Little wonder we stumble in life.

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Writing is like Exercise

I was recently rewriting my About Me page, when I started thinking about hobbies I enjoy. One of them, which I didn’t mention, is Boxing.

Recently, within the last two months, I’ve started eating healthily and exercising. I now go to the gym and I have a personal trainer named Jess. I often do boxing exercises when I work out with Jess; I find it motivates me, I enjoy it, and I’ve always carried a store of anger with me that it lets me express.

Exercise also helps me in my writing, if for no other reason than my characters live active, dangerous lives, and working my body helps me put myself in theirs.

But I’ve also begun thinking recently that, although many writers don’t do a whole lot of exercise — indeed, for a while in my own writing, I’ve used the fact that I’m a writer as an excuse why I didn’t have to exercise — the two activities aren’t so different.

Both require discipline of sorts. Both are beneficial; one to the mind, and the other to the body. I’ve even begun to think that the two things together are important to the whole, that a person needs both to be a satisfied or balanced person.

Balance, I’ve thought for a while now, is important in anyone. Not extremes, which makes you biased and closed-minded, but a medium between them.

Of course, I believe that bias is inevitable in any person. No matter who you are, I believe there’s always something to overcome. But the point is, in the case of brain vs. brawn, of athletes versus writers, there need not even be a contest.

If books are soul food, then exercise is just as important for movement. That feeling in your muscles… is life speaking to you. And that’s just as important as the words you use to describe it.


Friday Fictioneers – Winding

copyright - Jennifer Pendergast

The day was dawning. Dawn was heading up at high speed, racing for the top of the tower.

The double doors at the top crashed open with a clatter. Looking around briefly, she saw the clouds turning the whole world grey. Soon the sun would light them golden, the lightbulb inside the building a cheap imitation of it.

She ran around the barrier, searching. Finally she found a last set of stairs, smaller and narrower than the large flight behind her. The cold of the white side rails rippled in her hands.

She climbed to the top. He was ready.

Flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers.


Trifecta – All About Me

It was a bull in both directions; in one hand, I had this constant, cureless rage. In the other, I had him, always after my blood.

I huffed, exhausted. I’m tired of running.

Prompt from Trifecta. Simple one this week.


Trifecta – Reading Challenge

My boot was gone. Actually gone.

I clutched its mate to my chest like a baby, though of course it was futile. What is one boot without the other boot? It is nothing.

The prompt this weekend was a reading challenge, so I’ll be putting off the short series I’ve been writing until next week. The weekend’s prompt for Trifecta is taken from Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I finished it recently; it’s quite a good book.


Trifecta – Mouth

It was a dirty, rundown city. First she’d run from her kidnappers, only to discover she was far from home, in a foreign country, now again facing the mouth of the cellar where they’d kept her bound up.

She ran harsh, coarse fingers through her dirty yellow hair, feeling stress and fear overtake her once again.

They’d find her. She was still lost in this building, and soon they’d find her. They’d beat her again. Oh, why was she here?

It was impossible. She broke down for a moment under the window, crouched down close to the ground, fingers still in her hair.

Maybe they wouldn’t find her if they couldn’t see her through the window. Even she knew that was a lie. How long had she been running? It was inevitable now. She almost wished they’d find her now, so they could complete her torture and be done with it.

But wait. Footsteps.

They clacked down the adjacent hall just to her right. Any moment now, it didn’t even matter how soon she wished for it or not. Any minute…

He emerged, freezing as he spotted her. He looked from her, to the mouth. She followed his gaze to the sign, engraved into black-painted wood: 出口 deguchi… Exit.

She sounded out each syllable in shock, speaking slowly. “De… guchi…”

Suddenly, the stranger spoke. “Hayaku!” Pulling her up, he yanked her startlingly along. Who was this man? Was he trying to save her, or…?

They burst outside. Safe… or maybe not.

“Hayaku!” he cried, and she was yanked again, double shock to her system. She looked ahead of her, beyond the sight of him beside her… a pair of gates. He was helping her escape.

Then everything exploded as the air ripped into a whirlwind around her and dust flew up, dirtying her more.

So close… she was almost there…

Her skin was ripped open, her bones feeling bent and her blood gushing. The man pulled her harder…

And somehow, they escaped.

Prompt inspired by Trifecta and the header of this site.


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The Ivan Project, #39

The sword gleamed in the sunlight, left unsheathed by its owner at the end of a fierce battle. He’d gotten this far…

Finally, he was reunited with the wife that was taken from him. He wanted nothing more than to embrace her, yet he kept his sword up. Somehow, it was still unfinished. Even though he’d rescued her…

She hid behind him. He was facing his rival, Ralph. And Ralph was looking back at him with a most sinister look on his face.

“You will never get out of here alive,” he said. “My men have you surrounded, and even if you were to fight them, how are you gonna save your poor wife in the fray.

“So let’s talk.”

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The Ivan Project, #38

The ground shook. The trio looked at each other, friendly smiles turning into confused frowns. “What’s going on?”

“Shit,” said Samantha. “I think I know. Avalanche!”

Withdrawing their hands from the circle, they took off. From where she was, it didn’t seem to be moving as quickly as they show in the movies, a roaring tumbling blanket of snow too fast to outrun…

… But she knew if they were any closer, it would be. And maybe she was just overdramatic, but snow can be dangerous! She was all alone running now, probably dropped behind from the others.

Desperately, she sped up. Soon she heard a shout from behind her. They’d fallen behind!

She whipped around and stopped dead.

Nothing had happened. A faint picture of tumbling snow in the distance. Her two friends shouting and waving for her to come back.

Oops. False alarm.