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.

Food for the Soul

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s twist should be really easy for me. It’s about infusing the post with your own unique voice, and while I wouldn’t necessarily call my voice unique, I feel that I always write with my own voice. It actually may be a detriment sometimes.

Anyway, today’s post is a little different and fun, so let’s just get down to it.

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal – the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

My stomach is the same today as it was when I was a kid: it loves all kinds of foods, and many of the favorites have stayed the same through the years. I used to eat Mr Noodles several times a week for lunch at my grandmother’s house, and I still love them today (even if the salt content threatens to kill me). When I was a kid I was obsessed with Pizzaronis, and today they’re the first thing I look for if I have a night without the husband and daughter.

But if you’re talking about special meals, something with lots of memories involved, I would definitely go with Christmas dinner.

At my house we had turkey three times a year – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter – but though the food was technically the same for all three of those meals, the Christmas one was different somehow. When I was young my mother almost always had to work Christmas day, so she’d put the turkey in the oven on a low temperature first thing in the morning (or sometimes even the night before) and let it slow-roast the whole day until she got home. I’d spend the day playing with my new toys to the delicious scents of poultry seasoning and butter. When I was old enough to be trusted not to scald myself I would be responsible for making sure the turkey got basted every hour or so, and I took that very seriously. The meat had to be kept nice and moist, I knew, so it wouldn’t turn out like the Griswold family turkey from Christmas Vacation.

When my mom got home from work she’d chop up some potatoes, carrots, and turnip, and set it all to boiling. Then she’d take the turkey out of the oven and start scooping out the stuffing – homemade, of course. She’d make a box or two of Stove Top as well so there would be lots, and mix it all together in a big bowl. Before she wrapped up the bowl to keep it warm, I’d grab a little handful and shove it in my mouth – I’ve always loved the stuffing the most.

And then, of course, there was the gravy. Mom would make it from scratch using the turkey drippings and the vegetable water, and it was always amazing. To this day, although I cook my own Christmas dinners now, mom still mixes up the gravy for me.

The meal was as much about anticipation than anything, but of course the eating was the best part. I would eat and eat (especially the stuffing) until I could hardly breathe, and it was always the perfect end to an awesome day. Someday, I hope my daughter will be able to say the same thing about her Christmas dinners.

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!

DC vs Marvel

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s assignment surprised me a bit when I first read it. It required a bit more pre-thought than I’ve been giving to these posts so far.

Write a post based on the contrast between two things – whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Today’s twist: Write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers – a lover’s quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers – your call!

“Don’t tell me you read Marvel comics.”

Jerry raised his eyes above the pages of the comic to glare at Andrew. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he inquired.

Andrew made a face. “Just that DC is way better, that’s all,” he replied.

“Are you kidding?” Jerry asked. “Marvel comics are way more fun than DC.”

“DC are way more gritty and realistic,” Andrew shot back.

“Nothing but angst, you mean,” Jerry grumbled.

“Besides,” Andrew said, “DC makes way better video games.”

Jerry raised an eyebrow. “Oh woo-hoo for them. Marvel makes way better movies.”

“DC has Batman.”

“Marvel has the Avengers.”

Andrew narrowed his eyes. “DC has Superman, the king of all superheroes.”

Jerry scoffed. “Superman is completely vanilla and boring as hell. Marvel’s Deadpool is a thousand times more awesome than Superman.”

“The Teen Titans!”

“The X-Men!”

“Kingdom Come!”

“The Infinity Gauntlet!”

“Th- Eek!” Jerry and Andrew both cried out in protest as their ears were snatched up by a pair of hands with bright red nail polish. The other patrons of the comic shop looked on and snickered as the co-owner of the shop glared down at the bickering boys. Sheepishly, they realized that she was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with Thor’s brother, Loki, dressed up and painted as Batman’s nemesis, the Joker.

“Alright, DC and Marvel,” she said in a tone that suggested annoyance mixed with amusement. “Are you going to play nice in my shop or do I have to ban you each to your respective versions of oblivion?”

Jerry looked at Andrew, and Andrew back at Jerry. They both spoke at the same time.


The Characters We Meet

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngCreating good characters is difficult for a lot of people, so it’s not surprising that one of the Writing 101 assignments should be about character building. It starts by asking you to write about the most interesting person you’ve met this year, and then turn that description into a more in-depth study of their character.

I haven’t met a great number of new people this year, but I thought of one guy right away. I just hope he never sees this post because he’ll never let me live it down. For this assignment, my acquaintance shall remain unnamed.

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

He’s an instrument technician by trade, and though he doesn’t seem like it at first meeting, he’s actually a very diligent and knowledgeable employee.

He’s in his 30’s, but he acts a bit like a young college student. He’s loud and boisterous, and he likes to tease and torment, but not in a mean way. With this guy it’s all about having fun and keeping everyone laughing.

He’s a bit bigger than average, but not overly large. The brownish tint to his skin and the shape of his dark eyes reveals his partial native heritage, and the way he keeps his black hair buzzed short tells you that he’s accustomed to working in a lot of heat. Up both his arms are elaborate, very well-crafted tattoos. He put great care into finding the right designs and the right artist, and it shows. Asian in design, the tattoos reveal a hint of classic, creative personality.

He has a million stories about crazy things he’s done and doesn’t filter himself at all amongst friends and coworkers, but he also has a young daughter he loves more than anything, and he takes parenting very seriously. As a pair, father and daughter are huge nerds who love attending conventions and meeting celebrities.

All in all, a good guy who works hard, loves his daughter, and tries to have as much fun as possible in between.

A Brief Tale

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s assignment will be a piece of fiction, so welcome to the first ever Writing 101/Fiction Fragment Friday conglomeration!

Today the name of the game is brevity, which can mean something different depending on how you’re used to writing. I’m no stranger to the drabble (100-word story), as you all know, but in my everyday writing I tend to be a lot more talkative. This is something I’ve actually been working on because, depending on the scene in question, sometimes fewer words is better. So this assignment should be good exercise!

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: approach this post in as few words as possible.

It was just laying there on the walking path: an envelope with the name “Kevin” written on the front. I couldn’t resist. I picked it up and pulled out the single sheet of paper.

The handwriting was loopy and feminine, and appeared to have been written in a rush.

My dearest Kevin,
I am so sorry. I wanted to wait for you, but I’ve run out of time. I’ve gone. I pray that our paths will cross again. Please know that I love you, and I always will.
Your Ashley

Unbidden, tears appeared at the corners of my eyes. I folded the letter back into the envelope. For a moment I thought to place it back where I’d found it, but instead I found a spot to sit under a tree and wait. I thought, perhaps, Kevin might need a friend when he came.

One Kid’s Video Game is Another Kid’s Raging Obsession

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s writing assignment, along with the accompanying twist, introduces us to the idea of linking blog posts together to make a kind of series. Depending on what you choose to write about, this can be a way to keep readers coming back. Just like when reading a series of novels, if your readers enjoy the first one they’re going to want to check out the second. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Today’s assignment is to write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life and isn’t anymore. Today’s twist: make today’s post the first in a three-part series.

I grew up in the video game revolution. When I was only a toddler I had an Atari with such amazing joy-stick-based games as ‘Mouse Trap’ and ‘Plaque Attack’. When I was a bit older my parents got me a Nintendo Entertainment System and I spent hour upon hour with the Super Mario Bros. The true gem of my childhood, however, was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which I got for Christmas when I was about 8 or 9.

The SNES introduced me to some of my very favorite games of all time. I spent ridiculous amounts of time playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 3 (US version), and the little-known gem, Uniracers. And then my best friend told me about this role-playing game that she’d tried out from the local rental place (do you remember those? If not, you’re too young to understand the joy of the SNES). It was called ‘Chrono Trigger’, she told me, and to hear her tell it this game was absolutely amazing.

I rented it for myself one night, and I was immediately hooked. Chrono Trigger had amazing graphics (for the time; shut up, youngsters), an amazing storyline, lovable characters, and something I had never seen before: multiple endings that were rewarded to you depending on certain decisions and achievements you made while playing. It quickly became one of my favorite games of all time (and still is), and it didn’t take long before I’d convinced my dad to buy it for me (a wise financial decision, considering the amount of money I was pumping into rentals).

Owning the game made me obsessed with collecting every item, achieving every ending variant, and maxing out all the characters’ stats. This required a massive amount of grinding (killing enemies over and over again to gain experience in order to gain levels) that took hours and hours of my precious childhood. It may seem silly, and a waste of time to people who don’t play video games, but it was a serious ambition of mine to grind enough to get all the characters up to the maximum level of 100 (denoted by a pair of stars next to the character’s name).

I was getting so close. I had two of the characters maxed out already, three characters in the 90’s levels, and two in the 80’s. I was going to do it.

Then, one day after school I came home, grabbed my SNES controller, and turned the game console on. The screen flashed for a moment, and then remained black. I began to panic immediately.

There may be some of you reading this who are too young to remember cartridge games, but the Super Nintendo had them. Instead of disks or digital downloads we had rectangular hunks of plastic with a circuit board sticking out of the bottom that had to be pressed firmly into the top of the game console. If the game was not properly pressed all the way down before turning the console on, you could cause a short circuit that could cause all kinds of problems. Problems like deleting your game save data.

I touched the top of my Chrono Trigger cartridge and pressed down. It moved a good inch, meaning it hadn’t been seated properly when I’d turned the console on. With my little heart dancing in my chest, I turned the console on again and loaded up the game.

Empty. My game save data was gone, as though the game was fresh from the store.

I can’t describe how I felt at that moment, but it was an interesting mixture of rage and depression. To a kid, losing that many hours of gameplay on a video game is like a college student accidentally deleting the term paper they’ve been working on for weeks. I felt robbed. Robbed of hours and hours of “work”, and robbed of my victory, my bragging rights. I was certain I would never come close to touching this achievement again, and I was right. Even as an adult with a remastered version of the game on a newer console, I never came anywhere near maxing out all my characters’ stats ever again.

But that’s not the end of this tale… You see, I hadn’t removed the Chrono Trigger cartridge from my SNES in weeks. So how, you might wonder, did the cartridge wind up popped out of the console and seated improperly? Well, that’s a story for another day…

Musical Moments

wpid-writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2-1.png.pngToday’s assignment and twist are all about building a writing habit, which entails forcing yourself to write even when you can’t think of anything to write, and forgetting about such nonsense as spelling, grammar, or even making any sense (after all, those things can always be fixed later). The point is to get pen to paper and just get the words down, because you never know what awesome things you might write when you commit yourself.

For the assignment I’m actually scribbling all this out freehand, but for the sake of the blog I will fix such things as spelling and grammar as I’m typing it out. So without further ado, today’s assignment is:

Write about the three most important songs in your life – what do they mean to you? Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today – and moving forward – are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.


Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I love music – like, really love music – but there aren’t a lot of songs that I would consider to be “important” to me. I just love music in general. So a couple of these songs might seem like I’m stretching a little, but that’s okay.

“Me and You” by Kenny Chesney

It might not sound like a difficult task, but when I was planning my wedding one of the hardest choices for me was to decide what our first dance song would be. I must have listened to a thousand songs and every one felt chintzy or dumb or just didn’t fit. After what felt like forever I finally happened to stumble across this song – one I’d never heard before – and something clicked. I knew it was the perfect song to dance to with my new husband. My favorite lyric? “Just a precious few ever make it last, get lucky as me and you.”

“Now That I See You” from Disney’s “Tangled”

What? A Disney song is one of my “most important” songs? Yes, and I’ll explain. First, I’ve never stopped watching Disney movies because screw that, I love Disney movies. Second, when my daughter was an infant I happened to see Tangled. I thought the love song of the movie was very pretty, and I began humming it to my daughter when I was trying to get her to sleep. Eventually I learned the words and would actually sing it to her. Now it’s three years later, my daughter has actually seen Tangled herself, and now whenever I’m plucking at my guitar this is one of the songs she wants me to play and sing for her (she calls it ‘Rapunzel’s Song’).

The Final Fantasy 3/6 Theme

Okay, first a Disney song and now a video game song? I must be a musical philistine, right? Wrong, you close-minded fool. For one thing, quite a lot of video game music (especially RPG stuff) is orchestral, so my choice is automatically way more classy than, say, a pop song. Second, this song choice is all about the nostalgia and fond memories of my childhood. I grew up with video games, with the Final Fantasy series being one of my all-time favorites. Final Fantasy 3 (US version) was the first of the series that I’d ever played. To this day listening to that theme song brings me back to days spent with my best friend, the two of us piled in front of a Super Nintendo and a 13″ television. We thought the game was the greatest thing ever back then, and I still do to this day.

Oh, and if anyone is interested, I wrote for 17 minutes. ^_~

Down into the Dark


Okay, time to try something that requires a bit more cognitive thought. Here comes day 2 of the Writing 101 Challenge:

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could – and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time? Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.


Outside, amongst the sea of sand and sun, it is almost unbearably hot – the kind of dry heat that makes you long for water as though it is the one and only important thing in the world. Outside it feels desolate, almost depressing. Outside, looking out into the desert, I can’t help but think about what it would be like to be stranded out here, with hundreds of miles of cruel, pitiless terrain all around in every direction.

But inside the pyramids…oh, that’s another story. Inside the air is cooler, safe from the blazing sun. The air is musty, but in the exciting way that reminds you that few people have ever breathed this air.

Inside, when you touch the sun-baked stones, you can feel a kind of energy, like the soul of the great structure is speaking to you, whispering its secrets.
It is dark, of course, the only light coming from what we bring in with us, and that is part of the charm, the mystery. As we make our way slowly down the torchlit tunnels I can’t help but feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Even for the strictly scientific mind, a person can feel ghosts here, but that thrill is half the excitement. What is around that next dark corner? What do the wonderful drawings on the wall mean? Who was buried here, and what kind of curses may ancient people have placed on the tomb? What wonderous treasures might we find at the pyramid’s heart? What precious artifacts? What amazing and terrible histories?

These questions and more do I long to find the answer to, for sometimes reality is even more astounding than imagination. That is why I long to visit the pyramids of Egypt.

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