Feb 23, 2013

Ridiculous - Non Fiction - all audiences

Here's this week's entry into the Flash Fiction Friday Challenge over at Now Hark This!

This week is non-fiction week and the prompt was: "this year".

I've been playing with the idea all week, but never got around to actually writing it, but ... here I am.

I hope you'll enjoy the read.


Isn’t that what it is?
Every year.
Every single year.
Everyone does it, but seriously … what’s the point?
Every year. Always the same.
You want to know why?
Because it’s so damn ridiculous and we never keep ourselves to it.
We always find an excuse.

No, seriously, I mean, how often have you said it?
How often have you made a promise to yourself to do better, be better, eat healthier, move more?
I know I have.
More than often enough.
Every year, we make them.
Our New Year’s Resolutions.
Yeah, I capitalized each letter because this shit is important!
You know!
I really want to do this.
This year.
Not next year, not last year, no, this year.

But … what is so special about this year that will make us do the things we really want to do?
What makes this year so different from all the others we’ve already had or those still ahead?
Why not next year?
Maybe next year will be even better.
Have you ever stopped to think about that?
How come we always make resolutions for this year?
Why not say “Next year, I’ll join a club and exercise more”?
Because you’re afraid you’ll have forgotten by then?
Or maybe you’re afraid that if you wait till next year, it’ll be too late?
Why would next year be too late?
Why is this year the one that will change your life?
I haven’t got a clue!

I’ve said it enough myself.
This year, I’ll really work on being a better person, on keeping my house a little tidier, on taking more time to spend with my kid and do things with him, I’ll eat better, I’ll eat less crappy foods, I’ll work out more. All those resolutions that have come and gone.
I’m probably still pretty much the same person I was 10 years ago, only now I’ve grown a bit smarter and I’ve got 10 years of experience that I didn’t have then. My house is still an organized mess, I’m still finding myself short on time when it comes to my kid and we still don’t get to do half the things I would like to do with him, but does that make me a bad mother?
I have been eating better though, and I’ve cut crappy foods out of my ‘diet’ for a large part (not that I don’t enjoy an occasional piece of pie or burger and fries) and I’ve been working out a lot more than I used to.
You know what’s funny though?
It wasn’t a resolution.
I didn’t say “This year, I want to lose weight”.
Nope, that’s not what happened.
What happened is this, back in September, we had a dietician who came by the office and everyone who wanted could go for a short visit. All that really happened was that she weighed each of those who decided they wanted to see her (which was basically all of us) and talk – briefly – about the numbers on the scale. It really wasn’t more than that and each visit took about 10 minutes. I walked out of there with a tip. A single tip on how to improve my overall health.
I’ll share it with you: drink less coke.
It’s bad for all kinds of things and I used to drink about a bottle per day.
But I didn’t cut it out entirely, I still enjoy a glass or can of coke every day, the difference is that now, I can enjoy it. A bit like a treat.
It’s really funny how something as small as that, can have such an impressive impact.
Instead of pouring gallons of coke into myself, I switched to a variety of iced tea, one that has that ‘new’ sweetener in it and you want to know what … in 6 weeks time, I lost 3 kilos! That’s over 6 lbs for those of you who’re not familiar with the metric system.
No resolutions, just solutions.

I’ve now been seeing this dietician on a monthly basis since November and I’ve eliminated – I don’t want to say I lost it, because when you lose something, you’ll want to find it again and I do not want to find that weight on my hips again – over 10 kilos so far. That’s nearly 25 lbs since September.

What did it take?
Meeting the right person at the right time.
It sure didn’t take me saying anything that starts with the words “this year”.

So … what’s your excuse?

More entries can be found here http://nowharkthis.blogspot.be/

Feb 14, 2013

The joys of summer - Flash Fiction - All audiences

I'm taking a head start this week.
I've been playing with the idea ever since the prompt was posted last week, and I had some time on my hands now, so I decided to just go on ahead and write it. I'm only about half an hour early anyways.

I'm not going to post the prompt as it would give everything away, so enjoy the read and please ... feel free to comment.

The joys of summer.

“Salmon what?” he asked.

He was straining to hear, but he could hardly make out the words coming over the phone.
What a time to have such a crappy line.
Then, a thought filtered into his clogged up brain.
Maybe it wasn’t the line.

He hadn’t been feeling well and things weren’t improving.
At first he thought it was just an indigestion. Too much cake or something.
It had been a great party after all. Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of fun. The weather had been at its best, the pool was cool and large enough to accommodate all those who wanted to take a dip and the tables had been set far enough away to avoid ‘sprinkling’, be it by accident or not.
It had been the first neighborhood summer barbecue he had attended, actually, it was the first one they held since he had moved in a few months ago. It had been a great day, he had met lots of new people and gotten to know his neighbors a tad, and some even a lot, better over a few beers.

After the appetizers, sprinkled with a glass of champagne to open the festivities, the richly loaded barbecue, from which he had tasted just about everything it had to offer, and too many different pieces of cake, it hadn’t come as a surprise to him to feel bloated and even a little nauseous. He never ate all that much, but he figured it would just go away if he kept calm and allowed his body to process it all.
The light feeling of nausea had grown as the evening went by, resulting in a rush to the bathroom at about three in the morning. It had been all downhill for him after that.
Shivers and spasms, diarrhea, hot flashes, more vomiting, cold flashes, blurry vision, drums in his ears, spots across his vision.
Hours later, he heaved himself off the bathroom floor where he had passed out and dragged his sorry butt to the phone and called his parents. His parents came and with them came a doctor who gave him a shot and a heap of advice he couldn’t have remembered if he’d tried. He left with a vial of blood, leaving him in his parents’ good care.

Now, he was straining to hear the doctor’s words over the drumming in his ears.
Something about salmon.
He didn’t recall having any fish in the last few days.
He couldn’t remember if he’d had any at that party.

“No, not ‘salmon’.”

“What? I can’t hear you.”

“Not ‘salmon’. Salmonella. Bacteria.”

“But I don’t even like salmon.”

Other entries can be found here as soon as they are written/posted/linked:


Feb 9, 2013

The nature of the beast - Non-fiction - all audiences

Okay, so I don't have enough time to get this in on Friday, but that's only a detail, isn't it?

This weeks non-fiction prompt was: Family Traits.

Welcome to my life!

The nature of the beast.

You don’t really pay any attention to it when you’re a kid.
It doesn’t matter.
Really not.
Everyone is different.
One kid is tall, another one short. One has dark hair, another is blond. One likes cats, the other loves dogs.
It’s normal we’re all different.
Or is it?
What if that first kid, isn’t the only one with those traits?
What if there are two?
Two of them tall with dark hair and they both like cats?
And the third?
Well, the third is short, blond and she loves dogs.
It doesn’t matter.
Does it?

It never had.
Not until that day.
Not until the day this third kid found out where all those differences – she had never noticed – came from.
The day she had a good chat with her mom.
She was on vacation, home from her work abroad, and decided to spend the day helping mom at work.
A sunny day, warm and happy.
A good day for a heart-to-heart.

She had been away for work for a while now and had overcome certain things. Things she could finally talk about. Freely and without raising her voice … too much.
She never would’ve expected to find her mom comfortable to talk about certain things as well.
Things that concerned her.
Things they had never talked about.
How come they hadn’t?
Was it because of him?
He’s not even concerned.
Was it because she was afraid of her reactions?
She shouldn’t have been.
Wasn’t it important enough to talk about before she moved out of the house?
How old does one have to be, before they can be told the truth?
Would it matter if they understood?
What is there to understand either way?

That’s the way it is, full stop.
There’s nothing you can do about it.

I like the truth.
Tell me the truth.
I can take it.
And I could’ve taken it a lot sooner!
So what if your husband was an ass who had a debt and asked you to find a solution for it?
So what if the guy your asshole of a husband had a debt with, accepted to find a solution for it?
Maybe I wasn’t the solution, I sure as hell am the result of it!
What shame is there in doing something for love?
There is no shame in doing something for love.
Or did you wait to make sure you knew I understood that, before telling me about it?
Is that why you waited so long?
If it is, you were wrong.
If it isn’t, you were still wrong.

It doesn’t matter.
You shouldn’t have hidden the truth.
Maybe I don’t have our family traits, I sure have yours.
And his.
A little bit of both.
I have your build, your sense of humor, your love for books.
I have his hair color, his love of dogs.

It doesn’t matter.

Does it?


More entries can be found here: http://nowharkthis.blogspot.be/

Feb 3, 2013

What's in a name - Flash Fic Challenge - All Audiences

Heya folks!

Here's my submission (I know, it's a little late) for the Friday Flash Fic Challenge over at Now Hark This! blog. It took me some time to get it done the way I wanted it, but that's life.
I'm glad I finished it and I hope you'll enjoy the (short) read.

Prompt: Fully create a character and tell their life in 300 words or less.

Here goes!

What’s in a name.

Michaela – Cayla – Langdon was born into a military family on the day of all days: July 4th.
From the start, her parents had bickered over her.
Her father wanted a boy, her mother a girl.
Since her mother got what she wanted, her father got to pick her name.
'Mike' for dad, 'Cayla' for mom; they never seemed to agree on anything when it concerned her, except on the military career their child would have.

They sent her off to Military boarding school at the age of 6 and Cayla came to understand one thing very quickly: she was her own person. She had a mind of her own and could make it up for herself.
Karate was a first choice of her own. She loved the beauty of the art and excelled in it. Her discipline and hard work landed her on the US Military Demo Team in her second year in Military Academy. Three years later, she had made it to Captain of the team.

Unlike her parents – and much to their dismay – Cayla continued to study after the Academy, showing her parents fighting wasn’t the only discipline she could master.
On the mats, she fought; off the mats, she healed.
The toughest kind of healing.
She did battle every day, much like her parents wanted.
But her battle was for the sanity of her patients.
She fought for a living, much like her parents intended for her.
But her fight was with the demons that haunted others.

She had followed in their footsteps in more ways than one, marrying a Marine and ‘shipping off’ both their kids to Military boarding school, but she was still very much her own person.

Major Michaela Langdon, ‘head-doctor’ of the elite.

If you'd like to read some of the other submissions, go here: