Blogging from A to Z Challenge — Letter U

AtoZ2019U

Today’s Positive Adjective:
Urbane: notably polite or polished in manner

Sorcha didn’t remember when she first met Alastair. He somehow appeared, lurking in the background. He rarely spoke to anyone, and when he did his words were laced with bitterness. But when they asked, he would play his guitar and sing. It was the reason everyone attended these events.

Captivating and complex he embodied contradictions. Sorcha saw sorrow in his eyes, even when he sang of love. A consummate performer, his had crafted his ad-lib comments honing them over the years for maximum entertainment value. He was urbane, funny, melodious, and the crowd loved him.

When the applause died, and his encores completed, he returned to the background to fight the bitterness, alone.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

2019 Daily Writing Challenge April 25

2019 Daily Writing Challenge Day 114

Today Is Day 115 of the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Let us know your Day 114 word count in the comments.

———————

What is the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge? It is simple: Write something every day.

Write a little, write a lot. Just write. You have all day.

It doesn’t matter if you write 5 words, 5,000 words or something in between. The idea is to establish a daily writing habit. If you miss a day, don’t worry. Write today and report tomorrow on your success.

A great journey begins with one step. A great writing habit begins with one word. Go!

Check back tomorrow for the Day 115 Report and let us know how you did.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

writing-is-literally-transformative.-when-we-read-we-are-changed.-when-we-write-we-are-changed.-its-neurological.-to-me-this-is-a-kind-of-magic.-francesca-lia-block.

I love magic. Books have always provided a ready source of the elixir I crave. The book doesn’t have to be a fantasy with wizards, witches, or supernatural creatures. Books about history sweep me away to another time. Treatises, opinion pieces, and even diatribes expose me to different points of view. It doesn’t matter if the author minted their words yesterday or hundreds of years ago. My perceptions are altered, expanded and perhaps changed.

Writing helps congeal thoughts, tightens reasoning and logic and reveals contradictions. Even free writing helps access beliefs, concerns, and troubles we have buried below the surface. Once they see the light of day, they demand acknowledgment, and the process begins anew.

What magic will you find today?
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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Blogging from A to Z Challenge — Letter T

AtoZ2019T

Today’s Positive Adjective:
Transpicuous: clearly seen through or understood

Erivana knew she was in the hospital, but she couldn’t remember why. The doctor on his morning rounds said there was an accident. There was a knot on her left temple, otherwise, she felt fine. Still, there was something —

Banishing the uneasy sensation, she flipped the sheet back. She didn’t intend to stay a moment longer than necessary, and it was time to go. She needed to—Erivana paused. Well, she would remember when she got home. An image flickered. Bright sunny windows with a lake view. She grasped at the vision as it faded. She closed her eyes.

Relax,” a strange voice instructed her. Startled, the sight vanished. She looked around but the room was empty.

“Damn,” she said. She swung her feet over the edge and the room began a slow rotation. Her fingers clenched the fabric forming a tight, crumpled ball. Swallowed hard, breathing in ragged gasps, she fought to regain her bearings.

Deep breaths,” the voice said.

“Yes, yes.”

The spinning slowed and stopped as she focused on the needle embedded in her right hand. She picked at the tape holding it in place and traced the tubing which tethered her to the IV pole. She thought about pulling it, but they would frown and delay her discharge. Far wiser to play the game. Steadier now, she grabbed the pole.

“Better safe than sorry,” she stated as she eased toward the edge and stood.

An alarm sounded and Erivana fought the dizziness trying to understand.

“What are you doing?” the nurse screeched as she rushed into the room. “You can’t be out of bed. Sit,” she commanded.

“I, I needed to use the bathroom,” she said, only half lying.

“I’ll get you a bedpan.”

Erivana crinkled her nose and took two defiant steps. Having announced her intention, she would complete her mission.

The nurse faltered unsure of how to proceed. Erivana pushed forward while the alarm buzzed.

“All right then,” she punched a button on the footboard, silencing the noise and grabbed Erivana’s elbow.

Later, after being tucked safely in bed and promising not to get up alone, she considered her predicament. She would have to remember more than her name, phone number, and address. The doctor had asked a battery of questions and she had answered most without understanding how she knew the answer. He said, her memory might be restored in a flash, in pieces, or perhaps never. She needed them soon if she was to complete—.

“Complete what?” she wondered.

I’ll help you,” the voice said.

“Who are you?”

You’re right, you must remember. Can you see your apartment?

“My apartment?”

Yes, the memory from earlier.”

“That was my apartment?” she asked, but guessed it was true.

Yes. Return there. Locate the key. It will become more transpicuous with each visit.

“Why can’t you just tell me?”

There was no response.

“Some help you are,” she muttered.

She imagined the windows again, the brilliant light flooding the room and sparkling on the waves. She drifted, a force pulled her, and she didn’t resist. It deposited her in front of the giant panes. Erivana held her hands before her stepping closer. Her bare feet touched warm hardwood floors as she inched closer.

She gasped as her fingertips brushed the glass.

“How is this possible? I am in a hospital bed,” she said as she pressed her palms flat against the unyielding surface.

“It is real,” she marveled.

Her reflection regarded her with pity.

“You really have lost your memory,” the image said.

Erivana placed both hands over her face. It wasn’t logical.

It is enough for now. Sleep. Regain your strength.

She peeked through her fingers, to find herself once again in the hospital bed.

“I’m mad,” she whispered as she turned off the light before falling asleep.

A figure took corporal form and moved to her side. He brushed a strand of hair from her forehead and traced the goose egg beneath.

You are not crazy. You are special and heroic, and I owe you my life. We all do. Tomorrow you will be stronger, and when you are well enough, you’ll find your memory. Then it will be clear. I pray it will come in time.
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Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer

 

2019 Daily Writing Challenge April 24

2019 Daily Writing Challenge Day 113

Today Is Day 114 of the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Let us know your Day 113 word count in the comments.

———————

What is the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge? It is simple: Write something every day.

Write a little, write a lot. Just write. You have all day.

It doesn’t matter if you write 5 words, 5,000 words or something in between. The idea is to establish a daily writing habit. If you miss a day, don’t worry. Write today and report tomorrow on your success.

A great journey begins with one step. A great writing habit begins with one word. Go!

Check back tomorrow for the Day 114 Report and let us know how you did.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

the-average-american-worker-has-fifty-interruptions-a-day-of-which-seventy-percent-have-nothing-to-do-with-work.-w.-edwards-deming

Deming was a professor of statistic at New Your University’s Graduate School of Business Administration from 1946 to 1993. He also consulted for private businesses. His seminal work was in Japan after World War II, where he worked with Japanese business leaders on “Statistical Product Quality Administration”. We often credit his principles with the Japanese post-war recovery and its rise to the second largest economy in the world.

I wonder what he would make of the disruptions we face today. His workers lived in a time before smartphones, text messages, laptops, emails, and tablets, before 24/7 access to shopping and dining options, and endless streaming content. What is the multiple we should apply to his fifty interruptions per day statistic? I can deflect, ignore or acknowledge fifty distractions in an hour. It impacts my productivity. I have felt ideas and trains of thought slip from my grasp at the chime of a bell.

Do bells and chirps, clicks and clacks, vibrations and knocks on your door impact your concentration?
_________________________________________
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

metaphorically-speaking-of-course-if-i-put-a-problem-behind-my-pillow-and-fall-asleep-very-often-because-my-brain-went-to-sleep-with-that-idea-or-the-problem-alive-very-often-in-the-midd.p

Sometimes my schedule demands I write late at night. Exhausted, from twelve to eighteen hours of activity and ready for bed, creating a story can be challenging. I have adopted a new strategy to make even my midnight writing sessions productive. The trick is scheduling and planning and working while I slumber. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  But the results are surprising. The last thing I do before I cuddle my pillow is to decide on the next piece. I may have an inkling, or I might be clueless. It doesn’t matter, I only need a general direction.

Tired, yawning and falling asleep, I assign the problem for my brain to solve. I tell it to conjure a story for the morning. Upon waking, I find a completely formed idea, with a beginning, middle and a satisfying end. I take notes if I feel compelled and hold it tight until my scheduled writing session. On other occasions, a seed has germinated in my sleep. Those ideas I nurture, forming more details throughout the day. Since I started my experiment my nocturnal puzzle solving sub-conscience has not disappointed me.

What writing tricks do you use?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

2019 Daily Writing Challenge April 23

2019 Daily Writing Challenge Day 112

Today Is Day 113 of the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Let us know your Day 112 word count in the comments.

———————

What is the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge? It is simple: Write something every day.

Write a little, write a lot. Just write. You have all day.

It doesn’t matter if you write 5 words, 5,000 words or something in between. The idea is to establish a daily writing habit. If you miss a day, don’t worry. Write today and report tomorrow on your success.

A great journey begins with one step. A great writing habit begins with one word. Go!

Check back tomorrow for the Day 113 Report and let us know how you did.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Blogging from A to Z Challenge — Letter S

AtoZ2019S

Today’s Positive Adjective:
Sedulous: involving or accomplished with careful perseverance

Costas was the black sheep of the family. He didn’t fit the family’s mold. His parents fostered a competitive drive in the children. They encouraged them to take part in every prestigious extra-curricular activity and demanded the highest grades. The goal was to achieve admittance to the most renowned colleges. They applied the same exacting criteria the children’s colleges, their jobs, and their lives.

They pushed Costas disappointed that he didn’t surpass the family’s ideals. Costas didn’t lack intelligence, to the contrary, he scored higher on the standardized test than his brothers and sisters and they, therefore, expected stellar performances from him. He didn’t understand their urgency, their mad dash from one requirement to the next. Costas preferred a less hectic, uncomplicated life.

When his grandmother died, she left her estate to her grandchildren. His brothers and sisters were interested in her cash. Her house and the acreage surrounding it had fallen into disrepair. The old Georgian mansion had been her home for fifty years. She had closed most of the residence after her husband passed and opted to occupy the front parlor, while the adjacent music room became her bedroom. Later, she added a small refrigerator, microwave, and a hot plate to the butler’s pantry, saying the kitchen was too far away.

The family accessed the old home as a tear-down, a building not worth saving. The cost of rehabbing let alone maintaining the site was daunting. It would be a colossal waste of money they said.  But Costas disagreed. He bought out his sibling’s interest, keeping the land and the house, while they fought over the remaining assets.

Costas closed the rusted gate which had once been the grand entrance to the estate and drove his jeep down the overgrown allée. He recognized the design’s magnificence. Long ago, manicured grounds lined the graveled drive as it turned and dipped, providing tantalizing peeks of the stately home. He planned to see it restored. How he would accomplish the feat was a mystery to him.

He wondered at his folly as he unlocked the front door and discovered it was swollen shut. He walked around the mansion, stepping over fallen slate roof tiles and detoured past vast bramble patches. The ancient servants’ entrance granted him access. The mansion’s dark, shuttered rooms overflowed with furniture draped with sheets to protect the pieces from the mile-high accumulation of dust. Cobwebs loomed, formidable sentries who challenged his every step. Costas bravely advanced.

The ensuing months found him working late into the night to devise a plan. He devoted his weekends to inventories, assessments and prioritizing the jobs vital for the home’s preservation and tabled the jobs which would have to wait. Securing the estate had depleted his finances, and he knew he needed to finance the endless work. He turned his attention to his fallow land. A local farmer agreed to lease acreage for crop production which provided funds. Next on his list was restoring the vineyards and orchards and upgrading miles of pasture fencing. He arranged a loan to repair and replace the expansive slate roof and prayed his calculations were accurate so he could repay the loan.

With sedulous planning, Costas made steady progress. He ran into setbacks, but they didn’t stop him. The community supported his efforts and were valuable resources. They provided guidance and supplied him with solutions from historical lore.

The mansion gained national acclaim. Artisans offered their skills with the restoration. Local businesses approached him with novel ideas for partnerships and soon they boasted a first-class restaurant, an art gallery, and became a popular venue for celebrations. As the estate blossomed, Costas’ payroll expanded as he hired people to run the estate’s various activities.

Costas hosted an annual family reunion to mark the anniversary of his grandmother’s death. Initially, they were small gatherings, but each year the event’s importance grew. Costas labored with love to pay homage to his legacy. His dedication and his drive impressed his family. He defined new family values and the once black sheep became a shining example.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

2019 Daily Writing Challenge April 22

2019 Daily Writing Challenge Day 111

Today Is Day 112 of the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Let us know your Day 111 word count in the comments.

———————

What is the 2019 Daily Writing Challenge? It is simple: Write something every day.

Write a little, write a lot. Just write. You have all day.

It doesn’t matter if you write 5 words, 5,000 words or something in between. The idea is to establish a daily writing habit. If you miss a day, don’t worry. Write today and report tomorrow on your success.

A great journey begins with one step. A great writing habit begins with one word. Go!

Check back tomorrow for the Day 112 Report and let us know how you did.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer