2019 begins…

As you are all aware, 2019 is in full swing now. I have had a mixed year so far. My family recently got some really good news, followed quickly by some really depressing news. It’s hard to focus on the good when all I can think about is trying to survive the depressing part.

Despite that, I am trying to focus on things and figure out what I want to get done this year. I am one of those people who sets resolutions every year. I like them; I know some people don’t. I like to have goals and a plan, even if sometimes I don’t accomplish it all.

Here are my goals for 2019 that I don’t mind sharing with the world:

  1. Read 45 books (last year I read 39, so I am trying to go a bit beyond that this year).
  2. Complete the draft of my novel and edit it. (Believe it or not, I am dangerously close to having a complete first draft).
  3. Write 12 short stories on my blog again.
  4. Finish 4 large cross stitch projects.

I am trying to pick a goal to focus on each day to distract myself from the other life stuff going on right now.

Anyway, if you follow this blog, you know that each month, I post a prompt for a short story that arrives at some point later in the month. For January, here is the prompt:

She believed in me in a way no one else ever has and no one else ever will, and I betrayed her. The worst part is she doesn’t know. She still thinks….

from Complete the Story

Happy reading and writing this month!

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Moving On

To end the year, a very short story! 

The music drifted out of the club like a vibrating pulse. I could feel it in my bones. The night was alive with possibility. I could even imagine myself finally moving out. I’d been planning it for so long. My parents probably wouldn’t even notice if I left.

Besides, it’s what people my age were supposed to do. You grow up, get out of high school, and move on. Some go to college, others get jobs. Not me, I’d stayed home. My parents honestly didn’t seem to care one way or another. They continued to give me an allowance like nothing had changed.

It wasn’t healthy for someone who was 21 to still live at home and not work, or do anything really. I think no one pushed the issue with me because of the accident. It’d been 5 years, but no one talked about it. I didn’t even talk about it with my therapist. We all knew it happened, but we didn’t discuss it.

I’d realized a few years ago that I was using it as an excuse to do nothing. When I’d admitted it to myself, I felt like a coward. My brother would be disappointed in me. We’d always talked about what we would be when we grew up. He never got the chance, and I was just wasting mine.

I stopped outside the club and let the pulsing vibrations of the music bombard me. Enough was enough. I needed to do something, anything.

Not tomorrow. Today. It didn’t matter that it was the middle of the night. Now was the time.

Writers are weird…

Over the course of the last couple of months, I have discovered that writers and people who want to be published authors are weird, but in like the best possible way!

(And I should warn you that I am going to talk about NANOWRIMO again…)

The reason I say that writers are weird is because I learned some things about myself and other writers during my pre-NANO and NANO month.

First, I joined the NANOWRIMO Facebook page, and I find it amusing and reassuring.

It’s reassuring because there are other people who are going through the same struggles as a writer that I am, and it’s nice to be able to discuss it with someone who gets it. It’s also nice to “shout into the void” that is the internet and have someone get where you are coming from.

I say that it’s amusing because of the hilarious questions, comments, and memes that are posted about writing. I can’t tell you how many NANOers have posted about their questionable google search history. (The things you have to research as a writer are strange and horrifying).

Secondly, some things I learned about myself during NANOWRIMO:

  1. I write best between the hours of 8 – 11 pm. If I sat down to write during any other time of day, it was like pulling teeth. But during those hours, I could churn out words like a bad ass.
  2. I get more writing done if I have shoes on. WHAT! Apparently I don’t write well if I’m TOO comfortable.
  3. I don’t actually like to write at my desk; I prefer the dining room table.
  4. The tv can be on, people can talk, but NO MUSIC.
  5. I am not a planner. I am not a panster. I use what someone else called the “flashlight method.” I outline about 3-4 chapters at a time, and when I get to the end of that, I write another 3-4 chapter outline. Basically, shining the light into the dark so I can see, but only a little bit.
  6. I don’t like to talk about my story as I’m writing it to most people. When people asked me what I was writing about, I gave them a very vague answer. Only a few lucky ones get real details.
  7. I like to write dialogue, but have to struggle to write description.
  8. And the most important thing I learned — I can write a book. It’s not done yet, but it’s A LOT closer than it was.

Happy writing and reading this month!

December’s Prompt

It’s time for my final short story prompt of 2018! 

If you want to write a short story too, here is the prompt for this month:

The music drifted out of the club like a vibrating pulse. I could feel it in my bones. The night was alive with possibility. I could even imagine myself…

Happy writing and reading this month!! 

Skip, my lovely assistant wishes you and yours Happy Writing and Reading this month! 

No Where to Hide

*This is my November short story. I am running behind because of Nanowrimo, but did I mention I wrote 50,000 words last month?*

Until that day, fear had been an idea, a concept. Now it was real: a feeling I would carry inside me for the rest of my life. The day began innocently enough, with my father and I going through our normal daily routine. We barely spoke. We ate breakfast. And we drove to the bookstore in quiet.

This is how pretty much every day of my life had started since I can remember. And most days ended with the two of us closing the shop in quiet and returning home without saying a word. Ever since my mother passed, my dad didn’t talk much, not that he’d said much before.

Tonight, though, I wouldn’t be riding home with my dad. Tonight, I was being held captive in the high school gymnasium with every other person in town; well, maybe not every person, just those who hadn’t been killed already.

In the morning when we arrived at the shop, my dad went to the office in the back and shut the door. He and I were the only employees, but he always said he was doing manager duties. I didn’t really care. It was his store.

I set about making coffee and turning on lights. After turning the chairs over and taking them off the tables, I went to the counter at the front to open the pile of mail that had been waiting since yesterday. There wasn’t anything important in the stack, so I recycled what I could. Then I just took my seat behind the counter and dreamed of something more interesting than this life I was stuck in.

The first explosion shook the store, but to be honest, I didn’t even know that’s what it was because I’d never experienced anything like it before. The second explosion rattled the big window in the front so much, I thought it might break, but it held.

I stood there doing nothing for what felt like several minutes but in hind sight was probably only a matter of seconds. Then I saw people running down the streets.They all looked terrified. I looked out the window.

As I looked at the alien, it looked back at me. It was at least seven feet tall and covered in scales that appeared metallic. It had two large eyes that took up most of its face. Its appendages were humanoid but elongated. Each finger was at least six inches.

As I stood there gaping like an idiot, it made a sound that shattered the glass. I shielded my face with my hands and arms, and in that moment, it reached in and grabbed me.

Having extra long and slender limbs didn’t mean the creature wasn’t strong. It grabbed me with one hand and didn’t even bother placing the second one on me. I couldn’t get out of its grip no matter how I flailed.

It held onto me until a hovering vehicle of some sort pulled up along side it. It casually tossed me and I was pulled in by some sort of tractor beam. Inside the ship were people I knew.

After that,we were all dumped in the high school gymnasium. Now we are all just sitting here. If we make a sound other than breathing, they just kill us.  

Image result for alien invasion

NANOWRIMO Winner

Super excited! I just reached my 50,000 words in a month goal and won NANOWRIMO on my first try. 

Now, time to get back to other goals, reading, getting ready for the holidays, and finishing my novel.

Happy reading and writing this month! 

Nanowrimo Brain

It is the 20th and that means there are only 10 days left of National Novel Writing Month! 

How is everyone fairing? I hope your month has been going well, and if you too are trying to win Nanowrimo, I hope you are reaching your goal. 

My goal is to write 50,000 words this month. As of today, I am at 36,481 words for the month. This is by far the most I’ve ever written in a single month. I am so excited about my novel. When all is said and done, 50,000 words is not going to be the whole novel. I am going to push myself to finish my first full draft in December. 

I hope everyone is as excited about this experience as I am! I feel like I am learning and growing as a creator. 

Happy reading and writing this month!