Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Speed writing

"Write from the point of view of a spoon inside a dishwasher." (From http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/)

"Ouch! Hey, that was not cool! How would you like it if I shoved you face-down into a crowded little box up?" I shouted, wishing I could move around. Of course, no one heard me over the clatter of the other dishes. In only a few moments, I was joined by two others, also muttering about our predicament.

"This is gross," came a voice from beside me.

"Definitely," I agreed. The stench of garlic was overwhelming, and it was mixed with the ever-delicious aroma of spoiled milk. "Every day this happens," I muttered, trying not to breathe. I had hoped that, maybe, tonight would be different, but alas, it was not to be.

The scent of soap was suddenly in the air, briefly overriding the food smells that were around me. With no other notice, I felt myself being moved sideways. As I watched the light fade, I could hear a door close and a latch click. A slight grinding noise echoed in the dark, and then it began...

From beneath, I was hit with one jet of water, then another, and another. A whirling wand flew below me, completely drenching me. Moments later, the lather began. Over and over, I was showered in soapy suds. My cries fell on deaf ears, as everyone around me endured the same fate. It seemed to last forever, but at last the soap stopped pouring. That was not the end, though. The wand paused, and I nearly trembled, anticipating what was to come. The wand began spinning again, with scalding hot water streaming out. Again and again, I was soaked through, the water pouring off of me as quickly as it rained both up and down on me. With another click, the water stopped and the wand spun to a stop. Beneath me, I could see the coil start to quiver as the electricity raced into it. Within moments, it began to glow red hot. My companions and I cried out as we burned in the heat, but still, no one heeded our sounds. Hotter and hotter we grew, the water evaporating from our surfaces. Just when I thought I could stand it no longer, the coil clicked, and began to lose it's glow. Very, very slowly, the heat began to dissipate. At long last, the door opened once more.

A hand reached in and pulled me from my box. I sighed in relief as I was finally deposited back into the drawer. I absolutely hate that dishwasher.


EDIT: I thought I lost this and I was really pissed off, but Blogspot autosaves! I love Blogspot! You rock my world!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another day, another dollar

It would be nice to get a dollar a day extra - I'd probably put that money away to save for something fun at the end of the year, because you can do a lot with $365! Of course, at this point, I think I would end up using it for puppy training classes. I love my Mia, but she woke me up howling at 2am today. If it happens again tonight, I may have to move her downstairs. That will really mess with our after-work and bedtime routines, but I can't handle waking up to that again. Poor puppy.

On a happy note, I have things rolling along for Shane's birthday. There is no present yet, but I am organizing a celebration for him. Although I did see a nifty thing that I may have to get him. But I won't mention what it is here, because he may read this...

And another happy note - my dvd ripper thingy seems to be working properly! Yay! I'm not pirating movies, but I am putting them into iPod format, so I can watch them at lunch. Of course, I don't have a lot of time to watch at lunch, what with the crossword puzzles and all, but you never know. Dr. Moore may get hit in the head with a falling tree and suddenly gain super-speed abilities, allowing us to have a full lunch hour every day. I don't expect this, but it's good to be prepared.

Speaking of being prepared, I cleaned out my purse tonight. By cleaned out, I mean I just pulled everything out of it, and I'll take the bare minimum to work tomorrow because there was just waaaaay too much in there to go through it all tonight. I had: an umbrella, a dayplanner, a Palm Pilot, a cell phone, an iPod, headphones, an iPod recording attachment, a wordsearch book, two highlighters, three pens, a pencil, an EpiPen, migraine meds, a pillbox with lots of options, 'girl stuff', a wallet, a card wallet, a change sock (yes, sock... it's blue and cute), several receipts, house keys, car keys, Shane's spare car keys, Ophthalmic Assistant flash cards, two lipsticks, lip gloss, hand lotion, a dime, a nickel, two packs of gum, a pair of socks, a brownie (leftover from today's lunch - it wasn't there long!), a box of Smarties, a hair elastic, three cough drops, six Pep-o-mint Lifesavers (individually wrapped), a gum wrapper, a monkey, and a list of people to call for Shane's party. Wait. There was no monkey. No wonder my shoulder hurts! I need to switch to a tote bag, a backpack, or just leave stuff at home. But I need it all!! I just know that whatever I leave at home tomorrow will be exactly what I need later that day. *le sigh*

Monday, April 28, 2008

I got comments!

Because I'm slow at things, I totally didn't realize that I've had comments on some of my posts! Wow! I feel all popular and special - especially since one of them is from someone I don't even know! I'm way cooler than I thought. Okay, enough ego.

I bought things tonight. I wasn't going to buy lots of things. I was going to buy a watch battery. That was all. I ended up with a watch battery, a black dress, a bottle of Dr. Pepper, two Hershey's Cookies and Cream bars, a bottle of water, a monkey rug, a Sudoku book, two crossword books, and an On-The-Go Organizer. I spent money that should have been saved to replace my camera, because my digital camera decided to finally die on me. But I have a monkey rug to put at the foot of my bed with the monkey duvet and monkey sheets and monkey pillows. I think the next stop is a stuffed monkey (or ten) to live on the bed. Maybe that will go on my birthday wish list for next year - monkeys! I almost bought a monkey shower curtain, but I couldn't let go of the pink yet. (For those of you who have not been in my bathroom, it's pink. Very pink. Barbie pink. Everywhere. Even the toilet has a fuzzy pink cover. It's almost creepy, but I love it.)

While I was in the bookstore tonight, I found "Listology" - a book of lists for your life. I think, on days that I can't find anything else to write about, I'm going to make lists. I like lists.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two weeks... now what?

So last night was my 14th consecutive blog post, which is a good thing, because it means that for two weeks, I have written something every day. It may not have been a high-quality something, but it was something nevertheless. Unfortunately, I've got a bit of writer's block now. I've been hoping that my Facebook friends would give me more fodder for short stories, but the last two days have been rather uneventful.

It's not helping that the puppy has decided that 9:30 is now her awake time instead of her calmly chewing on Kong time. Perhaps we need to rethink that 7 pm nap...

I have three chief projects this week: 1. Organizing a birthday party for Shane on Friday night; 2. Getting my apartment cleaned up for said party; and 3. Finding ideas for writing about, because blogging about writer's block can get really old, really fast.

On an exciting note, however, I now have monkeys on my bed. I was in Target with Shane, and I saw a duvet cover with monkeys on it, and I thought it was adorable, and then I saw that it came in grown-up bed sizes, too. I apparently made a really cute face, because next thing I know, Shane was buying me the monkey duvet AND the coordinating striped monkey sheets. I washed them and put them all on my bed tonight. Go monkeys!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Puppy sleeping in my lap

I have a puppy almost asleep in my lap, and it's the cutest thing in the world. My puppy is 13 weeks old, and a bundle of energy for most of the time that I'm home. I feel mean for keeping her in the crate all day, but she's teething and I don't want her teething on my shoes or carpet or walls (yes, she has gnawed on my walls).

Today, though, we had an awesome day. I've got a pair of big bells hanging on the doorknob of my front door. Every time I take her outside to do her business (I love puppy-poo euphemisms!), I ring the bell. In the past week, she's totally figured out that ringing the bell will get a trip outside. Unfortunately, she doesn't quite get the subtleties of bell-ringing - she hurls herself in the general direction of the bells and actually hits them about 30% of the time. I wait until she actually rings the bells before I get up to take her out. Her aim is improving.

Today, she peed on my carpet once. That sucked. But on the bright side, she pooped outside and peed outside twice! So she's learning! Yay! Go Mia!

We're also starting to work on 'leave it' as a command - I'm trying to teach her NOT to pick things up when I say it. Unfortunately, her attention span rivals that of a gnat, so it'll take a while. But it will be worth it in the end! Next week, we'll start working on 'sit' again. And she already knows 'come here' - smart girl!

I must go, now, because the puppy is getting sleepier, and I have to put her to bed. I love my sleepy puppy!

EDIT: I just noticed - I've written every day for two straight weeks! Go me!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Facebook-inspired idea

From a status update: "Joe lost his beard."

It happened overnight. Joe had been working rather diligently at perfecting the look of his facial hair for months. He had trimmed the beard part and shaved the moustache bit, getting what he considered a perfect look. He had even gone so far as to dye it to match the purple tone that covered the hair on his head. But when he woke up on Sunday morning, it was gone.

He didn't notice right away. As he slowly opened his eyes, the first thing Joe noticed was how badly his head was throbbing. The next thing he noticed was that the light made it worse, so he closed his eyes again. With a heavy sigh, Joe reached up to rub his temples, hoping that might make his head feel better. It didn't. He ran his hands down his face to stroke his beard, a habit that he had picked up soon after he had started growing it. Something was wrong this morning.

Joe ran his hands over his beard again, trying to figure out what exactly it was that was not right. It took another moment to sink in - he was running his hands over something that was not there. A third pass over his chin, and Joe's hands finally registered that they were feeling skin that was almost as smooth as the day he was born.

With a yelp and a curse, Joe sat straight up, which prompted another yelp and curse as his head throbbed more vehemently. Forcing himself to crawl out of bed, he stumbled to the bathroom. In the mirror, his reflection confirmed what his hands had felt - Joe had lost his beard. Feeling absolutely miserable, Joe decided to go back to bed. Maybe it was all a bad dream. Laying down, he soon became unconscious.

A few hours later, he woke again, feeling somewhat less hung over. Remembering what he thought was a weird dream, he ran his hands over his face again. The beard was still gone. Shit. He struggled to remember the events of the previous night, but drew a blank. With a sad sigh, Joe got out of bed and looked around the room, as if hoping he would magically find his beard and just slip it back on. As his gaze swept over his chest of drawers, he stopped and frowned. There was a piece of paper laying there, one that did not look familiar. He reached over to pick it up, and lying beneath it was a pile of coarse, purple hair - his beard!

"Bastard," was all that was written on the piece of paper in a feminine hand. Joe stared at it, wondering what, or who, he had done the night before.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A short one

It's been a very busy day, and I haven't been home much, so I'm only doing a short blog today, because I need to spend time with the puppy.

The puppy is not yet housebroken. Housebreaking her is starting to break me. Three a.m. poopings suck. Especially when she doesn't actually poop, she just runs around outside.

But she now has Kong Stuff'n, so that should entertain her while I type.

Or not. She just knocked over a stack of cd cases. This is a sign. The blog is done for tonight. I promise better things tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ah, Facebook!

Today's blog comes from Facebook! "Nik is in the boonies of Couburg... somehow." [Note: Names have been shortened for my writing ease, and for a mild degree of anonymity.]

Nik looked around. There was nothing else out there. Aside from a whole lot of grass, there was absolutely nothing around him. He sighed, wondering what had made him think that it was a good idea to get into his car and drive six hours due north to the outskirts of a hick town where nobody of any interest lived.

That was a silly question, of course. It was a girl. Wasn't it always a girl? Aleks had called the night before, in tears, again, asking him to please meet her outside of Couburg, the town where she had grown up. Nik, like the lovestruck fool he was, agreed, knowing that it would probably end with him making her feel better, and her going back to whichever jerk had broken her heart this time. Now here he stood, in the middle of Aleks' grandfather's field, leaning against his car in the evening sun, waiting for the woman he loved.

He sighed again, shoving his hands into the pockets of his sweater, considering getting into the car and turning up the heat. It was still early in the spring, and although the sun hadn't quite set, the air was starting to get a bit of a chill. He decided against it, thinking that he looked cooler leaning against the green Sunfire that he was still paying off. Letting his mind wander, Nik leaned back against the car, staring off at the grass blowing in the light breeze.

His infatuation with Aleks had started almost a decade earlier, when they were in junior high. On the first day of class, Aleks threw up in a garbage can in the middle of the hallway. From that moment, Nik had felt an attraction to her. He reached over and held her ponytail out of the way while she retched, and Aleks repaid him by blushing a bright red and proceeding to ignore him for the better part of their junior high career.

By the time high school rolled around, she seemed to have forgiven him for witnessing her embarrassing moment, and actually responded with a smile and 'hello' when he greeted her in the hallways. She never actually spoke to him first, but Nik didn't notice that. He was just thrilled to see her smile. In their senior year, Nik and Aleks were partnered in their chemistry lab. She was a genius as far as the subject was concerned, and Nik wasn't too bad either, and between the two of them, they always managed to finish the assignments and experiments early. Because they weren't allowed to leave the lab until the end of the period, Nik and Aleks finally started having real conversations, if only because it was too awkward to sit beside another person for an hour every day and ignore them. During these little chats, the pair learned that they had quite a lot in common - they were both fans of the same authors, they shared similar tastes in movies and television, and both were bigger geeks than most of the other people they knew, although Aleks was much better at hiding it that Nik.

By the time they graduated, Aleks had found herself enjoying those chats enough that she started calling Nik on the weekends, just to talk for a while. Nik was beside himself with glee every time that she called, and more than once, cancelled plans so that he could wait to see if she called again. What Nik didn't realize was that Aleks looked at him as a friend, and nothing more. Nik, on the other hand, fell more madly in love with her with every passing day.

When Aleks left the city to go off to college, Nik was miserable. They still talked, but not nearly as often, and it was not long before she started telling him stories about the men she was dating. Of course, calling them 'men' was somewhat overrated, in Nik's opinions. Like most girls, Aleks always seemed to choose the wrong guy. There were the jerks who cheated on her, the creeps who only wanted sex, the losers who wanted her to lose weight - no one was good enough for Aleks in Nik's opinion, and there definitely was not one of them who was good enough TO her. But like a good friend, Nik listened sympathetically on the other end of the line, and every time Aleks was completely distraught, he would agree to meet her north of Couburg, at her grandfather's farm, and let her cry until she felt better.

The sound of an approaching car startled Nik out of his reverie, and he looked up to see a set of headlights bearing towards him. The car stopped, and Nik tried to compose himself, leaning against the Sunfire in his best James Dean pose.

Aleks turned off the ignition and opened the door. At first, all Nik could see were her high-heeled black boots, the staple of any young woman's wardrobe. As she stood up, he took in everything from her newly-cut brown hair to the clinging-yet-not-too-revealing black wraparound dress that she wore. As always, Aleks took his breath away.

"Hey, Nik," she said, sounding almost shy as she looked him over. He felt very aware of his appearance as she did - he had dressed to impress her, as he always did, in fashionable jeans and a button-down shirt with a zip-up sweater - but he suddenly felt far too casual beside her beauty. "How've you been?"

"Good," he managed to reply in an even tone, though his voice tried desperately to crack. "What brings you out tonight?" he asked, cutting to the chase. If he was going to freeze his butt off comforting her, he wanted to start as soon as he could; it was a lot easier to face a cold night with a beautiful woman in your arms, even if you were just letting her cry. "You didn't tell me much on the phone, just that you needed to meet me here."

"I know," Aleks replied, looking past Nik at the prairies behind him. "And you came. Again."

"Of course," he answered, surprised. "Anything for you, Aleks."

She smiled softly, focussing her gaze on him. "Good."

Nik frowned, unsure of what she was getting at. "So what's up? You look like you need a hug."

With that invitation, Aleks smiled more widely and closed the distance between them in a few steps, finding a place against Nik's side and wrapping her arms around his waist. He draped an arm over her shoulder, surprised at this more casual pose, and more surprised at the lack of tears.

"Aleks? Is everything all right?"

"Never better," she murmured, resting her head against his chest. She waited, sensing his confusion, and feeling amused. "I just got a clue, that's all."

"A clue?" Nik asked. "Al, what are you talking about?"

"You," she answered. Without another word, she stretched up and planted a soft kiss on his lips. "How about you? Got the hint?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That's not all I can take off!

I'm working on how to incorporate this into a story... tonight's blog is more about recording this and perhaps a little brainstorming...

I was out for dinner tonight with a group of friends, and we had a great waitress. I'm talking $20 tip for a $30 meal great. Anyways, we started off a bit rowdy, and with her encouragement and input, we got to raunchy very quickly. Somehow, we got onto the topic of old ladies taking off their clothes. Actually, I know exactly how we got to that topic - DragonCon. In any case, we all laughed at the creepiness of an old lady stripping down in a glass elevator, and then Matt made the comment that both amused me and creeped me out. In an old lady voice, he said, "And that's not all I can take off!", then mimed pulling out a set of false teeth.

That really needs to be in a story. I'm just not sure how. Maybe in some sort of geriatric erotica, I'm not sure. Or perhaps a horror story. Horror sounds better, actually. Rest assured, when I figure it out, this blog will be full of details - possibly more details than you truly want.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Colour me happy!

Today's writing prompt, courtesy of www.canteach.ca: If you had to describe yourself as a colour, which would you choose?

If I had to describe myself as a colour today, I think I would be plum. I like plum, because it is both a colour and a fruit, like orange, or passionfruit (yes, passionfruit is also a colour!). Plums are a deep colour, and I'm feeling particularly deep and pensive this evening. Plum makes me think of a hot summer evening, when you're lying on the back porch, spread out across a swing, letting the soft breeze ruffle your hair as you think of everything and nothing. Plum has a peacefulness on the surface, but an intensity that can be almost frightening at times. It has hints of red, that border on the idea of pain, and I've had an awful headache for hours. It has hints of blue, a melancholy sort of shade, full of introspection. Despite the blues, it is a warm colour, and it has hints of love, too. Today, I am plum.

Yesterday, I was aquamarine. Tomorrow, I think I will be magenta.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Can't Believe I Wore That

Once again, I was searching the internet for writing prompts, and I came across tonight's topic: "I can't believe I wore that." Now I'm definitely not a fashionista, but for the most part, I can manage to look pretty pulled together, or at the very least, passable to go out in public. However, I spent a great deal of my childhood years as a victim of the 1980s.

Yes, I was a fan of neon everything. I had two pairs of slouch socks, one neon pink, the other neon yellow. I would wear the pink sock on top of the yellow one on my right foot, and the yellow one on top of the pink one on my left foot. With white Keds-style sneakers (I never actually had real Keds). I thought it made me look really cool.

I had this pair of shorts that I absolutely adored. They were black bike-style shorts, but with a twist - they also had a mini skirt attached at the waistband. I thought they were the coolest thing ever. My favourite outfit in fifth grade was this pair of shorts, a sleeveless neon peach (yes, they made pastels into neon colours, too) tank-style shirt, and a thick, black, elastic belt that fastened with snaps. I found a photo of it a few years ago, and I couldn't believe I had worn it.

Of course, my first day of junior high was no better - I wore navy blue leggings with a long navy blue and seafoam green striped sweatshirt, again with the little white sneakers. I don't know why my mother ever let me out of the house.

I hope that I've matured over the years. As far as I can tell, my worst fashion faux-pas lately have been associated with the clothes that I've worn for construction or painting and not changed out of to grab food or hit WalMart. If you look at the other WalMart customers, though, I'm actually still going to come out way ahead of a huge pile of them, so I don't feel too bad.

There is a chance that I am completely wrong, and that I've been completely embarrassing myself with all of my clothing and footwear selections. If that's the case, can someone please let me know? I probably won't change my ways, but at least I won't be living with delusions!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More about the cat/dog

And continuing from Thursday's story prompt...

The scene before me was not what I had expected, based on the phone conversation and the sounds I had heard moments before. There was a woman lying on a bare mattress, her hands and feet bound with what looked like stockings. She wasn't naked, as I had expected, but her polka-dotted blouse was unbuttoned, and her skirt was hiked up around her waists. A man stood at the end of the mattress, but I could only see the back of his head, a balding crown glinting in the light from a bare bulb in the ceiling.

I heard his voice rumble out something, but I couldn't make out the words.

"Yes, yes!" she called out again, but despite the sound of passion in her voice, the look on her face was pure terror. "Anything!"

I couldn't turn away - I had no idea what was going on, but it certainly didn't seem like the playful encounter that I had heard on the phone. I debated about what I should do. Neither of them had seemed to notice my presence yet. It almost seemed like a good idea to just turn around and go. At the same time, I had an awful feeling that something bad was going to happen. Of course, that might just have come from watching CSI all night...

"Bitch!" I heard that quite clearly, and I saw the man lean over and stuff something into her mouth. She made a whimpering sound, and I knew that this wasn't just some kinky game. I took a deep breath, trying to steel my nerves, hoping I could intervene without getting myself beaten to a pulp by the guy, but before I could even get up off the floor, he had pulled out a gun.

"You're never cheating on me again!" he yelled, lifting the weapon to aim at the woman's head.

"Holy shit!" I exclaimed as the gun went off, jumping to my feet. I couldn't take my eyes away from the poor woman, a gaping wound in her head and dark blood flowing into her blonde hair.

"Who's there?" the man demanded, looking around. He caught sight of me and aimed the gun once more. "Get your ass down here."

Who was I to argue with a guy holding a gun? I kept my hands in front of me, showing him that I had no weapons, as I walked down the stairs.

"On the bed," he snarled. I looked down at the dead woman - I really didn't want to sit that close to a corpse, but since it looked like becoming another corpse was my other choice, I sat. "You the bastard she's screwing?" he demanded. His eyes were beady and dark, and his scruffy chin seemed to have more hair than the top of his head. I didn't like the look of him.

"No, I just, I brought back the dog? I called earlier?" I said, hating how everything came out sounding like a question. "The door was unlocked, so I brought her inside."

"Right. Where's the bitch now?"

"Um, upstairs? She ran off when I took off the leash." I glanced at the gun. I was born and raised in the South, so I had seen guns before, and I had shot pistols, rifles, lots of 'em, but it was a very different thing to be looking at a gun from this angle. "Look, I didn't see anything, I swear. Can't I just go?"

"Right. Nothing. I can get rid of two of ya just as easily as one," he muttered, cocking the gun. I closed my eyes, unwilling to believe that I was about to die in some stranger's basement next to a half-naked dead woman. I have never been one for bravery, but there's something to be said for survival instinct. To this day, I don't know why I did it, but before he could pull the trigger, I opened my eyes.

Tucking my legs under my body, I rolled off the bed and stood up, a bit to the guy's side.

"Wha?" he turned his body, aiming for me once more, but I reached out and grabbed his hands with my own, forcing his arms upwards with a strength I didn't know I had. He fired twice into the ceiling, and I heard the scrabbling of the dog's claws against the floor upstairs. Despite the gravity of my situation, I found myself hoping that the poor dog managed to get away unscathed.

The guy turned to the side, trying to twist away, but I held tight. His arms folded back, and suddenly the gun was trapped between our bodies. I could feel my panic rising, but the guy just grinned. It was a truly evil expression - his eyes looked vacant but menacing. His grin widened briefly, and I felt his hands contract beneath mine. I closed my eyes as the shot rang out, and waited for the blackness to overcome me.

It didn't.

I opened my eyes again, and found myself staring into his dark, beady eyes once more. They looked confused, and a moment later, he stumbled back from me, releasing the pistol with a loud clatter before he also hit the floor. A crimson pool spread beneath him, and I stared at yet another fresh bullet wound.

The cops would never believe me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I really did try to post this yesterday!!

Dammit!

Technically, I missed posting on Friday. Except I don't think I'm going to count it, because really, I haven't been to bed yet, so it's still not tomorrow for me. It's today, so this counts. I'm staying up late to blog, because I'm just that dedicated. And because I've had a drink. Or two. Or more.

I went to dinner and the Full Monty tonight with Ashlee and Colby, and it was all awesome, and then Ashlee and I went to the TicTocRoom and attempted to go to Xmart, but decided not to go in after all. So I've been busy either getting ready or being out ever since work ended today, which is why the blog had to wait. But I'm here now! And just for my girls, I'm posting a video blog tonight. And you should all go check out Colby's blog, because she ate spaghetti. And used a spoon. And I've started a lot of sentances with "and" tonight. I think it's time for bed. Enjoy the video! And I'll finish the story tomorrow!

Also, just because I thought you might like to know, I'm wearing a sweater that I bought for my sister, because I had been wearing my pyjamas, but in the first cut of the vlog, I realized that there was a lot more showing than I thought. And I'm not doing the Full Monty for you people. At least, not online.


Edit: This video took FOREVER to upload, but I promise, all this writing was done before I went to bed! Really! I let it process overnight, but it had an error message when I got up, and I had to start all over - yeesh!

video

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The dog. No, cat. No, it is a dog.

Okay, yesterday's blog sucked. A LOT. So I decided to go back to NaNo to get another writing prompt, except there wasn't one! I googled "writing prompts" and came up with "http://www.writersdigest.com/WritingPrompts/" and this is the prompt they gave me:

You're at home watching "CSI" when you hear a faint scratching at the door. Upon opening it, you see a small dog looking up at you. You examine the dog's collar and see a phone number and the message "If you find this cat, call this number immediately." (Yes, that's right, cat.) Against your better judgment, you call the number. Two hours later you find yourself in a basement with two dead bodies on the floor. What happened?

'Cat?' I thought to myself, looking at the animal once more. It was small, but it was definitely a dog. I knew that I would be in a fit if any of my pets got loose, so I decided to give the number a call. I wasn't sure what I was expecting to hear on the other end of the line, but the breathy voice that answered definitely was not what I had anticipated.

"Hello?" a woman answered, sounding almost out of breath.

"Um, hi... This is going to sound weird -" I started, then stopped as the woman made a groaning sound, followed by some heavy breathing. Was she having sex? I wondered, my eyebrows shooting up towards my hairline. "Maybe not," I muttered, half to myself. "Anyways, I've got this dog here, and it had a collar with a phone number, so I was wondering if you lost a dog?"

"Oh, oh!" The woman on the other end gasped, sounding more and more like she was in the throes of passion, and less and less like she was concerned for her pet. "Uh, yes, yes! I mean, yes, I lost my do-o-og..."

"Um, do you want me to take it somewhere?" I asked, feeling incredibly uncomfortable.

"Yeah, I'm a bit tied up," she replied, and I could hear a deep laugh in the background. My face was burning as I tried not to picture what was happening at the other end of the connection. She gave me an address not far from my place, and I quickly ended the call, hoping that whatever was going on would finish shortly. I walked into my kitchen, the little dog following at my heels. Opening a cupboard, I pulled out a bowl and filled it with water, setting it on the floor. The dog began to drink quickly, and I wondered just how long I should wait before trying to go to the address. If I walked, I could take about twenty minutes to get there, which should be enough time for them to finish... whatever they were doing. Of course, if I took too long, they might have time to start another round. I decided it would be best to go sooner, rather than later, so as soon as the dog stopped drinking, I grabbed a leash from the front hallway and clipped it to her collar. She must have been a well-cared for pet, because she started walking at my heel immediately as we made our way to the street.

My time estimate was about right, and we arrived at the address within a half hour. I looked up at the house - it was a large, Victorian-style home, painted in shades of green with a roomy front porch. The dog seemed to recognize it, and her tail started wagging enthusiastically. Feeling more confident in my decision to bring her back, I walked up and rang the doorbell. Nothing. I frowned, then tried it again. Still nothing. I sighed, assuming that the couple was... otherwise occupied.

I really should have left. That would have been the wise choice. Instead, I reached out to see if the door was unlocked, thinking that I could just let the dog go inside, and leave it at that. The knob turned easily, and the dog rushed through the gap as soon as the door started to open. Still holding the leash, I found myself dragged inside along with her. The cries coming from somewhere downstairs caught my attention - it sounded a little bit like the woman on the phone. I couldn't help myself - I stopped and listened for a moment as the dog pulled at the leash. The woman sounded like she was having a VERY good time. I let the dog lead me forwards, deeper into the house.

"Yes, oh yes!" I could start to make out words as I neared an open door. There was a faint light coming from within, and it seemed that this led to the couple. The dog stopped at the door, then tried to run the other way. I crouched down and unhooked the leash, and she went running off in another direction. Still kneeling, I looked through the door.


That's it for today! I'm out of time, but if you want to see more, come back tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sometimes it's hard to think of things to write about

And I really don't feel like going to steal a prompt from somewhere, so I'm going to wing it tonight.

I went to a psychotherapist today. I'm not crazy, but my boyfriend has some severe depression, and he sees her regularly. She wanted to meet me, so I went in to see her. It was an interesting experience. She's got a really nice office, full of books. I finally got to see the look that I had heard about - it was definitely funny. What is this look? you ask. It's a sort of professional confusion... you can tell that she's used to dealing with completely dysfunctional people. I got the look when I told her that yes, I get along well with my parents; yes, they're still married; yes, they have a healthy relationship; no, I wasn't abused in any form as a child; and yes, I had a happy childhood. The look on her face was as if she just didn't know what to do with me. She got pretty excited when I told her, after she asked about my drinking habits, that I would drink 6-7 drinks at a party. "You binge?" No, I stay at the party until 3 or 4 am... that works out to maybe one drink an hour, which is pretty reasonable. She seemed disappointed that there wasn't more wrong with me. I kind of like this :)

Okay, this was a really crappy blog entry, but hey, it's day four and I'm still making it every day! Woot!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cougars

I thought I would end up sticking with the NaNoWriMo prompts to find something to write about here, but today, I decided to go with something that came to me while I was in the car on the way home from work today.

We were stuck in traffic (of course), behind this white car. It was a Cougar. Back in the day, when I was a young girl living in Choctaw, Oklahoma, I had a great bike. It was shiny and red, and it was a 'cougar' - at least, that's what was painted on the side in big, white letters. They were nifty mix between cursive and printing, and they had pretty blobby bits on the ends of all of the letters. It was an awesome bike. I used to ride it in circles around the house (it was a big house, so it took a bit of time). I would ride slowly around the front and sides of the house, but as soon as I turned the corner into the back yard, out of sight of whoever was in the front, I would whisper, "Go Cougar!" and pretend that the bike and I turned into a cougar. I would pedal as fast as I could, pretending that I was this huge cat racing across the yard. As soon as I hit the next corner, I would whisper, "Stop!" and slow back down to my normal speed. I could do this for hours (or until Mom called me in for dinner).

I must have had a great imagination as a child. I also used to pretend that I had a twin sister named Jennifer. She looked just like me, and acted almost like me, except that we had different favourite characters in the Sweet Valley Twins books (I liked Elizabeth, she liked Jessica), and she was very shy, which is why she didn't come out to play very much. Every once in a while, I would randomly go into the house and change outfits and come out pretending I was Jennifer. I would pretend that I had no idea about any of the conversations that I had had with friends earlier, and it was a lot of fun. I think we had different favourite colours, too.... I liked blue and she liked pink. I don't recall ever trying it around my parents, though, and Jennifer wasn't your standard imaginary friend - I didn't have conversations with her, and I didn't actually think she was real. I'm pretty sure that she wasn't another personality of mine - I was very much aware of the fact that she was pretend. I like to think of her as an early foray into acting.

On a completely unrelated note, my gaydar is totally busted. If anyone knows where I can get a new one, or how I can fix mine, please tell me!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Two days in a row!

Somehow, I'm writing for a second day! I was completely certain that I would either forget about this, or find some reason to blow it off. Instead, here I am! Woot!

Of course, now I have to actually find something to write about.

I'm heading to the NaNoWriMo forums (www.nanowrimo.org) and I'm going to use today's prompt to get started - 15 minutes to write about "in search of."

Searching for something can be both an abstract concept and a concrete action. I might need to search for my socks in the morning, or perhaps search for an answer in a textbook. It's not unusual for me to search for the meaning of the random acronyms that my boss comes up with (COAG? BDR? WTF?) I actually enjoy these forms of searching, because it is relatively simple to come up with a solution, in that there usually is a solution. The missing sock must exist somewhere. My boss had something in mind when he strung together three or four letters (although I think it's awfully lazy of him to abbreviate phrases when he doesn't actually have to type them out - it's the girls in transcription who would have to punch out "Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma" instead of "COAG"). These more concrete searches can yield concrete results.

The abstract searches, however, are not so easily finished. Most everyone has done some form of 'soul-searching,' be it over a difficult decision, or revisiting events in the past. Sometimes, the hardest part about this type of search is figuring out what you are truly searching for. Often, you may start out pondering a more superficial topic, and then realize that what you really seek is something far beneath the surface, something that you may not have known you would have to face. It was just over a year ago that I did some serious searching of my own. I had to stop and re-evaluate almost every aspect of my life because I realized that I was about to do something that I really did not want to do. At first, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I didn't want to do it. Once I figured that out, though, more questions came up - why had I wanted to do it in the first place? What were the repercussions of my decision going to be? Was it going to be worth all of the heartache and anger that I was causing others? I literally spent weeks doing almost nothing but searching for answers. I barely ate or slept, mostly just spending my days thinking and worrying about the answers that I might find. In the end, I came up with an answer, and I was happy with it. I think that the only reason I was happy with the answer, however, is that I had spent so much time thinking it over. Searching your heart for answers can be difficult, to say the least, but in the end, it will be worth all of the trouble that you went through.

Of course, there are other types of searching, too, that lay between the abstract and the concrete. I have a coworker who drives me nuts, and I spend a lot of time searching for ways to deal with her. Some of it is very practical - by making up a more structured schedule, I was able to keep our paths from crossing for most of the day. Other results from my search were more self-centered, in that I found ways to calm myself so that I could better respond to her attitudes. I am still searching for the right words to use when I talk to the supervisor about this co-worker, so that I don't sound petty and mean.

I spend a lot of time searching for the right words, although that may not be entirely visible from this blog. These prompts and the whole NaNo concept, to me, are a way to force me to stop searching for the perfect thing to say and just get as close as I can. My NaNovels are crap. Well, no, I take that back. They're not crap. They're first drafts. That's worse than crap. But a first draft is just that - a draft. Once the idea is out, then it can be polished to a bright shine. So that is what I will do now - spew out vast piles of draft, and once I can spew no more, I'll start to make it all look spiffy. Sound good to you?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Must... write... more...

So I've decided to open up a new blog. Yes, I already have one kicking around out there on the internet - actually, I've got two others out there - but I wanted another. Each of them has a specific purpose. The first is one that I use to keep an eye on some of my friends in other countries; I check my friends page far more often than I actually post. The second is one that has most of the entries locked, and I use it to vent. I know, I could probably do the same thing by just writing and saving to a file somewhere on the computer, but even if I'm not making it publicly accessible, there's something about putting it out on the internet that makes it feel much more like venting and less like stewing in my own anger.

This blog, though, this one is for writing.

I'm a writer. I'm not a professional writer, at least not yet. I love it. If I could make a living, I totally would, but I think I'm just a bit too ADD to handle that right now. I've got a million other things going on, and I want to pay attention to all of them, so it's not really practical to dedicate my life to writing. Of course, I forget all about practicality each year when November rolls around. I participate in the National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo), and I have for the past four years. The goal is to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. So far, I have made that goal every year. Unfortunately, only one novel actually got finished. The second one got scrapped, but the basic plot was salvaged for a fresh start (complete with an almost entirely new cast) for year three. Last year's NaNovel has been languishing on my hard drive, but I've started to carry around my Palm again, tapping out a few more sentances here and there. I really want to finish it, because I think that this one actually has potential, but I took a break from it for several months, and it's really hard to get back into it. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back into it soon.

Well, there we go! A full blog post. Now, if I can just keep this up for the rest of the week. Notice that I'm not setting any bigger goals than that! Ideally, I will write a blog a day forever, but realistically, that scares me, so I'm starting small. A blog a day for one week. If I can do that, I'll set the next bar a little higher. Wish me luck!