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Sunday Scribblings #362: Energy

“Can’t. No energy to blink.”  I don’t even know how I managed to get the phone. He keeps trying to cajole me. (Where the hell did that word come from? Apparently my vocab works when the rest of my brain is barely functioning.) I wait for him to give up. Or at least wonder if I’m still listening.

“Bri? You there?” I don’t answer. “You just breathed.” Nothing. “Stop playing, I know you’re there.” I fake a snore. It takes everything I have left. “Quit it, Bri! I get it, you’re not coming. I will face the monster alone… again.”

“Be nice,” I warn. I can’t manage much more than those two words.

“You hate him more than I do!” he protests. He’s got a point. I do hate him. But that’s irrelevant, because I’m not going. Even if I wasn’t this tired.

“I’m utterly drained,” I say, aiming for pretentious aristocrat but probably landing much closer to druggie in need of a fix. I close my eyes, then force them open again as a cloud settles in my mind, muffling sounds and blurring edges. My head slowly falls to the side, and I jerk it back up.

“You’re not even gonna remember this conversation tomorrow, are you.” It’s not even a question.

“What conversation?” I think I mean it as a joke, but I’m so fuzzy in the head, I really don’t remember what we were talking about. I close my eyes again, and this time they remain closed. It feels so good to just give in. Wait, aren’t I supposed to be doing something? Oh, right. Sleep….

*****

Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts. This is a piece of fiction. I like writing in first person, that doesn’t mean it’s about me.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at my previous post: Help Mark Pay for Surgery

Sunday Scribblings #359: Moment

I saw the prompt “Moment” and my first thought was a memory.

The year was 1995 and I was in France as part of my European tour through People to People International. I was 13, and I had made friends with four other girls I hadn’t known a few weeks before – Kristianna, Kimberly, Courtney, and Justine. It was a beautiful summer night, and we were watching… was it fireworks? A fountain with colored lights flashing on it? I don’t remember exactly. What I remember is the feeling. I was happy. I was with friends that I hoped I would keep for a long, long time.

Kristianna is the one I was closest to. She was a little boy-crazy. In three weeks she was into two different guys, and I envied her being able to talk to them like it was no big deal. I wasn’t too experienced with boys. To me, they were a foreign race that I couldn’t figure out. But she was a natural in the best possible way. Kristi spent the whole trip singing Whitney Houston’s megahit “One Moment In Time,” and that song always makes me think of her, and the room we shared in the hotel in Paris, and the amazing final night we had there. She is now a proud wife and mother, and works for a birthing center.

Kimberly was 14, and she was one of the funniest people I knew. I admired the way she never seemed to take anything too seriously. Life is too short to be negative. She and I had a lot in common, actually. We both ended up winning awards for our journals from the chaperones at the end of the trip, a crowning achievement for someone who wanted to be a writer like I did. She ended up going on to become a lawyer. She likes keeping a straight face while making people answer ridiculous questions.

Courtney was… crazy. I can’t help but smile when I think about her, because she was always saying and doing unexpected things. For my birthday one year she sent me a card that contained an expired metro card and a bit of unused dental floss, among other random tid-bits. She became a veterinarian.

During that three week trip, Justine was obsessed with “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Nicki French (originally by Stevie Nicks, of course). She was singing it that night, not a care in the world what anyone thought about her. She had turned 13 a week or so earlier, a few days after we arrived in Barcelona. She had a big smile and was outspoken and I never felt as close to her as I did to the other girls, but I always liked her. She passed away a few years shy of her 30th birthday. I think it was cancer. She was prepared for it, though, and at the wake her mother said she had accomplished everything she wanted to do before she died.

And me? I was probably more in their eyes than I was in my own, just like they didn’t see themselves the way I saw them. And I have grown up to be happy, and confident, and funny, and crazy, and I’ve learned that boys aren’t nearly as scary as I used to think they were. I’m a children’s librarian, I have a master’s degree, and I am a writer and aspire to publish books some day. My trip only lasted three weeks, but I am who I am today largely because of that one moment in time. And I will never forget the friends or the amazing time we had.

*****

Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts.

Sunday Scribblings #358: Monarch

source: flickr user Vicki’s Nature

Monarch butterfly,
with orange and yellow wings,
I, too, want to fly.

Dancing in the sky,
graceful, soaring, pretty thing,
flitting, floating by.

Please, don’t be so shy!
Hold my breath long as I can.
Soon you’ll say goodbye.

Monarch butterfly,
silently you spread your wings,
daring me to fly.

*****

Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts.

Sunday Scribblings #357: Ticket

I have a ticket. It’s not golden, though. It’s orange this month. Every month it changes. It’s my monthly train pass, my ticket to freedom. It just takes me to work and back home, which might not seem like much freedom, but to me it is magical. It allows me to ride the train between two stations an unlimited number of times each month. Since I commute and generally take the train four days a week, it saves money versus buying tickets each day, or by the week. But that’s not why I love it.

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My ticket is special because it means I don’t have to drive. I can do almost anything! I can close my eyes and listen to a guided meditation. I can put on my contacts. I can eat breakfast. I can write Morning Pages. I can doodle. I can read a book. I can take pictures of people on the train without them knowing, or write full character sketches based on detailed observations. I can look out over the Hudson River out one window, or at towns going by on the other side. I can pretend I’m going on a long vacation, or a magical adventure. I can watch videos on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. There are so many things I can do on the train, I’m sure in a hundred years I couldn’t think of all of them.

But perhaps what’s more important is what I can not do (not can’t, but things I usually would do that I don’t have to now). I can not drive 40-50 minutes in rush hour traffic. I can not buy gas every week for over $40 for a full tank. I can not get frustrated at other drivers. I can not worry if I’m going to get to work late. I can not pay attention to where I’m going. This is where the true magic comes in. I don’t mind driving sometimes, but the long commute drive is a lot to do day after day. Choosing to take the train frees me from stress, and from worry, and leaves me a much happier person. And being happy means I am more likely to get creative when I get home.

*****
Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts.

Sunday Scribblings #180: Tattoo

If I ever get a tattoo, which I’ve thought about a lot, I think I would have to get a butterfly in bright colors, pinks and maybe blues, and the date of my wedding 8-9-09. I love watching L.A. Ink and seeing the tattoos people get, hearing the stories of why… I always wanted a butterfly but after watching the show I’ve realized that it’s much more important to get a tattoo that really means something to me, and not just something fleeting that I might soon regret. So I have to think about if I really want to get a tattoo, and where on my body it would go, and who I would get to tattoo me.

Last year tattoos figured in my NaNoWriMo novel. Lily, my original main character, wants a tattoo of a Ferris Wheel to commemorate her father. Her mother Emily won’t let her get one. Months later, after Emily has finally started healing from Lily’s death, as well as her husband’s death years before, Emily ends up getting a tattoo for both of them, a Ferris Wheel with a lily on top in the center of the big circle. (I briefly thought about getting that tattoo myself in honor of my second NaNo win.) I even threw in a reference to LA Ink in my book – Emily’s tattoo is done by Hannah, who was my favorite tattoo artist on the show.

*****
Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts.