The best news for a writer that just has to be shared!

It is really weird for me to do this, because I’m not one to stand in the spotlight, but I just have to share the good news. I was approached by a publishing company several months ago to submit some of my writing, which I did. Not knowing the process or how long it could take, I had pretty much given up on it when I received the email that one of my short stories was accepted.

My story, Mirror’s Curse, will be featured in the book, Utah’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology! It is actually available for pre-order now, so if you’d like to check it out and some other stellar stories, please click here. The link will take you to the publishing house website, so just click on “Pre-Orders: See Collection” and you should be able to find it.

I guess this means that I actually need to dig in and write!

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When books traumatize you instead of entertain you

I thought of this a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have the drive to actually write it up and post it. However, something happened today that made me think of it again. Also, my sister basically forced me to write something yesterday and it has all my writing juices flowing. I guess it’s about time I used my blog for something other than SLS; although, I’m told it’s perfectly fine that my blog is only that.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book by one of my favorite authors. The synopsis had me intrigued and I couldn’t wait to dive into it. That feeling was very short lived. I had a hard time reading it and it made me anxious. I thought at first that I was simply in one of my moods, but it became increasingly clear that it was the book. It only took about a hundred pages before I finally realized why.

It was the premise and ultimately the bad guy. It brought back a time in my life that still manages to haunt me to this day. I decided to keep reading, but the more I did it, the more anxious I became. I started leaving the book at home, rather than taking it to read during lunch. On Saturday mornings, when I’m normally excited to get a few pages in, I glanced at it and then walked away. It wasn’t until today that I decided to pick up another book. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a book that didn’t make me want to crawl out of my skin.

It does trouble me, though. Part of me wants to read it. I want to face those demons head on and exorcise them. But is that really the way to do it? Do I really want to go through that just for a story? I’ve done it before. I read a book called Sharp Objects, and even though I knew it was traumatizing me, I ended up finishing it. It’s the first book that I ever truly felt like flinging across the room when I was finished. I’m not even happy that I read it, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to leave a book unfinished. I’ve only abandoned a few books in my life and it’s hard to know if I’m making the right decision. Do I keep traumatizing myself in the hopes that some part of that hell will be put to rest? Or do I let it go?

I’m interested to know what you think, since we are a writing community. Do you read books that traumatize you, or do you move on to other things?

I’d love to hear from you!

Flash Fiction – Avenging Angel

Every mom wants the best for their child, and I’m no exception. I don’t know how many times I pictured your graduation; you, in a white dress, walking down the aisle; you having a child of your own. It’s something a mother almost expects. What they don’t expect is a gravestone.

Yours reads:

My Angel
May 23, 1990 – January 12, 2005
Gone to find her wings…

I wish you could tell me whether or not you like it. I tried to capture you, all of you; but how do you do that in such a small space. You were so large. You filled up every room and the light sort of fizzled the moment you stepped out of it. When you left this world, you took so much of me with you that there isn’t much left; not much reason for me to remain.

I can hear you now, telling me how cryptic I am; how I have so much to live for. I know you’d want me to move on. Perhaps you’d also understand that I just can’t.

I’m not so bold to think you’d thank me for it or that you’d do the same for me. I would honestly tell you not to. But would it matter? I don’t know.

For the last year, I’ve listened and I’ve watched. I’ve attended every court session, heard everything they said about you, about what he did. There were moments that I was sure I was being ripped apart.

I wish I could go back to that night and tell you not to go. I wish I could have yelled at myself to go with you. I would have saved you. Either that, or I would still be with you; the two of us, angels up in heaven. We’d take heaven by storm, just like we were so close to doing here.

The details of that night will forever be burned in my memory, as if I’d been there; as if I’d lived it with you. If only I could take the burden from you; the gruesome horror of it. Why couldn’t it have been me? Why did it have to be you?

I’ve watched those twelve people sitting in that box. I’ve watched their faces. At first, they were horrified. I watched as they sent murderous glares to the monster on the other side of the courtroom. If only glares could do what must be done.

It didn’t take long for those looks to change. Now, they are pensive; thoughtful. There were times, when he was on the stand, that everyone was laughing. How could anyone laugh? But I’ve noticed that he has ways with people, which is perhaps why he has been allowed to continue; why you ended up in his grasp.

When they filed out to deliberate, I already knew what was going to happen. I knew what their decision would be, so I found myself leaving the courtroom. I went fast because I didn’t think it would take them long. I drove all the way across town, breaking every speed limit along the way, grabbed the item I knew would set you free, and then I hurried back.

I was right. My phone rang while I was parking. Their deliberation was done.

My heart started beating in my chest like a trapped bird struggling for flight. As far as plans went, mine was flimsy, but I’d been thinking of this since the moment they pulled back the sheet and I saw your broken body lying on the cold hard slab. I didn’t cry then, but I was forever broken.

I settled in with the crowd making their way back into the courtroom. There were whispers, bursts of laughter, and I heard someone crying. Is that me?

I didn’t bother to sit. I stood in the corner at the back of the room. I wanted to be the first one out. It felt like I hadn’t taken a breath before those twelve people were filing back into their seats.

“Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?”

“We have, your honor.”

My ears started to ring and within seconds, it was a loud roar echoing throughout my head. When they finally said the words, they replaced the roar and continued echoing around my head.

Not Guilty
Not Guilty
Not Guilty

And even though I was expecting it, I almost dropped to my knees in horror. How could they? Didn’t they see what he’d done to you?

I was the first one out the door. I thought I heard someone yelling my name, but I kept on moving. I ran to my car, grabbed what I needed, ran back to the courthouse steps and stood next to a pillar. Before I knew it, he was walking out the doors. Cameras were flashing and people were yelling questions, trying to get his attention.

“How does it feel to be a free man?”

“What are you going to do now?”

I watched as he smiled into all the cameras and started talking into the microphones.

I didn’t need his attention. I just needed him in hell where he belonged. Slowly, I pulled out the gun. Everything became silent except the buzzing that had started in my ears. Slowly, silently, I aimed for the center of his body and pulled the trigger. I pulled it again, and again, and again. I don’t know what happened first, the gun clicking empty or the mad rush of noise in my ears as I felt something hard enter my chest.

Amidst the cacophony of noise that I can’t make sense of, I find myself looking up at the cloudless blue sky, coughing up blood and struggling for breath. I manage to smile when I see white wings above me, beating in the glow of the sun.

Now you are free, my love, and I will be with you soon.


I haven’t participated in a Chuck Wendig challenge in way too long, but this week, it spoke to me.  He asked us to write a story of revenge in about 1,000 words and this one came out pretty easily.  It felt good to write something longer than 100 words.  I guess I can still do it…

SoCS – Sometimes, things don’t go as smoothly as planned

I started a project last July (has it really been that long?), and to say the least, it hasn’t gone as smoothly as anticipated.  I stopped working on the project a few months after I started, and it pretty much sat there until right after Christmas.

I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas.  This last time, I really didn’t celebrate it all that much and once it was all said and done, it made me really sad.  I guess I like it more than I was willing to admit to myself, and not really celebrating it left me feeling depressed.

So, I made a decision, went out and bought a Christmas tree and decorations and vowed that Christmas 2018 was going to be the best one yet!  This all brings me back to that project I’d started.  I had decided to crochet blankets for each one of my kiddos and I finally ended up finishing the one I started in July sometime in March (I think).

I then moved on to the next one and finished that one around the beginning of April.

I then started on my daughter’s.  The funny thing about it is that somewhere around the second row of squares, I made the decision to give it to her for her graduation.

All this time I thought I had suddenly disappeared, and to make matters even worse, I wasn’t really liking the colors in the blanket.  Two weeks before graduation, I found the perfect color and ended up redoing the first two rows and replacing the color I didn’t like.  The blanket was so much better, but that left about a week and a half to finish the rest of it.

I don’t even know how I managed it.  The Saturday before we were supposed to leave for her graduation, I crocheted something like 15 squares and my wrists were on fire.  I also developed some weird rash on my wrists that would get worse every time I crocheted.  That didn’t stop me, though.  I crocheted another 14 squares on Sunday and ended up finishing it on Tuesday, two days before we left.

I can’t decide if this was all a good or a baaad idea, but it happened.  The down side was, of course, the pain and the weird rash.  It also left me little time to blog or do much of anything besides crochet.  She loved the blanket, though.  I managed to pick all her favorite colors, which was somewhat difficult because all she told me was “fall colors” were her favorites.

I certainly feel a sense of accomplishment.  I also plan to crochet many different gifts for Christmas this year and am truly grateful it’s only May so I have plenty of time to get them all done!

Happy Saturday everyone!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “on the farm.” Find a word that has a farm animal sound in it, i.e. sMOOth, and use it in your post. Bonus points if you include three or more. Have extra fun!

  

SoCS – Messy Buns

I tried to talk myself out of writing about the first thing that came to mind, but then I decided it just wasn’t worth it. I was thinking it wouldn’t make for very interesting reading, but who knows?  Maybe the subject could use a bit more talking about.  Although, that makes it seem like it’s somehow important, and it just isn’t.

As many of you who have been with me almost from the beginning now, I shaved my head once upon a time to support my sister who was going through breast cancer.  It was scary and wonderful and all sorts of things all wrapped on in a package that left me without hair for a few months and lots of months with some pretty awful hairstyles while I grew it back in.  As drastic as shaving my head was, it wasn’t the first time in my life that I whacked my hair off.  In high school, I chopped it all off because I fell in love with Demi Moore’s hair in the movie Ghost, and I rocked that style for quite a while.

I would say my life has been pretty evenly spent in long hair and short hair.  It’s pretty funny to me, though, that when it is long, most of the time it is up in a bun or a pony tail or somehow not just hanging all over the place.  It can be rather annoying, and for people with thick hair like me, it can be heavy!

I sort of miss throwing my hair up in a messy bun.  I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I’ll grow it out again.  I’ve started on this path many times since I shaved it.  My profile picture on my blog is probably the longest I’ve let it grow since then and it just didn’t last very long.  Inevitably, I get to a point where I hate it and I chop it all off again.  One thing I am for sure going to keep doing is the under-shave.  I just have too much hair to let it all grow out.  It does make me wonder how a messy bun will look, though, with some of my head shaved.  At this point, I don’t really think I have a choice.

I like that some sort of shaved head is starting to become more mainstream.  I think we all need to realize that as much as we think our hair defines us, it really doesn’t.  It’s not like a haircut is permanent.  Hair grows back!  So, if you’re thinking about doing something crazy for summer, I’d say jump right in.  It’s all sorts of fun and crazy in here!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “bun.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

  

SoCS – So Far Away

Isn’t it crazy how we torment our poor bodies?  I don’t know about you, but it seems the older I become, the more I can feel the torment.  It’s as if my body is saying, “Please stop feeding me so much, and please exercise!”  I’ve had points in my life where I said I would never exercise and I would eat what I wanted because life is too short, I love food, etc.  However, I’m starting to realize that maybe I won’t live so long if I continue in that particular manner.

I know I’ve been talking some this year about exercise and finding my new healthy me, but it hasn’t really happened.  I started on my lovely elliptical in January, overdid it and ended up sick for the next month.  I’m honestly scared to get back on it because I am one of those people who goes all in when I make my mind up to do something.  I’m starting to realize that after 40, you just don’t recover from things as quickly.

It’s hard to be patient.  I sit here and think about how I want to be lighter, healthier and more fit, and it seems so far away.  If only it was an easy thing to just enjoy the process along the way.

I did start a diet this last week.  I really dislike publicizing that, but maybe it’s a good thing to just let it all out.  I was planning to start exercising at the same time, but I actually listened to my body this time and realized that it probably couldn’t handle that much stress.  I know it’s been less than a week since I started, but honestly, I actually feel lighter today.  The scale probably wouldn’t agree with me, but I can feel my body changing.  Even if it’s only the lack of an awful lot of really crappy food in my body, it just feels better.

The other thing I did differently this time is that I didn’t step on the scale last week.  I know I should probably have a starting point so I know where to end up, but honestly, that’s pressure too.  I know myself, and that scale is just too harsh of a reality for me when I’m trying to stay positive and motivated.  The one thing that’s nice is that your clothes are perfectly happy to tell you where you’re at.  They don’t give you a number, but they do start to loosen up a little at a time.

So, there you have it.  My goals still seem so far away, but honestly, I’m starting to settle into this whole thing, and no matter where I end up on the scale, at least I feel healthier today and now.

 


Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “so far.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

  

SoCS – I’m fine, really…

Fine is one of those words that doesn’t really inspire writing.  If you were inspired by it, I salute you because I’ve been sitting here for fifteen minutes with nothing buy fuzz in my head.  I’m not even sure I would use it in writing, to be honest.  Describing someone as “fine” is just not descriptive at all.  Fine is something I usually say when I’m upset and not ready to talk yet.  “Are you okay?”  “I’m fine!”

The other descriptive way it’s been used in the past is to describe someone as beautiful or handsome.  “He’s so fine.”  I think it was before my time, or maybe it just my time after all and I just don’t want to admit it.

I even thought about adding a prefix to it and talking about defining myself, but honestly, I’m not in the best frame of mind for that sort of post.  I feel like I’m floundering and nothing feels quite right.  I know I’m in a funk and when it’s like this, my thoughts work overtime trying to come up with “solutions” to the “problem”, when really, there is no solution.  Depression is like that, isn’t it?  The minute you try to define it, you’ve pretty much lost yourself to a vacuum of negativity and churning thoughts that go nowhere.

See, I didn’t really want this post to be like this, but it seems my stream of consciousness is reflective of my dark mood.  The weather isn’t helping.  It seems to me that our seasons have sort of changed.  March used to be the start of spring, but we just barely started having winter, so I’m thinking we might just go straight to summer in June like we did last year.  I’m actually happy it finally started snowing.  It’s weird to have the expectation of something and then to watch day after day without that thing happening.

That sounds an awful lot like what’s going on inside me right now; the expectation of something that isn’t quite happening.  Nothing’s really great, but nothing is really bad either.  I suppose you could say that I’m just fine…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “fine.” Use it any way you’d like, bonus points if you use it as the last word of your post. Have fun!