Category Archives: Jessica De La Rosa

Flash Fiction Mondays

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photoprompt

01-2016 LightinForest

CW: Assault

“Go into the light,” she had said. “You have to go into the light.”

Apparently I died three months ago, but I just found out yesterday. I’d been wandering around the woods trying to find the way back to my car when I met a woman. She explained it all. I had fallen and hit my head and no one had found my body. But she had sensed my lost spirit and she was here to help me move on.

“What the hell,” I said. “It’s got to be better than walking around here,” I told her.

So, when the light appeared on the path between the trees, I took a completely unnecessary deep breath, closed my eyes, and stepped into it.

And man, I was not prepared for what I found.

I opened my eyes and found myself in my college dorm room. It was exactly as I remembered, down to the hole in the blanket on my roommate’s bed and the magnets on the mini-fridge. Turning around I caught my reflection in the mirror and groaned. Shaggy brown hair that looked like I had just rolled out of bed, a Weezer t-shirt, ripped jeans, and yup, Doc Martins. Apparently I was also back in college.

The door flew open and Rob, my roommate, came thundering in.

“Kyle, finally. Where you been man? We got to go, the party’s already under way. Ben’s waiting on us.”

Not knowing what else to do, not knowing what was going on, I followed Rob out the door. This was not what I had expected when I had decided to go into the light. Was this heaven? Had I somehow gone back in time? Was I actually here in the flesh? I pinched myself, it hurt but what did that really mean.

I continued to follow Rob across campus not paying attention to where we were going, trying to figure out what was happening. I looked up when I heard someone yell my name and found that we were standing in front of the Sigma Chi house. In that moment I knew exactly what was going on. I knew what day it was and why I was here.

This night had followed me for years, and I regretted almost every minute of it.

Not waiting for my friends I dashed up the steps of the house and through the front doors. I started looking everywhere for Amy, a friend that I had known since sophomore year. She was here somewhere, in the process of drinking too much. I had to find her and get her to leave as soon as possible.

Two hours later and I still hadn’t found her. The clock in the kitchen said 12:45, so I knew it was almost the right time. The time when I had made the worst decision of my life. It was clear to me now that it wasn’t an option for me to stop this before the fact. I had to change my actions this time, not the actions of others.

Heading up to the second floor I made my way to the last bedroom on the left, and pushed the door open. There I found Amy, passed out on the bed with three frat guys and Rob standing around her. Two of the guys were holding her arms and the other two, including my roommate, were discussing what they should do.

The first time I witnessed this I had tried to tell Rob he should leave her alone but after they threatened me, I had left. Four against one after all, right? Not this time. Without a word, I launched myself at Rob catching him by surprise and knocking him into the wall. I got in two good punches before the other three were on me. But I didn’t care. Before I blacked out, I saw other people running into the room at the commotion, helping Amy off the bed and getting her to safety. Maybe this is how I was supposed to die all along, but if so, then this was the right way.

When I opened my eyes, I was on the beach. The sun was shining, the water was a clear turquoise, and the sound of the waves was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. This was heaven, this was my heaven. I had finally made it. I corrected the biggest mistake in my life and I was rewarded.

Click below to see what the others came up:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Paige
Gwen

 

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Wednesday Randomness – Goals for 2016

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It’s that time of the year, to set goals for the next year. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Finish the first draft of the novel I started this year.
  • Blog at least twice a month (which will beat my average for this year).
  • Craft more. This one is kind of generic because I’m still searching for my perfect craft. I keep trying different things but I haven’t found something that totally fits yet…I’m going to keep looking though.
  • Read 52 books. This one is completely overly-ambitious. There are times during the year when I’m too busy at work to read much, but I’m going to give it hell.
  • Stick to the at-home exercise plan I’ve developed.

 

Check out the blogs below to see what all the goals set for 2016:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Kris
Jess

 

 

Wednesday Randomness – Mistakes from My First Manuscript

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This week’s Wednesday topic is mistakes from my first manuscript and how I’ve grown as a writer. Well, I’ve only ever made it through one full novel-length draft, so I guess this will be mistakes from my one and only manuscript. And boy did I make them. 

The first thing that comes to mind is using people’s names too much in conversation, kind of like I do when I’ve had a bit too much to drink. So it made it sound like a bunch of teenagers were constantly tipsy. “Gwen, let me tell something, let me tell you Gwen, I have something to tell you…” It wasn’t pretty.

And then of course there was the word repetition. There are only so many words for boardwalk and pier, and that leads to another mistake. One of the characters kept telling one of the other characters that he should do this one particular thing while he was in town, over and over again she kept bringing it up. Well, he finally did and it was completely anticlimactic. The whole thing was a waste of word count and had no point in the story. The town where the book takes place is real and I felt I had to work in all the known landmarks come hell or high water.  

I also, in a couple of circumstances, decided to cover important scenes in two sentence summaries and instead spend my word count on less important scenes that didn’t move the plot forward. They were still interesting, in my mind, but maybe not as integral to the plot points. 

There were countless other mistakes, but those are the big ones that come to mind. In the writing I’ve done since then, I’ve tried to keep these issues in mind so I can either avoid them as much as possible or at least make more conscious choices about them. I like to think I’ve improved since I finished that first manuscript, at least a bit. 

Check out the links below to see how the other bloggers have come along in their writing:
Jess
Bronwyn
Jessica
Gwen
Kris

Flash Fiction Monday

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photoprompt

10-2015 - WomaninWhite

Click.

There she was, finally.

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He’d been hiding in the trees outside her house all day, waiting for her to return. She’d left in the morning, dressed all in white, perhaps for a party, looking beautiful as always. He hadn’t expected her to be gone so long, but still he’d waited.

Click.

At least this time she was alone. Last time he’d stood here, he’d had to watch as that moronic boyfriend had pawed all over her, clumsy teenage hands and hormones everywhere has they said goodnight. It had taken all the willpower in the world to stay in his hiding place.

Click.

One last picture as she slipped inside the back door.

He followed her progress through the empty house, watching lights turn on and off as she made her way upstairs. He knew she had the house to herself this weekend, her parents were out of town and like the good girl she was, she was home alone and would go to bed early.

He waited patiently for the second floor light at the front of the house to go out, the one he knew to be her bedroom. Once the house was quiet again, he left his hiding place behind the trees and made his way to the back door. Even in the dark, he found the hidden key without trouble and let himself into the house. Careful not to make a sound he bolted the door behind him and pocketed the key.

Making his way through the dark house, he was careful to avoid the hall table and the large vase that sat on the floor near the foot of the stairs. It wasn’t his first time in this house in the dark. He was careful to avoid the squeaky third step on his was to the second floor, his breath coming in quick gasps the closer he got to her bedroom.

He paused in the doorway, watching the way the moonlight fell across the bed making her dark hair glow. Her pale skin virtually shone in the light coming through the window, her breathing was deep and peaceful. It wouldn’t be for long.

Closing the door as silently as possible, he set his bag of tools at the foot of the bed before walking to stand next to her. He allowed himself one more minute of silence to watch her before making her aware of his presence. Finally, he decided it was time.

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a black scarf, something he could use to tie her hands. But first he wanted to wake her up, she had to know he was there, what was coming for her. In one swift motion he pinned her wrists against the mattress with one large hand and covered her mouth with the other.

“Wake up, Elizabeth.” he whispered into her ear.

Her eyes flew open and stared at him in terror, in recognition. She tried to scream but it came out muffled.

“Shhhhhhh,” he whispered. “Don’t bother screaming. It won’t help.”

He stared down at her, reveling her in beauty as a single tear slid down her cheek. It wouldn’t be her last.

Check out the links below to see what stories the other bloggers came up with:

Bronwyn
Jess
Kellie
Jessica
Kris

Wednesday Randomness – A-Z Recipes

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Believe it or not, I actually completed both blog topics this week. Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years!

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This week’s Wednesday topic is A-Z Recipes, either ones we love to make or want to try making. I had to make up or alter names for a few of them so they would fit certain letters, but I made it work! I didn’t include the recipes or link to them because most of them or either in books or in my head, but if you’re interested in one, let me know and I can write it out in the comments.

A – Asparagus and Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry (totally takes the place of wanting to order Chinese take-out)

B – Basil Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

C – Chicken Fricassee (one of the first “real recipes” I ever tried cooking)

D – Dad’s Chili (I’m very picky about chili, not too tomato-y, although I do make a few changes from his recipe)

E – Edamame Chicken Pot Pie (it’s just Chicken Pot Pie with Edamame in it, but I really like it and it worked for “E”)

F – Fried Chicken (never made it but my Southern roots make me feel like I should try it)

G – Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Panini

H – Homemade Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (these are beyond sinful, I usually only make these at Christmas because they are kind of labor intensive and have ridiculous amounts of butter in them)

I – Invisible Parrot (2 parts Sprite or 7UP with 1 part Malibu Rum and a slice of lime – delicious)

J – Jones’ Family Famous Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (actually my husband’s recipe)

K – Kayleigh’s Signature Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Cookies

L – Lasagna (I love my mom’s lasagna recipe, I’m not big on sauce on hers is not saucy at all)

M – My Grandpa’s Parmesan Chicken (it could be in any Italian restaurant it’s that good, if he would just give me the recipe)

N – Not Your Mom’s Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs (it involves ground chicken meatballs with Chinese Five Spice, pea pods, and sesame oil on the noodles)

O – Orange Tempeh Vegetable Stir Fry

P – Pesto Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

Q – Quiche (never made one, only had it for the first time this summer but I really liked it)

R – Redskin Garlic Mashed potatoes (simple but I love them)

S – Skinny Burrito Bowl (so good!)

T – Thanksgiving Squash Casserole (it’s really just a squash casserole, but I only make it on Thanksgiving)

U – Utterly Delicious Apple Pie Rolls (I just saw these on Pinterest, you use Crescent rolls and put a slice of apple in each one along with spices and nuts, then roll them up and bake them; I can’t wait to try them this fall)

V – Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

W – Walnut Oatmeal Banana Bread

X – Xasperating Pumpkin Roll Cake (it’s so good but very tricky, again a Thanksgiving only recipe)

Y – Yummy Summer Apple Salad (apple, pineapple, butterscotch pudding mix, and whip cream; very easy and tastes like caramel apples)

Z – Zucchini Taco Boats

Check out the links below to see what the other bloggers love to make (or want to try making):

Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Gwen
Kellie

Flash Fiction Monday

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09-2015 - KeyInHand

I sat on the floor, turning the key over in my fingers, staring at the box where it sat on the small table. it was a wooden box, about twelve inches square and covered in Celtic-looking carvings. It stared at me just like it had for the first thirty years of my life, locked, its secrets unyielding.

Not two hours ago, I had answered a knock on the door to find my grandfather’s lawyer standing there with an envelope. Apparently, this key had been part of what I had received from grandfather’s will, but it had taken awhile for anyone to find it. He’d been gone three months and the key had only now shown up.

So there I sat, turning the key over and staring, almost scared to open the box and finally find out what was in it, my family inheritance, or family legacy, I suppose. The wooden box had been packed on the day I was born and locked, to be opened only when my legal guardian died. Or that’s what the letter enclosed with the key had said. Up until then, I had always been told the box had belonged to my grandmother and the key was long lost. I just kept it around because the carvings were beautiful and I liked having something of hers.

Well, I couldn’t put it off anymore. Grabbing the box, I pulled it off the table and settled it on my lap. I traced my finger over the carvings just like I had as a little girl, marveling at the smoothness of the wood. I inserted the brass key into the lock and turned it. I was expecting some resistance given how long it had been since the box had been opened, but the lock clicked smoothly. Letting out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, I slowly lifted the lid of the box, no idea what to expect.

Gasping, I threw one hand over my eyes as a bright purple light shot out of the box. The lid fell all the way open and I felt a tingling sensation start at the tips of my fingers and toes. The feeling worked its way through my limbs and slowly coalesced around my heart before dissipating.

It was astonishing, the sense of lightness and utter completeness I suddenly felt. It was like a part of me had clicked into place after being out of sync for my whole life.

With the light gone, I could now see the actual contents of the box; a note and a leather bound book. I opened the note and smiled when I saw the familiar scrawl that belonged to my grandfather.

Katherine,
I know this will be a shock, and I’m sorry I’m not there to help you through this.
Unfortunately, this how it’s done in our family. One witch active at a time, so upon
my death, you’ll get your powers. If you’re reading this it means I’m gone and I miss
you very much. This book will tell you most of what you need to know, the history
and many basic spells. This key also opens a trunk in the cellar of my house where
you will find more books. It’s up to you to carry on the family traditions and prepare
to pass them down to your descendants.
Learn them well.

Well hell, I thought, I was witch.

Check out the links below to see the other bloggers’ stories:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Kris

Wordless Wednesday – On My Bookshelf

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IMG_1229 IMG_1228  IMG_1225  IMG_1221 IMG_1215 IMG_1220 IMG_1218 IMG_1216 IMG_1217Click the links below to see what the other bloggers have on their bookshelves:
Bronwyn
Jessica
Gwen
Jess