Friday, December 11, 2015

That Inner Realm

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: hope ~ waiting ~ nervous ~ illogical ~ pandering ~ fantasy

They were submitted by: 


I live inside my own head a lot.


There in the recesses of my mind is a place where fantasy meets reality, where I can be found pandering to illogical scenarios of what could be if teleporters existed or there weren’t such things as moral implications when it comes to life and love and heartbreak. That fantasyland is filled to the brim with hope and wonderment, and some days those thoughts and daydreams and random naked-dance-party interludes keep me going when nothing else will.

Some days that place keeps me nervous and waiting and sure that I spend so much time living in my own dreams I’ve let things I actually have in front of me fall by the wayside. Do I prefer the impossible, I wonder? Do I dip my toes in the pool of real life and jump in the deep end of a dreamscape? Do I know when to come up for air? Do I have any idea what real life is like anymore?

It’s a difficult thing to manage, balancing real life with escape, reality with fantasy. Coming out of that world is a little like facing a blindingly harsh light after a long morning in a dimly lit room snuggled deep into the covers… You know you have to do it to get things going for the day, but there’s not a chance in hell you actually want to. And when you do finally step out of that little slice of comfort, you’re faced with a burning dose of regret knowing you finally left behind that cocoon where everything was easy and no struggles could be seen.

I often stay wrapped in the coziness of my headspace trying to avoid the starkness of the day before me even as tendrils of light force their way in the nooks and crannies of my mind demanding that reality take over. Writing takes place there. Characters live and breathe and beg to have their stories told. Interactions that will never take place, replays that I wish should have taken place, and intimate moments carved out of complete imagination dwell there, wishful thoughts that take wispy forms of nothingness and fill my heart with empty promises.

And sometimes those empty promises are still better than fighting the cold reality of the day.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: Baking In A Tornado Spatulas on Parade The Momisodes Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm Rena’s World Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles Eileen’s Perpetually Busy Never Ever Give Up Hope Someone Else’s Genius Confessions of a part time working mom Climaxed

Friday, December 4, 2015

Everything and Nothing

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My subject is: Clippings. Dozens and Dozens of newspaper clippings. 
It was submitted by:


The little house on Clermont drive was filled with clutter.

Okay that was probably an understatement.

When Shannon walked into her mom’s little 3 room bungalow on the outskirts of town nestled under a canopy of trees, she really wasn’t prepared for how bad it was. She hadn’t been here in several years which is something, she thought, she would eventually have to come to terms with rather than letting the guilt eat at her. But she also knew why--she knew she couldn’t deal with the mental instability that plagued her mom over the course of her entire life and rather than be pulled down with a sinking ship, Shannon had jumped and for the last 7 years she hadn’t looked back. She had spent her time swimming to shore and setting up her own life on a relatively mom-free island. She had managed to phone her a couple times a year since then but that was the extent of their newly defined mother-daughter relationship.

Then she got *the* call.

Her mom, now 77, had fallen at home by herself and broken her hip apparently, but she had no way of getting help. She couldn’t get to the phone from where she was especially with all the clutter, and no one was around to check on her. Shannon was the only relative she had left really. She died there in the middle of a pile of old magazines and garbage. Alone and in pain and forgotten.

Shannon pushed her way inside the house and was taken aback by how much her mom had started collecting since the last time she saw her. Even then it was pretty bad, but that was nothing compared to this. The first room is the living/bed room. There were newspapers clippings everywhere covering every wall and every surface, faded and yellowed and falling apart. Crates of old magazines were stacked in every corner, on every table, and covered her mom’s bed in the far corner of the room. Where she slept was as good a guess as anyone’s especially since the couch was littered with old plastic cups from fast food restaurants piled high and overflowing the arms like ants turning out of an anthill, and the recliner was a storehouse for packets of ketchup and salt.

In all the house, there was only one tiny walkway that was clear of junk, flanked on either side by high piles of this and that. She took the tour being careful not to bump into either side out of fear of avalanche and felt more and more lost the further along she crept. The woman who had lived in this house couldn’t have been her mother. Not this bad. Could she? The woman who lived here had been so empty she needed to collect garbage trying to fill, essentially, a bottomless void.

The first room to the left was the kitchen. The doorway itself was open and free of her mom’s insanity, but she had no idea why. The room was impossible to navigate. None of the dishes were clean laying in haphazard piles on the floors and counters and spilling out of the sink. Garbage poured out of the garbage can, fermented and musty and swarming with fruit flies. Rotten banana peels, takeout cartons, bits of rice, and tiny maggots were strewn across the floors. Glass shards twinkled in the little bit of sunlight that pushed its way through the dusty window above the sink. There wasn’t a single spot on the floor not covered by filth and debris.

The bathroom was next and to the right. Magazines were stacked in the bathtub, water damaged and moldy. The toilet was black in spots and the smell alone was enough to make Shannon feel her insides squirming with threats. Toilet paper scraps covered the floor and paper rolls were stacked by the dozens in the sink and on the countertop. Toothbrushes, worn down and unable to be discarded, laid in heaps in front of the linen closet. The toilet might have been usable even if completely unsafe, but there was no way her mom had been able to bath in quite some time from the looks of things.

She moved on then unable to come to any real grips with the hopelessness of collected toilet paper rolls coming to the end of the hall, the back part of the bungalow. Every room had been checked, every room filled to the brim with nothingness, the desperation to walk away and pretend she had never seen any of this welling up inside her screaming at her to get out, get out, get out.

She should have listened.

There at the end of the path wedged against the cold, metal back door was a makeshift pallet of old nappy towels and a worn and yellowed pillow. This is where she slept, her mother. The woman she had loved despite her flaws had slept in her own house on rags in a back corner like a forgotten urchin, house filled to overflowing with trash she couldn’t bear to part with because she had nothing else.

She collapsed then on her knees crying and guilt-ridden and still knowing there was no other way this could have gone.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes Spatulas on Parade Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm Rena’s World Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles Never Ever Give Up Hope The Angrivated Mom Someone Else’s Genius Confessions of a part time working mom The Lieber Family Blog Juicebox Confession Climaxed