“All Yours” [A "Finding Mister Wright" Free Write]

I’ve been writing a lot of dark stuff, recently. So, at the end of a sunny, productive week at work, I just didn’t want to venture back into that ugly universe of gunslingers and death-dealers. I wanted to do something light. As it turned out, something sappy, too, but we have to take the respites when they come as they come. Thankfully, one of my Twitter buddies – George McNeese – gave me the push I needed to see the following short story brainworm through. It’s a free write I pulled together between 4:30pm yesterday and 9:00am this morning, so it’s quite rough. But, I had fun writing it. Hopefully, you have fun reading it, should you so choose.

Click the link below to read the story in PDF format. It follows the characters and situations introduced in my “Finding Mister Wright” series. It’s also fluffy and silly (and quite non-traditional), but all the stories told are true, albeit taken from different sources.
All Yours – A Finding Mister Wright Free-Write

‘Til next time, happy writing!

 

 

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Brain Freeze [Free-write]

Just a bit of free writing on a Sunday morning, inspired by the following Tweet, from fellow writer Sally-Jayne:
IceCreamMan-prompt

The tinny tune wafted on the night breeze, rippling over the burbling canal and along the street, bouncing from brick to brick down the row of tightly-packed houses. Up over the doors kept safe by Yale, Alexor, and Infinite, to the windows above propped open to let in the subtly soothing wind. And more.

Two rooms away, Daddy slept soundly with Mummy beside him. Lily knew he’d wake – both of them would – if she called. If she could call. But when the tune stuttered, skipping on a high C, the breeze fell still, and Lily cringed beneath the covers.

The curtains drifted up without wind, slow arms seeking blindly in the dark. A shadow of a beast loomed between them, head large and misshapen by tiny, crackling crystals.

The Ice-Cream Man had come.

I happened to glance at Twitter this morning, and was struck by this quick idea for a horror story. I’m not good at horror (I’m not good at much of anything, save perhaps drama), but it’s always fun to take a stab at something different.

Thanks again to Sally-Jayne for the prompt! I hope that all of you, too, are finding ways to tap into your own inspiration, whether it’s silly, scary, or the next part of your ongoing story.

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Making the decision

On Sunday, March 9, 2014, a few minutes past eight o’clock in the morning, my dad passed away.

I’d been visiting him until the Thursday before. Then, Sunday morning, I got the phone call from my mom. My husband and I packed up the girls and turned right around onto the road again, to make the trip back up to my parents’. My mom’s, now, I have to keep reminding myself to call it.

The week was a rush of activity, but, somehow, everything fell into place. We had a brief snowstorm the day before the wake, but it turned out okay: the day of the wake was sunny if cold, and the snow had been all but cleared from the roads. In the early hours of the morning of the funeral service, we rushed around, trying to get into kimono. My dad had requested we wear kimono to his funeral service. Not black ones, though, as tradition would dictate, but colorful green, purple, and red, to celebrate the brightness of his life. We made it in perfect time, though. The service was lovely, and we shared a lot of stories and happy memories at the breakfast following. I came back home that next Sunday, but, as we drove away down the street of the house where both my dad and my sister and I grew up, I knew it would never quite be the same.

My dad’s story was more complex and nuanced than I usually thought of it, growing up. He was an Army Sergeant in Vietnam. He was a world traveler. He had a long-distance relationship with a young woman who didn’t speak much English when they met…yet, they fell in love, he brought her to the US, and they had my sister and me. He worked at the local airport in customer service, and, even though he rarely ventured past the ops desk in that capacity, he met and touched the lives of so many people, all of whose stories I heard of him were full of laughter and mischief and kindness.

When thinking on the story of my dad’s life, how grand and how simple it was at the same time, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to capture that in my own stories. But, whenever I’d go to him for advice about some issue in my life, he would always tell me:

“You have to make the decision. Sometimes, it’s right, and, sometimes, it’s wrong. But nobody can fault you just for making the decision. The only way we learn is through that choice.”

So, I’ve decided to put myself out there. Maybe I’m not publishable in the traditional sense, but why should that stop me from sharing my own story? I believe in this decision, for the learning experience, if nothing else. My dad taught me that.

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My Tears Don’t Last

My father is a simple man. His life has not been without its trials, but he has always loved well, and with genuineness, and has been well loved for that, in return.

He’s also one of the most generous people I’ve ever known: giving, allowing, and sharing, of his home, his table, and the gifts he’s been blessed with – an impressive kindness of heart, a vast intellect that has never been overbearing, a measured voice of reason, and a sense of humor that’s let us appreciate the ridiculousness of our earthly existence.

It always seems that it’s the generous and selfless people who suffer the most. But, it has also struck me that that generosity of spirit is not a burden to them, nor cause for any regret. Giving people like my father understand that it’s not money, power, or possessions that make a person great in the eyes of those whose opinions truly matter: the loved ones of our lives, who flock to us and surround us even in difficult times.

It’s my father who’s taught me that, while the love we share with one another can’t rewind time or erase mistakes, it can help us find the strength to face the harsh moments with a little less fear, a little less anger, and a little less despair than we might be able to do, without that love.

My father has always accepted the sacrifice of pain and hardship with candor and dignity. There have been moments of fear, anger, and despair, as there would be for any of us. But he has always held to a great love for other people, that I feel even when the words are spoken softly.

I’m crying as I write this. Though, the tears never last long. Because thinking of my father, I feel touched by true grace, and it fills me with a great peace of heart. Everyone who is lost, alone, or in pain deserves the abundant compassion my father has given all through his life. And, when the day comes that he becomes an angel, he’ll be able to spread that love faster and farther than any earthbound person could ever do…even soaring through the air in a DC10.

I wish for you that powerful feeling of care that can overcome all the darknesses of our lives and hearts. Though, if you know my father, you probably already know what that feels like.

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With sincere thanks to you

A few days ago, we found out my father’s cancer was growing back, even after his chemotherapy. The doctors are recommending home hospice, so I’m going back to the family home to spend this time with him.

In many ways, I’m my father’s daughter. I grew up understanding the power of candor, transparency, and honesty, especially when it comes to what I believe in. One thing in which I believe strongly is stories, and the power they have to affect people, change people, invite people into our lives and hearts.

I don’t know how much I’ll be around here in terms of posting, reading, or commenting. But, know that each and every one of you is important to me. Whenever you have taken the time to read one of my stories, and let me know what you think, good or bad, that’s your precious time you’ve given to me. And, I am grateful for it. I’d be foolish and selfish not to be.

Be honest with your voice. Be transparent with your pen. Be candid with your inner critic. Most of all, be well and brave and true to yourself, no matter where your path goes or how sharply or slowly it twists. We are all our own stories, from the day we first open our eyes to the night we close them for good. And, all our stories are worth sharing.

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