December 20, 2016

Quick warm-up / State-of-the-Shannon:

Who: Shannon stayed warm all day and in higher spirits than she’d displayed in the last week. This morning, her car started without more than minimal complaining, just as she hoped. Despite bringing her pumpkin chocolate chip overnight oatmeal for breakfast, and despite bringing “cookies” to pass around, she couldn’t pass up the ginger matcha and peppermint chocolate truffles that were some of the Co-op’s holiday treats. Rich, sweet, and decadent, she left the rest for the next day. The work day passed smoothly, especially with the Youtube Yule Log on her second monitor to keep her mind warm. At 3 PM, when she finally managed to get away from the office, she treated herself to a spendy treat she’d coveted since adding it to the store’s inventory: Sierra Nevada’s Cherry Chocolate Stout. Fortunately, ten dollars of the 18 was covered by her High 5s, rewards for excellence in her work, and it turned out to be $4.39. After a quick venture into Kohl’s for Christmas gifts, she reluctantly bypassed the Panda Express and headed straight to Coldsmoke for coffee, writing, and a light repast.

What: An empty double-Americano and chicken salad croissant later, her fingers began to run adeptly over her keyboard. Tonight’s goal: shove creativity into brain, aim brain at this week’s point-of-view exercise, and hope a “Bang!” flag didn’t emerge from the end of the gun. Her inner editor watched her from a table eight feet away, empty cup in front of a hip-hugging silver chair that was less forgiving of Shannon’s hips than the imaginary figure.

Where: Coldsmoke, only slightly less busy now that the college semester was over. She was grateful to find and drag over one of the slightly wider silver chairs and only bit her hips when scooted forward. The fireplace was not roaring as she’d hoped – despite the warmer weather – but tiny flames were still visible over her right shoulder. This time, no cold, black moose eyes judged her from above. Unfortunately, her coffee was gone. Sad.

When: The current time was 18:30 and the night sky agreed. As luck would have it, tomorrow would be the Winter Solstice, where some in the world would have their end-of-year commemorations, but for most it meant the days would finally begin to grow lighter at the pace of molasses in Montana in December. For some reason, adjusting to the lighter days was more disorienting than the darker, possibly because the temperature never increased at the same rate. Earth was a strange planet.

Why: Despite a lack of confidence in her work, Shannon turned over a few couch cushions to see if she could find where it was hiding. Perhaps she could lure it out with learning the rules of writing and hours of persistent coaxing. At least by this time she acknowledged she needed help.

How: Sitting down and making herself focus, Shannon perused the challenge for Week 2. Determined to eventually go back and finish her third entry for Week one, she put it on the back-burner to focus on the 1st Person for a short time. Her fingers typed 90-100 words per minute, but her brain preferred to saunter along. Catch up, brain! Let’s make this happen!