Blog

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Three

Good morning, readers, writers, and adventurers! Today we dive into our third incredibly deadly habit and disover what spelling errors, run-on on sentences, or lack of explanations we might find there. Let’s remember to check our spelling, site our sources, and write in clear, concise sentences. Shall we begin?


(…) = add word/s

Strike = delete words

3. Avoid using a laptop or mobile phone

(Some) People often have a habit of to check(ing) their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but that moment he (can) take much longer (than expected, keeping you awake past bedtime.) and you fall asleep late. So avoid using them in the bedroom.

Some people have a habit of checking their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but little do people realize how harmful the effects of our technology have on our brains. This sleep study by the Sound Sleep Institute revealed that the blue lights from smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens reduce melatonin (the natural occurring hormone which puts our body to sleep) and tells our brain to stay awake. Continued use can have a lasting affect on melatonin levels, prohibiting sound sleep even when we aren’t using our devises. Furthermore, dings and pings from email and game notifications can disturb our slumber without our realizing it, so it is recommended to keep all electronics, even the TV, out of the bedroom.


Okay, while this still may not be deadly, it is certainly harmful. Even I fall into the bad habit of using my phone at night, because I keep my charging station in the bedroom. Today, I make a change. I’m going to set up a nice, little charge station in the living room and go back to using a tradition alarm clock. Just as soon as I acquire one…

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Le Shorts

Glimmer Tears

Something I wrote back in high school. It’s inspired by a song from Loreena McKennett

*****

The golden sunlight reflected like a strip of gossamer across the evergreen trees. Thick clusters of needle leaves shuffled in the soft breeze. A cool mist wove finger-like through the boughs. The air was warm but damp. A chill made seventeen year old Jane’s skin prick. Her sandy brown hair shimmered, and her skin glowed in the passing light.

Summer was ending. She could almost taste autumn on the air.

She had been watching the woods for seven evenings. She couldn’t explain what she was looking for, but she had been waiting all her life for this moment. Even as a child, she knew there was something magical about those woods. When she entered high school, she thought she had put all this fantasy behind her, but something beckoned her to continue dreaming. Now she would finally know what she was waiting for.

The first night had been an accident. It had been a long day at work, and she was taking a walk to clear her head. She had only paused for a moment, watching the fog drift among the everwoods, when strange lights flickered into place. They bobbed and moved through the trees. But once darkness settled, she had not been able to see the lights anymore.

Each night, the lights became brighter, more clear. Last night she had seen torches, but more surprisingly, ghosts. Images wavered, appeared, then faded from view. Tonight – she was sure – something would happen.

Jane drew in a breath and held it as the lights flickered into view one by one. They came slowly at first, few and far between, but then arriving in clusters. They lit up the trees and dispelled the fog. They moved in a line going from east to west, passing right by her without seeming to notice.

Sunset turned to twilight and the air became abruptly cooler, raising the gooseflesh on Jane’s skin until she shivered.

Slowly, patiently, ghostly figures began to emerge from the mist, taking shape and form, becoming tangible figures with details so refined that Jane could have painted them from memory with just a glance. She dared not blink – the figures might disappear entirely just as they had done last night. She wanted to step towards them, but she feared disturbing the fantastic mirage.

There was magic in the air, she could feel it. A tingling on her skin, a warming in the air. Even while the sunlight faded and the world became dark, the figures in the trees seemed to glow with their own light – sparkling almost.

I can see them, she gasped silently. I’m not dreaming. They’re…they’re actually real.

Elves. Mystical beings. Myth straight out of the story books, the stuff of legends. Not twenty feet away, the elegant creatures glided by, soft as whispers and subtle as roes, with glimmering capes of spider silk and evening dew and raven hair braided with forget-me-nots and violets. Every detail was delicate and intricate.

Jane found she couldn’t believe her eyes – not really. Elves did not exist in reality so the past week surely must have been a series of dreams. Yes, perhaps this was all a dream. If that were the case, then it explained why this evening felt like a goodbye.

She watched the procession with a keen gaze, taking in everything and letting nothing escape her eye. But she wasn’t the only one staring. There was a man standing perfectly still, and he was watching her closely.

She caught her breath. Could he see her? Who was he? Should she be afraid? No one else in the procession paid him any mind – or her, for that matter. Yet he continued to stare.

Just then, he started forward. Jane stumbled back a step, then froze. He weaved around his brothers and sisters without disrupting their solemn walk. He was coming closer. She couldn’t move – could hardly breathe.

He passed out of the woods and hesitated, casting his gaze around the open field as if seeing it for the first time. Jane could see him more clearly now—he seemed both young and old at the same time. His features were smooth and refined, though still chiseled with youth. His eyes told a different story, a story about a world lived over many, many seasons. 

Stopping just a few paces away from her, he stood very still, gazing at her openly with starlit blue eyes. It was a strange combination:  raven black hair with crystal blue eyes.

Jane very carefully, very hesitantly, lifted her hand to wave. She didn’t know what else to do, but the staring spell had to be broken. He raised his hand as well, holding it up without waving.

Now what?

“Hi,” she said, swallowing to clear the lump in her throat.

“Well met, friend,” he greeted.

Jane took a deep breath and let it out slowly. This is real. I’m not dreaming. He’s tall and slender with pointy ears and robes of royalty over silk clothes. This is not a dream.

“I am Runal Eytheranea,” the elf said, gesturing to himself, then fell silent and waited for her.

Say something, you dork, she scolded herself. “I’m Jane. Jane Carter.”

“You are human,” he noted.

She nodded her head.

“And yet you opened the doors to Lorienne,” he said.

He glanced back at the trees where his fellows had disappeared. They were alone. The air was still and quiet as if time had stood still. Only crickets sounded like a chorus of tiny voices to fill the silence.

“Are you…” Jane felt stupid to be asking this question, but since she had started, she had no choice but to continue. “Are you real?”

Instead of answering, he held out his hand to her, palm up. For a moment, she felt a twinge of fear. She shook it off. Stepping closer, she reached out to lay her hand in his. His skin was cool to the touch because of the night air, but it quickly warmed in her hand. The touch of flesh was real, and his gentle clasp eased away the sense that he might fade away.

Runal was gazing down at her hand when he spoke. “I feel as if I know you from long ago,” he murmured.

“I’ve never seen you before,” Jane said.

He looked up. “No. From a long-forgotten memory. Or a dream,” he added.

Jane let out a trembling sigh. “I knew it. This is just a dream.”

A deeply sorrowful expression entered Runal’s eyes as he withdrew his hand. “The ships are calling,” he said softly.

It’s not real…

“I must leave you now.”

She nodded, maintaining control over her expression. “I know.”

“They’ll not be returning to this land,” he explained, backing up.

Jane nodded again and raised her hand to wave.

*****

Sunlight broke over the land with just a fraction of rosy light at first, steadily growing as the day began. Jane was still standing before the trees with hand raised in a good bye. It did not feel as if she had been standing out all night. She could almost still see the Elvin man’s retreating figure as he pulled the silver hood over his head and followed his brothers and sisters.

“It’s just not fair,” she said as a tear trickled down her face and sparkled in the sunlight.

*****

“Suddenly I knew that you’d have to go

Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so

Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time

And I wondered why.

“The thundering waves are calling me home, home to you

The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.”

 –The Old Ways (by Loreena McKennett).

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Two

Hello again! 10 Deadly Habits is an ongoing series of editing tips. My pet project is an unfortunate blog post I stumbled upon which shall remain nameless since the author did not ask to be critiqued. I’m shameless, I know.

Let us begin!

The blog post lists ten habits people might have before retiring to bed. I, like many other readers before me, was intrigued to see what I was doing which could be so deadly that I should stop these habits immediately. What I discovered were a few harmless things most people do which may or may not affect their sleep patterns, and a few other things which would be good to consider at least curbing. They were not as “deadly” as the post made them seem.

Honestly, the fact that bloggers and magazines can knowingly lie, exaggerate, and exploit the truth of a matter all for the sake of sales and reads irritates me to no end. It’s utterly asinine! But this is a soap box for another post.

Part two of this series will take a look at the second Deadly Habit.

(…) = Edit/add word/s

Strike = Remove word/s

2. Don’t nap during the day

Some people have a habit of napping (during the day), but this should be avoided because it will interrupt the natural cycle of the body and you won’t be able to get (prevent) a decent to (night’s) sleep. at night. This will affect your health and sleeping habits.

Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is the lack of information and research in these posts. As I edit, I will also present positive and negative comments for the sake of argument.

Some people have a habit of napping during the day. While this can be beneficial when prescribed in sleep medicine treatments (as sited: Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 227±235, 2003,) many people nap in a manner which can negatively effect their natural sleep cycle. For example, taking an hour or more nap puts the body into deep, non-rapid eye movement (sleep,) whereas a nap of 30 minutes or less allows the mind and body to relax for a short time without negative side effects. It should be noted that napping two to three hours before bedtime is not recommended, as it may cause you to be too much awake when it’s time to sleep. Also remember, napping isn’t for everyone. Read more at Napping Do’s and Don’ts.

Here you have it, readers. If you are going to be so bold as to offer advise or criticism in your writing, it is always a good idea to back it up with one or more agreeing sources. If your intention is to truly educate, then educate yourself first and be willing to give your readers sound advice.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

I Have a Confession, Readers

I had a nightmare. This isn’t something new or out of the ordinary. I get them sometimes – I suppose every dreamer does once in awhile. Nightmares are a result of stress and anxiety, and they can take two forms:  A nightmare can be based in real life, depicting people and places you recognize, but with scary circumstances; or a nightmare can be based in a fantasy life, such as a circus, a world of witches, or an obscure, but terrifying, vision.

I’m not going to describe my nightmare because I don’t really care about it.

The dream woke me out of a dead sleep at 3am. It’s now two hours later, and I am spending the time browsing Facebook, Instagram, and finally, the Reader portion of WordPress. I switched to Discover mode, hoping to find something meaningful to pass the time. I still have 2.5 hours to go before I have to get ready for work, and I’m simply not fatigued enough to sleep.

It’s rare for me to find these moments of reflection. It’s probably a story you’ve heard similarly all over the internet. We as people are far too busy. But for me, it’s not just about finding the time, it’s about allowing the time. There’s a difference. Let me explain: There are three things going on in my life I cannot change, three things entirely dependent on a second party to fulfill their roles. Since I can do nothing about them, I avoid thinking of them altogether. Thinking makes me anxious. Anxiety leads to frayed nerves. Stress leads to snapping at my boyfriend in mean-full ways.

You see, I am a passive-aggressive goal-orientated person. When my conscience is presented with a goal, it mulls it over, weighs out the options, and analyzes for possible reactions. When I finally come to a decision, I want to act right away. I set to work researching the matter and filling in the gaps of my knowledge of it. I follow up leads and query persons involved, directly or indirectly, for their opinions. I pour myself into the project until it is finished, and then I sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of finishing something. That’s how I work.

People are always saying “Trust God’s timing. He is teaching you a lesson in (patience, perseverance, etc.) He knows what is best for you.”

Trust the timing.

It’s a simple statement. “Trust the timing.” There is such a rush to get stuff down now. We run in halls, race through traffic, scamper to and fro in a mad dash to achieve. But we forget that we have time on this Earth. I know that’s a contradiction of many statements – The trouble with time is you think you have time, Buddha; All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 1 Peter 1:24. Ironically, both statements are true. We have time on this Earth -or- Our time is fleeting. I may die tomorrow. So what? I’m at peace with my life. To be honest, my confession is I am more afraid of living.

Confession: I am more afraid of living than dying.

Living requires a lot of work and dedication with very little direction. We are all blind men tapping our canes before us to test the pavement or dirt for obstacles. We have no idea what we’re doing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just a blind man running his hand along a banister. For a short time, he knows he can continue, but sooner or later that banister is going to end, and he’ll be just as lost as when he first started. Some people run in circles thinking they have found a clear path. We all know better.

Readers, it is now 5:23am. A whopping 23 minutes after I started this post. I think I am finally tired enough to catch an hour or two of sleep before the alarm goes off. So goodnight, and in the meantime, I will continue waiting – trusting in the timing, and trying not to be so deathly afraid of this life.

One last word of caution: Don’t eat pepperoni pizza before bed.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin, Writer in the Raw