Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Life Plan

I've been working on this list since Christmas which means a lot of thought has gone into it. This is not just a list of resolutions for 2011, but things that I will continue to do indefinitely.

I know many people make resolutions and by February or March have totally forgotten about them. I've been guilty of that numerous times. All of these things are realistic and doable. These are things that I have been doing but not consistently, which has been a major problem for me. Sometimes I allow work and the act of trying to relieve stress keep me from doing what I need to do for myself and my son. Balance is the key, and I am determined to get balance in my life.

1. Actively seek higher position at work.
2. Spend at least one hour a day on house work.
3. Start and stick to an exercise routine.
4. Eat and drink healthier.
5. Create and stick to a budget.
6. Finish at least one of my novels in progress.
7. Write at least one blog post a week.
8. Keep car maintenance current.
9. Prepare for Donovan's education.
10. Use leisure time more wisely.

I complain a lot about my job but I'm not really doing everything I can to make a change. This year I will start taking advange of the free online training that my job offers. I will also check the job postings every week and apply for every position that I'm interested in, not worrying about how many people that I feel may be more qualified. I might get lucky.

I've always hated house work, ever since I was a teenager. I mean I love the smell of a clean house and I love being able to get a plate of food without having to wash the plate first. The thing is, I just wish I had someone else to do it, or at least help a sister out. But since it's only me and the kid I have to make time every day to get things done.

"An elephant is stout," my dad used to say. And sometimes I feel like I'm on my way to being a baby elephant. I've gained more than a hundred pounds in the last 13 and it's driving me nuts. On occasion, I go through exercise phases but once I've lost 20 to 30 pounds, I end up dropping the ball. Of course I end up finding the lost pounds and few of their friends. SMH

Exercise won't help much if I keep making McDonald's and Burger King richer, so I'm going to have to start eating better. I'll never be able to totally leave fast food alone, but I can always make better food choices. I can treat myself to some utterly useless food as a treat for a job well done every once in awhile but should get right back on track. Sodas are also a big issue that I need to cut back on. I don't drink nearly as much water as I should and I'm sure those empty soda calories have contributed to my weight gain.

I've had budgets before and pretty much stuck to them over the years but the last three or so years, I've been slinging money all willie nillie and my bank account is suffering. "A fool and his money are soon parted." is another saying that my dad uses a lot concerning my siblings and other relatives. I'm afraid to tell him that I fall in that category as well.

My home office and dresser drawers are filled with three novels in progress and several short story ideas and first drafts of poems. I am determined to finish at least one of the novels by October before I begin to prepare for another NaNoWriMo, which will add yet another unfinished piece of work to the list.

With this blog and the one at, I should have a much larger cyberspace presence. But since I haven't even uploaded one blog post a month, no one but my high school chums, co-workers, and a few Twitter and Facebook friends even know that I write. I plan to do something about that in the very near future.

My break light has been on for a month and since I can still stop without scaring myself to death, I haven't done anything about it. Not a good thing I'm sure. You would think a person with a white car would have sense enough to keep it clean, but unfortunately I don't. If it wasn't for the kid rubbing his little hands on the car, it would probably be gray. Plus I have a habit of eating in the car on the way to work or on the way home and don't always throw my trash away once I've gotten to my destination. So not good when it's my turn to drive everyone to lunch.

The little dude of the house will be turning 4 in May so it is definitely time for him to go to somebody's school and learn how to get along with kids his age. He's been around grandparents, pre-teens and teens since he's been in the world so he only knows how to rough house. I'm sure I'll have to stay by the phone for the first few weeks until he realizes that he can't put his hands on every kid he comes in contact with. D is a smart kid though. He can count and read a little (mostly fast food signs), he knows his colors and most of his shapes. Once I teach him how to spell his name he'll be all set, if he can sit his hyper butt down long enough.

I must admit--My name is Susie and I am addicted to Facebook games. From the time I walk into the door from picking up D, until I can barely hold my eyes open before I drag myself to bed, I am gaming. Cityville, Farmville, Frontierville.... The list goes on and on but I'm gonna have to get myself together and limit my game playing.

When I incorporate all of the other points, the last one will be a no brainer. I won't have the time or energy to spend hours playing games and getting frustrated when I run out of coins.

So here's my list. What do you hope to accomplish in the coming year and beyond?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Day After

This Christmas wasn't all that eventful. D got a bunch of toys that are already on their last leg and daddy and I stuffed our faces until he fell asleep and I sat comatose on the couch. My baby sister and neice were at their moms' houses so I left their presents with my dad. Dad's laptop came two weeks ago so he wasn't expecting anything else--and I didn't have anything else to give him. And since I had already opened the presents I got from my co-workers, there was nothing for me under the tree.

I'm thinking next year--if I don't have a boyfriend--I may leave D with my dad and go out of town for Christmas. I'm not sure how my dad would feel about that but I'll run it by him and see what he says. I haven't left the tri-state area (Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas) in more than a year and I'm getting antsy. My friends Janel (@soulwindow), Shannon (@youngshay112 ) and I may catch a flight to Vegas next year. Although I'm not sure if that's a good idea with the airports being so crowded around this time of year. But of course that will be just part of the experience. (shrug)

Tomorrow will be my first day back to work in almost a week and I am not looking forward to it. I feel like a kid that hates to go back to school after Christmas because they have no cool clothes or toys to show their friends. Maybe next year will be better.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Tomorrow is the last work day for many of my co-workers until the new year. This time of year brings parties galore. Some work groups choose to have their goodies in the conference rooms at work, others plan to meet up at local bars, clubs and eateries. I love the holidays!
We drew names a few weeks ago so tomorrow we will be exchanging gifts. As funny as money has been for my family, this will probably be the only present that I get (that I didn't buy for myself).
My manager isn't going to be at work, so I'm celebrating with one and possibly two of the teams in my department. It's all good to me. I had started making handmade cards but they look too plain to me. Some of my peers have displayed the cards I made for them last year so I would hate to disappoint them with something less than my very best. (I'll save my craftiness for Valentine's.)
Since I am a people watcher, much of the goings on will probably end up in one of my stories some where down the line. Especially if I go to the party where alcohol will be served--LOL. I look forward to seeing how the margaritas will loosen the tongues of some of my co-workers.
Do you celebrate with your co-workers? If so, what are your plans and do things usually turn
out great or not so much?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Should I Blog About

I have two blogs but I don't post on a regular basis on either one of them. There's plenty of material in my various notebooks that I can post to, ain't nothing to it but to do it. On the other hand, coming up with things to blog about here is where my dilemma lies. During National Novel Writing Month (, I talked about my novel writing progression (or lack thereof). From December to October, my posts are few and and far between.

To get my creative writing juices flowing, I've decided that I want to participate in National Blog Posting Month ( Since there isn't any specific month that this challenge takes place, I figured February was as good a month as any. Not only because it is the shortest month (which means only 28 posts) but because I should be able to come up with something interesting to talk about with Valentine's Day, my birthday and the anniversary of my mother's death all taking place during that month. I may even write about my baby sister, who was born a couple of weeks before my 25th birthday (Yeah, I'm old enough to be her mom). On those dates where nothing significant happened, I'm sure I will be at a loss for words. To avoid that fiasco, I've been Googling blog topics and trying to decide what else I could talk about to inform yet entertain my readers.

Here's the list of blogs that I found that provided a wealth of topics to choose from.

Even though these sites are written from the prospective of people in several different fields, they all pretty much give you the same advice-in so many words-write about what interests you. A lot of things interest me (writing, crafting, technology, and education), but I'll just have to come up with a way to write about my ideas in a way that won't make my readers fall asleep or wonder--"What the heck is Susie talking about?"

Help a sister out...
What do you blog about? Does your blog have a particular theme or do you just write about whatever tickles your fancy?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28 Shaking My Head

My current word count is 28,368 which is quite a long ways from 50,000. With two days left, I'm hoping for a miracle and a spike in my creative juices. Write or Die has been very helpful the last few days, I just wish I had been using it since day one.

My Twitter friend and fellow Nanoer @ganymeder has already exceeded the 50,000 word goal. I asked her what her secret was and she said, "Just break my daily word count into 500 word chunks-2500 daily M-F & weekends off. Plus I eat my veggies." I thought that was great advice. Since it's a little too late in the game to try that, I will definitely keep that in mind for next year's NaNo and possibly for JulNoWriMo as well.

As I mentioned in one of my tweets last night, even though things look bleak, I'm going to continue to add to my word count until the clock strikes 12 midnight on November 30.

This has been a wild ride and I really hope to do a better job of preparing for next year's challenge.

If you've already met the 50,000 word goal, let us know what your secret is. If you are still chugging along, do you think you will make it? If you feel that there's no way in heck that you'll meet the goal (as do I) let us know what your weak spots were and how you plan to work around them next time.

As always...Happy NaNo-ing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 Feeling More Confident

Good thing I'm not writing with a typewriter. As much as I mess up, I wouldn't have any ribbon or paper.

I took JanFlora's advice and wrote a little on Write or Die. It did help quite a bit. Write or Die helped me to keep in mind that it didn't matter that whatever I was writing wasn't perfect, I just had to write something.

Victoria Mixon's advice was to spend a whole day outlining the rest of my novel, which is what I did yesterday. I added a few paragraphs to my total word count, but I was mostly trying to get all of my scenes and chapters in order, thanks to Scrivener for Windows.

Since I know exactly what I want to happen for the remainder of the book, today I was able to push out 2,338 words. I'm still about 6,400 words behind, but I feel confident that I'm going to catch up and win this thing.

Thanks for all of the great advice and support.

Happy NaNo-ing!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12 What's really going on?

Last November 12th, I was at a little over 20,000 words. This year, I'm at 13,937. (Shaking my head)

It was my intention to share my daily word count and my life happenings throughout the month of November, but have fallen short because I have been ashamed of my paltry word count.

This year's NaNoWriMo has been really hectic for me. I anticipated this going in, but I was and still am determined to participate and win this competition.

When the month began, I had numerous computer problems, but thank God and all of the angels that I was able to get a new one. Of course now my problem is either not having the time, energy, or ideas to put anything on paper. Kind of crazy all the way around, right?

The last few days, I have had all kinds of off days to catch up on my word count. I have been kinda slacking, but don't slap my hand because the free time isn't over just yet. With three weekends and one more holiday between now and November 30, I should be flying across the finishline like my pants are on fire.

According to the NaNoWriMo website, I would have to write 2007 words a day from now on to finish on time. If I continue at the average words per day that I'm shooting out (1162), I won't finish until December 14. This to me is losing. Losing is not an option, so 2000+ a day is what I'm going to have to push out.

If you're having issues, please share how you are handling them.

If you are on or ahead of schedule, please provide a few pointers for the rest of us.

But no matter what...

Happy NaNo-ing!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three

I got a chance to do a little research for my story during my lunch break. Finally, I also got the chance to order my new computer. Hopefully I'll be using a trouble-free PC within the next week or two.
Once I got to my dad's house to pick up D, I began staring at the Twitter screen on my phone, wondering why my followers kept dwindling. Of course that wasn't helping me get any writing done, so I put the phone down and grabbed my notebook and pen. Then I began wondering how much Spanish I could include in my novel without irritating my English speaking readers. Should I translate every phrase? I have to, I thought, because my main character's Spanish is pretty limited so she would always be trying to translate in her mind before responding.

When I got home, I read through my notes while my nutty laptop did it's thing. CHKDSK scan, spyware update, etc.
Finally, I began typing and by 11:02 pm I had hit 1675 and I was through for the night. It was time for my nightly treat for a job well done--Facebook games!!
How are you doing so far?
If you want to be my NaNo buddy, add me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two of NaNoWrimo 2010

I was too exhausted to write this morning before work. Not surprisingly, I couldn't write on my lunch break because my manager had me hemmed up in her office most of the day.

I did get a chance to read a NaNo tip that talked about making a writing soundtrack. For example, if you're writing a romance, you should make a list of love songs. Since I'm writing about criminals, I'm gonna have to pull out the hip hop. May be a tad bit of R&B for the steamy sex scenes. LOL

I didn't feeling like setting up in the kitchen so I dealt with the kid jumping on me while I typed. I made it to 1,700 even though I wanted to make it to 2000. Maybe tomorrow.

How did your second day of NaNoWriMo go?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One NaNoWriMo 2010

The plan was to starting NaNo-ing at midnight but I had to put the kid to bed first. I woke up after he fell asleep, I didn't even look at the clock because I was sure it was time to get started but I was exhausted.

When my first alarm went off at 5:45 am, I grabbed my notes and laptop and propped up in the bed. I was hammering away when my second alarm went off at 6:00 am. I had gotten in 344 words by the time my third and final alarm went off at 6:17 am.

I've been struggling with the title for book for a week now but I'm going to leave it alone until about the 25th. I should have a better idea of what the title should be by then.

You wouldn't believe how many times I wanted to pull out my notes while I was at work but I had to let it be. I just glanced at my notebook on the edge of my desk every so often.

After getting off work, and paying a few bills, I picked up D from my dad's house and headed home.

While my laptop took it's time booting up, I located my thumb drive and got my notes together. I was trying to set up shop in my bedroom, well more specifically on my bed. Unfortunately, D had decided that he wanted my back to be his trampoline, so I had to more to the kitchen table. I made a note to self to clean up office by shoving all of the clutter covering the floor into the storage room under the carport.

I had to save everything I had written earlier to my thumb drive while my computer was in safe mode. It had just refused to cooperated under the normal mode.

I wanted to test out the Scrivener software but decided against it. Microsoft Word was already giving me problems I couldn't stand dealing with anything else.

After saving in safe mode, I rebooted to normal mode and still wasn't able to pull up the document. Not willing to be outdone, I rebooted the computer again and returned to safe mode. The stupid cursor kept jumping around the document but I was able to get the job done. For about 30 minutes. I thank God that the system asked me if I wanted to save my document before it kicked me out. So I rebooted and added a note to the calendar on my phone to make sure I remember to order a new computer tomorrow.

I had to kick D out of the kitchen several times, threatening to put him to bed early if he didn't let mommy work.

By 8:37 pm, I had finally made it to 2025. Which gave me a little cushion in case I fell short one day. Hopefully, day two will gross another 2000+ as well.

What a day!!

What obstacles were you able to overcome to meet your NaNoWriMo quota for today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

This year's NaNoWriMo is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. Why?? Well, I'm a day person so by the time 5 or 6 pm rolls around, it's hard for me to get creative. Last year I worked noon to 8:30 pm, so I did my writing early in the morning before work.

Another difference between this year and last year is that I was in school and I was in the habit of writing an essay every two weeks. Since I'm not in school, I really haven't written much of anything on a regular besides emails. So I've got to get back in the groove.

I have been thinking about how I could get in as much writing as possible, here are a few of my ideas.
  • I could wake up an hour earlier every day and write a few hundred before heading to work.
  • Writing during my breaks and lunch will be good when my co-workers aren't pulling me in one direction or another.
  • I'll also attempt to write more on Saturdays and Sundays so I won't run the risk of getting behind schedule.

This will be my second year participating in NaNoWriMo and I'm both excited and scared at the same time. I wish all the participants luck and hope to see you at the finish line.

Happy NaNo-ing!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Satisfied Customer

As promised, here is part two to "Scrambling for a Scrapbook".

After that close call with thinking that I had lost the scrapbook and materials, I immediately got down to the business of completing both books as soon as possible. Visiting Michael’s, one of my favorite craft stores, and getting more craft supplies really got my creative juices to flowing.

I had never used stamping in my projects, so I invested in some ink pads and acrylic stamps. Of course, I also bought plenty of themed stickers to match the photos and articles that I would be putting in the books.

Once I had completed the first scrapbook, with the photos, I emailed Kevin several times telling him to come to my desk to get it. When he didn’t respond, I walked over to his desk with the book and told him that I would be finished the second one the following week.

“Well, you might as well wait until you finish the other one, whenever that will be,” Kevin said.

I didn’t say anything, because I had already made enough false promises to him, and I refused to make anymore. I would just do the best that I could and hope that he was satisfied with the results.

The following Sunday, I loaded most of my supplies in a luggage bag and my son and I went to see my dad. Daddy would be able to fill some of the demands of my toddler, who always seemed to need me when I was in the middle of something. In between letting the kid stick his finger in one of the ink pads and bribing him to leave me alone with a few stickers; I finally got everything that would fit into that scrapbook without making the binding pop. There were a few items left, so I bagged them up.

I really hoped that Kevin would like what I had done. The thought of wasting all of that time and going through those guilt trips for something that he hated would have floored me.

On Monday, I skipped the email routine and went to Kevin’s desk to let him know I was finished. We went to my desk grabbed both of his books and went outside to my car. We sat in my car and I watched Kevin flip through the pages slowly, silently evaluating ever item. At first he wasn’t saying anything, and then he began to mumble and grunt. He was driving me nuts because I couldn’t tell if he was happy or pissed. When got to the last page of the second book, I held my breath. Then he turned to me and smiled. A wave of relief washed over me and I almost hugged him. I began apologizing for taking so long as he put both of the books in the bag. Kevin began to shake his head.

“Girl, I love these books. You couldn’t rush this, you put a lot of work into them and I thank you,” then he reached in his pocket and handed me $40. “So when are you going to get another book so you can put what’s left over in them?” I giggled thinking he had to be joking. But Kevin didn’t smile. Oh boy, I thought, not again.

“Relax, next time we’ll decide together when would be a good time for you,” he said. I thanked him for his business and watched my satisfied customer walk to his car and put his books in the backseat.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence 2010

D and I had a very good 4th of July weekend. Saturday, we took a trip to Mud Island, a theme park/museum in downtown Memphis. I probably took about 65 pictures that I’m going to put in a scrapbook before the summer is over. We walked around that place for about 2 ½ hours, and my thighs still feel the effects of it.

I loved the historical displays that were in the museum. D tried to climb up on everything, and I kept snatching him back down. Some of that stuff was more than 100 years old, I didn’t have any money to repair or replace anything up in there.

We tried to take a paddle boat ride but I was afraid we would tilt over because I’m so big and D’s so little. I was gonna take the chance anyway but he got to wiggling and there were no seat belts on the thing to strap him in so we got off. He cried for about 5 minutes, until I thrust a juicy hotdog in front of him. Then he was all smiles.

Sunday, we spent most of the day at my dad’s house, stuffing our faces. D, my niece and little sister worked their gluttony off in the trampoline. Dad took a nap and I talked shhh until it was time for D and I to go downtown for the fireworks display. We lollygagged around for about 1 ½ until the show started at 10. D made a friend that I hoped wouldn’t turn into an enemy after he practiced some kind of karate chop on him. The fireworks display only lasted seven minutes, but we got encore performances from people in the various neighborhoods that we traveled through on our way back home.

My dad’s birthday was the 5th, but since we had already given him his cards and gifts on Sunday, D and I decided to hang around the house. We took turns using the laptop until we fell asleep on top of the covers because guess what? The A/C was not working. We slept nice with the bathroom window open since there was no screen on the one in my bedroom.

I’m supposed to return to work today, but I don’t wanna. My boss is supposed to be off all this week so I guess I could go in and clean my desk off a little—maybe.

All in all this has been an excellent holiday weekend. I’m sure D would agree.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Scrambling for a Scrapbook

This week's StoryCraft challenge was to use an ordinary incident from my life to write a 500-1000 word piece which taps into the reader's emotions and gives us a payoff at the end. The more banal the incident, the more kudos to you for making it riveting! Let me know what emotions you get from this story. I felt a number of things myself.

Now, I have been making scrapbooks since I was pregnant with my son in 2007, so I have gotten pretty good at it. I mean not Martha Stewart fancy, but I do all right. It is so much fun trying to find stickers and whatnot to go along with the theme of the photos I have taken.

November of 2008, Kevin, one of my co-workers, asked me to make a scrapbook for him after seeing some of my work. Up until that time, I had only been making scrapbooks for myself and as birthday or retirement presents for my friends. Kevin became my first paying customer.

Kevin didn’t bring me his photos until February or March of 2009, sometime after the Super Bowl. I remember that because he wanted to include articles of his team winning. At that time I was waist high in homework, house work, motherly work, and work-work, so I had very little time to dedicate to his scrapbook. But I promised Kevin I would make time. Every time he saw me, he inquired about my progress.

“Do you need any money for anything?” he asked one afternoon.

“Well, I was at the craft store and found this nice book that I think you would like.”

“How much is it?”

“I think it’s about $25 but I’ll double check.”

“Well, here’s $20,” he said, pulling the money out of his pocket. “If you need any more let me know.”

“I sure will. I’ll bring you the receipt when I get it.”

“That’s fine.”

The next week, Kevin asked if I had gotten the scrapbook I had told him about. I told him that I hadn’t gotten a chance to get to the craft store but that I would definitely go that week, which I did. So when he came to ask about the book again. I handed him the book and the receipt. He gave me another $10 and told me when I needed more to let him know.

It took maybe a month for me to call his cell to tell him about some design ideas that I had. He told me what he liked or thought we could do without then we ended the call. Another month went by before I brought him the book with only a third complete.

“I like it. So, how much longer do you think it will take? I have some newspaper clippings that I would like for you to add.”

“It won’t be too much longer. Just bring me what you want added. I may have to buy another book for the articles, but I’ll bring you a receipt like I did the last time.”
“Okay,” he said.
I could tell he was sick of me giving him the run around. I really felt bad that it was taking me months to do what used to take a couple of weeks at the most. During my Christmas vacation, I was able to put a nice dent in my work in progress, but when school resumed, I fell behind.
Now, a year later, I’m still not finished with the book and Kevin is getting antsy. Last week I told him that I would complete the first scrapbook this week during my vacation. He looked skeptical but he nodded and walked away.

Last night, I tore up my storage room/home office trying to find Kevin’s scrapbooks and materials. All I found was the empty b I had bought for the articles, but the one with the pictures were nowhere to be found. When I was packing for the move to my new place, I just knew I put his stuff in a bag by itself so it wouldn’t get messed up. But the bag wasn’t in the room, or in any of the closets. I had changed cars since then, so it wasn’t in the trunk. Kevin was going to kill me and I couldn’t blame him.

I called his cell phone a few times, but didn’t leave a voice mail. If he was going to yell and curse me out, I would have rather do that on the phone, so by the time I went back to work he would just be rolling his eyes at me. Since I didn’t have his work extension, I called my friend Keisha, who used to date him. I told her about losing the book and the pictures. Keisha told me to look through the stuff in the room again just in case I had overlooked it.

“But, it’s not here. I looked everywhere. He’s gonna be mad isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he really wanted that book,” Keisha said.

“I know and he’s been so patient. What am I gonna do?”

“Just look again, that’s the only thing I can tell you.”

“Something told me to scan those pictures, just in case…”

“See, you should have followed your first mind.”

“I know. You know what? Maybe I left Kevin’s stuff at the old house.”

“Girl, you know you should have cleaned that house up before you left.”

“It’s not like that; I mean I think I forgot to put it in the car when I was moving. The house is still vacant. I’m gonna go by there tomorrow and see if it’s still there.”

“You didn’t turn in the keys?”

“The landlord didn’t ask for them. She lives in California. I figured she would have someone here change the locks or something. I’ll go by there just in case.”

And guess what? The locks hadn’t been changed. As soon as I opened the door, I saw the bag with Kevin’s scrapbook and clippings laying on the room floor right where I had left them, two months ago. Lord have mercy!

I will definitely have the first scrapbook complete and the second one halfway done by Tuesday when I return to work. Never will I ever take on another project that I know I can’t handle.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poetry for Your Senses

I finally got a chance to launch the poetry blog that I had been talking about for months. The name of it is Poetry for Your Senses. I chose that name because I like to write pieces that appeal to the readers 5 sensory senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) as well as their common sense.

Before deciding to create Poetry for Your Senses, I had mostly posted my work on MySpace, Facebook and a few here on this blog. Sometimes I even tweeted a few lines just to see what type of response I would get (It was favorable, I might add.)

The subject matters of my poems are basically the same as my other writing: relationship, family, friendship, and of course the love of writing.

Some of the poems on the blog will come from my book, See What I See, and the others from a work in progress titled, How Does It Feel. I would love to know what you think of my poetry so please, feel free to comment. All feedback is good feedback in my book.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting His Way

This week's flash fiction challenge was to write a short story using nothing but dialogue. This is something I've never done before. Let me know how you think it turned out.

“Hey baby,” I said to my two year old son.
“Did you give Granddaddy a hard time today?”
“No no. We watch TV. SpongeBob. Cowboy picture.”
“Well, that’s good,” I said walking into Dad’s room.
“Hey Daddy, how did Don act today?”
“Aw, you that lil’ rascal don’t bother me. He was just being a typical boy.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Ha-ha, aw that boy all right.”
“Mommy, mommy,” Don yelled pulling on my sleeve. “I love you soooo much!”
“Uh huh, I love you too. What do you want?”
“Mommy, you want some Subway meatball?”
“That boy half ate the food I cooked earlier. He ain’t gone do nothing be waist your money,” Dad said.
“I ain’t gone waist it on the floor, Granddaddy, I’m a eat it.”
“Well girl, it’s up to you, but he ain’t gone do nothing but mess over it.”
“Don, why didn’t you eat all of your food today?”
“It was nasty. I throwed up.”
“He didn’t throw up, he only ate part of it and I gave the rest of to the dog.”
“Well, since he’s still hungry, I’ll buy him some chicken nuggets.”
“I don’t want no chicken nuggets. I want Subway meatball.”
“Well, you’re getting a chicken nugget Happy Meal. I don’t care what you say.”
“I don’t want it!”
“Well, I’m gonna play with your toy and I’m not gonna let you play with it.”
“I want my toy, Mommy,” Don says falling out in the floor.
“See, that boy only cuts up like that with you. Women ruin children.”
“Well, if he doesn’t eat it, I’ll eat it.”
“Don, you’re going to have to start eating all of your food. You know I can’t keep buying food for you when granddaddy has already fed you.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Well, what didn’t you like?”
“All he wants to eat is meat. That boy is gone be big as a hog if he keeps eating like that.”
“I eat corn and tater tots…” Don said.
“Boy tater tots ain’t no vegetable!” Dad said.
“…and beans and rice and barbecue…”
“Don, you remember the salad we ate the other day? That’s what Granddaddy is talking about.”
“I like bell peppers and onion and cucumber…”
“That’s it! See Daddy, he likes vegetables, just certain kinds.”
“…and tomatoes and pickles…”
“Don, we get it!” I said.
“Mommy, you want some Subway meatball?”
“Boy, you silly. Come on, let’s try to get there before they close.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Visit

Photo credit: copyright Danielle Ruschena, 2009

This is the second flash fiction challenge from @Story_Craft. The challenge was to write a piece about, or from the POV of a character inspired by our choice of four photos. I chose the one above. I hope you enjoy.

It’s really beautiful here. My best friend has found himself a wonderful paradise to live in. I’m on my way to see him for the first time in 10 long years. The scenery along this road is so inviting that I want to just pull over and take off running through the trees. I contain my excitement and continue on to my destination.

I had run into Shonn’s cousin, Tyrone, in Wal-Mart six months ago, and he said that Shonn had been looking for me. Then he gave me Shonn’s email address and phone number. When I called my friend, he sounded really excited, as if life had really turned out great for him. I’m happy about that because even though Shonn was always good at hiding it, I knew there was always something on his mind that he wasn’t comfortable sharing with me. I respected his privacy, but I still couldn’t help wondering what the big secret was.

As I approach the lovely home, that Shonn had sent me several pictures of, I see an attractive very well dressed woman standing on the porch. My friend had not told me that there was a woman in his life. I actually felt a pang of jealousy.

I park and get out of the car with a fake smile pasted on my face. She meets me at the car and grabs my bag. Her smile is a lot more genuine. There’s something very familiar about this woman, but I’m sure I had never met her.

“Nikki, I’m so glad you came,” she says embracing me, tightly like my friend used to. When we part, I take a closer look at this stranger—her face, her hands, her body. Damn.


“I go by Shontell now.”

Her strong arms catch me before I hit the ground.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


During this week's Twitter chat with @Story_Craft, writers were challenged to write a Flash Fiction story from the point of view of an inanimate object. Since we could choose any topic, other than animals, I chose one of my favorite things--Magaritas. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Being popular isn’t always a good thing, although there’s never a dull moment. People go in search of me at their favorite restaurants and bars after a long day at the office or whatever job they have that makes them need a liquid stress reliever. I come frozen or on the rocks. I also come in a number of fruity flavors. The amount of Tequila that I’m made of varies, depending on the person mixing me up and of course on the drinker’s preference.

Now this may be hard to believe but there are virgin margaritas. OMG! I mean come on, it’s 2010. How much fun could a virgin margarita be?

When I’m in a basic mood, I’m made of a nice blend of Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of orange juice. But when I’m feeling sassy and feel like getting dressed up, I’m accompanied by strawberry, mango, raspberry or sometimes watermelon. Once I’m blended up and poured into a sleek, sexy glass, honey nobody can tell me nothing but how good they think I’m going to taste. Please believe that there aren’t too many people that can resist the moisture dripping down the sides of my glass and the salt or sugar around the rim. Whew! Is it getting hot in here or what?

A worry disappears with each sip of me until the drinker is stress free. Now, please take caution when partaking of my goodness. If the drinker sips too fast—ooo wee—brain freeze. And nobody wants anything resembling a headache ruining their good time.

Now don’t feel sorry for me because people are always drinking me up, I don’t die baby, I multiply. Don’t believe me; check me out at the next happy hour.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recognize...I'm Back!!

Elaine is dancing her butt off, ain't she!! That's how I feel to be back in the blog world, although I think I can dance quite a bit better that she can, LMBO!

This has been a very hectic but blissful 30 days. I finally moved out of the place that I hated into a place that I love. I can finally get D to sleep in his own bed at least 3 nights a week. And I don't have to worry about birds in the attic and mold on the walls. Car trouble did plague me for awhile, but I bought another car this past Thursday. No, I don't have any more money so don't ask. LOL!

During my damsel in distress phase, my friends and co-workers were very helpful when it came to giving me a ride to and from work and when I needed to run errands. And even though many people say that it's not a good idea to be friends with your ex, if it wasn't for two of mine, I would have had a very hard time. Thanks to all of you that were there for me physically and in spirit.

I don't have my internet service hooked up at my place yet, but thank God for Wifi. I'm at the library at this moment trying to kill some time before I head to work. Of course that time is nearly up. Hopefully tomorrow I'll will have found my notebook with my notes for the poetry blog I plan to establish. I have all of the poems, but I just can't remember what I had decided to call the site yet. Well, it will come to me and I promise it will be worth the wait.

Thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Money On My Mind

It's been a while since I've written a blog post, I've had a lot of stuff on my mind. Yes, it all seems to boil down to MONEY.

I've been a faithful servant for the federal government for 13 years. The first 5 years, I was a seasonal employee, but after applying for hundreds of positions, I finally became permanent. Yes, it sounds ungrateful, but ever since I became permanent I wanted to quit. Of course I didn't quit because of what--MONEY!

The fact that I've been promoted a number of times has made things a little more bearable, but things are still not the way I want them to be. This is the second time (beginning Fall 2009) that I've decided to go to school in order to acquire more skills so I can advance. Since I will always be a writer whether professionally or as a hobby, I've decided to get my Bachelor's Degree in English with a concentration in Technical Writing. At some point I may return to get my Master's in Creative Writing but I'm taking it one step at a time. Yes, to many people it seems like I am a career student but when you have 20 more years to work before you are eligible for retirement, you begin to think about how far you can climb up the ladder within that time frame. I'm not the type of person that sits in one position forever and ever. I crave challenges and I love to learn new things. Although MONEY is not the most important thing to me, it makes getting things I need and want much easier.

The first time I attended college while working for my current employer was from 2004 to 2006, when I got Associates Degree in Information Technology. For a little over 5 years I tried to acquire a position in this field at my job with not much luck. It turns out that it's alot easier to get the position you want if you are willing to move out of town. Of course the only downfall to that is that if they decide they don't need you anymore, they will send you back to your previous position. Which means relocating a least twice. Before having my son I was pretty mobile but I wouldn't want to put a two year old through all of the moving back and forth, so I'm trying to sit here and be patient until someone reads my application and considers me worthy. Hey, the girl needs more MONEY.

Even though I was an honor roll student all through high school and the first couple of times I went to college, this time is a lot harder. I'm not sure if it's because I'm older or because I just have too many things on my plate (son, work, and school). It may be a little bit of everything, but I'm not the only person that has gone through this and I'm sure I won't be the last so I just have to suck it up and keep it moving. I thank God for my former babysitters (The Fletchers) and my father (my current babysitter) because without them I would be like my dad says--"Nutty as a fruitcake". One day all of the working and schooling will pay off and these will be the first people that will get taken care of when I get that big MONEY.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Curing My Writer's Block

Here is the contest that Janel and I came up with to help us with our creative writer's block.

Novel Finishing and Editing Month (NoFinEdMo)

The 50,000 words that you wrote for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was no small feat, so you should be very proud. And if you’re anything like me, this was the largest work you’ve ever written in your whole life. Unfortunately, that number of words is only 200 pages, which is pretty short for a full length novel. You more than likely have a lot of editing to do as well since no one writes a perfect first draft.

If you missed NaNoFinMo (National Novel Finishing Month) that began at the beginning of December and you cannot wait for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) which takes place during the month of March, try NoFinEdMo (Novel Finishing and Editing Month).

NoFinEdMo actually covers a 44 day period. The object of NoFinEdMo is to reach 80,000 words (a 320 page novel) by the end of the first 30, which happens to be January this year. The first 14 days of February will go towards the editing process. To track the number of words written or edited, you can go to the Write or Die website and download the progress meter onto your blog or website.

Happy New Year and Happy Writing!!
Doing it big in 2010