New Chapter

Now some people might be wondering about the lack of posts and networking on my behalf. This would be why:

 

On the 24th of April, our beautiful son Derrick was born and with 2 weeks off work, Daddy has been taking care of all of us while I recover. For this short time, I am relaxing and recovering, and spending some incredible quality time with the family.

  
I thank everyone for their continuous support of my writing life and I hope everyone is doing well.

I’ll be back on the writing wagon soon!

Take care and thank you all again

Unproductive Progression

The future had come. Endless chambers of cold lights and pre-fabricated possessions created a norm no one felt part of.
One small council of a great metallic city met.
“Daily accidents again,” reported a hard eyed man, “sicknesses, absences.”
“Lines can’t continue this way,” said a stiff lady, “we’ll hear from higher up soon.”
“No one’ll be excepted,” said a shaken, elderly male.
A young girl took a breath, “what if we asked people? Found out what they need? What’ll help them be happy?”
The council members fell back in their chairs; it can’t be that easy. . .can it?



This week’s challenge over at the Carrot Ranch was inspired by April’s #1000Speak theme of Nurturing. The prompt called for writers to express what nurturing a neighbourly relationship looked like for their characters and places in 99 words.

I’m not comfortably a social person so the idea of a neighbourly relationship doesn’t come naturally. I’m working on it!

For this prompt, my thoughts flitted around the idea of a neighbour providing help for those who struggle to ask.

My initial idea was about a character who heard the happenings of an abusive relationship in a house nearby. That the abuser would finally leave and the character would assist the victim anonymously, providing food or little gifts for the children of the relationship.

Even though someone may feel too proud, or feel like the situation is their fault and that they don’t deserve to ask for help, I wanted to portray that help is a good thing to receive. That a neighbourhood is obliged to provide assistance to others, no matter the situation or who may be at fault.

That as a race, we need to support each other unconditionally, especially if we ever wish to progress.

Once I thought about human progression, I thought about the future, and instead wanted to try my hand at something Sci-fi, since I love the genre. And I came up with the piece above.

It is an issue that we experience even now in most workplaces; those with the control are so focussed on progression that they forget about the heart of the workers. They forget about the workers being equals and as human as they; with fragile hearts and a soul only nourished by positivity and connections.

In this piece, I hoped to portray the ever-existing need of our race. The need of every individual to be appreciated, and that it is the responsibility of all, as a worldwide neighbourhood of humans alike, to respect and fight for everyone. To nurture each other however we can.

Love cures all and creates a fire in the heart that will outlast any adversity. It will make us great.

New Life

She lay there cold, with legs exposed, as they spoke. Backs turned to her; she caught few words.
“A mess. . .”
“No more feeling. . .”
“Stiches.”
They looked over at her and she held their gaze, wanting answers. The doctor approached, mouth moving in silent speech as he searched for the right words.

“Ma’am, there have been…some tears. You will need stiches to help the healing. I’ll…do my best, but you may never-.”

Her stomach turned, she knew.

A squeak.
She pulled a blanket over her chest as she looked down, heart swelling as her baby suckled.

Warm…and strong.



This week’s contribution to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly 99 word challenge is inspired by an event I will experience in a little under 2 weeks’ time!

After generously sharing some hard times from her past, Charli’s prompt is about finding the semicolon’s in life.

She challenges us to:
“…write a renewal story that proclaims, “This isn’t the end; I will go on.” Think of the mythical phoenix that rises up from the ashes; of Cinderella after midnight on the night of the ball; of a hero that faces certain death; of love after tragedy; of renewing life’s lemonade transitions.”

Our third little one is due on the 27th of April and I know all too well the anxiety that comes with the anticipation of labour. Luckily, I’m more confident this time around and not as fearful, and I thank God for the smooth run of our first two.

Having experienced only minor tearing during our first, I have incredible sympathy for those whose bodies have had to recover from less forgiving outcomes.

Every kind of labour creates changes in a person’s body, changes that can affect the rest of a lifetime. Despite the challenges of the miraculous process, I like to think of the semicolon…

The struggles of labour; the creation of a brand new life.

Now, I know it’s a topic that’s often spoken of; where women need to be honoured and worshipped for their ability to give birth.

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s an incredible ability to have, but I also think a man’s life is just as challenging, but in different ways. Right from social pressures, to the stresses of supporting a family. Times might be changing—slowly—but it’s still a primal instinct as the ‘man of the house’ to protect one’s family.

The birth of a child—and all other results of the process—affect not only the person giving birth, but their life partner also. It’s a process through which equality, respect and support is vital for everyone involved.

The birth process is a lifetime change for not only the female, but for males also, even if the effects aren’t visible.

So little time

He walked in the door. Little feet came running with tiny fingers reaching. Nudging aside a few toys strewn across his path, he made his way to the couch. Little feet followed, their voices tumbling over each other as they fought for his attention. He picked up the oldest for cuddles as the littlest ran off. The littlest returned, struggling to drag him a rocking horse before pounding a tiny fist on his leg. He released the oldest despite protests and gathered up the littlest, mind whirling with tiny voices of complaint and excitement, eyes flicking back and forth.

________________________________________

“Character Symptoms” was this week’s prompt for the Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge.

I struggled to find something for this prompt. I think it’s mostly because my expectations were too high. I wanted to write something interesting, something different. I started a piece based on a scene I’m currently working on for my novel, with the hope of learning something more about the characters themselves.

It had an awesome Sci-Fi feel, high-tech and everything. I wanted to represent the perspective of a reformed ex-felon in a high-stakes situation from someone else’s POV…That piece felt forced.

I scrapped it.

This, on the other hand, is something I see almost every day—if he gets home before their bedtime—and it’s another piece written from a tender place.

Character Symptoms” is such a broad topic. Initially I had no idea how to interpret this prompt.

I didn’t want to write about just anything; I wanted to write about something deeper than the usual things the news makes society stress about; I didn’t want to write about superficial things.

Being a parent is one of the great honours of life. Being a parent in today’s society is also unnaturally stressful.

As a parent you want to provide the best for your children and in today’s society, the best always seems to cost inordinate amounts of money. To make that money, one must work. One must work long hours in most cases.

We are lucky in that I am able to be stay-at-home with our little ones, but on the same note, my other half; their dad’s mind is on work for most hours of every day. He carries a lot of responsibilities in order to have the job stability he currently has; his workplace would struggle without him, and thus, there is a lot he must manage and keep on top of.

This means that when he gets home, and is lucky enough to see the little ones for an hour or two before their bed, though they may be super excited to see him and suddenly filled with an abundance of little person energy, his mind is still whirling from the seriousness of his job.
Though he is home, there are things that he can still solve for work if only he used that extra time to continue thinking on issues. If he’s not giving his job all of his efforts, then he doesn’t feel like he’s doing the best he can, and thus shouldn’t have the position or the privileges that come with it.

Unfortunately, his mind becomes so overworked—and I’m sure that most of society can relate—he struggles to make himself emotionally available and present for the little ones.
Every morning he leaves and his heart breaks as they beg him not to go, to stay just a little longer and read them a book or give them extra cuddles. And he can’t even promise that he’ll see them that night.

There are too many stresses in today’s society; you either work and sacrifice precious time together, or you struggle financially and stress about your child’s opportunities instead.

It’s a fine line between managing your time between work and family life. A stress that I think is inevitable; though I do hope more and more families are feeling equipped enough to discover their own balance, and confident enough to make the changes, trusting in their love for their partner and children.

Once again, I’m finding that love comes into play in life. It seems to be the defining factor between the strong and the struggling. Whether it’s love for and from your family or love for yourself. That honest, unconditional love, that forgives human mistakes, can help in almost every situation.

The more of society who understand this concept will mean less stress for all; people will be making better choices for the benefit of everyone, rather than fearing and trying to maintain their own survival in this stressful world.

It’s tough and heartbreaking at times, but worth it.

Internal Monster

Her hands shook as new friends welcomed them inside. How would they take her? Life before her partner used to mean refusing these invites; too scared to take risks.
They sat together. She stared at her dinner. Everyone laughed at his jokes as he kept her safe from attention, helped her relax.
She started contributing, a word here, comment there.
“He always forgets things, he’s male,” she said smiling, glancing at him.
The light in his eyes faded.
Her stomach felt sick.
“But I do too,” she added, kissing him tenderly to fend off her hated negativities of old.


As soon as I read that Charli’s CarrotRanch.com, March 11 99 word Flash Fiction prompt for the #1000Speak initiative was “Building from Bullies” my heart immediately turned inward to the demons my beloved partner has inspired me to fight off.

My mind turned back to all of the times I said something hurtful because I’d expected that was the norm, or had tried to be amusing instead of protecting our bond.
I thought of how there are so many negative thoughts we must fight off in a day if we were never taught to think positively from a younger age.
Most negativity stems from the desire to protect ourselves, and the only way I’ve been able to fight off such a toxic mindset has been through my partner’s undying love and support. He has never spoken a bad word about me to others and I cannot thank him enough.

It shouldn’t be expected that partners pick on each other or bicker. A personal relationship shouldn’t be made the butt of a joke. We can’t function that way. No one should be made a joke of. No one can function that way.
Life should be positive. Not about gossiping or laughing at the expense of others.

I chose this particular moment for the prompt “Building from Bullies,” because I think we all have a bully hidden inside. A bully developed by the expectations of today’s society and I cannot believe how incredible I’ve felt since I have been trying to subdue that side of myself in every situation.

I only wish that everyone understood we don’t have to think that way.