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keepitshiny

Wow, time has been flying. I do have a longer post coming about my journey thus far, but today my mind is elsewhere. I’ve been thinking about what it means to share.

I have always had issues with sharing. For too long I viewed this act as an admission of vulnerability. I HATE being vulnerable. Even now, as I’m writing this post, I am tempted to delete it and go another direction. This change in my attitude towards sharing has been gradual, and is something I am still struggling with.

It was triggered by the realization that we are, every one of us, alone.

Hate to break it to you, but there is absolutely no way that another human being can experience what you have experienced. Learned the lessons you have learned. Remember the memories that you hold dear. This is one of the most fascinating and frustrating aspects of being a person. Each of us has to go it alone.

What makes this beautiful rather than depressing is our ability to share. Language, communication, patience, understanding, open mindedness, and so many other skills and qualities exist only because we share. Sharing our perspective and experiences is how we grow as individuals and collectively as a society. Taking the time to listen to another’s point of view, to the lessons they have learned on their journey, is one of the most important things human beings are capable of. Without this vital act we cannot learn, we cannot grow, and we will be truly and utterly alone.

I don’t wish to be stagnant, and I don’t wish to be alone. That is why I am fighting my instincts and sharing.

Wedding Crashers

Creative Writing Prompt, writersdigest.com

You are standing at the altar waiting to marry the person of your dreams. The preacher says, “Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.” You smile at your soon-to-be spouse, ready to get on with the vows. Suddenly—just like the movies—the chapel doors burst open. “I object!” You turn to see who dared to interrupt your day. It’s your ex. Finish the scene.

 

You are absolutely stunned. It’s been years since you’ve seen him, and let’s be real… you aren’t even Facebook friends. What in the hell is Alex doing?

 

“I know I told you I would stand back and let you go if that’s what it took. And after I’ve said my piece I will I promise, but I really need you to hear this, please.”

 

His eyes had taken on a desperate, pleading look and he could barely control his panting. Even in college he was more prone to video games and smoking out than he was to working out. Looked like that hadn’t changed in the last ten years. Still, he managed to catch his breath. Taking her shocked silence as assent he took another step forward and clasped his hands.

 

“You told me once that I was the love of your life and no one would ever be able to understand you as I could.”

 

Not exactly the way she remembered their semester long “romance” which ended with her on academic probation. He wasn’t the only one who prefered the “j” to the gym in those days.

 

“Even after you met him it was still me you came to when your mother died. My shirt you soaked with your tears, my arms that held you as you went to sleep.”

 

I turned to my mom and shrugged.

 

“I wrote a sonnet for you,” he said as he reached into his back pocket simultaneously wiping the beads of sweat from his forehead.

 

He had gone on long enough. I pushed back my veil and he stopped short with the paper half pulled from his back pocket.

 

“You aren’t Vanessa, “ he said his jaw going slack.

 

“No shit, Alex, it’s me.”

 

“Who?”

 

“Danielle…” silence, “You know, sophomore year?”

 

“Oh,” he said, finally recognizing me. “You know Vanessa?”

 

I threw up my hands in frustration. “No, Alex, I don’t.”

 

“She’s not here then…” his eyes went wide as he looked around at the pews.

 

“Sorry sweety.”

 

“This isn’t Holy Trinity? Nope, Union Trinity.”

 

“I know where Holy Trinity is!” called out my cousin’s date.

 

Alex scurried over and got hurried whispered instructions while I stood on the altar holding Paul’s hand.

 

“Got it. Got it!” Alex said as he rushed back out the door.

 

“Good Luck!” we called.

 

“Go Gators!” He yelled over his shoulder as the doors slammed shut.

Alligator Whisperer

This was a fun creative writing prompt from Writer’s Digest. Let me know what you think!

You are an expert at capturing alligators—they call you “The Alligator Whisperer.” Your work has helped scientists gather extensive information on the life of alligators and you are hailed as a hero in the scientific community. Everything is going great until one day the alligators start hunting you. What do you do?

http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/alligator-whisperer

She ran as fast as she could. The earth betraying her every step, threatening to deliver her to their gaping jaws with each twist and turn.

The trees. I need to reach the trees.

Lungs bursting in the struggle to survive. Heart straining against her chest, leaping ahead and carving a path to safety. Sweat spraying from outstretched fingers with every stride. Droplets caught the sun and released it in a rapid fire pantomime of her life’s work. Gathering beneath her breasts, beading down her belly, and bursting from the dam forming rivulets down her legs. She was fairly certain it wasn’t just sweat weighing down her boots and she was not afraid to admit it.

So fast. How could they have turned so fast?

The rustling was getting closer, and she didn’t spare a glance back. She would make it or she wouldn’t.

There it is, three, two, one.

Leaping up she grasped the branch with her sweaty palm. Slipping almost instantly, she used her tenuous grasp to wrap her other arm, and then hook her leg around the lifeline. Clinging ferociously to the scaly branch while she gasped for air and begged her spasming muscles to grip just a little tighter. Bellowing in frustrated rage the beasts gathered beneath her. Their claws scratching at the tree, their jaws snapping with fearsome power. Catching her breath, she stared in awe at the milieu swarming beneath her.

How could this have happened? Where did I go wrong?

Nearly a decade of research and still she was ill prepared for this moment. “The Alligator Whisperer” once a self proclaimed title she trumpeted with pride, now felt like a funeral dirge years in the making. She was never the Whisperer, it was always them whispering, until now. Now they were the trumpeters.

Always so sure of herself, so confident she understood these primitive creatures. What did she know? She only knew she was running out of time. Her pride and bravado had finally done her in. She watched as they continued to multiply beneath her temporary haven. Their weight slowly forcing her tree to the point of no return. She had no weapon. She prided herself on never needing them. No weapon. No phone. No hope.

I’m a leader in my field. Crack. I’m accepting an award next week. Shudder. I have trophies. Snap.

Her weight and their rage brought the tree down quickly. Her screams went unheard.

 

Day One

My first day in my RV was physically taxing and only mildly productive. I originally wanted to stay in the empty lot beside my sister’s house, get everything organized, work on a few things like installing my composting toilet, and pay zero dollars. That did not go as planned.

As a newbie I did not realize that when you have a new or “new to you” RV you really need to be hooked up to everything in order to check out what works and what doesn’t. For instance, my fridge has a switch to run off either electric or gas. While I was unplugged I had it switched to gas power. For some reason it won’t work under gas power. However, it will while under electric power. Perhaps I just need to “jiggle” some wires and hit it with a hammer a few times?

The other incredibly important item I need to install is my composting toilet. I already ripped out my old one and left it in the garbage. That part was easy. Now the much more difficult project is installing mine. While space is not an issue, because I am driving a beast, proper ventilation and wiring the unit is an issue. For those who do not know the unit I purchased requires minimal power in order to run the internal fan. This keeps the decomposition process going smoothly without smelling.

Another annoying tidbit is when I went over to Lowe’s to get a cap for the water line it was too big. How in the world can I measure something with a measuring tape, purchase a cap in the corresponding size, and then it be too large? There must be a trade secret to measuring plumbing fixtures I am unaware of.

The final item is my windshield. I had the passenger side windshield replaced at the same Camping World where I purchased my unit. During the all day rain-a-thon a couple of days ago it started leaking. BAD. At least that item is under warranty, and there shouldn’t be an issue getting it resealed.

Well those are lessons learned on Day One, bring it Day Two.

5 AM

Fear. It is a fact of life. Everyone feels fear at some point in their lives. It isn’t the fact that we feel fear that is important. It’s the decisions we make while fearful that matter.

I have recently made a decision that fills me with fear to the point that I wake up from a dead sleep at 5 am just so I can obsess about it… thanks, brain.

I’ve always loved writing. Being a full-time writer is something I have dreamt and talked about doing for years, but always refrained from taking the plunge. A large part of that was ignorance, I had no solid plan or any idea of the steps needed to make that happen, but what I didn’t want to admit was that fear had any part in my decision.

In order to be a full-time (successful, let’s be honest no reason to do it if you aren’t aiming to be damn good at it) writer you have to live with fear. Fear of being too honest or perhaps not honest enough, fear of constant rejection, and my personal favorite, fear of failure.

Once I let myself see this truth I knew I needed to make a change. In order to do great things you have to take great risks. So that’s what I’m doing.

I have decided to move into an RV full-time in order to travel and focus on my writing.

My analytical brain is telling me this is absolutely ridiculous. There are little things like bills and taking care of my dog, I have to maintain my credit, eat everyday, bathe on occasion, wash my clothes, maybe see a doctor once in awhile. Just thinking about it causes the tension to creep into my shoulders and I start to sweat.

Ahh… hello, Fear.

It is up to each and every one of us to succeed or fail on our own. To discover the things that fill you with joy or let the weight of fear crush you… and I happen to think I would look awful if I were to be crushed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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