This is an example of how to share your creative writing on your website in blog format. You can enjoy developing your characters, creating a world and sharing their challenges on their hero’s journey quest. I’ll be releasing this story in blog excepts for subscribers and you can read it here if you visit my webpage.
Make sure you share yours too and send me your link in the comments so I can follow!
Chapter One – Wander
“Why?” Harry asked spread across the sofa with a nervous smile.
“Well,” I said, “I knew you would be excited!”
And that’s how I told him the news. This is the news that transforms our daily mundane routine life from an everyday trudge into an extraordinary passage of time. The beginning of our journey into the depths of the unknown and I want to tell you all about it now.
I’m Rosie and this is how I found my feet in travel, in life and in love.
“See it’s like this”, I said to him. “I knew you wanted it, but wondered if we would have ever been gutsy enough to say a bold and definite yes if the opportunity came along. Well, today that opportunity came, and I said that yes – for both of us.”
I can’t say I’m not scared and slightly wondering about my sanity; however, we are all signed up now.
“The ink has dried, tickets are booked and my dear, dear friend, you are now looking at your partner in crime, travel crime that is.”
Harry’s expression was transfixed in a stare that should have horrified me.
The look in his big brown eyes should have made me turn and run in the other direction. But a few weeks earlier I had been going about my daily business when it clearly dawned on me that I had definitely, yes most definitely, lost my understanding of life.
Not the little cares such as whether the milk tasted funny or had I remembered to feed the dog. No, I still get those.
It was the deeper things that worried me like why the cranky old neighbour man would never smile back at me when I said hello.
Was it my colourful clothes, was it my eco-friendly car or was it my choice of radio station music in the car that troubled his perception of me?
Why that old cranky neighbour man doesn’t smile at me is not my concern. Maybe it’s constipation, maybe he is blind as a bat and deaf, or….and here is the killer punch…maybe he is just a grumpy disenchanted and afraid old man.
Yes, maybe. Probably.
It is just that the world is no longer making sense to me.
It followed on with the driving episode where a guy in his pimped-up muscle car rushed speeding backwards towards me and then slammed on the brakes a few millimetres from my front bumper. Yes, he missed, he probably knew he was going to miss, but he scared the skittles out of me. That’s got to count for something, right?
I realised that I have been spending a chunk of my time bored or over it or scared or absolutely fed up and just getting on with it.
I am over it all.
I want to do things that feel good.
I also want to understand why I am here.
I want to wander. Be lost. Find my way again.
So, I said to myself – I’m going to find out in every opportunity I get, and I did.
Out of my desires from the past drifted the travel idea, the long trip around the coastline, enjoying the food, the people, the weather, oh did I mention the food, the freedom, yes that was the strongest craving, the freedom from the everyday rules of right and wrong.
Time to just think, feel and understand.
As I wandered over on a dreary Monday morning to collect my extra-large chai latte before work, I read the little A-frame sign outside the travel agents on the sidewalk as it always has some witty little quote that makes me giggle, but today it did not.
Today it only had three words.
Those three words touched a spot that is kept quiet for the part of me that feels sadness or grief and scratches at the fear we have as parents when our little ones become unexpectedly very ill and we lose all our worldly grown-up bearings with naked unabashed worry.
The three words simply said ‘Find your Feet.’
Yes. Life seems so bewildering and flavourful yet now as I sit one month before my thirty-fifth birthday I can agree, that the time has flown and yes, it is shorter than I anticipated and a little less guaranteed than I had earlier believed.
I want to make it really count and I want to find my feet.
The next moment, my chai latte and I make a quick stop at the travel agent’s door.
There are many places I have wanted to see, touch and taste. I get hungry for them. I have discussed with fervour the idea of spending a week or a month travelling Italy and Greece, mainly for the food and the water views and the people.
Oh and Scotland, just a short trip because it’s cold you see, but I want to see the castles there and taste shortbread IN Scotland. I want to sip inky black Guinness in Ireland while looking for a leprechaun and hearing old Irish men argue loudly at the bar and tell raunchy jokes.
I would like to visit France, see the Louvre Museum and check out the Eiffel Tower. Plus, I’d need to stop at a café to buy freshly baked éclairs for my bicycle basket and wear my black and white stripy t-shirt with my cherry red beret. I want to test-run all the clichés and look like an absolute tourist!
I just want to have fun. To feel joy. To remember I belong here on this planet and to learn what I can offer this world.
My friend, Harry, has never been on a plane in his life but he hungrily devours the History channel and National Geographic magazines so he tells me he has worldly experience in these things. I argue, as I am known to do, that his advice is based on literature, it is the time to find out on a first-hand basis. Perhaps the French all wear berets and stripy t-shirts and for the media and tourism ads, they dress like normal people so tourists won’t be too frightened to visit.
He shakes his head and sceptically smiles; he does that a lot lately.
That’s why I bought the tickets. It is time. Now. We are going.
I sleep that night knowing it was the right choice but I have one more hurdle to jump.
As I walk to my work the next day, the traffic is intense and I am searching for my break in the flow so I can scamper off to my desk and begin the grind.
Then it hits me, stronger than any dose of espresso on a Tuesday morning could, today is the day I hand in my leave request form for the trip.
Today it begins. Now the countdown becomes active, the suitcases are opened with anticipation, and the travel documents are checked and checked again because today my friend is the day I can tell the world – I am becoming a free and un-tethered worldly traveller.
As long as my boss approves the leave.
My boss is a tightly buttoned woman with her hair pulled savagely back in a bun. She isn’t popular for her icy demeanour or her tired grey clothes. No, my boss is renowned for an altogether different quality.
My boss, Gertrude, is a compulsive planner.
Gertrude plans team meetings six months in advance, operates a five-year leave schedule for all employees and displays a quirky little sign above her desk saying ‘Death is no excuse for tardiness’.
She has that school principal feel where I feel like swinging my legs and chewing gum when I see her.
Today I arrive early, print a leave form and summon up my confidence to walk into her office and request leave. I can do this I tell myself, it’s only leave, it’s short notice but surely, we can all work around that.
She raises her head as I enter and her eyes rest pointedly on my coat. There is a small square stain there on the lapel from when I dropped my toast this morning rushing out to the car. The distaste registers in her eyes and I notice. But I will not be subdued or shamed. Today is my day and I am going to grasp it with both hands, no matter how many buttery toast marks there may be lingering on my coat.
I take a deep breath and hand her over my leave request form. She takes it into her hands, raises her glasses to her face and then stops still.
Why isn’t she reading it?
What is she waiting for?
She looks at me and says “where is it you want to go?”
I’m taken back, I thought the verbal joust would begin with time frames and days requested but this, this different subject is unexpected.
“I have tickets booked with a friend to fly out next week. We are going to Europe. Our tour begins from London to Scotland, over to Ireland and then we fly directly to France. Then we drive through Germany and Austria then back down to Italy and Greece. I have always wanted to see these places and have not had the opportunity and now I am taking it.”
This was the point where the grown-up part of me should have stopped talking….but I didn’t.
“You see Gertrude, I have been so worried about being the right type of loving but not clingy girlfriend, the best kind of supportive friend, the most respectable daughter and the most valuable employee that I forgot to plan my own life.
I’m over it Gertrude, they can take me as I am or go jump. I need to find my own feet.
I fight back tears and then realise with shame that I had just said all that out loud to ‘grey cardigan Gertrude’ and now, well, I could probably kiss my leave goodbye and probably my job too.
I look out from under my lashes, my heart beating a mile a minute and the room seemed to have taken on a very heavy quietness amid a busy Tuesday morning outside.
Gertrude looks up at me, her eyes meet mine and she says just four words to me.
She smiled a bittersweet smile and said “Go. Find your feet.”
I look at her with pure shock and surprise. I see in her eyes the same longing for freedom that I had, but hers has faded, maybe been subdued with long hours at the office planning leave, maybe suffocated by being the perfect daughter, wife, mother or employee.
I watch silently as Gertrude reaches into her drawer, pulls out a big square blue stamp and thumps it hard and with gusto onto my leave request form. She carefully lifts the stamp and a large wet ‘approved’ mark shines up from the paper.
Gertrude smiles at me and says good luck as she quietly turns away.
I warmly thank her and quickly leave her office, my breath still creaking from my tightened throat and anticipation beginning to weave its way through my veins. Wow!
So this is it, the tickets are booked, my leave is arranged, Harry is all organised with his work and we are ready to go.
The remainder of the week rushes by in a flurry of emails, promises to friends of exotic gifts, kisses for family and a very expensive taxi fare to the airport departure gates.
Our check-in was quick, security was uneventful, and we even found a few bargains in the duty-free section of the airport where I bought this great pen.
Now I’m all set to write the next part of my story, I’m looking forward to practising new accents and tasting new foods and Harry is finally putting away his favourite National Geographic magazine and looking out the window of our Boeing 747 as we taxi on the tarmac with our seatbelts buckled and big smiles on our faces.
We are both going to find our feet.
We have lift-off! Day one has begun, and tomorrow is all planned out, it will go to plan, right?
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