Wednesday Randomness – Favorite Quotes

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This week’s random Wednesday topic is favorite quotes, I’ve chosen a few quotes on books, writing, and life in general.

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs had some amazing quotes, these are three of my favorites:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Moving away from one person in particular, these are some of my favorite quotes on books and writing…
Writing is hard
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”  – Dr. Seuss
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman
“Art harder motherfucker.” – Chuck Wendig
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” – Beverly Cleary
And finally, some random awesome quotes…
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen King
“Do not confuse my bad days as a sign of weakness. Those are actually the days I am fighting the hardest.” Anonymous
“What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” – Albert Einstein
Check out the Wednesday bloggers for their favorite quotes:

Flash Fiction

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Flash Fiction

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06-2015 - PaperHeart

Boxes surrounded me as I sat in the middle of the office, trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. The handmade floor to ceiling bookcases that I once loved now loomed over me, wondering why I did this alone. I had saved this room for last because I knew it would be the hardest and i wasn’t wrong. We had spent countless hours in here together. The deep brown leather chair by the fireplace still smelled like him, cologne and woodsmoke. I had been sleeping in it every night since I’d been back in the house, or as close to sleeping as I could get, just so I could pretend he was still here.

Looking around I decided to start with the photographs. Frames were scattered around the shelves, showing us in better times; camping, skiing, riding a tandem bike on Macknac Island. And my favorite picture of the two of us, standing side by side, arms around each others’ waists with Lake Superior shining crystal blue in the background. I lost myself staring at the way the sun glinted off his black curls, finally coming back to reality when I noticed the tears blurring the picture. With a sigh, I wiped the glass off and wrapped it in bubble wrap, packing it up with the rest of the photos.

Finally, that left just the books. I wasn’t going to have as much room in my new place, so a lot of them were going to have to go. I was tempted to get rid of most of mine so I could keep his. Anything to keep a piece of him with me. After a few hours of sorting, and a few too many glasses of wine, I was down to his pride a joy. It was a collection of first edition Ernest Hemingway novels, it had taken him forever to find them all and he had been so proud. I pulled down The Sun Also Rises, his favorite, and ran my fingers over the spine. When I opened the front cover, a piece of paper fell out. I recognized it immediately. It was a heart shaped, yellowed piece of paper burned around the edges. I had found it in an old diary in an antique shop on a trip out East and it had turned out to be a love letter the diary owner had kept. Now, it looked as though writing had been added to the back side of it that had once been blank.

My darling girl,
I know its not going to be long now. I want nothing more than to grow old
with you and retire by the lake like we always talked about.
I want to watch a thousand more sunrises and sunsets with you.
I don’t know what’s beyond this life, but I know that wherever I
end up I will miss you every moment. And know that I want you to be happy in life.
I want you to find love and to have purpose. Most importantly, I want you to remember
that I love you more than anything.
I always have.

And with that the floodgates opened. I sobbed wine fueled, grief induced tears until I finally fell asleep on the floor.

“Ma’am.” I felt someone shaking my arm. “Ma’am? I’m sorry, are you ok?”

Blinking in the bright morning light, I saw two men standing over me. “Who are you?” I wasn’t as alarmed as I probably should have been.

“We’re the movers. I was told you would be expecting us.”

They both looked extremely uncomfortable at finding me passed out on the floor. I couldn’t blame them. “No,” I said. “I am, sorry. Rough night.” I peeled myself up into a sitting position. “Please go ahead and get started, I just need to gather up a few things.”

The movers left to go start on another part of the house. I looked around the room one more time, making sure all the windows were closed. Standing up, I put the heart shaped note back in the front cover of the book and clutched it to my chest, standing still in the middle of the room.

“I love you, too,” I whispered. “Always.” Just as I started to walk away, a small breeze ruffled the hair on the back of my neck, just where he used to kiss me.

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Flash Fiction Mondays

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05-2015 - StreetLampBlueDoor

Glancing behind me to make sure I hadn’t been followed, i walked up to the building. It was just as it had been described, blue doors covered in vines illuminated by a lamppost. Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I raised my hand and knocked three times, waited and knocked twice, as instructed.

I heard footsteps from within and the doors opened soundlessly to reveal a slight, elderly man. He looked frail but the power radiating off him made me take a step back. He said nothing but waited for an answer to a question.

“I come seeking knowledge and guidance,” I said.

The old man looked me up and down once and turned to walk back down the hallway leading into the dark interior. I assumed I was supposed to follow. As I stepped over the threshold, the doors closed behind me.

Without turning around, the old man said, “Be careful what you ask for, Billie.”

We continued down the darkened hallway, longer than seemed possible for the size of the old building. Eventually we stopped in front of another set of doors, these were heavy oak, carved with strange symbols I didn’t recognize.

Open them.

I started violently. The voice had been crystal clear, but no one had spoken, out loud anyway.

Open the doors child, you know you can.

Glancing behind me I realized the old man was gone and I was alone in the hallway. Slowly I took a couple of steps toward the doors, noting the way the air seemed to thicken the closer I got. But once I was within a foot of the door, it was like I hit an invisible wall. I knew what was wanted of me but I rebelled. Why, I didn’t know. This is what I had come here for.

After a brief internal struggle, I closed my eyes and brought up an image of the oak doors in my mind. I pictured the ornate, wrought iron handles and the carved symbols. I reached out with my mind and I pushed. The doors swung open to reveal a group of people standing in a circle, candles floating in the air casting eerie shadows about the room.

I was finally here, with the Order of the Light. This was my birthright, I was home.

Check out the stories from the other bloggers:

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Bronwyn
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Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – I Spend Too Much Time…

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I Spend Too Much Time…Raiding Windmills. We go side by side, laugh until its right. Take the darkest hour, break it open.

If you can tell me what song that’s from, I’ll give you chocolate. And no Googling!

But seriously folks, this week’s Random Wednesday topic is – I Spend Too Much Time…

Worrying.

I am a master worrier. I worry about everything. Did I leave the toaster plugged in? Did I lock the door when I left for work? Am I going to lose my job? Is something in my house going to fail drastically? Is my cat sick? I can worry about anything at any time and it can easily spiral out of control. And if I’m not careful I can end up in a panic attack.

I also spend too much time not writing. Every day I leave work telling myself that I’m going to go home and write. Instead I go home and binge watch Netflix, or goof around on the internet, or read. Or sleep. It’s a wonder I ever get anything written at all.

Last but not least, I spend too much time “shoulding.” I tell myself I should be doing this or I should be doing that. All it does is add to my stress level so I’m working on cutting my self some slack. Easier said than done.

Check out the Wednesday blogs below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – Five Words or Less

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This week’s blog post is another Five Words or Less…on My Blog, My Fiction, and My Creative Process.

So, let’s see what we’ve got here.

My Blog – Aimless, needs a new title.

My Fiction – Unfocused, not happening right now.

My Creative Process – Lacking, distracted, squirrel!

Can everyone tell what kind of mood I’m in right now? 🙂

Check out the other blogs to see what they have to say:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Gwen
Kellie

Flash Fiction

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photoprompt04-2015- CoupleNight

“You have to go. You have to go now.” Even as she urged him to leave, Lucy pulled Liam closer by the collar of his coat. “They’re going to be here soon, you can’t stay.”

“I can’t just leave you to deal with them,” Liam said, fear choking his voice.

“You can hear the helicopter coming. They’ll be able to see us soon with the searchlights.”

“But there’s no place for them to land,” Liam protested.

“Not right here, but they’ll find somewhere close by. And I’ll be able to keep them busy while you get away. I’m not the one they’re after. Liam, go. Run. We’ll meet up in a couple of weeks at the cabin and figure out what the next steps are.” Lucy framed Liam’s face with her hands, trying to memorize his features in the faint light coming from the helicopter that was closing in on them.

This was all Lucy’s fault. It had been her idea to go after Senator Willis in order to prove he was behind her grandfather’s death. Of course that meant Liam had been the one to break into the Senator’s office and search his files and his computer. And now the FBI was after Liam, and Lucy was posing as his hostage.

Everything has gotten so out of control since her grandfather’s death. He had been a long time D.C. fixture, his family had owned The Washington Post for years. And when they started digging into a deal Senator Willis was working on, grandfather had died in a seemingly random car accident. But Lucy wasn’t convinced. The more she dug, the more she was convinced the paper had been on to something and grandfather had died because of it.

Liam stared at Lucy before pulling him to her and kissing her hard. “Be safe,” he said. “I’ll see you in two weeks in Colorado. Don’t be late and make me worry, ok?”

“Ok,” Lucy said. “Just go.”

Standing in the middle of the road she watched Liam turn and run into the woods. She hoped desperately that he would be ok, she couldn’t stand to lose him too. Not now. Not when she needed him more than ever.

Check out the Flash Fiction stories from the other bloggers below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Gwen
Jessica
Kris
Paige

Wordless Wednesday – My Past

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Flash Fiction

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songprompt1It’s Flash Fiction Monday and this week’s inspiration comes from the song The Hammer’s Comin’ Down, by Nickelback. Listening to the song inspired me, but so did some of the lyrics specifically, so I’ve posted them below.

Where will you be when the sky comes down?
What would you do if the strength was found?
Stay right beside me when the ground starts shaking
The only sound you’ll lose is the breath we’re taking

If there’s only one thing I can promise you
You’ll see the light again
This the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
And without warning now
This is the rocket we’ve been waiting for
And there’s no sense in running
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming

Once it’s starting, there’s no turning back
But I’ll be with you when the sun turns black
‘Cause finding faith will always be the hardest
While your standing in the heart of darkness
If there’s only one thing I can promise you
You’ll see the light again
This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the red sky morning
And without warning now
This is the pocket we’ve been waiting for
And there’s no sense in running

The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down
The hammer’s coming down, down

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We can make our way back home
Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We can make our way back home
Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

This is the calm before the coming storm
This is the pocket we’ve been waiting for

Holding on, we’ll make it till the dawn
And it’ll be here, before long
Holding on, if we can find the light
We’ll find the light, come on

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This the continuation of an earlier Flash Fiction post. To read the first part, click here.

***

Leaning across the table, Celeste clasped my hands in hers, “Please, Kat. Please say you’ll say help me.”

I was completely thunderstruck. Fairy tales weren’t real. I wasn’t sitting across the table from Snow freaking White and I sure couldn’t do anything to find her missing miners. “Wait,” I said before the thought had even fully formed. “Aren’t they dwarves?”

At that she smiled. “No, they are not dwarves in the sense of being small, as is, I think, the traditional story that is told. They are, as I said, miners And brothers. I believe, over the years the story was twisted so that it became common lore that they were of the race of dwarves who are traditionally miners.”

“Wait, that’s not the point,” I said. Standing up, I pulled Milo with me and headed towards the door. “You’re not Snow White, I’m not your great, great, whatever niece, and I’m not looking for any lost miner guys. We’re going.” I was halfway out the door when she spoke again.

“What about you, Milo? Why haven’t you told Kat about your dreams?”

I felt Milo stiffen behind me. “Dreams,” I said. “What dreams?” Turning to look at him, I could see a flush creeping up his face.

“I, uh, they’re not, I don’t think. They can’t be. What?” The last part he directed to Celeste. “Do you mean they’re related somehow?”

“If you’re here with Kat, yes. You wouldn’t have been able to set foot in this house, or even see it, if you weren’t meant to be here. Please, will you both sit back down?”

In a complete daze, I stumbled back to the table and sat. “Talk,” I said to Milo. And he did.

It took some prodding and finally the story came out. A couple of weeks after my dreams had started, Milo’s had shown up. They were always the same. He was trapped underground, he was weak and tired but, oddly, hopeful. He knew he wasn’t alone but he couldn’t see anyone else. He knew where he was, but at the same time, there was no conscious thought of where he was. At the end of the dream, there was always a blast and a rock fall. And then he woke up. He had never told me about he because it didn’t think it was related to my dreams. He was pretty severely claustrophobic, so he’d had dreams about situations like that all his life.

Celeste had a different take.

“The miners were imprisoned by the Queen in their iron mine, in a sort of stasis. The magic surrounds them completely, sustains them, infuses them. I believe it’s allowing them to communicate with Milo.”

“Why me?”

“As Kat is descended from my family, you must be descended from theirs. They were a large family, every seventh generation had seven sons. That’s where my friends came from, they were that seventh generation.”

“I’m the youngest of seven boys,” Milo said quietly, not able to meet Celeste’s eyes.

***

Check out the links below to read the flash fiction stories:

Jess
Bronwyn
Paige
Jessica
Gwen
Kris
Kellie

Wednesday Randomness – What Inspires Me from A to Z

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This week’s topic is what inspires me…from A to Z. This was hard. This was very hard. I almost gave up, three times. But I stuck to it, and this is what I came up with. Some of these are writing inspirations, some are general inspirations in life. I couldn’t come up with something for every letter of the alphabet, but I did my best.

A

Books, duh.

C

Dora is my husband’s great-grandmother and she is 102. She has seen so much and lived through so many changes in the world. She’s lost a husband, a daughter, survived breast cancer in the 70’s, and she’s always in a good mood when you visit her. She’s an amazing lady.

E

Fear inspires me, mainly the fear of being stuck forever in a job that I don’t want to be doing when I’m 60. I don’t hate my job, but I don’t want to do it forever. And the fear of seeing myself in that same desk 30 years from now inspires me to keep writing.

G

Hiddleston, Tom inspires many things that I will not talk about here. 🙂

Ireland inspires me, because, well, I should have been born Irish. Something about the culture and history speaks to me. Just looking at pictures of the rolling green hills and rocky shorelines makes me happy.

J

K

Location, location, location – there are many places in the world that inspire me. I was fortunate to travel to Italy as part of a program when I was in college and I got to visit Venice. The Grand Canal is amazing and seeing pictures of it always brings me back there. Cheesy as it sounds, it transports me.

My brother co-runs a small theater company in Seattle. it started out as something he did only part of the year, but it has become his full time job. He has put so much time and effort and creative energy into this venture. I’m inspired by his willingness to do something out of the ordinary and to take this plunge.

New experiences, any new experiences, have the potential to inspire. I tend to be rather hermit-iike in my tendencies, so I really have to push myself sometimes, but I always tell myself that a new experience may be the inspiration I need for a new story.

O

People watching kind of goes along with new experiences, you never know what you might see when you’re around a group of people. And boy can you get inspiration from people you see out and about.

Q

Rainstorms inspire me the same way that sad songs inspire me. Sometimes I get stuck in a melancholy mood and when I’m there, I just like to kind of wallow in and see where it takes me. Some of my best writing ideas have come out of those moods.

Sad songs inspire me to write. There’s something about the mood they put me in, it gets the creative juices flowing. I think they tap into the inner high school loner in me.

Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my all time favorite bands, I love them unashamedly and I always will. There are numerous songs that I hear that take me back to a certain time or event. There are also particular songs that fall under that “sad song” category that inspire me to write. They help me when I’m working on YA stories because I can get back into my teenage headspace.

U2 is another one of my favorite bands, inspirational on many levels.

V

Water in the form of lakes (Lake Michigan specifically) or oceans is incredibly inspiring to me. I can sit on a beach and listen to waves for hours. The first draft of a full length novel I finished is heavily influenced by water, the main character is for sure. I also find it soothing, I often fall asleep to water sounds.

X

Yellow Ledbetter is a song by Pearl Jam. I can’t understand most of the lyrics because, you know, Eddie Vedder. but something about the opening chords of that gives me chills.

Z

Check out the other Wednesday bloggers to see what inspires them. And make sure welcome our newest blogger Paige Prince!
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Gwen

Flash Fiction

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Eve sat in front of the mirror, touching up her make-up. Red lipstick, eyes outlined in kohl, a light dusting of glitter that would sparkle in the right lighting. She didn’t even have to think about it anymore, the look was pretty much muscle memory at this point. The finishing touch was a scarf in her long, chestnut, hair; turquoise with silver swirls and beads dangling off the ends. It was pretty yes, but it was also expected.

With that last touch, the picture was complete. Eve stood up and examined her reflection in the full length mirror on the opposite wall. Her costume changed daily, but always contained the same basic elements, a long flowing skirt, a peasant top, sandals and the scarf in her hair. It’s what people expected of a carnival fortune teller. With a heavy sigh, she picked up the bundle on the table next to the door and stepped outside.

Squinting in the sunlight, Eve scanned the fairgrounds and saw the crowds were already starting to gather. It was going to be another humid, exhausting day. And the owners thought it wasn’t “authentic” to have air-conditioning in her tent, so she had to make due with a hidden, hand-held fan. She made the short walk over to her tent, purple and bejeweled, and stepped inside through the opening in the back.

The floor of the tent was covered in soft pillows surrounding a low table. In the center of the table was a silver stand. It was on this stand that Eve placed the item from the bundle she carried. Once it was settled and she made sure it was secure, she stood back a moment and admired the way the lamps made it glow. It was a glass orb, something you could hold in both hands, and the inside was full of delicate glass filaments in a rainbow of colors. The other members of the carnival thought it was odd how protective Eve was of this particular prop. It was pretty, sure, but it was just a fake crystal ball. But she never left it in the tent unattended and never let anyone else touch it, let alone carry or move it.

But what no one actually knew was, the crystal ball was where she saw her visions. Because Eve was a real psychic.

A long time ago she had realized the safest place to hide out was in plain sight. Tell the world you’re a psychic and no one believes you. Try to hid and eventually someone will find you out.

Once she was sure everything looked perfect, Eve went to the front of the tent and set out her sign, proclaiming her attraction open for business. It only took about fifteen minutes for her first customers to arrive, potentially knowing the future was a hard thing to resist.

The first hour of the day was mundane. Will I get married? Will I be rich? Will I get the new job? People’s worries were so predicable and petty. No one cared about anything important. Will I make a difference? Will we ever get world peace? Will my children grow up to be good people? Those would be important questions. And for all Eve saw about other people, she never saw a hint of her own future. When it came to what the future had in store for her, she was as blind as everyone else.

After lunch, Eve was preparing to suffer through the heat of the afternoon when the flap of the tent opened. The sunlight outlined the individual so at first she couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. Once the flap was closed against the sunlight, she the person was a man, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. His clothing seemed odd, given the heat of the day, she thought.

“Have a seat, please,” Eve said, gesturing to the pillows across from her. The man folded his legs under himself gracefully has he sank down. “What question can I answer for you?”

“I think it’s a simple one,” the man said. “I’m mostly curious about my plans for this afternoon.”

“This afternoon?” Eve was confused. Usually people came to her either to ask outlandish questions or to find out about things farther in the future.

“Yes, I have some rather audacious plans for the afternoon and I’m interested to see if they are going to work out in my favor. Would you mind telling me if you can see how things will go?”

Eve looked at the man across from her, really studying him for the first time. He was probably close to her age, maybe twenty-five or so. He had light brown hair, brown eyes, a pleasant, if unmemorable face. All in all, the most distinctive thing about him was his voice. It was very low and smooth and almost made her stomach flip every time he spoke.

“Please?” he prompted.

“Of course,” Eve replied, giving herself a little shake. “But first, that will be five dollars please, sir.” He smiled and handed her the money, and something in that smile made a little shiver run down her spine.

Eve tried to center herself and leaned over the crystal ball, pulling on her other senses to see what was in this man’s future. Slowly, shapes and images started to materialize in the orb. From experience, she knew he couldn’t see anything, so he was looking at her expectantly.

The scene in front of her solidified and she smiled to herself. She saw the inside of her tent, with the man sitting across the table, watching her. It was strange, almost like an out of body experience. And the first time she had ever seen herself in a vision.

“What do you see?” he asked.

“Well,” she said, meeting his eyes, “I see us. Here, in this tent.”

“That’s a good start,” he said.

“Is this a part of your audacious plans?” Eve asked with a smile.

“It is, actually. What else?”

Eve watched a for a minute, waiting for the scene to advance. As she looked on, she saw the man reach behind his back and pull something from underneath his shirt. As it glinted in the lamplight she realized it was a knife. The man in the crystal ball lunged and the knife plunged into that Eve’s chest.

Eve’s eyes flew up from her crystal ball to the man sitting across from her.

He smiled. “I’m guessing my plans work out just fine.” He reached behind him and pulled out the knife.

Eve screamed.

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess
Jessica
Kris
Gwen
Bronwyn