“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Some cheesy motivational speaker said this once, but it is true. I have fallen out of habit with writing. At this time last year, I decided to write a post a day under the guise of a mini-series called “What I Learned Today…”. For more than a month, I  wrote about the little things I learned from new words to rocks to personal nuances. It was a healthy dose of setting goals and habits that lasted for the remainder year.

I’m at that crux again. I need to kick-start my routine of writing. I have a goal to semi-participate in NaNoWriMo in November. But I’m not going at it without a plan. In the next few months, I will be creating a detailed outline with major plot points, character bios and setting details. The “semi-participate” means that I’m not holding to the start date timing. If I feel like writing parts of it now, I will. My goal is to have everything ready before November 1 and finish a draft of a novel by the end of November.

Lofty goal I know, but if 30,000 out of 200,000 finished a novel in one month just last year, I feel like I can do it too.

My bedroom awakens

Being sick sucks. In bed most of the day leaves your body more sore than a PX90 workout. Without the full ability to have sustainable conversations due to my Harvey Pekar/Tom Waits sounding voice, writing and painting seem to be the only things getting me through these days… oh, and a bit of homemade roasted veggie soup and the occasional Words With Friends  play (my user name is karmiclife if you are looking for a good game).

So lying here in bed, I decided to do a little writing exercise describing my bedroom in 300 words. Well it’s only 298 words, but who’s really counting. I almost posted this on my More than a Dwelling blog, but decided to post it here instead. I guess I feel that it is a more fictionalized piece. Well, now I’m just blabbering.

Good Morning

Faded, red suede curtains slightly parted reveal the warm glow of the morning sun. The cave slowly comes to life after its slumber in the darkness. The full-length mirrored closet doors begin to reflect the light, bouncing from picture frame to picture frame. Pale, white walls encourage light to spread, echoing the sentiment, “It’s time to get up!”

Disregarded books and clothes scattered on the floor are less like mines in a minefield during daylight hours, but more like added character to a usually tidy affair. Each object nestled in its place still sleepy from a night of sleep. A white bra snuggled up to a brown tank, curled up next to the striped slacks worn the previous day occupy the corner next to the bookcase.

Clothes hung in the closet peer out, urging the stragglers folded on the dresser to get up, come home. Stacks of hats and loose jewelry taking comfort in the shade of the lamp, cozy up to the piles of folded clothes declaring, “They are home.”

The clock on the nightstand silently stands in solidarity with the sun next to the indifferent stereo, who hadn’t slept much after being left on from the night before. Lights blinking exhaustively, the stereo never truly tires due to its unlimited source of energy, ready at anytime to create the mood. Right now he’s poised for a bit of The Beatles, Here Comes the Sun.

Center stage, the queen takes her rest. No one in the room knows sleep like the bed, happily sedentary all her life and this morning was no different. Piles of crimson blankets and pillows upon her belly keep in warmth allowing the crumpled sheets to sleep in a little bit longer. No need to stir them. Let them rest. No work today.

Short Story: Lucky Rabbit

No, this story has no base in reality. Sometimes I really surprise myself about what I write. This is one of those times.

Lucky Rabbit

“You ain’t ever caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine.” Elvis Presley said it, but Travis lived it. He had been a hunter since he was knee-high to a crouching puma. Lizards, grasshoppers and crawdads became his first prey: unsuspecting victims of his cruel tortures. Decapitation and amputation of limbs were not beyond his capability, and actually preferred over methodical killings. He had no inclination to truly think about his actions. Habitual brute force had been passed down through generations of instinctual assassins. Really, he couldn’t help it.

My dad encouraged me to go with Travis when I was only twelve. Essentially, passed off to the closest thing to a son he had. I became a slave and an outlet for his physical pleasures. A shell of a girl, I toughened my soul. Only shielded by faith and superstition, I managed to survive. Trinkets of luck pulled me together in the toughest times. Hidden in an old shoebox, my charms included coins from far off lands found in the road leading from the city, a rusted horseshoe, my mother’s rosary, several four-leaf clovers each taped to a royal playing card, and a lucky rabbit’s foot caught by my father, stained pink because it was my favorite color (although, I knew it was most likely from blood of the poor thing’s demise).

At fourteen, I tried to escape in the back of a pick-up truck headed for the city. But the truck was owned by the general store manager, who definitely caught a few rabbits in his day. His dumb luck became my ill-fated failure. My face shimmered bright pinks and reds that evening. The darker shades of purple, black and blue took their time to reveal. My charming friends provided shining hope during the healing.

As my face healed, I kept my head low and stuck to the misguided routine: cook breakfast, clean house, prepare lunch, wash clothes, bake dinner, satisfy Travis, pray, sleep. Something had to break. Something had to change. It was me.

Click. Click. Boom! sounded the start of my freedom. The first click was only in my head. It was the sound of a light being switched on. Voices screaming, “I am not a helpless creature ripe for torturing. I deserve to live and it is time to set me free.” The second click was the opening of the door to the back. The boom was the subsequent closing of said door.

Click. Click. Boom! echoed in my head as I ran, heart pounding and feet frozen from the lack of footing in my pajamas, through the darkened paths of the forest behind our house. Without prior thought of grabbing a change of clothes, or even shoes, my spontaneous self-release relied on that faith and luck for success. Leaping over the snow drifts, I found myself feeling like the hunted.

Click. Click. Boom! Shots rang out behind me as I felt the wind sinking deeper in my skin and my fingers turning a paler shade of blue. Ducking behind the nearest tree to catch my breath, I held my gaze towards the light growing in the distance. As the train whistle blew, I felt a warm stream pouring from my stomach and then from my chest. Click. Click. Boom! Lucky bastard.

Short Story: Used Spaceship Available

Here is fiction 101 piece I wrote back in September that I never did anything with. I ran across it in the notes section of my iTouch as I was prepping for my Coup d’eTat set. This one still makes me smile.

Used Spaceship Available

“Used spaceship available” scrawled in large black ink on an old postcard from Palm Springs, prompted Miller to call the number listed. He managed to decipher the owner’s mumblings about needing a new ride. Arriving at the given address near the deserted icehouse, he looked around for an entrance. “10… 9… 8…” Amplified, the countdown had begun. Scrambling over a fence towards the “7… 6… 5…” Rounded the corner, “4…” just in time to see, “3…” a homeless man in a shopping cart, “2…” with a bullhorn, “1…” blasting David Bowie on a boom box. “Lift off! This is ground control…”

Here is the inspiration behind this story… courtesy of Craigslist.

Short Story: Sole Mates

Sole Mates
The honeymoon was over. Merona and Merino were headed to their new home nestled together. The two were pretty much inseparable since birth and now were opening the next exciting chapter of their lives.
As the two snuggled into their roomy top drawer apartment for the night, the neighboring couples – a colorful bunch – greeted the newlyweds with a variety of sentiments.
“Congratulations!” said a youngish couple with enthusiasm, “I’m sure you will love it here.”
A raggedy old pair agreed. “Get some good sleep. You two have a long day ahead of you. Carine plans to hike through the valley with you before cleaning up for a dinner party.”
“Ooh, a hike!” said Merona. “We were made for those,” feeling slightly silly for stating the obvious. Carine had purchased the wooly couple from the nearby sports store specifically for the occasion.
Merona and Merino bid goodnight to their neighbors and settled in, dreaming of beautiful sunrises, dusty trails and breathtaking scenic views.
The morning hike was all that they visualized and more. The surly-voiced hiking boots turned out to be a great tour guide, sharing stories of the valley as well as highlighting the various critter sightings from previous trips.
As Merona and Merino returned home, they sighed with gratitude for their fortunate life after hearing some horror stories from passing couples while residing in the store. Couples separated all the time, or were mutilated and adorned with buttons for childish purposes. There was no doubt from either of them: they would be together forever.
Once home, Carine stripped them from her feet and tossed them towards the hamper. Merino landed safely on top of the pile, while Merona flew past and landed just behind the bin.
Knowing Merona had separation anxiety, Merino shouted down, “You’ll be alright! Carine is cleaning up the place, so you’ll join me in a few minutes.”
Relaxing a bit, Merona waited and waited. Tired from the hike, she dozed off.
Rousing hours later from her hidden spot, she looked up saw the hamper was empty! Her mind raced as she imagined herself old and graying, warning other young couples of the same fate. Shaking herself from the vision, Merona decided not to take this laying down. She had to find her soul mate.
Peering out from the back of the bin, Merona scanned the room. Carine was no where to be seen, but the door was cracked open. She slinked over to the door to discover a pile of clothes on the other side next to a large white, noisy machine. She called out for Merino, but he didn’t answer.
A dusty pair of shorts recognized her from the hike. He shouted back, “He’s in the machine!”
Immediately and instinctually, Merona hooked one end of herself on a nail in the door frame. She backed up as far as she could stretch, and let go, catapulting her up onto the ledge of the machine, where she found a vast swirling pool of water.
Merona looked across the milky grey waves frothing with potential danger. She knew she must brave the waters if she ever wanted to see her love again.
After a steady countdown in her head, the word, “Jump!” escaped her before she slipped beneath the waves.

Spinning through the watery vortex, Merona scrambled now to save herself. Other clothes had met a similar fate but seemed oddly calm considering the terrifying experience.
From the swirling water, they all were transferred into a heated blower machine. Already dizzy and seasick, Merona was losing hope of ever finding her husband alive again.
Exhausted from all the swishing and tumbling unlike any she had ever known, Merona lay limp on the bed next to the other socks, pants and shirts. She still had not found Merino.
As Merona sobbed mourning the memory of her lost love, Carine moved methodically, pulling another pair of pants from the pile of laundry and onto the ironing board. Suddenly, Merona noticed a familiar texture peeking out of the front pocket. Unable to vocalize, Merona felt helpless as she saw the hot iron approaching what had to be Merino.
To Merona’s (and Merino’s) relief, Carine noticed the bulge just before she set the hot black iron to work to smooth out the creases. Carine snatched him from the pocket, then scanned the pile for Merona.
Reunited, the two curled up together in a ball. As Carine escorted them back to their cozy apartment, Merino promised, “I will never let that happen again.”