Writing Prompt #4

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“She took the same seat she always does. This time, there was someone with her.”

Everyday, I wait for the subway train. Everyday, I take the same seat. Everyday, I sit alone. Until this one day. A man, not just any man, was seated in my seat. He was more gorgeous than gorgeous. Tall, dark curly hair, long legs, blue eyes deeper than the ocean. It was love at first sight. At least with his physical looks. A gentle smile from his chiseled features. Then he went back to looking at his phone.

Cautiously, I sat beside him. Nothing exchanged between us. I reached my stop and got off. One last glance at him.

Every morning, he was there. And every morning, I sat beside him. Never speaking. Finally, after about a week, I resolved that I was going to speak to him. When I boarded the train, my spot was empty. No one was there. Disappointed I took my seat. Had I lost my chance at love? I felt that I had.

The next day and the following day, he was not on the train. My dark haired stranger. A week passed. Then two. He had not returned. Then I got an answer to my stranger.

A young woman who was always on the train with me. She asked me why two weeks ago I had moved one spot over when my seat was empty. She always took the same seat near me. I gaped at her. I sputtered about the man. Didn’t she see him? There was no man next to me. I was always alone. There was no way she would not have seen this man. He was beyond gorgeous.

Who had my mystery man been? What happened to me? Why had I see him? Why had no one else?

All I knew was that I never saw him again. My ride remained alone and silent as it always had been.

A place back in time- A short story

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Imagine a town with no WiFi, no cell phones or cordless phones. Write a short story in which your main character resides in a town with similar restrictions. Is living off the grid a choice? How do the daily tasks and communication of your character differ without the convenience of the tools and technology we often take for granted?

 

Getting on the bus was the easy part. Getting off the bus was the second easy part. Staying in this backward town was not so easy. I came from New York City. One of the busiest cities in the world. Everywhere one turned there was an electronic billboard or people walking like zombies. Cell phones glued to their hand.

I was so tired of people and their technology. I had even been swept away by it. I had the latest computers, cell phones, televisions and apps for them. I had a smart phone and a smart TV.

Then one day I got tired of it all. I felt mindless. Lost. People online were even more vindictive than people face to face. They always claimed to be available but when I needed them, they suddenly were not. Phones glued to their hand, but they were unable to answer my call or respond to my text. But when I didn’t respond, all hell broke loose.

So, I sold all my high tech devices. Another crock. It costs a fortune to buy these items. Yet selling them, even when they are practically brand new, it sells for a pittance of the original price. I bought an old fashioned flip phone to keep just for emergency purposes.

And I moved. To a small town that banned all electronic devices. Everything was done like it was before the invention of cell phones. Landline phones. Handwritten letters. Neighbors visited each other. Cars were simple too. None of those fancy computer chips. No touchscreens. No Bluetooth connections or WiFi. No internet was allowed in this little quiet town either. People here lived a simpler life. I had grown up with the technology boom. Could I survive without it? I was about to find out.

Hours later, I had settled in my rented and furnished home. Kitchen appliances were simple but worked. There was a television but it looked like it came out of the 70s or 80s kicking a screaming. It was one I vaguely remembered as a child. With a huge stand encasing the TV. There was a remote and when I checked, it only got the basic channels. No cable.

My first days were easy. I got up, had a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Dressed and went to work as a grocery stocker. It was simple work and I didn’t interact with people other than the odd customer not sure where an item was located. It didn’t take me long to know the regulars from the visitors.

At night, I came home had dinner, watched a little TV or read a book and went to sleep before repeating the process the next day.

Neighbors came by and introduced themselves. I was polite but kept to myself. They stopped coming around and even stopped trying to say hello to me if they passed me on the sidewalk.

After about a month, the withdrawal from the instantly connected world was getting to me. Other than newspapers and the local news reports, I had no idea what was happening in the world. It would be easy for me to hop a bus and go to a neighboring town that allowed technology on my day off, but the whole point was to push through this. And if I did, I would be tempted to use technology in this forbidden location.

People lived thousands of years without the technology of today and they survived just fine. One could argue it was that you couldn’t miss what you didn’t know, but they survived all the same.

Like a drug addict, I cracked. Two months later, I boarded a bus. Went to the next town. Bought a cheap laptop and used smart phone. The rest of the day, I spent in a coffee shop getting my fix. Then I returned home. My items hidden in my bag like contraband.

Soon, I was fully addicted. I was sneaking around my house using the technology. Blinds pulled tight. While there was no WiFi in this town, there were limited cell phone towers. Mostly at the edges of town to catch people driving by and not into the town. I was able to hook up to my mobile network and get a weak connection. Many times, I packed the technology away. Buried it deep in the back of my closet. But to no avail. It was soon out again.

Then the inevitable happened. There was a knock on my door. I knocked over my glass of water. Luckily it missed my computer. Peering out the peephole, I saw the sheriff and his deputy. Dashing around, I quickly hid my banned electronics before opening the door.

I was told to pack all my things. They were taking me to the bus station. I was to board the first bus that came and never return. When asked why, they showed me documents that traced illegal cell phone use to me at this house.

While they waited in the living room, I packed all my clothes which was all I came with into my suitcase. I put the banned equipment in the suitcase as well. Then I was escorted by police car, no sirens, to the bus station. People were outside watching our progression. It almost felt like a funeral. Mine.

I bought a bus ticket and boarded the very next bus. Back to New York and the loud busy life for me. Getting off the bus into the loudness of the city was almost a culture shock after the quiet of the small town.

It had been a hard lesson learned. I would never go without technology, but I did learn to curb it and not let it control me. I controlled it.

New Book Teaser

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JAM teaser EL

It’ #TeaserTuesday! So here is a brand new JAM teaser courtesy of my friend and colleague Eryn LaPlant.

Beautiful words spoken by #Jordan. So what did happen to #Mary? Pick up a copy of JAM today to find out.

Links:

Ebook Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/JAM-Jordan-Mary-T-J-Lyons-ebook/dp/B01E4G25VM?ie=UTF8&qid=1462887759&ref_=tmm_kin_swatch_0&sr=1-1

Paperback Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jam-Jordan-Mary-T-J-Lyons/dp/1530693381?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=

Ebook Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jam-tj-lyons/1123675461?ean=2940158208218

Ebook Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/jam-7

 

Horses, Donkeys and emotions

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In JAM, the emotions between Mary and the horses are an important part of the story. I may have stretched what Mary can do regarding horses and emotions, but there is emotion in horses and all animals.

Horses by nature are social animals. They live in groups and have a pecking order from the most dominant to the least dominant. Horses develop bonds of friendship just as people do. Some horses cannot get along with other horses and will defend their friends fiercely. When a herd member dies, the entire herd grieves. They will spend time with the body before moving on or the body is removed.

I have witnessed this first hand. In the past year and a half, two horses I knew passed on due to colic and old age. When the first when died, it was late at night, so we had to wait until the next morning for the trailer to come pick up the remains for burial. All night, the other two horses and two donkeys kept vigil over the body. The horse, the deceased’s BFF even tried to stand on him and over him to get him up.

A year later, that horse passed away. Even before he passed, my horse would stay close to him and sniff his belly and hind end. Whenever a horse is sick or not feeling well, my horse will stay close to keep them company. I believe horses can sense something that we cannot. They seemed to know and were trying in their own way to say goodbye.

That was only a few months ago. Yesterday, the remaining two horses and both donkeys had their annual vaccations. After the donkeys had their shots, they wanted nothing to do with humans around them for the rest of the day. They were mad at us for making them go through that.

The horses handled the shots better than the donkeys and had no anger towards us. My horse, Blaze needed to have his teeth filed down. Horses teeth continue to grow and domesticated horses need to have dental work done once a year to prevent their teeth from growing and making eating and wearing bits difficult. In order to do it safely, horses are sedated. Just enough to make them drowsy.

Afterwards, Blaze stood around occasionally moving, until the sedation wore off. During that time, one of the donkeys, Husker came over to check on him. (See pics below.)

One night I was there late and a found Blaze and Husker lying down side by side. So I snapped a picture. (See pics below)

So while writing JAM, I used these elements to develop the characters of Ghost and Sampson. Those two horses bonded with each other and Mary. Ghost bonded strongly with Mary and that bond is evident in the story.

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