Looks Like a Princess to Me

This was a draft from an old prompt. Don’t remember why I didn’t get around to posting this, but here it is. Enjoy.

Panicked, the man ran from rack to rack.
“Can I help you, Sir?” The clerk asked.
“I only looked away for a minute.”
“You’ve lost something?”
The man frantically wiped aside clothes on the nearby racks, looking underneath one. “Jackson!”
The clerk’s hands fluttered against her chest. “Oh my; shall I call security?”
“Jackson, I swear to God, when I get my hands on you.”
“I’m sure he’s close by, but threatening him won’t make him come out of hiding,” the clerk said, in a strained, high voice.
“Him?”
A look of confusion crossed the clerk’s face. “You said, Jackson. Aren’t we looking for a boy?”
The man rolled his eyes. “It’s a gender neutral name,” he said, moving to the next rack. “Haven’t you heard the latest, gender terms are offensive.”
“Offensive?” The clerk moved with him, scanning the area for a wandering child. “To whom?”
“Not to me,” he said, stopping abruptly, “It’s a family name.” A smile spread across his face. The clerk followed his gaze.
The child stood on the dressing stage in front of a large mirror. Tiny hands clutched her frilly pink dress, and dark brown curls bounced with each twirl.images
“She looks like a princess to me; all girl,” he said.

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I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and  Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Maybe You Don’t Need to Write Every Day

maxine-at-computerI was thrilled to read this post by Annie Scholl. I’ve struggled with the issue of writing daily for a long time. That wasn’t always the case. For years, I wrote every day. Whether  I wrote based on a prompt or on one of my many works in progress, stories filled the pages.

These days? I need someone to tie me to the chair and tape my hands to my laptop. Okay, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. I’m stuck.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been on medical leave and simply need to get back into a routine. Or, maybe I need to give myself permission not to write. It might serve me well to enjoy the things and people around me for a while. After all, it’s life events that often give us our best stories. So, check Annie’s post and give her a shout-out.

Take it Away Annie:

By Annie L. Scholl I’m not sure how I got the message that I had to write every day to be a “real” writer, but I’ll blame it on Julia Cameron and her book, The Artist’s Way. I read it when it came …

Source: Maybe You Don’t Need to Write Every Day

What about you? Do you write every day? I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Constant Change

This is a guest-post by K. Alan Leitch: another attempt to express what has been troubling me about the friction between creativity and social media. Please visit my blog for tips that have helped me to write, and look for  samples of my fiction from the menu of my projects page.

oceanThe ocean is constantly changing.

It churns millions of gallons between continents every year, and each cupful of water on one beach could well have visited another. Enslaved to tidal forces even greater than itself, movement and change are essential to the ocean; they keep the life underneath it thriving, and sculpt the land between it. A still ocean, one imagines, would surely herald a dying world.

Of course, the ocean isn’t all that changes. Timber wheels evolve into rockets so powerful that they break the force of the very gravity holding that ocean here, so that we can watch a privileged few explore the distant force of those tides. Literature changes, from just a few men being watched playing women on a small wooden stage, to women directing masterpieces that are watched on screens worldwide. And communication changes, too, perhaps most of all; a single letter that was once an act of true devotion is now a daily expectation, to be read and discarded with a swipe.

All the while, the ocean keeps churning, its water travelling the world and pausing only to freeze, for a time, near one pole or the other. Inky around life we have yet to discover, the ocean feels just as playful stippled with tattoos of sunlight at its surface. Millennia past the time that its depth began to vary, the ocean continues to vary it; those depths crush crust beneath it, and the shifts in that crust make it quake.

From some change in pride, though, we no longer allow ourselves to quake. The fears we once held—fears of heights, and of speed, and of demons—have been transferred to entertainment, with roller-coasters and cinemas the only places left we allow ourselves to scream. Where darkness once drove us to cower with our families, it now invites us out into cities to seek some sense of family from strangers. The only fear we have now—the only real fear, that we feel every day—also comes from a change in us.

Where most of us once feared being watched, we now crave it. We crave it so badly that we fear the moment it stops.

So we tweet shrilly when once we pondered, and our walls are now for posting instead of for privacy. We journal, and we blog, then we wait and we waver and we watch, until a message appears that makes us feel like someone might be watching us back. Our philosophy of existence has moved from ‘I think therefore I am,’ to believing that ‘I am’ only when the opinions that ‘I think’ appear on the devices of others. Thought has become the effect rather than the cause.

Still, the ocean keeps changing, too. That cupful of water that travelled and froze—then thawed, so it could travel again—has come all the way back to the beach where it started. The churning waves roam from the same deep blue across the same stripes of green as they shallow, foaming into the familiar bronzed shores that they always have.

Perhaps water doesn’t recognize where it is, where it’s been, or when it’s returned. Perhaps people don’t, either.

But the ocean, at least, is constant.

– More Words from K. Alan

 

Writer’s Block – Fact or Myth?

I realize the existence of writer’s block is controversial. Writers who’ve never experienced the phenomenon believe it’s as much a myth as the Loch ness monster or Bigfoot. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s real – at least for this old Southern gal.

Thank God, Rachel Harclerode agrees and in her guest post at Live, Write, Thrive, offers us, 9 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block.

I’ve tried a few of her suggestions, but I think numbers 3, 5, 6, and 9 speak to me. To find out more, hop on over to C.S. Lakin’s  Live, Write, Thrive  and check out all nine of Rachel’s suggestions.

photo bucket

photo bucket

Am I alone or do you suffer the occasional brain fart of writer’s block? What suggestions do you have? Share them, please.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

 

How to Cope With Life Stresses and Get Back to Writing


As an adolescent, whenever I began to feel overwhelmed, I’d take off for my secret hideaway – the Cow Pasture. I’d pour my heart out filling page after page in my journals about life’s injustices. You know all the kind adolescents experience –  mean teachers, homework, bratty younger siblings, a mother who shelled out discipline like an Army Sargent to new recruits, and of course, the heartache of first loves.

God, what I wouldn’t give to trade the stresses of today for those of long ago. The stresses now are more serious and personal and at times difficult to shrug off or get past. Sometimes they stop me in my tracks. My writing takes a dive. My muse packs her bag and gets out-of-town. Call me when you get your s&#% together, she says. A blank screen stares back at me until I give up and put my WIP aside. It’s time for a break, a breather, or plain old escape.

Now, I’m not a Pollyanna, type person. I’m well aware of the ups and downs of life and for the most part, have always worked through the tough times. The truth is for those of us getting older, facing health issues, among other things, it takes a bit longer to regroup. I understand time is not my friend. We can’t avoid all things life throws our way, but as a writer, if I didn’t want to leave projects unfinished,  I needed to develop a methodology for handling the kind of stress that takes me away from writing or worse robs me of the desire to write. I know I’m not alone in this struggle. Over the last month, I’ve given this lots of thought. Here’s a few of my suggestions.

10 Methods for Coping with Life Stresses
  1. Give yourself permission to take a break. It is okay to put your computer away for a time.
  2. Set a time limit on the break. Take a day, weekend, or vacation, but a timeframe will help get you back in the game when you’re ready.
  3. Enjoy the time like a kid at the end of the school year.
  4. During your break do something you enjoy – as in movies, family, friends, or nothing at all – chill out and focus on the moment.
  5. Give yourself permission to say “No,” and say it like you mean it. This time is your break, so do what you need to rejuvenate your mind and spirit.
  6. Don’t try to play catch-up when the break comes to an end; it’s a time waster. So, don’t fall into that trap; the world won’t end if you let a few things go.
  7. Reevaluate your writing goals and write them down.
  8. Work on one project at a time.
  9. Acknowledge you can’t be all things to all people – be what you need for you.
  10. And, last but certainly not least, limit your access to the time-sucking internet.

Meg Dowell in her post, Why Writing is Hard, at Ryan Lanz -The Writer’ Path, said it best:

“You have to be able to recognize when you’ve pushed yourself too far, back down, and then jump back into writing… That’s discipline. That’s resilience.” Meg Dowell Tweet This

How do you cope? I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.