Flying Home, Part I

I’m expanding the length of each section of this story to fall under 500 words, a slightly longer flash fiction that resembles a drabble. However one classifies it, I hope you enjoy the story. 

Flying HomePart I

“Why don’t you call someone for a ride?” Leigh suggested. The two sisters had been walking along Seven Hills Road for nearly an hour on their way back from the astronomy lecture at the observatory. 
Emily shook her head. “I like the night. It makes me think.”  

“Not more about Julian, I hope.” Leigh looked down into the darkness and sighed. “I don’t mean that awkwardly, Emily. I just don’t want you to be sad.” 

“I’m not sad. Not exactly.” Emily peered at the stars above their heads as she searched for the right word. “It’s kind of like he’s with me. And it makes me wonder what he was feeling when his plane disappeared into the desert night.” There had been no evidence of a crash, just no trace of Julian or his aircraft. “Nights like this remind me of him. We’ll be fine because he’s out there.” 

“Well, here’s our turn.” The ever sensible Leigh seemed relieved to reach the road that led them back into tiny Aurora, Arizona. 

Twenty minutes later, Emily and Leigh were back inside the bungalow house they shared two blocks off Main Street. It had been Emily and Julian’s home, but Leigh had moved in with her sister when it was evident that Julian wasn’t coming home. 

“I’m going to bed,” Leigh announced. “It’s going to be an early morning.” 

“I think I’ll stay up for a while.” Emily glanced at the radio on the console in the living room next to her favorite chair. It was where she’d always waited for Julian to come home from secret military meetings in the evenings. For some reason, the secrecy surrounding Julian’s work hadn’t bothered Emily. She and Leigh both worked for the Aurora Observer, the town newspaper. She wasn’t always at liberty to discuss her latest work, either, and they had somehow made it work. 

She sat down, absentmindedly picked up the scarf she was knitting for her aunt in New Hampshire and turned the radio on. Stars Fell On Alabama filled the room and lulled her into a sense of contentment that eventually gave way to a sleep marked by dreams of Julian existing forever twenty-eight years old, suspended in space. 

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Bits And Pieces 

As I look into my next flash fiction series for this blog, I considered about bits and pieces of ideas that have come to me at various times, some many years old. A few years ago, I had a recurring dream about a house out in the middle of nowhere that suddenly became invaded by lights of all different colors, almost like the aurora borealis. I’d really like to build a story around that image. Perhaps it’s the climax/culmination of the story. It’s not much, but it’s a start. 

I always have characters in mind… No shortage of them, ever! One of the character driven elements may come from another dream I had about two people walking by night along a road in an area called Seven Hills, a place that truly exists near my home. It’s literally seven hills along a paved country road that’s rather sparsely populated. Who are these people? Why are they walking alone on a country road at night? Why do they not drive, as would be the safer and conventional option? Where are they going? What are they feeling? I admit I’d feel a little desolate in their situation, but perhaps they have another perspective. I’ve had nightmares about being alone in the utter darkness of the country at night, but these characters give me the chance to get outside of myself. Maybe I’ll even face my own fear of being lost in the dark, who knows!

Another thought that occurred to me as I was daydreaming about this story is that I’d like it to set it in a partially retro timeframe. My best attempt to explain it is to call it an alternate universe time, where it’s set in neither the present as we know it or the past, but something more stylistic. 

I need to work more on this because I’m getting more excited about it the more I write! And the characters are beginning to crystallize a little more in my imagination. I wish you all a happy Sunday filled with joy and hopefully some creativity! 

The Keeper Of Fireflies

For those who dream and fight the impossible. Thank you. You exist now and forever in your light. 

I spin and swirl while you make the colorful snowflakes fall around me. They float in the air above my head and drift down, down, down until I can catch them on my tongue, sugar sweet and exhilarating. I have come to the forest by the light of a full moon because I know you will be here, pressing the keys that set the music in motion. You beckon me and we walk as though in dreams to a clearing where the fireflies have congregated, so thick that I can’t see either you or myself, just the blurs of light dancing, twirling, singing. The song is familiar and was something I knew from the moment I heard it. The fireflies came to me then and I chased them at once, never looking back. Don’t look back, I ask you with my dance. Go forward forever into the thickness of hope because not everyone was created to be a keeper of fireflies. 

The Rules Of Writing… Really?¬†

I’ve been thinking about the rules, guidelines, advice, (whatever one may call it) about writing and other forms of creativity. Over my last thirty days of blogging, I’ve learned that I enjoy storytelling and creating a unique atmosphere much more than dispensing advice. I’m not against advice posts because the majority of bloggers I’ve read who write them do it very well. I simply don’t see myself in that category. 

This afternoon I watched an artist chat on Blab that further clarified some of these ideas. Four artists were on an informal panel, sharing inspiration, advice and insights about various aspects of their creativity. The points that stood out to me the most prominently were truths that all creative people encounter, such as the way we are often our own worst critics and the need to combat this by forgiving ourselves for our flaws. I commented via chat that the flaws that show our humanity. Perhaps we should embrace them and not shun the imperfect. Even if flaws are the cracks through which we see the light, I’d much rather stay out the darkness.     

They also discussed the evolution of their own creative processes over time. When asked if they assigned themselves a particular genre or style, the collective answer was no. They opted to let life take them where it will and allow the process to develop in an organic manner. In short, never pigeonhole oneself. Emotions were also mentioned in a question of how much of it runs from the artist into a current work. 

It was at that juncture in the conversation that I realized I’d stumbled upon my own answer to the question of guidelines and rules. Aside from universally observed and necessary rules such as spelling and grammar, I think that the only rule of writing should be passion. All other rules can go by the wayside if one desires. If what I write bores me or doesn’t elicit any passion in me as I create, I know readers will most likely find it hard to stir up much enthusiasm. Writing and art in general are collaborative processes. Both writer and reader bring interest, imagination and passion to the table as they prepare to feed from each other’s energy in a symbiotic experience. 

So write passionately. Do away with rules that hold you down, expectations you feel obligated to meet if they’re blocking your flow. Often my characters take over and push my carefully laid plans aside. I rejoice when this happens because the creativity and passion it took to wreck my plans mean something is working very well. Passion is present. Go with it and rejoice all the more when everything feels delightfully out of control. I believe that control can sometimes be an illusion that prevents the joy from appearing in our work. In a lot of cases, the weirder my stories become, the happier I am. Write what makes you happy. Draw what brings you elation. Be who you were meant to be so the audience with whom you were created to commune can hear your voice and add theirs to the melody.  

Pen And Notebook

The blank pages always take me to a new world, one in which everything is possible if one can dream uninterrupted and uncensored. Gliding my pen along the paper, I answer the invitation that I need so much with every heartbeat… what am I going to create today? If I look back on this moment a month later, will I see the point where my creation of a character, place or room changed? Grew? Originated? It’s in those forgotten times that something big happens, but leaves me mainly with a vague idea of a shift, not a sledgehammer experience. It’s a wedge like a piece of foam that slides itself into my awareness little by little. Once I find myself thinking of the characters while doing something else, they’ve gotten to me and I am compelled to write, dream, seek. Knowing that so many possibilities exist, I wish I could be immortal in order to have time to capture them all. It saddens me to think that even one of them might float away, ephemeral as a soap bubble that bursts after showing its colors to everyone. I want to put each one on a stand and create gazing balls in the garden, walking among them to find and renew my inspiration.  

Notes On The Freedom Series

It’s bittersweet to have just concluded my first flash fiction series, Freedom. I grew more attached to the characters as I wrote more installments, even before they had names or much of a backstory! I hope everyone enjoyed it, especially the twist at the end. I’ve decided to use it as an outline for a longer work during November 2015 NaNoWriMo. There are a lot of possibilities to glean from the groundwork I’ve laid here and I’m confident that it would translate well into a novel length book. 

Because I’ve fallen in love with the flash fiction format and creative process it facilitates, I plan to continue using it to tell stories here on a regular basis. Yesterday actually concluded my thirty day logging challenge, but I’d love to keep going on daily or near daily entries because I’ve enjoyed it so very much. 

To be honest, I didn’t see myself completing the thirty days in the beginning of the challenge. I’m still a quite inexperienced blogger and I had no idea what I would post for thirty days in a row that would be interesting, relevant and able to engage both the attention of myself and readers. Flash fiction came in at just the right time and not only enabled me to finish the challenge but gave me a refreshing, exciting new creative outlet. Now I look forward to writing an entry and even plan ahead for new ideas! It’s like a new lease on life for my creative flow and I couldn’t be happier. 

Thank you to those who have read, liked and commented on Freedom. It will always be special because it’s the first series and has inspired me in such a powerful way. One of these days I may post it all in one blog to make it more cohesive for those who either haven’t read it yet or wish to read it again without clicking through twenty different entries. 

With love, 

Elizabeth 

Freedom XX

The next two years were a blur for Aidan and Tasha. They grew especially closer in the anxious days of David Wilson’s disappearance. 

“That could have been us,” Aidan told Tasha one rainy night after a long day of searching. “Do you ever think about that?” 

“Yes, I do. Sometimes I’ve dreamed that it was us on the run, not him.” 

“I don’t want to waste any more time. We love each other, Tasha. Let’s give this another try. What do you say?” 

“I’d like that,” Tasha said. “I’m so sorry about everything that happened earlier.” 

“I am, too. I just want to be in your arms.” 

They were remarried in a quiet ceremony the week before David’s body was discovered in his Los Angeles apartment. 

From a heavenly beach, David smiled as he saw his favorite subordinate reunited in freedom with the woman he loved. 

The End

Notes on this experience will come tomorrow while I think of more series to begin after that! I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling this journey with me. Flash fiction has opened up a new world of creativity for me and I want to continue learning more about it. ~EC