. A checklist when taking the car in for check-ups. Activities for the children, then the grandchildren, lists upon lists. There was a list for work. A list for after work. The weekly cleaning list. The weekend chore list. List after list after list: all in neat, justified left block letters. Never script, where confusions lay. Lisa had a ream of repeating lists, with the rare altercation of an addition or subtraction. She worked hard for that not to happen too often. That way leaves a door open for unnecessary anxiety.

There was one list that Lisa never put down in writing. She refused to believe that there was a need for such a list. She had scratched that off her previous life list, in indelible ink, and had no intention of finding a way to remove the blot of her life. Things moved along as they did, and Lisa’s life was list approved. She was happy, checking off everything that needed to be checked off.

Then HE crossed the line. Lisa dreaded that there was an intrusion in her life list and denied including it on any list. He was persistent in his attention, admiring her work, posting comments on her blog, praising the subtleties of her stories, the intricate character nuances that brought them to life. Lisa was flattered by the attention, but still. She was taken in by the way he constructed his stories and characters. He wrote in genres she would never have written herself, yet they drew her in so that she was breathing the same air his dramatis personae did.

They lived hours away from each other. He calculated it once, after she gave in to his questing, that they lived  214.7 miles apart. Lisa relaxed. He remained off of her list. Her main list. Well, maybe he was an asterisk to the bottom at first. The asterisk s l o w l y moved up the side of one checklist, then another, intruding in places Lisa had had no intentions for intrusions to begin, or stay. Or to leave her in pondering mini-panic.

Their commentaries took a total of nine weeks and four days to move to personal emails. A month later, they began texting. One and a half weeks and their voices met in a two-hour-plus phone conversation. Which grew in spurts, various lengths of time talking, while still commenting on each other’s new postings. The daily texts just happened. If she had listed all of this, the trajectory of it all, the magnitude, would have had her not only blot out each entry but she would have shredded the list, torn the paper to bits, and then thrown the bits into the roaring firepit at her son’s place.

Lisa astounded herself when she heard the word “Yes” leave her lips when he asked if they could meet. In-person. Face to face. A day out from behind the sterile safety of their 214.7 miles. When the plans were concrete, place, day, and time set, Lisa allowed a bubbling list to grow inside of her. They were going to get together the following Saturday. Six days. High noon, he insisted. She loved that movie. She was in.

For the almost full week, Lisa ran 12 pros and cons lists, eight of them written, the others worked in her head as she drove back and forth to her part-time job. The pros beat the cons one drive to, whereas the cons vastly outweighed the pros on the way home. She prepped, changed decisions about things she had firmly decided on, and clogged her wastebasket with itsy bitsy scraps of lists.

Saturday arrived. She was determined to go through with meeting him. Lisa was listless as she drove to the place they decided to meet at an offbeat museum with a decidedly macabre collection and history. Her choice, his ready acceptance, was near the top of her Pro lists every time.

She pulled into the lot, parked the car, and sat to breathe. She pulled out the mini-list she had made that morning and checked the few points off. Unbuckling her shoulder seat belt was the next to last item.

Lisa looked out her car window, toward the front of the museum. He was standing there, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet. She took a deep breath in, held it, let it out slowly, and then opened the car door and got out. He waved and smiled. She returned both, checking off the last thing on that meeting list as she walked over to join him.

Reveal Yourself! : The AtoZ Blog Challenge + a Bonus

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“I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.”
Alan Moore

“The act of writing is a way of tricking yourself into revealing something that you would never consciously put into the world. Sometimes I’m shocked by the deeply personal things I’ve put into books without realizing it.”
Chuck Palahniuk

“its memories that I’m stealing, but you’re innocent when you dream”                                     Tom Waits

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Hi

I started Tale Spinning in January of 2011. April happened, and I discovered the AtoZ Blog Challenge. It has been a path I’ve taken just about every April since then (I didn’t participate twice; life, y’ know?).

When I sign up, I rarely know what I’m going to tackle by Theme Reveal Day. I’ll have an underlying theme title, maybe, and let the story/characters/ideas take over once we come very close to the start on April 1st.

Last year’s story, A Car in the Woods, began as one idea and morphed into something completely different by the third post. Some of that came from comments from the readers (comments ARE important); the rest of it, the characters spoke up and made the story-line happen. This year could be the same. Won’t know until we get there.

So, my AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal is…bfdf76177b189d0d568eb27495748d23_exciting-news-drum-roll-please-words-big-news-writing_1314-1600

Nightmares for Unbleached Souls

I was taking one of my walks. 6,000 steps into Tom Waits soul (which is a cool theme idea unto itself). His songs propelled me along. Somewhere along my route Innocent When You Dream starts playing. Through my headphones, I really HEAR everything that Waits is pouring out, laying his thoughts and feelings down for anyone who will listen, to experience.

The song, like others of his, stops me. I replay it a few times. Then a few more times. The words moved me while I stood still.

I’m a bit twisted, for those who’ve never read my writing before. For me, going in the opposite direction from a jumping-off point is kind of my norm.  Hence, Innocent When You Dream rolled into Nightmares for Unbleached Souls.

Thank you, Mr. Waits. For all the words and music. For being my muse for this challenge.

I have my initial AtoZ list of nightmares/phobias (which most likely will change as I write during the month). I’m still debating the form this will take. Right now, I am contemplating:

  1. Song Lyrics. Yes, I’ve written songs before. The challenge here would be 26 in a row. It is also something I’ve never tried in all the years I’ve been doing this; there’s the appeal.
  2. Diary-like entries, episodic but with an underlying back story (yes, my mind is drifting towards Lovecraft)
  3. Individual posts that let me go where it will take me (Flash Fiction; Drabble; Poetry; etc.). Essentially, stand-alone stories that have nothing to do with any of the previous posts but keep to the theme (I’m thinking along the lines of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, but in my own way).

#1 seems to hold my attention more, and I think it fits with how I came to this AtoZ Theme: Tom Waits songs.

We’ll see when April 1st arrives.

YOU can still join in. Visit the Blogging from A to Z home page. Take a gander at the Master List and Theme Reveal pages to see who is already participating. As I’ve mentioned before, it is not just creative writing. Non-fiction postings sit next to photography a day, parent advice blogs, poetry, and so on.

Just remember one thing: Comments are important.

Thanks. I hope you’ll enjoy what’s coming to Tale Spinning.

Bonus with colour confetti. Vector paper illustration.

Driving Into The Sun

Pure adrenaline; squealing around turns
A rise along the sediment; a bump, unseen
And we’re lifted off the ground
We’re lifted off the ground
We’re driving into the sun.

Pushing past the limits; Downshift to take it high
The glaring prism breaks the pain
That’s everywhere as we scream
We’re lifted off the ground
We’re driving into the sun.

Light ahead; lights behind
There’s no box to keep us level
No box to think within
We’re lifted off the ground
Lifted off the ground

Are you still with me?
I really can not tell
Not sure if I care or not
It’s all a blur as we ascend
We’re driving into the sun

Driving into the sun
Lifting off the ground
Nothing really matters much
Driving into the sun
We’re lifted off the ground
Off the ground
The ground

We’re driving into the sun.

April is Coming

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#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Yes, I have signed up for the A to Z Blog Challenge for this year. I started my blog in 2011 a few months before April sprang on me. I went for it, and it was one of the best things I had done. Happy to have joined.

Except for a couple of skip years, it’s been fun and agony to write (almost) daily through the month. 26 posts, Sundays off.

It’s a challenge (the title says so) but, in my opinion, well worth it. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Essays, photos, recipes, critiques, How To…, etc. Whatever your blog is about, join in. Great way to discover other blogs, make friends (I have), and for others to find your blog. I’ve gained many followers through this.

Here’s the link: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Not sure what I’ll write about yet. I’ll figure it out.

If you join, please leave me a comment below with your blog link attached. You might gain some followers before the whole thing starts.

Theme Reveal #AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Jump At The Son

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JUMP AT THE SON

 

He was usually by my side. In his early days, we walked hand in hand. As our walks increased in step by step increments, he’d hold his arms way up high. Of course, I picked him up, carrying and mini snuggles. Other times he rode on my shoulders, clutching my hair. We became a Two-Headed Monster. We shared a gnarly growl; it always announced the monster’s arrival.

Always.

Yet, years pass as they dispassionately are prone to. From my side, hand-holding, carry snuggles, becoming a Monster were abandoned. We went on chases instead; more me chasing him. Then he’d chase after me, laughing so hard his head popped off his neck when I turned the table back to chasing him. When I was his prey, he always caught me. Once in a while, I would catch him.

We morphed into One less and less. We lost the “carry me,” and hand-holding didn’t exist.  By this point in our lives, we also lost the Monster.

He never said “Goodbye” to either of us.

Things change.

Things changed.

We ran the gauntlet most parents know. As he slalomed around me, his looking up to me would change to “I hate you!” to apologies and understandings, and back to volatile disagreements. In those cases, the slamming of his bedroom door was the coda that generally ended in “Arrrrggghhh!” from both sides of the door. There began the push away/pull me back times. From a protected, cared for son, a new monster, singular, appeared. He was striving to grow up, to be self-reliant. Independent.

Moments blipped passed us. We talked. We gave each other the Silent Treatment. Doing something fun together could quickly flip into parent shunning. I was waiting.

Waiting for things to even out, for our varying personalities to allow each other to breathe again when we were together. It happened with no rush to make it real. We had been on a strained thin rope, correcting our balances, expecting the other to fall.

I know there were times he did not like me. It might have bordered on hatred, but that remains in his secrets stash. It’s hard to say, but there were times I did not like him. Love, yes. I’ve always loved him.

Things change.

Things changed.

Marriage happenings took over our lives. He committed himself to his bride, his mate, his best friend; my commitment dissolved around me, shredding into strips and then pieces. What was left was a tattered life. It all turned to ashes.

I’m proud of the man he has built for himself. He holds his strengths, his humor, his intelligence, and his weaknesses.

We are no longer a combined Two-Headed Monster, physically. There are those moments that sneak up on us, where our inner gnarly growling meshes. It may happen across the many miles that separate up. Face to face, the growl surfaces.

In those times I can shout out: “Beware. Beware! The Two-Headed Monster has arrived.”

It’s still alive.

In some ways, things stay the same.

Encased

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ENCASED

This is what happens when you are not paying attention. When you are entirely in your head, which happens to be up your ass.

There is no real reason or excuse to so thoroughly isolate yourself from others. The walls of your cage have flexibility. There are windows and doors. There is resistance to using them. You sit at your computer; another window. Your cell phone is always at hand throughout all of your waking hours. It sleeps next to you while your body sleeps.

Yet, all of those options readily disappear when

Your

Head                                                                                                  Shuts

Off.

It takes time for awareness beyond the self to arrive.

You’ve left the bed, the computer, your room, as you travel through your cage. Streams of light particles glimmer around the sides of the drawn shades of the windows you walk by. The light is diffused, filtered so it does not flood the rooms.

But, not all of it. Not enough to keep the outside completely outside. The sunlight finds its way in. It hits the closed aluminum slats at a moving angle as it rises and passes overhead. The light pushes you into the bottled-up kitchen.

The tea kettle you had set begins to whistle. It is building up in shrillness until the steam screams. Turning off the burner, you pour the boiled water into the mug you’ve already set up with sweetener and a bag of tea. It seeps as you leave the kitchen, cup in hand.

Your hands are warm. The initial burning sensation you felt has lessened to a more comfortable feel. Sipping the tea, your feet lead you into the living room. The eyes flit to the windows, an aura of brightness around its edges. Walking closer, you notice the dust particles that dance in the sunlight. One hand drifts forward, fingers playing with the motes as you find the cord, pull, and raise the blinds.

Intense reflected light assaults the senses. The eyes adjust.

Ice.

Ice is everywhere.

Across the road, the trees are encased in ice, from the very top to the outermost ends of its branches. The trunks shine to the frosted ground. Icicles of various lengths and widths hang from the limbs. Nothing drips, yet.

Movement to the left draws your attention. A tree squirrel leaped from a high branch onto a power line that still connects the buildings and houses. It, too, is bound in ice and icicles. As it skates along the wire, the first icicles plummet.  The squirrel scampers away out of sight. The ice remains.

You had only thought of taking a look outside. The ice has held you there. The panorama before you draws your attention, from trees to squirrel to frozen lawns to cars cloaked in their icy covers. The ice has enveloped all; it has created a tableau of a winter day that is waiting for the activation cue.

It fascinates. Its glitter suffuses you. It satisfies in its purity.

Finishing the now cold tea, you leave the mug in the sink. Washing it is for later.

You dress. The winter boots laced up snugly. You grab your parka, hat, and gloves. Before you unlock the front door, you go back for one last item. A long multicolored wool scarf gets wrapped around your neck.

 

This is what happens when you pay attention.

When you realize you’ve encased yourself in nothing tangible. When your head takes a peek out of your ass.

Keys in hand, the door to your cell is unlocked. You journey into the world.

The ice is already thawing.

Isabella’s

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Isabella’s

The crowd reached out into the hallway, overflow from Isabella’s apartment. Her metallic blue door was wide open, but the mass of flesh in front of it acted as a barrier.  She hadn’t told me that a party was going on. This was Isabella.

Parties happened.

Greeted by those who knew me, I inched my way through the dancing, drinking, shrieking mob. Drugs of different potencies passed around me. I turned down all of the offers.

A hand on my butt squeezed it and then slapped the vacant cheek; that forced me to plow through a bit faster. I wasn’t in the mood for playing grab-ass. This was a tight groper’s paradise, no matter the orientation. I was here for Isabella.

The closest door of the foyer was open, bursting with a mish-mash of outerwear. It took some time but I breached the congestion into the kitchen. Grabbing a cold beer, I popped the top and made my way past the island and folding table against the wall. Jostling and hugging stalled my way to the living room. Finally, at the entranceway, I caught my first sight of Isabella for the evening.

She was dancing and shaking about on top of her couch. She was topless, but her long curly red hair gyrated to the beats throbbing throughout the apartment; they covered her breasts until a sweep of her head floated her hair around her. With so many people in between us, dancing, twirling, jumping, entwining each other, I couldn’t tell if Isabella had wholly stripped down. It was too early for that, but…Isabella.

As I made my way to the couch, I caught glimpses of her black mini-skirt and patterned knee-high stockings. Smiling, there was a moment where I wasn’t sure which part exuded Isabella’s sexiness and sensuality more: top or bottom. That thought was quickly tossed aside. Fully clothed or not, Isabella was.

She caught me watching her. A feral grin broke across her face. I finished my beer, turning to toss it towards the kitchen. Someone would pick it up. Or not. Clean up happened when it did.

I began to turn back to Isabella but found myself tackled to the floor. Others went down around me, a domino effect, leaving the partiers tangled and laughing. A body was on top of me, palms resting on my face.

“Hey, you,” Isabella said, brushing her lips against mine. My mouth was deeply engaged with lip nips and kissing. She began to tongue wrestle with me.

Isabella won, as always. Our lips parted.

“Hey, you!” I booped her nose. Isabella pushed my hands down to my sides. She pinned my arms with her thighs and knees, sitting up, on top of me. Around us, the floored partiers unjumbled themselves, got up, and returned their bodies to the music. If anyone noticed us still splat down, I was equally unaware.

Isabella locked eyes on me. Her features softened as she dragged her tongue across her lips. The desire for another kiss drew my chest up. Isabella’s palms were on my chest, forcing me back down.

“Nuh, uh,” was whispered. Her eyes closed as her face went from neutral to somewhere else. A slow rocking turned notch by notch, climbing up as Isabella undulated, dancing in place as she held me still.

I lost count, and awareness, of the many songs that morphed around us. Sweat from her forehead dripped down her nose, springing free, to land on my face. A splatter in my eyes stung. I could have turned my head physically. That was not going to happen.

Isabella’s lips had been tight, breathing flaring her nostrils in and out. Her mouth grew taut and then parted open. A smile returned to her face as she opened her eyes, her body shaking. The pressure pinning my arms lessened. Isabella moved them as her body stretched out, lying prone on top of me. Her hair splayed over my face and chest, her face nestled in the space between my neck and shoulder.

She fell into a steady breathing pattern. The rise and fall of her chest against mine was even. I knew she was asleep, even as she cuddled entirely into me.

My arms and hands were asleep — pins and needles pain that needed unkinking. I reached around, brushing some of her hair off of my face. I wrapped my arms around Isabella before the sensations entirely died away. Turning my head, I kissed her cheek, closing my eyes as I hugged her that much tighter.

The party continued around us.

This was Isabella.

Parties happened.

NaNoWriMo Reflections: 2019

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Refractive Reflections

NaNoWriMo 2019

The organization that runs NaNoWriMo sets a goal for those undertaking the challenge:

50,000 Words.

Write Every Day of November.

It is the first draft of a new idea for your novel. Their website is a place to check-in: daily word counts adding to your total; words per day you need; your speed of typing (how many hours you put in divided by # of words); and lots of other info and support.

I did set out to meet and hopefully surpass their goal.

Missed it by that much.

I wound up 8K shy of the mark. Pleased as anything by going beyond 40K, but still.

November 2019 started off great; halfway point and life, stupid life, got in the way at times. Obstacles, Thanksgiving, Second Thanksgiving, sadly no Elevenses, work, and communicating with others far and wide.

Short by 8K.

I AM continuing the writing, as this is a novel idea I’ve had for a novel. Never committed an actual word until November 1st.

It was an excellent exercise that hammered down some fine points into me:

  1. Write every single day.
  2. Do Not Edit as you go along!
  3. Proofreading, editing, and adding things in that you just thought of: all get in the way of 50K
  4. It is very, very good to have a buddy group to share with and be supported by.
  5. Do not sit six hours in a row to type words. Your back will appreciate it.
  6. Did I mention Write Every Day?
  7. The importance of constructive critique from others is super important.
  8. Don’t judge nor compare your work. I knew that. Just amplified.
  9. Doing extensive research while writing this way wastes time & will blow your mind.
  10. Finding great writers on writing quotes. My favorite, for now, is from Hemmingway: “The first draft of anything is shit.”

A BIG THANK YOU to Lori Soderlind, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Manhattanville College.  She created the NaNoWriMo Foxhole Buddy Group for us wayward writers.  We plan to meet up again.

Big thanks to my fellow Foxholers: Lexi, Jenn, Jim, Terri, Lynn, and Lauren. It was a pleasure working “alongside” of you and getting to read your posts.

Lastly, I will attempt this again next year. Whole big new idea.

Same Bat Month. Same Bat Goal.

 

Yes, I Am

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NaNo_2019_-_Poster_Design_1024x1024 To order this beautiful poster print, use this link: NaNoWriMo Poster

Yes, I am taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo event. It is kicking my buttocks and taking names.

For those who don’t know:

NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing challenge to get out the Great Novel you swear is in you.

  • Start a brand new Novel on November first;
  • write EVERY day during that same month;
  • Match, or surpass, the daily word goal they have set, just a teeny tiny bit under 1,700 words a day;
  • Ultimate Goal: 50,000 words that will hopefully lead to a brand spanking new novel.
    • Yes, 50K does not a novel make. Start it, write more, boom! Novel.

As of 11/10/2019, I have scribed 16,684 words of my “novel” idea, one that has been percolating since 2010. Yes, I know, not “brand new” 100%, but I’ve discarded so many ideas over the years of how to approach this. New start, new path. New. Don’t mention all the first chapter first drafts that I wrote, and deleted.

Don’t. Mention. Them.

I joined a Buddy Group. I signed up on the main site. Posted my daily achievements on the site and on FB. Procrastinated a bit (why do you think I’m writing this post?). And thought and thought, researched and thought, finally actually sitting in front of my WIP and adding more and more as the days pass.

Check it all out if you like. I am not discussing exactly what I am writing, but, sad to say, it is not The Abysmal Dollhouse. That is a major editing re-write that I’m taking a few steps back from. It’s a bigger job than I initially thought: to take the individual pieces and novelize them.

UGH!

If you enjoyed AD, I think you’ll enjoy the new WIP.

I’ll be silent here for the rest of November. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, go celebrate.

Celebrate anything that warms the cockles of your heart. Fight for your right…to PARTAY!

Don’t drink and drive.

Upended, IRL

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Relativity by M. C. Escher

Upended, IRL

“Mabel, you’re upside down again.”

Daphne sighed, folding her arms tightly across her chest.

She was disappointed that the unusual was becoming the norm.

The sight of Mabel being upside down made it difficult for Daphne to understand: was Mabel aware of the problem?

Daphne tried placing mirrors in strategic locations to provide feedback to Mable.

Mabel thought that Daphne was confused about who was upside down.

The bell from the Ice Cream Truck rang out from down the street.

Mabel wasn’t sure if the sound came from the left or the right side.

It was just enough to remind her that chocolate was her favorite flavor.

Mabel got her coat and went out to the Ice Cream Truck.

When she got there, the Ice Cream man was upside down as well.

Daphne, right behind her, paid for the chocolate ice cream cone, clicked her heels, and joined the others, upside down.

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Notes:

For the past month, I have been leading an Intro To Creative Writing/Storytelling class. This was set up by an organization that offers hands-on explorations for the senior community in New Rochelle, NY (but is open to anyone in the area). In our final session, I closed the group with a Round Robin writing challenge. I gave them a prompt from #storyseeds cards, created by Laura Packer. I randomly pulled a card from the pack and used that for the opening line: “Mabel, you’re upside down again.”

Everyone wrote that down in their writer’s journal and then added the next sentence. Once everyone lowered their pens, the journals were passed to the right. That person had to continue the story with, again, one sentence. Pens lowered. Pass to your right. This was repeated until the writer’s own journal was in front of them. They had to option to add one more sentence (they all did) to tie the story up the best they could.

The entire group enjoyed this activity. It also gave them a piece of everyone involved to take home with them. That, in itself, created a beautiful close to our group. Community happens when you allow it and help it grow.

The above is from my journal. After the prompt, the first and last lines are mine. The rest is a piece where I can carry all of them along with me. All the stories were different. Most had whimsey and humor; a few took on a more serious tone in places. Different POV’s/ways of thinking coming together.

Keep writing.