Hi, my name is Stacy and I’m a indie author.
“Hi, Stacy” the crickets chirp.
Sometimes the call to be creative, to write, feels like that. Something to apologize for. Something to be embarrassed about, like my fondness for country music. But I’m tired of shrinking to hide it. Foolish or not, good or not, it’s something I want to continue doing. And I’ve been moving in that direction. But its been real slow going.
I had a breakthrough this week though. I actually participated in a friendly flash fiction competition. Siobhan Muir’s #ThursThreads has been going on forever. I’m so glad she’s still doing it, eight years later. She posts a prompt every Thursday morning and crowns a “winner” on Friday. It’s fun, the folks are friendly, the practice is good for the soul.
To check it out or submit your own words, here’s her blog. (Also check out her blog if you’re guilty pleasures include steamy shifter romances; you won’t be sorry there either.)
So the story behind why I totally dropped off the end of the earth doesn’t include me being a flat-earther with a poor sense of direction, but rather I lost my regular job. You know, the one that paid the rent. It happened in January 2017, and to make a long story short, I hadn’t been able to replace it – until now. Three years later.
When things like that happen, you get in survival mode. You do things you need and put off things that feel like fluff, feel like pleasure… at least until things get settled, you tell yourself. Just wait until the money comes in. You know the drill. So social media and writing and my stories all got pushed down beneath the weight of the adulting I felt I was failing at.
I missed so much in that time. I was too stressed to write; too poor to even think about trying to self publish anything; and to insecure to really want to push the works that I did have out. But now that stability is on the horizon (no thanks to Covid BTW), I want to start writing again: The novels and the flash.
I’ve attempted both, but if you thought getting back in shape after three years off was hard, starting to write again, or more accurately finishing what I’d already started, was harder. The brain is still sluggish, depression waits in unexpected corners, and the pattern of perpetual stress turns out to cling to you as much as a daily donut habit.
Then, just this week, I happened to click on a FB mention and there was Siobhan’s prompt. The rules were exactly what they were all that time ago. From the moment, I whispered “Maybe I’ll try” to myself, the story insisted that it had to be written, I literally couldn’t stop myself.
So, albeit rusty from my long hiatus and still struggling to get a regular writing habit started again, I wrote 250 words from a scenario that popped into my head. It could have been better, more polished, but I wrote it literally at work and only had an hour and a half of divided attention to spare. Still, I’m pretty happy with it. Here’s my entry for this week’s #ThursThreads. May it be the start of a long tradition.
Tears blurred my vision as I stared at the two men kneeling in the dirt, hands bound, dark heads bowed. These were men I’d grown up with, men I loved. Especially Davyd. The guards hadn’t treated them well, but I had expected as much. My own arms sported unwarranted bruises.
“Milady,” King Navandahr crooned, descending the steps of his litter slowly, majestically. Silvered silks whispered, curling around his brown limbs like sinuous, sensuous snakes. He oozed confidence. As well he might. My people were defeated. I was here to surrender.
His bare chest gleamed darkly beneath the shifting silks. My heart clenched. He’d undoubtedly claim me for his own and this conqueror, not Davyd would share my bed.
You are a queen, I chided myself and forced my eyes to meet Navandahr’s devil-pale, kohl-lined gaze.
He gestured to the men. ”Blood demands blood, but I will let you decide which.” His smile was cruel as I gasped, looking back at the kneeling men, my heart breaking.
Davyd didn’t move, his eyes glassy and dull. But Garen’s head snapped up. “Choose me,” he demanded.
Ah Garen, so brave, so selfless. I knew I would do as he asked. I loved Garen, but I loved Davyd more.
We both did.
“You don’t have to do this, “ I lied.
“Don’t I?” he said, all the love he felt for Davyd shining in his face. But, it was a love Davyd didn’t share. “Just…make it quick.”@Sbennettwrites
word count: 246