Archive for January 23rd, 2012

23rd January
written by amber

Now that I’ve written over 265 short stories, I guess I’ve learned a thing or two! “Go Ahead – Jump” is the title of my workshop that I’ll be teaching from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 28.

The most important thing the Story 365 project has given me is a knowledge of the necessity to be fearless. You can’t write a story every day for a year if you’re fretting over whether you’ll be able to finish or if the story is good enough or if you are distracted by surroundings that are too – noisy, quiet, full of mischievous cats, drafty or lacking in coffee. You just have to get writing and trust to the process.

Most of all, you have to have fun with it. This is what I’ll be aiming for in our workshop.

23rd January
written by amber

My Stuff

Yesterday there were over 300 but today there’s only nine. Where did all my shopping bags go? And I had at least 500 shoe boxes. Now there are just six, stacked neatly on top of my dresser.

You might think this place was a mess, but I knew where every item was, and every item was in its place. Yesterday.

Today, what do I see? The counter top, absolutely clean, the table too. So is the floor. I feel a sense of vertigo, as if I was standing on a high cliff above an empty canyon sucking me into it. I feel cold and diminished. Without my stuff, I’m not safe.

They keep telling us that the economy is on the brink of collapse. Many of my bags and boxes and large plastic tubs contained food –  food that will sustain me when the grocery stores shelves are bare. Others held clothing in a variety of sizes. Probably I will lose weight on a near-starvation diet, but I’ll be less active, so I might get fatter. I had stock-piled clothing in various sizes, just in case.

Medications and other first aid supplies – how could anyone find fault with me for loading up on those? Possibly I will become the healer woman of my neighbourhood. Then won’t they feel embarrassed that they complained about me and my house? I always take care to keep the outside of the house as tidy as their anal rules require, so what is their problem? No one asked them to come peeking in my windows or pretending to bring me a casserole just so they could get a glimpse of my supplies and the paths I established through the house so that I wouldn’t have to step on anything that could be harmed by my weight.

Other bags contained memorabilia, and what’s wrong with that? I seem to lose touch with myself unless I keep things that remind me of happier times in the past. The flower I wore to my grad party. The letters I exchanged with the nice young man at the vitamin mail-order place. The tissues from the nose bleed I had before I went to Emergency and met the nurse who became my friend. She and I went out for coffee so many times. I went to her house for dinner last night.

Those tissues are gone – but I suspect she’s the one who sent the night-time fairies who have stolen all my shopping bags. So good riddance to those memories and the wine she gave me with the dinner.

As for the rest of my stuff – I want it all back.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

Thank you so much to Carol Burgess for this first line suggestion.