Story Idea/Writing Practice

Hi you’ve reached Chantrelle Casey. I am loving life and can’t take your call. Just text me and I’ll text you later. Bye.

“Shanti please pick up. I have texted, called and nobody has heard from you. I am seriously worried about you. Call me. ASAP. I mean it”

“I don’t understand that girl. She is spoiled and you have to work so hard.”

“Mom, Shanti is good people. So what if her folks are loaded. She is basically alone and doesn’t have anyone. Her parents are never home and when they are, it is always a fight. She doesn’t have a wonderful loving mom like I do and that is priceless. Pretty sure she would rather be in our family than hers.”

Her mother snorted, “If you say so. Besides who names their child after a mushroom?”

“It was a phase her dad went through. He wanted to grow truffles and stuff. So he named her and her mom was ok with it being french sounding. I don’t know. They both were probably drunk or high.”

*****

The voicemail message finished playing. “Who is that? She sounds so concerned for you. A spoiled little rich girl shouldn’t have friends that really care. They should be fake, only concerned with what you can give them. Isn’t that right my dear?”

Shanti froze against the gag. She flinched when he came towards her. Eyes closed she couldn’t bear seeing his face. The mask was grotesque, at least she thought it was a mask. The pressure against her mouth dropped as he pulled the gag out. Her mouth was so dry, if only she could ask for some water.  Her voice croaked and came out whisper soft.

“She’s a nobody.  Some chick that went to the same school as me.  I used her to do my homework and stuff.” She tried to keep the tremble out of her voice.

“Maybe I should go meet this nobody that is so concerned.” The mask distorted his voice. He watched her.

“Can I go home? Will you trade me for her?” Hope glimmered in her eyes. “I know where she lives. Her mom lives there too. Please let me go.”

He cinched the gag tight. She whimpered. “I have enjoyed our time together. I will have to think about it.”

*****

All It Takes? Really

Well I guess my writing block has been me all along. I picked this blog back up on July 4th and I have written more this last week than I have in two years.

Maybe I just needed a schedule and a deadline to be accountable too. So far I have written three posts, four if you count this one, and two story ideas/writing practice. Plus uploading the Quote of the day images. I try to get my posts written in the first week and then schedule them to be posted all during the month. And that may have been one of the problems. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

I guess I needed the break to get my head straight. And by then I was out of practice and it seemed so hard to write a post or story idea or poem or anything. That I kept avoiding it. So yeah, it feels good having creative juices flowing again. Hopefully it will lead somewhere productive.

What are you writing or reading or doing? Drop me a line and let know what you think. Cheers, james

Motorcycles & New Perspectives

2010 Yamaha V Star, a new perspective on travel and life

Mr. Ben Franklin famously said “Write something worth reading. Or do something worth writing.” 

Since I have been stuck in a rut both mentally and writing, I decided to change my perspective. They say riding on two wheels give you a whole new way of seeing the world around you. The safety of the vehicle is no longer there, and yet you are more connected to the scenery and elements.

At 40 years old and having never been on a motorcycle or scooter before, I bought one. I have drooled over various bikes throughout the years but never had the opportunity to try. I consulted with my grandfathers and my dad. All three felt it was an extremely good way to become a road pancake. And valuing their opinions, I let it go. I figured the notion would pass and yet it was a faint whisper in the back of my mind.

Fast forward 23 years give or take a couple and I fell in love with an electric blue scooter trike. While researching the scooter, it occurred to me why not go for a motorcycle. The only basic difference in a motorcycle and a scooter is the scooter has the motor in the back under the seat. They are also automatic. Most motorcycles are a manual transmission (they have a clutch) but some are starting to have an automatic transmission. The scooter’s price point was out of range and the motor wasn’t big enough to suit me. I want something that can handle traffic speeds.

So I started looking through the classified ads and found my beautiful motorcycle. She is a Yamaha V Star 650, which means she has the giddy up and go to run with traffic. And she is big enough that rides are pretty comfortable. I just have to watch my leg on the exhaust. Ouch. Hot, hot, hot. I feel I have plenty of growing room and lots of adventures to go on before I may decide on something bigger. Probably not though. She handles well and feels great.

I am hoping by learning to ride and getting out and traveling places. It will spark off my creative process and I will dive back into my writing. I am getting older and the feeling of “if not now, when” on both writing and riding.

Have a great week. Cheers, james

Summer Storm

As I write it is past my bedtime just after midnight. A storm is grumbling outside and has been for the last several hours. One dog is huddled under the blankets in a tight ball of nerves. Poor baby. She doesn’t handle any loud noises well. The other is sprawled across the foot snoring away, completely oblivious to anything.

It strikes me that sometimes I love watching and listening to a thunderstorm. And sometimes it triggers a fearful reaction. So far I never can tell which reaction I will have. The further away it sounds, the more interested in listening to it I am. The closer or if the light strikes are over top of me, the more inclined I am to want to hide.

As a small child, my mom said I was terrified of storms. So they would turn the lights out and light candles. That way I wouldn’t freak out if the power went out. And back in those day, the power would go with the smallest breath of wind. Things are a lot better now. The power companies trim the trees back away from the power lines. If the power goes out now; there has either been a pretty significant weather event or something happened to a transformer or line.

I seem to have lost track of where this post was supposed to be going. Probably because it is past my bedtime and the barometric pressure plays havoc with my head.

I probably intended to write something about the force of nature and how it effects the characters and events in your story. And yet sometimes it is overlooked and nothing happens. In Tolkien’s The Hobbit, when the trolls where arguing about how to cook the dwarves and the dawn catches them turning them to stone. That could have been the end of the story if he hadn’t used the force of nature and given the trolls a weakness to sunlight.

Another thing a writer should think about is how weather and the force of nature effects the characters. Do they fear tight cramped spaces? Thunderstorms? Rushing water? Heights? Rivers? Mountains? What reaction would they have to encountering these hardships? Those are questions to keep in mind as you write.

Cheers and good night or good morning depending on where you are in the world. james

Happy 4th of July 2022

Greetings, salutations and other slimy things. I wish you a safe and happy 4th of July. Or if you are in a part of the world other than the United States, happy Monday or Tuesday as the timeline may allow.

My dear friends, readers and those passing through, I am sorry. I fell off the edge of the world and didn’t say anything to you. When last I wrote, I was so excited that a new chapter was turning in my life. It did and then I stopped writing, I stopped pretty much everything except work and home.

WordPress notified me it has been 8 years this March. And yet I hadn’t even looked at this blog in almost a year. I started writing in March 2014 to help me get back into writing after moving in as caretaker for my uncle. He is absolutely living it up in his assisted living facility. Thank you for asking.

After I changed jobs, I thought I would have more time to devote to my writing and this blog. I was also excited about starting a blog for job. I never got that one off the ground and I couldn’t figure out what to write about for this one. And time just sort of slipped away. Funny how that happens.

So I am going to try to get back in gear. Posting book reviews, short stories, quote of the day and rambling thoughts like this one. Be well my friends.

Cheers, james

New Writing Set Up

When I started this blog, I wrote primarily from my smart phone. Then I got a tablet that worked with my keyboard and I used that too. Now, the tablet is old and cranky, it is running Android 7, and randomly closes whatever app I have open. I still mainly use my phone, but the tablet is nice because well bigger screen and real keyboard.

So I have invested in the Lenovo Duet Chromebook. It set up pretty much like any other Android based system. The Chromebook, however, is running the Chrome OS and I am not tech savy enough to know what differences that might entail. I am sure there are more tech knoweledgable folks that have reviewed the Duet and dig into the inner workings. As for me, I am happy to have something that won’t shut down while I am in the middle of reading, blogging or whatever.

First big difference between my old tablet and the Duet is screen size. I was using an 8 inch Lenovo tablet, while the Duet has a 10 inch screen. Big difference those two inches. (Cue snickering) Next is the keyboard. It is small and rather flat compared to my Nook Keyboard. The Nook Keyboard was almost a full size keyboard minus the number pad. The keyboard on the Duet also functions as the screen protector/cover. Thus far it isn’t causing too much of a difference other than I can reach all the keys that I maybe can’t quite reach on a normal sized keyboard. I may take a typing test to see what my speed is up too.

Then there is the speed, the Duet is lightening fast. Even when my old tablet was brand new it wasn’t this fast. That is due to the 4 gigs of Ram and the 128 gigs of solid state memory. It is so beyond what my old tablet had with 1 gig of Ram and 32 gigs of memory. I’m not sure the amount of Ram on my laptop and which is the faster.

I know which is the lighter of the two and the more portable. I still love my laptop and for some tasks there is no question of which is better suited. So I am hoping to get in lots of writing with this new set up. However as I am writing this in April and my last blog post was April 1st. I don’t know how true that statement really will turn out to be.

Cheers, james

Camp NaNo

Happy April 1st, 2021

Welcome to the first day of Camp NaNo. As you can see the NaNo Rhino is hard at work on plotting plot or perhaps plot holes. I applaud you for taking the time and putting in the effort to make your story your own.

Now quit wasting time reading blog posts when you should be settling in to the cabins and getting those words flowing. Best of luck. May your words never flow faster than your pen can write or your fingers type.

Cheers, james