Yes, I’m alive…Just have my head stuck in a book.

I’ve been a behavior teacher, a dance teacher, a preschool teacher, a crochet artist, a wife, a mom, a travel enthusiast, an obsessive reader, and a writer…among other things.  I set a goal for myself this year: finish my novel and put in the work to get it published.

That wasn’t happening with the part-time preschool position, the part-time dance teacher position, the home-based crochet business, the long list of books I was working on reading, being mom to a three-year old, and wife to a full-time teacher/grad student.  So, after talking to my super supportive teacher/grad student of a husband we decided to make some changes in our lives to make sure I met my goal.  I resigned from the preschool and did a major decrease to my crocheting time.  I even put away the book list…I may or may not have cried over it.

I kept my job at the dance studio, because I wanted to make a financial contribution–even a minuscule one–and because dance is a passion of mine.  The way some people worship God through song, I worship through dance.  Letting that go wasn’t an option.

I kept my job as a full-time mom.   I love my kid and decided for myself when he was born that when he was at home I wanted to be there, engaged and a part of his learning.  However, we did switch him from two to three days at preschool, which has given me more writing time.

And I kept my job as wife to the teacher/grad student.  What can I say?  He puts up with my quirks, occasional nocturnal sleep habits, and mood swings.  Not to mention, I don’t know too many husbands who would tell their wives, “Baby, I think you should quit your job and work on that novel you’ve been trying to get finished.”  Our budget is stretched to the max, but we make it work.

I’m not teaching anymore or modifying behaviors in a special education classroom, but I find plenty of opportunities to utilize my degree being married to a teacher/grad student/coach and mom to a three-day-a-week preschooler/swim lesson attendee/soccer player.

I can also say I’m now a full-time, unpaid writer.  I started rewriting my first novel from a different perspective after sharing parts of it with my writing instructor and a couple of other writers.  I should be finished next week; just in time for NaNoWriMo.

So, yeah.  If my loved ones find it impossible to reach me I just want them to know I’m still alive.  I’m just lost in a story somewhere.

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By His Own Two Hands

The last several weeks have been full of learning and experimenting.  I’m excited to say that so many of our exercises allowed me to expand and work on my book, but that left little time to work on other writing.  There were a couple of flash writing that I wanted to participate in…I simply didn’t have time between the end of summer break, a sick child, a husband back in coaching mode, and my writing class.  I had a couple of hours this week and was trying to stir the creativity pot, so to speak, and decided to use those flash writing prompts as a start.  They aren’t 150 words like the rules required, but I didn’t turn them in so I decided to heck with rules 🙂  What can I say, I’m a rebel at heart!  (They are between 200-300 words.)

Anyway, here is the first prompt from Flash!Friday and my writing.  I’ll post the other when I have a few more minutes free…

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Marooned, by Howard Pyle, 1909. Public Domain.

Include: Arrogance

“I’ve no need of a crew aboard me ship.  Can man a vessel with these two hands alone, I can,” the braggart bellowed above the whistling briny wind.  George eyed his companion warily.  A glare meant to silence, only encouraging Jack’s grandiose claims.

The man he belittled continued his work inspecting the boat, sparing him no glance when he commanded, “Below deck with ye.”

“Ah, come now.  Tell me ye don’t doubt the abilities of a man ‘needs so many men.  Surely a few less crew and a few more women’ll make a long voyage speed by, no?” Jack laughed.  He was the only one laughing.

“Below deck with ye,” George elbowed his fellow and nodded an apology to the crew.

“I tell ye, I could man the vessel with these two hands alone,” Jack continued, undeterred.  The braggart next found himself thrown into the base of a dingy, lowered to the ocean’s surface.  Cast out to man his vessel alone. 

“Eh, what’s the meaning?  George, I say, retrieve me.”

“ Can’t you bloody fool.  Twas no crew member you insulted you git.”

“Twas the captain,” the sailor growled over George’s shoulder before ordering his men back to work, inspecting their work on his way to the helm.

Into the Sea (More Flash Writing)

Flash! Friday Volume 2-33 (aka:Flash Writing experience #3 for this girl)

Picture prompt and assigned theme of “freedom” with 150 word limit (140-160 range)

Miranda — The Tempest. Painting by John William Waterhouse, 1916. Public domain photo.

Miranda — The Tempest. Painting by John William Waterhouse, 1916. Public domain photo.

Into the Sea

by: L.C. Lara

(160 words)

The tempest swells tease me.  I feel the salty sea seep through the warped wooden slats and hear the monstrous roar of the mother wave overhead.  She’s reminding me, she can end my life if she fancies.

John and the Sea have that in common.

“Help me up woman!” John bellows.  As if I conspire with the sea to send him a tumble.

“Don’t smart me witch!” he hisses.  As if my wince of pain were not caused my his claws alone.

“Fix your mess!” he orders.  As if I were directing this dance of a raging storm.

The throbbing in my knees as I thrust onto the filthy cabin floor, whether by John’s hand or the Sea’s I shall never know.  The briny water assaulting my eyes, whether from my own tears or the Sea’s I shall never ask.

I have mistaken the Sea’s fancy.

Tis not my watery grave she threatens.

Tis my baptism.  My freedom she promises.

An oddly therapeutic writing exercise…

So, for the third and final voice/characterization exercise during the first week of the creative writing class we were asked to imagine our pet as a human and describe him/her.  I wasn’t going to do this one, because frankly, I didn’t want to think about it.  My dog (our first baby) passed away two weeks ago and I thought it would be too difficult.  I told my husband about my assignment and we started joking about how Joey (the dog) would look and act as a human.  We compared him to ourselves, like he got his personality traits from his adoptive parents or something. Ha!

In the end I found the exercise to be somewhat healing, instead of being sad about our loss we were laughing about his life…

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