Daily Quote

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I had a short conversation with a new friend yesterday. Our discussion centered on the recent loss of a loved one, and their legacy. It got me thinking, as these things do, about my legacy. It is easy to descend the rabbit holes of Netflix, and text messages, and cleaning, or other time-consuming things. As much as we enjoy or feel compelled to participate, they don’t seem epitaph worthy.

Do you want to be a beloved parent, spouse, child, or friend? A gifted artist? An advocate for the needy? A philanthropist? A prolific writer? Legacies don’t show up without work, effort and determination, every single day. What will they write on your tombstone?

What can you do today to take a small step toward your legacy?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

One More Step — Friday Fictioneers

Title: One More Step
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

I step past the tangled tree limbs encroaching on the railroad bridge, stopping at the edge.

“Do you dare step onto the bridge?” the voice asked. “One more step and no one can save you.”

I crossed hundreds, thousands of bridges, in my traveling years. I had never heard this voice.

“One. More. Step.”

I glanced around. I was alone.

Fast-moving water churned thirty feet below, the chill wind tugged my threadbare coat, my pack dug into my shoulders the weight a ton of bricks.

I stood.

Minutes? Hours? A lifetime?

Time to go home. It was one more step.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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This cartoon hits home.  I am completely focused on “not finishing my novel”. But it doesn’t mean I am not writing. In fact, I find writing is now easier than it was before November. Words spill onto the page in record time. I glance up and I have 300, 500, or 1000 words starting at me. The words are not bad. I like this side effect.

I feel like a weightlifter who has trained hard and then returns to the “normal” routine to find it has become too easy. I like getting more done in less time.

Have you noticed any residual effects from NaNoWritMo?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Dark Clouds — Weekly Writing Challenge

Title: Dark Clouds
Source:  Weekly Writing Challenge #170
The five words: LATE, STORM, FRAME, STRIKE, WRAP
Word count: 370 words

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Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

“Mom, we’re gonna be late,” Carrie yelled as she ran to the minivan. The large equipment bag hung from her shoulder, bouncing on her hip and her leg as she ran. She gripped the strap of the backpack slung over the top of equipment bag to keep it from sliding and crashing to the ground.

Missy stood under the gym canopy with the other moms while the girls chatted. She clicked the fob, unlocking the door for Carrie.

“Looks like it going to storm,” Rina said pointing to the dark clouds on the horizon.

Missy nodded, worry lines creased her forehead. She had checked her phone, finding angry red blotches on the radar display. It projected the storm would run straight at them.

“Mom lets go.”

Missy said goodbye to Rina, waved to the girls and hurried to the van.

***

The van’s windshield framed a massive lightning strike. Missy jumped, and Carrie screamed then giggled nervously.  Blinded by the brilliant flash Missy felt the hair on her neck and arms stand on end. She blinked, trying to focus on the highway in front of her.  Thunder cracked and boomed around her, slamming through her chest and rocking the van.

More lightning flashed, rippling across the sky, pulling giant chains of thunder through the sudden blackness it left behind. It was morning, but the sky was dark as night.

“Oh man,” Carrie said as she rubbed her hands over, her bare arms.

Then, almost on cue fat raindrops pelted the windshield and obliterated their view of the highway. Missy slowed the van and turned the wipers on high. The rain rose to the challenge and fell harder as the wipers danced. All around them the storm raged, and Missy slowed the van, pulling onto the shoulder before she stopped. It didn’t take long for the windows to fog as the temperature changed.

Carrie dug a hoodie from her bag, wrapping it around her in the sudden chill. They sat, huddled in the van and watched the greatest show on earth.

As the storm diminished Carrie reached over and held her mom’s hand.

“What a cool reason to be late.”

Missy smiled at her daughter and pulled back onto the highway.

 

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I may or may not confess to hearing voices on occasion while I am writing. They might inform me about the dialog, or way the character should act. Sometimes they might divulge secrets about their past or share their hopes and dreams.

I hope writing fiction continues to be legal, or there is a change I could be in trouble.

What are your voices telling you today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I hope you are taking a breather. I know I am needing a break. Besides, there are tasks I have ignored while writing. Now they are demanding attention.  Very important tasks… laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen and a little holiday decorating.

The good news is taking care of mundane tasks has allowed my subconscious time to process and devise brilliant solutions to writing issues I didn’t even know I had.

Have you gained insight into your work?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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No matter where you finished, you now have words written, your first draft.

Step 1. You may need to finish some words to get the story completely done, and then comes the hard part.

Step 2. The marinating. Once your draft is done, put it away for a while and work on something else. Maybe it only needs a week or two, but it might need longer. You will know. The key is to let enough time pass that you can look at the draft with fresh eyes. Before you start…

Step 3. Editing.

What step are you on? Are you finishing your story? Or are your ready to let it sit for a while?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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So, how did your November end? Did you finish strong? Take a moment and pat yourself on the back. I applaud you and your attempts to “achieve greater success”. Congratulations.

What lessons have you learned from your NaNoWriMo test?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Trust

Title: Trust
Source: Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Use the phrase “into the dark.”
Word count: 99 words

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Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

“Are you sure?” Lenore asked leaning over Artel’s shoulder to peer at the map.

“Damn it. Don’t you believe me?” Artel said shoving the map at her before stepping away.

“Of course, I do. But I didn’t expect this.” Lenore waved her hand indicating the opening in front of them. She wrinkled her nose at the dank smell.

“He said ‘expect the unexpected’. So, I guess the real question is…” Artel paused and looked hard at Lenore, “do you trust the oracle?”

Lenore glanced at the map, then nodded.

Together they lit their torches and stepped into the dark.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

The Bride

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Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

The carriage rumbled, careening over frozen, muddy ruts and cracking the ice formed on slushy muck. Zlata screeched as the carriage tossed her and wished Papa had allowed her to ride.

“A proper bride arrives in a carriage, not upon a horse,” he insisted.

She had always lived in the nursery. According to custom, she would receive a proper name on her tenth birthday. Her mother was kind, but thirteen babies exacted a toll. She died delivering a stillborn boy. Zlata’s tenth birthday passed without notice and she kept her nursery name.

Father remarried, and his new wife was soon expecting.

“You must do something with her. She must marry,” she told Papa waving her hand at Zlata.

Papa made arrangements and on a bitter January day, Zlata departed.

Three days’ travel took her high into the mountains, dark clouds descended around her and twisted trees slapped warnings.

Zlata shivered, cowering in the corner. At last, she glimpsed a black castle, her final destination.

Guards with long pikes and scarred faces lined the ramparts. They granted her admittance and Zlata’s stomach tightened as she realized she would never leave.

Sleet pelted the carriage as they arrived at the door. A dark man in a dark cloak waited. His horrible face held black button eyes that judged her as she came to stand before him. Minutes passed and Zlata hoped he would send her home.

Her hopes turned to cold stones as he uttered his greeting.

“You will come with me.”
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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer