Friday Fictioneers Again!

Yet another Friday has rolled around, and the photo prompt for this week was unusual in its normalcy. You wouldn’t think a perfectly decorated and charming room would engender anything odd or outre, but, well, that’s the way my brain works.

I see something normal and think about how I can make it abnormal or macabre. Not horror or gore, but I go to that plane of existence that’s just slightly shifted from reality.

Or a picture can bring back a memory–a good one or one you’d just as soon forget. Even the worst memories can be worked through if you put your writer pants on and make, you know, lemonade.

Without sharing too much, today’s story, “Shuttered,” could have been me if I’d have stayed in my first serious relationship, but I walked away from it and him. That saved my life. I know that, but it was still hard to admit failure.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to that story, call your local domestic violence hotline. There is help out there, and you’re not alone. There is no failure in saving your life.

If you don’t see the link on the title above, go to the top of the page and click on the Friday Fictioneers tab, then select “Shuttered” from the drop down list. To read other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week, click on the icon after the end of the story and enjoy!

What Do You Mean It’s October?

How can it be October? It was just January, wasn’t it?

It’s hard to believe two-thirds of this writing year is behind us, and that NaNoWriMo and the holidays are ahead. I don’t know about you, but writing between Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year has been almost non-existent for me in past years. Well, except for the Uncle Sam years where I had to write even when my mind was on Christmas carols and snow flakes.

This holiday season, then, will be a test of the writing work schedule I put in place for this year and to which I’ve done a good job of sticking. Holiday shopping, traveling, and all the  seasonal drama, however, can overwhelm even the strictest schedule.

But writing, for me, has always been an escape. Difficult childhood? Write stories about horses and winning the Grand National Steeplechase–no, it was derivative, not plagiarism. Horrid high school experience? Write stories about revolution. Love college? Write a story that wins a prize and gets published in the college literary magazine. Sucky first job? Write an unpublished novel (and that’s a good thing) about a space-faring female explorer who’s in charge of her life. Have a life-changing relationship for twenty-plus years? Write him into a great main character then write a semi-biographical novel about what broke you up.

I think, no, I’m certain, that if I didn’t have that ability to arrange words in an interesting manner on a page, I’d probably have a rap sheet as long as I-95 because I would have put my fist in someone’s face–several someones and repeatedly. It was that kind of life, in other words, a fairly typical one. Reading books carried me through a lot and still does, but there’s nothing like sitting down before the computer and stepping into a world you’ve created or are in the process of creating. The real world falls away, and many times that’s good.

Of course, the shock upon re-entry to reality can be staggering but fodder for future fiction as well. That’s the writer’s burden, curse, and raison d’être. And we love it.

What’s your holiday writing plan? Will you back away until the new year, or will those family get-togethers provide fertile ground for story-telling?