Five Minute Friday: Exhale

{Five Minute Friday is a brilliant blog exercise started by the lovely and eloquent Lisa-Jo Baker. The idea is that, the world over, we gather together and write completely unedited for five minutes. We turn off that inner critic, the one who says we have nothing to say. That our stories and words are too small. No one will listen. And we take a deep breath, set the timer, and let it out.

Today’s prompt is Exhale.}

Exhale. 

It is finished. My soul work. My soul distilled into over 10,000 words of fiction. 

Pain and hope crafted and forged into words and story that hopefully will reach beyond me and touch others. 

And now I let it rest. I put this soul work aside for a month before I revisit it. 

And sit back. And wait. And watch. Entering into this season of exhalation is difficult. Oh, this, this waiting, this resting of the mind and hands, I am not good at it. 

It’s frightening. 

it’s not where I want to be, if I’m quiet honest with myself. 

Because i want this, this thing that I’ve poured so much of myself into, to be right and perfect and good. It’s nakedness and hope and fear and joy. It’s me. Or at least, it’s a part of me. 

And I’m far more comfortable working feverishly, fingers outyping the shadows that nip at my heels day in and day out. 

But there is a time for fast typing and crafting. And there’s a time for waiting. 

Exhale. 

It’ll be okay. 

Exhale. 

Breathe, baby girl, breathe. 

This is my daily refrain. this is what I say when I wake up and when I do dishes and comfort baby-cries and husband sighs and then lay myself down to rest. Exhale. Don’t hold it in till you explode. 

Waiting is the hardest part sometimes. 

But it is also healing and necessary. The exhalation releases the toxins, it releases the tension. 

Besides, if I never exhale, I’ll never again get to inhale. 

Casting Off the Bowlines…

Today is the day that I cast off the bowlines. 

I have finally created my authorial blog. 

Why, you may ask, an authorial blog considering that I am not published and that there are many floating about on the internet? 

First of all, it’s because I finished draft one of my novel. It is now simmering in the recesses of my computer and in the meantime, lacking a project, I will write nonfiction on this blog. 

Second of all, I’m serious about being a writer. This is an important decision in every writer’s life, if they’re going to make it. You either write no matter what or you don’t. And I’d die without writing. Perhaps not physically, but it’d be a soul-death, a shriveling up of everything that is in me. 

And so here, in Ink Sea, words will have free reign. I’ll explore what makes story compelling, what it is about a story that makes a person come back. And here, all story is open for question – everything from Disney’s Tangled to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Because in all honestly, no matter how the story is shared, at the heart, good stories, great stories, will grab us in the gut and not let go. Why do certain novels or movies or songs stay with me, curling in the back of my mind for years? That’s what I want to examine here. 

Here all are welcome to share about story. Your favorite stories, your least favorite stories, what works and what doesn’t.

Stories, after all, are life distilled.

Stories are how we deal with life. In story, we see truths that otherwise might be difficult for the human soul to digest. Stories encapsulate truth and beauty and pain and infuses it gently into our souls.

And so. I am casting of the bowlines and sailing deep into a sea of ink and ideas and stories.

I hope that you’ll join me.

It’s bound to be a beautiful, crazy ride.