Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing -- and can you eliminate it?

At first I thought, well this is kinda dumb, it isn't like writing is a big priority for me.  I'm not a professional writer, so it isn't a daily experience or focus for me.  And the prompt really isn't about reflecting on the year behind or the year ahead.  And what an odd question, not what stands in your way (time, energy), but what do you DO that DOESN'T contribute to your writing.  I don't like the wording, it's hard to answer, because it feels like a double negative or something.

And then I thought, stop right there.  Maybe, just maybe, there is something to be gotten from this question.  Maybe I'm the double negative.

After all, when I was young, I was a writing FANATIC.  I had pages and pages of stories that I would hand write out in my spare time, on my school breaks, whenever.  And I would read them aloud to anyone who stood still long enough to listen.  In elementary school, I was even allowed to stand up and read them to the class.  Well, until I got a bit too risque.  I guess they didn't think talking about drugs and urine was very appropriate for a third grade audience.  Prudes.

And then, as I entered high school, it all dried up.  And I barely write at all now, as evidenced from my sporadic blog posts.  My fiction writing is even rarer.  I keep thinking that I should write.  But I just never really get around to it.

So, what is it that I do each day that doesn't contribute to my writing?  What is it?

In a sense, everything contributes to my writing.  I soak life up.  I listen to the turns of phrases, the intonations and innuendos of the discussions around me.  I pay attention to the why's behind people's behavior, and to the rhythm of the plot of the movie I'm watching.  Or the story I'm reading.  Everything I do contributes to the mosaic of my interpretation of life, and that interpretation shapes how I write, and what I write about.

And yet, I don't write.  Not really.  So something must be getting in the way.  I could be lazy, and say work gets in my way.  Which is true.  I do look forward to having my own business, where I will set aside optimal time to write every day.  So it is true, but it isn't really fair.

I think the truth is just that I'd rather escape, rather slip into someone else's head than to slip into mine.  I sometimes have a hard time just being grounded in life itself, and immersing myself in what life, and my creativity, has to offer.  It is easier for me to stare at a screen, whether television or computer, than to look out the window and listen to my breathing.

And can I eliminate it, the need to escape?  I hope so, though not completely, I don't think.  But , as this year moves forward, and I begin to take ownership of my life, and all the bounty and consequences that come with that, I think that I will be pulled into the present, to deal with the now.  I intend to focus on enjoying the sweetness of life, and to look for it all around me, instead of focusing on the bitter, which is so easy to do.

So yeah.  In all of that, I do hope that my writing will sprout, beyond the pages of my random blog postings.

But, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Another short story from the past, a free write.  This is how it tumbled out of me, as is.  This time not disturbing or weird.  But definitely close to my heart.

The prompt?  Put your heart on the page.  And so I did.  And here it is.


Somewhere in the outskirts of Oregon City, out in the country, out in the backyard of a one-story ranch style house, there is an arrangement of stones.  On top of these stones, maybe, there is a decaying daffodil.  Under these stones, under the soft warm dirt, there is a cardboard box.  In that decaying cardboard box there is a plastic bag, tied off at the top.  And in that plastic bag sleeps Mytzie.

Long, long ago, south of that burial site in Oregon City, in a city called Salem, a little baby girl was born.  She was born healthy and happy, and was taken home to her own room with a mother, father, and a brother.

About the same time, a little baby girl kitten was born.  A beautiful blue-eyed Siamese girl.  And for some reason, this little kitten when it was big enough, snuck away from her own family, and ran into a house that had a baby girl human about her age.

The brother of the household, even though he was allergic to pets, begged the mother and father to keep this little blue-eyed kitten.  The father, who had a big warm gooshy spot in his heart, and the mother, who didn't like cats but had a little warm spot of her own despite this, relented.  And the brother named the cat Mytzie.

And that is how I got Mytzie.

Mytzie would jump up in my crib while I slept, and would curl up next to me.  My mother, who didn't hold much stock in old wive's tales about cat's stealing babies breath, would stand over us and smile.  And I was happy.

But, just like every other human created, I grew.  I grew into a girl child.  I was curious, and rambunctious, and had my own ideas on things and would set my mind to them.  

And just like every feline created, the little kitten grew too.  She grew into a cat.  A play thing that grows fur, and walks, and everything.  I would chase the cat around the house, give her haircuts, dress her in doll clothes, drag her around on a self-made leash.  I even attempted to curl her hair with a curling iron.

And when she didn't do as I wanted, I would hit her.  And when I did what she didn't want, she would lightly bite me, or swap her paw at me, not hurting me, but letting me know this was not her idea of fun.  

And the kitty more and more began to sleep with the brother.

Soon, the tantramatic child that I was grew into a young teen-ager.  My experiments and tortures dropped off as I grew into adulthood.  And more and more at night, I would hear my door creak open, and the light steps of cat feet cross my carpet.  I would fall asleep with a warm bundle purring away, perched upon me.

But sometimes I was a very sad young teen-ager.  Sometimes I felt unloved and unnoticed.  And I would cry.  And then that warm bundle would pad over to em, and lick my tears away, until I curled up with her and fell asleep.  And I felt loved.

More and more, I grew  I grew until I was a young woman more concerned with the life-sized Kens than I was with the plastic ones.  Right beside me, Mytzie grew too.  She grew into an old kitty, passing her teen years while I passed my diapers.  So, at night, as she would pad into my room I would her her claws catching on the carpet, and would wait in the growing pause as she tried to get up enough energy to jump onto my bed.  I would curl up with her and cry, thinking of the day she would leave me.  And she would lick those tears away, too.

Older and older, until one day time saw the mother, brother, and daughter standing around a metal vet table, with tears running down their faces.  The old cat looked up at the family, with her now cloudy blue eyes.  She was tired of the IV's that the daughter tried to feed her, tired of throwing up, and just tired of being old.  

The little girl, who wasn't so little anymore, picked the cat up for the last time, and told her she loved her.  And the kitty went to sleep.

And that night, the little girl heard no door creaking open.  And she heard no padding feet across her floor.  And she felt no rough tounge wiping away her tears.  That night, the little girl slept alone.

And that is how I came to love Mytzie.
Okay, I'm going to throw up another one!  This little hairball is only slightly disturbing.  You may even enjoy it.  Who knows?  Stranger things have happened.

This is from Way Back When.  I took a creative writing class when I was wandering around lost, after being booted from acting.  This little ditty is all the way from 1997.  12 years ago, when I was a mere fawn of 21.

This, my dear reader, is merely a freewrite.  No editing has been put into it.  Truly, no thought has been put into it.  Which will soon become apparent.

It starts off with a given prompt:  "The bus driver became <blank> when he saw his bus leave without him".  3 words were given to insert into the blank.  What follows is the result...

The bus driver became stabilized when he saw his bus leave without him - driven by an eight year old.

It was going to be alright now.

A smile of relief spilled on George's face as he watched the bouncing "Do Not Pass When Red Lights Flash" sign floating away from him.  The sounds of the children's laughter grew faint.  George parked himself on a nearby rock, consoling himself with little Billy driving his bus load of friends into some dark ravine.  This made George laugh.

Pulling out his pack of Virginia Slims, he began plotting his next move.  The flowered cigarette between his thick fingers made him feel dainty.  He looked off through the smokey haze that encircled him, to the mountains.  There he would make a new home; there he would begin his life again.

Times had been hard.  He ha applied for every job possible- busser, receptionist, even at McDonalds.  But no one wanted poor 43 year-old George. 

Until he applied for the school  district.

He was a perfect candidate for the job!, they had said.  Benefits and everything.

As George recalled his first day on the job, he prayed that Billy did not know how to drive that goddamned bus. 
Ha HA!  I am back again!  This time with a COMPLETELY NEW idea.  Yes, shocking, that I can't actually stick to one blog theme.  I think every post I come up with some new theme.  

Now!  Now I am going to share with you some fiction, I think.  I could change my mind.  In fact, I'm certain I will.

But in the meantime, I will share this latest with you.

It is horrible.  It makes no sense.  It is bizarre.  And probably disturbing.

But, I was in a bad/weird/manic mood, and just began to write.  And this is what came forth.  Like sputum.

So, my apologies in advance, but here it is....

She slowly began peeling his skin off.  It was slightly crunchy on the edges, yet soft and wet through the middle.  She wasn’t quite sure what she was doing, but she knew she needed to be doing it.

He just laid there, barely moving.  She couldn’t stand it.  She couldn’t stand him.  The least he could to was whimper or cry.  But secretly he probably loved it, the mother fucker, I’ll show him.

She began barking at him.  Like a rabid dog.  In heat.

He loved this too, and began to smile.  The joy began tugging at the corners of his mouth.  He loved to see her suffer, to wiggle and writhe about.  It tickled the inner space between his heart and his ribs.  And it made him hungry.

So he began to eat her.  Slowly at first, with little nibbles.  Then, pretty soon, he began taking whole chunks from her flesh.  Pieces of her began to disappear.

She was disappearing. Into him.  Becoming one with his flesh.  Soon the two would become whole.  Part of her would be slipping away into the darkness, his wet darkness, swishing around in his stomach acid.  

And part of her would become enmeshed with his mind, with his soul.  She wanted to be his own personal encephalitis.  Oh god how she would love that.

He bit off her pinky.  She began to giggle.  Hysterically.  It made her tits wiggle, her flabby thighs and protruding belly.

He loved it, this reaction he was causing in her.  Soon the two of them began to make love, with her pieces scattered about his intestines, and her wholeness becoming one with his.  And his wholeness becoming one with hers.

They began disappearing into each other.  Their flesh growing sticking, merging together, bulging together.  The little cells, dead flakes of skin, boiling into a hot mess, all mergey and purvey.  
They were a roiling boil of flesh and teeth and hair and moans and screams.  Then a lump.  Then a bump.  And then only a bit.  And then merely a spot.  Pretty soon just a crumb.

And then they were no more.