Never Again

*I’m normally a non-fiction person. I’m always saying I’ve got too much real stuff that needs to get out before I can have much room for fiction. The other day seemed to be an exception to my rule though and this is one of the stories I wrote…

The snow continued to fall steadily. It had been falling for hours. It was a storm, unlike any seen in rural North Carolina for years. Living on a secondary road, she knew it would be a while before the snow plows cleared the road and more traffic made the way through, though there was never much traffic on the road anyway. Sarah knew no one would be coming to visit, even if the roads were clear. One of the downsides to being a bit anti-social and family living far away.

“Oh well”, she thought as she sipped her tea and looked out the kitchen window at the big fluffy flakes falling. No time for one of her pity parties. Soup was simmering in the crock pot for supper, her little dog was curled up on the couch napping, and she was going to tackle writing another chapter of her book. The book she might never publish, but that beckoned her to write. There were some secrets, which should never have to be kept.

Her words quickly spilled across the page and before long she realized it was afternoon. She headed to the kitchen to stir the soup and get something else to drink. She heard the dog start to bark ferociously from the other room. As she turned around to go check, she saw him. The face she would never forget. The man who had left her for dead once, but was never found. She had moved in hopes she’d never see him again.

“Sarah, I told you you’d never belong to anyone else”, said the man. Before he had the chance to say anything else, she threw the crock pot at him. He cursed as it shattered on the ground and he was splattered with hot soup. She took off running through the back door. He ran out after her, fired the gun, and kept calling her name as he ran towards her.

She ran and kept running, not daring to look behind her. She had never been this far in the woods behind her house. Suddenly she ran out of woods and was in a snowy field. She kept running. She thought she smelled wood smoke, but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. There was just bright white snow all around. She fell and tried to get up, but couldn’t. She moved her hand where the pain was coming from and felt something warm and wet. Looking down, she saw the blood pouring from her side.

The bright red blood, her blood, falling on the snow, somehow reminded her of Snow White’s lips and the bright red apple the witch gave her, putting Snow White in a deep slumber. Of all times to think of fairy tales. Her eyes felt heavy. Sleepiness getting harder to resist. Fading away in the snow, embracing the cold. She was no one’s princess and now she never would be.

Her eyes lightly opened one last time and she saw birds nearby on the ground. Her brain thought of birds…singing…and then somehow, whistling came to mind. With all the strength she could muster, she pursed her lips to give one strong whistle before everything faded black.

Her eyelids began to lightly flutter, and between partially open lids, everything looked bright and white. She thought it must be heaven. She heard a man’s voice say, “Sarah?”. Briefly opening her eyes a little wider, she barely made out the blurred image of a man’s face with the deepest blue eyes she’d ever seen. She said, “My prince” and then gave in to sleep.

A few days later, as Sarah was sitting up in her hospital bed, a man wearing a blue plaid flannel jacket and jeans, looking as if they’d been made for him, came knocking on her door. He wore a friendly smile on his face and sat a vase of tulips down on her bedside tray. She looked up at him and before she could ask who he was, she peered into his eyes. She remembered those eyes. She knew she’d looked into them once before, but didn’t know who he was.

He told her his name was Tim, then explained what had happened. He lived in the clearing beyond her woods.  He heard barking that terrible day and looked out his window. He saw the small dog first, then Sarah lying on the snow. Further back, he could make out the shape of a man. Taking his gun outside to find out what was going on, he saw the man raise up his gun to fire, but Tim had fired first.

She remembered nothing other than the man, the pain, birds and running. She didn’t need to know anything more than Tim told her. She knew she had found her prince and now she knew the man who had told her she’d never belong to another, would never bother her again.

What I’d Do

* I’ve been in the mood for poetry lately…so here’s another poem…

I’d scream if I felt
It might help
Instead I deny
Keep things
From myself
Bury feelings
Bury words
Each day
Becoming less
My true self
I want to be angry
I want to be sad
I want to be happy
To genuinely smile
Instead I feel less
Trying to not fully die
Evaporate inside
Till nothing is left
This is not what I wish
Not what I want to do
I want more
So much more from each day
I want to cry rivers
Till the heartache
Pours through
I want to smash walls
Till all the rage
Simmers away
I want joy to blossom
To live more than exist
Turn the key in the lock
Undo these emotions
All bottled up
This is what I’d do
If my heart
To itself
Would only be so true

Cloudy Skies

Cloudy Skies

Snowy Day Ramblings

Snowy Bench

Snowy Bench

I just finished sipping a cup of homemade hot chocolate. It’s the perfect thing to do on a frosty day like today. Way more snow fell yesterday in our little part of North Carolina than we’ve seen in many years.  It never lasts long, so I just content myself to staying cozily indoors till the roads are safe. Of course since over 3 snowflakes fell, pretty much everything is closed anyway. The only venturing out I do is to take the occasional picture and to feed the outside critters(the resident goat, guinea, and couple of chickens).

It’s been one of those slow kind of days I enjoy. It started with making some delicious wholesome homemade banana muffins, full of good stuff like flaxseed and fresh ground whole wheat flour. I did some essentials, like cleaning up a bit, then it’s been computer time for me. My internet works at the archaic speed of the dial-up age, but I’ve still managed to mostly catch up reading blog posts and emails for now.

I’m still writing, just been quiet. Mainly writing in my journal, bits of non-fiction, and a few poems as the mood strikes. I’ve been reading plenty too, including I just got my hands on The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, which I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. I’m not far into it yet, but it looks good and though I’m not a big horror fan, I do enjoy werewolf and vampire stories. I’ll have to share about some of the ebooks I’ve read in another post some time.

Besides going to become a grandmother within a couple of months, the thing I’m most excited about is I might actually get to go to my first ever writers conference. It’s the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair in Lumberton. It happens to be in the same town my husband’s side of the family usually has family reunions in and best of all the price is right within my budget as the admission is free. Several of the talks look interesting.

On a totally other note, if you’ve ever felt life is not going as you planned(ok…I must really be a dreamer if I think it’s supposed to…huh?) or you’re getting older and feel suddenly you don’t know what you want to do when you grow up, then I ran across a couple of interesting blog posts this morning. Both of them are on the same site, but gave me something to think about. Read the comments too, there were some interesting ones. The posts are If You Could Do Anything for a Living, What Would You Do? and The Problem with Plans : What I Learned from Getting Laid Off.

Best wishes in your life and writing endeavors. Here’s one of the many poems I’ve been writing lately…

Heartsong

Somethings are just known
Without any doubt
Felt down deep
Make life worth living
Make life complete
Slip into place
Perfect poetry
Sung between hearts
Grounding my soul
Giving me peace
A return to dreams
An awakening hope

New Year Thoughts

It’s a new year, a fresh start, so I’m not going to condemn it right off the bat by hoping the year 2014 is better. I’m not being a pessimist, just a realist. I’m not going to make a bunch of unrealistic expectations and set myself up for failure either. I’m planning on taking a live in the moment approach and make the most of each day.

I’ve decided I do better and am decidedly more happy if I don’t look at the bigger picture. It’s too overwhelming. There is freedom in acceptance…surrendering to life as it is, has to be for the time, and taking each day as it comes. At the very least it feels as if I’m starting 2014 with more peace.

If you’re new to this blog and parts of that sounded cryptic…it’s not, it’s just my life is complicated (who’s isn’t I guess). Among many other things, I’m a full time caregiver for my spouse, other than working outside the home a day or two every week. I’m getting ready to be a grandmother as well. My daughter is expecting her first in early April.

This past month has been quiet here as I’ve been doing a bit of self nurturing(immersing myself in reading books and doing yoga) as well as busily crocheting to finish gifts. Needless to say, I didn’t manage to keep up with The Book of Me prompts. I think the best thing I can do is leave the past the past and move on forward. I’m getting off to a good start writing. I wrote a last journal entry for the year last night a little before midnight and wrote a poem today…

Surrender

A hot cup of tea
Move into tree pose
Ease into the day
Accept what will
What can be
Find the bliss
Subtle in each day
Fragrance of a life
Lived day by day
Forget the things
Not able to change
Breathe deep
Surrender
Calmness remain
Accept what is
Accept who I am
In each moment
Fully to dwell
Strong to stand

Hope your new year is off to a good start and wish you the best in your writing journey… :)

No Excuses and a Poem…

My blog has been a bit quiet I know. I’ve been in one of those melancholy moods where I can’t quite get myself motivated. The caregiving life has hit another bump and I don’t know if it’s one of those bumps we’ll bounce back out of, or if this is where we are, another holding station in this still life of caregiving.

Still life, frozen in time, unmoving, monotonous, forever…all describe how I feel about life in its current state.

I’ll get it back together. I always seem to. In the meantime, I’m giving myself permission to be. I’m tired of being strong, putting on a happy face, and moving both feet forward(which some days feels like walking through molasses in muck boots). I’m tired of saying, “I’m fine and I know how to make brownies.” Chocolate’s good, but unfortunately it doesn’t ease all pain as much as I’d like it to.

I don’t think this is wallowing in self pity(AKA–pity party) or giving up. I think it’s allowing myself to grieve for a very changed life, something I don’t allow myself to do enough I think. I’m still writing, but it’s tending to be in my journal and poems. I was working on some submissions, but disappointed myself and didn’t finish them. I’m in a curl up with a good book and read to escape my woes place.

Hopefully back to a more active blog soon…here’s a poem I wrote for now though…

Release Me

It doesn’t do to be empathic
Feeling other people’s pain
Unable to heal it or let it go
Endlessly the ache remains
Yet should my heart harden
It would fare far worse
Not to feel is no blessing
An apathetic heart is a curse
Pouring rain down in my soul
Beg you give a bit of mercy
Sorrow extracts a heavy toll
From it, please release me

FREE Memoir Workshop Coming Up!

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If you love memoir or have been thinking about writing memoir…here’s an opportunity for an upcoming free memoir workshop.

Originally posted on Karenzo Media Editing & Layouts:

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A FREE MEMOIR WORKSHOP?? Yep, it’s true!

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The Book of Me – Prompt 9 : Halloween

(* This is from last week’s The Book of Me prompt. Trying to play catch up and get to blogging about other things soon. I’ve been adjusting and life’s just been busy the past few weeks…our daughter came back home for a bit and one of my husband’s daughters moved in to help with him.*)

The prompt for week 9 : Halloween
Have you ever participated in a Halloween event?
When was it?
Where was it?
What did you dress as?
Trick or treat?

Once my mama took my sister and I to a Halloween event at the movie theater. I don’t remember what the movie was, she often liked horror movies, but I didn’t usually watch scary movies anyway. During the very scary parts I’d cover my ears with my hands and close my eyes. At the movie theater there was a coffin filled with prizes that we dug through with our hands. I don’t remember what I was dressed as, but we did dress up. We got candy too. We’d each get a bag and share, so we could have different types.

My sister and I always dressed up for Halloween, but for some reason I can’t remember any of our costumes at all. I do remember one of mama’s costumes. She always enjoyed Halloween and one year dressed up as a witch, complete with green face and black hat, before we woke up. She scared us really good.

Some years we’d go to the Halloween Fair at the school. It was fun and there were plenty of games to play. The only bad thing was my taste in candy. It seemed every year for several years in a row, I would lose a tooth to a Sugar Daddy or Sugar Babies, those very sweet sticky molasses type candies. Thankfully the teeth I lost were ones heading that way already, none of my permanent teeth.

Besides those types of Halloween fun, My sister and I were not allowed to go trick-or-treating. Our mother worked on the police force for a while and had seen too many dangerous things like people putting razor blades in apples and drugs in candy, so she considered it unsafe for us. I don’t remember really feeling as if I missed out by not going trick-or-treating. I just remember fun as a family.

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