Take a bite of a story and digest it thoroughly

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“The man who reads lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen.  The man who never reads lives only one.”

 George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

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There is something divinely quieting about a good book.  It can take all of the external forces in our lives and make them seem non-existent for a few well-deserved moments. Losing ourselves in a great story line can give us a temporary escape from reality and take us on a journey to a life outside of our own.

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Although authors don’t write with us in mind, their words can give us a momentary reprieve from the demons that stalk us throughout our busy days and that try to dwell in the hours that we would like to thrive in after the work day is done.  When you open that novel or turn on that E-reader, the chaotic minutes that you have survived during your work day cease to matter and the outside world becomes a distant memory.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can switch that après-work brain to the “off” position, you are able to allow yourself to become fully involved in the plot line that the author has created and send yourself on a journey far beyond the realm of your existence.  The words on the page seep into your mind and transport you to a place and time ever distant from the here and now.

Those words, the way they are woven into a complex story line, allow us the ability to sink into a world of imagery and intrigue.  They give us the opportunity to leave our stress behind, to leave the world in which we live and venture into the fabricated journey of elusive enjoyment.  Those words have the power to enlighten us, torture us, amuse us and keep reality at bay as long as we will let them.

We owe it to ourselves to relish those moments of escape.  We deserve to embrace the worlds beyond our own and tune out the brash sounds of our real lives by bathing in the dulcet tones of pure fantasy.  Do yourself a favor…..grab a book, turn off the television and let yourself be transported by words.  You will be surprised at how simple it is to be carried away by your imagination.

Now, if you’ll excuse me….it’s time to shut the world out and take that first bite.

Holy shit…..I knew it

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swearing

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I always felt there had to be a positive outlook on my sometimes expletive vocabulary!   As much as I try not to swear in my writing, I can curse like a trucker when I’m watching a football game.  There are days when those words seem to convey how I am feeling more than any other word….and I love words.

Sometimes there is no better expression of emotion than to simply let a few cuss words out in the conversation.  Those words are able to convey a simple honesty about how you are really feeling rather than having to grapple with finding the perfect word to sum up your feelings.   That one curse word is short and succinct and the person hearing that word is not left wondering how you really feel.

I will still strive to stretch my vocabulary when it comes to my writing but if I’m giving you a brief verbal synopsis on how something made me feel, don’t be surprised at the number of f-bombs I drop during our conversation.

The monsters in the closet of my mind

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There have been many writers before me who have been driven by the same demon.  I love words.  I love using them like paint and creating a wall of graffiti that truly represents me.  I love to dip my fingers in those words and rub them on the wall with the freedom of a child learning how to paint.

Writing this blog has been such a wonderful experience for me.  I can write each day about whatever my brain sees fit to write about that day.  But the more time I spend with my blog, the less time I spend trying to struggle through that painful illness of writing my book.

Maybe this blog is teaching me something.  Perhaps knowing I can devote time each day to my blog means that I am capable of changing that focus and spending the time trying to bring the characters of my novel to the finish line of their bizarre journey.

I get you, George.  Time to face that Demon head-on!!

I’m glad I keep hearing the little voices

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Being intuitive is a blessing.  I’m not clairvoyant, nor am I a psychic medium, but I do listen to the little voices in my head.  I trust my gut and if I didn’t do that my beliefs and my vision would be extremely limited.  Those wise, inaudible voices have led me in directions that I would never have seen myself going and they have stopped me from making some egregious errors in judgement.  Sometimes I am deaf to their sage words but I blame nobody but myself for tuning them out.  I know they were there and could only sit back, shaking their heads in disgust and disbelief when I ignored them.

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That divine breath, those silent whispers help to feed my creativity.  Their incessant murmurs push open the door to my imagination and their audacity knows no boundaries.  There is no time of day that is sacred, no moments that they do not feel their intrusion is warranted and there is no warning before they emerge.  Once my third eye is open, words seem to fight over themselves to be the first to reach my fingertips and be expelled onto the screen.  I am grateful for those whispers and will heed their advice for as long as they bless me with their wisdom.

As much as I would like to take full credit for the words I compose, I must feel that intuition when I’m writing.  That third eye, that sixth sense, allows me to combine strings of words that make sense.  They make me feel the way the characters in my stories would feel.  I have to know their thought process and how they would react to the situation I carelessly cast them into.  Those murmurs in my head help me hear the voices of those characters.

Writing would be a very lonely business were it not for those invisible cries of tiny authors that wait, sometimes not so patiently, on my shoulders.  Do you hear the voices too?

Getting the lead out

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The Daily Prompt had me thinking again this morning.   This is what it had to say – “When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?”

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I vaguely remember the pre-keyboard era.  Either that, or I am trying to block it out because I do remember it and it makes me feel somewhat vintage.  I was the girl who loved to write letters to pen pals, write silly love poems, short stories and crazy plays that could only be created by an 8-year-old mind and acted out by animal puppets.

I would spend hours printing and practicing my ‘cursive’ writing.  (that word plays heavily in my vocabulary these days, but with an alternate suffix and a very dissimilar meaning!)  I loved to write so much that my wonderful penmanship turned into an obsession with calligraphy.  My doodles in high school were never flowers or hearts, but intricately designed versions of the alphabet.  There was something so satisfying about being able to create that type of flare with my own hand.

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Now the world is so different.  Millions of fonts can be downloaded with the touch of a button on the keyboard and all of that creativity I used to enjoy has been replaced by technology.  I miss the excitement of buying new ink for my calligraphy pen or having to buy new pencils because I had spent so much time writing that they had all been worn down to little nubs of wood and lead.

Although I began writing my novel in longhand, the novelty wore off when I realized how much faster I could record the ideas on ‘paper’ by using a keyboard.  I do miss the days of the natural flow of ideas from brain to pen or pencil and didn’t have to tune out the incessant clacking of the keys.  Oh, how we suffer now for our arts.  ;)

 

 

An abundance of gratitude

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Lately I have been writing from a place deep within myself.  I have written about issues very close to my heart and the comments I have received have been, not only engaging and warm but, overwhelming to say the least.

I am humbled by the fact that my words have pulled on the heartstrings of many friends and even strangers who have taken the time to comment and let me know that my words hit close to home for them as well.  Some have expressed feeling like I am writing just for them.

Your words encourage me to listen to my inner voice and keep sharing my words.  So this afternoon, instead of digging deep into the well of raw emotion, I simply want to say thank you.   Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and, most of all, thank you for being the eyes that absorb the ideas that I love sharing.

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The “eyes” have it – fiction

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This short fiction was written last year for a small collection called F*cked Up Fairy Tales.  It was used to raise money for charity.  Since I had never posted my submission on my blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to put it on here and use this as incentive to delve back into the morbid portion of my brain.  (The book isn’t going to write itself!)  This is my macabre version of the Princess and the Pea.

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The sputtering neon sign cut through the malignant darkness, blinking as the electric current passed through the wires.  It simply read ‘vacancy’.  He knew wayward travellers would soon arrive at the only motel for miles and he had meticulously prepared for the new stragglers lost on the unforgiving stretch of highway.  Each room had been cleaned by him and the deodorizer had been applied liberally to extinguish any remaining scent of decomposition.  He surveyed each room, his eye focusing on anything that may have seemed out of place, and closed the door leaving the room ready for the next guest.  He sat in the tiny office waiting for the first sign of headlights he knew would be coming.  He sensed that she was near.

The storm winds had escalated and the rain began to pelt down on the tin roof of the motel.   The staccato beat of water on metal soothed him.  He closed his eyes and let the sound bathe him in its rhythm.  She was closer.  His eyelids fluttered opened to see the high beams of the oncoming car slash through the darkness and his pulse quickened.  He could almost hear her heartbeat racing as she maneuvered the car through the puddles.

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The flashing pink sign looked like a strobe light as the wipers furiously tried to keep up with the rain on her windshield.  Her grip was tight on the steering wheel and she could hear her mother’s voice in her head calling it a ‘white-knuckle’ drive.  The vacancy sign grew brighter as her car made the turn into the motel parking lot.  She was almost positive she hadn’t been followed but parked the car at the back of the motel just to be certain it wasn’t spotted during the night.

She collected the small travel bag from the passenger seat and reached into the glove compartment for the Glock, tucking it into the side of the bag and concealing it from plain sight.  Exhausted from the drive she headed to the motel office and hoped for a short reprieve from having to constantly look over her shoulder.  This motel, in the middle of nowhere, may be the one place she could silence the voices in her head and shut out her warped reality, if only for a few hours.

She pushed the door open and immediately noticed the odours.  The deodorizer hit her senses first, but her keen sense of smell detected the pungent scent of death lying in wait underneath the lilac spray.  This essence was no stranger to her and she continued forward to ring the bell on the unattended desk.  Her hand absently moved to the side of her travel bag and traced the outline of the pistol.

He came out of the back office and greeted her with a warm smile, welcoming her to the motel.  The menial task of signing her false name was done and he moved around the desk to show her to the room.  Her hand never left the side of her bag as she followed him along the concrete walkway.  His gait was confident and his silence was comforting.  They exchanged no words as he handed her the key to the room that was meant only for her.  She opened the door to the room and felt his stare burning into her back.  As she closed the door and turned the deadbolt, she knew he was still standing a foot from her door.  She could hear his breathing and rather than feeling unnerved, she felt connected.  Nothing about this quiet man-made her feel uneasy and that was the feeling that scared her the most.

She poured a Scotch and stripped out of her rain-soaked clothes.  The acrid stench of decomposition was evident in her room as well but the smell dissipated slightly with a few more sips of whiskey.  She cranked the water in the shower and listened as the pipes vehemently argued with the task.  The hot beads of water from the shower stung her skin but she welcomed the pain.

Skin flushed red from the hot water and cheeks blazing from a half bottle of whiskey, she teetered across the floor and poured herself into bed.  The duvet felt like silk against her bare skin and the pillow was perfectly plump but, as much as she tried to fall into a deep sleep, she could not find a comfortable position on the bed.  She tossed and turned and what she hoped would be a fitful rest was a combination of half hour naps.   She awoke in the morning, achy and wearied.

Determined to find the cause of her lack of sleep she tore the duvet from the bed, letting her hand roam the top of the mattress to detect any imperfections.  Nothing was out of the ordinary.  She grasped the handles on the side of the mattress and lifted it from the box spring.  The orb was not as round as it should have been, but that was from the pressure of the mattress.  The noticeably cloudy film and diluted pupil stared into nothingness as the human eyeball lay lifeless in front of her.

She moved across the room and took a long swill of Scotch from the bottle.  The murky eyeball seemed to follow her as she crossed the room again to get dressed.  Whiskey was not her first choice for breakfast but, given the circumstance, she didn’t care.  She packed her bag, tucked the Glock into the back of her jeans and collected the human remains that thwarted her slumber.

He was in the office when she arrived, coffee in hand and wearing the same warming smile he had worn the previous night.  She was not surprised that his first question was to inquire as to how she slept.  She gently placed the slightly misshapen ocular sphere on the desk and simply tilted her head, lifted her eyebrows and waited for his reaction.  His smile never wavered.

He spoke first, “It’s almost perfect, isn’t it?”

His words hung in the air as he eagerly anticipated her response.  The ticking of the incessant second-hand on the clock seemed to echo in the tiny room and his brain felt like it would explode.

Her response was succinct, “Show me more.”

He knew it would be her. From the moment the winds changed and the rain foreshadowed the previous night, he knew it would be her.  The Prince of Darkness had finally found his Princess.