lundi 5 janvier 2015

Maxine's late summer

       She looked at the stove clock and it said 6 :02 am. Miles had left the day before. Good paying job for a big mining company. This was his third time. They flew a crew of about twenty young men to this lost place called Miracle Bay, the coldest area in the province.
It was still dark outside. The almost noiseless split AC unit was humming coolly above her head. Elias was still sleeping and he had left the computer on, another familiar sound. Miles had said that it consumed less energy if you did. So as good obeying parents, who knew nothing really about computers, they knew about saving money and that was fine with them.
            Maxine missed her son. The distance set by this trip was but a prelude to what life had in store for her. Kids do grow up. Kids do become independent adults. All part of life. All good. At least that’s what she was telling herself lately.
            She smiled when she heard Elias call out in his sleep. Dear man, he is a slave to his work and dreams, she thought. She wished he could do more for himself than for her at times. She would be more at peace with herself then. He had worked non-stop for the past three months. Saving up to make up for their holiday in the sun. The first in their twenty year marriage.
        She kept on writing. Practicing her hidden talent. How she enjoyed the fantasies she would dream up. Laying them on paper was the hard part. Sharing her stories was like a whole was burning through her stomach lining. Too many ‘’what ifs’’. 
         For instance, while on her daily walk yesterday she thought of how amusing it could be to write about her childhood summers. Of course, she would use this cool name list she found on the web for her characters. Also, Adele, her best-online-friend had sent her a cool link for writers and she found a whole community laid at the end of her fingertips for her to explore in many ways and in many of her days.
      She delighted in the idea of sharing her early mornings getting her ‘’day-at-the-pool-kit’’ together. How her mom would remind her that she had left a towel on her bedroom chair, as she kissed her forehead before she left for work in the morning. How grown-up she felt fixing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on her own. And the special times, her dad offered her the little spice cake he said he hadn’t been hungry for at work. Maxine knew now that he would save it as a special treat for her whenever he could afford to get one for her from the big food distributor she remembered from a visit at his workplace months earlier. It took all she had not to cry at these memories though.
        She could write about how she would hold on tight to her dollar bill then, while Shelly and her walked, almost ran down the street, filled with excitement at the joy the day would bring. How Shelly would plan their lunchtime right before noon, so they could share a French-fry, which they would soak with vinegar and sprinkle generously with salt.
     The writing went on for a while. She felt confident about elaborating a little, not too much from ideas that would spring, it seems out of nowhere. When inspiration lacked, she did a stretching routine of about twenty minutes. When that was not enough, she would dress-up and go for a long brisk walk outside, searching inside herself for peace settling in her mind, so she could go on writing again. She tried and at times, succeeded in not scaring herself crazy, and kept at it. She would revel in the days she would produce anything at all on a blank page. Even more, when she could type it out on her computer and share it via the world-wide-web.
      Maxine now saw herself as a writer. A published one? A popular one? Not really, but she loved that she had come to a place where her breathing felt less constricted in her chest and allowed her heart to beat more freely. Hence, follow her inspiration and write.

Peggy Elms, writer,
Terrebonne, 05 january 2015.

mercredi 11 juin 2014



Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!  

What is this? 

Is this for real?

That's what came to my stunned brain and out of my big mouth as I was reading Sarah Selecky's email explaining how an anonymous doner had paid for my STORY IS A STATE OF MIND ecourse because he/she had been moved by the comment I had written on Sarah's blog about how positively encouraging she had been with a fellow writer concerned about ''the flow'' in her writing. 

This is what I wrote:

Dear Sarah,
I came across your newsletter by a friend on pinterest. She sent me your course and how I would like to do it someday. Money is a bit scarce right now. Still, how glad I am to be finally writing. I started last week and do all the prompts, I had not been writing for at least 2 years and it shows in the way I have become. I am not so thrilled with me these days and you and my sweet friend are life savers. I enjoy my 10 minutes of writing in the morning, I am feeling better and better everyday. I believe writing is curing my sadness, so I shall continue to do so.
Thank you so kindly,
P.S. I had no idea people like you existed. I wish you much success with your future books , I know you deserve it.
So here I am starting a writing blog to share some of what I will be doing with Sarah's ecourse STORY IS A STATE OF MIND, along with links from the tremendously big world wide web, whenever I find them interesting, helpful and insightful for me to share.  I know I can only get better at writing as long as I stick to this program and I'm sure I will be open to try more of what STORY IS A STATE OF MIND has to offer.

I actually struggled a bit on lesson 1, still enjoyed the experience. It was challenging, creative and made me feel I was learning something new in every step. So I couldn't wait to start Lesson 2. 

This is exercise 2; starting a story with another author's first sentence:
Jill McCorkle-
Dear Dr. Love, by now you have gotten several letters from me and this will probably be the last. I have decided to go ahead with my plan to end my life along with Lizzy, my wife, on the twenty fourth of March, which would be our sixtieth wedding anniversary.

I did not tell her or anybody else about my decision. Sadly, there is really nobody else to tell. As you know, from my first letter, I recently received a terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis which would take me to the hospital and leave sweet Lizzy to move into a nursing home alone, and we promised each other we would not let that happen. You know I could not live with myself even for a short time, knowing Lizzy left to bare life alone with Alzheimer. I have seen her become agitated, confused and at times really filled with rage, but the hardest part is when she is sad because she can’t figure out who I am or where she is or  where she left her doll. So you see I am faced with the outcome alone. I am “stepping up to the plate” as my tender hearted Lizzy would say, one last time and doing what needs to be done.

I made sure all our legal papers are in order, I’ve attached a list of names you’ll need to contact. The only special request we have, is that someone spread our ashes in our beautiful lake near our cottage, we sold off years ago, it was by far Lizzy and I’s favorite place to spend leisurely time together when we could at last afford it, I figured it was just the right place to spend eternity together. I’ve drawn a map of where it is on the back of this page. The owners know about our request, but you could check with them if it’s still okay with them. I sure hope it is, for there is not much I will be able to do about it when the time comes and hate to leave that burden with you.

I am sorry we never got to meet in person, though I sensed more than once by reading your column, you respect my decision to terminate my wife and I’s life in dignity and love. As any human being should have the right to do in a dire situation as ours.

I wish you joy and happiness, but most of all; dignity in life and death.

Yours truly, Nathan Prestonn.

LESSON 2 EXERCISE 3:  write with a sentence I started a paragraph with-

The door shut slowly as she quickly turned around, making sure he had left. She then let herself slide to the floor exhausted.
At first, she felt like she was having an out of body experience the shock being so intense, not quite believing she had screamed as loud as he did:
-Go now, you want to. I know I want you to, so go…go now! And he did just like that. Magic really.
He should have slapped her, he should have pushed her, he should have kicked her. He did not do any of these things, though he said if she had been a guy he would have punched her in the face. For that reason only, he did not. Could it be he was as tired as her of this sad dance they had been performing for too many years? Maybe so, she might never know, and honestly now in that moment, she did not care.
Still, she sat there motionless, numb mainly and for so long she wasn’t even startled by the sound of the phone ringing in the kitchen where Brian had thrown it in a fit of rage over an undercooked chicken recipe she had labored through most of the afternoon for them to enjoy together. Seems senseless now.  And at the same time, everything was making sens again. She realized that no matter what she did to please him, it would never be enough.
The phone kept ringing. To her surprise she still would not move. Bracing herself for the burning sensation in the pit of her stomach from the fear she lived with for too long, but it never came, instead, the shift had come in her. She was finally free.

Peggy Elms, writer.