Motivation, Life Stuff, Trying to be Healthy

This post is something a bit different from usual…although I guess posting anything at all at this point is different from usual 😛 As many of you may know, I’ve been struggling to maintain motivation in a lot of things. I thought I was quit of smoking, didn’t have one for three years, and then started up again and have been struggling to quit a second time. I started exercising regularly and eating more healthy foods…then got depressed and stopped caring. I didn’t take my medicines for PCOS, I stopped exercising, I binged and snacked and stopped even the most basic of water drinking. I laid around on my butt and didn’t even find the energy to do my writing. (You may have noticed even FEWER posts from me) While I had a few spurts of creativity and spurts of reading and writing, I have been nowhere near regular with any of it.

That is changing this week, today, RIGHT NOW! I have exercised at least 25 minutes 3 out of the last 4 days (I was sick one day…no pushing too hard!). I didn’t want to. I wanted to sit, I wanted to binge watch a show or just play pointless games on my phone. Instead, I went out and exercised. I pushed past the anxiety of ‘what if I can’t’ and ‘what if there are PEOPLE’ and I went. I ignored my anxiety at telling my family I wanted to eat better and not go out as much, they actually really dug the idea! My best friend, who has started exercising for at least 25-30 minutes a day and eating smaller portions etc., has been an amazing support, pushing me to believe I can…and to go and do it!

Today I took my daughter to the library for the summer reading program hour they have on Monday’s. While I waited for their hour to be up, I wandered around and checked a few areas I don’t normally attempt with a 4 yr old. I didn’t mean to check out any books for myself today…I checked out 7. BUT, 3 of those were cookbooks. Mom is a vegetarian and I found 2 cookbooks for her and, more exciting for me, I found a cookbook by Lisa Lillien called “Hungry Girls 200 UNDER 200″…a book of 200 recipes that each have less that 200 calories per serving…and guys, I CANNOT WAIT to try a lot of these! They look and sound amazing.

I’m working out. I’m eating better. I’m drinking more water. I’ve gone almost 3 full days without a cigarette twice in the past week…I have none right now and intend for it to stay that way. I’ve been working on a new novel and getting ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I’m reading a few good books and, man, I am fired up to be the healthiest, mentally and physically, that I can be! Hopefully, I can keep this up and make it a habit this time!

I would love to hear about your stories….are you working on something like this? Let me know how you stay motivated, how you keep your wits about you and emotions in check, and what your favorite part about the journey is.

Have a great day everyone!

A Light Bit of Housekeeping

Hello! As the title might make you suspect, I have a few things to go over with you today. The first and foremost thing for us to discuss is that the blog will be changing. I’ve spent the past couple of days setting up an “Author’s Blog” here on WordPress and any strictly writing posts, including glimpses at and excerpts from my writing, will be posted there. I will share the odd post on Here There Be Dragons but if you don’t want to miss out on those posts, it might be better to subscribe to Soul Stained Ink (estyreesoulstainedink.wordpress.com). This blog will continue to be used for book reviews and posts about everyday life.

Speaking of reading! I’ve been given a personal challenge, both by some friends and by my own pride, to read George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. As I have a Mass Market Paperback edition, this book is slightly over 800 pages. So I thought, WHY NOT MAKE IT A READ_A_LONG/BUDDY READ? SO…If you would like to read-a-long with me or just follow my journey, please feel free to join my new Buddy Reads with Beth Goodreads Group! If you don’t have a Goodreads or prefer not to join the group, that’s fine! I’ll be attempting to remember to post weekly Game Reads updates on this blog and I’ll have updates and chats on my BookTube channel if you’d rather go watch my face talk about my thoughts on the book.

You can also keep up to date on Twitter (twitter.com/writerbaby13), where I’m sure I will be lamenting my choice to do this!

I am also getting ready to do a series of book recommendation videos, which I will link on Here There Be Dragons AND I will recommend a few books in the same genre/age level to just you guys, something special for you 😉

Finally, I am contemplating starting a newsletter that would include writing and life updates, perhaps images, and snippets from current works in progress. If that is something you might be interested in receiving via e-mail please leave me a comment letting me know! If several of you might enjoy that, I will get it set up and linked for subscriptions soon.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week. Don’t forget to check out Soul Stained Ink, the blog and/or the BookTube channel, and get your copy of A Game of Thrones ready!

 

 

 

Saturday Stories…ON Sunday (again)

So I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t take the time to write this yesterday. It was a fairly busy Saturday, but that’s no excuse (right?). Anyway, the point is that I’m here now. So here we go!

My goals for the past week were completely switched around and messed up but that’s what happens!

First off, I’m not gonna lie…I finished Aesop’s  Fables but put Emma back on the shelf. I just wasn’t able to sit down and read large chunks all together and was getting frustrated with doing that so I set it aside and did a big library haul. I finished “A Study in Charlotte” already and absolutely adored it.

I am a few more chapters into Wired for Story and have videos up for the first several chapters.

As for the writing…well I haven’t gotten caught up yet and most likely will not get to my goal for the month. However, the point is that I tried and will continue to try. I will keep writing and will, eventually, surpass that goal and any others I set.

Here is part of what I did write this week…chapter 5 of The Way We Were (part 2):

Chapter 5

“Oh my gosh,” the blond highlights in front of him blinked owl-like golden eyes and dropped to her knees, babbling apologies like an infant cooing as she scrambled to help Lee collect the groceries that had flown from his arms.

There was something familiar about her backlit curls, her long eyelashes, her…her. There was just something about her. Lee couldn’t shake, or place, the feeling and so he bumbled, grumbled, made a right ass of himself and, with cheeks flaming from the humiliation, turned to stalk away.

The well-manicured fingers lightly glazing his bicep stopped him cold in his cracks. In her other hand, held out between her fingers, was a folded receipt with a number scrawled hastily across it.

“My name is Cecily,” she murmured self-consciously, “Call me sometime and I’ll take you out for some apology coffee.”

“Lee,” Lee responded stupidly, unable to force his mouth to shape itself around any other words.

“Come on Cee,” Another set of highlights and manicures called from the store front, “You’ve been in here for ages!”

“Gotta go,” one more brilliant smile and she was off, jogging with her lethal cart to the checkouts.

Lee looked around bemusedly and tucked the highlight’s – Cecily’s – number in to his pocket before wandering outside.

A well timed text reminding him not to forget the eggs propelled the poor man back in to where his hapless groceries were still sitting in the middle of an aisle, waiting for him to wake up and buy them.

 

Saturday Stories April 16th

This week did not end with a huge amount of writing completed. HOWEVER, I read 3 full books for #genrethon and am in 3 others (I will discuss this down below). I did write a bit, about 3000 words I believe, which is not bad at all…unless you think about the fact that I’m supposed to be writing at least 834 words a day in order to complete my personal goal of 25,000 words in April (Yay Camp NaNoWriMo…crushing dreams and spurring both writing sprees and depression/self-disgust all at once.) But I digress.

Here is the breakdown of this week’s goals:

I wanted to finish at least 3 books for #genrethon, which ended last night. I was able to complete:

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson – this is the first in a MG trilogy. I am really looking forward to the other 2 books in this grouping.

be different by John Elder Robison – this is a non-fiction pseudo-memoir short story collection meant to offer advice on how to handle having Aspergers, or dealing with people who do. While I enjoyed it for the most part, I feel as those the advice was very buried within a testosterone fueled autobiographical feed.

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton – this series of cozy mystery novels is well written and hilarious. This was my third listen to an audio book adaptation (so it counted for 2 genres *raise the roof*) and the adaptations, at least the ones that my libraries Overdrive have, are actually radio plays performed by the BBC Radio personalities and WOW. They are the reason people used to gather around their radios and listen to radio plays. It not only brings a bit of nostalgia for when my dad would turn on the radio play he enjoys (I cannot think of the name…I want to call it Wildwood but I’m sure it isn’t). As a small(er) person in the backseat I would often pause reading or just lay back half-asleep listening to the hilarity and these audio books really bring that feeling back for me.

I did start four other books and am currently working on three of them.

The one I am not working on is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I had to return this audio book to the library so I’m waiting for another go at it.

While I wait I am reading Wired for Story by Lisa Cron (I will be posting a chat about each chapter on YouTube and will link it here as well), Emma by Jane Austen, and Aesop’s Fables.

As for my writing, I’ve done a few flash fiction pieces (started my own wattpad, which I’m still a little unsure of), a short story (as requested for a bed time story from a friend who couldn’t sleep…talk about a proud moment J ), and about 1500 words on The Way We Were, Part 2. It took me awhile to get anything done on TWWW, but then I shot a character and that really helped the baddie get it together so hopefully next week will be a bit better for writing.

And now, since you’ve managed to get this far with me, I give you the piece of flash I wrote on Friday. Please enjoy! (now I’m begging people…walks away with head hung low).

 

So there I was man, swimming along, minding my own business, and looking for some nice plankton to have myself a tasty snack and some BIG ship lilts over and blocks out the sun. Thanks moron, I only see in black and white and you take my light away. While I was trying to get my eyes to adjust to your wobbling shadows, all the plankton ran off. You let my snack get away! I have BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES!

Drunken Spaniards.

Oh, yeah…there ya go. Just run into the coral reef. Do you KNOW how many of us are trying to live or eat over there? Great, run off my snack and level my favorite diner. Seriously, what is that noise? Screaming, crying…you’re acting like my cousin Fred last year when he swam through a shipwreck…oh, a shipwreck. You totaled it.

Yup, serves you right! All I wanted to do was eat. You’re lucky I don’t come over in the shallows and knock you around. Silly little sticks with legs sitting on wooden things and thinking they have any say over what happens in the waters. That’s right, row away…oooh look, a squid.

 

 

Saturday Stories 4/9

Hello Friends. This week has not been the best. I won’t go into details again here but suffice it to say that the week has been long, difficult at points, frustrating, and a little surreal. Yesterday, however, was great.

So let’s talk about my goals real quick:

This week I wanted to get Leonard the Lemur completed and ready. Guess what?? I DID! As of yesterday afternoon you can find Leonard on Amazon and Createspace for paperback and as an e-book on Kindle!!

I cannot put into words how amazed, grateful, and proud I am to have the opportunity to put this together. I love all my book babies, but I truly believe that Leonard is something special. Please go check him out.

This week I also kept saying that I was going to focus on finishing up the first draft of Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure. My first children’s book, this was a lot more difficult to write than I had expected. The first draft is rough and I’m sure there are a lot of things that need edited and revised…but I did it guys. I FINISHED IT!! Yesterday morning as I awaited my class’s completion of their quiz, I jotted down a few pages of things that were twisting in my head and suddenly (because I had no idea it would be that quickly) I was writing ‘to be continued’ on the bottom of a page. I’ve finished the book and I may have started a series.

I was at school 3/5  days this week and I don’t typically read while the kids are in class UNLESS it is an AR reading day (in which case I model by reading a page or two and then I get up and walk the class) because it is very difficult to monitor the and read at the same time. I don’t know how so many people do it. However, I was able to read 30 more pages in Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows and start John Elder Robison’s Be Different, in which I’m on page 29. I am still enjoying both immensely and will be sure to review them for you when I’m done. Genrethon starts tomorrow so I’m hoping to finish them up and get a few more things ticked off the to-be-read pile in the coming week.

Finally, here is the short story. I began this at some point last week. It has no title and is not a completed work. However, I did write it in the past week so here you go 😛

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. (trigger warning – abuse and foul language (mild) )

He took three quick, mincing steps towards her and raised a fist, swinging his body just short of releasing it. She stared him down without flinching. Only a very observant onlooker, who knew what to look for, would have noticed her subtle push of feet and skull backs into the brick wall she leaned on. To the world, she looked completely at ease. The veneer of nonchalance was thick and shiny across her surface. She had worked years to make it so. Worked years to bury the past and move on. It wasn’t going to all be lost just because of one asshat that raised a fist to her. He probably couldn’t hit half as hard as her ex had anyway. This guy was just an old mistake. Sometimes they liked to pop back up to remind her how far she’d come. All of this would fly through her mind later, at the moment all she could think was don’t flinch, don’t flinch, don’t look scared. Concentrate, you have to watch for weaknesses and listen so you can make a sassy comment in a minute. Be the strong female lead in your own life. Don’t flinch. DO NOT FLINCH.

She didn’t flinch, but boy howdy he did. When she had gathered herself up and used the foot propped behind her to shove quickly off the wall, his forward momentum couldn’t be stopped. The fist meant for her soft nose instead smashed into the side of the old building, sending dust softly fluttering down around them as he howled in pain and anger.

“What was that?” She asked softly, examining her nail beds as he rounded on her again. “Did you hurt yourself? You really should be more careful.”
“That smart mouth of yours is what got you in this mess,” he ground out between teeth clenched in pain, “You might want to keep it shut before it gets you hurt.”

“So far it seems that your anger is only hurting you,” She retorted smartly, “My mouth had nothing to do with that.” “Why you little whore,” he growled, “You’ve been talking shit on me and now you’re blaming it on me too?”

“No honey,” she purred, name calling only serving to help strengthen the walls she put up. “I’ve only been telling people the truth when they ask. Besides, whores get paid and I barely even get anything.”

“You had me,” now his anger took on a whine that made him sound like a petulant child.

Saturday Stories: The Mystery of the Missing Fat Man

ITS SATURDAY!!!! Not only is Saturday a sleep in and hang out in your pajamas day (in my house anyway) Saturday is STORY DAY! So settle in and get ready..but first, let me update you on my goal chasing for the week.

If you don’t subscribe to my BookTube channel, you probably didn’t see my weekly goals last Sunday. That’s fine, the good news is that you can go right HERE and check them out (don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there 😛 )

So how did I do? Well, I completed Liar and a review will be up on the channel sometime soon while a written review is already available on this blog: here.

Monkey and I told the story of Little Monster and you can view that video HERE.

I am waiting for my illustrator to complete the final picture needed for Leonard the Lemur, but she’s in the finishing stages and the rest of the book is ready and waiting for that addition.

I did not write anything at all on Paulonious Punk , nor did I write any short stories *hangs head in shame*. I have, however, joined Camp NaNoWriMo and written the first 2k on the second half of The Way We Were. Progress is progress..write? *ahem* I mean, right?

I am planning on focusing my will power on Pauly P. and his adventure today but first, I’m going to tell you a little true story. Ready?

George and the Mystery of the Missing Fat Man.

Last night my daughter and I pulled a book from her shelf and settled in to read a bed time story. The book we chose was Curious George Flies a Kite by H.A. Rey. The edition was an old one I’d found at a thrift shop and has a page torn from it. We know the stories by heart and didn’t think that would be a big deal. BOY HOWDY it was. Want to know why? The new editions are updated for new generations and adapted to the television show. The edition we were reading was published in 1958. In the 1958 edition there were 3 different stories and one was what we know now as “Curious George Goes Fishing.” In this story George sees a man walk by with a long stick that has a long string attached and he realizes the guy is going fishing. In 1958 the fisherman is referred to as “The Fat Man” several times. In the 2012 Curious George’s 5 minute stories the tale of “Curious George Goes Fishing” refers to the fat man as ‘A Big Man’ when George first sees him, and then just as ‘the man’ for the rest of his part of the story. So the original beloved children’s tale was ‘tweaked’ and now the fat man is missing.

I realize that we live in a time of political correctness and fight against body shaming and all of that jazz…but this is a children’s book meant for small kids. Maybe I’m just naïve about how other people raise their children, but mine didn’t blink an eye or start pointing and laughing or anything even resembling fat shaming. She did say “Hey look, that’s a BIIIG fishing rod!” So why change it?

What do you think? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Saturday Stories – 3/12/16

This week I finished reading two books, wrote 3 pages of my novel, and re-worked our Little Monster interior too many times to count. My illustrator (mom) Becky A. Tyree got the interior designs for Leonard the Lemur completed yesterday so I’m going to be re-working Little Monster *again* and prepping Leonard the Lemur for the same this weekend.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park, the park featured in Leonard the Lemur, had its seasonal grand opening today so I wanted to do a quit shout out to them on their big day! Check them out on their website, facebook, or Amazon wishlist.

This week’s excerpt is from the ‘villains’ perspective in The Way We Were. ENJOY 😀

THE FOUNDATION:

“I am sickened by the incompetence you are displaying!” The voice seemed to surround a small group of cowering robes. “Is this why we’ve spent generations grooming your families? To breed OUT this disappointing behavior? Yet the mortals are winning again. We have been in existence, this plan has been in existence, since days of Noah. Time and again we have been thwarted. Time and again these toddlers have foiled everything! We have waited thousands of years for them to forget everything. For them to LOSE their knowledge and connections. They have finally reached a blank life AND YET YOU STILL FAIL ME!!! Disappointed.”

An empty silence pressed down against the cowering capes until one straightened determinedly and strode with confident purpose to the high seat.

“Well, you imbecile’s heard him,” The masked, helmeted and robed figure projected menacingly across the crowded meeting hall. “We are failing them. Just as our parents, grandparents, and forefathers failed them in every generation before us.”

He paused, the lightweight wood of his painted mask doing nothing to conceal his baleful glare as he, the Grand Guard of the Asmodeian Society, watched the sniveling members of his tribe scurry to their own, lesser, seats.

Positioned in a large circle situated around the outside of a plush, starched, and scotch-guarded carpet the color midnight’s bad dreams and decorated with the shimmering realism of black holes and dying stars, the circle of the submissives was ever reminded of their tenuous positions in the ranks.

Some days the carpet seemed to swirl and change design on its own, but those things were dangerous to dwell on and rarely spoken of by the members pledged to this sect. There are some things that frighten even those bred to be fearless.

Saturday Stories 2/27

Hello my friends! Sorry I’ve been so MIA the past two weeks, I seem to have had time getting away from me lately. Though looking back on the month I don’t seem to have really accomplished all that much, but I have been extremely busy. So, let’s figure out how I did and get to the short story reward, like the gooey chocolate at the center of crunchy cake pop :).

To recap my ‘goals’ for the week, you can go watch this video and see what I thought I could do.

Goal Updates:

Writing – 

I was supposed to type up everything I have handwritten and ready to type. Unfortunately my much loved laptop has been a little too loved and my programs are not working as well as they should (and I procrastinated a little) so I only got a few pages of Paulonious Punk taken care of. I did, however, purchase a new laptop so I can move my hundreds of word documents over and get back to writing!

 

Reading –

I completed Truthwitch and gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. The writing is gorgeous and the story is a fast paced thing of beauty. I’ll have a full review up sometime soon(ish).

 

Sewing/Coloring/Exercising – 

I managed to get a princess dress cut out for the little monkey and am going to try to sew it up today around my band practice schedule.

I did not complete the coloring pages, but I did a little more coloring on them and expect to have both completed this weekend.

As for exercising, I was able to go 3 days this week and the other 2 I was very active at home. I also upped my weight training weights to the next level, which made me super excited!

Now on to the good stuff! This week’s story excerpt is from a novel I began several years ago…and then kind of abandoned in pursuit of a different story. Here is the first bit of Sylvester, hopefully there will be more some day.

Sylvester

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

Chapter One

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

Saturday Stories 2/13/16

Welcome to my weekly goal update! If you missed my weekly goals here is my video from last Sunday!

 

So I know what you’re thinking…You want to know how I did on my goals right? That’s the point of this update each week after all.

  1. Little Monster – I need help. For some reason the last few pages of my daughter’s adorable picture book are not allowing me to put the text boxes on the pictures. Every time I try, the picture disappears, or the words won’t show up, and/or the program crashes. I only have 2 pages left!!! If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’m becoming incredibly frustrated with this!
  2. The Way We Were – I realized this week that while Eliza and Brent have very full sections, the other 5 members of the group  don’t really have that much going on, and neither do the villains. So, I need to work on getting those sections fleshed out and re-organized with new material before the second half of the book can be contemplated. Which is really not a big deal, it just means more short stories AND re-writing everything. Re-writing because the other thing I realized is that most of the characters sound incredibly similar. That’s not necessarily horrible but, I want their personalities to shine and right now they’re more ‘group’ than ‘individual’ so that combination needs work. I think that might be for the next set of revisions though!
  3. Short Story – NOT TYPED…I read over it, I wrote a new one, I haven’t typed either of them.
  4. ReadingCurio by Evangeline Denmark  – I am little over half-way through this book. So far it is a 3.5 – 4 star read and I’m looking forward to finishing that this weekend.
  5. Wellness Center –  I exercised 4 out of 5 days last week. Wednesday I was so sore and generally blah that I only did a set of crunches at home. Friday I went out with my friend for a shopping/birthday expedition and did not do any mindful exercises…but chasing a 3 year old through Cato’s and Hastings probably counts!

So those are the updates on my listed goals. I also colored a few pictures and sewed a couple of baby things (Pictures to come when they’re completely finished! My nephews will be so dapper).

Now for the fun stuff! This week’s short will be an excerpt from My House, a novel I wrote early on in college and which I’m going to re-imagining into a slightly more in-depth and quickly paced story at some point. (and, you know, better written…*sigh* I thought I was so good back then…)

ENJOY!

Chapter Four

I broke the speed limit all the way home, but thankfully no cops stopped to question me. I pulled in the parking lot, slammed the car into park and got out, working very hard to keep from bursting into a run. I got to my apartment door and went to unlock it, but it was already unlocked. Thinking that was strange but that maybe I had forgotten to lock it when I left that morning, I walked in. I was taking a look around, just in case someone had broken in, when I felt an arm go around my waist and a hand cover my mouth. I swallowed a scream and prepared to kick backwards, hoping to injure the man holding me enough so that he would let go. Just as I was bringing my leg up to deliver the kick, Billy walked into view, eating one of my yellow apples.

“I always like this kind best. Thanks kid,” he said as he grinned at me. “So, how ya been sis? You never write, you never call, if you’re not careful I’ll think you hate me. Let her go Bruce, she won’t do anything.”

“Billy Dean McKlain isn’t it just like you to break into your little sister’s house when all you had to do was knock. Oh, and for the record I don’t hate you, I just severely dislike who  you’ve become, old man.” Like I said, I was never good at holding my tongue, especially when my brothers had smirks on their faces like the one Billy was sending my way. “So are you going to tell me what you want or can I go ahead and throw you out?”

“There’s no need to get snippy, I thought we could chat a little before we started in on business. After all, we haven’t seen each other in a very long time.” Billy continued to smirk at me; he threw the apple core out of an open window nearby and motioned to the doorway entering the living room, “After you.”

I paused in the middle of the doorway. Looking back at him I thought of the house I had visited and all of the happy memories our family had made there. I couldn’t help but wonder, and in wondering ask, “Billy, what made us become this way? We used to be so happy living at that old house with momma and daddy. We used to laugh together, not break into our sibling’s houses and threaten each other.”

Billy glared at me, dropping that cool demeanor in front of me for the first time in years, “You want to know what happened? I’ll tell you what happened, Daddy died and left us all. He just left us and we had to live with the facts that he never had the nerve to tell us when he was alive. His own friend shot him for money and left us without a father. Maybe you can overlook our past and the ties that bind us to each other, to him, to momma, but I can’t. That’s what happened Kit, open your eyes and see it. There’s nothing outside for any of us. Not since then anyway. I know you don’t even use Dad’s name at work so you can keep a job and that hurts me. You’re living a life of deceit trying to make it on your own without the family’s help Kitten.”

His use of the old pet name softened my resolve to kick them out and call the cops, now I wasn’t going to call the cops. That monologue of his seemed real enough, but in our family you can never be sure whether someone is acting or telling the truth. The tension in the living room was building up so thick you could have built up muscles just trying to walk through it.

“I’ll think about that later. Right now, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?” Before he could say anything Rollo burst out of a backroom (he knows how to open doors) and headed straight for Bruce, who had been standing in a back corner of the room, watching our discussion. Bruce, being incredibly afraid of dogs, did the one thing any red-blooded American man would have done at that point. He screamed like a little girl, jumped on top of a side table, and huddle all three-hundred pounds of his massive frame into the fetal position while Rollo sat and barked at him.
After finally getting over our laughter, I pulled Rollo back and Billy talked Bruce down from the table. Bruce absolutely refused to stay in my apartment after that (to my delight) despite all of my reassurances that Rollo was perfectly safe. He went out back to wait in Billy’s car and we got back to our conversation. “So why are you really here Billy?” I asked again, somewhat exasperated with the hold in my plans for the night. There was no way I was going to let Billy know about the box I had in my bag.
“Can’t I just come by to visit?” He asked innocently, giving me that little smirk that had had all of the girls in our school and at college chasing after him.
“Cut the crap Billy, I’m tired of your mind games. To answer your question though, you haven’t just dropped by to see me since before you graduated college and took over the family from cousin what’s-his-name.”

 

Saturday Stories – 2/6/16

I had a fairly lengthy list of goals for last week and I believe I did a phenomenal job of not getting them accomplished. Let’s go over them:

Writing:

  1. Completing the final few pages of the original Paulonious Punk notebook so that I have to start writing in the new book this weekend. Ok I actually completed this goal as of a few minutes ago. (word count – approximately 1,000 untyped words)
  2. Completing the organization of The Way We Were – hahahaha I’ve had that on my goals list for a few weeks now and I’ve gotten a little done on it but, on the whole, I’ve been focusing Paulonious and short stories. 
  3. Reading over The Wishbone Tree and working on that story – Ok, I did read it again and make a few notes so I’m going to count that as completed goal!

Reading:

  1. Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch – I decided to give up on reading this book for the moment. I am still incredibly interested in it, but I just haven’t gotten into it this time around.
  2. Sara J. Maas Crown of Midnight – I completed this book yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS! I rated this a 5 star on Goodreads because there aren’t half-star options. In reality, I’ve placed this somewhere around 4.5 stars, there were a few slower places but I’ll discuss that more in the actual book review.

Other Goals: 

1. Coloring – I finished one color sheet last! That’s not much, really, but it made me happy! 

2. Catching up on shows – I got addicted to the Great British Baking Show and somehow have not watched any of my other list! I’ll do better next week 😉

 

Now that you’ve slogged through my weekly wrap up, here is a reward! The following short piece is one I originally wrote in February of 2014 as one of my first Short Story Sunday pieces (I wrote one short story a week for the entire year) and find that I enjoy it more now than I did when I originally posted it. SO…here it is,

The Stream

It was just a stream, really. A sometimes babbling, sometimes rushing section of water that crashed over, around, and between the moss covered stones.

The bank was slippery, treacherous to climb most days that he went, the water much too cold to swim in unless during the height of summer, and the woods surrounding the clearing became terrifyingly spookier as twilight neared.

So why was he drawn here, day after day? He had not played here in his youth. He hadn’t even known of the nearby town’s existence until moving to Maine from New Mexico two years before, armed with a brand new teaching license and an offer to teach eighth grade math.

Quite frankly, the enveloping verdance and frequent rain showers unnerved the poor fellow. Yet day after day her left his classroom, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse one town over, grabbed his bag and bottled water, and, occasionally accompanied by the cat, made his way through the field and down the path to a large, almost hollowed out stone. Here he would sit during all but the worst weather, protected by overhanging vegetation as he graded papers, wrote lesson plans, or just sat.

Little thoughts and one liners were jotted down. Characters and plot ideas were placed on note cards, and all of it was unceremoniously shoved into an ever growing binder.  The time passed, though his twilight unease did not, and the young man began to hear the wind’s whispers and see the flitting wings in his surroundings.

Though he was offered better paying jobs elsewhere throughout the years, he would always stay in that same small school, with his ever changing stream.

Years later, with numerous best-sellers under his belt, the now older and much more famous man took the stand as a commencement speaker at that same small school.

“Life,” he said, “Does not always do what you think it should. Do not be afraid to face your fears, to do your best no matter what, and to go where you must. And always remember that sometimes all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and listen.”

He then walked down the silent aisle, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse in the next town over, grabbed his notebook and bottle of water, and made his way home.