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Free Writing: Following My Muse

Backstory:

jean-bio-photoAround my 65th birthday a thought ran across my brain…I want to live until I die. Looking back over the last six years I’ve done exactly that—Many stories to tell but I need to focus on what you’re about to read and how it came to be.

Four dynamic women have taught me about overcoming fear.

Barbara Niven gave me a significant look at what to do about my past. Her affirmation “What they did to me in my past does not define who I am today. Take back your power.” Also, “Just beyond your fears are your dreams.”

Then came an extensive study about how shame creates fear, blame, and disconnection with Dr. Brené Brown.

Reviewing my writing skills was easy with Suzie Carr leading the way. All of her specific suggestions are on YouTube. Free writing, when dealing with writer’s block, has been an exciting adventure for me. I also use her idea of putting pencil to paper and write my thoughts as a way to choose topics.

Recently I’ve been under the influence of the Big Magic of Elizabeth Gilbert. I have a muse called Sparkly Nomad that stops by to see if I want to do some creative work. Elizabeth also taught me that fear is a common experience with all people.

When I end up in my past I remember what Barbara taught me. Being in my now I look at the fact that I am not a failure, I am enough.

I put pencil to paper and Sparkly and I create.

Thank you Beatrice, (Founder of No Strings Attached-ENews), for your vision and your  practice of inclusiveness.

Tamara, (Editor-in-Chief, No Strings Attached-Enews), your support has given me a direction.

Now to the results of my free writing.


The day didn’t seem out of the ordinary. But there was just something that kept me looking over my shoulder.

“Laurie, Timmy, 15 minutes till the bus leaves.”

“Okay. Timmy, what’s up, you’re early?”

He had just come out of the bathroom humming. Usually it took three alarm clocks and a yell or two to get him going. What was going on?

“Maybe you don’t want to get older, Mom, but I do. At least enough so you don’t call me Timmy, okay?”

“I’m not sure I know of anything I want right now, just felt like doing something different I guess.”

“Pancakes or waffles? Yes, of course, either comes with bacon.”

“Thomas Leroy Dillion! Why do you have to use my dryer and then never put it back? You idiot!”

“Sorry, dear sister. How can I make it up to you?”

Now I knew something was up.

“Buy your own, fool.”

“Waffles would be great, Mom.”

On his way to the refrigerator he stopped and looked around. “I think whoever built this place did a good job, no cracks, floors don’t squeak. How old is the house? I think it’s better built than most today.”

“It’s about 18 years old I think. When Marge and I looked at it we thought about how everything around the area was going to be good for kids. It was all we thought it would be.”

“I love the way buildings are built. We’re supposed to do a paper on something good about our neighborhoods, maybe I’ll write about the house.”

As Tim was sharing somehow he looked and sounded different; not a lot, just something different.

“See you later. Gotta get going.”

“Remember we’re going to Skype with Marge at 5:10 so get home fast.”

“You seem a little off your game this morning.” Laurie sitting still is not normal.

“I bust my butt, Mom, to keep up. You know that Mom. There’s always more. Now I’m behind schedule and I’m just about ready not to care.”

As she got up from her chair she looked at me….”I just want us to be a family like it was and nothing is the same. I gotta get going.” A hug and off she went.

Maybe a cup of coffee in the rocking chair outside will help me figure out what’s happening. Seemed liked Laurie was saying everything I felt.

“Hey you.Thanks for answering your phone.”

“You’re so full of it, come have coffee with me.” Corky was the best listener ever.

“Got a to-do list that’s got to get done. Then I will. You’re first on my list. What are we going to do for your birthday? Just want to make sure I invited the people you feel comfortable with. So think about it and I’ll be by in an hour or so.”

BANG. There it was, I had spent my morning seeing how things were changing, 50 years old tomorrow.

Nothing I had planned worked out.

I didn’t plan to fall in love with a woman in the Army. I didn’t plan on adopting twins. I didn’t plan on not using my degree. I sure the hell didn’t plan on having MS.

Maybe I missed Tommy growing up. Maybe I missed Laurie’s tiredness. And maybe I needed for Marge to be home. I can’t do this missing stuff without her.

The characters are in place. Their personalities are defined and there’s much that can be done with this beginning of “Just Over There.”

Now it has a title.

So what would you do with it? What would be your motivation? What are your fears?

Perhaps your creativity has a different form. We all are creative in some way. Take time to define your talents and gifts. Then make the world a better place and create.

  • Beatrice Davis

    You go girl and live your life to the fullest! Wish more women would take the same approach. Thanks Jean for being part of our creative team. I look forward to reading more of your written work.

  • Tamara Cloonan McClure

    I feel lucky to have met you, Jean, and also have you share your life and stories with us. You’re amazing!

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