Tag Archives: creativewriting

NaNoWriMo update 10 days in…

Okay, as I said I would do, here’s an update on my National Novel Writing Month progress. Unfortunately, my progress seems very slow for this year’s event. Here we are at Day 10 and I’m sitting at just under 5,000 words. My personal goal is 1,000 words a day, so we can see I’ve only accomplished half of that. The NaNoWriMo website has a goal of around 1700 words a day in order to complete a 50k novel. It looks like I might not even hit half of that this time. But hey, the good news is I’m writing.

Several factors have impacted my output. One is I have two little babies to help take care of which limits the time and length at which I can write. I am writing literally a few sentences at a time. Another factor is I’m writing outside my comfort zone. While I’m writing under a similar theme to my Vampire Boys Of Summer , I am attempting several things I have not done in the form of a long story. One is that every long form story I’ve written to date has been told in the first person. The gender may change but the pov is always first person. For NaNoWriMo I have decided to throw that out and try a different format. I find I’m spending more time on writing just a few sentences because of that.

Still another factor has played into my slow progress. A current event happened a few days ago in the news that took me by surprise because it had similarities to something I had planned for what I’m writing. It kind of upset and discouraged me and I briefly considered abandoning this whole project. It took those couple of days to decide to keep soldiering on. I may change some aspects of my plot because of it, but I still feel I have a worthwhile story in there somewhere.

Anyway, that’s all my excuses for my poor output so far this month. I guess there’s still time to turn it around, so wish me luck. Hopefully, next update will sound more promising. Until then, I leave you with this piece of encouragement if you are currently struggling with a project: There is no wrong way of writing. As long as you have pen to paper you are a writer. And there is no correct way to tell a story. Be a rebel, break rules, step outside your comfort, have your characters make you cringe. Whatever it takes to impact the page, just do it. If you have to, attach a note to your mirror that says, “today is my best writing day ever” and then challenge yourself to make that so.

See you next time 🙂

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Seven Days Of Sentences: Day 7

Wow, I made it through this self dared challenge. I’m not sure how successful it was, but I am pleased on how it turned out for me in my writing. Creating a daily writing habit, even if it was just one sentence, made me feel better about jumping back into the fray. It also got the creative juices flowing, getting me to think about different stories and voices. I’m still on the fence about NaNoWriMo but I’m sure running out of time to make up my mind, lol. Okay, so here’s Day seven of the challenge and my last entry of the weeklong prompt. Hope you enjoy.

Not many people today talk about the massacre at the Cayville Public library, but sometimes within the eyes of the survivors you can see there’s a secret in there, perhaps lost or purposely forgotten to protect those who were never seen again.

Seven Days Of Sentences: Day 5

Just a couple more days left in the challenge. If you’re just joining me here, the challenge is this: write a story in just one sentence. Sentence can be any length, but once a period is in place, that’s it. So here we go with my attempt on Day 5.

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The Bible told him what to do, and though it wasn’t what we would have done, perhaps our minds weren’t quite as twisted as his.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 34: Martin and Shaedra

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Entry 34: Martin & Shaedra: Tuesday Aug.9

The police didn’t come today either. But someone did. I was still in bed when there came a knocking at the front door. Penny jumped up from her place beside me and began to bark. She certainly is a good security system, I’ll give her that. I hastily dressed and when I got to the door I discovered Mr. Martin was standing on the porch, fidgeting and shuffling from foot to foot. I have to admit I was surprised to see him.

“I didn’t call the police,” he stated matter-of-factly.

“Okay,” I replied, feeling a little more relaxed.

“Maybe it’s because of something you said,” he reasoned. “Maybe I’ve been fooling myself and I just needed someone to point it out.” He looked me square in the eye. “Yesterday when I found you in my house, in her room, I wanted to kill you. I felt like you were violating my world. My little world where Mischa is okay and coming home soon.” He looked down at his shoes, “But she’s not, is she?”

“No sir, I don’t think so.”

He nodded. “What of her letters then?”

I stepped outside and Penny followed me. She went down the steps to go out in the yard, while I motioned Mr. Martin to sit on the porch. I sat down next to him. “Do you really get them every year?” I asked him.

“Yes. They are typed, printed off a computer. She says she doesn’t have time to sit down and write a real letter.”

“Does she sign them?”

“Yes”.

“Maybe it’s not her,” I suggested warily.

He didn’t say anything, only nodding to let me know he understood what I was saying. Finally after a moment, he spoke. “I want to know. I have to know what happened to my her. I know she’s just my stepdaughter, but I raised her as my own. When her momma ran off and abandoned us, we were all we had left. I love her just as much as if she was my own blood. Can you understand that?”

I said that I could.

“I’ve gone nearly twenty years believing she was still out there, and then you come along telling me you believe she’s dead.”

It was more of a question than a statement, so I answered it. “Yes, I believe she is.”

He nodded. “If you have guesses or theories, I don’t want to know. I only want proof. I want to help if I can, but I don’t want to hear a thing about it until it’s the positive truth. I can’t deal with just wondering if that’s the way things really happened. That would drive me crazy. That’s why it’s been easier for me to believe she’s alive.”

I understood that, too.

“But when you have the truth, please come to me and tell me. Promise you’ll tell me first. I don’t want to hear it from the papers or the police.”

“Okay, I promise.”

He smiled slightly and I saw a different man from the one who had once punched me on his front lawn. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a bundle of envelopes with a rubber band around them. “Her letters,” he said, handing them to me.

I looked at the envelopes. His address was typed across the face of them. I wanted to look at the letters right away, but I didn’t.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll give them back to you.”

“If they aren’t really hers, I don’t want them back.”

“Do you believe they are from her, Mr. Martin?”

He weighed the answer in his head. “I’m starting to see things differently. Things I thought sounded like her, I’m not so sure about now. Maybe someone else will see what I have refused to.” He got up and stepped down off the porch. “Come see me,” he said. “Just don’t break in next time.”

I grinned a little until I realized he was serious. “Thanks for not calling the police.”

“Don’t make me regret it,” he said, and then went to his car, driving away as fast as he could. Something told me he didn’t like it here so close to the church his daughter loved.

I looked at the envelopes in my hand. “Okay Mischa, let’s see what you grew up to be…”

The typed letters painted a pretty picture of a runaway girl who became a successful dress designer. So successful she didn’t have time for a husband or a visit with the man she knew as her father. But the promise to visit was always there, “if I can find the time.” There was the mention throughout the yearly missives of personal things. She asked about Tommy Blaine, but not of Eric. Only once did she mention him in her letters. “I miss Eric too, but I know no one liked him. He was still a nice boy.” She never mentioned her mother either, as if the woman was dead to her, if she had even existed at all. She talked of Mr. Martin as if he were the only family she had. For all intents and purposes, to her he was her real dad. Her discourses to him were long ramblings that at times seemed to me to be a case of a daughter buttering her father up before asking for something. But she never asked him for a cent. Maybe these ramblings were to keep him from wondering about where she’d gone.

The one thing I had noticed right away was she never included a return address. Yes, there was a New York postmark, but never a way to write her back. I found myself wondering why Mr. Martin never tried to find her. After that many years a concerned father would have hired a detective, or tried to discover her whereabouts somehow. But I guess he was blinded by what he wanted to believe. I’m the one who had to stir things up.

I had every intention of going over to the church and asking the secretary to view the old church records, to try and find out something about the Shifletts, and their strange nephew Eric, but I was sidetracked by yet another visitor. Shaedra.

She came by shortly after Mr. Martin had left, and the suspicious part of me wondered if maybe she had been waiting for him to leave before she paid me a visit. There was something different about her today though. No longer did she wear alluring clothing and walk in the sexually confident manner she had once displayed. Now she wore a long black dress, the top nearly buttoned up to her neck. No leg, no cleavage. Now she was asexual as possible.

“Morning Shaedra,” I said standing in the doorway. “Would you like to come in?”

She looked over at the repaired picture window and shook her head. “No, I just came over to tell you goodbye.”

“Goodbye?”

“Yes, I quit my job as Mrs. Shifflett’s assistant. I’m leaving.”

I was kind of surprised at the news. “Why?” I asked.

She didn’t give me an answer, and I assumed what she did have to say had been rehearsed on the way over.

“I wanted to apologize for the other day. Trying to seduce you like that. And you being a married man. I am truly sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I replied, wondering where she was going with all this.

“I know you are a good man, and that you love your wife. She will come back to you; of this I’m sure.” She hesitated as if gauging what she was going to say next. “But you have forces swirling around you and this place.”

“Forces?”

“Paul, I have always had an insight into things. I feel things that others don’t. I’m empathetic, for lack of a better word. And I feel there is something going on here that I do not want to be a part of. Not even as a bystander.”

“What do you mean?”

“There is an evil at work in this town. And there’s an evil somewhere over there.” She pointed at the church. “I don’t know if it’s this Mischa you talked about, but there’s something dark and evil here. I feel it was here when she was a child, and it’s still here preying on the innocent.”

“What kind of evil are we talking about?”

“I do not know, but it frightens me, Paul. It frightens me enough to want to change every aspect of my life and get as far away from here as possible. I do not want to be its next victim.”

“You’re not making much sense,” I said, trying to be respectful. “If there’s an evil here, why doesn’t it come forth? I can’t imagine it’s Mischa. So what is it?”

“Maybe she is connected to it. Hopelessly tied here until it’s gone. But it’s not without form. Sometimes evil walks in the hearts of men. Please remember that.”

She turned to go, but I grabbed her arm. She spun and tried to pull away, before seeing I wasn’t going to harm her. “Please Shaedra, tell me what you are thinking.”

She placed her hand over mine. “I am thinking you are a good man, but not all men are good. I have seen his face and I fear what lies in his eyes.”

“What do you mean you’ve seen his face?”

She removed her hand from mine and gently pulled away. “Listen to everything that Mischa has to tell you. Follow her signs.” She stepped off the porch and looked up at me. “In my Bible reading this morning, it said there shall be a resurrection of the dead.”

I got ready to ask her what she thought that means, but then Penny came around the house. Seeing Shaedra she barked in alarm. The woman looked at the dog and smiled. “Keep an eye on your master, would you?”

Then she was walking to her car. I came off the porch in a trot and caught up to her just as she’d opened her door and got in. “I can’t do this alone. Please help me find out what happened.”

She looked up at me sadly. “I can’t help you, Paul. Once, I was very attracted to you, and I thought the allure was physical, sexual, but I know now what drew me to you was her. She’s all around you. She’s around all of us. She draws us all into her sorrow. I thought it was you who was so sad and lonely, but it’s her. I don’t want to feel that anymore.”

She tried to close the door but my hand was on it. Still I knew I couldn’t talk her into staying. Escape was in her eyes. She wanted distance between herself and this whole town. “I wish you the best of things, Shaedra. I wish I could leave just like you, but I can’t.”

“I know. You are connected to her now. And for that you must be wary. Don’t let the evil that took her take you, too.”

She got out of the car suddenly, and flung her arms around me. She kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “for luck.” Then without another word she was back in the car, closing the door, and speeding away.

I stood there on the lawn, watching her go, and a thought occurred to me. Maybe this is what they mean by the one that got away. If that’s the case, I wish her Godspeed and safety, for I have a dread feeling something bad is about to happen…

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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 22: The Dress

Resurrection Diaries: 10th Anniversary Edition Main Page

Entry 22: The Dress: Saturday July 30 – continued

I woke up around two AM, brought out of sleep by a dream. I distinctly remember someone calling me, repeating my name over and over, and then there was a bark. I awoke.

Donna was still sleeping and the night was still. No one was calling me. The dog wasn’t barking. In the silence I lay there, eyes open, staring at the ceiling. And then a thought hit me. Something I had forgotten.

The duffel bag was still outside, by the back door. I hadn’t brought it in. I got out of bed and walked quietly to the back door. I opened it, half expecting the bag to be gone. But no, there it was.

I lifted it and brought it inside. I closed the door as softly as possible so as not to wake my wife, and took the bag to the living room. I sat Indian style on the floor and opened the drawstring. Right on top lay the yellow dress. I pulled it out and unraveled it, as if it was on a hanger.

It was a pretty dress. There were a few stains and soils, but other than that, it looked almost new. I held it up to my nose and took a deep breath. There were no pleasant scents, no perfume, or the smells of summer. Instead the strongest odor was dirt and earth. And beneath it were other fainter smells. I took another breath, the fabric of the dress pressed to my face.

I caught one of the fainter smells. Kerosene. Not exactly on my list of favorite aromas, but maybe something else in the bag had been doused with it. Why would a dress as pretty as this carry the scent of flammables? I guess being exposed to the elements all this time, who knows what odors could seep into the fabric?

I held the dress against my cheek, pressed to my skin. I wondered briefly what it might have felt like to the person who had worn it. The dirt and earth smells, as well as the kerosene, began to fade, replaced by something else. A pretty scent. Like the smell of flowers, a young girl’s perfume. It grew stronger as I inhaled the scent, almost as if I were drawing nearer to someone whom had just prettied themselves up for the summer dance. The scent was becoming stronger, and it gave me an almost dizzying effect.

I closed my eyes and I could nearly imagine myself as the one who had worn this dress last. I had a vision, a quick fleeting thought that appeared not my own. A person standing in front of a tall mirror, admiring the look of this dress on their body. It was snug, very tight fitting, as the person twirled and spun before their reflection. But the mirror itself was cloudy. I could not see the person’s face, yet something told me there was something not right with this vision. This picture was not my own, and nether was it Mischa’s. It was something else entirely. I knew the last person to wear this dress had not been Mischa. But if not her, then who?

Suddenly I heard my name. “Paul?”

I turned around and there she was. No, not Mischa, but Donna. She was in the doorway, a look of extreme hurt on her face. She looked about ready to cry.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

I looked at the dress in my hands, the very one I still held pressed to my cheek. I lowered it quickly.

“I…uh…I found her dress.” I almost winced as I said it, because I knew how badly it sounded.

Tears welled up in her eyes. “What are you doing to us? Don’t you even care about me anymore? About us?”

I dropped the dress on the floor and stood up.

“Of course I care. What kind of question is that?”

“An important one,” she answered, her voice almost lowered to a whisper.

“Donna, I am sorry. I know I’ve been acting strange lately…”

She didn’t let me finish. “Strange? No, it’s gone beyond strange. You are a man obsessed. And what hurts is you used to be obsessed with me.”

“Donna, I still love you. Nothing has changed.”

A tear trickled down her cheek. “I still love you too, but something has changed. You have changed. You are caught up in something I don’t understand. I don’t know if you’re having a sexual affair, or some attempt at recapturing your youth through the attentions of a younger girl. I don’t know what…”

“I don’t love anyone but you,” I interjected.

“It doesn’t matter if you love her or not, but I can’t share you with her.”

“Donna, I swear to you, she’s not real. She’s a ghost.”

“Yes, well, so am I. I’m just a ghost in your life now.”

I started to walk towards her.

“But I won’t haunt this place anymore,” she added, as she turned from me and went back to the bedroom. I stood there alone, her words sinking in. and the realization hit me, as I sank to the carpet in tears. Donna is leaving me.

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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 13: Matt and Susan

Resurrection Diaries: 10th Anniversary Edition Main Page

Entry 13: Matt & Susan: Saturday July 23

Matt and Susan arrived this morning. It was great to see our friends again. We all went into town and had lunch, but we didn’t go to the diner, just in case the waitress that “warned” us was working.

Then Susan and Donna went shopping, while Matt and I went to the movies at the town’s only theater. Afterwards, we met up with the ladies and went back to our modest little cottage. We played a couple of board games. Donna and Susan are the most competitive Monopoly players I know.

In the evening, Matt and I sat on the porch. He asked me how I liked it here with the new job and all. I told him it was great. I really wanted to tell him about the ghost of Mischa Martin, but I didn’t think that would be a good idea. Matt and I are close, but I don’t want him questioning my sanity.

As we sat and talked, the dog sauntered around the corner and came up on the porch with us. He sat down by my feet.

“Did you get a new dog?” Matt asked.

“No, it’s just a stray that has become attached to us.”

He chuckled. “You know Donna’s mom is going to have a fit.”

I nodded with a little smirk. “Yep, I suppose she is.” Donna’s mother is allergic to dog’s fur. I’m going to have to find a way to keep him away from her, or I’ll never hear the end of it.

It was late when Matt and Susan left. They are going to stay at a nearby hotel and then meet us for church in the morning. It will be our first time attending services at Resurrection, but I figure since I work there, and I’m not going anywhere else, we might as well attend their worship.

Okay, so today there were no ghosts, and to be honest, I was so distracted by our visiting friends that I didn’t think of Mischa much, but something tells me if I forget her for long, she will remind me.

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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.