Friday, October 26, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-October 26, 2018

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

First of all, I'd like to say Happy Halloween to those of you who are planning to celebrate! We have decorations and costumes ready to go. The kids can't wait to go trick-or-treating.

It's been a bit of a crazy week. I'd never thought rock-paper-scissors could be a dangerous game, but my boys found a way to make it hazardous. They were leaning too close together, and Lyle accidentally scratched Jude's eye. He could barely open it for more than a day, and it still looks completely bloodshot. The good news is, he has eye drops to prevent infection, the pain has gone away at this point, and the doctor says it's healing. It shouldn't be too much longer before he's back to normal.

Zoe also had an accident this week, too. She was playing and ended up smacking her head on the corner of the table. She ended up with a big gash over her eye, and we ended up making a trip to the emergency room that kept all the kids up past their bedtime. The doctors got her patched up, and it doesn't seem to be bothering her. 

So yeah, I'm celebrating that my kids are healing from their injuries. I'm just hoping it's going to be awhile before something like this happens again. And after the stress of the week, my husband had a dozen roses and chocolates delivered to the house for me. That was a lovely and unexpected surprise!

And finally, the boys got their school pictures back, and I think they turned out quite handsome.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-October 19, 2018

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

After a wave of downright bone-chilling weather and some snow, we've had a slight warm up. I know it won't last, but it's been kind of nice, and I'm going to take advantage of it. I'm hoping it hangs in there through at least part of the weekend so we can finish putting up some Halloween decorations and get some family time outside.

I've found some fresh writing inspiration this week, and I'm excited about that. Hopefully I'll be able to set aside some time to get this new story idea written in the next couple of days.

I'd also like to celebrate a great turnout for October's WEP Challenge and to thank everyone who participated. We had lots of fantastic entries this time around, though I can't say I'm surprised about that. There's a lot of talented writers out there.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

WEP/IWSG October Challenge-A Matter of Principle

Hello everybody! I hope you're having a wonderfully spooky October. My boys sure are. My husband has been taking them out to haunted houses on the weekends, and they've been loving every minute of it!

Here's my entry for the joint WEP/IWSG Challenge, and I hope you enjoy it!

A Matter of Principle

The doll lay spread eagle on the oak, its plastic blue eyes reflecting the light from the golden swing arm lamp. It wasn’t the same kind of illumination one could expect from an operating room, but Hazel supposed it would have to do.

The porcelain face, made to look just like someone Hazel had once called her best friend, sent chills down her spine. The level of resemblance was uncanny. She didn’t know how the doll’s creator did it, and frankly, she didn’t care to find out. There were a lot of details surrounding the manufacturing process that both bewildered and terrified her. The price also came quite high. A year’s worth of salary, in fact. However, having spent so much money on this endeavor didn’t unsettle her quite so much as the sense that she’d also given away her soul in the exchange.

Hazel had a voodoo doll when she was a kid, though it looked nothing like this one. It came in a box of assorted items that her parents picked up at an auction. She tested it by swiping a piece of hair from her older sister’s hair brush and tying it around the doll’s neck. After she inserted a tiny sewing needle into the doll’s knee, a shriek tore through the house. The sudden pain had caused her sister to tumble down the stairs and tear a ligament. Surgery and months on crutches followed.

The power of that moment astonished her. She placed that voodoo doll on the shelf, and there it gathered dust. Years passed before she pulled it down again. A boy got too handsy at a party, leaving her to run out crying with a torn dress and a whirlwind of rumors to follow her remaining days of high school. That boy spent months going through physical therapy after an intense pain caused him to crash his car.

That doll helped her inflict suffering when needed, yes, but this time it wouldn’t have been enough. Not for what Hazel had in mind. The pain inflicted this time had to be deep and permanent to match the betrayal she felt. Friends didn’t go behind your back and steal your husband from you. They didn’t try to lay claim to the family you’d worked so hard to build. They didn’t smile, offer flaccid apologies, and flaunt your children around town as if they had birthed them instead of you.

No. Friends didn’t do things like that, and such traitors didn’t deserve any mercy.

“It’ll all be worth it,” Hazel whispered to herself as she took the X-Acto knife in hand. She brought the knife’s sharp point to rest against the doll’s chest. She took a deep breath before pushing it in. The soft material that composed the doll’s torso parted easily beneath the blade, revealing the stuffing within. It looked like the typical cottony substance that could be found inside many children’s toys, except this stuff had been dyed beet red. She continued the single deep incision, bringing it all the way down to the groin.

Hazel was shaking when the lifted the knife again. She hesitantly grasped some of the soft red stuffing and rubbed it absent-mindedly between her fingers. Would that be enough? It had to be, right?

She shook her head. There was no sense in coming this far to leave any room for uncertainty. One quick flick of her wrist cut the dolls neck. She jumped back when the head separated from the body entirely and landed with a soft thud on the brown rug.

*     *     *

The local news was awash with the horrifying details the next day. A woman was brutally disemboweled and decapitated. A frantic boyfriend woke to find her dead and called the police.

Hazel watched those news reports with rapt interest, though she ensured her daughters never saw them. Knowing that the woman who’d they’d affectionately called their Auntie Karen all their lives had died was traumatic enough. It got even worse for them when no fingerprints other than their father’s could be found at the scene. Though his story never changed, and no murder weapon was ever found, police concluded that he was the only one who could have possibly committed the crime.

Sure, Hazel hated to see her girls cry, but she couldn’t simply lie back and take it. It was a matter of principle. Her so-called friend had to pay for what she’d done, and her ex-husband would suffer in prison for what he’d put her through.

Hazel locked the doll away in her safe beside all her other most valued possessions, hoping she would never have need for such dark magic again.

Word Count: 781

Friday, October 12, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-October 12, 2018

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

My birthday was yesterday. I am now 33. While the day of my actual birthday was fairly normal, I did treat myself to lunch out. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was delicious.

My husband and I actually celebrated my big day on Wednesday by attending a Postmodern Jukebox concert. We had an amazing time. For those of you who don't know, they're known for performing modern songs in vintage music styles. The performers were brilliant and engaging, and the costumes were wonderful. There was also a tap dancing girl that really managed to wow the audience. I'm definitely glad we went.

I'm also celebrating the fact that the next WEP challenge is taking place next week. The theme is Deja Vu/Voodoo, which is suitably spooky  for the month of October. If you'd like to participate, head on over, sign up, and post your entry by October 17th.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-October 5, 2018

It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain. I am her co-host.

My birthday is this coming Thursday, but my kids and husband surprised me with some early birthday gifts. I got a candle, a comfy pair of new pajamas, a new coffee mug, and a beautiful necklace. That definitely made my day.

My husband and I are also going on a little outing on Wednesday. We're going to go out to eat and follow that up with a concert. We've been listening to Postmodern Jukebox for quite a while now, and when we found out they were performing in Des Moines the day before my birthday, we couldn't pass that up. It's going to be a much different experience than the Metallica concert we went to last year, but it should be a good time.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: October 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has lined up another wonderful cohort of co-hosts: Dolorah @ Book Lover, Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

The optional question for this month is: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Truth be told, I think a large part of the reason I'm a writer in the first place comes from the fact that it helps me through hard times. I was a geeky, awkward kid, and making friends never came easily to me. I started writing stories at a young age, because it gave me a way to express my feelings. It gave me a way to escape when times were lonely or tough.

A little more than three years ago, I used writing to get me through a particularly hard time. I had a miscarriage, and the loss I felt was intense. I felt helpless. Writing was something active that I could do. It was a way I could channel my feelings and do something productive. I didn't feel out of control when I was putting words on the page.

How do significant life events impact your writing?