It may have been windy and cold on Saturday, but I couldn’t resist a trip to my favorite wildlife spot after breakfast. I love having a wildlife sanctuary within 20 minutes of my house. Though it seems my yard is also a wildlife haven… that’s another post for another day.
So, advice from one who learned the hard way… rebooting a blog right before a major life event (e.g. moving into a new house you had built) is not recommended. Both activities cannot be sustained together. In my case, moving most definitely won!! But, my husband and I are now all moved in. After about a month, I have found most items that were packed away. Still missing odds and ends, like the cord for the Dyson hand vacuum, an electric razor (but we found the plug for THAT!), and things I’m sure I won’t know are missing until they are found again.
What I did make sure to locate, besides the cats, were my notebooks for writing. And, they have been organized. Woah! I am finding though, that I am likely to start over with one of my stories, “Scarlet,” as I feel the whole thing has evolved so much since I started. I noticed when I am in a mood to expand on certain elements, rereading my notes takes me out of the mood as I feel they are so wrong. So, Scarlet will get a makeover this year. And two other stories will get bits and pieces added in earnest. One fantasy, one science fiction and one drama (?) book have ideas in progress. When writing in these doesn’t strike me, I have a variety of writing prompts to keep me entertained. Gotta stick with it.
Soo… back to the house… I now have an office that is all mine! No hubby office in the same room as he gets his man cave in the basement. I can’t wait until he has a TV in the basement so I can take it over while exercising. LOL. Any way, my office isn’t fully organized yet, but it is off to a good start! I do need a new lateral filing cabinet to replace the existing cabinets that are no longer adequate. I don’t have any pictures up yet (poor Chaos from Xenosaga has been waiting years to be hung up). From the angle of the picture below you don’t get to see my awesome French doors and cute corner cabinet (but yay windows!). You do get to catch two of the three cats enjoying the office with me. That’s Ivan on the chair and Natasha on the floor. Ivan is my more constant kitty companion, while Natasha is just patiently waiting for food (patiently-ish).
With all of this, I have recently realized something very important, which I somehow didn’t realize all through having the house built. This is our DREAM HOUSE. We did it, we built a home that is completely our own, everything we could want and last month it became OURS.
I am so humbled and excited and nervous and grateful. This also inspires me to continue writing. The house is now proof positive we can make our dreams happen. On to the next dream! After I feed the cats of course!
P.S. I’ve decided if I ever get a tattoo, it will need to somehow include “You are free to sever the chains of fate that bind you.” I feel I have freed myself from so many challenges over the years. We are our own destiny, our own fate, it is ours to control. We are the makers of our own reality.
She added a charm to her bracelet for every life she took. They clinked along as she slide her hand on the bannister. The sound of her boots on the stairs cut sharply into the scraping. Once she reach the top and started walking across the hall, she idly twirled the charms around her wrist. The Eiffel Tower, a Christmas tree, a Celtic knot… the memories swirled around her, death dancing in pirouettes as she made her way to the door.
She stepped up and placed her hand on the door, pausing to watch the charms gather at the bottom of the bracelet. The reverie was broken by the sound of steps down the hall. “Valentina, how interesting to see you here today.” Without taking her hand off the door, she turned to face the newcomer. With that accent it could only be one person. Such an odd accent, she imagined multinational parents, maybe British and Scandinavian? For herself, she had trained out her accent, no connection, no past.
“Hello Sebastian, I didn’t realize there would be gathering. Otherwise, why have you come?”
Sebastian didn’t reply, he just smiled and continued to walk down the hall toward her. Valentina waited, watching, one hand still resting on the door. Details drifted by her as she waited. The dark suit was tailored, the custom fit outlining his lean figure perfectly. His blonde hair was pulled back, neatly tied at the neck. Nothing unusual, except for the gloves. Sebastian never wore driving gloves. Just as she focused on the gloves, he began taking them off. He placed them in his left pocket and continued to make his way down the hall.
In his left pocket… the sound of the gunshot briefly drowned out the clamor of her bracelet as she dove to the floor. Her eyes never left Sebastian, even with the gun lowering to line up another shot. Squeeze… and jump!
The charms scraped across the stone as Valentina slid over the ledge, dropping into the courtyard below. She grimaced. When did she get so careless? No time for that now, time to get out of the villa before Sebastian moved to the edge and took another shot.
The click as he checked the gun. “Valentina, my dear. You cannot be surprised, can you?” Sebastian taunted her from the balcony. East through the archway to the outer hall. The charms jangling, a dissonance for the rustle of leaves as she cut through the bushes. “Your bracelet has been filling rapidly as of late, and not all from our contracts. How curious, suddenly working for free.” North to the exit.
Sebastian’s laughter in her ears, a counter beat to her steps echoing behind her down the hall. Her nerves were rattling in tun with her bracelet, sliding up and down her arm, her whole body having taken up this sprint for her life. Had they found out? When did she slip up? She shook her head and continued to run. If they knew the truth, it wouldn’t be Sebastian here, and she wouldn’t get away.
When she got to the entrance, Valentina hesitated on the threshold just a second. A bullet shattered the silence as it impacted the sidewalk. Just as she thought, he stayed on the second floor and went around, she hadn’t been quick enough to get outside first.
Valentina twirled onto the sidewalk, the move becoming a mad pirouette, her arms working to get above her head, increasing her momentum. The boleadora swirled around, the three weights now fully spread. It left her hand as her foot came down.
Her arm back down at her side, the bracelet crashed against her thigh as one of the weights crushed his throat. Valentine tilted her head to the side. “Hmm, I think yours will be a necktie. I did always appreciate your sense of style.”
I was recently reorganizing my journals. In all truth I am trying to consolidate a jumble of unrelated thoughts and pull them together in some organized fashion. Unfortunately, so far the result is a jumble of cutout pages from two journals that were tossed, another set of journals where I have tried to keep related thoughts together, two new journals, of which one is already christened with a new book idea, and my loose-leaf journal in which I’m supposed to be organizing the ideas for my “main” book.
One of the journals I kept is the closest thing to what you would consider to be a diary. Now, I don’t write in it every day, the writings aren’t even dated, and it’s not necessarily a ‘what happened’ kind of thing, it’s just random thoughts. In this journal I write a lot about family, different memories and other things that grab my attention for more than a fleeting moment, but definitely a lot about family. I do it because they are important to me and because I sometimes have trouble with the depth at which I keep my family, the emotions, what it all really means, and because it can be tough with the little time I do get to spend with them all (I live half a country away from my mom’s side). Back to why I brought up the journal though. I came across an entry where I write about one of my cousins. I can tell it’s from a couple of years ago. I talk about seeing “J” during the trip. On my previous trip out west, he was away for work, so it really had been years since the last time I saw him.
Now J and I only got to spend a few hours together. He got back from a work trip the day before I was leaving to come home. However, in that few hours, and even now rereading the entry and describing it here, it reminded me of everything that IS him. On the one hand, we were there, sitting at his mom’s dining table, and on the other hand, we were kids again, playing and laughing. Even then you could see the caring man he would become. He was there with me, even though he had just gotten back, had only briefly seen his wife and kids and had only said hi to the siblings he had chanced to see. He had specifically come to see me, the cousin from a million years ago. He didn’t know it then, but he was just what I needed. While some of the discussion was a subject I avoided around my family (my mother), I could sense the love and concern. For those few hours, J wasn’t just my cousin, he was my big brother. Some of it was annoying, because well, it’s annoying when siblings are right, but it felt good.
Authenticity at its most intimate. People like J are who they are, regardless of whether or not you sit with them for an hour, or interact with them all the time. The love, care and concern were real, not just because we are cousins, but because J is who he is and nothing can disguise it. It makes the memory so vivid. For me, that memory underscores the importance of family, and memories like it are why I now go out of my way to visit every year.
Memories are important to who we are, they can also be important to who we want to be. In writing, they can be important to who we shape our characters to be. I want to build a character that reminds me of J, reminds me of that moment, in a scene as authentic and thought-provoking as it was with us.
So why did I bring this up? Because coming across that entry, I’m glad I wrote down that memory. To be honest, it’s only six lines in the journal. But look at this post. Out of those six lines, I can write over 600 words. And in the end, the most important piece, what started the whole thing, those six lines, were written down on a whim, in a journal of random thoughts. And now, those six lines make me remember.
Do you write down memories? What thoughts capture you as you stare out a window, wind down for the night, or as you shower in the morning? My suggestion? Write them down every chance you get. Six lines, six words, or six paragraphs.