{Writing Wednesday} – “It was the Only Road…”

Writing Prompts. Every writer has used them at some point in their career, (whether willingly or not.) They’re like an adrenaline shot to your muse. You know, usually.

Looking for a way to keep our writing fresh and versatile, my friend Anna and I are going to be starting a prompt inspired post that we call Writing Wednesdays.

Breakdown: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, on both Anna’s blog and mine, we’ll post a prompt that we’ve either found or come up with ourselves, as well as our own flash fiction or short story for that prompt. Please feel free to join us! Just make sure that when you post, you link your work back – and comment with a link – to one of ours so everyone can read yours too!

PROMPT: First Line – “It was the only road out of town but in retrospect, taking it was a terrible decision.”

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{Writing Wednesday} – “I Don’t Think You Understand”

 

Writing Prompts. Every writer has used them at some point in their career, (whether willingly or not.) They’re like an adrenaline shot to your muse. You know, usually.

Looking for a way to keep our writing fresh and versatile, my friend Anna and I are going to be starting a prompt inspired post that we call Writing Wednesday.

writingwednesdays_zpsfddbe0ad

 

Breakdown: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, on both Anna’s blog and mine, we’ll post a prompt that we’ve either found or come up with ourselves, as well as our own flash fiction or short story for that prompt. Please feel free to join us! Just make sure that when you post, you link your work back – and comment with a link – to one of ours so everyone can read yours too!

 

PROMPT: First line – “I don’t think you understand.”

(From @WritingPrompt)

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The Post-Holiday Slump

So I promised you all a bunch of posts when I got back from my trip to London. I’ve now been back for a week and a half, and what have I given you?

Nothing.

This is literally the first time I’ve even opened up a new post to start writing. I just haven’t been able to think of words to put down on paper. It’s not easy, translating all of the amazing feelings and experiences into words.

But oh boy, was it an amazing experience.

The truth of it all is, I’ve been in a post-holiday slump. I haven’t wanted to work on anything. Not my job, or my novel, or even this silly little blog. I don’t want to knuckle down and deal with reality, because I just experienced a surreal ten days that were so unlike anything I’ve ever known. Everything was new and fresh and exciting. Even just getting up in the morning was fun – and that’s saying something, because I am not a morning person.

I walked down cobbled roads through buildings older than my entire country. I wandered through the Tower of London and saw Buckingham Palace at sunset. I lived in a culture so different from my own, a world of royalty and history. I shopped in Covent Garden and saw a play in Piccadilly Circus.

After all of that, can you blame me for being a bit grudging about coming back to the real world?

The thing is, I have to come back. I have to embrace the fact that my holiday is over and it’s time to move on. There are bills to pay and exams to study for, and all of the drudgery of real life is crushing in on me. I’m home and it’s done.

The memories, though, well those are what make even this horrible post-holiday drag worth it.

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Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love

Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

————-

As I mentioned in my post “Help! I’m in Love With a Fictional Character” I am always more likely to get a crush on a character than an actual person. Well that’s not a new development in my life. Even as a little girl, my first few crushes were on characters I saw on the television.

I still remember my very first crush – at the tender age of about 3 1/2 – and my sweeping declaration that one day I would marry him. He was sweet and loyal and fun-loving, and he had the most charming laugh. And that lucky man was… Mickey Mouse.

Mickey greeting guests at Disneyland Park

Don’t laugh, I was 3! The fact that he was an animated mouse was completely inconsequential.

Part of me still loves that mouse, although I’ve accepted that it’s a love that will never be. (I still hold a grudge against Minnie for stealing him away from me…)

My next crush, at the age of 5, was on none other than Han Solo from the Star Wars trilogy.

Han Solo

Now there’s a man! I’ve got a bit of a thing for anti-heroes. A little gruff, a little rugged, and a little devil may care but with a secret core of good. And we all know he was a little bit of a romantic too underneath it all. I’ve been known to use the “I know,” line on guys when they tell me they love me.

I also use “Laugh it up, fuzzball,” but that’s usually in entirely different situations.

Truth be told, I don’t even remember my first actual person crush. I know that when I started school and finally started meeting kids my age, I was completely floored by the sheer number of boys in my classes. There were so many of them, in all different shapes and sizes. I was a little boy crazy, and I’m pretty sure that at some point, I had a crush on every boy in my year.

I just don’t quite remember what order it happened in…

In the end though, it’s not the boys in my school that helped to shape the men I look for now. It’s those early character crushes. Which is why my dream man is sweet, fun-loving, a little cavalier, but secretly a bit of a romantic.

If that guy is reading this… Happy Valentine’s Day! Gimme a call, yeah? 😉

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Ingredients

Pasta is a feature of the Argentine cuisine

What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?

————

I am completely inept at cooking. Like, so clueless I can burn water kind of ineptness.

Needless to say, I don’t exactly have a well stocked kitchen. Everything that I cook comes out of a box with clearly printed instructions on the side. I don’t have much ability when it comes to making anything more complex than a grilled cheese – and even those I have been known to burn.

When it comes to cooking for myself, there is one old standby that can never go wrong. Pasta!

And by pasta, I mean some slightly over-cooked elbow macaroni, but with a little creativity you can make it into just about anything. If you’re feeling simple, some butter and parmesan cheese. For some tang, try Italian salad dressing and olives. A little ranch and some sunflower seeds gives it a country salad feeling. Or you can go with marinara for a cheap spaghetti.

Basically, I love pasta. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s hard for me to ruin it.

Although just give me some time, I’ll figure a way…

Daily Prompt: Ingredients (dailypost.wordpress.com)

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Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm)

I’ve just finished drafting up the new cover and blurb for my (hopeful) début novel.

Truths&Lies Cover - Full

Blurb:

“Because in real life, there is so much more to a fairy tale ending than imagined.

“Aspiring teen writer Jacob Barnes has always been fascinated by the world of fairy tales. All of his life, his secret ambition was to find a happily ever after of his own. He was already halfway through the mandatory checklist – he was the step-child, with a wicked step-father and two abusive step-brothers; he was the underdog with the big dreams; he even had something of his own personal fairy godmother, although she was in fact his best friend who just happened to be rather clever. The only thing he needed, really, was his princess.

“With high school graduation and the real world looming closer every day, Jacob finally decided to pursue his secret admirer, an anonymous fan of his online blog. Yet as he journeyed deeper into the world of fairy tale romance, those carefully cultivated expectations that a childhood of Disney films had built in his mind began to crumble and Jacob was left to navigate the harsh realities of first love.

“Once upon a time, a boy undertook an epic quest, duelled vicious monsters, and sought the heart of his princess – and redefined “happily ever afters” for the real world.”

 

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Packing Up the Stress

Baggage claim ecomo

 

Planning for vacation is stressful!

Now if I’m being completely honest, this is like the first proper vacation I’ve ever taken by myself. Before this all of my vacations were with family, so my parents handled all of the difficult stuff and I just tagged along for the fun. So I suppose there is the possibility that I just haven’t had enough experience to really get the hang of things.

I’m sure it also doesn’t help that I’m going out of country, which is something that is completely foreign – no pun intended – to me. I’ve never actually left the continental US before, but this March I’m flying out to spend two weeks in the UK. So I’m having to figure out a lot of this international stuff on my own.

These last few weeks – and the seven remaining weeks until I leave – have been a non-stop whirlwind of stress and planning. I’ve been scouring airline sites for the best deals on flights. I’ve been refreshing the page obsessively on hotels.com and cross-checking the locations of the cheaper hotels to find out if it’s worth the cost or if I’ll be paying that much in transport anyhow. I’ve been meticulously scratching out how much money I’m allowed to spend on food a day to stay within my budget and checking the costs of local transport to get around. I’ve been comparing international cell phone rentals to get one that works for what I need.

Sometimes the stress of it all makes me wonder if it’s going to be worth it in the end. I’m going to need the vacation just to relax from the exhausting ordeal of planning this vacation.

And then I remember that I’m finally going to be visiting my dream city and I feel better.

Along this tornado track of madness though, I’ve picked up a couple useful tips that I will definitely remember for the next international – or any, really – trip that I take.

1. Start early. Whatever you do, do not leave everything until the last minute. Not only will it save you a great deal of stress, but also a lot of money. Airlines and hotels will often give you discounts for booking early. (I just saved 150 dollars for booking my hotel so far in advance.)

2. Make a checklist. This has helped me keep my head on straight and make sure that I’ve not forgotten anything. It’s great for keeping track of costs as well, especially for those of us that are travelling on a tight budget. Not to mention, there’s something really satisfying about being able to scratch off each thing as you complete it.

3. Ask around. Have a friend or family member who’s visited there before? Don’t be afraid to check in with them. There are a lot of cultural and economic differences that you need to consider when travelling to another country, and the best place to get that information is from someone who’s been there. Having a friend who lives in the UK has been invaluable for me, not to mention he’s been coaching me so I don’t make social faux pas and get grouped in as one of “those Americans.” You know which ones I mean. And if you don’t know someone personally, check the travel sites forums. There are a lot of great people there willing to offer free advice.

4. Don’t forget the little things. This one bit me in the ass hard. When planning a trip it’s easy to remember the big stuff; the plane, teh hotel, packing your things. But don’t forget to think about the minor details too. Are there eating constraints to plan around? Have you looked into how the public transit works or rented a car? Do you know the basic driving laws? What about communication; does your cell work abroad or do you need to activate your international calling? They might seem like little things now but they can really ruin a trip if you’re unprepared.

5. Breathe. Seriously, remember this one. Don’t let yourself forget that you’re doing this for fun. When it gets stressful, step back and take a deep breath. Think about all the fun things you’ll do once this stressful planning part is over. Exhale and dive back in.

There’s a lot of work that goes into planning a trip, but if you remind yourself that this is something that you want to do it becomes that much easier. After all, isn’t every thing worth doing a little bit of work? It’s worth it in the end.

I’ll keep you all updated as my first international holiday draws closer and then I’ll share all my adventures once I’m home. Until then,

Bon Voyage! 

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