Making Progress

I’m finally making progress on building my own website and official author email address. I registered for my own domain (www.rwfranklin.com) and am working on setting up that website. It’s not up and running yet so the message you’ll get right now is not an error. I had thought about transferring everything from this site over there, but am now reconsidering. 

I think I may keep this site the way it is and use that site solely as my “author” page. Since I don’t have anything published though, I may resort to planting a link back to this site until I have something solid to post on it. I may also just use it to post contests I find or updates about how my book is coming along (for the record – very slowly).

I’m going to a local author event tomorrow and need to make up some business cards or something that I can hand out to try and network a little. I now have an email address specifically for this, my own website, and soon a Facebook profile used solely for the purpose of networking with other authors. I should probably also think about trying to reserve a Twitter handle because I guess that will be important at some point. It does seem unlikely that such a simple username as “rwfranklin” will be available though. I may need to get creative.

This felt like a big step. I haven’t really spent a lot of money on becoming an author. I’ve bought a few books and educational items, but nothing as large as my own domain. It makes it feel more official. It also will probably put a fire under my butt to actually get some stuff done that I’ve been putting off.

Advertisements

Substance

I want substance.

I want depth.

I’ve waded too long in the shallows.

I’ve spent too much of my time on meaningless words.

I can’t seem to find any richness of content.

Where is the complexity of thought?

Have we all lain on the sand for the water to only brush our feet?

My mind is numbed by the waves of simplicity.

Why is the profound so hard to find?

If you’re there, please find me.

Drag me out to your depths.

Pull me into the warm embrace of your insight.

Let me lose myself to your wisdom.

Lull me to sleep with your intellect.

Substance, that is all I want.

Substance.

Only Tuesday

It’s only Tuesday.

Just Tuesday.

It’s not the middle of the week,

It’s not the end.

It’s not really the beginning,

But not much further.

It feels like Wednesday.

It feels like it should be later.

I wish it were.

I want the weekend.

I want to sleep in.

I don’t want to go.

I want to stay.

I want to stay under the covers.

I want to stay in his arms.

But it’s only Tuesday,

So I’ll get up and go.

Boot Camp Is Over

So I finished the boot camp prompts. I have to admit there were a couple days I finished late, but I at least started each post on the day I was supposed to. I also have to admit that there were quite a few prompts I did not like. I tried to go an unconventional route for those because I felt to go with the direction they hinted toward would be boring and overdone. I hope you enjoyed it and like I mentioned at the beginning, if you followed along at all, I’d love to read your stories as well and I’ll even reblog them!

I’m a Sinking Boat

Today’s (bonus) boot camp prompt is:

Sinking Ship 

You realize  the  boat  is sinking,  but that’s  not  the  worst thing  that  could  happen.  The  worst thing happened  last night.

My boat is sinking. I’m going down. Water is flooding the cabins, the hull, spilling onto the deck. The worst part of this whole mess? I started it. I’m the one who punched a hole below deck. I’m the one who broke the wood and let the water in.

This morning had started out beautiful. The sun was shining through my window and warming my face as I woke. He had been laying next to me. It had been peaceful. Sweet. Perfect. I had made the mistake of getting out of bed. Maybe if I had stayed in bed none of this would have happened.

As I walked into the kitchen to feed the cat, I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and stretched. I heard the bathroom door close and a few seconds later open. I heard the thump of his body on the bed. I heard the ding of my phone. That’s when it started.

“What the fuck?” His voice carried down the hallway followed by his pounding footsteps. “What the fuck is this?” He said shoving the phone in my face. I jerked my head back to see the screen better.

“I’ve been telling him no.” I said defensively as he pulled the screen away from me. That was the punch in the wood. That little lie.

“Obviously not! ‘I can’t wait to see you again‘. Again? Obviously you said yes at least once.”

“I met up with him once to try and get him to back off.” He shook his head and I saw his thumb moving across the screen.

“You lying bitch.” He said. I knew he had reached the other texts. The ones encouraging his best friend. The ones telling his childhood buddy that I found him sexy. It hadn’t been planned. I hadn’t planned to cheat. It had just happened.

Before I knew what was happening he was on the phone with his friend yelling and pacing up and down the hallway. I was shocked into paralysis. I stood in the kitchen with my hands on my head. After he had it out with his friend there were sounds from the bedroom and soon he walked out with a duffle bag in hand.

“No. Please.” I stood in front of him.

“Get out of my way.” Tears welled in my eyes.

“Please. I swear it’s over. I made a mistake. Please give me another chance.” He took a deep breath.

“I was raised to not hit a woman, but I’m not sure that rule applies to cheaters. Get out of my way.” I had no choice but to let him go. That was it. The boat was going down and taking me with it.

Now I sit in my living room wondering how I let it get so out of control.

A Loosed Spirit

Today’s boot camp prompt is:

Matchup! 

Write a story featuring  a Ouija board, a search engine,  and a self-help  book.

Summer time is the worst for me. I like the cold of winter. I like sitting on the couch with a blanket wrapped around me and a warm cup of hot chocolate in my hands. I love the smell of snow. I love the way it covers the world and makes it feel like a completely different place. I love the way it feels when the soft flakes land and melt on my face. I like to hear the crunch of hard packed snow under my feet.

So as I sat on the sofa with the windows open and multiple fans strategically placed throughout the house blowing as hard as their hardware would allow, I tried to think of that beautiful time of year. A knock on the door interrupted my thoughts. I stood and put on shorts and a tank top before answering.

“Look what I have!” My over-zealous friend Katie said, displaying the wooden board dramatically in front of her. I turned and sat back down on the sofa. She shut the door behind her and sat on the floor in front of me.

“Come on. It’ll be fun! I found it at a yard sale. They only wanted a quarter for it! Can you believe that? It’s in such good condition. It’s practically brand new!” I slowly rolled off the couch and onto the floor across from her. I had never used an Ouija board before and honestly didn’t know much about them except that they were used to speak to spirits.

“Why are you so excited about this?” I asked.

“Because my mom would never let me have one as a kid. She called them ‘the devil’s tool” and wouldn’t allow one in her house.” 

“And if I say the same thing?”

“I’ll call bullshit because I know you don’t care.” I shrugged. Fair enough. The truth was the truth.

“Why are you acting so blah?” She asked with slumped shoulders. She really was the yin to my yang; always bubbly, never a care in the world, excited about everything.

“I’m hot. I hate summer.” She rolled her eyes.

“But summer is when you get to go swimming and tan up and wear short skirts and less in general.” I stared at her.

“Are we simming right now? Where’s your tan?” She scowled at me.

“Summer just started, I haven’t had a chance to lay out yet. Now are we going to do this or what?” I shrugged again.

“Sure.” She clapped with excitement and set the board down with its planchette on top. She put her fingers on top on used her head to motion for me to do the same. I complied.

“What should we ask?” She looked up in thought.

“Why don’t we start with the basics? Is there a spirit in this room?” We sat quietly; our fingers resting gently on the heart shaped piece of wood.

“Please, if there is anyone here, let us know.” Katie was looking up into the air, waiting expectantly. The planchette did not move. “Your apartment is old. There has to be something living here.”

“Yeah. Me.” I replied wanting to laugh at her assumption that ghosts existed in every single old building.

We asked the same question in different ways for nearly 30 minutes before I called it quits. I stood and sat back on the sofa where I could feel the wind from the fans better.
“It’s just not going to happen I guess.” I said sinking into the cushions. Katie’s shoulders dropped.

“I was sure there would be a spirit here.” She stood and sat next to me.

“Not so close. It’s too hot for that.” I said pushing her a little.

“Maybe we didnt do it right. Maybe we need to wait until dark and light some candles or something.”

“I think if a spirit were around, it wouldn’t care what time of day it is or what lights are on.” She shrugged. It was like all the energy had been sapped from her. I reached over the arm of the couch and into a book caddy. I handed her a book.

“I think my mom should have given that to you instead of me.”

“How to enjoy the here and now: a guide to self-love and acceptance of the present.” She looked over at me incredulously after reading the title aloud. 

“You know, because you’re searching for what’s in the past.” I laughed when she threw the book back at me.

“I thoroughly enjoy the present!” She grabbed the remote from the side table. “Although I may change my mind if I keep hanging out with you.” She turned the TV on and found a show for us to watch. While the people talked and the “studio audience” laughed at just the right moments (and Katie along with them), I grabbed my phone and did some research on this Ouija board.

“We didn’t say goodbye.” I spit out casually. Katie turned so violently she nearly slapped me in the face.

“So we left it open?” I shrugged.

“I guess. People are saying you need to say goodbye.” She jumped off the couch.

“What was this on when we stopped?” She asked pointing to the planchette.

“I don’t remember. I wasn’t paying that much attention. What’s it on right now?”

“The 1.” I’m not a superstitious person, but in that moment my chest tightened.

Pop the Trunk

Today’s boot camp prompt is:

Breaking Down 

A tire blows out as you’re in the car with someone on the verge of his/her own breakdown. Stuck in a small  town, you’re about to do something  you haven’t done in years.

“Just calm down.” I was saying. “It’ll work itself out.”

“No it won’t.” Tears were streaming down Luciana’s face. “I was just fired for being late too often. My boyfriend is the reason I was late and now he’s left me, rent is due in two weeks, I have barely enough money for food, let alone gas to drive around trying to find a job.” I felt bad for her, but she had honestly put herself in this situation.

“I still don’t understand how it was your boyfriend’s fault that you were always late.”

“I told you!” She said blowing her nose. “He wouldn’t let me get into the bathroom while he was getting ready so I’d have to wait until he got done and by then I’d be running behind.” She could have just woken up earlier, but I didn’t think saying that would help matters right now. 

I was about to console her again when the car jerked to the side and a thumping noise sounded from toward the back. Lucy slowed the car down and pulled off to the side.

“Great now I have a flat.” She dropped her head against the steering wheel as her shoulders slumped forward. She was making it seem like this was the end of the world.

“Do you have a spare?” Her ponytail bobbed as she shrugged, then nodded. I got out of the car and looked around. There were cornfields on both sides of the road for as far as I could see. This actually was a bad time to get a flat tire. We hadn’t seen a car in a solid 20 minutes and I still saw none in sight. 

I checked my cell and found next to no service. I tried to call my insurance company to see if they could send someone, but the signal was so bad that the agent couldn’t verify who I was or what I needed. I hung up after trying to explain it a fourth time. I looked up and down the road again, still no sign of a car.

I knocked on Lucy’s window. She rolled it down and stared at me with pink eyes.

“Do you have the same cell provider as me?”

“Mine fell in the toilet when I went into the bathroom to cry after they fired me and doesn’t work anymore. I haven’t had a chance to buy a new one.” She sighed. “Or the money.”

“You didn’t think it might be important to tell me that before the 17 hour trip back home?” Now I was pissed. Not only was she acting like a dramatic 15 year old instead of the 39 year old that she was, but she was now leaving out vital information. “Why in the hell wouldn’t you mention you don’t have a phone? I could have bought one of those pay as you go phones to make sure we have a backup.” She scowled at me.

“I’m sorry, I’ve just been a bit preoccupied with things I thought were more important than my cell phone.” She rolled the window back up and turned her head. She wasn’t even going to attempt to help me. I walked a bit back the way we had come hoping to get better signal. It got worse, dropping out completely. I walked back toward the car, passed it, and continued walking, hoping I would have better luck in that direction. None. I got back to the car and looked to see if enough time had gone by that another car would be coming. Again, no such luck.

I finally realized I was going to have to do something I hadn’t done since I was 16. It struck me like a smack in the face. That was over 20 years ago. I leaned against the back of the car and tried one more time to get with my insurance company’s roadside assistance. Again I had to hang up because we just couldn’t hear each other clear enough. I put my phone in my pocket, said a little prayer of thanks for sunshine and a cool breeze, then yelled for Lucy to pop the trunk.

Resignation

Today’s Yesterday’s boot camp prompt is was:

My Resignation 

After  years  of unhappiness,  you’ve  finally  had  enough  and  have  decided to  quit—but we’re not  talking  about  your job.  Write  a  letter  of resignation  to  someone  other  than  your employer—your  school, your family,  your favorite  sports team,  etc.

To whom it may concern:

This is to serve as my formal resignation. I am quitting effective immediately. I will not even try to keep this professional. I am fed up. I’ve had enough.

You and me work well together, I get that. But you’re not healthy for me. You delay things that need to be done sooner rather than later. You interfere with my daily life and even cause me to be late going into work.

You’ve turned my house into a mess. Because of you, dishes are piled on the sink. The living room is cluttered with papers, tools, and other things that should have found a home months ago. Because of our work together, I have a box of papers from the last 2 years that have not been sorted and filed properly.

Procrastination, we just can’t keep working together. It’s impossible for me to get anything done while we work together. I push things off until I forget about them altogether. I’m tired of feeling guilty because I have pushed off writing my book. I hate the rush of trying to figure out a good birthday plan for my husband because of our work together.

I’m done. I wish you the best in your work elsewhere and plan to accomplish much more on my own now that I have quit.

Sincerely,

R.W. Franklin

Alleys of New York

Today’s boot camp prompt is:

The Stranger 

You’re walking  home  from  work one  night  and taking  shortcuts  through  a  labyrinth  of dark city alleyways to meet someone on time. Suddenly, a stranger parts the shadows in front of you, comes close and asks you to hold out your palm.  You oblige.

Thoughts about these prompts: WTF? Why am I this just all trusting person who puts faith in others. Why am I eating mysterious cookies? Why am I following mysterious instructions that lead me until a cave? And now I’m accepting something from a stranger in an alley? These prompts presume I’m a trusting person… I’m not. Sorry, just needed to get that out there… On to writing!

I looked down at my watch for maybe the tenth time in the last two minutes. I was making decent time, but was still nervous about being late for this dinner. I had only fifteen minutes to get to the home. Taking a cab on a Friday night at 5:00 would take too long, but now I was wondering if walking was a mistake too. I had to make it from Lower Manhattan to my apartment in Midtown by 6:00 and then back out to meet my mom for her birthday dinner by 6:30.

I had been held late at work. I was almost to the midway point and it was already 5:41. I had been trying to make it there with some time to spare to freshen up. As I tried to muscle through the bodies on the sidewalk, I decided this was going to take too long. I turned down an alley. I knew this city as well as I knew my mom’s face. I had grown up here and, although I had been yelled at many times for it, I tended to wander as a child. Much more so as a teen. 

I weaved through the different alleys, working my way home bit by bit. I looked down at my watch again, 5:47. I should be able to make it home in less than thirteen minutes. I looked back up to find a man standing about twenty feet in front of me. The sun was fading fast and the alley was not well lit. He wore a hoodie that kept his face in shadow and stood with his hands clasped behind his back. I stopped walking. He stepped closer. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as my stomach tightened and twisted.

“Hold out your hand.” He said. His voice was soft. So soft I barely heard what he said.

“Look, I don’t want any trouble. If you want my wallet, here it is.” I held it out to him but he shook his head.

“Hold out your hand.” He said again. I started to take a step back but he shook his head and stepped closer.

“Please. I’m on my way to take my mom out to dinner for her birthday. I don’t have anything of value, but the items in my wallet.” He took one more step putting less than two feet between us. My heart beat hard in my chest and I was finding it hard to breathe. Why wouldn’t he just take my things?

“Hold out your hand.” I decided if this would help get it done and over with, I’d do it. I slowly, reluctantly stretched my hand out. In a flash he had a cuff locked around my wrist.

“What-” He whirled my body around and my purse went flying. As he grabbed my other arm I lost grip on my phone and it too fell to the ground. Before I fully knew what was happening, he had my arms handcuffed behind my back and was dragging me back toward the dumster he had stepped out from behind. I tried to yell, but as soon as the first sound came out fuzz filled my mouth. His gloved hand squeezed tight. It was massive, almost covering my entire face. I couldn’t breathe now. His hand was covering my nose as well. 

I started panicing. I squirmed and kicked. I even tried headbutting him, but didn’t know how to do it and missed. Once behind the dumpster, he turned me around and punched me hard in the face. I blacked out. When I woke back up, my arms were in immense pain and my wrist were burning. I was laying on my back which meant I was laying on my handcuffed wrists.

He was on top of me. I could feel the cool air on my bare legs. My left eye felt hot and swollen. My head was pounding and seemed to be thumping with every stroke. I looked him in the eyes hoping to make him feel guilty, but that seemed to please him more. The hood had fallen off and I could see a wide smile start to spread across his lips and he made a gasping noise as he finished.

I felt dirty and ashamed even though I had done nothing wrong. I wanted to disappear and never be seen by the world again. I wasn’t a virgin, but this made me feel like I was now worthless and that no man, even my current boyfriend, would ever want me now that I was spoiled. I didn’t think I would ever want any man again either. Aren’t they all like this dog in some way? Would anyone understand that I hadn’t even been able to say no? Wasn’t that the thing? You had to say no for it to be considered rape? Would this make sense to anyone else? Would anyone believe me?

He sat back on his legs and buttoned his pants. Silent tears were sliding down my cheeks and making my ears itch. My arms had gone numb. My insides felt raw, burned. I pulled my knees together, trying to hide the mess below. He took a deep breath.

“Thank you.” He said in the quiet voice. He stood, not attempting to cover me. I thought he might just leave me there, but he was somewhat merciful. He pulled a gun from his jacket pocket and my world went black.