Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wordy Wednesday - Teen Turmoil

It's Wordy Wednesday time at Blog-a-Rhythm! Woohooo!

Once again, I am motivated to produce, knowing that deadlines come even faster based on time zones in India and that the Linky will be locked in no time!

I thought I'd better get in gear and do Wordy Wednesday, especially since it's my prompt this week. 

I had fun writing this, remembering the turbulent teen years where you could be an emotional wreck one moment and in a state of bliss the next. Emotions were so heightened and raw and you felt like the whole world was scrutinizing you, looking at every flaw, which they weren't of course. You often felt insecure about friendships, worried about being slighted or cast aside for someone more interesting. I constantly fluctuated between admiration and jealousy towards my best friend who was so much more outgoing than me and more popular with the boys. I was so shy I didn't even have a boyfriend as a teenager.

As a teen, everything was such a huge deal and a major crisis from what clothes you wore, to how you wore your hair, to that zit on your chin. Honestly! I think back now on how silly I was and the stupid things I worried about.

If only I could go back now and tell my teen self to relax and enjoy myself more instead of fretting over every little thing, blowing it all out of proportion.

This week's Wordy Wednesday prompt was the phrase:

I would never forgive her for what she'd done.

I would never forgive her for what she’d done. My friend Stacey had a lot of nerve sneaking off with my boyfriend, Tim at my birthday party. They’d been gone for ages.
I pictured them in a dark corner kissing and laughing about how gullible I was.  How could I be so stupid? I should have seen the signs.  I didn’t even want to look at my phone. They had probably posted about their new relationship and plastered Facebook with tons of selfies by now. I hated them both.

How I wished I could hide in my bedroom and forget all about this horrible day. Even in this noisy, crowded room, I felt completely alone. Angry tears welled up in my eyes. This was the worst birthday party ever.

Sometime later, Tim and Stacey appeared. They each carried one side of a huge decorated birthday cake with “Happy Birthday, Kayla!” written on it. Sixteen flickering candles threatened to set off the smoke alarm.

Everyone started to sing Happy Birthday as they placed the cake on the table.
“Happy Birthday, Kayla!” Tim said, putting his arm around me. He kissed my cheek and handed me a colourful gift bag.

I gazed at the beautiful cake in amazement.  Taking a deep breath, I blew out the candles and everyone cheered.

“Thanks, guys,” I said, wiping away happy tears. I smiled at Tim and Stacey.

This was the best birthday party ever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Stinker of a Story

Everyone loves to get praise and hear that they are wonderful. Who doesn’t love that? Especially we writers who spend many a lonely hour hunched in front of our computers or over our pads of paper as we toil away trying to get our ideas just right.  It gives us a boost and makes us feel good.

I wrote a stinker of a story lately. Yes, folks it does happen to me occasionally. I know it’s hard to believe. EHEM…face reddens and whistles while looking other direction…

Now where was I?

My online critique partners were honest with me and told me that my latest creation was contrived, clichéd with cardboard characters and the plot was silly and  implausible.

OUCH! Nothing sugar-coated about that. No one likes to get criticism and most of us try to avoid it at all costs. But sometimes you have to hear it in order to improve.

I found it hard to take at first but now I can see they were right. I write so much better than that if I put my mind to it. That piece was written too quickly, without much thought put into it and it stunk worse than my cats’ litterbox.

Isn’t it worth it to work hard at creating a story with depth, rather than a piece of empty meaningless fluff? I think so.

After receiving my critique, I pouted for a few minutes. I debated giving up the whole writing habit forever but decided against it since I still love it, struggles, rejection, story stinkers and all. So I licked my wounds, and spent a sleepless night dreaming up a new story with real sounding characters. 

The following day, I wrote another story. My critique partner, Jocelyn said it’s much better and more up to my usual standards. Of course it still needs revision, but at least it’s revision-worthy and not garbage like the other story.

Silly fluff flows from my fingers
Like a stench that wafts and lingers,
Stereotypes, clichés galore
This story is a total bore,

A useless plot without much appeal
Cardboard characters who don’t seem real,
Dull and boring, the story falls flat
Even revision can’t help with that,

When a story stinks, the best thing to do
Is ditch the story and start something new!

Monday, August 3, 2015

#Monday Musings - The March of the Seasons has begun!

There is a delicate hint of fall in the air with the shorter days and a coolness to the mornings. From my window, I can see that the bird activity has changed these past few weeks. All the baby birds have gone which makes me sad as I miss watching their funny antics, especially the baby cardinals who were hilarious. They grow up way too fast. Sigh.

The berries are gone on the honeysuckle bush so there are no more gorgeous cedar waxwings. I miss seeing them. The hubs says he will plant more bushes for me next year. I'd love to have a whole yard full of cedar waxwings as I think they are one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen. Thank goodness for my photos to freeze these special moments in time. 

I was entranced to see this handsome young purple finch at the feeder yesterday. As you can see, he is starting to change colour from his brown speckles to his brilliant red plumage. What a beauty he is! Soon he will be migrating south so I am grateful to have captured some photos of him before he goes.

I’ve been back from my vacation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for a week now and am still trying to establish my routine with what little routine I have. At least fall is coming and that always helps give me more structure. For a person like me who has so many interests, I often feel scattered and jump around from project to project.

I like fall with that “Back to school” feeling of starting something new and the surge of activity after a lazy unstructured summer. I look forward to the cooler days and leaves changing colour. Too bad that winter has to follow.

For those in the northern hemisphere, I hope you can get outside to enjoy our last few weeks of summer. As my dad always says, "It's a longggggggg winter!"

The days grow short with a hint of fall
Summer doesn’t last very long at all,
This season will soon disappear
Gone again for another year,

Opening a book to a brand new page,
Fall will soon take centre stage,
The march of the seasons has begun
Enjoy what’s left of summer fun!