That Empty Feeling

FeelingsI didn’t realize how much I’d miss Writing 101, but it became a routine. I like routine. I don’t like change. My reader is emptier, the visitors are down, and I’m struggling with semi-burnout. I want to write something, but the words just won’t come.

I technically have two assignments left: writing about an event that was cancelled (and how it made me feel) and

Wait just a minute; I’m writing about a “cancelled” event right now!

How does it make me feel? How do I feel about this? Well, it’s kind of a mix of

abominable, arrant, atrocious, baneful, base, beastly, beneath contempt, brutal, contemptible, damned, deadly, demonic, deplorable, detestable, devilish, diabolical, direful, disgusting, dreadful, egregious, evil, fell, fetid, fiendish, filthy, foul, ghoulish, grievous, grim, grisly, gross, gruesome, hateful, heinous, horrendous, horrific, horrifying, infamous, iniquitous, lamentable, loathsome, lousy, macabre, malefic, maleficent, malevolent, monstrous, morbid, nasty, nefarious, notorious, obnoxious, odious, offensive, rank, regrettable, repelling, reprehensible, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, sad, scary, schrecklich, sordid, squalid, too bad, tragic, unclean, unspeakable, vile, villainous, wicked, woeful, worst, worthless, and wretched

to name but a few.

Honestly, how would you feel if something you loved ended?

This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 15: You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled (or taken over by an evil organization). Read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!





Ask Me

front porchI know what they say about me. They say I’m too quiet, too observant, and too smart for my own good. They don’t ask me, so I don’t tell them. I learned that long ago.

And now, sitting here in the hot summer sun, I hear it all: the sirens fading in the distance, the crying behind closed doors, the statements given in hushed tones. I hear the excuses.

No, I never heard them argue.

No, I never saw her bruises.

They were such a quiet couple!

He seemed so nice, minding our house while we took vacation.

This is a peaceful neighborhood; nothing ever happens here!

Poor thing; do you think she’ll make it?

Who would’ve suspected?

Who would’ve known?

I suspected. I’m too quiet. I saw the signs. I’m too observant. I knew. I’m too smart for my own good.

They won’t ask me; they never do.

I’m the one who made the call, you know.

But people don’t want to know if they don’t ask.

So I won’t tell them.

It only causes problems.

I learned that long ago.

This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 18: Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. Focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue. Think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.

A Note from the Author

I really don’t know why my fictional writing tends towards depressing subjects, but it’s what seems to come naturally. This account is semi-fictional: here was a case of abuse in our neighborhood several years ago, so I wrote it as if I lived in the house opposite.


Personality Check: Fear


Failure is Always an Option








The Cake is a Failure

Failure Defeats and Inspires










Winston Churchill Quote

This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 17: What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Write this post in a style that’s different from your own.

Things in Glass Cases (Part 3): Memories


Memories are the lost and found office:

What we wore and what we ate

Where we lived and who we loved

What we were like

Sometimes, those memories are found by others

A song

A yearbook

A photo album

A note

A letter

A card

So we share them.

We share the things in glass cases.

And we are better for it.

 This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 16: Continuing the serial, reflect on the theme of “lost and found.”

Part 1

Part 2

Things in Glass Cases (Part 2): Introversion

Cutie Mark Crusaders
via thatguy1945 @ deviantart

or Finding My Cutie Mark

Looking back, radio also helped me realize my introversion. I don’t remember the show, but I remember a book they were discussing: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. (Disclaimer: I still haven’t read the book.) I do remember the host and Mrs. (Ms.?) Cain discussing the characteristics of introverts and thinking “Hey! That’s me!”

I never considered myself an introvert before. I’d always been told that introverts are shy, lonely, depressed individuals; I am none of these (generally). Nevertheless, my perspective changed.

I know that the internet is not the fount of all knowledge, especially when it comes to personality tests and the like. However, I discovered things about introversion that helped my understand myself.

I discovered that as an introvert . . .

I don’t have to be shy. I don’t like meeting new people, but I will if I have to. I won’t ignore you, but normally you’ll have to make the first move.

I find energy in being alone. This explains why my perfect day consists of curling up with a good book, lots of coffee, and toast. It also explains why I crave “me time” after a day of teaching.

I concern myself with my inner world and mind. For years people have said “He’s in his own little world over there.” Now I know the reason.

I’m in my own little word. But it’s okay; they know me here!

I enjoy simply thinking. Sometimes I even think about thinking. And yes, it is possible to think about nothing all all.

I *can* have good social skills. Just because I don’t like groups doesn’t mean I can’t function!

I tire quickly in large groups. This explains why, even when I visit friends or family, I start feeling drained and just want to go home. Failing that, I’ll find a quiet space and attempt to recharge. For the record, once a group is larger than 5 people I start feeling drained.

I am not automatically depressed. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked “What’s wrong?”. How many times do I have to tell them nothing’s wrong before they’ll believe me? Apparently they equate “quiet” with “depressed.”

I prefer to have deep conversations about ideas and concepts and become bored with small talk. YES! This is who I am! I constantly tell others that I don’t want to discuss unimportant topics like singers, actors, athletes, and the like. Oh, so they’re important to you? Well excuse me for desiring an intelligent conversation. Granted, I could have an intelligent conversation with Ke$ha; I understand she was offered a scholarship to study history. See, we have something in common!

Sorry, I got carried away there. I guess my people skills need some work.

There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert.

Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.

~ C. Jung

I also took the “Quiet Quiz” from the Quiet website and recorded my responses:

I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.


I often prefer to express myself in writing.

True. This blog, for instance.

I enjoy solitude.

True. I also guard my solitude with general cantankerousness.

I appear to value wealth, fame, and status less than my peers.

True. At least, I think so.

People tell me I am a good listener.

False, but only because I don’t talk to people unless I have to.

I’m not a big risk taker.

Define risk. I’ll eat anything once (especially if there’s money involved) and would love to bungee jump, skydive. or hang glide (but not snorkel or dive). However, I thrive on routine and schedules and despise being told to “go with the flow”. I prefer the known to the unknown, so I’ll say . . .


I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with no interruptions.

True. Interruptions are distractions and distractions are evil incarnate.

I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.

True. Even if everyone in attendance could be considered “close,” I’d prefer a small group.

People describe me as “soft spoken” or “mellow.”

False, because once I speak, I speak my mind, and it’s often because I disagree vehemently with you.

I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until its finished.

True. And even then I probably won’t share it.

I tend to think before I speak.

True, but my wife would disagree.

I often let calls go through to voice mail.

True. There’s only one number I will automatically answer. The rest get voicemail.

Isn’t it ironic the series is named “Things in Glass Cases”?

In this case, the “thing in the glass case” is me.

How To Care For Introverts
via Flikr

This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 13: Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. View day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.

Not Quite Insomnia

Late Night CoffeeThey say writers write when they can’t sleep.

I am not a writer.

Here we go again.

What on earth are they doing?

Do they have any idea what time it is?

It’s 2 A.M. and they’re revving engines, again.

I should call the law on them, but I’m too tired.

Besides, best not rock the boat.

Well, so much for peaceful sleep.

I won’t be going back to bed anytime soon.

Better make some coffee and fire up the computer.

They say writers write when they can’t sleep.

I can’t sleep.

I’m writing.

Does that make me a writer?

This post is being published as part of Writing 101. Challenge 12: Write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. Include foreshadowing.

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