Writing Prompt: Day 31

31.jpgDay 31 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a wedding that should not be happening.

Erin: “Lily told me you’re going to be looking at houses this weekend,” I told Luke as we ate lunch and discussed our current project.

“We’re not getting married for a week,” he reminded.

“I’m not the one who said you’re going house hunting, don’t take this out on me,” I defended against his outburst.

“I just don’t think this is, the appropriate time to be talking about this,” he snapped.

“Neither do I,” I agreed. “Maybe, you should be having this conversation with her.”

“Well I’m having this conversation with you,” he continued to sass.

“Don’t blame me that you’re never going to make your wife happy,” I screamed and stormed off before he could continue the argument.

“Who are you to say that,” he continued to fight. “She’s happy,” he yelled.

“If she is always looking to the future, she is never going to be happy with you now.”

Shannon: “What is he doing here? I thought you said if he showed up, you’d have him kicked out,” I whispered into Anna’s ear, trying to conceal my distress from the rest of the church.

“Don’t worry about him, I decided it doesn’t matter,” she roped her arm through mine and placed it on my back, trying to direct me to the altar.

I resisted and instead looked back to him again. I only saw her ex because he was on the end of the pew, and as she walked past him I saw her looking out of the corner of her eye. From her movements I could feel her basking in his undivided attention, a sensation she never got from me, even now, even on our wedding day.

I grabbed her forearm to push away her touch, “I need to talk to you,” I said out loud, looking into her eyes.

Her face immediately scrunched at my unscheduled request, “Don’t ruin my wedding,” she warned.

I gave the pastor an apologetic look and then lead her to the side until we were outside of the church and standing in the hallway. I made sure the door completely closed before I spoke, “This is your wedding, not my wedding.” I put my hand on my chest finally seeing the situation clearly. It was a little late, but better now than after we signed the papers.

“I don’t understand. I asked you what you wanted. You didn’t seem to want to make any decisions. I didn’t know think the flowers, and the colors, and the place mattered to you, but this is what we’ve got,” she shrugged putting both hands in the air.

“No,” I shook my head and put my hands on temples at her misunderstanding. “I don’t care about that. I care about you,” my hands moved forward and I wanted to hold her cheeks and show her how much I cared, but it wasn’t my place anymore. “And you still care about someone else,” I tried to hold it together, but my eyes were already starting to tear up.

“You’re wrong,” she shook her head and took hold of my defeated hands. “I don’t love Miles, only you.”

I wanted to believe her, but her actions didn’t match up with her words. “I can never have your full heart. Not if he’s here,” more tears fell as I realized I was letting go of something I loved so much.

“No, you’re wrong,” she started crying too and she took a hold of fallen face. “We can kick him out. You never have to see him again. I’m sorry.” She was panicking.

“Kicking him out of the church doesn’t mean he’s not still here,” I lifted my hands to demonstrate how she couldn’t hide from the truth. “Deep down if both options were on the table you’d pick him, be honest,” I demanded, starting to calm down, “And if he objected to this marriage, you might just agree with him,” I held her chin, hoping she’d finally accept the truth.

She faded away to somewhere else, and that was the only answer I needed. Eventually she came back to me, “So what do we do now?”

I shrugged, “How about we just start by not making the biggest mistake of our lives?”

“Ok,” she nodded nervously before lunging into me for a hug.

You object to theses two getting married.

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Writing Prompt: Day 30

30.jpgDay 30 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Find a horoscope for your sign and write a situation based off of that.

Erin: “What is wrong with you,” Amanda asked starting to dab at the soda I spilled on the floor.

“Maybe the fact that you keep asking me questions like that is my problem.” In a rush to the carpet cleaner I jammed my thigh into the copy machine.

“I wasn’t trying to be rude I was concerned for you. You haven’t been acting like yourself Lee,” She shot to her feet and started following me.

“In your opinion. Maybe I have been and you just have a false opinion of me.”

“Wow, excuse you sir.” She crossed her arms and leaned on the door. I knocked over some towels like dominos in my stretch for the carpet cleaner. “Are you still happy here?”

“Was I ever happy here,” I scoffed before I realized how inappropriate it was to admit that to a co-worker. I pushed past her and walked to the stain with more kick in my step.

She sped up as well. We collided when we got to scene of the spill. I stopped and looked into her eyes. They looked sad. “I’ll handle the spill,” she grabbed my supplies before I could stop her. “Go get some fresh air.”

“Trust me, you do. I can keep the fort down for now,” she averted my eyes as she knelt down and sprayed the spot.

“Okay,” I gave in fearing anything else I would try to say would upset her more.

I went to my gym locker. The workout clothing I had put there at the beginning of the year rested exactly where I had originally put it. There was no time to waste during lunch, so my workout goals were on the back-burner. Once my shorts and tee-shirt were on I took the quickest diagonal possible to the door.

Then I ran: away from work and away from Amanda. As I distanced myself from all of the things I was finding so unnecessary at the moment turning around seemed less and less daunting. So, I continued to run and when I hit the train tracks work was calling me back and Amanda was calling me back. It took me to the train tracks, but I knew I was running away from my happy place.

In hindsight, I wish I wasn’t so dense. The eight miles in one direction was fine, but doing the same distance back was a little bit of a stretch for my endurance.

Shannon: “Whoa, I love the hair. You finally did the opal thing. It’s so beautiful,” my roommate grabbed a thick lock to examine it and then directed me to twirl. “This is what I imagine an angel’s hair looks like.”

“Now that’s a compliment,” I giggled as I brushed off my shoulder obnoxiously.

“I didn’t think you’d actually do it. You’ve been so cooped up lately. I started thinking you were going to be boring forever. Tell me you’re taking it somewhere. Please don’t crush my soul.” She grabbed her heart in anticipation.

I nodded. “I’ve been thinking about going on a road trip, but I don’t know where to go. Or if anyone will go with me,” I raised my voice to make it clear it was a question.

She raised her hands in the air with overwhelming excitement. Then she dropped her arms to hug me around my neck. “I know some places, and Jena will want to come too. Just tell me how long we’ve got.”

“Two full weeks,” I felt myself already getting excited.

The fate of your character is in your stars. These signs have something yo do with stars right?

Writing Prompt: Day 29

29.jpgDay 29 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about something unexpected coming through a character’s headphones.

Shannon: I laid down my blanket on a free patch of grass outside of my dorm. I was stuck inside doing homework earlier, and decided that going outside to finish it would at least give me a little sunshine on my back, fresh air to breathe, and something else to stare at besides my room’s four walls.

I laid down on my stomach right behind my computer and propped up my upper body by resting on my elbows. I plugged in my headphones and turned on my favorite radio station, so I wouldn’t have to choose from one of my over-played playlists.

Once I was happy with my set up, I pulled up a new document and started the introduction to my report. It was a slow but steady climb, and once in a while I got lost in watching the interactions around me. People-watching was always my weakness. I snapped out of it eventually and got back to typing but only about a minute later the song playing was cut off and a loud static puff was blasted into my ears.

The unexpected noise startled me enough to make me flinch, but instead of taking the ear buds out I just turned the volume down. I wanted to know if it was just the radio station, or if there was something wrong on my end. I was waiting for a sign as I checked my own audio configuration, only to find nothing. It had to be the radio station. Another static puff went on a little longer this time and then I heard the voices.

“Can I take the shot,” the voice questioned.

“Not yet, the target is not in place. Hold off until we get him in a more secure spot.”

There was silence, and I thought I was listening to something from a movie. Was the radio station pulling a prank I questioned myself, because this wasn’t funny, and this was going to freak people out if they turned off the station before it was over.

“Now,” the voice demanded and a loud bang went off. My heart stopped in the silence. I wanted to believe it was a prank and was waiting to hear them say, “got you”, but I couldn’t see how anyone would take it this far. “What’s the status? Are you there Red 764.”

There was another pause. “I’m here and he’s not breathing.”

“Good, continue as planned. You’re in the clear. Wait,” he sounded angry. “Someone hacked the line.”

“What do you mean,” the other voice sounded concerned. “Is it an agent? Can you track it,” the guy questioned frantically.

“I don’t think it’s an agent, it’s just one person, probably someone nearby. I just got their location. Let’s get this spy.”

I pulled out my headphones immediately and shut down my computer in a subconscious reaction. This wasn’t a sick joke. This was real. I begged that my computer wasn’t the one they were tracking, but knew I had to move fast without drawing attention to myself. I didn’t know what they would do when they found me, and I didn’t want to find out. The only problem: how do you hide from people who get away with murder?

Erin: “Liza, my album is done.”

Those were the words I had been waiting to hear from her sister for six long years. She was one who drug her feet on occasion, but the results were always well worth the wait. “Let me hear it,” I reached out for whatever she was going to give me.

She handed over her phone and her precious headphones she never let anyone use. “I hope you like it,” her eyes brightened by two hues.

“I can’t believe I get to listen with these,” the earphones were more valuable than my life so I gingerly brought them to rest on my ears.

Her smile grew as I pressed play, “Hello, Lynn. This is Bridget from Do Ray Me Music Agency. Please call me back. We have potentially exciting prospects to talk about.”

“Does this,” I started.

“I have representation for my album. This could be my big break,” a tear dropped from her eye as her smile reached heights never explored before.

“You let people listen to it before me,” I screamed.

“Just like a hundred,” she giggled.

“You jerk,” I slapped her arm, but then sprung up and held as tight as I could. If she was a bird I would have killed her. “I am so proud of you.”

Did your character hear that correctly? It’s up to you.

Writing Prompt: Day 28

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Day 28 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a story based on this image.

Erin: I knew the second I saw him again my heart would relapse. That is exactly what happened. My heart was weak, he lurched for him. My body listened, and before I knew it I was in his house. I was smelling the familiar scent of his detergent mixed with his sweat. Before I knew it, I was on his bed and feeling him. The touch of his body was like a cup of coffee to me. My safe place, my source of life.

I closed my eyes and we were transported to the woods. My heart was excited I was giving in, and seemingly decided to dance in circles within my chest. I felt like I was seeping into the mud of the forest. I grabbed at the buttons of his shirt to save my drowning. One came undone and my hands decided all should follow.

The shirt melted off his shoulders and my coffee went cold. Every inch of his body was covered in tattoos. I traced some of the lines. “Oh,” he chuckled. “I got a few more,” he illuminated.

“A few,” I repeated his words.

“Okay more than a few,” when it became clear that I was thrown off he collapsed to my side.

How could I continue? Who was he? I wasn’t the type of person to slept with a stranger, and that was who he was now. Time had passed since he was the reason I woke up in the morning. I thought back to the day I left. I wouldn’t recognize myself back then. How could I expect him to wait for me? The old me not only abandoned him, but abandoned the world the day we parted. The person my heart longed for was gone too, the only person I ever loved was dead. “They’ve consumed you.”

“I’ve consumed my body, this is how I’ve always looked in my eyes.” I got up, because there was a speck of someone I loved in that body. A speck that wasn’t whole with me. We could never be our current selves together, we couldn’t afford to rewind.

Shannon: “I know you’re close. You should run now. Maybe you can still get away,” the last tracker standing had just traveled to the segment of the playing field where I was I lying down under the cover of a thick patch of leaves. It would take him a while, but if he was confident in my location, he would eventually find me. “Come on Mask, come out, come out, wherever you are,” he teased as he jumped behind a tree.

He wasn’t giving up on this segment. I needed an escape, but it might end in some backtracking. I got up to throw my last electronic screamer into the tree above him, and started crawling back toward the past segment. I needed to load up on competition aids, and distracting him would give me enough time to stop playing the hiding game, and start fighting back.

Before I exposed myself to the open path, I made sure he was chasing the screamer up the tree. He was, because as soon as he got it, he’d be able to put them together and my uniform would become its own screamer, and then we’d have no choice but to face each other. He’d finally see me.

One picture today, more room for you to run!

Writing Prompt: Day 27

27.jpgDay 27 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a plant with a unique ability.

Shannon: “Have you chosen which one you wanted yet,” the shop owner questioned, after sneaking up quietly behind me. He had wild white hair that he didn’t attempt to manage and circular glasses with such a strong prescription his eyes were magnified behind the lenses.

I looked back, “I like the one with the pink and blue leaves. I’ve never seen anything like it before, what’s it called?”

“Ahh,” he smiled as he moved next to me. He picked it up gently and placed it in front of me. “Good choice. It’s one of my own creations,” he took a hold of my hand so I would hold onto the pot as tightly as he demonstrated. “I call it a Galiko. I named it after a friend’s nickname. I wanted to give one to her, but she died before I could finish growing it.”

“I shouldn’t take this,” I shook my head. “It doesn’t mean as much to me.” I tried to give it back but he pushed my efforts back.

“I didn’t make it to keep it hidden. The petals can save someone’s life. You’re giving this to someone who is sick, correct?”

“How did you know,” I questioned, feeling like he’d read my mind.

“You’ve been in here for a while. You’ve been in her for almost an hour looking for the perfect gift. You must care about this person a lot.”

“She loves flowers. She’s the reason I love flowers. I just wanted to make her smile,” I shrugged, not sure if I was focusing my efforts on something useful or just trying to distract myself.

“I wasn’t lying when I said this flower could save a life. Make sure this never leaves your mom’s side. She will be okay,” he reassured.

“How did you know it’s my mother?”

“Come back when she’d healed, and I will show you.”

Erin: “I’m so thirsty,” Sparta screamed from her corner.

“Too bad, you shouldn’t have called me pathetic.” She was far too sassy for being stuck in her pot all day. When I got my peace lily the name is what I expected. Just a pretty plant I could look at to keep my mind at peace.

“I am trying to help you,” She reached one of her leaves out toward the water bottle on my coffee table.

“You’re mean,” I corrected.

“You spend too much time with me. You need to spent more time with other humans.”

I took the water and drank the rest of the contents, just to spite her. “You need to mind your own business.”

“My business is your business. I am here to give you advice.”

“Your advice is always crap.” My car keys flashed from the end table.

“How would you know, you never take it?”

“You’re just cranky, because you’re hungry.” I gave in, rewarding her crabbiness with water from a watering can.

“I love you,” she smiled up at me and life returned to her leaves. “Let others love you too.”

“I’m going,” I groaned grabbing my keys.

“Yay,” she giggled after the cheer.

“Not to meet people, to get away from you.”

“Getting you out is all wanted. Have fun!”

Give plants power!

Writing Prompt: Day 26

26.jpgDay 26 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a story with a heavy focus on patterns.

Erin: Rachel always does the same thing every day: wakes up, goes to the bathroom, eats a bowl of cereal, washes her face, brushes her teeth, does her makeup, changes her clothing, starts a cup of coffee, makes lunch, puts on shoes, pours coffee into travel mug, leaves house, opens garage, leaves driveway, takes same rout as always to work… only not today.

Today there is construction, and Rachel’s well-oiled machine is derailed. She drives 5 miles per hour faster than normal to get to work. Because she does not know there is a cop that parks on the corner of 5th and Lombard she is pulled over. Being 34 minutes late to work she runs into the building and straight for the elevator. As she slams the 12 button another tardy employee she has never seen before gets in. His name is Dax.

They say breaking a pattern is detrimental and it is. Dax is the catalyst to removing all regularity from Rachel’s life. After today, she won’t know if she will have her cereal in the morning, because Dax might just want to stay in bed a little longer. She might skip washing her face in order to catch up on the news with him. She might even stop on level two every once in a while, to sneak to the back cubical and surprise mister unpredictable himself.

Shannon: Within a year my hometown had become known as the town of patterns. We were a place in the middle of nowhere, just looking for a little attention to keep ourselves from disappearing.

People colored their fences, they colored their steps, and they even colored patterns on their birdhouses. I wanted to hate every aspect of neighbors choosing to conform just to fit in with the new trend, but when I walked through the town after the changes I realized I was wrong. The regular world was the conformity. This was a rebellion.

The houses were filled with color, and each different personality that lived inside them. Even though we were trying to become some kind of spectacle, the people were changing too. They were talking more, and smiling more. I didn’t understand it right away. I thought they were just outside more, and had more time to talk, but then I came up with a theory. I decided the real cause was due to the fact they were free to be a little crazy. They weren’t hiding their favorite colors and designs anymore. They were displaying them right there on the front porch, because no one could judge them. They were free to be exactly who they were, and it was beautiful.

Write yesterday, write today, write tomorrow, and repeat until physically or mentally impossible.

Writing Prompt: Day 25

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 Day 25 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Lucky by Britney Spears

Shannon: “You’ve won the lottery of lives my friend,” Jack observed as he brushed his hand down a rack of clothes inside my huge walk-in closet. “I envy your world,” he moaned dramatically. He was still the same guy I knew in high school. If I was still the same girl from high school, maybe we would have reunited sooner.

“Trust me, you don’t want my life,” I shook my head.

“Are you kidding me? I know you deal with a lot of crap, but itsn’t it worth getting everything you ever wanted,” he put up his arms to display the enormity of my place.

I sat down on the couch, “I thought it was what I wanted, because I thought everything about this would make me happy. People love me, people listen to me, I have a job that people respect, and I have more money than I know what to do with. Being honest, that person who has-it-all isn’t even me. She’s not real. She’s just a shell,” I felt lifeless as I told the truth, as if it didn’t matter to keep it hidden.

“But you seem like you’re being so real on camera,” Jack sat down next to me, calmer and willing to hear me out.

I huffed, “Yeah with my fake celebrity boyfriend who I only have because I told the guy I actually love to take a hike, pretending he never mattered to me at all. I walk on eggshells in every interview trying to remember what I can and cannot say. I wear outfits that I hate and protest against, but in the end it’s never my decision. I’m not just criticized by strangers, no I’m criticized everyday by people who are looking out for my career,” I ranted, releasing it all as if he were my shrink. “And worst of all I never see you anymore,” I broke down. “You were my best friend. I could tell you anything. It’s been four years and I never got back to you.”

He shrugged, trying to hide how much I’d hurt him. “It’s ok. You’ve been busy,” he looked away.

“I’ve been ashamed,” I corrected. “And you didn’t even get mad at me. It’s like I’m not even worth your real emotions anymore.” I bit my bottom lip as I wiped my eyes.

He thought for bit, leaving us to sit in silence. Then he furrowed his brow and scowled. “You bitch, you think you’re too good for your friends,” he spoke through his teeth.

I immediately cry-smiled. “What was that?” The way he said it sounded so ridiculous, especially coming from his mouth.

“Did it make you feel better?” He started smiling proudly.

“Yeah a little,” I nodded.

He smiled bigger. “Maybe you’re still in there then,” he pointed with a flick of his wrist, and I believed him.

Erin: “I quit,” she screamed threating my entire career.

“You can’t quit being a famous singer,” I argued.

“I never asked for this and I don’t like this,” she ripped off her $1655 gown in a fit of rage.

“You don’t know how lucky you have life,” I rolled my eyes ready to storm out.

“I had a normal life, I had normal friends, I was happy at one point. Don’t act like I am an idiot,” a tear dripped out of her eye and I realized she was actually serious.

“You have friends, I’m a friend,” I tried to make up for my harsh reaction.

“You’re my employee, I pay you. I pay for everything that makes everyone jealous. No matter how much things and people I buy, they don’t bring me any joy.” I would have been insulted, but I just felt sorry for her.

If Britney Spears can’t inspire you to write… I don’t know what will? 

Writing Prompt: Day 24

24.jpg Day 24 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a story that involves someone losing a tooth.

Erin: “This is your first chance,” my dad beamed as he showed me the little human in the mirror.

He was readjusting so the tooth would be centered under the pillow. “Stay put,” he whispered to his pillow and turned the light off. Once his head laid down he closed his eyes. Within a few minutes, he was asleep and I knew it was time to prove myself.

I strapped on my backpack, turned on my turbo boots and before I knew it I was flying. The wind was rough once I got to my first clients city. I went with it when I could and turned up my boosters when I was going to be derailed. Despite some difficulties, I made it.

“Ugh,” I grunted and I used my jack to crank up the window. Once there was a ½ an inch gap I knew I could get in. Turning my turbos back on would be easiest, but I heard horror stories of that waking up light sleepers. The little human was making snorting noises as he slept. I didn’t know if that meant he was a light sleeper or a heavy sleeper.

I grabbed onto the string hanging from the window fabric and slid down. Once I was in the carpet I almost got lost in the fibers. I continued in the direction of the snorting and before I knew it I had run into a piece of bed fabric. I grabbed a handful and started my climb. “But mom, I ate all of my peas,” I nearly lost my grip at his words, but letting go would have killed me on my first outing.

“Sleep dear child,” I started singing the song I heard had gotten some of our greats out of tight missions in the past. His snorting started back up and I was on the bed before I knew it.

Everything seemed to be going well as I made my way to the pillow when the bed surface started to shake. The little human was not so little when he was out of the job posting mirror. He was rolling and if he had rolled anymore he would have crushed me. That is when I started running. With a flick of my wand the tooth was in my backpack and the twenty was under his pillow. Despite the risk, I turbo blasted out, because my legs and arms had no power to be spared.

“You did great,” my father cheered when I came back to headquarters.

“Really,” I asked placing the tooth into the shadow box I bought in preparation of my first gig.

“Yes, you forgot to close the window behind you, but other than that I didn’t see any major mistakes.”

“The window,” I sighed. “I knew I forgot something.”

“We all do at some point. I remember my first time, back than it was a quarter a kid,” he smiled.

“Back then you could get a blue twill slurp for one tooth too. The more money we give the more children are willing to believe in us. We need all the believers we can get to make it as a tooth fairy in our society,”

“I am so proud of you for carrying on our legacy. That was a sight to watch.”

“It was a rush to experience too,” I couldn’t imagine any other occupation.

Shannon: “Did you see who they paired you up against,” Amber questioned immediately after she sat down across from me at the lunch table.

“No I was too afraid to look myself, but who is it,” I asked, trying to remain calm.

“Mags,” Amber barely uttered the word audibly. There was too much danger to speak openly about her without repercussions.

“So that’s what all the pity looks in the hallway were for,” I confirmed my suspicion as I looked around at all of the other students attempting to read my emotions. They were cowards themselves though as they always look away as soon as our eyes made contact.

“What’s your plan,” Jade spoke under her breath, as she looked me over.

I looked for Mags until I spotted her in the lunch line. I could only observe the back of her head, but everyone was giving her more than an arm’s length space to show their respect for her wishes. “I’m getting out of it,” I decided before standing up to walk over to her.

I cut in front of her and took the piece of dessert the chef had made specifically for her before she could grab it. My heart was pounding and I couldn’t look at her.

“What are you doing,” Mags growled. “That’s mine,” she grabbed my arm and I knew I couldn’t overpower her. I had to move fast, so I quickly shoved my face into the frosting taking a big lick and making a mess of face.

I could bare look up at her with a cocky smile, before her fist made contact with my face and I hit the ground. The lunchroom went into a panic, trying to get a look at our fight. I made a poor attempted to block with my arms to protect my face as she started whaling on me. Help eventually arrived in form a teacher. She broke us up with an ear-piercing whistle, “Enough, enough,” she yelled. “There is no fighting outside of our control locations,” she explained to both of us. Let this be a lesson to all of you,” she called out. “Both of you will be disqualified for the year. No more competitions, no more prizes. You’re done,” she said it like it was a bad thing. Mags immediately went to her to grovel.

My friends kneeled down to my level. “Are you ok? You’re crazy,” Amber checked my face, and I turned my head away to spit out my tooth into my hand, and then smile back at them.

“You’re a genius,” Jade smirked.

Someone is going to literally loose it.

Writing Prompt: Day 23

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Day 23 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a seemingly bad situation that turns into a positive life change.

Erin: “How have you gotten to be where you are today,” the interviewer asked her broad and open-ended question.

“The biggest driver of my success has been resilience,” I gave my broad and open-ended answer. To be honest I frequently liked to test the skills of the interviewers I encountered. Being too talkative wouldn’t challenge them.

“How so,” her game was weak. She seemed too nice for me to continue on though, so I decided to make life easy on her and open up.

“This all started with my 6th concussion. I was dead set on playing college ball, and made sure to be back on the field quickly and as consistently as possible.”

“What sport did you play,” she clearly had not done her research.

“Football. My doctor recommended that I quit however. I was playing varsity as a freshman and we were a shoo-in to go to regionals. I couldn’t give up that easily,” I remembered back to my emotions that day.

“What did you do,” she interrupted my flashback.

“There was a chance that my brain could be permanently damaged if I continued, so my mother demanded that I quit. With my plan to go pro my brain didn’t seem to matter, but as a minor her opinion was the only one that mattered.”

“What does that have to do with resilience? Did you find a way to play?”

Her interest in the story was becoming slightly adorable, “Not quite. I hated my mother for ruining my chance at the NFL. I had to channel my anger somewhere and that place was the piano. Now I see how important a healthy mind is and I know how much more passion I have for music than I ever did for sports.”

“Wow,” her jaw hung open. She looked like a cartoon.

“I called my mom to thank her when I released my first album.” She giggled. “I used to think getting back up was resiliency, but resiliency is actually knowing when the universe is telling you to stay down and reach for other dreams. Having the strength to change direction is sometimes, if not most of the time, more noble than having the strength to struggle through.”

Shannon: “Maybe you’re not meant to be a singer. You don’t have the look. You have a basic voice. Maybe it’s time to consider another career,” the casting director advised with a straight face.

“So what are saying? I should try out for acting-only roles,” I hoped he’d give me some genuine advice.

“Do you want my honest opinion?”

My mind was screaming no, but my head nodded. I wanted the opinion of a person in his position, but I didn’t want to be discouraged if he was wrong about me.

“If I were you, I’d stop auditioning completely. Stop wasting your time. It’s not going to happen. I’ve seen a lot of young girls like you stick with this until they burned out with nothing to show for it. Life can be a lot easier if you stop chasing an unreachable goal.”

I tried to hold back, but the tears were building up, “But there’s nothing else I want to do,” I shrugged, hurt. “What am I supposed to do?”

“You’ll figure it out, and you’ll be surprised. I’m sorry, but we have more auditions and your time is up. Good luck,” he was still stern, but honest, and even though it was hard to hear, I believed him. No more auditions.

Once I walked out the theater into the fresh air I considered going home to cry and pity myself, but I’d done that enough already in life. I wanted to know where I was going. I wanted to find my new passion, my new love. The world was open to me. More open, I suppose, than it was for the people who already knew who they were.

I still wanted to spend my days singing, but I didn’t know who my audience was going to be anymore. As I walked downtown I paid more attention to the world to around me. I started a list in my head as I encountered people to sing to: people in bars, people at weddings, people in parks, animals, even objects.

I sat down at a bench in the park to take out the ukulele I choose to audition with to try to stand out. I just started playing. I didn’t want money, or to get noticed, or to simply have one person finally hear my song. I just sang, and belted it without any fear someone could stop me to tell me they’d heard enough. It felt good to go on uninterrupted, and to do it for myself. I felt happy, like I was actually doing what I loved. After I strummed my final note, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Look on the bright side of the prompt.