I sit down specifically to write, feeling like it will finally go somewhere, I write a little then suddenly it feels like I’ve walked right into a brick wall. My nose is broken, I’m bruised and bloodied, and I don’t want to fight anymore. I want to give up and not write another word. Then the ideas come again. It’s a vicious cycle.
It’s been over a year since I started working on “What the Heart Wants”. I know because I started working on it before my mom died. It’s been about a year and almost six months. And I’m only just now on chapter 10.
I have no motivation, and when I do, it’s inconvenient. And when I do try to sit and make myself write something, I hit the wall. It’s a struggle I don’t want. In addition to all the other struggles.
I just want to write and finish some fiction.
No more unfinished fiction.
I make jewelry (and other things) too!
In addition to (sometimes) writing, I also make jewelry and resin crafts. Besides trying to come up with a good idea for a YouTube channel (gotta get famous and rich off likes and ads) I’m trying to make money of something I enjoy.
I get to do it about as frequently as writing, but I love it.
I post for sale all my arts and crafts in my page Crash Landing: The Store
I have reasonable prices, I think, and I really just want a reason to make more stuff! Lol
Check me out!
Eliza was up bright and early the next morning, back to routine, to get her day started. She thought it was high time she got back to normal, as best she could, and not let all the new things happening around her change that. Because of her determination she had breakfast made and Joanna out the door to the schoolhouse in record time.
When she’d made it back to the house, Thomas was already hard at work, and she quickly joined him. Back in their old rhythm they made quick work of most of the morning chores. They’d paused their work to discuss possible future repairs to the tool shed when they both heard hooves coming up the dirt drive to the house. They both turned toward the sound. Eliza squinted toward the mysterious visitor, shielding her eyes from the sun. “I better go see who it is.” She told Thomas. “Hopefully it won’t keep me too long.” She said to herself.
She didn’t recognize the horse they road, and despite the decreasing distance she still couldn’t tell who road it. She walked quickly to the house to hopefully beat them to the front door. When she stepped into the kitchen, she grabbed a towel from the counter and wiped her face and hands of what dust and grime she imagined coated her skin.
She made it to the door just as the visitor knocked and she opened it and went to greet Randall Perry with a surprised smile. “Mr. Perry.” She said, a little shock on her face.
“Surprised to see me?” He asked, his typical sly smile peeking out.
“I didn’t expect visitors,” She replied. “Especially not you, no offense intended.” She gestured him inside. “At least it’s not Aunt Clara,” she told herself.
“None taken.” She smiled and stepped into the living room where she’d led him. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
“I was just working on the daily chores.” She told him. “We have quite a lot to do when you’re in charge of a home and farm. Was there something I could help you with?” She asked as they sat.
“Oh, no. I was just hoping to visit with you.” He said. “Just the two of us.” That smile, the one she wasn’t sure she could trust, widened.
“Well, Thomas is outside working still.” She told him, unsure. “But I suppose I can spare a few moments.” She realized they were sitting in the same places where they’d sat when she’d received him and her aunt last time. “Can I get you anything? Tea perhaps?” She asked.
“No thank you.” He replied kindly. “I was wondering, though, if you’ve decided whether or not to join us in the city?” He asked. “We will be planning on leaving in the next few weeks or so.”
“I have not.” She paused to come up with an excuse. “I’m just not sure I’d be a good idea to miss a day of work here.” She said. “What with having to get used to doing it all on my own now. Without my parents.” She lied. Mostly. “I’m sure you don’t have to worry yourself much about getting work done on your property.”
“I’ll have you know,” he began, “I have done my fair share of farm labor.” He said, half serious.
“Oh, I’m sure you have. You just don’t seem the type for every day farm tasks.” She glances slyly at his perfect hands and neat nails. Not a callus in sight. She made a point to tuck hers away.
“While I have been helping my father with more of the business side of late, I still get my hands dirty once in a while,” he smiled. “I assure you, I’m just as capable as anyone else.”
“I’m sure you are, Mr. Perry,” She said. “But for now I have my own work to take care of. I’m sure Thomas is wondering where I’ve gotten off too.”
As if on cue, they both heard the door open and close in the kitchen, and Thomas calling. “Eliza, the hay has been delivered,” he began, pausing when he walked into the room and saw Mr. Perry. He cleared his throat as Eliza and her guest stood.
“Good morning, Mr. Fox.”
“Good morning,” Thomas practically grunted. He turned to Eliza. “I just wanted to let you know. I go start unloading now.”
“I’ll be right out to help you, Thomas,” Eliza said, about to make excuses to Randall.
“I would be glad to offer my assistance, Miss Alcott.” He said. “I’d be happy to help Thomas myself.
“That’s completely unnecessary,” Eliza started.
“I can take care of if myself,” Thomas looked at Eliza, waiting for her to agree.
“I insist. With both of us, Thomas, I’m sure we’ll make quick work.” He turned to Eliza. “And since you rejected my previous offer of hired help, I think you could at least allow me this.” He smiled that of his, the one that she couldn’t help but wonder if many young women have resisted.
After a moment of deliberation she relented. “Fine,” She said despite Thomas’ poorly hidden look of shock. “It’ll get the job done quickly, and we can get back to regular chores.” She told them both. She really just wanted to see if Mr. Randall Perry could handle a little hard labor. And maybe see if he and Thomas could actually stare each other to death.
In a few short minutes the three of them were out back, Eliza purposely standing out of their way, as the wagonload of hay bales was backed closer to the barn. Randall had removed his jacket and left it in the kitchen as they’d walked through the house, and he rolled the sleeves of his expensive white shirt up to his elbows.
As the two men began work, they expertly avoided each other, not speaking but not clashing or getting in each other’s way either. Eliza watched them work, climbing in and out of the wagon, tossing bales of hay. Had she done the same work, as she’d planned, it would have taken her twice as long, and she’d have been out of breath after a few bales. They unloaded the bales, and the delivery driver rode off with his empty wagon, as Thomas and Randall took turns loading the bales into barn and up to the loft.
The morning sun was turning into a heated afternoon as the men finished up. Eliza drew two buckets of water from the well, and set them out for Thomas and Randall to cool off when they finished. As she watched them splash cool water on their faces and necks, she had to admit she was surprised my Randal’s hard work. She knew Thomas could do it, that came as no surprise. But seeing Mr. Perry, of all people, able to keep up with someone she considered a strong, hard worker, it was safe to say he’d proven himself. She was loath to admit it out loud, just as she was loath to admit she noticed that the water dampening his shirt may or may not have made it sheer.
After they’d finished cooling off, she watched as Thomas turned to Randall. She couldn’t make out what he said, but she could tell he wasn’t happy about offering his hand to Randall. They shook, barely nodded at each other, but didn’t smile. Eliza wondered what they had against each other as Randall walked over to her.
“Have I proven myself a hard worker yet?” He asked smiling, and still a little damp.
“You can throw a bale of hay or two. But I thought you were just offering assistance.” She said, “Where you just trying to prove yourself?”
He laughed, throwing his head back, dark hair sticking to his forehead. “You are a hard woman to please, Miss. Alcott.” He took her hand from her side and bent down kissed her knuckles, as had become habit. When he did so, Eliza saw Thomas looked in their direction, clearly unhappy.
When Randall looked back up at her, he was still smiling. “Although I hate to see this evening end, I must me going. Maybe next time you’ll have made your decision about the trip?”
“Maybe,” She said.
Some time later, Eliza was preparing to head out to get Joanna from school, when she returned to the barn where Thomas was. He was prepping the horse and wagon for her, and she rubbed the mare’s nose when she neared. “Are you upset that I took him up on his offer to help?” She asked.
After a moment of silence he responded. “This is your home and farm, it’s not up to me who you bring in to help.”
“I didn’t bring him in, Thomas. He offered.” She clarified. “And I just wanted to see if he could actually work.” She admitted with a shrug.
“He can.” He said. “I knew he could.”
“Well, I didn’t. How do you know?” She asked, curious now.
“I’ve worked for his family before.” He revealed. Still not looking at her. “Against my better judgement.”
She was surprised, considering all his protestations that the Perrys were not to be trusted. Why would he work for
someone he didn’t trust? “When? You spend so much time here, when have you been able to work elsewhere?”
“Are you angry that I take my skills elsewhere?” He asked, rather shortly for his typical behavior.
“No, Thomas, of course not.” She said, taken aback. “If you needed more work, more money you could have told me. I’m trying to make things work financially, but—.”
“Not you, not in some time.” He blurted, afraid he’d upset her. “Before,” he paused. “Before you’re parents passed.”
Eliza looked at him, confused. When had they not paid him? Has there been money problems much longer than she’d thought.
“Don’t worry about it. I have what I need now. I’ll help here as long as I’m needed, regardless.” He said. “Put the place and the finances to rights, I’ll be here. As long as you’ll have me, Eliza.” He placed a hand on her upper arm and squeezed, trying to comfort the worry that was plain on her face.
They stood there for a moment, as his hand lingered and they held each other’s gaze. Then, as if she knew the moment was growing long, and it was time to go, the mare snorted and nudge Eliza. Startled, Eliza stumbled into Thomas, and they both laughed at the horse. When they stopped, his arms were around her, and her hands were on his chest.
They smiled up at each other, then they realized how very close they were. They cleared their throats. “I should go, Joanna will be waiting.”
“Yes, I’ll finish up here.” Thomas said.
They parted and Eliza climbed into the wagon seat. She settled herself in and urged the horse forward with a gentle snap if the reigns. When she glanced back after pulling out of the barn, Thomas was watching her go. She smiled at their moment, blushing. She couldn’t decide if she was glad the horse interrupted or not.
*if you’re just arriving here, you may go back to the start by clicking the image at the very top of the post
1. “Soft Washable Bathroom Toilet Seat Filling Warmer Pad Cushion”
There’s gonna be a cold night when you stumble half asleep from your bed, sit down to number one or two, and it’s GONNA BE DAMP.
2. “Want To Be A Queen? For Your Charm! For The People You Love!Come On Make Your Dreams Come True
The boob “graphics” remind me of photosynthesis.
3. “1pc PU simulation of bread, fake toast model, photography props, toys, decoration, exhibition hall has a fragrance.”
“Has a fragrance”.
Before Eliza could open the journal she had in her hand, she heard a knock at the front door. She replaced the journal and stood, but as she was walking out of the bedroom, she heard Joanna shout, “I’ll get it!”
She hadn’t quite made it down the stairs when she heard Aunt Clara’s voice echoing in the front hall. “Hello, dear,” Aunt Clara spoke to Joanna. “Still playing shy are we?” When she made it downstairs she could see Joanna hiding behind the banister. They both saw her when she stepped off the stairs, and Joanna ran to hide behind her legs.
“Hello Eliza, dear,” Clara greeted her, knowing she hated being called ‘dear’. She smiled again, “I trust we’re doing well on this lovely afternoon?”
“Fine, thank you.” Eliza said curtly. It would take a great deal for her to begin to trust her aunt. “I would have thought you’d have gone back to the city by now.” Eliza asked. “To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit today?”
“Oh, not unite yet, dear. Spring Haven might be growing on me.” she replied. “I was just wondering what your decision was regarding the Perrys’ offer to include you on their trip into the city.” She said, still smiling in that unnerving way of hers. “I wanted to extend an offer to purchase you both new dresses for the trip.” She said, eyeballing what both of them were currently wearing.
Eliza felt Joanna’s excitement upon hearing the part about new dresses. But she had to force herself not to reply in anger at the look her aunt had given them. Instead she said, “I hadn’t yet decided, Aunt Clara.” She paused, then continued. “And as soon as I do, the Perrys will be the first to know.” She could tell that affected her aunt.
“Hmmm.” Clara paused, but the smile returned to her face. “Well, dear. Please allow me the pleasure of treating you both to a new dress, regardless of your decision.” She said. “It’s the least I could do for my dear nieces.” She paused. “Make up for lost time?”
Despite her wholehearted desire to never take anything from her aunt, she couldn’t deny she’d noticed Joanna’s obvious response to the thought of a new dress. She did so love her dresses. So, against her better judgement she replied, “I’m sure that would be fine, Aunt Clara.”
“Oh how lovely, dear!” Clara seemed genuinely excited. “I do love buying dresses.” Joanna was practically shaking with excitement at her sister’s side. “We shall meet in town tomorrow afternoon!” Clara turned to the door. “Now I must be going, I shall see you both tomorrow!”
Eliza watched and waited as Aunt Clara climbed into the waiting carriage and pulled away, horses’ hooves and carriage wheels kicking up dust behind. Eliza’s tense nerves began to relax the further away the carriage became.
“Why did you tell her you hadn’t decided, when to told Thomas you had?” Joanna asked.
“You heard that, this morning, did you?” Joanna smiled sheepishly. Eliza smiled back, “Sometimes people say and do things without taking the time to think about them, and they only realize afterward they may have made a mistake,” she explained. “I hadn’t given myself enough time to really think about it, and its important to do that, especially since we don’t know the Perrys all that well yet.” She paused. “Do you understand?”
Joanna thought about it a moment, then nodded. “Yes.” Then she smiled widely and said, “At least we’re getting new dresses!” They both giggled and Eliza said, smiling, “And who doesn’t love a new dress? Now, what shall we have for dinner?”
Dinner was almost finished cooking and Eliza had sent Joanna to set the table, Eliza walked into the dinning room to see three place settings instead of their usual two. “Joanna, have you invited someone to dinner without telling me?” She asked her sister, smiling.
“Uh, maybe?” She heard Joanna say from behind her. She turned to see Thomas standing behind her sister in the doorway. “I thought maybe he could eat with us. Is that okay?” Despite whatever happened between him and Eliza, Thomas had always seemed to be the the only adult, besides herself and their parents, that Joanna had ever been comfortable around. It might have been because she grew up with him in her life, but it was true.
“Its perfectly fine,” Eliza smiled, hoping there would be no tension. She’d had enough of that.
“Thank you,” he nodded in her direction. He then smiled down at Joanna, and said to her, “Thank you for inviting me.” As always Joanna smiled widely at her friend and pulled him to his seat, next to Eliza’s.
Thomas, when he was younger, had often eaten dinner with the Alcott’s. Rose had insisted, as she knew that his family didn’t have much themselves, and she’d always sent him home with an abundance of leftovers. But when he was in his late teens, the last of his family, his father, had died, leaving Thomas all they’d had left. He’d stopped staying for dinner, claiming his own chores to take care of.
This night’s dinner was as if he’d never stopped staying. They all laughed and talked, and enjoyed their meal. The only hitch for Eliza was remembering what they were missing, who they were missing. But she tried not to let the somber thoughts show through, she was just glad to see Joanna happy.
Once the meal was finished, Joanna helped Eliza clear the table, both refusing to let Thomas help. “You’re the guest!” Joanna said. He laughed and raised his hands up as if to surrender. “You’re the boss!” He smiled at her. When the work was done they stood at the doorway and said their good nights. Joanna hugged Thomas and he gave her a gentle squeeze in return.
“Now,” Eliza said, “Time for bed, you!” She told her sister, kissing her forehead. “You’ve got school in the morning. I’ll be right up to tuck you in.”
Eliza watched Joanna go, glad to see her sister finally starting to cheer, but quickly realized that she was alone with Thomas once again. She sighed and turned her attention back to him. But he spoke before she could.
“I’m sorry,” he said. He was quiet a moment, rubbing his work roughened hands together nervously. She realized she’d never really looked at his hands before. “For today. And last night. I was rude today and it was poor manners. I might not have be blessed with a fine education,” he paused, “like some. But I was taught manners, and I’ve let them slip.” He stopped, took a breath. “Will you forgive me?” He asked.
“Oh Thomas,” she said, putting a hand on his. “It’s alright. I was a little irrational myself.” She said, smiling. “I forgive you.”
He smiled in return and squeezed her hand, “Thank you.” For a flicker of a moment his expression changed, so quick that if she hadn’t been looking, for something, she might have missed it. There was a little of what she’d seen last night. But it was gone as quickly as it has come. Then he did something she did not at all expect. He leaned in and kissed her cheek, but his lips lingered against her skin just slightly longer than any old kiss on the cheek should.
Then with a barely audible, “Goodnight Eliza,” he was outside, closing the door behind him.
Eliza stood a moment before really registering what had just happened. When she finally had, she smiled widely, blushing in spite of herself.
My mom died on April 19, 2018.
My heart is broken but I know she’s in a better place. I’d rather her be here, with me, my brothers and sister, my dad, her grandchildren. But she was very sick, and wouldn’t have lasted much longer. We’d taken her off life support, and she did not suffer.
The last words she said to me were as I was leaving her, that Monday, I think. I told her, “Mom, I have to go now, but I’ll be back.”
She said, “I know, you’ve been my rock today.”
I told her I loved her and she said it back.
Really all I did that day was help her drink some water, she was so thirsty and would have preferred Pepsi. But she drank more when I was giving her water than she had in days. And I think it helped her me just being there and trying to help her, even if I couldn’t understand her most of the time.
The next time I saw her she was hardly responding. She was on a mask to help her breathe, and she’d gone downhill from there.
I miss her so much it breaks my heart. I wish I could talk to her, tell her I love her, and kiss her forehead. I wish every time I thought about kissing her forehead I didn’t remember the last time I kissed her forehead, as I was saying goodbye for the last time.
But I know she wouldn’t want me to cry. I know she wouldn’t want me to dwell on her being gone. She’d want me to move on and be happy she’s not suffering and enjoy my life, my daughter, and my family.
But she’s not here and she can’t make me!
She would have laughed at that.
I love you mom, I miss you so much. And I hope you’re doing well where you are.
Five plus years ago when I wrote Black Friday: A Zombie Story, I worked mostly evenings as a people greeter. I slept late, went to work, got off at ten, came home, stayed up all night. I wrote at night when I could have been sleeping. I stayed up because I knew I didn’t have to get up until I wanted.
Now, I have the same schedule, with some mornings thrown in randomly. But I also have a kid now. A wild, rambunctious, hilarious, wonderful little girl who has my heart and my sleep pattern wrapped around her pinkie. If I don’t go to bed when she does I don’t get any sleep. I have to fight with her every night to go to bed. And while the cuddles are to die for, it makes it hard to do anything but picture myself snuggled in my bed.
I used to write at work. I used to carry a little Five Star Notebook, and a pen, and wrote on breaks or when no one was looking (sorry management).
I don’t do that anymore. I don’t write anymore. I’ve tried. I really have. I get ideas when I’m falling asleep or driving or in the middle of something that requires my attention. And I forget them.
Sleepless nights when my baby was a baby and wouldn’t sleep unless held, or those nights I slept in a chair in her nursery (when it had more furniture than toys) I’d hold her and hen peck on my iPod. I wrote “Twisted Tales: Handy Manny” that way. I wrote some “Fiction Me This” stories that way.
I can’t anymore. I want to write so badly. I want to put a pen to paper, hen peck on my iPod with my thumbs, type on my computer. I can’t get ideas. And if I do I can’t write them down or I forget them. Or I’m just so tired.
I’m exhausted. All the time. I left work at 2. I was scheduled to leave at two. I could have been nice and volunteered to stay at least until coverage came in. I didn’t. The prospect of going home to nap uninterrupted for even a few minutes was the most excitement I’ve had in months. And I slept. But I woke up with my hip and weirdly my big toe hurting.
I get off work with every joint below my waist hurting, including my back and the bottoms of my feet. Even when I get off work during the afternoon and I’d have time to write, I tell myself, “there’s other things I could do”. Dishes needing washed. Toys need picked up. I have a million and one projects started that will never get finished.
I started crocheting my daughter a baby blanket almost the moment I knew she was going to be a girl. She’s three. It’s a third of the way complete. It’ll never be done. And I’m ashamed. Luckily she hates blankets (unless she’s playing peek-a-boo).
I’ve started story ideas. Not short stories those I’ve done numerous times. Stories that could be epically long, and never finished them. And the one I fear won’t get finished. The the one that everyone wants me to write.
“The Black Friday Curse” the sequel (?) to BF:AZS has had everyone excited. By everyone I mean the four people who were interested in it in the last six months. But I’m stuck because I don’t honestly see a plausible reason for a sequel involving zombies. Yes. It’s zombies and they’re not necessarily plausible anyway (depending on who you talk to). But with this story (I’m going for no spoilers) and the way it ended I’m not sure how to bring them back. I have an idea but I think it’s lame. But it’s all I got.
I don’t know when it’ll be worked on, much less finished. I don’t know when I’ll get the gumption to work on it. Maybe some day.
I don’t know. As soon as I know, so will you.
I recently put in for a “promotion” at work. I’d always wanted the job, and it’s rare that there’s an opening.
It was in an area I had worked in before, for years, and so I felt like I’d be a good fit. Everyone thought I would.
When I found out I didn’t get it, that it had in fact when to the person it did I was upset. Not because of the person. But because if I’d known that person wanted it, I wouldn’t have wasted my time (and energy, and hopes and excitement). Because they are WAY more qualified for it. Considering they had the same job just a different department, way more qualified.
If I’d known for sure that this person was interested, I would have known right then I wouldn’t get it. That way, I wouldn’t have spent time thinking about having the job, imagining what it would be like, the training. Heck, I was packing in my head for the trip I’d take to train! That’s how high my hopes got.
And there’s nothing like that earth shattering disappointment after having worked yourself up for something only to be crushed.
I was even interviewed for the job! I still don’t understand why, even though I know it was a formality. I mean, I felt honored that they even thought I was good enough to interview. But I’m sure they know they’d give it to the person they did.
“Sure, lets just interview Crystal. She’d be good for the position.”
“But it’s going to Soandso?”
“Well yeah, but still. We got to interview someone.”
I don’t blame management or the specific individual who interviewed me. This person made me feel like they legit thought I could do well in the position. That I appreciate. And I know they still had to interview. Regardless of who they gave it too.
But I still kinda wish they wouldn’t have. You know?
I really REALLY wanted it. I didn’t at first. I was apprehensive, it wasn’t gonna be that financially beneficial to me, and I’d be away from my child for the first time in her life, for five plus days for training. I’d be driving away for it where I’d never driven myself before.
But then I started thinking about it. Getting excited. Thinking it would be an amazing opportunity. And I started to lose the apprehension. Of course it didn’t help that everyone said “oh you’ll get it. It’ll be great!”
And I guess I can sorta blame myself too. I let myself get worked up and excited–I do every time. I got excited only to be let down.
It’s just harder because I don’t really feel like I had a fighting chance. Had the person who got it not been interested, I might have. Maybe. But they were.
I hope the lucky person does great and enjoys the department. I know they were great at their other department. I enjoyed it when I was there. I think I might have again.
Thanks for reading.
Also yes. I am back.
I’d like to officially announce my candidacy for president.
Haha. No. Seriously you couldn’t pay me enough…
As you might be able to tell, I am (actually) officially announcing the long awaited sequel to Black Friday: A Zombie Story!
Due to a recent surge in interest, mostly by the people around me, I have decided to ride the newfound popularity like it’s the cow jumping over the moon. Also people have been asking.
I think I’ve been avoiding it all these long years because I didn’t think it would ever get as much attention as the original, or that I could please people they way I didn’t with BF:AZS.
But the recent attention as brought the story, and how it ended back into my mind and my heart. And I want to make people happy.
The only problem is figuring out the logistics! With the plot and ending of the first one, how in Bob’s name are gonna open up a new chapter?!
But I’m sure gonna try!
Stay tuned for updates, you can find most here: