Ten Years of Blogging and the Struggle of Realness

WordPress sent me a notification recently, one I really hadn’t expected, but apparently I’ve owned this site for ten whole years!

That’s just crazy to think about.

Looking back over my first post, it took me a while to really get comfortable with what to even blog about. I was struggling to figure out how to open up, and it was difficult to even feel comfortable talking about who I was or where I was from. That kind of honesty online felt dangerous, even though now it’s an everyday thing.

When I was growing up, and the internet was the wild west it was really frightening to use your real name online. Everybody used aliases for fear of being the victim of identity theft, which wasn’t really understood at the time. You had emails for different usernames, you carefully managed what information you gave out because everything was public. Very few messageboards were behind passwords, so everything you said and did was public. Nobody knew how that would affect job prospects, or health insurance opportunities. Mental illnesses just weren’t talked about.

Then came Facebook, and you had to use your real name to get setup. You originally had to enter your real university email address to have an account. Suddenly there were potential ramifications of things you did online, or at least, you thought there were. Oh boy, things sure have changed ten years later!

I had to think of this site as a “professional online portfolio” which sounds kind of ridiculous these days, but that was the equivalent. Slowly my blog grew out of my writing experiences, my progress, my struggles, my highs and lows. Slowly I started to understand my online presence and how it reflected a unique part of me, similar to how my writing does. I grew more comfortable in my online skin, I grew more comfortable in what I could share.

Today it’s easily the hub of my author business and I work hard to keep it updated (*eyes that header image real hard haha*). It’s as natural a part of my work as my writing, as Facebook, as Instagram, and YouTube. It’s taken me a while to fully embrace it, both its more casual aspects (the blog itself), and its more professional pieces (media kits, book listings, social media links, etc). It’s had a lot of modifications in the past ten years, and several complete revamps. I feel like it’s going to get another one soon once I carve out some time.

Some of you all have been following my blog since I first published my sword and sorcery short story in Short-Story.Me! (which has also had a heck of a site update over the years!) and it has gone on to get–

*squints*

A whopping 58,500 views? Holy cow!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve worked real hard to figure things out through this blog, and I appreciate you all for following me on my journey. Some of you have even been with me from the very start, and I can’t express how thankful I am for your support and motivation!

Here’s to ten more years of blogging, writing, learning, and figuring out this whole author thing.

Thanks for being here. ❤

Drabble: A Father’s Lament

Prompt: Ran Away

You left when I wasn’t looking, you didn’t even say goodbye; is that any way to treat your father? I’m left alone once again, a broken husk of what I used to be. I move between extremes, wondering if I’ll ever forgive you, but knowing that I will.

I wish a thousand impossibilities. I wish we hadn’t fought, and that I hadn’t been so harsh. I regret the way my words skewered you enough to make you run like an injured lamb into the night.

You ran to be free of me, as painful as that is to say. You went into that unknown world, without even so much as a farewell. I hope you’re safe. I hope you’re alive. It’s not the first time I’ve been abandoned. I know I won’t lay forever on the floor, staring up at the pictures that hang along the walls; but that doesn’t fix my shattered heart. I’ll pick up the pieces, I’ll somehow survive, but I won’t ever be the same.

You didn’t know it when you ran away, but you took a piece of me with you. If you ever do come back, if I am ever worth coming back for, just know that I still love you. Despite my words, despite your anger; there is always a place for you here beside your crazy, dysfunctional dad.

Stay safe, Sweetheart.

Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less.
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

Drabble: Over the wall

Prompt: Over the wall

Even if you stand on your tip-toes, you’ll never be able to look over that wall. It’s lived too long, known too many other nosy children to topple down just for you. On the other side you can hear voices: the clinking of glasses, a woman’s laughter, the lilting tune of a clarinet. You can just imagine the fun they’re having.

It takes a long while to find an opening. It was hidden behind a set of bushes that had grown together so much that they looked like one enormous bird’s nest. You’re small though and you slip through their gnarled branches with ease.

The light blinds you. This side of the wall looks very different from the other. There are no trees here, and the concrete patio is as white as a river bed. You hear the woman’s laughter again and spot her walking up to you in a vibrant crimson dress and wide brimmed hat.

“Well, it’s about time,” she says.

You turn around, suddenly anxious to return to your woods, but just as you’re about to reach the gap, a net ensnares you. Up you go into the air, your struggles fruitless. The woman holds her hat in the wind and scrutinizes you.

“She’s a scrawny one.”

The spidery man, who holds you so high up, grunts an agreement, then pulls you out by your foot. You’re held upside-down while the woman continues to poke and prod you, a frown on her lips.

“It’s early yet,” he says. “I’m sure others will come.”

She shakes her head. “Children used to be easy to catch. What in the world will we feed our guests if they’re all so skinny?”

“We should try another town,” he says and drops you into a satchel. “This one’s about dried up.”

Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less.
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

Drabble: Ahead of Time

Prompt: Ahead of Time

I can always tell when I’ve arrived too late. There’s a shift in the atmosphere that I can feel in my gut. In an ideal world, I could just leave and travel back again to an earlier time, but it isn’t that easy.

You would think that time travel would give you bucketloads of time, but it turns out it’s just the opposite. Let me assure you just how painfully aware you become of the time you’re losing. Every moment you take hyperventilating in an archway means seconds tick by, losing your nerve and wanting to run away adds a few more, and talking yourself back into this crazy profession gives a grand total of fifteen seconds.

Fifteen whole seconds.

When you steal from divine beings for a living, you really can’t afford to lose so much time. It turns out that the wrath of the gods is nothing to joke about. You see, they’re a greedy bunch, greedier than thieves like me by a long shot. They’re also real keen on keeping the enormous pile of gold and ancient artifacts in their possession. I swear when my fingers grip around the rim of some chalice, I can feel their wrath weigh down on me.

That’s why I always follow three golden rules: always arrive early, never chicken out on a job, and above all else, always trust your gut. They can mess with your mind and throw off your senses, hell they can even sick their pooches on you, but they can’t fool your instincts. If you start ignoring those, you’re as good as dead.
 

Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less.
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

Drabble: Smoking a cigarette

Prompt: A man is smoking a cigarette. Make me understand what he’s feeling without using any ‘thought’ verbs.

Leathery skin spoke of how many hot summers the old man had seen regardless of how his hands shook. The bright white near his roots was a stark contrast from the cheap black hair color he had once put in. He took a deep breath from his cigarette and let the smoke out slowly with thin lips that pulled taut over his face.

His beady eyes were filled with tears as he leaned against the dusty barn, looking out over the empty, barren landscape that surrounded him. The small remains of the crops they had planted months ago stood like tiny blackened grave markers in the carefully dug rows. He clutched to his chest a small fabric doll with buttons for eyes and a blue polka dot dress.

In the distance the car disappeared over the horizon and he could no longer see the blue eyes that had been staring at him out of the back windows. The old man dropped his cigarette to the ground and then collapsed alongside it. It was all too much for any man to bear.

 

Originally posted on r/WritingPrompts
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.