Where Past and Present Mingle (A Poem)

SB Roberts 2019

Tiny heart etched in the sidewalk
Past and present mingle inside
Death makes room for new life
The next season is ready to begin


Meandering (A Short Story)

He meandered down the sidewalk, still wearing his best loafers and loosened tie. He mumbled “Good evening” to the people who passed: the bicycling families, the mother pushing a baby in a stroller, the jogging couples. They all seemed to know where they were going. He didn’t anymore.

His whole life, he had strode towards his destinations: elementary school, college classrooms, office buildings. No time for wandering. But where had that gotten him? A scuff on his loafers, sweat on his suit jacket, and no promotion.

He noticed a bench next to a pond. Slowly, he trudged through the grass and plopped down. It felt strange to pause without a purpose, but maybe doing something different was just what he needed. He sighed and glanced around.

An unexpected burst of yellow caught his eye. A small smiley face stared down at him from its perch in the nearby tree. At first, he frowned. It was a cheap toy tucked between the branches by some kid. Why would someone leave it there? It didn’t serve any purpose.

Or maybe it did. He smiled back.

SB Roberts 2019

Living Vicariously

I have a long list of places I’d love to visit one day. Whenever someone I know heads to one of those places, I often ask if they’ll visit somewhere for me. And there’s usually my roaming gnome involved.

Recently, a relative visited one of the places towards the top of my list: Oxford, England. Home of the Inkings.

He’s not as Tolkien obsessed as I am, but he agreed to go to one of their favorite haunts, the Eagle and Child. The day he sent me a picture made me squeal a little out loud.

He said it was just as good as I would have hoped for, which makes me want to go even more. In a few years, perhaps?

Do you have a long list of places you want to visit or do you prefer to stay local? Have you ever been to the Eagle and Child?

Reimagining Everything

The past few months have been filled with unexpected turns in working on my first novel.

For over ten years, the basic story has been the same. (And way more like The Lion King than I ever would have guessed. Curious students shocked me with that observation a few years ago.) I thought I had settled into just the right story. It was just a matter of getting everything polished and filled out enough.

Now, as I question why I made the decisions that I did, everything has been turning on its head. Even to the point that the original antagonist isn’t the only major antagonist.

Sometimes I wonder where exactly this is going. It’s like following my curious daughter as she explores the world around her. It feels strange for someone who’s old enough to be somewhat set in my ways.

But I think the disruption is going to be a good thing. The story has more it wants to say, so we’ll see where the characters want to go. It’s their story anyways.

Do your characters disrupt your stories too? Or do your stories not end up going through a million revisions?

That Awkward Moment When You Accidentally Sign up for NaNoWriMo

Funny story. Last time I wrote, I had talked myself out of doing a traditional NaNoWriMo. 10 minutes a day was a reasonable goal that could fit into my busy life. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

Then November happened. November 1st, I just visited the NaNoWriMo website to see if you could set alternative goals. Next thing I knew, I was signed up and wondering what I had done.

When my husband got home, I told him. He smiled and told me that I could do it. He’d help make sure I could. And he did. Thanks to him, I hit 50,000 words on November 30th. He and my daughter were there when I submitted the final word count.

So where have I been the past two months? Writing my novel in my spare time. Revisiting and reimagining a world that I know so well. Learning how to make writing a priority again and rediscovering how refreshing it is to my soul. I had forgotten how much I needed it.

Now, much to my surprise, 2019 is already here. I would be tempted to set goals, but I’ve decided against it for now. My goal is simply to keep writing. Here, my novel, everywhere. It’s what I was created to do.

How is your 2019 so far? Do you have any special goals?

The NaNoWriMo Conundrum

It’s that time of year again. November is just around the corner. I’m not sure if it’s the golden tones that everything assumes (even when it’s still 80 degrees) or some strange Pavlov’s dogs-like response, but all I want to do is write. It’s been months since I’ve done more than a blog post or letter every once in a while, and I’m yearning to change that.

Normally, NaNoWriMo would be my excuse to go crazy. 1,667 words every day. It feels good. But let’s be honest: 1,667 words a day isn’t realistic this year. A busy job, housework, and the baby guarantee that.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, obviously something in between the two.

In November, I’m going to have a writing commitment. I’m going to spend at least 10 minutes every day. Nothing compared to what I’m used to, but it’s better than what I’m doing now. Just like with my lacking exercise routine, it’s okay to warm back up to it. Renew the habit.

So here’s to November. I might not come out at the end with a good chunk of novel complete, but I will come out with far more than I have on paper now.

What’s the project this year? Well, Novel #1 has been taking on new life. The characters have been whispering to me while my daughter falls asleep in my arms at night. We’ve all changed over the past few years, and they have some new stories that they want to tell. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

What does your writing routine look like? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What project(s) are you working on right now?

A Hobbit Day Stroll in the Garden

Somehow, it’s been nearly a month since my last post. As promised, though, I come bearing pictures of our Hobbit Day adventures.

I’ve always debated whether I’d fit in better with the Hobbits or the Elves of Middle-earth. This September 22nd, though, made me think that maybe I err more on the side of Hobbit. For one, I’m certainly not willowy and graceful. And for two, I really like food.

In either case, though, I love gardens and the outdoors, so our National Museum Day adventure to a large garden was perfect.

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Yes, the lily pads are real. They’re huge! 

Did you do anything for National Museum Day or Hobbit Day? If you lived in Middle-earth, which group would you live with?