The Write Fight

I looked at the emptiness in defeat. The blankness had gotten the best of me. So I thought. It was so vast, so vague, so void, & so daunting. Yes, it was just so. Nothing seemed to be able to fill its emptiness. Some tried to fill it with colors but somehow the colors didn’t seem to fit. Another added pictures but they didn’t seem appropriate. I heard that a few tried to ignore the vastness and go on with their life. Not me. I had to stop this thing from eating at my conscious. But how?

I knew what I had to do. I had to muster up every tiny bit of faith and courage to face this beat head on. I wasn’t going to keep running from this monster. Alright, you wanna fight? Let’s fight.

I got the sturdiest chair I could find, brewed the blackest And most caffeinated coffee I had. This was going to be a long night, but I was ready for the challenge. This nuisance wasn’t going to get the best of me. I sharpened my weapons and loaded the cartridge chamber. Alright, let’s fight. It was time for war.

I unloaded my bullets one by one. By the time I knew, I had unloaded my first round. I looked around. I saw some damage had been done but it still wasn’t enough to brag about. I hadn’t even put a dent in it.

Round two. I unloaded so more. This is around the time I took my first sip of coffee. Black and bitter. The bitterness was enough to keep me awake. One thing I learned in this kind of fight was, I can’t win a war while I’m sleep. I have to wide awake. Alert and vigilant. Always on my P’s and Q’s. The enemy can attack at any time and it is very important that I stay active and awake. Not rest for the weary.

By the time my second round was done, I saw that I had gotten a little distracted and lost focus. My aim was becoming a little off. Ok, shake it off. You got this.

I tried to undo what I had done but the marks I made seemed to be permanent. I couldn’t worry about what went wrong though because something is bound to go wrong sometimes. Nothing is perfect.

I put that round of mistakes behind me. That’s all round two was–a mistake. I just call it a learning experience. Next time I’ll know why not to do. I had to get back on my A game. I couldn’t allow a round of mistakes take my eyes off the prize of defeating this beast. It could be done and I knew that I could be the one to do it. I had no doubt in my mind.

Round three. This round was served with more precision. I found my groove and decided to go with the flow. I was firing shots and every shot stuck. Everything was going together.

It didn’t seem so vast or intimidating now. I felt good knowing that this was a mountain that not only I could conquer, but I was on my way to conquering. It was getting done. Slowly but surely.

I was fighting this fight alone but the coffee was assisting tremendously. I couldn’t have gotten this far without it. I had to retreat to the barracks for a mental break and change of scenery. I couldn’t exhaust all of my energy so soon. It was important that I rested when I could.

These kind of wars would take a toll on you if you let them. I wasn’t going to let this beat me. I was in the process of rebuilding my strength. I peeped out and saw the enemy looking at me. Not saying a word but taunting me in silence. I felt like running out like King Leonidas yelling this is Sparta! But I decided against it and chose a much quiet and humble attack.

I quietly made my way back to the battlefield and faced my opponent. Today, in a few short minutes, one of us would have the victory. I bowed my head a short devotional prayer, asking for the winner to be me.

I fired my last round. To my surprise, everything I shot out landed right in place on the vast terrain.

I beamed with delight. I had won the war on tonight. This my friends was a fight–on how to write.

Prompt courtesy of Martin McConnell.

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Just like Daddy

Congratulations! It’s a boy! “Oh my! What is this? Looks like it’s a little girl too!” The nurse told me. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I didn’t know what I would do with one baby, let alone two. Who was going to pay for it? How was it going to eat? These were questions I didn’t have an answer for but knew I needed to figure something out quickly.

In 36 hours I would discharged from the hospital with not one, but two brand new babies. How on earth did they not be able to tell that I was pregnant with twins? Even after having ultrasounds, they never even mentioned that anything was abnormal. Every time I went, the report was the same. Everything looks good and the baby looks healthy.

I was waiting to hear a baby cry and when I didn’t, I panicked. What’s wrong with my baby? Is he dead? Is she dead? My heart skipped a beat when I heard the faintest whimpers. It was a full cry but it was something and I was relieved. I couldn’t wait to hold my baby. Well, babies.

Nurse Kathy spun around with babies in hand. I had already started crying tears of joy before I even saw their faces. I held my arms out ready to see which one of my babies looked like me.

To my surprise, the nurse said they looked exactly like their father. Big brown ears, cute little ears, and the sweetest nose. I couldn’t complain because I knew what their father looked like before I even conceived. I also knew exactly how he was.

He liked to play games, especially playing with a ball. He liked to take walks to the mailbox and bring me anything that was in there. He loved to smell me and knew my scent better than anyone else. He knew when I changed clothes, which ones were dirty and which were clean. He was hyper vigilant and observant. He heard anything in the house that wasn’t right. He could probably hear a mouse pee on cotton. He loved to run and was active in the community. The elderly loved him and he loved them. He was pretty much perfect, or at least he was to everyone else.

I had my share of off days with him but once again I couldn’t complain because that’s who I picked right?

I had already picked out the outfit for my baby boy to wear. The little girl wasn’t so lucky because I didn’t even know she was coming. I wasn’t prepared for him so she would have to wear one of the unisex colors her brother owned.

He was going to wear a cute brown and light blue striped onesie with matching brown pants paired with matching striped socks. I opted to go with a light yellow and white onesie for baby girl. That would just have to do. At least it was better than nothing. Right?

I only packed one diaper bag so they would have to share a bottle and split the diapers in half until I could do better. I still couldn’t believe I was having a baby. Two babies. What am I going to do with two babies? Would any of you like one? That sounds harsh but you have to know that I’m kidding. I would never give my baby away. No matter what.

Anyway, back to me finally seeing my babies. Nurse Kathy turned around and had my babies perfectly swaddled. “Which one do you want to hold first or do you want to hold them both at the same time?” She asked me. “It doesn’t matter, just give me both,” I told her. I positioned myself so I could handle both babies at one time.

After I got myself situated, I held my arms out. “I’m ready for them,” I told Nurse Kathy. She placed them gently in my arms in their pink and blue blankets. They smelled like a mixture of fresh baby and hospital.

I carefully pulled the blankets down off their face so I could see the little miracles I made.

The first thing I saw made my mouth fly open. I couldn’t believe my eyes. These two perfect little babies belonged to me. I didn’t know if I was their mother or not. I couldn’t be.

My initial response was “well I be doggone.” They looked just like their daddy. The faces that looked back at me, two identical PUPPIES

Well durn, they were dogs. Just like their daddy.

A Garden Girl

Did you hear what happened to old man John Bill? I think it was supposed to be a secret. The secret probably would’ve been kept if the buzzards wouldn’t have found him.

I don’t know how they even knew he was there. Rumors around town had it that buzzards had started flocking to John Bill’s farm about two weeks ago. They just assumed it was a deer over there that learned his fate when it met up with a big rig. Some kids had walked near the farm but never close enough to see what it actually was that caused the scavengers to fly overhead. They weren’t even close enough to smell the pungent smell of rotting flesh.

Linda Sue, John Bill’s daughter, just happened to take a short cut to school one morning, cutting through the garden. She knew that John Bill forbade her from walking through his precious garden so she walked quickly but quietly through a row of collards and cabbages. She had almost made it through. She was almost running and saw the light at the end of the tunnel but then she tripped. “What on earth could I have tripped over out here?” She asked herself. She knew her father would have never left anything that didn’t belong in the garden. He hated when things were out of place.

Linda Sue looked around to make sure John Bill wasn’t on his way to the garden. When she saw the coast was clear, she glanced down to see what was about to get her caught up in the forbidden place. To her surprise, she saw a old black boot. “What the??” She said out loud. The boot she saw just happened to be attached to a leg and the leg was still attached to a body.

She followed the body with her eyes until she reached the head. She screamed bloody murder once she saw who the body belonged to. The face she was stunned her. Lo and behold! It was the body of that dag on John Bill.

“Daddy! Daddy! What happened? Who did this to you?” She screamed. But John Bill said nothing back. Eyes still wide open, mouth still open. Linda Sue could only assume that he was screaming or at least trying to, but the shriek never got a chance to come out.

Linda Sue glanced over John Bill’s body looking for bruises or cuts or any blood. She found nothing that would even suggest this was a murder. She heard a rustling in the garden but she never paid it any mind–I guess just assuming it was a crow in the field like any other day. The rustling grew louder and appeared to be closer. What could it be? She didn’t know but she didn’t have time to focus on that. She had to figure out what happened to her daddy.

She looked around and still saw nothing. “Ok, whatever or whoever you’s are, you can gon’ and scar!” she yelled out. Well, that wasn’t enough to scare it away. The sound kept creeping closer until it reached the exact place where Linda Sue was standing.

She heard the breathing and again thought it was just another animal. “Look, get on now so I can check on my daddy.” The breathing got louder. Before she knew it, she felt a tap on her shoulder. The long skinny finger that she saw on her should didn’t look like a finger she recognized. It was old, wrinkled, and eerily bony.

Maybe it’s a hiker that got lost or someone new to town that don’t which way to go. Linda Sue turned around to face whatever or whoever it was touching her and interrupting her investigation of John Bill’s death.

“Look mister, why don’t you get out of here and leave me alone? Can’t you see I’m busy here??” Linda Sue said obviously aggravated.

She turned around and the minute her eyes locked on the man holding her shoulder, she became afraid. Her eyes instantaneously burned and disintegrated. All that was left was the sockets. Her mouth was open but her breath was sucked out of her body. Not only her breath but her soul. She lay there lifeless next to her dead father-John Bill.

I guess it’s safe to say that Linda Sue never made it to school that day. The story says that her death was her punishment for being disobedient. Who knows?

All I know is, I sure wouldn’t want to be John Bill or Linda Sue. And a short cut sure isn’t worth a life.

To this day nobody knows what happened to those two or what exactly what it was that they saw. Some say it was a pumpkin head man, others say it was the headless horseman. That’s all bologna if you ask me. I think it was just those two meeting their fate.

I know who it was that night.

Nobody but the grim reaper.

“From a Sinner to a Saint”

Excuse me ma’am, do you have a second or could you spare a little bit of your time so I could speak to you for a second & say what’s been on my mind?

I mean I tried to call the pastor but I guess since I don’t attend church every Sunday or pay my tithes to help pimp out his ride or cause his rims to shine, he won’t give me the time of day or furthermore be bothered by what a person like me has to say.

I just have a few questions, from a sinner to a Saint, who is this God y’all speak about anyway? ‘Cuz just  a minutes ago, some of the saints were screaming crucify him! But singing Hosanna today.

Im confused by the actions ‘cuz what y’all speak during the week ain’t the tongues you speak in on Sunday.

I mean, it seems to me that you do what you wanna do & “God knows my heart” that’s an excuse because when it comes down to it, guess what, He knows mine too.

This is from a sinner to a saint, I know some of y’all living the way it let’s be real some of y’all ain’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t trying to judge cuz I know only God can do that. I’m just a sinner trying to find where the truth at. Cuz to me it seems that the preachers are creeping & the deacons are freaking & the rest of y’all saints ain’t even speaking.

You took your eyes off the bigger picture,  ya know trying to save souls or the Great Commission. It’s millions in the world like me, fighting demons, scratching & surviving, no good times, waiting to set freed. You see, this ain’t the way I wanna be but how many offer the gift of salvation to sinners like me? Even y’all say it’s as simple as ABC & all I gotta do is admit, confess, & believe.

Lead me, guide me, show me the way, let’s talk 5 fold ministry. For the prophets, I ain’t really convinced that’s what God told you to say. So he told you to tell me that i can’t come in the church cuz I don’t have on a skirt. I ain’t no holy roller but I’m sure that ain’t how it work.

I went to church once. I can still hear the altar call after the preacher’s turn to speak & I started getting antsy cuz I feel he was talking to me. But I can’t move, feet stuck to the floor. This ole sinner that I am, I hear God knocking but I ain’t really ready to open the door.

But at the same time, I don’t know if it’s my heart Or my mind but All of a sudden I wanted to bust out & yell what must I do to be saved but this ole flesh that I am, it just can’t be tamed.

So from a sinner to a saint, live a life that offers Christ to everyone cuz some folks saved, but let’s be real, some of us ain’t.

 

COPYRIGHTED by Stephanie StephyLionne Ellsworth on July 15, 2017

“Bitter Broads”

Image result for bitter womenYou know the warm fuzzy feeling you get when that special someone calls? And that tingling feeling you get in your stomach from being in love? You know how it is to be in love right? Yeah, me neither. And I’m tired of everyone around me acting like they are so in love. They know like I know that everybody cheats. Men, women, boys & girls. But especially men.

You wanna know where your prince charming is? Somewhere cheating. What about the “knight in shining armor?” Somewhere in another woman’s face lying and hyping her up. And guess what else? She is believing it. He’s texting her and 3 other women the same “good morning beautiful” text and every time he posts a status on social media about his girl or “bae,” they are all believing that she is the one he’s referring to. She’s telling the world that she’s in love & can’t live without her bae. She’s surfing the internet looking for wedding dresses and planning her dream wedding because she has met the man of her dreams. Meanwhile, he’s in some other woman’s DM or inbox getting her number making her feel special too. I swear some of y’all mamas raised boo boo the fool.

I’m convinced, ain’t no such thing as love & the people that are “in love” are faking the funk just to say they have somebody. These men got these women out her looking stupid and then they get mad when somebody  try to tell them that their man is for everybody.

That love stuff is for the birds and those men ain’t nothing but old bats, buzzards, chickens, and turkeys. Love ain’t real. I’m starting to think it’s just a myth.

These women that are “in love” think they are winning but in reality they’re losing. You know what they are losing? Their minds. Especially if they think they are the only one. What’s even crazier is when a man approaches you and you bring up the fact that he has a girlfriend, he has the nerve to say stupid things like “I can have friends” or “what my girl don’t know won’t hurt her” like that justifies cheating. I start thinking to my self, “well, she’s gonna know ‘cuz I’m gonna tell her.” Then I snap myself out of that trance, knowing good and doggone well that she wouldn’t believe me if I did try to tell her.

See, men like that are single in your inbox begging for a phone number & time to “chill” but are the same men “in love” on Facebook. Boy, please! They are the first ones participating in “Woman crush Wednesday.”

I can’t help but roll my eyes at that kind of foolishness. I’m not hating on nobody’s relationship but I know half of them ain’t what it’s crapped up to be. All men gonna do is lie and cheated all they want from women is “a little piece of tail,” booty calls, wham bam thank you ma’am, hit it and quit it, smash & pass or whatever you want to call it..

You may think I am a Bitter Broad, but I’m not. I have my reasons. Let me tell you about Lamont. Or maybe Tyrone. Or maybe Rondell. You’ll get the picture.

“I Want Him Back”

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It had only been maybe a day or two after the “break up” and I was still thinking and planning on how I could get my man back. I went back and forth with myself about whether or not he was worth getting back. Yeah, he had dogged me but like I said a thousand times before, he was the love of my life. I didn’t know how to continue each day without him. You would’ve thought that each day would’ve gotten easier but for me, it was just the opposite.

I wanted so desperately to talk to him. I fought every morning not to send a “good morning” message and I fought even harder not to call at night for our nightly “fall asleep on the phone” conversation. Living in the same community made this break up thing a nightmare because I would randomly bump into him at the stores and he would waltz right past me like he never knew me, like I never meant anything to him. I don’t know how he was able to do that. How could he walk past me without a second glance? And then he would have the nerve to have another woman on his arm, in fact, one of the same women he swore to me he had no involvement with. I think that’s one of the things that broke me down the most. I would have never been able to walk past him and not feel anything. In fact, the thought of him created one of two emotions in me: love or pain. Maybe it’s just a woman thing. Either way, it didn’t make the pain hurt any less.

I wondered to myself all the time if he still had my number in his phone or if he erased my number like he erased me from his memories.

“Cold world” was all I could think.

          Days continued passing by and I was learning slowly how to live without him. What choice did he leave me? I had to get over him whether I liked it or not. So, do you know what I did? I bet you wouldn’t even guess. Okay, stop guessing, I’ll tell you. I made an eHarmony account. Go ahead, laugh all you want. I had to do something to get my mind of Malcolm.

I had seen all the commercials about eHarmony before so I decided to go for it. I mean, what harm could it be? It was just innocent fun. Heck, I thought, I might as well go for them all. It won’t no shame in my game, after I made my eHarmony account, I made one for Zoosk, match.com, blacksinglesmeet.com, Badoo, Tinder, and militarycupidsingles.com, just to name a few. They were all the same if you asked me and I found that the same men that were on one, were on all the others.

There were a few delectable men on the sites but I found that they were pretty empty headed when I talked to them. The first problem was, I was probably comparing them to Malcolm. The other guys were trying to get married and I won’t trying to do all that. All I wanted to do was have fun for now.

I met a guy named Rex. He was pretty okay, I guess. He wasn’t Malcolm but he would have to do for now. He was saying all the right things, none of which I was buying. I knew how men lied. If Malcolm never taught me anything else, he taught me not to trust nothing that slides out of a man’s mouth because their talk was slick. I guess that was equivalent to his “never trust a big butt and pretty smile” theory of women.

I kept hope alive. I just knew that one day I would meet my knight in shining armor, but for now, the boy in aluminum foil would just have to do.

The second guy’s name was Lance. We matched on Tinder. I don’t exactly know what it was about him that made me swipe right but I did it anyway. I was pretty sure that we wouldn’t match. He just seemed like he was a little bit out of my league.  He was ambitious, handsome, and intelligent, nothing like Malcolm. In fact, Lance was the complete opposite of Malcolm. I liked him pretty okay I guess. The problem was he wasn’t Malcolm. “Get yourself together girl, he ain’t Malcolm and ain’t nobody Malcolm but Malcolm. Get over it,” my brain started yelling at me.

“The Break-Up”

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I had just gotten out of a long term relationship with the ex-love of my life, Malcolm. To me, he was the best thing since slice bread, but apparently about a dozen other girls thought the same thing. He wasn’t drop dead gorgeous but he was decent enough to take home to mama. With that being said though, you couldn’t tell him that he won’t the fine as wine Idris Elba or Denzel Washington. He had this bizarre idea that he was God’s gift to women and every woman wanted him. And as crazy as the idea sounded, it was almost true because very seldom did a woman turn him down. I hated the attention women gave him but most of all, I hated the attention he gave them back.  Even with all that, he was still the first love of my life and when things began to get rocky and go left a little bit, we were still rocking until things got back right.

We had an odd relationship but as a matter of fact, it was more like a situationship. We weren’t what he called “together” but it was more so an agreement or understanding between us. It was one of those, “what’s understood ain’t got to be explained” situations or more precisely, “I’m single but you’re in a relationship” idea where he would do what he wanted but if I so much as thought about another man, he would be down my throat before I could even say hello. He wasn’t obligated to answer my phone calls but I had to answer the phone with much swiftness when he called me or I would automatically be deemed as a “cheater,” which I never understood especially since he always made it clear that we weren’t together. “You ain’t my girl” he was always saying but the moment he thought I was interested in someone else or I caught someone else eye, he would turn to me and say “Why you looking at him? You want him or something?” I never understood that either. He was extremely jealous and never wanted me to go anywhere but he swore on his life, his mama life, and everybody else life that it was because he cared so much. I always thought it was because he was so scared that I was gon’ see him or someone was going to tell me that he was running women and chasing coattails. But either way, he was still the love of my life. I loved him. I was in love with him at one point. I know you’re probably wondering how I put up with him for so many years and trust me; I asked myself that every day.

We had grown used to each other and the crazy “off and on” bond we shared so it was hard for me to accept the fact that we were really over. I mean, I just knew he was going to be my husband and he sold me broken dreams that someday I would be his wife. He was gassing me and I was believing the hype. Why wouldn’t I? He was the love of my life and one thing about me, I hate starting over. I didn’t want to spend another year or so of my life investing time and using energy only to end up with nothing and no one. Plus, I wasn’t even sure another man could even measure up to Malcolm. The dating scene was never really for me and it was just by luck that I ended up with Malcolm. Malcolm was one of the smoothest men I knew. We met when I was younger, I won’t go into details about how much younger, just know that I was younger. My pull up game was pretty strong and evidently, he liked it. He had made every attempt to brush me off but I won’t having it. Eventually, he stopped trying to ward me off and just accepted the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere. Some women would say it was desperate or thirsty but I didn’t care, if I saw something I liked, I went after it; more often than not, when I went after it, I got it. Just like that!

Everything started out so good. He would take me places all over the city and I introduced him to things that he never experienced growing up. I thought things would be great and the future looked promising. Or at least it did to me. The one thing I noticed about him right away was he didn’t want to take me nowhere local. He always claimed it was because it won’t nothing to do, but I think it’s because he didn’t want to be seen with me just in case he ran into one of his other boos. I knew he was telling other females he wasn’t involved with me (I was young but I won’t dumb) and naturally, they did what single women do: believed him.

For some reason, women always hung on to his every word and couldn’t seem to see him for the lying dog we all knew he was. But, he was the love of my life. It wasn’t like our relationship was so great so why was I having such a hard time letting him go? I’m thinking it’s because, you guessed it, he was the love of my life.

He didn’t even have the balls or decency to tell me we were over. He just stopped texting all of a sudden and stopped answering the phone when I called. He would see me in the streets and wouldn’t even speak. I mean, what part of the game was that? It confused me especially since he was telling me before about how “in love” he was with me. He went from jealous boyfriend to nonchalant ex-lover in a matter of 2 seconds flat. I had gotten the word from the community hoe that he was spotted talking to some other chick out in the open in broad daylight. Clearly, not even hiding anymore and didn’t seem to care whether I knew about them or not.

Even with all this, I just couldn’t seem to let him go. I wanted him and a part of me felt like I needed him. He had been my security blanket and safety net for so long. I didn’t have the energy or the interest to be out on the dating scene again. What on Earth was I going to do?

“The Pack’s Pact”

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Madeline Turner sat alone at the lunch table. It was the first day of her freshman year and she had just transferred to Lake Longwood Academy after her last little mishap at Cedar Beech Academy. A “mishap” that she dared not speak of but thought about often. She couldn’t help that the little girl died. It wasn’t her fault. In fact, the little girl’s cause of death really wasn’t confirmed.

Madeline looked around her and saw the hustle and bustle of bright blue eyed shapely freshmen girls with long blonde hair that flowed and suddenly grew self-conscious of her dull stringy brunette hair, dead brown eyes, and stick figure. She wasn’t the best looking or the most outgoing girl but she was willing to do anything to befriend the other girls.

Madeline was described by her former teachers as quiet and reserved, a loner. She knew for herself that she was hard to get to know and a private person but also very observant of others and her surroundings. She had to be this way because she was the one on watch when her “friends” at Cedar Beech tortured that poor little girl. She never spoke of the incident to her mother, but her father knew. That’s how she ended up transferring to Lake Longwood. Her father called and pleaded with her mother to let him have custody of Madeline for a few years and reluctantly her mother agreed. This was her father’s effort to make sure Madeline didn’t get caught in the case of the missing girl. Madeline didn’t even know what the girl’s name was, but it didn’t matter anyway because the little girl was dead and long gone. She kicked herself in the butt plenty of times for allowing herself to be persuaded into such a horrible task. She couldn’t believe that she was even involved with such people that would even want to commit such an act. She wasn’t like those monsters. They were heartless, soulless, and emotionless; and although she had always been fascinated by assassins, she wouldn’t have dared executed a murder. But she was present when it happened so I guess that made her guilty by association.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a tall skinny blonde haired blue eyed girl that she had just seen walk by. “Hi!” the skinny girl said so enthusiastically. “Hello!” Madeline replied with her head bowed and too afraid to look up to see the girl. “Wanna sit with us?” the bubbly girl asked Madeline. This question caught Madeline’s attention and she glanced up to see the crazy girl asking her to socialize. “Sure,” Madeline said awkwardly. “This girl has no idea who she’s talking to,” Madeline thought. “I’m probably the most socially uncomfortable person she’s ever met and above all, I absolutely hate “happy people.” It’s nothing to be that happy about all the time,” her thoughts continued and she noticed that her fist was balled up and she began to be filled with unprovoked anger. She was already skeptical of the skinny girl’s motives for asking her to eat with the group of “perfect girls” and this bubbly personality was making her angrier. She was surprised the girl even knew she existed.

“So are you coming?” the skinny blonde asked. “Oh yeah,” Madeline said, getting up to follow the blonde. “My name is Anya, by the way. Anya Blackburn,” she said to Madeline. “Oh ok, nice to meet you Anya. I’m Madeline,” Madeline replied shyly. “Oh cool,” Anya responded. “You can meet the girls,” she continued. They finally stopped at the table that would be their “assigned table” for the rest of the year. The other two girls stopped eating and looked up briefly before they went back to eating without really acknowledging either girl. “Cut it out you guys,” Anya said to them. The two girls huffed and puffed before turning about to Anya and Madeline. “Hi,” they said in unison. “Don’t pay them any mind,” Anya said to Madeline. “It takes them a while to warm up to new people,” she continued. “It’s fine,” Madeline said emotionlessly. She didn’t seem to be bothered by the girls’ lack of manners. “This is Audrey Connor and Brooke Alexander, my best friends,” Anya continued without seeming to realize just how unbothered and uninterested Madeline was in meeting them. “Nice to meet you,” Madeline said expressionless. Brooke and Audrey just stared at her. “You’re strange,” Brooke said with a beaming smile on her face. “Thanks, I guess,” Madeline said kind of blushing. It was almost a compliment when others commented on her strangeness. “Sit down, we don’t bite,” said Anya. “Except Audrey, she is kinda weird like you,” Brooke said giggling. “Shove it,” Audrey said easily offended. “I was just joking Audrey,” Brooke said sensing the animosity. “Whatever,” Audrey shot back. Madeline was really starting to feel uncomfortable sitting with these catty females. But she needed them to execute the plain.

FTDB

What is FTDB you may ask! Well, FTDB is a bunch of letters meaning Finish the Damn Book. This book is not just a book, it’ a guide, a sit down come to Jesus meeting with pages.

Finish the Damn Book!: An Inspirational Guide to Writing by [McConnell, Martin]

I had the pleasure of meeting Martin McConnell on Instagram & I began following him everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, Writelivefarm.com and he inspired me to join the Writing Challenge on Twitter.  I also had the honor to interview him myself.

So before I get into how great the book his, let me toot his horn because I doubt he will do it. Martin McConnell is really an icon in the writer’s world. He is such an asset to the community, always so full of knowledge, advice, tips, and encouragement.  He has mastered the art of “tipping” us newbies & rookie writers. He’s pretty much my go to guy & I knew second-guess any knowledge he spreads. After you read the book, you will see why I’m going on & on about this legend, McConnell.

I had the privilege of reading Finish the Damn Book and boy let me tell you, I felt like I was sitting next to him & he was giving me a lesson on how to “get it together.”  It was just the pep talk I feel I needed. The tone created in the book is so personable, it’s almost like you know him. The wordage used is colloquial & allows the reader to not only read, but understand exactly what he’s saying. No fancy schmancy words or SAT words. Just straight talk. He gives it to you real & raw. He sheds some light on his most difficult moments in writing & gives you clear advice on how not to end up in his shoes.

The chapter that stuck out to me the most was Chapter Two: Write Something Every Day. This was my favorite chapter for this reason–it stepped all over my toes. I am one that makes multiple excuses about why I am unable to write. “I can’t write in the mornings, I can’t write at night, I can’t because I have to show attention to my son, I eat on my lunch break, etc” This chapter was like a wake up call to pretty up shut up, sit down, write, & FTDB & he tells you exactly how to do it.

Chapter Three: Start Today, Right Now was another vital chapter to my life. I don’t have time right now. Yeah right! Read this book & you will understand just how much time you really have to FTDB.

I wasn’t the best writer and I’m still not, however, I’ve grown & I’ve learned thanks to Marty. This book has added nuggets for me to think on as I find myself becoming discouraged. It keeps me going when I feel like giving up on writing.

I won’t spill all the secrets of the book. I’m not Martin McConnell so taking advice from me is kind of risky but if you don’t listen to anything else I say, listen to this–> ORDER FINISH THE DAMN BOOK & read it! It is life changing & it will be worth the time & money. This guy is incredible. It all makes so much sense to me now.

ORDER IT HERE

Check out the audio sample here–Finish the Damn Book

 

“The Wiz Kid”

Image result for wizard wand

 

The wand spat out little pieces of fire. We gathered around crouched down to see what was going to happen next. We had never seen a magic wand before except the ones on T.V. But every time the commercial came on, mama turned. The fire stuff was followed by a loud kaboom. We were startled and jumped but giggled and clapped our hands with excitement. Lights and sparklers whizzed and whirled around the room flying past our heads, buzzing like the sound of a worrisome mosquito in the summertime but we didn’t care. You know why? Because just like that, in the blink of an eye a spell had been cast and we were there to see it with our own two eyes. My mother would kill me if she knew I was standing this close to a real life wizard. Mama didn’t believe in magic. She tried to make me doubt that it was real but she couldn’t change my mind. I knew better. Magic is real. It’s always been real to me. I know fake things, like the monsters under the bed, or the wrestling seen on t.v. But magic was different. Magic was real.

I’m only 8 but I’ve spent a lot of my life reading about Harry Potter researching spells and yada yada, learning everything I could about magic. Don’t tell mama I told you but I believe in muggles too and you wanna know what else? I think mama might be one of them.