So this one popped out one morning when I couldn’t sleep. The prompt was “bread”, but the moderator for the contest never came back to give us the results, so I don’t know who won. Thought I’d post it here. Don’t know if it’s really even long enough for flash fiction; it’s more of an image, an emotion. Meh, let me know what you think
We had been gone long enough that things smelled strange upon our arrival. You never smell your own home, until everything changes.
Kim walked through the great room to our master suite, eyes open, seeing things I would never see. The world felt empty. Our house was a drum, already beaten, silent as a vacuum.
The kitchen table had a single plate, untouched during our absence. He chewed his sandwiches away from the crusts when we didn’t cut them off for him. I guess most six-year-olds do the same thing. The crusts sat stale on the plate now, the little half-moons of his baby teeth still visible in the bread. Peanut butter and grape jelly hardened with the passage of time. I couldn’t bring myself to clean it up, not yet. His last meal would sit on the table another day, a monument of peanut butter and hardened bread to mark the passing of our only child.
I’ve been thinking about these topics lately. I don’t suffer from any form of clinical depression, let me get that out up front. But it seems to me that many of us that are drawn to writing struggle with depression. I wonder if the depression is fueled by the rejection; those long hours, sitting in front of a computer, pouring our souls into a manuscript that is nothing more than a failed pregnancy of hope, stillborn to all but the writer who sees a vibrant, living work. We come in knowing of the rejection, yet somehow believe that “I’m different”.
The good news for me is that I’ve discovered that NOT writing causes my bouts of anger. My frustrations with the world melt if I can put a thousand or so words down. Rejections hurts but hey, it’s just rejection. A guy learns to deal with rejection or he never gets a date, am I right?
I think a lot of us use depression as an excuse. “I’m not going to submit, because I can’t be rejected if I don’t” Bullshit. Submit anyway. I remember when I was young and stupid, and rejections/submissions were done with snail mail because the internet was new and scary. I saved the rejections, plastered my bulletin boards with them. They reminded me that I was working, that I was doing something. I was going somewhere.
I wish rejections were still on paper. I can’t really enjoy a rejection, sent electronically, printed then pinned to the wall. Somehow, they hurt more when I can’t use them as motivation. Or maybe, I’m just using that as my excuse.
Even when we know what we have to do, sometimes we have to be told
Kristen Lamb's Blog
Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anamorphic Mike.
What do you want? How badly do you want it? What are you willing to sacrifice? These are the questions we must ask not once, but daily. There is no success without the GRIND.
Or perhaps, the G.R.I.N.D.
Every day we have something to give that will keep propelling us forward. I love, love, love the movie Rocky. This is among my favorite quotes:
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and…
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When a colleague tells you s/he heard about a writing competition from someone in her PLN, do you first wonder what she’s talking about–not the contest but the three-letter acronym? Or maybe you think, ‘Of course [Amanda] has a PLN. She’s a geek.’ You might even understand the purpose of a PLN–to provide writers with a collaborative learning environment–but think you don’t need one, or the two yearly conferences you attend is all you can handle.
What is a PLN
According to D. Johnson (2013), a PLN (an acronym for ‘Professional Learning Network’ or ‘Personal Learning Network’) is:
“a self-created set of experts, colleagues, and resources…that meet one’s daily learning needs.”
More simply, it’s:
…an extended group of knowledgeable people you reach out to for answers, and trust to guide your learning.
These individuals can be anywhere in the world, but are always carefully selected by you for their…
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