Writing 101 – Day 11

Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size matters

Home

This is a fun assignment, at twelve you’re at the such a turning point in your life. You’re still a kid, but you feel like you’re really something while at the same time – deep in your heart – you also realize that you’re not quite there yet. On one hand you want to be a child and on the other you want people to perceive you as an adult. It really is a defining moment, the age of twelve. At least that is what it felt like for me when I was twelve.

When I was eleven my grandparents decided that it was time for them to move to an apartment and leave the home they had been living in since my mother was still living at home, I think. Anyway, they had that house for a long time. But it was a rental home and in our country everyone has fair chance to get a rental house. There are of course rules but it’s not like selling a house. You can’t choose who you rent it too – since the house is technically . But my mother had an uncle who had some pull and he helped my parents to get the house.

So my grandparents moved out of the house and my family – my mom, dad, sister and I moved into my grandparents house. And to me that felt like coming home. I have no idea why but we used to live in a different town – the one I always lived in the one I grew up in. By all means it should have been my home. I never realized it before that moment – before we moved -but apparently my home never really was my home. So for me telling you about my home at the age of twelve feels really good, it’s a happy place. I had a wonderful time in that house, it was regular house, nothing special. It had three bedrooms and like in our old house I choose the smallest bedroom. I didn’t need much space, just a little room to store my belongings. I was twelve and Istarted to discover music, I can’t play any instruments but I loved listening to it and I must have spend countless hours in my room listening to music. My room, the walls … oh my God! At twelve they were covered with posters … Backstreet Boys posters. Yup, I was twelve and a girl … it was almost mandatory to like one of the boybands. I have no excuse!

And for me being twelve was the best age … it was right before my life fell apart (I had some really tough years at school – and that’s a really downplayed statement). I had a really happy childhood, I lived in a town. It wasn’t really big but it had everything you might need or want as a kid. A swimming pool, library, a mall, play grounds, a castle with water around it (on which we would ice skate in the winter time) and twice a year a fun fair. Some of my friends literally lived across our backyard and I had a lot of fun while I lived there. But this felt like something new, a new step in my young life. It felt good and I was ready to make a change.

And while being in a new place meant that I would have to go to a new school, make new friends and basically start my life anew. It felt better somehow. I guess that it might have had something to do with starting over and in a way finding my place in life. I felt so at home that I never imagined leaving that place again and yet I did.

I’m now 32 and by the way things have been going so far I’m going to have to move to another city by the end of next year. The first time I moved was at eleven and the second time was at 22 … maybe I should start thinking about where I’m going to move to. 😉

Writing 101 – Day 10

Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.
Write today’s post as if you’re relaying the story to your best friend over a cup of coffee (or glass of wine — your call). Don’t worry if it feels like you ramble a bit, or a four-letter-word sneaks in, or it feels different from what you usually publish. Take a deep breath, tell the story in your own words, and send it out the virtual door.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day ten – Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy

When I was little we always used to have spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs – usually on Wednesday. I loved it! I don’t know why. It’s not really a special meal and it’s not like I only got it on certain occasions or something like that. But I loved it, to me a week between Spaghetti Wednesdays always felt like it was too long. And it really ruined my day whenever my mom decided that she wanted to make something else on that day!

As much as you can talk about a day being ruined by something like that, but at the time – when I was little – it was as if the world would stop turning as ridiculous as that sounds right now. It strange how a simple meal like that can be so important. But maybe that has something to do with the extremely variety of pasta and pasta recipes there are to choose from.

I love cooking and pasta is still one of my favorites to make. So if anyone has any must try recipes feel free to add a link in the comments. I’m always open to trying new recipes.

 

Writing 101 – Day 9

I’ve been trying to do these past two assignments but it’s not working right now. I’m really struggling with the assignment for day seven. I just can’t get my head around it but I’m not giving up. Not yet. I will get back to it and I will get it done. For the other assignment I have to go outside or to a public place and describe what’s going on. But right now is not the time to go anywhere.

I think I might go somewhere on Sunday and do the assignment then. Anyway I decided to on with the next assignment in line which is day 9.

For today’s assignment, write a scene at the park. Up for a twist? Write the scene from three different points of view.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day nine – Changing Moccasins — Point of View

clownshoes

The dog, the clown and the cop

Billy’s pov

Every day around the same time in the evening he made the same round through the park and never did anything exciting happen. It was always the same round, and the only thing that ever really changed was the weather and the season. But tonight was different. It was as if everything had suddenly changed. He walked his usually stubborn dog down the path. But instead of staying behind him like he usually would he was now running ahead of him – and instead of pulling the small dog with him he could now barely hold him back.

Billy frowned, it was a strange evening – the sky was a bright pink and the sun was going down ahead of him. Birds took flight, he could hear them whistling a tune, while a soft breeze played with the leafs of the trees above him. It wasn’t that these thing normally didn’t happen because they did, it was just that he never really paid attention to it.

And then he saw it… as did his dog. The pulling on the leash was even stronger now and he couldn’t hold it any longer. The dog pulled loose and ran towards the group of people while he loudly barked. Billy ran after him, loudly calling the dogs name but he wouldn’t listen. He ran past a cop towards the group of people right before he lost sight of his dog and then there was a scream. A loud scream. Had his normally calm and stubborn dog bitten someone or was it just a coincidence?

Officer Woods’ pov

They where on patrol when the call came in that one of the small shops had caught a shoplifter and that they were detaining him and in need of assistance. They had rushed to the shop but upon arrival the shop owner had given the young shoplifter just enough time to escape through the back door.

While his colleague took the patrol car to try to cut the young shoplifter off,  Officer Woods started to run after the shoplifter. He was fast but Officer Woods was a good runner.

His shoes slipped on the tiled floor, but he kept running through the back door and out into a small corridor between a couple of buildings. He could hear car horns honking in front of him. So he knew for a fact that the kid had crossed the road. He pushed himself to run faster in hopes that he would be able to catch up with the kids before he reached the park there where too many possible hiding placed if he was able to get to the park.

Officer Woods ran fast, but he wasn’t fast enough the kid reached the edge of the park when he was about to cross the street. All hope that he would be able to reach the shoplifter in time dropped below zero when he saw the circus tent on the clearing. Families and kids where watching the circus clowns perform outside while they enjoyed the food which was being sold at several different stands. And there was no sign of the shoplifter.

Nevertheless Officer Woods kept up the pace hoping that something would alert him to the shoplifter’s whereabouts. He was lucky enough when suddenly screams erupted from his left side. He quickly turned towards it but before he could reach the group of people on the left side a dog came running.  Loudly barking he alerted the group of people who quickly stepped aside. The barking dog was followed by a loud scream. And calling upon all of his last reserves he pushed himself to run even faster.

Clown’s pov

He was doing a trick for a couple of kids, they where watching him in awe as he juggled with a couple of random objects. He stumbled and turned around – all part of the act of course – the kids started to laugh, especially after he looked sadly when the ball that rolled away from him. He wanted to go after it and stumbled over his own feet. He was wearing those typical way too big clown-shoes, so it was not really a surprise when he stumbled and fell flat on his face. He tried to get up, but he was very surprised when another body collided hard with his. He cried out in pain and fell to the ground once again, the other person fell on top of him. He blindly grabbed the person who fell with him and tried to gain control of the situation.

This bastard was ruining his performance, there was no way that he was getting away with it. He might just be a clown and it might be his intention to make people laugh but there was no reason for someone to push him down to the ground like that. Even a simple circus clown deserved respect.

Then there suddenly was a scream and all movement stopped. The other person was quickly dragged off of him and he tried to get up. For the first time he was able to assess the situation. A boy was pulling on a leash to get the dog away from the man who’d apparently fallen on top of him. While a cop was clicking his handcuffs around the heavily complaining man. The cop easily shrugged the man’s complaints off by telling him that the dog had only put his teeth in the boy’s jeans and that if he hadn’t ran away after he was caught shoplifting he wouldn’t have been bitten at all.

 

Honestly, I have no explanation for this, none at all.

Writing 101 – Day 2

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

The spaces we inhabit have an influence on our mood, our behavior, and even the way we move and interact with others. Enter a busy train station, and you immediately quicken your step. Step into a majestic cathedral, and you lower your voice and automatically look up. Return to your own room, and your body relaxes.

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the back-story. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day two – A room with a view

A room with a view

If I could go anywhere in the world right now,  it would be Barcelona. I’ve been there once, a couple of years ago and I lost my heart there. The city is so lively, full of color and different from any other city I know. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I doubt that there is a place quite like that city anywhere in the world. The atmosphere is so unique, I remember stepping off the train and immediately the city felt like something fresh and new and at the same time I felt comfortable there. It was as if I had been there many times before, but I hadn’t. It was my first trip to Spain actually – my first time in Barcelona. I didn’t know the language or the people, nor the streets and the building and yet in a strange way it felt like coming home. I still – to this day – can’t explain that feeling. There is no logical explanation and I will probably never find it anyway.

The city was bustling with people, lots and lots people. Most of them like me visiting the city for a couple of hours, a day or maybe a week. But they were all unfamiliar with streets and the building. All in awe with what they saw. The locals however ran past the buildings without granting them so much as a look. They don’t see the beauty anymore, which is a shame. I would love to walk on those streets again, while listening to the sounds of foreign languages spoken by the people around me I would spend hours just looking up at the buildings. Buildings from which the wall slow as if they were waves caught in stone. I would climb the steep stairs into the highest towers of the Sagrada Familia which they started building in 1882 and still haven’t finished. I would wonder – while I was standing on the ground floor – if they would ever actually finish it … who would decide that it was finished? Gaudi who designed the building certainly has never seen in brought to completion, are they even still following his plans or are they by now just adding new pieces because they can? And since the building has so many styles , no two parts are the same who can really tell if the plans are still being followed. If you step inside the Sagrada Familia and you look up at the roof you would see a spectacle of colors, shapes and forms it would be as if you were gazing into a kaleidoscope.

Later that same day I would find myself riding a bus towards Park Güell. I could imagine myself sitting at the terraces shaped structure in middle of Park Güell looking out over the city, taking in the beautiful bright colors of the mosaics used to build the benches. Every inch of those benches is filled with playfully positioned pieces of brightly colored tiles. I remember sitting there – surprised by how comfortable they were – and I would sit there maybe for hours at a time. With a notebook placed on my lap and a pen in my hand. I would spend time looking around me, watching families as they pass me by. Children playing tag on the huge terrace, people snapping pictures of their families and loved ones. But I would be sitting their long after they have left still trying to take all the beauty which surrounds me in. And in between I would attempt to write – because it seems like such a perfect place to do just that, write. Yet I also know that I would most-likely be too distracted and chances are that I would return to my hotel room with a still empty notebook.

I’m going back, one day – sooner rather than later – I’m going back. I love that city and I’ve only seen a teeny tiny bit of it. There’s so much more to see and I want to see it all.

Though I would never want to live in Barcelona, reason for that is simple. The city would lose its magic. It really would, you know why? Because as soon as you’ll be able to see it each and every day it would become normal and that would be a true shame. I wouldn’t want to lose that special feeling this city gave me, but I do want to go back every chance I get and be in awe every chance I get.

 

Writing 101 – Day 1

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day one – Unlock the mind

This assignment was actually posted on June 2 2014 but I only now happened to come across it and I loved it so much that I want to do the assignments anyway. Better late than never! Right.

Okay, here it goes. Underneath you´ll find the unedited 20 minute free writing exercise. Let´s see where this journey will take us.

Writing, writing is something I´ve been doing for the past decade … probably even a little bit longer. No, most certainly longer. I remember writing stories when I was really little of course those stories were really short and had no real beginning, end or a middle for that matter but I loved creating things. Things around me inspired me to write and till this day it´s still something I love to do. It started to become more serious when I was around 18 years old. I was a member of a forum and we would have these huge role-playing games and before I knew it I was involved in a couple of them. One day someone challenged me to write a story and that is how I basically rolled into writing fanfiction. Getting feedback and reviews on your stories is an awesome way to get inspired. And one thing led to another now almost 15 years later I´m still active as a fanfiction writer. But I would really like to write some original stories as well.

A couple of years ago I heard of this massive online community of writers all around the globe who attempted to write a book in a month. And I was impressed! The first time I came across it was actually on the second day of November and I could have signed up and participated that year. I mean two days in is really not that much to still manage to catch up but I didn´t because I was too scared. It seemed like to big a goal to actually make it, 50 000 words in a month. That is a huge number! But I did sign up for that website because I wanted to see how people were doing and to be able to keep track of the projects. So the next year I was ready to go. I didn´t really belief that I could actually do it because it still seemed like a huge amount of words to finish in a month but I did want to sign up and at least attempt it.

Nanowrimo was a really new experience for me and I decided that I wouldn´t make it harder on myself than it would already be so I wrote fanfiction. Even if you have to ´technically´ write original work. I believe in taking things one step at a time instead of immediately setting myself up for failure. So I started Nanowrimo as a rebel! And I loved it, we – here in the Netherlands and Belgium – have a ´Kick off´ party and a ´Thank God it´s over´ party and I love going to those because suddenly you´re in a room with people who are all attempting to do the same thing. I did Nanowrimo for the first time five years ago and I have participated every year since. I also ended all of my Nanowrimo´s as a winner which basically means that I have surpassed the goal of 50 000 words. But so far I haven´t been able to finish any of my stories. Mainly because I´ve been too pre-occupied with other projects. During Nanowrimo I´ve written three fanfics and these last two years I´ve attempted to write an original story.

The first year I started with an original story was the year that I learned that writing original stories is much harder than it seems. There is so much you have to think about and so many details you need to flesh out to make sure that you know where you want the story to go and how it gets to that point. I can honestly say that I had no idea. The thing with writing fanfiction is that the characters are already there, as is the back story and the setting. So you don´t need to think about that at all. You just need to focus on your character development and the story development. And that is a lot easier when you´re not paying attention to all the other things that happen in the story.

The first attempt at writing an original story almost stopped half way through November because I knew that what I was doing was not working. But I kept on going and I made to 50 000 but just barely and I was so ready to throw everything I had written into the bin. Really I was upset and kind of worried too because I was afraid that this was not for me after all.

But the story choose differently, I tried to let go of it, but it kept going on and on in my head and I knew that I would have to give it another shot. And I did last year. I wrote a new story, the same general idea as the year before but I changed a lot of things around and started again and on the last day of November I made it through my 50 000 words.

Okay … that´s twenty minutes worth of writing without thinking. Just basic word dropping.
But let me finish that last part since I was almost done.

And a completely different story than what I had expected it to be. I have to be honest in telling that since last year I haven´t touched that story. For some reason it still feels wrong and right now I don´t have any idea how to fix that. So I have decided to let that story go for now and focus on other projects. Projects like this for instance and my fanfic which I really want to finish … soon.