#Handstand365 Challenge

day1

Day 1

This picture (above) was taken a few days before mother’s day in May 2013.  I was messing around in the front yard and decided to do a handstand for no reason. I also did a cartwheel on the sidewalk.  Seven years ago when we first moved to Texas, I could still do an aerial in our front yard. Not any more.

20131111-200953.jpg

day 2

Then I saw that my friend on Facebook started doing a challenge called #handstand365.  Lauren Rudick started it. She’s a yoga instructor who is popular on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.  Here is her website and a link to the #handstand365 challenge:

http://www.avignayoga.com/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8936/the-365-day-handstand-challenge.html

 

20131111-201007.jpg

Day 3

I started doing a handstand every day, knowing I probably wouldn’t do one every single day for a year, but I wanted to try to do 365 of them nonetheless.  I started handstanding in the different places I went like the Dallas World Aquarium.  Yes, people looked at me, but I didn’t care!

20131111-201046.jpg

Day 5

20131111-201101.jpg

Day 6

20131111-201122.jpg

Day 7

Day 8

Day 8

20131111-201136.jpg

Day 9

I practiced at home a lot, including putting my feet up against the wall for support.  I usually do yoga daily at home, so I incorporated handstands into my practice just for fun and balance and practice being in the moment.

20131111-201153.jpg

Day 10

20131111-201215.jpg

Day 11

I went out with friends and did handstands in the hallway of the hotel we stayed at for July 4th.  I had a few drinks before this picture.  I fell down and crashed my leg pretty hard.

20131114-165339.jpg

Day 12-at the pool

Yes, I asked a lifeguard to take my picture doing a handstand at the pool.  Looking back, I can tell I was still suffering from bloating from gluten allergy.  I got off gluten in May 2012.

20131111-201228.jpg

Day 13

This is my spot where I exercise in front of the television at our house. I keep a yoga mat, physio ball, foam roller, strap, and weights in our living room so I can stretch and strengthen while we watch tv at night.

20131111-201243.jpg

Day 14

20131111-201255.jpg

Day 15

20131111-201307.jpg

Day 16

This picture was taken at Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  My husband coaches my son’s baseball team, and we had the end of the year party at a Rangers’ game.  Fun times!

20131111-201318.jpg

Day 17

20131111-201337.jpg

Day 18

20131111-201351.jpg

Day 19-at the baseball ballpark

Took this picture after one of my son’s baseball games.

20131111-201406.jpg

Day 20 at the gym

I love doing handstands in the pool!

20131111-201419.jpg

Day 21 – at Texas Tech Rec. Center

20131111-201429.jpg

Day 22 – Texas Tech University

I went to see my daughter at Texas Tech this summer and got in a few handstands while I was there.

20131114-165348.jpg

day 23

20131111-201442.jpg

Day 24 – at the Omni Las Colinas

Another hotel hallway handstand. Yes, my friends did them too, but we didn’t get pictures!

20131111-201502.jpg

Day 25 – at the Hickey’s house

20131114-165358.jpg

Day 26 – Destin, FL

20131111-201516.jpg

Day 27 – at Pelagic Surf Shop in Destin, FL

20131111-201528.jpg

Day 28 – Destin, FL

20131111-201540.jpg

Day 29-Destin, FL

The pictures from Destin were the last ones from the summer. My back pain flared up really badly, and I realized I wasn’t doing the hanstands yoga style. So I took a little break to learn to do them right. I wrote about it here.

Day30-at the gym

Day 30-at the gym

The other day, I decided to start again. Now I do them correctly (yoga style). I start in downward-facing dog, kick up with one leg and then bring up the other leg until I balance.  I’m going to keep trying until I get to 365.

20131111-201615.jpg

Day 31

20131114-185238.jpg

Day 32-at the gym

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Advertisements

25 Things About Me

I’m flashing back today, looking back over some of the old notes I wrote on Facebook before I started blogging.  Found this list of 25 things about me and got a kick out of re-reading it and thought I would share with updates where necessary.

1.  Like my friend Eve who tagged me in this note, I have a genius IQ, but I knew it when I was a kid and resented the pressure to be an overachiever.
2.  I like beans….and I make a yummy bean salad.  Whatever I cook if I can throw in some beans I will. (Update-I no longer eat beans!  I’ve been following a mostly paleo diet since August (no grains, no dairy, no beans/legumes, no refined salt, sugars, or oils). 
3. I like to cook, and I am obsessed with eating healthy food like lean meats, lots of fruits and veggies, and whole grains. (Update-no more whole grains!  Was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity (click here to read the entry I wrote about it) in May and have been off most grains (except a little rice since August).
4.  I always wanted to be a wife and mother and never really knew what career to pursue when I was growing up.  Click here to read why.
5.  Because of #4, I went to three colleges, took two years off (one to work for GP and do a NOLS semester (click here to read about it) and the other to work as a cook and live in Telluride, CO), and changed my major twice (#1 French #2 Philosphy/Religion #3 Environmental Studies)….didn’t graduate until I was 25.

Telluride, CO from a gondola.

Telluride, CO from a gondola. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6.  My first ‘career’ was an environmental activist for Greenpeace in Washington DC.

Washington DC

Washington DC (Photo credit: eGuide Travel)

7.  I got my master’s degree in Education and became a teacher after my GP job got moved to Amsterdam;  I was a single mom so I didn’t want to go.
8.  When I was a teacher, I discovered a passion for math, and now that I am a stay home mom I love tutoring math because I can help students learn to love math.  Click here to read about my love affair with math.

Dansk: Dedikeret til matematik

Dansk: Dedikeret til matematik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9.  I love to sleep and will sleep until noon if nobody wakes me up.  I also love being pampered like getting massages.
10.  I met my husband, Joe, at the gym when he was working there and going to school and I was his 12:30 appointment for personal training.  We started running together and the rest is history.  Even though he is a lawyer now, we still go to the gym every weekend and love exercising together.

IMG_2656
11.  I am lactose intolerant (like most Asian Americans).
12.  I am an extrovert and love to get together with friends, pot-luck style, with good food, drinks and conversation.
13. When I go out, my drink of choice is gin and tonic (Bombay Sapphire) and my favorite shots are Jaegermeister and Tequila. (Update-no more gin or jaegermeister due to food allergies.  The only liquor I drink is Patron silver tequila).
14.  I drink wine (chardonnay) when I’m cooking and with dinner.
15. I am kind of a control freak and always am trying to avert danger and/or accidents, especially with my kids. Like we don’t let them play outside in the front yard without an adult and don’t even get me started on how hard it is to have a 15 yr. old who is about to date and drive etc. (Update-since I wrote this post, I wrote nineteen episodes of fiction. I realized this theme came up in my fiction writing. Click here to read my fiction episodes).
16.  I like heights and exposure, hence my affinity for climbing trees as a kid, my love for rock climbing and high mountains where the earth meets the sky.  When I stand on a cliff or overlook I get the urge to fly like a bird, but of course I don’t have wings so maybe I should take up hang gliding or something?

climbing

Split Rock, WY 1989

17.  On the flip side, I am claustrophobic and I would really hate to go scuba diving or caving or anything like that.
18.  I am a big flirt, always have been, in fact I won ‘biggest flirt’ in 8th grade with Bill Schraa who ironically was also voted ‘best couple’ with his girlfriend.
19.  When I go shopping I am all about the sales and hardly ever will pay retail price.
20.  I manage all the money in our household and am good about paying our bills on time or early.
21. I correct people when they use bad grammar (I know that is annoying, but I can’t help it).
22.  When I am going through a hard time, I make music mixes full of songs that reflect whatever it is that’s going on.  Before CD‘s I made mixed tapes.
23.  I always try to complement people and tell them what I like about them (something I learned as a teacher when conferencing with parents).  There is always something nice you can say, no matter who it is.
24.  I spend alot of time on the computer.
25.  I give my kids ‘mommy homework’ if they don’t have any from school and make them do reading, writing, and math all summer (for about an hour a day, it’s not so bad) to keep them challenged.  Click here to read about summer learning.

Fiction Friday #19: Honesty

debiehive.blogspot.com

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week, Kelly DeBie at DeBie Hive provided the prompt. This is episode nineteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first eighteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
__________
     Amanda, Brad, and Robert sat at the kitchen table for dinner.  The lazy Susan in the center was full of the boys’ favorite meal, lasagna, garlic cheese bread, and salad.  Feeding two teenage boys kept Amanda busy, and sitting down to eat together and practicing manners was important to her.  Taking turns serving themselves, Robert kept his eye contact away from his mom because he knew he was in trouble.  With a nervous feeling in his stomach, he started eating the lasagna hoping that it would calm down.
     “Highlights and lowlights.  Robert?” Amanda asked as she poured herself a glass of her favorite Merlot.  She kept a pleasant tone of voice and had a smile in her eyes, attempting to set a positive tone at the dinner table.
     “My highlight is everything, and my lowlight is nothing”  he replied with his standard answer.
     “Brad?”
     Brad was wolfing down his third piece of garlic bread and mumbled, “uh let’s see.”
     “Finish eating before you answer. Where are the manners?”
     “OK,” he swallowed and looked around as if trying to recall his day.  “My highlight was probably soccer practice, and my lowlight was waking up this morning.  I seriously hate getting up so early. How about you mom? What are your highlights and lowlights?”
     “Well, my highlight is right now. I love being together with you boys.  And my lowlight is getting a call from school today about Robert’s unexcused absence.   What exactly is that all about little man?”  She turned her eyes to Robert and waited patiently for his answer.  Amanda had already raised two teenagers, her oldest Steven was quite a challenge in high school, and Robert was easier because he was her second oldest.   She learned some things along the way raising her oldest.   At eighteen, Brad was past his roughest teenage years and becoming more mature.
     “What? Robert skipped school? What’s up with that little bro?”  Brad laughed casually.
     Robert didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to tell the truth, and he didn’t want to lie either.  What a bummer that the school calls the parents.  He thought to himself as he avoided his mother’s stare.  He looked out the window, then back to his plate.  “What? I was there!”
     “Robert, come on. Do you think I believe you or the school? You know I am an adult who believes other adults in most cases.”
     “Dude, little brother, do not lie to mom.  She hates that.  You will be better off telling the truth than if you start lying.   Liars need to have a good memory little bro;  once you start lying you weave a tangled web of deception and have to start lying about your lies. It’s confusing brother.   Trust me on that one.  Been there, done that. Remember when I got in trouble for lying about going to the movies and got busted going to my friend’s party?  Mom was so mad dude.  I got my car taken away for a month!  How was I supposed to know she could track my location on my phone? That’s sneaky mom.  I was so stupid.   If you skipped school today, mom can handle the truth. She already knows. Just be honest.  A little bit in trouble for telling the truth is way better than a lot in trouble because of both the behavior and the lying.”
     Robert kept eating, letting his big brother have the floor.  Anything to postpone having to answer his mom.  He didn’t think he would get caught, so he didn’t even have a good story.  Amanda waited patiently, eating her salad and sipping Merlot.  “Wow, your big brother has gained some wisdom has he?”  She smiled at Brad and thanked him for his help.  “He is right Robert.  If you did something wrong, trust me I can understand that.  You are human. We are all human. We mess up from time to time. That’s how we learn, from our mistakes.  This is not my first time dealing with bad behavior, so your lucky to be the youngest.  At thirteen years old, frankly I expect to have some behavior issues.  That’s normal really.   If you skipped school, I would at least like to know why and what you were doing.  I care about you.  And your education is important.  Whatever it was you were doing is not more important than school. You will learn that one day.”
     This was the first time he had ever skipped class, and now he felt so stupid because all he did was walk around.  He didn’t even do anything exciting or scandalous.  “It was math mom. I wasn’t ready for the test.  I didn’t want to fail it” he said softly, embarrassed.
     Brad laughed at him as he cleaned his plate. “Hey now be nice Brad.  Honey, thank you for telling me.  I didn’t even know you had a test coming up.  You skipped class so you wouldn’t fail the test? What did you do? Where did you go?  Were you with anyone?”
     “I just walked around. I didn’t go anywhere, and no I was alone.”
     “And nobody caught you in the halls?”
     “I guess not.”
     “Are you sure that’s it? You weren’t smoking cigarettes or drinking beer or trying drugs were you?  Please tell me there wasn’t a girl involved.  Seriously.”
     “Mom! Come on. No!” Now he was really embarrassed.
     “Because I want you to know you can talk to me about those things.  I know what it’s like to be a teenager, and I know that there are drugs in the schools here.  Don’t get me started on that.  But honey, you are going to be exposed to all those challenges for the next several years.  My bottom line is safety with you boys.  And pregnancy as in not getting a girl pregnant.  I want you kids to stay alive and not get a girl pregnant before you are married. That’s it.”
     “Like Steven?”  Robert was happy to get the attention off of him.
     “Yes, like Steven.  We all saw how stressful that was for both him and Althea at the time, and we see how they struggle now as a young couple.  It’s better if you can get your education and start your career and get married before you start having babies.  But just like with Steven, there is nothing this family can’t handle.  I just want you boys to tell me the truth.  And I will help you handle whatever it is.  Since you told the truth, you will lose electronics for a day, and you will write an apology note to your teacher for skipping her class.  If you were going to concoct a lie about it, the consequence would have been much more serious young man.  Since it’s an unexcused absence, you will have to accept the consequence, which in this case is a failing grade.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to make it up like you would if it was an excused absence.  That stinks, but hopefully you will learn from this experience.  If you need help, just ask. I am good at math!  In fact, why don’t you boys clean up the kitchen after dinner and then you and I will sit down and look at the material.”
     “Yes ma’am.” He reluctantly agreed, knowing that being polite was his best option right there.  Honest and polite.
Truth lies

Truth lies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

__________
Here’s the prompt for the week: “Liars need to have good memories” ~Algernon Sidney
Visit my Friday Fiction Friends to see what they wrote with the same prompt:http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/http://www.bulamamani.com/

http://www.susannenelson.wordpress.com/

http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/

http://theincompetenthausfrau.wordpress.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@worldsworstmoms

@BuLaMamaNi

@DeBieHive

@incompetentfrau

@MollyFieldGrassOil

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

Grass Oil

DeBie Hive

World’s Worst Moms

Bulamamani

The Incompetent Haufstrau

Fiction Friday #18: Good Enough

debiehive.blogspot.com

debiehive.blogspot.com

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week,Tammy Soong at World’s Worst Moms provided the prompt. This is episode eighteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first seventeen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
__________

“Perfect”

Sometimes is never quite enough

If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love

Don’t forget to win first place

Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face

Be a good boy

Try a little harder

You’ve got to measure up

And make me prouder

How long before you screw it up

How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up

With everything I do for you

The least you can do is keep quiet

Be a good girl

You’ve gotta try a little harder

That simply wasn’t good enough

To make us proud

I’ll live through you

I’ll make you what I never was

If you’re the best, then maybe so am I

Compared to him compared to her

I’m doing this for your own damn good

You’ll make up for what I blew

What’s the problem…why are you crying

Be a good boy

Push a little farther now

That wasn’t fast enough

To make us happy

We’ll love you just the way you are

If you’re perfect

Alanis morissette

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_1BQRAkcyc

Alanis sang the lyrics that took Amanda back to her childhood and the constant pressure to be better, to be perfect in her parents’ eyes. Despite being divorced and living in separate states, both her parents were disappointed with her for various reasons. First, she was born the wrong sex so that put her at a disadvantage in her father’s estimation from the beginning. First born sons get the respect in Korean culture. Second born children, especially girls are not as valuable to aging parents. Then she didn’t accept the right religion (her mom’s fundamentalist Christianity) or get accepted to the right college (where her father worked) because she didn’t get “good enough” grades. Instead, she rebelled against their advice and set out to create a family of her own that accepted her for who she was.

Looking in the mirror, she saw the same eyes of that young girl and mentally hugged her, saying her mantra to herself. You’re perfect the way you are. Written on a neon green sticky note with a black sharpie, it was hard to avoid seeing it as she went through her daily beauty rituals. Her eyes were the same, but everything else grew up over the years. Her worries, joys, and experiences all carved into wrinkles on her tan skin. Instead of looking for her flaws, she observed with her mind and kept her focus on her golden brown eyes. Another sticky note written by Richard told her, “You are beautiful.”

sticky note

She dabbed concealer under her eyes and on her other imperfections then brightened up her eyes and face with fresh color and black mascara on curled lashes. Careful not to overdo it, she preferred a natural healthy look, plus at this point it was difficult to find the energy to go through her routine. Her counselor suggested it as part of an overall self-care program, starting with basics like hygiene and appearance. So, she woke up early just to take a shower and do her hair and makeup before starting her day. She liked the effects of enhancing her natural beauty with feminine touches, but as with everything in life there is a law of diminishing returns. Too much concealing and too much color makes a woman look fake and desperate for attention. It calls more attention to the flaws instead.

If only it were so easy to conceal imperfections in our lives.

So many things weighed on her mind…Richard, Ella, Anderson, Richard’s affair, life as a single mom, her boys, her granddaughter, her mom in the hospital. Taking care of herself was literally the last thing on Amanda’s mental list, so it really did take effort. Mother’s Day was just a few days away, and she hadn’t had any contact with her mom since her suicide attempt.

Amanda was learning to let go of guilt, and she felt especially guilty that her mom was alone and suffering. Knowing the perfect daughter would fly into town and visit in the hospital with flowers, Amanda gave herself permission to be less than perfect, to be good to herself even if it meant staying away from her mom. Even though it was sad her mom did that, it was even sadder she blamed it on Amanda instead of accepting her problems as her own and attempting to work on those problems with professionals. She certainly wasn’t being and hadn’t been a perfect parent.

I will send her some flowers and a card. That’s something. Better than nothing.

She loved her mom but knew that engaging with her would be toxic, so she stayed away. It was not a utopian mother-daughter relationship. No sense falling prey to a nirvana fallacy. The more Amanda let her mom into her world, the worse she felt and the more stressed and upset she was. Being a mom to her own children took all her energy.

She was thankful for her life and her family and needed to try to stay in a positive place. It was her daily practice to let go of the negative and appreciate the positive. She knew life can change at any moment, and she learned the hard way to love fully while there is the opportunity. Her life was still full of love, and although it felt like the end of the road in many ways, she knew there was beauty in the world. Dwelling on the positive was the best way she knew to keep herself from sinking into deep depression and activating a stress response in her body.

GratitudeYellow

Richard and the boys always made Amanda queen for the day on Mother’s Day. This would be the first time she would celebrate it alone. This year, she would have to see the positive in celebrating it with her boys and her granddaughter. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be good enough. Keeping everything in perspective, at least she had three handsome sons and a gorgeous little granddaughter to celebrate.

People in the world are suffering way worse than I am. I am fortunate to have Cassidy and the boys. I am a proud mother and grandmother.

Because of her tense relationship with her mother, Amanda vowed to be a different kind of mother to her own children. And having Cassidy as her granddaughter felt like another opportunity to raise a little girl, one she missed out on when Ella’s life ended unexpectedly. She made it her priority to attend regular therapy and took medication for depression, unlike her mother. She told her boys all the things she loved about them and complimented them for qualities unique to their personalities. She encouraged them to follow their dreams and to believe in themselves. She and Richard tried not to fight in front of the children, and they showed affection in front of them. As far as the kids knew, everything was fine in their marriage except the grief. She tried to shield the kids from her troubles. And she never blamed them for anything going wrong in her life.

I am not perfect, but I’m perfect the way I am.

Feeling Good

____________

Here is the prompt:

Let your characters work through the old saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Visit my Friday Fiction Friends to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.susannenelson.wordpress.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@DeBieHive
@neargenius
@MollyFieldGrassOil

Follow us on Facebook:

DeBie Hive
World’s Worst Moms
Susanne’s World
Bulamamani
Clearly Kristal

Near Genius
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!
Related articles

Friday Ficton #16: Without You

created by Kelly DeBie www.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week, I provided the prompt. This is episode sixteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first fifteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
__________
Amanda dreamed about Richard every night for a week in a row.  There were bits and pieces of flashbacks to previous memories like the first time they met and the last time they made love. She usually didn’t dream about him, but since he passed away unexpectedly, it was almost all her subconscious was working on.  The press of his lips, his muscular arms holding her, and the sound of his voice all seemed so real.  Other times, the dreams took place in surreal surroundings with imaginary people. This time as Amanda slept alone in her king size bed, he told her he loved someone else and wanted a divorce. There was no emotion, no remorse, just simply stating the facts. He wasn’t attracted to her anymore and found someone else he wanted to be with.  That was it whether she liked it or not.She begged and pleaded with him to stay with her and was so mad at him she even tried grabbing him and slapping him in the face to bring him to his senses. “I know I’m not as young, hot, and cute as she is, but Richard we have children together! I will try harder to lose weight and get in better shape. Please stay with me. Don’t do this!”But it was to no avail. Richard and his mistress, a thing yet curvacious long-haired brunette who looked no older than 25, held hands as they turned their backs to her and walked away. Amanda cried and felt completely defeated as her husband literally walked out of her life.  The woman turned back to give Amanda a sly smile as if to say, “he’s mine now.”Crying out in her sleep, she awoke to see her familiar bedroom windows and realized none of it was real. Her heart pounding and her breath heavy, she told herself it was just a dream, blinked her eyes a few times to focus and rolled over to look at the ceiling.  The fan turned around and around as her mind adjusted back to this earthly realm.Sunlight poured in through the window and lit up her wedding picture on the opposite wall from her bed. She didn’t know what to think. Her new normal included a quieter house with fewer chores and nobody to fight with or blame her for the death of their children. But her new normal also meant life as a single mom. Nobody would be there to comfort her when she had a bad dream. Nobody was there to help with the kids or to share happy times with. It felt like being alone in a crowd. Life would continue around her, but inside she knew she was alone and could only count on herself.

Her book of boudoir photos sat next to their bed. Richard died the day before the pictures came in, so he never got to see them. Amanda scoffed at herself as she picked it up and looked through all the pictures of her scantily dressed in provocative poses.  She wanted so badly to surprise him with something special and to put a spark back in their relationship. She remembered seeing the picture of his mistress wearing lingerie on his phone and a sick feeling came over her. While her nightmare wasn’t real, Richard was cheating on her in real life and wanted to leave her. Plus, she looked way better in lingerie than Amanda did.

How could he stay with me if that’s how he felt? When was he planning to leave? Was there anything I could’ve done to stop him or change his mind?  We made love the morning he died.  Everything felt nice between us. I knew he was distant sometimes, but I didn’t know…

She got out of bed, showered and went to the cemetery after she took Robert to school. Richard’s grave was right next to Anderson’s. It had a lack of green grass growing on top, just a sandy rectangle of disturbed earth. All the flowers from the funeral were gone.  It was obviously a new grave compared to the other two. She placed single roses on each one, pink for Ella, red for Anderson and Richard. She still needed to order him a headstone, so the temporary marker identified the place where the love of her life lay. She realized that’s where she would also spend eternity, next to her husband and kids. But for now, she was still free to live her life.

Angel 013

Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)

She sat down on his grave. Her legs felt weak as noodles. Her body ached with exhaustion and grief.  Her heart overflowed with emotions.  With a pen and paper, she started to write:

Under the earth you lie

Still as a statue
Frozen in time
Resting forever

Body entombed
Spirit free as a bird
Flying through space and time
Living in the next world

Everywhere and nowhere

Watching and waiting for us

You were so full of life
I didn’t know how fast it would end
Now the story’s told
And I’m here without you

Living, breathing, loving, learning

In the sunlight with the wind in my hair

And all I want is to be near you

Can you hear me?

Can you see me?

I should be mad at you

I should want to leave you for what you did

But I’m not glad your gone

The truth is

I wish you were here with me

I miss your smile

Your beautiful eyes

Your soft lips to kiss

Your strong arms around me

Your sense of humor

Your heartbeat

I miss you, all of you

It’s hard to be here

Without you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUsa77MfVpI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3TWpWf798s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUe8uoKdHao

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hat1Hc9SNwE

__________

Here is the prompt:
Use the cliche, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” in your story (when you are not with a loved one, you tend to miss them more). You decide how to use it and if your character agrees with it or not. As an added optional challenge, use the literary device, “antithesis” (used when the writer employs two sentences of contrasting meanings in close proximity to one another. Whether they are words or phrases of the same sentence, an antithesis is used to create a stark contrast using two divergent elements that come together to create one uniform whole. An antithesis plays on the complementary property of opposites to create one vivid picture. The purpose of using an antithesis in literature is to create a balance between opposite qualities and lend a greater insight into the subject.
Example: When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon it might have been one small step for a man but it was one giant leap for mankind.

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

http://www.katbiggie.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@MollyFieldTweet

@katbiggie

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

Grass Oil

Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

No Holding Back

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Friday Fiction #15: Wings to Fly

created by Kelly DeBiewww.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
www.debiehive.blogspot.com

It’s Fiction Friday and a new month with a new theme: cliches. Starting this month, we are going to rotate giving prompts by the week. This week’s prompt is from Clearly Kristal. My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode fifteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first fourteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
___________
The next day, they started packing up Anderson’s and Ella’s bedrooms. Once they finished those two rooms, they could start working on the rest of the house. The house was already nicely decorated and usually kept tidy since Amanda was a stay-home mom. It had been four years since anyone touched the two empty kids’ rooms. Bravely, Amanda got to work with all three of her sons, starting in Ella’s room with Brad, while Steven and Robert started in Anderson’s room. Deciding to pack everything away temporarily and not throw or give anything away, it was just a matter of putting things into boxes.
Little Cassidy played on the X-box downstairs in the living room while everybody worked upstairs. She made noises as she swiped left and right to chop fruit on Fruit Ninja. Jumping and laughing, she was totally oblivious to the serious tone of her family upstairs. “Woo hoo, high score daddy! Look!”
“Cass daddy’s busy upstairs now. Good job, I’m super proud of your high score. Try to beat it again!”
Picking up Ella’s bedazzled dance bag by the strap, Amanda zipped it and packed it away as it was. They took the pictures off the walls and carefully bubble wrapped them. Her jewelry went into Ziploc bags, and her posters were carefully rolled up. One by one, they cleaned out her drawers and emptied her closet. Next to her bed sat a small framed picture of baby Ella, taken on her first day of life in the hospital. She wore the generic pink and blue stretchy baby hat that all newborns receive as a welcome gift. Her little face was pink and puffy, but Amanda could see her big girl in that baby’s face, and it was all too much for her. She reached her limit. She sat down on her bed holding the picture frame, hung her head, and started crying. Steven hugged her then took the picture frame from her hands and put it back down on the bedside table.
Charlotte's Newborn Session

Charlotte’s Newborn Session (Photo credit: Christine ™)

“Mom, take a break. I got this. Why don’t you go hang out with Cassidy for a while?”
Nodding her head and taking a few breaths, she agreed with her oldest son and left Ella’s room to check on her granddaughter. Cassidy was still slicing fruit, making samurai moves and grinning ear to ear. “Grammy look I got a high score! Want to play with me?”
Amanda couldn’t help but smile and laugh in return. Such innocence. “Oh honey, I don’t know if I feel like playing now. I’m not feeling so great.”
“Let’s go outside! Daddy always tells me to go outside for some fresh air when I’m not feeling good. We could ride my new bike! You know, my pink one with the bell that you keep here for me to ride? Please Grammy, please?” She smiled a convincing smile and opened her eyes wide with anticipation.
How can I resist her? “Sure Cass, let’s go outside, why not? Get your sneakers on and I”ll go look for your helmet.”
Cassidy had her own bike at her house and was in the process of learning how to ride it. Amanda bought her an extra bike so she could practice when she took care of her. They just took the training wheels off the last time she was over a few weeks earlier.
Outside, it was a beautiful sunny day without a single cloud in the sky. Amanda and Cassidy brought the bike around to the front of the house so she could practice on the sidewalk.
“OK, now remember how you did this last time? Remember to keep the pedals moving forward and handlebars straight. Find your center. Balance.” Holding her gently from behind, she counted to three then pushed Cassidy slightly forward. Cassidy pedaled, and the handlebars wiggled. She put down her left foot to keep herself from falling over to the side.
“I’m going to crash! I can’t do it! Grammy, I’m scared.”
“It’s ok honey, you can do it. It just takes a little practice. You’ll get the hang of it; I promise. Come on, let’s try again. Let’s move your pedal around to the top of the cycle so it’s easier for you to get started. Ready?”
Reluctantly, she tried again. This time she pedaled, and although the handlebars wiggled a little, she straightened them out and kept going straight past the next house on their street.
“I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”
“Yes, you are! Keep going and stop at the alley!” Amanda watched as Cassidy continued down the street and to the alley. Cassidy stopped, turned around and called for her Grammy to help her get started again.
“Try it once on your own and see if you can do it!” she encouraged.
Cassidy paused for a few moments, then started pedaling her way back. Her blonde curls blew in the wind, and her sweet smile was mesmerizing as she approached and stopped her bike. Elated, she jumped into Amanda’s arms. “I did it! I’m so happy!”
“You sure did. I knew you could. High five!” She congratulated Cassidy and decided to bring out her portable chair to the front yard. “I’ll sit here and watch while you do it again.”
www.dreamstime.com
__________
Here is the prompt:

Use the quote below to tell the story of how your primary character comes to the edge (a cliché). Note: Your character may/may not fly. However, he/she encourages others to start a new beginning – i.e. to “fly.” Spring offers new beginnings to grow and soar. Tell this story in no more than 1,500 words (no less than 800) with a balance of dialogue and imagery. Now let your story fly!

“Come to the edge, He said. They said: We are afraid.Come to the edge, He said.They came. He pushed them,And they flew . . .” — Guillaume Apollinaire French poet

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@MollyFieldTweet

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

Grass Oil

Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Fiction Friday #14: Moving On

created by Kelly DeBiewww.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com

It’s Fiction Friday and a new month with a new theme: cliches. Starting this month, we are going to rotate giving prompts by the week. This week’s prompt is from Molly Field at Grass Oil (see below). My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode fourteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first thirteen episodes, here are links:
7. Love
___________
Amanda decided it was time for a fresh start. There were too many memories in the Keilsth family’s four thousand five hundred square foot home. They bought it when their oldest son, Steven, was a baby with hopes of filling up the rest of the bedrooms over the years to come. They wanted a big family, and they wanted to grow roots in a big house where their kids could grow and return as college students to their old bedrooms. They thought of retiring near the ocean eventually, but with their youngest son, Robert only thirteen years old, they thought they would stay in the big house for a while. But everything changed when Richard died; Amanda decided it was time to put the house on the market and start over in a smaller house. She couldn’t stand to sleep in their bed alone or to see the pool where he died every day .

Anderson’s and Ella’s rooms remained untouched since they died unexpectedly four years ago. It was too hard for Amanda to clean out their rooms or to change the decor. A part of her wished that if she left the rooms the same as they left them, parts of her kids would stay alive. She often spent time in their rooms wondering what would have been had they gotten a chance to grow up.

Posters of Justin Bieber still hung on Ella’s walls, and her dance bag still sat on the floor unzipped with ballet and tap shoes sticking out of the unzipped opening on top. Medals and awards lined her shelves. Recital and competition pictures covered the pink walls. Notes from friends lay folded on her dresser, and candid pictures of her and her friends smiled from a bulletin board hung over her bed. Her favorite pink baby blanket waited patiently on her bed for Ella to come back from school that day. She used to joke about her attachment to her baby blanket, claiming to be unable to sleep without it.

Anderson’s room was dark blue. Toy dragons and legos decorated the corner next to his wooden bookshelf. Baby books, handed down from his older siblings were mixed in with stiff toddler books and picture books. The Superman sheets and comforter reminded her of how often little Anderson used to run around wearing a superhero costume. He loved airplanes and anything else that flew. His Taekwondo uniform sat out on top of his dresser waiting for his next class. Portraits of a happy baby boy hung from the walls in the room where her youngest child was growing up, subtle and sad reminders of the potential of his young life.

This was not how Richard and Amanda planned for their lives to unfold. She decided to put the house on the market and downsize to a smaller place. Obviously, their vision for the future had been crashed into tiny pieces, and staying in their family house just didn’t make sense any more.

She called Steven, now 21 to ask him to come over for dinner so they could talk.

“Mom, I don’t know I’m awfully busy. Do you want all of us to come? Althea has class I think. I’m supposed to be taking care of Cassidy tonight.”

“Steven it’s important. Please I need to talk to you. I know you’re busy, just thirty minutes, that’s all I ask.”

He worked part-time as a physical therapy aide while he also went to college, majoring in physical therapy. He had experience as an Army medic and wanted to use it to build a career in the medical/health field like his dad. He was getting used to the role of fatherhood despite its challenges, and he was working toward the idea of a long term commitment (engagement and marriage) with Althea. There was just so much going on in their lives, and they had only gotten back together a few months ago, he wanted to take things slowly and not make emotional decisions. Althea was also in school and working part-time, struggling to make ends meet and get an education at the same time as mothering her little girl. With his father gone, Steven felt more responsibility to help with his mom and stopped by to visit her more often since the funeral.

“OK mom what time is dinner? 6:30 as usual?” He was used to 6:30 being family dinner time growing up and knew it was his mom’s favorite time to eat a family meal together.

Nineteen year old Brad took a year off after graduating high school after the drama of losing his two younger siblings and was accepted to start college at the University of Texas in the fall. He would be moving out of the house and into a freshman dorm on the university campus. He had no idea what he wanted to major in, but he felt it was time to pursue higher education and was looking forward to a whole new life as a college student.

Thirteen year old Robert was Amanda’s youngest child. He still had several years left living at home. Amanda wanted to find something with three bedrooms (instead of six) so she, Robert, and Brad could finish this school year and then it would just be the two of them, Robert and Amanda, living together after that. It would be a tough conversation to have because life would be so different, but she needed to have it with her boys.

That night when they sat down to eat dinner together, she told her sons what was on her mind. Little Cassidy watched Spongebob as she ate her dinner, spilling peas onto the placemat.

“I decided to put the house on the market boys. I know this is the only home you’ve ever known, but it’s time to move on. There is too much sadness, and there are too many memories here. I called my realtor earlier today, and tomorrow we will start getting the house ready to show. I know this is going to be hard for you, but it’s something I feel very strongly about, and it’s something I need to do…for me and for us.”

The boys were surprised but took the news pretty well. In between bites of mashed potatoes with gravy and roast chicken and peas, they took turns asking questions.

“What about school?” Robert inquired.

“We will try to stay in the same zone. I don’t want to disrupt your lives any more than they already have been. I need to think about the finances, and this house is just too big for us. I also…” Amanda broke into tears, “…I also need a whole new reality. It hurts too much to stay here after everything that’s happened. Daddy left us insurance money, but I’m probably going to have to go back to work, and we won’t be able to afford living in a house this big. I need to make a fresh start in a smaller place, and I’m hoping you will both support me in my decision. Our family needs a fresh start.”

“What about Ella and Anderson’s rooms?” Brad couldn’t imagine the thought of his mom packing both rooms away. “Do you want my help in there?”

“Brad, that’s very sweet of you. Yes, I would love your help. I will need your help. It’s been too hard for me to change them so far, but we need to accept the past for what it is and go for it. It’s time. Life is telling us loud and clear it’s time to move on.”

“I’ll help too mom.” Robert added.

Steven agreed it was a good decision and also offered to help. “Mom, maybe you should let us take care of the packing for you. Dad would want us to take care of you. He wouldn’t want you to pack up their rooms alone.” His green eyes mocked Richard’s glances as he waited for an answer. His lips smiled in Richard’s familiar way.

Amanda was so proud of her young men. They all shared a piece of their dad with her and carried on his life in his absence. Amanda imagined all of them together, although there were three empty seats were at the dinner table that night. “Thank you. I love you guys so much!”
20130405-101356.jpg

___________
Here is the prompt:
Your character (new or old) has been stuck in a rut of inaction or stinkin’ thinkin’, encumbered by doubt or memories s/he has been unable to shake. In a moment of whim and unbridled mirth, who knows: faith? s/he decides to throw caution to the wind and just go for it, do what s/he has been avoiding out of fear, or just sheer bad timing or dumb luck. The stars have aligned: this is the moment. S/he goes for it… you decide if the venture is successful or not.1,500 words max. 50% Dialogue optional, but suggested

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.bulamamani.com/

http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/

http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

http://www.katbiggie.com/

http://theincompetenthausfrau.wordpress.com/

http://temorgan.blogspot.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@BuLaMamaNi

@DeBieHive

@MollyFieldTweet

@chrissawoj

@Near_Genius

@katbiggie

@uncwisdom

@incompetentfrau

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

DeBie Hive

Grass Oil

Bulamamani

Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

Near Genius

Quirky Chrissy

No Holding Back

Unconventional Wisdom

The Incompetent Hausfrau

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Fiction Friday #13: Life: From Lion to Lamb

172456.jpg”>20130329-172456.jpg

It’s Fiction Friday with the Friday Fiction Friends, formerly the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. We have a new (male) writer now. We all write different stories based on the same prompt, given to us by Molly Field at Grass Oil. March’s theme is luck and renewal. This is the thirteenth episode in an ongoing series. If you missed the first twelve episodes, here are the links:

7. Love
____________
Just like expression goes for the month of March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” we all come into this life crying and bloody and leave it in silence and peace. We are born alone, and we die alone. Life is a journey we share with others but ultimately, it’s a journey we take alone. With the promise of every new birth, every new life, there is the certainty that life will end. When, where, how, and why we never get to know in advance. That’s the game of life. Enjoy it while it lasts because in geological time, it’s a fleeting moment in the vastness of space. What matters the most is what happens in between birthdays and deathdays. That’s what we call life.
Richard Keilsth left this earth suddenly and unexpectedly. He didn’t get to say goodbye to anybody, and Amanda and their boys, Steven, Brad, and Robert were left behind to pick up the pieces. Somehow, they had to accept the facts and move on with their lives without a husband and a father.
He also left behind a broken-hearted mistress, Amanda’s so-called best friend, Amy. Amanda told her not to go to the funeral and didn’t really care about talking to her for a while. She had more important things to think about, specifically saying a final goodbye to the love of her life.
Even if he was cheating on her and not a perfect husband, Richard was the love of her life. She met him while she was still in college, and they got married soon afterwards. He built a family with her and shared history with her. Amanda was working on taking the high road and forgiving both of them. What was the point of being angry with Richard when he was already gone forever? As she reflected back on their lives together, she felt that their true love outweighed all the ups and downs in their relationship. Amanda appreciated everything they experienced together during their twenty years together and couldn’t believe their love story had come to an end.
Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amanda went to the funeral home with her boys early and stayed late to have some personal time with him. They were all dressed in black suits. The boys were sullen, with freshly brushed hair and matching ties. She hugged each of them and fought back tears. Amanda dreaded the idea of everything that was about to happen. After losing two children already, the funeral home was a far too familiar place for the Keilsth family. First there would be the visitation, long lines of people to greet, then the funeral and burial followed by a reception. She knew she had to be strong to get through the next couple of days, stronger than she’d ever been before because this time her sons only had one parent to guide them through their loss.
Her final moments with Richard were breathtaking. The last time she saw him was in the hospital, and then there he was in the coffin dressed in his favorite suit, peaceful, and silent. Make up made him look surreal. He truly was gone. What lay before her was the shell of the man she loved. His spirit and his energy were already long gone. There he was, the man who had saved so many people’s lives with his hands, the man who laughed boldly and loved intensely, lying there still in repose, gentle as a lamb. Never again would he surprise Amanda with flowers after work or jump into the pool. Never again would he betray her when she wasn’t paying attention. Their entire life together flashed in her mind as the reality sunk in.
She thought of a video she saw on Facebook earlier that day and took some deep breaths.
The message of appreciating all the ordinary moments before they are gone resonated with her soul. How true were those words, how little do we truly appreciate the day-to-day beauty present in our lives? Had she truly loved Ella and Anderson while they were here? Did Richard know how much she loved him that fateful day? Losing them so quickly and unexpectedly taught her an important lesson. We never really know if tomorrow will come, and we need to take the time today to tell people we love them. We need to take the time every day in all those ordinary moments to treasure and appreciate the lives we have. For just as it is certain a child will one day grow up and move away from home, each and every one of our loved ones will leave us too, and we never know when it will happen.
She said her final goodbyes and laid him down to rest the next day in their family plot at the local cemetery. The funeral train extended for miles as everybody who knew and loved Richard, except his mistress Amy, came out to pay their final respects. That night, Amanda dreamed of Richard, Ella, and Anderson.
Nobody spoke any words, but she clearly remembered their three figures standing there holding hands. She woke up with the feeling that he was at peace on the other side with their two children. While she wished they had exchanged words or that she could remember more of the details, it gave her a soft feeling in her heart to know that they were together on the other side. She felt empowered to watch over her boys on this side, and the memory of the dream was so vivid it made her feel like they would be there waiting for her when it was her time to go. He was truly a part of her, and his spirit would continue to live through her and their sons and grand-daughter.
She got out of bed and resolved to start a new day in her new life. No more guilt, no more anger, no more fighting, just peace. She pressed play on her iPhone and this song by Rascal Flatts came on:
“It wasn’t long enough together, but it was long enough to last forever.” ~Rascal Flatts
RIP Richard Keilsth
1961-2013

____________

Here is the prompt:

March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” —
for our writing: to be deflated, belittled or humbled after the failure of a daring or boastful act.

I’m putting a couple of restrictions on this one though to sharpen your lion’s writing claws before we submit to our kinder, gentler lamblike selves: 1,000 words max and no dialogue, all description. *Show* not tell: how your character has softened, deflated from the beginning of his/her intro in even one post? to now.

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:
http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/
http://www.katbiggie.com/
http://theincompetenthausfrau.wordpress.com/
http://temorgan.blogspot.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius
@katbiggie
@uncwisdom
@incompetentfrau

Follow us on Facebook:

DeBie Hive
Grass Oil
It’s A Dome Life
World’s Worst Moms
Susanne’s World
Bulamamani
Clearly Kristal
monsterN’box
Near Genius
Quirky Chrissy
No Holding Back
Unconventional Wisdom
The Incompetent Hausfrau

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

<a href="https://susannenelson.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/20130329-

Fiction Friday #12: One Chance

created by Kelly DeBie

created by Kelly DeBie

It’s Fiction Friday with the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. We all write different stories based on the same prompt, given to us by Molly Field at Grass Oil. March’s theme is luck and renewal. This is episode twelfth in an ongoing series. If you missed the first eleven episodes, here are the links:

_______________
The sky outside the Keilsth house was dark and grey. Heavy clouds loomed overhead while cold, thick raindrops fell against the window and saturating the lawn and their gardens. The raindrops raced down her window pane as she looked outside gathering her thoughts. Her heart felt as heavy as the sky. At this moment though, there were no tears, just an empty feeling inside where her marriage once lived.
Richard was gone, and he was never coming back. She had to get used to that idea whether she liked it or not. The pool where he had his accident sat empty, the surface riddled with rain. It was hard for her to believe what started out as a family day at home playing in the pool became another devastating loss to her family. At least he is with Ella and Anderson now. He can take care of them in the afterlife while I take care of Steven, Brad, and Robert here.
Richard’s parents took care of notifying people about his death. Amanda just couldn’t bear the task. It was hard enough to deal with all the funeral preparations. It was hard enough to mother to her three sons, to guide them in the grief process and to shield them from the secrets of their parents’ marriage. All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and lie in her bed. But she knew her sons felt the same way, if not worse because they not only lost siblings, they lost a father too. One moment changed their lives forever.
Phone calls and visitors started to arrive with sympathy flowers, words of condolences, and meals for the family. Friends offered to drive the boys to school and their activities for Amanda. But, there was one friend she hadn’t seen or heard from yet, Amy, her best friend and the other woman. She assumed Amy heard about Richard’s accident because his phone had stopped receiving notifications from her. Amanda was never one to mince words or to put on a fake persona to please others, but she hadn’t had a chance to directly confront Amy yet. Inside, she felt conflicted knowing the man she loved and lived her life with betrayed her with her best friend. She only found out because he died! She grieved the loss of her husband and their future together, all the while remembering what she read in his emails to his mistress…that he was leaving her soon to start a new life. He never forgave Amanda for the accident that killed Ella and Anderson, and despite their attempts to save their marriage, he already had plans to divorce her and was sleeping with her best friend. Amanda had never felt so many emotions at one time before in her whole life. It was hard to think straight, but she knew she had to confront Amy. She had to deal with it because acting like the problem didn’t exist wouldn’t make it go away. It would slowly eat at her from the inside out.
She was never known to shy away from conflict. Sometimes that got her in trouble as people thought she was confrontational. But in Amanda’s mind, people can’t solve problems unless they acknowledge the problems in the first place. Sweeping things under the rug doesn’t make them go away. Amanda believed in taking the high road, and how she would deal with her husband’s infidelity and death at the same time would be a true test of her character. So, she decided to call Amy and invite her over to talk.
When she opened the door and saw Amy standing there, clearly distraught, there were no words. Amy hugged Amanda and they both cried. Amanda invited her in, and they sat down at the kitchen table to talk over coffee. Inside, she was seething with anger and intensely curious what Amy would say to her. When Amanda pulled out Richard’s phone and set it on the table between them, Amy turned white. Amanda’s stomach dropped. She told Amy she saw the texts and emails but didn’t go into detail. She stopped talking to give Amy a chance to either redeem herself or to end their friendship forever. She would have one chance to tell the truth. If she lied or denied the affair, Amanda was going to flip out.
Amy knew the game was up. She knew Amanda read some of her messages to Richard. Surprisingly, she admitted everything and apologized profusely to Amanda for everything she’d done: the infidelity, the betrayal, the secrets, and the lies. She was so embarrassed, she put her head down on her folded arms on the table and sobbed uncontrollably. Amanda didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, she felt relieved Amy told her the truth and showed remorse. On the other hand, she wanted to punch her right in her pretty face and tell her to leave and never come back. Since Amy used her one chance to do the right thing, Amanda exercised some self-control. The fact was that neither woman was going to have Richard. There was really nothing to fight over.
She told Amy she appreciated her telling the truth and that she mostly felt sorry for her more than anything. She knew Amy’s life turned upside down when her husband died. Richard was an amazing man and had many attractive qualities. She couldn’t blame Amy for seeing an ideal husband and father in him. She told Amy she would try to forgive her, but that it was going to take time to process everything. Because Amy told her the truth, she would commit to working on the healing process. But because Amy crossed the line in the first place, Amanda thought it would not be a good idea for Amy to attend the funeral. There was no way she could focus on saying goodbye to her husband with his mistress present. Amy would just have to deal with it. It wasn’t Amanda’s issue. Amanda drew her boundary to protect herself.
Amy left in the pouring rain, and Amanda locked the door behind her. Thunder clapped and lightning streaked across the sky as she got back into bed. Maybe I can fall asleep and this will all be a bad dream.
_______________
Here is the prompt:
We are almost past St. Patrick’s Day, a “holiday” that many people think is about getting hammered amid ersatz spontaneous Irishness. People connect being Irish with being lucky. Those of us who’ve descended from The Mother Country know that “luck” is subjective. I prefer the word “chance.” That said, here is the prompt:
“chance |CHans| noun 1 a possibility of something happening: a chance of victory | there is little chance of his finding a job. … • (chances) the probability of something happening: he played down his chances of becomingchairman. • [ in sing. ] an opportunity to do or achieve something: I gave her a chance to answer. • a ticket in a raffle or lottery. • Baseball an opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error: 541 straight chances without an error.
2 the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design: he met his brother by chance | what a lucky chance that you are here. adjective [ attrib. ] fortuitous; accidental: a chance meeting. verb 1 [ no obj. ] do something by accident or without design: if they chanced to meet. • (chance upon/on) find or see by accident: he chanced upon an interesting advertisement. 2 [ with obj. ] informal do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome: she waited a few seconds and chanced another look.”
You decide how to use it, how to demonstrate it and how to reconcile it in your writing this week. 800-1500 words. Go.

20130322-151224.jpg
Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompts:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/ http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/
http://www.noholdingback1212.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius
@katbiggie

Friday Fiction #11: Beware the Ides of March

created by Kelly DeBie

created by Kelly DeBie

It’s Fiction Friday; every week the members of the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode eleven of a continuing series. If you missed the first ten episodes, here are the links:

1. Lesson Learned
2. Althea
3. The Aftermath
4. The Gun
5. Eyes Are the Windows to the Soul
6. Facebook Envy
7. Love
8. Home = Our Beliefs about Love
9. One Day at a Time
10. A Stronger Woman
__________________________

With the weather warming up outside, Amanda and Richard heated up their backyard swimming pool over spring break. Richard took the day off work to spend at home with his family since it was the last day of his sons’, Robert and Brad, holiday from school. Their oldest son, Steven, lived in his own place with his girlfriend and daughter, and they were too busy to come over, but Amanda talked to them after breakfast and everything sounded great. It was a sunny day outside, and she chopped vegetables in the kitchen while the guys swam outside. She planned to join them after she finished getting some lunch ready. Lying in the sun and floating in the cool water were two of her favorite pastimes.

Suddenly, Brad came running in the house through the patio door. “Dad’s dead. Mom, come quick!” Water dripped from his suit on the wood floor. He panted, out of breath, furrowed his brow, and Amanda could tell he wasn’t kidding. She could hear Robert crying.

“What? What happened?” she dropped the knife and ran outside, almost slipping on the floor. Adrenaline pumped through her veins, and she couldn’t believe what was happening. “Call 911 Brad!”

Richard floated face down in the pool. Robert cried and screamed in the pool next to him trying to turn him over. Amanda jumped in the water, shoes still on. “Richard, oh my god!” Blood was in the water, but she couldn’t see where it was coming from. “What happened?

“He jumped in and came up like this. I don’t know what happened! We were doing cannonballs. He said to watch him do a watermelon cannonball.”

She grabbed him under his armpits and tried to get to the side of the pool. He was so heavy. Amanda was only 5″3′, and Richard was 6 feet tall. She struggled to flip him over and hold his head out of the water, but he wasn’t breathing. His skin was turning blue as she cried his name.

EMS arrived on the scene and the minutes that ensued were a blur of medical equipment and questions. They were able to resuscitate him briefly, but couldn’t sustain it. He kept crashing. Amanda and the boys rushed to the hospital in the police car not far behind the ambulance. She called Richard’s family and told them what happened and to meet them at the hospital.

The doctors said he had a cervical fracture and was not breathing on his own. He had a large cut on the top of his head, toward the back. They didn’t know if he had brain activity, so they needed to care-flight him to another hospital and run several tests. Amanda knew it was bad news when the hospital chaplains introduced themselves while she, the boys, and his parents waited. The tests showed he had no brain activity and was in a vegetative state. Amanda would have to decide whether to take him off life-support and donate his organs. It was agonizing. Of course he would have wanted to donate his organs so other people could live, and she knew he wouldn’t want to be kept alive artificially. Those parts of the decisions made sense, but it would be so very hard to say goodbye to the man she married and created a family with, the man she hoped to grow old with. She sat with him in the hospital bed that night, speechless, crying, hugging him gently and lightly touching his face.

She sent the boys home with Richard’s parents and said she would stop at home and pick up some things then meet them at their house. It was too painful to think of sleeping in her bed without him. Just going back into the house was going to be hard. She made it quick, grabbing some clothes, shoes, and toiletries. She saw Richard’s phone on the table next to their bed, and she picked it up then headed over to her in-laws’ house for some sleep and a shower. What a day.

Amanda crawled under the sheets and started looking at pictures of them together on his phone. She noticed he had text and email notifications, so she opened them up, wondering what his last messages were about and to whom. She would be in charge of notifying everyone of his passing. At the top of his text screen were three messages from Amy, Amanda’s friend who also worked at the hospital with Richard. “Missed you today; How’s your day at home going? You there?”

My friend Amy? What the fuck?

There were emails from her too. As she scrolled through his pictures, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There were pictures of her husband with another woman, a beautiful, blonde woman in lingerie. And this woman was her friend, a single mom who was widowed when her husband died of cancer. Amanda supported Amy through the whole experience and helped with the care of her two boys, essentially letting the fox into the henhouse. She went into his ‘sent’ folder on his emails and sure enough, there was a long list of emails from Richard to Amy. One by one, she read them. He blamed Amanda for the deaths of their children and wanted to start a new life with her. He told her it wouldn’t be long until he was going to leave Amanda.

Her heart sank. Her stomach felt sick. How much worse could this day get? Amanda put the phone down and cried herself to sleep.

Why?

In the morning, she peeled herself out of bed and held herself together enough to go back to the hospital with her family and Richard’s parents. Richard’s phone kept vibrating with new messages, so Amanda turned it off. Today, she needed to focus on saying goodbye to her husband.

The hospital arranged the organ recipients, and informed the family they would take him off life support at 3:00 pm. Everybody said their goodbyes separately in privacy. During Amanda’s alone time with him, a few tears fell from his eyes as she lay in bed next to him, and she wanted him to answer her but knew he couldn’t. So, she just hugged him and kissed him and told him she loved him. Only Amanda and his mom were with him during his final breath. A piece of Amanda went with him that day.

For more information on organ donation, visit www.taylorsgift.org

For more information on organ donation, visit http://www.taylorsgift.org

__________________________

Here is the prompt:

The Ides of March — that fateful day when Caesar was assassinated by coup by a team of Roman senators on the steps of the Curia in Pompey (http://news.discovery.com/history/art-history/julius-ceasar-stabbing-121012.htm). (Can you tell I love history?) Our character is betrayed, hardcore, by a friend. The relationship is forever altered, “killing” a little piece inside, of our protagonist, yet empowering her/him despite the damage.

Imagery, dialogue, movement…

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompts:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/ http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/
http://www.noholdingback1212.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius
@katbiggie

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!