Author Archives: S.B. Roberts

What Dreams Are Made of (A Short Story) Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

11:23pm. Gaila’s husband was already asleep. She stared at the ceiling. The street lamp cast strange, unsettling shadows. Though she knew she had to sleep, the previous night’s dream and the literal mark it seemingly left haunted her.

She hadn’t told her husband. She hadn’t told anyone. The mark on her hand had to be a coincidence. If she told people that her nightmares seemed to be real, who would believe her?

She tried to shake the dread as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Tonight, she would have normal dreams. Everything was going to be fine.

4:51am. Gaila sat on the edge of the bed again, shivering. The wasps from the night before had been ridiculous, but tonight’s dream had been outrageous.

A relaxing day on a flying cruise ship had turned into disaster. The ship was hijacked by faceless thugs. There was no way to escape, so she searched for the safest place she could find. A walk-in safe would do. Before she closed the door, she realized that a tiny boy was already cowering there.

“I’ll keep you safe,” she whispered as she closed the door.

Even as she bolted upright in bed, she could still feel his trembling body in her arms.

This time, she couldn’t bring herself to go back to sleep again. Instead, she sought the safety of the bright kitchen and a potent cup of coffee.

11:45am. Gaila followed her third graders to the lunchroom. As they hurried to their usual spots, she greeted the passing kindergarten teacher. At the front of the line was a little boy. The same one from her dream. He stared at her, mirroring her confused look as he followed the teacher out of the room.


Friday Fun: Movie Trailers Are Better with “Sabotage”

Last week (or was it the week before… I’m losing track), I watched the Solo trailer. Part of me is excited by it, and part of me is worried. Han Solo is such an iconic Star Wars character that it has to do him justice (unlike Episode VII, in my opinion) or it just won’t be any good. Might as well have made it about another character.

Regardless of how the movie turns out, though, there is one good thing that has definitely come from it: someone has recut the trailer and put it to the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” Just in case it wasn’t great enough in Star Trek Beyond, it’s pretty awesome as the music for a movie trailer.

Of course, it’s been taken to the next level, so now there are trailers for Rogue One, Harry Potter, and The Jungle Book with it too. If you want to check them all out, click here. It’s a great way to round out the week.

Are you looking forward to the new Solo movie or are you unsure of it? If you could add “Sabotage” to another trailer, which one would you pick?

What Dreams Are Made of (A Short Story) Part 2

Three years after starting this story, it’s time to finally continue it. Part 1 is available here.

7:38 am. Gaila poured another cup of coffee. She was going to need it.

As expected, the parasitic wasp nightmare had continued when she went back to sleep. This time, it wasn’t just one hair-like wasp in her finger. They were all over her arms. Desperately, she tried to pluck them all out, but the pain was too much. When she started awake, her skin tingled where the wasps had been.

She spent the rest of the night staring at the clock, wondering what to do. Maybe she should wake her husband. But over a dream? No, that was just silly. Instead, she waited patiently for 6:00. And when her husband asked how she slept, she barely mentioned the dream. The less she thought about it, the better.

As she moved to set the pot down, the second grade teacher, Sarah, offered her paper cup and a smile. “Looks like you had a rough night.”

“I just didn’t sleep well,” Gaila replied, conjuring up her most convincing smile. How would it look if the third grade teacher had the same problems as her third graders?

“Well, nothing a little extra coffee won’t fix.”

Gaila nodded, more to herself than to Sarah. Yes, coffee and daylight would fix this. She would think about normal, non-wasp things, and that would ensure her a better night’s sleep.

7:42 am. Gaila sat down at her desk and sipped the coffee. Everything would be fine. She reached for the coaster, realized that there was a pile of papers in the way, and pushed them aside with her left hand.

As she did, she noticed something odd. A strange red mark on one of her fingers. It was right where the wasp in her dream had been.

What Dreams Are Made of: A Short Story Revisited

The house is quiet. The baby is asleep, the cat is lounging in a window, and my husband isn’t home yet. My imagination is itching to tell a story.

I scroll through my Pinterest board, looking for a prompt to start everything off, and I find one that reminds me of something from about three years ago.

Back when my husband and I first started watching Dr. Who, I had a series of particularly unusual dreams. They were weird enough to inspire a flurry of story ideas, and upon remembering it, they make my fingers fidgety. So I decide to do something about it. I am finally going to write something based on them.

I remember that I had posted about them, so I search through the blog for that post. But to my surprise, today’s idea isn’t new. I have already begun writing about the strange dreams.

Even more surprising, though, I realize that I never finished the story. All right, so that’s not the most surprising thing since there are several stories on this blog that began to take shape but were abandoned. (Not forever, necessarily.) However, this story already had so much to it. I was sure that I had to have finished it. But I haven’t.

So, it’s time to revisit the story and actually finish it this time. Three years late is better than never, right?

What Dreams Are Made of (Part 1) is available here. Next week, expect Part 2!

The Happiness Project: Life in a Sentence

It’s been a while since my last post. The end of pregnancy and beginning of motherhood have been busy, but I’m back now. : )

So far, most of my time has been spent tending my little family (including my sweet cat, who’s handling the transition well), but thanks to my husband, I’ve found some daily time for writing… even though it’s only a sentence or two.

For Christmas, he bought me a special journal. I’ve kept ones for years, but this is one I’d actually be willing to share. And I have every intention to once our daughter is older.

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There are several different Happiness Project journals out there, but this one is specifically for mothers.

There have been times when I’ve thought about doing different daily writing exercises kind of like this, like taking a moment from the day and recording it like a scene. But thinking about the day and encapsulating it into one to two sentences has been a great experience.

Throughout the day, I find myself composing what I might write about and reflecting on this new season of life. And it’s brought even more joy to the experience as I think about what I want to remember when my baby is too big to sleep on the Boppy pillow on my lap while I sit at the computer.

It’s come to be a part of the day that I look forward to, and something that has kept me actively writing, even though it’s only been in little chunks here and there.

Do you have a routine writing exercise you like to do? Do you keep a journal?

Rip It, Write It, Draw It: Sketchbook

It’s been a few months since I’ve delved into my Rip It, Write It, Draw It journal. Today, though, I decided to change that. It’s been too long since I’ve been involved with any artistic pursuits. Any time I have time to rest, I usually end up asleep. (I haven’t experienced any third trimester bursts of energy, so I’m basically narcoleptic.)

The prompt: Sketch something or someone in pencil. Use shading and shadow effects.

Sketching isn’t something I usually do, but I figured it would be fun to try my hand at it now that I have a better understanding of art.

The subject? My cat, of course. After all, he was sitting right next to me, so I decided to take advantage of the moment.

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If you look closely, you can actually see other drawings of my cat on the other side of the page.

We shared a peaceful moment as I sketched him. (And, as you can see, he then moved so the stripes only go so far down his neck.) He’s always here to keep me company, and he’s provided much-needed companionship through hard times. I know people say pets take a back seat when kids come along, but I don’t think that’ll be the case for us. No, I foresee greeting my husband in the evenings with the baby on one hip and the cat on the other. After all, he’s my buddy.

A Change of Perspective: Moving from First to Third Person

For well over half of my life now, I’ve been working on the same novel on and off. Each time I think it’s finished, I set it aside for a while, but when I come back to it, I find that there are still things missing. It still has room to grow and change and improve.

Recently, I’ve decided to hop back in again. This time, though, I’m playing with something new: a change in perspective.

Aside from the earliest draft (which looks virtually nothing like the current story), it’s always been in first person. I favored that perspective in my mid to late teens, so most things that I wrote then followed suit.

Lately, though, I’ve begun to wonder what would happen if I move to something new. What if I return this story to its original roots and try third person?

So far, it’s been an interesting experiment. I haven’t written much yet, but it’s a little mind-bending. I’m planning on keeping with a limited POV — focused on my former narrator — but seeing the story in words besides her own has been different. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

Perhaps, though, this is the fresh technique that will help the story reach the next level. And maybe this time it’ll actually be finished (though I wouldn’t count on that).

Have you ever started writing a story in one perspective before trying another one? Have you seen any benefits to it? Which perspective to you prefer when reading and/or writing?