Lofty goals, life and Nanowrimo

Lofty goals lead to greater falls it seems. While I had intended to get quite a bit of writing done, both on personal projects, as well as my daily flash fiction challenge, the rest of my life had other plans. Stress, illness, and financial troubles are a poor combination and unfortunately they appear to have taken over my life. So here’s to lame excuses and getting back on track.

We are currently eight days away from NaNoWriMo/ November. For those unaware of this lovely tradition, November is National Novel Writing Month, wherein writer’s get together to jot 50k worth of a new novel. Or something like that. There are all sorts of variations in terms of length and content and whatnot, but essentially the idea is to throw caution to the wind and write your little heart out for four weeks straight. Whether you’re writing just for the pleasure of it, or in hopes of publishing, it’s a great exercise in daily writing, setting and meeting goals and pushing through the rough patches. 

So it should come as no surprise to anyone, that I’m currently gearing up for nano. In the past I’ve participated in seven different months of nanos (there are forums for people to do the competition any month of the year), I’ve won 4 times and written a total of about 255k. 

This year I’ll be rebelling and not working on a new draft, which is sad, because I love going into it with a fresh new project, but I really have to work on a series that I’m dealing with at the moment. For added fun, some buddies from my college writing group have issued a challenge to write 100k instead of 50k during the month so naturally, I’ll be trying that as well. It’s a very good thing that failing to meet incredibly high goals doesn’t seem to phase me… In any case, if you are planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this November and are interested in some new writing buddies or want to challenge me to some sprints or word wars, please feel free to shoot my a message and we’ll get that all set.

 

Good luck to those out there with lofty goals and dreams of 50k excellence!

 

The negotiation (flash fiction)

They stood over my body, inspecting my parts as if I were a common place whore. I’ll have them know that I’m top of the line. At least I was two years ago. Since then, plenty of beauty’s have come out and I’ve all but been forgotten.

“I’m not paying that.”

“Well I’m not going any lower, you want her, that’s the price.”

“But she’s not new.”

“If she were you’d be paying twice this.”

I sighed in disgust as they bickered and it was all I could stand not to  just burst then and there. But as they finally settled on a price, and signed the paper work, I came across a better idea that got my gears all a flutter.

As the oaf who’d insulted my age and activities, body and features, slid home that evening, I contented myself with plotting his demise. I thought all night, planning and resigning myself to my lot in life, I said my last prayers and lay in wait.

Sure as day, he returned for another ride the next morning and he’d only just begun when I swerved out from under him and we both crashed and burned in the gorge below. I sighed contentedly every foot of the way down.

 

 

 

 

So here’s today’s post. Much shorter than I normally do, I enjoyed it and I didn’t feel the need to add any more. In any case I’ve never written a lot of really short pieces in such quick succession and I’ve realized that I have a fondness for killing someone in each of these little glimpses. Haha. I think it’s probably because I don’t really care about the characters but meh, still fun to write. Have a lovely day everyone. ^__^

Waiter’s note (flash fiction)

The sunlight warmed my sweater and distracted me from my meal.

 

I’m sorry what were you saying Elizabeth?” I said, taking off the offending garment.

 

Hmm, oh, I was just saying that Jordan’s having a sale at her boutique. Thirty-five percent off, can you believe it?” Her eyes gleamed as she excitedly forked another bite of her salad with more zest than I could ever give it.

 

Glancing down at my half eaten Alfredo pasta, it was painfully obvious to me why I looked my age and Elizabeth still had the air of a thirty something. Hell half the time, she acted like she had when we were in college. All partying, men and booze.

I sighed in disgust and pushed my plate forward an inch. “So what did you buy?”

 

Oh sweetie, what didn’t I buy.” She laughed and took a swig of her wine. “Honestly, I was unstoppable. I’ll have to show you the loot when we stop by my house.”

 

I looked up startled. I didn’t know that she planned for me to come over today. Sometimes I’d visit for another glass of wine after our weekly meal, but it had been a while since we’d done it regularly. “Oh I’m stopping by? I thought that Charles would be home?” Charles was her newest boyfriend in a very long line of boyfriends. Elizabeth changed men like other women changed underwear.

 

Elizabeth scoffed, not noticing my disinterest in having her latest size 6 haul dangled in front of my size 12 face. “He’s long gone, so I’m sure he won’t mind a bit.”

 

Rolling my eyes, I shook my head in disbelief. “He’s gone already. You only started dating him two weeks ago. What happened?”

 

Oh you know, the usual.”

 

I lifted an eyebrow and pulled down the other, watching her intently. There was certainly a usual for Elizabeth’s habits with men and I wouldn’t considered it the usual for anyone else.

 

She let loose a bright smile, her cheeks flushed and she tilted her head away. Her eyes flashed toward me once but she couldn’t continue to meet my eyes.

 

Dear god, he must be under age, I thought. Or near it at least. She’d never played coy in all the years I’d known her. I hadn’t even know she’d had the ability to become embarrassed. What the hell?

 

Before I got to push her for more details, the waiter appeared with our check. I found myself staring at the small slip of paper within the black leather envelope. Beneath the bill, he’d written a note and when I looked up, he was already hurrying away to another table. The tiny black script was cramped and jerky, as if the young man had been quite nervous while writing.

 

As my brain deciphered his handwriting, I understood less and less of what he was saying. I couldn’t seem to think straight and I suddenly felt a chill wash over my body. Tugging on my sweater, I glanced up at Elizabeth. She was busy powdering her nose and I could see that she’d already payed her bill.

 

Anger tore through my chest in waves as I looked at the note again. It read.

 

Your husband ate here last night with your friend. It was cozy. I’m sorry.

 

The small slip on which it was written, was a photocopy of a bill, dated yesterday, baring my husbands signature. There was a salad.

 

I screamed inside my mind, but then all of a sudden Elizabeth and I were walking arm and arm outside of the restaurant. Splitting into our separate cars, I followed her home for that extra glass of wine.

 

I don’t remember the drive so well, or even coming inside her house. But I do remember the look on her face before I suffocated her with her newest knit sweater.

 

Apparently sometimes it pays to be the fat best friend. She couldn’t fight me at all. Bitch.

 

Now to find my husband. 

 

 

So this was my flash fiction for yesterday, unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to type it up until this morning. I find the prompt at Writer’s Digest like usual, and it was under the same title as this.  I’ll be back in a little while to post today’s fiction. Hope you enjoy.

The book which changed the course of my life.

When I opened my email this morning, I was greeted with a message to check out a new post by a blogger I follow, Cristian Mihai. His lovely post this morning is on a topic which means a great deal to me. Entitled, The book that changed everything, for me this sentiment cannot be more true.

For those who meet me in real life, the importance of this book can be ascertained from only a conversation or two with me. Seriously. I talk about it, think about it, read about it, live it, every single day of my life.

 

That book is in fact, not a single book but a series. I give you, Harry Potter.

 

Yep. All that lead up and I’m sure that there will be a few who read this who scoff at a children’s series meaning that much to anyone. But I will confess right now, that every time I read those books, every time I watch the movies, or the musicals  (did you know there are musicals?), or listen to the music (wizard rock), I cry. I cry with joy, with sorrow, in pain and laughter. I have poured my heart in soul into this book series, and what has grown since I was ten years old into a fandom of epic proportions.

Prior to being introduced to the first book, at the time there were only three out, I hated reading. I hated books. I hated sitting down and being forced to learn. Harry Potter was the first book that I read, which spoke to me. It came off the page and was real before I even finished the first chapter. I loved it and subsequently I found it necessary to seek out that realism, that emotion invoking power in literature anywhere that I could. I became that kid who went to the library twice a week and picked up half a dozen books at a time, and actually read them. A book or two a night, and soon, I had a whole collection of books which whispered to me, varied as their messages might have been, but none spoke so clearly or powerfully as Harry Potter did.

From there it was only about a year later, (at eleven years old) when I decided that even though I had found many new friends within the pages of story books, I couldn’t forget Harry, Ron, or Hermione, and I couldn’t wait for the next book. Enter fanfiction. Harry Potter fanfiction was just beginning to boom on the internet and I soon found myself creating my own, albeit poorly written, adventures with my friends. I could escape to Harry Potter whenever I wanted, and others could comment on my work, and my plots and make suggestions. Soon, I wasn’t just revisiting people and places I knew, but making up my own. I kept writing HP fiction among others, but the pile of short stories and half conceived novels had begun to grow.

In bursts and fits I continued to write and I read voraciously all through grade school and high school. Hours and hours were devoted to crafting my own stories, but I still spent a ridiculous amount of time revisiting my Hogwarts pals to find inspiration and faith in myself and the world. I even went so far as to take a community college class at fourteen in an attempt to learn more about creative writing.

When the theme park opened, I planned a trip and showed up within two weeks.  Btw, it was awesome. When I studied abroad in France my junior year of university, if I felt depressed or lonely, I watched and rewatched the Harry Potter musicals and reread the books in French. My senior year in college, my small single was covered floor to ceiling in HP posters. And two months ago, I took a Greyhound bus for 30 hours to attend Leakycon, a four day Harry Potter convention in Chicago.

Clearly, as I’ve grown older, even graduated from college, my childhood love has stuck with me more powerfully than anything else in my life. I can mark the dates of my life based around my involvement with Harry Potter events, such as book or movie releases and important Fandom events.

Even now, with a nice shiny diploma which has absolutely nothing to do with creative writing, I plan to work as long and hard as I must to publish the works that I’ve been writing for years. When adults ask me who I plan to write for, I say young adults, teens, children. Why? Because I want to do for them what J.K. Rowling did for me.

To provide an escape from divorced parents and alcoholic abuse, to give comfort when other children are mean, to develop courage when the day becomes dark and to say that with enough love and hope and faith, in yourself and the world, you can achieve anything. You can fight the bad guy, prove yourself in front of a crowd, outwit the bully, get good grades, find help and hope if you only look hard enough, and to teach them the morals which have become so deeply ingrained in me.

Maybe these are children’s books, and maybe as an adult I should grow up and move on, but I’ve seen the difference in people who have been schooled by this woman and her incredible story as I have.

A common topic between fans I met at that conference, where nearly 4,000 people were in attendance, was that no matter who you are, where you come from, and who you’ll become, we love you. Why? Because we’ve lived this crazy ride and it’s changed our lives.

My love of writing and reading aside, I personally found comfort not to crumble in the dark times of my life because of these books and they are my rock. More important than family or friends that I’ve had over the years who’ve betrayed and faded, these books are immortal and I love them.

 

Oh dear god, I’ve gone on for forever and still I think I could go on for another three hundred pages.

 

Well. Please dear reader, is there a book which has changed your life, influenced you in ways which nothing else has, please share it’s name or a link to your own post on this topic in the comments below and I hope you find happiness between the pages of a lovely book as I did.

The Skeleton in the closet (Flash fiction)

The skeleton in my closet was a big one. Huge even. In fact I don’t know how he even fit in my closet, he was so rotund that every time I tried to close the door, I could hear the scraping of his bones against the wood.

;

I just knew that no product existed on the face of the planet that was strong enough to get the stench out of the carpet. Or the stains for that matter.

;

Let’s just go right ahead and say that I didn’t plan on using that closet for any other purpose ever again. Although honestly, how many dead guys can a girl expect to stuff in her closet in one lifetime?

;

Vic, had been my old boss. One of many I suppose. And over the years he’d rubbed me in all the wrong ways.

;

Literally.

;

He had sticky fingers. Always on the hem of my skirts, or sketchily grasping my shoulders in an odd sort of pat on the back that was far to friendly. Clearly, I hadn’t appreciated it.

;

The other managers were never so awkward toward me, and a few of them I considered to be personal friends. But they’d come and gone for one reason or another and in ten years of service, the only constants in our office were me and Vic.

;

If the pay hadn’t been so good, and the prospect of finding another job so daunting, I might have left, but there just isn’t a lot of call for corporate assassins these days. Though considering our business, Vic should have known better. Then again he wasn’t the sharpest blade in the place.

;

Last week, he’d finally made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Clearing everyone else out of the office without my noticing had been impressive on his part, but it gave me an advantage too. No witnesses.

;

One more brush with his sticky fingers and soon his sticky insides were dripping out over our cream carpets.

;

Years of excellent customer service had taught me how to make his last moments as memorable and well, as painful as possible but soon he was dead and I had a mess to clean up. Nothing that good ever lasts forever right?

;

A bottle of ammonia and club soda later and well, most of the mess was gone. Though the largest piece was currently rolled up in some plastic sheeting that I’d nicked from the supply closet. It served the same purpose now as it did in the field and I have to say, it was awfully nice of Vic to piss me off in the office. Everything I needed was right here.

;

It took some maneuvering but I eventually rolled him and his plastic cocoon onto some rolling office chairs that I’d hastily duct taped together. And off we went. Down the elevator, into the parking garage and off to my car.

;

Returning the chairs, and setting the office back to normal, dawn was unfortunately on the horizon when I finally got home. Tapping my fingers on my steering wheel I decided that I didn’t really want my car to stink so, into the hall closet he went.

;

Sadly the plastic didn’t stay on so well and he’d leaked around it during the night.

;

I’d spent most of the day considering where his final resting place might be and biding my time till dark.

;

Coffee in hand, I powered up my laptop and searched for something to cover up the stench of my closet.

;

Ten minutes later I had the name of a near by shelter and had called ahead for my pick up in the morning.

;

Glancing out at the setting sun, I gulped down the last few drops of coffee and opened the closet, his stiff legs creaking at the lack of support. Gazing down thoughtfully, I nodded to myself. Yes, a cat box should do the trick.

;

Well, here’s today’s bit of flash fiction. I hope you all enjoyed it. I just giggled my way through it and thoroughly enjoyed writing it. So. Yep. Happy October 2nd and happy scribbling.

Oh also, I forgot to mention that this was once again a prompt from Writer’s Digest.

Kidnapped (flash fiction)

Sometimes when you wake from a deep sleep, your entire body lingers in the place of dreams, and moving beneath the covers of your bed, is like pulling taffy from it’s loom.

 

This was not at all like that.

 

When I awoke, it was the sudden burst of chilled air from beyond the hall which called me forth from my stupor. The slamming door was only added for good measure.

 

What the hell were you thinking? She wasn’t supposed to be here yet.”

 

It’s not like I had a choice. There were too many spectators to just leave her in the car. Besides my end of the bargain is done. If she’s here too early for your liking than you can bring her back.”

 

You know very well I can’t do that.”

 

Not my problem.”

 

Not a problem indeed. I didn’t fancy myself to normally be anyone’s problem, but as I listened to their conversation and took in my surroundings, it became quite clear that I didn’t have all the facts.

 

For starters, My body had been tied to the chair where I currently sat with thin ropes which crisscrossed my legs and chest, and were wound quite tightly around my hands and feet. Fortunately I could still feel all of the tiny digits, so my circulation wasn’t impaired but that by no stretch of the imagination meant that I was the least bit comfortable.

 

My heart raced in my chest as I tried to remain as clear headed as possible, but the stark wooden cabin around me offered no clue as to why I was here or who my kidnappers were. In fact the last thing I could remember was stepping outside my apartment and then. Nothing. A dark gaping hole in my memory.

 

The weight of the ropes on my chest made it harder to breath, and within moments I started to quietly heave. I hadn’t had an asthma attack since childhood but there in the cold, pine scented room, only feet away from two total strangers, tied up and confused, the familiar clenching pulled at my lungs and made tears spring to my eyes.

 

Shaking, I closed my eyes and prayed, let this all be a dream. A nasty nightmare.

 

So are we going through with this or not?”

 

Yes we are.”

 

Well, you better get your shit together cause she’s not gonna be out much longer.”

 

Don’t you think I know that asshole.”

 

My eyes shot open and I sucked in a sharp breath.

 

I knew that voice.

 

Don’t call me an asshole, asshole.”

 

Oh sure, brilliant remark, just what I’d expect from someone of your type.”

 

It couldn’t be him. But the holier than thou airs he put out couldn’t be anyone else. What the hell was going on?

 

Suddenly, I wasn’t nearly as scared as I should be, I was pissed.

 

My type? What the hell does that mean? In case you hadn’t noticed you’re the sick fuck who wanted to kidnap his own wife. I wouldn’t start pointing fingers if I were you.”

 

Ex-wife. And sure whatever. Let’s just get this over with.”

 

Yeah, sure.”

 

Their joined foot steps echoed in the hall, and all that anger drained away as fear filled me so completely that I forgot to breath.

 

So when their hands finally touched me, I’d already died.

 

Inside at least.

 

So that was my first bit of flash fiction for the month.  I found the prompt on Writer’s Digest. 

You wake up shackled to a chair and can’t remember how you got there. Two voices are talking. You recognize one of them. 

It was supposed to be 500 words or less and it wound up being 570ish so meh. I’m kind of bad with word counts. In any case, if you have an constructive criticism please feel free to leave it in the comments. Happy scribbling.