#IWSG Oh I Am Feeling So Frustrated! #Writing #Amwriting (or not)

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Where did the month go? I’d nearly forgotten what day it was!

Life has been stressful this past 30 plus days which has kept me from truly focusing on writing. And I really wanted to go all out for this year’s NaNoWriMo but, that never really happened.

Oh well.  Perhaps next year.

How do writers who are also parents, a spouse, with full time jobs find the mental energy or ability to keep the focus until a project or book is done? I’d really love to know!

 

 

#NaNoWriMo Update: Progress Thus Far #writing #amwriting

As of today, I am sitting at nearly 3,600 words. Not too bad as my minimum goal is 12,000 but still I am a bit behind. I’m not too worry as there will be days where I can double the daily word count and catch up.

I am writing while developing the story and character arcs. I really should have done this back in October but oh well.

Today I finally wrote the summary/blurb and posted it on my NaNo profile. I will share here:

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger’s Christmas follows Ginger Garner a young twenty-something who is running from her broken past in hope of finding a place where she truly belongs. The challenge is staying at one place long enough for people to get to know her as she has difficulties with trust and letting down her guard.
Brent Haywood a young widower with a ten year old daughter who is gradually losing her sight has been trying to pick up the pieces and start over in a small town in the Adironack Mountains. The last thing he wants is to fall in love again.
When Ginger comes to Trappsville, a small town in the mountains reeling from recent devastating floods, seemingly random incidents occur that would keep her stay longer than planned. As the residents begin to grow on her, fears and nightmares threaten to send Ginger running again.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: David Joel Miller

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month.

Committing to finish something in one month gives me an extra incentive to write a few more words each day and to write something every day even if I only have a few minutes to write. Announcing my book commits me to keep writing even when the words don’t come.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I read about NaNoWriMo in one of the writing blogs. I don’t remember which blog it was now. I decided to give it a try. Even though I didn’t finish that first book, the experience made me a more productive writer. In 2016 I tried it again, and now, better prepared and was able to complete the first draft of a novel.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

A total of five times now.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The Story Bureau. Greatness through truer news. Not propaganda – progress through better stories.

A deep recession and a prolonged war have left most people struggling for survival. Baldwin Ferapont wants to help his country. Once he is turned down by the military, Baldwin takes a job as an editor at the government-run Story Bureau.  Very quickly he comes to question whether the “True News” the government is dispensing is fabrications.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

David Joel Miller is a 71-year young man who has had a great many life experiences and currently divides his time between being a writer and blogger, a licensed counselor, and therapist, and teaching at the local college.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

Absolutely, I listen to music. When writing, or which for me means dictating, I wear headphones and primarily listen to relaxing instrumental music. The music helps keep me from being distracted by voices and sounds in my environment.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Not really. I think of my inspiration as a large barrel that needs to be filled. I read widely, both fiction and nonfiction, and once the barrel of thoughts gets full and begins to overflow, my muse yells at me to “quick get it all down.” My muse does not like to repeat herself, and if I don’t write it when the thought is in my head it’s likely to escape.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

There are several I can’t say any one of them is my absolute favorite author. I enjoy Jody Picoult, Aldus Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, and a great many other authors.

Favorite time of year?

I love spring, enjoy summer, look forward to the fall, my favorite season is any season except winter. Here in the central part of California, the seasons are more aptly referred to as wet and dry, and I like them both so long as there is no snowfall.

What’s your favorite television show?

I rarely watch television, or movies. Currently, the only TV show I watch on a regular basis is Big Bang Theory.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I’m not sure I do. I think my characters get into my mind. I try to get to know the character by wondering what they would do in a variety of situations.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

What’s a celebrity?

What is your preferred genre to write in?

When it comes to genre, I am incurably promiscuous. I suppose my preferred genre would be an internal family story-mystery-action-adventure-dystopian-romance.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

I try to keep that sort of thing from seeping into my subconscious.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

During my lifetime I’ve met a lot of people who said that they wanted to write a book. To the best of my knowledge, none of them ever did. In 2017, just before my 70th birthday, a friend asked me when I was going to finish “my book.” I told her I wasn’t sure. I was still working on it. She badgered me to promise I would finish that book by the end of 2017. I made her that promise, and as a result, I finished and published my first two books before my 70th birthday in 2018. Since then I’ve completed and self-published six books, one nonfiction self-help, and five novels. Don’t let that book you have in your go unwritten.

 

NaNoWriMo profile: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/david-joel-miller

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Thank you so much, David for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#WEPFF #WEP The Harvest (#Poem #Poetry)

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*This is my entry for the Challenge above

 

The Harvest

 

Last week we took the ATV
Down the dirt road to survey the fields
Brimming with corn, wheat, and beans

Daddy said it was going to be the best harvest yet
We’ll finally be able to pay the past dues
And save the fledgling farm

Mother Nature
Oh how we tend to forget about her
At times

She has no mercy, she does not care
Man is nothing but a nuisance
An unnatural specimen in a natural world

Since that day of his joyous declaration
She ravaged the fields with a fury my Daddy never saw before
Ruthless, savage like a shark in a frenzy

This morning, I stayed inside but
I watched as Daddy soberly walked those same fields
His shoulders slumped, his head low

The best harvest turned out to be our worst,
And his final
God rest his soul

 

(Word Count: 142; NCCO)

*This was inspired in part by the recent destructive weather we’ve endured up here in North Dakota with September being the wettest on record, and the freak but historic snowstorm/blizzard on October 10-12 where two feet of (or more) snow blanketed the fields that have only been partially harvested. This may turn out to be one of the worst year for farmers in decades.

Nightingale #Poetry #Spoken #Poem

This short poem was written for a group on Facebook – WE PAW Bloggers

 

 

 

 

Nightingale

 

The nightingale weeps a lonely song

Its mournful tune filling the forest

Splintering every branch and bark

While shedding pieces of a broken heart

As beacon for its lost mate

Caged Bird #Poetry #WEPFF #WEP #IWSG

It happened again
I feel so bruised. Battered.
Each word cutting, slashing
How one’s tongue can hold such power
Damaging. Damning.
More so than a hand. Yes, even more so than a sword.
I lie here, on the bed, trying to catch a breath
In between gasping sobs
He’d promised
I should have known better
My eyes sweep across the four walls
Their lavender-blue hues once beautiful
Now they’re nothing but bars
And I’m their prisoner
His
Oh how I long for freedom
To sing and to fly
However or wherever I wish
I should have known better
No sooner had I accepted the yellow ring
He clipped my radiant wings
And now I sit here like
A caged bird
With dying dreams of lofty peaks and open skies

 

 

*Author’s Note: This poem was written for the following writing challenge:

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Monday Story Prompt #Writing #Challenge

Write a micro or flash story (or if you prefer, a poem) around the following prompt:

Main Character

Lab assistant

Situation

Gets amnesia

Prop

Guitar pick

 

Post your story or poem in the comment section below. Deadline: This Friday, June 14th

No minimum words but try to keep it under 750 words.

Have fun!

Animivorator #Flash #Fiction

Dark gray clouds hung heavy in the sky like a blanket of wispy fog partially covering the treeline in the distance.

Kurt’s day didn’t start off on a positive note as he trudged along the heavily cracked road.

“I’m so sorry Mr. Buxton, I’m unable to work today due to an aging car that I can’t fix because the wage you’re paying me royally sucks!” he muttered as his brown eyes pandered ahead of each step, hands deep inside the pockets of the long black coat, “of all days to break down, it had to be today.”

“What’s so special about today?”

Kurt jumped and swerved around to see where the voice came from.

There was an old man standing well off the side of the road nearly encased in shadows. His clothes were tattered, his salt n’ pepper hair oily and unkempt. Kurt noticed a strange looking box that he held in his gnarly hands.

“Excuse me, sir, are you alright?” Kurt asked as he stepped slowly to the man.

The elder’s pale face only partially visible save the eyes which were hidden under the lid of a baseball hat with its emblem long worn off.

“Sir?” Kurt now stood a mere yard from  him. The wooden parcel appeared very, very old. Its craftsmanship told Kurt it came from a time long since past. The box wasn’t perfectly squared. No, it held more of a rectangular shape which reminded him of a–coffin.

“What’s so special about today?” the man asked again. His croaky voice carried an unrecognizable accent.

An icy breeze swept over them. Kurt’s body shivered as he buried his hands deeper in the wool pockets.

“Um, I have a presentation to make,” Kurt let out a sigh of frustration as the breath came out in a wavy mist and drifted upwards briefly before dissipating.

“One you really do not want to make,” the man stated as he continued to stand still.

Kurt cocked his head at this strange person before replying, “You’re right, I don’t really give a damn about the presentation.”

“What if I could take away the misery you call your life and give you one with a true purpose?” the man’s tone was an eloquent one.

Kurt straightened as he considered the man’s offer. The breeze suddenly halted as if nature was holding its breath.

Shrugging, Kurt said, “Sure, whatever.”

The man’s lips curled upwards ever so slightly, “Care to see what’s inside?”

Kurt glanced to the peculiar box, “Okay.”

As he took a step forward, the wind let out a whistling moan which caused the hair on the back of his neck to stand up.

He paused.

“There is nothing to fear,” the voice crooned.

Kurt watched as the lid slowly rose releasing a familiar scent.

Cinnamon.

“Come a bit closer,” the smile on the man’s lips grew when Kurt took another step, “and behold your future.”

As Kurt stood over the box, the first thing he noticed was that there were movements inside.

Was there something alive in there?

Blinking, he peered even closer.

At first, he thought he was looking at a box full of the old-fashioned clothespins painted grayish-white. He then realized that the tops held faces.

“What the hell?”

His mouth dropped when he noticed that these “clothespins’ were all looking up at him. With their rapidly fluttering eyes.

Black. Soulless.

“My god, what kind of freak are you?” He stammered as he attempted to take a step back, but a sharp coldness cascaded through his body when he discovered he could not move.

His boots remained planted in the dirty snow, his eyes on the ghostly stick figures.

“What kind of sick game is this?” Spit spewed from his lips.

With a joker’s grin, the man let out a soft, menacing chuckle, “My dear sir, I assure you that this is no game,” the interior now completely exposed, “it is futile to resist. Give in, and fulfill your chosen purpose.”

The more Kurt tried to move his head, or even a leg, the louder the drumming grew in his chest. His face, red with sweat beads rolling down the sides, he opened his mouth and let out an anguished roar that only the trees heard.

Panting, Kurt closed his eyes, fighting back the hot tears, “wh-wh-who the hell are you?”

“The name is Reike,” the man pushed up on the hat’s lid revealing a taunt face that held eyes that were like coals, and a mark engraved in his forehead – of a full moon with an eye in its center.

“And your soul now belongs to me!”

Story written for the Mid-Week Flash Challenge

Heart (a Found poem) #Write28Days #Poetry

Pixabay Free Images

 

*Note: This form is called “found” and I’ve taken snippets from several of my favorite songs to create this particular poem.

 

Heart

 

is a hollow muscular organ 

influenced by hard rock and heavy metal 

 

pain 

shortness of breath 

 

You know something here just ain’t right

what about love?

 

Baby, don’t hurt me

don’t hurt me no more

 

Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals

but the scar, that scar remains

there’s nothing I can do

 

Total eclipse of the heart

 

Baby, I won’t shed a tear for you

I was such a fool

boy, I gave you all my heart and all you do is tear it up

 

We could have had it all,

but

this hollow heart of mine

is ringing out the song of hope

for I have

the heart of a fighter

 

I will survive

 

 

 

Dance (A Cento Poem)

by gillesgrimoin on DevianArt

 

 

Is that dance slowing in the mind of man

The head of a sleeping man

My mind was going numb –

I need a place to sing, and dancing-room,

Wrecked, solitary, here –

All night I have dreamed of destruction, annihilations —-

With blood

And then I heard them lift a Box

The deathly guests had not been satisfied

 

 

*Taken from the following poems:

Waking In Winter by Sylvia Plath

God Lay Dead In Heaven by Stephen Crane

I Felt A Funeral In My Brain by Emily Dickinson

The Dance by Theodore Roethke