Quote Monday on a Tuesday

Well, hello!

I’m not going to make excuses for how absent I’ve been here.  I mean I could mention how busy work has been now that I’ve been promoted, and how my days off were scattered and inconsistent.  I could mention how it’s time for yet another move and all the stress and prep that goes into that…but I won’t.

Times flies whether you’re having fun or not, and suddenly it’s the middle of October and you’re feeling a bit concerned because of how little you have to show considering nearly another year has passed.  I had such big plans at the beginning of the year too.

The only way to get back on track and refocus my attention is by getting back to the routine I once cherished and held dear.  Sooo, let’s get back to one of my favorite things, quotes!

OneDayOrDayOne

I have to find a way of reconciling my new schedule.  I must find a balance between the day job, the dream job, and everything else.  I’ve said “one day” more often than I’d like to admit recently, and I don’t care for how it feels.

How have you balanced your life and found time to do the thing you love?

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Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #22

Yes, the slacker has returned. 😉 And she finally took up the challenge.  If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, take a look at Chapter 4 of the Dragon Age fanfic under “Scribbles”.  This goes back to my last post about writers and their OCDs.  It’s a problem (and there’s still more to come).

These were written late last night in an effort to write, well, anything else.  I call them flash fiction – no prep, quick, with little editing – stream of consciousness style.  
Something Dumb

Bad Idea

Help, I did something dumb.”

We all stared at her – various parts of her body were bandaged in a makeshift manner, there was a faint smell of burnt hair, and the lights from the room behind her flickered to an indiscriminate beat.

“All you had to do was keep watch.” The captain was flabbergasted.

“I was forced to get creative.”

Water quickly pooled at our feet, and continued to rise. There was a groan of metal and we all looked at one another worried.

“I said it was dumb.”

We lurched sideways.

“Will it at least work?” The captain asked gravely.

“I suppose we’ll soon find out.”

That was not reassuring.

GoldDustRitual

She hadn’t set foot in the temple in a hundred years. It was both strange and familiar. Little had changed over the millennia, although it was beginning to show signs of age. She twirled the gray streak in her hair fondly with one hand as she gingerly let her other hand rest on one of the columns.

They had endured.

She began to hum a haunting melody; the sound filled the empty space. As the song swelled, her body moved in fluid rhythm until she positioned herself under the great rotunda and twinkling golden light shone down upon her. She had come to pay her respects, as she had done countless times before, and they in turn offered her their blessing.

Despite how she had witnessed the outside world change, this ritual allowed her to remember how it all began.

auroraThe Hereafter

I knew I was dreaming. I always dreamt of him – the faceless man my heart knew.

I wore the same gown, we walked the same path…it was always the same.

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

I found happiness in this place, but always felt a cold bitterness at its loss.

And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem…

We always chased the fading sunlight, but today it seemed to grow brighter.

I shielded my eyes and saw a haloed figure.

That look in your eyes is so familiar…

I suddenly felt a warm breeze upon my face, a warm hand in my own.

A faceless man was helping me up.

You’ll love me at once…

“The way you did once.” He started.

“Upon a dream.” I finished.

~*~

It’s never too late to join in the Writing Prompt fun!  If you’ve been inspired, please share!  Happy Writing!

Writer’s OCD

TypewriterFontWriterIf you Google the above, you’ll get a slew of articles and posts about how writers suffer from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder.  I know I have my own tendencies, I can thank my years in fine dining for that – put this exactly here, move that slightly to the left, straighten it, remove the clutter, organize!  This doesn’t disrupt my daily life, so I suppose it just means I like things a certain way.

And then there’s the writer side – reorganize your desk, yet again, remove the clutter around said desk (which is really just procrastination) oh, and of course, get that story out of your head!  Whenever and wherever.

I’m trying to be a screenwriter.  I mean, I am a screenwriter, but I’m trying to make a profession out of it, so you can imagine the annoyance at having a completely unrelated story taking over your life.  I can’t seem to focus on any other story beyond the one I’m working on now, and it’s bloody fan fiction.  ((exasperated groan))

I’m wondering how many of my fellow writers out in the ‘verse have this problem?

I don’t know how it happened.  I posted a writing prompt of concept art from the video game series Dragon Age a long time ago, and after writing a small chapter, 6,500 words, it slowly began to consume me.  I was struggling with my own work at the time, I remember, and I just wanted to write something.  It became a refuge from my unsatisfying server job, but then I found that I enjoyed thinking up scenes that were unseen in the game or expanding on conversations, etc.

When I write a screenplay, I agonize over every detail, every word, and I found with the fanfic that I could just write – whatever I wanted, without worry, without much forethought or editing.  It was so freeing.*  What I’ve posted so far sits at about 68,000 words.  Are you kidding me?!  I think this is where the writer’s OCD comes in.  After so much time and energy invested, I have to finish it.

The problem is two-fold.  1) This has taken away from the writing I want to do for my livelihood, but then again, any writing is good, right?!  2) Writing this story has opened up more possibilities, and now I want to explore those story lines.  When will it end?!

I feel like I should be asking for help, and yet, I am loving every moment.  I keep thinking if I write one more chapter, or finish a particular story line the OCD will subside, but it just seems to be getting worse.  I think another part of the problem is that at my old job I was alone a lot, without much to do, so I could escape, now there are too many people around.  The routine I had set has been disrupted and needs a new avenue to find its way.

So I guess I’m looking for advice or validation. 😉

If you suffer from a similar predicament, let’s commiserate!

*Just type Dragon Age or fanfic into my search bar to see what I’m talking about.

 

Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #21

Two fellow bloggers recently took up the challenge, which pleases me to no end, and I am thrilled that they have graciously allowed me to share their work here.  Don’t forget, it’s never too late to join in the WPC fun!

Sobia at Simply Me, who has joined the challenge before, wrote this lovely piece entitled Last Love:

toweringAll glooms around me, I stand to reminisce our last fatal moment.

The feel of your touch, which awoke sensations never before touched, the taste of your  words, the freshness of your breath still lingers; the sweet sound of you’re voice still echoes. I stand alone, recalling what now is lost. Even the lifeless around me know. They understand as they have began to decay and refuse to flourish as they once did. They mock me or pity me. I refuse to acknowledge them, for the storm within me erupts like a volcano gushing forth its pain and anger with all its might to destroy everything within its reach. The pain builds and subsides at its leisure beyond my control.

Pain is a futile word to describe my loss. My heart mourns, it weeps due to being distant from you. It knows to only function in one way; and that is …being with you.

 ~*~

djemmand at BowiesAliens shared this haunting piece entitled I Never Truly Knew Him:

shallweI couldn’t tell if I was to trust his jester as one of a gentle man or one of malicious tempt. One thing was for sure it was a gesture of a man on a mission but what kind of person is the question that lingered over me.

“Shall we begin the show here?” his voice spoke clear and smooth like a man destined for greatness, but a voice alone can never tell you who a person truly is, as accents and impressions are so interchangeable like women with a shoe obsession. “I guess we could start here if you believe it’s the right place?” I await his response in hopes to discover his personal tastes. “What I believe will have no effect on what the show shall showcase.” He brushes me off quickly, and it assured me that he is a man of secrets. What was he hiding behind his captivating gaze?

The stage had been set, and the props began to flood the stage creating the atmosphere of a Shakespearian summery night. I can’t but stare in amazement at how a very desolate arena had now become flooded with overly lavished heads in search of entertainment. “Are you ready to start?” the stage head asks quietly. The lights flicker as I begin to take the stage to play out me overly dramatic romance story for an audience of false pretenders and wealthy dreamers.

The curtains drop and the once vibrant scene settles into silence as I begin to wipe away this character that was every man’s fantasy to the self-conscious being that carries my name. “That performance could have been better” I look to see him standing over the staircase blocking out the bright lights. “You shouldn’t be in here” his posture doesn’t flinch nor do his eyes blink. What does he want me to say? For one thing is for sure I won’t be apologizing for being truthful.

His gaze hovers over my underdress leaving me in a state of discomfort. “I may be a performer, but firstly I’m a woman who deserves respect and privacy!” I cover myself with a densely embodied blanket. He looked different as he gazed at me. I still don’t understand him nor trust his forever changing persona, like an actor unsure of his characters personality. He heads up the staircase leaving me in the cold dark wondering who he truly could be.

I stand out in the dark waiting to head home when his gentle hand brushes against my shoulder. “Tonight’s performance was beautiful.” I look at him perplexed. “You said I could have been better” he retracts himself from my presence and glares me down with an expression of confusion. Who was this man I thought I had known? Had I painted an illusion of him or did I never truly know him at all?

The night sky stares me down to reveal my complete isolation. Me standing in the empty arena alone with a vanished phantom of a man.

~*~

A BIG thank you to these two talented writers for being a part of the challenge!  I look forward to reading your future creations!

And now, here’s one of my own, currently untitled.

bigredorbBa bum.

For some time I thought it was my own heartbeat. It was my first expedition after all, and I was both nervous and excited.

Ba bum. Ba bum.

The sound was faint at first, and no one else seemed to hear it but me, but as we delved further into the unchartered territory, the thumping only increased.

Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.

Weeks traveling in an unknown, desolate land and the incessant heartbeat that I felt belonged to it slowly ate at my nerves. I became obsessed with learning the origins of the sound and would often wander into the depths of the surrounding forest alone in the hopes I would find the source.

Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.

It called to me. I could hear it in my dreams. When I slept. I could feel it drawing me ever closer until the beating of my own heart fell in sync and the sound was just as much a part of me as my own skin.

Ba bum. Ba bum.

The others whispered…in shadows, and offered me sideways glances. When we found the long forgotten ruin and I felt my skin sing, I knew then that this was for me alone.

Ba bum.

I stood before the blood red orb, crimson stained hands shaking in anticipation, my heart ready to break from my chest.  My reflection…I didn’t recognize what I had become.

Ba bum.

~*~

Happy Writing!

In Search of a Silver Lining

silver-liningI’ve been wondering for the past few days if I wanted to talk about the election and the ramifications.  As you all know, I’ve tried to make this blog a positive place where I hope you’ll find inspiration and, when I actually sit down to write, tips you’ll find useful.  This blog also serves as my diary, in part.  I try to limit the scope to the writing sphere, and although it may not appear so, at least not in the beginning, I’ll get to that bit by the end.

So yes, I’ve decided to talk about it.  At least a little.

I’ve been trying to find a way to remain positive and to find the right words to share here, with you.  Even as a writer, this has been extremely difficult.  I’ll be honest, I cried when the votes were tallied and discovered that a candidate whose entire platform was built upon some of the most deplorable things I’ve ever heard had the audacity to walk up to the podium to accept the presidency and say we needed to come together…the word “hypocrite” came crashing to mind.

I was, in a word, horrified.

I’ve never been politically inclined, or evidently overly patriotic.  Since I was 19, I’ve been trying to find a way to move to England, and I had only become a US citizen two years before.  Did I think about reinstating my Canadian citizenship?  Yep.  Will I?  Well, in my desire to travel and live around the world, it is easier to do so as a Canadian, sooo maybe.  (And no, I was not one of the many who crashed the Canadian immigration website.)

The night of and the following morning, my eyes were glued to social media as if I were witnessing the carnage of an accident.  I couldn’t look away.  But then the gloating started.  The “stop whining” started, and from people I considered “friends”, well, at one point in my life, I mean we’re just Facebook friends now, but still.

Were they so oblivious to what this meant to so many?  Were they just ignoring all the threats made?  The insults?  The blatant lies?  Or were they under the impression that his whole persona was just for show?  That underneath all the “isms” is an actual decent person?  Do they really believe that someone who had aided in dividing the country so greatly is actually the one who will bring us together?

And this is an honest question – Is this what they believe?

Talk about delusion.  There are a number of quotes about the actions of people vs their words, and in either case, the president-elect has shown us his true colors.

I have worked a long time in the food service industry.  I have been assaulted by men at least a dozen times, both physically and verbally, because in their minds, their tip for me providing them with food and drink also included a grope, fondle, grab, or enduring a disgusting string of insults under the guise of a compliment.  Only a couple of weeks before the election, these two older white men who have become regulars at one of the restaurants I work for had the nerve to say that all women would happily allow a man in a position of power to grope them, as if it were some sort of special commendation.

I looked at them aghast and said, “No, we wouldn’t!”

It is not a compliment.  It is not welcomed.  It is not acceptable.  We are not asking for it.  For many of us, we’ve had no avenue to defend ourselves against such behavior.  And when we do speak up, we’re bitches and being difficult, and the assailant gets a slap on the wrist.  And if you’re wondering why we’re feeling even less secure, it’s because the chosen leader of our country not only condones such behavior, but has also perpetrated it (and on minors, no less).

This is just one example of one of the “isms” you think we’re being cry babies about.  There are a number of groups who have been trying to make strides in the direction of equality that now feel an even greater upward battle is just beginning.

Then the voices of rational people started to join together and grow louder.

No, we don’t think all his supporters are hateful people.  No, we do not want him to fail.  That was never even a thought.  He will be our leader, and there is a great deal riding on his “broad shoulders” and his leadership.  We’re all counting on him to be successful.  We’re all hoping for that, even amidst the fear many of us are feeling.

The irony of it all, I suppose, is that for a man who wanted to break down the political system, he has shone a bright light upon it and made a lot more people want to get involved.  Well, maybe not so much irony as a blessing.  Perhaps this is that silver lining we’re looking for.  I don’t overtly share my beliefs.  I try to find quiet ways to do things for the causes I believe in, but that quiet side is done with sitting in the shadows.  She is beyond incensed and ready to find an outlet.  There’s just been too much.

And this is where we get to the writing.

As writers, we have our voices.  There is a great deal we can do.  Whether you write a non-fiction essay about the ramifications of this decision, or you write an allegorical fantasy that thinly veils these contemporary times, we have it within our means to say so much for so many.  We don’t have to stay silent and wonder what we can do to make a difference.

pinWe have our voices.  Let’s use them!

And on a side note, I truly appreciate the safety pin movement created during Brexit, and offer my support to any who need it.  I’ve added my email to my About page.  Feel free to use it if you ever need a friendly ear or a word of encouragement.jossquote

Keep your chins up, my friends!  Let’s do what we can to stay positive and to bridge the divide.  Let’s be kind and open-minded.  Let’s stand against all the “isms” and find a way to help one another.  We’re all in this together!

xx, Rach

Quote Monday

I’m going to ramble for a moment, so please bear with me while I vent.

In last week’s Writing Prompt post I mentioned how I was struggling with choices. Before the end of the year, I was doing some hard thinking about plans for the future.  The Sis and I moved back to Las Vegas a little over a year ago for a number of reasons, one being that she finish her undergrad and then we move on.  Unfortunately, she has now found a job she truly enjoys, she’s making friends, and getting herself together.  She’s currently taking the semester off.

It seems unfair to uproot yet again, but I don’t want to stay here.  I don’t like Vegas.  Never have.  I’m tired of moving…we’ve moved so. many. times, but I want to find a place to call “home”.  I’ve only felt that sense of home once, when I traveled to England for the first time.  I felt it before we even landed.  That’s when the obsession began.  And, that’s what I’m looking for.  As much as I’d like to do a final move across the sea, there’s just no way that’s even remotely possible in my current state.

So here’s “the thing”, the thing that’s been lingering at the back of my mind, the thing I never want to say out loud.  I want to be a screenwriter, but all screenwriters know it takes at least 5 years to make any headway (once you legitimately hit the pavement – so I still have about 4 years), and I don’t want to flounder in this state, without purpose, without direction, for upwards of 5 or more years.  I don’t want to hold down a menial job that I loathe until things work out.  Yes, I’m still trying to remain positive, hence the lack of the dangerous “if”.

I want a job I enjoy.  I want to buy a house.  I want to plan for the future but I feel as if I’m destined to remain in this perpetual state of limbo.  It all comes back around to choices.  I’ve made choices that have led me to where I am, but I’m finding it difficult to make choices that will encourage change…in part because I don’t know where to begin.

Do I suck it up and make it work where I am, or do I continue to seek out that thing that I know is out there?  How does one move forward when they’re kind of stuck due to obligation and circumstance?  How do people get their act together?

NewEnding

Any advice from fellow creatives would be greatly appreciated.  How do you make it work, find balance, and stay sane?

Caution: A Fairly Happy But Ranty Writer Ahead

Happy Wednesday!

BrecilianForestCave

Here’s a little update:

Last week I received my first link to a story inspired by one of my writing prompts.  I was so excited!  Please give the wonderfully vivid Things Best Left Forgotten by redgypsophila a read and offer feedback, and let’s start building! 🙂

Moving forward, I’ve started to have a few ideas of what I’d like to do in order to “build” this community.  I’ve felt a little brain dead the last few days though, so it may be slow going.  I blame all the new social media outlets I’ve been exploring.

I joined Twitter (my handle is @RachaelCMarek).  Now that I’ve (slightly) got my bearings…I’d like to use this specifically as a resource, so if you have any tips on how to use it wisely, or can suggest people to follow that might be beneficial to writers, please, please, please share in the comments.

Then I signed up for Tumblr.  I didn’t realize it was another blog, so that one will probably fade into obscurity, but I wasted a whole lot of time the other day…

I added a link to my YouTube page that I’m trying to build with the writer in mind.  I’m trying to create “music to write to” playlists.  This will be a work in progress, but if you’re like me and like to write to music, you may find a few new things.

And as if you needed one more thing, I saw a post about a blogging resource called Quora.  This link is the article via The Write Life.  Is anyone using this yet?  Is it worth it?

Is all this other nonsense really required to be a writer…??  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, blah blah blah.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of these services (some much more than others); it’s a way for me to stay connected, keep in the know, learn new things, etc, but A) It’s too time consuming to maintain so many outlets. B) It’s too easy to waste inordinate amounts of time. And C) Why?  This is not how it used to be, not even a couple of years ago.  Yes, there are hints of bitterness laced with mind-numbing exhaustion.  I take full responsibility for time wasted the last couple of weeks.

As for actual writing…I spoke to some of my new writer friends who helped me gain some perspective.  I decided against the massive rewrite, as it would change the story completely, and am going to try to find the issue in Act I that is affecting Act III.  I have been all over the place with this, and this might be one reason I’ve started to mentally check out.  So wish me luck.

Wishing you all a productive rest of the week!