Page A Day Results

There were thirty days in April and I wrote and published something on this blog for twenty-six of them.  It is amazing what a writer or any human being can do when they challenge themselves and make a commitment. But then again, that is the story that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves what we can and can not do. We place limits on ourselves and those we love.

If I give my students an open ended writing assignment, they automatically give themselves rules and limits.  The biggest one these days is that this or that is too much. It is the limit that I hate the most. If it gets the job done and puts you were you need to go then why is it too much? Why is it bad to work for something? The answer for many of the students is easy to see in their daily lives. They see people working and working and never getting a head, so why work?

That is a dangerous story, but a real one.

11051906_663114840460500_2886341314953390785_nThe big bad story I have told myself I don’t have enough time to write. This month, I took that story apart.

I didn’t make my goal of writing everyday, but most days I did write and it is that habit that I have to continue if I want to be a successful writer. No if ands or buts about it, to be a writer you have to write. To be a successful one you have to continue to write, even when I’m busy or sick.  (Yesterday, I slept most of the day and wrote for a couple of hours in the office before going back to bed.)

I have been afraid to let go of some aspects of my life. The security that I have built for myself in my tiny house. In the three jobs that I hold down and the family and loved ones who support me. In the piles of books that surround me in nearly every room of my house.  In short, I have been afraid of change.

Change is always coming for us.  Always, so it is time to stop huddling under the covers and get going.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

Scattered

There are clothes tossed about the floor. My clothes, my floor,my bedroom floor. This isn’t the way things should be. This isn’t how I live or how I have been living for the last three years. Things get picked up and put away. Everything in order. My sleeping chamber a place of peace and tranquility. My haven within a haven.

Now everything is scattered about. Trashed. It isn’t so much the clothes. Although they are annoying, more annoying are the shoes. How is it that shoes never make their way back into my closet. They have homes there. Each and everyone of them a place, a home of its own. Still they are constantly wondering about. Just like the clothes now adorning the floor.

But I just can’t think with the smell you create. It makes me want to flee every time I come home.Into the room, I dash as soon as I get home spaying air freshener and get out of my work clothes. Then I drag  myself back out to the shed and get the machete.

Everyday, I chopped another bit of you off.  It has been quite difficult to dismantle you this way. I’ve had to boil some of you and break the bigger parts down with a hammer. Most days I am so tired afterwards, I barely have time to scrap you out from under my nails before bed. But rest assured, you won’t be a bother for much longer another couple weeks and I will have my room back and you will be returned to the earth. One doggie bag at a time.

Sometimes I….

Sometimes I write bad poetry and sometimes I write stories that don’t make sense.

Sometimes I just write and write for hours in my head. Lately, I have been working really hard to set a schedule up for myself and it hasn’t been working really well.  I did good up until last Thursday and then I fell off the writing wagon last Thursday and didn’t get back to it until today. Writers must write and they have to write things that sometimes scare them and push the boundaries. Something that I haven’t done a lot of in my own writing. I have tried to stick to safe topics so as not to offend people especially the people I love.

I have tried to be a pillar of strength, but really feel most days like I am falling apart and the duct tape isn’t sticking anymore.  This past weekend, I looked back after a phone call from Momma and my sister, Tish, that I realized that my strength doesn’t come from being strong, but each and every time I got myself back up and kept going.

So I am back at it, but with a difference. I am going to write the stories I see around me. The ones that have been pleading with me to finish them. The ones that scare me.  I will be finishing my April Page A Day posts and then going back to work on next book along with other projects. I want to have it finished by the end of summer and begin the editing process.  There are two or three more books, I have notes for but I am going to focus on the one that began this journey.

 

Testing Cycle

Stuff knowledge into their heads

cramp it in there until their eyes

beg you to stop

plead with you to let them up for air

then review, review and review

some more

because they have to know it

they have to know it all

and then stuff some more into their head

Make sure they know their subjunctive clauses

from their subordinate clauses

how and when to use a semicolon

what a colonoscopy

and how an author’s background shaped

his choice of dessert or

the fifth word in the second stanza

they want to learn

need to know how to think

so the next command is to

challenge

but not too much

or too little

Shove them into rooms filled

computer screens

and cardboard blinders

put headphones on their minds

and figurative corks in their mouths

pray that they will rise to be wizards

and sorcerers of knowledge

let the scent of vapor cream

pry their sleep exhausted anxiety riddled minds away

for a ninety minute knowledge dump

because everything is riding on

an assessment

when they finish

prep them for the next one

rinsing and repeating until the end of school.

The end of the line, no more changes

chances or extra turns

no more thoughts of redemption

last minute saves

you used all the rope that you have been given

used it up tying knots to keep yourself from falling

but you keep slipping further and further behind

you need to save face and do what you got to do

things just pile up and weigh you down

you never get a head and everything ounce of dust

that lands on you is the one that breaks

more than camel’s back

better get going

cause the good has already got gone

Back to the Grind (April Page 20)

Did you know that it is time to get up?
Did you know that it is time to get up?

Drag yourself out of bed, just two minutes after the alarm and everything starts moving. The dogs begin with their tails beating the floor until they are wound up enough to get them on their feet.  This can take any where from five minutes to thirty second depending on how long it takes your feet to hit the ground.

They wander around you as you stumble forth to the bathroom or kitchen. It doesn’t matter. They just want you to go towards the door.  If you take too long they may gently bump you to guide you where you need to go.

The daily grind always begins with the click, clack, click, click, clack of paws on payment and waving of puppy dog tails. Sometimes they have to pull you down the steps. Sometimes you go as partners, but always you go.

A New Day Another Page (April Page 19)

It seems like today is going to be a two page day since yesterday’s page was published today by accident, sorry. A page a day and no excuses. Next month, I plan to continue this exercise until it becomes a habit and that habit become the next book.

One thing I also need to do is organize my home office aka the dinning room so it works better as an office, not just a dumping ground. So a new book case and maybe a new vacuum if the old one can’t be fixed. My office needs to be a place where I can work and if I can’t work there then I will go to a bookstore or a park.

There will be lists of chores, a bad days, colds and family events and everyday I will need to sit down and write. Everyday I will sit down and write. It is the only way, I can be a better writer and a successful writer. I need to write and I will write.

This week is the last of a series of hard weeks where my weekends disappeared in the blink of an eye. Math class on Saturday, second job on Sunday and back to work on Monday. Monday’s and Wednesday’s are my long days so I write and write in between my classes.

A friend reminded me over and over that I did it. I am a published author and that is an amazing thing. I put my energy into writing the next book and the one after that and the one after that.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

Not A Real Family (April Page 18 )

He’s not your real father.  So don’t expect him to care. She’s not your real kid so don’t expect her to love you. Step-kids aren’t really kids. And Step-parents are just playing a game that they can stop at any time.

But my Papa loves me. He shows me everyday and has always got my back.

Years ago, Papa made a choice to be a father to my siblings and myself. He didn’t have to do it as I have said many times before, but he did and we are a stronger family for it.   My sister and I needed him in more ways than we can count.

Our birth father is a good man, just not an emotional one. He loves us in his own way.  Sometimes however that way is toxic to his children who want love without judgment and strings. Believe when I tell you that your kids need your love more than anything else. They need to show them how to love, how to maintain healthy relationships and how to stick with it.  They also need forgiveness and second and third chances. They need to be told no a times as well.

I know my birth father loves me and is proud of me, but there is a seed of doubt in me when it comes to accepting that it is real.

With my Papa, there is no doubt. None at all.

Last night, I was blessed to be able to take my parents out to dinner for Papa’s birthday which was earlier this week.  It was a new level of adulthood, paying for their dinner without them fretting at me.  Momma told me how proud he was of what I wrote on Tuesday and that he was going to take a copy of it to the family reunion. Some of our northern family has told him that stepchildren aren’t real kids. They have even gone so far as to tell my Papa that we will abandon him if something happens to Momma.

My sister and I aren’t going anywhere. His grandkids, his grandkids, will not abandon him. He is family and he has made us a strong family by supporting us, guiding us and loving us unconditionally.

It is sad that some people have to hate on the happiness of others. I know that our family is unique and not every blended family is like ours, but we work and we are happy. In the end, isn’t that all that should matter.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

Character Sketch (April Page a Day)

I am a coward. It is clear and there is no way to escape it. I am a coward and the people I love ignore it. No wants to admit that their relative has the spine of a jellyfish.  The coward you know, the coward who does make any waves and lives the life you expect.

Of  course, they encourage my cowardliness. You need to be careful. You shouldn’t take that risk. Or that one. Always have a back up plan.  Are you sure about that? Well, have you thought about this or that? Do you really need to do that ? Wear that ? Or be so bold ? bossy? pushy? Overbearing?

Day after day, I wake up and get dressed in my cowardly apparel.  Dress pants, a tasteful shirt, heels not too high or too short and jewelry adding just a hint of personality.  Get along and move along. Just be yourself, but not too much yourself.  Break the mold, just …

Just it is too much to be this way and too much to let go and walk away. It is all too much.

I break and then I tape myself back together again.

Day in and day out, I do it over and over again, living this prescribed life, searching for the meme that is going to set me free.

Remembrance Day

I will wear my school colors today, because to today is Remembrance Day at Virginia Tech.  In 2007, a student went on a violent rampage killing 32 people and then himself.  It was a horrible day.  The peaceful Virginia Tech campus was shattered and the world’s eyes focused in on Tech.

I am proud to say that I believe that my school rose to the occasion and showed the world what it means to believe in something more than yourself, to be a part of a community and to mourn as a community. Today is a reminder that sometimes you can’t prevent bad things, but you don’t have to let destroy you or define you.

Acknowledge it. Mourn and let yourself live.

Living is the only way to honor the dead.