writing challenge

Writing Challenge Week 6: Write About Your Feelings For Someone

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You. Yes, you. How could you do this to me? How could you make me feel this way day after day after day? Like I’m not good enough. Like my dreams will always be out of reach because they are beyond the strength and courage I have to accomplish them.

I’m angry with you, and it’s a difficult emotion because even while I’m raging, I can’t let you go. The people who love me tell you that you’re too harsh, that you’re too judgmental, that you should give me a break.

I just nod when I hear them say these things to you; nod and smile, all the while knowing that their words will never reach you, because this is something we need to settle between us. It’s a conversation we’ve had time and time again, and sometimes, I’m able to overcome you, bury you for a while. But you always manage to dig yourself back to the surface and sneak up on me.

And it starts all over. I wonder how I could let you back in and you tell me that I’m not good enough. How do I rid myself of you when you’re a part of me? If I could physically cut you out, I would, because I know I’m not the person you think I am. I’m better than that, and I’m sick of you telling me otherwise.

I have work to do in some areas of my life, but you…. you like to make me think that because I have flaws that I’m not worth loving. You’re a disease, a parasite that eats away at me until there’s nothing left and I realize that I’ve let it happen again. I rebuild my self-confidence and push through, making myself stronger each time, and that’s how I know I’m better than you like to think.

We are in constant battle, you and I, but I like to think I’m winning. As easy as it is to give in to you sometimes, I have more than you could ever offer, and I see that more and more clearly every day. Soon, I’ll be rid of you. You’ll be a small insignificant voice straining to be heard, and I’ll laugh at your efforts to bring me down. I’ll do all the things you’ve always said are impossible, and you’ll have no other choice but to dissolve.

I wish I could say a final goodbye right this moment, but it’s not that easy. You cling to me, but you’re losing your grip, and one day you’ll be the one to fall away.

 

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Writing Challenge Week 5: Write a Letter to Anybody

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5. write a letter to anybody

Dear Sully,

You are my little boy. You are an epic love, and I never knew my heart could hold what it does for you. You’ve taught me to thrive in the simplicity of life. You’ve taught me patience as you present me with new challenges each and every day. You’ve taught me the importance of validation and expression, and as a result, I can slow down and see people for who they are and how they feel. I’m no longer rushing through life, no longer trying to accomplish the next big goal as quickly as I can, and I now enjoy the small moments that life has to offer. Ultimately, my life is better … all because of you.

I didn’t even know if I wanted children once upon a time. I wasn’t sure I could handle the demands that a baby would place on me. I’m an introvert. I like my alone time and I need my space. I love my sleep, and the quiet is my happy place. You stirred all that up, and I’ll admit, it was hard at first. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wondered what I had gotten myself into, mostly because I was terrified and I didn’t want to screw it up. But you were patient with me. You let me make mistakes and you gave me chance after chance after chance to get it right.

Over two years later, I’d like to think that I’ve got it somewhat figured out now. I won’t get it right all the time, but I want you to know that I’ll always try. I’ll always strive to do my best by you, and I hope you’ll never doubt my love. We’ve had bad days. We’ve had days where we struggle to communicate, where we butt heads and don’t see eye to eye. But the good days full of giggles, snuggles, and hugs far outweigh those others, and I promise I’ll do what I can to make sure it stays that way.

We’ll still argue, I’m sure. You won’t like what I have to say sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m prepared for that because I want you to grow up to be a good man. I want you to realize that although you are our whole world, the whole world does not revolve around you. I want you to be humble and know how to work hard. I hope to teach you empathy and compassion, logic and respect. I hope you’ll learn sacrifice and selflessness, but I also hope you’ll know when to walk away and take care of yourself. Essentially, I hope to teach you to maintain balance in your life, and that you’ll be better, do better than your parents. I hope to teach you at least half as much as you’ve taught me.

I love you, munchkin.

Love,

Mom

Writing Challenge Week 4: Rant About Anything

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4. rant about anything

 

To rant is to complain vehemently and aggressively about something. To go off on a tangent. To let your emotions get a hold of you and have diarrhea of the mouth.

I guess I’ve come to a point in my life when I don’t really have anything to complain about. It may sound like false humility and annoying positivity, but it’s true. I have my observations, don’t get me wrong, but I try not to take it all too personally anymore.

I’m about to hit my 29th birthday, and while I’m under no delusion that I’ve got it all figured out, I don’t feel like I’m scrambling. I’ve learned to let things go and, most importantly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my opinion, no matter how heartfelt, is mostly insignificant in this world. Of course, my thoughts are important to me and to those that love me, but in the big scheme of things, it’s a pretty small thing. I’m one person in a world of billions and expecting undivided attention is, frankly, narcissistic. With that being said, I also believe that one person does have the ability to affect everyone else. Whether it be by words or actions, people can inflict pain, encourage hope, build love, stir anger, or instill excitement.

It’s a strange balance to keep: believing we are both insignificant and significant. They each have their time and place. On the one hand, the world doesn’t revolve around you; on the other hand, you have the power to effect change. I’ve come to determine that life is a balancing act and full of contradictions.

I’m quite certain that I haven’t made much of an impact in the world as a whole. All I can do is focus on those close to me, and in doing so, I believe I’ve made a positive difference there. That’s all we can all hope for really, but for those of us with big dreams, we still strive for more.

The majority of people live under the idea that “it can’t happen to me.” They don’t change the batteries in their fire alarms because they doubt a fire will ever start in their home. They don’t alter their diet and lifestyle under doctor’s orders because they don’t believe they could ever have a heart attack. “That happens to other people.” People see themselves as invincible, as beyond the scope of tragedy, but the truth is that these things have to happen to someone. Why not you?

On the other side of the same coin, I believe if tragedies can happen to anyone, so can success. When it comes to having big dreams, we are always told of the obstacles we’ll face. We are always told to expect heartbreak and hardship and that success is unlikely if not impossible. What I’ve come to learn is that success is always within reach of those who keep trying to better themselves, who keep pushing and keep working, who don’t make excuses. If you give in to the negativity, then those dreams are most certainly never going to come to fruition. Success has to happen to someone. Why not you?

I think the point I’m trying to make is that having a sense of humility is just as important as having ambition. Prepare for the worst, but believe in the best. If I’ve learned anything in my observations of those I look up to, it’s that they follow a path of hard work and accomplishment while believing in compassion and consideration for others.

I’m not telling you how to live your life. This post is simply a compilation of my observations and the conclusions I’ve come to as to how I want to live my life. The world is full of extremes, and I want to settle somewhere right in the middle.

Cheers!

 

 

Writing Challenge Week 3: Write a Review

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3. Review a movie/book/anything

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Ryan Brenner, a travelling musician, and Jackie Laurel, a former singer at a crossroads in her marriage, meet by chance while Ryan is busking on the street. They share an immediate connection, but it’s fleeting, until a sudden accident propels them together. Soon, Ryan finds himself at Jackie’s house for dinner, where they discover they share more than a passion for music. Ryan’s battling to find the courage to write his own music and Jackie’s fighting an estranged husband who wants custody of her daughter. The two form an unlikely relationship that may change their lives forever

 

 

My weekly writing challenge is a bit late. I’ve been under the weather for the past few days, and I spent all of yesterday either at the doctor or on the couch watching movies. The latter part was glorious and something I’ve not done in a very long time.

Since I already post book reviews here and since I had a movie marathon yesterday, I figured my third challenge would be about this little indie movie, Jackie & Ryan.

This movie was very subtle and almost poetic in relaying its emotions and messages. I almost shut it off, to be honest, in favor of something that had more, well… more. Aside from their chance meeting, it all seemed very normal, as if I were watching a documentary on someone’s day to day life. In a world where drama is at the touch of your fingertips at all times, something like that can seem … slow. In the end, that’s what ended up being this movie’s most appealing aspect.

Ryan is a traveler. He jumps from train to train, coming upon little towns to play his music. He lives out of his backpack, and although we see how cold and lonely it can be riding in a metal cart, the lifestyle definitely has it’s appeal. Just up and go wherever you want, whenever you feel like it. Jackie, on the other hand, had a solid life that is slowly unraveling. Her career as a musician is over as is her marriage. As a result, she faces a challenging divorce, and her soon-to-be ex-husband has a lawyer that threatens to take everything, including their daughter.

Jackie and Ryan are opposites in a lot of ways but not in the ways that are important. They seem to lift each other up from their very first meeting and give each other the strength and courage to take the difficult next steps in their lives.

The music in this film gave me chills. It’s this perfect combination of blues, folk and country, and I found myself downloading the soundtrack. The music brings the whole story together and seems to be a character in itself.

 

Looking at the poster of this movie, you’d think it was all about the romance, but I felt that it had a minor role to play. The story was about finding your place, your home, whether it be on the road with nothing but an open sky over your head, a brick and mortar with four walls, or simply someone that makes you feel like you can do anything.

Cheers!

 

Writing Challenge Week 2: Write a Fanfiction

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Challenge #2: write a fanfiction.

 

Wait. What?

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When you’ve never done something before, it can be intimidating as hell. Where do I start? What if I suck? I have no idea what I’m doing.

I still have that lingering sensation of self-doubt, but this turned out to be a lot of fun and, for the sake of keeping this post at a manageable length, transformed into another project that I hope to continue. It’s untitled, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with the characters (I mean, how is that possible?), it’s based on the show Supernatural.

I hope you read it, but more than that, I hope you enjoy it.

Cheers!

***

“Keep your fucking hands off her,” she said, gritting her teeth, feeling the weight of the gun in her hand, her finger twitching toward the trigger. He held his hands up in surrender, his eyes darting to glance at the gun she kept lowered. He was surprised. If it were him, he’d have fired long ago.

“No problem,” he said. Her shoulders traveled up and down as she heaved heavy breaths, nearly growling at him in anger. Yet she still didn’t aim at him. He could see the shift in her eyes as her emotions slid from anger to sadness to acceptance. This was always the worst part.

Her eyes misted over, but she clenched her teeth, refusing to cry over this monster that resembled her family. Her sister had been dead a long time. She’d already grieved her loss once. She wouldn’t do it again. He lowered his hands, sensing that the tension was ebbing. She was looking over the body that he’d destroyed, a sense of loss and longing clouding her face. He knew that look. At least, he knew how it felt. He was just lucky enough to live in a world where death wasn’t always final; there was always a way back to life if you were willing to pay the price.

“Thank you,” she finally whispered, so softly that he had to strain to hear. She cleared her throat and her gaze sharpened on him. “Thank you,” she said again, more firmly.

He just nodded, understanding. It was one thing to see an innocent loved one die. It was a completely other tragedy to see them transformed into something of nightmares. At least now she’d have the chance to move on, if there was such a concept. They stood there for another few moments, and he started to feel awkward. He’d never been comfortable with silence or grief; he usually barreled through them with sarcasm until he was a safe distance away. The mess needed to be cleaned up, but she still had the gun in her hand, and he wasn’t about to risk a bullet again by trying to take care of the body.

“So, we can’t leave her here,” he said as gently as he could. He’d never been good at being tactful and empathetic either. That was Sam’s role to play. She narrowed her eyes, and he thought he saw her tense again, but she relaxed and let out a breath. Tucking the gun into the back of her pants, she nodded.

“Okay.”

She moved to grab the body that used to be her sister’s under the arms and, looking at him questionably, asked, “Well, are you going to help me or what?”

His eyebrows shot up and he shrugged, going for the legs so they could get the body to the car that was parked haphazardly at the end of the alley. He could deal with a sense of purpose. She’d pulled up in a rush, tires squealing against the pavement as she hit the brakes, wrenching herself through the driver’s side door that was left open in her panic only to find that he’d already twisted the knife. He could still hear her echoed screams as what used to be her sister fell in a heap onto the trash-littered pavement of the dark alley.

They struggled with the dead weight, but managed to lay the body across the back seat of the little sedan. Dean closed the door and wiped his hands on his jeans. He could see that the keys were still in the ignition and took the liberty of climbing in the driver’s seat. She didn’t say a word, only slid into the passenger side. They remained silent as they pulled away from the dark, abandoned buildings, neither looking forward to the task at hand.

***

The fire crackled, overtaking Sara’s body in a matter of moments. It was scary how quickly love and memories could turn to ash. Ashley sniffed, shoved her hands in her pockets and turned back to the car.

“You need a ride?,” she asked Dean as she walked away from the last of her family. She couldn’t watch her sister and the plans they had made go up in flames for one more second. Damn waiting for the fire to turn to coals. Let it burn the whole fucking forest to the ground.

“Uh, sure,” he hesitated, torn between attending the growing fire and not getting his ass left in the middle of nowhere. Seeing that she wasn’t slowing in her determination to get the hell out of there, he opted to follow.

She pulled up behind the Impala that was parked a few blocks from the fateful alley and put the car in park.

“What was that thing?,” she asked quietly, and he noted that she wasn’t referring to the monster as her sister.

He sighed. It was unavoidable after what she’d seen. Ashley had witnessed her sister’s transformation and animalistic need to tear into and devour a human body. She’d looked on in horror at the aftermath, the gaping, shredded cavity in a human chest where a beating heart used to thrive. She hadn’t said much about it at the time, which Dean had admittedly found unusual, although he’d also considered it luck that he wasn’t going to push. He’d been an idiot to think he’d avoid this conversation altogether as she just turned away and continued the search for Sara, as if eating a human heart was normal behavior. But now that it was all over, she knew what and how and why it all happened to an extent; she was just asking for confirmation.

“Look, I’m just gunna give it to you straight. That was a werewolf.” He made a motion with his hand that suggested he knew what she was going to ask next. “Yes, they’re real. And yes, that means other monsters exist too.” He didn’t have the patience for the truth-spilling spiel, the confession that changed a person’s perspective of the world they thought they knew. He’d lived in it for so long that it was hard to empathize with disbelief and shock.

“And this is what you do? Kill werewolves?” Her tone was matter-of-fact without that edge of doubt that he usually heard when people found out who he was. She was calm, asking the questions that must have been at the back of her mind for the last couple of days since they crossed paths in the search for Sara.

He shrugged. “Yeah, werewolves and … other things.” He didn’t feel the need to go any deeper. He wished it were as simple as just hunting run-of-the-mill monsters, the way it had been before he had been shocked with more truth than anyone should know. Leviathans, demons, angels and all that apocalyptic rapture bull-shit that he and his brother had been wrapped up in recently didn’t need to be mentioned. He considered this hunt a type of vacation, and he was doing his damnedest to keep his mind away from what he and Sam went through. What Sam was still going through.

Sam would know how to say goodbye to this girl, to ease her back onto the path of a normal life, and then they’d be able to hit the road guilt-free, moving on to the next shithole town with a monster problem.  As for Dean, he never knew what to say, but he was sure that he didn’t want to leave anything undone. He needed to make sure she’d be okay. That’s what all this was about, right? Saving people?

“I figured that’s what it was. It made sense, I guess, if any of this is actually supposed to make sense.” Her fingers were shaking a bit as she tucked her dark hair behind her ear, but her voice remained steady. “But I didn’t actually believe it was my sister.” She turned to Dean now, looking for more answers than he might be able to give. “If werewolves exist, then the lore is true, right? That’s how this happened? She was bitten?”

He pressed his lips together in a thin line and nodded. That was his next line of thinking also. Who had bitten Sara? He had hoped to continue that road alone, but seeing the look of vengeance on Ashley’s face, he knew he’d have her on his heels whether he told her to go home or not. He felt that same need for justice for his brother, so how could he deny it to anyone else?

“Where do we start?,” she asked, determination in her voice. She wasn’t going to be pushed away, and she was making sure he knew it.

He sighed and climbed out of her car, turning around to lean in and meet her narrowed eyes. “Follow me.”

He slammed the door and got into his Impala. He sat for a moment before starting it up, briefly wondering what the hell he was getting himself into bringing a civilian along on a hunt. He looked in the rearview mirror and, even through the darkness, could see the anger clinging to every feature of her face. He sighed again, resigned.

“Fuck it.” He turned the key in the ignition.

***

 

 

Writing Challenge: Week 1 – Short Autobiography

12523062_962883253803439_1743204749844232515_nI’m always most uncomfortable when I’m talking about myself. So of course, the first topic in this writing challenge I’ve chosen to take on would be a short autobiography. *shrugs* There’s more than one story behind every person, but this one that I’ve chosen for myself is the one that has shaped my life. Thanks for stopping by :).

***

 

Do you have a point in your life when you believe it all actually began? Not the typical “I was born” moment, but a time down the road when it all began to make sense?

My life feels like that.

My parents met, were married, and had me in Yokosuka,  Japan. People are always surprised by that little tidbit, but I’m from a military family, so we moved around a lot until my dad retired when I was ten or so. I became a sister to two younger shitheads A.K.A. brothers within those years, and we settled in Bishop, Texas – a small little town that existed primarily to employ a chemical factory. I think it was called Celanese.

I have a lot of family in Texas which is why we ended up where we did for 15+ years. I’m not really sentimental about my home town. In fact, I’d actually go out of my way to avoid ever going back.

I honestly believe that area is cursed. Laugh all you want, but my husband believes it too – he’s from around there also. It digs its claws in and sucks the life out of you, and it’s damn near impossible to get the hell out.

I think it’s that way with most hometowns. It’s easy to get into a rhythm, to remain in the familiar until the years are behind you and you look back wondering how they got that far away. I’m happy for the people who are content to stay and find comfort in routine. But I’ve never been one of them.

I always have this impulsive need to move forward. It’s not that I’m never satisfied; I’m just happiest when I’m working toward something, when I have a goal. That, and I want to see the world and experience new places. To actually witness all the things I read about in novels and textbooks. I don’t want to be a person who talks about doing things. I want to actually do them.

I met the guy when I was 20 at a Halloween party. He was there to see my brother’s then-girlfriend whom he considered a sister. She introduced us, and we’ve talked every day since. We lived seven hours apart but made it work until he decided to move closer. He’s my best friend. We’ve struggled, I won’t lie, but we always stick it out. We’re always there for each other, and we’ll never give up. We love each other too much and are both too fucking stubborn for that.

Taylor proposed in September of 2009 and we were married in January 2010, a couple of weeks before my 23rd birthday. Everyone thought I was knocked up because why else would we get married so quickly? I never understood long, drawn out engagements. He’d asked; I said yes; let’s do this! Why wait an entire year or more? We’d been living in a great but tiny apartment in Corpus Christi. I worked at a bank and was finishing up my degree; he was pursuing concert photography. We had a nice little set up.

Everything changed when we went on our honeymoon.

Maine? Where the fuck is that? That’s the initial and usual reaction I got when we told people where we were going for two weeks. Colorado was too expensive and we wanted to go somewhere cold and possibly do some skiing. My mother emailed me a link to a bed and breakfast in Gorham, Maine, and that was that. We booked it and took off for what we thought was just a vacation.

Maine is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, even in February, which is when we went on our honeymoon. We’d done all the touristy stuff like snowmobiling, skiing, horseback riding in the mountains, even visiting L.L. Bean. A week into our stay, we met some people, some great people who are close friends to this day. If not for them, I don’t know where we’d be.

We went ice fishing and snow tubing with them, hitting it off in a way that should have seemed strange at the time. We joked about moving up, and they offered to open up their home to us while we settled if we ever decided to take that leap of faith.

I cried when we left. I felt like I was leaving home and didn’t know if I’d ever be back. I’d never felt that way about Texas, and my husband, while not as weepy, felt the same way. Once we were home and back into our normal routine, we saw Maine everywhere we looked. It was insane – we even saw it on a couple of license plates which was unheard of in South Texas. Not only that, but Texas seemed even more foreign to both of us. It wasn’t where we wanted to be.

Three months later, my husband called our friends and asked if they were serious about letting us stay with them until we got our bearings. We were ready to make a change but knew we’d need some help. Luckily, we have some fantastic friends and very supportive family that allowed everything to fall into place.

Now some of our family was a little… shocked, I guess you could say. Some of them even wondered how we’d get around in Maine, because it’s obviously too cold for that state to have roads, right? It’s like Antarctica, right? I mean, it’s that far north, isn’t it? Like we were moving to the planet Hoth or something.

We proudly wore our “crazy” title and ignored the lot who thought we were nuts. Instead, I chose to listen to the people who told me I’d better not change my mind and to get the fuck out of Texas. 

My mom is from Nantucket, MA. She hated Texas more than me, and maybe that’s where I got it from. I’d been back and forth from Texas to New England, and I knew which I preferred. She told me to leave and not look back.

So we did. I quit my job and we started our trek across country, taking our time and enjoying the ride. We loaded up my little white Honda Accord and that’s when I felt like life began. When it all started to make sense.

We stopped in Louisiana where the humidity caused condensation to build up on every glass surface, staying at my husband’s friend’s house. He’d met this friend while he served in the Marines, doing a tour together in Iraq. His friend had passed away after coming home – I won’t get into the details of that, but it was his family we visited. They couldn’t have been more welcoming, and I hope we see them again someday soon.

We stopped in Georgia and enjoyed the hospitality, then made our way to Virginia to stay with my uncle for a few days. After that, we crossed over to Nantucket to surprise my grandmother. Then we were finally crossing the border over into Maine.

I remember pulling up to our friend’s beautiful house out in the woods of rural Maine. It was amazing to see it in the summertime – it looked like a completely different place. That’s what I love so much about Maine. Give it a few months, and it’ll look like you travelled across the world without having to go anywhere. The seasons are incredible.

Within a month we both had jobs and were renting a little cabin in the same town as our friends. It just worked out that way, as if it were meant to be. A year later, we bought the house down the street that had been for sale for the better part of that year. Again, meant to be. It was as if God had given us every sign He could, and all we had to do was listen and follow them.

That time of my life turned me into a believer that no matter how chaotic life may seem, it will always work out if you just listen to your instincts and follow the signs.

Now we have a wonderful home and a two-year-old son who was born in Portland. He loves to ride in our boat in summer, jump in big piles of leaves in autumn, and fall in the soft snow in winter. I couldn’t be happier that he’ll grow up in this place, and I hope he loves it as much as we do. Something tells me he’ll be a traveler and will need to see what else the world has to offer before deciding on calling any place home. I’m more than okay with that.

As for me, I’m home. I belong. I’m doing what I love, and I now know who I am. Moving to Maine is, so far, the story of my life. It’s what started a domino effect of change in me, made me grow up, and made me see that if you want something different, you have to something about it. It’s terrifying sometimes to step away from what’s familiar, but from what I’ve learned, it’s the most rewarding move you can make.

Cheers!

 

Writing Challenge

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I saw this image on Facebook recently, and I loved the idea. There’s no rules, only a quick short order that you can do with what you want.

A writing challenge. That might be good for me, might open my mind and stretch its muscles a bit. I feel like I need that. To just write no matter what it’s about. To get away from my novel for a bit and, like I said, just write.

Anyone else up for the challenge? I’m thinking of doing a post every Tuesday until all fourteen challenges are accomplished. Who’s with me?

Cheers!