Unique

BridgetI like to think I’m quite unique.

I used to do scientific research. I was thinking and coming up with ideas that, possibly, no one else had thought of. I felt like I was making a contribution to the world that no one else could duplicate, because no one thought exactly the same way as I did or looked at problems in exactly the same way. That made me fairly unique.

Now, I’m a stay at home mom. I spend my days with two toddlers that I brought into this world. With their specific combination of DNA, some from me and some from my husband, they are definitely one of a kind. And I’m the only one in the world that could make them exactly what they are. That makes me especially unique.

wet leaf heartAnd a photographer. I like to think that I can take my camera and capture a perfectly unique image. I can look through my viewfinder and see things in a way that, maybe, no one else would think to choose. Or maybe I can pick up my camera and capture a moment in time that no one else in the world could possibly have seen it if I hadn’t snapped a photo. That makes me somewhat unique.

And a writer. When I sit down and write, which is not as often as I’d like, I put words together in a way that is uniquely my own. A million people in the world could sit down and write about the exact same topic and not use the exact combination of words that I can. That certainly makes me rather unique.

But it’s all these things together (biologist, mother, photographer, and writer) that make me the absolutely unique person sitting at my computer, typing these words right now.

How do you define yourself? What makes you unique? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know.

Love,

Becca ♥

Resolve

As instructed by Khara House over at Our Lost Jungle, I make the following proclamation:
I am resolved to… be a writer.
More specifically, I will:
  • Post on my writing and photography blogs at least once a week.
  • Make time to write on my novel and short fiction.
  • Walk and write for 30 minutes, at least 5 days a week.

You can see how I plan to do that last one over on my photography blog. It’s a little tricky.

What to you resolve to do in this new year?

An Ending (or Is It A Beginning?)

Here is a short piece of fiction I wrote for a prompt over at WordsmithStudio.org:

An End (or A Beginning)

This is the last time I’ll have to ride this offensive form of mass transportation. It smells even worse than usual. The guy in the front row is dirtier than I’ve ever seen him. The floor is definitely stickier; I can barely lift my shoes to take a step. I strategically sit in the space that is simultaneously the farthest from every other person I’m forced to share oxygen with. I can’t wait to get home today. I’ve finally saved enough to buy my neighbor’s pickup, and I’ll never have to ride the bus again.

I actively avoid eye contact with the other passengers. I don’t want to smile and make conversation. I just want to get off this bus and never get on it again. A guy near the front catches my eye and I’m unable to look away. He is actually kinda cute. His straight, dark hair falls in a parted curtain, hiding most of his face. One electric blue eye peeks at me through the crack. Dimples appear on either side of his pale lips, just under the reach of the black curtain.

My thrilling, dirty white shoelaces recapture my attention and I admonish myself for looking up in the first place. I close my eyes and see his smirk on the back of my lids. I shake the image from my mind, replacing it with an old S-10. Black lines don’t shine quite as much as they used to. Rust eats away a spot of fender near the front tire well. I can’t wait ’til that hunk of metal is mine.

Chipped black paint is suddenly replaced with sleek, ebony hair and one lapis eye. A sigh escapes before I can hold it back. Almost there. One more stop. I don’t open my eyes again until I hear the door open. The gorgeous stranger and I rise in unison. A trickle of fear caresses the base of my spine. No one ever gets off at my stop. I follow him down the steps then pass him as he checks something on his phone.

“Hey,” he calls. I shudder, but turn around none-the-less.

“Um, yeah?”

“I’m a little lost.” Deep parentheses erupt around his heart-stopping smile. “Can you help me find…” he checks his phone again, “616 Chase Street?” He looks down at me hopefully.

“Uh, sure. It’s just down the road here, third left. I’m headed that way anyway; I’ll show you.” I am a little uneasy that this guy is going to my apartment building, but he already has the address and he isn’t following me like a stalker, so I dismiss the feeling.

“Thanks. I’m Simon,” he says, hand outstretched.

“Izzy, uh, Isabelle.” I start walking and he follows.

“So, Izzy, you work at Sidney’s restaurant?” He nods at the logo on my shirt.

“Um, yeah. It’s not as bad as you’d think. Those country club snobs tip pretty well.” A soft laugh eases through his lips, drawing my attention to his dimples. A girl could get lost in those caves.

“You have a pretty smile,” he whispers before I even realize I’m smiling. It doesn’t happen often.

“Thanks. It’s just a couple more buildings down. What brings you here?”

“I’m buying a truck. I’m in a hurry, actually. The guy said he might be selling it tonight or tomorrow. I’d like to get there before he does.” He scans the parking lot, “There it is! I hope it’s a good as my friend says it it.” His pace quickens.

I’m dumbstruck. I told Jeff I wanted it and I’d have the money after work today, tomorrow at the latest. This guy is so not getting my truck. “Um, it actually sold today,” I say, stretching the truth just a bit.

He turns to me, “How do you know? The sign is still in the window.” He looks back at my truck. “He said if I got here before 8, I could have it. It’s only fifteen after. Maybe I’m not too late.” He turns and heads for apartment 12, and I catch up.

“Wait, Simon. I told you, it’s sold. I hope you’ve got a ride home. That was the last bus tonight.” I look pointedly at him. Apprehension dawns in his heavenly eyes and I feel kinda guilty. “Look, I’m sorry you came all the way out here. I told Jeff I’d have the money after work today. He shouldn’t have told you that.”

“But you haven’t bought it yet. I brought an extra hundred just in case. Who do you think he’ll sell it to?” His eyes sparkle.

I don’t have another hundred to spend. I just stare at him, openmouthed. My blood begins to boil.

“Hey, I’m just kidding. Calm down. Tell you what: I’ll let you have the truck, if you’ll give me a ride home and let me buy you dinner on the way.” His smile erases my rising anger in two seconds flat. Was he really asking me out?

“Deal. I just gotta change first. I live right next door to Jeff,” the asshole. “Um, can you wait out here? My place isn’t really suitable for company.”

“Sure, Izzy. No problem.” I really just want to curl up in those dimples and take a nap. I slip inside and make a mad dash to find clean clothes.

I’m pulling up my jeans, searching for my black slinky tee in clean pile on the couch, when I hear voices outside. Surely he’s not out there buying my truck while I’m stuck in here half-naked. I listen at the door and hear Jeff talking.

“See, I told you she was cute,” he says with a rough laugh.

“I know, I know. You were right. I kept telling myself I was wasting my time riding on that nasty bus. I figured I’d end up riding it all the way back home. But when I saw her get on, I knew I’d be coming here tonight. I can’t believe she doesn’t have a boyfriend.”

“All she does is work. Me and Mary are always trying to get her to come over or go out with us, but she just keeps to herself. I’m glad you came tonight, Simon. She’s a nice girl and needs to relax a little. You’d better be good to her.”

“Oh, please, Jeff.” I can hear his eyes roll. “You know I’m not into one night stands. I’m looking for something more long term.”

“I know. That’s why I gave you the heads-up in the first place. I’d better get back inside before she gets back. See you in a minute.” He laughs again and shuts the door.

I stand in my living room, in just jeans and a bra, with my ear against my front door. Really?! Jeff is setting me up? I must be more pathetic than I thought. Simon is pretty cute, though. I guess I can just see what happens.

Every fairytale begins somewhere, right?

 

Flash Fiction Picture Prompt: Queen Calliope

I was prompted to write this piece of flash fiction for a friend, Katherine Faulcon, who made the picture and requested some writing to go with it. When I looked at her, this just sort of wrote itself. I hope you guys like it. 😉

Queen Calliope

Her newborn laugh resounded like bells and her parents named her Calliope. Golden curls grew around her ivory face. Eyes shone like aquamarines through a thickening fringe of lashes. As a teenager, she hid behind delicate fingers and downcast eyes.
It was particularly this effort to go unnoticed that first drew Charles’s attention. It took him ages to draw up enough courage to speak to her. She was so refined, a princess, no less. He was the son of a nobleman, so he thought himself not hopelessly beneath her, though nearly. He saw her many times before he was brave enough to approach. When he finally did, he could imagine no sound more melodic and pleasurable than her voice. Always soft spoken, her words came forth thoughtful and deliberate.
He sought her out at every social function, monopolizing her attention, though she never seemed to mind. She avoided large groups, though never outwardly uncomfortable, and he sensed that she preferred his solitary presence.
They would sometimes stand on the balcony and discuss a common love of literature beneath the stars. This was where they shared their first kiss. Pale pink lips brushed softly across his, before her cheeks flared with color and his heart nearly escaped his chest.
On their wedding day, she shone brighter than the stars that witnessed their love blossom. Her creamy skin was nearly as pale as her milky white dress. The jewels of her crown made her sky blue eyes sparkle. Her smile revealed her immense happiness at the prospect of spending her life with him. His soul overflowed with love and appreciation at the outstanding luck that he had won her heart.
As time flew by with increasing speed, he found that he loved her more with every passing day, month, year. Their children had children and he was thankful for every second of his blessed life. They still sat on that same balcony, rocking under the stars and speaking of love and literature. They held hands in silence, basking in their shared accomplishments and lives well spent. They gazed into each others’ eyes, content in each others’ arms, even as they shared their last breath, passing peacefully into the afterlife together.

Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Comment! Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn!!! Interaction is what this life is all about.

Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Photography

I’ve been pretty busy lately trying to avoid actual writing so I’m posting a flash fiction piece and a poem I’ve been cleaning up, as well as a few pictures I’ve taken. The flash fiction story was inspired by a TerribleMinds prompt (from a while back) to write a complete story in five sentences and 100 words, or less. The poem was written in response to one of Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD challenges to write a Tanka poem. I had done this one previously (check it out here) and had a lot of fun with it, so I did it again. Photography has become my latest hobby and I’ve had a lot of fun taking pictures around the house of my flowers and babies. So I decided to share some of the better ones (IMO). 😉

Flash Fiction: KTFO (WC79)

Blood covered my face, but the fight only had thirty more seconds. I jabbed left and she dodged right. I jabbed left then followed with a hard right and she blocked. I leaned back and, when she pursued, popped a straight kick, catching her right under the chin. Her head snapped back just like a Pez dispenser, but no candy came out. As she landed flat on her back, I let rip my victory cry, “KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!”

Baby Girl

Tanka: Baby Girl

Strawberry blonde hair
Wispy, curly, and cowlick’d
Above sky blue eyes,
Ivory skin, and pale pink lips
Little arms reach up to me

Pictures

Pretty Roadside Weeds

Pete the Garden Gnome says, “Go Reds!”
Hot Pink Rose
Pink Roses

Hot Pink Rosebud
Garden Mushrooms

This looks like it’d be a great photo prompt for a fantasy…

Do you like to write or take pictures? What are your favorite subjects? What do you think about my writing and pictures? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

If you’re interested in my ROW80 progress… well, there isn’t really any.

Appreciation and Feedback: Liebster Blog

Writers, at least most of the ones I know, are always unsure about their writing. Is it good or bad? Will others like it? And the answers I give myself are always changing.

Sometimes I look at what I’ve written and think, “Wow, this is absolutely genius! I’m gonna win endless awards with my innate ability to put words together in awe-inspiring ways!!”

Then, five minutes later, I’ll look at that same passage again, and think, “This is absolute garbage! I’m completely worthless as a writer and I don’t know why I ever attempted to put words on a page.”

Then, I’ll read it through again, and wonder, “What will everyone else think about this? Will anyone like it?” It’s so hard to gauge how others will view your work, especially when you can’t decide what you think about it yourself.

So, I was absolutely thrilled to find that I’d been nominated by Ann Stanley for the Liebster Blog!! I looked it up and liebster means “beloved”. I’m so happy to know that at least one person out there enjoys reading the words I put together. She even went as far as to say this about my blog, “ I always enjoy her lightness of spirit and the fun range of topics and occasional bits of fiction.” I’m a little in awe. Thank you so much, Ann, for your thoughtful appreciation.

The Liebster Blogger Rules are:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.
3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

Since I’ve already thanked Ann, I’m moving on to my nominees. This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. There are so many fun blogs out there that I wanted to list here. But, alas, I could only pick five, so here they are for your perusal and pleasure.

1. Dana Dampier’s Crazy, Poetic Life – Dana writes great poetry and has three kids (like me) so I like her a lot!! 😉
2. Lara Britt’s Writing Space – Lara lives in Hawaii and posts about local stuff on Fridays. She also posts about writing nooks, which are my favorite places to be!!
3.Lauri Meyers’s Your Imagination is the Limit – Lauri has a great voice and I often laugh out loud when reading her posts.
4. Kelly Williamson’s This is Mine…Seriously – Kelly has been writing about tough times with a mental illness in the family. She’s in the process of changing up her blog and I, for one, am excited to see where she takes it.
5. Linda Hatton’s The Whatnot Shop – Linda posts about lots of different topics, all interesting.

Okay, now I have to go and comment on these sites and let them know. 😉

Oh, and here is my ROW80 update:
This only thing I accomplished last week was my blog post on feeling overwhelmed. Not a very productive week at all. I’m starting off a little better this week. Hopefully, I can keep it up. 😉

Platform Building

Lots of you guys might be aware of the April Platform Challenge going on over at My Name Is Not Bob, a new addition to my Awesome Blogs. It’s a great challenge with a new task everyday to help writers get started on building, or maintaining, a platform for their work. If you are interested but not involved yet, you can see all the past challenges in the archives on the MNINB site. It’s turned out to be the start of a great community of writers, as well. BONUS!

I even participated in my first Twitter chat last night with the group. That was pretty fast paced and hard to follow.  And one of the reasons I started a Facebook group. Typically, I’m not very good at organizing, but hopefully managing this group will help with that. Because you can’t grow inside your comfort zone, right? If you read my previous post Tagged, you know I’m terribly shy when it comes to social interaction. Seems like I’ve been venturing out of my comfort zone a lot lately.

Lots of writers participating in the challenge have started groups/lists/circles on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Actually, I just started the Facebook group last night. 🙂 It’s called MNINB Platform Challengers. Go join up if you are a writer. It’s gonna be a place for writers to chat, recommend resources, help each other with any issues/questions, and/or just hang out. I’m hoping it turns out to be a pretty helpful group. If you have any suggestions or things you want help with, comment below or in the group!! It’s a writer’s group and we’re starting off with posting goals and accountability, but I also want it to be a place writers can share resources and support. I hope it will become a place that writers feel comfortable asking questions (about writing and anything else) and just sharing with each other. Post a link to your latest blog or share a craft article you found helpful! Post a piece of your latest WIP in the Docs section and ask for feedback! Just make sure to give feedback and answer others’ questions if you know anything about it!! I want it to be a community where everyone can help each other grow as writers and/or social beings!!! (I’m excited about it, in case you couldn’t tell…)

What do you guys think about the group? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

ROW80 Update #5: April 18th 

Writing: 485 words on this Platform post
Reading: One down, three to go!
Editing: Now on page 20!! WooHoo!
Blogging: Platform post, plus update!

Happy Writing and Platform Building!!
Becca