EUPHORIC EXHALE

A place where moments take your breath away

A Spirit Captured on Film


A Spirit Captured on Film

(True Story)

 

My sister, Michelle, has a gift, or a curse depending on how you look at it. She can see spirits. Do not misunderstand, she does not see spirits walking the earth, but sometimes they will show themselves and then leave– all but one. She has a spirit that follows her each time she moves into a new home. He is not mean or wicked, and Michelle thinks he is there to protect her and watch over her. Either way, it is often unnerving.

One evening while lying in bed with her husband, she could not sleep. Her Chiwawa had curled up right next to her side of the bed sound asleep, a slight snore blowing from his snout. Annoyed at the sound, she stared down at him. When his head popped up, and he barked toward the open hallway, naturally Michelle’s eyes flew that direction. There in the doorway stood a spirit wearing tattered clothes, and he was bloody. Instantly, he disappeared. Yet when she glanced back at her dog, his low, insistent growl still lingered.

 Nothing could have prepared her for last Saturday. In a fluke, she captured a spirit on film. This is what happened.

 Her ten-month-old son sat in his playpen enjoying his toys. While flipping through channels, she stopped at a news station to catch the latest happenings. Three men talked about politics in a casual debate.

 Her attention diverted from the television and settled on her son. She picked up her camera and started taking pictures. He was making faces, and they both laughed hysterically. Periodically, she glanced up at the television to listen to the debate. Yet, she continued to snap pictures of her playful son. Where she sat, her pictures bounced off the mirrored closet door.   

Here, are the pictures my sister took of her child.

 

 

 On Monday at work, she sent me an email along with the pictures. Her headline said “April, look at this picture. There is a fourth person in the television set, but there were only three people on this newscast.”

If you look at the picture below, you will see, what looks like, a little old man with no teeth looking in the direction of my sister. He is laughing with them. Tell me your thoughts.

 

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August 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Your Story in Print


Writing basics

Part One:

I am not an expert in this field; however, I have done enough research to know the steps one should take to write a book, find a publisher and see a story in print. Do your research and use this blog and future blogs about this as a stepping-stone to meet your dreams.

In this blog, you will find step-by-step advice to writing a story and developing it. I will give you websites that will help you perfect your craft. Combine this information with the information you have received from your research and you will see a light at the end of the tunnel.

First, let me tell you that writing a book is the easiest part of all of this. If you do not have tough skin, get it! You will hear NO and other forms of that word repeatedly. DO NOT take offense just smile and keep on going. If it is any consolation, Stephanie Myers story, Twilight seen rejection fifteen (15) times and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter seen rejection twelve (12) times before it was accepted. Keep that in mind.

If you need help toughening your skin, set up a free account at www.fanstory.com. The writing site allows writers, authors, editors and the public to check your work and rate your stories. You may also want to check out www.helium.com. This free site also allows you to post your work and have it rated by your peers.

Before You Write:

Know your characters and make sure they are three-dimensional (This is so important. If you know, who they are then you will not have problems writing about each of them.)

  • Personality
  • Likes
  • Dislikes
  • Hobbies
  • Past
  • Habits
  • Family tree
  • Style
  • Quirks
  • Fears
  • Area’s of confidence

Next:

Set your Plot and Subplots. (What are you going to write about? What is the conflict? How are your characters going to fix the conflict?)

  • Storyline
  • Climax
  • Resolve
  • Subplots

Some authors chose to write an outline (50 to 60 pages). This is especially good when you are writing a mystery. Dropping clues throughout the book is easier with an outline.

Your First Page:

The first line is where you keep your reader or lose them. Always start your first line with a character name. This will give your book reality from the beginning. You also want to give your reader the feeling of motion in your first line, something real and out of the norm.

Examples:

“When Mr. Mitchell entered his office, he saw a beautiful young woman standing at his panoramic window, gazing at the city below.”

This is the first line of my first book. We know that a woman who Mr. Mitchell does not know is standing in his office gazing out his window. She is perplexed or in deep thought and she is there to see him.

Example:

“Mia buried her head into her pillow to muffle her sobs.”

This is the first line of my second book. We instantly know, within the first line, that Mia is distraught and she is trying to stay quiet as she cries. Why?

The End Chapter-bang:

Always end your chapters with a bang. Have you ever read a book and said, “After this chapter I am going to bed” only to find that hours have passed and your still reading? That is the author’s goal. Keep your readers turning the page with the anticipation of what will happen next.  

The Grammar Check:

I find it is easier for me to write my entire book, then go back, and look at each chapter. You might be different and like to edit your book as you go. Either way, I have some great sites that will help in your editing process. Please check them out and try them for free.  

www.autocrit.com

www.grammarly.com

Both these sites are amazing at editing your work and helping you get through that process with ease.

In the next blog, we will touch on editing your work and determining your game plan.

All comments and questions are welcome

August 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative Writing Woe’s


Writing is the easy part! Editing and trying to find a publisher is the killer.  I’m going to write something on the steps to writing… check back this weekend!

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Finding Forgiveness


“Have we met before?” Tasha reached out her hand and placed it gently on the man’s shoulder. “Excuse me sir.”

Startled, he slowly lifted his head and looked into her soft brown eyes. He did not recognize her but found comfort in her sincere touch.

Her dark brown skin was rich and creamy; a youthful glow radiated from her face. When she spoke her soft voice danced around his ears like a soothing melody. She pointed to the empty seat next to him on the bench. He nodded for her to sit down.

“You look familiar, but I’m not sure from where.” She smiled, adjusting her body to find a comfortable place. She set her purse on the other side of her and crossed her legs at the ankles, folding her hands in her lap.

“My name is Tanner, but my friends call me Tank.” He reached an open hand out to hers. When their hands touched, an eerie feeling came over them. Tasha’s eyebrows furrowed; she pulled her hand from his. A bashful rose color splashed her cheeks.

Tank’s appearance was not easy on the eyes. He stood over six feet tall with a burly build. His features were large yet hidden beneath mounds of facial hair. His unruly golden brown curls were long and brushed the top of his shoulders. He scared most people, but he intrigued Tasha. Almost like a stray puppy found in the streets, she wanted to pet his head and hold him. Instead, she made small talk while they waited.

“I like your shoes.” She nearly whispered.

“Third pair I’ve ever owned.” Tank’s arms rested on his thighs while he stared down at his enormous hands.

“My parents didn’t have money either. I think that’s why I wanted to make a better life for myself.” She rested her hand on his arm. “I graduate from UCLA in June.”

His eyes stayed fixated on the warm imprint her fingers had left on his skin. The kindness in her eyes radiated through her entire being. He slightly moved over knowing he did not deserve the kindness she was showing him. He was the progeny of a single mom. His education stopped in the seventh grade and at times, he found pleasure in hurting others. He knew he did not deserve the kindness this woman was showing him. However, he had no place else to go so he basked in her warmth.

“What about you, Tank, are you in college now.”

His thick, deep voice had grunted before he spoke. There was something familiar about his grunt, but she pushed the thought aside to listen to him speak. “Nah, I wasn’t no good at school. My ma thought it was a waste of time. Plus she needed me to help bring in money.”

“I see.” Tasha looked down at her intertwined fingers and noticed how white they were from the strength within their grip. “My father said the same thing to me and my sisters. They listened; I did not. I guess I was the stubborn one.” She smirked.

She turned her body toward his and started telling him about her life. Tank sat up straight, listened to every word she spoke, taking it in, and making sure not to miss a syllable. She had a dedicated audience in Tank, and for some reason, she wanted to tell him about her life. “So…” she finally concluded, “I refused to let anyone tell me what I could and could not be. I fought my way out of high school and clawed my way into college.” She stopped abruptly.

“Fought and clawed.” She whispered staring intently at Tank. She inhaled deeply when she remembered where she knew him.

Tears, one by one, fell from his eyes when he realized, at the exact time she did, how they knew each other. He grabbed her hands, and she quickly pulled them away from him. Stunned at first, she did not move while her mind replayed the horrific night when their paths crossed.

Flashing before Tasha’s eyes were his large hands, and the horrible things they did to her. His wet, forced mouth planted all over her body while his large hand draped across her face. Her virtue slaughtered by his force of entry into her body. The filthy violation of his body thrusting against hers made her violently ill. His grunts and groans echoed in her ears, and her pleading screams welled up in her throat only to land against the palm of his hand. Her eyes caught glimpses of her attacker’s face. Those disturbing flashes left no doubt that the blue eyes shedding tears were those of the man who took her life.

He swallowed. He wished he could take that night back. He tried to remember the events which led to the desensitized beast he became. He  watched her swaying hips walk past the park where he slept. Anger boiled his blood when he thought about others who had opportunities while he had nothing. Years of anger welled up in a single moment forcing him to do something he had never done before. Self-pity left him powerless. He wanted to take away someone’s power. Then Tasha walked past.

Tasha scooted back on the bench trying to find a place for all of her emotions. Shock, hurt, anger, and love danced within her soul, fighting for the lead role. She wanted to hit him. Pound on him until he experienced the pain she endured that night. Instead, she slowly moved closer to him and wrapped her arms around his large body. The love she carried inside of her overpowered the anger. “It’s okay.” She whispered into his ear.

He emotionally fell apart in her arms. Each tear shed embodied the pain he had suffered as a boy. Each breath, between sobs, was his attempt at grasping for air through the thickness of sorrow he felt toward his actions against Tasha. She had suffered his same undesired life. Yet, she found the strength to pull herself out of the muck where her parents kept her; walking on her own path. He trembled when he spoke. “I covered you with my jacket. I didn’t mean for you to die.”

“I know. I saw you running away from my body and into the street. You didn’t see the bus.” She whispered rocking him back and forth. “It was a bad night for us both.” She pulled him away and smiled searching his eyes for the monster of burden he once carried within; it was gone.

A soothing, deep voice echoed through the park where they both sat on the bench. “Tasha Brandy Pierce” the voice, sweet as the wisping sounds of hummingbird’s wings, called out.

“That’s me.” She whispered. She stood and straightened out her dress. “I guess this is where He goes over my life, and I answer for the things I have done.”

Tank squeezed her hand asking once again for her forgiveness. He needed her forgiveness to cleanse his soul.

She gazed down at him. “Don’t worry, He knows you are sorry.” She leaned down and kissed his cheek. Before, she went through the gates, she glanced back at Tank and whispered, “Until we meet again.”

 

This is based on a contest where the criteria is the sentence has to start with “Have we met before?”

July 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Single Parent



 

While walking out from work this evening I thought about the endurance we single parents need to have.

When you are single with no children, you worry about only yourself and your own interests. When you are married, there is always someone to fall back on. As a married couple, you will always have a friend to ponder with, a confidant to worry with, and a partner to share in life’s daily responsibilities.

For the single parent, life is challenging in other ways. My thoughts went over the struggles of a single parent during their daily life.

In a typical day, we have a plethora of things to remember. You see, for our children we are the providers, mothers, fathers, nurtures, chef, maid, taxi driver, and quite possibly their coach. Daily we must keep up this repute to keep life running smoothly. Daily, these demands can drain the life right out of one person.

Finally, when the children are in bed and the house is quite, we jack-of-all-trades, must steal a moment’s time for ourselves to recharge our bodies, reboot our minds and keep up on our sanity meter. After all, in the morning our children will need the same attention they have demanded each day of their lives.

This morning started out strong. I woke on time. I stood in the shower with my eyes closed while the piping hot water pelted my face. I made great use of the five minutes I had before a little hand would come pounding on my bathroom door, ready to start the day.

I ironed my clothes and theirs, quickly dried my hair, helped the children dress, packed lunches for us all, and loaded up the rug-rats in the car. I threw up the taxi sign on the top of my vehicle and started dropping off talkative, energized youngens to their destinations before I headed to work. The skillful juggling of applying makeup while driving is an art that I am proud to say I have perfected.

Eight grueling hours of work while sprinkling in personal/business, phone calls at lunch did not stop there. Today would be a late workday. Of course, being the provider, extra money takes stress away in one of my other departments of expertise.

One hat off, the other one on.

After, none other than mom the chef, makes dinner, homework is corrected, last-minute projects are thrown at me (this is where my problem solving skills come in), and chores are done I can sit down and take a breath. Not a long one, just a few, going into labor, breaths and then I am back at it. Laundry, bills, blogging, last-minute clean up and then the moment I have waited for, recharging.

Of course, all of this takes place on a day without drum lessons, piano lessons, bible study, sport practices and the occasional relative that decides to pop-in unannounced.

I am in awe of the single parent. The challenges we overcome on a daily basis alone can feel burdensome. However, we know at the end of the day when we tuck the children into bed and they tell you how much they love you that the rewards far outweigh the weariness you might feel.

Today, the single parent is my hero. The accomplishments you made today with no shoulder to lean on is a remarkable feat. Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and realize you are making your mark on the world, through the children, that witness your skillful execution of life.

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment