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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Estimados Bastardos Magníficas

     It’s true. 

     Shots of bourbon in our coffee lead to reverence for you in the voice of Neruda.

     Where to begin? Does anyone who asks that question not know where to begin?

     We’ll start.

     Swift but graceful changes here at Prose. Our coder, while also knee-deep in slaying dragons and winning digital hills on rendered battlefields, is working on new features as this is being typed. Keep your eyes peeled. In another change, call it a red sun rising, we’re taking the app to 18 and over after the next update. Any young guns existing won’t need to worry, and should anyone under 18 sneak past the doorman and smooth-talk the bartender into a drink with no ID then you probably belong here, anyway. 

    

     Many more things to appear on the horizon.

    

     Stay tuned. Stay hungry.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Estimados Bastardos Magníficas
     It’s true. 
     Shots of bourbon in our coffee lead to reverence for you in the voice of Neruda.
     Where to begin? Does anyone who asks that question not know where to begin?
     We’ll start.
     Swift but graceful changes here at Prose. Our coder, while also knee-deep in slaying dragons and winning digital hills on rendered battlefields, is working on new features as this is being typed. Keep your eyes peeled. In another change, call it a red sun rising, we’re taking the app to 18 and over after the next update. Any young guns existing won’t need to worry, and should anyone under 18 sneak past the doorman and smooth-talk the bartender into a drink with no ID then you probably belong here, anyway. 
    
     Many more things to appear on the horizon.
    
     Stay tuned. Stay hungry.
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Describe the moment death became real to you. Any style will do. Please tag me for the read.
Written by croissant

the happiest place on earth

I still remember the bright, light blue letters plastered on that old orange juice advertisement: “A day without orange juice is a day without sunshine." I guess that’s why losing my father will always remind me of citrus. He made me fresh orange juice in the morning before taking us all to church every Sunday. Thinking of him tastes like lemon zest that tightens your jaw and makes your teeth cramp. He helped me plant orange-lemon hybrids in our backyard. The first time we tasted one, I cringed. He will always feel like the rinds peeled off of me that left white residue and dried tang on your fingertips. To me, his death is that familiar sticky coating that lingers on your fingers even after you wash your hands. After digging your nails into the bright orange rinds and causing a little juice to spray out, it leaves a thin layer that makes my peeled body seem slightly more protected from the outside world. It separates me and brings me comfort.

I still wear my father’s old jackets even though I know it will sting being covered in his old lining. My mother said it was gross of me to keep some of his clothing, like it was the skin shed from a snake: lived-in. But I like zipping up a layer of him and feeling myself settle into a person who had experienced more life than I. It makes me feel like I can just absorb some of his knowledge; some of him. Maybe he can still help his little girl learn to take on the world, like he used to. Maybe I just want to feel something. Even if it’s pain.

The day he died, my mother was sitting on my bed at 7:35 in the morning. We were going to Disneyland to celebrate my little brother’s birthday a week early and my mother’s birthday a day early. My brother, Aron, was turning nine. She received a call from the hospital he had been in for the past year and half; we thought that maybe he felt a bit better and it would be him on the other end of the phone. My mother and I were victims of hope. Hope is my least favorite word and I am totally its bitch. It makes sure that you will never accept your reality like a knife capable of slicing skin and making juice trickle out. I felt like a tangerine, subjected to the thin blade of longing and dribbling out at the seams.

My mom put the phone call on speaker as the man on the other end relayed to us that this morning my father’s lungs had finally forgotten how to breathe and that his heart had learned to stop beating. That man introduced me to loss: a loss of a past filled with rides at Disneyland and churros on Sunday. And a loss of watching the special tree grow in the front yard and plucking off the ripe oranges. I learned two things that day:

1. Birth smells of citrus spraying out of the freshly peeled orange whose rinds are still pushed underneath your nail beds. An unparalleled attachment between me and my mother was born that day.

2. Death is when you squeeze the pith out. My father died.

The only good thing about knowing you have ALS is that you know that it will kill you. What you must learn is that it will also kill you slowly. I guess I was relieved that he no longer had to struggle to breathe. I found comfort in knowing that his muscles were no longer furiously disobeying him and bruising him from the inside out. It was August 7th, the day before my mother’s birthday. I skipped breakfast that day.

I rode in the passenger seat of the car with red heart-shaped sunglasses covering my damp eyes. On my phone, I searched “amyotrophic laterals sclerosis, death.” The ALS association website was the first to pop up. The link was already purple from me clicking on it so many times before; I had poked at it so often that the website developed the texture of an overly ripe Valencia orange that fell heavily off of the tree with a thump and gushed out just a little bit. My father did the same thing until his plump body flattened on the dirt soil and all his juice drained out, slowly.

This website explains that ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that literally translates to “No muscle nourishment.” Without nourishment, the muscles degenerate, which leads to the loss of voluntary actions. Voluntary actions include: putting his arms around me, posing for a family photo, and making us breakfast in the morning. It meant he could no longer go to Disneyland with us, sit in the white boats of “It’s a Small World,” and sing that incessant tune over and over again until it grinded my nerves. Who knew that I would ever miss that.

“Don’t let your brother know yet, I don’t wan to ruin his birthday.” Ok mom, I won’t.

We both wore sunglasses while she drove in silence. Today was a celebration.

Nothing reminds me more of my father than Disneyland. He loved that place so much none of my older siblings can even stand to hear the theme song anymore. It still held wonder for my younger brother and I, though. We used to go almost once a month and my father always made us all go on “It’s a Small World” at some point in the day. I always dreaded that. I wanted to go on all the fun and exciting rides, like “Thunder Mountain” or “Indiana Jones,” and I hoped that he forgot or might let us skip it. But he insisted that it was one of the most beautiful creations in this “small world,” apparently there was “an inexplicable presence there.” I always thought the secret “presence” was long, drawn out boredom and I would try to put it off till late in the night so I could nap on my father’s cushiony bicep. Only I ever saw him cry a little underneath the Mexican dancers when the tune started being sung in Spanish. I don’t think he ever suspected that I opened my eyes and saw him weep for his home country and his own deceased father. I kept it my little secret.

On the day he died I rode it twice. My unknowing brother complained while Mom and I cried. Now every time I sit in those white little boats and go through the castle to the unchanging tune of “It’s a Small World,” I can’t help but feel the presence of my father as if I’m 8 years old and he’s buying me pink cotton candy. I feel him put his arm around me and call me his little princess again. The time passes so slowly, and I love it.

It makes me want orange juice for breakfast again.

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Describe the moment death became real to you. Any style will do. Please tag me for the read.
Written by croissant
the happiest place on earth
I still remember the bright, light blue letters plastered on that old orange juice advertisement: “A day without orange juice is a day without sunshine." I guess that’s why losing my father will always remind me of citrus. He made me fresh orange juice in the morning before taking us all to church every Sunday. Thinking of him tastes like lemon zest that tightens your jaw and makes your teeth cramp. He helped me plant orange-lemon hybrids in our backyard. The first time we tasted one, I cringed. He will always feel like the rinds peeled off of me that left white residue and dried tang on your fingertips. To me, his death is that familiar sticky coating that lingers on your fingers even after you wash your hands. After digging your nails into the bright orange rinds and causing a little juice to spray out, it leaves a thin layer that makes my peeled body seem slightly more protected from the outside world. It separates me and brings me comfort.


I still wear my father’s old jackets even though I know it will sting being covered in his old lining. My mother said it was gross of me to keep some of his clothing, like it was the skin shed from a snake: lived-in. But I like zipping up a layer of him and feeling myself settle into a person who had experienced more life than I. It makes me feel like I can just absorb some of his knowledge; some of him. Maybe he can still help his little girl learn to take on the world, like he used to. Maybe I just want to feel something. Even if it’s pain.


The day he died, my mother was sitting on my bed at 7:35 in the morning. We were going to Disneyland to celebrate my little brother’s birthday a week early and my mother’s birthday a day early. My brother, Aron, was turning nine. She received a call from the hospital he had been in for the past year and half; we thought that maybe he felt a bit better and it would be him on the other end of the phone. My mother and I were victims of hope. Hope is my least favorite word and I am totally its bitch. It makes sure that you will never accept your reality like a knife capable of slicing skin and making juice trickle out. I felt like a tangerine, subjected to the thin blade of longing and dribbling out at the seams.

My mom put the phone call on speaker as the man on the other end relayed to us that this morning my father’s lungs had finally forgotten how to breathe and that his heart had learned to stop beating. That man introduced me to loss: a loss of a past filled with rides at Disneyland and churros on Sunday. And a loss of watching the special tree grow in the front yard and plucking off the ripe oranges. I learned two things that day:
1. Birth smells of citrus spraying out of the freshly peeled orange whose rinds are still pushed underneath your nail beds. An unparalleled attachment between me and my mother was born that day.
2. Death is when you squeeze the pith out. My father died.


The only good thing about knowing you have ALS is that you know that it will kill you. What you must learn is that it will also kill you slowly. I guess I was relieved that he no longer had to struggle to breathe. I found comfort in knowing that his muscles were no longer furiously disobeying him and bruising him from the inside out. It was August 7th, the day before my mother’s birthday. I skipped breakfast that day.


I rode in the passenger seat of the car with red heart-shaped sunglasses covering my damp eyes. On my phone, I searched “amyotrophic laterals sclerosis, death.” The ALS association website was the first to pop up. The link was already purple from me clicking on it so many times before; I had poked at it so often that the website developed the texture of an overly ripe Valencia orange that fell heavily off of the tree with a thump and gushed out just a little bit. My father did the same thing until his plump body flattened on the dirt soil and all his juice drained out, slowly.

This website explains that ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that literally translates to “No muscle nourishment.” Without nourishment, the muscles degenerate, which leads to the loss of voluntary actions. Voluntary actions include: putting his arms around me, posing for a family photo, and making us breakfast in the morning. It meant he could no longer go to Disneyland with us, sit in the white boats of “It’s a Small World,” and sing that incessant tune over and over again until it grinded my nerves. Who knew that I would ever miss that.


“Don’t let your brother know yet, I don’t wan to ruin his birthday.” Ok mom, I won’t.
We both wore sunglasses while she drove in silence. Today was a celebration.

Nothing reminds me more of my father than Disneyland. He loved that place so much none of my older siblings can even stand to hear the theme song anymore. It still held wonder for my younger brother and I, though. We used to go almost once a month and my father always made us all go on “It’s a Small World” at some point in the day. I always dreaded that. I wanted to go on all the fun and exciting rides, like “Thunder Mountain” or “Indiana Jones,” and I hoped that he forgot or might let us skip it. But he insisted that it was one of the most beautiful creations in this “small world,” apparently there was “an inexplicable presence there.” I always thought the secret “presence” was long, drawn out boredom and I would try to put it off till late in the night so I could nap on my father’s cushiony bicep. Only I ever saw him cry a little underneath the Mexican dancers when the tune started being sung in Spanish. I don’t think he ever suspected that I opened my eyes and saw him weep for his home country and his own deceased father. I kept it my little secret.

On the day he died I rode it twice. My unknowing brother complained while Mom and I cried. Now every time I sit in those white little boats and go through the castle to the unchanging tune of “It’s a Small World,” I can’t help but feel the presence of my father as if I’m 8 years old and he’s buying me pink cotton candy. I feel him put his arm around me and call me his little princess again. The time passes so slowly, and I love it.

It makes me want orange juice for breakfast again.
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by starryEyes

Learning to the song of the beeps

Leaning against the padded gym wall, I gasped for breath. My lungs burned. My legs felt wobbly. And I was going into shock.

Out on the floor, some of the other kids were still running in synchrony with the beeps emanating from the portable stereo. It was assessment week in gym class. Today’s test? Run the marked lane and cross the line before the beep. Then turn around and run back before the next beep. And again. And again. If you failed to keep up with the quickening beeps, you had to leave the course and your time was marked.

Gym class was one of those things that could only be endured. Why it should be part of my curriculum, I couldn’t fathom, although I’ve oft suspected that some parts of school were implemented purely to torture the students. As far as I was concerned, ping-pong and written tests were the only pleasant aspects of the class.

Yet at the announcement of this upcoming test, I took an unusual interest in the event. It was something that was scored. Therefore I wanted to do well. Obviously, I would do well. No half-measures for me, no apathetic dragging of my feet. Determination would win the day. I’d run until the cassette tape quit.

Still panting, I slid down the wall to the gymnasium floor. Something had gone horribly wrong. I struggled to work it out as my heart worked double time to supply my brain with oxygen. Then I had it:

I failed.

I gave it my all, but it wasn’t good enough.

At sixteen years old, I was slapped with the realization that the adage I’d lived by all my life, “you can do anything you set your mind to,” wasn’t actually true. My world had been turned upside down.

Naturally good at all things school, I was used to success. I loved learning. I relished every academic challenge and persevered through the toughest of them to “win.” I was also artistic, musical, and creative. What couldn’t I do?

Run to the cadence of gym class beeps, apparently.

A day later, the shock was wearing off and I was laughing with my friend. “You thought you could just decide to ace the test?” I was embarrassed to admit that I had. I hadn’t considered that there was a physical dimension that might eclipse my will.

And truly, I hadn’t considered that there could be something I wasn’t good at. Oh, but it felt good to laugh at my folly!

As funny as it sounds, that day in gym class changed my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not good at everything. I began to notice and accept my shortcomings, and even admit them out loud.

But do you know what else is funny? I didn’t realize until after college that I could actually learn to do better at things I’m not naturally good at. Not easily or quickly, and maybe not to the point of greatness, but it's possible to improve.

I now see what was obvious to the rest of the world: I probably would have done better in the gym assessment if I had trained for it!

I wonder what I’ll learn next?

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by starryEyes
Learning to the song of the beeps
Leaning against the padded gym wall, I gasped for breath. My lungs burned. My legs felt wobbly. And I was going into shock.

Out on the floor, some of the other kids were still running in synchrony with the beeps emanating from the portable stereo. It was assessment week in gym class. Today’s test? Run the marked lane and cross the line before the beep. Then turn around and run back before the next beep. And again. And again. If you failed to keep up with the quickening beeps, you had to leave the course and your time was marked.

Gym class was one of those things that could only be endured. Why it should be part of my curriculum, I couldn’t fathom, although I’ve oft suspected that some parts of school were implemented purely to torture the students. As far as I was concerned, ping-pong and written tests were the only pleasant aspects of the class.

Yet at the announcement of this upcoming test, I took an unusual interest in the event. It was something that was scored. Therefore I wanted to do well. Obviously, I would do well. No half-measures for me, no apathetic dragging of my feet. Determination would win the day. I’d run until the cassette tape quit.

Still panting, I slid down the wall to the gymnasium floor. Something had gone horribly wrong. I struggled to work it out as my heart worked double time to supply my brain with oxygen. Then I had it:

I failed.

I gave it my all, but it wasn’t good enough.

At sixteen years old, I was slapped with the realization that the adage I’d lived by all my life, “you can do anything you set your mind to,” wasn’t actually true. My world had been turned upside down.

Naturally good at all things school, I was used to success. I loved learning. I relished every academic challenge and persevered through the toughest of them to “win.” I was also artistic, musical, and creative. What couldn’t I do?

Run to the cadence of gym class beeps, apparently.

A day later, the shock was wearing off and I was laughing with my friend. “You thought you could just decide to ace the test?” I was embarrassed to admit that I had. I hadn’t considered that there was a physical dimension that might eclipse my will.
And truly, I hadn’t considered that there could be something I wasn’t good at. Oh, but it felt good to laugh at my folly!

As funny as it sounds, that day in gym class changed my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not good at everything. I began to notice and accept my shortcomings, and even admit them out loud.

But do you know what else is funny? I didn’t realize until after college that I could actually learn to do better at things I’m not naturally good at. Not easily or quickly, and maybe not to the point of greatness, but it's possible to improve.

I now see what was obvious to the rest of the world: I probably would have done better in the gym assessment if I had trained for it!

I wonder what I’ll learn next?
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Write a story in SECOND PERSON, which is using second case pronouns ( you, your) to write a story. 50 coins to the best written story!
Written by apromptaday

Guilt Therapy

You wonder about her sometimes, about where it went wrong. 

The week before you remember sitting together in your office's mismatched chairs. She'd sounded better, and you had commented on her progress. 

She cried but she talked too, and you knew she was holding back, but that was okay because getting better was a process and she was trying. 

She seemed optimistic about life, looking toward the future. You remember noticing that. 

You recommended she watch Midnight in Paris before next appointment. She told you she would. 

You talked about her life: she had finals coming up, and then she'd head back to her parents. She said she didn't want to go home, but she was looking forward to leaving school after the semester. 

She'd asked about your plans. Most people didn't ask - so you told her about finishing grad school, maybe opening a place of your own. She said she thought that was cool. 

You exchanged pleasantries after scheduling another appointment - next Tuesday at 10 - and she headed out. 

She didn't show up that next Tuesday, because by then she'd been dead. 

They told you this was part of the job, and that there was nothing more you could have done. They told you it was by hanging. 

This surprised you. You had expected it to be pills. 

They said it wasn't your fault, but somehow you felt like it was. You were suppose to be helping her.

You knew more about her than her family, friends, or anyone in her life. You weren't invited to her funeral.

You think about her a lot, like you are now. You think about it on good days and bad days and strange days, and you think about how trapped she'd said she felt by all these people mourning her. 

She was your one, like most in the profession have. The case they got attached to, the one that went wrong. 

You open up your own business, like you told her you would, after you graduate in July.

You try and make a difference. That's all you can do. Maybe you couldn't save her, but it's not too late to help other people struggling. At least, that's what you tell yourself on days like these. 

Your mind always comes back to that last appointment. God. You should have done more.

You know it's not your fault.

But you still fucking wish you'd done more.

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Write a story in SECOND PERSON, which is using second case pronouns ( you, your) to write a story. 50 coins to the best written story!
Written by apromptaday
Guilt Therapy
You wonder about her sometimes, about where it went wrong. 

The week before you remember sitting together in your office's mismatched chairs. She'd sounded better, and you had commented on her progress. 

She cried but she talked too, and you knew she was holding back, but that was okay because getting better was a process and she was trying. 

She seemed optimistic about life, looking toward the future. You remember noticing that. 

You recommended she watch Midnight in Paris before next appointment. She told you she would. 

You talked about her life: she had finals coming up, and then she'd head back to her parents. She said she didn't want to go home, but she was looking forward to leaving school after the semester. 

She'd asked about your plans. Most people didn't ask - so you told her about finishing grad school, maybe opening a place of your own. She said she thought that was cool. 

You exchanged pleasantries after scheduling another appointment - next Tuesday at 10 - and she headed out. 

She didn't show up that next Tuesday, because by then she'd been dead. 

They told you this was part of the job, and that there was nothing more you could have done. They told you it was by hanging. 

This surprised you. You had expected it to be pills. 

They said it wasn't your fault, but somehow you felt like it was. You were suppose to be helping her.

You knew more about her than her family, friends, or anyone in her life. You weren't invited to her funeral.

You think about her a lot, like you are now. You think about it on good days and bad days and strange days, and you think about how trapped she'd said she felt by all these people mourning her. 

She was your one, like most in the profession have. The case they got attached to, the one that went wrong. 

You open up your own business, like you told her you would, after you graduate in July.

You try and make a difference. That's all you can do. Maybe you couldn't save her, but it's not too late to help other people struggling. At least, that's what you tell yourself on days like these. 

Your mind always comes back to that last appointment. God. You should have done more.

You know it's not your fault.

But you still fucking wish you'd done more.
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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Publishing

Husk.

If you asked me, if you really pushed me for an answer, I’d have to admit that I’m unsure as to the exact moment. That first step. The starting point of this quest. All I know is that my search has stretched across long and empty years. However, if I were to say it started a full, fat lifetime ago, that would also ring true.

It was my epic pursuit. My folly. The wide, wise and unwise world over, inbred town to smoky dirt streaked city, far flung country to verdant counties; both landlocked and sandy coastal, balmy and frosty hunts that spanned countless and seemingly infinite footfalls. A billion searching steps to save it. To save him.

And here it is, a mere handful of stumbling strides from my beaten track; quietly lying upon a filthy forest floor, causing my heart to spike and fall as I gaze down upon it. The whale sized shadows of scudding clouds flash moonlight and the image of branches' claws intermittently on it, a giant strobe light freeze framing it over and over as if it were a scene from a bygone age. Silver and ink. Light and dark. Then. Now.

And such a sorry and desolate sight. Just a tiny husk of papery skin over bloodless brittle bones, desiccated and forlorn as if a wind of change could scatter its remains throughout the lands. It is enveloped in a smudge of cloud, one that clings to its contours. It was something that had grown with importance; had taken on a gigantic image in my mind’s eye, only to seem pathetic now found. An errant shadow, a mistimed blink, and it could have remained undiscovered. Lost forever to rot and disappear from the memory of man and time, eaten by an animal from the shade.

Gently, with trembling fingers, I pluck aside the faded streamers that crisscross its sad shape and swipe away the red smudged corks, patina bottle tops and cigarette butts that frame it. I ease my hands softly beneath it and grit my pulsing breath before lifting it into my arms in a cloud of sour scent. Detritus flakes fall from the underside of the cadaver, shrivelled skin, sealable baggies smeared with white fingerprints, faded and perfumed letter scraps and faded sparkles. Barely registering as weight, the shell is cradled to my chest as I move my ear to its torso, daring to hope my quest was not fruitless.

A faint ticking in the ribcage informs me a life force still holds fort. Shocked, yet hopeful, my thoughts race away from me. It isn’t too late. I might still save this sad creature. Tentatively, I carry my delicate cargo to safety, out of the gloomy, night clad trees, to sunnier worlds and eras. The warmth of sunlight and sounds of nature stirs in this creature the briefest of movements. And then, I watch agape as eyes tremble away a surrendering layer of skin that open, slowly, to reveal blank, blind eyes peering through the smirch that still contains it. It shudders as if filled with fear, yet remains in my hold.

Unseeing, the eyes fall away from me as a black tear wells up in the corners of each dry orb, only to moisten upon a few slow blinks. They swivel round and now have a pupil that I watch focus upon me.

‘Who are you?’ I implore. My reply, simply more blinks, sharpening the gaze that holds me.

Cracked and dusty lips open as if for the first time in all eternity and its dry mouth gulps greedy air, like a free diver emerging from hunting pearls. Nourishing air is taken in, plumping its emaciated chest and expanding its form. It breaths out dirt into my wincing face, the odour of its lungs tacky with tar and dust. Seemingly cleansed, the breathing continues and settles to a deeply rhythmic tempo.

I repeat: ‘Who are you?’

A fleeting smile, and its tentative voice appears in my head without the need to move its lips.

I am just finding out. Feed me. Please.

I take my refugee home, for that is what I have decided he is, and place him on a blanket from my childhood. I set to building him a shelter made of books set upon each other. Heavy tomes interlink with frivolous novellas that in turn lock into novels. I use song and poetry to bond the papery bricks and complete the roof with the words of wise men and women; alongside articles and reports from free thinking publications. He grows inside, jitters give way to the occasional sigh of contentment as he feeds.

The walls of this house I adorn with images of my family and friends, past and present. With a pen passed down through generations, I write upon spaces between the pictures the stories of those shown in these portraits. With each adage and every yarn, the cloudy shroud dims a little more and the dark casing of this husk grows warmer in hue, fatter in form.

‘Who are you?’

Soon, we will know.

And so growth can be seen with each addition. I enrich his life with animals and fauna, sunrises and sea salt, salt tears and releasing smiles, with knowledge and culture. Loved ones stop by, placing caring hands on the den, pushing positive energy through to the timorous tenant inside. As each day passes, nerves give way to quiet confidence as he absorbs all that I thrust upon his person. 

Politics, and facts fill him, healthy food and minerals nourish him. I carpet his home with maps of adventures and morsels of delicacies from around the globe. Trinkets and coins are hidden in cupboards, locked up with the snarling fiends that want to reach him, to sink their teeth into his rounding flesh. That which sucks of his life is set apart, so that he may focus on that which is before him. And what now lays before him is the world without the shallow glitter, the clutter and the shit outside of the fusty gutter.

The time is upon us. Quest's end. 

So today, I watch proudly as he rises calmly on his two sturdy pink limbs and emerges from his house of empowerment. He is grown. Gone is the dark shroud that held him, and sloughed off is the flake of rot that covered him. Weightless shoulders squared and sturdy, head high. A toothy grin mirrors mine and eyes sparkle with life and humour. He is older, but exudes wisdom borne of the earth.

‘What is your name?’

You still don’t know?

‘Yes. Yes, I think I do’ I beam, hairs on end as I see this repaired being for what he is.

Measured and understanding, open minded and grounded. Hidden are the negatives and dark driving forces; to be replaced with that which counts and a level-headed outlook on life. An acceptance of faults of himself and of others. There is still fragility, but it is embraced and held aloft as a mace to ward off black beasts and gloomy worlds. 

Eyes, open, he freely sheds joyful tears as he stands before me. Face to face.

And without another word, he climbs inside of me, and we become the same. History and present face the future. The mended fused to the man that was broken, now the mender.

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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by PaulDChambers in portal Publishing
Husk.
If you asked me, if you really pushed me for an answer, I’d have to admit that I’m unsure as to the exact moment. That first step. The starting point of this quest. All I know is that my search has stretched across long and empty years. However, if I were to say it started a full, fat lifetime ago, that would also ring true.

It was my epic pursuit. My folly. The wide, wise and unwise world over, inbred town to smoky dirt streaked city, far flung country to verdant counties; both landlocked and sandy coastal, balmy and frosty hunts that spanned countless and seemingly infinite footfalls. A billion searching steps to save it. To save him.

And here it is, a mere handful of stumbling strides from my beaten track; quietly lying upon a filthy forest floor, causing my heart to spike and fall as I gaze down upon it. The whale sized shadows of scudding clouds flash moonlight and the image of branches' claws intermittently on it, a giant strobe light freeze framing it over and over as if it were a scene from a bygone age. Silver and ink. Light and dark. Then. Now.

And such a sorry and desolate sight. Just a tiny husk of papery skin over bloodless brittle bones, desiccated and forlorn as if a wind of change could scatter its remains throughout the lands. It is enveloped in a smudge of cloud, one that clings to its contours. It was something that had grown with importance; had taken on a gigantic image in my mind’s eye, only to seem pathetic now found. An errant shadow, a mistimed blink, and it could have remained undiscovered. Lost forever to rot and disappear from the memory of man and time, eaten by an animal from the shade.

Gently, with trembling fingers, I pluck aside the faded streamers that crisscross its sad shape and swipe away the red smudged corks, patina bottle tops and cigarette butts that frame it. I ease my hands softly beneath it and grit my pulsing breath before lifting it into my arms in a cloud of sour scent. Detritus flakes fall from the underside of the cadaver, shrivelled skin, sealable baggies smeared with white fingerprints, faded and perfumed letter scraps and faded sparkles. Barely registering as weight, the shell is cradled to my chest as I move my ear to its torso, daring to hope my quest was not fruitless.

A faint ticking in the ribcage informs me a life force still holds fort. Shocked, yet hopeful, my thoughts race away from me. It isn’t too late. I might still save this sad creature. Tentatively, I carry my delicate cargo to safety, out of the gloomy, night clad trees, to sunnier worlds and eras. The warmth of sunlight and sounds of nature stirs in this creature the briefest of movements. And then, I watch agape as eyes tremble away a surrendering layer of skin that open, slowly, to reveal blank, blind eyes peering through the smirch that still contains it. It shudders as if filled with fear, yet remains in my hold.

Unseeing, the eyes fall away from me as a black tear wells up in the corners of each dry orb, only to moisten upon a few slow blinks. They swivel round and now have a pupil that I watch focus upon me.

‘Who are you?’ I implore. My reply, simply more blinks, sharpening the gaze that holds me.

Cracked and dusty lips open as if for the first time in all eternity and its dry mouth gulps greedy air, like a free diver emerging from hunting pearls. Nourishing air is taken in, plumping its emaciated chest and expanding its form. It breaths out dirt into my wincing face, the odour of its lungs tacky with tar and dust. Seemingly cleansed, the breathing continues and settles to a deeply rhythmic tempo.

I repeat: ‘Who are you?’

A fleeting smile, and its tentative voice appears in my head without the need to move its lips.

I am just finding out. Feed me. Please.

I take my refugee home, for that is what I have decided he is, and place him on a blanket from my childhood. I set to building him a shelter made of books set upon each other. Heavy tomes interlink with frivolous novellas that in turn lock into novels. I use song and poetry to bond the papery bricks and complete the roof with the words of wise men and women; alongside articles and reports from free thinking publications. He grows inside, jitters give way to the occasional sigh of contentment as he feeds.

The walls of this house I adorn with images of my family and friends, past and present. With a pen passed down through generations, I write upon spaces between the pictures the stories of those shown in these portraits. With each adage and every yarn, the cloudy shroud dims a little more and the dark casing of this husk grows warmer in hue, fatter in form.

‘Who are you?’

Soon, we will know.

And so growth can be seen with each addition. I enrich his life with animals and fauna, sunrises and sea salt, salt tears and releasing smiles, with knowledge and culture. Loved ones stop by, placing caring hands on the den, pushing positive energy through to the timorous tenant inside. As each day passes, nerves give way to quiet confidence as he absorbs all that I thrust upon his person. 

Politics, and facts fill him, healthy food and minerals nourish him. I carpet his home with maps of adventures and morsels of delicacies from around the globe. Trinkets and coins are hidden in cupboards, locked up with the snarling fiends that want to reach him, to sink their teeth into his rounding flesh. That which sucks of his life is set apart, so that he may focus on that which is before him. And what now lays before him is the world without the shallow glitter, the clutter and the shit outside of the fusty gutter.

The time is upon us. Quest's end. 

So today, I watch proudly as he rises calmly on his two sturdy pink limbs and emerges from his house of empowerment. He is grown. Gone is the dark shroud that held him, and sloughed off is the flake of rot that covered him. Weightless shoulders squared and sturdy, head high. A toothy grin mirrors mine and eyes sparkle with life and humour. He is older, but exudes wisdom borne of the earth.

‘What is your name?’

You still don’t know?

‘Yes. Yes, I think I do’ I beam, hairs on end as I see this repaired being for what he is.

Measured and understanding, open minded and grounded. Hidden are the negatives and dark driving forces; to be replaced with that which counts and a level-headed outlook on life. An acceptance of faults of himself and of others. There is still fragility, but it is embraced and held aloft as a mace to ward off black beasts and gloomy worlds. 

Eyes, open, he freely sheds joyful tears as he stands before me. Face to face.

And without another word, he climbs inside of me, and we become the same. History and present face the future. The mended fused to the man that was broken, now the mender.
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Challenge of the Week #58: You are a victim of injustice, write a story about it. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $150. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by EBJohnson

A Body of Choice

She sat on the sterile surface of the table and let the tears flow down her face. Their words thundered in her head over and over again as her heart beat wildly against the avian bones of her ribcage. No, no, no. This is not your body. You are nothing

A million thoughts exploded inside her mind. A thousand options presented themselves to her, each one more grim than the last. Knots twisted in her stomach and she felt the bile rise in her throat. 

"I won't do it," she croaked. Alone. "I won't do it." 

"You don't have really have a choice, I'm sad to say," came the response. The doctor's eyes looked at her with mocked sympathy, but the truth was written there in bold -- just beneath the surface. Another stupid girl, another stupid decision. When would they learn? 

"But this is my body. I won't do it." Another wave of grief washed over her and she felt the maelstrom move in her belly. "I can't do it. I won't do it. I would rather die." 

"Then you'll go to jail. It's a criminal offense beyond this point. There's nothing more we can do for you." 

A stupor set over her as the shock set in. All the illusions began to fall away like sheets of broken glass. Her world, her life was shattered. One-by-one, her dreams began to peel away and the chasm opened up beneath her. She could feel the flames licking her feet and she could feel the icy resolution of death fettering itself around her throat. The future and the past warped together and she saw the hell that was waiting for her ahead. A life of pain. A life without choice. This is what it meant to be a woman.

She lay in bed that night, feeling her doom kicking and twisting in her stomach. It was never supposed to come to this. It was never supposed to be this way. So many promises that had been made, so many doctors that had given her absolutes. None of it was true. And now? Now she stood at the brink and there was no going back. The reality of her truth choked her. The reality of her value and her place in this world wrenched her heart open wide and lay her soul open, raw and bare. She began to suffocate.

In the morning, her mind was made up. As the monster wriggled inside her belly, her mind turned to steel. This was her body. This was her choice. This was the only choice they had left her. Her, the brood mare. The half-person.

She watched the sun rise once more before she pulled the bottle from the cupboard and stuffed her hands with the little white pills. 

It was the only choice left, but it was her choice. Her only choice. The only choice the state had left her. 

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Challenge of the Week #58: You are a victim of injustice, write a story about it. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $150. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by EBJohnson
A Body of Choice
She sat on the sterile surface of the table and let the tears flow down her face. Their words thundered in her head over and over again as her heart beat wildly against the avian bones of her ribcage. No, no, no. This is not your body. You are nothing

A million thoughts exploded inside her mind. A thousand options presented themselves to her, each one more grim than the last. Knots twisted in her stomach and she felt the bile rise in her throat. 

"I won't do it," she croaked. Alone. "I won't do it." 

"You don't have really have a choice, I'm sad to say," came the response. The doctor's eyes looked at her with mocked sympathy, but the truth was written there in bold -- just beneath the surface. Another stupid girl, another stupid decision. When would they learn? 

"But this is my body. I won't do it." Another wave of grief washed over her and she felt the maelstrom move in her belly. "I can't do it. I won't do it. I would rather die." 

"Then you'll go to jail. It's a criminal offense beyond this point. There's nothing more we can do for you." 

A stupor set over her as the shock set in. All the illusions began to fall away like sheets of broken glass. Her world, her life was shattered. One-by-one, her dreams began to peel away and the chasm opened up beneath her. She could feel the flames licking her feet and she could feel the icy resolution of death fettering itself around her throat. The future and the past warped together and she saw the hell that was waiting for her ahead. A life of pain. A life without choice. This is what it meant to be a woman.

She lay in bed that night, feeling her doom kicking and twisting in her stomach. It was never supposed to come to this. It was never supposed to be this way. So many promises that had been made, so many doctors that had given her absolutes. None of it was true. And now? Now she stood at the brink and there was no going back. The reality of her truth choked her. The reality of her value and her place in this world wrenched her heart open wide and lay her soul open, raw and bare. She began to suffocate.

In the morning, her mind was made up. As the monster wriggled inside her belly, her mind turned to steel. This was her body. This was her choice. This was the only choice they had left her. Her, the brood mare. The half-person.

She watched the sun rise once more before she pulled the bottle from the cupboard and stuffed her hands with the little white pills. 

It was the only choice left, but it was her choice. Her only choice. The only choice the state had left her. 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Friday Feature: @starryEyes

So, we’ve been briefed about it and have read some articles on it and can now say it is Friday. It's not fake news, people. It’s Friday. And we’d be doing Prose a very, very big disservice if we didn’t bring you the very, very good thing that is Friday Feature. People love it. Everybody says so. They like to read about the very, very nice people of Prose...

OK, enough of that crazy talk, let’s dive in to meet the entirely lovely @starryEyes

P: What is your given name and your Proser username?

S: My name is Kim, but you can find me as starryEyes on Prose.

P: Where do you live?

S: I live in the northeast United States, out in the country on top of a hill with a fantastic view. My grandfather built the house in the 1970s and I absolutely love living here with my husband. Watching the birds, animals, wild weather, and changing seasons makes me happy.

We get our Internet by antenna from a local provider who beams it over from a tower that’s 4 miles away (no cable service out here). It’s better than satellite, except when wind, rain, and foliage conspire to eat data packets!

P: What is your occupation?

S: Hmmm… I’m probably most occupied with taking care of myself. So maybe my occupation is being alive? Or surviving. But I’d prefer “thriving.” That can be my occupation: thriving.

I went to school for electrical engineering and worked for five years designing and testing radar electronics. I absolutely loved it. But chronic Lyme disease made that impossible. I’m principally afflicted by profound fatigue and brain fog, but generally have a few good hours a day.

Right now I am content. There is so much more I’d like to do in life, but I’m pleased that I’m not getting any worse right now and have a sort of rhythm of productivity, fulfillment, and rest.

P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?

S: Growing up, I wrote for school. I enjoyed all my writing assignments but rarely wrote of my own initiative. Late in high school and college, I kept a “prayer” journal that helped me untangle my thoughts and feelings while writing to God.

As I progressed in my engineering studies and career, I wrote a lot of technical documents. It turns out I really enjoy writing lab reports, test procedures, and documenting my designs. And who doesn’t love a good table or expressive graph? *happy sigh*

The first poem I ever wrote of my own free will flowed from my illness. My choppy, foggy, scattered, and desperate thoughts needed adequate expression. I now write poetry like it’s a puzzle to be solved - conveying meaning and depth by sound & structure & few words – an artistic efficiency. It must be the engineer in me.

I started writing short stories a year ago for fun. I really haven’t written many because I’m a slow writer and I don’t often feel well. But it makes me feel human and “normal” to compose something that I’m proud of. I attend a writing group at the library and find it immensely helpful and encouraging.

P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?

S: I’ve always been a voracious reader of fiction. It makes me happy, stirs my imagination, fills me with stories, and teaches me about life. I love gleaning bits of wisdom from book characters and pondering their thoughts and actions. It’s an easy, gentle way to learn.

P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?

I don’t have specific posting plans, but I often respond to writing challenges. Apparently I like to write from the perspective of non-humans such as an animal, plant, or park bench, so you may see more of that. I might sometimes write about my illness or my faith in Jesus, because both deeply define who I am. My loftiest dream is to write a historical choose-your-own-adventure book for kids.

P: What do you love about Prose?

S: Challenges, challenges, challenges! I’m way more motivated when someone challenges me than when I make up my own goals. That’s probably a character flaw. But I’m getting lots of practice and inspiration from the Prose community challenges and having fun! I also like the opportunity to share what I write and interact with other writers.

P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?

S: There are oodles of good books, so how could I choose? But limited to one, I’d have to say the Bible. I believe that how we respond to Jesus is the single most important decision in this life. To make an informed choice, we have to read his words.

P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?

S: If so, they are extremely unsung because I can’t think of who they might be! My parents and teachers were obvious influences, but no one person or event stands out in my mind.

P: Describe yourself in three words!

S: Contemplative. Sincere. Empathetic.

P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?

S: “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song… And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me! For I am His, and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.”

And the entire rest of the lyrics to “In Christ Alone” written by Stuart Townsend & Keith Getty

P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?

S: I like pop / rock / metal. My favorite artists are Britt Nicole, Fireflight (similar to Evanescence), and Tourniquet (similar to Metallica). I also really like a cappella and folk music. I can do anything to music except read and write. For those, silence is more conducive to concentration.

P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?

S: “You know, books. B-O-O-K-S. Like writing. On paper. That you read. There must be some. This isn’t possible. Where did you go to school? Where’s the library?” After asking the same questions twenty times but getting the same answer, I think I’d become unresponsive and curl up, rocking back and forth.

P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?

S: Curled up in a recliner with a blanket and a cat. Preferably my own recliner and my own cat. Any blanket will do.

P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?

S: Nothing left to tell!

Thanks so much to Kim, it was marvellous to meet her, I'm sure you'll all agree. You know what to do now. Read her! Interact with her! Follow her! 

And again, we want more Prosers for this feature, so if you like it, then suggest people, even volunteer yourselves. Prose wants you to feature in future Friday Features. Get busy.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Friday Feature: @starryEyes
So, we’ve been briefed about it and have read some articles on it and can now say it is Friday. It's not fake news, people. It’s Friday. And we’d be doing Prose a very, very big disservice if we didn’t bring you the very, very good thing that is Friday Feature. People love it. Everybody says so. They like to read about the very, very nice people of Prose...

OK, enough of that crazy talk, let’s dive in to meet the entirely lovely @starryEyes

P: What is your given name and your Proser username?
S: My name is Kim, but you can find me as starryEyes on Prose.

P: Where do you live?
S: I live in the northeast United States, out in the country on top of a hill with a fantastic view. My grandfather built the house in the 1970s and I absolutely love living here with my husband. Watching the birds, animals, wild weather, and changing seasons makes me happy.

We get our Internet by antenna from a local provider who beams it over from a tower that’s 4 miles away (no cable service out here). It’s better than satellite, except when wind, rain, and foliage conspire to eat data packets!

P: What is your occupation?
S: Hmmm… I’m probably most occupied with taking care of myself. So maybe my occupation is being alive? Or surviving. But I’d prefer “thriving.” That can be my occupation: thriving.

I went to school for electrical engineering and worked for five years designing and testing radar electronics. I absolutely loved it. But chronic Lyme disease made that impossible. I’m principally afflicted by profound fatigue and brain fog, but generally have a few good hours a day.

Right now I am content. There is so much more I’d like to do in life, but I’m pleased that I’m not getting any worse right now and have a sort of rhythm of productivity, fulfillment, and rest.

P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
S: Growing up, I wrote for school. I enjoyed all my writing assignments but rarely wrote of my own initiative. Late in high school and college, I kept a “prayer” journal that helped me untangle my thoughts and feelings while writing to God.

As I progressed in my engineering studies and career, I wrote a lot of technical documents. It turns out I really enjoy writing lab reports, test procedures, and documenting my designs. And who doesn’t love a good table or expressive graph? *happy sigh*

The first poem I ever wrote of my own free will flowed from my illness. My choppy, foggy, scattered, and desperate thoughts needed adequate expression. I now write poetry like it’s a puzzle to be solved - conveying meaning and depth by sound & structure & few words – an artistic efficiency. It must be the engineer in me.

I started writing short stories a year ago for fun. I really haven’t written many because I’m a slow writer and I don’t often feel well. But it makes me feel human and “normal” to compose something that I’m proud of. I attend a writing group at the library and find it immensely helpful and encouraging.

P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?
S: I’ve always been a voracious reader of fiction. It makes me happy, stirs my imagination, fills me with stories, and teaches me about life. I love gleaning bits of wisdom from book characters and pondering their thoughts and actions. It’s an easy, gentle way to learn.

P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?

I don’t have specific posting plans, but I often respond to writing challenges. Apparently I like to write from the perspective of non-humans such as an animal, plant, or park bench, so you may see more of that. I might sometimes write about my illness or my faith in Jesus, because both deeply define who I am. My loftiest dream is to write a historical choose-your-own-adventure book for kids.

P: What do you love about Prose?
S: Challenges, challenges, challenges! I’m way more motivated when someone challenges me than when I make up my own goals. That’s probably a character flaw. But I’m getting lots of practice and inspiration from the Prose community challenges and having fun! I also like the opportunity to share what I write and interact with other writers.

P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
S: There are oodles of good books, so how could I choose? But limited to one, I’d have to say the Bible. I believe that how we respond to Jesus is the single most important decision in this life. To make an informed choice, we have to read his words.

P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
S: If so, they are extremely unsung because I can’t think of who they might be! My parents and teachers were obvious influences, but no one person or event stands out in my mind.

P: Describe yourself in three words!
S: Contemplative. Sincere. Empathetic.

P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
S: “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song… And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me! For I am His, and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.”

And the entire rest of the lyrics to “In Christ Alone” written by Stuart Townsend & Keith Getty

P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?
S: I like pop / rock / metal. My favorite artists are Britt Nicole, Fireflight (similar to Evanescence), and Tourniquet (similar to Metallica). I also really like a cappella and folk music. I can do anything to music except read and write. For those, silence is more conducive to concentration.

P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
S: “You know, books. B-O-O-K-S. Like writing. On paper. That you read. There must be some. This isn’t possible. Where did you go to school? Where’s the library?” After asking the same questions twenty times but getting the same answer, I think I’d become unresponsive and curl up, rocking back and forth.

P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?
S: Curled up in a recliner with a blanket and a cat. Preferably my own recliner and my own cat. Any blanket will do.

P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?
S: Nothing left to tell!

Thanks so much to Kim, it was marvellous to meet her, I'm sure you'll all agree. You know what to do now. Read her! Interact with her! Follow her! 

And again, we want more Prosers for this feature, so if you like it, then suggest people, even volunteer yourselves. Prose wants you to feature in future Friday Features. Get busy.
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Written by RioRamirez

Cure Writer's Block

From William Garner's article on LinkedIn:

Writer's Block Is a Real Phenomenon That Resides in Your Subconscious

In all my years of writing, I’ve suffered from several different maladies and conditions but never the one we all fear and loathe: Writer’s Block. This doesn’t mean I don’t understand it, though, because I do. I’ve studied it in other people over the decades and have formulated my hypothesis about it and what causes it.

Writer's Block resides deep within your subconscious and can be accessed primarily through dreams and dreaming, and sometimes consciously by communicating with that nagging little voice at the back of your mind.

I’ve done experiments on myself to artificially induce Writer’s Block, and have been overwhelmingly successful. Those results were a dubious success, of course, because no one wishes to suffer from this dreadful disease of the subconscious, let alone for any extended period of time. But at least I saw it first hand.

When I stated above that I’ve never suffered from Writer’s Block, I meant it while I was actively writing, not experimentally inducing it for the purpose of intensive study.

What Are Some of the Probable Causes of Writer’s Block?

There is no one cause, because Writer’s Block may surface slowly or all at once at any point in the writing process. If you’re at the very beginning, with not even a storyline in mind, and you can’t write even write that first word, then the cause may be lack of passion, direction or drive.

Of course, one of the worst causes is wanting desperately to write but not having anything to write about. The next is having too many distractions that cloud the whole dreaming, designing, building and writing process.

If you’re not passionate about what you do, then the art of writing becomes a chore, a drudgery. And you’ll likely not write much, or even finish your writing project. You must love what you wish to write about, be absolutely passionate about it, because this is a story that you will share with other people. Writing becomes a chore when you’re simply writing for money or a reason other than for passion.

I’ve read published books by authors who seemed to be doing it for the money, and it’s reflected in their work. I’ve also talked with authors who’ve told me their prime motivation was to earn lots of money. Some did it well, but their work wasn’t as good as others’ whose artwork was based on a deep-seated passion that underlies and fuels it.

Passion is a deep, often hidden desire to express yourself and what you have to say, what you believe in so fiercely that it must come out in some artistic form. And when it surfaces, it’s in the form of a book, your first book.

If you’re in the middle of actually writing your first book, and Writer’s Block creeps up on you and your work grinds to a halt, then the cause is more likely your not being in sufficient contact with your subconscious, such that when your subconscious needs to connect with your typist and it cannot, the subconscious gets pouty or just plain angry and closes down for a period of time.

This is the time you need to take a step back from your work and ask yourself: How am I not in good contact with my subconscious now? What happened such that I lost contact? And how do I get back on track?

You could be stressed out at work and this is impinging on your writing at night or on weekends. Your family may be undergoing a crisis, something that takes you away from your work and your subconscious’s working for you on your book project. You must notice what the cause is and do whatever it takes to assuage the negative effects so you can get back to the fun business of writing your first book.

If You Suffer From Writer's Block, Ask Yourself This Important Question

“Am I still passionate about writing this book?”

Could be that you initially started your first book because you were inspired by a lover who came into your life, turned it upside down, and you fell in love so deeply that you got lost in all that passion. You began writing about it and then, out of the blue, your lover suddenly disappeared . . . along with the fiery passion that had driven you to embark on the journey to begin with.

This happens sometimes. It’s not the end of the world, although the pain is often unbearable, not just the loss of a loved one but also the loss of your passion for writing a book you thought you would finish and get out there for all to read and appreciate.

It may be a good idea, too, to write down the question, say it aloud before you go to sleep, so your subconscious will hear you and come up with some answers. If your subconscious isn’t paying you much mind, for whatever reason, you may consider taking a long break from your project, say, a month, then returning to it with a fresh look.

If you have somehow lost interest in your writing project, or if your passion has waned even a little, then you might want to consider trying another approach to writing this particular book, or choose another idea altogether. This doesn’t mean you should quit your current project. It may need to ferment a bit more, so put it aside and try something else, another story idea.

What Is Your Subconscious and How Do You Communicate With It to Overcome Writer's Block?

One of the greatest creations in the Universe, besides majestic planets like Earth and powerful energy sources like our sun, is the human subconscious. It is in direct communication with the Universe, which suggests it also communicates collectively with the subconscious of others.

You do not have to believe in this line of thought to write anything, even though I have injected small hints that you should consider it. Whatever you choose to believe, the fact is that you must give your writing sufficient time to develop. Time comes in days, weeks and months.

I’ve studied the human subconscious, mostly in myself, since I was a child, wondering what inner engine drove me to do the things I did. I didn’t have to think about doing certain things, I just did them. Sometimes they were rational and positive; other times, not so.

One item I discovered over the years was that there was a clear line between what I did consciously and how my mind functioned subconsciously. When I went to sleep each night, I knew there was a whole different creature that came alive and took me on endless journeys through space and time, introducing me to new thoughts, ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things in my life.

Your Subconscious, or Inner CHILD, is a Real Person Inside You

Nearly 15 years ago, I woke up one morning and scrambled out of bed to write something down. Whatever was in my head at that moment had to come out and it wasn’t going to wait for my bus driver, my typist, to take dictation. It was coming in a flood and that was that.

When I got to my notepad, my hand started scribbling things down. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing, I just took it on faith that I had to do this.

After I was done autowriting, I looked at what had emerged: a single word, along with details about each letter of the word. It was an acronym, CHILD:

C: the little Child in you, the curious wide-eyed being that looks at the world without filters and preconceived notions about anything. A little sponge that senses things with wonder and awe.

H: the true Heart in you, the purely subjective part, filled with every conceivable emotion known.

I: your Intuition or information-gathering system, the sensory apparatus that receives every possible stimulus in the Universe, much like a radio receives radio signals to produce spoken word and songs.

L: the cold, stainless-steel Logic that sees the world purely objectively, like a robotic computer that takes in and analyzes things in a totally impartial and neutral way, without emotion of any kind.

D: the little Demon in you, that mischievous entity that plays pranks and does impish things. Can sometimes be very destructive and hurtful.

These entities all comprise the human subconscious, which is the true engine that drives each and every one of us in our daily lives. They all work together and, depending on how one’s DNA is wired, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

I will not get into the moral implications of good and evil, only stating that they exist in all of us to some extent and, in others, they comprise their whole being. Sociopaths and psychopaths are an example.

Destiny or Free Will? Both!

We can communicate with what I term our Inner CHILD, or we can ignore it and just float through life, going wherever it takes us.

I contend that we do have a destiny. Each of us, when we are conceived (not born), have a certain imprint from those celestial bodies that mediate and modulate our behaviors; in fact, everything we do in life. This is imprinted onto our DNA when it first forms chemically in that single cell that will later become an individual being.

When we are first imprinted by the Universe, using celestiophysics, we are then given a map of destiny that propels us through life. Some of us follow this map without much thought. Others, like me, question it each day and consciously make a choice whether to follow that map or go “off-map” and do something that we were not initially programmed to do. Again, most people do not pay much if any attention to their map of destiny. They simply live life and go with the flow.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, but wouldn’t it be cool if you actually knew how it worked so you could use this invaluable tool to your advantage?

These thoughts bring me to my personal philosophy, Subism. It holds that the human subconscious is direct communication with the Universe, and that celestial bodies (planets, stars, whatever) directly and indirectly influence all life on earth. The philosophers of old weren’t familiar with celestiophysics, so they formulated their own ideas about how humans operate and function, and what makes us do the things we do. I suggest that we do all the things we do because of the strong, inexorable influences of celestiophysics, which we can to some extent manipulate and control.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time trying to read the minds of other people when we should be learning how to read our own and get in touch with our own subconscious.

How Do You Use Your Inner CHILD to Help You Write?

We can start with something we all agree on: we dream a lot. Sometimes you may not recall each or any dream, but your subconscious is actively dreaming, sending little (and giant) messages up to your conscious self to do certain things, avoid other things. Dreams are one method the subconscious uses to communicate with your conscious self.

Interestingly, when your subconscious presents a dream to you, it does so in very rudimentary language. We dream in metaphors and symbols and motifs, not in complete film-like visions. Our Inner CHILD only knows one method of talking to our conscious self, and that is in the language of a child, a small voice that expresses itself using little vignettes that represent small words and actions. Curiously our subconscious also uses phrases and sayings from books or passages we've read or from certain songs we've heard.

I’ve never heard of anyone dreaming in the language of an adult. Never. If someone tells you that they do in fact dream this way, it’s not a deep-sleep dream but a lucid dream, one you actually control because you’re partly conscious.

During a very difficult time in my life some years back, I had a recurring dream: a was sitting in a bus filled with other people. I wasn’t talking or interacting with those people, just sitting alone and minding my own business. Then the bus suddenly filled with water, as if we’d just plunged into the middle of an ocean. No one around me moved an inch or spoke anything to me or to each other. They all just sat there as the bus filled with water. I looked around, saw stone-cold faces on my fellow passengers, and tried frantically to get out.

And then the dream went lucid, where I could actually manipulate the dream in a semi-conscious state. I changed the dream so I got out of that sinking bus.

Since I had already known that my Inner CHILD was responsible for communicating with me, I then figured out a way to interpret what my subconscious was trying to tell me. I didn’t get it at first, so the dream stayed with me each night for a week or so, until I woke up and listened to my subconscious. To interpret my dream, which was in the language of a child, I used the thoughts, ideas and words of a child, say, of about four years old.

When I used this method, interpreting the dream in a child’s voice, the dream became clear: “I can’t get out and no one will help me.” Simple as that.

The dream told me that I was in a world of hurt and no one was coming to my aid, even when I actively asked for help. In the real world, I was on my own. I have a term for that: yoyo, which means "you’re on your own" when things get really tough for you. I was yoyo for a long time, until I realized what was actually happening, then when I figured out my temporary predicament, I was able to change how I thought, how I acted, and consequently the actions I took to climb out of that dark hole, from inside that sinking bus.

You may be quick to dismiss this as overly simplistic. Please do not. Instead, try it for yourself, using previous dreams you've had, and try to corroborate the newly interpreted message with how things worked out for you subsequently.

How Do We Use Our Subconscious To Cure Writer's Block?

Once you follow the prescription below, your Writer's Block will slowly dissipate and disappear altogether.

Learn how to feed your subconscious properly, to nurture it. You would do this with a human child, wouldn’t you? Your Inner CHILD is even more important. It’s the entity within yourself that guides you through every moment of your entire life. How could you not want to nurture such a being?

Your Inner CHILD is energetic and rambunctious, has a voracious appetite for new adventures and actions, so get out in the world and do stuff. Travel to new places, meet new people, eat new foods, explore new vistas. If you cannot afford to go to Europe or Africa, then explore your own town or city, or maybe drive to the next state and see what’s up there.

If those things are not in your current budget, then find a way to make it happen, now that you know your Inner CHILD needs these things. You need these things, too, dear Writer.

Your subconscious loves to run and jump and play around, so get out and exercise your body, even if it’s a long walk or hike. If you’re going to be a sedentary writer, then your subconscious will eventually rebel. Yes, I do know some overweight writers who do well, but they don’t last too long. Unfortunately, they die young and the being that dies first is their Inner CHILD.

This explains how people sometimes grow cold and distant, and they lose their humanity. In reality, they’re losing the most important part of them—their subconscious.

The CHILD inside you needs stimulation, and the world around you provides just that, so please take full advantage of your atmosphere and make it a daily routine to get out of your office and home and see different and stimulating sites, absorb what you sense all around you, roll in the grass, get dirty and make mud pies . . . something. There’s a new movement out there that is telling all of us to “ground” ourself with the earth. Actually get down on the bare ground and let it touch your skin. The earth is one giant healing mechanism, so find out more about grounding and then implement your new-found knowledge.

What else? Take trips to local stores, shops, museums, businesses that produce something interesting to see designed or in the process of being built. Feed your imagination ‘til its cup runneth over. There are no penalties for overfilling that cup. When your subconscious has had enough, it will tell you.

Go to shows, films, performances and watch the beautiful artwork of people who are just like you: they have a dream, they design and build it, then they do whatever it takes to implement it. Seeing the art of others is inspiring on all levels, especially when they’re actually creating it.

Visit the local hardware store and look at all the tools and items that are used to build things. Check out a restaurant and see how they prepare their meals. I feel it a grand experience to observe artists designing and building things, because it’s not unlike what I do when I create my own stories. In fact, watching other artists may be the most inspiring thing you can witness for yourself when you go out on these little excursions. I love watching glass-blowers! Especially the truly great ones who produce the world’s finest artisan glasswork, those Murano artists in Italy! Wow, they’re amazing to watch. When I’m done witnessing world-class art in motion, I leave with an all-body tingle that’s right up there with the best orgasms ever. Now that is a powerful thought, huh? What an inspiration!

The point is to experience how people outside you and your world of friends and acquaintances conduct their lives and do what they do. When you do, you become a part of their work, too, and you fuel their own desires and passions. You become a part of their artistic process. Let these artists do the same for you.

If your story is set in a beachside resort, go find one and write from there. If you can’t afford to be there, then find a nice area at a beach where you can write and be inspired. Maybe your story takes place in a cool dive bar. Find one and soak up the atmosphere for a few hours. Try not to drink too much or you may not get as much work done. Oh, and please remember: beer all over a keyboard is major notgoodness.

Get Off Your Tush and Connect With Real Human Beings

People make the world go round. And round. When I sometimes forget to get out of my office, which I love, I find that I miss the company of good people. So I jump out of my chair and go find someone to say hello to, ask questions about them, take an interest in another human being, share my own thoughts and experiences with them.

Connecting with another human being is one of the most important acts we should perform on a regular basis. When we don’t, we get lonely and grumpy. Your Inner CHILD does not make a good companion when it’s idle, lonely, cranky and without proper stimulation from the outside world. Use is or you lose it.

Eat something different each day. It doesn’t take much to break up your diet, so try a new cuisine on Friday night, share it with friends, savor every bite. Your subconscious will be as joyful as your conscious self, I promise you.

Considering all the nourishment I suggest above, one item is very clear: it all feeds your subconscious with new stimuli that will aid you in curing Writer's Block and help you write whatever you wish.

How Do You Listen to Your Inner CHILD When It Speaks to You?

First, let’s consider when your subconscious is actually trying to tell you something. An example: you’re sitting in a chair, writing away and you get this nagging voice inside your head that says you need a small pillow at your lower back. Don’t ignore it.

This is your subconscious telling you something: I want to feel comfortable when I tell you this cool story to write.

Those little voices that creep up at all times of the day and night are the core of your subconscious trying to tell you something. You should listen to those voices. Now, if they tell you to go out and run over the first pedestrian you come across, I would think really hard before carrying out that command. If you listen to voices like that, someone will probably have you committed or take you out back and tie you to a tree. How’s that for grounding?

When you hear the calling of your subconscious, please take a listen, pay attention to what it is trying to say, then, provided the command is a reasonable one, please act on it. Once you start listening to your subconscious, it will say, “Aha, my human is finally listening to me! Way to go!” And, from that point forward, if you continue to listen to your subconscious, it will give you more and more great knowledge and information that will not only enhance your life, but also cure Writer's Block and help you write better.

Communicating with your subconscious is not that challenging. Again, if it tells you to do something and you do it, then you’re effectively communicating with your subconscious. Keep doing it. And when you go to bed at night (or during the day, depending on your lifestyle and schedule), ask out loud and write down some questions or topics that you want your subconscious to mull over while your typist and bus driver are passed out for eight hours. When those guys are comatose, your subconscious is hard at play on its own eight-hour vacation.

How To Train Your Subconscious to Work For You

The more you listen to your subconscious, the more it will talk back and provide the information you need. You can train it to give you more and more information by asking questions, writing them down, then sleeping on them. Keep asking the same questions over and over until you get what you want. When asking questions or asking for help, please be kind to your subconscious.

Remember: your subconscious is a child and understands when you are being impatient or downright tedious. You know how people say to treat yourself kindly and gently? They’re really saying you should be kind and gentle to your subconscious.

The reason I suggest you say what you want out loud is because when you speak it and hear your own words, your brain stores and processes that information in different areas, which work in unison to come to your aid. When you physically write it down, that too is stored and processed in another part of your brain. When you read your own words, that is also stored and processed in yet a different part of your brain.

These working areas are also complex computing centers that help to enhance what you desire and wish for, and they help your subconscious make those wishes and dreams come true.

Training your subconscious involves all the above steps, plus actively talking to it, and not just before you go to sleep. You can have meaningful conversations with your subconscious, not only asking questions but also asking for guidance and assistance. The more you communicate with it, the more it responds and with better and more relevant information that will help and guide you accurately.

The only time my subconscious has failed me is when I have ignored it. That fact, in itself, I find fascinating and compelling. My subconscious has never steered me in the wrong or in a negative direction. Ever. When I’ve chosen to go off-map, then sometimes I’ve gotten into trouble. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from those experiential experiences, especially when off-map, but I’ve also paid a steep price for venturing off my Universal path.

Talk to the Individual Components of Your Subconscious

You also can talk to the individual components of your subconscious. It takes time and effort, but you can do it. I’ve often consulted my Logic element to get an objective view on a particular subject. And when I’ve needed to discuss something about my love life, I’ve talked to my Heart.

Having five separate ultra-complex computer modules inside your head is like having a team of experts of the Universe at your beck and call. Thing is, you must treat that team nicely and with great respect or it will ignore you and your queries. Your subconscious will never be vengeful and send you down a wrong path; only your conscious self does that.

The worst you can expect from your subconscious is silence, and that is the most crushing thing that could happen to your beautiful mind, not having the backing of one of the mightiest beings in the Universe.

This may be one of the causes of Writer's Block: your subconscious shutting down.

When Your Subconscious Goes Dark

When your subconscious fails to talk to you or communicate with you, something is very wrong. Remember that your subconscious is a child, so it needs special attention. Like I said, it will never steer you wrong, but it may ignore you. If it does, ask what’s up. Yes, really.

When you go to bed, write down that question, plus a few others: Are you okay? Have I done something really dumb to make you ignore me? What am I doing wrong here? How can I get back on track? Will you please help me?

The times I’ve had my subconscious go silent, they were when I was not treating myself well. I’ve had some challenging jobs in my life—scientist, Army Ranger, corporate security specialist—and each one has brought on a host of problems and challenges that drove me bananas at times. Sometimes after very difficult days, I would drink one too many beers, which is a great way to shut down one’s subconscious.

Point is, I abused myself and I paid for it, not only externally but also internally. Be kind and gentle to yourself, and your subconscious will thank you for it in ways you cannot even imagine now.

Your Subconscious Will Cure Writer's Block and Write Everything For You

All you need to do is nurture it and treat it like it’s the most precious thing in the Universe. It will help you cure Writer's Block, design your story, then guide your typist to get it all down on paper, virtual or real.

You must first master the inner workings of your subconscious before you can begin. Once you do, may you never ever suffer from Writer's Block again.

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Written by RioRamirez
Cure Writer's Block
From William Garner's article on LinkedIn:

Writer's Block Is a Real Phenomenon That Resides in Your Subconscious

In all my years of writing, I’ve suffered from several different maladies and conditions but never the one we all fear and loathe: Writer’s Block. This doesn’t mean I don’t understand it, though, because I do. I’ve studied it in other people over the decades and have formulated my hypothesis about it and what causes it.

Writer's Block resides deep within your subconscious and can be accessed primarily through dreams and dreaming, and sometimes consciously by communicating with that nagging little voice at the back of your mind.

I’ve done experiments on myself to artificially induce Writer’s Block, and have been overwhelmingly successful. Those results were a dubious success, of course, because no one wishes to suffer from this dreadful disease of the subconscious, let alone for any extended period of time. But at least I saw it first hand.

When I stated above that I’ve never suffered from Writer’s Block, I meant it while I was actively writing, not experimentally inducing it for the purpose of intensive study.

What Are Some of the Probable Causes of Writer’s Block?

There is no one cause, because Writer’s Block may surface slowly or all at once at any point in the writing process. If you’re at the very beginning, with not even a storyline in mind, and you can’t write even write that first word, then the cause may be lack of passion, direction or drive.

Of course, one of the worst causes is wanting desperately to write but not having anything to write about. The next is having too many distractions that cloud the whole dreaming, designing, building and writing process.

If you’re not passionate about what you do, then the art of writing becomes a chore, a drudgery. And you’ll likely not write much, or even finish your writing project. You must love what you wish to write about, be absolutely passionate about it, because this is a story that you will share with other people. Writing becomes a chore when you’re simply writing for money or a reason other than for passion.

I’ve read published books by authors who seemed to be doing it for the money, and it’s reflected in their work. I’ve also talked with authors who’ve told me their prime motivation was to earn lots of money. Some did it well, but their work wasn’t as good as others’ whose artwork was based on a deep-seated passion that underlies and fuels it.

Passion is a deep, often hidden desire to express yourself and what you have to say, what you believe in so fiercely that it must come out in some artistic form. And when it surfaces, it’s in the form of a book, your first book.

If you’re in the middle of actually writing your first book, and Writer’s Block creeps up on you and your work grinds to a halt, then the cause is more likely your not being in sufficient contact with your subconscious, such that when your subconscious needs to connect with your typist and it cannot, the subconscious gets pouty or just plain angry and closes down for a period of time.

This is the time you need to take a step back from your work and ask yourself: How am I not in good contact with my subconscious now? What happened such that I lost contact? And how do I get back on track?

You could be stressed out at work and this is impinging on your writing at night or on weekends. Your family may be undergoing a crisis, something that takes you away from your work and your subconscious’s working for you on your book project. You must notice what the cause is and do whatever it takes to assuage the negative effects so you can get back to the fun business of writing your first book.

If You Suffer From Writer's Block, Ask Yourself This Important Question

“Am I still passionate about writing this book?”

Could be that you initially started your first book because you were inspired by a lover who came into your life, turned it upside down, and you fell in love so deeply that you got lost in all that passion. You began writing about it and then, out of the blue, your lover suddenly disappeared . . . along with the fiery passion that had driven you to embark on the journey to begin with.

This happens sometimes. It’s not the end of the world, although the pain is often unbearable, not just the loss of a loved one but also the loss of your passion for writing a book you thought you would finish and get out there for all to read and appreciate.

It may be a good idea, too, to write down the question, say it aloud before you go to sleep, so your subconscious will hear you and come up with some answers. If your subconscious isn’t paying you much mind, for whatever reason, you may consider taking a long break from your project, say, a month, then returning to it with a fresh look.

If you have somehow lost interest in your writing project, or if your passion has waned even a little, then you might want to consider trying another approach to writing this particular book, or choose another idea altogether. This doesn’t mean you should quit your current project. It may need to ferment a bit more, so put it aside and try something else, another story idea.

What Is Your Subconscious and How Do You Communicate With It to Overcome Writer's Block?

One of the greatest creations in the Universe, besides majestic planets like Earth and powerful energy sources like our sun, is the human subconscious. It is in direct communication with the Universe, which suggests it also communicates collectively with the subconscious of others.

You do not have to believe in this line of thought to write anything, even though I have injected small hints that you should consider it. Whatever you choose to believe, the fact is that you must give your writing sufficient time to develop. Time comes in days, weeks and months.

I’ve studied the human subconscious, mostly in myself, since I was a child, wondering what inner engine drove me to do the things I did. I didn’t have to think about doing certain things, I just did them. Sometimes they were rational and positive; other times, not so.

One item I discovered over the years was that there was a clear line between what I did consciously and how my mind functioned subconsciously. When I went to sleep each night, I knew there was a whole different creature that came alive and took me on endless journeys through space and time, introducing me to new thoughts, ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things in my life.

Your Subconscious, or Inner CHILD, is a Real Person Inside You

Nearly 15 years ago, I woke up one morning and scrambled out of bed to write something down. Whatever was in my head at that moment had to come out and it wasn’t going to wait for my bus driver, my typist, to take dictation. It was coming in a flood and that was that.

When I got to my notepad, my hand started scribbling things down. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was writing, I just took it on faith that I had to do this.

After I was done autowriting, I looked at what had emerged: a single word, along with details about each letter of the word. It was an acronym, CHILD:

C: the little Child in you, the curious wide-eyed being that looks at the world without filters and preconceived notions about anything. A little sponge that senses things with wonder and awe.

H: the true Heart in you, the purely subjective part, filled with every conceivable emotion known.

I: your Intuition or information-gathering system, the sensory apparatus that receives every possible stimulus in the Universe, much like a radio receives radio signals to produce spoken word and songs.

L: the cold, stainless-steel Logic that sees the world purely objectively, like a robotic computer that takes in and analyzes things in a totally impartial and neutral way, without emotion of any kind.

D: the little Demon in you, that mischievous entity that plays pranks and does impish things. Can sometimes be very destructive and hurtful.

These entities all comprise the human subconscious, which is the true engine that drives each and every one of us in our daily lives. They all work together and, depending on how one’s DNA is wired, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

I will not get into the moral implications of good and evil, only stating that they exist in all of us to some extent and, in others, they comprise their whole being. Sociopaths and psychopaths are an example.

Destiny or Free Will? Both!

We can communicate with what I term our Inner CHILD, or we can ignore it and just float through life, going wherever it takes us.

I contend that we do have a destiny. Each of us, when we are conceived (not born), have a certain imprint from those celestial bodies that mediate and modulate our behaviors; in fact, everything we do in life. This is imprinted onto our DNA when it first forms chemically in that single cell that will later become an individual being.

When we are first imprinted by the Universe, using celestiophysics, we are then given a map of destiny that propels us through life. Some of us follow this map without much thought. Others, like me, question it each day and consciously make a choice whether to follow that map or go “off-map” and do something that we were not initially programmed to do. Again, most people do not pay much if any attention to their map of destiny. They simply live life and go with the flow.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, but wouldn’t it be cool if you actually knew how it worked so you could use this invaluable tool to your advantage?

These thoughts bring me to my personal philosophy, Subism. It holds that the human subconscious is direct communication with the Universe, and that celestial bodies (planets, stars, whatever) directly and indirectly influence all life on earth. The philosophers of old weren’t familiar with celestiophysics, so they formulated their own ideas about how humans operate and function, and what makes us do the things we do. I suggest that we do all the things we do because of the strong, inexorable influences of celestiophysics, which we can to some extent manipulate and control.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time trying to read the minds of other people when we should be learning how to read our own and get in touch with our own subconscious.

How Do You Use Your Inner CHILD to Help You Write?

We can start with something we all agree on: we dream a lot. Sometimes you may not recall each or any dream, but your subconscious is actively dreaming, sending little (and giant) messages up to your conscious self to do certain things, avoid other things. Dreams are one method the subconscious uses to communicate with your conscious self.

Interestingly, when your subconscious presents a dream to you, it does so in very rudimentary language. We dream in metaphors and symbols and motifs, not in complete film-like visions. Our Inner CHILD only knows one method of talking to our conscious self, and that is in the language of a child, a small voice that expresses itself using little vignettes that represent small words and actions. Curiously our subconscious also uses phrases and sayings from books or passages we've read or from certain songs we've heard.

I’ve never heard of anyone dreaming in the language of an adult. Never. If someone tells you that they do in fact dream this way, it’s not a deep-sleep dream but a lucid dream, one you actually control because you’re partly conscious.

During a very difficult time in my life some years back, I had a recurring dream: a was sitting in a bus filled with other people. I wasn’t talking or interacting with those people, just sitting alone and minding my own business. Then the bus suddenly filled with water, as if we’d just plunged into the middle of an ocean. No one around me moved an inch or spoke anything to me or to each other. They all just sat there as the bus filled with water. I looked around, saw stone-cold faces on my fellow passengers, and tried frantically to get out.

And then the dream went lucid, where I could actually manipulate the dream in a semi-conscious state. I changed the dream so I got out of that sinking bus.

Since I had already known that my Inner CHILD was responsible for communicating with me, I then figured out a way to interpret what my subconscious was trying to tell me. I didn’t get it at first, so the dream stayed with me each night for a week or so, until I woke up and listened to my subconscious. To interpret my dream, which was in the language of a child, I used the thoughts, ideas and words of a child, say, of about four years old.

When I used this method, interpreting the dream in a child’s voice, the dream became clear: “I can’t get out and no one will help me.” Simple as that.

The dream told me that I was in a world of hurt and no one was coming to my aid, even when I actively asked for help. In the real world, I was on my own. I have a term for that: yoyo, which means "you’re on your own" when things get really tough for you. I was yoyo for a long time, until I realized what was actually happening, then when I figured out my temporary predicament, I was able to change how I thought, how I acted, and consequently the actions I took to climb out of that dark hole, from inside that sinking bus.

You may be quick to dismiss this as overly simplistic. Please do not. Instead, try it for yourself, using previous dreams you've had, and try to corroborate the newly interpreted message with how things worked out for you subsequently.

How Do We Use Our Subconscious To Cure Writer's Block?

Once you follow the prescription below, your Writer's Block will slowly dissipate and disappear altogether.

Learn how to feed your subconscious properly, to nurture it. You would do this with a human child, wouldn’t you? Your Inner CHILD is even more important. It’s the entity within yourself that guides you through every moment of your entire life. How could you not want to nurture such a being?

Your Inner CHILD is energetic and rambunctious, has a voracious appetite for new adventures and actions, so get out in the world and do stuff. Travel to new places, meet new people, eat new foods, explore new vistas. If you cannot afford to go to Europe or Africa, then explore your own town or city, or maybe drive to the next state and see what’s up there.

If those things are not in your current budget, then find a way to make it happen, now that you know your Inner CHILD needs these things. You need these things, too, dear Writer.

Your subconscious loves to run and jump and play around, so get out and exercise your body, even if it’s a long walk or hike. If you’re going to be a sedentary writer, then your subconscious will eventually rebel. Yes, I do know some overweight writers who do well, but they don’t last too long. Unfortunately, they die young and the being that dies first is their Inner CHILD.

This explains how people sometimes grow cold and distant, and they lose their humanity. In reality, they’re losing the most important part of them—their subconscious.
The CHILD inside you needs stimulation, and the world around you provides just that, so please take full advantage of your atmosphere and make it a daily routine to get out of your office and home and see different and stimulating sites, absorb what you sense all around you, roll in the grass, get dirty and make mud pies . . . something. There’s a new movement out there that is telling all of us to “ground” ourself with the earth. Actually get down on the bare ground and let it touch your skin. The earth is one giant healing mechanism, so find out more about grounding and then implement your new-found knowledge.

What else? Take trips to local stores, shops, museums, businesses that produce something interesting to see designed or in the process of being built. Feed your imagination ‘til its cup runneth over. There are no penalties for overfilling that cup. When your subconscious has had enough, it will tell you.

Go to shows, films, performances and watch the beautiful artwork of people who are just like you: they have a dream, they design and build it, then they do whatever it takes to implement it. Seeing the art of others is inspiring on all levels, especially when they’re actually creating it.

Visit the local hardware store and look at all the tools and items that are used to build things. Check out a restaurant and see how they prepare their meals. I feel it a grand experience to observe artists designing and building things, because it’s not unlike what I do when I create my own stories. In fact, watching other artists may be the most inspiring thing you can witness for yourself when you go out on these little excursions. I love watching glass-blowers! Especially the truly great ones who produce the world’s finest artisan glasswork, those Murano artists in Italy! Wow, they’re amazing to watch. When I’m done witnessing world-class art in motion, I leave with an all-body tingle that’s right up there with the best orgasms ever. Now that is a powerful thought, huh? What an inspiration!

The point is to experience how people outside you and your world of friends and acquaintances conduct their lives and do what they do. When you do, you become a part of their work, too, and you fuel their own desires and passions. You become a part of their artistic process. Let these artists do the same for you.

If your story is set in a beachside resort, go find one and write from there. If you can’t afford to be there, then find a nice area at a beach where you can write and be inspired. Maybe your story takes place in a cool dive bar. Find one and soak up the atmosphere for a few hours. Try not to drink too much or you may not get as much work done. Oh, and please remember: beer all over a keyboard is major notgoodness.

Get Off Your Tush and Connect With Real Human Beings

People make the world go round. And round. When I sometimes forget to get out of my office, which I love, I find that I miss the company of good people. So I jump out of my chair and go find someone to say hello to, ask questions about them, take an interest in another human being, share my own thoughts and experiences with them.

Connecting with another human being is one of the most important acts we should perform on a regular basis. When we don’t, we get lonely and grumpy. Your Inner CHILD does not make a good companion when it’s idle, lonely, cranky and without proper stimulation from the outside world. Use is or you lose it.

Eat something different each day. It doesn’t take much to break up your diet, so try a new cuisine on Friday night, share it with friends, savor every bite. Your subconscious will be as joyful as your conscious self, I promise you.

Considering all the nourishment I suggest above, one item is very clear: it all feeds your subconscious with new stimuli that will aid you in curing Writer's Block and help you write whatever you wish.

How Do You Listen to Your Inner CHILD When It Speaks to You?

First, let’s consider when your subconscious is actually trying to tell you something. An example: you’re sitting in a chair, writing away and you get this nagging voice inside your head that says you need a small pillow at your lower back. Don’t ignore it.

This is your subconscious telling you something: I want to feel comfortable when I tell you this cool story to write.

Those little voices that creep up at all times of the day and night are the core of your subconscious trying to tell you something. You should listen to those voices. Now, if they tell you to go out and run over the first pedestrian you come across, I would think really hard before carrying out that command. If you listen to voices like that, someone will probably have you committed or take you out back and tie you to a tree. How’s that for grounding?

When you hear the calling of your subconscious, please take a listen, pay attention to what it is trying to say, then, provided the command is a reasonable one, please act on it. Once you start listening to your subconscious, it will say, “Aha, my human is finally listening to me! Way to go!” And, from that point forward, if you continue to listen to your subconscious, it will give you more and more great knowledge and information that will not only enhance your life, but also cure Writer's Block and help you write better.

Communicating with your subconscious is not that challenging. Again, if it tells you to do something and you do it, then you’re effectively communicating with your subconscious. Keep doing it. And when you go to bed at night (or during the day, depending on your lifestyle and schedule), ask out loud and write down some questions or topics that you want your subconscious to mull over while your typist and bus driver are passed out for eight hours. When those guys are comatose, your subconscious is hard at play on its own eight-hour vacation.

How To Train Your Subconscious to Work For You

The more you listen to your subconscious, the more it will talk back and provide the information you need. You can train it to give you more and more information by asking questions, writing them down, then sleeping on them. Keep asking the same questions over and over until you get what you want. When asking questions or asking for help, please be kind to your subconscious.

Remember: your subconscious is a child and understands when you are being impatient or downright tedious. You know how people say to treat yourself kindly and gently? They’re really saying you should be kind and gentle to your subconscious.

The reason I suggest you say what you want out loud is because when you speak it and hear your own words, your brain stores and processes that information in different areas, which work in unison to come to your aid. When you physically write it down, that too is stored and processed in another part of your brain. When you read your own words, that is also stored and processed in yet a different part of your brain.

These working areas are also complex computing centers that help to enhance what you desire and wish for, and they help your subconscious make those wishes and dreams come true.

Training your subconscious involves all the above steps, plus actively talking to it, and not just before you go to sleep. You can have meaningful conversations with your subconscious, not only asking questions but also asking for guidance and assistance. The more you communicate with it, the more it responds and with better and more relevant information that will help and guide you accurately.

The only time my subconscious has failed me is when I have ignored it. That fact, in itself, I find fascinating and compelling. My subconscious has never steered me in the wrong or in a negative direction. Ever. When I’ve chosen to go off-map, then sometimes I’ve gotten into trouble. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from those experiential experiences, especially when off-map, but I’ve also paid a steep price for venturing off my Universal path.

Talk to the Individual Components of Your Subconscious

You also can talk to the individual components of your subconscious. It takes time and effort, but you can do it. I’ve often consulted my Logic element to get an objective view on a particular subject. And when I’ve needed to discuss something about my love life, I’ve talked to my Heart.

Having five separate ultra-complex computer modules inside your head is like having a team of experts of the Universe at your beck and call. Thing is, you must treat that team nicely and with great respect or it will ignore you and your queries. Your subconscious will never be vengeful and send you down a wrong path; only your conscious self does that.

The worst you can expect from your subconscious is silence, and that is the most crushing thing that could happen to your beautiful mind, not having the backing of one of the mightiest beings in the Universe.

This may be one of the causes of Writer's Block: your subconscious shutting down.

When Your Subconscious Goes Dark

When your subconscious fails to talk to you or communicate with you, something is very wrong. Remember that your subconscious is a child, so it needs special attention. Like I said, it will never steer you wrong, but it may ignore you. If it does, ask what’s up. Yes, really.

When you go to bed, write down that question, plus a few others: Are you okay? Have I done something really dumb to make you ignore me? What am I doing wrong here? How can I get back on track? Will you please help me?

The times I’ve had my subconscious go silent, they were when I was not treating myself well. I’ve had some challenging jobs in my life—scientist, Army Ranger, corporate security specialist—and each one has brought on a host of problems and challenges that drove me bananas at times. Sometimes after very difficult days, I would drink one too many beers, which is a great way to shut down one’s subconscious.

Point is, I abused myself and I paid for it, not only externally but also internally. Be kind and gentle to yourself, and your subconscious will thank you for it in ways you cannot even imagine now.

Your Subconscious Will Cure Writer's Block and Write Everything For You

All you need to do is nurture it and treat it like it’s the most precious thing in the Universe. It will help you cure Writer's Block, design your story, then guide your typist to get it all down on paper, virtual or real.

You must first master the inner workings of your subconscious before you can begin. Once you do, may you never ever suffer from Writer's Block again.
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Written by ALifeWitArt in portal Stream of Consciousness

Fork in the Road

I’m hovering in spirit-form as I watch two fourteen year old girls sneak out of their bedroom window to attend a party in the spring of 1990. I focus my attention on the insecure one—Sara, the one with soft feminine features. I will follow her—shadow her—to tell her story. But as I look upon her now, before they move towards that window, she is smiling. My eyes well-up with tears at the sight of the light sparkling in her eyes, they radiate a special hope and innocence. She had been told her whole life--up until now—that she has a pretty smile…the kind that can light up any room or mood. I want to swaddle her and put her to bed—keep her safe—prevent the forthcoming events, but the paralysis of recollection precludes me from such a miracle, so instead I am left to witness the events that unfolded that evening. And so they go…

Sara was small-boned—a dancer since the age of two--and her undeveloped body still reflected that of a little girl. Her general understanding of life was just as stunted: naïve with Pollyanna optimism, Sara’s courage was almost non-existent. Her more popular friend, Kristy, told Sara about the party. Sara was hesitant but overwhelmed with a feeling of acceptance through the invite to attend.

Kristy offered to get Sara ready. She told her to leave her retainer at the house—you’ll look older—and they listened to music as Kristy dressed Sara up like a cheap doll in make-up and clothes as though prepping her for a perverse beauty pageant designed for toddlers. Kristy was a reckless and wildly confident girl. Sara was drawn to her dysfunction. She admired Kristy’s callous approach to boys and school. Kristy had developed early--both physically and emotionally. As they got ready for the party, Sara watched the way the clothes fell onto Kristy’s mature body and wondered what it felt like to have clothes drape the curves of your body in that way.

Around 10 o’clock on that warm night, the girls jumped out of the window. Although Kristy’s bedroom was on the first story, the landing was harsh—more harsh than anything Sara had ever done, and she paused one brief moment to consider the presenting crossroads. She told Kristy that they should reconsider, that they were making a mistake. The street in its night light and illuminating affect scared Sara. Although she’d walked down that road hundreds of times, it suddenly seemed foreign and dangerous. But Sara was quickly reassured by her exciting friend. They hitched a ride from an older boy in the neighborhood, and were on their way to a place that proved more life-altering than either of the girls could ever have imagined.

When they walked into the party Sara’s eyes were as big and hopeful as her heart. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. She immediately noticed that there were no other girls, just boys who were three and four years her senior, in attendance. She immediately felt a sense of coolness—she felt popular. A group of boys she recognized from the hallways at school sat around the dining room table, playing cards, and invited the girls to join. Kristy’s boyfriend was there—she sat on his lap and immediately immersed herself in him. Sara felt alone. She was very shy, so she dismissed this emotional discomfort as something to be expected—assuming it was a usual hurdle for her, rather than recognizing it as a gut instinct.

The boys seemed to recognize Sara’s feeling of displacement and started to play drinking games with her to make her more comfortable. Turn after turn, they told her to drink. And she did. She started to feel more relaxed. It was her first time drinking and the alcohol went down easy. She forgot she was shy and didn’t fit in. Her body felt warm. She was more talkative and almost comfortable in her own skin. She laughed at their jokes and felt free for the first time. Then one of the most popular boys told her she was pretty. She blushed at the compliment and felt dizzy from the alcohol, so he offered to help her “walk it off.” He said he’d like to get to know her better: he suggested they look for a quiet spot to talk because he had actually always liked her from afar. Her better sense knew he was lying, but it felt good to believe him—so she went along, willing to play pretend for a minute. She continued on, stumbling down the hallway, and he helped her. They found a quiet spot at the end, in the darkness.

And then he kissed her. Sara had never been kissed—aside from on the playground in grammar school and once on the walk home from middle school. And this kiss was different. It was wet and forceful. But she liked it. She felt her body warm to the sensation and smell of the teenage boy. He was wearing his football jersey—a plastic kind of material that was easy to grab onto. As he pinned her against the wall she was torn between enjoying the power he had over her, and knowing it was dangerous. She became dizzier from standing with her hands above her head—she had to keep them wrapped around his neck to steady herself--so he led her to the bedroom. Where she could lie down.

There were two mattresses on the floor. She saw Kristy with her boyfriend sitting on one. They were still drinking and appeared to be looking through some CD’s. It crossed Sara’s childlike mind, as the boy led her to the other bed, that Kristy should be careful: they might spill the drinks on the mattress and that would be irresponsible at someone else’s house.

Next thing Sara knew—as the room spun when she fell to the floor—the boy was on top of her. She pushed his shoulders and told him she couldn’t breathe, as he tried to stick his tongue in her mouth. She was shocked at how a few minutes ago she enjoyed the way he kissed her. Now it repulsed her and she felt sick from the smell of beer on his breath. She told him “no.” She told him to “stop.” And she continued to attempt to push him off. He wouldn’t budge. Her thoughts became slow motion as she retraced the events leading up to the minute. And she was so confused, he didn’t seem as big when he was upright--she was shocked by his strength as he held her down. As she struggled to free herself--gasping for fresh air—she felt his hand near her thighs. And then everything in her consciousness stopped.

All at once, the ghost of her past stood up and left the room. The little girl who played with dolls until middle school, who wrote stories instead of watching television in grammar school, the shy ballerina who was taught to look above the crowd to avoid stage fright at recitals—died. And her future—it was all forgotten. She didn’t exist. All of her hope--her dreams, plans, along with her good grades and good behavior—all ceased to exist. And her present—frozen. Burned alive. She felt something hard and powerful between her legs. He spread Sara’s legs with his boney knees as he pinned down her hands. His facial hair scratched her youthful, once-rosy cheek as she turned her head to breathe. She couldn’t stand his mouth on her, but he continued to slobber…her hair stuck to her neck, wet with his perspiration and saliva. She cried for her Kristy to help her. She was only 6 feet away. But Kristy laughed in response, dismissing Sara’s pleas as childish. She cried and asked kindly for him to please stop. But he continued.

When the boy entered her, Sara felt herself crack in two. She felt she was torn up the middle, and the boy seemed to gut her like a deer—pulling all of her happy memories and hopeful dreams from her soul. This violence exposed her innermost intimacy. With overwhelming pain radiating beyond a physical torture which left her body feeling broken into a million pieces: she left her body. Tears fell from her eyes as she watched her childhood drain like waste from her tiny body. He took every ounce of her innocent joy and beat it flat and lifeless, as he raped her for four hours that night. Eventually, she stopped crying. For a very long time.

It remains a mystery how the girls got home that night, but the next day Sara felt she’d lost something pure and gained something evil. A shadow was cast over her heart and it hardened with thick ivy and sharp thorns. Her personality was forever altered, darkened and without faith in outsiders. And physically, she was traumatically injured—she could not sit down and for days walking took effort. She hid her discomfort, like she hid the secret of what had happened to her. A few days later, in the rumor mill at school, she had heard that the boys at the party had to throw away that sacrificial mattress. Apparently it looked like someone had been stabbed to death on it.

The day after the party, as Sara sat side-like on a pillow, watching prime time with her parents, that boy—her rapist—called her on the telephone. He apologized. Shaking from her core to her fingertips, the event, his voice, his apology—replayed quickly in her mind: he too was just a kid whose life was also forever changed by his decisions that night.

So I forgave him.

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Written by ALifeWitArt in portal Stream of Consciousness
Fork in the Road
I’m hovering in spirit-form as I watch two fourteen year old girls sneak out of their bedroom window to attend a party in the spring of 1990. I focus my attention on the insecure one—Sara, the one with soft feminine features. I will follow her—shadow her—to tell her story. But as I look upon her now, before they move towards that window, she is smiling. My eyes well-up with tears at the sight of the light sparkling in her eyes, they radiate a special hope and innocence. She had been told her whole life--up until now—that she has a pretty smile…the kind that can light up any room or mood. I want to swaddle her and put her to bed—keep her safe—prevent the forthcoming events, but the paralysis of recollection precludes me from such a miracle, so instead I am left to witness the events that unfolded that evening. And so they go…

Sara was small-boned—a dancer since the age of two--and her undeveloped body still reflected that of a little girl. Her general understanding of life was just as stunted: naïve with Pollyanna optimism, Sara’s courage was almost non-existent. Her more popular friend, Kristy, told Sara about the party. Sara was hesitant but overwhelmed with a feeling of acceptance through the invite to attend.

Kristy offered to get Sara ready. She told her to leave her retainer at the house—you’ll look older—and they listened to music as Kristy dressed Sara up like a cheap doll in make-up and clothes as though prepping her for a perverse beauty pageant designed for toddlers. Kristy was a reckless and wildly confident girl. Sara was drawn to her dysfunction. She admired Kristy’s callous approach to boys and school. Kristy had developed early--both physically and emotionally. As they got ready for the party, Sara watched the way the clothes fell onto Kristy’s mature body and wondered what it felt like to have clothes drape the curves of your body in that way.

Around 10 o’clock on that warm night, the girls jumped out of the window. Although Kristy’s bedroom was on the first story, the landing was harsh—more harsh than anything Sara had ever done, and she paused one brief moment to consider the presenting crossroads. She told Kristy that they should reconsider, that they were making a mistake. The street in its night light and illuminating affect scared Sara. Although she’d walked down that road hundreds of times, it suddenly seemed foreign and dangerous. But Sara was quickly reassured by her exciting friend. They hitched a ride from an older boy in the neighborhood, and were on their way to a place that proved more life-altering than either of the girls could ever have imagined.

When they walked into the party Sara’s eyes were as big and hopeful as her heart. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. She immediately noticed that there were no other girls, just boys who were three and four years her senior, in attendance. She immediately felt a sense of coolness—she felt popular. A group of boys she recognized from the hallways at school sat around the dining room table, playing cards, and invited the girls to join. Kristy’s boyfriend was there—she sat on his lap and immediately immersed herself in him. Sara felt alone. She was very shy, so she dismissed this emotional discomfort as something to be expected—assuming it was a usual hurdle for her, rather than recognizing it as a gut instinct.

The boys seemed to recognize Sara’s feeling of displacement and started to play drinking games with her to make her more comfortable. Turn after turn, they told her to drink. And she did. She started to feel more relaxed. It was her first time drinking and the alcohol went down easy. She forgot she was shy and didn’t fit in. Her body felt warm. She was more talkative and almost comfortable in her own skin. She laughed at their jokes and felt free for the first time. Then one of the most popular boys told her she was pretty. She blushed at the compliment and felt dizzy from the alcohol, so he offered to help her “walk it off.” He said he’d like to get to know her better: he suggested they look for a quiet spot to talk because he had actually always liked her from afar. Her better sense knew he was lying, but it felt good to believe him—so she went along, willing to play pretend for a minute. She continued on, stumbling down the hallway, and he helped her. They found a quiet spot at the end, in the darkness.

And then he kissed her. Sara had never been kissed—aside from on the playground in grammar school and once on the walk home from middle school. And this kiss was different. It was wet and forceful. But she liked it. She felt her body warm to the sensation and smell of the teenage boy. He was wearing his football jersey—a plastic kind of material that was easy to grab onto. As he pinned her against the wall she was torn between enjoying the power he had over her, and knowing it was dangerous. She became dizzier from standing with her hands above her head—she had to keep them wrapped around his neck to steady herself--so he led her to the bedroom. Where she could lie down.

There were two mattresses on the floor. She saw Kristy with her boyfriend sitting on one. They were still drinking and appeared to be looking through some CD’s. It crossed Sara’s childlike mind, as the boy led her to the other bed, that Kristy should be careful: they might spill the drinks on the mattress and that would be irresponsible at someone else’s house.

Next thing Sara knew—as the room spun when she fell to the floor—the boy was on top of her. She pushed his shoulders and told him she couldn’t breathe, as he tried to stick his tongue in her mouth. She was shocked at how a few minutes ago she enjoyed the way he kissed her. Now it repulsed her and she felt sick from the smell of beer on his breath. She told him “no.” She told him to “stop.” And she continued to attempt to push him off. He wouldn’t budge. Her thoughts became slow motion as she retraced the events leading up to the minute. And she was so confused, he didn’t seem as big when he was upright--she was shocked by his strength as he held her down. As she struggled to free herself--gasping for fresh air—she felt his hand near her thighs. And then everything in her consciousness stopped.

All at once, the ghost of her past stood up and left the room. The little girl who played with dolls until middle school, who wrote stories instead of watching television in grammar school, the shy ballerina who was taught to look above the crowd to avoid stage fright at recitals—died. And her future—it was all forgotten. She didn’t exist. All of her hope--her dreams, plans, along with her good grades and good behavior—all ceased to exist. And her present—frozen. Burned alive. She felt something hard and powerful between her legs. He spread Sara’s legs with his boney knees as he pinned down her hands. His facial hair scratched her youthful, once-rosy cheek as she turned her head to breathe. She couldn’t stand his mouth on her, but he continued to slobber…her hair stuck to her neck, wet with his perspiration and saliva. She cried for her Kristy to help her. She was only 6 feet away. But Kristy laughed in response, dismissing Sara’s pleas as childish. She cried and asked kindly for him to please stop. But he continued.

When the boy entered her, Sara felt herself crack in two. She felt she was torn up the middle, and the boy seemed to gut her like a deer—pulling all of her happy memories and hopeful dreams from her soul. This violence exposed her innermost intimacy. With overwhelming pain radiating beyond a physical torture which left her body feeling broken into a million pieces: she left her body. Tears fell from her eyes as she watched her childhood drain like waste from her tiny body. He took every ounce of her innocent joy and beat it flat and lifeless, as he raped her for four hours that night. Eventually, she stopped crying. For a very long time.

It remains a mystery how the girls got home that night, but the next day Sara felt she’d lost something pure and gained something evil. A shadow was cast over her heart and it hardened with thick ivy and sharp thorns. Her personality was forever altered, darkened and without faith in outsiders. And physically, she was traumatically injured—she could not sit down and for days walking took effort. She hid her discomfort, like she hid the secret of what had happened to her. A few days later, in the rumor mill at school, she had heard that the boys at the party had to throw away that sacrificial mattress. Apparently it looked like someone had been stabbed to death on it.

The day after the party, as Sara sat side-like on a pillow, watching prime time with her parents, that boy—her rapist—called her on the telephone. He apologized. Shaking from her core to her fingertips, the event, his voice, his apology—replayed quickly in her mind: he too was just a kid whose life was also forever changed by his decisions that night.

So I forgave him.
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Write 500 words about death. Prose will select the top submissions and publish them in its first Kindle Anthology.
Written by MrsMetaphor

Transition

They say it is the shortest part of the process, the shortest but the most intense. If one can last the flight of youth, the lengthy lingering of middle age, the subtle stagnation of being elderly and, perhaps infirm at that, then the transition would seem quick.

It is worth mentioning, of course, that while the whole of the process and the number of accumulated years might vary, the transaction still completes the same way for each of us. We breathe, we breathe, we breathe and then the air recedes, the blood stills, the pain fades, the brain shuts down all systems like a shop manager closing up. The store is there, still and solid, but with empty shelves, absent customers, cobwebs clouding corners and dust piling up.

In childbirth it is the same, you know. Transition is the shortest part, filled with long languishing labor pains, a constant undulating tightening wave racing east to west around the belly without fail. It presses in. It presses down. It forces life from life, miracle like and marvelous.

We cry for mercy in any case. We cry for hope. We cry for an end to the pain and that mercy presses in and it presses down. It forces life from life to wherever it goes next, miracle like and mysterious.

And those of us who wait, who watch, who stay behind, we witness that great mystery, that soft miracle, that marvel. The grief pours in with the ebb of breath. Sometimes it brings along relief, sometimes wonder, sometimes anger. This is our transition, a series of perpetual transitions, a dialing of numbers and outpouring of words or tears or memories until we have only that hollow space, here, beneath the ribs.

At night we feel that space, holding air, holding grief. We hold it gently there, like a sacred word spoken in the dark. We worry that we'll forget if we speak it. We worry that we will be forgotten. We worry that we will fade from this world to nothing, to everything, to white light.

We wonder what any of it will mean then. We wonder about the arguments and the tears, about the organic foods, the chocolate bars, leaded or unleaded, gluten free, half price, full time, all roads leading fast into the woods or the desert or the inner city.

Then a breath, and another, and a third. We breathe, we breathe, we breathe. We remember that our heart still beats. We remember that the earth is round. We remember that though the waves rush across the belly east to west, tightening without fail, that this is the shortest part, the transition.

But we don't believe it in that moment, we hold to that hollow space just beneath the ribcage. We press our hands to that space. We press in, we press down until at last we force life from life. We deepen into the dark at last, pulling out life - blinking and reluctant, miracle like and marvelous, mysterious and merciful.

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Write 500 words about death. Prose will select the top submissions and publish them in its first Kindle Anthology.
Written by MrsMetaphor
Transition
They say it is the shortest part of the process, the shortest but the most intense. If one can last the flight of youth, the lengthy lingering of middle age, the subtle stagnation of being elderly and, perhaps infirm at that, then the transition would seem quick.

It is worth mentioning, of course, that while the whole of the process and the number of accumulated years might vary, the transaction still completes the same way for each of us. We breathe, we breathe, we breathe and then the air recedes, the blood stills, the pain fades, the brain shuts down all systems like a shop manager closing up. The store is there, still and solid, but with empty shelves, absent customers, cobwebs clouding corners and dust piling up.

In childbirth it is the same, you know. Transition is the shortest part, filled with long languishing labor pains, a constant undulating tightening wave racing east to west around the belly without fail. It presses in. It presses down. It forces life from life, miracle like and marvelous.

We cry for mercy in any case. We cry for hope. We cry for an end to the pain and that mercy presses in and it presses down. It forces life from life to wherever it goes next, miracle like and mysterious.

And those of us who wait, who watch, who stay behind, we witness that great mystery, that soft miracle, that marvel. The grief pours in with the ebb of breath. Sometimes it brings along relief, sometimes wonder, sometimes anger. This is our transition, a series of perpetual transitions, a dialing of numbers and outpouring of words or tears or memories until we have only that hollow space, here, beneath the ribs.

At night we feel that space, holding air, holding grief. We hold it gently there, like a sacred word spoken in the dark. We worry that we'll forget if we speak it. We worry that we will be forgotten. We worry that we will fade from this world to nothing, to everything, to white light.

We wonder what any of it will mean then. We wonder about the arguments and the tears, about the organic foods, the chocolate bars, leaded or unleaded, gluten free, half price, full time, all roads leading fast into the woods or the desert or the inner city.

Then a breath, and another, and a third. We breathe, we breathe, we breathe. We remember that our heart still beats. We remember that the earth is round. We remember that though the waves rush across the belly east to west, tightening without fail, that this is the shortest part, the transition.

But we don't believe it in that moment, we hold to that hollow space just beneath the ribcage. We press our hands to that space. We press in, we press down until at last we force life from life. We deepen into the dark at last, pulling out life - blinking and reluctant, miracle like and marvelous, mysterious and merciful.
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