Final Thought on Writer’s Digest PAD Chapbook Challenge

I spent November in a world of sonnets.  I loved working on the Poem a Day challenge by Writer’s Digest.  I pushed myself more than I have with poetry before. I could not keep up with writing a sonnet a day. It took me usually two days to write one, and some prompts left me going, ‘Oh boy.’  I struggled with ideas, and I ended up with a lot of sonnets that were winter inspired or sadness inspired.  Hence my manuscript title of Midwinter & Melancholy.  I ended up with 13 really good sonnets that I just submitted last night.

Right now I’m sitting here going, oh did I do enough?  Did I write enough?  I could only send in between 10-20 sonnets.  And I picked my best ones. I had a couple other silly ones that did not get into the chapbook manuscript.  I wrote one about White Christmas, the film, and then a vampire-y one. I had two about the holiday season.  I had my silly Once Upon A Time one.  I wanted to write a Once Upon a Winter’s Night sonnet, but then forgot.  Oops.  It would have worked perfectly with what I had typed up.  Oh well. It’s too late now because the file is out of my hands and now in Mr. Brewer’s.

So now comes the waiting process.  Until March.  I hate this feeling of sending in a manuscript. I hate the waiting. I hate the feeling that I forgot something. Nerves. Paranoia.  Will I ever get over sending in manuscripts?  I sent in a short story in January to three literary magazines.  Now I have to find more to send in to. I have found two.  But I’m panicking.  I panic a lot when it comes to writing. That inferiority complex. The “I’m not good enough to get published…..”  The “Dammit! I’m good enough I’m gonna send it in…..oh God, my work is crap what was I thinking?!!!”  Feeling.

Do all writers feel like this?  Do you feel like this?  Will it ever go away?  Sigh.  Le sigh.  I guess if I want to be published, this is part of the process.  Pardon me while I go curl up in a ball and rock back and forth in terror.  No, just kidding.

So….. There you have it.  I am glad I did this poetry challenge.  I love writing sonnets now and I have kept it up.  My new prompt of the week is Whispers from the guy who’s giving me word prompts. I love these prompts.  I need something to keep me focused.  This is certainly doing it.

So. There you have my PAD followup.

Kate

And Interview With Jesse V. From And Another Thing – Writing 101 Day 19

Hello Dearies. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so first off, I want to wish you all the thanks for following my blog, giving me encouragement and your lovely comments. It’s so helpful to know people are enjoying and reading my blog. It makes it worthwhile to know that you are enjoying things.

As part of Writing 101’s assignments for day 19, we were to collaborate or interview another blogger or someone we admire. I ‘sat down’ with Jesse Villarreal from the blog And Another Thing. Jesse, who turns 23 tomorrow   ̶   Happy Birthday, Jesse!   ̶   has a sharp wit and his poems are tangy, smart and pointed. A bit dicey, in a good way. No holds barred writing. His blog just turned one year old after rattling around on a couple other blogging platforms. You can see some of his other sharp work on his Tumblr titled the same, And Another Thing . . .

Jesse Villarreal

Jesse has now added in sections on poems, short stories, journal, and photography. Jesse hails from Texas, so we have an honest to goodness southern boy here. Jesse dreams of being a journalist, or tackling journalism at some point, and photography is another big thing in his life. He was born on Thanksgiving, is nervous about the coming year,sometimes worries about sharing his writing (don’t we all),  and doesn’t take good selfies. For which I say, thank goodness. There are enough selfies out there. But I do think this is a pretty snazzy photo, if you ask me. He’s got the poet/writer look, I think. He has also taken to reciting his poetry on his blog. I really think you should all check it out because there is nothing quite like hearing poetry versus reading it.

KB: When did you start writing? What do you like to write best?

JV: It’s interesting because I’ve explored writing for different types of media like film, theater, and print. I’ve recently been exploring radio. It’s hard to pick one because I’ve enjoyed writing stories for each different form. But if I had to pick I would have to say short stories, which is funny because I haven’t written one in a while. The reason being, after I wrote my first short story back in college, I considered it as my official start as a writer.

KB: Where do you get your inspiration? And what is your favorite form of inspiration?

JV: I get my inspiration from love and tragedy. It hurts me to say this but my favorite form of inspiration is tragedy. I’m at my best, I feel, when I go through a tragedy. A hurricane of emotion just washes over me and I feel like the only way I can express it is through writing. 

KB: Okay, so you get a lot of your inspiration from tragedy.  Has there been anything specific recently that has inspired or struck you as a reason to write?

JV: There hasn’t been a tragedy that has affected me directly, in the recent days. I guess the biggest tragedy that still lingers with me, and that I use to get in that mindset to write, is the death of my great grandma. She passed away 2 years ago and I never really talked about it with anyone, not even my family or friends, so I still have a lot of grief there. Instead of talking about it I just write about it.

KB: So the proverbial question must be asked since you are a writer. Do you ever want to be published? Everyone asks it, everyone is thinking of it… So I have to ask. 

JV: Funny. I have been talking to my friends, recently, about writing a book. The main question they ask me is “what will it be about?” I have a few ideas kicking around in a notebook the struggle is picking one. But the answer is yes. I would love to get published someday.

KB: When you are not writing, what is another hobby you have? Does it relate to your writing?

 JV: A hobby of mine, when I’m not writing or thinking about writing, is playing video games. It helps sometimes with my writing, depending on the type of game. The world of the game I’m playing would sometimes inspire me to write a story. For example, I’m currently playing a game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic word, where everything has been nuked. During my journey, I see two people dead in bed holding each other. Automatically my mind starts to wonder what their life was like before they died, you know? Like what were their last words to each other before dying? Stuff like that.

KB: Who inspires you?

JV: Who inspires me? Hmmm… I would have to say anybody that has read my stuff. My friends, family, teachers, and strangers. I don’t think I would have continued to write as long as I have without their moral support. My favorite type of comment to see when I post something is somewhere between the lines of “I can relate.” Because that was one of the reasons I started sharing my writing publicly. It used to be I would only get comments from strangers online, but recently people I use to go to high school with would come up to me at a social event and talk to me about my writing. Which is both great and terrifying at the same time.  

KB: Could you say what you are thankful for right now?

JV: I’m thankful for my friends. I have no idea how insane I would be right now without them. Ha.

 KB: What is one thing you are terrified of, but willing to share with the audience?

JV: My depression and the things that go through my head when I go through the emotion. It’s one of the reasons why I started writing. It’s therapeutic.

KB: So your writing is therapeutic for your. Is there something specific that really helps with that? What really gets the vibe more uplifting?

JV: For me, writing usually calms me down, but it never removes the feeling. What I would do to change the mood is just lay in bed, with headphones over my head, listening to music, and just sulk until the feeling passes. It’s almost an emotional journey for me, and when I return I sometimes have something to say about it.  

KB: Now onto the fun questions. What is the one food you could never give up? And along with a food you could never give up, what ethic food would you choose over any other if you had to pick one for the rest of your life? 

JV: I think the one food I could never give up would have to be burgers. I love burgers. As for ethic food, I wouldn’t mind eating Mexican food for the rest of my life. It’s part of my culture and I really miss my grandma’s mole sauce.

KB: What is the first movie that terrified you and left you in tears, or holy terror, or made you afraid of the dark?

JV: First movie to actually terrify me would have to be The Exorcist, and it still does to this day. Every time I walk into a dark room after watching that movie, I get goosebumps.

KB: You are stranded on a deserted island… first, would you want it tropical or colder up north….. and second, what 5 things would you not want to be without?  And we are not talking survival things, but fun things, or things you can’t live without.

JV:The island would defiantly have to be tropical, as for the 5 items…

  • Pen and an unlimited supply of paper is a must.
  • A guitar. I don’t know how to play but given the amount of time I would have on island I could learn.
  • A volleyball to make my own custom Wilson and name him Jerry.
  • And finally a bike. For no real reason. Just to have a bike.

 KB: The doorbell has just rung. You open the door and there on the step is a box filled with a kitten, a bunny, a dog, and a bird. Which animal do you keep?

JV: Damn this question could make me or break me. Ha. I would take the dog. I’ve always been a dog person. The only pet I’ve ever owned besides a dog was a turtle.

KB: So you choose to keep a dog. What is your favorite kinds of dogs, or are they all favorites? Personally, I am a serious dog person as well. I have mine, and then my parents have theirs, and I love them both.  You do realize we are a minority within the writing community, right? Most writers seem to be cat people.

JV: Ha. I love all dogs. I even love my friend’s dog. My mom never liked cats, so growing up a cat was never an option as a pet for me. I don’t know how to react around cats honestly.

KB: You have just been given tickets to see someone in concert.  Who would it/they be?

JV: I’ve wanted to see Brand New for the longest now.  (KB: I had to look them up, but not bad, not bad at all)

KB: If you could meet anyone in history, or currently, who would it be? Or if you can’t pick one, pick three.

JV:     I don’t know really. I think maybe I would like to meet someone who wants to meet me.

KB: Give me five things you are in to right now.  IE. TV shows, music, books, films, hobbies, etc.

JV: The things I’ve been into a lot lately are…

  •      Creepypastas. I listen to one every night before going to bed.
  •       Coffee shops. I want to work at one again.
  •       Photography. I need to take more photos.
  •       Poetry. I’ve been reading a lot more poetry and even started       reciting poetry out loud in front of a camera.
  •       Journalism. It’s something I really want to do.

 

KB: Okay, what is Creepypastas?

JV: Creepypastas are scary stories. I like to think of them as scary campfire stories but told through the Internet.

KB: What was the best part about working at a coffee shop? I’d love to inhabit one. I have this coffee addiction myself.

JV: The best part was making lattes. It almost feels artistic.

KB: So you are reading a lot of poetry right now. Anyone specific you think really speaks to you? And do you have plans to record more poetry for your blog? (by the way, I love listening to it. I think how a writer writes poetry can be understood so much better when they read it. Then you really get what they are thinking)

JV: I’ve been reading a lot of Shel Silverstein and I love his poems because of its wit and meaningful message they carry. The poem ‘Mask’ is one of my personal favorites. 
As for reciting poetry, I actually started doing it again this week. Last week, I had this terrible fever and couldn’t get out of bed, but I’m back at it now. 

I’ve been rethinking the format of it all. I originally did it for Instagram, but Instagram only allows for 15 second videos. There are times were I want to preform longer poems and don’t want to speed read a poem just to fit the limit. 

I also want to get more involved with the WordPress community, so I’m even considering reading poems by poets on WordPress.
And I agree with you, poetry is meant to be heard aloud.

So, there you have it.  I want to thank Jesse for taking the time for all my questions.  It was an interesting experience because while I enjoyed doing this interview and I’m not one to do ‘journalism’,  Jesse actually wants to go in to it and enjoys a lot of aspects of it. So it was a flipside thing. Plus I learned a lot of really cool things about another writer/blogger whom I think you all should check out.

Thank you, Jesse, for taking the to answer all my questions. It was so much fun, learned a lot, and decided that while I liked doing this, journalism isn’t quite for me all the time. Occasionally, maybe.

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Moment of Mulch – Writing 101 Day 14

Shovel. Shovel. Fling. I heft the hay fork over my shoulder and the mulch deposits in the trailer. One shovel full after another.

How many wheelbarrows are in a trailer load of mulch? How long have I been doing this? I ask myself as another scoop falls into the trailer.

I mean, it could be worse. It’s a gorgeous day, and the sun is shining in a November sky. That right there is an oddity sometimes. Usually there is fog. Thick fog that never burns off. Okay, I might be exaggerating there a bit.  That kind of fog waits for December.

So here I am on a crisp clear day, doing something I actually like. But boy do my shoulders not like this.

There I was this morning with my sister asking me what I was going to do today. “Oh, I don’t know,” I said casually. I really didn’t. But then I started thinking about the dahlias needing to be covered in mulch for the winter. We are trying something new, so well, I need to get the mulch.

So out of nowhere I ask for my father to hook up the trailer and I’ll load up mulch to pile under the pine trees for the winter.

That was one load ago. Now my shoulders are so tired and I’m feeling that wobbly motion that comes when I’ve over done it. My inhaler is wearing off, and my breathing is more labored. And I’m sure the soup is boiling on the stove. And I have to cover plants tonight. And I can feel the cold breeze starting as the sun has shifted down lower and its not hitting me as much as I would like.

But, now I have two loads of mulch. Not bad for a day that started off with no plan but to be outside. Maybe.

 

I have no idea if this fits with the ‘rules’ of day 14. But I’m not terribly worried. I’m not even sure what I was going for. It is semi autobiographical since I did think most of this, and most of this happened today. So…..

Kate

Artist Mad – Writing 101 Day 12

“Gah, the blue! So stupid!” The woman railed and flung her arms wide, disgusted, at the painting hung under delicate lights to enhance its bold colors. She stamped off towards another painting, her red kitten heels slapping the  white, wood floors.

Behind her trailed the younger woman and man, her arm through his, as she leaned close to his bent head.

“And why did we bring her?” Janell muttered to Todd as they stopped at another painting in the very white, very austere gallery. This was another abstract piece. Slashes of olive green with bits of red, ocher, and turquoise dotted and swirled in an alarming pattern. It was not a comfortable painting. Janelle arched a brow, but kept her comments to herself.

An original Sharon Meyers piece titled "What Doesn't Kill You, Murders You In Your Sleep

An original Sharon Meyers piece titled “What Doesn’t Kill You, Murders You In Your Sleep

“It’s. . . ah . . .” Todd trailed off.

“Horrible! Too bold. To impertinent. Too Imperialistic.”

“Well, um, it’s not that bad,” Todd said, then flinched as the woman rounded on him, her long grey hair snapping, icy blue eyes burrowing into the tall man until he slouched in fear.

“It. Is. Disgusting.” The woman snapped at him, then whirled and marched off towards another painting, pushing through the groups of people holding champagne flutes. They had come to the opening gala of the artist, Sharon Meyers. A celebrated painter if one was to believe the critics. And one usually did.

“Imperialistic?” Janelle asked, but Todd just shook his head and sighed.

By all accounts, or as far as Janelle could tell, the evening had been a smashing success.

Several paintings had been placed in new homes and the curator of the gallery had been all smiles. Despite the railings of a crazy, mad woman who had practically insulted every painting there and the idiocy of the people purchasing the artwork.

Janelle sighed as she watched the other woman rail at another painting.  She tugged Todd to her side. 

“Next time your mother shows a series of paintings, leave her home,” Janelle requested and winced as Sharon Meyers pointed a sharp, red nail at a scared man who was admiring an abstract flower.  “She’s going to scare off any prospective buyers of her work.”

Todd just groaned and reached for another glass of champagne on a tray as a waiter passed by.  His mother was completely insane. But it was art….

I write a lot of critiques, what with book reviews and general opinions. So I decided to forego a traditional critique and write a bit of flash fiction. I had several ideas as I wrote this, and it was quite fun. Ah, those crazy artists out there. Me being one. :P

As for the painting…. Well, it is an original Sharon Meyers piece…. *wink wink*

 

Kate

 

Let’s Have A Cup Of Coffee And Catch Up – Writing 101 Day 11

steaming cupTrying to catch up my readers seems a bit redundant. I feel like I’m forever updating on current projects, or lack of projects, but let’s see what I come up with just an overview. Or if we were sitting down to coffee, I’d tell you all this. I’m not really up for a conversation, poetry, or interesting piece. Mind fog.

First off, I’m second week into Writing 101 and it’s exhausting in it’s own way. I love it, but I wonder if it’s really helping me. Does this make my writing better? Well, maybe because it has required me to have focus. Sort of. And not really come up with my own ideas. I mean, sure, the basis is mine, but there is a general theme of writing well. And it has helped me take time to practice using social media to promote my posts. I don’t know why I didn’t know how to do that before in WordPress, but I have some of it down better. So, there is some structure. I think.

I’m week two into the Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge, and feeling further and further behind. I have written seven and a half sonnets… or three half sonnets as well. It’s kind of odd. If I could finish those three I’d be further along. I still struggle with the iambic aspect. I get pentameter. That is seriously no problem. But unstressed/stressed still makes me groan a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if I start thinking in iambic after a while of this though.  But I am having to play catch up constantly. I’m not following the specific rules of the PAD challenge, considering I can’t seem to write a sonnet in 24 hours and move on to the next one. So it’s day 17 and I have less than half completed. Sigh.

My month has kept me busy with life changes, from it suddenly being our family business’s down time, sort of, to health problems, and family health problems and going here and there for such things. I’m so exhausted it’s not even funny. But I have finally started to recoup a bit on my anemia. I spent the summer being anemic and I’m finally into a safer zone but still not out of the water yet. The low iron made it impossible to keep running, which I wanted to do for health reason. But when your doctor says ‘stop running’, you do what he tells you. Maybe next year, because I cannot run in the winter in the mountains. It’s too cold.

I was thinking and semi talking with Caterpickles the other day about a story I sent the 8 Year Old when she was more like the 5 Year Old. Gads time flies. I wrote a picture book and turns out the 8YO still loves the story, and obviously can read it herself these days. I need to seriously sit down and consider a query letter or more to some agents and see if one might accept it. I had hoped to have the book published before Jules’s kids were out of grade school and the 8YO was still only 6. Clearly I am far behind that plan. So onwards and hopefully agent wards…

Does anyone else find that sometimes they get really annoyed with other people that are trying to publish and are telling about all their challenges?  There is one blogger I follow who is working to publish juvenile fiction and it annoys the heck out of me about his methods of submitting and working through Twitter and various other social media aspects. Does anyone else ever feel annoyed with other publishing authors? Or is it just me.

I looked into submitting a short story to Readers Digest after my grandmother read the story and said I should. Unfortunately, because of the high volume of stories RD gets, it’s like next to nearly impossible. So, I’m putting them on the back burner for now, but the short story needs submitting somewhere. I had tried Glimmer Train, Tin Roof, and The Meadows literary magazines, and all rejected my story after an 8 month wait. It’s okay though. I had three magazines read my story.

So, okay, I guess I have something to talk about, right?

For some, this is not terribly interesting, but others might find it helpful. Is there anything you, dearie would like to add?

Kate

After Paris – Writing 101 Day 10

It’s a cold Sunday afternoon, two days after Paris. Two days after tragedy and the news is still reporting on everything

“the attack is an act of war by isis terrorist army” says French President Francoise Hollande….     “cities around the world are lit up with French flag colors” says another news station.  “the death toll is now at 132” says an online news service.

We are tuned in and plugged in to any new detail. Twitter, Facebook, CNN, Foxnews….. Check the updates. Stare in horror. Try not to cry.

And yet life seems so ordinary as pans of jars are on the stove chattering away awaiting being canned with something. It’s fall, it’s Sunday, it’s a normal day. But it’s not a normal day. It’s normal for us so far from tragedy. It’s normal for this time of year. But everything has changed.

Had you asked me to sit quietly and observe for twenty minutes two days ago, I might have come up with something terribly different. And I can’t think of anything else that would affect me like coming home on Friday afternoon from an ordinary day out, shopping for pants, to seeing Paris. Paris in chaos…

Paris, my dream place. My one destination that I have dreamed about visiting since I was about 12. I dream in French sometimes.  And it is the one place I have hoped to visit.

Life is kind of ordinary right now as a Fast and Furious movie is on tv, my sister is banging boards and pans as she works on the dishes, and the kitchen is cluttered and full of vegetables and pans for the canning.  It’s noisy. It’s quiet. It’s just home.

Nothing terribly exciting ever happens around here, not that I mind it much. I like being home. I like the quiet chaos of a home. I mean, when I say it’s quiet, I mean compared to cars and trucks and the endless beeping of the backhoes as they put in new water pipes for the town, Monday through Friday, 7am to 4pm. Right now it is relatively quiet. Though I could probably do without the noise of the movie on. You don’t realize how loud a film is until you are in the other room trying to concentrated.

Home is safe. So for those where home is safe…. What is Paris now to those that call it home? Is it safe? Is it even home? How does one go on in life when a tragedy has hit very close to home. For some, right next door. For the man that helped people off the roof of the Bataclan  as terrorists shot people below. So close to home how do you walk outside and even breathe? How does one go on?

I have never been in the middle of a tragedy, nor do I ever want to be. So I can’t understand. I see it from a distance.  Roseberg, Oregon and the shooting there a month ago was as close to a  tragedy as I can think I have ever been. Everything else is far away. It makes you feel a little distant, literally and figuratively , when you think about it.

What is it like to have it a part of your life? I hope I never find out as I live an ordinary life and pray for those who have lost loved ones…….. And I pray for those in Paris……

Kate

Down Time, Not Writing Time – Writing 101 Day 9

When I’m not writing. Well, that’s pretty much just my life.  I get up, I take care of the house, I fix meals, I garden/farm… I exist.  Life is rarely me going from one point of writing to the next. It’s more of a “Oh, yay, I have five moments of time in between what I need to do and what I have to do.”  Right now, as I type, the timer just went off reminding me to swish the hand laundry. The delicates that have been piling up for way too long and all us girls in the house are completely out of favorites. It’s a desperate time. It really is quite traumatic when we run out of that favorite blue thing…

There, I have eight more minutes to type before the timer goes off again. My life has down time, for sure, but it’s sporadic. Right now, because it’s cold and wintery, I have evenings as my down time. I don’t take the daytime as I am usually rushing to get everything done before 4pm when I have to get outside to cover rows and rows of plants growing still, and finish up taking care of the chickens for the evening. Basically I have an hour and a half of time shot every evening…. Pardon me, there goes another timer for the washer…… And today it will be even worse as it’s supposed to be even colder, so everything needs a bit more cover tonight.

But when I do have down time and I’m not writing, I do have some other things I like to do. Usually they relate to writing, or reading. I read whenever I can. Right now I have about five books started and very little hopes on finishing any of them. I have a hard time finishing books now because 1. I write more than anything so books get put to the wayside; and 2. I don’t like half the books I start. The one exception this year was the Vampire Academy series and The Lady In Gold. Other than that, I can’t think of a single other thing I finished from the library.  I did have my book review books.

I visit the library whenever I can, but I haven’t taken much time to sit down and just read there lately. I get caught up visiting the ladies and I don’t sit down and read. Granted, it was summer mostly so I couldn’t take the time earlier this year. But I love to browse the shelves of the little library. Shelves I know so well. I could close my eyes and you could put me on any isle and I could tell you what was in front of me. Most likely. I might be a little off since they changed the shelves a little and moved everything over one shelf.

I enjoy puttering outside in the sun, but usually there is something that needs to be done so puttering is more of an actual job that needs doing. Yesterday it was spreading mulch and burning.  But when I can, I have my camera with me and I am busy snapping away for anything from the business, to my cards, to just fun. I enjoy getting up close and personal with things.

Life gets in the way of a lot of writing. The fact that I’m taking time out of my day right now to write is crazy. I should be vacuuming something or picking up something else. There is enough clutter right now to make a OCD person go completely insane.

But not writing gives me a chance to mull over ideas. Which I’ve said in the past. And usually after I do a bunch of writing challenges, I need a break. I should have probably taken a break after October and writing every day, but I liked the idea of a poetry challenge. And I liked keeping up the pace, even if I don’t post every day. If I just sit down and work on a sonnet, it’s still writing. So every day I’m trying to do that. I love it. And while sometimes I get a little burned out, it doesn’t happen enough to give up writing something every day.

Kate

My Writing Space – Writing 101 Day 6

Where do I write.  It all depends on time of day, amount of distraction, amount of quiet, and whether or not I’m cold. I don’t actually have a place that’s specifically mine for writing, nor would I use it all the time if I had it.  Unless it was in my own personal office with all my books, and music, and couch setting. Like this

My ultimate writing room...

My ultimate writing room…

If I had that, I would never leave. I might even sleep in there. But right now I’m writing at the kitchen table while the news is on in the living room. Not ideal, but not as bad as being in the living room where I can’t focus at all. But right now the upstairs, where my room is, is too cold and uncomfortable because I haven’t been so good at keeping my desk clutter free to write.  And I have to write at home. I’ve tried to write at coffee shops and when I’m at the library, but I get so distracted by other things to look at or listen to, I never accomplish anything.

Sometimes I write with pen and paper, or notebook. My poetry has it’s own book and I like to write that with pencil. It’s easier to erase mistakes that way. When I write rapidly for novels and blogging, I don’t care how neat it is so I scratch out things and just keep going.

I like to write sitting against the wall in the kitchen where the heater sends up its warmth. I like writing in bed, usually late at night and half the time I get distracted. It all depends. I have to find time to write, though right now because of the time change, I can actually get writing done in the evening. A lot of writing. I have done so much writing in the past week and a half that it’s amazing I have not burned out.

I think if I had my own writing room, I’d have a hard time staying there because I like to see what people are doing. That is, unless I have a deadline I need to get something finished. If that’s the case, then I want quiet. I can’t even have music on. I tried music last night, and because it was Georgian chants and stuff that is similar, I was okay, but most of the time I can’t listen to music while I type. I need silence. I can’t have distractions. It can be aggrivating because I love music, but I listen to the lyrics and sometimes I just can’t find the write mix that won’t annoy me after a while.

So, part of this post is to direct you, dear reader, to my contact page. Because not everyone knows where it is.  If you look on any of my pages, in the right-hand column right under my sign up for the blog spot, there is my email address where you can reach me.  And then if you go to my About page, I have a contact form. You can reach me. And I do love to get any suggestions on what you would like to see. I can’t always go with the idea, but the ideas are helpful. So please, drop me a note. If you have tried to contact me in the past and I have not responded, it’s because I decided to have a different email address, then always forgot to check it. Bad idea. Really bad. So I apologize.

So let me know what you are interested in seeing more of.  Be it poetry, flash fiction, random unimportant posts…. Heck, even a theme.

Kate

Daffodils And Almond Cookies – Writing 101 Day 4 – Flash Fiction

photo-1436564989038-18b9958df72b

He knocked on the door, the bouquet of daffodils bright and cheery in his fist while the day was dreary and wet with low slung clouds. He smiled brightly as she opened the door.

“Henry! Those are beautiful. Are they for me?” Narcissus asked and held open the door for Henry to enter.

Henry nodded and  slipped in the door, slipping off his rubber boots before he tracked in water onto her pristine floor.  He thrust out the bouquet and was relieved when Narcissus took the flowers from him and motioned for him to follow her.

“Would you like some cookies? I just baked some almond drop cookies.  And I can put on the kettle for some tea.”

Henry nodded again and trailed after her. He loved her house. It always smelled good, like her. Warm, sweet, and a little bit like vanilla.  She always had pretty flowers everywhere, but daffodils and narcissus were her favorites since they were her name.

“You’re quiet today, Henry.  What kind of tea would you like?” She asked as she reached up on a shelf in the kitchen for a square vase that was bright turquoise.

“Do you have the Woolong tea?” He asked and sat down in his favorite chair at her kitchen table. It faced the stove and he could watch her fix the tea.

The Oolong?” She clarified, and he nodded. “I do have that tea.  I just had a new tin arrive, so I’m dying to try it.  Why don’t you get the poppy teapot down.”

Henry grabbed the step stool and got the cream and red poppy teapot down from the top shelf and filled it with hot water from the kettle. He waited for the porcelain to heat then poured out the water. Narcissus scooped four teaspoons into the pot and Henry filled it again with almost boiling water. They worked together quietly and perfectly as they had been making tea together for a long time. As long as Henry could remember.

While the pot was steeping, she pulled out an eggplant colored bowl filled with crisp cookies that were covered in sliced almonds. They made Henry’s mouth water. She pulled out mix-matched plates and set them on the table next to the vase of daffodils.

Henry filled the creamer with milk and found the little spoons she liked to stir the tea, then she was pouring the tea into white cups. Henry leaned in and sniffed the steam, fogging his black glasses.  Narcissus laughed and he smiled.

She fixed her tea and he fixed his with just a little milk and a lump of sugar she dropped into his cup with the little tongs. She passed him the bowl of cookies and he took two.

“Now, Henry. Tell me how your days was.  Tell me what you learned in third grade today?”

“Okay, Aunt Narcissus,” Henry answered and took a bite of cookie before he started to tell her about the horrible fractions he was learning in school.

 

So the assignment for Day 4: a story in a single image.  This is actually an easy assignment for me to do because one of my favorite things to do is to take a picture and write about it. Any picture, though I didn’t really like any of the ones suggested with the assignment.  Fortunately they directed me to Unsplash where the pictures are completely free and high resolution. I urge you to take a look because license free images are not easy to find.

I do hope you enjoy this piece of flash fiction. I could have gone so many different ways with this, but as I wrote, I started picturing Timmy in The Sea is Blue where he goes to visit an older friend.  It’s one of my favorite books.  Sometimes I think I might make a good aunt.

Kate

One Word Prompts: Secret – Writing 101

5186_16e7I have secrets. I live with secrets. I’m filled with secrets. I love to keep secrets. I hate to keep secrets. Secrets are part of being a woman still living at home. Secrets are what make a writer considering we don’t have time, nor the inclination to discuss all of what is going on in our heads.

I exist sometimes on secrets. Things I have done that no one knows. Secrets I have shared with one person. Secrets of my own thoughts. I can’t share everything about me, nor do I want to, but when I have to, it’s very hard to keep a secret. Especially at Christmas or Birthdays. Then I feel like I need to explode.

In today’s prompt about a one word inspiration, there was a list of words to choose from, ‘Secret’ being the one I picked.   Then there was the suggestion :

If you like these one-word prompts, consider a Prompt Box: an offline well of inspiration that you can draw from on a rainy day. Andrea Badgley keeps prompts on slips of paper in a Chinese tea tin; I use an old jewelry box I bought from a market in Italy. In whatever vessel you choose, add slips of paper with single words, as we’ve practiced here. Short phrases work well, too.

I want to have jars of prompts. And jars of secrets. Jars of places I want to go. Jars of quotes  important to me. Jars of things I want to do with a man…. That’s where the secrets come in. A wish jar. Jars of wishes, hopes and dreams. Jars of secrets.

ce0623ea7abe8a8aebe6a5ba4384d8a0_2_largeIt sounds exotic and wonderful. A little bit sexy, a little bit naughty, and a whole lot of magical. Can you imagine if you, my reader could reach your hand into any one of these jars and pull out a slip and read what I had written? There would be all kinds of things you could find out. Thank goodness for my secrets.

My journal is filled with secrets. Things I would never tell anyone. My journal is dangerous and I would hate for it to get out. But at the same time, sometimes I wish I could share my secrets with someone. Ah, someday.

Secrets are a thing I like so much that I have several songs with the word in the title.  My favorite would be One Republic’s ‘Secrets’, and The Piano Guys cover of the same song.  Second favorite is Maroon 5’s ‘Secret.  That one. Whew… steamy.  But there are several others that have just hit me over the years.

One day I think I’ll have a row of apothecary jars filled with all my secrets. They will be lined up on a mirrored shelf, behind locked glass doors.  One can look and get a glimpse of the secret, but not the whole thing…..