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.

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View in the Mirror

Another bit of writing based on a prompt. This one was inspired by Be Kind Rewrite’s Inspiration Monday prompt. Pop over and give it a try yourself. Here it is :

Rearview

Rearview (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

She had waited for so long and come so close to the end, her end, so many times. Something always stopped her, just shy of saying goodbye to the world. It wasn’t easy by no means. Somehow she kept hanging onto hope, when there was barely nothing left. Maybe it was the small glimmer of faith she hung onto. She guessed the reasons didn’t matter now. It only mattered that she had made it.

The chaos in her life was at least temporarily in her rear view mirror. Of course, this could be put both ways, figuratively and literally. She would no longer have to endure harsh days of words spoken in anger. Tears welled up in her eyes. She held them back. She wasn’t sure if they were tears of joy that she would finally have peace or tears of sadness that it had taken so long. Maybe it was a little of both. She looked in the mirror, watching the signs of town fade in the distance.

She took one hand off the steering wheel and lightly patted the suitcase in the seat beside her. One bag was all she had and it was more than enough. She would never have to see him or the town, where they had lived together, ever again. There had been some happy memories, but there had been such sorrow the last several years. No use, dwelling on the past. She turned the radio up and smiled slightly. All the pieces were finally falling together rather than falling apart. It was time.

Memoir Writing…Completion to Resources for Writing Your Memoir

I’ve finished doing a self-edit of my memoir.  I did it on a copy I had printed out and forgot page numbers…whoops…yes, those could be important.  🙂 After going back and fixing a few things I found, I have officially printed out my first good copy of my memoir.  It is done.  Feels good to say that for more than one reason.

My memoir is done because I feel the story is done being told.  Though I know I said I wasn’t worried about word count, and I’m not, I think it’s still neat to know it ended up 32, 317 words.  It is 94 pages long, but 98 if the extra pages are included.  The extras are a dedication page, resource page, and a couple of pages of poetry.

My Memoir

My Memoir

My Memoir

My Memoir

The next step, and I am taking baby steps, is to turn my baby lose cautiously.  I need to let a few other people read it to get some feedback.  I know I sound like I’m obsessing a bit calling it my baby, but it is.  This is the first book I’ve ever written and the story is a part of me.

The best thing about being done and the story being written is this wonderful feeling of release.  There is a freedom in having some of my most painful experiences in life out of me and into words.  For me it’s actually been easier to find the written words than it would have been trying to speak them.

We all have stories in us and I would highly recommend writing a memoir to anyone.  I think it can especially be part of the healing process if there is something difficult you are dealing with in your life.  Reading memoirs written by others is a good place to get started learning about writing stories from life.  Here are a few other books and a blog I’ve found helpful as I’ve learned more about memoir writing :

Praying for Sleep

* This was written based on the Inspiration Monday prompt over on the Be Kind Rewrite blog. *

Restlessly she tossed in the bed. She reached over to the nightstand and pressed the button on her cell phone – 2:00am. Another night of trouble finding sleep. She used to never have trouble sleeping.

So many things were different from how they used to be. She used to sleep in his arms. Now he was lying a foot away, not touching, back turned to her, and snoring. It wasn’t the snoring keeping her from sleep. She had gotten used to it years ago. Part of the problem was the distance in more than just physical proximity.

The physical part wasn’t his fault. For the last several years his health had been declining. He felt pain everyday and even minimal activity made him short of breath. She knew it was hard for him to get comfortable, but she still missed him holding her.

It was a small wonder there was an emotional distance as well. His day-to-day focus had shifted to the necessities simply required for living life. She knew it had to be hard to focus on anything else when he had trouble breathing even sitting still and he tired so easily.

She had to stay in the present as well. Everyday she tried to make sure he ate, gave him his medicines including the inhalers, and tried to make him comfortable. She missed being able to dream. It hurt too much to dream and life was too uncertain. The busyness usually at least kept her from thinking too much, which kept away the fear.

Tonight she was afraid though and it was keeping her from sleep. Afraid of him dying and afraid of the future. Silent tears streamed down her face as she closed her eyes praying for sleep.

(I welcome any comments or feedback.  Fiction is not something I write often.)

Camp NaNoWrimo . . . Novel Writing!

Life has been busy, so I’ve not had as much time to blog as I would like.  Holding my breath and thinking things are slowing down.  At least the dust appears to be settling.  Still waiting to hear back on submissions I have sent out into the world.  Still managing to continue to journal and actually enjoying it since I’ve freed myself of thinking I must do it every single day.  And of course, of course, I am reading!

As if I don’t have enough to do, I’ve decided to try Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m in a cabin, have settled in, and attempting to write my first fiction novel.  Only have a little over 2,300 words so far, but it’s early in the month.  I’m normally a non-fiction and poetry type gal, but thought it would be fun to give fiction a try.  You never know if you like something, unless you try.

Camp NaNoWrimo

Camp NaNoWrimo

This is the first time I’ve ever tried anything NaNoWriMo.  The big month is in November, but I’ll see how this goes first.  I didn’t even know what NaNoWriMo stood for until a few months ago.  In case you are as clueless as I was, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to begin something new, not an old project, and write at least 50,000 words.

The novel I am working on is a romance fantasy novel.  I thought it would be good for my first attempt as much of the advice I’ve read about writing novels is to write the type of novel you enjoy reading.  I love to read historical romance, but am not too good at history, hence the fantasy.

I got in a creative spurt yesterday and even had a little fun!  Yes, the kind of creative fun you can remember from art class in school.  Using markers and crayons, I created a map of the kingdom and surrounding areas the companions in my novel will be traveling through as they embark upon their quest.  Now I have an inspiring poster to kind of help keep me on track.

Hopefully this week will be calmer and productive.  It can be both can’t it?  I’ll hope so anyway.  Happy writing…