February 2020 Reads

A week late but here is a rundown of my February reads.

I made no progress in A Wrinkle in Time. It’s busy season at work which leaves me with little time for other things. In short, I’m not in a novel-reading mood, which is disheartening.

However, I did make time to read the weekly #ReadMeSpeakMe (RMSM) pieces. RMSM is a reading community on Twitter. Every Sunday, the host posts a new piece submitted from one of the community’s writers for the others (known as The Voices) to read aloud. You get to listen to how different readers interpret the piece and put their own unique spin on it. There’s even a few who compose music to accompany their readings.

Here are the pieces that were presented for February. Please note: With the exception of the second piece, title links will take you to the piece. The writer’s Twitter handle link will take you to the writer’s own audio version. All links will take you to Twitter with the exception of Meg Waf, which will take you to her SoundCloud.

An ode to the waking of each day in “Minutes Past Sunrise” by Annie, @anniescribes.

The week before Valentine’s Day was unique in that we were asked to share a piece by a writer we admired (with their permission). I shared a piece by fellow #vss365 writer, Elizabeth, @Eliza_Beth37, written for the prompt word “mule”.

A poem that dares to unveil the rare beauty of winter while also highlighting the depression it can cause, “Depression Like Winter” by a_frozenrose; @spainpops.

The final piece of February was written by the host of RMSM, Meg Waf, @megwaf, entitled “There Are Noises in the Garden”.

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Opportunity for interaction: if you had the opportunity to select any piece to read aloud, what piece would you select and why?

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SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves

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Reality’s Impact on a Head in the Clouds

Reality’s Impact on a Head in the Clouds

It tries to take me
down
|   down
|      down.
Tries to bury me in the ground
but my head is still in the clouds
|       up
|   up
up.
Tears in a tea cup
brew another round.
I spent all year digging
pen to paper, missing
the phone calls and
adventures we had.
The mourning wasn’t too bad
when exorcised by pen and pad.
Sometimes I felt guilty
thought I should feel worse
then something reminds me that it still hurts.
Spent this week bracing
for the inevitable slap
but found that I can look back
and read what happened next.
It feels so far away.
Further than yesterday.
But I can still touch it
if I reach down from these clouds.

~*~

Today is the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. I remember those last two weeks. In between doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, bandage changes, and coaxing foods and fluids, I filled the time in between with writing prompts. I wasn’t keeping up on my journal during that time but my writing took its place.

I pulled the relevant ones from around that stretch of time. Unless otherwise stated, most were for vss365.

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December 30th, 2018

Despite the sores in her mouth and the pain it would cause, she #indulged in a mug of warm mulled cider. She savored the smell and each sip knowing that it may be the last time.

January 13th, 2019

Unable to raise your left arm and scared for the future, you still took the time to #teach me how to make an apple pie. Now I’m afraid there’s not much time left and someone else will have to tell me why all the good people die too soon.

January 20th, 2019

She shuffles down the hall, her walker leading the way. I follow close behind. I am the pale white #horse.

January 21st, 2019

Regardless of gentleness the #hair comes out from her scalp as I comb. Instead of moving the trashcan, I carry the strands to it so she doesn’t have to see what she has lost.

January 23rd, 2019

Baby #girl born on a Saturday, turns 29 on a Sunday. The same age her mama turned in the first year of a new decade. She may not turn any more.

January 24th, 2019

#Sunny day but inside it’s gray. There’s nothing I can do, to change the dismal mood. The powers that be are beyond me. I cry over dirty laundry. I hope she’s taken away, and not made to suffer and stay.

Flip over any umbrella
Fill it with 1000 paper cranes
Make a wish
Then make it rain
#PoemTrail

January 25th, 2019

When you were born they wrapped you in #pink to let the world know you were a girl. When the end comes we’ll wrap you in rose gold because you are loved. Mother, beloved warrior. Rest well.

Mourning my loss but truly grateful for your peaceful release. #inkMine

Envelope filled with thoughts and prayers. Heaven sends snow tears. #hangtenstories

January 26th, 2019

Swimming in a pool of tears, my memories keep me afloat as we prepare to celebrate your life. I revisit old pictures and am filled with laughter that balloons within me until there’s no more room for sorrow.

Like vinegar and baking soda, sorrow will fizz before calming. #hangtenstories

January 27th, 2019

I had two parents for nearly 29 years.

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Thank you for reading.

Over Halfway Full

On day 22, I was 3/5 of the way through when it suddenly felt like I had run out of words. I was exhausted. Work had been mentally taxing this week, leaving me with little energy to get through the list of creative endeavors I wanted to undertake — writing for NaNoWriMo and RKic and recording for ReadMeSpeakMe.

My plan to catch up on Friday evening was thwarted by one of my cats taking my lap hostage. As I awkwardly balanced my laptop on my knees, I stared at the open word document and found myself with no desire to add to it.

This NaNoWriMo season has been an awkward one. The novels I usually write during November are ideas that had been stewing in my brain for a year or more. In September through October, I wrote a story using the daily VSS365 prompts on Twitter. It had its fingers in two separate stories — The Bone Fairy and Moonrise Water — both inspired from writing prompts.

All was going well until about the 15,000 word mark when I realized that the story didn’t have enough substance to be anything more than a long read. I deviated and wrote a short story, added more pieces to older novel projects, and started a new long story.

But on Friday night I was ready to give up near the 30,000 word mark because I really didn’t care anymore. I stared at my screen for 3 hours before shutting it down and napping on the couch with the cat who competes with NaNoWriMo for my attention every November.

The next day, everything was fine. The world didn’t end. I sat down again in the afternoon and started typing away, forcing my cat to take a seat next to me instead of my lap and hacked away at a 4,000 word chunk. I have about another 4,500 to go before I can be officially caught up.

Now that I’m so close to the end, I’ll finish up what I’ve been writing and write whatever until I hit the 50,000 word mark. It won’t be a novel but three first drafts of two long stories and one short. That’s an accomplishment within itself.

And short stories are easier to edit than novels.

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Meowa-ha-ha-ha! Move over inner critic! The cat is here!

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Thank you for reading. If you’re curious about my other works, please check out my SoundCloud (for ReadMeSpeakMe recordings) and Twitter pages.

SoundCloud: S. M. Saves
Twitter: @sm_saves

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The Nautilus Shell

She grew a peach tree in a nautilus shell. Her mother had grown cherries; her grandmother, a gnarled crabapple. She gave the fruit to hungry children so they could have sweet dreams and built huts from the pits to shelter the poor.

On occasion she’d leave the most perfect peach for an ill-mannered individual to give them dreams of metal bars; leaving the taste of misfortune on their tongue.

When the end came, she transplanted the tree and cleaned the shell before passing it on to her little one who dreamed of nectarines.

She’s growing a nectarine tree in a nautilus shell. Her mother had grown peaches, her grandmother, cherries, and her great-grandmother, a gnarled crabapple before that.

The tree is stunted, lacking sun and clean water. The shriveled fruits are no larger than the pits they surround. It gives the children no dreams at all. The poor burn the pits for a few seconds of warmth and the ill-mannered are immune to its omens.

When the end comes there will be no earth to transplant the little tree. No little one to pass the shell to. Eventually it will return to the ocean when she climbs, wave over wave, upon the land.

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This is the expanded version of the very short story I wrote for the August 13th prompt “shell”. The original is posted on my Twitter page here (direct link). I pulled a bit of a bait and switch with the mood.

Thank you for reading.

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