The Guardians

These are those who never meet. Two a pair who pass by, greet and bid farewell in mere moments. Four of them appear so beautifully in their own way, but arrive with their own varied majesty.

The first is the swift eldest. Delicate while content; angered and she will unleash a fury unmatched by her kin. Clad in robes of white and grey, tinged with black filigree. Fingertips caress the greenery, leaving behind skeletons, dark footprints, and remnants of life. Her duty is not only necessary, it is vital to the cycle.

Some call her ‘the angel of death’ as she brings such a brisk chill. Her very aura is frigid and her beauty is no exception. Long, wavy strands of silver twilight hanging like Holiday ribbons around her soft, pale face. Eyes reminiscent of a pale snow against an aqua sky and lips as red as frost-nipped toes. And like her mood, her voice rises and falls against the wind.

Lucky are those who witness her dissent onto the world and the bittersweet truth she carries. Not all endings should be tearful. There is sun over the horizon.

***

When the white goddess departs for the cycle, her brother takes the stage and steals the show. Suddenly the earth springs to life as seedlings take root and rise towards the warmth of the sun. Primavera is his name, though others speak variations of it.

As he calms his sister’s lingering spirit, the frost softens and moves deep within the dirt, glistening and giving life to that which was once dead. Hibernating animals awaken their long slumber to the thawing world of color. Eyes open to the blooming trees and pastures of wildflowers. And the intoxicating scents of him and the trail he leaves behind.

Primavera watches over the earth for a time. His humbly tan tunic and mahogany trousers weave through the evergreen forests with the wind tousling his auburn hair. As the pale chill finally exits the air and the remnants of his sister disappear. This is now his domain.

But soon, the end will come for him to return at the next cycle. With tears of sorrow and joy, he bids the earth goodbye as the next Guardian passes by to await their turn. He greets them with a warm smile, the last cool breeze floats across the land as his feet leave the ground in a final farewell.

***

Earth takes a deep inhale and patiently awaits the strongest of the four. She ascends upon the earth like a shroud, suffocating it with nearly unbearable heat. Harsh is her voice as it whips through the dunes of the Sahara and grasslands of Australia. She takes her job with pride as waves of humidity burrow through the swamps allowing life to flourish despite the heat.

Although her reign is known throughout, her reach does not extend to the poles of the globe. As large as she is, she cannot encompass that which her frozen counterpart can. Her fiery, red hair touches the dry ground and lights it afire. Eyes as dark as soot scan her domain for more work that needs to be done.

Understand, her very existence, when in balance with the other Guardians, is necessary. Purging the overgrown forests into a wasteland allows the others to rekindle the life below the surface. She can bring the rains to replenish what she has rightfully destroyed and, at the same time, reek havoc with cyclones across the Alley.

She is finicky and emotional, very aware of the state in which humanity is leaving her beloved earth. More and more, she angers and rebels with flames, wind, water, and earth. But each cycle, to no avail. When her time comes to leave again, she expresses her sadness one last time.

***

Finally, the last of the cycle appears gradually, taking delicate care to erase all that the fire has set ablaze. She prepares for the beginning all over again. For snow and frost. Melodic songs of dreams begin to lull the trees to sleep as she shivers off the reds, yellows, and oranges all around.

The one that comes after is a shadow of this one’s beauty. Automne, they call her, name just as entrancing as her voice. Hues of gold-laced chocolate fall from the top of her head, a crown of silver maple leaves placed daintily on top. Because she works so closely with the one before and the one after her time, she bears one crystal and one deep grey eye. In tales, they call her the In-Between or the Guardian of Limbo for her notable work in the cycle.

Automne takes a secret pleasure in walking through the leaf-laiden grounds. Cobblestone just below the crunching colors at her feet, she will inhale a scent of warmth deeply, exhaling the foreshadow of what is to come. And those around her, flora and fauna alike, relish her existence while she lingers here.

But even beauty is not forever. When her time comes, the world weeps and awaits her return with bated breath. As the first takes her place and feet touch the soft grass, a single tear slides down Automne’s face and turns her back once again. Into oblivion she travels until her next turn.

It took me 3 days to write this because I’ve been so busy. Sorry for the delay! I hope you enjoyed! 🙂

Writing Prompt 3/18

Writing prompt 12

The anxiety is intense when I don’t lock my door 5 times.

Unlock, lock… one. Unlock, lock… two. Unlock, lock… three. Unlock, lock… four. Unlock, lock… five.

What happens if there’s a burglar. Did I really lock my door? Did I stop at lock or unlock? Better check again because my hearts racing. Something didn’t feel right the last time I did it. 5 more times.

Unlock, lock… one. Unlock, lock… two. Unlock, lock… three. Unlock, lock… four. Unlock, lock… five.

Okay… now I can brush my teeth. Count the stairs to my bathroom. Don’t miss a stair or I’ll have to go back down and start over. Focus. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine… dammit! There are ten stairs in my house. Go back down the stairs. Last night, I didn’t get to bed until 12am because of this. I wish I wasn’t like this. I try to stop counting, but I can’t. Something feels wrong. SHIT! I wasn’t paying attention. Third time up the stairs.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Okay… at least it was only three times up and down the stairs this time. Last night, it was – one, two, three, four, five, six – six, times. Brushing my teeth. This one takes a while because I have to count to 100. I want to be clean, and 100 is a great round number. At least I have control over how many times I can brush my teeth. My mom used to laugh at me and make me stop at fifty three, most days. FIFTY THREE!? That’s not a round number, not a good number… I’m getting anxious just thinking about it. Now that I’m on my own… 100 times, yes, a good number.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen… that number always makes me shudder. It’s unlucky, you know. Even for me… and I like numbers. Numbers are my life. Good thing I stopped brushing… fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty… That’s a good number. No one gives it the respect it deserves. Continuing… thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-three, forty-four, forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty… Halfway there.

I wish I wouldn’t have bought this new toothpaste. It foams up too much. I wonder if I spit some of it into the sink, would I feel like I have to start over? Better not risk it. I’m already at fifty. Fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty. My teeth look good… But sometimes my gums bleed if I take too long to count. Why does my mind keep wandering. I need to focus. I was on seventy, right? Seventy-five? That doesn’t seem right… Oh yeah! Sixty… Sixty-one, sixty-two, sixty-three.

*ring, ring* Damn phone. I can’t let it ring past three times. Ugh! I’m in the middle of brushing my teeth. I don’t have time to answer the phone. But if it rings more than three times, I have to turn it off and on nine times. And if I break my phone… I don’t even want to think about it. It’s just an 800 number, so I’m going to ignore it.

Sixty-four, sixty-five, sixty-six. Again? My mind is trying to focus on the freaking phone again. What time is it? I really hate that I go to bed at 10pm but don’t actually get to lay down until after midnight. I wish I wasn’t like this. Why do I have to be like this? Now, because that stupid number just called to try to sell me a credit card or some shit, I have to turn that off and on nine times. Sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine, seventy. At least I’m almost done brushing my teeth.

Seventy-one, seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-four, seventy-five. This foam toothbrush really is starting to annoy me. I’m choking on this crap. Why doesn’t it say ‘foaming’ on the label. I wouldn’t have bought this… How does ANYONE buy this crap. Seventy-six, seventy-seven, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty, eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-four, eighty-five, eighty-six, eighty-seven, eighty-eight, eighty-nine… ninety. Almost there. And I didn’t even screw up once. Gotta be proud of that. Doesn’t happen often. Ninety-one, ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four, ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred. Spit this crap out of my mouth. Pretty sure I’m going to buy another tube of toothpaste. This is not conducive to my life.

Well… before I get to my nightly routine of turning off and on the lights, I have to turn my phone off and on… nine times. What is wrong with me? Why does counting every, single, freaking thing make me feel good? If I don’t count, I feel claustrophobic and it feels like I’m having a heart attack. This is why I don’t have any friends… This is why I don’t like to go out of the house.

*ding, ding-a-ring* One time. Two. Three. Four. Five… oh shit, it’s not turning back on. Oh, wait, there it goes. Six, seven, eight… Crap! Not again! What if I take out the battery? I may have to start this whole thing over again. Nine? Does it feel right? I mean, I took the battery out. That’s basically like starting over. Okay, I’ll start over because I’m starting to freak out again. What time is it? 11:34PM. I feel like I’m going to be late again to work tomorrow… I’m going to sleep through my alarm and have to brush my teeth like this again, shower, lock and unlock…

No. SHUT UP BRAIN! Turn off and on my phone again. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Okay… check… one less thing on the list. At least I don’t feel compelled to put my pajamas on a certain amount of times. They’re so soft. I really made a good buy with these. Ugh… I’m so tired. But I’m not done yet.

Two more things to count tonight. Haha, that’s IF I do it correctly. Lights, on and off six times. One, two, three, four, five… I wonder if my lights will burn out quicker because I do this? Crap… gotta start over. I just want to sleep. I’m so friggin tired. Just do it quick… Onetwothreefourfivesix. Okay GOD, let’s go lay down. Now I have to turn on one side to the other fifteen times. Why fifteen, you ask? Who the hell knows… it’s a decent number. Divide by 3, you get five… Divide by five, you get three. Plus, I like the shape of it. The one stands firm at attention and the five is relaxed. It’s almost like Yin and Yang to me. Wake up! Don’t go to sleep yet because you’ll have to do this whole thing again at like 2AM.

Roll, left-side, one… two, right-side… three… stupid sheets tangling my legs. Four… five… six… seven… eight… nine… ten… eleven… twelve… thirteen… fourteen… fifteen… WHY!? WHY AM I NOT COMFORTABLE. I don’t want to roll again. I just want to sleep dammit! Close my eyes… okay, I think I can fall asleep like this. This is nice. I’m finally done, and it’s only 12:15AM. Oh, fifteen. What a good number…

Wait… What was that noise? Is someone in the house? Did I forget to lock the back door? Oh shit…

I hope you enjoyed this one! I’m working on my First Draft of Book 2 in my trilogy, so I’m going to be posting once a week with new prompts, tips, etc. Don’t forget to “Follow” my blog to be the FIRST to know when Purpose is going to be released!

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Weekend Writing 2

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writing prompt 8

“Great,” Quinn said crossing his arms. “Now what?”

Mark had a dumb grin on his face. “It isn’t all bad… We shrunk near food. This will last us a lifetime!”

“Um… no.” Quinn was pacing around what felt like a city but was only the counter top in his mother’s home. “We aren’t going to stay like this forever. How did we even get this way? If we figure that out, maybe we can get un-shrunk.”

“But look at how big everything is!” Mark was in awe. He threw his arms out in front of a giant cupcake. “I could swim in this icing Quinn! Well… not swim, but you know.”

“What about school? What about dating? What about our lives? If our parents find us like this…”

“Well did you brew a shrinking potion?”

“We haven’t covered that in class… Did you?”

“Maybe it was your sister, but she could have mixed it in something we drank. Or maybe someone cast a shrinking spell. Like I said, I’m not worried about it.”

Just then, Quinn’s sister walked into the room, smiling slyly. In her hand was a wand, her mother’s wand. She bent over the counter and laughed at the boys.

“Mom is going to be so mad that you used her wand,” yelled Quinn. “You know how powerful she is. I’m surprised the spell didn’t kill you, Pam.”

“Who said anything about me casting a spell?” Pam pretended to smash her brother. “Hey, I was trying out something I learned from my studies. But this is way more fun than shrinking a cup or a mouse.”

“So you had your fun Pam. Un-shrink us!”

“Or what?”

“Or I tell mom you were using her wand.”

“Not if I put you in a jar. I’ll just tell her that you went to Mark’s for the weekend.”

Mark had been eating the gigantic cupcake until he heard his name. He was covered in icing and almost slipped as he ran over to the edge of the table. Even though he was the size of a gummy bear and may be like that forever, he was laughing and jumping around. But it may have been a sugar high.

“Mom!”

And just like that, Pam grabbed her teeny brother and his friend and ran into her room. She had a glass tank waiting for them. Quinn thought it was weird that this tank had a small living space in it. Did his sister seriously believe their parents wouldn’t notice he was gone? And Mark was an only child. Both of his parents would be calling the authorities once it got dark. Was she going to lie and say that Mark was spending the weekend at their house?

She dropped the boys into the tank and closed the lid, but did not realize that a corner of the top was left wide open. Quinn did. When her shadow disappeared down the hall, he got to work.

“What are you doing?” Mark was sitting on the tiny couch and eating a shrunken pizza. “This is nice. We could stay here for at least the weekend.”

Quinn was already hard at work. He was pulling toothpicks from a wall his sister made in order to make a small ladder. “No way dude. Once I get my wand, I’m going to change us back and put her in here.”

“You don’t even know how to do that.”

“I can figure it out. Trust me… Now get over here and help.”

Mark sighed loudly and got up to hold the pieces of wood together so Mark could wrap them securely. “Why can’t you just chill out? It could be worse.”

“She can’t just do whatever she wants. When she learns new spells, she can’t practice them on me… or you… with our mother’s wand. It has so much power and she could seriously get hurt.”

“Why doesn’t she use her own wand?”

“No clue. Maybe my mom confiscated it.”

The ladder was complete. It had taken over two hours and half of the material that Pam used to make the living space. Mark and Quinn were panting from the work, but they were done. Time to make the climb.

“I’ll go first,” Quinn volunteered. “I can get to my room and get my wand. Pam will be lucky if I don’t see Mom on the way to my room.”

“Wait,” Mark reached in his pocket. “Why didn’t we just make the ladder with magic?”

“Because I don’t have my wand.” Quinn’s eyebrow raised. “Aren’t you listening to me? Have you been listening to me AT ALL in the past, like, four hours we have been the size of a gummy bear?”

His friend was put his hand in his other pocket. “No, I was. I listened to about thirty percent of what you said. But why do we have to use your wand? We can use mine if you want.”

“WHAT?!” Quinn nearly punched his friend. “Why the hell did you not mention this before?”

“I just thought about it…” Mark smiled again.

“I have been mentioning it since we got shrunk.” Quinn was yelling so loud that the glass walls of their temporary prison were ringing. “We could have avoided this whole situation if you just told me you had your wand on you this whole damn time.”

“Maybe I wanted to be tiny for a bit.”

Quinn was at a loss for words. He snatched his friend’s wand and climbed out of the ladder with Mark at his heels. They hopped out of the tank and climbed down to the floor. Quinn flicked the wand and grew back to normal size.

“Hey!” Mark squealed from the floor. “What about me?”

“I thought you said you wanted to be tiny for a while.” Quinn decided he would keep his friend the size of a gummy bear for a while. At least until the end of the day.

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Battling Writer’s Block

HELP! Writers Block

Writer’s Block. The time when your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you. We all go through it, even famous authors. No one is immune to it’s evil grasp! However, you can unsheathe your sword and fight against Writer’s Block once you know what you’re up against.

There are a few places that Writer’s Block comes from, but every reason is psychological and it stems from fear. Fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of lack of originality… I could go on. It’s true, writing a novel (or other piece of literature) and publishing it is like standing in the middle of New York City naked. Your work of art has only seen your eyes up until that moment. And really, it is your baby. Every character, every scene is special and you love every word in it’s perfect place. But you, like every other author, knows that there will always be critics. Always. No matter what you write about, there will always be people who hate it.

But so what? Why should you care?

  1. Write for your future fans not future critics. Heck, you don’t even have to write for them. Write for yourself. As long as the story you write is something that you want to read, who cares what other people think? I promise, if you think like that, not only does writing become easier, but Writer’s Block will become almost nonexistent. Why? Well, if you’re only writing for yourself, you enjoy it. And when you enjoy what you write, the quality will naturally increase.
  2. Walk away for 10 minutes. Sometimes walking away for a few minutes will refresh your brain. Take your mind off the story for a moment. Eat a snack. Meditate. Dance. Sing. Something! Anything that makes you relax will tear down the walls your brain has built up. It will cause you to let your guard down and that’s a good thing.
  3. Don’t worry about what else is being written. News flash! You aren’t the only author writing their next story. There are thousands of other people around the globe who share the same hope and aspiration of becoming the next J.K. Rowling. Just like #1, you should focus on you. If it helps, write down the reason(s) why you are writing this work of art.
  4. What defines failure? Fear of failure is my biggest obstacle when crafting and writing a novel. What if no one wants to buy it when it’s published? What if no one likes it? All of these “What if…?” scenarios are realistic to think, but completely unproductive. When in doubt, I refer to #1. Remember who I’m writing for… ME! Even if no one likes it, I do! And I’m still going to write the entire trilogy. Yes, this mentality seems easier said than done… and it is. But what does failure mean to you? No fans? No money? Once you nail the reason, ponder whether or not these answers are helping or hurting you. I can take a good guess to say that it’s hurting you. Don’t think about failing, think about success!
  5. Perhaps your outline needs to be expanded. Maybe it’s not Writer’s Block at all! Maybe your idea is too vague or not vague enough. Take a look at your notes and outline. Are there plot holes that need to be addressed? Is there enough content to reach your word count goal? How about the characters, are they dynamic enough to write quality dialogue? Is there enough content in the story to create a well-rounded novel?

Don’t worry, future author, you can and you will get over Writer’s Block! Search for inspiration and you will find it. On the other hand, if you search for reasons to quit, you will find that as well. But please don’t! Me and the rest of the writing community want to read what you finished! Keep going and do what works for you!!! 🙂