Playing With Words, Or What I Found In An Anne Lindbergh Book

So I have become a frequent member of the local Saturday Writing Circle at my local library. I’ve mentioned it in passing with a short piece of Flash fiction I wrote recently.  One of our writing prompts comes from the mix mash of pieces of paper with either a word or a number on it. If you choose the number, you walk around the room, which happens to have all the books the Friends of the Library sell, pull off a book, turn to the page number you chose, and use a word from that to write from. I almost always choose this method because it’s broad and there are a bunch of words you can find in one page.

This last week I chose a book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and who would have thought that a wealth of words could come from page 220 (the date of the day I was writing) of the book, “North to the Orient?” This book has a story behind it as well. I chose the book partly because a few years ago my family and I were going through our books, discarding what we were not going to read. Several of the books were Anne Lindbergh books my grandmother had gotten from her mentor years ago.  I kept a few and got rid of several. Well this dark blue book, sitting on the non fiction shelf, called to me. Just because I thought it would be familiar in that I knew the author. Well, after reading the page, I decided I HAD to take it home and read it. When I got home, I told Mrs. B about it, and she asked dryly if it was one of the books we had gotten rid of. Well, I flipped to the front cover and there was the nameplate with the name of my grandmother’s mentor.  Oh how things circle around. Ironic that I am now reading a book I discarded three years ago.

But now onto page 220.  While I didn’t use all of these, what caught my eye were these words or phrases:

a small island of roofs, sea of flood, the two words were separated, the world of nightmare, the world of reality, the flash of waking, magic lamp, hair-bridge, the pull of a trigger…….

A sentence: ….magic rests on a knife-edge—a lam, a tinderbox, and “open sesame.”

Aren’t those wonderful? I continued on with my story of Reality of Dreams, which relates to The Magic Orb I wrote several years ago. C.B. Wentworth wanted me to finish that piece of flash fiction and I have sudden inspiration to finish the story. I now have a way to finish the story. I think. This is what I have been working on at my weekly writing group.

So while I won’t share all of the story yet, I am going to post bits and pieces at time. But do you play with words? Do you hunt for words in books? I have found it a really good way to find inspiration. The Reality of Dreams was inspired by words in Cannery Row, and a Tea Shop Mystery book by Laura Childs.

So, how do you get your word prompts? I’d love to know.

Kate

Let’s Get Personal – I’m Going Through What?!

hormones1Let’s get personal about me. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to talk about this, but maybe it will apply to other ladies out there.

First off, let me start with this by saying I have had two boyfriends and I have kissed three guys. One of those guys being a lovely man I met and within an hour of meeting him, I had the best kiss of my life.  I still get flushed thinking about it…….. now, speaking of flushing….

Drum roll please.  I am 33 and I am going through menopause. I’m 33 and I’ve had two boyfriends, and I’m going through menopause.  How is this possible?  How could I not even be partway through my early life and my body is saying, “No, I quit!”?  How is it that I still feel like I’m in my twenties, but my body says, no, you are in your 50s? How is it that all of this is happening?

Well, genetics has a lot to play with it. My sister, DB, who has Downs Syndrome, went through it when she was 30. Mrs. B went through it in her thirties. SO clearly genetics has a lot to play with this.  But it’s also because I carry some genetic mutations I received from both of my parents, specifically, my father.  I have one of the genes that makes up hemochromatosis, which I inherited from Mr. B who has the disorder.  I carry a lot of the problems, and with new research, I might even actually have the disorder. I’ll let the doctors sort that out.

All of this is a factor in why my body is saying, that’s it.

053459bf9f6cb569023ee4ec211193cbBut it’s a strange feeling to know that technically, your childbearing years are over, and you’re not even out of your childbearing years. That being said, I have struggled for years with not really wanting children, but feeling somewhat obligated that I should have children because that’s what Christian women do…. Not really a good reason.  Honestly, children scare the crap out of me. I’ve yet to meet a lot of kids that I actually like, though there are a couple. I just never know what to do with them. And the thought of homeschooling them, which would have been a preference because that’s what worked for me… and raising kids for 18+ years….. Yep,  that always scared me so much. And even the thought of marrying a man who has children already, scares me.

I like to think I would be a great aunt that could hand the kids back after an afternoon. Or if I married an older man who had grown kids…. the really cool, hip grandma. It’s possible. But honestly, that’s the only way I can see myself with kids.

But back to my body. I’m finding that now that the hot flashes have abated, God, thank you for HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and I’m sleeping at night, now I’m more affected by my emotions. My emotions are through the roof. I’m irritated by everything. People are driving me nuts. I’m about ready to knock off my entire family. (Not really, but they are grouchy enough as it is, but my temper is not handling their moods along with my own.)  Part of this is my issue with the fact that I’m sitting here repeating over and over in my head…. I am not married, I’ve never ‘been’ with a guy….. I know, TMI, ……but my body’s physical aspects are changing and well, is a guy going to want a young woman who’s hormonal imbalance has changed?

Maybe that’s just a little too much to worry about, but these are the changes a woman goes through when she’s been married for years, the kids are gone… and heck, even the sex may have changed. It isn’t supposed to happen when a woman is still young. When a woman is still thinking about all of that.  Not that older women don’t think about it, but from what I’ve heard, the desire tamps down a bit.

I kind of want to rail and cry and vent over it. It didn’t bother me much when I got the tests back a couple months ago. Mrs. B asked me if it did bother me, and I really took it in stride because it explained the hot flashes I had been having for several years. Because honestly, I have been going through this for at least 3+ years, but it wasn’t figured out until the numbers really went off and out of whack. But after thinking about whether or not it bothered me, I found that it did. I do blame Mrs. B to some degree because she put the bug of being bothered in my head. I’m not mad at her, but maybe it just got me to admit that yeah, I am bothered. I’m not even really sure how to deal with it.

Surprisingly, I think finally making it to the Writing Circle of local writers in this area and reading one of the writer’s books, I’m dealing in some ways.  The author, Melinda Field wrote the book True, which she gave me a signed copy almost a year ago. It’s been in my ‘To Read’ pile and I finally pulled it out about three weeks ago. While I’ve yet to finish it, one character within the story has hit me. Briar is a 35 year old woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer and well, I don’t think I’m giving that much away by saying it’s really serious.  Now, I’m fortunate, I don’t have that problem, but Briar hit me because here is a young woman that has her world turned upside down at a young age.  These things aren’t supposed to happen to us. Is it? And yet, the world says differently.

Life rarely turns out how you have planned. Okay, fine, it never turns out how you plan. But shouldn’t some things turn out status quo? Or like how everyone else lives? Right?  Apparently not.

So here I am, a couple months from my 34th birthday with my body saying, “Honey, I’m going to be older than you think.”

I can honestly say that I haven’t totally dealt, and it’s probably going to take a while, but I wanted to share. Does this need to be said? No. Do I need to share my woes with all of you? Definitely not. Is this a too much of a selfie world? Most definitely, but I felt inspired to share in the hopes that others won’t feel alone if their life has changed in ways they weren’t expecting.

 

Kate

Reality of Dreams – Flash Fiction

So there I was, sitting in my writing circle. I can say ‘my’ because I’ve gone twice, I know the lovely ladies, and I have plans to make it a ‘must’ every week.  So I was sitting there with my circle this morning (Saturday) with express plans to write some flash fiction.  I grabbed the piece of paper with the number 85 on it and went around the room pulling books off the shelf and turning to page 85 for a prompt. I found two that worked for me and this is the piece of flash fiction that came from it.  Incidentally, I was envisioning Andrew Lee Potts from SyFy’s Alice that was a few years ago.  I adored him as Hatter, a scatterbrained and kind of cute/sexy ‘mad’ Hatter.  He made the part so wonderful that he is what I picture when I think of the Mad Hatter.

So Hatter is who I picture in this piece.  Enjoy.

 

Timothy sat in one of the two Louis the Fifteenth chairs that were in the center of a winter garden. The early morning light was blue and frosted fog. He looked down at himself, startled and yet complacent to see he was wearing a mourning suit, complete with tails and a grey top-hat. All around a fine snow fell, not on him or the chairs, but around the circle of stone housing this hidden garden. The sun was a weak diamond in a milk ice sky.

“Oh boy,” he though on a sigh, “Now where am I?”

These dreams, or transportations, were happening more frequently these days. What was the dream? Reality or the dream itself. Did he really belong here or was there something dreamlike to be said for sitting in a garden on very expensive chairs?

Would he wake up back in his normal life with a stale cup of coffee in his hands and a deadline to beat? Maybe that was the dream. Or more accurately, a nightmare. At least here, all he had to do was think about something and it appeared.

He glanced down just as a snifter of brandy appeared in his hand. Yes, this was definitely a much better place to be. He wondered how long he would stay this time. But he wasn’t going to waste a good brandy on thinking about what ifs.

He took  a healthy sip, closed his eyes, and settled into his seat as the burning liquid warmed him in the cold winter morning.

 

So, there it is. Honestly, my first start was very different, but I am so happy with this and now it makes me want to continue and write about Timothy. What is he? Where is he going? What does he do? Who else might be in this dreamlike land? And is he dreaming?  So many questions!

Kate