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Thank you Terrible Minds

Had a great date night with the boy child, and I owe it to Chuck Wendig.
I get notifications in my email on blog posts by the author, Chuck Wendig. I love his blog, it’s funny, real and NSFW. Yesterday, he posted a flash fiction challenge ( which he does most Fridays) and you can find it here

 When we went in to Strings (one of our favorites…. yummy pasta), I brought in a tablet of paper. We sat down, and for the past month or so, the princeling has been playing on his phone while we eat. This is not ok.

The boy child loves many things, and storytelling is one of them. In the flash fiction challenge mentioned above, you have to create your own monster. Not a rehash of a goblin, orc  or nessie. Your own monster. 

Thursday night, the princeling asked me why I never write his story ideas. I don’t have the heart to tell him that mommy’s writing is not built that way. I’m not a Tolkien, Martin or Hobbs that can weave large complex stories with ease. I’m light and fluffy with a sometimes dark turn, and I’m OK with that.

We sat down, and I handed the book to him. “There’s a writing challenge and we’re going to do it together.”

His little eyes lit up. When I told him about the challenge, he looked at me and said in a very soft voice… “Goblins?”  

“No, it can’t be anything ever written about before. Not in movies, in books or video games. Completely new.”

He grinned at me and said “oh, that’s easy”. 

As he drew and told me about his monster… I got chills. No lie. Some of his descriptions were chillingly beautiful. We discussed the monster over pasta, then went into what’s in the closet that scares him. It’s doll and stuffed animal eyes.

I was thinking we would do a light, kid friendly minster under the bed kind of story. Instead, my son took my hand and led me into the shadows. I can do dark and twisty with beauty intermixed. I can’t live there for a novel, but I can visit.

I’ll have our story posted here before Fridays deadline.

And thank you, Chuck Wendig, for a great night out with the boy child.

Flash Fiction (Essay) Challenge

Do you read/follow Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds? Love the guy, love his quirkiness to bits. On Friday’s he posts a Flash Fiction challenge. This week… it’s not fiction. Yay! You can read his original post here

(PS Chuck, you said to drop the link in the comments, but… the comments aren’t open. Insert Sad Face).

Write an essay on the topic of: Why I Write.

This is something that I’ve been struggling with lately. I’d love to make my living writing, but that currently isn’t happening and it doesn’t look promising. I want to support my son and myself, by my writing, but it’s not in the cards right now. It does remain in the realm of dreams.

So. Money isn’t the reason why I’m writing.

I have been published, and I loved the accolades. When people tell me that they loved it, ohhh… my heart shivers. I haven’t made much money (see above), and I have received some wonderful reviews, but…

That isn’t what keeps me writing.

Not for money. Not for accolades. Both would be bloody brilliant, don’t get me wrong. I won’t lie.

I write because words have power. We can shape our worlds, and make sense of that world, through words. When I was writing fiction, I almost always work out a problem in my fiction. Something that’s been on my mind comes out in the theme of the story.

Still has my quirky voice,tho.

I liked fiction because it gave me a buffer between my feelings and what I was working out. Sometimes I need that space, the step back from the situation that fiction gives. In Dragon’s Champion, the heroine saves herself. And when she finds her voice… oh, the power she wields! In The Golden Apple and Other Stories, there were lots of strong women saving themselves… as they dealt with love, death, family and the perception of others versus reality.

Not everyone needs saving.

Except, perhaps, me.

I write to save myself, to save my soul. It’s how I pray, how I connect myself to… myself. It enables me to get the junk out and cross it out decisively and then get to the meat of the matter. I took a step back from fiction, and have been writing a lot of nonfiction and poetry, trying to realign myself. Essays mostly, some a micro shot of life as I see it. (One is scheduled for tomorrow, my shifting sideways series. Whee!) They are all full of my weird quirkiness, a lighter slightly twisted version of myself or the deep, dark and twisty. Apparently, my writing is like the water I love so much. Some is nothing more than a babbling brook—entertaining and will cool you off and refresh you. The other half is the middle of the ocean, deep, dark currents pierced by light.

I write to save myself. Because when I don’t write, I can feel it calling to me. Even my nine year old can tell when I’m not writing. A line of poetry that grabs hold until I write it down. An opening sentence will grab hold of me and won’t let me go until we go exploring down the rabbit hole.

It’s the only sure way to comfort myself, make my soul nice and tight with the world. If others get saved along the way, that’s a blessing. But I have to save myself first.