Snowy Beach

Image result for snowy mountain lake night
(Snowy Woods pt. 2)

Logic, my best friend for so many years, seemed to have deserted me. I hadn’t seen it since October, but now reason seemed to be missing as well. I found the small path that led to the edge of the woods and began to run along it. My boots left soft marks in the snow, nearly invisible in the dark woods. I knew the way and how to run through snow without falling. Living in the snowy, mountainous region taught me how. It taught me how to sled down a tree-crowded hill, how to test ice to see if it was safe to skate, and it taught me to recognize the signs of an avalanche. It had taught the whole town, and now none of it mattered. I found that I was standing still at the edge of the forest. A dark lake lay before me, nearly silent under its layer of thick ice.

I scuttled down the icy path to the lakeside. Frozen waves rushed up to meet the snowy beach. The beach was covered in criss-crossing skate marks and a thin layer of snow covered it all. I crouched down and took off my gloves, laying my hands on the ice. It was cold and I jerked my hand back quickly. The pain was evidence. I was still here.

“Kelly. What are you doing out here?” I knew that voice. I turned around. My sister, Emma, stood on the bank above me. She had on a coat, mittens, boots, and a hat. Her pale face and hair were illuminated in the darkness. The moon shone on her, making her look a little transparent.

“I’m… taking a walk. What are you doing?” I stared at her for a second trying to remember something that seemed faint and faraway, but her smile cleared the remembering away.

“I’m following you, of course,” She said, “What are you really doing out here?”

“Remembering.”

“The people?”

“Yes, and how it was before the… disaster,” I said, falling over my words.

“Why does everyone call it that?” Emma asked.

“They don’t know what else to call it,” I answered, walking over to her and taking her arm in mine. We started off down the beach. The sky grew ever lighter. The stars began to fade. Another day was beginning. The last day I would ever see my home.

“Let’s enjoy this for as long as we can,” Emma said.

“What?”

“This… this town. This beach. This time we get to spend together, just us, thinking about it all. Kelly, if we don’t talk about it now you know we won’t talk about it for a long time,” Emma said.

“I don’t want to talk about the… dis… avalanche. It’s too soon. I don’t even want to think about it,” I said.

Emma stopped walking and turned to me, grasping both of my hands, “It will always be too soon.”

I nodded, letting my first tears fall since that terrible day. Emma cried too. Her tears shining in the moonlight. “Mom and Dad… they’re gone forever. We’re all alone.” I stammered.

“Kelly…” Emma wiped away her own tears and looked into my face. Sadness gushed from her eyes though the tears were gone, but she said cheerily, “Let’s go then. We haven’t walked through town in a long time.”

25,000 Words

Today I hit 25,000 words on my novel for NaNo. 🙂 I’m still so pumped to be doing this. I’m halfway through and my excitement for this whole process has yet to fade. I think it’s a good sign. My momentum is still going strong. I have lots of ideas and many of them I’m going to use in the near future.

One problem is that I’m not sure that my novel has enough for it to become a full length novel. My plot is pretty simple and I’ve gotten to 25k without really adding to this basic plot. I guess it’s time to mix things up a bit. 🙂 Other times, however, I know for sure that my novel is going to be way over 50,000 words. lol

I’ve realized over the past week and a half of doing NaNoWriMo that, while I could do NaNo without interacting with any other writers or getting involved in anything, it is a lot more fun to at least try and get involved with the many other writers on the NaNo website. It’s also really fun to participate in the biweekly virtual write-ins that NaNoWriMo hosts on YouTube. Write-ins are a few of my favorite parts of the week. I love the word sprints, the discussions, and the general atmosphere of writerly-ness that I find there. 🙂

While most of my attention is focused on NaNo I have found that stepping away from my computer and relaxing is very important. It’s almost as important as writing itself, for me at least. When I am constantly staring at the screen I end up with a bad headache and that weird feeling in my eyes when I’ve stared at the computer too much (I feel it right now actually).

So, I’ve been taking a lot of breaks, both from writing and from staring at the computer screen. I watch/listen to a lot of Good Mythical Morning. I listen to Owl City. I listen to a lot of Coldplay. I listen to a lot of Dodie Clark’s music. 🙂 I read a little. I knit a little. I play my ukulele a lot. I drink a lot of tea. I try not to waste time a lot, but end up wasting a lot of time. It’s funny how that works. 🙂

Anyways, that’s life right now and I’m enjoying it.

Very Excited

Image result for nanowrimo 2016

On Friday, November 4 I started NaNoWriMo… four days late! I don’t exactly know what made me take on such a crazy, ridiculous challenge, but I did it. I started NaNo and I’m so glad I did. Even though I’m about 3,000 words behind schedule, that’s okay! I’m glad I decided to do it, because I’m really enjoying it so far.

Of course, it’s only day six (and it’s really only my third day), I’m still on a roll. I haven’t come across any road blocks or backed-up traffic. I’m speeding down the highway of my novel still. However, it’s only day six and I’m only on chapter four. Anything could happen between now and November 30 that could put me behind schedule permanently.

Still, even though I’m a bit unsure of where I’m going or where I’ll be, I’m excited and happy. 🙂 I’m living the dream right now. I’ve wanted to do NaNoWriMo for so long. So to actually be sitting down and attempting to write a novel in a month is pretty surreal still.

I’m looking forward to late nights and early mornings of tapping frantically on my computer, writing nonsense because I have to write something. I’m looking forward to many cups of tea, possible write-ins, and many word sprints. I’m looking forward to January and February when I’ll be (hopefully) editing and all that fun stuff. Ahhh!! I am so excited!!

An Accomplishment

The daily grind was easier today. I started school an hour earlier than I did yesterday and finished an hour earlier as well. I haven’t finished absolutely everything, but I can work on it later, before The Voice comes on at 8. 🙂

I just finished my hour of writing for today, which I found surprisingly easy. I’ve been out of ideas and motivation for a while, but articles about motivation, creativity, ideas, and inspiration really encouraged me yesterday and today. I was so inspired that a story idea popped into my mind on Sunday and I began to flesh it out. Now,  I’ve started that story and I hope to finish it soon, because my family wants me to write them stories for Christmas this year which I am happy to do, if I have enough time.

It was sort of amazing, because when I sat down to write on Sunday, the words just came. It was a little hard at first to make everything flow as nicely as I wanted it too; I kept deleting everything because it didn’t sound perfect. I had to stop and remind myself that it was a first draft and it didn’t have to be perfect.

Tomorrow I hope to keep writing and reading about writing. There is something satisfying in sitting down to write and actually doing it. I hope I can keep my momentum up, but even more than that, I hope I can keep going even when my momentum is running low.

~ Claire

Outlining, Craziness, and the Fair

Ugh. I’m getting sick. I could feel it beginning yesterday and now it’s undeniable. A cup of lemon and honey tea should soothe my aching throat. 🍵

Yesterday was day one of the fair. I don’t have 4-H animals anymore, but somehow I managed to spend the whole entire day there. My mom works at the fair so it actually makes sense, but still. I love being at the fair. It’s interesting to see it in its different moods. From the peace and calm of early morning, to the craziness of  8pm-close, I’ve seen the fair throughout them all.

I walked around a lot yesterday, taking breaks to sit in the grand stands to read or write. We watched my friend show her chicken which won grand champion! It was a good time.

But…

Spending all day at the fair is not conducive to getting  a lot of writing done. Yesterday was also day one of “Write a Short Story in a Week.” I had to get to know the characters and write an outline. Ugh. This didn’t go too well. With all of the craziness and the people I couldn’t get much done. I can’t focus in a big crowd of people.

However, I did finish my outline and got to know my main character. That’s going to have to be good enough because today I’m going to start writing it. Hopefully I get something done when I go to the fair, but I don’t have much hope. I’ll just have to get as much done as possible before I leave.

I’m a bit worried about writing my story to be honest. I’m having all these doubts; my idea is stupid, my idea is too big, I won’t be able to finish it in time, etc. Writing a first draft is fun… sometimes. Sometimes it’s nerve-wracking and I’m afraid that I’m messing up the whole thing.

In Closing…

I’m excited that the fair is finally here. I love the crazy atmosphere and the fair people. I also can’t wait to write my story. I think it will be a good one. 🙂

Claire 

Short Stories and Excitement

When I was looking forward to next week a while ago I decided that there was one thing I really wanted to do, write a short story. Then I found this article about writing a short story in a week which really encouraged me to go ahead and do it.

I’ve finished few short stories in my life, and all of them have taken longer than a week to write. I’m not sure if I’m capable of writing a short story in a week, but I really want to do something with my break. I don’t want to be sitting around on my butt doing nothing all week. I want to accomplish something.

Yeah, I don’t think I’m capable of taking a real break. I always like to keep my mind busy. 🙂

🙂 😀 XD I’m excited about next week. It is shaping up to be a great week. Next week I’m going to wander around the fair, gather up writing ideas, hang out with friends, and write a short story. AHHHHHHH!!! I am literally that excited.

Love,

Claire

An Interesting Word

I love words, and today I found an interesting one. The word is albatross. This word has two meanings. It can be a large, white ocean bird with long wing, or a heavy burden.

Albatross

:a large white ocean bird that has very long wings

or

: a continuing problem that makes it difficult or impossible to do or achieve something

A Note on Words:

I haven’t been doing a lot of creative writing lately because of school and my other activities, but I am still editing my story Safe Memories which I hope to get published in a literary magazine soon. Ugh. Writing consistently is hard work. 😛

Much To Be Excited About

Day 13: What are you excited about? 

Right now, it’s the middle of September, I have four weeks of school behind me and thirty-two (or so) weeks ahead. I look forward to when I leave the house for any reason because I’m here so much, but I really don’t have much to be excited for. There is one thing that I’m really looking forward to, the second week of October, because I am taking it off completely from school.

Let me explain, every six (or seven) weeks my whole family takes a week-long break from school. We just started this schedule this school year and I’m looking forward to getting breaks. At first, I wasn’t so sure I’d like it. I love school and taking week-long breaks means that I will be finishing school later in the year, but I think it’s worth it.

I have begun to fantasize about the break, coming up with many plans for what to do. Here are a few of them:

  • READ A LOT!!
  • Write a short story
  • Write the first few chapters of a novel
  • Do a bunch of random writing exercises
  • Research all of the things that I’ve been meaning to research
  • Go to the county fair

Obviously, I won’t be able to do all of them, but having too many ideas is a better then not having enough. 🙂 I really want to focus on writing, even if all that means is doing little writing exercises every day. I also want to use the break time for relaxation and meditation.

Breaks are a good thing. I think I’ve finally started to understand that. 🙂

~ Claire 

Blessings in my Life

Day 11: Write about five blessings in your life

1. My quickly shifting moods

This part of me doesn’t always seem like a blessing, because it has been the cause of my general confusion of how I really feel. Yet, this constant change of moods is a blessing, because it helps me to move on. I can never stay sad for too long, because my mood is nearly always lifted when I wake up in the morning and remember that the world is beautiful.

2. Books

I have read so many books and they have taught me so much. They are a definite blessing in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

3. Writing

I love knowing what I plan on doing for the rest of my life, but this blessing goes beyond that. Whether or not I make any money on writing I will always love it. I love writing because it’s my passion. I don’t love it because it might make me rich or famous, or because it has dozens of money-making careers connected with it.

4. Family

My family has taught me all about life, happiness, and love. However, my family is also a blessing because of the support they give to me without me even realizing it half the time. Family is such an important part of my life, because they love me unconditionally and act like it as well.

5. Friends

What would I do without those friends in my life that have stretched me beyond what I thought was possible, stuck by me in all of my tween angst, and love me for who I am?

6. Learning

Learning was my second love (just behind reading), and I don’t think I’ve ever stopped loving it since I began. School is structured, but because I’m home schooled I get to structure it however I want (for the most part). I don’t just mean school though, I mean all kinds of learning. I’ve been learning a great bit lately, about life and growing up. I’ve been learning what it means to think for myself, convey my ideas and beliefs in a coherent way, and appreciate everything that God has blessed me with. 🙂

Things To Do and Wet Days

It’s a beautifully wet day. 🙂 The air has been cleared of its hot humidity and is awash in cleanness. The grass is green, the air is clear, and it is a wonderful temperature outside. Every day this week it has rained all morning, cleared up in the afternoon, and rained sporadically throughout the evening. It’s lovely weather for everything summery, but summer is actually over for the kids in my school district. Not me, however, I start next Monday. Monday is a delightful day to start school on, and the proper one too. I shouldn’t have liked starting school today, as we planned to a few weeks ago. Thankfully there is just way too much preparing to be done.

Oh! A black butterfly has landed on the butterfly bush. It is all black, but for the orange tips on its back, the orange stripe on its wings, and delightful white spots on the tips of its wings. It is gorgeous! I love having a butterfly bush. It is where all the posh, little butterflies come to eat, drink, and socialize. It may be a rather untidy thing to keep by the front porch, but its untidiness is well worth the beautiful little creatures that it brings.

What have I done today? Quite a lot, I should think. For one, I watched two English (not British, mind) shows, and one was The Great British Baking Show. I love Netflix, because it has brought to my attention beautiful shows. And, oh, TGBBS is truly a beautiful show and very relaxing. The contestants are so nice to one another. It is a show entirely in it’s own league. No American cooking show can ever hope to elevate itself, in my mind, to the height of greatness that The Great British Baking Show has achieved.

What else have I done? School preparing. Of course. I really enjoy it, but I need a break, and right now I’m taking one.

What I Hope to Accomplish:

  1. More publishing research
  2. More writing research
  3. A successful listen through to Mmhmm (RK, of course) 🙂

That is all.

Good Day,

Claire