Staying Off the Edge

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.” It’s true that everyone needs something in their life that keeps them from going over the edge. Sometimes life is just frustrating and you need that special something to cheer you up, keep you moving forward, or just stop you from screaming. Over the […]

Tween Justice

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngAnother truly challenging assignment for today, one that may take me some time to work out in my head. It involves writing from the perspective of a child, which is actually something I’ve never done since I was a child, so this should be interesting.

The challenge also begins with a prompt, so please keep in mind that the italicized bit at the beginning is the prompt, and what comes after is what I wrote.

Today’s prompt: Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street. Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in the first-person point of view – build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.


The neighborhood has seen better days, but Mrs Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind on the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

I always stick my tongue out when I’m concentrating. It looks dumb, I know, but I can’t help it. My dad does it too, and mom makes fun of both of us for it, but the joke’s on her; she wiggles her nose like a bunny when she’s concentrating.

I was sticking my tongue out this time because I was trying to paint my toenails with mom’s bright red polish while my baby brother pulled on my ponytail.

“Anna! Play!” he begged me.

“In a minute, Sam,” I told him for the hundredth time. Two-year-olds are cute, but annoying.

I was just finishing my last pinkie toe when two cars pulled up in front of Mrs Pauley’s hosue across the road. At first I didn’t even really notice because I was admiring my toes, but when Sam said, “Po-wease!” I looked up. Sure enough, the first car was a cop. The second car was the ugly green one that had been showing up at Mrs Pauley’s house a lot lately.

The man who drove the green car came out first. I’d seen him a couple of times in the past few weeks. He was a creepy-looking guy with more hair in his mustache than on his head, and his clothes looked like he never washed them. Whenever he showed up at Mrs Pauley’s he would bang on the door and shout a lot, and his face was always as red as my newly-painted toes. But today he was smiling. It actually made him look creepier.

The cop who stepped out of the police car looked a lot nicer, but he didn’t have a smile on his face. In fact, he didn’t look very happy at all, and that gave me a bad feeling in my stomach.

Mr Green Car smiled all the way up to Mrs Pauley’s front porch.

By this time I was curious, so I took Sam’s hand and led him across the lawn to the side of the street so I could hear better. He was looking very interested in the police car, so he didn’t complain.

Mr Green Car stood to the side with that creepy smile on his face while the police officer straightened his hat and knocked on the door three times. There was no answer, so after a few moments he cleared his throat, knocked again, and called, “Mrs Pauley, this is the police. Could you please come to the door.”

For a while I didn’t think she was going to answer, even though I was pretty sure she was home, but then all of a sudden the door opened a crack. The police man looked like he was going to say something, but before he got a chance Mr Green Car jumped in front of the door and pushed it open with a shout. I could see the white bun on the top of Mrs Pauley’s head as she stumbled back. I found myself crying out, but Sam was the only one who heard me.

“Your time is up!” Mr Green Car was shouting. “Thought you could just avoid me forever, eh? Well it’s the LAW, Janice, and the law is on MY side today!”

The police man looked very much like he wanted to punch Mr Green Car in the face, and I wished he would. Instead he nudged the shouting man out of the way and took off his hat before speaking to Mrs Pauley. “I’m sorry, ma’am,” he told her in a quiet voice, “but he is correct. All the paperwork is in order and he is fully within his rights to evict you. Do you have anywhere else to stay?”

“Who cares?” Mr Green Car shouted. “It’s not my problem where she goes, just that she goes!”

Before I knew what I’d done I had Sam up in my arms and I was across the road. I pulled back one red-toed foot and slammed it into the back of Mr Green Car’s knee as hard as I could. He almost went right down to the ground, and the next thing I knew the police man was holding him back as he tried to lunge at me. “Why you little-!” he screamed.

“Now you listen here!” I shouted back, and suddenly all eyes were on me. “You’re a rotten, disgusting, pathetic piece of crap and you should be ashamed of yourself!”

Mr Green Car’s face turned a sickly kind of purple. The police man looked like he kinda wanted to laugh. “I understand how you feel, sweetie,” he told me, “but he does technically own the house, so it’s his right to evict Mrs Pauley if she hasn’t been paying her rent.”

I set my jaw. “That doesn’t make him any less of an ass.”

Now the police man did laugh out loud, and Mr Green Car was starting to look more pink than purple.

A hand touched my shoulder. I looked up to see Mrs Pauley’s wrinkled face looking down at me. Her eyes were wet. “Thank you, sweetie,” she whispered. “Thank you for caring.”

“She’s a very caring girl,” a voice said from behind.

I hadn’t noticed my mother come walking up behind me. She was still wearing her apron and hand a dish rag in her hand. I thought at first that she might be mad, but she had a strange smile on her face and she kissed me on the head before taking Sam out of my arms.

“Is this brat yours?” Mr Green Car growled, wriggling out of the police man’s arms.

I’d never seen my mother’s face go so red so quick. “This ‘little brat’,” she hissed, “has more human compassion in her little finger than you have in your entire body, you sniveling little monkey.” She raised a hand and pointed a finger right into Mr Green Car’s face. “I’ve been watching you, harassing this poor woman every week. What, you’ve never fallen on hard times before? You’ve never lost a loved one and had a hard time recovering?” And then my mom did something that I never in a million years would have expected her to do. She spit at Mr Green Car’s feet. Mr Green Car looked like his head was going to explode. He looked at the police man like he was expecting him to arrest her or something, but he just gave Mr Green Car a raised eyebrow. I think he agreed with my mom, even if he wasn’t really allowed to say so.

“Come on, Janice,” my mom said more gently. She extracted one arm from Sam – who was starting to squirm – and put it around Mrs Pauley’s shoulder. “I’ve got a beautiful pie baking in the oven and you’re going to come over and have some tea with us.”

Mrs Pauley was crying as they began to walk away, back across the street. I started to follow them, but I had to do one more thing first. I turned around, pushed past Mr Green Car and the police man, and pulled Mrs Pauley’s door shut, making sure that it was firmly locked. And then I stuck my tongue out at Mr Green Car and ran for my house with the police man laughing behind me as Mr Green Car’s face turned red again.

It’s Coming…

It’s almost that time of the year again… No, I’m not talking about Halloween (yet), and I’m definitely not talking about Christmas (yet). No, I’m talking about the most wonderful/hateful time of the year for writers: National Novel Writing Month.


For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (as we like to call it) is a yearly event that occurs in November and challenges writers of every age from all over the world to write a novel (of at least 50,000 words) in 30 days. I have been participating since 2008 and I absolutely love it. It’s a huge motivation boost (who doesn’t love completing a challenge?) and the writer community on the website is absolutely amazing. I’ve met some truly awesome people through NaNo, gotten a ton of writing done, and had loads of fun in the process. And, in fact, my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide“, first saw life as a NaNo novel. Amazing things happen during NaNo, which is why I will continue to participate as long as I continue to write!

This year for NaNo I’m planning to work on a project that I’ve been dying to get to for months now. I’ve mentioned before that there’s a fantasy adventure story that I’ve been working on (on and off) for pretty well a decade now. Well, it’s about time that I turn this labor of love into something worth printing. The original story (which I never managed to complete) was a single book, but not too long ago it occurred to me that the layout of the story makes way more sense as a series. So this year for NaNoWriMo I’m starting the adventure of an entire overhaul and rewrite. My novel for 2014 will be book one of a series henceforth known as “The Other World”.

But that’s not the only important thing to note about NaNoWriMo. Understandably, taking on the NaNo challenge means sacrificing a lot of time and energy, which makes it more difficult to get other things done…things like, say, blogging, for example. So while I’ve still got a bit of time on my hands, I hope to plan and schedule my posts for the month of November. This, however, requires an idea as to what to (pre)blog about for all those days. So…what shall I do?

Well, I think it’s about time to finally break out “642 Things to Write About“, don’t you? So here’s the plan: for the month of November, four days a week, you will be treated to my interpretation of some of the aforementioned 642 things (the fifth day will be Accountability Wednesday, during which I’ll give updates on how NaNo is going).

So, in conclusion, November will be a month to complete randomness, a la “642 Things to Write About“, and will hopefully conclude with a (mostly) written new manuscript. Sound good? Alright, it’s a date!

What Scares Me Most

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s challenge may actually require a bit of thought and planning, because as I’ve mentioned before I have little trouble writing in my own voice, but today I’m going to be doing the exact opposite.

We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.


Spiders, creepy-crawling on my skin. Ugly moths and millers flying ’round my head. Wild creatures with sharp teeth and long claws.

But these don’t scare me most.

House fires. Burglaries. Hearing strange noises at night when I’m home alone.

But these don’t scare me most.

Starting a new job with new people. Lots of turbulence on a flight. Having stomach trouble during a long trip.

But these don’t scare me most.

What scares me the most, the fear that I keep deep inside, is the all-encompassing fear that every parent lives with from the moment their child is born: the fear of anything bad ever happening to this precious creature who means more than anything else in the world.

That is what scares me most.

Lost and Found

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s Writing 101 challenge is an interesting way to finish off our little three-part series on “lost and found”. Whereas the first two installments were based on real-life experiences, this one will be a fabrication based on a prompt.

Imagine you had a job in which you had to shift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you can upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile. Today’s twist: if you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.


You find the most random assortments of things left behind in hotel rooms. There are the usual things that lots of people forget to grab when they’re packing, like toothbrushes and half-eaten snacks; these we throw out immediately. But there are lots of other forgotten items that we put aside in case their owner returns. There are mundane things, like a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing that made its way under the bed, and there are odd ones, like dishes obviously brought from home and, in one case, several unopened boxes of Ritz crackers. Every so often we even find a sex toy…these are handled very carefully with rubber gloves and kept in double-sealed bags for no more than one week. No one has ever come back to claim one yet.

On this particular day I was looking for something specific, though I didn’t yet know what that something was.

I hoisted the tote where we kept our forgotten finds up on the table in the staff room and began rifling through it. I placed each item on the table as I examined and rejected them. A phone case without a phone…nope. A single fuzzy slipper…nope. What appeared to be the remote control to a video camera…interesting, but nope. The list of discarded items went on and on, none of them what I was looking for. A pencil case, an almost-full bag of paper plates, a necklace, a travel hairdryer, a horror novel with the bookmark still in it. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

And then, there it was. I knew it the moment I saw it. I picked up the small, oval-shaped electronic toy and couldn’t help but smile at it. I hadn’t even known these things still existed. I’d been in junior high school the last time I’d seen a Tamogotchi digital pet.

I removed the folded letter from my pocket and read through the words again, words that had been written in pencil by a child.

Dear Miss Hotel Lady,

My family was at your hotel last week. I lost my pet and would you mind looking for him there? My big brother gave him to me before he left for big-people school and I miss him very much. Please look for him? Thank you so much!

From, Joey

I smiled down at the letter before snatching up a pen and some paper to write my own.

Dear Joey,

Good news! I found your pet and he is just fine! I have sent him along with this letter. I’m sure he will be very glad to see you. Please take good care of him in the future. He is a very rare breed!

Sincerely, Miss Hotel Lady

To Whom it May Concern


Today’s Writing 101 challenge is a little weird and random, but it’s my personal belief that the best writing is a little weird and random, so let’s get down to it!

Pick up the nearest book and flip it to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.


(My word is “hydraulic”.)

To the Creators of Hydraulic Equipment:

Could you have possibly created a more frightening method of moving machinery? To the untrained eye the hydraulic system seems pretty innocuous: you get some fluid oil, you put it under pressure, and that pressure moves the equipment by “pushing” back. Pretty cool, right? Wrong!

If a hydraulic hose bursts it’s not just a huge mess: it’s a death trap. Hydraulic oil at high pressure will escape from a hose almost too fast for you to react, and if that pressure was, for instance, holding up an aerial work platform? Well, let’s just say that things are going to go south real fast.

And have you ever seen someone get hydraulic oil blasted throuh their skin at high pressure? It can only take a tiny drop, and it may only feel like a small pinch at first, but then all of a sudden your skin is turning strange colors and your muscles begin to be poisoned. The next thing you know you’re on an operating table with your skin peeled back and pinned down while doctors cut open your muscle tissue to try to chase down the oil and remove every last drop from your body. And even after all that, there’s no guarantee that the damage that was caused will be totally reversed.

Look, I know that forthe most part hydraulics are safe and very useful, and that statistically these kinds of accidents don’t happen very often. I’m just saying that hydraulic systems hold a special place in my nightmares and I can’t stand next to one without feeling like I’m going to pass out from the accompanying panic attack.

So yeah. Thanks for that.

Sincerely, Your Friendly Neighborhood Hydrauliphobe

Points of View: Three Tales in One


** In case you noticed that this is the second post today and that things seem to have gotten temporarily out of order, yeah, this post was meant for Tuesday but somehow didn’t get scheduled. Oops! Let’s continue on with our lives now…**

Point of view is something I struggle with as a writer, mainly because of personal preference. I can understand that first-person narrative has it’s place, but I much prefer third-person. When you write in third-person, however, changing point of view can be tricky to accomplish. The narrative “voice” begins to emulate the main character, and thus if you change views to another character suddenly that “voice” doesn’t sound right anymore. That’s my experience anyway.

Today’s assignment aims to help us get used to switching points of view.

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Today’s twist: Write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.


The Man

Roger looked up at the trees as he walked, wondering what kind they were and whether one would look good in his front yard. He felt a hand snake into his and turned to smile down at Emily. She gave him a playful little wink and swung his hand as they continued down the path. They walked in silence. That was one of the many things Roger loved about Emily – she didn’t feel the need to fill the air with idle chatter.

A little further down the path there was an open area with a duck pond and a semi-circle of wooden benches. The only current occupant of the benches was a woman of about sixty, lazily knitting with bright red wool. Roger’s eye was drawn to the red knit creation. It was a very small sweater. A child’s sweater.

Roger stopped dead in his tracks, almost pulling Emily down in his abruptness. He felt a burning sensation rise in his throat, and before he could stop himself there were tears springing to the corners of his eyes.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” Emily asked. She looked in the direction Roger was staring, and it was clear she didn’t understand.

“The sweater,” Roger croaked. Embarrassed, he swiped at his eyes to chase away the treacherous tears. “The red sweater.”

Emily’s eyebrows knitted together. She looked at the old woman and back to Roger again.

“It’s stupid,” Roger grumbled. He had no idea how he was going to redeem his manliness after this. “It’s just that… My mom… She was knitting a red sweater for the baby. She never got to finish.” Unable to look Emily in the eye, he reached out and placed both his hands on her bulging belly.”

After a moment, Emily wrapped her arms around Roger’s waist, and together they stood and worked through the moment. “It’s okay, honey. It’ll be okay.”

The Woman

Emily took a deep breath of fresh air and reveled in being amongst nature for the first time in days. She understood why Roger had wanted to stay sequestered away inside for a while, but she’d begun to get a little shack-wacky herself.

Speaking of Roger, he’d been staring quite studiously at the trees for quite some time now. She sidled up next to him and twisted her fingers into his. He turned at the touch and gave her a sweet, but sad, smile. She winked and pulled him along with a playful swing of the arm. She longed to ask him what he was thinking about, but she bit her tongue instead. She didn’t want to tormet him.

She rubbed her belly with her free hand as they walked. It was getting close. Any day now.

All of a sudden Roger stopped dead and Emily – still holding his hand – nearly went toppling over backward from her own momentum. She almost admonished him for stopping so abruptly, but when she turned to look at him she saw tears in his eyes.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked. She followed his haunted gaze, but all she saw was an old woman knitting on a bench.

“The sweater,” Roger replied in a hoarse voice while wiping tears from his face. “The red sweater.”

Emily frowned a little and looked back at the old woman. Sure enough, she seemed to be fashioning a small red sweater.

“It’s stupid,” Roger grumbled. He sounded like he was trying his very hardest not to burst into sobs. “It’s just that… My mom… She was knitting a red sweater for the baby. She never got to finish it.” His glassy eyes fell to the ground and his hands reached out to caress Emily’s belly.

She felt her heart break for him. It was going to be like this for a while, she told herself. He was going to keep being reminded of her by every little thing.

After a moment she wrapped her arms around her dear Roger and held him close. One day at a time, she told herself. One day at a time. Aloud she cooed quietly, “It’s okay, honey. It’ll be okay.”

The Old Woman

Ester chose her bench in front of the duck pond and gingerly lowered her old body down onto the seat. She observed the playful ducklings for a little while before pulling her purse onto her lap. She rummaged through the mess that was in the large bag. One by one she pulled out her two knitting needles, her ball of red yarn, and her most recent project.

As she readied herself to put the final touches on the little red sweater, the senior nurse thought about the reason she had decided to take on this particular project.

She should have retired ages ago, but she just enjoyed her work at the hospital so much. Taking care of people was important to her, especially at this stage in life in which she had no one of her own to take care of. So she stayed, and it was because she stayed that she had come across the Anderson lady.

Ester had only spoken to Mrs Anderson once, when she’d been covering a shift for one of her coworkers. The chart outside Mrs Anderson’s door had indicated that she was terminal, and that it would be any day now, but when Ester entered the room she was surprised to find the dying woman sitting up in her bed, hands busy knitting what appeared to be a little red sweater. She told Ester that the sweater was for her grandchild, whom they were all still waiting for. She said it all with a smile on her face.

Ester cried when she found out that the lovely, high-spirited lady had passed on before that grandchild arrived. She cried again when she cleaned out the hospital room and found the unfinished red sweater sitting in a drawer next to the bed. She decided right then and there that she had to finish the sweater. She would worry about tracking down the family later…when she had the finished product ready to give to them.

She was sure that having this last present from their matriarch would make them so happy. She smiled at that thought as the knitting needles clicked and clacked away.

Death to Adverbs!

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngI’ve never been completely on board with this trend of adverb hate amongst professional writers. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that showing is better than telling, but I don’t see the reasoning behind completely abolishing an entire set of words from the English language. I’m just saying, is all.

But, with that said, it is a good exercise to try and get rid of as many adverbs as possible from your writing, which is why we have today’s assignment.

Go to a local cafe, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post. If you’d rather not write a new post, revisit and edit a previous one: excise your adverbs and replace them with strong, precise verbs.


Well, you can’t get much more public than an international airport, and that’s where I am today: Edmonton International Airport. It’s not the biggest airport I’ve ever been too, but it’s definitely not the smallest either. According to the signs EIA has around 92 gates, with flights arriving and departing at all hours of the day.

I am currently sitting outside gate 49, which is actually a conglomeration of four different desks that all direct passengers to the same area. Flights that leave from this gate are what I like to refer to as “puddle-jumpers”: smaller planes with 40 or fewer seats that travel short distances. In this case I am awaiting a flight that will take me from Edmonton to Calgary, which is approximately an hour’s flight.

Hanging from the ceiling just outside the gate is a flat-screen television showing the local news, though there is no volume so you have to guess what the newscasters are talking about. There are several rows of silver-framed, green flat-back chairs for passengers to wait on, and these rows are interspersed with tall brown planters which hold fake, wide-leaved plants. There is also a Telus payphone off to the right of the gate, which amuses me a bit. I wonder how often it actually gets used in the age of cellphones.

To the left of gate 49 is an Indigo Spirit, which I believe is “kid sister” version of Coles or Chapters. From here I can see the Bestsellers table, a display of gifts for newborn babies, and a rack of storybooks for kids. To the right of the gate is a “Montana’s Front Porch”, a downsized version of Montana’s Steakhouse that, ironically, does not serve steak. This restaurant-inside-an-airport features a “front porch” area with tables under a canopy, in case you wanted to feel like you’re on a patio while watching airline passengers walk by. I don’t get it myself, but I suppose they thought it was cute.

Across from where I am sitting is a young couple. She has her blond hair up in a ponytail, while he is wearing a black baseball cap with a pair of sunglasses sitting on the brim. They have two large bags that must barely make the size cuttoff for a carry-on. He’s wearing a beige coat with the collar popped, blue jeans, and a large-faced watch, and he’s playing games on his phone. She’s wearing a dark grey hoodie, capri-length exercise pants, and a pair of neon purple-and-pink sneakers, and she’s twisting her boarding pass around in her fingers while she talks on her phone.

Speaking of phones, to the left of me a dark-haired woman in jeans and a t-shirt is talking on her phone while rummaging through her purse. To the right of me an overweight man in a button-up shirt and shiny loafers is talking on one phone while apparently texting on another. Even the short airport security lady who just walked past me has a phone held up to her head. We truly are in the age of cellphones, but not just cellphones. Behind the dark-haired woman is a young man laying across several chairs with an iPad propped up on his knees. Behind the overweight man is a guy with a thick brown beard and black jeans plucking away at a netbook. Sitting just down from me, across from the Montana’s is a guy with an even thicker beard, glasses, and a paperboy hat, reading something on what appears to be a Kindle. Even I am not exempt. I’m typing this up on my bluetooth keyboard while my tablet is laying propped up on my carry-on. But I don’t suppose you can blame people for taking advantage of their technology, especially in a place as boring as an airport.

This task has made me realize how difficult it can be to describe a public place in lots of detail. If I were to “leave no nuance behind” I could easily be here all night. I could mention that the gate screens are blue and white with yellow writing and that they all say “Welcome/Bienvenue”, or that I’m surrounded by little pictorial signs to lead foreign-speaking travelers toward the proper gates and baggage areas, or that the neon sign on the side of the Montana’s restaurant is glowing a really bright blue that actually really bothers my eyes. But honestly? I could sit here for days and talk about every nuance of this one little part of the airport that I happen to be sitting in, but I guess that’s the point of the exercise…to show just how detailed the world around you can be and that it can be described without resorting to endless waves of adverbs.

So did I succeed? If you see any adverbs in this post, feel free to call me out!

Unlock a Mind and Peer Within


Okay, let’s get right down to it today. Day one of the Writing 101 Challenge is as follows:

Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write. And for your first twist? Publish this stream of conciousness post on your blog.


Okay, my twenty minutes is starting now. I don’t really do that well on these “stream of conciousness” things because I tend to always be thinking two and three steps ahead of what I’m writing, and thus it’s kinda like planning it out, but I’ll try to just keep saying things as they come to my head.

So I’m on the bus on the way back to camp after one of my 12.5 hour work days. I know I always say that they’re 15.5 hour work days, but that’s including the bus rides and whatnot. I actually only work for 12.5 hours. But don’t think that that means the rest of the time is a break…nah, the roads out here are beyond awful, so the bus rides are bumpy, swaying transportations from hell. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a little bit, but seriously, it’s not fun. And it’s a really really really long day. I don’t even know how I make it through the day most times, considering how little sleep I get at night.

It is outrageously difficult to type while on this bus, seriously. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was on a laptop, but I’m actually using my tablet and bluetooth keyboard, and in order to manage that while sitting in a bus seat I have to have my backpack propped up against the seat in front of me, with my tablet propped up against that, and the keyboard so close to me that it’s touching my stomach. Also, the zipper on the pocket of my jacket is broken and the sharp edge keeps digging into my arm.

How long has that been? Crap, only four minutes. I don’t know if I can just talk about whatever comes to my mind for sixteen more minutes. This is actually more difficult than it sounds.

Okay, so I’m one of precisely three women on an almost full bus, and one of those is the bus driver. The other? Our administrator (i.e. the lady who books our flights and whatnot). I’m the only female tradesperson on the team. Not that that bothers me. I’ve been around mostly guys my entire life, so it’s not a big deal. I still occasionally get people asking me if it bothers me though. I’m not sure why it should. It’s not like I sleep in the same room with them or something. We’re completely separated at the camp, and at work we’re coworkers, just like anyone is coworkers. People are weird though. People always come up with reasons why something should feel uncomfortable, but really it’s just people looking for something to whine about. At least that’s what I think.

My daughter and husband had Chinese food this evening. I could really go for some Chinese food. I wonder what’s for supper at camp tonight. Normally tonight would be fish, but we had fish last night. Maybe we’ll have a pub night. I could really go for some pizza and wings. Mind you, Albertans don’t know how to make pizza. Sorry Albertans, but it’s true. And you really don’t know how to make donair meat. Where are the spices, Albertans? WHERE ARE THE SPICES?

I’m trying so hard to have a continuous stream of conciousness, but the bus is bouncing so hard that I keep making constant typos and having to go back. I suppose I could fix all the typos later, but that’s just not the kind of person I am. Even during NaNoWriMo I can’t restraing that little part of me that insists on hitting the backspace button.

Woo, we’re up to eleven minutes. More than halfway there. Maybe I can do this afterall.

I can feel my lipstick peeling. That drives me nuts. I use that kind of lipstick that is basically like paint that stays on all day because I hate having to reapply every five minutes, but the downside is that by the end of the day it’s actually peeling like paint off an unsealed deck. Is that a random analogy? Our deck is peeling something fierce, so that’s why it came to my head.

Jeezum crow, this drive is awful. I can barely even seen the screen while I’m typing because we’re vibrating so bad. It’s actually kinda pathetic that the road is this bad. We’re in oil country. Surely to god there’s enough money floating around to pave a MUCH traveled road. I’m just sayin’.

So like a lot of my posts lately, I’m actually writing this one in the past so that I can schedule it for the future, so I’m just realizing that I might not even be at work when this post goes live. Does that blow your mind? It kinda blows mine a little.

God dammit, my backpack is slipping and mussing up my set up. One sec…okay, there we go. Rearranged. Ah, but dammit, now that broken zipper is jabbing me again. I just can’t win.

My coworkers showed me a couple of pretty funny videos today. If you’ve never seen them before you should look them up. The first one is “Jeff Gordon’s Test Drive” and the second one is “Jeff Gordon’s Response to Test Drive”. Honestly, I just about peed myself I was laughing so hard, especially at the second one.

I am so ready to go home (in the past). This shift has felt super super long for some reason (in the past). They all feel kinda long because, come on…14 days straight of 12.5 hour days, and I’m 3000 miles away from my daughter and husband. But this one in particular has felt really long. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working so hard on getting blog posts scheduled during my miniscule moments to myself and I’m starting to burn out. Yeah, I definitely think I’m burning out. It’s going to be a really good set of days off. Unfortunately I have an outrageously screwed up set of flights (in the past) to deal with before I get there. Let’s just say that mistakes were made, fingers were pointed, and now I’m looking at over 28 hours of travel time to get from Cold Lake, Alberta, to Sydney, Nova Scotia. How screwed up is that? Mind you that a large chunk of that is staying overnight in a hotel in Toronto, but still, it means I’m pretty much losing every second of my first day off. It sucks. I’m going to need a lot of little missy snuggles and cuddles and kisses to get over it.

And woo, look at that! Twenty minutes! Thank goodness. My brain has officiall shut off. -.-zzzzzzzZZZZZZZ

The Next Challenge

I’ve finally completed the Blogging 101 challenge, and while I enjoyed doing it I am definitely ready for something different. About halfway through Blogging 101 I started to get bored with talking about the blogging process (which I think I’ve pretty much gotten down by this point), and I started to long to write about something different. Luckily for me, while I was working on Blogging 101, The Daily Post featured another awesome challenge called Writing 101.

Best university in the world...enrollment is 100% free!

For the Writing 101 challenge, The Daily Post provided a prompt per day for 20 days. Each prompt gets you writing about something different – maybe even things you’d never otherwise think to write about, and includes ideas of the fiction and non-fiction varieties. Each prompt also includes a “twist”, or a little something extra to try to accomplish if you so desire. The rules of the challenge state that you can mix and match as you desire (do just the prompt, or just the twist with your own writing idea, or do both) but I’m going to try to do the whole thing every time because I’m baddass like that.

As a final note, since this challenge will involve some fiction writing, if said fiction happens to line up with my need for a Fiction Fragment Friday post, I will totally take advantage of that.

So look forward to it! I start soon!