Writing the End, First

When the television show, Scandal, premiered, I recall Shonda Rhimes saying, she knew exactly how the series would end. Being a ‘pantser,’ I was amazed! How did she do that?! I declared her and her writing team a group of stone-cold, geniuses at that moment!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my coaches have challenged me to do some things differently. It’s caused me to revisit the way I approach my writing. I usually start at the beginning, and write in a relatively chronological order – without an outline. (This hasn’t been working for me.) It’s a great way to start and get ideas down on the page, but I’m realizing that I have plan (outline) and perhaps, know where I want the story to end, first. I think I’ll finish more projects if I take that approach.

In the meantime, I have two projects in which to figure out their endings. I’ll keep you posted. (Pray my strength!)

Starting at the beginning isn't always the best approach to constructing a story.
Photo by Kat Stokes

No More Pants

Tres Blah by Torley

Once a year (usually around November) the question comes up, “Are you a ‘pantser’ or a planner?” This question is usually a reminder that I need to work on my writing organization style. I’m a total ‘pantser.’ I sit down at the desk, and create “by the seat of my pants.” No outline. I let the story wander where it will, and then go back (while I’m still writing) and fix the noticable loopholes. This is a HORRIBLE writing habit. It slows me down and leaves as many holes in my story as there are in swiss cheese.

One of my broad goals is to plan (and execute) better. I have two coaches in my life challenging me to do so. (The funny thing is, I didn’t go looking for coaches. They “happened” to me! LOL! #TheLordProvides!) And so, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to plan, then write. Let’s just say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is going to take some work, and getting used to! But I’m determined to become better at planning and executing. My writing life depends on it!

I’ll be sharing more on the process I’m using in coming posts. Stay tuned!

All of a sudden…

I actually had a good and productive Monday. (Most people don’t celebrate Mondays, which is kind of sad. The day is what you make it, but I digress…) Tuesday was a doozy. That’s the point when my week went to crap, and I’ve been trying to recover it ever since. All I can do is roll with the punches. Hopefully I’ll be fully up and running again in a few days. I’m determined to finish this #NaPaWriMo Challenge!

Lines

I call them tiger stripes,
battle scars,
a badge of honor.
Their tendrils reach around my waist,
across my back,
down my hips,
and over my belly, like vines.
Each line reminds me of
the life I once carried within me.
Each stria reminds me
of every meal I could not hold down,
and every kick and punch
my ribs and bladder endured.
The single dark stripe
that trails down the center of my belly
reminds of the times I wondered when labor would begin.
The ripples that remain, like accordion folds in my flesh,
remind me of the day you finally arrived.
I look at these stretch marks
and recall faithfully massaging cocoa butter into my belly,
attempting to erase any visible evidence of the experience.
But the flesh insists upon memorializing the event.
I’m no longer ashamed of these scars.
I’m reminded that not every woman has been blessed to receive them.
Maturity has taught me how to wear these welts
like a string of diamonds around my waist.

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What to do when a Blizzard Turns into an Ice Storm with a Bonus Power Outage

In case you missed the news, the east coast was abused and assaulted by snow, ice and high winds Monday night into Tuesday. Power in my area went out at around 7:30am and didn’t come back on until about 6:30pm. Some people in the region were still without power this morning.

In between my four naps yesterday, I had some time to think about things I could have done to be better prepared and entertained while waiting for the power to come back on. Here is my list. (In no particular order…):

  1. Layer up – Wear two or more pairs of socks, heavy sweat pants, long sleeve t-shirt, heavy sweatshirt and hair bonnet (to keep head and ears warm). Gloves, optional.
  2. Stay out of the fridge – As much as you can, keep the fridge closed to prevent food from spoiling.
  3. Take a cell phone picture of the contents of the fridge – so you won’t have have to keep opening the door to see what’s in there.
  4. Use your phone for emergencies only – Curb your usual daily usage habits! Don’t take a lot of pictures, stream video, etc. Trust me, you can live without social media for a few hours!
  5. Use protection – Do I really need to spell this one out? Ô_o
  6. Purchase room temperature edibles before the storm – Most people go for milk, bread, and eggs to make it through the storm. But consider purchasing things like: bananas, oranges, apples, bread (still makes the list), chips,  and peanut butter. Don’t forget about the packages of jelly you swipe from your favorite greasy spoon. They come in handy at times like this!
  7. Make sure the heavy comforters and blankets are clean – You may need to layer up in bed as the temperature drops overnight.
  8. Books – Real books. Paperback, hardcover, any genre, any topic that tickles your fancy. Curl up under the layered blankets and read your heart out!
  9. Make lists – That’s what I did while waiting fro the power to be restored. Try it. It’s quite therapeutic!
  10. Talk – If you live with other people, this is a great way to pass the time and get to know each other better! If you live alone, talk to yourself. (I’m being serious!) It’s a great way to problem solve or brain dump!

What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Snow Day
Snow Day by Nike Writes

Happiness Thieves

It happens every holiday. The holiday thieves come out of the woodwork to steal your happiness and enlighten you as to why you need to be as “woke” (meaning enlightened, mentally and spiritually evolved) as they are. If you celebrate a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, you are labeled as “sheeple,” and pretty much called stupid for daring to celebrate these religious traditions for various reasons that they have spent countless hours researching. It’s a little worse when days like Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day roll around. The “too woke” crew starts barking about how it’s just a holiday created by the candy industry to take your money, and how you shouldn’t need a holiday to remind you to tell someone you love them. If you really love a person you should give them flowers every day! Say, “I love you,” everyday. (How many times have you seen one of these “too woke” people holding a bouquet of roses and professing their love to anyone on a non-holiday? Yeah…my point exactly!!!)

It’s sad, because these “Too Woke” folk come off as angry and unhappy. (I’m sure they have a few good days, here and there.) They are always finding fault with everyone else’s joy. So what if I spend MY hard earned dollars on some cheap chocolate and flowers on a designated day of the year? The problem is, you’re TOO WOKE! Lack of sleep makes you cranky (and quite annoying to the rest of us well rested folk)! So, to all of you “Too woke” people that may read this, I encourage you to look at this Valentine’s Day as a day of rest. Take a chill pill. Meditate on happy things (please). Read a book and continue your course on February 15 when the celebration of love is over. Buy some discount candy on the 15th and experience some of the love you’ve been missing. Share some of your discounted candy haul with your significant other and see what happens.

And for all my “sheeple” out there, I wish you much love!

 

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It was a dark and stormy night…

Actually, it was the third dark and stormy night this week. While I usually enjoy rainy days, this was too many days of precipitation in a row. It was making my body ache. My bones creaked like a set of old wooden stairs. My hips, thighs, knees and back protest whenever I try to raise myself from the edge of the bed or out of a chair.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that once you reach a certain age, your body will fight you for every vegetable you didn’t eat and pull-up you didn’t do? Well, if you’re reading this, consider yourself warned!

Today was a better day. It was overcast, but not as drab as it’s been since Friday, which gave me a little bit of energy. A few more days like this, and I should feel a little more like myself in no time.

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Sleeping Fennec Fox

Overload

Sometimes the issue isn’t not having enough to write, it’s having too many things (writing related and non-writing related) rolling about in your head at once!

Today was one of those days. :-/

I’m going to try again tomorrow.

 

Breaks and Breathing Room

I took a break from the 30 day challenge yesterday. It’s necessary sometimes. Writing happened in the wee hours of the morning, but nothing coherent that I thought you would appreciate. (I certainly wouldn’t appreciate just reading story notes! I want the meat with the potatoes!)

I spent the last day chewing on some thoughts about the latest Black*ish episode that everyone is talking about. Because those thoughts are more political in nature, I posted my thoughts here. I’d love it if you took a read and shared your thoughts on Medium. I like to keep this site focused on the sharing fiction, poetry and writing tips.

I will be back tomorrow with a short story. It’s going to be a continuation of a previous post that I left with a bit of a cliffhanger! (You all have been asking about the rest of this story! 😀 ) You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out which story it is!

Until tomorrow, friends!

 

Due to Inclement Weather…

There will not be a story posted today due to inclement weather and other unscheduled fun activities. I’ll be back tomorrow with an interesting lesson I learned while driving through snow and foolishness.

But if you are REALLY fiending for something to read on a wintery day, you may want to grab a warm beverage and back-blog and binge on these posts:

Enjoy your evening!

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