Short Story Sunday #4

Prompt — First Sentece: “Together they were feeding ducks at the pond.”
Goal: 500-800 Words

Together they were feeding ducks at the pond. It was her favorite memory of her late grandfather. The pond was his favorite place to be. That was where his own grandfather took him to feed the ducks when he was young, that was where he took his wife after their first date. They took a walk in the moonlight and had their very first kiss. The pond was where he proposed to her, it was their special spot.

As soon as she was able to walk, her grandfather immediately went out of his way to bring her to his special spot. Her grandmother had passed long before she was born, but her grandfather still went there once a week in her honor.

It soon became a special spot for her and grandfather. It was also a great way to get to know her grandmother, too. He was always speaking highly of her. How beautiful she was, how kind she was, although she apparently had a bit of a temper. She was a social butterfly and loved to be the center of attention. She always knew the right thing to say and was there whenever someone needed her—friend, family, or stranger.

Yes, she learned a lot about her deceased grandmother whenever she went out to the pond with her grandfather once a week. She also learned a lot about her mother from when she was a child. Apparently, her mother was a very mischievous little girl. She was always getting herself into trouble and she didn’t get the best grades in school. This made her laugh as her mother was very prim and proper now—anyone who knew her would never guess she was some sort of a trouble maker.

The pond was her favorite place to be. She felt as though she knew her grandmother, even though she had only seen pictures of her. She felt as though she had seen a whole new side of her mother, even though that side was long gone. Her grandfather also gave her the best advice while being at the pond. Whether the advice was about school, friends, or boys, he seemed to always know the right thing to say to make her feel better. After she did feel better, her grandfather would always chuckle and say, “I stole that line from your grandmother!” or, “Well, that’s what your grandmother used to always say, anyway.”

One could immediately tell her grandfather missed his wife dearly whether you knew him well or not. But he was always talking about her and he had a picture of her on him at all times.

When she got a bit older, her grandfather grew weaker. They went to the pond less and less as it got harder for him to walk such a great distance. However, they communicated with each other every single day and tried to go to the pond whenever he was up to taking a walk.

Now she has a son of her own. When he turned one, her grandfather gathered all his strength and took him to the pond. Her son won’t remember it, but she will and she plans on telling him all about it when he’s old enough.

After her grandfather brought her son to the pond, he has passed away. But she never forgets any of the advice he had given her or any of the stories he had told her. She remembers every visit to the pond in vivid detail.

So, together she and her son fed the ducks at the pond. And she plans to continue doing so with him then with his own children, her grandchildren. Until she is too old to walk anymore, she hopes she can carry on what her grandfather started with hopes that her son and his children will continue the tradition, as well.

Words: 642

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Short Story Sunday #3

Prompt — First Sentence: “People looked at him oddly as he passed.”
Goal: 200-500 Words

People looked at him oddly as he passed. Of course he didn’t notice. He kept walking on his merry way without having a care in the world. He had a bright smile on his face, a light heart, and felt as though he could fly. He had only one thing on his mind and there was nothing that was going to get in his way.

He had a bit of a spring in his step as he walked down the street. He stopped at the crosswalk, pushed the walk button, and waited for his signal. People driving by laughed at him, but he only saw their smiles. So he smiled back and even threw in a few waves here and there. The couple standing at the crosswalk next to him chuckled to one another.

“Good day,” he tipped his hat. The gentleman bowed his head with a smile while his lady showed just a small smirk.

He faced forward as he realized the lights were signaling him to cross the street. As he put his right foot in front of his left, he skipped across the white striped-crosswalk in the middle of the road to get to the other side. He felt good today and had felt even better knowing that everyone else around him—even if they were strangers—seemed to be in just as good of moods as he.

As he continued down the sidewalk, his face lit up when a pale blue condo came into view. He attempted to hop up the front steps, but tripped. He stood up, brushing himself off, not bothering to care if anyone noticed and made fun of him.

After all, he was in love. Nothing else mattered at the moment because today was going to be the most memorable day of his entire life.

As he stood before the front door, he rubbed a small velvet box that sat gently in his pocket. He took a deep breath before knocking on the door. And when he did, before he could lay down one knee and open the box in front of his future wife, he never expected her to greet him with her child-like laugh and say with her ruby red lips:

“Why are you still in your pajamas?”

Words: 378

Daily Word Count

Writing

 

 

I posted this picture from Pinterest because this is how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s gotten to the point when I’ve started asking myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” again. You all know my answer as I have explained it once or twice before.  As writers we’re not allowed to make excuses, but we make excuse after excuse anyway. Here’s my current excuse:

School started.

You know how I was writing 5,000 words a day? I was doing fantastic at that! Well, since school started I have been more preoccupied with that (as I should be) so it’s gotten to the point where I’ve said to myself, “It’s already 8pm, I’m not going to hit 5k…I’m just going to go watch Seinfeld.” …My sister and I have been on a Seinfeld kick lately.

Anyway, I decided that I’m going to shoot for 1,000 words a day while school is in session. During winter break, summer, Spring break, etc, I’ll go back to the 5,000 words a day. I’ll update it on my To Do List whenever I change the word count, even if it’s just for a week (like for Spring Break).

Now this bothers me because I assumed by taking three classes I’d have more time to write as opposed to taking five classes like I did last semester–not to mention I’m not working full-time anymore. But here’s the thing: I’m taking three classes and have 14 books for it. Mind blown, right? You have no idea how much reading I have been doing in the past two weeks since school started. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because it’s certainly helping me on GoodReads (I’m three books ahead of my 20-book 2014 Reading Challenge goal!) and I’m using a few of those books to fill up some squares on the Reading Bingo. So even though a few of the books are boring (no offense to anyone who likes Gertrude Stein and/or Ernest Hemingway), it helps. Plus it’s good for writers to read books they like and books they don’t like, right?

So today I pushed myself to get back into that daily writing routine. I wrote 1,259 words and I am happy with that. However, I will admit that I am looking forward to Spring Break in the middle of March so I can not be too exhausted out of my mind and will be able to write 5,000 words again even just for that week.

Short Story Sunday #2

Prompt — First Sentence: “When she arrived at the gate, she found it ajar.”
Goal: 200-500 Words

When she arrived at the gate, she found it ajar. Considering the residence had been vacant for the past two weeks, it was strange. The old lady who had passed on didn’t have any friends or family and no one has been by the house since her body was discovered. And the only reason her body was found was because the mailman noticed she wasn’t retrieving her daily bills.

The house was old and now abandoned. No one wanted it as it was in terrible shape (the old lady was unable to properly care for her, let alone the entire house). However, the house was a historical landmark in the town. The old lady was the longest living woman in the entire town and that made her house famous. But now that a dead body lay there for a few days, who would want to buy it?

Now Mary, the real estate agent, was here to look at it. She needed to fix it up in order to make it suitable to sell. But seeing as the gate was unlocked and opened a small crack, it seemed as though someone else had already allowed themselves into the house.

Mary pushed the iron gate open some more for her chubby thighs to fit through. It squeaked a god-awful noise that made her wince. She hoped no one heard that; especially if whoever let them in earlier was still there. Yet she continued to stroll along the cobblestone path that lead up to the front door. Gripping her clipboard tightly in her right hand, Mary pulled the house key out of her pocket and brought it closer to the door when she suddenly noticed that the door was open a small crack, as well.

“H-Hello?” Mary pushed the door open just a little. Whoever tampered with this house had no right to be there. However, who could tell what sort of person was in the house? Was it a punk teenager dared by his friends to spend a night in an abandoned house? Or was it the ghost of the old lady claiming her territory? But this just so happened to be Mary’s first job as a real estate agent. There was no way that she was going to go back to her boss and tell her she was too afraid to do her job.

“Yes?”

Mary froze in the doorway after one final push that caused the door to open all the way. Her eyes bugged out of her head and her face flushed once she heard a male voice.

Male? Wasn’t the person who passed away a female?

“Who are you?” Mary called out. “I’m the real estate agent. I’m supposed to be here. You’re not.” She looked around, but couldn’t find anyone.

“Oh, I think I am.” A tall, lean man appeared from the other room. “I’m the old woman’s son. Disowned…but she was still my mother.”

Mary took a deep breath. Then she smiled at the young man.

Words: 500

Short Story Sunday #1

Prompt — First Sentence: “We’ll never know what happened to it.”
Goal: 500-800 Words

We’ll never know what happened to it. I seemed to have blinked and then it had just…vanished. But because it was gone, there was nothing I was able to do about it. No matter how hard I tried looking, it was just gone. It was as if a ghost had entered the room, picked it up, and then just simply flew away with it.

It bothers me because that item was my responsibility. Ever since my mother handed me that object I have been the one in charge of it. I was supposed to look after it. And I ended up failing. I have searched high and low for it, but I never found it.

I looked around at the other people in the room, but none of them had any idea what I was talking about.

“What do you mean you have no idea what it is? It was sitting right in here in the center of the table! It’s been in plain sight all night long.” I growled through gritted teeth. I rubbed the top of my forehead with the palm of my hand. I was beginning to sweat. I was going to be in so much trouble if I lost it!

“Annie, it’s okay. We’ll come across it sooner or later. It’s not like anyone stole it or something.” Casey chuckled. He got up off of the couch and put a hand on my shoulder. He twisted his head to look over his shoulders at the three other males sitting on the couch. Then he looked back at me and whispered, “What’s the big deal? What was even on the table?”

“The book!” I shouted. I had no idea why he was whispering. “My favorite book…it belonged to my mother. I have no idea where it went, but I know that it was there two seconds ago.”

Casey sighed and looked to the other guys. “Did any of you see a book sitting in the middle of the coffee table?”

“Nope,”

“I didn’t see a thing.”

“I’m still confused as to why this book is so important.”

“You never denied seeing it!” I pointed to Steve accusingly. Casey grabbed me by the shoulders which caused me to stumble back a little bit.

“I think you’re getting a little too excited over this.” Casey began to rub my shoulders in an attempt to get me to calm down.

Steve stood up from the couch. “I didn’t see it, but I’m just asking why it’s such a big deal. It’s not like one of the characters from the book jumped out of the cover and walked away with the binding.”

All the guys, including Casey, began to laugh.

I rolled my eyes and let out an angry growl. I stormed out of the living room and paced in the kitchen biting my nails. My friends all seem to think that it’s funny, but they have no idea what they’re talking about. That book is important for the very reason Steve thought he was joking about. The book was special. The characters in that book were truly alive and…well, it was 100% possible a character could have escaped the book and walked away with it.

You see, the book possessed magical qualities. That book was the very first story my mother ever read as a child. She was in love with it and was in love with all books ever since. That book was the reason she became a writer.

One day, when she was a teenager, she rode the train home from work. On that train sat an old woman sitting across from her. She happened to be reading the same book. They got to talking about the book the entire ride.

According to my mother, she handed the old lady her copy of the book. When she held it in her wrinkled hands the book began to glow a green aura. She handed the book back and ever since then the characters have come to life…literally. But no one ever believed her. No one ever saw.

My mother searched and searched for the old woman, but she only knew what the lady looked like. She didn’t know her name and she didn’t even remember which stop she got off the train. But she never stopped searching. Up until she passed away, she never stopped searching.

In my mom’s will, she left the book to me. She wanted me to take very good care of it and keep an eye on it because the characters can be “troublesome,” as she wrote in her will.

Like my mother searched for the old woman, I have been searching for this book. Like my mother, I have not found what I’ve been looking for. And I’m beginning to believe I never will.

Words: 800

Starbucks!

Coffee

 

 

So Kris and I decided that we were going to go to Barnes and Noble today and write. Yes, we have our office now at home, but we haven’t been to Barnes and Noble in a while. We thought we would go, say hi to the workers behind the Starbucks counter there, but…she ended up getting called into work. So we didn’t go.

We did end up going to Starbucks, though. Since she was closing, we thought we would get coffee and write in our office at home. She continued to edit her novel while I continued to write Inspiration Station.

The more I write that novel the more I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. When I wrote Detective Florence, I outlined the first part of the novel and continued to outline as I wrote the rest in an attempt to making editing easier for me. I am not outlining Inspiration Station and I never planned on it because this was something I began to write when I had a slight writer’s block. I didn’t expect it to turn into an actual novel. I was still able to write 5,096 words for it, though.

I also changed my schedule, you can see it on the To Do List. Even though I have a lot of free time without work and school, writing 5,000 words a day and editing takes a lot out of someone. So I decided that I’m going to write 5,000 words a day Monday-Thursday and edit Friday-Saturday and relax on Sunday. I can write/edit if I feel like it, but I’m not obligated to do anything. This will be helpful for when school does start back up again (in about a week and a half) and I can do the bulk of my homework on Sunday. Not ideal, but whatever.

So, since tomorrow is Friday that means I’m going to edit. I’m hoping to edit a lot as I would love to self-publish this novella by the end of 2014…wish me luck!

Inspiration Station

“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech

 

Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.

So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!

Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.

Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write Hunter & Comet.

Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.

I decided to write Inspiration Station instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…

Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.

So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.

I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.

I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.

I think Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.

Complete

Today l wrote 5,030 words. So l hit my word count and was extra proud of myself because l finished the first draft of Detective Florence.

292 pages and 91,501 words. After l finished the first draft l printed it out and put it away. I’ll edit it later.

Just thought l would share this little accomplishment. I hope everyone else has been doing great–writing or otherwise.

Three Days Into The New Year

“Lilah, we are so close to the end. I can feel it.” –George Florence

When my character said this in my novel to end a certain part I ended up jumping for joy. Sure, I’m excited that my characters pretty much solved their murder mystery…but I’m more excited because if they solve the case then that means the novel is finished.

I wrote 5,010 words of the novel today and even though I have been getting sick of writing so much each day it is totally paying off. If I didn’t write 15,000 words in the past three days then I wouldn’t be this close to the end of the novel.

I have two or three more scenes before the big cliff-hanger ending. I’m assuming I have about 10,000 more words or so left. Then book one is complete!

Of course tomorrow marks the weekend and I vowed to write only a minimum of 1,000 words of the novel so l could focus on editing another novel. I may write more than 1,000 words, but l know l’m not going to be done with the novel this weekend. But by the end of next week l will definitely have it completed.