Write about a flirtation, a holiday, an angel, and a bucket. Focus on creating a compelling setting.
She walked down the old cobbled sidewalk, on the main street in her small town. It wasn’t in fact the actual main street of the town, although once many years in the past it would have been. As she walked she peered into the Christmas Shop which stayed open year round. Christy enjoyed Christmas as much as the next girl, but she never could understand why the northern tourist thought it was a great idea to buy some kitschy little surfboard ornament for their tree back home while on vacation in the middle of the summer. With the weather at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the crowds for the July fourth festivities gathering, Christmas was far from Christy’s mind.
Christy was reaching the point on the main road where the important people of the town sat to watch the parade. Small town parades had always felt more real to Christy then the ones she saw on TV. The overzealous displays seen during the Thanksgiving parade on television always mad her scramble to change the channel, until the dog show came on. She would much rather focus on her cooking than that parade. Small towns, she figured, had it right. They had just the right amount of excitement and pride to be walking down the center of their own little piece of the world and that was something Christy could appreciate.
Lost in thought Christy bumped into someone in front of her. “Sorry,” she said as the woman turn to see who had accidently assaulted her. Christy first noticed that the woman was much older than she was, and secondly that she had dropped her shopping bag. “I didn’t mean to make you drop your bag, ma’am. I really do apologize.”
“As long as nothing was broken I think it will be alright,” the woman replied. She let Christy bend over and pick up the bag, and then she began to examine whether her purchases were indeed intact. In the process she pulled out a small blue winged angel, one Christy assumed she has just purchased at the Christmas Shop. Upon examination of the angel, Christy noticed that it had no halo.
“Ma’am, it seems that the halo has broken off of your angel. I would be happy to run down to the Christmas Shop and purchase another one for you.” Christy tried hard to look apologetic, and wasn’t sure she was pulling it off while the older woman examined the tiny broken angel.
“Fine then, but try to hurry. The parade is about to start and I don’t need you breaking anything else in all the confusion.”
“I will be right back,” Christy replied and she quickly took off toward the small holiday store. Luckily it was only one block down and Christy reached its doors before they locked for the parade to begin. The man inside winked at her as she entered.
Inside the store was icy cold and the man behind the counter seemed uninterested in Christy after she had entered. He turned and went back to his work as she began her search for that stupid little blue angel. She looked all around the store and on every tree. She saw angels as tree toppers, and angels with pink wings and green halos, purple wings and golden halos, she even saw one with a leopard-print sash and red horns holding up its golden halo. However, nowhere could she find that little blue angel one anything like it. Finally she asked for help.
“Please, sir, I’m looking for a little angel, with blue wings. Do you have one or can you point me in the right direction.”
“In the back,” he pointed to the back left of the store, “good lucky though.” Then he winked at her again, like they were in a strange bubble of the world where it were always time to have a romantic Christmas infused meeting.
Christy took a deep breath and headed to the back to the store, she didn’t see any blue angels. “Where at?” she shouted to the man at the front.
“Call me Chris,” he said, “and they’re in the bucket under the aluminum tree.”
“Thanks, Chris,” she hollered back and then thought to tell him her name. “I’m Christy, it’s nice to meet you.” She found the bucket under the tree. Truth be told is was more of a smallish wash basin than anything else and in it were several tiny blue winged angels. She picked up the first one, no halo. She started to go through more and still, no halo. After several minutes, and a growing pile of blue winged angels who utterly lacked halos, Christy gave up. “Hey Chris”, she called, “do any of these angels have halos?”
“No,” he replied, “why do you ask?”
“No reason, I was just sent of a wild goose chase.” Christy walked to the front of the store. “The parade is about to start, do you wanna go watch it with me?” Christy said, then blushed.
“No reason to blush, I would love to watch the parade, let’s go.” The Chris grabbed her hand and they walked back out into the southern heat and watched as the town hero’s rode by in their convertibles. Christie smiled, and looked up at Chris. He looked down and returned her smile with a twinkle and the hint of a wink in his eye.
She turned her attention back to the parade, thinking: Maybe Christmas miracles can happen in July.

So…I am pretty sure that this is the cheesiest story I have ever and I really mean ever written. However, given the prompt it just happened. I feel like I tapped into a 13 year old Nora Roberts with this one.


For Once they were lost, but Now they are found

Alright, so last week I had the unfortunate experience of discovering the loss of 30,000 words which had been part of an ongoing attempt to finish my first novel.  After searching in my house, and giving up on the return of my word children, I was given a pleasant surprise last night right before bed.

There right next to my closet, under a pile of jackets and sweaters, I found something.  It wasn’t something I thought was special, just an old computer bag which I can only remember using once in the past year. However, that cheap blue bag contained my netbook.

There on the hard drive, where I had left them last were my words.  They didn’t run away from me, and were thankfully not eaten by some pocket universe which our overuse of technology is probably creating. I had misplaced them all by myself.

However, with their triumphant return, I am throwing a feast with words and joy, and possibly a beer or two.  Then when the party is over and the words have had their time to rest, I will put them to work tomorrow.  Hopefully they are still up for the challenge which I have set for them.

Violet Vines

Violet Vines

            Once upon a time there was a house, a leaf and a gambler.  The house had the unfortunate role of being the gambler’s home, a fate which the house really never wanted in its life.  The house, who was old enough to have a name was almost entirely ignored by the gambler.  While this wouldn’t bother most houses, this house was proud and wanted the gambler, whose name was John, to acknowledge that this old fancy house where John was lucky enough to reside in was actually named Violet Vines.  Not even the original owners of this house could tell you why their house had such an odd name, but whatever the cause the old Victorian, was a faded purple and most often the house itself felt this had something to do with its name. 

            Now the house did not mind its odd name, instead it was more proud of the name because of its uniqueness.  This was also one of the many reasons which caused the house to be bothered by the gambling man, with the boring name of John to have taken up residence inside her walls.  Violet wanted the person who resided in her to be as interesting as the name which she was given, and in her whole existence there had only been one resident with that uniqueness.

            The resident had been there before gambling John showed up to dampen Violet’s spirits.  It had actually been uninvited, but this resident was different it wasn’t human or animal, but instead of all the possibilities for a resident this one was a leaf.  It was a large leaf, with brilliant color, which made Violet think it held some magical properties. 

            The leaf had hitched a ride on the backpack of a child who once lived inside Violet’s walls, and when the child discovered the leaf he was also convinced of its invisible magical properties.  Violet had never seen a leaf of its kind and was itching from the moment of its arrival to talk to and get to know the leaf.

            Large and shimmery the leaf was placed on a shelf in the boy’s room, and despite his initial interest the leaf was soon forgotten, but not by Violet.  The good thing about a house wanting to have a conversation with a leaf is that since most houses have a wooden structure, and Violet was no different, they share a common language.  So every day when the human residents of Violet Vines left for their lives outside the house, Violet began to speak with the leaf.

            At first the leaf was shy.  Violet was surprised by this since it had entered her walls with such boldness that she thought it would have been willing to speak to anyone he could.  Though after a few days of coaxing it out Violet learned the leaf’s name, Mr. Cory Young.  The fact that the leaf had both a first and last name impressed the house and made her even more respectful of her new resident.

            Over time their friendship grew and Violet and Mr. Young had become the closest of friends.  And although Mr. Young had started to wither a bit with age Violet had no thought in the mind that he would ever leave.  Until the boy left for college.

            When the boy left to further his education he rediscovered his fascinating leaf and decided to take it with him.  He pressed it in a book, packed it away and left the house.  Violet was then left alone with nobody to talk to within her walls and only a few rose bushes and vines on her walls to speak with.  With time Violet became bitter and proud, but never forgot her friend, and wished with each passing day for him to return home.

            Many years later the boy returned to Violet Vines.  His parents had passed on and left him the old house.  He had wasted his education and lost most of his money in the gambling halls playing poker.  But most importantly he had forgotten to bring Mr. Young home with him when he returned.  This was the main reason why Violet hated John so much.  As a boy he would write on her walls and as a man he never cleaned her halls, but most of all he had lost her best friend in the world.

            One day however, John decided to go through the boxes he had sent home after his school years.  There in one of the boxes was the book in which Mr. Young had been pressed and preserved.  He was happy at having found what he regarded as his good luck charm and placed the leaf in a case to be displayed in the house. 

            Violet noticed the change immediately.  Her friend had returned and John seemed to start to care about things again.  He quit gambling, found a job, and cleaned Violet Vines for the first time in years.  He made repairs and gave her fresh paint.  This would been enough to cheer up Violet, but now she had her old friend back.

            They spent all day talking while John was out of the house.  And as the days turned to years John married and had children.  But Mr. Young had started to fade away.  They all knew the leaf would be with them for a very short amount of time after this, and John worried that his luck would again change if he lost his precious leaf.  Violet had the same worry in her mind.

            Then as Johns oldest son came home from school one day, the house, the gambler, and the leaf all noticed something unexpected.  There on the boys backpack was a younger version of Mr. Young.  John immediately took the new precious leaf and placed it with its uncle.  There Mr. Young taught the new leaf all his secrets, Violet taught him all her history, and with this knowledge the leaf bestowed luck on the entire household.

Chaotic Shiny

So I have recently started a writing night with a good friend, and we have decided to write fiction stories using crazy prompts from the site Chaotic Shiny.  This is a great and fun site for any writer to check out.  It also might be helpful for any English teachers out there who wish to challenge their students to be creative with odd prompts.

visit http://www.chaoticshiny.com

I hope you enjoy these new stories.

Seriously Frustrating

Today I decided it was time to go back and work on my novel.  I had put it aside for several years, unintentionally, and recently felt the need to finish the thing.  I thought I had the whole thing backed up on my laptop.  Upon opening the file I discovered that not only is it only part of the story about 30,000 words are missing as well as 3 and 1/2 chapters.  This is enough to make any writer feel like smashing their expensive writing technology, instead I decided that if I couldn’t work on the novel I would instead write about the fact that I can’t work on my novel.

The biggest problem with such a huge chuck of my story being missing, isn’t even that the words are gone, but now I have to try to remember what I wrote.  This is made more difficult by the fact that I wrote these pages over a year ago.  I wouldn’t care so much if I hadn’t been so close to finishing the whole thing, but I was very close to the end and now it is like having to start from scratch.  Which might not be the worst thing to have to do, but it makes for a very frustrating end to a day, which had started out with so much promise.

Now I will just have to hope that my good friend has it saved somewhere on her computer, or flash drives.  Otherwise, who knows what will happen to my characters.  I don’t want to just leave them stranded in the ether with no way to complete their story.  Grrr, this is when I wish I had used a typewriter, or just plan old pen and paper.

Okay, I am officially done with my crazy rant of the day.

“Dreams are oft…

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.”

Sigmund Freud

While I don’t agree with many aspects of Freud and his theories about sanity and mental health, I love this quote.  I have crazy dreams all the time, and those are the most interesting and fun dreams to have.  It is always fun to wake from a crazy dream and wonder how much it really says about your sanity while awake.

The Crying Mirror

So when I was five we moved in with my mother’s parents.  I had already proven myself to be a difficult child at this point, but with my father in search of a job after leaving the navy the family decided it was best to move in with extended family while I finished kindergarten. 

            Now I mentioned I was a difficult child.  I suppose that this would be putting things rather lightly.  I was a horror.  I had temper tantrums that would scare a sane person out of ever thinking of having children of their own.  What made these tantrums particularly horrible when we lived with my grandparents was the mirror in my bedroom.

            In my room I had one of those closets with the sliding doors, and one of these doors was a full length mirror.  When I would be sent to my room, crying and in the full throws of a tantrum, I would sit on my bed and watch myself and the way I looked during these episodes.  I’m not sure what my fascination was with seeing my eyes red and puffy, or my face contorted with screaming and crying.  I do know however, that the mirror created for me a way to punish my family more by extending the tantrums well past the point where I should have calmed down.

            I think at times I was actually calm as I screamed and cried, watching myself in the mirror.  I would sit close to it on the floor, so I could see every detail in my face as I cried and screamed.  Other times I sat far against the opposite wall on my bed and looked to see what my tiny face looked like at a distance.  I tried different angles, and I would even at times sit where I could only see one half of my face while I continued my tantrum.

            Eventually, they figured out that the mirror was what continued these tantrums for longer than a few minutes, extending them well into time periods unhealthy to be carrying on with so much passion.  Then the mirror was put behind the other closet door.  Though, now I must admit that once they had left the room I would slide out the door just enough to see my face and continue my crying for just a little longer than I should have.  Then I would quietly replace the door and calm myself down.

            I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with how I looked as I cried.  I was not interested in how I looked not crying.  I did not practice making faces into that mirror which were happy, or scary.  For me that mirror held one purpose, and it was to cry into.  I never cared to check my outfits as other girls might have, instead I cried.  What’s more is that I never cried into another mirror, just that one closet door mirror at my grandparent’s house.  It was my crying mirror, and once we moved, I suppose I didn’t need one anymore.