Monday, February 28, 2011

'Writer's Block"

I am the guest writer today on 50 Word Stories!

My twisted 50-word story, "Writer's Block" appears at:

What a wonderful way to start off the week!

I wrote this while I was doing NaNoWriMo in November, in response to a challenge to write a 50 word story put forth by one of the members of our online writing group.
I'd never written anything so short but really enjoyed doing it. It was a great exercise in getting down to the nitty-gritty!

Hope you check it out!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pull Me Out From Inside

Pull Me Out From Inside
by Lisa Forget

The music takes hold of me. I can do nothing but listen as it sweeps me away, one note at a time. The piano is slightly out of tune. The dissonance is heartbreakingly beautiful.

Poety entwines its rhymes with the musical lines and together they steal the breath from my lungs. I close my eyes. I see stars. I dream.

My emotion takes on colour and paints my mind's canvas with rich purples and blues and wisps of haunting shadows. Music builds, emotions swell until every colour dances with the light of the sun and moon and creates perfect harmony.

A stringed instrument cries a note of longing that pierces my soul. It fills my head with sober musings. I'm so happy I weep.

My tears fall in time with the chimes of the music box that has drifted in like a ghost from the past. It mends the hole in my heart.

The song pulls me out from inside.

I am forever haunted by it.

Never let it end.

Inspired by my love for "Colorblind" by The Counting Crows

God bless songwriters.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Minutes

I didn’t realize it until recently but my children have become collectors. They don’t collect cards, or coins or anything like that but they collect little bits of information, stories or anything that strikes them as interesting, especially if they think I would find it interesting. They offer up their findings to me like gifts, as one would do with fine art, handmade lace or treasured jewels, to add to my collection of ideas and inspiration for stories that fuel my passion for writing.

Three Minutes, was inspired by something my daughter Caitlin told me this morning. It’s a recollection of sorts that comes from a 94 year old man who, when he was 92, died for three minutes. My daughter was fascinated by this and asked him the question most of us would ask, “What happened to you when you died?” Now, she’s promised that she’ll tell me more about this conversation, but we were in the throws of the morning rush so she only had time to leave me with the gentleman’s reply, which was:

“When I died, it was like every dream I ever dreamed came back to me, all at one time….”

“I bet it would make a wonderful short story,” she said as she walked to the front door, then she turned to me and winked.

She knows her mother so well.

Thanks Caitlin.

a short story
by Lisa Forget

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Ping.

The clouds are so white. The air is so clean. I’m soaring. Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon. I’m singing. My voice is flawless, pure and true. I feel the wind gusting past me, blowing through my silky-smooth chestnut-coloured hair. It gets tangled in the wind and I laugh. I love to fly.

I’m landing in green fields. I’m in Ireland. I don’t know how I know this but I remember this moment. I imagined it once when I was about twelve. I look down at my hands, ivory skin glistens a youthful glow in the sunshine. I realize that I am twelve and I am immersed in something wonderful, a new reality.

I jump from the wicker basket onto the ground. Long, lime-coloured grass tickles my legs as I run through the velvet fields. I’m anxious to reach the path that leads to the castle sitting atop the hill in the distance. People are waiting for me. I hear them calling. I run faster.

I blink and then I’m falling. I land on a rock jutting out from a cliff. I look down. Water crashes against craggy rocks. I scuffle quickly away from the rock’s edge and lean against wet, pungent, black earth. I feel roots and vines and both my hands grip on tight. I call out and hear nothing but the water below. I look up and know that if I could just climb the damp wall that’s at my back, I’d find my family sitting fifty yards away enjoying a picnic lunch on a blanket laid out on luscious green grass. I turn quickly, praying that I won’t slip and fall. I’m crying and calling for Daddy as I reach for gnarly bits of root sticking out of the dirt. I try repeatedly but my fingers slip and my feet never find purchase on anything solid enough to give me leverage. I pant and begin to feel dizzy. The view pans out and I see myself, alone on a jagged rock, one step away from death. I’m eight. I have lived this moment countless times. To me it is real, although my parents assured me it never was, that it was only my overactive imagination playing tricks on me. At this very moment, it is real.

I’m running again in that field where I landed the hot-air balloon. There’s a light in the window of the castle on the hill. I hear music. I hear singing. I smell Irish soda bread baking in a clay oven. I veer left.

I’m in a procession with a sea of beautifully dressed children. My mother made the dress I’m wearing. It’s my Communion. We’re all God’s little children and we’re going to make our sacrament together. I arrive at the altar. I’m wearing my wedding dress. My mother made this dress too. The church is filled with pink roses and white baby’s breath. My true love stands beside me. His love for me is making him tear up. I smile. He takes my hand and squeezes it. I look around. My family is there, as well as all my friends. They are the same ones who walked in the communion procession. They’ve been with me forever it seems. I’m blissfully happy.

I scream. I’m in unbearable pain. My insides are on fire. It ends abruptly. I hold a wet, wiggly thing in my arms. It’s warm and I want to hold it carefully so I don’t break it. I look down. My first-born is beautiful. Her face changes and I see my second whose tiny perfect face morphs into my third whose rosy cheeks look like strawberry ice cream. I feel warm and wet, just like the angels in my arms. I’m bleeding and blood is dripping from the hospital bed. There’s panic around me.

Drums are beating. The fields are drenched in starlight. There are more candles in the windows. Someone is waiting; I think it’s my prince. I have to go…soon.

A whistle blows and a teapot is filled. I hear a gurgle and smell fresh coffee. I taste date squares and shortbread cookies on my tongue. My kitchen is abuzz with laughter. I’m wending my way through the group of people standing around my table and leaning against my counters. I don’t know any of them, yet I know one day I will. I wander into the living room. There are musicians with guitars and penny flutes and I hear a melody coming from the player piano. I didn’t even know it still worked. I make my way toward the music. The musicians follow me and we form a parade that marches out into the street. I’m in the midst of a photograph I’ve seen before, in a book about the past. I’m waving at myself.

The parade marches on through the streets of the bustling city. Everyone I’ve ever known, and thousands that I don’t, have lined the sidewalks. There are batons twirling in the air and trumpets blasting familiar tunes. There’s cotton candy in a rainbow of colours and frothy drinks being slurped up through foot-long straws. On my right, an elderly lady is walking my dog, Sparky. I buried him in my back yard, under the maple tree when I was fifteen. He barks a happy hello to me. I say thank you to the lady who’s walking him. I don’t know why I thank her, maybe it’s because that dog saved my life once and I’m grateful someone is looking after him until I can do so again.

I hear my name being called and I turn toward the voice. It’s my grandson. I realize I hadn’t heard my given name but one of the many other names people call me. The one he calls me is Grandma. Behind him is my sister, and behind her is my cousin, and behind him is my teacher from first grade who’s walking arm in arm with my best friend Sally, finally I see my parents. The parade stops. I know now that I’m in Heaven because that is the only place my mother and father could be. I change my course and make my way toward them. They lift their arms ready to embrace me.

I hear the music again, the one coming from the castle and it makes me pause. I have tried to not listen to it but it is hauntingly persistent. I will have to go and tell them to stop, that I’m busy at the moment. I make a sign to my parents but they are gone. So is the parade. My feet are on soft soil.

I am in front of the castle. My prince is standing in the window; his face is that of my true love. I’m wearing a fairytale gown of lavender and iridescence that billows in the heather-scented breeze. I am young. I am old. I am ageless. I make my way to the entrance of the castle and as I reach for the door my chest bursts into flames. My eyes widen and I am blinded.

“Mrs. Pearce?” I hear.

I am struck dumb. I am lying on a cold surface and my lips are sealed. I shake my head. I know that my eyes are full, but of what, I can’t say. I’m confused. Where am I?

“In the hospital,” the voice answers. I must have voiced my question aloud.

“W..what happened?” My aged voice falters as air passes, with much difficulty, through my dry throat.

“You died, Mrs. Pearce,” says the voice of the doctor that comes from behind the nurse holding my hand. I feel tubes taped to my wrist.

“D..ied?” I ask.

“Yes,” he says as he also puts his hands on me. “You were dead for three minutes.”

It’s no wonder they both want to touch me, to them I must be immortal.

“On…ly….th…ree?” My lungs won’t cooperate, giving me only enough air to manage a couple of words at a time.

“Yes,” the nurse answers. “You rest now. You’re family is here. They’ll be waiting for you when you wake up.”

“Yes,” I say, closing my eyes.

I know that what she says is true. What I want to tell her is that they’re waiting on the other side as well, but I’m too tired to force another word from my lips. I feel myself succumb to sleep. I welcome it; embrace the warmth of the little spot in my mind where I’ll go to dream more dreams that I know will welcome me when it’s truly time to go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Isolés" a novel by my niece...

I started a new novel last night by young Quebecoise, Maryse Dupuy, entitled, "Isolés".

The novel is the end result of a year-long themed project that Secondary 5 IB students of her high school must complete before they graduate. All students chose their theme, planned and set goals for their project and submitted their plan to their teachers. Once the project is completed, the students will also receive a special certificate for this project along with their IB certificate and diploma.

Here's what she says on the inside back cover (translated):
For my personal project, I got the crazy idea to write a novel. It was on our visit to Piriac-Sur-Mer, during our trip to France, that the inspiration came to me.

Although she'd always been top of her class in French (and Engish), she'd never written a novel. So, Maryse took the project by the horns and went for it, devouring all she could on how to write a book, doing exaustive research pertinant to her story and finally, molding that information into the tale that now lies on the printed pages of her novel. (The quaint village that inspired her tale is Piriac-Sur-Mer and pictured on the book cover.)

Here's the hook:
Incitée à voyager par sa grand-mère, une adolescente se rend dans une ville française presque inconnue. Son séjour prend toutefois une direction inattendue…

(Encouraged by her grandmother to travel, a young girl arrives in a little known town in France where her stay takes a unexpected turn....)

I am so impressed by her commitment to the project and thrilled to hear her writer's voice shine throughout the telling of this wonderful story. This is the work of a rising literary star. I'm so proud of her.

My sister Christine, instrumental in so many ways, helped get the book printed at a local shop. When I asked if we should take that "next step" and look into having it published, she told me something that confirmed that Maryse is a true writer, she said "No, Maryse feels it needs to be expanded. There's more story for her to tell..."

Yep, I'd say she's been bitten by the writer's bug!

Congratulations on a wonderful job very well done, Maryse! Je t'aime!

I'll close this post with a note she wrote to me on the dedication page:

Merci ma tante. Tes conseils étaient précieux, tu es une inspiration. Maryse xx

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ian O'Neill: Photo Flash Fiction

I took Ian's challenge and my 250 word piece entitled, "The Rorschach Test", is comment #15.

Ian O'Neill: Photo Flash Fiction: "The one thing all writers have in common is that they love to write. I hope you'll get inspired by this photograph and..."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Falling in love with writing....

I began writing in the Spring of 2008 after falling in love with love. This romance began the day I picked up Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. I was always an avid reader but this series completely changed my way of thinking about books and the romance genre.

I couldn't get enough.

The day I picked up a pen and put it to paper I was reading Outlander (for the third time), Margaret Atwood's Moral Disorder and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey - all at the same time! I set aside the books and pulled some paper out of the recycling bin and began to write. I wrote feverishly that day and for the next week. By the end of that week, I realized I had fallen in love not only with Love but with Writing as well.

I transfered all the scenes I wrote into a word document on my computer where I added to it until I completed what was then called "Bound" and is now "Love Eternal".

I've since fallen in love with all things strange and wonderful. I enjoy writing Flash Fiction, Short Stories and full-length novels for both YA and adult audiences. Writing completes me as an artistic person. As much as I love to sing, writing brings me a great deal of satisfaction.

I love to read (in alphabetical order) Kelley Armstrong, Jane Austen, Suzanne Collins, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Larissa Ione, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Marie Moning, Kate Morton, JK Rowling & JR Ward.

My three daughters are my biggest fans. I endeavour to make them proud to say, "yeah, my mom writes stories...."