I am in, I guess week three of quarantine, at least I think so. The days seem to run together and go by so quickly. I’m sure for those who have been in it a little longer would say otherwise, but for me, it’s like a weird vacation where I’m not allowed to go anywhere.
One of the most excellent parts to come from this is that I have time to do things I don’t usually get to do. For one, there are so many places offering free online classes in a variety of things right now. I have so many photography-related courses signed up for that it’s getting crazy. Udemy.com has been fantastic in offering classes at discounted prices, and some are free.
Honestly, though, although I have gotten some classes on writing, I haven’t gone through many of them yet. I’ve become a Netflix bum, sleeping, eating, and reading. Writing has gone to the back burner all last week and half of this week. I’ve been bad. It’s a rut that I allowed myself to enjoy for a bit, but as this is the new reality for who knows how long, I need to get into a rhythm. I’ve been asking the universe for it, and it’s time to give it a go..
The question is, how do you set up your day to work for you instead of against you? Having a regular job where you go in at a specific time, work, and come home is a plan set for you. It is what it is. I believe the key factor in this is discipline and being a little stricter on how I prepare for the day rather than going at it all willy nilly.
I don’t know how many of you out there have already mastered breaking up your day while working at home, but I would appreciate tips.
On that note, I also want to mention that our little space here is going to be changing soon. I’m planning on switching over to wordpress.org and getting a domain name set up. It’s time for a makeover, and it’s time to be a little more particular with how things function around here. During this quarantine, I plan on continuing my education to be a better writer, to have a more presentable blog, and more examples of my evolution as a writer for you guys. At the moment, the only thing standing in my way is thinking up a domain name. It is not that easy, guys, a lot of the good names are taken or way too expensive. It’s crazy! In the meantime, please be on the lookout for when the change occurs. It could happen today, tomorrow, or next week. If you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle, please follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/100wordsastory. Any new changes will show up there.
Okay, it is time for the writing sample of the day. As I said before, things will be changing around here, and I’m sure you’ve all seen that in my previous posts. Many samples have gone over 100 words a story, and that’s part of the change that is coming. I’m working on displaying more extensive pieces of my work, and today you will see another. This piece is just part of a larger story that I have worked on and held on to for maybe ten years, give or take. I am continually tweaking it, and I feel pretty comfortable with the part I’m going to share and say that it’s ready. I’ve realized that now is the time to start letting go of my baby, and see if it can survive in the world. It is rather long, but I would love for you all to have a look and give it a shot.
Please feel free to leave me comments on what you think or any questions you may have for me. I don’t bite, I promise.
For the first time, in a long time, we’re going to Grandma’s house for lunch. She’s supposed to make chicken just for me. She promised me she would when Momma let me talk to her on the phone. She didn’t say what kind. I wonder if it’ll be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside the way Momma makes it. I hope it doesn’t come out like the time Daddy tried to make it when Momma wasn’t here. It made me think of when my best friend Stacey dared me to taste a can of cat food. It did not taste like chicken.
There’s no way I’m going to miss seeing Grandma this time. It won’t be like the last time. Last time we were supposed to see Grandma, Chris fell down the stairs the day before and broke his arm. I remember; Momma was holding him telling Daddy that Chris was sick again. He would scratch at his ears and cry all the time. Daddy was reaching for him, but Momma put him down instead and grabbed at Daddy’s hands. They don’t know I saw them. I was supposed to be in bed, but I saw them. I didn’t see Chris standing too close to the edge, but he must have been if he fell. After that, we couldn’t go anywhere special because it might be too difficult for him. At least that’s what Daddy said when he wouldn’t let Momma take us anywhere for a while. Grandma said it was okay, but I know she was sad. I wish she could come to see us, but Momma always says that people her age shouldn’t be on the road anymore.
“Momma, are you gonna watch Sesame Street with us before we go see Grandma?” I asked as she passed by the couch. Instead of saying anything, she walked back to the bottom of the stairs. Her head tilted to the side as she looked up toward the hall restroom again. Daddy’s still in there getting ready for work. He doesn’t like to be bothered when he’s getting ready. He doesn’t watch any of the morning cartoons with us.
I don’t think Momma listens to any of us anymore. Yesterday Chris was trying to show her a picture he drew of a blue dog with wings. She told him the picture was pretty but didn’t look. I think Momma’s starting to forget things. This morning she was pressing out a shirt for Daddy. It was an accident; she said she was sorry. She’d burned the bottom of the sleeve. Chris wanted his Cheerios, and while Momma was pouring the cereal, she left the iron down on the sleeve. She started to cry when she saw the shirt. Momma looked like the Crying Christy doll that Momma’s friend Jenny gave me for my birthday. It was always crying too.
Ever since Daddy went upstairs to get ready for work, she’d stop and stand there in the kitchen. Her eyes would rise to the ceiling with her head tilted to the side. Whenever I could hear Daddy move from one room to the other, I’d look at her face. Her eyes would get big and be staring up at the ceiling; her bottom lip tucked in her mouth. Her hands looked dark pink against the white kitchen towel twisted around her fingers. Chris makes that face when he spills his milk and tries to wipe it up with his sleeve before anyone sees it.
“Mahhmmaa?” Chris tries to sound out the word as he grabs her hand. He’s still working on some of his words and letters. The ear doctor said that as long as Chris wears his hearing aids and comes in to get help, he’ll learn to talk like me. He might even have to go to a special school where they teach you how to make words with your hands. He still can’t say my name.
“What did you say, Katie?” Momma asked, releasing the towel from one of her hands.
“Nothing, it’s not important, Chris is calling you,” I mumbled, sticking my chin out, staring at the television. A grown-up was telling Big Bird that it was okay to ask another grown-up for help when you’re in trouble.
“Chris, go with your sister and watch TV,” she says, pointing at me and nodding.
The restroom door creaked as Daddy opened it. He was finishing with his tie before putting on his suit jacket. Mommas’ head turned so fast she reminded me of an owl. Like how its head swirls around all the way. His black shoes don’t make much sound on the stairs.
“Daaahhhhd!” Chris squealed as pulled from Mommas’ hands, ran to my Daddy, and wrapped himself around his legs.
“My Christopher, you’re getting better with your words.” He commented as he kneeled to kiss Chris goodbye.
“Katie, come and say goodbye to your Father,” Momma called just as the song about healthy food finished.
Daddy walked closer to the couch with Chris in his arms. The smell of his cologne tickled my nose. It mixed with the smell of leather from his belt and shoes. Not like the smell of the leather couch that makes your nose hurt. It’s more like the books that Jenny got from a really important book sale. She says that the smells of different places sink into the books, and then you can take that place with you wherever you go. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, she says I’ll understand when I travel the world like her.
“My Katherine, watch out for your brother.” He says, as he rubs his soft smooth cheek against my face and places a kiss on top of my head. I didn’t like it when he called me Katherine, but I liked it when he would call me his Katherine. It always made my heart feel like it was too big to be inside of me. “Make sure he has both of his hearing aids on before you two go outside. God knows if your Mother will remember,” he says as he puts Chris next to me on the couch before walking toward the front door.
“Sasha, there are a few burn marks from the iron on this shirt. Don’t let it happen again, and don’t forget to take your medicine; you can’t keep missing doses.” Daddy says as he closes the door behind him.
“Luke, wait,” Momma calls to him, but Daddy doesn’t hear her. I guess he’s starting to forget things too. He forgot to say goodbye to Momma.