Friday, May 29, 2015

Flash Fiction: Time Stood Still

First a little flash fiction. 

The sparkly ball slowly descended from the top of the tower to the chants of thousands of people. 5... 4... 3... 2...

The moment stretched. Melinda felt the very air around her inhale as if taking a breath before the last number.

Her heart started to race frantically. Wrong. This was all wrong. At five feet tall, she wasn't able to see anything around her. She'd positioned herself close to the ball so that she could look up and see it without having to stand on her toes or grapple with people around her. The ball hovered in the air. She wanted to reach out and nudge it into movement.

She'd always wanted to go to New York for New Years. As a young girl, she'd been the one who had insisted that her parents and siblings watch the ball drop on television. While her parents dozed on the couch and her younger sister and brother slept around her on the floor, Melinda had been the one to count down the new year by herself. It didn't matter if they all slept. She was caught up in the magic of the moment. A clean slate. A brand-new year. A time when anything seemed possible.

Closest to her, the other party-goers stared up with rapt attention. They didn't seem to be breathing. Confetti hovered in mid-air. Their heads were upturned to stare at the ball, so all Melinda could see was the sides of their faces. She shoved at the man next to her. He didn't budge, and his face never changed its delighted expression.

She noticed that buildings and lights, which had been flashing around her, were now static. They no longer flashed their frenetic backdrop in the square.

Melinda was completely boxed in. Crammed so tight with others that she could barely twist around to see those behind her. From her height, she could only see one or two people. Nobody moved. Nobody blinked. They didn't seem to be breathing either.

Panic started to claw at her chest. It pulled at her breathing until she wondered if she might pass out. She gave a yell.

"Hey! Hello! What's going on?"

Her words didn't seem to penetrate more than a few feet past her. This wasn't a canyon where her words would echo. It was Times Square crammed full of people to watch the ball drop. Her words were absorbed by the parkas and bodies around her.

She struggled to move. Pushing and shoving at the statues around her. She tried to squat down on the ground. If she could crawl between their legs, she might be able to get out of this crush. Unfortunately, they were packed in too tightly. With a scream slowly rising in her throat, she waved her arms. Slapping at the shoulders, arms and chests of those inanimate objects that had only recently been cheering human beings, she slowly let that scream rise in her. Now, they were bars keeping her in this prison.

She opened her mouth and let that scream tear loose.

Time passed. Or at least she thought it did. Without movement and time to guide her, she could have been standing there screaming for 10 seconds, or 30 minutes. Her scratchy, raw throat told her she'd been screaming long enough to do some damage.

Crazy thoughts filled her mind. Was this the end of the world? A pause that only she could feel and see? Or was she really as inanimate as the rest. Only mobile in her own mind as were the others around her. Each finding their own private hell as they found themselves crushed in the bodies while the ball hovered mid-fall.

Time passed. Hours then days as she slowly weakened. Unable to fall to the ground, she leaned into those next to her. Let them bear her weight as she drifted thinking about her final New Years. What had once been her favorite time of the year, was now her last.

And then some talk. 

I'm gearing up to participate in JuNoWriMo where people write 50,000 words in a month. This time, it's June. Yet another writing device to help motivate me. It's hard to write all the words all the time. I need to keep myself entertained with charts, camaraderie and cookies. (Well, fat-free, sugar-free cookies. I'm dieting. Coffee used to be on that list too. I've taken a coffee hiatus.)

 Unfortunately, I have no plot, no characters and...well, nothing. There's nothing. *sighs* This weekend I'll be brainstorming and outlining. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Limit Yourself to Free Your Creativity

Have you ever found yourself listening to someone speak, or reading an article and nodding your head like a bobblehead doll on a dashboard? That was me during this Ted Talk from Phil Hansen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How This List Keeps Me Out of Trouble

Without new challenges and projects, I might curl into a fetal position under my desk. It's hot under there and filled with dust bunnies (cleaning under there is not on my list) so this list will ultimately save my life! 

Here's a list of the 50 things I'd like to do soon. I might have to learn how first, but that's the fun part. I love trying new things. When I complete them, I might share the process here or not. Depends on how interesting I think it'll be. I will always try to be entertaining at least!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Central Creativity Hub

I'm back with some squirrel crack!

I've decided to make this a central location for all my creativity, both the good and the bad, the successes and the failures. I'm spreading myself way too thin on a few different blogs. Instead, I'm going to keep the websites flowing but have this as the one central blog where I talk about creativity in all its forms.

I've been creating art journals, learning to sew, creating writing journals, making jewelry, doodling, and writing. I hope this isn't boring and meh for others to see what I'm creating, and this isn't about bragging or showing off. I want to inspire others to create and follow their whims.

There are new pages at the top of the blog with links. If you have things to share, I'd love to see them. Leave a link or a comment below!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's Over. And the Winner Is...

This is a spoiler alert. Inside this blog post, I will be announcing the winner of Project Runway. If you haven't seen it. Run away!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stretching Creativity to the Max

I was afraid for the little guy when I saw that window right next to him!

If you've been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm like a squirrel on crack who runs from one shiny thing to another. I love trying new things. If creativity were a physical activity, I'd be one of those extreme sport types. Trying bigger and better things, taking risks, jumping from the side of buildings. Since I'm scared of breaking an arm or a leg, I'll stick to low impact rushes. Thankyouverymuch.

This blog started out as an author blog. Then I honed in on writing creativity. Lately, it's been about creativity in general. Or perhaps it's been more about the exploration of ideas and finding what I love. I like that because it lets me share all my crack with the rest of you. Anyone who is thinking, 'I thought she was a wanna-be writer. What's with all this off-topic stuff?' I'm happy to report that it IS on topic. Although, it's my blog. I could make it about space monkeys if I wanted! (Space Monkeys! If only that were a real thing) 

Under the umbrella of creativity and exploration, I'm going to share with you all the newest venture. Jewelry! 

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking who knew I could craft things. Anyone who knows me is laughing like a loon and pointing at me as they mouth the word "crafter" like it's the most ridiculous thing ever. They've seen rooms I've tried to paint myself. Or the crooked shelf I made years ago. Or when I decided I wanted a beach theme in my bathroom that consisted of one shell-shaped soap dish and a wall hanging.

A few years ago, I took an English Comp class. I barely passed. I hated book reports in school even if I loved the books. I hated writing, or so I thought. Writing doesn't always mean book reports and academic writing and being bad at one doesn't necessarily mean you're bad at another. 

The same thing with my new crafting projects. While I may never be able to craft a shelf because I can't hammer the pieces of wood together, I can be great at other things. I'm finding out so much about myself lately. It's been a blast. 

I wouldn't consider myself a crafter still. You'll never see a holiday shelf in my house. (Well, because I can't make one! Damn shelves.) 

As I was saying, jewelry! Wire wrapped jewelry to be specific. I talked my mother into starting this hobby with me. I didn't start with the intention of selling the items, but I was pleasantly surprised by how great they looked. A little modesty there! I knew they were a hit when the daughters made requests/took some of the rings.

It suddenly occurred to me that this would be a fun way to make a little money. I can spend hours and hours making items. It's a fun way to clear my mind yet still be creative. Etsy is terrific and doesn't cost much to list items. Like most things I do, I jumped in with both feet!

We started an Etsy shop called Pail of Pretty Things.

I'm leaning towards steampunk-type items and funky pieces while my mother is doing more elegant, traditional items. It fits our styles, but gives people choices in our new shop. I'm having a fantastic time so far even if my fingers hurt from wrapping wire!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Runway Regrets

The contestants might have regrets, that is, if they were eliminated, but I'm talking about my regrets. I wish I hadn't started doing this recap. When I started, it sounded like fun. I've always wanted to write about my favorite shows. When I've been able to take work assignments about television, I'm giddy with excitement. It doesn't sound giddy-worthy but after hours and hours of insurance articles or SEO articles, it's a better pick-me-up than coffee. Okay, that might be a stretch. I mean, coffee? Probably not that exciting.

But anyway, I wish I hadn't started. That was my point.

At first, it was a blast, but I've lost interest in these people. Usually by now I have a favorite. Not this season. This season, I find them all equally bland.

Amanda, Kini, Sean and Char.

Those are the designers moving on to the finale. Meh. Maybe I'll be inspired by them next week.

Here's a little video of part of the challenge. They tried to bring back Korina to be an assistant to the person who picked her garment for a redo.

It was Char.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Project Runway Wars

When I saw the teaser for the show, I thought it sounded fantastic. The designers would have to bid on storage lockers for their materials for the next challenge. Sounds exciting and challenging, right?

I should have known better. You got me again, Project Runway!

The units were sitting in a warehouse already chosen by producers. That means the materials were already chosen, too. Not the exciting potluck of potential materials that I expected.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Project Runway's Pretty Pretty Makeovers

Sorry that I missed last week's recap, people. Sandhya was kicked because she made a onesie for a pre-teen girl. It was sufficiently horrid for the judges to be like "Ohhh. You aren't as innovative as we thought. You're out there and wacky." There's a fine line between out-of-the-box thinking and out-of-your-mind designing.

I've been bored with the runway lately. There's nothing fantastic or original. Maybe I'm underwhelmed since Sean's fun little gimmick with the dye packs on the Rainway. How can you top the rainway?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Project Runway Recap: It's Raining Product Placement

A curved display. How can we turn this into a challenge that totally has nothing to do with the display itself? Let's make it about rain!

I actually love this challenge, but the way PR tries to throw in product placement is a bit of a joke. I'd love some honesty here. “We can't keep having runways unless someone pays our bills. This challenge is sponsored by this curved display.” I could totally get behind that.

Anyway, a Rainway! I've actually been waiting for this since I saw it on the previews a while back. It's an avante guard challenge, which is fun, too. The contestants can make whatever they like. Create new shapes and designs.