Posts tagged ‘words’

Life’s Battles

by: Rebecca Taylor

Life has many ups and downs

every book has two covers

each unique like the story itself

Interpretation leaves much to be questioned

by all involved

Definitions are not dictionary simple

but interchangeable and debatable

My word for love might be your word for kindness

emotions complicated by exterior pressures

and inner doubts

When saying what you want to say has consequences

or a chance for rejection

When you go to speak each carefully chosen word

and realize that the words are stuck

And you fumble clumsily

like a child just learning how to play the game

Life’s about choosing battles and taking chances

and there will be many chapters and changes

but even though you’re alone on your personal journey

life is a battle fought by all.

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Speak Upfront

by: Rebecca Taylor

People talk behind the backs of others

Gossips and criticisms come in mounds

Some keep it to a whisper

Others speak it loud and clear

Helpful hints say some

Repeated and rearranged to suit the joke

If you don’t like how something is done

It’s better to speak from the front

Two stories told this way instead of one

How different the words fall now.

 

In Our Hands

by: Rebecca Taylor

In Our Hands
Life’s too short for trivialities
Moments lost worrying about things that cannot be changed
Uncertainty reigns worldwide
We must tell those who matter why and how much
Never end a conversation with a harsh word that might remain that way
Plans go askew and emotions confuse
We mustn’t make excuses to be unhappy
Or let ourselves be held back
Our future starts with us
How we live rests in our hands.

Writing Prompts

by: Rebecca Taylor

One word can trigger an idea that can lead us to an infinite number of possibilities. Where can we find words to inspire us? Everywhere, but that can seem overwhelming because all day, every day we hear, see, think and write words.  A thought might be brewing in your mind and one word can set the whole story in motion. That one word may lead to a web of other words which will make an amazing writing experience. For example, if you have been thinking of doing a story about some sort of party – the word surprise might pop into your mind, so you grab a notepad and pen and go with that for a few minutes and come up with balloons, gifts, streamers, games, no show guest etc. At first, maybe you thought that this party might be a simple scene leading from one place in the story to another, but now with your no show guest, you might have something more complete – the story could take place at this party, where everyone is there and the guest isn’t showing – did someone forget to invite her to her own party? Did she not believe the “fake story” to get her there and blew off the party because she hates surprises? If it’s a wedding shower, did she and her fiancé elope?

 

You can also ask people to help you out with story ideas – for example, ask friends to give you one word – it could be a random word or it could be one word to describe the sunset. You might have written the couple looked up at the pretty sunset and you think that it too boring for your scene – and your friend might describe it as the magnificent sunset, and to you that feels more fitting.

 

Sometimes a letter of the alphabet can prompt us to write a great story. I wrote a children’s story that is full of letter “s” sounds. It was fun and I think that if children ever get the chance to read it that they will enjoy the way it sounds too. It could be sentences like Sam slurped his spaghetti or Sara sang sensationally at school. They are not long sentences, nor are they complicated but they definitely have their own unique sound. It doesn’t have to be s’s either, any letter would create a similar affect like Carrie coloured cardboard with crayons. This can be a good writing exercise to warm us up. By keeping a list of words by some alphabetical phenomena, we could find a hidden story idea.

 

Some people clip words they like out of magazines or write words they’ve seen in newspaper articles or journals down for future reference. We are all drawn to different words for different reasons and we can make this work in our favour.

 

Wherever you are, know that words are waiting for you to find them. For a writer, a word search is more than a puzzle you get in your newspaper or word seek book. 

Magical

“How did you and Grandma meet?”

“Haven’t I already told you this story?” I tucked Emma into bed, but she set up again in anticipation. Emma had been home with the flu, and her mother worked nights. I had the grandfatherly privilege of babysitting.

“No. Mom says you haven’t even said Grandma’s name since she died.”

I grinned at my beautiful grandchild, but the truth is, the memory of my Ester pained me. It’d been five years, but some things never heal right. Heal right? Well, some things just don’t heal.

“Please tell me. Pretty please?”

I cleared my throat and began peering at her bookshelf. “What about a book? I could read to you instead.”

“Only if it’s about you and Grandma.”

I looked down at Emma, her innocent seven-year-old eyes begging me. Those eyes always got to me. “Alright, alright.” In true Princess Bride fashion, I said, “You’re sick; I’ll humor you.”

I settled down into Emma’s kid-sized desk chair. It wibbled and wobbled. It was not made for a big old man like me. I pretended to take a long time trying to balance myself in order to stall for the right words.

“Well.” I started.

“Well?” She asked, leaning forward and waiting.

I sat still a long time, twiddling my thumbs together, until I thought of the words. “I could have avoided all that trouble. Yes, I could have, if only I’d remembered to shut the hood of the car hard enough. But I didn’t.”

“What trouble?”

“Your grandmother. She was trouble.”

“She was?” Incredulous eyes stared up at me.

“Now don’t go getting your knickers in a wad and I’ll tell you about it.” I paused. “One fine morning I was trying to get to the grocer down on main street, but I had a hard time getting there. My car shuddered and shook, and I thought something was wrong. I pulled over and looked under the hood, but I saw nothing out of place. Then again, I was no expert. I got in my car again. I was driving down the road, quick as you please, when the hood just came up and hit my windshield.”

Emma gasped and placed her dramatic hands over her mouth.

“Couldn’t see a dog gone thing. I swerved and ended up running into a fire hydrant. By the time I got out of the car I’d made such a big scene that children were running and ladies were screaming. But there was one lady who wasn’t. She just stood there staring at me. I took one look at my crumpled car and I knew I was in deep water. The car was my daddy’s – not even mine. I starting pacing around it, mumbling to myself, not knowing which way to turn. All the while that lady stared at me. The nerve of her. She came up to me, real calm like, and asked how I was.”

“And you said you were doing bad?” Guessed Emma.

“Yes, I did. Then she told me, “It helps if you talk about it.” I guffawed and mocked. She was a stranger; I don’t just  go spilling stories to anybody. Finally she dragged it out of me – the whole story about the car not being my own and how all I wanted was to go to the grocer to pick up a few things for my Ma. All this time I was realizing this lady had mighty pretty eyes.” Ester’s eyes. I still saw them when I fell asleep. “They were hazel; one had brown speckles in it. She told me her name was Ester and helped me find a phone to call my father.” I took a deep breath, exhausted.

“And that’s how it all started?” She asked. She was settled deeper in her blankets now, her eyelids low.

I nodded. “Her daddy was a mechanic, she he helped fix my beat up car. That old fire hydrant never was the same, though.” Those were the days. Idyllic, when the only thing on my mind was whether this girl fancied me or not. “We spend days in my garage, watching her daddy fix up my car and drinking soda. Learning a lot of things about each other. Talking can do that.” I glanced at Emma. “Words can hold magic,” I said softly.

I slowly stood up and kissed Emma on the cheek. I stood a moment watching her. Her hair was the same strawberry blonde color as Esters. I grinned. I’d heard traits could skip a generation, but I’d never realized that was the case with her. They looked so much alike. I suppose I had tried not to notice it before because it would’ve been so painful. Truth is, before today, I didn’t want to think of Ester so much. I realized that thinking is alright. Thinking leads to talking, talking leads to magical words, and the magic leads to a change in the thinking, and then it starts all over again. I suppose if I had never met Ester, I would have been spared the heartache of losing her. But Ester would have admonished that way of thinking. She would have told me not to despair but to focus on the magical things around me. That’s just would I would do. Emma – this beautiful child before me – was magical.

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