Tag Archives: writing

Shattered

22 May

This is a little something I typed out late one night recently. I felt that it might resonate with others, so I’m sharing it with you all.

Photo by Marika Vinkmann on Unsplash

It feels like,

under the smiles and laughter

that my heart is broken.

Broken in just the right way that

I’m able to shove it aside and decide

that it’s really all okay.

That it’s still whole.

But then a rainy day,

and one little thing suddenly makes me

Remember.

Remember the questions.

The Fears.

The Anger.

The Swirling Darkness.

Oh the pain of this broken heart,

Will it mend?

Will the cure that I’m working towards,

Truly mend it or will it remain shattered

Shattered.

Shattered inside while outwardly I

Smile.

A Doomed Fate

25 Apr

I’ve been trying to do some writing prompts but none of them are working you guys – oy to the VAY. So I decided instead to dust off a portion of a little story I’ve been working off and on the past year. Because, you know, sometimes shiny new ideas call to you and you absolutely have to run with them for a little bit.  Just keep in mind that this is still a very rough draft, all right?

doomedfate

 

 

Photo by Greg Panagiotoglou on Unsplash

Kalick raged.

He could feel the presence, but he couldn’t see it. And he couldn’t fight what he couldn’t see. He threw his cup across the room in frustration,

“It’s there, Tallo and it’s closer than it’s been these twenty years. I can feel it. It’s calling to me, urging me on for its own purpose. But how do I fight it?”

A spindly man dressed in a monk’s robes, Tallo sat beside Kalick and stared into his cup of mead. Finally, he spoke, as if still considering what he said, “Perhaps, you don’t have to fight it. You say it’s coming closer now than it’s been. You could use that to your advantage.”

“Welcome it, you mean? Shall I bloody invite it in for supper?” His lips twisted in mocking grimace; he swung his arm wide to showcase the room. Once it had been grand, fine enough even for royals to stay and dine. And they had, once. But now the shine had faded from the candlesticks, the rug had been nearly worn through and only a few had occasion to sit around the long table. Those few were hardly noteworthy characters, even in these, the worst of times. They were the few that were searching for a way to change the fate they had been left to. The rest of the people either staunchly denied that their protector had abandoned them or meekly accepted their fate. Certain that they’d brought it on themselves somehow. But Kalick had gathered together a handful of men who couldn’t sit idly by and watch their families die.  They would fight, to the last of them.

Kalick shifted his shoulder, unease trickling down his spine again. That presence had been with him like a mangy dog that won’t leave your heels. Ever present, never wanted. Never acknowledged outright either. Until tonight. As he thought about it, the trickle grew, filling his mind. A pull, a tug, came from his right, like a string joined at the other end to….what? Turning quickly, he followed it, ignoring his companion calling his name. He would learn just what this presence was. He would learn just who had been dogging his steps, interrupting his peace and thinking they could get away with trying to lead him around like a child. They didn’t know just who they were dealing with. But they would. Just as soon as he had his hands around their neck.

~~

Tallo sat down heavily, deciding he wasn’t in the mood to follow after the erratic man.  He’d known Kalick for years now, but he had. . . changed. But then, they both had, he supposed. Tallo knew he wasn’t the best man for the job he’d been given, but he had been the readiest, and the closest at hand. Counting up the lost at the end of each day took a stomach far stronger than his. He’d turned to spirits to diminish the pain of counting wee lasses and lads’ lifeless bodies; to forget the sight of his own sweet wife succumbing to…but no. Better to think on how to help Kalick now that it seemed he’d reached another low point. The man had the worst luck, it seemed. But outright saying that he felt a presence? An invisible presence? The man had clearly gone out of his depth. Tallo hadn’t meant to send the man running out of the room with his suggestion. He’d merely been placating, pretending he believed that. . .a low moan reached his ears.

“Dash it all!” Tallo swore, tossing his empty cup to the table. He’d never forgive himself if something happened to Kalick, not after sweating and shifting by his side these past miserable years. If he had to live through this, so did Kalick.

Tallo rushed through the room, paused to listen for another sound, rushed through more of the empty house. For long moments, he couldn’t hear anything. Panting, he leaned against a door jamb, wondering if he’d heard the death rattle in his memory, instead of in reality. Feeling his heartbeat slow, Tallo fingered the chain at his neck. Perhaps he…There it was again. A weeping, pleading sound from above him. Taking the stairs two at a time, he wondered who could have made their way past him and Kalick to reach these rooms.  And he hoped Kalick wasn’t releasing all his pent-up anger on them. The man had a way with his fists that could terrify the strongest man. But when Tallo reached the top, breathing heavily again, he couldn’t fathom what he saw.

Kalick lay curled on his side, fists to his eyes, weeping. Above him stood a man wider and taller than any Tallo had ever seen, his face hidden by a hood, his clothes stranger than the sight of Kalick on the floor. Neither seemed to notice Tallo’s entrance.

“You will do this, Kalick, son of Perta, son of Hown. I have been waiting entirely too long. You know the cost if you refuse.” The man’s voice was hard, deadly. Tallo knew in that instant, whatever he wanted from Kalick, was a terrible thing indeed. And that he, Tallo himself, a worn-out monk, would be right beside his friend. No matter what it was. For it was one thing to choose a fate. But far another to be doomed to it.

 

“Answer me, Kalick.” His voice was like a whip.

“Yes. Yes, I will- will do as you say.” Kalick’s words came haltingly from his lips. He tried to keep them back but they formed of their own will. The consequences were too great to refuse. But the actions themselves were just as vile. His choice having been made for him, Kalick lay where he was, hoping against hope that the stranger would leave without another demonstration of his strength.

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt – Confession

17 Apr

wrtngprmptconfession

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

On This Page I Write My Last Confession. Read It Well.

I confess to wandering, when my place was by your side. My heart was happiest with you but little things, daily things, pulled me away and sought to take your place. To my ever-lasting shame, I let them. They seemed so important then, but truly they weren’t. What a life we could have lived, if I’d only stayed by your side.           

I admit that I lied, when it seemed like it didn’t matter. Little white lies, that hurt no one, I told myself. If I could make my path a little smoother, I easily let slip a lie. Relieved when I got away with it and angry when I got caught. Were those lies worth the worry of being caught, keeping them straight day after day? 

I confess to holding grudges over the years. I knew that I should let them go but instead I ignored them. Pretended that if I didn’t think about them, they weren’t affecting me.

I admit to begrudging others my time, my attention, my love. I was so focused on me and my wants and desires, that I rarely saw the truth. The beauty of helping and connecting and sharing. By rote, I carried out these things but they didn’t reach my heart.

I confess to getting caught up in comparisons and striving for more, always more. A bigger house, a better car, nicer clothes, fancier things. 

I confess to giving such an outward appearance of morality, faithfulness and charity, that I never stopped and looked inside myself. To see myself truly. 

But as I write this with shaking hand and certainty that my last days are coming, I regret that. My life was good and full of good, but in striving for more, I lost sight of that. The end does not justify the means, because in the end, so much of what I was aiming for, no longer matters. In the end, I find that it’s me with my thoughts. Me with my family. Me with failing body and struggling words. Too late I’ve learned the truth. Too late I’ve come to realize what I should have been focusing on. All I can say is, I confess it. And don’t make the same mistake.”

~I don’t do much editing at all with these writing prompts. The idea, for me, is to let the words come as they will and leave them be. Getting the creative juices flowing is the goal.

~Laura

*this was originally published in February 2019 but I decided that it could bear a bit of dusting off and sharing again.

Flowers in the Rain

21 Mar

I’m sharing a quick writing prompt with you all today! I know I’ve been so absent on SGL for the past month. Here’s to hoping I can start getting back into a regular posting schedule. I hope you enjoy this.

With a quick glance at the gray sky as I pulled the door shut behind me, I decided that I just might have enough time before the storm hit. I’d not been able to make it the past week and it gnawed at me. Chancing getting caught in the rain far outweighed the knowledge that I’d not sleep well tonight if I missed this opportunity to sneak away.

As usual, my steps were heavy even though they were quick and long. My only thought was to get there. My path wasn’t the shortest route though. First I needed to stop and get some flowers. It was only right, to take flowers with me as an offering. Before long, I spied the small house that sat on the corner lot. It was of no particular interest, being a bit shabby and bleak. But the owner faithfully tended a garden and that was what I was aiming for. I casually glanced around me, but the neighborhood was empty.

Just like it always was.

Hopping over the low fence, I  stooped to pick a small handful of lilies, asters and roses. Really, I didn’t care what they were, the point was something beautiful and bright. I adjusted the flowers in my hand, deciding I needed a few more and bent low again.

“You might as well take those last few lilies.”

I shot up at the sound of the raspy voice mere feet from me. I stared at the stooped man who looked as if he’d eaten something sour. His lips turned up on one side and his eyes were slits.

“I’m sorry. I – ” I faded out as I realized that I couldn’t tell him what I was doing.

“You’re stealing my best beauties, just as you always do. Why don’t you go to a florist shop, instead of destroying my garden? Hmm?”

I hung my head, eyeing the flowers in my hand. A raindrop hit the petal of one, trailing down to land on my thumb. I looked up at the sky and noticed the old man doing the same. “I’m sorry. I -” I tried again, but the words got stuck and my hand clenched around the stems.

He squinted at me, and then muttering , reached inside his front door. I took a step back, thinking of making a run for it when he pulled an umbrella out. “Let’s go deliver those before it’s a deluge out here.” His words stopped my feet.

Was he really saying what I thought he was? “But you can’t come with me.”

“Son, you’ve been stealing my flowers for nigh on the whole summer, so I suppose I deserve to see this pretty girl that has warranted such flower theft.”

I followed his shuffling gait out of the small yard and accepted the umbrella he held out for the both of us. We walked with no other noises but his occasional grunts and the click of his cane on the sidewalk. As we drew closer to my destination, I tried to come up with how to tell him just where we were going. I kept my eyes low, but I knew the instant he figured it out. The tapping of his cane stopped and eventually so did he. I paused just ahead of him, looking back. I begged him silently not to say any of the trite things people feel the need to say at a time like this. I begged him to understand.

And he did. The sorrow in his eyes told me.

He started walking again, but he remained silent, merely joining me under the umbrella again, his cane tapping out a rhythm.

He stayed with me until I stopped before a stone laid flat in the green grass, the patter of raindrops on the umbrella sounding out the beat of my heart. I handed him the handle, then knelt to replace the dead flowers with the new. I hung my head, not caring that I was getting soaked from kneeling on the wet ground. A gentle hand cupped my shoulder,

“The grief never leaves, son. The grief never leaves.”

Here’s the prompt that I started this from: “Sometimes I steal flowers from your garden on my way to the cemetery, but today you’ve caught me and have demanded to come with me to make sure the ‘girl is pretty enough to warrant flower theft’ and I’m trying to figure out how to break it to you that we’re on our way to a graveyard”

Thanks for stopping by SGL. If you want to check it out, I’m on Instagram fairly regularly.

~Laura

The First Weeks of Nanowrimo 2019 (and what else I’ve been up to)

16 Nov

I know, I know, it’s been quite a while since I shared a post on here! I’ve thought about it – many times.  I’ve wished I could just sit down and give you all an update on how I’m doing, what I’ve been reading and share oodles of puppy pictures with you. And I know what you’re going to say –

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.

If “if’s” and “and’s” were pots and pans,

There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.”

That’s not what you were going to say? Oh.

Well.

This is awkward now.

1stweeksofnano2019

And, moving on-  suffice it to say, I’ve been busy, life can knock you down while at the same time bring you a cute rambunctious fluffy puppy to snuggle.

20191104_112851

In case you haven’t met her yet, this is Rory. We picked her up October 2nd and she’s been – mostly- a little doll since. She sleeps through the night -!! – and absolutely adores Abby. She gets sad when Dad leaves for work and has gone from crawling up on to just jumping onto the ‘dog couch’.

20191107_202719

Aside from that, I’ve struggling with some health set backs that have been frustrating. But I’m going to be talking with my doctor soon to start a new protocol.

And now, for the last bit of news – National Novel Writing Month started on the first of November and I have actually been doing really well! There’s only been a few days where I didn’t meet my minimum word count goal of 1,667 (and only one day that I didn’t write at all). I am editing my novel – again – so I decided to just make i easy on myself and chose to aim for 50k words. As you’ll see, my current draft word count is over that mark, as of last night! I’m excited about this as it means I’ve been able to add in the other POV’s that the story needed, as well as some desperately needed changes in the overall plot.

*POV is  point of view*

My goal is to get as much edited as I can before the month is over. And then to just keep at it until it’s ready to send to beta readers!

Total word count so far: 33,580

Current Draft word count: 52,012

 

I will do my best to come back and update you as the month progresses on how I’m doing with Nano and my health but I’m not going to push myself on it. Those are my main two goals this month (as well as taking care of the puppies of course) and I’m trying to not add any more pressure about anything else.

If you’re doing Nano, how is it going for you? 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Thin Walls and Silent Doors

6 Aug

I wrote most of this late one night on my phone while trying to block the light from waking up my OH. I dusted it off and then finished it in order to share it with you guys today. I hope you like this writing snippet.

wrtngprmptthinwalls&silentdoors

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

“Sometimes, you give your heart freely, others it’s stolen from you, and sometimes you have no rights to it at all.”
“Lonnie?” The name was spoken hesitantly.
“Lonnie never cared about my heart. He only wanted to possess me.” She spoke softly, but with a hard edge to her words.
He could hear her sister shift uncomfortably, Fern had her own memories of Lonnie.

He finished closing the door, as silent as he could. The surprise he’d planned for the girls was waiting outside. He admitted to himself that as much as he wanted to make Fern smile, it was really Helen that he…
“And Garrett!?”
He froze at the sound of his name.
” Garrett .I … He… It’s a little of the first two, I guess. He stole my heart, and I gave it freely. Even though I knew it was pointless. Nothing can happen between us.”
His heart stopped beating at the first admission and broke at the second. Tears coursed down his cheeks as he stood in the entry way. Of course, he’d known she was still getting over what Lonnie had done. He’d known it would take a long time for her to be ready to open her heart again. But the finality in her voice made him wonder if she ever truly would. He breathed deeply against the pain, trying to stem the flow of tears so the girls wouldn’t hear. The walls of his house weren’t thick enough to block the sound of a broken heart.

Silence stretched thin in the other room. Finally Fern spoke, “I know I’m younger, Helen, but I want you to listen to me. Listen! If we stop livin’ and just. . . just give up inside then what has it all been for? We could’ve stayed there in that place. It wouldn’ta made any difference. But we got out. We’re out, Helen. And I’m not sayin’ that you should just… just jump in Garrett’s arms or nothin’ but he’s a good man. He’s the tree that the wind blows but can’t uproot. Give life a chance. Don’t stop livin’.”

Garrett would have given much to see inside the room after Fern’s words but he didn’t want to interrupt such an important conversation. He silently blessed Fern for her words to her older sister.  He dragged in a ragged breath, waiting for Helen’s response. A footstep outside the door alerted him and he moved to intercept the person before they knocked. He eased the door open and motioned them to be quiet, all the while his ear cocked for any word from Helen.

“Helen?”

A soft sigh drifted to him, “I’ve got nothin’ left in me. Nothin’ at all. Nothin’ Garrett would want. Nothin’ that I even want. No. No, Fern, no more. I’ve heard you, now you hear me. I’m wrung out and I can’t…I can’t.”

Before Garrett could move, Helen burst from the room. Blinded by tears, she didn’t see him standing there, one hand on the door while the other reached out for her. She bolted to the room across the hallway, slamming the door shut. Slowly he opened the front door wider, and cancelled the surprise he’d planned. There would be no smiling tonight.

He wasn’t sure if he ever would again.

 

Writing Prompt- Road’s End

30 Apr

 

I’m sharing a quick writing prompt with you today. I hope you like it.

wrtngprmptroadsend2

 

Photo by William Felker on Unsplash

It seemed so long ago now. The sounds of gravel under the tires. The music filling the cab of the truck. The sun streaming in, blinding her from the left. She fixed her neon pink sunglasses that covered half her face. She loved those sunglasses. The field to her right stood empty, the house in front of her was one she knew well. This was her favorite retreat from the confines of the city. She reveled in knowing that she’d managed to squirrel enough time off to be there for two whole weeks. No more smog and blaring noises. No more crowds and odors that made her want to gag. Here, in this place, she was free. She adjusted her sunglasses again and sung along with the radio.

She came up to the final bend in the road and turned on her blinker. Just a quick left and then a right into the driveway and she’d be there. Anticipation riding high, she looked both ways. Nothing but emptiness that she could see. Just as she pulled out onto the tar-paved road, a horn blared. The sound of brakes squealing and tires skidding. The sudden jolt of being hit and the subsequent rolling. Over and over the truck spun. She screamed, one long, endless scream until finally the truck stopped.

In that moment, her plans changed. There would be no treks to the creek a few miles away. No evening drives down the back roads. No meandering through the country fair. No dreaming of leaving the city.

There would be no more dreaming at all.

Her sunglasses lay in the middle of the road, bent and broken.

~Laura

Writing prompt : Hesitant Fate part 2

17 Jan

The first two sentences of this short story was a prompt that quickly took me back to another short story I wrote back in September. It fit so nicely into it, plus it was nice to add to Hesitant Fate, I hope you enjoy it.

wrtngprmpthstntfte2

 

Photo by gbarkz on Unsplash

You think you were always meant to save us? That path was never meant for you.”  Tashe’s eyes gleamed in the dim light of the room, her passion filling the space.

The younger girl shrunk, confused and hurt, further into the blanket wrapped around me.  He’d brought her here and filled her head with lies? What purpose was she here for then? She longed to ask, but the venom in Tashe’s voice, in her eyes, forbid such openness.  She stalked back and forth, her long stride hindered by the small quarters their prisoner had been assigned all those long days ago.

Tashe stopped her pacing to look closer at the girl, her expression clearly communicating her disdain. ” If you for one minute think that you’re going to get out of this alive… I’ve got my own plans, here, girl. Don’t –” Tashe turned at the door opening. Her posture stiffened in surprise just as the prisoner’s sagged in relief.

The figure filled the door frame, shoulders broader than any of her brothers or uncles could claim. He was well past double her age but she felt that he was as trapped by circumstances as she was. His silence filled the room, just as Tashe’s passion and rage recently had. The two warriors were poised, ready for a move from the other. Authority demanded obedience and respect, something Tashe knew, so she stiffly bowed, keeping her head low while she waited for him to move from the door. She held her head high when she walked out though, and the girl knew she’d only been saved this day from the woman’s anger. She would return.

“She’ll come back for you. Perhaps worse than this day. Be prepared, Chara.” Surprised to hear her thoughts spoken aloud, the girl moved her eyes to his worry-lined face. “I keep you as safe as I can. But I cannot refuse her entry here.”

“She said she has her own plans.” Chara spoke softly, hesitantly. While she sensed something trustworthy in this man, she knew he was dangerous. He’d seemed more so that first night, when he loomed over her in her bedroom and bore her away from her home. She hadn’t fought then and she hadn’t since. His unspoken sorrow at his actions had kept her anger mostly at bay. For some reason, she wanted to help him. Even if she didn’t understand exactly what he wanted from her yet.

“Tashe always has her own plans. Connivings. Schemes.” He pulled on his beard as he looked down at her.

Surprise lifted her brows. “You know of them?” He curtly nodded and she couldn’t help but remember Tashe’s other venomous words “If you for one minute think that you’re going to get out of this alive…”  Chara shuddered, wondering how brave she could be.

“Come. Eat with us.” He put on his most convincing smile and held his hand out to her. The poor girl hadn’t accepted in all the time she’d been there but he wanted her to see that they weren’t monsters. That he wasn’t a monster.

Uncertainty warred within her, the same as it did every evening when he asked. But with Tashe’s words ringing in her ears, she wondered if it would be best to investigate exactly where she was, and maybe she’d learn something… Taking a deep breath, she released her hold of the blanket and put her hand in his.

She’d get out of this alive. She had to.

 

How I did on Nanowrimo 2018

7 Dec

I wanted to share with you all just how I did during last month’s National Novel Writing Month – aka Nanowrimo. This was my fifth…sixth? year doing it and I’m eagerly looking forward to Camp Nano that comes in April and July.

nano2018recap

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

By the 20th of November, I’d hit a whopping 4k odd words. Not the number I was hoping for but I’m trying to only be proud of it and not be disappointed. It’s a lot more words than I started this month with. I did get distracted and wrote 1k on a completely separate story so it’s been hard to pull myself away from that and back into the world of my novel.

The 25th- I’ve gotten 804 words down! It’s so unexpected because we drove home yesterday and I’m normally just so wiped out that my brain is mush.  Total word count now is 6,792!

The word count total on the 28th is 7845 – another 1,053 words down.

And that’s it folks, Nano ended without me reaching 25k, which was my goal instead of the normal 50k. I am planning on continuing with tracking my word count as it seems to really help me want to sit down and write. My struggle still seems to be balancing getting what needs done around the house and writing – in those times that I have physical energy and mental clarity. But that’s a long rabbit trail of a comment.

I am pleased that in the words I DID get written, I have managed to gain a slightly better understanding of the relationship between my MC and her aunt (it’s changing from how it was in the first draft), my MC’s changed goals/immediate dreams as well as who some of the side characters are at the outset of the story. Quite a lot of info gleamed from just 8k words.

~Laura

Did you do nanowrimo? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

Writing Prompt: Hesitant Fate

20 Sep

Writing Prompt : Pick up the book closest to you. Turn to page 55. Use the second sentence on the page as your prompt for today

” The lower middle classes, and a substantial swath of the more prosperous, did not have the servants to permit them to lie in bed for weeks (or even days).” –This was my first quote option, from the book Inside the Victorian Home, but since I couldn’t come up with anything I grabbed another book for a different quote.

hesitantfatewrtngpmpt

 

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

“She was curled up, drooping and asleep on a cushioned shelf built out from a curved window; and for a moment pity struck him and he hesitated.”

Who was he to change the fate of her life? What right did he have to do this thing to her? But what choice did he have? The fate of those he loved hung in the balance – and was there really any wondering who he would choose in this moment? This stranger or those whom his heart beat for? He hovered over her, taking in everything about her. He wanted to remember this last innocent moment, for they were few and far between these days. He knew that soon her dreams would be haunted, just as his were. He took a deep breath and pulled on his beard, decidedly putting away his doubts. He reached out and woke her. His heart ached at the sudden fear in her eyes.  “Don’t make a sound. Come with me.” Her breath caught in her throat as she took in his threatening appearance. Two sword hilts showing above his right shoulder. The dagger on his belt. The gauntlets covering his forearms. She nodded shakily and he silently thanked her for it. He had no stomach for forcefully threatening such an innocent. They stealthily made their way from room to room, his large hand clamped around her wrist.  Eventually they made it to the relative freedom of the courtyard and he paused in the shadows. Patrols were making their quarter-hour trek around the ground and he pulled the girl close, clamping his hand over her mouth. They stood in the shadows and waited while the oblivious men walked their way. After they had passed, he turned the girl and looked at her. Her eyes were big as she stared back at him, but she remained still. He raised an eyebrow, impressed despite himself. Somehow, he suddenly knew she wouldn’t risk the lives of the men simply to chance an escape. He moved his hand away, feeling oddly ashamed, and continued leading her out of the courtyard. Out of any hope of someone seeing them and rescuing her. Out of any chance of his plan failing. 

~Laura

 

cropped-blog-buttonsgl2

A Musing Maverick

"What good amid these, O me, O life? - Answer: That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

Elaine Howlin

Slow Living & Reading

See Jayne Run

Navigating with Chronic Illness in a Self Absorbed World

1WriteWay

I AM therefore I Write. Official site of Marie A Bailey, writer, knitter, and stray cat magnet.