#Keepit140

Twitter. Unlimited characters.  A silent scream.  Long rants about the whereabouts of boyfriends and hoax news articles. And so it begins.

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Mindful Moment – Pause

My therapist has asked me to try and practice mindfulness as a way to reduce anxiety.  It’s a way of focusing just on what you’re doing at that moment – eating, showering, relaxing, whatever – instead of letting your mind race and worry about the million other things you need to do.  I was in need of a break a few minutes ago, but still couldn’t turn my mind off, so I decided to write down everything I was hearing and seeing to reduce my stress.  It seemed to work.  Here are my stream of consciousness ramblings:

I hear the sound of an insect, maybe a cricket, chirping in the distance.  The sun is out.  I hear the gentle rush of cars on the nearby road.  The bright pink flowers on the bushes stir gently, bowing to their fallen petals.  I am alone, but not alone.  Quiet and waiting for the tightness in my chest to ease. I have to focus, and the pressure on my brain will release.  Focus, focus.  Let life go for a few minutes.  All that exists are wind, flowers, crickets, and sun.  I want to live.

A bird calls, as though it wants me to answer.  There is no response.  Maybe it wants a mate, or is searching for its lost flock.  I’ll send up a prayer for it.  One for the lost bird.  One for me.  Now I’m ready.  Press play.

Writers Quote Wednesday – J. M. Barrie

star

Wendy – you blew it!  Why did you grow up?  Why didn’t you stay in Neverland?  Who would be an adult with bills and tiny cubicles and rent and traffic and rude neighbors and smog when you could be a kid forever?  You broke Peter’s heart, and mine too.   Whenever I get to the part of the movie/book/musical when you’re all grown up – Peter comes back as though nothing has changed, and he tells you that you can’t go back, I feel wistful.  Then I remember what the great thing is about Neverland.  It only exists in my imagination.  So I can go back whenever I want!  Screw Peter and his rules!  I can close my eyes, hang out with the mermaids and Tinkerbell and Tiger Lily whenever I feel the need.

So even though I’m all grown up – I had no choice in the matter – Peter Pan never appeared at my bedroom window though I wished and wished for it over and over – and I have deadlines to meet and a pile of work waiting on me, I’m going to take a vacation, just for a few minutes.  I can see myself there now.  Closing my eyes now and taking flight. I know the way…second star to the right and straight on till morning…

For Writers Quote Wednesday!

You’ll Know Her When You See Her

You'll Know Her When You See Her

You’ll Know Her When You See Her – on sale for $0.99 on Amazon!  Free if you’re a Amazon Prime member or a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

It’s a deeply honest tale about how women relate to one another, the good the bad and everything in between…

It’s the interwoven story of seven different women:

Daisy – who’s still wearing the scars, inside and out, from a brutal high school assault, but still hopeful that she can find a transformative friendship that will make her feel whole again

Laine – burned first by her father and now her new husband, left to raise her young son alone, unable to face an empty house and a future without the love of her life

Kennedy – a cold socialite and aspiring actress, so driven she will resort to any measure to get to the top

Jo – a shy beauty who chose to run from her past instead of face it, who learns about unconditional love and friendship after rescuing her dog, Nelly, only to find that your past sometimes has a way of finding you

Jayne – stunning, blazingly talented and confident, with a darkness hiding under her bravado

Cass – who’s struggling with the pain of living with a secret she’s been forbidden to speak of to anyone, and

Findley – recovering from the brutal end of a life-changing relationship, all the while wondering if she will ever love anyone the way she loved him…

One More Day

It was their last day on the lake.  Of course, as they were packing the car to leave, the sun decided to peek out.  It had rained the entire weekend.  The triplets were restless, spending the last two days trapped indoors, running back and forth over their heads.  She’d finally given in and let them sit in front of the television for nearly eight hours yesterday.  The activities she planned to occupy them were useless.  Arts and crafts, books, board games.  The boys had only fidgeted in their seats, alternating between smacking each other and declaring how bored they were.   “I’m a bad mother,” she whispered.

Her husband started taking suitcases out of the trunk. “No sense in letting this day go to waste.”  He rubbed her cheek.  “One more day.”

“One more day.” She smiled.

The fog in her brain lifted as she watched her husband and sons playing football on the lawn from the back porch.  James, her oldest by one minute, tossed the ball to her.

“Mommy!  Come and play!”

Inspired by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers!

TELE-FICTION – Watch Me

“Hey! Jenn!”  The sofa I’m dozing where I’m dozing with my dog, Quinn, is rocked violently.  “Time to get up!”

I wipe my eyes and look up to see a stunning woman wearing a glorious white coat leaning over me. Her penny-brown skin is makeup free, her jet black hair swept back in a bun.  Clearly she’s come here in a rush. Quinn cocks her head and observes the woman with curiosity before laying her head back on the couch and returning to sleep.

“Get up, why?”

“Why?”  She looks at me incredulously.  “Jenn, you called me.”

“I did?”

“Yes, and I came here.  At 2 am.  Because that’s what I do.  I fix things.  So what about you needs fixing?”

She frowns and brushes a few strands of Quinn’s white hair from the couch before sitting.

“Ummm…” I try and remember why I called.  I must have done it in my sleep.  What had I been dreaming about?  Then it comes back.  The nightmare.  The flashbacks.  The recurring one I’ve had every night for the past 20 years.  The face I could never forget.  I retell the story.  “You can’t do anything about him…can you?”

“Watch me.” She stands, taking out her phone and stepping out onto the balcony.  She makes a whispered phone call, then strides confidently back into my living room.  “Get some sleep.  I’ll let myself out.”

“But…”  The door shuts, and she’s gone.

In the morning, the leading story on all the news channels is his arrest.  I watch as two officers escort him to a waiting police car, his head bowed in shame as reporters scream questions he can’t ignore any longer.  I smile to myself, call in sick to work,  lay back down and fall into a peaceful sleep.  Quinn nuzzles into my neck.

It’s handled.

Projects!


I’m not a crafty/project kind of girl.  My idea of a project is seeing if I can finish an entire season of one of my favorite shows on Netflix in one day.  (I have, many times.  Yay me!)  But I have a family member who loves projects.  They give her a sense of purpose.  She thrives on them.  But she’s also a very talented artist.  I love painting; it’s very therapeutic.  I’m just no good at it.  I’m learning photography.  Well, I’m teaching myself from a series of articles online.  I think I’m getting good at it, just not good enough to post anything here.  But for me, there’s always been writing.  One thing I’ve learned – when I set goals and meet them, I get an amazing natural high.  So, for the month of November – I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo.  The thing where you write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  I’ve got an outline and an introduction ready to go.  I’m half pantser half planner.  (You’ll understand that if you go to the website.)

I have another goal I want to reach in March.  I’m too nervous to reveal that one right now.  Fear of failure rearing it’s ugly head.  It’s physical in nature, not my strong suit.

I’d love to hear about any projects you have going right now, even if they only exist in your brain.  I have plenty of those too!

Odd Girl Out

ab

The A&B Building was made entirely from driftwood.  Scarlett loved summer camp. The unusual architecture, the art classes, the great outdoors.  Scarlett opened the door and saw Maggie, her fellow camp counselor for the summer.  I didn’t think she’d come back. 

She glanced down at the scar on Maggie’s lower arm.  It was hardly noticeable any longer.  And she and the other girls were just playing a harmless joke.  It wasn’t their fault that Maggie was a loser.  It was an unspoken camp tradition.  The odd girl out always got hazed.

Charity, Regan, Laina, and Ashlee descended the stairs and stood behind Maggie.  Scarlett smiled and waved.  No one waved back. Laina locked the front door and turned out the lights.  Scarlett tried to escape upstairs but she felt a pair of hands dragging her back.  She’d scream but she knew it was useless.  They were the only ones here.

She’d never been the odd girl out.

In response to Mondays’ Finish the Story Challenge!

Read Odd Girl Out pt. 2

Traffic Jam

“We’re never going to get there in time!”

“Well, how far ahead is the accident?”

“I can’t tell, this stupid tow truck with those broken down cars is blocking my view.”

“We’re at a dead stop.  Get out and look!”

“Get out and look?  What if traffic starts moving again!”

“It won’t!  Ugh!!”

“What was that ‘ugh’ about?”

“You!  It was about you!  Obviously! You and your never wanting to do anything but sit and watch!”

“Add that to the list of things you can’t stand about me, I guess.  What else…let’s see, my family, my lack of ambition, my job, my clothes, my friends…”

“…your whining…”

“Yes, thank you so much for that, my whining.  You’re no walk in the park to live with either.”

“If it weren’t for me there wouldn’t even be a roof for you to live under.”

“Great, let’s add that to the list.  Makes less money…”

“…won’t ask for a promotion.  Mama’s boy…”

“You know what – I will get out and look.  To get away from you and have some peace for 10 seconds.”

As he opened the door, traffic in the next lane began to move.  He narrowly missed being run over by a truck as he leaped back in the car, slamming the door.

“I’m so sorry for the things I said.  I do love you.”

“I want a divorce.”

They were stuck in silence on the freeway for the next hour.

In response to Sunday Photo Fiction!