Friday, July 20, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 20, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

Posting late again, mostly because it's been a crazy couple of days and I forgot. Oops! 

The weather around here was a bit unstable yesterday, to say the least. There were 27 reports of tornadoes all over Iowa, and at one point, the tornado siren where I live went off. Right in the middle of Zoe's nap time, so she was a bit grumpy about that.  Still, I'm grateful we didn't have any storm damage here. Some towns weren't so lucky and sustained serious damage.

Today is the start of our annual town celebration, so there are going to be fun activities for the kids at the park tonight. They're looking forward to the facing painting and petting zoo.  Tomorrow we'll attend the parade, and there are going to be bouncy houses for the kids to play in. They always love that part. I have the feeling I'm going to be worn out afterwards.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 13, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I know I'm posting late, but it's been a busy day and I kept forgetting to sit down and do this.  I hope you're all successfully avoiding people in hockey masks this Friday the 13th.

We ended up visiting the zoo last Saturday, and the kids had the best time.  Zoe absolutely loved the giraffes.  Afterwards we also spent some time with friends we hadn't seen in awhile, and that was nice.  Then on Sunday, my son Jude got to try out his inflatable boat that he got for his birthday this year.  He loved it!  So all in all, last weekend was a good one.

I have a bottle of wine waiting for me for later, so I'm definitely celebrating that right now.  Oh, and tacos for dinner tonight.  Tacos are also amazing.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-July 6, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

I'd like to start by wishing my husband a happy birthday! Though today is his special day, he still has to go to work, but at least it's Friday, right?

We all had a great 4th of July weekend. We got to set off and see lots of neat fireworks, and all of us remained safe.  The kids had an amazing time, and they were disappointed that the fireworks are now done until next year.  

I'd also like to celebrate the release of the Normal Deviation anthology.  It's always a thrill to see something I wrote published in a book.  I think that's a feeling a lot of writers can relate to. I try to remind myself of that feeling every time I get discouraged about my work.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: July 2018

It's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our host Alex J. Cavanaugh has recruited another bunch of fantastic co-hosts for this month: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

Before I get to the optional question for this month, I'd like to announce that the Normal Deviation anthology is now available for purchase.  My short story "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" is part of this wonderfully weird collection.

Here are some purchase links for anyone who may be interested in getting a copy.



You can also add it on Goodreads.

Now on to this month's question.

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was six years old.  I used to look at the bookshelves in my childhood home and marvel at all the exciting stories contained within those pages.  I diligently began to scrawl my own imaginings on a stack of wide ruled notebook paper.  The results were largely incomprehensible.  My vocabulary was limited, the spelling wasn't always the best, and I had no idea how to construct a paragraph or use most punctuation marks.  Nevertheless, that was the beginning of a lifetime love for writing, and it started because I too wanted my books to sit on bookshelves someday.  I wanted to be able to see my work for sale in bookstores.

That goal has remained firmly in place, and I've been working toward it ever since.  Now I can happily say that I have a number of short stories published, as well as a few novellas, all of which sit on my bookshelf at home.  I will continue writing, and hopefully one day I'll walk past a novel I wrote in a physical bookstore.  I think that's a goal a lot of writers share.

What are your ultimate writing goals, and have they changed over time?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 29, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

We had a safe and fun trip to Illinois last weekend.  We left on Friday morning, and we made it back late Sunday night.  We visited family and ate lots of good food.  All in all, fun was had by all.  Yes, the drive was long and tedious, but the kids were all surprisingly well behaved the entire time.  I was impressed.

My boys went camping with their cousins and my in-laws on this week.  That left the house a little on the quiet side, and Zoe didn't seem to know what to make of that.  Still, the quiet gave me a good chance to get some writing done, and the boys seem to have had a fantastic time.

Writing continues, and I think I'm really close to finishing this first draft.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I can do this.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-June 22, 1018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain! I am her co-host.

We're going on a trip today!  We're heading to central Illinois to attend my sister in law's baby shower.  Her baby girl is due later this summer, and everyone's pretty excited about that.  The drive out there should take several hours, and with three kids in the car, it should be an interesting trip.  I'll need plenty of coffee to sustain me.

My writing progress, while it will undoubtedly suffer slightly with the busy weekend we have in store, is still worth celebrating.  Are the words spilling easily onto the page?  No.  The work may be somewhat slow, but it is continuing.  The ending of this book is starting to take shape, and I know I'll get there in the end.  I just can't let myself give up.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WEP: Unraveled Yarn

It's time for more Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thanks to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this possible.

The theme for this month is Unraveled Yarn.  There were a lot of possibilities with this one, and I expect there will be a lot of fascinating entries as always.  Here's mine, and I hope you enjoy it!

A Life Unraveled

My life has unraveled around me, and it’s your fault.  I can see the threads that once wove together the tapestry of me, but they don’t make sense anymore.  A favorite book that is collecting dust on a shelf.  The faded pink canvas shoes that I wore for at least a year too long.  The afghan I once started knitting to remind me of my grandmother, only a quarter done and tucked away under the bed to rot.  I can’t for the life of me pick up those loose threads and recreate my former self.
Why?  Why did you reach into my heart and dig your hooks into it when you didn’t want me to lay a similar claim on you?  Why did you erupt with jealousy, the flames practically dancing in your eyes, when anyone else paid me the least little bit of attention?  Why did I allow myself to believe that meant you loved me, and why did I not question how upset you got when I expressed concern that you were still spending time with other girls?
I feel dumb now.  Everyone I know, friends and family alike, tried to warn me. 
“He’ll change who you are,” my sister Leah said.
“You walk on eggshells around him.  Fear doesn’t equal love,” my mom told me.
“I’m tempted to kill him myself,” Dad mumbled when he thought no one was listening.
I should have listened to them.  You knew that, didn’t you?  You knew exactly what you were doing to me.  You convinced me that I didn’t need to go back to school, and you persuaded me to say no to my friends every time they wanted to have a night out.  Your reasons made a warped kind of sense at the time.  “We can’t afford for you to spend the money right now.”  “You’re supposed to want to spend time with me.”  “Your friends just want to stare at guys, and I don’t feel comfortable with you being a part of that.”  “You can’t trust other men, okay?  Who knows what they might do to you if you put yourself out there?”
I lost track of my old life.  Bit by bit, pieces of that existence fell away.  Days turned to years, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen or spoken to either of my parents.  My friends stopped trying to reach out to me.  And I found some relief in that at times.  It was hard coming up with excuses for the bruises my clothes wouldn’t cover.
Were there times I considered leaving you?  Sure there were.  Little snippets of the kinds of fantasies I had as a little girl would infest my brain from time to time.  Perhaps the details were different.  Instead of dreaming of being a princess living in a castle, I envisioned living in a nice home without having to worry about setting off someone else’s vile temper.  I reminded myself that I once wanted to travel the world and take photos.  I longed to try food from every country.  I toyed with the idea of writing a book or taking up painting or trying my hand at rock climbing.  My life could have been anything, but instead I let myself wither here with you.
I wish I could pick myself back up and try again.  I’d make different choices.  I’d try to put myself first.  I’d reweave myself to create something new and bold.  Beautiful.  If only I could.
But for the life of me I can’t do any of it, because I have no life.  In the most literal sense, my life is over.  It ended the night you took a baseball bat to my head during a heated argument.  You should be in prison, but my bones are buried in a shallow grave that has yet to be discovered.  So here you are, still living in the house we shared together, and no one has noticed anything changed.  Why should they when I never set foot outside the house?  When I never called anyone anymore?
It’s cruel, really.  I haunt this place, and it haunts me in return.  In life I could not escape it, and in death it is much the same.  I get to see how little you miss me.  My absence means nothing to you, and I wish I tear your flesh away from your bones.  I wish I could unwind you and leave you in ruin the way you did to me.  But I can’t.  All I can do is linger and recall all that came apart within these walls.
It’s all your fault, and you don’t care.

Word Count: 775

And that's it!  Be sure to visit the other participants and leave them some wonderful comments.