The Empty Guru

“What is wrong with the world today, and especially in America, is there are too many things! Reject those things! Reject the cars, reject the big house, reject the tons of clothes. You do not need these things to be happy. You only need a few essentials…” the speaker, known as Guru Kiara spoke to the audience and walked around the stage in a simple white flowing outfit. An outfit Elizabeth would never have even touched. She was not good when it came to white things. She listened to the words the Guru in front of her spoke and tried to think of how her apartment would look if she got rid of everything she did not need. She couldn’t imagine it… she needed everything, right?

“You may be currently thinking about your home and all the things in it and maybe be having a hard time thinking of getting rid of the things you may think you need. Here is a simple exercise….” the Guru continued on her explanation and Elizabeth tried to listen, but the words just seemed to slip in one ear and out the other.

Two hours went by and Elizabeth wasn’t sure how she hadn’t fallen asleep through the entire seminar. She had gone to it because her friends had begun joking about her being a hoarder and while she denied it, she worried that perhaps she had started to keep a few too many things. The seminar had been about The Simplicity of Life and How to Get There. Well, Elizabeth felt just about the same way she did as before she went to the seminar. Walking out of the convention center she walked over to the coffee shop just around the corner. She bought her double shot medium mocha and sat down at a table near the window. People watching and sipping on the warm beverage she relaxed into the chair. The day was chilly even if the sun was shining and the hot mocha was perfect to take the edge off.

Watching out the window she recognized a woman walking up to the coffee house. But she couldn’t place her. She watched her walk in and stand in line. The itch of knowing but not knowing was driving Elizabeth a bit nutty. She tried not to stare but kept an eye on the woman. The woman reached into a large bag and started to dig for, what Elizabeth assumed, was her wallet. She finally pulled out a trifold wallet which had the well known Chanel Cavier symbol on the clasp. The wallet itself was a beautiful navy blue with what appeared to be soft leather. The woman quickly opened it and selected one of the credit cards from it. It was easy to see she had quite a few and the wallet wasn’t on the slim side either. Huh, I wonder what Guru Kiara would say about having so many cards in your wallet, Elizabeth mused to herself as she sipped her mocha. The woman ordered an elaborate drink which Elizabeth couldn’t have tried to repeat for the life of her. The woman then stood over by the receiving section, took her elaborate coffee, and walked back out the front door.

Elizabeth, having already finished the mocha in her hand, decided she was going to try and figure out how she knew this well-groomed woman. She got up and threw away her one time use cup and followed the woman outside. The woman’s hair was up in a high ponytail but had beautiful black large curls bouncing as she walked. The woman’s attire was anything from simple, Elizabeth decided and began to wonder if the seminar didn’t actually instill something in her after all. She wore light tan slacks, which seemed to be thick enough for the weather as the woman did not seem uncomfortable, then again it could probably have something to do with the camel colored jacket she wore which looked like real camel… or something leathery and soft anyway, Elizabeth had no idea what it could be beside it probably being nice to touch. The woman’s shoes were another thing Elizabeth noticed, about four inches high, matching the tan color of the pants the woman wore, and with a stylish point in front. Elizabeth would never have been able to wear something like that and walk the streets of the city.

The woman continued walking and Elizabeth tried to act like she wasn’t following her, but kept her insight. She had a sense of wonder about this woman who she thought she knew, but could not put her finger on it. Then the woman did the one thing Elizabeth had been dreading… she got into a car. Frantically, Elizabeth began to look around for a taxi and upon seeing one turn down the street she was in she jumped out into the street from between two cars waving her arms.

“Taxi!” she screamed like a crazy woman.

The taxi driver slammed on his brakes and the sandwich he had been about to take a bite out of went flying across the stirring wheel and onto the window. He cursed the woman who had just jumped in front of his cab.

Elizabeth, glad the driver had stopped, ran around to the back door on the passenger side and jumped in. “Follow that car!” she said pointing at the silver sedan the woman had climbed into and had just pulled into traffic.

The driver looked at the woman in the mirror for a moment. Elizabeth looked back at him wondering if perhaps he may be deaf. “Please, quick! You can’t lose her!”

The driver looked at the car which he was to follow and memorized the license plate number. He then hit a button on the taximeter and pulled back into traffic. The traffic was moving slowly for the moment and the driver pulled out of his center console a pair of driving gloves which he pulled on as he crept through the traffic.

Elizabeth paid no mind to the driver besides being impatient with how slow the traffic was being. Granted the woman was in the same traffic and so was still only a couple of cars ahead, but she was afraid they would lose her. Just as she was about to jump out of the car and run the driver said, “Siri, play Chase Playlist”.  And all of a sudden the music that came from the speakers of the car was something out of a high-end chase movie. With this sudden change of music the driver merged over and all of a sudden, they were right behind the woman.

The traffic eased up and they were following this woman through the streets of the city, never losing sight of her. Elizabeth thought the music was a bit much for the occasion, but the driver seemed to be enjoying it and she wasn’t about to take that away from him

As Elizabeth began to wonder if this whole thing was just too ridiculous for reason the woman merged onto an onramp for the local freeway. The driver followed and began to pick up speed as the rest of the vehicles did. The woman seemed to like to speed and the driver obliged in matching her speed to keep up with her. Making some unnecessary merges and probably going faster than he should Elizabeth had to give it to him, he never did lose the woman’s car.

Elizabeth finally sat back in her seat and buckled the seatbelt. The trip was getting a bit crazier than she would have ever imagined. She held onto the seat and tried to keep from being thrown around the vehicle too badly. She had lost sight of the woman’s car and only hoped the driver hadn’t and wasn’t just driving crazy for the heck of it.

Finally, they took an off ramp which led them to a small suburban area of a town just outside of the main city. Elizabeth could finally see the woman’s car again and slower speeds made her relax a bit. The driver seemed somewhat upset the “chase” seemed to be coming to an end, while Elizabeth hoped the woman lived around her so she could get out of the crazy taxi.

As they watched the car, they saw it pull into a beautifully tailored house with an open gate. The driveway pulled in and around the front to the front of the house and then swung back out the way it came. The woman parked in front of the door which also had a canopy to make it a carport of sorts.

“Pull over there,” Elizabeth indicated to pull just pass the entrance to the driveway. She then grabbed for her wallet and pulled out cash to pay for the ride.

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Rarely do I get a chance to follow a dream I have always had. You helped me enjoy a very mundane day. I hope you the best with whatever is going on. The trip is on me,” he said as he cleared out the taximeter.

Elizabeth surprised stuttered, “Uh, thanks. I hope your day is more enjoyable.” And with that, she stuffed her money and wallet back into her purse and exited the crazy taxi. It drove off out of sight within moments.

Elizabeth shook her head and looked at the house the woman had walked into. She peered up the driveway, and not seeing anyone, she walked up the driveway.

She had no idea what she was going to say or do. Should she just knock on the door and tell her that she thought she knew her and so she had followed her all the way from the city to figure it out? Should she spy through the windows to figure out who this woman was? Should she just call another cab… or a friend and just go home?

But before she had figured out really what she was going to do she was at the front door and staring at the doorbell. She took a breath and rang the bell. As she waited she considered hiding behind the car which was right behind her. Or perhaps she should say she was selling girl scout cookies but had forgotten EVERYTHING about the cookies and was standing there like an idiot. Well, she was standing there like an idiot, but what excuse was she going to tell this woman.

Then the door opened Elizabeth finally knew why she had recognized the woman. It was Guru Kiara from the seminar. But she wasn’t in the plain white outfit and with her hair no longer pulled back, she saw the beautiful curls cascading around her face, framing it like it had up on stage.

“Yes?” the woman said curiously to who this woman was standing on her doorstep. But Elizabeth could only stare in shock.

“You… you… you’re the guru!” Elizabeth finally blurted out.

The look on the woman’s face was ashen and had a show of dread, “Who are you?”

“I was at the seminar this afternoon. I saw you in the coffee shop and couldn’t figure out where I knew you from… because you had a ton of stuff and I assumed…” Elizabeth trailed off as she looked up at the house and behind the woman she now knew to be the false guru.

The woman seemed to relax a tad, “Come inside.” She moved to the side and let Elizabeth walk pass her, she closed the door. “Please, come sit and let me try to help you through what I am sure has been a shock.”

Elizabeth was stunned. The house was EMPTY!

“What I said at the seminar I still hold true. But my getting rid of stuff had to do with the small things. The house and the car are gifts from my parents who won them in a lottery and did not have any use for them. My purse and the things you most likely saw in it… all things I have traded for or purchased at thrift stores. My money is very little, but my life is very full.”

Elizabeth looked at the woman and began to laugh. She laughed and laughed at the absurdity of the day and the absurdity of this woman. “You have NOTHING to show for anything. You have no pictures, you have no… well, you have nothing. I chased a guru who tells us to get rid of our things because they mean nothing in the long run and here she sits with nothing but has nothing to sit on!”

The woman was shocked by what Elizabeth was saying, “I have nothing, but I have a fuller sense of….”

Elizabeth cut her off, “No, you don’t. You don’t even have photos of your parents.”

The woman looked at her empty house like she had never seen it before, “I… But… I…” she sighed, deflated, “I am empty not only in material goods… I am empty within as well. You are right, I have nothing, I have no family to show, I have no real life to live. I do the seminars and that is all I do anymore.” She stopped and looked at Elizabeth. She wasn’t much to look at, but she seemed to be happier than she was. “How are you so happy? What am I missing?”

With that Elizabeth took the guru who told everyone to get rid of everything and told her why material goods were not a thing to despise. They worked out a happy medium over months and months of in-depth talk. And slowly the guru began to add things to her house which had to mean to her. The first being a photo of her parents she placed on the wall opposite her front door.

The next seminar held two women up on stage. They held up items and explained to the people there how to better their lives while still keeping the items they did not want to part with. Repeatedly they told the ridiculous story of how a woman who had gone to a guru seminar had taught the guru herself that she was nothing with what she did not hold near. The audience would typically laugh at the story and shake their heads at the strangeness of the tale, but the ladies did not mind, as long as everyone learned from the adventure which had unfolded. Elizabeth and Guru Kiara were better from having met each other and their lives were richer from what they taught each other.

Friday Word Count

While I am a few days late on this, I wanted to keep myself accountable. Friday I ended the day with 4,087 words. Which is only 483 words short of being on point for the end of the week. It would have been more but going out to see a friend who was unexpectantly in town threw me off on Friday, but that is alright.

I, however, was unable to catch up during the weekend. It is now day 7 and I should be at 6,398 but have not written since Thursday night. I will add more words tonight and will post again on Monday to keep myself accountable.

School is starting up again tomorrow for my son which means life will get more on a typical schedule once again, which, hopefully, means writing will be on a better schedule as well. Thanks to all who have given me encouraging words to keep me going. I know I am not all that far behind so I am not fretting all that much quite yet.

New Year / Catching Up

Hello and welcome to the year 2018! I am hoping this year this webpage will have a ton more things posted to it for multiple reasons.

  1. I really want to have it up and running like an actual website (I pay for the domain after all)
  2. I am going to be writing a ton more this year

Ya, those are the two main reasons. And while my writing definitely kicked up its pace in November with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) we bought a new house in October and were packing until about a week and a half before Christmas to move. Needless to say, life has been a bit chaotic.

But now with the holidays behind us, 2017 behind us, and my house more or less put together, I can put some time into keeping this blog up and doing more writing.

In that vein, I have decided to try doing 85k90 challenge again this year. I tried doing it last January but just did not have the energy to keep up with it. I wasn’t the healthiest and having two little ones just wore me completely out by the end of the day. I have lost over 20 pounds now and have a ton more energy for myself and my kids. It is day two (actual day three but I have only written two days worth so far) into the challenge and with this challenge you only have to write 912 words a day to keep on track rather than the 1667 words you do for NaNo. My word count is at 2000 solid right now and I will add more to it soon. Along with the challenge, I am also keeping reminded by the emails which come in from 750words where you write at least 750 words each day and they just keep track to how many days in a row you actually are able to do it. You can challenge yourself at the beginning of the month and write out a sort of promise to yourself, ie: If I write for the Month of BLAH then I will treat myself to BLAH. However, if I do not complete the month my punishment is BLAH. I actually challenged myself this past November and while I won NaNo, I did not write every single day so technically I lost my 750words challenge to myself. Though I didn’t punish myself like I said I would, I was too pleased with myself for finally winning NaNo.

Yes, I won NaNo this past November, which means I wrote 50k words in the month of November. I even finished a few days early, it felt marvelous. This was my seventh year doing it, but my first win. It was also the first year I went to Night of Writing Dangerously and I will definitely be going back. That was an amazing evening. I think I will post up more information on both NaNo and Night of Writing Dangerously later as I have come to realize that while I have posted quite a bit about NaNo people did not realize it was an organization nor a non-profit. So when I do that I will post a link to that post so you can go check it out.

I think that is all for now. Keep me honest people! If you do not see me post in a while shoot me a message and bug me.

750words

Alright, so I apparently forgot that I can actually sign up and get something out of this, for myself. I have now “signed” up for next months challenge, which shouldn’t be too hard as long as I keep up with writing for NaNo as well.

So, here is the thing. 750words.com is an amazing website to help you get into the habit of writing every single day. You only have to write a mere 750 words, which for some people may seem like a lot, but once you start doing it, it will feel like it is not enough to accomplish really anything. They send you an email each day, I believe you can set up the time it is sent to you as well, though I may be wrong, will have to double check that. There is no time you have to write the words in, specifically, you just have to finish writing your 750 words by 11:59P that day. At midnight it resets and you are on to the next day.

This website is great for people who are trying to learn how to write, or for veterans who just want a quick soundboard for ideas or even people who have not written for some time who wish to get back into the groove of writing. Life changes us all and with that our routines can get thrown out the window. Sometimes we need to reassess when we can fit in what we love back into our lives. I know that this happened when I became a mother and that was five years ago! It hasn’t been until recently that I have begun to really focus on me and on what makes me happy once again. Which is not only reading and trying to feel better physically, but is writing, and this website is bringing that love back to me.

It is really helpful if you have been trying to figure out when you have time to write. Because it will send you the email and remind you and when it keeps doing it, you start to think about it during the day. You may find you can sit down for five minutes in the morning, another five at lunch, and maybe another five before going to bed. It doesn’t take much to write 750 words. And it doesn’t have to really do with anything! It can be a journal entry for the day or perhaps you need to vent and INSTEAD of being that arse on the Internet, how about posting it here where it is just for you and you do not have to be the person everyone hates on the Internet. Not that most people will take me up on that advice, but I can be hopeful. But yes, as long as it is 750 words no one is checking content. So you could just write out the numbers in word form: one, two, three, etc; but really that is a waste of your time and creativity.

National Novel Writing Month is coming up, as I have said before, and this will be a wonderful reminder each evening if I have not gotten a chance to sit down to write yet. I am hoping to use the 750words.com more for writing pieces for my webpages like I have been, but it may come down to using it as a soundboard for what I am writing at that moment in the story. Who knows, but that is the great part of having this option.

As I said before, no one reads this, it also doesn’t save your work from previous days (at least I have not seen it do so), so if you are using it as a journal or soundboard, you may need to save what you write to an outside source so you have it for future reference. Otherwise, if you do not care to ever see what you write here again, do not worry… POOF! it is gone.

If you are a beginner writer or a veteran writer, I recommend using 750words.com. For all the reasons I have listed above. I have used it off and on for that past few years, but this is the first time I am really dedicating time to it and I am remembering why I loved it to begin with. Truthfully, I do not remember how I found it, but I did and I guess that is all that matters.

With that, I wish you all luck and good writing.

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is next month and this month a ton of people are starting to gear up in their own way for it. I have always been a pantser which means I would always just write what came to me rather than sitting down and making a plan. I have tried to do a plan but it typically always went off on its own and left the plan lonely on the sidelines.

This year, I am doing a different type of writing and I am more or less planning out what I want to write. I came up with an idea over the summer and slowly I have worked up what I want to write about. I even wrote down all the chapters I want to do and what would be in them. Granted I have NO CLUE where that outline ran off to so this month will be frantic cleaning and trying to find it while also probably having to try and write up a new version of it.

There are different groups around the country (and I believe around the world now) which get together for what is called “write-ins” which is when the local people meetup at a coffee shop or somewhere quiet to write and give each other encouragement. Sometimes there are things called “word wars” which are timed quiet sessions where all you do is write and until the timer runs out, you are not allowed to do anything else. (Actually I am participating in one right now as we are trying to get back into the groove.) Some groups do online versions in case not everyone or a lot of people cannot meetup. There are also unplanned one where someone will just post in their Facebook group or on the NaNoWriMo website that they are at some location and will be for this amount of time and to come and do a write in with them. They can be a nice way to meet new people in your area.

There is also the Night of Writing Dangerously which is towards the end of the month. People fundraise or pay for it themselves to go to San Francisco and spend a very long evening with a ton of people and write and gossip and…. well truly I am not all that sure. I have never gotten a chance to go, but I WILL be going this year and I am so excited!

If you wish to learn more about NaNoWriMo then check out their website NaNoWriMo. I hope you join us and have fun creating a world and characters which wish to come alive before your very eyes… fingers… ummm… anways, come join us.

Windy Autumn Day

The wind howled outside the windows. Crashing and thumps were heard as trees broke and loose items toppled head over tail. No trees touched the house, but it sounded as if there were hundreds of branches hitting the walls. Inside the home, the temperature dropped below what it had for quite some time. Extra blankets were thrown on beds and longer clothes were put on children. A warm shower and bath were also enjoyed by all who stayed indoors while the wind thundered through the area.

The wind had started early in the morning and by the evening, when all were preparing for bed, an extra strain could be felt as it had lasted all day and did not seem to be wishing to let up through the night. Hair had been blown askew and into eyes. Chills had been felt and jackets had been donned throughout the day. And slow walks had been pushed as the wind blew from behind or slowed as the person had to work their way through the high-speed wind.

As all began to climb into beds, which were much colder than they would have liked, warm kitties joined those who they wished to be near and warmed themselves and their people. And as the wind blew hard against the house, rattling things the people inside could only guess at, the warmth and comfort of the felines who had joined them helped them quickly succumb to their tired limbs and fall right asleep.

The rest was not as peaceful as it could have been, with waking slightly to all the noise which was happening without the walls, but sleep held fast until the morning hours which started all too early for the family. It was hard to pull out of the warm covers, though they were now only warmed by ourselves, rather than by the felines which had begun the night but pull ourselves out of them we did. Slowly and defiantly pulling off warm clothes to put on cold clothes to start the day. Wishing only to be able to crawl back into the beds we had just left, hoping to find some warmth.

The wind continued to howl outside and the day seemed as if it would be repeating itself. The coffee was started and the food was made. Teeth were brushed along with hair combed. Items were gathered and refound from where they had been left the day before. The light outside began to grey the sky and with it, a feeling of less dreariness seemed to take hold of the family.

Quickly clambering into vehicles to quickly flee the strong winds and try to keep some semblance of warmth and neat hair, the family was off to begin another day. Listening to soft tunes on the radio and fighting against the wind, moving along the roads as safe as one can. Finally arriving at the destination for which they had set out for. The wind continued to howl and batter at them.

Jackets were quickly donned and gathering bags was done at a higher tempo than typical. The wish to play fighting with the wish to be warm and finally winning as the children join the others on the playground. All are dressed in warm jackets and long pants. The feeling of Autumn distinct in the air. Standing and watching the playing the parents shiver within their coats but a smile stays on their face as they watch their sweet children climb and laugh and chase one another.

The bell finally tolls and children rush to their classrooms. The escape of the wind is so near it is tangible. Rushing quickly back to the car and just sitting in the quiet and warmth, not wishing to think of the things that need to be done that day, which would also require leaving this warm quiet location.

Finally, without having the car running, the cold slowly seeps into the car and a heavy sigh is made as the car is turned on and the rest of the cold day is fought through. With things being accomplished, others being put off, things being remembered at the last minute, and things being added to the list for tomorrow.

This is the typical rundown of a day in Autumn when the wind blows so hard you wish to only stay curled up in your bed, reading a good book, cuddling with your cat, and sipping upon your favorite beverage, but the day just gets in the way.

Spring Virgin

She looked down at the babe in the basket which sat next to her sleeping cot. The little one had just finished his meal of milk from her and was fast asleep, swaddled sweetly in a blanket she had made while pregnant with him. She was young and had been scared while pregnant because she did not know what to expect. Her mother had died in childbirth, her grandparents had died while she was still young, and the rest of the females of her tribe did not wish to discuss such things with her because she was not family. She had her father, who was the greatest comfort through the entire thing, but without the reassurance of a woman, she just did not know what to expect.

The father was an unknown variable to her, for she had lost her virginity and came pregnant with the child from a fertility festival. She had just hit the minimum age to participate and most everyone thought she would not be the one to be chosen from all the girls who were of age and who were not betrothed already. Because she was from a small family and one that was not so well known, no one had wished to marry the lonely girl. She had seemed fragile and many thought she would die like her mother in childbirth.

The festival had happened on the Spring Solstice when the day started to become longer than the nights and the nip in the air started to warm. The females dressed all in white gowns which flowed to their knees and were tied with rope around their middles. They had to run through the forest as the sun set and as soon as the sun’s last rays left the earth the young males were released. All parties, male and female, wore masks. The males ran after the females who had passed into the trees a while before and had to find them. During this, the females would find hiding places within the forest. There were definitely better hiders than others, but any female who was found would then follow the male who found her back to the village where they would drink and dine. Sometimes those couples would hook up but it was not a necessity of the rite.

The main goal was for the females to remain hidden from the males as long as possible. If they were able to do this until the sun started to make the sky gray to welcome the morning sun, they could then try to sneak around any males still looking back to the village. If they were able to do this and there was still a male looking to find female then that female would be crowned the Spring Virgin. If there was a male who came walking in last after having not found any female, they would have to stay back with the younger lads and relearn the lessons they should have already known to complete this challenge.

The Spring Virgin would have a feast the following night and a test of strength, wits, and courage would be demonstrated in front of her. She would choose among the masked males the one she thought would be the best mate. Typically these two would end up being the two highest ranking individuals of their genders, but it was not always the case. If it was not one of the top people speculation and curiosity would run through the village. It was not always clear as to who the Spring Virgin had been either since there would be a few pregnancies from the festivities. And there was always the chance that the Spring Virgin would not produce a child this time.

It just so happened this past Spring, she had become the Spring Virgin. She was used to sneaking around and not being seen and so found it easier than most to get through the night and back into the village before anyone even realized it. The following night she had been out of her element with everyone putting themselves on display for her. She found it frightening and exhilerating.

Thinking back to those nights as she watched her little boy sleep so soundly made her smile. They had been scary, but they changed her life for the best. No, she did not have a husband, but she would prove to her family and her village she did not need a man in her life to get through it.