How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 5 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

There are now less than 24 hours left before the worldwide writing frenzy of NaNoWriMo begins! Before you begin, I would like to give you my last token of creative advice.

Create a Soundtrack for your novel.

Now, I imagine that this may have you thinking of soundtrack in the same way one thinks of a movie soundtrack. Well, that is not exactly what I am referring to here.

Movie soundtracks are designed to emotionally lead the audience in a specific emotional direction while watching the movie unfold. If a romantic scene is on the horizon, cue the sexy music. If suspense, then in comes the music that gets your pulse racing.

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With the soundtrack for your novel,  collect tracks that get you into the head of your characters and reminds you of the spirit of your story as a whole.

Now there are songs that you can gather that help you to build certain scenes, similar to the way movies do, and those are helpful as well.

For me, I generally have specific songs for each of my characters. This helps me to keep every one authentic. Writing a novel in 30 days can cause a bit of character confusion if you are not careful. Soundtracks per person can help eliminate that.

HOW TO USE THE SOUNDTRACK:

Remember music is a muse. When I need to let my mind rest and my fingers stretch from a long stint of typing, I use this time to sit back, close my eyes, and listen to the songs that I’ve gathered that reminded me of my characters and my plot line.

This way, even while resting, I am still allowing my imagination to keep working on the story.

Think of it as an imaginative interlude and meditation. And trust me, it helps a lot.

A COUPLE OF BONUSES!

If you have time, check out my blog posting on this very subject, created while I was doing a form of NaNoWriMo while writing my blog novel, Ascension Graveyard (REVISIONS AND CHAPTERS COMING SOON!)

For The Muse in the Music, posting follow this LINK.

Should music not be the muse and medicine that you need to keep in tune with your characters (pun not intended) then try this writing prompt that I created, Coffee With Character…or Tea. The exercise is all about getting to know each individual character in your story on a more personal level.

For instance knowing your character likes to wear red socks on Monday may not be something you add to the story itself but it is something that helps you, the writer, build the world of their personality. It’s an intimate nuance that sheds greater light on their behaviors.

As laughable as it may seem, a person that specific with something as trivial as sock color will be less prone to certain behaviors, while more apt in yielding to others.

FINAL 5-DAY CREATIVE ADVICE RECAP

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest reader’s eye, and give you feedback. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 3. Set a daily word count goal that you can manage. (Click HERE for full article

TIP 4. Keep a “SPICE RACK”  of ideas  and scenes in a separate word document (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 5. Create a playlist that reminds you of your characters and plot, that you can meditate on during downtime.

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

Most importantly, just have fun. Write because you can. Write because you want to, and write because your imagination is worth the time to share!

Cheers! and Happy NaNoWriMo!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

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How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 4 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

Token 4: KEEP A “SPICE RACK”  OF IDEAS  AND SCENES IN A SEPARATE WORD DOCUMENT

A while ago, when I first started this blog, I made mention of separate documents that I keep alongside each novel that I work on. Now to be clear, this document is NOT an Outline. It is what I call a “Spice Rack.”

pexels-photo-256318Assuming (again) that you are already a seasoned writer, I am pretty sure you are familiar with the process of your creativity “jumping ahead” of your story as you write it. For example, you may be working on chapter five when suddenly some thrilling scene pops in your head that has nothing to do with the current flow of the story BUT it somehow fits, like a glimpse into the future. You just don’t know where.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THIS SCENE?

If you are smart, YOU WRITE IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY! and you store what you have written in the, you guessed it, spice rack document. (And when I say write it down, I don’t mean write ABOUT it, I mean actually WRITE it as if that is where you are in the novel. This will save you time later and give you the full feeling of your characters’ future selves.)

These scenes may not fit immediately into the storyline, but they do count toward your daily word count and overall word count goal. As you continue writing you will surely find out that this ‘homeless’ scene you took a pause to build early on around ‘chapter five’ was actually the climax of Chapter twenty-seven! (Glad you wrote it down when it came to you, aren’t you? )

WHEN DO YOU USE YOUR SPICE RACK?

Keep in mind that writing a novel is kind of like making soup from scratch. You have all the basic ingredients, but as the stock is cooking there are times that you taste test it and find that it just needs something to give it that little extra kick. What do you do? You go to your spice rack.

As you grow deeper into your novel during NaNoWriMo, you will draw toward moments where you just feel like something is missing. This is where you open up your spice rack document and grab one of those seemingly out of place bits of writing that you cranked out of nowhere.

For me, there were conversations, heated ones, that my characters who hadn’t even met yet, were having somewhere in the future, and as I kept writing I subconsciously built my way into each one of those Spice Rack scenes.

I have actually been doing the “Spice Rack” since I was fourteen years old…I am now old enough to have a fourteen-year-old.

So here is another brief recap of NaNo Tokens:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest reader’s eye, and give you feedback. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 3. Set a daily word count goal that you can manage. (Click HERE for full article

TIP 4. Keep a “SPICE RACK”  of ideas  and scenes in a separate word document

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

Cheers! and Happy Writing!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 3 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

Tip 3. SET A DAILY WORD COUNT GOAL!

Setting a daily word count goal is such a helpful thing because it gives you a window or a destination for creative breaks.  If you start NaNoWriMo with the goal of 50,000 words, you run the risk of seeing a never-ending tunnel that just keeps getting longer no matter how fast, hard or far you run. tunnel

Do the math and add on from there. It requires a minimum of 1,666 words typed each day in order to reach 50,000 words by close of November 30th.

I suggest aiming for a higher word count goal for each day but with a cushion for a minimum. If you are already a writer you know that even with set goals, life happens and you may not get to write a single word at all.

WHAT DID I DO?

I scheduled my writing into two sessions a day. In the morning I would write for about 2 to 3 hours with a goal of 2,000 to 3,000 words in that session. And then in the evening, I would write again with a word count goal of 1,500 to 2,000 words.

With roughly 5,000 words written each day, this left me wiggle room for the days where “life” interrupted my flow and meant that I had managed enough words to be closer to 50,000.

Perfect example. The first year I attempted to write a novel in 30 days, I used this model of word count. Things went very well for most of the month but then my neighborhood lost power (as did most of the city due to bad storms. The electricity was out FOR A WEEK!

I had to literally write by candlelight and by hand.

Glad to say that I did make well over novel statues by the end of 30 days and even finished the entire manuscript by close of day 96. But because I had managed to work in 5,000 words a day I had afforded myself that cushion for when life took over.

So if you are keeping up, here are the refreshers with my advice:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest readers eye, and give you feedback. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 3. Set a daily word count goal that you can manage.

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 2 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

 

FRIENDS ARE THE BEST! INVITE A READER ON YOUR JOURNEY WITH YOU.

Making the big decision to commit to writing a 50,000-word tome in 30 days is a PRETTY BIG decision to make.

togetherNow that you have done that, and have decided to take my advice on just writing whatever comes from your imagination, and flies out of your fingertips like magic sparks, allow me to offer you token number 2 that I learned in my experiences.

TIP 2. Have an honest friend (One who will be straight with you if your plot is not great) support you by reading your daily progress. (This person is not writing, ONLY reading.)

One of the biggest attractions of  NaNoWriMo is the worldwide support system that a writer becomes apart of for 30 days.  I read an article, a few years back, out of Writer’s Digest. That entire edition was dedicated to, you guessed it, NaNoWriMo, and it likened this experience to running a marathon, and how being surrounded by strangers with the same goal helps each runner keep pressing forward.Mag Cover

I believe that is sage, to have that kind of support, HOWEVER, that is not what I mean by having a friend come along with you…obviously, because I said that already, twice.

In the first 2 years (This year I flew solo and paid for it, yikes! I know right?! How selfish of my reader friend to get married and be on her honeymoon and stuff…I digress.) that I participated, I had a friend who I sent my daily progress to.

This helped in several different ways:

  1.  I had an audience who kept an eye on plot points and pointed out mistakes for me if I got off track.  By them pointing out my mistakes, it saved me time in the future with revisions AND it enabled me a quicker movement back on track with the progression of the story.  She also tended to print out the pages and make copy edits all on her own. PRICELESS!
  2. Because they were invested in the story (They kept reading because they liked the plot) they acted as a dog on my heels, nipping when I wasn’t writing fast enough. This is encouraging because their desire to read more was a sign that they were enjoying the story, which meant I wasn’t writing a bunch of crap.  (If they didn’t like it, they said so. Again get an honest friend for the journey, not one who likes everything you do just because.)
  3. Having to send my daily progress gave me a sense of a more immediate goal to work toward. When there is a feeling of expectation, you are more willing to perform without coming up with a ton of excuses and reasons to not follow through.

So if you have time (and you do) find a friend who loves to read, is honest about what they read, and who will give it to you straight as they read.  As Ecclesiastes 4:9 says:

 Two are better than the one, for they enjoy a better reward for their toil.

Enjoy your journey, and as always, happy writing! And if you somehow missed my Token number 1:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest readers eye, and give you feedback. 

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 1 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

In less than a week, November 1st will be here, and a mass of heroes and heroines will be born from the typing fingers of those who have bravely taken up the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

First, let me say congratulations for being brave enough to challenge yourself with this. I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for three years running, and each year I have come away with a fantastic body of work (that yes, needs editing and revision) that I can be proud of.

Now, let me clarify, I have not officially done the NaNoWriMo with the whole registration thing (which I totally recommend because they have some great rewards for those who complete the 30 days with 50,000 words or more.) Why? Well, because I tend to use any 30 day month, June being the month of choice, to tackle my writing adventure.

November, June, September, April, any of these months will do. They all have 30 days, and they all afford you the chance to learn something new about yourself and your writing craft, and most awesomely, to walk away with the foundation of a novel or a completed novel before you enter the next calendar month. And thus far, I have walked away with several novels and series ready for revision, 3 novels, 1 series, as well as a blog novel, Ascension Graveyard,  that I will be gearing up to share again in a few months…

I’ve reached well beyond 50k word novels status with AG but have rewritten it several times.

Q. SO WITH ALL OF THAT SAID, WHAT DID I LEARN AND WHAT CAN I SAY AS A WORD OF ADVICE FOR DAY ONE OF THE COUNTDOWN TO NANOWRIMO?

A. I learned that, for me, there is NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK.

There are several reasons why we “think” we are blocked, but the truth is we always have something to say, we just have to allow ourselves to say it. Check out my  post “Are You Listening.” It highlights one of the reasons that keep us from achieving written awesomeness. 😉

My advice…

TIP 1: Sit down and write something. Close your eyes and let your fingers do the talking. If you are relaxed and just let your imagination do what it does, the words will come, and something magical and fulfilling will happen. Don’t psych yourself out with all the overthinking. Breathe, type, breathe, type, breathe.

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Right Time: Writing Prompt 1 Results

Writing Prompt: “3rds” Song: The Right Time, by Warren Barfield (Click the song title to read lyrics and hear the song.) Album:“Red Bird” 3rd line in 3rd verse of 3rd song: “We were barely getting by” Note: From my view, I have chosen to count the chorus as a verse. To view the original Prompt & Rules, click HERE.

The Right Time

“We were barely getting by. Carlos liked to believe that everything was just fine, but me, I knew better. Seven days straight drinking cold water and wearing underclothes that were so filthy they could stand up straight on their own was not fine.

“Life’s too short to be gripping all the time.” Carlos managed to throw that line at me every time I looked like I was going to wage a complaint. In all honesty, there wasn’t anything that Carlos could do that he wasn’t already doing to make things any better. We had a roof over our heads, really it was a tent he had managed to pinch from some local store a few months back. He hated stealing, but he hated being cold more than that.

More than just being dirty, finding our stomachs growling louder than any conversation we could seem to have, what seemed to bother me the most was his optimism. I suppose one of us had to be the optimist. One of us had a whole long life to live and the other…well the other of us was on precious borrowed time, time that should never be spent with complaints, no matter how much clay gets caught underneath your fingernails.

Apart from the stealing, we did other things that weren’t always on the shining side of the law. All of it was harmless. Just two kids out pocking a joke or two with no cares in the world besides seeking a good laugh and make believing we were a pair of lost boys on Neverland.

That was mostly true.

There wasn’t much to care about besides living in that moment. At least I let Carlos believe that I believed that. That is what friends are for, to laugh with, cry with, and run away with when it seems there is no hope.

Homes for the un-adoptables. What is it that makes a kid unwanted, unable to be placed? What does being unadoptable even mean? Did it mean that Carlos and I, and a slew of others, were broken, mistakes, unfit for love?

Carlos somehow managed to not think so. He said it meant we were born free. It meant we were created without confines and made to live in the dreams that others would never get to live.

I had always been the realist, not so much a pessimist, but a guy willing to look at the facts and call a spade a spade. We weren’t wanted because we were too old. Thirteen isn’t cute and cuddly. Carlos said if age had anything to do with it then what made us not cute when we were babies in the system?

I kept the hard truth to myself. One of us wasn’t wanted because of sickness and a quick expiration date on life. Parents didn’t want that. They wanted to be grandparents. That meant their kid had to grow up. If they wanted to watch the beginning and end of a life in less than twenty years they would get a puppy, not a thirteen-year-old old boy.

That is why we ran away. That is why I ran away and I am so glad that I did because if I hadn’t done so, ten years ago, I would have never gotten to see Carlos reach the height of his life. I would have never come out of my shell and anger. I would have never been able to tell his grandmother, seven months after he passed, what a great kid he was. I would have never been adopted by her and become the man I am today if it wasn’t for Carlos.

THE END.

I really enjoyed writing this and seeing how the story unfolded around that first line, “We were barely getting by.” I felt like I was taking a risk, hitting on a subject that is so sensitive to many, being an “unwanted” child, lost in the system. I hope I was able to bring the short tale full circle and create a tale that is uniquely its own apart from the song that lent its inspiration.  Thanks for reading, and I will be posting my BONUS round next week!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

“3rds”: Creative Writing Prompt #AmWriting #Story #CreativeWritingPrompt

There is nothing like a good writing prompt to help get your muse muscling along. I, for one, enjoy those with a time limit as well as quirky rules to follow.

This one is called “Thirds.”

TIME LIMIT: 20min (This is from the moment you put your pen to the pad or start typing…and yes, we are under an honor system here.)

DESCRIPTION: Music is a big part of our inspiration. We all listen to music. But how much does music shape the art that we go forth to create? Are we conscious of its effects on us, and if so (if you weren’t before) how can we take this knowledge and harness this inspiration to create something fresh and authentic and on purpose?

RULES:

  1. Choose the album that you are currently listening to or listening to the most, and select the 3rd track on the album.
  2. Play the track over 3 times.
  3. Get a hold of the lyrics, go to the 3rd stanza/verse and then select the 3rd line. (If your song does not have such stanza’s then just grab the 3rd line in the verse)
  4. Weave a story or poem of your own around this 3rd verse and see what you come up with within 20min.
  5. Remember to include the Track you are working from via Youtube to your post if possible. If not, just add the title of the song and the band etc.

BONUS ROUND:

*Instead of using music, use a book or poem that you are reading. Select the 3rd chapter and the 3rd line, and weave a story/poem around that line, making it your own.

**I will post my results NEXT WEEK**

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Coffee With Character…Or Tea. How to Get to Know Your Fictional Characters: A Creative Writing Exercise #WritingTip #Writing #CreativeWriting

Writing is such a cathartic expression. Be it used to create poetry, something literary, or a piece that is completely outlandish and full of adventure, writing is indeed a breath of fresh air.

As writers, even in the face of an activity so purifying we often times find ourselves locked in a position where our creative muscles have not been trained to go, or rather have no idea how to get where we are trying to go.  This frustration is no different than Yoga.

Original art by Candice Coates
Original art by Candice Coates

Sure, you have got “Downward facing dog” in the bag, but dare your muscles to attempt “Crane pose.” or “Forearm-standing Scorpion,” and you may find yourself stuck in between the attempt and nowhere near where you had hoped to be.

And it all looked to so easy in the beginning.

Original Art by Candice Coates
Original Art by Candice Coates

This writing exercise is all about getting ‘there,’ helping you stretch past the stiffness of your imaginative muscles, especially when it comes to the characters who are the life blood of the writing you may be working on.

In order to get ‘there’ you need to know the folks you are traveling with, right?

Here are some steps to do that.

EXERCISE:

1.Write down the names of the main characters in your book (and even some important supporting characters). Write them on a piece of paper or even on your computer (your choice) in column style.

These are the names of the folks you are inviting over for an intimate meal or even just a good cup of coffee, one character at a time or if you are feeling adventures, invite them all!

2. Consider the likes and dislikes of each Character: what each character likes to eat. What they don’t like. Who prefers olive oil over butter, how do they take their coffee?

3. Write it all down.

4. Now think about how the conversation would go with them.

5. Jot these things down in each column.  Do they tell jokes? Do they like the shakshuka you prepared? Do they even know what shakshuka is?

Bonus: Have fun with it. Treat the characters as you would any guest you were entertaining.

WHAT IS THE REWARD?

The reward of this exercise is to get to know your characters more intimately. The answers that you find out about these individuals are not necessarily tid-bits you would add to beef up your plot, but they are the gems that really get you in the head and heart of the people who are acting out the story. It makes the flow so much more authentic.

It makes the flow so much more authentic. By knowing these little intimate details you will know what things they will and will not tolerate while you work and weave your plot around them.

This information will stretch you from “Downward facing dog” into “Crane pose” without locking your muscles.

Happy Writing!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

P.S if you don’t know what shakshuka is, follow this LINK! Happy writing and happy eating!

*This exercise was original created August 28, 2014, and has been revised.

Turn around the Ballroom: #Shortstory #Amwriting #Writing

Turn around the ballroom“Let this be the last time we have this conversation,” Malcolm spoke through clenched teeth. His mother sat gracefully in her wing-back chair, her hair in a perfectly tight coiffure, her mouth and the lines surrounding it even tighter.

She kept her hands loosely folded in her lap. Her face displayed her displeasure, but her hands . . . her hands showed she was not at all truly troubled nor threatened by Malcolm.

Her expression slowly melted into a placid picture of motherly grace. The corners of her red lips rising slowly. Her eyes, however, remained sharp. Her gentleness was not to be misread. She would have the last word and Malcolm would honor it.

“Darling, there is no need for you to behave so distastefully, nor to speak with such harsh tones. Please, do sit. You flutter my nerves when you are so anxious.” She patted the side of her head and her fingers trailed down and traced the line of her pearls as she lied.

She somehow took pleasure in the trouble she caused her son. She couldn’t help it. He looked so much like his father, his real father–Abbot Gray, not the man she had married. He had not let her be happy with him. She hated him.

Reticent, but wanting to show some level of respect for his mother, Malcolm acquiesced, taking the farthest seat in the parlor. Tension settled on his shoulders like a sodden wool blanket. He stretched his neck, his blue eyes staring sharply into his mother’s.

In the beginning, he had not understood all the years of hell she had raised around him. As a small child she had adored him, but when he had turned thirteen, as his voice and body began to give way to the changes brought forth by time, his beloved mother’s soft expressions and gentle touches transformed into cutting gazes, stiff hugs that were few and far between, and harsh words that could raise the dead.

He had begun to look too much like a person she hated. Malcolm thought things would settle and ease if he did whatever she asked of him, and he had. But nothing, nothing had ever pleased her. He had long since ceased the attempt.

Now armed with the knowledge of Abbot Gray, knowledge she had no inkling of him having, he would not dare bend to her whims again. He would not pay for another man’s sins nor his mothers. He would have Elizabeth and no one would keep him from that happiness.

Mother gazed out the window for only a few seconds, but long enough for a glint of satisfaction to spark in her eyes. That shine always came when she aimed to wound him.

“I have already sent word to the girl that there will be no wedding. I told her clearly so as to leave no room for misunderstanding that she was nothing more than a fleeting play, a turn around the ballroom of a man’s desires, and that you had not the heart to tell her the truth.” That is how Abbot Gray had made her feel.

Her jaw muscle ticked. “I received her response just this afternoon.” She let her gaze fall upon Malcolm again, hiding her own inner wound.

Malcolm’s face was stone. “Did you now?” Were the only words he could manage. They seemed to satisfy his mother. Pink crept through her pale color and flooded into her wrinkling cheeks. Her cruel heart had aged her greatly.

“I did. You left me no choice in the matter.”

Malcolm stood again and found his place near the fireplace he stared in to the flames. “Did you take the time to read the response. Mother?”

“No, darling. I waited for you to do so.” Her voice was light as if she were sighing. She was satisfied. “Shall I do so now?”

Malcolm glared hard at the back of her head. He skirted around her chair and stood only a few feet away from her. He wanted to see her expression when she read. His heart drummed against his rig cage as each penned word became married with sound.

He bit down hard into his lip stifling his own smile, no, laughter. Watching the color drain as she read the letter, his letter, penned by his own hand, notarized by the Parson, Abbot Gray, who had wed him and his beloved made him want to dance.

Balling the paper with white-knuckled fist, she sneered at her son with blood red eyes, her words somehow choked from her by the string of pearls around her neck.

Malcolm cleared his throat. “It is a pity, Mother that you could not have been there. Elizabeth was a dream in robin’s egg blue. Parson Abbot or should I say, my father, did a wonderful job with the vows. He did ask me to give you his regards.”

THE END

Not too sure where this came from. Vindictive mother’s, absent fathers, lies and revenge…Malcolm and his mother.

*This story was originally writing January 31, 2014, and has been revised.

The Pull of the Rain: A Free Flow Write #Romance #Writing

the-pull-of-the-rain

“I don’t know how to win you.” He said, the lines in his brow straining against the pull of the rain. The eyes that looked back at him were equally intense, equally determined.

But why? Why was this such a struggle? Didn’t she understand? He pulled his hand down his face, callouses brushing against evening whiskers that had begun to sprout beneath the brutality of the day. Dampness, not only from the rain but from the sweat of his exertion made his shirt cling to his chest, arms, and back.

He needed to quit this, he needed to quit her, he needed-

“Didn’t you hear the bell?”  A voice cut through the patter of rain against wet earth. A finger of lightning traced the sky and pointed towards the house a little ways off. It was as if the finger of God was telling him, “Go home, Jesse. That is enough.”

Jesse ground his teeth, walking toward the edge of the fence. He met the woman’s gaze as she shielded her eyes against the falling rain with the kitchen towel she held above her head.

Why is she out here? 

She asked again, “Didn’t you hear the bell? I rang it several times.”

“I heard it.” His voice was clipped. She paused, as was her way as of late, and traced his face as if it were a page of a novel she was reading. She was reading him.

“Alright then,” she finally said. Her hands dropped down, pulling the kitchen towel from over her head. She twisted it between her hands before glancing once over his shoulder and then back at the house.

She had only gotten a few steps before Jesse forced himself out of the corral. He took hold of her arm and turned her around to face him, another generic apology ready upon his lips.

“Hannah,” He said her name but paused, the expression on her face striking him to silence. Even beneath the wetness of the falling rain he could tell there were tears upon her face.

He had never given a care for her tears, never given a care for her. He didn’t know how to win her either. He didn’t know how to bring peace from an unwanted union, or love from two lonely hearts made stone. Nothing he had tried to do had done any good with Hannah, the same way nothing he had been trying to do with the blasted horse was working either.

He felt defeated, he could tell that Hannah did as well, the dip at the corners of her mouth said so. He touched the side of her mouth with his fingertip and felt a jolt of electricity that was not unlike the lightning.

Before he could make heads or tails of why he had touched her mouth with his hand, he touched her lips with his, something he had not done since the day they said “I do,” and even that was short lived and almost painful.

But it wasn’t so with this kiss, not with how the rain blanketed them, not with how Hannah’s unsure hands found their way up his chest, or how his arms found their way around her curved waist.

It was peace. It wasn’t winning, it wasn’t losing. It was just the sweetest surrender; giving into the wanting and being met with the same determination.

THE END

*Originally published April 9, 2015.

 

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!