Waiting for Juliet

I haven’t posted a story onto this blog in a long time. Seeing how Valentine’s Day is this week, I have a couple of posts in mind, including a “40 Years of Memories” entry.

Photo courtesy of Flash Fiction Hive (@FlashFicHive on Twitter

Anyway, today’s story was inspired by a prompt from the Flash Fiction Hive’s Twitter page. Continue reading “Waiting for Juliet”


The Last Time

Good day, everyone.

I meant to share this earlier this week, but got busy.

Anyway, last week, the Flash Fiction Hive brought back a favorite: write a scene or story inspired by a song. This time, I decided to take a song from one of my favorite singers, Vanessa Williams. And I actually combined it with a photo prompt a friend posted on Twitter.

Hope you enjoy it.

Rae tipped the taxi driver who stopped in front of her apartment. She sat down on the stairs, slowly unwinding from an unrelenting day of classes. But it wasn’t the classes that exasperated her. It was her ex, Tyler Westwood. He surprised her after her Applied Spanish class, wrapping his strapping arms around her slender body. For a moment, she was taken aback, longing for someone who could fill the emptiness he left behind. But she quickly shook herself free from his grasp. She fled from him without explanation. But it wouldn’t be the last she saw of him. Anytime she was alone, Tyler was there as if he knew where she would be. That was the kind of relationship they had. They would date, then break up and find themselves with someone else. And, like clockwork, they would break up with their partner at the same time, and end up in each other’s arms. It went on like this for three years. Tyler counted it as mere coincidence. Rae was more skeptical. She believed someone was feeding him information about her relationships and eventual breakups.

Rae watched the streetlights flicker and hum. She climbed up the stairs when she heard a car pulling up to the side. An ‘87 cherry red Trans Am. She ran into her apartment and locked the door. Peeking into the peephole, she feared the worst. But she heard nothing. Not the slamming of the car door. Not the brisk steps up to her room. Not the repetitive knocking pattern. Nothing. But she stood against the door, gazing into the hallway. She waited three minutes, keeping her breathing low. She breathed a sigh of relief and walked to her bedroom to change.

A bowl of leftover fried rice, her Seattle mug half-full of coffee, her backpack, and a stack of books were sprawl out across her coffee table. In one hand, she ran her highlighter across her notebook. In the other hand, she scooped up her dinner. A knock on her door broke her concentration. She stood up, shaking her legs to get feeling back in her feet. She peeled into the hallway. In front of her door stood Tyler with his shiny bald head and dressed as if he finished jogging.

“Go away,” Rae yelled, “I’m busy.”

But Tyler stood firm like a statue with his hands in his pockets.

“I just have to say something right quick. It won’t take long, I promise.”

Rae doubted his sincerity, but she opened the door and stood in the doorway. Her mahogany eyes skimmed the man who broke her heart many times before. Even with the intention that she wanted nothing more to do with him, there was a faint sparkle.

“Go ahead. Say it.”

Tyler removed his hands from his pockets, lying limp on his sides.

“Okay. I get that you just want to be friends, but I can’t do that. We have too much history, you and I. We’ve been there for each other, thick and thin.”

That much was true. As much as she hated to admit it, Rae couldn’t deny Tyler was the one person she could always turn to when even her girlfriends let her down.

“That’s why I can’t be just friends. I love you too much.”

Rae crossed her arms.

“Is that it?” she snapped. “All you wanted to say is that we should get back together?”

She huffed and closed her door, but he stuck his hand out to block it. Rae looked back to see her ex enter her apartment.

“This can’t happen anymore, Ty. We can’t get back together. We tried I don’t know how many times and it ends up the same way. We hook up. We fight. We break up and find someone else. We can’t keep doing this.”

Her disdain was only matched by her the tenseness in her body. Tyler slowly approached her, but she backed away with every step he took. Soon she was against the wall, her body coiling up as he stood within inches of her, breathing down her neck. But then, he backed away.

“You’re right. This can’t happen. It can only lead to disaster. But I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

Rae felt the blood coursing freely throughout her body. Her muscles became loose. The veins in her neck subdued. She stared at him wondering what made him change all of a sudden.

“I’ll leave. Sorry.”

Tyler shut the door behind him, leaving Rae puzzled. She lingered on his words, then thought, “Damn it.” She ran into the hallway, trying to catch a glimpse of him before he was out of sight. She ran down the stairs and flung the doors open. Rae saw him about to get in his car.

“Tyler!” she cried. She raced across the street toward him, wrapped her silky arms around his bulging neck and locked lips with his. She closed her eyes as flashes of the good times they shared popped into her mind. When she stopped, she brushed her honey blond hair behind her ear.

“I suppose we could try one last time. But this is the last time. I’m serious.”

Tyler smiled and they locked their lips yet again. If it was the last time, they were going to make sure it was the most memorable last time.

Reflecting on 2017: An IWSG Post

Good day, my writing and blogging friends. It’s the first Wednesday of December. (Hard to believe.) And as with every first Wednesday, it’s time for my Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Now before I get started, I have to thank the IWSG Administrative Team for allowing me the opportunity to share and encourage fellow writers. To be honest, when someone encouraged me—I forget who—to sign my blog up for this group, I had my doubts. I wasn’t sure how encouraging I would be seeing how I struggle with the writing process. I’m still learning things about the evolution of the writing process. I’m finding myself having to refresh myself on numerous factors of storytelling. And I’m still learning things about myself as a writer. But in writing these posts, the biggest I took is that not only am I encouraging others, but I’m being encouraged. And we all need encouraging once in a while. So thanks to the administrators for allowing me to share what I’ve learned in my writing journey this year, and I hope to continue to be a source of encouragement in the years to come.

So, now on to this month’s question:

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

This came at the perfect time. I’m using the majority of the month to go through my Evernote notebooks and Pinterest boards. During this time, I’m thinking about all the goals I set for the year; about the reasons why I succeeded or failed to meet those goals. I usually reserve that post for the end of the year, but now is as good a time as any.

2017 was a mixed year. It was a year where I decided to expand my horizons in my writing. But like with any endeavor, there were setbacks. And there were things I wished I could have done differently. It seems pointless to be thinking about what I could have, would have, should have done. Especially for someone like me since I can obsess over failures more than successes. But there’s something to be said of being honest with yourself. While I have things I wish I could have done differently, it’s important for me to highlight my successes. So, let’s go.

Let’s start with Project Blacklight. This year, I added two serial blog posts. The IWSG being one. The second being the Weekend Coffee Share, where I create posts about events around my personal life. I interjected writing into the mix. Just recently, I found out the mediator shut down the Weekend Coffee Share postings. But I thought of opting out of the posts anyway because I don’t want to go into too much detail about what goes on in my life. I’ll still offer tidbits on the most relevant events of my life. Content-wise, there’s nothing I would have done differently. In terms of the blog as a whole, I wish I would have chosen a different name. It’s a moot point now, but I wish I could have given it more thought.

Next, social media. It’s not so much about what platforms I joined. It’s more about being more active. On Facebook, for example, I joined a new writing group. The 365 Writing Club. To do so, I had to sign up for their challenge. The idea behind it was to encourage and enrich daily writing habits. I say that it has worked out well, even though I didn’t write every day. And there were periods of time where I recorded consecutive zeroes and debated among myself on whether I should be a writer. Another thing I wish I could have done differently. But I got a lot of support from fellow members and administrators. And I’m seriously considering joining next year’s challenge, upping the word count goal to 500.

On Twitter, I joined the Flash Fiction Hive. I’ve talked about this group on several posts. Even shared some of the stories I wrote based on the prompts offered. The group went live in August and they post a month’s worth of prompts every other month. The best thing I’ve gotten out of the group is the writing hashtag games throughout the week. It sounds silly, but I thought I couldn’t do them because I didn’t have a WIP that involved the theme. But I didn’t need a WIP to participate. I wish I knew that sooner.

And finally, let’s talk about my writing. This year marked a big deal. I wrote some stories outside my genre. This is such a big deal. I felt locked in Contemporary Fiction. But after some encouragement, I took the plunge. I drafted a few stories in fantasy and sci-fi. But the one thing I regret was relying on other writers for inspiration. By that, I mean I posted polls on Twitter for what my next story should be about. I lacked a lot of confidence to come up with a story and I wrote them to please them, not myself. I wish I was more confident in myself to create the stories I wanted to write. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t appreciate their input or their encouragement. But I needed to stand on my two feet. Write what I felt gave me the best joy, even if I didn’t know all the rules.

Second, I set a goal this year to start submitting stories to contests and magazines. That hasn’t happened. I came up with a lot of excuses as to why it didn’t happen.

The fees were too expensive.

I didn’t know anything about the theme.

There were too many ways to interpret the theme.

I didn’t have the right software.

Over and over again, the same excuses. Truth is I could have submitted something, as long as it was polished to the best of my abilities. And even then, I used that as an excuse. But the biggest thing that stopped me was me. I was afraid to fall flat on my face. I’m someone who doesn’t like to admit faults and shortcomings. But everyone has them. Everyone is going to fail. Not every work that’s published is going to be the best. There will always be critics.

I’m still trying to get those realities into my head. I’m not going to be the best writer in the world. There will be others better than me. And that’s the biggest thing I would want a do-over. I would tell myself to not worry if I get rejected. It will happen. But at the same time, I would tell myself that it’s worth it to become a better writer. And that’s the end goal: to become better and better with each story. Not perfect, but better.

If I had to define 2017 in one sentence, it would be, “I tried something that scared me.” Now yes, there were some things I didn’t try. And sure, I had moments I wished I could backtrack and change some things around. But overall, I’m proud of myself. And that’s the important thing of why I did what I did this year. I wanted to say I did this, I did that, and it felt so good. Whether it was writing so many words a day or writing outside my comfort zone or being a voice of encouragement even though I had doubts myself. I set out to become a better writer and I feel I’m on the right track heading into the new year.

So, how about you? What are some of your successes in 2017? What’s something you wish you could have done differently? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

One More Minute

Courtesy of Flash Fiction Hive on Twitter (@FlashFicHive)

The Flash Fiction Hive Started a new series of prompts for the month of October. Here’s my latest story. 

Natalie had a problem with handling sandwiches. The bread crumbs. The juices from the slices of chicken. The knives covered in mixed mayonnaise and mustard. All this messiness overloaded her OCD brain. But still, it’s what Hannah wanted. And she thought it better handling sandwiches than venturing into her daughter’s germ-ridden bedroom, sick as a dog. Natalie cut the sandwich in triangle halves, just as she always done since she was five. She never understood why it had to be that way.

Natalie traversed across the hall, carrying the plate with her sandwich. She stopped in front of Hannah’s door and slipped on her mask. There was no telling what kind of germs would want to invade her space. But she thrust the door open anyway. Her forest green eyes were wide and droopy. She had not gotten even an hour of sleep. But she was willing to sacrifice it in order to make sure Hannah was comfortable. She saw her daughter sprawled out in her bed, with only her nightgown covering her.

“Hey sweetheart. How you doing?”

Hannah could only life her hand flat, shaking it side to side.

“I got your sandwich, just how you like it.”

She set the plate on her lap. Hannah reached for the sandwich closest to her, but couldn’t hold on. She lacked these strength and her hands were as frail as dried out branches. Natalie wanted to brush her thinning hair, but it was as if she was being repelled. 

It’s okay, baby. You don’t have to eat it now.”

She fretted leaving the plate on her bed. The crumbs could fall out and spill onto the comforter. But she resisted. It wasn’t about her and her commitment to cleanliness. Hannah was more important. She kept repeating that statement to herself. She pulled the sheet toward her chest, brushing it out so that it resembled some kind of order. The door bell rang, startling them

“I’ll be back.”

Natalie ran to the door, peeked through the peephole. A team of white-coated men and women stood in front. Natalie lowered her head. These were the last people she wanted to see. There was still so much she wanted to do with her daughter. She was ten years old. She shouldn’t be this sick.

“Mrs. Alstott,” one of the men shouted. “It’s time. We need the child.”

Natalie banged her head against the door. She felt the tears running down her cheek.

“Mrs Alstott, we talked about this. You had your time. Now it’s time to do our job.”

Natalie shook her head. She wanted one more minute. But the man was right. It was time. And there was no getting out of it. She opened the door and the team entered single file. One rolled a bed into the house. They made her way to Hannah’s room. Natalie shoved her way past the white coats.

“Let me speak with her about what’s happening. She deserves that much.”

“Ok. But be quick.”

Natalie slid into her bedroom and kneeled in front of Hannah. She explained the situation she was going to face. Hannah started to cry. Then she cried. She pulled her close, and cupped the back of her head. All the while, she repeated the sentence. “Hannah is more important.”

The Chase (A Flash Fiction Hive Piece)

Good afternoon,

It’s been a good while since I’ve posted a story on this blog. So, it’s about time I change that. Today’s story comes from the Flash Fiction Hive on Twitter. For today’s prompt, I chose a favorite from this month and created a new story from it. I decided on the color prompt (August 4th). Hope you enjoy this one.  Continue reading “The Chase (A Flash Fiction Hive Piece)”


Courtesy of Flash Fiction Hive on Twitter (@FlashFicHive)

Hi there.

Before you read my latest flash fiction piece, I want you to know that I enjoy writing these stories. I feel like I’m getting more out of the Flash Fiction Hive challenges this month. I don’t participate in every challenge, but I’m learning to be more creative and think outside the box.

So, here’s my latest piece. Enjoy.  Continue reading “Mix-Up”


Photo courtesy of Flash Fiction Hive.

Good afternoon,

As one of my goals this month, I want to start posting more stories onto my blog. Fortunately, the Flash Fiction Hive on Twitter (@FlashFicHive) has been a big help to me. Though I haven’t written a lot of stories based on their prompts, they’ve at least provided the fuel for my creativity.

Today, the Hive presented a “Mix and Match” prompt. Here’s the result. I hope you enjoy it.  Continue reading “Unnoticed”