Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Ocean, She Plays

Gulls cried over her head.

Ciara's heart was heavy, her mood oppressively dark. She felt that her miserable past was bearing down on her, with a stench ten times worse than any Carolina salt marsh.

She had to get away. A change in air...that is what Mrs. Goodhill always recommended for Ciara's girlish miseries.

A gentle roar made itself heard. Ciara then knew that the tide had come in unannounced. At the same time, the sun reappeared from behind a small cloud, sending a large swoop of oppressive heat upon her.

That settled it.

Ciara threw off her stockings, boots, and stays, leaving only her manly shirt and womanly skirt. She hid these articles in her camp, and made her way towards the beach, with the fresh sea air as her guide. 

In no time, she was on a deceivingly narrow strip of beach. Ciara knew that once the tide went out, the beach would be much wider. But that didn't concern her much. She looked upon the wide expansive ocean, fixedly on the narrow line between sky and sea.

In her mind, she flew over the rippling blue waves to a large dark galleon ship bearing the standard of her homeland. At the bow, she could see the billowing white shirt, and waving black hair. 

She longed for his tight embrace. She craved the tender caresses that he had placed on her face.

But he was an ocean away.

The vision dissolved into the air, emptying her mind and rending her heart. The ocean's roar deadened into a soft croon. It seemed to whisper to her: come lonely one, play with me! 

Ciara, with a child-like smile, started toward the waves. Her bare feet stepped lightly into the velvety soft wet sand.

The water rushed forward to greet her, warmly curling around her ankles as Cockles used to do.

Ciara walked still further forward. Happy to have a playmate, the ocean leapt forward to her knees with gentle force. Brief bursts of cold sea soon softened into a warm blanket-like feel.

Giggling softly, Ciara pushed deeper, up to her thighs. She felt the pull of the water away from her, the sand beneath her rubbing her feet in it's mad rush to follow.

She saw the wave, as high as her chest, forming to bear down upon her.

She closed her eyes and mouth and plunged into the ocean's embrace.

She emerged, deeply gasping for breath. The ocean had deceived her, not all the currents were warm and welcoming. The cold clung to her in a tight embrace, invigorating her muscles but squeezing her lungs painfully.

The warm sun, however, softened the cold sting, and soon, the ocean was playfully shoving Ciara's back and stomach as she bobbed along.

She learned to anticipate each wave to keep above the swell. The water currents danced around her legs and through her skirt - a delicious sensation. She felt little shells brush past her, but she did not pay any heed.

Soon tiring of the tamer waves, she moved along the coast in search of the breakers. Finding a shallow shoal, she let the waves tackle her again and again, shrieking in delight as they barrelled into her. When bigger waves hit, she plunged into the murky water. The burning salt water in her eyes and mouth soon put an end to this pleasure. 

Her feet once again touching the bottom, she looked down to see them. To her surprise, she could not see anything in the water - the sand being so fine that it obscured everything. But this was a little matter to her.

For hours, she bobbed there in the water, the ocean's caresses soothing away her past cares, worries and unhappiness. She breathed the salt air deeply, and found new games to play with the waves.

But when the shaking in her chest grew stronger, she knew it was time to leave her new friend. The ocean was loathe to let her go. It kept sending warm currents lapping around her to change her mind. Reluctantly, Ciara emerged from the water. Her skirt cloyed tightly to her, further hampering her wobbling walk.

Ciara felt bereft and empty again. She shivered violently as the wind tore off the warmth of the waves.

She stopped.

She barely felt the presence of an arm, as it wrapped a sun-warmed blanket around her shaking shoulders.

She stumbled and landed against a now-soaked.....shirt.

Eyes wide, she slowly looked up.

Dark hairs covered the strong chin.

The playful blue eyes looked into her own. She became fully aware of both his arms now tightly hugging her.

Her breath came in a sharp gasp, "Colin!!!".  




So...where did this come from???

After all, Miss Catherine Hawthorn is supposed to be on vacation this month. And any writing that she was going to do was going to be on Seeds of an Orchard Invisible, right?

Spoiler alert: this isn't a snippet from SOI.

I have discovered that an Atlantic coastal vacation is not the ideal environment to weave a story set in medieval Wales. After all, how can you write about medieval castles when palm trees are literally outside your window??

But....my muse needed some exercise. And the ocean wanted to play.

Seeing the ocean again reminded me of my pirate-y WIP, Fair Winds. Now, I don't really talk about Fair Winds here on the Rebelling Muse because....well.....cause I don't work on it.

Fair Winds is a "novel" in that it is made up of two novellas - Fair Winds: Sassy Devil, and Fair Winds: Fallen Angel. I had created the plot bunny for Fallen Angel in my college creative writing class, but had become so fascinated with a main character that I delved into her backstory. Thus, Sassy Devil was actually written first. It has gained note, in that it is the only completed draft in my entire "collection" of writings. It still needs to be redrafted and have more threads run through it, so it probably won't be published any time soon.

Fallen Angel got sadly neglected...until this afternoon.

One of the greatest writing advice ideas that I have picked up is to base your writing off of your own experiences and emotions of your personal life. No one knows your thoughts, feelings and experiences better than yourself.

Now, granted, I had not totally intended to weave my November sea bath into a story.

Now, I'm sure y'all's eyes are popping at the words "November sea bath". But it's true!

I had gone onto the beach previously this week, and had let the water run over my feet. I was totally surprised at how warm the water was....in early November!!!

Yesterday afternoon, it was over 80 degrees on the island that I'm currently on. Perfect day to go in the water. Even though there were plenty of heated pools around, I LONGED to go into the ocean.

In a word, it was exhilerating!

Okay, I admit I stayed in only a half an hour tops. There is only so much motion I can take, and there were some POLAR currents running around in there. (I guess I should have known that...after all, IT IS NOVEMBER FOR GOODNESS SAKES)

After I dragged myself out the water and found my towel, I knew I had to capture the sights, smells, sounds and emotions that went with this experience. I wanted it to be even more indelible in my memory by writing a "journal" entry about it. 

And I needed to write a blog post because...I was overdue for one and had no idea what to write about and you haven't had a chance to see any new writing stuff...

So I started with writing some really loaded metaphors into my phone's notepad, in the heat of the moment as they say...

The Ocean, She Plays.

The sand dissolves between her feet.

The pull and the push of the incoming wave.

The icy shafts of the first waves took her breath away and invigorated her soul.

The warm blanket feel

Velvet sand

fine sand obscures the view

little shells brush past the legs


The Ocean, She Hugs.

She winds around the ankles, a little warm cat.

She greets you like a dog, happy she is to see you, jumping around your knees.

Playful shoves at your stomach, your back.

When up to your chest, she tackle hugs you.


Being a seamstress, I compare my writing process to sewing a garment. Pieces are cut out of fabric and then stitched together. My metaphors, word banks and plot bunnies are the "pieces" cut out of my imagination, and the rest of my writing is the many seams to connect them all together.

Basically, I inserted all of those ideas and emotions into one character's mind instead of mine and stitched a story together. 


via GIPHY

Believe me, I wish it was this easy.

Sooo....what else has been going on?

Well, between getting out of grad school (and fighting with them over money) and my new room reno project, I was unable to complete Ivie's challenge *sad face*. I kept a log, intending to publish it after the last day, I'll include it below:


10/1 & 10/2 - no progress on SOI. Was writing essays. Bleh.

10/3 - wrote for about 30 minutes. Less than 200 words, I forgot to keep track.

10/4 - tunnel vision. Don't ask.

10/5 - 615+ words. Nearly 2 hours of writing. Making up for lost time :).

10/6 - ?? words, a lot of copy pasting going on tonight.

10/7 - what r words....

10/8 - another two hours, another 500+ word day.

10/9-end of month - WITHDRAW FROM UNIVERSITY PERIOD OF CRAZINESS..that is now extended into R&R.


YEAH.

Hence the silence. Sorry guys!

(someone needs to invent a pause button for LIFE).

Now that the ice is broken, maybe my muse will be more willing to go back to Wales.....

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine