First Ever WORDY WEDNESDAY! (“Shine”)

So from now on, I’m going to post something writing related every Wednesday, be it a story, or writing tips, or a story ABOUT writing tips… whatever. 🙂 The point is, it’ll be writing related, and it’ll be awesome, and it’ll be coming to you every Wordy Wednesday! (Five points for cheesy names?)

This week, it’s story time! I wrote this back a couple years ago and it’s called “Shine.”

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   I lie in bed with my eyes open. I’m awake… maybe. I haven’t really decided yet. Outside I hear an engine revving as my idiot neighbor leaves for work. We’re the same age, but I swear I’m at least twice as mature as him. Then again, he’s the one with a job.
Touché.
I roll over and try to go back to sleep, but then I sense movement in the house. By the soft footsteps I can tell it’s Mom. My door creaks open. I pretend I’m asleep, but Mom’s always known me a little too well. “How long have you been up?” she asks. I try to hold onto my façade of sleeping for a moment longer, but she doesn’t leave, which means that she knows.
“A few minutes.” I finally let my eyes flutter back open. She’s standing in pink cotton pajamas with her hands on her hips.
“It’s summer. You’re supposed to sleep in,” she says, like it’s my fault that I’m awake. A slight smile flits past the corners of her mouth, but otherwise she is stony, and it only lasts for a second. I sit up a bit.
“Believe me, if it was up to me, I’d sleep the entire day.”
I shiver. She looks at my window where the first faint signs of dawn are creeping in, throwing light across the snowy carpet. She steps around my bed so that she can stand in it. She closes her eyes for a second. Just a second… and I know that she’s hurting.
I roll the rest of the way out of bed and stretch. I’m aware of a collection of macramé bracelets sliding up and down my arms as I flex them. “Do you want some tea?” I ask.
“Thank you,” she says in response. I leave her standing in my bedroom, soaking in the first rays of sunlight. It’s a new day, but it feels like the shadows of the past are all that the new sunrise brings with it. Not hope, not strength… just memories of experiences I’d rather never have experienced in the first place.
I set a kettle on the stove and start grabbing out supplies to make breakfast. Egg beaters, a fresh red pepper, shredded cheese, ham, and chopped nuts. I turn on another burner and begin on omelets. Mom comes down just as I’m finishing the first of them and I hand it to her on a plate. She nods, gives me a faint smile, and goes to sit down in the breakfast nook. A moment later, my father comes trooping down the stairs. “Good morning!” he calls to no one in particular.
“Omelet?” I offer.
“That’d be great. Thank you, Olivia.” He sits down opposite Mom. She doesn’t meet his eye, but it’s not his fault. I set a plate in front of him, and then go to finish the apricot tea. By the time my little brother has followed the smell of food into the kitchen, I have breakfast and a smile waiting for him.
Dad checks his watch as Cameron takes a seat and dives into his food. “Sorry, all. I have a meeting at 9:30, so I need to go now. Do you want to go out for ice cream tonight, though?” He looks hopefully at Mom, who glances up.
“Sure, Richard.”
He takes this as a good sign, kisses me and Cameron on our foreheads, and leaves. Mom watches after him, seemingly in a daze.
“It’s not his fault he’s so cheery,” I say, forcing a smile that comes out more like a smirk. Cameron looks confused. Mom frowns and stands up from the table. I realize she’s barely touched her omelet, and I look at her in worry.
“I’m just not very hungry right now,” she says before I have a chance to ask.
My eyes follow her out of the room, and I know she’s going back to bed. A tear prickles the edge of my eye and once again I wonder why it has to be her; why it has to be my mom who has to go through this.
“Hey, Olivia? Brandon invited me over to his house this afternoon. Can you take me?” Cameron breaks into my thoughts.
“Yeah, of course,” I tell him. I collect up the breakfast plates and rinse them off in the sink. “What time do you want to go over?”
He squints through the sun, now blindingly bright. “At 1:00.”
I had been planning on going to the mall with my friends at that time, but I don’t tell him that. “Okay.”
I shield my eyes from the sun so I can get a good view of my brother, and for the first time I realize how young he is… how very young…

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So yeah. I write a lot of kinda-slightly-maybe depressing stuff dealing with cancer and car accidents, but I also enjoy humor and suspense, so I’ll try to give you something different every week. Maybe even some poetry and songs? Yes?

In other news, this time next month I’ll be attending the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City!

And just thinking about it makes me go like:

… But only internally so I don’t get odd looks. (Okay, honestly, when do I not get odd looks?)

In other news, Christmas is right around the metaphorical corner! What are you guys asking for? (And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, at least you can enjoy this.)

~Julia

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15 thoughts on “First Ever WORDY WEDNESDAY! (“Shine”)

  1. I know, I know, I’m replying really late to all of this, but I decided I’m going to go back and read all your wordy wednesdays so I know what’s up. And I do like this piece. I’m not sure what it’s about, but, mucho bueno.

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  2. I love you, Julia.

    AND I LOVE THIS BLOG. VERY MUCH.

    I LOVE THIS BLOG WITH VERY MUCH MUCHNESS.

    Merry Christmas. (I think I’m kind of high on eggnog.)

    We’re getting ready to go to my grandparents for Christmas Eve and I’m wearing that red, festive, barmaid shirt (xP), and I just realized that it’s sort of (very) low in the middle.*pokes random oval of chest peeking through shirt* This is weird. I think I need a camisole.

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      • YESYESYESYESYESYES!!!

        “Just close your eyes… The sun is going down…”

        That song + ending to Inheritance that I read last night = Hannah crying a lot.

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        • I JUST GOT THE LAST TWO INHERITANCE BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!

          Just sayin’.

          I need to finish reading Divergent (and Song of Solomon *blarg* for AP lit) before I can dive into those, though. Which is annoying since I’m already like fifty pages into Brisingr from when I kidnapped my cousin’s copy over Thanksgiving break, but I’d already planned on reading Divergent this break, so whatever.

          Oh, and I wrote a depressing song today. Yaaaaay.

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  3. Stuff me in the carry on! If you run out of space in that, I’ll go in the luggage. I can squish. Though I don’t know how I would get to wherever you are flying out of… Maybe I’ll just hitch hike.

    Oh! And happy Christmas Eve!

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  4. Great piece, Cavy! I love your writing so I think Wordy Wednesdays are an awesome idea! The story was really well written; it seems like the sort of thing that should be part of a longer piece but it really does stand on its own.
    And you’re so lucky to be able to go to the conference.

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  5. I liked your piece. The tension was great and you gave us just enough information to keep us interested but not too much. And great work with “show, don’t tell”! I love cheesiness, so I love “wordy Wednesday”. :3

    I didn’t know about WDC before I read your post but now I want to go!!! Maybe when I’m done with college and I actually have a book finished…. You better post all about it! I hope you get an agent there! What is an FM?

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    • Thanks Shelby! 🙂

      They actually have a special rate for college students and I think you might get some class credit or something too (not positive on that), so: I challenge you to finish a novel in the next year and go to the 2013 conference and blow them all away with you amazingness. (You know, as long as we aren’t all dead by then, thank-you-2012-apocolypse.) They also have a free e-newsletter that’s really helpful, if you’d like to sign up: http://www.writersdigest.com/subscribe/free-weekly-newsletter

      An “FM” is a “full manuscript,” generally referred to in the sense of a “full manuscript request.” When you get an FM from a lit agent, you have about a one in four shot of them offering you representation.

      Thanks again!!

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    • Yup! After I got rejected from both FMs, my parents talked it over and decided to let me go back again. So it’s kind of bittersweet, since I only get to go because of bad stuff, but I’m still excited. (Plus, this way, I get to see Darren Criss in How to Succeed. *swoon*)

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