Sunday, February 20, 2011

Are Those your Muffins?

This was the prompt I got at today's writing meeting. What I'm about to write here is rough, but I do plan to use a similar version in one of my novels. Enjoy!

"Are those your muffins, pudding?" the toothless man asked, the tips of his grimy fingers aimed at my shopping basket.

I walked around him, in no mood to talk to anyone, and fled down the aisle at a brisk pace. I'd become absorbed in reading the labels of tea boxes when the scents of body odour and alcohol assaulted my nose and stung my eyes.

"Are those your muffins?" he asked again. This time his finger tapped the plastic lid right above a large blueberry.

"Please leave me alone." I took several steps backward then darted toward the deli, my last stop before I could go home for the evening and crawl into bed with my Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a bag of cookies. Chocolate chunk, not chocolate chip. This was one seriously brutal day and I needed all the soothing I could get.

How dare the world treat me this way? Fired from a job I needed, but hated. A parking ticket for stopping to drop off library books. And, to top it all off, dateless on a Friday night while my boyfriend was out of town. Self-pity followed me up and down the aisles, helping me fill the basket to brimming.

The old man found me in line at the checkout, his aroma so pungent that everyone stepped aside in his wake. "Are those your muffins?"

"Yes, those are my muffins! Now leave me alone!"

He blinked his watery blue eyes. "Sorry, pudding, I just wanted to tell you that they were moldy and you'd get sick." He handed me a different package. "Take these instead."

As he swam away in my tears, I left behind the Ben and Jerry's and took home the tea, the mold-free muffins, and left my self-pity at the checkout.

All it took was one stranger to care.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a wonderful Valentine's Day.
This morning at 9am, I found out I'd won Wynterblue Publishing's Murder In Ink contest! (Click on the Wynterblue link to the right to see the notice!) What a wonderful way to start a Monday. I'll post all the details when I find out more! Validation that I AM a writer! Even better, by the time I came home for lunch, it was all over Facebook courtesy of my friend and beta reader Laura. What a treat to find all kinds of messages from my friends.
After work, I came home to hugs from my kids then my husband came home with Thai takeout and wine.

I know, I shouldn't NEED validation. I am a writer. I always have been a writer, but it's nice to have the pat on the back after all of the rejections. My favourite line in one of my own novels is by Lucy Stephens who yells as her husband drives away, "Just because I'm a writer, doesn't mean I thrive on rejection."  (Date With a Dead Guy).

To all of my writing friends - published or not - I have one piece of advice. Don't Give Up.
Keep writing,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Fresh Perspective

Last night I received the news a lady I'd volunteered with and been friends with for the past few years had passed away. We were the tag team who cooked hot dogs for 400 elementary students and she'd unofficially dubbed me the "Weinie Queenie," threatening to make me a tiara with a hot dog on top. I would never again cook hot dogs in the oven without thinking of all the fun we had during Hot Dog Day.

What saddens me the most about losing Janet, is that she has two children the same ages of my two youngest. Her daughter will become a teenager this year without a mother to guide her. Janet was only 47 years old, full of enthusiasm, drive and a great sense of humour. Lying in bed last night, I though about her and about what would happen to my own family should anything happen to me. Then my thoughts turned to the dreams she would never make happen.

I have wanted to be a writer ever since I could write. My dream is to have the manuscripts stacked on my bookshelf turned into real books that other people will read. Riches and fame aren't the goal. They never have been. Putting out books and stories that people will read and enjoy are my ultimate goal. I want to provoke thought and make people smile and forget their own problems for a while.

Thinking of Janet will bring tears to my eyes for a long time to come, but in her honour, I will forge on and make my own dreams come true with her as my inspiration.
God speed, Janet. You will always have a special place in my heart.