The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.
When people started getting sick, “they” thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family…they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them—with the rest of the world—but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We’ve all had to start over. I’ve been stripped of my home, my dreams…all that is me. I’m someone else now—broken and changed. Other survivors’ memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won’t let them consume me. I can’t. My name is Zoe Cartwright, I’m twenty-six-years-old, and I survived The Ending.
We’ve been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing—we’ll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we’re strong…we’re survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamil-iar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.
And more than anything, we have to find each other.
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“I’m lost in thought…brb” – Realizing that I’m “one of those creative types” and learning how to embrace it.
by Lindsey Pogue
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, he’s flakey, but it’s because he’s one of those artistic types”? I used to despise that saying because to me blaming anything on being the “artisitc type” is a cop out. Well, that’s until I realized I’m one of those. I’m generally always on time and never flake on commitments I’ve made, but I definitely have a different way of thinking and processing information that some people find irritating. It’s taken me a very long time to understand that there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just different and I’m learning how to embrace it.
That pesky “Mind Chatter” thing.
Do you ever pull out of your driveway and fifteen minutes later you’re at work and don’t really remember the process of driving there? Are you ever in the middle of a conversation with someone and their answering a question you asked them, but you got distracted listening to your mind chatter and you didn’t hear a single word they said? Those types of things happen to me all the time and no matter how much I try to control my mind…it wanders.
As I’ve begun to listen to myself a bit more, I discovered what some of my creative quirks are and how to not only identify them but how to enhance them or use them to my advantage. I thought I’d share some of my insight with you...
Realization 1: I’m not nosey…I prefer to call it ‘observation for inspiration’.
My boyfriend says I’m nosey. In fact, he’s almost convinced me I have a problem a time or two…but I’ve learned that it’s nothing like that. I’m researching, you see? There’s a reason I have two shelves of my bookcase designated for my notebooks. I see something that inspires an idea—remember a crazy dream I had, witness a couple arguing, see a contented gleam in someone’s eye or goofy smile on someone’s face—I write it down for a rainy day.
“Pee (that’s what my boyfriend calls me), stop staring,” he says.
I shake my head and roll my eyes, knowing he’ll never understand.
“Every time you roll your eyes an angel loses its wings,” he says with a smirk.
I laugh at this because he’s been saying that same thing to me for over seven years, and I wonder how many angels I’ve left to aimlessly wander the earth. “I’m not staring,” I retort, pulling my notebook out quickly to jot down all my ideas before I forget them all completely.
I learned long ago that I can’t remember what I made for dinner two nights ago, let alone the dozens of ideas that sprout in my mind every single day that I think might be a good story premise or scene in a story I’m currently writing. I‘m not one of those people who has an endless plethora of ideas in their head just waiting to be plucked and expanded upon. No, I need inspiration...something to get my creative juices flowing, and recalling ideas in my notebooks helps me when I’m in dire straits.
Note to self: Write in complete sentences when you’re jotting down notes because you always say you’ll remember what you mean later, but you NEVER do.
Realization 2: I have Blinking Cursor Syndrome (BCS).
It’s one of the few designated writing days I get during the week, and I’m sitting out in the backyard, in the sunshine listening to the waterfall and staring at my computer screen as I plot and scheme what comes next in my Into The Fire chapters. I’ve been on a roll, my mind churning out one “brilliant” idea after another for days, and I finally have the time to sit down and write it all out. That is until BCS kicks in. Minutes go by before I even realize I’m just staring at the blinking cursor, hypnotized while the overabundance of thoughts turns into a congested clusterf*#k. I’ve been waiting all week for my writing time and then my mind fails me. Fantastic.
Note to self: When you’re lying in bed in the middle of night and you have a bunch of ideas clogging your dream pipes and you can’t get to sleep…stop doing a half-ass job of writing them down in the dark and get up and start writing. Who cares if you have to wake up for work in three hours? You’ll kick yourself if you don’t.
Realization 3: I need to step away from the edge.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t force my brain to do what I want it to—not to stop thinking, not to go to sleep, not to work when I want it to, not to remember anything I want it to…nothing. When all else fails me, getting out of my comfy office chair and getting out of the house is the only way to alleviate the mental blockage that makes me want to scream. As Morpheus would say, “Free your mind.”
I've always loved nature. It’s what keeps me grounded and sane no matter which one of life’s rollercoasters I find myself on. Whether it’s hiking with my man through the rolling foothills in the valley, going on road trips through the redwoods, or lying on the giant trampoline looking up at the swaying oak trees, being in nature does something magical to my brain. It soothes and distracts me. I love the smell of red dirt, dry oak leaves, and sunshine. Yes, I believe sunshine has a scent, especially when you combine the three things. Being in nature is both rejuvenating and enlightening, and it’s when I’m lost in its beauty and tranquility that I become inspired—when life’s answers come to me and I feel clarity within myself and in my writing.
Note to self: Nature is your muse…be out in Mother Nature more often, write, and be inspired!
As a result of my distracted nature, my frenzied thought process, the characteristics I’m learning about myself, and the tangents I always seem to find myself getting lost within, I’ve discovered one last thing…GET IT OUT. That’s why I started my blog “I’m Lost in Thought…brb”. It’s a place I can write, vent, get my inspirations down even if I’ll never put them in a story.. My blog is random, like I tend to be, but that’s the fun of it. I can write about whatever I want and it doesn’t have to fit within a certain character’s personality or a fit within a story arch…it just is because the feeling of inspiration keeps me confident and real and thoughtful. Who doesn’t want to be thoughtful? Although I often get frustrated with myself and how my mind works, I’m learning how to curb my quirky habits one by one by embracing and harnessing them to help me become a better writer. I just hope it’s working.
Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseyfairleigh.blogspot.com.
Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseypogue.wordpress.com.
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