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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Short Story Sunday

Look, Mom, I did it! I said I'd recommit to this whole blogging thing and I've done it. Day #3!

This is my Short Story Sunday inaugural post. What does that mean? Every Sunday, a short story will be posted for your reading pleasure. I'll invite authors and readers to share a short story as well. Are you up for this challenge? Do you know someone who might be? Let me know.

Whispered Words

"You'll be okay," his small, breathy voice, filled the cold room.

A quick inhale helped ground me in place. Everything hinged on my reaction to his words. He needed me. Perhaps not as much as I needed him in that moment and for every agonizing moment after that.

"How do you know," I asked, my heart splintering into shards of regret and sorrow.

"You're stronger than you think you are."

I laced my fingers through his, fearful that I'd never feel the warmth of his skin again.

"What are we going to do without you?" The tears I'd fought to keep at bay poured out of my eyes and swam down my cheeks, spilling onto the front of my shirt.

His eyes - the warm brown eyes I'd spent my entire life looking to for support and understanding - had become distant, a part of him already making its journey to the other side.

With a gentle squeeze to my hand, he whispered, "You and the kids will be alright. Take care of each other."

Movement just outside the window overlooking a small corridor, leading to the emergency room, caught our attention. A family made their way out of the area that would be my grandfather's last stop on Earth. Their happiness didn't go unnoticed. Their loved one would live to see another day.

I didn't begrudge them. How could I? I would've given anything to see my grandfather live another day.

"Are you afraid?" I don't know why I asked that question. I hadn't planned to ask. The five sleepless days and nights I'd spent witnessing what we knew were his final days had been the most difficult days of my life up until that point. Why did I feel compelled to ask him?

His once strong hands - the same hands that had tended to the farm, built the family ranch and held fourteen children and countless grandchildren in them - were now feeble.

I breathed in, hoping that my nostrils would fill with the familiar scent of his after shave and years of hard, back breaking work. The scent had long since faded. Yet, another part of him that would never return.

"I'm not afraid. I'm ready." He said, ready to face the inevitable.

"I love you, Grandpa." I whimpered.

"Love you too, Mija." That was the last time I ever heard that sweet nickname uttered by him. A part of me vanished in that moment.

I scrubbed the fresh tears from my face with the back of my hands.

"It will be okay." He said.

"I don't want you to go," My selfish thought spilled from my lips.

A lone tear spilled from his now gray eyes. The end was near.

One final squeeze of my hand. One teary kiss on his cheek.

Five hours later, nursing staff removed the machines from the room. The cleaning crew emptied the trash bin and disinfected the surfaces. Five hours later, the only real man I'd ever known left this Earth, but not without leaving a lifetime of memories and hearts filled love.

For the love of books and chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Shenanigans

Shenanigans. I like that word. I really like that word! Prepare to see it used quite regularly as I continue on my blog reboot adventure.

Speaking of my reboot, today - this post - is day #2! Woo-hoo! Way to be consistent! Today and every Saturday from here on out will be Saturday Shenanigans posts.

What does that mean?

Good question.

In my world, here in the Midwest, that generally means I work harder than I do any other day of the week. I tend to play catch up on weekends and work far more hours than any rational human being should work.

Yep, you heard it here first. My glamorous writer life consists of weekends spent tending to chores that were missed throughout the week and hours spent writing at a feverish pitch to hit my weekly word count. More often than not, laundry, vacuuming, floor mopping and grocery shopping take precedence. But, don't fret! Writing will get done - eventually.

As I sit now at nearly 7 p.m., my 3K word goal for the day, sits at just over two thousand words because I'm distracted for unknown reasons. You say, well, you only have 1000 words left. What's the problem? The answer is: I don't know!

All this procrastination hard work prompted me to want to know how other writers spend their weekends? Am I the only one fighting to finish the last few hundred words of a novel? Surely, I can't possibly be the only one experiencing difficulties with the 'get er done' mentality.

I have a full outline. It's all handwritten in my handy, dandy notebook. (One of many notebooks I keep in every room of my house. Every. Room.) What is holding me back?

Well, readers, I'm going back in. This final chapter isn't going to write itself. I hope the writing gods intervene and help me get to The End.

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Friday, November 27, 2015

To Trust Or Not To Trust

I can't be trusted...

- to blog on a regular basis because Netflix won't stop calling my name. (Neither will the children!)
- stay clear of chocolate. (Solution: Stop buying chocolate. Yeah right!)
- to hit my daily word count (5K) before someone needs me. (Or my Facebook feed beckons me.)
- to stop buying books. (Why are writers so talented? They tempt me with their words.)
- to stop reading blog posts. (Bloggers rock!)
- to complete a Barre exercise video without wanting to die. (Yoga pants rule!)
- to run 3.5 miles three times per week even when my knees beg me to stop. (Stop whining!)
- to watch an episode of Fixer Upper and not want to move to Texas. (Humidity & curls, oh my!)
- to not cry at commercials. (But, they eat Cheerios as a family!)
- to stay away from anything containing cheese. (Everything tastes better with cheese!)

The above marks my official relaunch into the blogging world. Woo-hoo! Now, someone please hold me accountable and send chocolate, cheese, books, and unlimited streaming programming so I can finally get some work done before I run a marathon - someday. Not today, but someday.

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory