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

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

I was unlucky, once

http://dailypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/alone-on-the-playground.jpg?w=620&h=412
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/writing-challenges/

i was unlucky, once
I was unlucky, once. Maybe I still will be, but today, I’m safe. My mummy, she has brought me here, because she loves me. It’s so sweet when she smiles at me. But I don’t feel much like playing. My legs are sore because we’ve walked a long way. Mummy’s looking for daddy. He was wearing a blue shirt when they came for him and pulled him into the truck. Mummy said daddy was going to be a soldier now. I hope he doesn’t need to hold a gun. Guns scare me.
Mummy just smiled again. Only half of her face can smile since someone made my mummy’s face look like paint dribbling. I don’t see the scars anymore. They are ugly and hide my mummy’s face, so I hate them. When I was smaller I couldn’t touch her. I thought she might melt more, and I didn’t want her face to change again. I wanted her to face to stop being different.

Mummy, wants to know why I’m not playing. I look at my feet and dance my legs together like they are riding a swing. I did that once. Just for a short time. I flew up and down, and it made my mummy and daddy and little brother giggle. My little brother’s giggle was sweet, too. I feel tired and lost and I wish I could play on the swing. I can’t tell Mummy why I’m not playing. I miss daddy, but I don’t want to walk anymore either. I want the other soldiers to bring him home, and I want to curl up with my mummy and her silky, green dress. Today, she looks the way I remember her. Sunny.

Mummy found a rock. It’s sharp and black with little cuts of grey through it. She crouches in the dirt and bricks, and her green stretches out like a blanket below her. There’s almost no noise now as I watch her scratching my name over the bricks. There’s always noise, but not now. Just mummy’s breath and her black rock drawing snakes she calls letters.

She’s trying to get me to sit beside her. She’s drawing swirls that zoom from her to me and touch the tips of my toes. She tickles my ankles and a small smile squeezes out and becomes a girlish titter. My body hardens. It doesn’t feel right to giggle with daddy and the baby gone.

Mummy’s eyes become huge and I am mesmerised by her sunniness. I don’t see her face scars anymore. I don’t notice her runny face skin and half-smile. Because I know my mummy is in there, and she’s just like she was before. But sometimes her whole face looks scarred. Not today, but usually. I know she wants daddy back and she’s still sad about the baby. But today she’s hiding it. She lifts me from under my arms and my legs swing out from under me, and suddenly I’m so high. It’s like being on the swing. I close my eyes and I feel the swoosh through my insides; a chill and heat at the same time. I squeal and let my babyish youth shoot out like silvery missile tails. But, instantly, mummy plants my feet. Her finger is across her lips.

“Baby girl,” she says. “We must play quietly, here.”
Her head tips to one side, and her eyes beam like two gigantic suns that overshadow her half-smile and her ugly runny skin.
Then there’s a noise. Loud grunting and mumbling. Like the men that dragged daddy into the truck. My mummy tucks my head down and capes me in her green. I don’t want to be still. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to walk anymore. I want to play on the funny little characters. I want to run around and be loud. I want to swing into the sky and back down again. And I don’t want Mummy to be scared anymore. Does what I want even matter?

I remember that day, so clearly. I was so small, but so filled with grown up problems. I still miss my father and the baby. And as my mother sips her herbal tea through the left corner of her supple mouth, and as her blindness means her hand taps about for the plate of shortbread in front of her, I remember how unlucky I was, once. But not now. Today I’m safe. Today my mother’s sweet smile consumes her face, and small or grown, this is enough.

Humbly written by
x

The Journey Begins

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela

Ever feel grossly out of your comfort zone, like you’re trying to breathe with a mouth full of cotton wool? Yes. That was me, recently. My world fell apart. Here I was thinking, ‘great…my life is on track’. I have a house to raise my daughter in, I’ve got a regular, high-flying and ‘permanent’ income trickling in. I could finally stand back and say, “I’m in a good place. I’ve done well, here.”

Not so! Nothing is permanent, so it seems. About a millisecond after my ‘happy’ and ‘contented’ thoughts started taking up residence in the shadowy and quite recesses of my brain, everything fell apart. Boom…just like that, I have no job. And for me, my job anchored any feelings of success. A little bit of wisdom I learned the hard way, ‘take nothing for granted’. I know, so cliché. But what I didn’t expect, was that, you can be an expendable element in the employment food chain, even if you are brilliant at your job. Anyone can be ‘surplus to requirement’ at any time.

A dim thought, I know, but this realisation bought me to another. I had no back-up plan. For a mum, this is unacceptable. I hadn’t actively cultivated the fullest life for myself. My career and mothering was everything to me. But when my job fell through, for a while I felt that I had failed in all areas of my life. My hair started falling out or breaking off in little brittle tufts, my finger nails and toenails hardened and began chipping and bleeding. I started having blood-ridden, traumatic dreams that had me tossing and turning or unable to sleep, one of which involved all my teeth falling out whilst my gums gushed with neon red blood. Fairly gruesome. Paranoia, anxiety, anger, frustration, and bouts of depression and feelings of utter helplessness set it, and for a long time I was useless and nothing could redirect my downward spiral.

Even though I’m still not who I was before all this, I’m able to look back. I was lucky. I had one stable thing to grasp; my family and my family-like friends. Without them surrounding me, building a mini-metaphorical fortress between me and the flood of trauma, I’d undoubtedly have lost my mind permanently, and not very gracefully, I dare say. A new friend, but a good friend, urged me to write in a journal each day. She said, “Just get it all out, spill all that f###### stuff out on a page, and say screw it”. She is a very unique character my friend M, and she was right on the money. At first the journal didn’t help. I was too devastated and teary to write, but then I started finding new ways to fill in my sudden surplus of time. I wrote my journal entries, most of which are unashamedly unsophisticated and foul, but are true and accurate accounts of how I was feeling and how unjust I felt the circumstances were.

The journal became necessary for the survival of my mental health. But I also picked up old, dusty writing projects I never had the time to finish. I just started writing. Play scripts and TV series pilots, the beginnings of a teen novel, song lyrics. Anything. I even explored Microsoft Movie Maker to see how easy turning a static piece of prose into film, would be. My mind started to run wild in a way I hadn’t experienced since university. New characters and concepts were suddenly forcing themselves upon me, and I had to listen. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And after finding it so hard to muster even a small smile, for such a long time, my body and mind were finally starting to loosen up and relax. Because of my beautiful family and friends, and because of my writing, I rediscovered my smile and along with it, a new sense of appreciation for being playful, relaxing and for loving and appreciating myself.

So this is how I rediscovered myself through my writing. Writing gave me hope. Writing was something I had always loved, and I had been told that I was good at. I even studied creative writing at university, but then pursued a profoundly different career. This whole mess, helped me realise that I can’t be true to myself and to the ‘me’ that I want to be, if I’m not embracing my need to write. I realised that I needed to show more respect this side of myself, instead of forcing such a significant part of myself, aside, like it never matter. Hopefully, embracing ‘all’ of me, not just the career-orientated and mothering me, becomes a recipe for happiness that will lead to a broad sense of self-fulfilment.

I have much to learn about the craft, but it’s time to get serious about my writing.
Let the journey begin,
X