Three Day Quote Challenge, Day Too

Da Rulez:

  1. Thou shalt thank the person who nominated you:  Thank you, Addy!
  2. Thou shalt nominate three other bloggers with each post, no more, no less.
    Three shall be the number thou shalt nominate, and the number of the nominating shall be three.
    Four shalt thou not nominate, nor either nominate thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.
    Five is right out.
    OH! Sorry, I got carried away…
    Um, I don’t actually know many bloggers, so y’all are it:
    Periodically Demented at:
    Thumbup at:
    Addy at:
    And honestly? I don’t really feel you need to respond. It’s fun if you do, but I know we all have lives, and sometimes we might want to post something else, or nothing if we want, so there!
  3. Thou shalt post 3 of thy favorite quotes each per day for 3 recurrent days.
    So endeth the lesson.

So, the quotes for today? Okay, let’s go with some of my favorites:

  1. Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass. — Anton Chekhov
    This is my most absolute favoritest of all favorite quotes on writing. MUCH clearer than the usual “show, don’t tell” you usually get. I think it is the best advice for writers, and that if a writer only follows this one piece of advice their writing cannot help but become their best possible.
    Because of something I once wrote, this quote always makes me think of Kristallnacht. Of fires burning in the streets, of shattered windows and shards of glass reflecting an angry glitter, of the smell of fear. Of frightened people hiding behind bolted doors or scuttling down alleys like furtive rats with the sound of heavy boots and cruel laughter echoing in their ears. But always, always, the sight of broken glass seen from the viewpoint of someone lying broken on the street looking for one last glimpse of their dying lover.
    Maybe I’ll post that story sometime.Chekhov Broken Glass
  2. Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways. — Sigmund Freud
    I know this for a fact. If you don’t let it out somehow, you will end up sick, or with some kind of behavioral quirk, or try to take it out on someone. Or end up an alcoholic or drug abuser or someone who self harms. What you feel WILL show up somehow. Cancer, ulcers (mine), or misery. Find someone to talk to, even if it’s just a letter to Dear Abby. But let it out!
    Just as an FYI, I’m a really good listener. That’s an open invitation, there. Any one, any time.
    My goodness, I’m grim today. Let’s see if I can find something not so much of a downer for #3.
  3. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. — unknown
    I really do believe this. Despite how negative my quotes seem to be, I actually am a positive person. I’m just also a realist. I recognize how difficult life can be, how dark and discouraging. But I also believe that we have the capacity to make a difference — in our own lives, and in the lives of others.
    I also believe that we have the responsibility to try to make that difference, even if all we can do is toss a quarter in the Salvation Army pot at Christmas, or smile at someone who seems down. But whatever we can do, we should do it. In fact, that reminds me of my school motto (or prayer, or whatever the heck they called it then, It’s 44 years ago, cut me some slack!).

    I am only one, but I am one.
    I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
    What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.

    Okay, not so much the religious part of it — no longer a Catholic or even a Christian now — but the rest of it? Absolutely.
    I also believe that we are stronger than we think we are, and that if we think we are weak still we are stronger for others than for ourselves. That is an underlying theme of the stories I write; that each of my characters may or may not feel able to stand up for themselves, but when another is threatened they find that strength. (Which I just realized just now. Am I smart, or what?)

    OH! And I know just EXACTLY what tomorrow’s quote will be! Only one, but it’s a long one. Trust me on this, it’ll be worth it, and it will show you so much more about who I am and what I believe in.


Addy and the Three-Day-Quote Challenge: Day 1

Okay, so I just discovered that I had been nominated for the Three Day Quote Challenge. Apparently this is a thing I didn’t know about (how ’bout that!).

The deal is, obviously enough, that I need to post a quote a day for three days. Me. Quotes. Easy-peasy.

But there are also RULES.

The RULES are as follows:

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you. — Thank you, Addy! 😉
  2. You must nominate 3 other bloggers with each post. — Going by Addy’s posts, it’s permissible to re-use the same three bloggers each time. So I’ll make this a round robin:
    Periodically Demented at:
    Thumbup at:
    Addy at:
  3. Somewhat confusingly, Addy states that you must “Post 3 of your favorite quotes each per day for 3 recurrent days.” However, there is only one quote for each of Addy’s posts… But that’s okay, I probably have more quotes than I could ever use for something like this, and I find more every time I read something. So I’ll go by the letter of the law (or in this case, the “number”) and post three each day. Addy also states that “The quotes can be of any other people or it may come straight from your own heart.” I’ll see what I can come up with.

Today’s quotes:

  1. For every situation there is a suitable line from a song.
    Ever have one of those days? When nothing is going right, and you just can’t do it any more? Been there, doing that, having ENOUGH FUN now, thank you. And then a song comes on the radio, or pops into your head, or whatever — and suddenly you have the strength to go on. Maybe there’s a line in the song that just hits you right. Maybe it’s something about the whole song, or the memories that come up when you hear it. Maybe there aren’t even words to the song, just the melody itself and the way the harmonies reach into your heart and hold it close.
    “Don’t try to explain it, just bow your head. Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.” – Jimmy Buffet
  2. Nothing real can defeat us. Nothing unreal exists. – Buckaroo Banzai
    I debated using this one, or the more notorious “No matter where you go, there you are.” But that one has so many correlations: What you are you take with you, you can’t run away from who you are, all that jazz.
    This one, though, is sneakier. BB rejoices in being all zen and enigmatic and turn-your-head-upside-down-and-go-HUH? But despite that, there is an underlying truth to all those weird quotes of his. This one kind of puts things in perspective, once you get your head back right-side up, and I like that. When you have so much going on that you can’t juggle fast enough, realizing that you can leave off half of them in the first place gives you just that little bit of breathing space where you can go “Whew! Okay. Now, what’s left?” and it makes it more manageable somehow. It’s a headgame: you really haven’t gotten rid of anything (nothing real exists, get it?) except maybe useless worries. But recognizing that still frees you up.
  3. When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.
    I wanted a quote for my main character, Ari Dillon. There is a whole world of quotes that speak to me of her: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; Whatever doesn’t kill you is gonna leave a scar; and my favorite, and the one that fits her best, Whatever doesn’t kill me better start running.
    Thing is, what speaks of her speaks strongly to me. I am stronger now than I was when I began writing Black Dog back in November, 2012, because in writing Ari I was looking into myself to find her strength. They always say to “write what you know.” But I keep finding that I am writing what I didn’t know I knew. Each time I reread my WIP(s) I find more things I put in there that I didn’t realize. Sitting in a restaurant, eating something really really yummy, I was bouncing in my seat and swinging my feet. And stopped dead, because I had written that very set of actions for one of my young characters. I knew that motion from the inside.
    And confronting someone who was ready to do violence to a co-worker — I stepped between them (what the FUCK was I thinking?!) because I knew I could talk him down. Or at least I hoped I could. Vaguely knowing that if I could break his target lock on her, I could break his concentration, and then I had a chance. And if not? Well, he was gonna have to go through me or over me to get to her, and by that time help would be there. Yeah, I know. I’m crazy. But there it was — the choice.
    I’ve had bad things happen to me, and didn’t realize that they had strengthened me even when I thought they were breaking me down. And yes, some days I do feel beat down, and I get depressed, and want to bury myself under the covers. (And sometimes I do do that. Need a time out.) But most of the time I know that I don’t really have a choice. If I don’t do it, who will? Ain’t nobody gonna do it for me.And if I’m smart, I put on music.

Well, heck! I don’t know if this was what you had in mind, Addy! Me, going all introspective and verbal like this. But there’s your three quotes for the day; you pays your money, you takes your chances.

We’ll see what I come up with for tomorrow, yeh?

Okay, so here’s where I drop back and punt.

It’s very likely that I have No Barking CLUE on how to do this. So Here’s how I AM doing it.

I said I wanted to do a page where I write, and I have–I think. But nowhere can I see how to show you where that page is. So instead, what I’ve done is set up an alternate site: It’s all set up now, and I THINK (but I’m not sure) that there is a way for you, my gentle and faithful readers, to switch to that other site. I THINK you go up to this site’s name (there on the left?) and click on it, and it should show you Switch Site.

If, as is far more likely, I really am utterly clueless and am barking up some dying tree in a far alligator-infested swamp somewhere, then just search for the new site (please!). Once again, that’s:   Houses of Thanah dot wordpress dot com  —  of course, no caps and all squished together. I just typed it out like that so’s y’all could read it more clearly and get the spelling right. 😉

Anyway, this first post is an explanation of the setting for my scarily extensive series of half-written novels. What I’ll be doing over there is writing a serialized novel that runs alongside my primary series. Because I just don’t have the time to sit down and seriously work on my main story due to having to aggressively look for a job before me, the cats and the dog are all living out of my little Hyundai Elantra Touring.

Because, as I’ve said before, I can’t NOT write, and it’s killing me. So please, feel free to check out the new site.

And yes, I’ll still be posting to THIS site. All the fun one-offs and challenges that His Eminence the Supreme Pen Monkey Chuck Wendig sets us, plus anything else that happens to cross my scattered consciousness. Like rants. Or whines. Or whatever.

Remember, that first post is just the setup, not the beginning of the story. Still–hope you like it!

So here’s the deal:

I had thought I was going to start a site that was an affiliate blog. That’s where the blogger has a site on whatever subject, and there are ads and links on the site that go to their Affiliate partner. The idea is that when a person comes to the blog to read the posts and check out all the pretty pictures, they see the Affiliate ad and go “OOH! SHINY! I MUST CHECK THAT OUT!” Each time someone clicks on a link, the blogger gets a set amount. And if the person actually buys something through that link, the blogger gets an additional amount. Pretty nice deal, hey?

Unfortunately (of course) there is somewhat more to it than that. There is the cost for the website itself, the cost for keeping the website up for a year, the cost for the web designer to set up the site the way the blogger wants it and the Affiliate Partner requires, the cost for setting up a business company (LLC or whatever), the cost for opening a business bank account, and the cost for having a minimum (or higher) balance available credit card.

That put it way out of my reach. Unfortunately, that means that I will need to shut that idea down, and hope I can get back a large chunk of the funds I’ve already expended.
Water under the bridge. The horse is dead, it’s time to walk away.

HOWEVER.  Here’sa what I’ma gonna do.

I’m going to set up another page (or two) on THIS blog site, and start doing what I’d thought to do on the other one. I’m going to review books on writing, and sites by other folks on writing, and programs and other resources that help writers to write. (See, this way I have the excuse to read that stuff myself, and make use of what I learn at the same time I pass it on! Sneaky, no?)

And on the other page I set up, I’m going to WRITE. Not my main Work In Progress (WIP), no. But a sidebar to it. A sort of serialized behind-the-scenes story that may hopefully fill in some of the gaps in the Original Story. Or add depth to it. With maybe probably walk-ons and cameo appearances and the like from the Major Characters of the Original Story.

Since I’m going damn near crazy with NOT being able to write due to having to prioritize my job search so I can continue to have a house to write in, and an internet provider to post on and a happy electric company so I have a way to post… You get the picture. But this way I sorta have an excuse to do what I want to do all along.

Why don’t you come along for the ride? You know you want to.  😉

The Tunnel

Here’s another one of Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenges. Choose a picture from Flickr’s Interestingness, and write a thousand words. This is the one that caught me. I’ll try to get the picture to post, but if it doesn’t, here’s the link: dark perspective – street art B&W – EXPL. 21/05/2015 by Paolo

The Tunnel

Din’t matter the sun was hid behind a smear of shit-brown smog, it was still brighter on the street than in the Tunnel, and Cass stopped just inside the doors to let her eyes come right. She never been in the Tunnel before, din’t have no way to know was there stuff to trip on like in the alleys Outside, so she waited till she could see before steppin out. She din’t know no one been in the Tunnels before, and far as she knew no one ever come out, either. So wasn’t no one to tell what was it like, what they did there, what they wanted. Why they wanted street folk. Why they wanted any one at all. Just—you get your Summons, you pack your stuff, and you show.

It was cooler in the Tunnels than Outside, and Cass shivered. ‘How they get it like that, so chill?’ she thought. Her hair lifted with the faint stir of cool air and her hand come up quick and pushed it down, scared, her eyes back and forth lookin if anyone saw. Wasn’t no one there, though. Just her by the Tunnel doors and way-way down some Mac walkin away gone.

Cass looked around now, the light in the Tunnel enough, finally. The floor was clean. Not clean, like nothin to trip on, but clean, like shiny water. Throwin back light in ripples like you could see yourself in the store windows. ‘How they get it like that?’ she thought again, her head shakin just a little in wonderin it. She turned and looked behind her, on the floor, scared to see the street dirt where she stepped in. Wasn’t nothin there, though, and she frowned. ‘How it does like that?’ her thoughts ran into the walls of her head, scarin her more. ‘Street got dirt always, how they got no dirt in here?’ Behind that thought were the ones she was too scared to think: why they let the street people in when they keep the dirt out? Why they let her in? What they want her for?

She shivered again, the movement making her bag shift against her hip, and she flinched at the touch. Then she caught her breath and shook her head. ‘Don’t get answers standin,’ she thought. She stood her up tall, squint her eyes tight. ‘They want me, they get me,’ she thought hard and grim. ‘Get me like Cortez think he get in my pants and he get a s’prize. They want me, I say what they get, not them, no. I say.’ She hitched the bag higher up on her shoulder and stepped out.

Her shoes made a kind of shush-shush sound on the shiny floor, sometimes a scritch or a squeak where the plastic soles caught different. She saw movement in the side of her eyes where the light showed her back in the shiny walls, walkin. She turned her head a little each side lookin, makin sure just her was there, not somethin else tryin to sneak around her somehow, but it was her, just her, and her shoulders eased a little. She look ahead, and the Tunnel was empty; that Mac was walkin there gone somewheres when she din’t see.

The Tunnel was brighter down there than by the doors she come in by, and she saw there were doors there, too. Doors just like the other ones, glass doors with the bar for your hands so you din’t get dirt on them. Cass slowed down a little, lookin, lookin hard, lookin to see what was on the other side of those glass doors, but all she could see was light. Way bright, way bright, shine in the doors onto the clean, clean floors, shinin hard enough to show on the walls and up on the roof of the Tunnel, and Cass wondered if that was the Sun up there like they said in the stories. Like they said the Sun shinin bright as day, and she wondered was the sky really blue like they said. Because the sky wasn’t blue now, hadn’t been since the world broke and they just let things go so pollution was okay any more. Could the sky be blue in the Tunnels with the Sun shining down, when it was all brown like shit in the Outside? She din’t know—but now she hurried again, because she wanted to know if it could. She wanted to know, wanted to be on the other side of those glass doors no matter what was gonna be, because if that was Sun then she wanted to be in it, wanted to feel it clean on her skin and warm on her face, not like she had to hide it from the bad rays in the Outside.

She remembered the stories her Ma told her when she was a little, that when she was little you could go Outside and play and the Sun din’t burn you and give you cancer. When the sky was blue like her Ma’s eyes, and now Cass was runnin, runnin to get to the doors, wantin to see her Ma’s eyes just once more even was it up in the sky… She reached the doors and pushed the bar hard and the door swung open, and there was sound like she never hear before and light like she never see before and there were people and space, enough space to run and never touch a wall, and she just stopped dead standin, breathin too hard like cryin. The light come down from way high above, and the sound was water fallin down in a glittery white rush to a pool in the middle of somethin green like never was. The people come from all around the space in ones and twos, with pale faces and clean hands reachin. “Welcome to Enclave Tower Six,” the first one said. “I’m Maintenance Captain Farrell. You’ll be working with me. Welcome home!”

(Going to) Save You

Here’s one of those things that just crept up on me. I don’t recall what was in my mind at the time, it was just one of those where the Muse came up and smacked me, and out it came. It hasn’t asked for music yet, so I don’t know what it sounds like, other than it’s rock…

(Going to) Save You

Here in the dark
Where hope cannot remain
Nothing but rage
Nothing here to feel but pain
I saw a spark
I saw your need
I saw my fate
I saw you bleed
I saw it all
I have to reach you
God, I hope it’s not too late

Ch 1
I want to save you
No, I can’t let you die
Going to save you
I’ll give it my best try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will learn the reason why

Your heart is pure
Too good for this dark world
How your light shines
Like a banner it unfurled
Against the dark
Against the greed
Against the hate
Can it succeed?
I saw you fall
I tried to reach you
When I did it was too late

Ch 2
I have to save you
No, I can’t let you die
Got to save you
I’ll give it one more try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will know the reason why

There’s so much anger in my heart
Where does it end?
If all I feel is numb
When nothing’s real
And the only way to feel
Is to hurt someone
(whisper) Don’t hurt me

Now all that’s left
Is the whimpers and the cries
I’ve got to try
To live up to your eyes
You’ve left a mark
Planted a seed
It’s not too late
We will be freed
Tear down the wall
Please let me reach you
Before it is too late

Ch 3
I’m going to save you
I’ll never let you die
Going to save you
I’ll give it one last try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will learn the reason why
Then maybe I
Can save myself…

Varina Suellen Plonski © 12/07/12

I Need to Write

I have always wanted to be a writer. Scratch that, not true–I always wanted to write. I started writing when I was in first grade, and in one form or another I haven’t stopped since. But never the way I wanted to, the way one assumes a “writer” writes; as though that was their job, their living, their passion.

Almost 5 years ago I lost my job. I took two years off for online classes to re-up my skills in hopes of getting another job in the field I wanted. And once those classes were done, while I was job-hunting, I wrote. OH, how I wrote! And I loved it. For nearly three years.

All that time, I lived off first my retirement money, and then off my father’s when he died. (Still job hunting, not that irresponsible!) But suddenly I was notified that the money was gone. No lead time. No warning, not a hint.

Yes, a writer writes. But sometimes a writer HAS to stop writing.

I had to.

I’m exhausted every day, doing nothing but hitting the job search engines and falling asleep in front of my laptop trying to fill in One. More. Damn. Application. It’s desperation time; I absolutely HAVE TO have a job by the end of this month, or I will lose my house. I know finding a job has to be my priority, or all is lost.

And I’m going bugfuck CRAZY.

I MISS writing! I miss my characters. I miss writing down (and finding out!) what happens next. I’m hoping this ‘not writing’ is actually a good thing, that I’ll come back to my WIP fresh, able to look at it with new eyes and see where things might be going wrong, or where something needs tweaking (That’s tweaking, not twerking! Gods forbid!). Or even that I might come up with something to improve what I’ve done, a new twist or new insight.

But I’m afraid that I won’t. I’m afraid I’ll lose my edge, lose the flow, lose my train of thought.

If I really think about it, I’m sure those doubts and fears are due to depression and stress and exhaustion, and that once I get a job (because I refuse to believe that I won’t) and get a chance to catch up I will be able to get back in the groove.

I’ve done it before, snatching every second to write, scribbling in my notebook at breakfast, on my break, at lunch, and then transcribing everything when I get home. I wrote everywhere, every second I could. My chiropractor (the absolute BEST guy in the world!) grins every time he sees me with my notebook, and was the first person to notice–and pointed it out–when I didn’t have it. (I was put on new medication, and my brain leaked out somewhere. That was the first time I was unable to write at all, and I hadn’t even noticed it!) And the first person to hug me when he saw me with the notebook again.

Because I can’t not write. It seems to be my biological imperative. I get crazy, like a junkie needing a fix. Anxious, jonesing, itching, frantic.

I got a call today, for an interview. Exactly the job I’ve wanted, receptionist at a doctor’s office. I’m hoping I get the job.
Not only because I need the money and want to keep my house.

Because I want to WRITE, dammit! And until I have a job, I can’t.

And I can’t live like this.