Monday, April 30, 2012

Rough Tides

Happy Monday. Here is my Snapshot from the Writers Wednesday blog hop hosted by Nicole Pyles. If you want to join in, click here for details.


Life ringRough Tides

No one parked straight in the concrete lot. It rarely mattered since no one else came to this beach. People thought it was too rocky and the tides were too rough. There were softer sands and more predictable water a few miles down the highway.

For us, it was perfect. Laughter filled the sky with our arrival, startling gulls away, but only for a moment. They knew we brought food and that we often got caught up in a game of ball or some sort of chase, giving them ample opportunity to snack on a few sandwiches.

There were ten of us today. The girls grabbed bags of towels, the baskets of food and the CD player while boys struggled with beach chairs. I watched Connor from the corner of my eye as he approached Leslie. Everyone knew he was going to propose to her today out in the water. It added an extra energy we needed to keep up the joy.

This would be our last trip to the beach, at least like this. It would be the last time Travis braved the sawgrass to grab the flotation donut off the old, faded safety sign and pretend it was a steering wheel. It would be the last time Rachel snatched it from him and tossed it Frisbee-style to Tammy who would somehow squeeze her skinny frame into it and wear it like a belt until two or three of the guys wrestled it off her.

The food was spread out, but it would be ignored for the most part. Jess and her boyfriend Sam manhandled a blown up mattress from the back of her SUV and they threw it out of the water. It was immediately pushed out and person after person fell with a laughing scream while they tried to use it as a diving board.

I walked the beach, a bubble separating me from the laughter and fun. There, Sam was grabbing a sandwich, dripping salty water over the rest of the food. Connor was proposing to Leslie who started crying, nodding furiously in answer. Analeigh nudged Jess as they watched the two kiss from the bobbing mattress. Others played football in their canvas shoes. Alice called to me for a game of volleyball.

I was leaving for Princeton tomorrow. It was a few hundred miles north off the same ocean, yet it might as well be half way around the world. I'm losing my friends just the same. Tammy is certain we'll stay close with the Internet, but I know better. Up until now we have shared everything. Once we leave this beach, our lives will start to diverge.

I think only Garret feels the same way I do. It is the first time he brought his camcorder. I will ask him for a copy of the video before we leave.

Alice called again and I smiled, rushing ahead, Garret's lens following my desperate steps toward the last moments of childhood.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Snapshot Prompt

Our newest prompt is beachy. :) Check out the post below from Nicole Pyles. Also, don't forget to let me know if you want to take part in May's collaboration challenge.


Welcome to our Creative Wednesday Writing Prompt!

It's a chance for you to get those creative juices going and share that creativity with fellow bloggers. And the co-bloggers joining me are - Carrie K Sorensen at Chasing Revery and Jane Bussey at A Writer's Muses!

So, here are the rules:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) I was going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because I know full well asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

The Photo

Life ring

The Five Words

Steering Wheel




Diving Board

So, get those creative juices flowing and once you have your story together, post your link below!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Promising Silence

This Snapshot was tricky, but I did it. (Quickly checks word count and 5 words - good!) 497 words for me this week.

Did you take on the challenge? Please share with your link in the comments.

Promising Silence

The air was almost stale it was so quiet, until Ethan kicked at an aluminum can left crushed on the crumbled pavement. I followed its path, surprised the aged, brittle metal didn't shatter when it skipped to a stop against a boarded up refreshment stand. Mia wrapped her arm around Ethan's, redirecting him from another pile of trash.

"I thought we were going swimming," I muttered. Mia's green eyes flashed at me.

"The beach is too crowded. Besides, we haven't been here for a while."

Ah, yes. The beach would be too crowded. We couldn't have any swim-trunk-wearing distractions keeping me away from Mia's idea of my "perfect match."

Speaking of, the buzz of Troy's remote control car announced he had caught up with us. Last I'd seen, he'd stopped to test his big-wheeled toy in the rotting ruins of a picnic pavilion. I'd ignored Mia's shove indicating I should stay with him. If he was going off, he seemed as excited about being set up as I was. Mia wasn't going to give up so easily.

"Do you know why the park is abandoned, Troy?" He answered Mia with a nasal grunt. "Why don't you tell him about it, Carly?" she demanded, then dragged Ethan in another direction as if some alone time was all Troy and I needed.

Big wheel"They say this land used to be owned by a rich gold miner," I began after a moment so I could tell Mia I'd tried. Then I could spend the rest of the afternoon breathing stale silence. "When the park was built, his ghost was angry and would scare people, mostly on the Ferris wheel. That's why they closed. They say he scared everyone away."

"They should be committed at the county asylum," Troy grumbled. I smiled in agreement, though I didn't say anything more. Troy seemed as happy as I to keep chatter to a minimum.

We followed the plastic car as it climbed and rolled in front of us. At the Ferris wheel, we stopped to watch afternoon sunlight stream golden through the blackened wheel.

"Maybe he was afraid of heights," Troy suggested. "Which is why he scared people here. He was a miner. Small, dark places would be more his style."

My grunt was very Troy-esque. The boyish smile he sent me in response stopped my heart for a moment.

Mia appeared out of nowhere, her spine stiff and her steps brisk. Ethan followed with an indulgent smile.

"Have you two talked at all?" she whispered harshly as she passed me. "Almost dark," she continued sweetly, though loud. "We better get out of here."

Troy and I watched Ethan and Mia for a moment before our eyes met. His hand reached toward me, the black remote control extended. I took it with a nod, then we followed the zigzagging car on our way out of the park.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Collaboration Challenge Prep

Last week I posted the whole of February/March's collaboration for you. This week I'm letting you know I'm going to start another round soon. Soon as in starting May 3rd. And after that, we'll go for yet another. So ...

Want to join in the next Collaboration Challenge?
access,business concepts,collaboration,communication,companies,data,exchanges,information,internet,laptop computers,networking,teamwork,technologies,web,Fotolia

This is where a group of writers work over a couple of weeks to collaborate a story. Only, this story isn't planned out in any way. Each writer picks their week, then writes their part based on what has come before and posts it on their personal blogs. Each portion of the story is posted on Thursday and all linked together until the last writer wraps it up.

You can read Kalli's Story for more of an example.

If you want to participate, leave me a note in the comments here or over on G+.

Looking forward to the next story. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Snapshot

So sorry for the late post, but here it is! I've taken a bit of creative liberty and named our little project the
Wednesday Snapshot.

I had a chance to check out the stories from last week, and I absolutely love the interpretations. Remember, you can still submit yours at last week's post for the rest of the day. Of course, if it's late, we'll still read and enjoy. ;-)

So, check out Nicole's post below. I love the new photo she's presented for us and I'm sure it will inspire lots of thoughts, so share them below along with your own 500 words. (My comments in rose.)


Welcome back to Writer Wednesday Blog Hop! If you missed last week, the prompt photo and five words are still open for you to link up. There were just a couple people who went through with the prompt, so make sure you check out their post. Carrie K. Sorensen (me) had an amazing post on her blog story called, "Picassa's Bridge" over at: . And then of course, feel free to check out mine (which is super funny). And not to mention, Randy Lindsay's blog (really good dialogue) who also took part in the post!

And joining me again is Carrie K Sorensen (me again) at Chasing Revery and Jane Bussey at A Writer's Muses!

And just to throw this out there, if anyone else wants to co-host, let us know in the comments! There more that get involved the better!

So here are the rules:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word minimum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) I was going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because I know full well asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventalate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

The Photo (Taken from This Link)

Big wheel

Words (Randomly generated from this link)

  1. Asylum
  2. Miner
  3. Remote Control
  4. Spine
  5. Swimming
Now, you can create a dialogue, short story, a brief scene, description, poem, or anything else you can think of, but remember - it has to be less than 500 words and you have to use the five words above. And it has to relate to the photo in some way!

Don't forget - you have until the blog hop next week to make up a post. So, feel free to come back to this post between now and then.

I will post my own little something following this, and to be fair, I won't actually start writing this until the blog hop is posted.

And as usual, feel free to take a button to promote the hop:

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Button!
writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

Have a post ready? Post your link below! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Picassa's Bridge

Here's my submission for last Wednesday's blog challenge. The 5 random words are in bold. Are your 500 words written? Link them here by Wednesday. :)


Picassa's Bridge

The small fire at our feet crackled. My brother poked at it with a metal spike he had found buried in the dirt. He said it was better to use the spike than another piece of wood that would be better to burn. I knew he just liked to hold its weight in his hand while he played with the flames.

"Can you get my book for me, Mason?" He poked the fire again before climbing into the girders of the bridge where we kept our favorite things. The climb was too difficult for a short girl like me, but my brother's long limbs made it easily.

I slipped a dirty, wrinkled piece of paper from my pocket and smoothed it over my lap. It was a black and white picture I tore from a brochure 
showing the two stars of some old movie playing at the historic theater downtown. I loved the sharp lines of his black suit, how her necklace seemed an extension of the gems adorning her pale gown. They looked happy, like they didn't have to worry about a thing.

I liked to stare at the picture and pretend they were our family, that there had once been parity between them and my brother and me.

A scraping noise from above had me quickly folding the picture and putting it away. Mason did not like my daydreams.

"Here you go, Picassa.” I stuck out my tongue as I took my sketchbook. My name was really Amy, but he liked to call me Picassa because it was the girl form of Picasso. Mason thought it should be my artist name. I told him I liked Amy Winkle just fine.

I took the broken crayons Mason swiped for me from the kids menus in restaurants and began my nightly drawings. The sale of my sketches earned us pennies here, a dollar or two there. Tonight we had earned enough to get a few ham sandwiches from the convenience store on the corner, the one where they didn’t always kick us out at first sight.

I worked for a few hours while Mason pounded the spike into the dirt a few times. “It’s a good thing we have you, Picassa,” he murmured, glancing at my latest sketch. “One day I’ll get you something real to draw with and on. One day, people will pay a lot more for your stuff than a few pennies.”

I smiled at Mason in thanks, knowing he meant it, trusting his promise. If it wasn’t for Mason, we wouldn’t be here, together. The bridge wasn’t much of a place to live, but it was a home because we shared it.

“I think it’s time to sleep now,” Mason suggested, easing the notebook out of my hands. I didn’t resist, realizing I’d already fallen asleep over my sketches. He moved quickly, putting my book back in place, then sitting down beside me, his arms around my shoulders as the fire cracked a lullaby.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kalli's Story All In One Place

It's been over a month since Kalli's story came to it's conclusion. With the agreement of all the author's I'm putting it all together for you here. Love their writing? Check out their blogs. The link will be placed before the part they wrote.

Part One
Carrie K Sorensen

She was back.

Such a strange feeling it was, to be back.

Kalli walked down the familiar, house lined streets. Old Victorians sat nestled against craftsman and 50's ranch-style homes. In this part of town, yards were manicured, bikes tucked into garages and swings or bistro sets set out on the porches. In this small town, it was the norm to look put together, inside and out.

Scabbed hands were shoved into the pockets of her low-rise jeans, tensing her arms to hug the scarred leather jacket closer to her body. Her left knee stretched a hole in the denim while the fingers of her right hand had to curl to keep from slipping through the torn seam of her pocket. Her shoes were amazing, though, double laced, steel toed and flat black, gripping the concrete sidewalk powerfully.

Each step she took came down hard and purposeful, echoing the beat of the music in her ears. The bass pounded through her head, drowning out the music of the track. Eyes half closed, she let the weight of her boots and the boom of the music carry her through the manicured street.

"Kalliope Elizabeth Johnson." Her earbuds were ripped from her ears, hitting her shoulders. Kalli spun on her standing leg, catching the escaping wires that slipped from the other's hand as the last syllable of her name was spoken.

Kalli's dark eyes stopped in surprise at the girl behind her. The girls were similar in size, both petite, both with brown hair, though Kalli's was darker, shorter and the other girl's was as manicured as the lawns on this street, as put together as her pristine, fashion-inspired outfit.

"Jenae," she recognized, a relieved and welcome smile blossoming on her lips. Jenae's make-up smoothed face was warm and familiar. Seeing her reminded Kalli of late night camp fires and smores, giggling together in the back of the movie theater, moaning about riding the bus to school, crying when they lost State volleyball finals. It reminded her of normal.

"What the heck are you wearing? Who butchered your hair? Are those combat boots?" Jenae demanded, eyes flashing against Kalli's changed appearance. Blinking away from memories, Kalli finally managed to see her old friend, hearing her heated words echoing through her mind. Why is she angry? "You know what? Never mind all that. What I really want to know is why the heck didn't you call?"

Ah, Kalli thought, her narrow shoulders rolling back with eased tension. "I'm sorry," she answered. "I couldn't call. I didn't know we were coming back until ..." Until last night. "There wasn't much time to do anything once I found out."

“So what? Did your dad have another crazy get-rich inspiration? Or did your mom finally put her foot down and demand to come home? Why did you even leave in the first place?”

Kalli looked down at her hand, slightly surprised to see the little stings she felt came from having started spinning her buds around. She curled the wires up and shoved them in her back pocket next to her phone. The bass could still be heard as a soft, far-away heartbeat.

Part Two
Nicole Pyles @ World of My Imagination

Kalli shrugged, feeling a sudden resentment for the harsh words that Jenae delivered to her. She wanted to shove her headphones back in her ears and continue her march down the well kept street. She looked into the eyes of the girl she grew up with and realized then that her friend, Jenae, never knew what had happened.  She never knew the reason why she left in the first place.  Kalli knew it had to stay that way.

Kalli tried to laugh, but it came out as a gasp. “Anyways, how have you been?”

Jenae stared at Kalli, as if looking for answers in her face. “How have I been? One of our classmates died Kalli. Didn’t you hear about it?”

Kalli feigned surprise. “Are you kidding? How?”  Kalli felt warm in her leather jacket, too warm.  She wished for a breeze that would cool her down and take away the sweat that began to form on her forehead.
“You really don’t know?” Jenae softened. Kalli exhaled, knowing she had fooled her friend, but guilt rose to surface, taking the place of her nerves.  “It was Claire who died. And you know that house down the road? The one that was boarded off ? She was found inside…” Jenae leaned forward as if revealing a deep secret to Kalli. Kalli could smell the Justin Bieber perfume that Jenae had saved up for just months before. “….and there were brand new boards nailed on the door. They were saying that she scared herself to death. It was part of something people in our class were planning.” Jenae pulled back and examined Kalli further, staring at the torn jeans and cut hair. An appearance that she would never have seen before on Kalli. “Do you know anything about a dare or something like that?”

Kalli shook her head, reminding herself that the less she said, the more likely Jenae will never know that she was there that night.  That she had been part of the group to press against the door and ignore Claire’s cries to get out.  “I have to go.” Kalli whispered.

“You have to tell me what happened, Kalli. Why you look like this…”

Kalli turned, watching as a middle aged man in his boxers and stained white t-shirt come out of his garage, with a lawn mower following behind him. She watched as he put together the bag and started the mower. The noise of the mower ripped across Kalli’s ears and she jumped, remembering the night her parents found out what happened and how she took the scissors to her hair to disguise herself.   

Instead of walking away like she planned, she reached out to Jenae, and looped her arm around her friend’s. When Kalli started walking, Jenae did too. Without saying a word, the two walked in the direction of the house – the one Kalli had just sworn she knew nothing about. Soon, Jenae’s walk matched Kalli’s, and they marched to the sounds of the lawn mower and to the bass pounding in Kalli’s pocket.  “I’ll show you what happened.

Part Three

All things considered, it was a pretty quick walk. Actually, it was a bit too quick for Kalli’s liking – she hadn’t gone back to the house since that day, and the closer she got, the more she realized how very, very much she didn’t want to. Her stomach twisted and clenched, her heart pounded like the now-silenced beat that had been thrumming through her earbuds when Jenae had ripped them from her ears. Her heavy boots slowed on the sidewalk, until Jenae stopped too, just at the corner of the block.
“What’s the hold up, Kalli?”
What could she tell her? I’m sorry, I’ve changed my mind, I’m not really in the mood to show you how Claire died, maybe we can go for a soda instead?
“Just… give me a second.”
She pulled her arm free and dropped to a knee, carefully unlacing and retying one boot and then the other, making sure they were firm. Solid. Protecting. She’d be fine – and there’d be no more questions, after.
Standing, Kalli grabbed Jenae’s arm, and all but pulled her into motion again, thudding quickly past the several first houses on the block, toward the victorian that squatted in between a pair of ranches that looked like twins on either side of it. There didn’t seem to have been anybody living in the house since the night Claire was there, and Kalli found herself dryly unsurprised. Although the grass looked mowed, and the bushes still looked trimmed. Even the paint, which had been old when she was here before, had an unexpected sense of freshness to it although spots of flaking here and there told her it definitely hadn’t been painted.
“So we were here, with Claire,” she said without preamble, her boots thudding hollowly upon the steps as she mounted the porch. “Jordan figured out that if we reached between the boards, we could pull the door open just enough for someone to get in. And they- we dared her to go in and stay inside by herself. Not all night, even, just for a little while.”
The new boards were there, just like Jenae said, and yet… there should have been another one, and it was missing. It made it so that Kalli was able to reach between to find the old, carved metal doorknob. It should have been cold to the touch, but it was warm, even here out of the sunlight, and Kalli swallowed hard as she turned it and pulled.
The door opened without resistance, thudding against the inside of the boards nailed across the thick old doorframe, and there was a spot where, if one were so inclined, one could worm in between the boards and slip in through that open door, into the dark foyer beyond.
“So she went in, and we were out here on the porch. And for a while we were just talking, and sometimes knocking on the boards over the windows – you know, to just scare her. I swear to god, Jenae, all we wanted to do was scare her!” Her voice went high and tight with that confession, and she couldn’t drag her eyes away from the dark foyer space.
“That doesn’t sound like that bad a dare,” Jenae pointed out from her shoulder, leaning in past Kalli to squint in at the darkness inside the open door. “Even though that was kind of mean… trying to scare her. But it sounds funny. What HAPPENED, Kalli?”
“She started knocking back. Except… on all the windows at once.”
Jenae’s head whipped around, staring wide-eyed at Kalli for a minute, and then she let out an exasperated laugh and shoved playfully at Kalli’s shoulder.
“You butthead! I really want to know what happened, and you drag me over here for this campfire story?”
Kalli started to protest, but grinning wryly Jenae was already grabbing onto the boards so she could hoist herself and swing her feet through, wriggling past the boards and door to become a shadow in the foyer, her feet thudding gently upon the boards.
“You want to tell me what REALLY happened in here?” she challenged. Kalli’s hand tightened on the doorknob.

Part Four

Kalli knew what she had to do, and her heart ached at the thought.

Once people start asking questions, they start looking. And we can’t afford for them to go looking. There is too much at stake for secrets to be exposed, her father had told her the night they had left. She had disguised herself for this very reason, and her father had always been the one to do the dirty work – until now.

“Kalli, just come in here. I want to know what happened that night. Aside from the cobwebs it really isn’t too bad. Except it smells,” Jenae rambled.

“I’m sorry,” Kalli said, and she meant it with her whole heart. But she had to do what was necessary. Before Jenae could protest, Kalli pulled the door shut. Immediately she heard the distinct click of the door locking, and she backed away with tears in her eyes. Jenae had been her friend.

“Kalli, what are you doing? Let me out!” Jenae yelled from behind the closed doors. Kalli could hear her playing with the door knob, trying to get it to open. But it was already too late.

“I’m sorry, Jenae,” Kalli yelled. “But no one can know what happened to Claire. If people knew, they’d come. And unless you want us all to die, that can’t happen.”

Jenae banged on the door and again screamed for Kalli to let her out. “You’re messed up! I knew there was something wrong with you when you left. I told everybody you were on something and this proves it! You let me out right now, or I will sue your ass for every penny. This is harassment and kidnapping, and -- ”

The sudden silence sent chills down Kalli’s spine. She could almost hear the footsteps herself, having had to relive the nightmare over and over. It was part of the curse of being a Barrier. You knew what lurked in the beyond, and you were forced experience what the sacrifices felt. The trainers called it Empathy; it was really more like torture to get the Barriers to obey.

As if on cue, Jenae began to scream. Her fists pounded faster and harder against the door, her level of fear rising in her soul. “Kalli, there’s someone in here. You have to let me out. Please! I take back everything I said. I promise I won’t sue you. Just let me out!”

Dark figures began to snake past the windows in the house, all of them nothing more than wispy silhouettes, like the ones you see in horror movies. Except these were real, and they were deadly. Just seeing them from the outside gave Kalli the chills.

“Kalli, please! Help me! They’re…oh my god!” Jenae’s pounding ceased, but Kalli could still hear her screams. The windows of the house began to shake violently, just like it did with Claire. Kalli fell to her knees, the weight of the world seemingly on her shoulders.

The ruckus ceased, as did Jenae’s screams. Tears began to fall down Kalli’s cheeks. Her trainers said that the job was necessary, that it was glamorous and they would be justly awarded for their tireless efforts. But this job was not glamorous at all. In fact, it was utterly mortifying. Only the coldest of souls could stand here and listen as human beings – innocent human beings – died at the hands of the very creatures that they were supposed to be protecting them from.

This is not right.

Kalli had come back to prove that she was strong enough to be a Barrier. This was supposed to be her final test. But never again would she let an innocent person die for “the sake of the human race.” She had the power to protect all humans from evil. It was time someone took a stand.

“This ends now.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wednesday Blog Hop

I'm joining in a new blog hop with Nicole Pyles over at World of My Imagination and you can participate, too. She's going to give us a prompt each week, then we have a week to come up with 500 words or less all the while following her rules.

Now, 500 words or less is a real challenge for me (much shorter than I'm used to), so I'm hoping to learn a lot from everyone joining in, and beg forgiveness for whatever I'm able to come up with. :P

Now, on to Nicole's post for the rules.


So, for the past few weeks, I have not run my weekly post of Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. For a couple of reasons, first being that it wasn't growing and it was requiring a lot of effort to promote the posts to get very little traffic.

And for a few weeks, I thought maybe I would just permanently discontinue it.

Until now.

But, I'm trying something different. And I'm so glad to say that joining me is Carrie K Sorensen at Chasing Revery and Jane Bussey at A Writer's Muses!

Utilizing photos I found that are out of their copyright protection and five randomly generated words, we are going to ask our fellow blog hoppers to write posts inspired by these two elements. And today is my first attempt at this, so we'll see how this goes.

The Photo (Taken from This Link)

Words (Randomly generated from this link)

  1. Ham
  2. Spike
  3. Parity
  4. Girders
  5. Sale
Now, you can create a dialogue, short story, a brief scene, description, poem, or anything else you can think of, but it has to be less than 500 words and you have to use the five words above. Oh and it has to relate to the photo in some way!

And you have until the blog hop next week to make up a post. So, feel free to come back to this post between now and then.

I will post my own little something following this, and to be fair, I won't actually start writing this until the blog hop is posted.

And as usual, feel free to take a button to promote the hop:

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Button!
writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

Have a post ready? Post your link below! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

My First Blogging Award!

Thank you, Nicole, over at World of My Imagination for the Kreativ Blogger Award. I love it, I'm honored and super excited. :-)

With this award, I am to share 7 facts about myself, then pass the award on to 7 bloggers. Let's get started with the facts.

1)    I once ate so many gummy worms in one sitting, I made myself sick. I was 24 and working with 4th and 5th graders at the time. The kids thought it was hilarious when I shared my story with them.

2)    The first story I ever wrote was in 1st grade about a dog named Popcorn. My Mom still has it. The popcorn is still glued onto the picture of the dog and the story is much shorter than I remember it being.

3)    Besides gummy worms, my other weakness is ice cream sandwiches.

4)    Unless I'm pregnant, I only get my hair cut every two years so I can donate the length.

5)    I have not read Lord of the Rings. I read The Hobbit and stopped.

6)    I babysat in High School so I had an excuse to take kids to see animated movies I wanted to see.

7)    I have trained my 2.5 year old to enjoy cleaning toilets.

Now to the fabulous bloggers I'm passing the award to.

1)    Chelle at Life on the Domestic Front

2)    Jeffery Beesler's World of the Scribe

3)    Rebekah at The Golden Gleam

4)    Vicki Orians at Thoughts of a Fantasy Writer

5)    Steph Sinkhorn at Maybe Genius

6)    Ann R. Allen's Blog

7)    And last but not least, Bliss Morgan at her new page Call Me Bliss

Congratulations to all. :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stopping in the Middle

I have decided the best way to read a book is to stop in the middle of a chapter rather than the end of it. This realization came with my latest reading adventure. Kris bought me the Hunger Games trilogy a week or so ago and I've been turning pages every free second I get. I finished Catching Fire yesterday and can't wait to sit down and start Mockingjay. In fact, I'm surprise I'm writing this now.

I've had to reteach myself how to read. BK (Before Kids) I could sit down and devour an entire book within a few hours. AK (After Kids) I no longer have that block of hours. It's been a struggle to start new books knowing I probably won't get through the whole thing that day. It's meant that I've put off reading until I know I have help with the boys so I can get huge chunks done.

And my TBR (To Be Read) pile keeps growing. Let's not mention my TBB (To Be Bought) pile. Oh, and free e-books do not help the issue.

As a result, the Hunger Games trilogy sat on my shelf, winking prettily at me with their crisp, shiny, new dust jackets.

This has caused a change in my reading habits. Even knowing I couldn't finish the book in a day, I left it's dust jacket behind, grabbed my bookmark and cracked the cover.

Ending at the chapter ends was hazardous to my sleep. Chapter ends are meant to leave little barbs in you, dragging you on to the next page. If I wasn't accidentally starting the next chapter, I was obsessing over what had just happened and what will come next because of it.

Reading with boys, I wasn't always able to read an entire chapter before I had to put it down. Time after time this happened, and I realized it was easier to put the book down mid-chapter than between chapters. I have to say, though, I loved it when Joshua interrupted my reading because he had brought out a book of his own for me to read to him.

Then, one night, I was simply too tired to read the whole chapter. I put the bookmark in, and went to sleep. When I woke up to start again, I realized the eagerness to continue was still there. These are great books and very well written. The emotional high was not there, however. It didn't take any longer to get back into the book than if I had stopped at the end of the chapter. It didn't make me feel like I could leave the book for another day on my table. But it let me put the book down without being distracted by it.

So the question I pose to all busy people out there (which is everyone), is how do you read? What makes it easier to put down, then pick up the book? Comment here or link to your own post with your answers.