Posts from the ‘Weekly Writing Challenge’ Category

Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections
by Krista on March 24, 2014

I have always loved to read and to make-up stories in my head. Some I wrote down, some I did not. At first, I wrote my stories in a little diary, but soon blossomed out to notebooks; boxes upon boxes of notebooks. I was probably around the age of eight or nine. I wrote a lot of stories about animals.

Books, to me, were, and still are, a great escape. I still love nothing better than getting lost in a good book. Writing became my second nature. It didn’t matter if I was writing a letter to God, a story about animals, or just spewing whatever I was feeling at the moment down on paper. My writings were very personal to me and I shared my stories only with a few.

It wasn’t until my tenth grade English and creative writing teacher gave me enough confidence in my writing, that I was ready to share with the world. It was, also, around that time that I fell in love with poetry. I love reading poetry, and tried my hand, a few times, at writing poetry. Poetry just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I enjoy writing fiction the best; Young Adult, Fantasy, Children’s Books. I hope to try a Baby Boomer novel, and a Historical Fantasy, soon. I, also, have been working on my memoir.

I write mostly for myself, because I have the stories in me and want to let them out. Of course, I would love to be published, but as long as I can write, I’m happy.

It is hard for me to keep to a daily writing practice, because of life and the twists and turns that come along with it. I do try to write something everyday, but as far as mapping out: I’m going to write this, this, and this today, forget it. Very seldom does that work for me.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names

Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names
by Tim (tmoorewp) on March 17, 2014

POWER OF NAMES

In the year of 1950, a girl child was born to a young couple who were losing their faith. The woman had previously suffered through three miscarriages. For this, her fourth pregnancy, her doctor put the woman on complete bed rest, so she stayed at her mother and father’s home, until the girl child was born.

The mother, and her mother, both had a name picked for the girl child. The name the grandmother had chosen was biblical in origin. The name meant Queen, Prophetess, Judge; a cascade of strength. This was the name that went on the birth certificate.

The girl child’s, mother, had another name for her; a secret name that was never spoken. It was a strong, magical name. Even though the girl did not know her secret name, she lived up to it. The name, further empowered the name on her birth certificate.

The girl was mostly called a shortened version of her name, that meant ‘to speak kind words’. Her father had always called her ‘Sis’; A Blessing, Omen of good things, Born on Sunday, Love, Grace, A Thrush, A Swallow.

As a young girl, ‘Sis’ did not like her name. She thought it was boring. She changed it to a different version of her name, that meant the same. It wasn’t until her grandmother passed, that ‘Sis’ fully embraced the name her grandmother had given to her.

It wasn’t long, after her grandmother’s passing, that her mother told ‘Sis’ her secret name. ‘Sis’ was astonished when she found how closely her secret name paralleled her life; how she had never truly felt a part of conventional society, how her life had always been chaotic, and how she believed her life had been a series of unforeseeable actions from Angels, and/or God. Learning this only made her stronger.

Although her names did not give her power over others, it did give her a strength, built on Love, that she could cascade down to others in need of gently spoken words, comfort, and understanding.

References:
http://www.babynameworld.com/girl-names.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

Coming Home

Sam smiled broadly as he walked across the stage to shake hands with the principal and receive his High School Diploma. He was the first of six children to make it to graduation. His family had thrown an all-day party for him. Even though it was near the end of Spring, Sam’s grandfather, father, and his three older brothers had killed and butchered a hog for the celebration. Sam’s grandmother, mother, and his two older sisters stayed busy cooking and cleaning in the kitchen.

The celebration began with fresh tenderloin, scrambled eggs, and sliced tomatoes, served with biscuits and gravy. The entire family had eaten together. Everyone was full of congratulations for Sam.

After graduation, Sam walked down to his favorite place on the families huge farm; a little brook. Sam often came here to do his thinking, and he had been doing a lot of thinking for the past few months. Fact was that finishing high school was not really that big of a deal. Sam was smart, but his grades had not been good enough to land him a scholarship for college. Every penny his family earned, from farming, went right back in to the upkeep of the farm.

Both of Sam’s grandfather’s had fought in World War I. One returned, one did not. Sam’s father, along with several of his uncle’s, had fought in World War II. The draft had been set back up as mandatory and there was talk about a war brewing in Vietnam.

Sam knew he did not want to become a farmer. Two of his older brother’s went into farming. The other brother worked in a local steel mill. Sam knew he did not want to be a factory worker either.

Sam had been talking to an Army Recruiter that had come to the school, in March. He was leaning heavily on joining the Army. The travel appealed to him. He would probably get drafted anyway. Sam thought it would be better to join first.

Sam’s Army Career began in August of 1964. He was sent to Vietnam in December of 1968. Sam had learned a lot about life and death from growing up on a farm. In Vietnam, he felt himself growing-up real fast.

By the time Sam returned to the United States, in 1973, he was twenty-eight years old. He took two-years of mechanics in an Army Technical College, but decided to continue a career with the Army. In 1975, Sam was sent to Germany. There he met a young lady, Callie, who worked in the Army Office. Sam fell in love for the first time. They were married within a year, after meeting.

Both Sam and Callie wanted to start a family right away. Sam soon found himself to be the father of four strong boys. He spent time with them when he could, but his Army career took him away from home, often. The family moved often, from Germany, to Alaska, and several states in the U. S. Sam’s sons had a good education wherever they moved.

After forty years of serving his country, Sam retired in 2004. He was fifty-eight years old. Sam took a closer look at his life. He hoped he had at least forty more good years to live his life. At first, Sam worked on becoming closer to his sons and their families.

Sam’s oldest son had followed his father’s footsteps and joined the Army. His next to oldest son, went to college and became an engineer. The next son, went to college and became a farmer. His youngest son, also, went to college and became a farmer.

Sam decided that he wanted to go home and take over the family farm, so he and his wife packed up and moved back to the family farm, where Sam had grown-up.

Sam took Callie down to show her the little brook. She was as delighted with it as he was. Later in the day, Sam went back to the little brook. He thought about how he couldn’t wait to get away from the family farm and how he had ended up coming back.

“Yes,” Sam thought, “I have come back home.”

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The Daily Post – Weekly Writing Challenge: Object

The Daily Post – Weekly Writing Challenge: Object

The Pain of Love and Loss
by D. B. Mauldin

Margaret grabbed a coke from the refrigerator, her cigarettes and lighter from the kitchen table, and went outside to sit on the front porch steps. She welcomed the warmth of the sun; she felt chilled to the bone; chilled to the bone for thirty-years now. Margaret opened the can of coke and took a sip. She lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. Once again, she let the pain and shock wash over her.

He was gone; gone without a trace. He was there one day and gone the next. Their relationship was doomed from the beginning, yet it lasted, on and off, for nearly fifteen years. They were true soul mates, from the moment they looked into each other’s eyes. There was such pain and heartache, from the beginning.

Hank was a truck driver. Margaret was a factory worker. Hank was as free as the wind. Margaret was rooted, trying to make a living for herself, and her two daughters from a previous marriage. He begged her to let her mom watch the girls and go on the truck with him, he wanted to show her the world. Margaret could not leave her daughters.

Sometimes, they wouldn’t see each other for months. Once, they didn’t see each other for a couple of years. There was always the pain of longing for someone she could never fully have. The pain that ripped her apart. The pain that made her mentally and physically sick.

The last time Margaret saw Hank, he made her watch him shoot heroin into his veins. “How long has this been going on?” “About a year,” he says. Margaret was at a loss. The man she loved was dying before her eyes. There was no way that she would allow her daughters to be exposed to his drug use.

“Go,” he said. “There is nothing left here for you.” Margaret left. She cried all the way home. “I will go and check on him tomorrow,” she told herself. The next morning he was gone; all of his belongings, everything was gone.

The horrible pain rocked Margaret to her core. She tried to reason it out, make excuses for him, but after months of not hearing a word from him, Margaret began to accept that it was over. The pain was tremendous.

Margaret thought that Lord Tennyson must have been a fool for saying, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Yet, there were some happy moments in the relationship. Margaret had a diamond stud earring that Hank had given her, so they would each have a piece of a matching pair. She wore her earring constantly, even though she had not heard from him in years.

Margaret, also, had a red bandana of Hank’s. He had given it to her to use as a headband, one day when they were riding on his motorcycle. She cherished it. It smelled like Hank; diesel fuel, his body odor, and motor oil. Margaret slept with it several nights, just to smell him. Eventually, she put the earring in the bandana and stored them both away in the deep chambers of her cedar chest. Out of sight, but not forgotten.

After sixteen years, the pain was still there. Margaret needed closure. She needed to know if he was dead or alive. She needed a word from him, just to know if he was all right, to know if he was happy. The pain of not knowing was what Margaret lived with daily.

1 A Gemini www.tattooartgallery.wordpress.com 1
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There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain…Or so says the legend.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

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Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

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Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
by Erica on February 17, 2014

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-sound-of-silence/#more-69294
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MEDITATION: SILENCING THE MIND

I love and embrace the silence. I can, and often have, spent an entire day with nothing but the twittering of birds. I don’t care for the sound of a TV. Some day’s I enjoy music while I work and some day’s I prefer silence.
I developed a love of meditation, years ago, and I still practice meditation today.
Learning to silence my own inner noise was the hardest part of meditation for me. I would be lost in the relaxing silence of meditation, when a thought would cross my mind, such as, telling myself to remember an appointment for the next day, and then my mind would wander off to thinking of all the things I needed to get done the next day. I would catch myself all tensed up with my thoughts going every which way. The meditation would have to be started over again.
All the books I had read told me this was normal; to not get upset, just recognize the unwanted thought(s) and release it/them. It took me many months of practice to be able to focus my mind during meditation, and even today I still have an inner thought or two that slips in.
Of course, you can practice silence without meditation. Silence is completely enjoyable, free, natural, simple and it works wonders.
Meditation is more focused; using a mantra, candle, or merely the breath as a form of focus. Personally, I found focusing on the breath a delight during meditation and it also helped me to breathe more fully. Later, I found that I could release stress by focusing on my breath.
What are the benefits of meditation? It aids in creativity, gives us more energy, helps us connect with our inner spirit, helps the mind to rest, and slows our heart rate. In addition, practicing the silence of meditation brings healing into our lives so we can begin to live more peacefully.
I especially love the silence upon first awakening in the morning and at night, right before sleep. It is during those times that I practice my silent meditations.
As for technique, I’m a firm believer in whatever works for you. Personally, I do a sitting meditation in the mornings and perform my evening meditation while lying in bed. Some experts scoff at the idea of falling asleep during meditation; I say what a wonderful way to naturally relax and allow yourself to fall into a good night’s sleep.
If it is a day that I feel like doing yoga, I will end with a meditation sitting in the lotus position, or as close as my old arthritic joints will allow.
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Meditation can be as completely enjoyable, free, natural, and as simple as silence. Plus, meditation works wonders too. Simply make a commitment to yourself to meditate as often as possible. You do not have to practice twice a day; twice a week is a good goal to aim for when just starting. Start at your crown, or toes, and simply work your way, up or down, relaxing muscles as you go, until you are completely relaxed. Try to focus on each muscle group as you relax. Focus on your breath; breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension. Again, you may find yourself drifting off on inner thoughts. Simply bring your awareness back to relaxing different muscle groups.
Play around with it until you find what works for you. There are many books, and many websites, that can help you along; though these are certainly not a necessity.

St. Valentine’s Day

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/writing-challenge-valentine/#more-68832

Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?
by Ben Huberman on February 10, 2014

What does St. Valentine’s Day mean to me? It means romance; a romantic candle-light dinner for two, some new slinky lingerie, a dozen roses, new jewelry, a box of chocolates, and, of course, sex.
I think St. Valentine’s Day can mean commitment and love to some. Couples get engaged or married on this day, and I’m okay with that, as long as they remember their words, ‘to love’.
Love can mean so much more. What about self-love? Whether you are in an unhappy relationship or enjoying a fulfilling, solitary life, you can still pamper yourself. Buy yourself some chocolates, have a lovely candle-light dinner for yourself, buy roses for yourself; go all out and spend the day at a spa. Buy yourself some new perfume, new lingerie, new jewelry, or get yourself a manicure or pedicure or both. Donate to your favorite charity, or anything that makes you feel good about you.
Don’t just pamper yourself on one single day; pamper yourself on some level everyday and feel your self-love grow.
Branch on out and include family love, on this day, and every day. I love giving my mom pretty flowers for Valentine’s Day; candles to my daughters, and candy to my grandchildren.
I love ‘oohing and aahing’ at the gifts my friends receive from their significant other or watching a touching story of love on the ‘evening news’. I love sending hearts to friends and family on facebook. I try to take the time to remember the homeless, the lonely, the starving and send blessings to them, not just on St. Valentine’s Day, but every day.
I think those are the keywords here; every day. Love on Valentine’s Day, but also remember to love every day. Whether it be romantic love, self-love, family love, friends love, or the love we feel for the whole wide world, we should love every day.

Silver Lining www.thesunnygirl.com I
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Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/inspiration-images-1000-words/

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words
by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on February 3, 2014

1 A fort-point-arches Emptiness

Marie had never felt so tired in all her life. She, mechanically, removed the clothing she had worn to the funeral and pulled on a pair of pajamas. Her mother lay resting in the bedroom before her own. Marie had given her mother one of the valium’s the doctor had prescribed. She walked, silently, back into her mother’s bedroom to check on her, before taking one of her own valium’s and going to bed.
Marie’s daughters were being looked after by family, but they knew their mother’s bedroom door was always open to them if they needed to talk.
As she drifted off to sleep, Marie found herself standing at the side of her old elementary school building. ‘I thought this old building had been torn down,’ Marie pondered to herself. She looked long and hard at the building before realizing it was empty; long deserted.
It was light where Marie was standing, but it looked darker along the walkway. Marie walked under the archway and tried the office doors to her right, but they were padlocked. She continued walking and trying other doors to no avail. They were all padlocked.
The light was growing dimmer as she walked, but her eyes were adjusting well. Eventually, Marie came upon the basement door and above it was the door to the old lunchroom. She walked up the steps leading to the lunchroom door and to her surprise, this door was not padlocked. Marie opened the door. For a moment, she saw the lunchroom as it was in her day. She could smell the food, hear the clinking of forks and spoons upon the eating trays and the children’s chatter, and she could see the children, lunchroom ladies, and teachers. Just for a moment and then they were gone, leaving Marie alone in the dark, empty lunchroom.
Marie stood for awhile, allowing her eyes to adjust to the darkness. She backed up against the wall and slid down to a sitting position, with her arms folding around her knees. Suddenly, the lunchroom lit up and was, once again, filled with children eating, laughing, and talking. Marie saw her younger brother standing in the food line. She watched him as he got his tray and moved toward a table. Marie moved to his table and sat down directly across from him.
Marie spoke his name, but he continued talking to the boy sitting next to him, as he shoved food in his mouth. Marie reached across the table and touched his beautiful face, but he did not acknowledge her in any way. Marie began to cry. “I’m so sorry, so sorry. It was all my fault, all my fault. Please forgive me. I’m so sorry,” Marie cried over and over. It was no use. When her younger brother’s class rose from the table in preparation to depart for their classroom, Marie tried to follow, but found herself slammed back onto the concrete floor trying to sob her heartache out in the darkness.
Marie knew the old lunchroom didn’t hold anything else for her. She knew the basement held some memories for her, but she wasn’t ready to face them, yet.
She walked out of the lunchroom and ignored the basement door. Marie knew she couldn’t move back to the light until she had faced all things, including the ones held in the basement, so she turned to her right and continued down the darkness of the walkway.
The darkness hid her. She would rest here for awhile in the emptiness that was nothing. She felt comfortably numb.

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