Marking Time

古時計Marking Time

There is one clock left that I wind every day.

Its bushings are worn; its face is cracked. Its gears jam and its chimes no longer mark the hours.

But each hard-won tick is a celebration of the life it has clocked.

—————————————————————————————


This is my submission for this week’s gargleblaster challenge over at yeah write. The challenge poses a question and we have to answer it in exactly 42 words. Answers can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

This week’s question is: Have all your clocks stopped?

—————————————————————————————

 Image credit: Paylessimages @ PhotoXpress.com

 

Rendezvous with Destiny

flamy symbol

Rendezvous with Destiny

David shivered and looked over at his friend, Cooper. Cooper grinned and slapped David on the shoulder.

“I’m not so sure about this,” David said, trying to keep his teeth from chattering. He pulled the blanket tighter, but he was still freezing.

“Dude, don’t you want to be the Chosen One?” Cooper’s grin relaxed into a concerned smile.

David shifted his feet and averted his gaze.

“Everyone’s depending on you,” Cooper said. “And you’ve already come so far. It would be silly to quit now.”

“Yeah, but it’s so cold.” David looked at Cooper. “And Gillian is out there.”

Cooper grinned again. “All the more reason not to back out now. Besides, you really are the Chosen One. It’s in the prophecy.” Cooper waved the antique book he was holding at David.

David sighed and wished they’d never found the damn book in the first place. He remembered the day Mayor Armstrong had hired them to clean out the old schoolhouse on the abandoned Miller property. Some fancy city folks wanted to convert it into an eco-friendly home, but no one had touched the place in about fifty years. The mayor told David and Cooper they could keep anything of value they came across.

Everything in the old schoolhouse had been covered in layers of grimy dust and insect corpses. It was gross, but they did find a few treasures, like an antique pocket watch and an old silver hairbrush with a matching hand mirror. The book had been tucked away on a shelf above one of the windows. David had knocked it down while he was cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling. It landed face-up and open. Cooper picked it up and started reading from the open page.

“Under the Blood Moon, a child will be born unto a modest family. He will be fair of hair and grow to be a giant. This child will be revealed as the Chosen One when the north wind blows and two sides battle to survive. Through this battlefield, the Chosen One will walk, naked and glorious as the day he was born, and lead his people to victory.” Cooper had looked up at David, eyes wide. “Dude, they’re talking about you.”

David had laughed. “Very funny, Cooper.”

“Seriously. Think about it. Your mom said you were born during a Blood Moon. Your last name is Modeste, you have blonde hair, and you’re six foot a zillion.” Cooper looked at the book’s cover. “The History and Future of Franklin. See, it’s even talking about our town.”

David had shaken his head and resumed cleaning up the cobwebs. But the seed was planted. Cooper was convinced the passage from the book referred to David, and he’d worked tirelessly to convince David of it too.

When the town’s football team made it to the state championships, which were slated to take place in Franklin at the beginning of December, they knew they’d found the battlefield. It wasn’t until that point that the boys fully registered the next part of the prophecy. David had not been thrilled at the realization that he would have to walk across the football field, completely naked, in December.

But, here he was, standing behind Cooper’s van, wrapped in nothing but a blanket.

David wasn’t really bothered about so many people seeing him naked. He worked out and took care of himself. And he loved the idea of leading his town to victory, especially since the Franklin Fighters hadn’t made state championships in over two decades. But the frigid temperature was having a detrimental effect on his glorious endowments, which was not exactly the sort of impression he wanted to make on his new girlfriend, Gillian.

“What the hell kind of prophecy requires nudity anyway?” David muttered.

Cooper clapped a hand on David’s shoulder. “It shows the world how fearless you are.”

David shot a sideways glance at his friend. Cooper’s eyes were shining like those of a true believer. David knew he couldn’t let Cooper down. With a sigh, he raised his gaze heavenwards and prayed that whatever god was watching would work a miracle with the temperature. At that moment, David felt a warm breeze ruffle his hair, and then some other parts. He smiled and handed the blanket to Cooper.

Fifty years later, the town would still be talking about the day David Modeste charged onto the football field, stark naked and yelling, “Franklin Fighters for the win!”

The town hasn’t lost a game since.

—————————————————————

prompted-button

This is my response to this week’s Prompted challenge, in which we were tasked with writing a response that included an embarrassing prophecy.

I’m also linking up with the moonshine grid over at yeah write. Just cuz.

—————————————————————

Image credit: Konstantin Yuganov / Photoxpress.com

Birthday wishes (or, what yeah write means to me)

mud-rhino

I don’t typically write personal essays, but in honour of yeah write’s special day I am about to get all up in my own business and tell you about how I came to be the speakeasy’s managing editor.

2012 was a really bad year for me. It was the year of my ectopic pregnancy, which culminated in having to knowingly kill the life that was trying to grow in the wrong part of my body before it killed me, followed by having to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have any more children. My son is amazing and I thank my lucky stars for him every day, but as someone who always imagined a house overflowing with children, this was a hard truth to swallow. On top of that, as someone whose life had been consumed by the trials and tribulations of infertility for so long, I found myself at the dead end of an ugly road I’d never wanted to be on in the first place.

For a while, I wallowed in the mud at the absolute bottom of my life. But I’m not cut out for long-term wallowing; I never have been. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and decided it was time to get to know the mud-encrusted person I’d become. That quest led to the birth of my blog, and in January 2013, a mysterious woman named Flood lured me to the speakeasy. Flood was the speakeasy’s managing editor at the time, and she also happens to be a fellow Ottawan. We became friends and I became a speakeasy devotee.

The speakeasy challenged me, inspired me, and made me a better writer. I started taking risks, both in my writing and in my personal life. I made new friends, I went zip-lining, and I wrote stories I didn’t even know I had in me.

Then, last summer, Flood asked me if I was interested in taking over as the speakeasy’s managing editor. I said yes. Okay, I might have yelled yes repeatedly while dancing around my kitchen. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

See, the team of editors here at yeah write are some of the loveliest, funniest, smartest, kindest, craziest, most creative, and most talented people I’ve ever met. You will never find a more committed bunch of people outside of an asylum. And every week, we work together to bring you the kind of challenges that actually challenge you—as writers and as human beings.

For me, the speakeasy is a labour of love. Each week, my awesome team puts together the prompts, the posts, and the Inlinkz grid. We answer emails, promote your submissions on social media, respond to comments, and troubleshoot technical issues. We read the submissions and discuss our choices for Editors’ Pick. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we beat our heads against the wall, but we’re always ready to do it all again the following week.

When I think about how I came to be the managing editor at the speakeasy, I can’t help thinking about that miserable place at the bottom of my life. It makes me thankful I’m not inclined to wallow.

There’s a moral in here. It’s simple and it’s true: Life can hand your ass to you when you least expect it. You have to decide if you’re going to wallow or if you’re going to drag your ass out of the mud and beat your own path into the future.

We’ll be waiting for you at yeah write when you do.

—————————————————————————————

Thanks to all my fellow editors—and all of the participants from both challenges—
for making yeah write such a fantastic place to be!

      

—————————————————————————————

Image credit: Nigel Dennis Wildlife Photography

Nebulous

horsehead_nebula

Nebulous

Colours swirl on a canvas of dark matter, forever shifting in their quest to create.

Hidden up there, among countless stars, is our universal mystery.

A promise of something amazing.

A trail of breadcrumbs to let us know we are not alone.

—————————————————————————————


This is my submission for the very first gargleblaster challenge over at yeah write. The challenge poses a question and we have to answer it in exactly 42 words. Answers can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

This week’s question is: What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

—————————————————————————————

Image credit: NASA (the Horsehead Nebula)

Unsheltered

Seeker_by_Natline

Unsheltered

Adrift
On churning seas
I fight
For one more chance to breathe

Reaching
Into darkened maws
I rage
At the injustice of it all

Shattered
On distant shorelines
I succumb
Because it’s time.

—————————————————————————————

This is my submission for the very last Trifecta challenge. The challenge this week was to write exactly 33 words on whatever we wanted. Many, many thank yous to the fabulous Trifecta editors, as well as the wonderful people who have made it such an awesome community over the years!

If you’re looking for somewhere to go, please come join us at yeah write!

—————————————————————————————

Image credit: Natline @ deviantART

Yours Truly: In a Nutshell

Canola flowers

I was born on a cold winter morning in a small town in Eastern Ontario. I’d like to tell you that I came out reading a book, but I’d be lying. What I can tell you is that I was born into a family of readers and we lived in a house with no television, but an abundance of books.

I can’t remember learning how to read. Family lore has it that I insisted on being taught when I was three years old. I still have the first book I learned to read. It’s called The Yellow Flowers and it was written by Fiona Saint. Apparently, I wanted someone to read the book to me all day every day, which was tricky given that I was number three in a family with four young children. So I figured out how to read it to myself, unlocking a lifetime love affair with the English language.

By the age of five, I was writing. My very first story involved a fun-loving bunch of dinosaurs who accidentally made themselves extinct when they held a jumping contest. The trampoline malfunctioned and launched all the dinosaurs into outer space. The unfortunate bunch landed on Pluto, where they remain, frozen in place, to this day.

I’ve been writing fiction and poetry ever since. In Grade 3, I read a short story to my class instead of doing a speech. In Grade 5, I wrote a 50-page novella. In Grade 6, I wrote a story that was published in the local paper. And, at the age of 18, I wrote my first novel.

I write because I’m compelled to. Sometimes characters come to me, nestle into my brain, and grow into complex creatures demanding to have their story told. On other occasions, a feeling or an image hammers at my heart and I am driven to try and capture it with words. I’ve been known to agonize over the right word choice for hours; my tea-stained thesaurus is never out of reach!

In 2012, I began to share my writing on this blog. It was terrifying, but it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. Through blogging, my writing has improved—and continues to improve every day. But, even more importantly, through blogging I have found some fantastic writing communities, filled with people who inspire me, support me, and keep my writing fires burning brightly.

—————————————————————————

This is something a little different for the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge. They wanted us to tell you our origin story—why we write, how we fell in love with books, what our aspirations are. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me!

P.S. Fittingly, this is my 200th post!

—————————————————————————

Image credit: Taiga / PhotoXpress.com