5 a.m.

Sometimes I can’t sleep. The time I am supposed to be sleeping, is used thinking about what I am writing.

I was up tell 5 a.m. last night, trying to figure out what to do with this Novelette I wrote and am in the process of editing. I took a break from this process of editing to watch one of my favorite movies, Copying Beethoven.  It finally hit me with a large whack in the noggin, then I heard this voice in my head, Do something unconventional, like Beethoven did.

Oh my God! That’s it! I though, at 5 a.m., as my Husband and Son were snoring away. I had several novels that I was holding on to. I had not figured out what I was going to do with them. Perhaps, I was holding on to them in hopes that someday I would find a proper place for them. They found their proper place last night.

My short novelette is going to tie into each of my novels. Now I have to go back and change characters names in my Novels and Novelettes, so I can weave the stories together. It will be a tedious task, but one that I am looking forward too, because it is all starting to come together now.

My novelette is very heavy in dialogue, and in my novels I have poetry between each scene or beat, for each emotion. This scares me because my writing is unconventional in every sense, but I feel it has to be to tell the story and for the emotion of the story to come across correctly.

On Thanksgiving I was sharing my Novel idea with my Grandfather. He majored in English Literature and Theatre. He told me he could tell I had a passion for writing. Then, he proceeded to tell me Writing fiction in not easy, because there is a little bit of us in it. There is always truth inside the fiction. I have found this to be true.

I find that sometimes a bit of myself comes through in every piece I write, and I would like to share a bit of that with you from my Novelette, Unspoken Words.

I FOUND A CERTAIN KIND OF PEACE, in the darkness that helped me to think. It was this peace that allowed my heart to be still, however my mind was not. It is one of the many reasons I have never slept well at night. At night when my mind would not be silent I walked, taking in the stillness and quietness of the night, and I hoped that it would be enough of a distraction to allow my brain to shut up.”

~UNSPOKEN WORDS-Christina Oliver~

It is this same thing that happened to me last night. Everyone was in bed, and I had this idea gnawing at me. The idea had to come out of me before I fell asleep. My brain is never quiet and perhaps that is why I must stay up and write, while the rest of the world sleeps.

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A Single Leaf

A single leaf blowing in the wind made a scratching sound as it danced down the pavement. As the snow melted, and spring began it was a reminder of fall. Last year decay still left over. Spring showers would not only bring vegetation to the land, they would wash the decay away as well.

I walked down the sidewalk, as my son skipped along following the leaf, making a thumping sound on the newly paved sidewalk.

“It’s a leaf! It’s A leaf,” he shouted.

He chased it, but it was too fast for him to catch. But, he still tried to catch it. Where there was decay he still found life.

 

Writing Prompt: Write about a single leaf. Post in the comment below.

Be Like a Child

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Somewhere in our lives we forget to truly live. I think that begins when you start going to school. These politicians and board members who sit behind desks all day, working for corporations dictate to teachers how children should be taught. “Common Core” teaches you that this is the way you have to learn. What those people sitting behind the desk don’t understand is everyone learns differently.

It is in the classroom that creativity is stopped. They kill your dreams. They kill your dreams and creativity because they do not want you to think for yourself. A large group of people thinking for themselves is dangerous. For they have the ability to change the world.

Be like a child who has not had their soul crushed. Be fearless. Have faith, and know that you are worthy. Follow your dreams. Live dangerously. Love like you have never loved before. It is in this way you will be able to change the world. It is never to late to start living the life you always have dreamed of having.

What is dream did you give up? Why?
Please leave your comment below.

Believe in Magic

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  My blog name “Snapshots of a Life,” is inspired by the memior of my life I am currently working on.
  
   When I write, I like to think of a book as a series of short stories. I like to fashion my stories in such a way, that you can pick a chapter anywhere in my memior, and read it independently of the collection.

   I like to think of our life as a camera, and the memories of snapshots. A glimpse into our lives. I love writing true stories, but I also love fiction.

   The reason I love fiction is you can create anything you want. Different characters, different worlds and then imagine how they will react to different situations. This creates the plot.

   I draw inspiration from real life, as you can see and read about in my previous blog entry. I feel that this makes a story more authentic. My goal in writing fiction is to find a universal truth in everyday life, then turn that truth into a story.

   I believe to do this, you must look at life through the eyes of a child. Like the world around you is a magic place. That is where you find truth. Through truth, you find your voice.
  

Auld Lang Syne

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As the sun begins to set, the breeze brings with it a melody from the Valley. Faintly the church bells are heard in the distance sweetly singing the melody Auld Lang Syne. It was appropriate because as the clock chimed, another year rolled by. The sunset began to set as my Grandson and I walked toward it and into the field. A lovely way to end my 60th birthday party. He smiled at me as a new hour dawned and said,

“Happy Birthday Grandpy! Happy Birthday. I love you.”

“I love you too.” I said and then kissed his little head.

He fell asleep as I carried him back to his Mother. I remember when she was young, and I brought her home on a day like this. I saw all the light in the world, and for a minute I thought heaven was in my hand. It was in this moment with my Grandson, I saw the beauty of God’s plan.

Notes:

This is a fiction piece from the perspective of a Grandfather. He is 60, and time continues to move on. For him it is just another day, but he doesn’t want to be reminded of it. He understands that the every year brings a certain finality with it, and that one day he will no longer be here (walking into the sunset) and leaving a legacy for his Daughter and Grandson.

I got this idea from a song I heard from the church down the road. The electronic bells really do carry the tune Auld Lang Syne. It was really my Father’s Birthday today, and I wrote this for him. He has a very special relationship with my Son, and I also wanted to capture this in the story.

This gives you an idea of how I get ideas for my stories and books. By being observant, and looking at the world with wonderment. From the eyes of a child.

For those of you who write, I am interested to know how you come up with ideas for your stories, and what inspires you?

Please leave your comments below.

Ohio… You’re Drunk!

 

Ohio, when I woke up this morning. I thought I was in an unfamiliar place. I thought for a moment perhaps, we were drinking together because I also forgot where I was for a moment.

Ohio in case you didn’t get the memo, this is not supposed to be a frozen tundra. It is the Midwest and it’s supposed to be spring. Where did the April showers go?

The May Flowers I planned to plant in my Garden will have to be postponed. The headaches. Don’t even get me started on that. One day its 70 degrees. The next day it is 20. The pressure change causes me to get headaches, colds, and eventually a sinus infection.

Ohio please sober up quickly.

Sincerly,
A Concerned Resident.

It Will Be Ok

 

I saw a man in a pair of tan-colored khakis, tossing my son in the air. My son giggling wildly as the man started to give him a tickle. The man turned around and placed my Son in my arms. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and said,

“Don’t worry. It will be OK.”

The man smiled and I woke up from my dream. I was almost certain it was my husbands biological Father, trying to tell me something. I thought maybe one of my magazine submissions had gotten accepted, or something positive like that However, I was not prepared for what was about to occur next.

    I told my Husband about my dream, and then put it out of my mind for two or three days. I was so busy writing, the dream I had about Mikes Dad was completely forgotten.

    On February 8, we were going to sign our new lease agreement for the apartment my Husband and I have been renting for the last five years, after they left a message on my phone saying that the new lease had been prepared. My Husband went to the rental office to sign the lease. The apartment manager said,

   “You can’t sign that, you are over occupancy.”

   “What?! That’s just great!”

    My Husband was furious. We did some research and although the apartment was a one bathroom one bedroom apartment, it was rather spacious because it was a studio apartment. My Mother helped us get in contact with a lady from the department of fair housing, and she said according to the city ordinance we were well within our rights to be there. 200 square feet a person was all that was needed. For our family that ment that 600 square feet was needed. Our apartment exceeded that by 220 square feet. Legally if we wanted we could have four people living in the apartment.

   While I was doing research and getting free consultations from attorneys, the apartment manager told me she was going to talk to corporate and see what she could do since there were no two bedroom apartments available. I gave her more than enough time.

    As luck would have it, my Mother happened to find an ad in the paper for a house for rent, that was less than our monthly rent on our apartment! Shortly there after on February 16, we gave our notice to vacate and here it is:

Tenant’s Notice to Landlord:

February 1, 2016  I, ********* ****** called to have the lease prepared. The office staff told me it would take a couple of days. On February 8, 2016 the office staff informed us our lease was ready to sign. My Husband went to sign the lease and they informed him we may be over occupancy. They had to check with corporate before signing our lease, and that they had no two bedroom apartments available currently. Currently residing in the 820 square foot 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment are my Husband, and I and our two-and-a-half year old son.

On February 10, 2016 I spoke to ***** on the phone, I asked her who my husband had spoken with on Monday, February 8, 2016. She informed me it was *****, and I asked if she had a chance to check with corporate. She assured me ***** would be meeting with regional tomorrow, (February 11, 2016) and that someone would get back to me.

It is now February 16, 2016 and we have not yet received a response. Under the current circumstances, with no lease secured yet, we felt that it was best to make other housing arrangements, as the current terms of our lease will expire on February 29, 2016.

We are giving notice of our intention to vacate the premises of **** *********** *** **** *** ********* *** *****, no later than February 29, 2016.

Sincerely,

******* and ********* ******

Tenant                                                     February 16, 2016

 

The apartment manager looked shocked and said,

“No one from corporate has tried to contact you?”

“Nope, not at all. And since we have a small child we had to make other arrangements quickly, especially because it is the middle of winter and we can’t be left without you guaranteeing we are legally allowed to be there.” (Yes. I played stupid.)

“We were discussing offering you a month to month lease. Is that something you would be interested in?”

“No that is one-hundred dollars more, and one-hundred more than we can afford.”

“We could let you stay in the current apartment at the current market rent until a two bedroom becomes available.”

“No we already made other living arrangements.”

Her eyes began to twitch as someone does when they are nervous, as she looked over our notice to vacate. Did she ever really talk to corporate? I don’t know. We signed the papers needed to give us leave of the apartment, and began the process of packing and moving our things.

After cleaning the apartment we walked through it with the apartment manager. She saw a chunk was missing out of the enamel top on the stove and began to say,

“Well I don’t–”

“That was like that when they moved in here. My daughter asked them to replace the stove and they absolutely refused.”

“I asked them twice and they still refused,” I said, “and the mold. Just let me show you the black mold problem we have in here that I have asked maintenance to take care of and they never have.”

“Didnt maintenance fix your bathroom fan?”

“Yes and I asked them about the mold. The guy just said, ‘Yea that happens. these apartments don’t get very good ventilation,’ but he never did anything to resolve the situation.”

“Oh my gosh, I had known it would have been fixed and you would have had a new stove. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this.”

“Well they had every right to be there according to the department of housing.” my Mother said.

“Oh really? That’s interesting because corporate told us only two people per bedroom.”

“Well not according to the city ordinance.”

“Well cooperate drills that into our heads.”

“Well has corporate ever been to a zoning meeting?”

“Well no.”

“I didn’t think so.”

“The attorneys said corporate could enforce a rule that they thought was needed for safety like no more than two people per bedroom, but it would have to be in writing in our lease. No where in our lease did it say that,” I said.

“Wow. That is interesting. I will have to look into that myself.”

“I just don’t want this to happen to any future tenants. Especially people with such young children.”

I gave her the keys and did not look back.

The whole situation was very stressful on my family, but I am counting my blessings. My Mom just happened to look in the paper the same day the landlord refused to renew our lease. A couple of days prior Mikes Dad who passed away comes to me in a dream and tells me “It will be Ok.” I’m counting my blessings we have angels looking out for my family and I. A parents love is unconditional, in this life and in the next.

Watch “The Real You – Alan Watts” on YouTube

The Real You – Alan Watts: http://youtu.be/mMRrCYPxD0I

I couldnt resist sharing this video. This man is one of my favorite philosophers of all time. While searching my soul, I have come to many of the same conclusions that he has. This is so beautiful. You are an amazing being. We should never forget that. We are all one. The “I am.”

Rebirth

  When I look at my son, I see such promise and hope. I understand why Jesus said we should all be like children.

My son trusts others completely. He has not learned what it’s like for someone to break his trust. He loves others with every fiber of his being. He has not learned what it is like for someone to crush his heart and soul. He lives fearlessly. He is learning to walk. He sometimes falls down. He always gets back up like nothing happened and continues to laugh and smile as he pulls himself up, and he tries again, and again.

In my eyes he is perfect. He is a spitting image of the creator. Uninhibited. Un-fearful. He is love.

He reminds me of what is wrong with the world. We forget to be children. We forget to love with a complete love. To be completely uninhibited. To get back up if we fail. If life knocks us on our ass, not to give up. Try… and then, try again. If more people saw the world through the eyes of a child, there would be no war. Just love and hope. That is the secret of life.

I look at my sweet baby boy, as I stroke his hair and he smiles. He is the reason I will never give up. He is the reason I am reminded to see the world through the eyes of a child. He gives me life. I am made complete and I am reborn through the eyes of a child. He smiles in his sleep. I kiss his forehead and tell him what a miracle he is. That he was the one that gave birth to me.