The Day Inspiration Struck Me ::

Daily Prompt : 

Tell us about a time you’d been trying to solve a knotty problem — maybe it was an interpersonal problem, a life problem, a big ol’ problem — and you had a moment of clarity when the solution appeared to you, as though you were struck by lightening.

First I wouldn’t say it was a problem but I can remember a moment in 2012 when I was hit by “lightning”.  Since I was 19, when I decided I wanted to write, I had been trying to figure out what I wanted to write a novel over.  I have had many idea’s through the last few years and was never able to put the thoughts onto paper.  In 2012 I was a step away from deciding that maybe – maybe – I am not supposed to write and was nearly ready to stop trying.

November 30, 2012 (yes, I can remember the date & place) I was sitting on my brothers couch visiting him and his wife when I felt like something hit me with what I was missing to finally write a novel.  The story played through my mind like a movie.  Frame by frame – perfectly.  After finally coming back to reality I quickly left – not sure that I even said bye. I took off home (running across the street, I didn’t have far to go) and sat down at my laptop and for six hours, into December 1st, I wrote out the plan of the story.  How it would start, what would happen throughout it, and how it would end.   When I finished the outline I felt like I had accomplished something without actually accomplishing anything.  I knew, from that day on, I’d have a rocky path ahead of me.  Everyone’s first book is usually a long process and it can take a couple years.  

I made myself a goal – one I sadly didn’t meet – that I would be completely done with the first draft a year after I started writing the book.  I’m not sure if that was unrealistic, but I wanted that.  However, now that it’s been a year and I am still working on the first draft I have accepted that.  Not saying I honestly like it, but I’m okay with it.  I suppose you cannot rush greatness!  Eh.  

Right now as I sit here typing this I have wrote the beginning and the end.  The middle is giving me problems.  My sandwich isn’t coming together very well – I am missing the bologna.  Right now I have a dry cheese sandwich and I’m needing the rest.  I’m on chapter twelve and I’m stuck.  But I will finish this book.  I have faith in myself.  Especially now that I have accepted and decided that I need to write this for myself and not everyone else.  This book is for me.

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If You’re Reading This!

Daily Prompt: 

You are the first astronaut to arrive on a new, uncharted planet. Write the note that you leave to those who come after you.

If you’re reading this I finally got off of this planet.  Crashing sucks!

So here I sit writing a quick letter.  Thank God I’m a writer & I actually carry it with me.  I wanted to let someone know what’s it like on this planet so you’re prepared.

First, I didn’t even realize it was real.  I’ve heard stories.  But here it is.  Water.  Land.  Beautiful.  It’s great here.  A part of me didn’t want to leave, but I miss family.  Thinking about coming back.

It’s quiet here without anyone around.  However, all the animals are great.  Friendly.  It’s perfect if you’re not a people person.  It’s very green.  I’m sure this is what Earth looked like before people.  Before houses and roads.  I hope you like to walk.  There are not roads or vehicles.  There are no houses – I hope you can build a fort.

I have never witnessed clear water like this planet.  So clear I could see straight through to the bottom.  It’s great.  A taste I have never had splash across my taste buds.  Drink it!  You’ll see.

Signed – WhyHasn’tSomeoneFoundThisPlanet

Act of Kindness.

Daily Prompt :

Tell us about the time when you performed a secret random act of kindness — where the recipient of your kindness never found out about your good deed. How did the deed go down?

I sat here and thought about this prompt for a while.  Mostly wondering if there was anything I ever did without the other person knowing.  And I’m not sure I have.  I don’t believe I have ever “secretly” done a good did.

I choose to live my life in a way where I am hoping that at least one person is happier.  Letting people cross the street by holding up a line of cars.  Leaving a quarter on a basket at Aldi’s (since you have to pay a quarter to use their basket).  Saying hi to strangers.  Smiling even when deep inside of me I’m crying.  Giving to people anything I can give to them without leaving me on the street (because it’s not worth that.  Honestly. *that’s me being yay me!*)

I’m the one who does the small things in life.  Leaving notes for people inside of books at libraries or book stores.

I’m saddened, however, to know that I have never done anything without someone knowing I did it.  Maybe I need to take a hard look at myself and start over.

Dear Santa,

This year I don’t find myself wanting much.  Is “needing” a better word to use?  

I wanted to apologize for not writing as much as I should.  Even as young child, I always seemed to have other things to do.  I never seemed to write.  I feel horrible about that.  

Today I sit at my laptop and I write you a letter.  A letter basically saying I haven’t been ‘perfect’, but who has?  We all have our things that tear us away from what we want to be.  Words we choose to use.  Actions.  Dreams.  

We start every year with a resolution saying how we will be better to people than the year before.  But we don’t.  We never seem to do any better, no matter how hard we try.  This year I want to.  I want to write a letter to you next year at the time telling you all of the great things I chose to do instead of walking away.  Hiding and staying quiet.

This year, however, Santa I don’t deserve anything.  I haven’t lived up to the life that a person should.  I haven’t done anything great and I keep deciding to do the complete opposite of what I truly want to do.

Hopefully next year,

Sincerely,
Barbara

(Also, yes, I know that you know what my dream was about last night.  I can’t control those.  You should dream like that more often.  Maybe you wouldn’t eat so many cookies.)

Ghost of Christmas Past!

Daily Prompt:

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

* * * * 

Sleepy eyed I’m awaken by my brother.  I glance over at the clock, big red letters flashed, 6:30 am.  This was an every year thing.  Tim would quietly walk through the house to me and wake me up.  Him and I would then tip-toe into the living room, still in our pajama’s, sit in front of the Christmas tree Indian style.  We’d wait.

One particular Christmas, I remember, was the very last Christmas we spent with our grandmother – who shortly after had seven strokes, back to back, and was paralyzed.  An air mattress was laid out in the living room floor, on it laid my grandmother  and her boyfriend of fifteen years.  Excitement boiled within my brother and I that we couldn’t wait, we thought about making all kinds of noises to wake someone up.  Instead.  We waited.  Just like every year.

Sitting in front of the tree was a tan teddy bear with a red sweater.  I knew it was mine.  I wanted it.  I knew who it was from.  And I wanted it.  (I still have that bear and I was 11 when this Christmas happened.)

Every holiday is easily remembered, however I cannot recall everything.  Some of my memories of my childhood is blurred or isn’t remembered correctly.  

I can remember my last Christmas while my mother was still alive.  She was so excited about the present.  My mother decided that every year we’d get one big present, usually costing her over 100$.  A large box sat behind the tree with my name on the tag.  I had no idea what it was.  The morning when we opened it I pulled out every ‘Nsync doll, and the full collection of glass bobble heads.  That is all I wanted, nothing else meant as much as those dolls.  (I also still have those.)  I was 15. A few years ago, however, some kids broke into a shed my brother and I own, pulled out every single bobble head and destroyed them.  I cried.  I felt like I lost my mom all over again.  A week later my brother handed me the collection of bobble heads.  The day he realized they were broke he got onto Ebay.com and purchased them for me.  I was 24.

I can remember the last year I spent with my dad.  Not perfectly.  It was a bad year.  But I remember that I threatened to mush his food because he had a trek after having everything in his throat removed due to throat cancer.  I remember that night because of the fact he was there, and after that he lived a couple months before passing.  I was 23.

Last year my brother and I, (not a Christmas memory), went to Denny’s for dinner.  His wife and step-children went to her mothers and my brother had to work that day.  After he got home we got ready and had dinner together.  It doesn’t seem like much to a lot of people who I tell about it.  But after some of the past years, that was perfect.  Just my brother and me.  I was 25.

This year I am excited.  I’m hoping nothing horrible happens and we have a great day.  Of course, though, my brother has to work so we’ll have to wait until he gets off.  But either way I’m happy.  I’m ready.  Finished shopping for presents.  All I have to do is buy the dinner.  

The one thing I’m sure everyone noticed – the years I remember, are the last years I spent with certain people.  My grandmother.  My mother.  My father.  

I lost the spirit after my mother passed away and I’m just recently getting the urge to celebrate back.  Hopefully I keep the urge and it continues to grow.  However, I’m Santa Claus this year.  I have many stocking stuffers.  

20 Things to Do…

…once a month.

1. Write a letter.

Whether it is to a long lost friend you haven’t seen in ten years, your neighbor about a tree that hasn’t been chopped down, or your spouse telling them how much you love them.  Just sit down when a pen, piece of paper, and write a letter.  The contents would be strictly up to you.

2. Open the door for a stranger.

We all watch those black and white movies where a tall, good-looking male stranger holds the door open for a short, thin, beautiful long haired blond female – she smiles, thanks him, and at the end of the movie it shows their wedding and birth announcements.  I’m not saying holding a door open for a stranger will bring love, nor am I saying it “has to be a male for a female”, anyone, should hold a door open for a stranger.  If you’re entering or exiting a store and you see a stranger approaching, pause, and hold the door open for them.

3. Smile and say hi to a complete stranger.

Little things honestly mean the world to people.  A small smile, whether it’s timid or a large, face covering smile, just smile and follow it up by a simple hi.  Strangers remember gestures like that all day – possibly passing it on to someone they find further into the day.

4.  Dance around your house in your underwear.

Male.  Female.  Adult.  Teenager.  Human.  Witch.  Mutant.  Horse.  The next time you’re home alone, turn on your favorite song, and dance in your underwear.  Dance, honestly, as if no one is watching. (Even if you choose to dance with someone there.)

5.  Give someone a dollar.

I don’t mean tip a waitress a dollar.  (I hope you tip more than a dollar.)  Walking down the street, into a store, or at a cafe – see a stranger?  Hand them a dollar.  Smile.  And walk away.  Maybe somewhere down the road you will receive that dollar back from a complete stranger.

6. Take a walk.

You don’t have to go alone.  By all means, take a friend.  But put on your brightly colored sneakers, go outside, and take a walk.  A long walk.

7.  Pick a weed from a field.

Take that simple, ugly weed home and place it in a vase.  Add a tiny bit of water and place the whole thing in your windowsill.  Take care of it as if it was a long stemmed rose.  Love something that isn’t loved by many.

8.  Go to your local animal shelter and love on any animal.

People tend to forget about how helpless those poor animals are.  Locked up day in and day out, possibly getting out into a fenced yard to run for a few minutes, just to be put back in a small cage that is filled with their feces and urine.  There is honestly no telling how long those animals have been there, will be there, or how much longer they’ll be alive.  Just give them a few minutes of love.

9.  Volunteer at a retirement home.

LOVE OLD PEOPLE!  Hold their hand.  Listen to their stores.  Men and women are put in those places because their families are tired of taking care of them, unable, or don’t want to.  They, just like the poor animals, sit in their rooms all day and night in their bed staring at walls, televisions, or nurses.  Just once a month take a couple hours and go say hi.  Take them some cookies, or even some flowers to brighten up their rooms.

10.  Read a book – cover to cover.

Any book.  I’m not picky.  However, I could give you some ideas if you need some.  Go to the library and pick a shelf.  Close your eyes and point.  That book.  Read it.  Read one chapter per month throughout the year.  But read that entire book.

11.  Turn off your cell phone.

Yes.  Seriously.  For four hours, turn off your cell phone.  This would be a great time to read that book, or take that walk.

12.  Get a gym membership.

& use it.

13.  Draw a picture.

Even if it is a stick figure.  Use a sticky note or an envelope from a bill.

14.  Write a story.

“Once upon a time, there was a small green cricket…”  Now, finish that.

15.  Learn a new language.

I’d request you learning Spanish or sign language.

16.  Take an hour long bubble bath.

Male.  Or female.

17.  Have a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Cannot afford an expensive wine.  Doesn’t matter.  Buy a bottle from Wal-Mart.

18.  Take a road trip.

Even if you only go three towns over.  The next state.  Across town.

19.  Don’t be a hurry.

Slow down and take a breath.  On your way to work.  Or during lunch.  Take your time.

20.  Do what you love!

          Someone once told me that they hated their job, spouse, and life.  That’s a horrible way to live.  Always do something you love.  Love someone who brings joy into your life.  I love to write, however I’m not paid for it.  But I still do it.  I write randomly at places that would probably surprise a few people.  I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not writing.  Never settle for second best when there is something you love to do.  Love to paint?  Then paint.  Love to sing and dance?  Do it.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because it doesn’t pay the bills.  Follow your dreams.  Do what brings you joy!

Life is too short and can be taken so quickly.  Be over.  You should never do anything to inhibit your happiness.  DO you wish to be on Broadway?  Then go.  Move and try.  Don’t stay in a small town and hope that one day you’ll be discovered.  Because one day may never happen.  You could be waiting forever.

It’s no secret for anyone that I want to be a published novelist.  I dream of being able to hold a book, with my name on the front of it, in my own hands.  Be able to look in a mirror and tell myself that I have done it.  However, it’s not about the money.  This is for me!

During lunch the other day, I went alone, and I took a pen and notebook.  I sat and wrote.  Quietly.  I sat there and wrote down thoughts.  Many words on many pages.  The waiter didn’t rush me.  I watched as people came and gone.  Next to me was an older couple.  As they were leaving the woman stopped and smiled down at me.

“Are you doing homework?”  She asked.
I smiled, put down my pen, and leaned back in my chair.  “No.  I randomly write.”
“I thought so.  You looked intense.”
I shook my head.  “Yeah.  I love to write.”
She smiled and shrugged on her coat.  “I can tell.  ON day, you will put out a book.”
I had no idea what to say.  SO I just smiled and watched as she left holding hands with her husband.

That dear lady has no idea who I am.  We’ve never met.  She doesn’t know that I am in the process of writing a book, and that every day I get further and further to being done.  That I hope, one day, to be published.  She just knows how intense I looked as I wrote.

I wonder now, that I have had time to think about, if maybe she knew something I did.  They say, pets, children & older adults see things that we don’t.

A Letter:

Daily Prompt:

Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

 

Dear Timothy,

There are not many people left that I truly cherish.  We have been through a lot and every day we face more side by side.  At times it feels like a dream, and we’re sucked into it.  I feel, sometimes, if someone pinched us hard enough we’d wake up and we’d be 15 & 16 again.  Back to reality.  Back to the life we knew was ours.

We an Hansel & Gretel, if you will.  A fairy tale brought to life.  (I’ve been watching too much “Once Upon a Time.”)

I know that isn’t true.  We aren’t dreaming.  We are living life the way we are supposed to.  However, my dear brother, I know there is so much more we have to face.  Together.

I was asked today who is the most precious person in my life.  The only person I could think of was you.  You are everything in my life.  If I ever lost you I have no idea what I would do.  How I would go on.

You’ve always been the strong one.  The one that isn’t afraid.  That doesn’t shed many tears.  Someone with a heart of gold, even if you decided to stop believing so high of yourself.  You’re intelligent, nice, and do so much for so many people who take you for granted.  I know people think, sometimes, that you’re no good.  But to me, you’re exactly what people need in their lives.  

You are comparably different than everyone in my life.  You are the only one left that tells me how it is.  The only person I can honestly put all of my faith in and know that I won’t be disappointed in the end.  I know, just as you do, you’ve disappointed me.  But not on purpose, and I know this.  

Nobody is perfect.

But I know you will always be damn near perfect in my eyes.  You are my big brother.  Someone who sticks up for me.  Believes in me.  Takes care of me.  I know that as long as you’re near me I can accomplish anything I want.  You’re more of inspiration to me than you’ll ever know, and I want to thank you.  I love you more than you’ll ever know and don’t want you to forget it.  

Love always,

Your Little Sister.