Shawn – Dream and Fiction 1

I regained consciousness with a tube in my trachea, many more attached to my body, and an expression on your face that I could not discern.

I tried to tell you that I remember the accident in its entirety and ask if anyone survived. If anyone died, my life would be truly pointless. The others in the car were my mom, sister, nephew, and your parents.

If my sister died, her children would become orphans, as their father died nearly two years ago. If she survived and my nephew died, she would be devastated with the loss of a child and a spouse, within two years. If my mom and your parents died, we would have the loss of both parents in common, along with our love of football (soccer as others call it). The possibilities were endless. I needed to know that all others survived.

You left the room. You left again. I tried to yell for you to come back. You leaving is what helped this chain of events. I know it sounds selfish, but I need to know your intentions from that night and why you ran away from me.

The tube prevented any of those words from escaping and I blacked out.

I remember the day we met. I was at the apartment office making sure my rent payment cleared. You were applying for your residency. You asked how long I lived in the community and if I would recommend it to a friend. I responded 12 years and I did just recommend the last unit to a friend, so you were probably SOL due to that recommendation. I quickly added a, “Just kidding and good luck” to my response. You asked me my name and I said and spelled it. It is a difficult name to spell. I returned the question. You answered. I asked you if it was spelled with “ea, au or aw” as it could be spelled many different ways. You told me you would text me for the avoidance of doubt. I retorted that it was a clever way to ask for someone’s phone number, but I gave it. My phone buzzed with your number and the word “Shawn”.

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a new story…

I never just stare at a blank page.

I don’t start to write unless I have something to write about.  A picture.  A line.  A thought.  But, that can be problematic because the need to write is often so pervasive that it distracts me from other things.  So, then I sit down with whatever snippet of an idea, or even less than that on occasion, has been paramount in my thoughts and I plunk at the keys to see what comes of it.

Rubbish usually follows, of course.

And I will then delete what I wrote and move on with my day.  On the rare instance that I like what I wrote, I’ll still end up reworking it because the original idea wasn’t related at all to the result.  However that “reworking” process evolves, at some point I will look at the words and tell myself the following:

Write something worthwhile

Write something provocative

Write something memorable

Write something funny

Or

Just write

I want to be good at the first.  I aspire to the second.  I would love to do the third.  I feel like I used to do the fourth sometimes.  These days, however, I just need to write.  Whatever the words end up being, if I write enough of them maybe I’ll find my way back to something that actually means something to somebody, myself included.

That day is not today.  For now I’m in search of inspiration and I would enjoy some help along that path.  I seem to do better at writing projects that involve other people at the moment.  Somehow that keeps me focused in better and able to actually see it all through to some sort of conclusion.  So, in that vein, how about joining me for a game?

The rules are simple.  Create a character and I’ll use all the characters to write a story.  So, I’ll create a character.  You all create characters too.  Either send them to me directly or post about them and link back to here.  Then I’ll write a story that somehow incorporates all of the characters.  I’m not promising it will be more than a short story, or more than a blog post for that matter.  I’m not promising it will be worthwhile or provocative or memorable or even funny.  But, I will write something.

How does that sound?

Good, I’m glad you like the idea too.  I’ll start…

Here’s my character:  We begin with a girl.  Because there’s always a girl.  This one is named Heather.  She has hair that beams golden in sunlight as it cascades below her shoulders.  Her eyes, hazel, crinkle at the edges when she smiles and her laugh is far more playful than she ever intends it to be.  She lives in a small apartment overlooking the beach, though she never actually bothers to gaze out towards the breakers or walk along the edge to let the waves lap at her toes anymore.  She doesn’t even hear the crashing booms of the waves echoing on the otherwise silent nights except on those nights when she needs sleep the most and the noise agitates her rather than sends her to sleep.  She spends her days at an office an hour commute away, where she does work she enjoys but is always left exhausted and feeling like she’s missing something by the end of the week.  She loves movies and books nearly equally, in all genres and styles.  She cries when she’s happy and when she’s sad.  And, she knows she will always be single, but isn’t sure why that it is.  There is some part of her, something buried or forgotten, that she doesn’t fully understand.

And, that is your introduction to Heather.  So, who else is going to go into this story?  Let me know so I can get started on it!

three rivers

misc-dec-2008-043

There isn’t really a theme, per say, to the pictures I’m sharing this month or the stories I’m providing with them, but I think it would be fair to say that I’m fascinated with water.  I think part of it is from growing up in the desert and only getting to spend a week or two around anything that was a substantial amount of water: camping, visiting grandparents near the coast, etc…

But, even then, the ocean is so big it is hard to fully comprehend it or see it in the same category as land based water features like lakes and rivers.  And, while I love the Kings River, it isn’t all that big compared to what the rest of the country, and world, would consider a river.

So, when I find myself confronted with actual rivers, I am captivated by them.  I travel a lot so I find myself captivated a lot.  I’m not complaining, just explaining in a drawn out rambling sort of way why you are looking at picture of one river becoming two, in a place called Three Rivers.

 

change is coming

The leaves whispered restlessly outside his window, disturbing the peacefulness of his slumber, and he propped open an eye with an askance glare for their daring intrusion.  The dream had already slipped from his grasp except for the distinct impression that it had been good.  The hour was still too early to see the leaves or even the branches they hung from and he closed his eye again with a disappointed sigh.  Dawn would not arrive for at least two hours but he had little hope of reclaiming the interrupted dream, “What are you going on about now?”

Though they continued to converse in hushed tones, the trees did not answer.  He attempted to push their murmurings and his own curiosity about what had set them astir away by rolling away from the window and throwing an arm over his head.  It was futile and he knew it.  After a quick count of ten, he rose to a sitting position and turned back toward the window to see if his eyes could perceive anything of value from the darkness beyond.

No wind accompanied the rustling of the branches so either a creature was clambering about the giant oak or the tree was truly talking to its wooden brethren.  Either was possible but the level of noise made it more likely that he was eavesdropping on the forest.  There was more than one tree in motion.

Finding his feet, he stepped to the window and leaned against the sill.  Crisp air greeted him.  His eyes continued to adjust but weren’t yet of much use.  His ears remained attentive, and with his mind now fully awake, he confirmed it was more than one tree quivering.  The sound was haunting and beautiful at the same time.

Just as dawn hinted at its coming arrival by warming the eastern horizon, the conversation came to an abrupt halt.  The trees returned to their stoic silence and he was left wondering what was so important the forest had needed to spring into action in the middle of the night.  It didn’t take much thought to come to a likely conclusion.  “Change,” he spoke to the morning.  “Change is coming.”

He had felt a tingling itch in his mind for several days.  Something was amiss in his hidden world and soon the cause would reveal itself.  Unhurried by the threat, or promise, of the coming days, he stayed at the window to watch the day unfurl.  The light stretched from the mountains at the edge of his vision to the tops of the trees that had pulled him from his slumber.  The sky spoke its own salutations in vibrant blue hues.  He sighed with contentment at the wonder of it all.

…..

A question from Matticus:  Having recently published The Erratic Sun, I was feeling some pressure (though that isn’t quite the right word) to write something new… something of my own to publish.  I sat down and this came out.  What do you think?  Is it done, as is?  Or, is this just the start that I should turn into a full novel and publish?

 

The Erratic Sun – Contest the Second

Starting with a bit of housekeeping, the winner of the first contest is…

faithhopechocolate!!!

Congratulations.  I’ll be in touch… eventually.  Probably after all of the contests are done so I only have to go to the post office once.  Running errands is hard in the toddlerocracy.

For those of you interested in how she was selected, I used the Excel Randbetween function after I placed all 25 participants in order by the date/time they made their comment here on WordPress or over on Facebook.

And now, onto the second contest to win a signed copy of The Erratic Sun, written by myself and the amazing Revis, and with cover art by the wonderful Daydreams:

The Erratic Sun - Cover

Here is a snippet from page 42 (because 42):

“‘It’s been a helluva run, and I’m not ready for it to end.  We are going to get through this.’  With that, the Captain left the cockpit to head back down to the engine room and see what miracle Gillian had come up with.”

All you have to do to win a signed copy of this amazing book is guess how many total words are on page 42.  Leave your guesses in the comments and the participant who comes the closest wins.  It’s just that easy.  Good luck!

…..

Can’t handle the pressure?  You can always just buy a paperback copy here or a digital copy here.