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.

Dragon Intro

Flying high above the treetops, the cool air flowing over and under her wings, the blue dragon felt the tensions of normal life slip away. She knew she could be fairly open in this area as it was rare to see a human and even when one did, they typically were of the lowly tribes, with not much in the way of distance weapons. She had seen her fair amount of civilization of humans and elves who did not enjoy her beauty. She had never once attacked any human or elf and yet she was chased and hurt.

Her family had told her that once dragons and elves used to live in peace, but then humans appeared among them and poisoned the hearts of elves against them. They said dragons were not to be trusted with their giant claws and teeth. If you angered one it would be all too easy to for a dragon to just kill the one who angered it. But this was not the ways of dragons and it hurt them all so deeply as elves and humans plotted against them. The humans swore that different parts of dragons could make magic brews all that more powerful. And while elves had lived much longer and known dragons, they fell for this treacherous falsehood. For while, yes, dragons anatomy was different and some dragons seemed to pose magickal abilities, none of their body was more powerful than those of elves or humans and anyone who tried to sell such was just looking for a sucker to part with their money.

These thoughts made the blue dragon huff a steam of water as the memories angered her. She did not want these thoughts to impair her joyful afternoon in the sky. She had nowhere to really be and she was not expected back by anyone. Which wasn’t all that unusual once a dragon was old enough to be on their own. Families stuck together for a few centuries until the elders believed the young ones would be able to handle themselves on their own. She had passed that stage about 50 years ago and loved to go on long trips and see the different lands.

When she reached a land she did not know and did not think had been explored by her kind, she would fly higher than normal so her shadow did not appear like anything to those below. Thankfully this did not hinder her view of what was below since dragons had such wonderful eyesight. The only problem was having to see through or around clouds at times. But, once she was able to find a place to hide she could normally watch from afar for quite some time before moving on.

She had seen many different types of people and creatures in her travels. She liked to think about some of them at times like these as she soared above the wilderness below. To think these wildernesses used to stretch across everything she had seen and people changed that landscape to make it their own. Some found it disturbing, but she found it fascinating.

Swooping down towards the ground, she landed at the edge of a fairly deep river which rushed by. It ran too quickly for most other animals to take a sip, but, as big as she was, she did not fear the rushing water as she bent to drink. The sun was starting to dip and this meant her eyesight would be less reliable for a few hours until darkness came upon the land, but again, she was not in any hurry and did not see any reason to fly during the night.

Finding a clearing about her size she nestled down with her tail wrapped around to touch her nose and her wings spread as if to make a blanket over her. The veins in her wings were warm and would help keep the chill off the main part of her body during the night. Having scouted around the area from up above for a while before deciding on this spot, she had no fear of anyone finding her resting spot that night.

 

Dawn came and went and as the last of the early birds brought food back to their nests, the dragon began to stir. First, the wings unfurled and then tucked into her back while her neck and tail stretched to opposite ends. The jaws opened wide and the dragon yawned. Blinking to get the last of the sleep out of her eyes she looked around the clearing. There were no animals or people around, which was fine by her. She did not need to feed currently, though before she found new civilization she may want to top off, just in case it took a while to leave said civilization. It would do no good to become hungry and have to steal livestock from those she did not want to know about her.

With that thought in her mind, she sniffed the air. There was the smell of venison on a downdraft which appeared to be on the older side. She rather take the lives of those who had already lived most of their lives rather than those who had just begun to live it. She lifted her head and saw a male deer with broken antlers bent low, munching on the grass in the meadow, not far from the river she had visited the day before. It appeared the deer either was too old to care or did not realize there was a dragon in the area. Or perhaps they had never seen a dragon before and did not realize the danger she could possess. Which was also a sign that dragons may not have visited this area as of yet.

Without taking more than a few flaps of her wings she was up in the air and as the deer looked up to the sky to see what had caused the shadow upon the grass he was eating, the dragon dove and took the deer in her jaws. It only took a few chomps to dismember the deer enough to swallow and she did not even have time to land before the deer had passed from her jaws down her gullet.

Having already taken off, she decided to continue on with her flying, but this time she flew higher as the whiff of smoke had also come to her senses which meant people of some sort ahead.

Little Bar

She walked into the bar not really sure what to expect. Having driven by it to her hotel she had brushed it off as just a dive bar, but then was told it was the most hopping place in this little town. Granted that may not amount to much, but at least it was something other than the 4 walls of her small little motel room which didn’t even have a privacy wall for the toilet.

Showing her ID at the door she walked by the bouncer who gave her only the cursory look to make sure she was the woman on the ID she had presented. He seemed to do the bare minimum of his job, but, then again, was it really worth trying to pull something over his eyes if he probably knew everyone in the town? She walked through the single metal door and walked into a bar she would have never imagined in her life.

There wasn’t an apparent theme, but then again, there was. It was not something you could describe but it was something you could feel as the theme. Making her way to the bar she ordered a basic beer on tap and was surprised at the bite she got from a drink she was pretty sure she had drunk a hundred times.

It was early in the evening and only a few people were currently in the bar. They all seemed to be regulars as they sat with their drinks and ignored most everyone around them. They did not even look at the newcomer, that she was, which really threw her. She was used to being gawked at and being harassed by men of all ages. She was used to it and not to have it done here was actually throwing her off. She felt out of place in a place where there did not seem to be an out of place. Finishing the beer she had, she ordered a simple cocktail and found a seat towards the back of the room where she could watch people arrive.

It took a bit of time for a crowd to start trickling in, but when it did, it came in a rush. The bar had been mostly quiet up until this point. The music had been on low with nothing really being chosen on the box, but it just running on auto. Now there was hard and loud music playing and there was a disco ball which had been turned on. The lights were on low and the flashing of the lights on the disco ball made it hard to pinpoint any single individual.

At any other bar, she would have been approached no more than half a dozen times by this point. But here, she still had yet to even be noticed except by the bartender who sent a waitress to her every so often to make sure she was still okay with her drink. She was sipping it slowly, not quite sure what to make of this situation she was finding herself in.

She had expected a country vibe to the place, but instead, it was more rock and heavy alternative music being played. Songs which you either could not understand the lyrics or, if you could, you were most likely singing along to the song since it was so well known. The people dancing and drinking ranged from their 21st birthday up to their 90th and there was no rhyme nor reason as to what each person was interested in. It seemed everyone was interested in their own thing and screw what age group it would have been assigned to.

It was actually quite freeing and as she had, probably, her third drink she was beginning to loosen up to this strange array of a crowd. She let her hair down and joined in on the music and dance floor. The people around her finally noticed her and welcomed her onto the dance floor. And that is where she stayed for the rest of the night until the bar closed, and she dragged her tired, dehydrated behind down the block to her motel room.

The alarm sounded like an irritating bug which would not shut up and she whacked at the clock with a hand which might as well have been a wet rolled up wad of newspaper. She finally knocked it off the small table and it was again quiet. The windows were letting the sunshine in and she realized she probably should be getting ready to leave.

As she checked out, with a complimentary cup of coffee in hand, the front desk attendant asked if she had enjoyed her stay. When she told the attendant about the bar down the road she had been the night previous, the look she received was that of confusion.

“Ma’am, there is no bar there… well there was… but there isn’t anymore. It burned down about a year ago after the disco ball short-circuited and fell. The majority of the town was injured in the fire.”

Thinking her leg was being pulled she just nodded and said her good-bye. She drove back down the way she had come the night before and past the bar she had enjoyed herself at and sure enough, while there was still a front to the building, the rest of the building had fallen and crumbled along time ago. She wasn’t sure who this could be, but as she drove on, she thought she heard a distant sound of rock and hard alternative play as she drove out of town.

Welcoming the End

Laying in the hospital bed with the beeping of the monitors which were hooked up to me I began to feel my body starting to fade. Being quasi-religious I was not too worried about what would come next, but still, there was that nagging feeling of what if I was wrong. I turned my head and looked out the window. There were clouds darkening outside as a major storm system came into the area. The nurses and doctors were trying to stay calm, but the nervousness was all to palatable within the hospital. But within my room, there was a strange calm. I knew I would not make it through this storm and so I watched the wind pick up and the clouds move in the sky. Allowing my mind to wander back through the years.

Growing up I had an interesting life. My family lived in the circus, with my father teaching bears to perform. I had always had such a fascination with what he did and when I was old enough he taught me how to make the bears accept me and teach them how to do the tricks which so many people came to see. One of these people being the man I would marry.

He and I did a few shows together as we got to know each other and after we married and decided to let that part of our lives go, I knew I would always have a soft spot for those animals. Thankfully my husband was willing to indulge in my little adventure and helped me open up a place to allow animals who were retired from the circus to come and reside out the remainder of their years. Some of the animals had not been cared for as well as they should have been and because of that we were always a topic for PETA to attack, but I loved those animals and tried to care for them as well as I could. I brought in trainers, veterinarians, and anyone else who could help them. I want to say that I made a difference in their lives.

The circus life seemed to be dying out with the political correctness movement picking up steam. Animal rights activists picketed circuses which had elephants and other animals they thought were being mistreated. It was hard to watch something I grew up with start to wither and die.

As the years went on and my life with my husband quieted I wondered from time to time if we had made the right decision on not having children, in the end, I always concluded that we did. Now, as I lay in my bed, and having 20/20 vision, I believe we made the right decision.

While children are a wonder to have, neither I nor my husband had the disposition to handle little ones as they grew. My husband probably would have left it all to me anyway and while we would have been able to afford a nanny, that was just not how I wished the cards to fall.

The years continued on, our health began to fail; his quicker than mine. The years seemed to stretch into endless days of the same routine. Sure an event would change things up every so often, but it was typically the same day in and day out. Especially as his getting around became harder and harder.

We finally admitted we needed to have help in the house for him as I was beginning to not be able to help him out of bed. It was a much-needed break from the stress of shouldering his health all by myself. But there was something off with this nurse. I wish I had seen it earlier, but I didn’t and before I knew it… well… let’s say there were happier times.

Laying in bed in this hospital and having family come and visit it has dawned on me, most of the family I cared about was his family. They were not my blood relatives, they were his. Being divorced, they did not actually have to come and visit me, but they did and it brought tears to my eyes, which I tried to hide until they were no longer in the room. It was moments like those which made me wonder if having children would have been helpful or not. But, the last few years would have been hard on them just as they were hard on me.

The anger which had burned inside of me the past few years seemed silly now. The truth had been exposed and the lies and hate had been laid out on the table. But now, as the end approached, it all seemed so silly. The wind blew and something rattled outside my window as if to say, “I will take all of those troubles from you soon,” and I silently stared out the window accepting such an arrangement.

And as the storm grew and the clouds darkened I felt a heaviness come over me. Sleep sounded wonderful, though I knew I would not wake from it. A jolt of fear coursed through my body as I closed my eyes but the wind softened for a moment and the peacefulness came over me. I knew my time was up and so I held on to the happiness which was my life; from the time in the circus to the many years with my loving husband and family. And I said silently, goodbye, and taking a final breath and I smiled and released it, leaving the world and the storm to carry on without me.

 

(This story is a fictional narrative from the perspective of my Great Aunt who passed away on 9/11/17. It is in no way of anything she told me or which I went through with her. I was unable to be there with her in her final days, but this is how I wish to remember those last days could have gone by as.)