The Woods – Flash Fiction

The distant waterfall seemed quieter as Charlie tugged on the rope. She had been in the woods for three days. Her tummy growled as she thought of cartoon characters that used to tie belts around their bellies as if somehow it would save them from hunger.
Something woke her up last night that sounded like a train whistle and a chimpanzee. It didn’t matter. This rope trick would get her food.
Satisfied with the knot, she ducked behind the tree and waited. The woods grew quiet. A kind of quiet that made her hum to make sure she could still hear.
And then it came from behind her. That awful chimpanzee being bludgeoned by a train whistle sound. Charlie dashed out of the trees toward her rope trap. She could climb to safety. Her hand slipped on the rope and she felt it wrap around her ankle before it whisked up the tree limb. It was too fast. The rope; that noise. That wicked sound came again as Charlie hung there. She wished she had brought her gun.


I have the ROW80 spirit. However, if I write another “catchy title” that has the word ROW in it, I most likely will dye my hair green and join a circus.

I finished the first edit on my NaNo novel. After that, on lunch breaks at work, I began a re-write in a few places. There was a squiggle here and there. A dash or two, a little “^” mark with illegible words scribbled above. I crossed out some lines, corrected a few typos (NOTE: typos can be found after you’ve become a stranger to your work. If you’re reading like someone else wrote it, the mistakes jump off the page) and changed one character’s name.

After reading the first chapter of my WIP, I took a deep breath, said an expletive and scrapped my entire first scene. Yes. The opening scene is lying at the bottom of a cold, filthy barrel along with other scenes that were scrapped over the decades. Ok, not really. I just deleted it. But where is the drama in that?

Scraps of Scrappiness

Ok, so the picture isn’t actually scraps of anything but that’s my point. It is scraps in a way because it is a bunch of random items that aren’t helping each other.

That is where the opening scene in my WIP was. It was a bunch of words strewn together with mash potato glue in a desperate attempt at… a hook? empathy? a vomit bag? Probably the latter. Since I started this whole “serious shot at writing” deal, I have read a lot of “first chapters.” Mostly in critique groups on the Critique Corner of Writers Digest. Some of them are good. Some of them are the equivalent of drunken love notes. But that’s why we have our stuff critiqued. That’s why we put our work away and go back to it. We’ve all written drunken love notes – literally or figuratively.

I wrote my NaNoWriMo work in thirty days, and threw it in a drawer for another thirty. I jotted down all the notes of the story my characters wanted to tell. 50,000+ words of notes. Now I am back in the scraps of the first draft and telling the story.

Got any scraps stories?

All Aboard the Rooooooow (80) Train!!

I just realized my dorkness level based on my title alone.  Don’t ask me why these things pop in my head. Things like the Soooooul Train which used to come on television weekend mornings in Philadelphia.

Ahem. So my goals are coming along nicely.  I will be doing two guest posts shortly.  One this month at Marcia Richards’ blog which I love.   Her blog is colorful and goal oriented.  Goals rock! Go check her out.  Since her blog is so awesome and goal oriented, it makes sense that my guest post will be about goals!

The second one is over at Renee A. Shuls-Jacobson’s blog.  That post will be coming in March.  Renee is a teacher and funny.  I wish she would have been my teacher when I was a little lass.

Why am I bringing this up?  Uh, I am stoked!  I have never done a guest post.  And now I am starting off 2012 with two potentials.  This makes me feel like I am moving forward as a writer. 😀

For the rest of my goals I am choo-chooing along nicely.

Editing on my WIP is coming along better than a well-trained puppy on a leash.

Exercise is, well, not coming along so well.  But I am going to the gym today with my daughter.

I have been eating healthy! 😀

On the agenda today:  Watch post-season football – take my daughter driving – Wii for thirty minutes.

For the rest of the week:

continue to revise WIP

continue to read/comment blogs

Get three hours of exercise total in this week.

Happy ROWing! 😉

ROWing in 2012!

Ski Boots - Satans Shoes

ROW80 Post #1

Yes, it is the birth of a new year.  A new era.  A new Darlene. I made 0.0 resolutions this year.  They don’t work for me.  Resolutions are my way of cementing failure.  I never fail at failure.

This year I have goals. Small attainable goals that I will achieve. I call it a 2012 Bucket List.

I checked one off the list today.  I went skiing for the first time ever today.

I skied down a small hill today several times and I only fell once.

*NOTE* standing up in skis is very difficult. So try your best not to fall – all you newbies out there.  When I walked in the boots I felt like my shins were going to be severed in half.  But I smiled and laughed as I walked around the grounds of Blue Mountain Ski Lodge with seven-year olds that were pointing and laughing.  I know they were.

My crew abandoned me after lunch.  They were ready to hit the actual slopes.  I was not ready.  I almost said screw it and went to the “real slopes” despite my fear.  But that fear was real and I could taste it.  The instructor smelled it and called me on it.


So.. after lunch the crew went to the slopes and I headed back to the “learning slope” to get a few more lessons in. There were too many kids.  When I was on the hill earlier I almost smashed into some kid standing at the bottom of the hill.  So when I was back at the hill this time around, panic set in.  My anxiety swept over me like a broom over a dust bunny.  I actually stood at the bottom of the hill like a tool staring at all the kids and parents skiing down the hill. No one noticed me standing there.  But I noticed me standing there.  I picked my skis up, walked over to the lockers and sat in the corner by the light pole people watching.

I cried.

I looked down and saw a tiny, black spider and smiled.  I like spiders.  He seemed to be in a big unfamiliar world, too.  I smiled at him, said my hellos and continued to watch all the kiddies and their parents ski and snowboard.

So I reflected on my day and my ROW80 goals as I sat there with my new eight legged friend.  I did ski for over an hour, so I checked that off of my list.  True, I did not glide gracefully down the mountain.  I wanted to.  I wanted to love skiing.  I am going to go back.  I do not give up.

For the first round of ROW 80 I am keeping it simple.  Tax season is here so that means fewer hours in my day.  But that is okay because less hours means more money.

First Round Goals

  • Edit first draft of NaNoWriMo novel.
  • Finish outline on WIP2.
  • 2 – 3 posts a week on blogs.
  • Read screenwriting book.
  • Back To The Gym.

That’s it for now!  Happy New Year everyone.  Looking forward to getting to know new ROWers and catching up with familiar faces.