Short Story Sunday #28

Start with: If you must know…

            “If you must know, I am the woman in charge of this place. You fellows are pretty lucky that I happened to walk by the security room and saw your faces plastered all over the cameras. Do you know what security does to intruders? Security detains them, call the cops, and then the intruders get arrested. Do you know why that happens? Because I told them to do it that way. Do you realize that by having security bring you to my office, I’m breaking my own rules?”

The three men all had their jaws dropped to the floor. They exchanged looks of puzzlement to one another, but none of them spoke. They didn’t even dare to look me in the eye.

I glared at them. “Well?

“We sort of… got lost, I guess you could say. We didn’t even know you worked here, Rebecca. Alan, Shawn, and I were just roaming around until we came across this building. We didn’t think anyone was around.”

“Well, you thought wrong, Matt.” I sighed and rummaged through the things on my desk. I picked up a stack of binders and handed them to Alan. “Hold this; I need a figure out a place to put them. My shelves are so full that I don’t have any room to put anything anymore.”

“Uh,” Alan held out his arms as I dropped four heavy 5-inch binders in his possession. His knees buckled from the weight, but he managed to stay standing.

“You guys owe me big time, you know that? Sit down.” I continued my lecture as all three of them obeyed sitting down on my leather couch on the opposite side of the room.

“Do you know what people are going to think of me? They’re going to think I choose favorites.” I sighed.

“You’re not choosing favorites, though. It’s not like we work here and you’re taking our side when we were in the wrong.” Shawn shrugged his shoulders.

“I mean intruder-wise.” I scoffed.

“But you know us. We’re your friends. Anyone would want to help out their friends. If we were strangers, then you wouldn’t have given us a second glance.” Shawn explained further.

A knock came at my office door. “Now what?” I growled. “Yes, come in.”

“Is everything alright in here?”

“Yes, everything is fine, Lyle. These three are friends of mine who came to visit. They just didn’t know how to get into the building. It was a mistake. Get back to work.” I dismissed the head of security with a wave of my hand.

He dipped his head backing out of my office and shut the door.

I cleared off one of the shelves in the closet and placed those binders and notebooks in a filing cabinet. I grabbed the binders out of Alan’s hands and fit those onto the shelves.

“What is all of this, anyway?” Matt questioned as his eyes scanned the room. Alan shook out his arms now that he didn’t have the weight anymore.

“It’s my office, I told you that.” I sat back down at my desk, turned on my laptop, and opened my planner to the next month. I flipped through the pages, while jotting down some notes in that and on my iPad.

“What do you do here? We didn’t realize you had a… job.” Matt cleared his throat.

I chuckled. “Writing is my job, you know that. I volunteer here.”

“So you don’t get paid to be here, even though you seem to be obnoxiously busy and are in charge in everything.” Shawn raised an eyebrow skeptically.

“I created this place for writers. It’s a big writer’s group for people of all ages. We have security because of the high technology we use here.” I explained. “Plus, there are a lot of writers here who have made big bucks on their novels.”

“How come you’ve never told us about this place before?” Alan wondered. He was now wandering around the room looking at all the notebooks, binders, and books on the shelves.

“I have never told anyone about this place before. Other than these people, I don’t have anyone to discuss writing with. What do you think my friends and family would say if I told them I ran a large community for writers?” I looked up from my laptop as the printer turned on itself and started to spit out documents and articles.

“We would have understood.” Matt nodded his head looking to Shawn and Alan, who agreed with him.

I grabbed a few empty file folders from a cabinet and brought them back over to my desk. “You guys thought this was my job because you didn’t know I had one; even though I am a published author that pays my bills and more.” I took some papers out of the printer and sorted through them, stapling them together and storing them into the folders.

Alan, Matt, and Shawn stared at each other in silence. They hung their heads and didn’t say another word.

I smirked at them, but didn’t dare to explain any further. If I didn’t have any friends or family to support me and my writing, then I needed to find supporters myself and that was through creating a writers group.

Of course, seeing the guilty expressions on their faces, I was sure that they were going to be asking about my writing more often. Maybe they would even read one of my books.

Words: 910

Modified from “The Write-Brain Workbook” by Bonnie Neubauer

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Short Story Sunday #27

The title lies. I didn’t have a short story written for today. I’m not going to be home today to write a story, either. But… I did find a notebook with haikus in it that I wrote a long time ago. So here’s three haikus picked out from that lot that I thought were the most interesting. Enjoy.

The beginning starts
Middle is most important
Finally the end

Writing is not just
Words on a piece of paper
It is a passion

Painting on the wall
It shows creativity
Never wash away

Short Story Sunday #26

Prompt: Describe a scene as seen by an old woman whose disgusting and detestable old husband had just died. Do not mention the husband or death.

It wasn’t a very pretty view.

The grass was yellow as it hadn’t been watered in a long time. There were weeds growing almost as tall as I was since it hadn’t been mowed, either. The black top driveway was old, bumpy, and had the autumn leaves covering it No one had been around to blow them out of the way. Trash was sitting on the side of the driveway. It kept piling up, but no one was around to take it to the curb so the garbage men could pick it up. I sure wasn’t going to haul the heavy, smelling garbage down to the side of the road. That wasn’t my job anymore.

The two-car garage looked as though it was in pretty decent shape. However, the right car door was dented. I remembered I accidentally backed into. Boy, did I hear about that for a long time. I was never able to forget that; especially since it never got fixed. It was too expensive and because of that we were never able to use that door again. Our two-car garage became a one-car with a fancy dented door for decoration.

The house itself didn’t look as though it was fine shape, either. No one had been around to take care of the outside and I knew for a fact that no one was around to take care of the inside, as well. So I knew the inside was old, dusty, and most likely moldy. The outside of the house looked terrible and I hoped that it looked better than what the inside probably looked like. That way, people walking by wouldn’t think badly of the house. The brown shingles were falling off, part of the roof was caving in on the left side of the house, and the front screen door was hanging off its hinge. I didn’t care enter the property to take a peek at what the back yard deck looked like. That think had probably collapsed long ago.

The house was too much for me to take care of alone, so I moved out as soon as I ended up by myself. Coming back to the house brought back a lot of memories. Mostly bad, but some of them were good as well. I didn’t want to stay any longer, but I figured I might as well look since I was walking by.

The sight wasn’t pretty. After about five minutes of standing there, I finally walked away. But as disgusting as it was, I immediately began to miss the view.

Words: 427

Short Story Sunday #24

Start With: Life takes some funny twists and turns.

            “Life takes some funny twists and turns. When you wake up in the morning you never know what kind of day it’s going to be. You may wake up on the wrong side of the bed and end up having a really good day. Or you may wake up with a smile on your face, but everything that can go wrong will.

“It all depends on how you look at life. It all depends on how you think. If something is going wrong, think positive, happy thoughts as best as you can. If something is going right, keep thinking those positive, happy thoughts. If you’re going to look at things with a negative perspective, then you’re setting yourself up for a back day. You’re setting yourself up for failure…”

Mimi’s chin was resting on the surface of her desk fighting for her eyes to stay open. She was beginning to tune out the speaker standing in front of the classroom.

She had woken up late this morning causing her to miss the bus to school. Since Mimi’s parents leave for work before she leaves for school, she had to walk. She missed her entire first period class. As a result, her first period teacher gave her the work and notes she missed in addition to some extra credit. Mimi’s teacher said it was because she was missing so much due to being tardy that she was beginning to fail. Mimi assumed it was just a punishment because she had been late so many times.

Yes, Mimi is late a lot to school. When she was late this morning, the principal stopped her on her way in and scolded her for it. She got a detention because this was her seventh tardy that month… and they were only 15 days into the month.

Mimi had to explain she couldn’t stay that day because she had a dentist appointment. She hated going to the dentist, especially since she needed to get a cavity filled. Where the cavity came from, she’ll never know. She barely ate any sweets and was a vegetarian. She was going to have to spend her detention after school tomorrow. There were two things wrong with that.

For one, lacrosse practice was tomorrow, but the principal didn’t see that as a valid excuse. She was going to have to miss a practice in which case her coach was going to be angry with her. Mimi was all ready on thin ice with her coach because she didn’t have very good grades in two of her classes. She was on the verge of failing them and if she did she wouldn’t be able to play until she brought the grades up. She was the best player on the team, so not only would her coach be upset, but all her teammates would be frustrated with her as well.

Second, tomorrow was a Friday. Mimi didn’t even realize students could serve detention on Fridays. Didn’t the teachers want to leave early on Fridays to start their weekends, too? If Mimi was going to stay after on a Friday she wanted it to be because of lacrosse practice.

Mimi yawned and sat up taller in her seat still trying not to fall asleep. She was only in her second period class. There were five more classes to go. How in the world was she going to get through it all?

She stared at her teacher trying to tune back into the lecture.

“So, we’re all going to write mini personal essays about something recent that has gone wrong in our lives. You’ll then explain what you did to turn it into something positive. If you didn’t stay positive, explain why and also explain what you should have done to turn the situation into something positive. Everyone understand?”

Mimi smiled. This was probably the best thing to happen to her all day. It was probably the only positive thing that was going to happen to her all day.

Mimi didn’t like English very much and she was terrible at writing essays. But she looked on the positive side: this was going to be the easiest essay she had ever written.

Modified from “The Write-Brain Workbook” by Bonnie Neubauer

Short Story Sunday #23

Goal: 700-800 Words

Hailey stared at Lindsay with a raised eyebrow. Her emerald eyes shifted between her friend’s coffee cup and her friend. Three, four, five… Hailey counted in her head. Would Lindsay ever put the spoon down and just take a sip of her hot beverage?

“You put way too much sugar in there.” Hailey said in astonishment as Lindsay scooped up her sixth spoonful of sugar and dumping it into her mug. The liquid looked as though it was going to pour over the rim if she added any more.

“You don’t put enough.” Lindsay stated in a calm tone. She smirked at her friend while stirring the spoon inside her 12 oz porcelain mug. She tapped the edge of the spoon on the cup’s rim and then set it down in the kitchen sink.

Hailey winced as she watched Lindsay take a gulp of her drink. Steam still raised out of the mug which was why Hailey was waiting to drink her own coffee. Yet, if Lindsay could put six tablespoons of sugar in her drink, then the burn most likely wasn’t bothering her.

It was eight o’clock in the morning and Hailey was stifling a yawn. She was usually able to wake up on her own pretty well in the morning. She didn’t drink coffee much like her friend did, but she was having a cup now because Lindsay had forced it upon her.

Lindsay sighed happily after placing her mug down back down on the counter. She picked the spoon out of the sink, rinsed it, and tossed it into the dishwasher. The spoon was the only object sitting in there. It would have been better to just hand wash it.

With Lindsay’s back turned, Hailey peered into Lindsay’s mug and her eyes grew wide. Lindsay had all ready drunk about half of her coffee. Her eyes shot over to the coffee pot and that was still half full as well. Hailey was sure this wasn’t going to be her friend’s only cup this morning.

“What are you looking at?” Lindsay picked up her mug breaking Hailey out of her thoughts. She took another swig of her coffee not taking her eyes off of Hailey.

“Where did you get these mugs?” Hailey raised hers a little higher examining it.

It was pearly white with red and pink flowers and green leaves and vines curling and swirling around the bottom edges. It made the flower designs look complete. The mugs shined brightly as though they had never been used before. If that was the case, Hailey could only imagine the brown coffee stains that would take over the inside and rim of the mugs soon enough.

“They were my grandmother’s.” Lindsay replied curtly. She too held up her mug to examine it. “Pretty, isn’t it? I guess they used to be her great-great grandmother’s or something like that. The mugs kept getting passed down. It’s a set of four and there’s another set of four, but they look different. They’re similar, but they have seashells on it and things like that.”

“Wow,” Hailey stared at her mug more amazed than she was before. “Honestly, I’m kind of surprised that they’re still around after all these generations.”

Lindsay sighed, “Yeah, most people get jewels or something of the like passed down to them. Nope, I get mugs.”

“Well, your entire family drinks coffee as though it’s water. So it makes sense.” Hailey suppressed a laugh.

“I guess so.”

“I’m curious as to how you and all your grandmothers managed to keep them so clean.” Hailey took another sip of her coffee. She quit coffee a long time ago and she forgot how wonderful it tasted.

“Oh, they’ve never been used.” Lindsay said with a shrug. She poured more coffee from the pot into her mug. She held up the pot looking at her friend. “Did you want anymore?”

“No thanks,” Hailey shook her head. Her mug was still a little over half full.

“Okay,” Lindsay poured the rest into her mug, “I’m going to make another pot anyway in case you change your mind.”

“Um,” Hailey ignored her as she peered into her own cup, “why haven’t these been used, may I ask?”

“Oh, they’re really special. Collectibles or something like that,” Lindsay replied nonchalantly. “They’re worth a ton of money if they’re not used. That’s why they’ve never been used, but only passed down to the grandchildren. It’s because family is worth more than money… something like that.”

“Makes sense,” Hailey nodded with a sigh, “except in your case, coffee is more important than money.”

“True that,” Lindsay smirked. She picked up another spoon and began to count out her spoonfuls of sugar.

Words: 782

The Writer’s Stop

image

Hey everyone!

My vacation has been a blast so far. We left Saturday morning and arrived at the hotel Sunday afternoon. We didn’t do too much on Sunday as we were all exhausted from the long car ride. Monday was when we really got the party started.

We woke up bright and early Monday morning to go to breakfast and we spent the day at Magic Kingdom and the evening at Epcot where we watched a water show with fireworks.

Tuesday we spent the entire day at Magic Kingdom. 7:30 in the morning until about 5:30 in the evening. Kris and l went back to our hotel and stayed there due to exhaustion.

Today we went to Hollywood Studios and went on Toy Story Mania (which is the best ride in the universe). We also went to the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post from Frozen where we played in snow and ice skated… in 95-degree weather.

Also at Hollywood Studios, Kris and I also found a store called “The Writer’s Stop.” It was a small cafe with Disney merchandise and books. The selection of books weren’t a lot and most of them were Disney-related, but there were a few novels as well. It was an adorable shop.

Kris and l got a couple of books, as you can see from the picture. I got two: Fairest of Them All by Serena Valentino and Once Upon A Time: a collection of classic fairy tales by Kevin Tong. Kris got the first book of the Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson, Disney After Dark.

We’re back at the hotel now resting because we have a dessert party at Magic Kingdom at 9:30 tonight. So, we’re excited for that.

I may give more details on my vacation when l get home. I just wanted to check in for now. I hope everyone else is having a great week!

Short Story Sunday #17

Prompt: Send a person you dislike somewhere and have them send you a post card.

Start With: The post card arrived…

            The post card arrived in the mail today. I didn’t expect her to write anything to me. She was so far away, both mentally and physically. I figured I would be the last thing on her mind; I always was.

So when I noticed a postcard sitting surrounded by bills in my mailbox, I thought it strange. The card had six stamps on it—that’s how far away she was vacationing. Six stamps for one piece of card stock; ridiculous.

I turned the card over and rolled my eyes at all the scribbles on the back. She always had a tendency to ramble, even when she was writing. Without even reading it, I assumed she was writing to me to gloat. She was on vacation and I wasn’t. It was as simple as that. But no, that wasn’t the case. She was writing to me because she was having a miserable time.

Now she had my attention.

I sat down at the kitchen table with the post card in one hand and a cup of iced coffee in the other. I sipped my caffeine wondering why she would feel the need to complain to me. She was always trying to get ahead of me in life, always trying to be better. I would think she would have lied about her vacation just to make it seem as though she was having a better week than I was.

This place is terrible! Awful! Horrific!

Oh, aside from the rambling, did I mention that she was a total drama queen?

The view from my hotel room is a brick wall! A brick wall, can you believe that? Why on Earth would they offer with a room without a nice view? And that’s not even the worst part—there are bugs everywhere! You should have seen the spider I sent spiraling down the shower drain this morning. Then there were more spiders and other bugs all over the place. I didn’t get one wink of sleep last nice because I was so itchy. I’m praying I’m itchy because of fear of the bugs and not because some bugs bit me and gave me a disease.

            I found myself grinning at the end of the paragraph. She should have done her research before booking the hotel. That was nobody’s fault but her own. Plus, I knew she was probably itchy out of fear. She always blew everything out of proportion.

The hotel doesn’t even accept my credit card. I had to pay with cash. I didn’t have enough so I had to write the rest of the bill out on a check. Now my bank account is broke. How am I going to get home? How am I going to be able to afford a plane ticket? I was going to come straight home, but now I can’t. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

            I chuckled at her being stuck there. Again, if she had done her research the she would have been fine. Besides, she seemed to have enough money to buy a post card and six stamps at least.

This is entirely your fault! I can’t believe you suggested this place to me. You probably knew it was awful here. You owe me some money after this one!

And there it was: the reason she wrote to me. It wasn’t because she thought I would actually be interested in hearing about her vacation. It wasn’t because she was having a great time and wanted to rub it in my face. It was because she was blaming her life’s woes on me.

I ripped up the post card and tossed it in the trash. What else was new?

Words: 617

Short Story Sunday #16

Start With: New Year’s resolutions make me…

            New Year’s resolutions make me want change. They make me want to better myself. I don’t always give myself a new resolution each New Year and when I do, I never follow through with it. For the month of January (and maybe February) I will bring my resolution into action, but it never lasts long. I always say I’m going to be more active and more social, but instead I find myself on the couch in front of my favorite TV show.

Ever since I dropped out of high school I haven’t been able to keep in touch with my friends. I never saw them during the day (as they were all in school) and now that they’ve graduated, they’ve all gone off to college and I’m still sitting on my couch. I thought about going to college, I really did. Yet, the time, effort, and money I had to put into it just didn’t seem realistic to me. It was sort of the reason I dropped out of high school when I was 16. It was a waste of my time. College would not only waste my time, but I would have to pay for it as well. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen.

Some of my friends stayed local and went to college here while a few went away to new states. And I only know this because of Facebook. Those friends I do not stay in touch with at all. My local friends are always busy with homework or they have a job. I kind of gave up on trying to get them to come over or go out somewhere because of this. One friend has the morning shift at her work and the other has the night shift. Yet, on Facebook, there are plenty of pictures of them hanging out together. How do they find the time?

Sure, I’ve been invited to go out with them a few times here or there, but they were always doing something I didn’t want to do. For example, they would be heading to the movies to see a film that looked stupid. Or maybe they were just going to a coffee shop just to talk. One time, I actually caved in and went to a coffee shop with them and you know what one of my friends said to me?

“Joan, look! There’s a sign that says they’re hiring. Why don’t you put in an application?”

What, did my mother put her up to that one? That was the last time I saw and spoke to that friend. She never did figure out why, either. She called me a few times here and there trying to get in touch, but I never responded. Eventually the calls stopped and now I only know what’s going on in her life because of social media. I guess she gave up on me.

Another friend I don’t really talk to anymore actually told me I needed to “grow up.” Seriously? Just because she graduated from high school and was getting some fancy degree at a university and that she had a well-paying job in some field she absolutely loved, didn’t mean she was an adult and I was still a child. Yes, I sleep in until noon on an almost daily basis, but I wake up super early on Saturdays! …Well, sure it’s because cartoons are on, but what’s it to her?

I looked to the TV and the news was counting down until the New Year. Five seconds left.

I looked at the vacant seats on either side of me in my living room. I sighed.

Four seconds left.

I slouched down on the couch. I was alone, but that was nothing new.

Three seconds.

I wondered what my friends were doing for the New Year.

Two seconds.

I bet they were doing something stupid. Something I wouldn’t be interested in, anyway.

On second thought, New Year’s resolutions make me want to gag.

Words: 662

*Prompt from The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer*

Looking For Cabin Mates!

Camp

As we all know Camp NaNoWriMo starts up again for the July 2014 session in less than a month! However, it’s back with a little twist.

There is a cabin feature on Camp NaNo where participants can gather, chat, and encourage each other with their writing. All in all it’s just a great way to make new friends.

Well, they’ve now added private cabins. Instead of suggesting someone to be in your cabin and then maybe getting in the same one, you can start a private cabin and invite specific people to join. If they accept the invitation then they’re automatically in the same cabin as you. The best part is that you don’t need to wait for the NaNo people to assign the cabins. The private ones begin as soon as you have someone in a cabin with you.

I wanted to see how this worked, so I decided to create one. It’s looking pretty sad at the moment because it’s just me, Fiery_Sapphire, and Kris, Winged_Spirit.

So I am sending out a message to all my NaNo/WordPress friends…if you are participating in Camp next month and would like the have the pleasure of having Kris and me as cabin mates, then please let me know. Give me your user-name and I will send you a cabin invitation through Camp NaNo.

We need more friends. 🙂

Stepping It Up

Writing

Hey everyone!

It’s another one of those posts again…yes, we’re going to discuss “the future” today. Aren’t we excited?

My sister Lisa has a friend who is currently saving up money with her sister to move out of the house. Since she, Kris, and I are all planning Lisa’s bridal shower together and such we’ve had a lot of time to hang out more than usual which is nice. She was telling Kris and I her plans and it got Kris and I thinking…again.

We both love to write. And we do write. But we don’t “write.” I realize I’m not making any sense, but it’s Camp NaNoWriMo right now, people. I was doing so well and then I just stopped. Why? I don’t know…bridal shower and bachelorette planning, homework, work, babysitting, preparing my bedroom to be painted, etc. There is so much to do and not enough time. And unfortunately, with my bills from the upcoming wedding and I’m going to Disney again in August in addition to school bills and such, I need to save every scrap of money I can get. Hence why I’ve been working and babysitting so much.

Writing doesn’t fit in right now. It’s not a priority because it doesn’t pay the bills. It makes me angry because I love to write and want to do it all the time for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to become a full-time writer just so I can go to Disney…I want it as a career because I know I will be happy doing that for the rest of my life.

Thus, Kris and I are bummed; especially Kris because she basically works about nine hours a day in which case your entire day is gone by that point. But by coincidence, the Easter Bunny got Kris a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and gave her an issue to get her started.

This issue had a list of 101 best websites for writers. We’re talking about websites to get the creative juices flowing, writing advice, agents and publishing, general resources, jobs, online writing communities, genre-specified sites, and writing sites that are just fun. It’s the best thing we’ve ever come across. Kris and I were discussing freelance writing on the side until we were able to publish something and this list of website gives us links to find writing jobs.

Neither one of us have looked at all the websites thoroughly, so we haven’t decided which are too fantastic to not join and such. Plus, there’s a lot to choose from and honestly a bit overwhelming because you just don’t know where to start.

As I go through these websites, I will be sharing my favorites on here for all of you writerly people to enjoy.

Since Kris and I have been behind on NaNo and decided to finally step it up into our writing careers, we’re skipping church tomorrow to go to Barnes & Noble and write all day long. So I’m hoping to write at least 10k tomorrow.

I decided to write all day today as well since I was home and wrote 10,369 words. I have to say that I feel so good right now after doing that. My NaNo count is up to 30,721 now. Still behind, but hopefully if I get a good chunk done tomorrow I will be able to hit 50k by the end of the month.

Before I go, I have to shamelessly advertise: Kris started a new blog. She’s still maintaining her Sugar Wolf blog about writing, but she created a new blog called Wagging Tales. She works with dogs so this blog is dedicated to stories and her experiences with the furry, loveable creatures. So feel free to go check it out!

I hope everyone is having good luck with their writing  and NaNo (if you’re participating). Talk to you soon! 🙂