Writing Prompt Response: Out My Window

A box of concrete with two windows and a door is the place I’ve been hiding out.

Beyond the windows, the air is cool and crisp.  Green hills, with trees fading into autumn rest a gentle distance away.

Clouds are coming in, shading the world in gray.  it’s a beautiful sight, so inviting- enticing me to play… and yet I never leave.

Somewhere in the forest, all the Fae folk reside.  They’re having feasts and fellowship, dancing from dusk to dawn.

And yet for some reason, I remain alone.  Watching  Nature’s divine romance set the trees aflame from the window of my concrete hollow.

Perhaps I will join them tonight.  Embrace Freedom from this cave.

Depression is a fight, causing one to miss out on the beauties all around us.  Beyond the window of my concrete box are all the things I long to have, and none that I can touch.

Perhaps one day things will be right.  At least for now the window is open.  I can watch and enjoy the breeze.  The fresh cool air flourishing my spirits, and giving my heart new life.

Beautiful Potential

Precious little girl, you are more than this.

The darkness that consumes you, and breathes into your life has no power to remain there.

Sweetest little child, you are not judged by the darkness that you surround yourself in.  You’re free to let it go.

I know it protects you.  It keeps your sins from coming to light.

But do you know what else it does?  It tears you away from your potential.  It keeps you from accomplishing the things you were meant to.

You are so gifted, your heart is beautiful.  The words pouring out of your soul are worth reading, and worth being put on the shelves.  Your words were meant to be read, they were meant to be enjoyed.  

You have friends to join you in this Quest.

You have friends invested in your success.

You have support that loves you, they delight in you.

You have hope because they wont leave you until the Journey is done.

It’s beautiful, embrace it.

Your mind, your heart, your desires, your passions.  You are Beautiful and worthy of so much more.

Let go of the Darkness.  Let go of the Bondage and embrace your potential.

It is worth it.

Frailty thy Name is Forgotten.

Mesmerizing in a way once forgotten

Walking in newness of a life once down trodden

Back when fantasies were dreams left untouchable

Wondering if this pursuit is just as corruptible

All the waking endless nights keep passing

Each one void of Love and laughing

Empty staring, lost in the universe of thought

Seeing these things inside you have brought

Each one waiting for a second bloom to burst into life

Until someone stalks it with a pairing knife

Without water, each dead sapling has been cut out

Bulbs torn from sockets and planted take roots

Bright ideas sit stagnant too dull to reuse

And what shall we do with the drunken Sailor?

The one who sobs confusing funnel for strainer?

Bleary-eyed waiting for someone to make it right

Blot away bloodstains to make it shine bright

Sweep the crumbs up to save for later

It is all a game, and I am the only player.

The Ranger Of Severum – Episode 10

Gentle rocking interrupted by a sudden bob woke Trillian from his sleep.  He opened his eyes to find the stateroom empty.  Sunlight peaked through the curtains, falling in strips of gold on the floor.  The sound of water lapping and splashing soothed his mind as he lay on the bed a few moments.  Despite the calm, Trillian felt his chest constrict.  He was anxious wondering when Sideon would catch up with them.

Gathering himself, Trillian braced against the rocking to sit up as he shifted his legs over the side of the bed.  After grounding his feet on the floor, Trillian nodded in rhythym to the sway of the boat before standing up.  The first few times he’d tried to stand from sitting, he’d lost his balance.  Once in front of Yulissa, who laughed at him.  The motion to stand was swift.  He put on his shirt, aware of his need to eat and drink.

First he would find his mother and Yulissa, considering neither had woken him when they’d gotten up that morning.

Holding the handrail to balance himself, Trillian ascended to the deck, blinking against the fierce sunlight, shining freely in a clear blue sky.  Trillian couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen the sky so open.  There wasn’t much sunshine in the Severum.

Glancing about he easily found the women.  Yulissa stood beside his mother.  She smiled warmly at Trillian as they met eyes.  This strange woman who’d entered his life a few weeks ago consumed his thoughts.  He hadn’t decided yet whether it was because she was the first woman he’d encountered.

“And here is the devil himself.”  Yulissa stretched a hand in his direction as mother and son smiled at each other.

Their eyes locked intensely and Trillian stepped forward eagerly enveloping his mother in a long embrace.  She’d been waiting for them when they arrived at the docks two nights before. Trillian learned Yulissa had arranged the entire escape down to taking his mother with them.  He’d been alert, spurned by nervous anticipation in each step that took them further from the Severum. Trillian sensed Sideon would be pursuing in flight, riding with his fleet of Morfin –  hawk-like birds the size of lions.  Each one naturally fitted with enormous talons, shaved to sharp points, able to pierce right through an enemy.

Thankfully they had still not seen Sideon or his henchmen on the horizon behind of them.  Yulissa insisted it was because they passed through a portal to another realm, but Trillian was leery nonetheless.

Trillian let his mother go, taking in a deep breath of fresh air.  Traveling by sea brought him joy.  Perhaps it was the salty, fishy scent of the ocean, or the constant warmth of sunshine so foreign to him in the Severum.  Maybe it was getting to see his mother every hour of the day, or the chance to breathe without Sideon’s ever-present gaze hovering in his mind.

“We have much to discuss.”  Yulissa wasted no time.  “We will be to the Gate in a few hours.  When we get there, the ship will immediately dock in a large city.  One greater than either of you could imagine.  It is very important that you refrain from gawking.  My mission depends on your absolute solemn behaviors, even down to the tiniest flash of light in your eyes.”

The ranger thought the order more than possible, though in his heart he wasn’t entirely sure he could agree to it.  “Why is this so strongly required?”

Yulissa’s expression tightened, “Realm Jumping is forbidden, without permission from the High Ones.  The tyrant overlord uses his repulsive minions to guard the gates, in order to keep them secret.  They are trained to see everything, even the slightest flash of awe and wonder.”

“Who are these High Ones?”  Trillian’s mother asked.

Gorthnek, from the lands of fire.  One of them, Urgo, decided he was greater than all the races of the Universe, and warred against the Realms, capturing the Gates as he went.  After conquering the realms, he opened the Gates to hell and foul beasts flooded into the Realms.”  She looked to Trillian, “It is my job to smuggle the beings of Light into Giordan and collect valuable items along the way.”

“But,” Trillian began, slightly confused, “is this Urgo not already aware of a gathering?  If he is watching the Gates, and we passed through one, does he not already know?”

“Urgo does not fear Langoria, he knows Sideon rules with iron will.”  Yulissa replied, her eyes flashing to Trillian’s mother briefly.  “The people are subjugated to him, unaware of freedom and liberties.  It is unlikely Urgo will notice the inhabitants of Langoria passing through the Gates until Sideon has been defeated.”

“Defeated?”  Trillian exclaimed in disbelief, knowing such a thing was nearly impossible.  “Who are you expecting to overthrow Sideon?”  His eyes twitched between his mother and Yulissa.

“You.”  His mother smiled.

A sensation of fear filled Trillian’s chest as he considered what that meant for him.  “I am not–”

Yulissa smiled, “We have been discussing several options, Sosha and I decided you are the only one capable.”  Sosha, being his mother.  “I have seen what you are capable of, Trillian.”  She stepped forward slowly, “You have amazing powers.  If you could learn how to use those powers to your greatest ability, I guarantee you will defeat Sideon.  And in turn, Urgo.”

The weight in his chest became heavier, “Mother, I…”

Gulls squawked over head as the Lookout called, “Gate ahead!  All hands on deck.”

The crew came alive, preparing the ship for docking.

Trillian stood at the rail staring beyond the horizon into the uncertainty of his future, trying to imagine what it might be like to stand up against Sideon.  He was absolutely certain he would be able to stay solemn as they entered this new realm he’d never seen before.

Procrastination

Hello friends!
I don’t know if anybody even follows me anymore.  This might just be a shout out in the dark.

I just submitted a third short story for publication.  I’m going to be featured in another anthology!
The premise of the project was to write outside of your usual comfortzone.
My usual genre is High Fantasy/Fantasy.  The category picked for me was Noir.
After looking up what that meant, I was tickled by the anticipation to write a 1940’s conflict.
The first scene came to me in black and white.  I watched it play out live a movie in my head.  And then the next scene followed.  And…. and…. and then….

Well, then I was stuck, see?
So I spent a few weeks trying to get a handle on the story and feel out the way it wanted to be written.

Finally, as the deadline rapidly approaches, I’ve conqured the Voice and am writing at it every moment I get.

Today I finished the final edits and off it went.  Now I wait to know if they liked it, and whether or not I did a good job.

So, Procrastination.  Thats the name of the game.  And each generation does it the same.
Personally, I deal strongly with the idea that I’m a Nobody, and my stories and tales aren’t worth the effort.  Somebody will never read them.  Somebody wont like them.  Anybody can see that I’ve written a book, but as a Nobody, Anybody could leave the book sitting there unopened.

This depression and loathesome style of Self-Worth is entirely common.  Much too common.

Tonight I finished day 2 of a pretty hardcore workout challenge.  It’s not Insanity, it’s a simple challenge that’s amped up to get you going.
I started it yesterday ((obviously)), and the motivation to workout and stick with it is high!  Motivation pumping, my adrenaline is like, “Lets kick this Booty in the Butt!”
And then tomorrow morning will come.  And I’ll face down the depression all over again.

An endless cycle of procrastination and looming deadlines, because I feel inadequate to write the book.  Publish the book.  Make people want the book- in essence, make them want me.

It’s why I barely write here.  I don’t know how to garner a Following, I don’t know how to promote myself.  I don’t even know what I’m doing.

….but little by little I’m doing it.
I’m writing.  I’m making myself heard.  I’m striving to meet the Goal before me, and get into my Pre-Pregnancy jeans!  My wedding dress!  A new ball gown by Nobember!

……my own High Fantasy novel sitting on shelves in Barnes and Noble.  *is struck with starry-eyed dreams*
Going to Fantasy conventions, Comic-Con, Con-DFW, etc….
Feeling the gratification of knowing I am a /Somebody/ instead of a Nobody.

Yeah.  So that’s me.
How are you?

Dry Wells

I don’t feel like a writer lately.

I don’t even feel like a “Christian” lately.

My motivation feels as though it fell into the black hole in the sea.

great-blue-hole-at-belize

Right there.  Swallowing all of me whole.

Life with littles has taken me over, and I attend the needs of children all day long.  Losing focus on the things I love, and the things I very much need to do.

I’m not crazy brilliant, with unending knowledge to tell you how to write. I don’t have tips and tricks, I simply write when the story is alive in my brain-watching it play like a movie. And when the scene closes, I stop writing.

The desire to write is a roller coaster affair. The swells and urges come and go, and you ride them one hill at a time. Each crescendo feels more exciting than the last– until you hit the low points. And my god, are they low.

Doubt, self-loathing, “why would anyone want to read me anyway? I’m a fraud.”
Driving us to drink, because we aren’t committed to the pen as William Shakespear might have been. Brilliance one poetic play at a time! Surely that man had it together.

It’s really pretty black and white.
You write? You’re a writer.
You’re published? You’re an author.

You. Are. Real. No matter if you’re in a mountain of a block, or an ant hill. The words will always be locked in your heart, you were destined to think them. The urge will always be in your mind. You were destined to hear them.
If the words can’t hit the paper, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.
It means you need a break. And not from writing-you’re already on a break from writing. ((Blocked, break, same thing….))
Life is just as much a roller coaster of swells and crescendos.
If your writing causes you to miss out on the precious, fleeting moments Life offers-you’re writing for the wrong reason.
Step out into Awareness. Feel life. Enjoy it. Watch your kids grow. Watch your nephews and nieces grow. Love your family. Live in Today.
Tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own.

Jesus Christ said “Do not worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Hinduism, Buddism, Christianity and Judaism, all of us can agree to be Ever Present in Today.

Take little steps at a time, and before you know it, you’ll end up at the otherside of the room.

……I don’t even remember how this blog started or where I was going with it.
In the end, I’m glad it presented a simple message. Today is worth living for.

Earlier I said to my husband, “No time like the past to regret the present.”
It was a tongue in cheek joke at the time, but now I see how profound it was.

Good talk. Perhaps one of these days I’ll have more insight.

I’m sure most of you have forgotten I exist, and thanks to my second child and lapse in The Ranger of Severum, I’m pretty sure you guys aren’t even interested in the next episode either.
It’s going to be good…. when it gets off it’s feet.
Meanwhile in Eldegras, I am muddling through the first draft at a very slow pace. Paul gave me deadlines to help work towards publishing. I’m aiming for them but life has been RIDICULOUS. I hope April is slower. I’m tired of turning around to find the month is over and I have nothing to show for it.

How about you? How are you doing?
Are you reading my blog?
Is there anything I should do different?
Leave me a comment. Chat with me. I’d like to get to know my readers 🙂

What Words Are These?

Writers Block might as well be called “Writers Constipation”.

I know, its rather gross an image.  But work with me here.  All blocked up in every project you’re working on, oh honey you’re just doomed.  Forever.

I’m there.  Blocked, flowing, blocked, flowing.  It’s an on/off relationship with Words.

Friends of mine are taking off by chapters and word counts, and I’m sitting here mournfully, wondering when the right concoction might cause the words to flow again.

After 13 years, SURELY my fantasy world had produced physical evidence in the real world?!

Technically, it has.  I have written five books quite successfully that are so poorly executed they will never see light of day.  For the best interest of anyone involved.

JP Haldenwang, a good friend of mine, has so sweetly volunteered to read a book I need to rewrite, for the beautiful sake of feedback.  Is the plot worth salvaging?  What parts should I drop altogether when I start over?

I am successful in my own way, I suppose.  My children are fed, clothed, bathed, happy–  and my proverbial children are dancing gaily in my head spinning new books ((One of which I am trying to write….)) and stories in my imagination.
Meanwhile, I work on art projects and make maps, beta read, read for reviews.  As a Multi-talented artist, and a supportive friend, I seek to help further my successful writer friends in their endeavors!

How wonderful it is to watch their blogs I share be viewed, and shared, knowing they’re getting exposure to the world in whatever tiny faucet I can offer.  My following is small compared to the wide world their books are apart of, but every ounce of promotion counts.  Who knows how many sales I have helped them receive by sharing their books and faces on my blog!

Perhaps one day, I will finally have my own published book to join theirs.

Meanwhile, it’s the little things that count.  Force yourself to write.  Start small, keep a commonplace journal, but whatever you do WRITE.  And don’t stop when the trickle turns to running water.  Let it all out.
It’s not good for your mood, your inner peace, how you view yourself….
Blocks don’t make you a failure.  They make you human.

And we are that, dear writer.  Humans with evolving emotions.  Our minds open and change year after year, experiencing so many new things.
Let the stories grow with you.
We all start somewhere.

“Verbs?  Those are what, remind me?”
“Adverbs?  I certainly never knowingly acknowledged their existence.”
“What do you mean people don’t talk like that?  That’s how it sounded in my head….?”

JUST WRITE.  Relish the beautiful thing you did in finishing a book.  And then when you go back to read it and edit it, REMIND yourself that it is beautiful, because YOU finished it.
Now perfect and polish it until it gleams.  One. Scene. At. A. Time.
We become overwhelmed when we allow the negative thoughts to tarnish our success.
Writing a book is an incredible thing.
Perfecting a book is a difficult, and still incredible thing.

Only YOU can stop YOURSELF from finishing it.  So don’t.
Block out all of the noise around you, and tell your story.  It is worth telling.

Writing Prompt Response

Writing prompt: In 500 words, There’s an island where all lost things end up.  Today, you wake up, cold and wet, on the beach of that island.

I always knew something was wrong with me. From the moment I started to cry as a baby, to the moment I laid down to sleep last night.
The voices of my parents never quite matched the rumblings of murmurs I had heard in my nine months of watery incubation. Between being born, and going to the hospital nursery, I had somehow ended up with the wrong family.
I’d been lost my entire childhood. I was lost during the trying adolescent years when I started to realize I looked nothing like my brothers.
Some people say it was “adoption”, irregardless, I call it lost.
Especially when I opened my eyes an hour ago to find myself in a place cluttered in lonely socks and other miscellanious items.
All your life, you wonder where mismatched socks, bobby pins, hair ties, buttons, shoes, slippers, and family pets end up. Well, wonder no more – they still exist, stranded on a surreal island in the middle of nowhere.
After blinking several times, relentlessly pinching my arm, and roughly smacking myself across the face once or twice, I decided to spend my time a bit more productively and find out where the heck I was, and if I was the only one here.
“Have you seen Joe?” I heard a voice ask.
“Shelley? Shelley where did you go?” Another cried from somewhere behind me.
It was certainly an odd sight, the endless piles of things scattered about everywhere.
A dog ran past my legs, bumping into me as he went. He was shaggy and gray, with a floppy ear hanging down, and the other perked, listening. Barking this way and that as he threw his head side to side, looking for something.
I knew a great deal about what that was like. The anxious pounding of the heart, as you plow through a crowd of people trying to find something—
The voices caught my attention again as someone else called out for Frank.
Curiosity piqued, I hurried in the direction of the voice.
For being an island of lost things, you will immediately understand the irony which ensued, as I /never/ found the sources which belonged to the voices I heard.
I pursued them until I felt my sanity begin to drain from me. The oddest part of all was the magical sort of “poof” sound that happened right after their cries cheered up.
Cheered up. That was the best way to put it. Almost as though they had been found again, and no longer needed to be here.
Some people try to “find” love, others try to “find” God. In a way, everyone feels just as lost as I do. At least, in one way or another. Unfortunately, I had never known the cheer I’ve just described to you. Nobody has ever made me as happy as the voices that have come and gone in the last two hours.
I wonder how people end up here anyway. In fact, as I stand on this strange island now, I still want to know how on earth *I* got here….. I wasn’t /really/ lost, I was just trying to get from 52nd street to Broadway, and stopped to ask for directions.

Stress Undressed

There are few words in life that accurately describe the emotional train wreck women experience during motherhood.
Currently,  stressed and anxious, I count down the days to my daughter’s birth.
Today, we learned that she’s breeched. I have one week to help manipulate her into turning, and if she doesn’t, I’m scheduled into an appointment for an inversion. The determination to get her to flip first is pretty high– as I’m avoiding a c-section at all costs unless it’s absolutely necessary. 36 weeks and 2-4 to go, I’m so ready to be done.

The absolute delight of being published is not lost on me, nor the anticipation for more opportunities to put together other anthologies with my dear friends and peers in Den of Quills.

However, current circumstances in my home have brought about the worst in me, creating despair.  Causing utter betrayal of my Game Face, ripping doors open to reveal the chaotic winds of “what if” that blow at hurricane strength in my heart.

Any semblance of Sanity I might produce gets formed to the written page in stories of free and frivolous characters.  My latest being Keegan Brand and Farah.  Ever since these two paired up in my imagination for the DoQ anthology,  more stories and adventures desire to be told.  They’re fun, new and interesting,  which has been refreshing in the midst of Life.
We all need a bit of therapeutic indulgence from time to time-though I wish very much that Trillian and Yulissa would spark my Muse again as they are currently waiting for an episode to finish!

The Cast of Eldegras sit quietly in their green room, waiting for me to pick their series back up as well.  High Fantasy, fully plotted out, with well defined world building finished, and character plots, sub-character plots, supporting cast…..  All of it hanging in the shadow, waiting on me to have the courage to produce it.

Priorities align when you set the emotional roller-coaster aside and allow yourself to decide what is most important.
In writing, the self-doubt and lack of confidence that creeps in can hamper your desire to produce what you love.
Will the fear of rejection put your stories on a shelf in your brain,  where no one else will ever experience them?
Will the efforts you put into your books be lost when you watch enthusiasm for your stories die out?

Right now, life in the Villa-Smith home is filled with uncertainty, worry, doubt, anxious anticipation– so many things are happening or waiting to happen.
I’m allowing the circumstances to dictate how I feel in a given moment,  which in turn separates me from doing the things I love most.  Writing of course, being one of them.

Don’t let your stress do that to you.  It’s not worth it.  If you have a hobby you absolutely enjoy,  the core of your being thrives on it, don’t ever back burner to Life.  Use it in the quiet moments to unwind and unlock what you’ve been holding onto.  Pursue Yourself in the stillness when you can hide away in time to yourself. Make a point to not think about the things going on outside of your control,  and just hold on to focusing on You.
It’s difficult,  but after a while, realizing that you and your sanity are more important than your circumstances will help to make the most of every quiet moment you have.

~ * ~ * ~
36 weeks pregnant with my second child, a newly published author, and a frazzled housewife raising a toddler, I do hope that my goings-on inspire you to push through and accomplish your dreams.  There are no excuses, if housewives with young children can do it, so can you.