Daily Prompt: Me. Teacher, Writer. I am.

DAILY PROMPT: SIX OF ONE, HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/daily-prompt-six/
Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.

ME. TEACHER, WRITER, MOTHER. I AM.

ME.
THE PROTAGONIST LIVING A PLOTLINE.
SUSPENSEFUL. UNCERTAIN…
AND BLISSFULLY ORDINARY.
A ROAD OF POSSIBILITIES.
NO MAP.
ALWAYS ON THE EDGE OF SOMETHING OR NOTHING.
A DECISION NEEDS TO BE MADE.
AM I FOOT SOLDIER? AM I DREAMER?
OR CAN I BE A HYBRID?
AND… MOTHERHOOD IS THERE.
FLOATING IN THE FOREGROUND.
ALWAYS THERE.
SWELLING AND DELIGHTING MY SOUL.
THE FUTURE, UNCERTAIN…YES.
IT’S A MIXED MEDIA PLOTLINE.
IT’S LIVING A RAINDOW OF COLOURS,
AND A GREY EXISTENCE.
IT’S BEING SCARED OF MY OWN SHADOW,
AND TAKING THE LEAD.
AND IT’S A NEVER ENDING MINI-SERIES.
I’M WATCHING. PARTICIPATING. I’M ENTHRALLED.
DISENGAGED. DISCONNECTED. ON THE EDGE OF TEARS.
FLOATING WITH ELATION. LOVING TO MY FINGERTIPS.
KEEPING BALANCE. AND, ALWAYS…
WAITING ON THE NEXT ACT TO BEGIN…

Humbly written by X

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Quick Fiction: “So, you’re telling me you’re not having an affair with another man?”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/daily-prompt-surprise/

“So, you’re telling me you’re not having an affair with another man?” Smirking like he knew I was full of bullshit, my husband said this, then tipped his head to one side in that self-righteous way that makes me want to castrate him with a pair of blunt scissors.

“No,” I said, and continued to scrub the stainless steel stove top with Vilex Kitchen Cleaner and a scrubbing sponge.

“So where have you been all week? You’re here in the morning, the house is a mess. Then you’re gone in the afternoon, and the house is still a mess.”

I could offer up a number of explanations and make them all sound reasonable. But the truth was, I wanted to slap him senseless for bringing up house work like that was my only worth.

I turned. Dante still had his head cocked to the right; his eyes still wide and self-righteous.

Ass!

“Dante darling, I’m not seeing someone else. I married…you. I made a commitment.”

“Then, explain why you come home smelling of another man’s aftershave.”

I dropped the scrubbing sponge into the kitchen sink full of hot water and soap bubbles, and walked towards the bedroom. I didn’t need to rummage. I pulled a glossy printout from my handbag and unfolded it. I showed it to Dante and waited for his questions.

“This is an ad asking for local acting talent. What are you telling me? You don’t act.” Dante had never been a man who coped well with loss of control.

“I applied and got a role.”

Dante gasped, then tried to calm his laughter. “As what?”

“My bum is a perfect match for Laura Grayson’s. She’s shooting a movie and needed a stunt bum for her romantic scenes.”

“What…Laura Grayson? She’s really famous.”

“Yes, well… at least someone is finally interested in my bum.”

My husband’s face clenched. His dull eyes said everything. He knew he had never been a particularly intimate man, even before we married.

I plunged my hand into the sink full of water and found the scrubbing sponge. I smiled to myself and thought of my sexy lover, Franco. He would laugh so hard when I told him that his ‘bum double’ story and glossy homemade printout had worked.

Humbly written by X

Quick Fiction: The Shadows Can Devour Me

I love the play of light and dark in this McComb poem.

From EVENING CLENCHES by David McComb
Sunlight tastes stale, its bleached scenery
Overfamiliar.
Night has the advantage of strangeness;
It will do with you what it will.

I love this section of EVENING CLENCHES because McComb suggests that there is a sense of boundless possibility in night. Night is mysterious and strange, where light, daytime, is stale, boring and familiar. Most people, I dare suggest, wouldn’t agree. Night and dark may lend themselves to mystery, but also to being threatening and scary as hell.

This poem, which I have loved for years, started me thinking about light and dark.

The idea that light is safe and shadows are to be feared has fascinated me for years. Is it sensible to think that a situation is less scary or to be feared less, simply because we light illuminates it. I’ve been known to not go into my backyard at night simply because it’s dark and I can’t see ‘what might be out there’. My quick fiction poem attempts to upturn the commonly accepted notion of light and dark. I hope this comes across.

Shadows
Eyes blackened,
blind with deep night.
A wind skitters,
a branch scratches.
Only the rhythm of my own breath,
keeps my heart beating loud and even.

A dark inner fog consumes all sensibilities,
diffuses and steals me.
I am convinced of stalking shadows,
of silhouettes and strangers.

A chair crouches and shakes like a drunk.
A vase rises to strike,
doubling its height.
A man sneaks on his toes,
a torch beam in his hand.

It blazes only metres off and then rushes close.
It threatens the shadows,
it consumes and strangles and hides nothing.

If his lit face,
and the taste of his nicotine breath,
are my fear,
the shadows can devour me.

Humbly written by X

Quick Fiction: The Note

I thought a quick write might ‘warm me up’ so I could work on my novel. This is the product.

The Note
Why does she look at me that way, like I’m grime on her shoe? Did my birth really force her dreams to dissipate? She said it, but maybe she didn’t mean it. Her face was purple with despise, her eyes wide and enraged, but maybe she didn’t mean it. Sometimes she does this and it’s not me. It’s something else; a bad day at work or quite often money troubles. But I need to ask her something. I need a note signed for school. If I don’t return it today I won’t be able to go, and I really want to go. When I was little, I hid in my wardrobe until the house dimmed to silence then like a rodent I’d sneak into the kitchen for food. Now, I don’t react. I say nothing and behave like I’m numb to her shrieking.

She’s sitting there in her chair, a crossword puzzle in her hand. Her face is still purple, but closer to white than before. Her eyes have settled and seem less glassy. She’s watching me cross the kitchen; I can feel her eyes hot on the back of my neck. I straighten taller. I can feel my armour shedding, but I can’t allow it. I can’t go back to letting myself feel. My insides growl. ‘Force her out!’ they roar in unison. And I feel like I have an army of foot soldiers bracing with me.

I reach for a milk carton and smell the opening. It’s fresh. Mum’s good like this, always on top of the housework and groceries. And she cooks well too.

“Mum, can you sign my note?”

“What note?” There’s regret in her tone, and I know her rant wasn’t only about me.

“It’s a school note, the excursion. Remember…I’ve been invited to the Women in Engineering workshop. It’s usually for seniors, not juniors, but I was invited.”

A statue sat where my mother had; not a single emotion lightened her face now. Not a single blink of hope. “I wanted to be an engineer,” she said.

My foot soldiers dropped their weapons. I raised my white flag. I walked away.

Humbly written by X
I hope you like it.

My Writer’s Journal: 1,542 words and counting

1,542 words and counting

Today I’m committing to a new writing project. I started writing what I will here call, ‘Chargers’, a couple of weeks ago, but of course, as a wannabe writer (in contrast to being a…real writer), I lost faith in myself and gave up. Since then, however, I guts-up and handed my words onto someone with expertise on reviewing and evaluating prose fiction. Their response:

“Really engaging from the first sentence. Great rhythm and I want to keep reading, so write the rest!”

So…maybe it’s time to finally start seeing myself as a writer. I have 1,542 words in the can (i.e. fully edited and ready to ship) and probably another 90,000 or more to write.

I found this quote and it drives my engine…”Don’t settle for quiet desperation. Work well and lead the life of possibility you were meant to live.”

Wish me luck!
X

***You may wonder why all the secrecy…I call myself X, I’m not prepared to give away my full book title, my gavatar is a cute pink pig, and my web link begins with anonymousblogging000.

Call it caution, call it finding solace in anonymity or call it something else entirely. But please don’t dis my secrecy; I’m guarded by nature. I highly respect and appreciate the openness some bloggers commit to. Please be assured, I would tell you more if I could…

I’m riding a roller coaster and it’s making my head spin…

No quote to begin with today. Quite frankly…I can’t bring myself to go searching. What is it with life and its lack of warning before it smacks your knee caps out from beneath you? Seriously…a little heads-up would suit me just fine. At least that would allow me to brace for the fall, or perhaps cart a first aid kit of ice-cream, cake and wine with me, for when things turn severely pear-shaped.

At the moment I have ‘Why-Me?’ syndrome. I’m sure you’ve all experienced it at some point in time.

Here I am trying take control of my life, get my head space back to a place where I don’t feel like I’m always on the brink, and another tummy turning bend, big or small, throttles me.

“Really…you’re telling me I got the wrong time and date for the appointment? I just drove an hour to get here!”

“Seriously…you’re telling me I’m surplus to your employee requirements! But I’m trying to pay off a housing loan!”

“Yes…I’ll be late. I have to hitch up my skirt and kneel in the gutter to change a flat tyre! Lucky me!”

“Holy shit…my thirteen year old has her first BOYFRIEND! And…his family is filthy rich and that makes me feel inferior and unsuccessful, which of course makes me self-involved and moderately mental for making this all about me.”

Bottom line, I feel like I’ve lost my way and I need someone to shake me and say “You see that little brick path over there. Yes, the super straight, no fuss, no drama, path! That’s the path you need to take. You’ll be sublimely happy and successful going that way.” I know where I want to go, but I don’t know how to get there. My GPS battery must be dead.

Unfortunately, when humans were given the gift of being able to ‘choose’ and ‘make choices’, we were not also given a road map plotting our most successful and logical path. Nor were we given a road map leading us towards sublime happiness.

But, so often I just want to slap myself for being so selfish. My idea of what trauma looks and feels like is plain nonsense in comparison to what some people experience. Yes, I’ve had a hellish couple of months, and yes I still feel a little residual uselessness because of that, but I have so much to be thankful for too.

I know these things for sure:
1. My daughter is my muse, she makes me laugh so hard I expect my sides to split. She validates my dreams and makes them feel possible and less ludicrous. She radiates happy, and that’s catchy; worth bottling.

2. I am proud to say my daughter is my most outstanding achievement. She has a brilliant and mature mind, is a phenomenal dancer, and is so sweet hearted and playful, too. These are not my victories to claim, they are her own. But I help her feel loved. I help her laugh and smile and face challenges with an iron will. And…I help her feel safe. These are my achievements and victories to claim.

3. My mother is the reason I regain my equilibrium; her to-the-point and spot-on advice is life-changing.

4. I experience a drastic loss of identity if I’m not chin deep in a writing project. A dancer has a stage. A musician has a concert hall. A director has a sound stage. And I have my screen and keys or an empty page to craft my prose. My creative space is where personal identity and passion have no choice but to grow.

5. I’m an excellent school teacher. I don’t always believe this, but I need to.

And…

6. The universe both wraps me in happiness and tears me apart, limb by limb. And…it will always be this way.

My principal (I’m a primary teacher), said “Take control! You’ll be great!” Is this even possible when I’m unravelling like a spool of thread? Yes I can…the child inside me craves greatness. I’m not going to model mediocrity for my daughter. I’m not going to teach her to give in when things get rough.

In spite of the roller coaster I seem to always be riding, I shall find hope in my muse, and if necessary, I will write until my fingertips callous over, because I am a writer. I need to write. I want to write. And, I have to believe my future is paved with words. And because of this, I’ve finally taken the gigantic and terrifying step of enrolling in a writing course at one of Australia’s most prestigious arts school. Fear won’t cripple me…but it’s trying bloody hard, too.

Think positive,
X

Seriously…toe cleavage! So silly…I love it!

“The secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe; you must only show the first two cracks.” Manolo Blahnik

Please be warned…I’m letting my silliness take over today.

I’ve been away from my computer for three days. Outrageous! Not like me at all. However, discoveries have been made. Yesterday, a lady in a shoe shop said to me, “Yes, and there’s no toe cleavage with this pair. They look really nice on.” My brain immediately went… “what tha? Toe cleavage!…Oh…I get it!”

Toe Cleavage! This is a new term for me. Does this make me the live-under-a-rock, untrendy, outcast type? Am I really the last to hear of ‘toe cleavage’? Maybe! I googled it. Hundreds of cleavage flashing feet popped into my browser. “Seriously…’toe cleavage’ is real?” Gobsmacked!

This got me thinking about what makes for clever writing. Some writers put just the right words together to create sentences that leave readers salivating for more. I’m not so much talking about the draw of a tantalising plot, but more about what makes the words themselves leave an impression on the reader. It’s different for everyone of course. I may value prose that is handcrafted with so much expression and descriptive imagery that it feels like poetry. Whereas you personally may prefer a no-fuss writing style that gets to the point of the story without dragging a reader through imagery and circumstance before the climax and point is finally reached. Personally, I’m an in-between girl. I want the occasional beautiful metaphor that makes my thoughts exhale and say “Oh…how creative”, but I don’t want ‘story’ to be sacrificed for craftsmanship either. Does that make sense to anyone but me?

So…why am I so taken with the idea of ‘toe cleavage’? Is the term even a little bit creative? I thought so when I first heard it. And…in contrast, I felt the exact opposite about the word ‘twerking’ when I first heard it days ago when Miley recently enlightened the world. A wordsmith is always on the prowl for clever and creative use of word. So why is ‘toe cleavage’ okay with me and the super popular term ‘twerking’ isn’t?

For me it comes back to imagery and cleverness. The term ‘toe cleavage’ is sassy and creates an immediate image of toes bulging from a low cut shoe in the same way a women’s breasts bulge from her bra. It’s a bit of fun and there’s an element of creative cleverness there. Someone made a clever, but unlikely connection. In contrast, whoever coined the term ‘twerking’ simply invented a catchy word by squashing two others ‘twisting’ and ‘jerking’ together. Not a lot of thought went in, but ‘twerking’ has become synonymous with ‘fun’ regardless.

As a writer I need to take inspiration from these little epiphanies, too. Popular isn’t always clever and creative. Clever and creative takes time, a little thought and an eye that is willing to look for fresh new perspectives in old and sometimes smelly places (…like feet).

Seriously…toe cleavage! So silly…I love it!
Keep smiling.
X