Friday, November 30, 2012

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #13

It's time for another foray into the end of the world!  For those of you who need to catch up with earlier installments, you can go to this PAGE to read everything in one place.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #13

At dusk, the boys still hadn’t returned from their scavenging trip.  Peter had woken, but he’d pulled the covers over his head, refusing to leave.  Sheera went in to try to coax him out.

Meanwhile, RC went to each window and peered cautiously through the curtains.  She moved about the house, gripping an old rag to make it appear as though she was dusting.  This poor attempt at disguising her nervous pacing left a bizarre pattern of clean and dirty areas, making it all too obvious that she actually wasn’t focused on cleaning.

As RC absent-mindedly wiped the dirt off her grandmother’s abandoned toaster, which transformed from a dingy gray to a sparkling white (though in the fading light, it wasn’t actually doing any sparkling), a sound at the back door made her jump.  She immediately froze after that, listening intently to what followed.  Under most circumstances, she would hide or prepare to run in case it was a patrol coming to search the house, but this time, she couldn’t do anything but wait, her muscles tensed in anticipation.

Much to her relief, Alyx and Ollie appeared in the doorway.

“Good, you’re here.  Now we can eat.”  RC did the best she could to mask her relief.

Alyx dumped an armload of food on the counter before emptying the backpack while Ollie, whose arms were loaded with scavenged clothes, dumped his haul on the kitchen table.  The size of their bounty was more than welcome.  With the coldest months of the year fast approaching, and the increase in the group’s number, they’d need to store up all they could.  It would make it harder to move if they were discovered, but they’d have to worry about that if and when the problem arose.

“We have food, at least, but I can’t promise a lot of variety,” Alyx replied apologetically as he rubbed his hands together.  The cool air must have worked its way to the bone in the time he was out.

“No gourmet meal?” RC asked jokingly.  “That’s a shame.”

Even though the last rays of sunlight streaming through the window were dimming fast, Alyx noticed the work she’d already done.  “I guess it was nice of you to clean the toaster, but without electricity, I don’t think it’ll do us much good.”  The attempt at humor was weighed down by something else, though RC didn’t know what.

“I just got bored,” she replied nonchalantly, though even she knew it sounded unconvincing.  “Next time, I’m going with you.  I don’t do well waiting around all the time.”  That much was true at least.

“Ollie might fight you on that, but you’d probably make better company.”

“Better company than me?” Ollie demanded.  “Impossible.  I can carry more too.”

In spite of the teasing sound to his voice, RC also detected a hint of something else in his words.  Was it protectiveness?  Posturing?  She’d certainly heard a similar tone from the men in her life before, but she certainly didn’t want to hear it from Ollie.  Yet, even that didn’t seem to tell the whole story.

Alyx must have sensed it too.  “Since we have kids in house now, we should probably feed them before we rip each other’s heads off.”

RC turned to the food and started to organize it on the counter, carefully selecting the things she thought could feed all of them.  As she worked, she asked, “Did the kids tell you about where they came from?”

“Yes, they did,” Alyx said heavily.

“I think we should consider trying to get out of town,” Ollie jumped in.  “If it really is better out there, I don’t see why we shouldn’t.”

“I agree, but we should wait until after winter,” RC said.  “If we went out there now, we’d have nothing.  At least here, we can find food for now.”  Then she paused.  “Do you think we should try to find the other kids they escaped with?  I know it’s dangerous to have too large of a group, but they might have valuable information.”

“We already thought about that,” Alyx replied.  A sorrowful note definitely hung from his words now.

RC’s insides went cold.  Before she could ask him to elaborate, though, two sets of footsteps were moving to intercept them.  “Are we going to eat soon?”  A little boy’s voice.

Within an hour, they were all assembled over a dinner of beans, canned carrots, and biscuits fashioned from a box of pancake mix around a covert fire in the backyard.  Everyone huddled around the flames while wrapped in the newly acquired clothes and thick blankets.  The plates weren’t exactly overflowing with food, and the food itself wasn’t exactly fit for a king (or even for a simple meal pre-invasion), but to empty stomachs, it hit the spot.  The flames offered just enough light for them to dine by.

Very little conversation passed between them while they ate.  The kids were probably shy given their introduction to new people, but Alyx and Ollie’s silence said a lot more.  That which remained unspoken hovered over them all, and she suspected whatever it was couldn’t be uttered in front of younger ears.

Once her plate was empty, RC turned to Ollie.  “Can you keep an eye on the kids for a minute?  I want to talk to Alyx alone.”

He hesitated for a moment before begrudgingly answering.  “All right.”

Alyx and RC found some privacy inside the chilly, and now pitch-black, kitchen.  They stood next to the window, the firelight from the yard barley illuminating their faces.

“Ollie and I went to check out the place where Sheera said they were hiding before being captured,” Alyx confessed.  “It only seemed right to at least tell them their friends were okay, and to see if we could help them out with anything.”

RC’s stomach turned.  “What did you find?”

“No one was there, but the basement they’d been using for shelter was covered with blood.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blindsided Blog Tour Christmas Dress-Up Contest

Kyra Lennon is at it again with a fun, holiday-themed bloghop!  Hop on over to her page to sign up if you're interested.  You have until December 7th to get in on the action.  

Oh, you want to know the details before you sign up, eh?  Too chicken to sign up before seeing what you've gotten yourself into?  Fine.  I'll tell you.  Or, if you don't trust me, you can go to Kyra's post to hear it from her.  Plus, you can sign up right there while you're at it.

This one is a Christmas dress-up contest!  So, obviously as it's a dress-up contest, to participate you'll need to post a picture on your blog.  It doesn't matter how little or big you go, you need only be wearing something festive!  There are prizes too!

Most Creative - $20 Amazon Gift Card
Silliest - $15 Amazon Gift Card
Simple but Stylish - $10 Amazon Gift Card

There will also be two entrants drawn at random, who will both receive a paperback copy of Blindsided!

Now, here's my picture.

This was taken while we set up our Christmas tree this year.  Growing up we always used a real tree, but my husband prefers a fake tree, so that's what we have.  This tree is hollow on the inside, so I decided to be silly and climb in. Don't ask what possessed me to do it.  I promise no alcohol was involved in the decision, which actually makes it sound worse.  Essentially though, I'm wearing an entire Christmas tree in this photo, though it's zoomed in so you can actually see where I'm at.  Unfortunately, it was a tighter fit than I'd like to admit, and I itched like crazy afterwards.

And now there's photographic evidence of my insanity for all the world to see! Feel free to have a good laugh!  I know I'm laughing at myself right now.

FSF: After Hours

Chapter 8: After Hours

Nara spent the rest of the day peddling her cures to stand owners (almost all of whom already knew her), and most purchased something without a second thought, confident these herbal cures could resell for a worthwhile profit.  Ylana was undoubtedly in awe that her friend indeed had a such a good reputation in this alien world, but she also found herself blissfully lingering on what N’Goteth told her before they walked away.
Image courtesy of africa

After Nara proposed that they all get together for dinner that night, N’Goteth had turned to Ylana and offered her a wink.  Though this was a gesture that traditionally came from men who were trying to catch her eye with a bit of fun in mind, she sensed something more from this man who apparently shared the same goal she did.  “It would be a joy to meet after hours with such a lovely escaped Kryllian slave, especially since I’m sure we’d have so much to talk about,” he said with a smile.

Go to Time

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oxymoronic Ruminations

Today I wanted to take the time to honor one of my favorite linguistic gems: the oxymoron.  Seriously, I think I love the oxymoron as much as I do because of the name.  How could anything sound as awesome as this?  It almost sounds like an insult you'd sling at someone who cuts you off in rush hour traffic.  "Hey, use your turn signal you oxymoron!"  Or maybe my love of paradoxes in general (my favorite paradox being Schrodinger's Cat) has something to do with it.

For those who may not know, an oxymoron occurs when two seemingly contradictory terms are combined.  Civil War is perhaps one of my favorite examples as the presence of these two words together seems particularly ludicrous.  Unfortunately, it isn't technically an oxymoron.  The word "civil" in this context means that the war is occurring between people of the same nation and is not implying that people are standing around and saying nice things to one another while carrying heavy artillery.  Still, I delight in seeing it as an oxymoron because, while I acknowledge war is at times necessary, I hope it's one of those nasty things that we'll eventually outgrow as a species.  I mean, seriously, if we spent half the time exploring the galaxy as we did trying to kill each other, we'd really be somewhere by now.  Good grief!

Wow.  Can I ever stay on topic?  My rant took up half my post!

I recommend that you watch this video to help you appreciate the beauty of the oxymoron.  Yes, this guy would rip into my comments regarding my Civil War example, but everyone should know this information all the same.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Express Yourself: 5 Quirks

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is made possible by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

List 5 imperfections about yourself that might bug others, but it's what makes you, well, you.

  1. I randomly quote movies and TV shows.  A lot.  I try to make sure the quotes fit in with what's going on in real life.  Only a handful of people understand my references, but luckily, my husband frequently does.
  2. When inspiration strikes, I have to write something down, even if only a few notes so the idea doesn't slip away entirely.  The need to do this can come at awkward moments that set some people on edge, but I can't help when the ideas come!
  3. I don't have normal conversations.  While girls are often expected to have conversations about fashion (of which I know nothing, so be grateful I don't try to discuss it) and similar things when spending time with friends, I want to talk about possible methods of interstellar travel or debate philosophical dilemmas.  Or time travel paradoxes.  Or physics paradoxes, such as Schrodinger's Cat.  Some people will never understand me for that reason.
  4. I'm extremely particular about the way I do dishes.  I have to wash the silverware first, then the coffee cups and glasses, then the little plates, then the big plates, and finally pots and pans.  There can be no deviation from this established pattern.
  5. I fold laundry, but it takes me forever to put it away.  When we lived in a one story house, I regularly put it away.  Now that we live in a two story house, however, it's harder to get the motivation to put it away.  I'll even go to great lengths to hide certain stacks of laundry from view so they don't seem too conspicuous.  In fact, it would probably be easier to put it away properly in the first place, but that knowledge still doesn't motivate me to do it.
That's my list.  Do any of you have quirks you'd like to mention?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Buried Under a Mountain of Stuff

Pleiades is buried under a pile of stuff.

I can hear her yelling at me, though her voice is muffled by all the other things demanding my attention.  The kids, the good book I'm reading, the housework that was neglected over the course of a long, but wonderful, Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  So many things, and I don't know when my writing will be able to spring back to the surface.

I am a writer, but I am many other things as well.  Wife, mother, cleaner of things dirty, leader of a circus (at least I feel like I'm qualified for that job after taking care of my family for the last few years).  Sometimes, unfortunately, writing gets buried under other obligations.  It's still there in my thoughts, and I squeeze it in when I can, but life keeps happening whether you're prepared for it or not.

So here's what I'm going to do.  For the rest of the day, I will continue working and catch up as best I can with what needs to be done.  I will also set aside some time to write.  Even when a day is overwhelmed and there aren't enough hours in the day, I will take the time to write something.  My blogging helps by giving me the excuse to do that.

After all, I can't leave Pleiades buried in a mountain of stuff forever.  As it is, she'll be angry that I left her in there as long as I have.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some digging to do.

Blogspiration 27: Comfort Vs. Growth

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

Sorry I'm so late in posting this.  The Thanksgiving holiday has kept me far from my computer until now.  The craziness is starting to die down, but it's hard getting back into a normal routine sometimes.

Anyway, as I've been off track for the last few days, I was thinking of how beneficial it can be to do something different for awhile.

Background Image courtesy of digitalart

It's easy to get stuck in a routine that's comfortable and familiar, and while in that routine, you may find yourself dwelling among those who think in a similar way.  After all, we tend to surround ourselves with people we can relate to. That's great, but we also need more than that.  Breaking from your routine and trying something new, or meeting new people, can be a great growth experience. Not only does it bring you back to your daily life refreshed and energized to do more, it also gives you a new perspective, possibilities for new and richer understandings about the world and life.

We all need to be daring and curious, otherwise we'd never be able to grow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

FSF: Feasting

Here's a new chapter in my Five Sentence Fiction adventure!  Go to Lillie McFerrin's site to learn more about the wonders of FSF!

For those of you who haven't read the previous chapters, go to this PAGE where the story is available in its entirety.

Chapter 7: Feasting

The main marketplace in the Nevarian capitol teemed with life from all over the sector, and Ylana only recognized a fraction of the species they encountered as they walked.  The Nevarians ran many of the shops and food stands they passed, and the odors of exotic roasting vegetables and meats teased Ylana’s senses so much that her stomach began to rebel.
Image courtesy of xedos4

Noticing the obvious allure the food held over her companion, Nara pointed to a particular stand.  Pointing to the rotund, blue-skinned occupant, who was adorned in a flowing gold robe and an abundance of jewels, she said, “This is N’Goteth, and he’ll have you feasting for days on the amazing food he makes.”

As Ylana began to peruse the various breads and soups N’Goteth had to offer in his cart, Nara leaned over and whispered in her ear, “He also hates the Kryllians more than you do.”

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #12

Now here's part 12!  For those of you who aren't up to date, here's the PAGE where you can read the story in its entirety.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #12

The girls left the bedroom so Peter could get his rest. 

Though it made little sense, the similarity between his name and her brother Pete’s name made her shiver.  She knew it was ridiculous, but the odd feeling stuck with her all the same.  People were bound to occasionally have the same name, and just because someone happened to share a name with her deceased brother didn’t mean they were alike in any other way.  Yet, the knowledge that she’d have to use that name when the little boy woke up didn’t settle well with her.  She voiced none of these concerns, though.  Sheera’s story was far more important at the moment.

 “We set up camp outside the city, and we even grew food in gardens, and the adults hunted,” Sheera continued once they reached the living room.  She smiled, though her eyes were already damp with the impending tears.  “Life outside the city was better than here, because we didn’t have to worry about patrols as much, though my parents were still super protective.”

“How did you even get out of the city?” RC asked.  From what she knew, each road leading to the country was heavily guarded with patrols and artillery.  No one was allowed to travel outside the city.  The official reservation included the city plus several surrounding towns.  Residents from these other towns were only brought in when it was their turn to breed, and after their term of service, they were shipped back out.  By keeping the communities as separate as possible, the overlords made it more difficult to pool resources.

“My father worked for the city before the aliens came.  He knew about a series of tunnels that were dug out by a local cult that believe World War III was coming.  They planned to live underground.  The aliens don’t seem to know about the tunnels.”  Sheera looked wistful.  “Secrets like that can be worth everything.”

That much was true.  Secrets, food, and water.  The only currency worth a damn to their survival.  Her mind ran ahead to the possibilities.  So far, she’d struggled for basic sustenance, but the hope of getting outside the city beckoned.  There would be no way they could make it outside the official reservation boundary, but if they could find the right secluded place, they might actually be able to make a go of it for awhile.  It certainly sounded better than keeping up with the same old routine.

Then an obvious, sinking reality hit her.  “If you had it so good out there, why are you here?” RC asked.

“There were fewer patrols, yes, but only if you didn’t accidentally wander too close to a main road.  A bunch of us snuck out one night to have a look around.  We were sick of being so careful all the time, and we thought we could handle it.”  Sheera’s shoulders started to shake.  “It turns out we couldn’t.  We were rounded up by a couple of soldiers when we strayed too close to the old highway.  If that was all it was . . . it would have been better.”

RC felt awkward as she watched Sheera shrink in on herself in response to what must have been a powerful memory.  Uncertain what to do, she guided the girl to the couch and wrapped a blanket around her shoulders.  “What happened?”

Sheera wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand.  “Someone must have woken up and realized that we were gone.  My dad and several other adults caught up to us as we were being forced into the van.  They tried to fight, but they didn’t have any weapons.  The soldiers killed them all within seconds.  I saw my dad die, and I couldn’t do anything!”  Then, with that admission behind her, she broke down completely.  Sobs wracked her wiry body.

“I know it’s hard,” RC said softly.  “I saw my brother die, too.  They’re hoping these things will break us, that we’ll stop fighting to avoid the pain.  No matter how much it hurts, we can’t give up.  If we do, they win.”

Now Sheera studied RC’s face for several long moments.  “You sound a lot like my mother.”

This admission threw RC off more than anything.  She shook her head.  “I’m no mother, but I do the best I can.”

“When we got back to the city, we were put in an orphanage.  Since my sister was old enough to be a breeder, they sent her straight to the facility.”

“I call it a meat locker,” RC interjected.  “You know, because people are treated like animals there.”

Sheera nodded.  “That makes sense.  Once my sister and another older boy from our group were taken away, our new caretakers said we were programmed with dangerous ideas by our parents.  That’s why we had to be kept apart from the other children in town.  They made us admit that our parents were traitors.  When one boy refused, a caretaker shot him.”  She lay back against the arm of the couch as she spoke, the exhaustion of reliving this nightmare having visibly robbed her of her strength.  “After awhile, several of us escaped.  We just couldn’t take it anymore.  Then Peter and I got caught.  I have no idea where the rest of our group is by now.”

“Why don’t you get some sleep?  There’s nothing else we can do about finding your friends right now.  I’ll be awake to keep an eye on things, so you don’t have to worry.”


Though it took almost an hour, the girl managed to relax enough to finally fall asleep.  RC understood the apprehension.  Being older, she accepted responsibility for Peter’s safety.  Probably for several of the other children as well.  Sleeping felt dangerous.  Even irresponsible.

RC waited anxiously for Alyx and Ollie to return.  They had a lot to discuss.

Go to Entry #13

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Interrogation

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here's a little piece of flash fiction with a holiday theme. Remember, always express your gratitude to the people who do nice things for you this holiday.  Holidays are stressful enough, and trust me, you don't want to get stuck in a situation like this!

A Thanksgiving Interrogation

“What are you thankful for?”

Sasha never imagined he’d be spending this day looking down the wrong end of a phaser rifle.  The cargo bay smelled of must and damp metal.  His heart raced so hard it felt as if it might punch through his chest and slam his captor in the knees.  “I can tell you what I’m not thankful for right now.”

Morgana sneered and nudged his cheek with the barrel.  “That’s not what I asked you.”

He clenched his fingers around the cold metal of the chair.  Pieces of old rope pierced the skin on his wrists and ankles like incessant needles.  “I can’t believe you've gone this far, but I don’t believe you’ll kill me.”

“I won’t if you answer my simple question.  What are you thankful for?”

Sasha’s fiery eyes narrowed on Morgana’s.  Typically a cool green, her eyes now closely resembled those of a feral animal.  “Seriously, that question would have been a lot easier to answer this morning.  I guess if I had to choose, I can say I’m thankful you haven’t disintegrated my skull yet.”

A strange laughter erupted from Morgana’s throat, but it wasn’t a happy laugh.  Tears began to pour down her cheeks, and she trembled so forcefully that he feared she might accidentally pull the trigger.  “I spent the last week listening to your mother criticize everything about me.  She’s too green for you, she’s too tall for you, and her species smells a tad too much like a damp towel for my taste.  I put up with all of it for you, even though you never defended me.  Then, I figured on our journey home, I could make a nice meal for us to share.  Just us, all alone, a romantic meal among the stars.  And after all that, you have the nerve to tell me the turkey is too dry?”  Her voice rose in pitch as she raved, until at the end, her words came out in a squeal of fury.

He blinked back his disbelief.  “That’s what this is about?”

“Until I met you, I’d never seen a turkey before.  My people have nothing like it on our world, so how can you be so demanding?”  With a click, Morgana released the safety on the formidable weapon.  “Worst of all, how could you have the nerve to tell me how bad your mother would think my cooking was?”

Sasha recoiled.  “I’m sorry, but don’t you think you’re overreacting?”

She ignored the question.  “If I could do this all over again, I’d tell your mother what an ungrateful brat she raised.  Now we’ll try this one last time.  What are you thankful for?”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thanksgiving Poem

Given that it's almost Thanksgiving, I figured I'd go a little bit easy on myself today and share something fun with you.  I always thought poems that are written around a word like this are fun, not to mention a little challenging.  I won't claim this as a masterpiece, but who cares?  Not all writing needs to be revolutionary or awe-inspiring.  It's okay to write something just for the fun of it.

Turkey and tradition.
Ham and pumpkin pie.
Autumn colors abound.
Now winter’s nigh.
Kindness and generosity.
Savoring the day.
Grateful for all we have.
Inviting family to stay.
Visiting with friends.
In our hearts we know,
Never is one day enough.
Gratitude must grow.

Now, here's a wordle.  Why?  Well, in all honesty, I enjoy any excuse to make a wordle.  That's good enough, right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Express Yourself: Inspirational Quotes

It's time for another Express Yourself Weekly Meme post!  This meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

This week's question is: What are a few inspirational quotes you'd like to pass to others?

I love a good quote, so this one resonates with me.  Quotes contain within them little pearls of wisdom.  Accessible in their brevity, they can impart great insight.  That is, if you're willing to put in the effort to get what you need from them.

So, here are a few quotes that speak to me.

"When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning." 
-Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors

"Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position." 
 Stephen King, On Writing

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." 
-J. K. Rowling 

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." 
-John Lennon 

"Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine - it is stranger than we can imagine." 
― Arthur Stanley Eddington

I found this on the Facebook page Fantasy and Sci-Fi Rocks My World.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Musingly Hectic Holiday Week

So, it's Thanksgiving week!

While I personally love holiday weeks, my muse finds them frustrating.  I can only imagine the challenge of this upcoming week for those of you who are trying to fit NaNoWriMo obligations around familial ones.  It's never easy, but during the holidays, it becomes even more difficult.

I'm not attempting to write a novel in a month, but balancing blogging and my other writing is going to be difficult this week.  And then there's next month with Christmas and New Years. Plenty of people look forward to these days as an opportunity to gather with family and friends free of the stresses of work.  For those of us who write, however, inspiration can and will hit at any time.  Muses work through the holidays, forcing those of us who must bow to their will to juggle.

So, how are we to enjoy the holiday with family while still being writers?  I figured I'd share some of my goals for the week that I think will help me maximize my holiday enjoyment.  feel free to contribute your own tips in the comments.
  1. Recognize that, with as many plans as you may have over the course of the holiday, you may not be able to dedicate as much time to writing each day as you normally might.  If possible, work extra hard on the days preceding and following the festivities to make up the difference.
  2. If you're traveling, bring a notebook with you for the journey.  You can outline a story, or write a stray scene or two without too much trouble.
  3. When you do have some down time to dedicate to writing, make the most of it, no matter how short a time it may be.  It's the quality of the work you do that matters most.  Remember, you can easily spend 12 hours procrastinating, or you can spend 15 minutes writing something worth keeping.
  4. During your gatherings, keep an eye and ear out for any inspiration you may encounter.  When you get that many people together under one roof, interesting things are bound to occur.
  5. If you have any family members who are supportive of your writing, feel free to discuss any issues you're having with them.  I know we don't all have the benefit of this, but if you do, make the most of it!  Sometimes bouncing ideas off someone and getting a fresh perspective on that tricky scene or plot hole can make all the difference.
  6. If you become frustrated with a lack of progress, it may help to take a moment to think of all the things you're thankful for.  By focusing on the things we do have instead of the things we don't, it helps us to put things in perspective.  And with perspective comes the patience and motivation to keep going in spite of our obstacles.

Granted, I'm no professional, but those are some things I'll bear in mind this week as I try to accomplish what I can.  Easier said than done perhaps, but it never hurts to try.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blogspiration 26: The Future

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

Sometimes it feels like our actions don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but they do.  And sometimes it seems as if the mistakes we've made will continue to define us for the rest of our lives.  When we find ourselves stuck with these less-than-constructive doubts, it helps to remember this.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick
The past may be unchangeable, but we go forward with endless possibilities. While it may seem overwhelming to think that all of our choices will reflect on who we are like footprints in the snow, knowing how much of an impact our choices can have is also inspiring.  So get out there and do something amazing, because it really does matter!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

All too often we take people in our lives for granted.  This can also happen with our blogging buddies.  That's why I wanted to participate in this blogfest of bloggerly love!  Wow.  That might have come across as a bit corny.  Or creepy. I'm not sure which.  Oh well!

Anyway, this event is hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

What is this event of which I speak?  I'll tell you.

Do you have favorite bloggers who aren't posting or commenting as regularly as they once did?  Do you have those favorite bloggers who would be sorely missed were they to suddenly vanish from the blogosphere?  If so, then you're in luck! On November 16 (which is today for those of you who may not have a calendar handy), list one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

Picking such a small number of bloggers to shine a spotlight on will be difficult, but I'll do my best.  Luckily for me, most of my blogging buddies that I follow most closely seem to adhere to a (semi)regular schedule.  That may also have something to do with the fact that I haven't yet been blogging a year, so I haven't had as much time to see friends wander away.

Still, I have on friend who I'd like to mention.  

Not only is she my friend in the world of blogging, but she's also been a friend in real life since elementary school.  Chelsea Kelly @ My Interior Window: An Art Blog is constantly busy as a mother and as an artist who is trying to put creative projects out into the world.  It isn't always easy, so I understand why her blog posts on this particular blog have been so sparse as of late.  I enjoyed each of those posts, because I like to see what she's creating.  And as a quick plug on her behalf (being a fledgling artist is never easy, after all), I recommend you all check out her Etsy Shop if you have the chance.  She has some neat stuff available.

Now it's time to mention the bloggers who I would miss were they to disappear. This is the hardest list to compile, because so many of you would be missed were you to give up blogging.

Spacer Guy @ Star Trek-Sci Fi Blog
I just love his posts.  I love reading anything to do with Star Trek or science fiction in general.

Yolanda Renee @ Defending the Pen
I love her supportive comments.  Granted, I have a lot of regulars who leave outstanding comments, but I wanted to thank her in particular for reading all of my fiction. It means a lot to have someone read it and give good feedback.

Mina Lobo @ Some Dark Romantic
This lady reads my stuff, leaves butt-kickingly cool comments, and her posts frequently make me laugh.  Seriously.  I look forward to her posts because of this awesome fact.

Then, in a category all his own for being the first follower I had on this blog and for being the cornerstone of an entire writing community, I have to give a shout out to Alex J. Cavanaugh.  He hosts IWSG and is all around supportive to his fellow writers.  Were he to disappear, a lot of people would feel that loss.  Thanks for being so cool!

And for those of you I didn't mention, here are some happy vibes for you.

Happy Vibes!
Happy Vibes!
Happy Vibes!

Seriously, you're all sensational!

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #11

It's Friday and time for another flash of fiction.  If any of you aren't up to date with the story, feel free to catch up on this PAGE where each installment is on display for your convenience. Happy reading!

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #11

Alyx’s face looked drained when he walked into the house with a little blonde-haired boy slung over his shoulder and a scrawny girl with dingy red hair dragging her feet behind him.  The children were both covered in dirt, and one leg of the girl’s jeans was torn from the hem all the way up to her knee.

RC froze when she saw them, and a selfish thought crossed her mind.  How are we going to feed them too?  Then, shamed by the question, she pushed it down and hurried over to meet them as Alyx kicked the door closed behind him.  “Where’d they come from?”

“I found them trapped in a net down by the river when I went to get water,” he replied.  “It looks like the patrols are using a new tactic to catch strays.”

“Oh no.”  RC flashed back to her time spent hanging off the bridge, and she couldn’t help but wonder if they set up that net in the hope of catching her.

Alyx must have read the horror in her expression, because he shook his head.  “Don’t blame yourself.  Staking out the river is a good strategy either way.  No matter how stealthy a person is, everyone has to go for water at some point.”

He made a valid argument, but the guilt persisted nonetheless.  “Well, I guess it’s a good thing you found them first,” RC replied.  “Did you get enough food?”

He shook his head.  “I got some, but I should go out to get more for tonight.  I just wanted to get them back here safely first.”

“I’ll help you,” Ollie announced as he stood from the blue recliner in the corner.  “You could use the help carrying it all.  I’m going crazy being stuck in here anyway.”  He’d spent most of the day up to that point flipping through old magazines that her RC’s grandmother collected over the years.  This was also how he spent the last few days before that.

RC understood Ollie’s restlessness.  By that point, she felt like a rat trapped in a cage.  Yet, with these two exhausted children, it didn’t make sense for all of them to go, and Ollie did call it first.

Alyx looked at his brother, clearly recognizing the utility in the suggestion.  Then he looked over at her, and she saw he felt bad about leaving her alone with their new charges.

“I’ll get the kids settled in,” RC volunteered, wanting to avoid being a sore loser about not getting to go gathering.  Starting a fight wouldn’t help anything.  She gently lifted the little boy, who was actually dosing peacefully, out of Alyx’s arms.  He moaned softly as he was transferred, though he didn’t open his eyes.  “Just be careful out there, you two.”

Now that she’d committed herself, RC took a look at the kids who were going to be depending on her.  Judging by the girl’s appearance, she couldn’t be more than twelve.  The boy had to be eight at most.  And their frail frames proved they’d been strays for awhile.

The girl looked up at her with wide green eyes, and after a moment, she asked in a soft voice, “What’s your name?”

Something about the girl’s scared expression softened her, and for once she volunteered her actual first name.  “I’m Rose, but everyone calls me RC.”

“So you actually do have a normal name,” Alyx commented, his mouth turned up in a grin.

She shot him a dirty look as her cheeks flushed.  “I thought you guys were leaving.”

Now Alyx laughed.  “We’ll be back soon.”

Ollie waved on his way out the door, but he didn’t pause long enough to say anything.  In spite of the chill in the air and the potential danger, human beings can only be cooped up in the same place for so long.  He was eager to roam free for awhile.

RC took the kids to the bedroom so she could put the boy down for a proper nap.  “I’m Sheera, by the way,” the girl said as they walked.  “He’s Peter.”

“Is he your brother?” RC asked conversationally.

Sheera shook her head.  “No, but it seemed like a good idea to stick together.  Safer.”

RC briefly reflected on the reasons why she was still hiding out with Alyx and Ollie.  Though she hated to admit it, having the two of them around made life easier in a lot of ways.  Alyx held up his end of the conversation, unlike Romero who, while technically being a terrific listener, couldn’t respond with any kind of feedback.  It was also reassuring to know that she’d have backup in case they were ever cornered.  “I can see that.”  RC paused as she lay Peter down and gently pulled the blue and yellow quilt over him.  He’d get the linen dirty considering how filthy he was, but that hardly seemed like a pressing concern.  “Why are you out here anyway?  You’re too young to be running.”

Sheera’s eyes darted around the room anxiously.  “I ran with my parents.  They were too old to be in the breeding facility, but they didn’t want any of their children going in either.  When my sister Gwen was fifteen, we packed up one night and left.  We eventually met up with some others, and they talked about forming a resistance group.”

A pang of hope rang through RC, but she tried to keep it under control.  “Why aren’t you with them now?  Surely they wouldn’t send you kids out to collect supplies.”

“No.  They never did.”  Tears filled the girl’s eyes.  “They did everything they could to protect us.  That’s why we’re still alive.”

Dread settled in RC like a lead weight as she realized how dark a turn this story was about to take.

Go to Entry #12