The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

Happy Thursday!

Today, I thought I would share an excerpt from a short story I am currently working on. It is actually one I have salvaged from my pile of neglected work and it feels so good to be reviving it! I wrote the original idea for this back in grade 10…so almost four years ago, but I’ve always come back to it over the years. Anyways, here are the first 3 or so pages and I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I now have a “My Writing” section of my blog where you can find the work I am most proud of! You can find it on the top right corner of my home page 🙂


 

Due to the clock’s lack of eyes, it confronts me with the dark reflection of my own. Memories play in the blackness of them, and I force myself to stare past them at the clock’s copper hands which are frozen over the twelve. I tap its face, but it remains as silent as ever.

A faint pulsing fills my ears. I blink. The clock’s smallest hand is beating around its face as if it always has, the other one inching with each passing minute. I drop my pencil and struggle to my knees.

“Mom!” I shout. “Mom!”

I try to think back to a time when the clock worked, not just when it was perched in silence on a shelf. My door swings open and my mother appears, a book dangling from her hand.

“What, Adelyn? You have two perfectly good feet as far as I can tell. You could have come to me instead.”

“Sorry, but do you hear that?”

The clock’s tick is delicate; like a baby’s first breath. She listens for a moment and then her brows draw together, a crease folding between her eyes.

“Yes. The clock is ticking.”

I deflate, anticipating more excitement. Maybe not a shriek joined by a jump, but a smile at the least.

“It just started ticking. Like, all on its own.”

“Hmm. It used to all the time when I was younger. It would drive me and your grandmother nuts.” She tips her chin up and sniffs with disapproval.

“Well, I think the ticking is kind of nice. I think grandfather would have liked to see his clock working again, don’t you?”

“I suppose, but you know how I am with noise.” She pinches the bridge of her nose and twists her lips. “I already feel a headache coming on. Can you turn it off please, Adelyn?”

“I don’t know how.”

The crease deepens.

“Well, I need to lie down for a bit until my headache goes away. If you can’t figure it out then we might have to get rid of it.” She jerks open the door and I sigh, returning to my homework. But I can’t help myself from glancing at the tremoring clock every few seconds.

The clock’s tick still reminds me more of a pulse rather than an actual tick. I think of the clock we have in the living room, mounted to the wall and shaped like an orange cat. It used to purr in deep, heavy strokes that echoed throughout the entire house until it drove my mother to insanity only minutes after it was hung up. Instantly, my father disabled it. Now, we just had an orange cat hanging on the wall.

But this ticking isn’t anything like that. It’s less of an annoyance and more of a reminder that the clock is still alive.

When my door creaks open next, I struggle against the heavy sandbags resting on my eyelids. My father’s head pops through the doorway; his eyes are narrowed and his brown hair a wavy mess.

“Hi,” I say, yawning.

“Hi, Addy. Your mother wants me to ask you if you figured out how to turn off the clock.” I roll my eyes, reaching for the old thing and flipping it around. I freeze.

“There’s no backdoor.”

“What? Is that a no then?”

“I don’t know! I guess? There’s no little entryway to the gears or anything.” I run my fingers along the clock’s back, feeling for the grooves of a door but there is nothing. I only feel and see smooth wood.

“So…What do you want me to tell her?”

“I-I don’t know. I don’t want her to make me get rid of it!” I peer up at him. “What should I do?”

“Maybe take it to that antique shop. You know, the one in the town square?”

I sit up.

“Yeah! I’ll do that. That’s a good idea.” I reach for my jacket, slipping it on, and then for my phone. I type the antique shop’s address in. The hours appear beneath the address and I groan.

“What?” My dad asks.

“The antique shop is closed on Sunday! What am I supposed to do now?” I shove my phone into my pocket and bury my face into my hands.

“Hmm, and I doubt there are any other antique shops close by, let alone open…”

“Yeah, and I don’t want to drive around for hours in the dark.”

As if in response, the grey sky grumbles in agreement. Speckles of rain begin to cover my window and flashes of light flicker behind the thick clouds.

“Someone shut that damn clock off!” My mother yells from somewhere in the house, and I wince.

“How about you just go for a little drive with the clock?” My father whispers and I hesitate, glancing outside the window again.

“Adelyn Willows!” My mother screeches.

“Fine. I’ll go.” I roll my eyes.

“Thank you,” my father says, clasping his hands together gratefully. “Maria! Adelyn is going to take the clock out for a bit!”

“Thank god,” we hear her mumble, and I shake my head, slinking past my father into the hallway. I pair black boots with my green fuzzy socks, gripping the clock to my side with my free hand as I tug them on. It hums against my skin like a heater finally kicking in in the winter.

“Okay,” I mumble. “I guess I’ll be back later.”

“Drive safe, Addy,” my father chimes, shivering as he watches me go.

I sprint across the wet grass when a drop of icy rain hits my face. The clock’s sharp edges dig into my ribs, but I barely feel it against the afternoon’s bitter bite. Autumn wind runs its gnarled fingers through my hair, brushing it into my eyes and mouth. I push against it, but its harsh breath is too strong.

Inside, the car is cool and musty. I contemplate buckling the clock up beside me but decide against it as more raindrops pound against the window. I grit my teeth and start the car, pulling out of our driveway all while tapping my fingers to the steady heartbeat of the clock. I don’t know where I am going to drive to, but my hands are cranking the wheel, guiding themselves.

It doesn’t take long before I realize where I’m taking myself. My stomach twists and my heart fights against my chest as if it can manipulate me to turn back. But from experience, I know this is a one-way road.

The only direction to go is forward.


 

And there it is! Once I am finished I will share the rest but for now, I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments because I would love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below because yes, I have finally started posting on Instagram again. Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on Vacation

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

The Addiction of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Books

Hello!

Happy Friday. My head is buzzing with all the assignments and deadlines I have to meet, but I was inspired to write this specific blog post ever since I finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also just finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, another one of Reid’s incredibly praised novels, and I’ve been putting the pieces together on why her books are so hyped and beloved.

Here is what I’ve realized:

The Concept: People Love Reading Books on Other People’s Lives

Call it humankind’s natural curiosity or noisiness, but you cannot deny the fact that people love to know what is going on in other people’s lives – even people they do not know. For example, celebrities. Rarely does the average person know a celebrity, yet we are obsessed with knowing where our favourite celebrity lives, what there cat’s name is, and who they are dating.

Enter, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. Specifically, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – A Snapshot:

See the source image

Evelyn Hugo was the “it-girl” from the 50s-80s; an actress caught up in drama and scandals, and seven marriages to seven different men. Yet, the fine details of her life remain a mystery to the public.

Monique Grant is a low-level reporter working for her big break which comes unexpectedly when Evelyn Hugo asks Monique to be the one who reveals her life story, something no one has had the opportunity to do before. Confused but curious, Monique meets Evelyn and a story of friendship, love, and hardship is revealed. The truth of Evelyn’s life is also woven in and both Evelyn and Monique find themselves having to face it in different ways.

Analysis:

Evelyn Hugo is not a real person, yet this summary of the book makes me want to know about her life…even though the events that take place never actually happened. But people like her have existed. Like Marilyn Munroe, Judy Gardner, and many more who had crazy and tragic lives that the public still gobbles up to this day.

Reid did reveal that this book was based on Elizabeth Taylor and her life: one of many dramas and many husbands, as well as her interactions with a reporter too.

The key points with these books are not only is the reader getting a look at this “famous” person’s wild and mysterious life but that they are getting an inside scoop to that person’s relationships. The public loves to know who dated who and for how long and why they broke up. Including this into a book satisfies that knowledge craves most of us have if not all of us. Before I even got 10 pages into this book, I knew that Monique’s first question was going to be who was Evelyn Hugo’s greatest love?

Daisy Jones and the Six- A Snapshot:

See the source image

Written in an interview format, Daisy Jones and the Six follows the iconic band from the 70s with the same name. Decades after the band split up after their first show as this beloved group, the members have come together to recount their rise to success. Addicting and heart-wrenching, this book covers the edgy and dangerous life led during the 70s in Los Angeles and the relationships that formed between the bandmates. Daisy Jones and the Six is an excellent representation of the saying that “nothing is ever as it seems”.

Analysis:

Whenever I listen to a new artist or band, I always dive straight into their personal lives and histories. I can’t help it. Most artists and bands have an incredibly interesting past that led them to stardom and life while they lived through it. Daisy Jones and the Six is a fictional band, but Reid wrote them in such a way that I had to remind myself that they never actually existed. This could be because they had to have been based on bands from around the same time period because the events and drama that happens in Daisy Jones and the Six were not uncommon in bands then.

The anticipation to uncover the band’s secrets (and this is also evident in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) was something incredibly well done on Reid’s part. We got a bit of talking from one band member who started to relay a secret before quickly moving onto the next one and learning something about them. This was not in a way that made anything feel drawn out either. Yes, I was anxious to figure out something about one character, but I was just as anxious to discover something about another. Except, Eddie. I could not care for Eddie any less.

The fact that you had to read the entire book (which should be the case for most books too) to fully understand everything from everyone’s lives was fascinating. I loved finishing the book and being able to see how this person’s relationship affected everyone else and their life. For example, the effect of Daisy and Billy’s relationship with Camilla. Speaking of Camilla, another thing Reid does amazingly is to write characters that feel like real people. Camilla leaped off the page just as Daisy, Billy, Graham, etc, etc. Everyone was riddled with flaws and we saw those grow and shrink throughout the mesmerizing story.

That’s how I would describe these two books in all honesty, mesmerizing. I can never put them down when I start them.

That is my analysis of why Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are so addicting; talking about the undeniable curiosity in humans that her stories feed into. I hope you found this post interesting, and if you have any comments to add then please do!

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Books I’m Reading for School

Hellooo,

As you can assume from my sudden 16 day hiatus, school is once again in full swing. This semester was a little easier to get into than the first, but I can say confidently that the reading list a whole new challenge in itself. This semester, I am in two 2nd year English classes. One of them focuses on literature from Romanticism and the Victorian period. The other English class I am in focuses on young adult literature and is one I am very excited about. This list will just include the novels I need to read, not the short stories or poems.

Anyways, here are the books I have to read this semester!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

See the source image

I actually just finished this book for class yesterday, and it was really interesting to read it at this age for the first time. While it did not blow my mind, I had a fun time reading this beloved story of both children and adults. This book is a good reminder that books are not meant for one age group, but for everyone. That is one of the topics we are tackling in my young adult literature class and is really important to address in my opinion. Anyways, I am happy to have finally read this book after liking the movie as a kid!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry-Potter-and-the-Chamber-of-Secrets-Mary-Grand-Pre

Not only was I excited to see this book on my class reading list because I’ve been meaning to give Harry Potter a re-read, but also because I already own the book so it saved me a couple of dollars which is always nice. I thought it was interesting that my professor chose the second book in the series and not the first because I have a friend in the class that has never read any of the books! Harry Potter always takes me a bit of time to get through. Not because it’s boring but the world is a lot to absorb. Since I’ve read it a couple times already, I will hopefully get through it in the two weeks I have to read it.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

See the source image

Like Matilda, I watched the movie but never even considered reading the book. Honestly, The Neverending Story movie terrified me as a child. It was a mixture of the story itself and the poor visual effects of the 80s, but nonetheless, I watched it once and had no plans of watching it again. Now, here I am, around 10 years later and planning on reading it in the next month or so. I’m curious though. Curious if I will like it or not since I have such strong feelings towards the movie. If I end up liking the book I don’t think I’ll be able to help but re-watch the movie.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

See the source image

This book was everywhere in the early 2010s when middle grade and YA were at their beginning peak. However, I never picked it up! Maybe it was the size or the overwhelming amount of hype surrounding it, but for whatever reason, this is the first time I’m getting around to it. Or, so I thought…When I first bought the book for class, I decided to try out the first 50 or so pages. While I was reading them, I had the very faint feeling that I had read those pages before. Now, I’m wondering if I maybe read the book and completely forgot. Or, at least, started it and never finished. I did watch the movie, like all of these other books though, so maybe that has something to do with it. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to get into this classic middle grade.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

See the source image

Now, this is probably the book I am most excited to read for class. Ever since I got this book a year ago, I have been meaning to get to it but as always, got distracted by other books. Since it’s on the reading list for class though, I will finalllly get around to it. I am dying to see if this book is worth the monumental amount of hype surrounding it. I am also ready to read this book so I can catch up and read the sequel before the movie comes out (whenever that is)!

Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson

See the source image

I have never heard of this book or author, probably because she is a local author to the city I live in. The mystery surrounding this book though is keeping me excited for it, and I do not plan on reading any synopses before diving into it. Kit Pearson is also visiting my class while we’re reading it so that just adds to the growing excitement for this novel! I am pretty sure this is a middle grade which is nice because the amount of middle grade in my life is lacking.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

See the source image

Finally, we are moving into the novels I am reading for my Romanticism/Victorian class and first up, is A Christmas Carol and yet another classic I have not read! Thankfully, this book is very, very short because accompanied by the books I am reading for my YA class, the last thing I need is a thick novel written in Victorian English…something I do not read easily.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

See the source image

Along with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this is the only other book on this list that I’ve actually read before! I read this novella during this past summer and I…liked it enough. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Hopefully, re-reading it will go by quicker but I do know this will be a fun story to dive into with my class.

Well, those are all of the books I have to read this semester and it is a lot more appealing than last semester’s list I’ll tell you that. If you want to see what kind of books I had to read semester, check out that blog post right HERE. If you want to check out my last blog post or any of my social media accounts, you can check them out below. Anyways, thanks for reading!

Last Blog Post: Reading on Vacation

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

@zoermathers

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

Reading on Vacation

book pic

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Years Eve!

Since I am currently on vacation, I thought it would be funny to write up a post about my experiences (and struggles) with reading. Right now, I am in Hawaii with nine of my family members and because there are so many of us, we are constantly in close proximity. I’ve managed to get a fair amount of reading done, but there have been some obstacles along the way that make me realize bringing three books and buying one along the way while I am here might have been overestimating my reading skills just a little bit.

Problem #1: Suddenly Everything is Fascinating to Look At

The spot outside I have been reading in is facing and surrounded by palm trees and bushes sprouting colourful flowers. I will sit back in my chair with a hot cup of coffee, ready to tackle the next 30-40 pages of whatever I am reading, only for a bird with a red tuft on his head and white feathers to fly past me. Suddenly, I am staring at the bird and like five minutes has passed by. Five minutes where I did not read a single page. It isn’t just the birds that do this to me. Sometimes I will stare out at the ocean and just watch the waves for a couple minutes. Or other times, a breeze will go through and my eyes are suddenly trained on the moving leaves. Not only was it easy for me to get distracted BEFORE, but now there is a huge new array of things to get distracted by.

Problem #2: Interruptions

I cannot express how many times I will be sitting outside, finally getting into the groove of reading…and then that all crashes and burns in front of my face because my brother just came out to tell me that there is a cockroach in the backyard. To be honest, this is the problem I deal with the least, but there are a lot of us squished in this house and therefore, the reader’s most dreaded problem of being interrupted mid-read is inevitable.

Problem #3: Energy Spikes at 9am

Hawaii is two hours behind where I live so I have been waking up on the early side. At least, what is considered the early side for a university student who has spent the past four months waking up at 7:30am every day to go to school. However, now I have been waking up around 7am Hawaii time and then reading by 7:30 or 8am. Every single day though, we have started going to the beach or to town or out or food by 9am and suddenly, I am not back at the house until 4pm. It has become a race to get as much read as I can before I am shoved out of the house to explore Hawaii (which I am not complaining about). Back home, I would not even think of going out and being active before 12pm if I had the option, but now even the people who would hold us up back home are waking up at 8am.

Problem #4: Energy Depletes at 4pm

I have never been a napper, but after swimming in Hawaii’s monstrous waves or hiking up Diamond Head in the heat, I am ready to drop by the time 4pm rolls around. So, if I don’t get any reading done in the morning, there is no way any books will be opened again. Every single day I have been ready to nap around 4:30pm and I have succeeded too. I will wake up, it will be getting dark or already dark when that does happen.

Problem #5: Even on Vacation, THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS TO READ

On my trip, I brought Scythe by Neal Shusterman, 1984 by George Orwell and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. However, a few days ago, I also picked up The Last Magician from a book shop here because it was super cheap. If you have seen The Last Magician, even in paperback, you know that it is not a small book either. Anyways, it is safe to say I have my choices.

Anyways, that is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Keep an eye out for my next post which will most likely be my favourite books of the year! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Books I Am Bringing to Hawaii!

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Movies That Earned Their Hype!

Happy Sunday!

I felt compelled to write this after watching an incredibly hyped up movie on the plane ride to Hawaii and was happy that it met my pretty high expectations. This happens a lot, with books too, and often I never find that I like it as much as I could after everyone gushes about it. However, there are some exceptions to that and here are four of them!

Avengers: Endgame

See the source image

I doubt anyone is surprised to see this on this list since I think it was one of the biggest movies of the year, if not the biggest. This was one long movie, but that is the key reason why it lived up to the monumental amount of hype surrounding it. It was the conclusion to this epic battle against Thanos and people were expecting everything to be tied up by the end of the movie. Overall, I really do think the director did a good job of doing this. The three-plus hours of the movie allowed for the large cast of characters to have their own plotlines that eventually got (somewhat) wrapped up in a (somewhat and mostly) satisfying bow. There was a lot of exposition at the start that I am not going to lie, is pretty hard for me to get through whenever I rewatch, but I believe this conclusion lived up to everyone’s hype. It also got me incredibly excited for the new Guardians of the Galaxy film as if I wasn’t ecstatic already.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

See the source image

This was the movie I watched on the plane that I was curious to see how much I enjoyed compared to everyone else. I am a huge Tarantino fan, Inglorious Basterds being one of my top 5 favourite films, so I really wanted to like his new film. However, everyone I talked to about it went on and on about how amazing it was, and I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical. Luckily, after sitting down to watch the full two hour and forty-something minute film, I can say that it did live up to the hype! At least for me. The gritty and dark atmosphere of the 70s in Hollywood really drew me in, bringing to life this story about an actor navigating a Hollywood now unrecognizable to him with the help of his friend/stunt double. From the cinematic aspects of it, the film as beautifully shot and cut. None of the scenes felt too out of place for me, and I really enjoyed the ending of the film even if at first, I was a little disappointed. Overall, this movie survived the hype and came out strong. Who is surprised honestly?

Zombieland: Double Tap

See the source image

This might be a controversial one, but I personally really enjoyed the sequel to Zombieland and thought it definitely lived up to the hype it was receiving. Was it created just to make money since the first one did so well? Yes. Does that mean I liked it any less? Not really. I found it hilarious and entertaining, and here is an unpopular opinion, but I might like it more than the first. While it received a lot of meh opinions, it did get a lot of hype being like Frozen 2 in the sense that it has been yeeeears since the first one was released. However, I really do think it lived up to the hype.

Frozen 2

See the source image

A little bit of a flip of genre from the one above, but I have been raving about this movie to anyone who will listen ever since I saw it a couple weeks ago. I watched the first movie when it first came out way back in 2013 and liked it enough. I am a pretty big Disney fan, so the chances of disliking Frozen 2 despite my meh feelings about the first one were slim. However, Frozen 2 blew up my low expectations and left me in awe. Honestly, I would be lying if I said I did not have plans to watch it again while I am in Hawaii. It is clearly made for a more mature audience since everyone who watched the first one when it came out was young, but it is still obviously for kids too. The songs also were more mature and are now constantly stuck in my head. Obviously, there was a lot of hype for this movie since it was six years in the making, but yes, I believe it lived up to all the hype.

Those are four new releases that come out this year that I thought lived up to the hype. Let me know which movies you watched that you enjoyed just as much as everyone else because I’d love to know! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media which is all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Books I Am Bringing to Hawaii!

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Books I Am Bringing to Hawaii!

Happy Wednesday!

Back from the dead (once again) because I am finally nearing the end of my exam season with only one more exam tomorrow. After that, I am basically free except for work and then am off to Hawaii starting December 20th! While away on vacation, I am hoping to get some reading done since I have failed to really finish anything for myself since school started…as I have complained about many times.

Anyways, here are the three books I plan on bringing with me to Hawaii and I cannot wait to give them a read!

1984 by George Orwell

See the source image

After being recommended this book a fair amount of times (you know who you are), I picked this book up and will be bringing it with me to Hawaii. Luckily, it’s pretty small so this will become my plane read for the way there and hopefully, I will finish it within the first few days of my trip. I’ve mentioned a lot this past year that it has been a goal of mine to read more classics, so this is a perfect way for me to continue doing that. Honestly, I don’t know too much about this book but I’m hoping it will start my winter break off well!

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

See the source image

This book comes with a funny story because I ended up getting it for free by complaining about being a broke student. I was with my friend at the bookstore, admiring this hyped-up book that I’ve wanted for a while. One of the cashiers overheard me gushing about the book and told me I could have it because each cashier gets to give away one free book. Lucky for me, he hadn’t used his yet and I walked out with a brand new, free book! I have been saving this book for my trip and am sooo excited to see if all the hype is worth it. I think it will be.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman 

See the source image

Currently, I am re-reading Scythe in preparation for The Toll which is the third (and final?) book in this series! I recently ordered The Toll online but decided I should re-visit the world before diving into it since my memory of the story is a little hazy. This is a YA dystopian series that takes place in our future where humanity has conquered death and disease. However, to keep the population in check, there are scythes who “glean” people at random. I really love this story and Neal Shusterman’s writing style, so I am very happy to be re-reading these books!

Those are the three books I plan on reading over my winter break and I cannot wait to get back into reading after four months of just…not. I hope you all also have a good reading month, and that 2019 was a good reading year overall! I will be posting a yearly wrap up discussing some of my favourite and least favourite books of the year so stay tuned for that!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my last blog post from…over a month ago! Everything is linked down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo – No Writing Novemeber

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

 

NaNoWriMo – No Writing Novemeber

Hellooo, long time no see…again.

To say the least, it is only November 12 yet I have already failed NaNoWriMo. I haven’t written one single word of one of my NaNoWriMo projects and honestly, cannot see any getting written before the month is over. I did not anticipate the fast-paced month as much as I should have. It is only halfway through November and I have only just had time to pause and write a blog post. I cannot even remember the past 12 days because they have been a blur of assignments, appointments and stress!

On top of the sudden rapid finish of the semester, since I have less than a month of the semester left, I started weekly chiropractor appointments for my back. Nothing specifically happened to trigger me going to the chiropractor other than my mom works at one and after years spent hunched over the computer, even at age 18, my back is starting to feel it. This has also been a contributing factor to me completely neglecting my writing because after writing my English assignments on my laptop, my shoulders and back muscles cry at the thought of spending an extra hour at it.

I am not being too hard on myself though. I wrote a poem for my English department’s poetry contest and it was a nice way to dip my toes back into creative writing. I haven’t stopped planning and brainstorming story ideas either, which has been a key creative outlet I turn to when I am too busy (or distracted) to actually write. I know that once the semester finishes and since I don’t have that many exams, I will be able to use my newfound time during the break to work on my writing. However, I am going on a huge family vacation for about 10 days towards the end of December. Hopefully, I will still manage to be productive during that time.

But yes, basically NaNoWriMo has been a flop. This is the first time in three or so years where I haven’t at least wrote something in November, it feels a little weird. That’s how life goes sometimes though, and we all have to remember that it’s okay.

Anyways, thanks for reading this ramble and staying with me during this silent time on my blog! I appreciate you all and hopefully, I will be coming up with a new blog post soon. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media, which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: It Begins With the Book by Zoe Mathers

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

It Begins With the Book by Zoe Mathers

It begins with the book.

You started reading it the week before school. Your very first week of university. You made it to page seventy-two and are already both knees deep in the world and best friends with the characters. The night before school starts you read twenty more pages before placing it on the nightstand next to your bed and turning out the light.

The first day of school is a blur of racing from concrete building to concrete building and trying to remember that the concrete building with the blue door is where you history class is. The concrete building with the orange door is where your philosophy class is. After hearing the drone of your philosophy prof’s voice though, you hope you forget that your philosophy class is in the concrete building with the orange door and discover the coffee shop next to it instead.

The first day of school is a blur of faces. Some stick out more than the rest. Mostly the ones with bright smiles and who said hello to you first. You meet Michael. Michael is also a first year in history. He has floppy dark curls and a big grin that makes you smile back even though you’re so nervous your knees are bouncing. Michael makes you forget that your book is in your bag, the one you were going to read before class started and the one you read twenty pages of last night. He is the reason you forget to pick it up when you’re sitting on the grass during your fifty minute break. Instead, you stare out at the trees and the students walking by. The ones that dart past like bees narrowing in on a flower are all visibly first years. Their shoes are shiny, their coats aren’t missing any of their buttons, and their faces are slathered in makeup. The second, third, and fourth years all languidly stroll past you.

A lot of them have cracked, leather satchels and glasses sliding down the bridge of their nose.

That night you sit in bed on your phone. The book is still in your bag and the bookmark is still stuck between pages seventy-one and seventy-two. You found Michael’s Instagram after approximately fifteen minutes of scrolling through boys named Michael with floppy dark curls. He is from somewhere in Vancouver. He has, or had, a lot of friends. Lots of them are pretty, blonde girls all holding cups probably filled with beer or vodka or some other drink that would make your stomach twist. One boy with dark skin and short hair comes up in a lot of Michael’s pictures. Their arms are wrapped around each other. Their cheeks are pressed together.

You guess Michael and you will only ever be friends.

You put your phone down and turn off the light. The book still sits in your bag and it sits in your bag for the next night, and the night after that. Soon, its home becomes the bag.

It begins with the book but it moves on to other things too.

It’s almost October. School is three weeks deep into your life and already, its claws have torn it up into a shredded mess. You are struggling to keep the pieces from flying away. You are chasing and shoving them in your bag where your book still sits. When it fills up, you stuff them under your arms and even in your mouth.

In the second week of school, you lost your soccer ball. You thought you left it underneath the deck of your parents house, where it always is, but when you checked, it vanished. You miss kicking it down the field. You miss the wind against your face, in your hair and cushioning you as you bring the ball to the net.

It begins with the book, but it took your soccer ball too.

You don’t look for your soccer ball again. All the time spent busing to your parents house and then looking for it took away time from your history paper. The five page one on Canadian women in the second World War. It was due at midnight that night and you barely finished it because you spent all that time looking for your soccer ball. When you get your paper back, the mark makes you cringe and think about the soccer ball.

You could just buy a new one, but you don’t.

It’s a couple days into October now. The leaves are brown and their corpses stick to the soles of your shoes. The wind is blocked by your sweater as you hurry home, but you still shiver because you’re always cold now.

There is a bookstore on the walk home from the bus stop. You used to stare in the windows and then go in when you couldn’t hold yourself back. You would browse the shelves slowly and carefully, your eyes not leaving a single book behind. You would sit in the designated reading chair hidden between the young adult and children’s section and devour the first chapter of a book before buying it. Or decide it was bad and choose another.

But now you walk past the bookstore and stare into its empty, dark abyss cradled by the window. It’s closed and your reflected face is the only thing you see.

You walk away.

In your room there is a stack of unread books that you made for yourself at the beginning of the year. Before school started. You had plans to get through that stack of five books before the end of the semester. Your bookmark is still wedged between page seventy-one and seventy-two in the book that is still hiding in your bag and has been since the first day.

There is a brand new soccer ball that sits in the shadows underneath your bed. Your uncle got it for you because the reason you couldn’t find your ball is because his dog chewed it up. You haven’t touched it or even taken off the wrapping.

When you get home, you either pull out your laptop and binge YouTube or go over your lecture notes on Canadian history, or you just sit there. You sit there and think about things that don’t mean anything. You think about Michael who you haven’t spoken to since the second day of school when you sat next to him but he was already talking to the boy with sandy hair and glasses. You think about all the parties on campus you missed because you were nose deep in a book. Not your books, but the books they make you read for school. The ones where when you open them and the words seem to run together into blots of ink that make absolutely no sense. You think about your kind-of-friends. The ones who you see on only on Friday nights. Even then, all you guys do is sit around, drink beer (which doesn’t make your stomach twist anymore) and watch “Friends”. Occasionally you all laugh at something or complain about homework. Usually the only talking between friends is the conversations of the two-dimensional ones on the TV.

And then finally, you think about the book you still haven’t finished. The one lying in your bag. The part you read was good. You wanted to know what would happen next. You still do.

You pull your bag into your lap and yank it out. A corner is creased and the cover feels a little damp.

You peel open the first page and then to where your bookmark is. You read the first word and then the second word. Soon you’re done the page and you’re sprawled out on your bed. The world in the story rises up around you and devours you without warning. But you don’t mind. The characters reach out for you, hands grabbing yours before pulling you in headfirst. But you wanted them to.

You are pretty sure you had an assignment due about an hour ago, but you don’t care. The book is better. The story brings you back alive as if you’ve been Frankensteined after years of being dead. Something flickers inside of you. It’s warm and faint, but as the pages fly by it grows hotter and brighter.

It begins with the book and then the soccer ball.

It took them both from you. It took the things that lit your spirit with brilliant colour but now you have enlightened the cold, empty space it left behind.

You need this book.

You need this soccer ball.

You were lost without the things that gave you life. You lost your way along the walkway with a dozen different paths all heading into a grey haze. You lost your way among the anxious crowd of other students all stumbling in every direction. You aren’t sure which ones to follow. You aren’t sure who knows where they are going. It takes you a while to realize that no one knows that yet.

But finally, a light has flickered in the distance.

 

Well, that was my random short story that kind of sums up the basic idea of what I have been feeling lately…It has been a struggle trying to find myself again and reconnect with the things that I love to do and make me, well, me. Without them, I’ve felt a little lost but I am slowly reconnecting with them again.

I hope you enjoyed, and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Last Blog Post: Am I Participating in NaNoWriMo?

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Am I Participating in NaNoWriMo?

Happy Thanksgiving for all you other Canadians!

I thought it was time to give a little update on where I’m at with my writing and if I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year since it’s only been recently that I’ve gotten back into blogging. I’ve been going back and forth about it a lot because it’s only been recently since I managed to get a grasp on managing my time and passions. However, I decided that I do really want to try NaNoWriMo this year and just see how it goes. Honestly, even last year when I had more time to write I struggled with it, so I am a little skeptical about me getting anywhere near 50,000 words this November. Might as well try though because me attempting NaNoWriMo this year is all about trying to get back into the routine of writing.

But yes! I am participating, or at least attempting to participate, in NaNoWriMo 2019. I am not 100% sure which story I am going to be focusing on, but I’ve been slowly planning out both so either I’ll decide right before Novemeber, or I will switch between them during the month. One is a fun, “trying-to-get-back-into-writing” story while the other is the Aztec mythology one I’ve been working on for over two years. I am really excited to get back into writing, and hopefully this will push me to write a little bit every day even amongst the rest of life going on because that is something I haven’t done in a while! I miss writing constantly and having it be a prominent aspect of my life. It is the same with reading. I read a lot for my degree but it isn’t the same as reading for my own enjoyment. Once again, once I get a better grasp on managing my time, I will be able to easily fit both into my schedule which I cannot wait for.

Oh! Another writing-related update is that I have decided to become a double major (this could change, but as of now, I am pretty set on the idea) in English AND writing. I did not want to just major in writing, but I really enjoy the idea of having to make time for my own writing. Even if it is an assignment, once you get past the first year level of writing courses which I have, you get a lot more freedom with your stories that you hand in and share with your critique groups. You are also supposed to pick to genres to specialize in at first, so I’ve decided to choose fiction and creative non-fiction. Let’s see if I actually follow through with this, but I hope I do because it would bring creative writing back into my life for the rest of my school years which is really important to me. I never realized how much I needed writing until I stopped for an entire month.

Anyways, that was a little, rambly update for you all on my writing and thoughts about NaNoWriMo this year! Stay tuned because the next blog post should be a random short story I wrote which I think will be a lot of fun to share as it is the first short story I’ve written since I’ve slowly gotten back into writing.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Last Blog Post: 5 Writing Prompts for Fall!

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

5 Writing Prompts for Fall!

5 Writing Prompts for Fall.png

Happy Friday!

Fall is in the air! The days are shorter, nights are darker, and the air is cooler – all meaning my favourite time of the year is fast-approaching. In honour of that, I decided it would be fun to share 10 fall writing prompts to get your creativity flowing this fall. I have done a lot of reading and book related posts these past few weeks, so it is time for a writing-related post anyways!

Here are five writing prompts from me to you 🙂

  1. You turn the corner onto your empty and quiet street only to find it covered in the thick shadows of the night. The streetlights remain unlit and shadows seem to dance in the small pockets of moonlight. You grip your backpack straps and begin walking down the sidewalk but the sound of dry leaves crunching under feet echoes from somewhere down the dark street. You pause and squint through the darkness. The sound continues, suddenly appearing right behind you and you whirl around to find…
  2. Orange flames crackle and hiss from the red brick fireplace as you snuggle deep into the couch  with a cup of hot tea steaming in your hands. Just as you raise the cup to your lips, banging erupts at the door. Each knock is hard and followed by another. You freeze, slowly setting the cup down and rising to your feet. You knew this day would come, but you didn’t know it would be so soon.
  3. Where you’re from, Halloween is the day where monsters and creatures alike can infiltrate the mortal world without consequence. Although this year is different. This year they plan on taking over and elect you as their leader. What they don’t know is, is that you’re half-human and you’re family lives in the mortal world.
  4. The trail is littered with the colours of fall and the sky is hazy with grey clouds. You shiver but he offers you his sweater. You shrug it on and smile, but he suddenly looks pale. “You okay?” You ask and he nods, lips forming soundless words. “I love you,” he says suddenly and you freeze. He watches you expectantly for an answer, eyes hopeful, but you can’t say it back. You still haven’t told him the whole truth.
  5. The bus comes in five minutes but you’re only tugging on your shoes. You yank on your jacket and fish around in the pockets for your bus pass, but your fingers find a slip of paper instead. Its delicately folded and inside, a message is written in pretty cursive. The words make your heart drop: You have 3 days.

Those are all the writing prompts I have for you today, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Also, if you want to support me and my blog, buy me a coffee with the link down below and get early access to my blog posts!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: September 2019 Wrap Up

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting