Surviving Election Day

It’s late in the day. Actually, it’s November 9th already. The election isn’t over here in the US, and I’m sure many people are still awake watching it. I’m currently wired for reasons completely unrelated. So, I thought I’d share with you a story through memes. Let’s lighten up the mood, y’all!

small-dog-struggles-meme

The puppy got to thinking about what the mailman said. “Hmm…maybe it’s not all that bad to be cute.”

funny-cat-dog-top-25-funniest-cat-and-dog-quotes

*Puppy stands in corner, making a high-pitched barking noise.*

Me thinks the puppy let the mailman’s words get to his head.

The end!

P.S. I am not at all winning NaNoWriMo. I am winning at corny jokes, though. Here’s one about a sandwich:

Peanut butter: “You’re way too sweet.”

Jam: “Are you jelly?”

See? Told you it was corny. This is where you laugh anyway.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 7

free-1I know. I see the numbers, too. I’m going to be honest with you; it doesn’t look good for me. I’m worse off than I was last year, and certainly the year before. I wrote a novel and a short story that year, such an overachiever. There’s a good chance my brother was right about me not finishing, but in hopes of winning anyway, I’m typing my novel instead of handwriting per his suggestion. He said, in his rather sarcastic voice, “Type it. That way you’re not writing two novels.” Fair enough. So, with that being said, I ended up not having my computer or a means of typing for two days and ended up doing it by hand!

Here’s how the first week of NaNo went for me.

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Reckoning

Day 1: Packing

Day 2: Packing

Day 3: Client project + writing hurriedly while paper printed (473 words)

Day 4: Chicago Cubs parade

Day 5: Writing (400 words) + driving to Nashville

Day 6: Writing (2128 words)

Day 7: Painting + setting up gazebo + ?

The day isn’t over yet, so I imagine I’ll write after this. Remind me again why NaNo is in November? It’s Thanksgiving time. I have a friend visiting next weekend so those three days are shot. Then there’s the holiday. NaNoWriMo’s website says I won’t finish until February 27th, 2017 at this rate. That’s not as bad as earlier this week when it said August 16th!

I titled my work “As the Leaves Fall.” Big question. What do you think the book is about? I don’t like the title as I don’t think it fits with my theme at all. Leave your opinion in the comments!

Happy writing and may you not be as busy as me!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 1

freeAs Day 1 of NaNoWriMo draws to a close, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. I have been stuck on one specific part for a few weeks now. Unfortunately, if I don’t figure it out, my characters will not do anything. The whole premise is based on this one fact, and I can’t work out the logistics. I might have to settle for picking anything, writing a sloppy first draft (as always), and seeing what happens. I was so hoping this novel would be plotted first and then written. Ugh.

I announced to my brother I would finish NaNoWriMo again this year. He kind of rolled his eyes and said, “No you’re not. Not with how much you have going on.”

He’s right. I have to move states, among various other things. I don’t have time to write 1667 words a day. But you know what? I’m going to try anyway because if I do finish, it’ll feel like such a major win!

Happy writing, y’all! Keep me updated on your progress, too! You can find me on NaNoWriMo’s website as “Taking the Waters.”

A House of Horrors

try-not-to-screamThe hairs on the back of my neck stood up, electrified as something rustled behind me. I had to turn—you always turn in these situations—but I dreaded it. I knew I would see something I didn’t want to. Dread piled on top of fear in the bottom of my stomach, but it didn’t slow me down. Oh no. No, I turned despite my better judgment. I turned like every good horror movie heroine should. My breaths came in quick, shallow gasps, almost as fast as my heart pounded.

A creak on the stairs. A flash of light. A body being dragged by its neck up the stairs. Thump. Thump. Thump.

“AHH!”

I ran, but every door slammed in my face. There was nowhere to go. I huddled into the corner of the couch with my eyes fixed on the stairs. As long as I didn’t think about the body, I would be ok. As long as I didn’t…what was pulling it?? Who was it? Oh my God. Don’t freak out. Oh—“MY GOD!”

The door on the other side of the room groaned, low and rumbling. My gaze darted from the stairs to the door just as two white eyes glowed a foot off the floor in the black, empty space where the door had been firmly shut a moment before. My scream caught in my throat, blocked by a thick barrier of terror. I scrambled until I was crouched on the balls of my feet.

The white eyes emerged from the black, shining from the recesses of a hollowed face. The skin, a putrid brown, was shriveled like a prune. The creature lay face down on the ground, its legs thrust to each side, and long fingers spread far apart. Its nails scraped the wood floor as it jerked its limbs to inch closer. Sweat beaded my forehead. I clutched at the fabric of the couch, but it was too late. Something caressed the back of my neck. I blinked, but when my eyes opened—

My dreams stepped it up a notch just in time for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed what was my latest nightmare! I’ll let you guess what happened after I blinked. Happy ghostly dreams and haunting memories of them! (FYI, I had way too much fun making that graphic. Lucky me, I happened to have a photo of nasty murky water on my phone!)

P.S. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Are you ready? I’m not.

A Precipice

I’m often awake when most are sleeping, and in those quiet moments, I find myself doing one of two things: watching a TV show, or thinking. I prefer the former, however lately, it’s been the latter. In my introspective state, a rather vulnerable one, I’ve decided to put myself out there again and give you a fragment of a story-in-progress. It’s a product of deep-seated emotions I had, ones that simmered just under the surface until I sat at my laptop, closed my eyes, and wrote. It was months, guys. We’re talking 7 months of an itch I refused to scratch. So, for my first ever piece of the Nightfall Stories (all the writing I post that, you guessed it, makes it past my self-conscious radar in the middle of the night) is “A Precipice.”

“Where do we go from here?” Alexander asked the question we both knew was coming.

I glanced over to his hands tucked in the pockets of his jacket, and his eyes fixed on the horizon. I was at a loss. We were on a precipice; the tip of either the end or the beginning. Neither of us knew which it would be, nor did we want to.

“I don’t know.” It was my go-to answer. I don’t know. What do you think? What should we do? Non-committal. I followed his gaze and traced the treetops with my own. “It’s a little ironic that we’re standing on the top of a hill, isn’t it?”

I laughed. I think.

“Yeah.” His breath wafted in waves from his nose into the cool air.

He sat on the frosted earth and patted the spot next to him. I flinched as the cold seeped through my jeans, and he drew me into his side. Pulling my hood farther down, he kissed the top of my head and said, “We’ll figure it out.”

I buried my head into his chest as a harsh wind blew around us.

Egad, a nightmare! Bring it on.

I have had two dreams, nightmares really, this week where someone in my family was very ill and dying. I woke up each time right when I was about to let out a choking sob after hearing the news. It put me in a funk for a while. So much so, that I had to remind myself over and over that it was only a dream.

It’s only a dream. It’s only a dream. It’s only a dream. Maya, it’s only a dream.

But I still told them to take care of themselves because a nightmare stays with you. Adults don’t have nightmares as often as children, and most, I believe, don’t have nightmares at all. I do, though. More often than I’d like. While I’ve gotten used to the ones where someone tries to kill me, or I’m possessed by ghosts, I still cannot get over the ones that involve family. However, I’m turning that lurking menace into a novel and taking control of it. Come NaNoWriMo time in 7 days, I’ll whip those nightmares into something useful. I love putting things to good use, don’t you?

What are you writing about this NaNoWriMo season?

POV vs Perspective in a Brief Complaint

Frustration simmered close to the surface for me today. It was a point of contention—how to interpret “point of view”—between me and pretty much everyone else. I argue that you cannot expect students to know you want the character’s opinion or perspective when you say “point of view” because I believe it’s first taught as first/second/third person. As a writer, that’s also automatically the first thing I think of. It’s not that it can’t be or shouldn’t be interpreted as perspective, but I don’t believe the student should be penalized for it. In fact, I think it means the question needs clarification in order to get exactly what you want. I bet if you did that, everyone would be a lot happier. I sure would! It’s possible this is only a matter of contention for me since I write, and I think about point of view in the traditional sense of the position of the narrator to the story. Who’s with me? Who else thinks dissecting stories makes regular life just plain difficult? Pretty sure I’m on a separate page all the time. But what’s the fun in being normal?

Speaking of point of view, I feel the urge to write a story in second person. It would most likely be extremely irritating to me and the reader. I’m inclined to do it for kicks, though. It’ll be short. It’ll be nonsense, but it’ll be a great exercise, right? Or am I merely trying to justify something pointless? Probably the latter.

Happy writing!