That is me at a beach in Rhode Island. I was watching the sun set and visualizing the life I am creating for myself as a writer. It was such an empowering moment for me. Whenever I get discouraged or tired, I look at this picture and remember what the woman in it was thinking.
So, today I finished my second assignment of my fourth class in my writing cluster. This class focuses on writing style. The assignment was to write a 600-word short story with a beginning, middle, and end, focusing on nouns and verbs. Basically, making every word count and evoke imagery and illicit an emotional response. Below is my creation.
Little fires spread through her shoulders, an outward symptom of her inner turmoil. Thoughts of worry have gone from the quiet whisper of a small voice of doubt to the rowdy jeers of utter hopelessness. Nagging ruminations of failure scurry ruthlessly and without permission through the folded corridors of her brain, smearing her mind with their creativity-stifling venom.
When these stubborn, tiny villains of despair refused to be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of her positive thoughts, she got in her car and zoomed to the ocean. She is not content to sit in her car. Dire situations of the mind call for up close and personal contact with the majestic powers of lapping waves.
She stomps down to the beach and with a dogged determination to quiet her mind, she plops down on the sand just beyond the reach of the sweeping waves. She leans back on her hands and lets the coarseness of the sand scratch through her fingers. She pulls the salty smell of the ocean in through her nose and traps it in her lungs, holding it hostage there until her lungs fight back and push the air back out through her mouth. Over and over she pulls the ocean’s air inside her body to let its powers ooze like a soothing balm over the places that need healing.
Her tear-filled eyes set their gaze on the sun as it slides down from the sky and perches for a fleeting moment on the horizon, casting a shimmering yellow brick road onto the water revealing the path to a land of hope just beyond the sun’s gleaming yellow orb. And the tiny fires that tensed her muscles are extinguished one by one and allow her shoulders to release their hunch. The tranquility of the waves making their swoosh, swish, swoosh sounds beckon the tears gathered in her eyes to make their final ascent down her face. They accept the invitation as if they hope to become one with the ocean, be a part of something grand and beautiful and larger than themselves.
Her body is now under the spell of the ocean and the sunset beyond it. All thoughts of hopelessness are silent now and she is mesmerized by the sunset, gazing hypnotically into it as if it’s a crystal ball holding visions of the life she visualizes for herself within its magical sphere. With the last fleeting moments of daylight upon her, she nudges a pen and small notebook from her back pocket, and with great purpose she begins to scribble words onto the pages, hoping to get them all onto the paper before the day’s dusk dissolves into the blackness of the night. There was a haze of doubt that settled on her brain like low lying clouds hovering over a mountain’s peak. But as her hand moves from left to right across the page like the carriage of a typewriter, the haze dissipates and her thoughts become vivid and crisp. She dumps all her cares onto page after page, her fingers cramping as they try to keep pace with the flood of words pulsing from her brain down through her arm and into her hand. Then her hand halts.
Her soul is exhausted but also rejuvenated and empty. She rips the small pages from her notebook and presses them together. She tears them in half. Then, as the final glints of the sun melt into the horizon she slides the pieces of paper into the lapping waves and gives the ocean permission to dissolve them into nothingness.
I hope you enjoyed that piece. I can see where my writing muscles are stretching and getting stronger. I will be applying everything I’ve learned so far to my novel that I finished during NaNoWriMo.
In January, I will begin my personal edits of my novel. Once I’ve touched it up the way I want it, I will find a professional editor to go through it to get it polished and ready to submit to publishing houses.
I’m also working on the outline and character sketches for my next novel. Slow and steady wins the race, dear friends.
Until I write again….