Shattered Brain

My mind shattered into thousands of tiny pieces on the floor. The senses and motor functions were the only bits left attached to one another. It floated in a blank void before me. I stood there in wonder as I studied each fragment; reading, gardening, hikes, beach walks, family, friends, YouTube, writing, and other random bits of what I thought I enjoyed laid out beneath.

My brain stripped to its primal functions with nothing left to enjoy.

No longer did I feel like me.
No longer did I create.

The large piece that was made up of family and friends called to me. They made up the core of who I was. I picked them up and placed them onto the bare brain. They attached themselves without fuss. They knew that they belonged.

The next biggest fragment was writing. I held the piece in my hands feeling the energy that overflowed from deep within. I had enjoyed this craft long before any of the others. I loved and hated this desire. It was pain and hardship, also my greatest pleasure. It fit snug behind a family. With only the three chunks in place, my mind was almost put back together. I studied the other thousands that laid out on top of the floor.
How would I they all fit? Would they all fit?

A waft of fresh forest air filled my nose as the fragments of the outdoors beckoned me. Swimming, hiking, camping, gardening, and campfires all fit back nicely. All the fun outdoor activities I enjoyed as a child, teen, and adult would never be left behind. I’d always need them.

I plucked tiny fragments and collected them in my hands. Music, painting, knitting, and candle making… one by one I stuck them to the brain. One by one they fell back to the floor. Confused, I picked up my newest hobby, YouTube. I made a channel in hopes to share my experience of adoption with my family and friends. I’ve worked hard on it for a year with hopes to connect with other adoptive families. I placed it to the brain in hopes it would stick. I wanted it so badly to fuse like the others. It dropped heavy to the floor. I reached for it again. I pulled and tugged but the fragment would not lift. Anger heated my face as I kicked it. Even then, it remained in place.

Defeated, I deflated to the floor with my hands outstretched above me. The brain was far from complete. Why would it not go back together? What was I missing?

My hand slapped the floor beside me. Pain ripped up my hand as blood began to spill from it. I sat up to examine my stupidity. There in the palm of my hand was a small shard. When I pulled it out I noticed it was all the books I read as a child. Puzzled, I glanced at the pile my hand struck. YA, fiction, nonfiction, historical, Manga, and all the other books I had ever read were all clumped together in a messy heap. I sucked the wound while the other hand rested on the books. A large fragment formed under the touch creating a forgotten love of mine. Reading.

It fit perfectly on the front of the brain. That left a small sliver in the back and middle to be filled. I scavenged the shattered piece for what it might be… Tried fashion, carpentry, social media, fitness, and cooking. Nothing seemed to work.

My career was a bigger piece then I expected. Cracked and dulled. I used to be enthusiastic about my job. As time wore on, I wore out. I didn’t expect it to click into the middle as smoothly as it did. The dreariness faded into a vibrant joy once again as it absorbed the energy from my other passions. It was only then I realized that my job as an Early Childhood Educator used my other skills. My love for people, reading, the outdoors, and writing all had a purpose in my career.

A silver sliver caught my eye as I admired the livelihood of my mind. It belonged to my secret love. Mechanics.

My mind was complete. And yet, thousands of fragments remained. Heavy cloudy pieces. I had pulled my attention in too many directions. These were all causing me to lose focus on what I truly enjoyed. But, they were not a waste. All of them belonged in my experiences. I balled all of them up and tucked them into my past. Things I have tried but won’t bother lifting again.

This story is about my one o’clock in the morning realization. (Yes, it’s that early as I type this.) I’ve put too much on my shoulders. Too many expectations. I need to give my mind a break. I no longer want to be a Jack-of-All-Trades Master of None. I want writing to be my main goal. I long to master it. So, I’ve decided to buckle down on my true craft.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension
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The Creature Named Time

Time is the greatest enemy of life. I loved to do multiple things at once that seem to never get finished. I figured out that I’m a starter, not so much a finisher. I had to find a way to balance life with hobbies and interests. Work, play, and exercise had to be intertwined with family and friends. This was next to impossible due to the time I had every day.
I have made a post about this long ago. Since then, I feel that I have grown as a writer. I know the importance that time plays in creating a strong author platform. Not that I’m good at it though. I have been trying my best to better myself.

I have now created a schedule that works for my everyday life. Of course, this is a malleable week-by-week idea. Life is always growing and changing. Time is an unpredictable creature we all play with. I hope to please you all with this new outlook.

In the past I challenged time. I went into a head-to-head battle empty handed with a head full of ideas. I’d come out beaten and broken. A waste of time is irreversible. I wish that I could build a time machine to tell my younger self, “Do well with what you have now before it slips through your fingertips.”

Time is air.
Uncatchable with bare hands.
Time is water.
Always on the move.
Time is fire.
Once burned. Never the same.
Time is Earth.
Slowly aging.

So now, I embark on a new adventure in my pursuit of a better relationship with life. I chose to pick a task, complete it, and move on. The past is what we learn from. I shouldn’t dwell on the mistakes of my younger self. I will no longer long for a time machine that will send me back to educate that self I wished to be wiser. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t have grown into the person I am today.

Dear Time,
Let us walk hand-in-hand down this road called life. To learn. To grow. To imagine the future. For only you know what lays ahead.
Always yours,
C.B. Dixon

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

Link: Amazon
Link: Chapters
Link: Barns & Noble

Top Five Writers Resources

These are the top five writing resources I have found to be useful that benefit my craft.These are the top five writing resources I have found to be useful that benefit my craft.
1. Jenna Moreci
Jenna has a YouTube channel stocked with videos about writing. She is informative and entertaining to watch. I really enjoy her short, to the point, videos. They have helped me expand my abilities as a writer.

The link to her channel: Jenna Moreci
2. Canadian Writer Group
This group on Facebook is meant for Canadian writers. There are groups all over Facebook that writers can tap into. These groups have other writers that you can connect with to see how they’ve worked on their craft and author platform. It’s great to connect with people that share your passion.

The link: Canadian Writers
(Keep in mind this one is for Canadian writers only. If you are not from Canada find the group that is in your area.)
3. Pixabay
Pixabay is a stock photo website that allows you to download free photos. I use the images to spruce up my blog posts. Mostly all my featured images come from this site. I found it a lot easier to use than Shuttershock.

The link: Pixabay
4. Cavna
Cavana is a simple photo editer. I use it with the photos I pull from Pixabay. I use this site to create photos with words on top of the image. These images go on to my social media in the perfect size since Cavana offers templates for all the mainstream sites.

The link: Canva

 

Mortal SoulAscension
Example

 

 

5. Writer’s Digest Magazine
I get this Magazine for free at my local library, but you can get the monthly subscription to come to your door. This magazine is stocked filled with the newest information about the field. It’s beneficial for you to know what is happening in the industry. There is always juicy info.

The link: Writer’s Digest
If you have any to add to this list please leave them in the comments below. I am always looking to expand my knowledge. I want to learn more about all the secrets that you writers have. Please share them with me!

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

Link: Amazon
Link: Chapters
Link: Barns & Noble

Audiobooks and Novels

Welcome to my first Random Fridays. It’s going to be a fun little blurb about my different experiences all book-related! I’m excited to get this rolling.

Audiobooks and Novels
I’ve done a blog post about how I fell in love with audiobooks a while ago. This post is going to be the pros and cons I have found with both. I love reading in all types of forms whether it’s reading the newspaper, blog, or book to listening to people read to me. Peoples abilities always amaze me.

Audiobooks

Pros:

  • I can listen to a story while I clean the house, garden, shower, or drive. The hands-free experience makes chores and other tasks more enjoyable.
  • The reader can pronounce the names, sometimes, and words I would have struggled with. This makes the story music to my ears.
  • If the reader can switch between the characters voices the story becomes more real.

Cons:

  • If I’m laying in bed I fall asleep…the story continues.
  • Sometimes the story is captivating but the reader is meh… There are audiobook readers out there with voices I can’t stand.
  • People don’t know your listening to a great story…and they start a conversation.

Novels

Pros:

  • The physical copy! Oh, the smell… the weight! Nothing beats holding a book! I can also admire the beauty of the cover.
  • Being able to read the words in written form helps me learn new words and grammar that I might not experience elsewhere.
  • When I fall asleep I can wake up to continue where I left off.
    People fall asleep during movies, I fall asleep reading. It happens, kay…

Cons:

  • While reading for a long stretch of time my arms hands sometimes get tired. The dreaded needle pricks in my fingertips.
  • Life seems to always find a way to keep me from sitting on the couch to enjoy a good reading session.
  • People don’t understand that when I have a book in my hands I don’t want to talk. Readers aren’t bored! They want to read! Come on people!
    I can’t be the only one that thinks this way…

These are some fun things that I’ve put together. I would love to hear what your list is for either audiobooks or/and novels. I read dark fiction and fantasy if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments. I would love to find a new audiobook where the reader has a unique voice.

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

Adoption in Writing. And then, Adopting…

I started writing Wicked Soul Ascension long before I started thinking about children. I knew Mark and I would want children in the future, but we never talked about it. My main character from Wicked Soul Ascesnsion, Blaze, was adopted by her family after she lost her mother and father in a fire. I never thought that years later my husband and I would enter the adoption process after my novel was published.

The problem with having written an adopted character:
I didn’t know much about the process or the traumas of an adoptee. I heard many stories about international adoptions and domestic adoptions. I also have experience working with children that have been adopted. But now, I’m going to be the mother of an adopted child.
How will they feel when they read this fictional story?
Will I ever write about an adoptee again?
These questions have been weighing heavily on my heart.

On the other hand…
Maybe my child will want to become a writer. I can’t wait to read to him/her books while we curl up in their bed. Trips to the library.

This adventure is the scariest one yet.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

Youtube Vlog about our adoption:
Latest Video
Our Journey to Family

 

When your breaks fail…plan the crash.

This week is a fine week for cycling. Bike to Work has kicked off. Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like a fine ride down the trail. I hadn’t hopped on my bike in a long while. Maybe, five years or so. I got scared off it when a friend of mine drove into fishing line one day on the way to work. Someone strung fishing line on the Galloping Goose in Victoria, Canada. Other cyclists had been hurt badly. It used to be a beautiful two-hour ride to work past waterfalls in the forest. This week is a fine week for cycling. Bike to Work has kicked off. Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like a fine ride down the trail. I hadn’t hopped on my bike in a long while. Maybe, five years or so. I got scared off it when a friend of mine drove into fishing line one day on the way to work. Someone strung fishing line on the Galloping Goose in Victoria, Canada. Other cyclists had been hurt badly. It used to be a beautiful two-hour ride to work past waterfalls in the forest.

This is my journey to work on my bicycle.

Monday, May 28
Day 1:

The first part of my trip was a thin dusty trail. Grass spikelets whipped my legs as I blew past. The path widened enough to see the roots of the trees ripple the ground ahead.  With the roots behind, the smooth road before me, I let out the breath had I caged, Not so bad, my mind lets me believe. Then, I slipped in a few patches of fine sand as the trail dropped into a steep decline. I pulled on my breaks. My tires unable to grip the rugged trail slid as I turned up onto the bank of shrubs. My pavement tires weren’t meant for the rocks bigger than my fists.

Best walk it. You won’t be able to stop in time… you’ll drive off the cliff over there. My thoughts were no friends of mine. Just then, another cyclist blew by. Took the rocky decline before turning effortlessly onto the trail. I felt like a scared kitty-cat. I walked my bike. Unable to beat the fear.

The thin path leading up to the rocky decline.

I breezed through the main path. Memories of all the fun my bike and I used to have together flashed through as I listened to the ocean lick the beach.

There was a small hill at the end of the road rusty me forgot how to gear down. The weight of my lunch, sweeter, and purse pulled me to a stop halfway up. I laughed as I climbed off to push it up the rest of the way. It felt great. Breathless yes, but I couldn’t stop the smile, the random giggles, or the calm of the wind on my face. My tires kissed the pavement and speed me towards our destination. Ah, the rush.


I turned onto the road I had mapped out. All that joy and glee sank down inside to cower in a corner. There seemed to be no end to the twisted hill that stood before me. I wouldn’t make it. There was just no way I could push myself up that hill even without my bike, lunch, and everything else. With no way around it. The sight of sucked on my energy like a carnivore pulling marrow from a bone.
Sweaty, breathless, and exhausted. I pressed up the hill. I tossed away the heavy doubt. Shoved every time my mind reminded me how much weight I decided to bring that day. I took about four breaks. One for water, and the others to attempt to catch my breath.
Finally, the hill leveled out. I mounted my bicycle once again. Work was less than a minute away. When I looked at my watch… only a half hour had passed since I left home. The hill seemed endless.
With an extra half hour, I stopped by the local Starbucks for a hot cup of coffee to relax before braving my job at the daycare.

The way home nearly killed me. Nearly. Not quite one hundred percent. Like ninety eight…yeah, that sounds right.
I thought the hill in the morning was a monster. Told my boss that too. A nasty monster that chews on your lungs as if it were taffy. The claws that dig deep into your heart and squeeze so hard that each heartbeat pulses through your whole body. Hell was that hill.
I was wrong. Horribly wrong.
I love when writers foreshadowing stories. Like tiny hidden puzzle pieces. Cute, adorable, pieces. I hate however…when it happens in real life and involves me cycling up a hill.
After a hard days work. I imagined a nice flat ride home on a different route. I went up a tiny hill that leads me to a nice paved road home. Once I was far enough away from a quick escape… it began. A hill with a delicate incline so subtle that you never noticed in a car. It steepened once and awhile as if the hill enjoyed taking new bites out of my legs before a lengthy chew. All the nasty words I said about the first hill, I took all of it back. That hill was a nice hill. Quick and sweet. Ripped off fast like a band-aid. This one was like listening to the dentist drill into your tooth. My home was at the bottom of the hill. On the other side. All that peddling seemed pointless. The smooth ride down cooled my face as the breath came back to my lungs. It was peace after a hard day. Wonder at the end of a horrible movie.
Have I ever mentioned that sounds make me jumpy? You might know the sound. You squeeze your breaks and it squeals. Not the, you need to change me. The, You’re going to die!
That’s not a nice thing to say to someone when they need you as you plummet down a hill faster and faster. The other break, the jester, gave you a very important lesson when you were younger. Don’t touch it. It looks safe, but pull it wrong and the jokes on you. My second option was to hit the ditch. Blackberry bushes with all their prickly-nastiness seemed a better idea than the pavement. The gooey water could be okay. All the while I touched my rear break wishing for it to work.

Snap. Not normally a good sound while on a bike. Or pop. Both bad sounds. When blended together and the hum of tires follow. No squeal warning me of death. Just the ease of break pads slowing me down to view the ocean.

I can die another day.

Tuesday, May 29
Day two:
The knowledge of the trail let me predict the what came next. The first drop after the sandy patches seemed less steep. The fist-sized rocks shrunk into small chunks of gravel. I caged the breath in my lungs as I rattled off the drop, across the gravel road, onto the main path. I wondered as I passed the chattery squirrels, the windswept trees, and the ocean’s side, what on Earth made me so terrified? I have an unreasonable fear of pain. I don’t know when it started, or why it started. It grew over time. The slippery slope was only a small accomplishment. And yet, the thrill over left me ecstatic. When I got to the first hill I geared down, leaned in, and conquered that too!

The rocky hill.

I decided to take a different path. Past the monstrous hill. The new challenge was steeper than the last, but it was short. I could see the finish line. I felt the day was in the bag. Nothing could stop this winning streak.
My tires seemed as if they needed air on the way home so I swung into the gas station for a quick top up. As I tried to slow to a stop…my breaks betrayed me. They squeezed the disk ever so gently. Whatever I did the night before to fix my breaks issue…failed. I had to go down that steep hill with the inability to stop. Thank the stars I decided to get air or I might’ve been typing this from a hospital bed.  I didn’t think I’d ever need the tools my mom got for me for Christmas. I kept them in my bag for those just in case, but will never happen, moments. A nice guy asked me if I needed a hand with it. Me being me, I declined. I was going to learn how to fix these things on my own…even though I almost just killed myself by doing just that.  Breaks tightened, I took a ride around the mall parking lot. Not the smartest plan. You know. A car pulls out of a spot fast and I can’t stop. Oh well, I survived. They worked…sorta. The sickly squeal made me second guess myself, but I did have the power to stop. And I did stop. I made it down the hill while my bicycle screamed the whole way down. The light at the bottom turned red and I coasted to the line. I made it. I made it.

I think my bike is trying to kill me. This I should think about while I ride tomorrow.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook

The Nightmare of Page 40

Wicked Soul Ascension
Chapter 3 Page 40

This dark nightmare that Blaze endures is one of my favourite scenes. When I first approached it I wanted it to be lighter so I could ease the readers into my madness. But, when I wrote the scene it was blah! I crumpled chapter three into a ball and threw it into the recycling.

(Spoilers…Sorta…)

Here is the dissection of the nightmare of Chapter 3:

I reapproached the nightmare with a new angle. The night before I sat down to rewrite chapter three I had a horrible and yet amazing dream. There were ups and downs all over the place. It was like riding a rollercoaster without the safety harness. I knew then how these dreams should play out.

The nightmare had to be about school. Most nightmares that happen are about things we fear or cause us some form of hardship. Ether in the past or in the minds predicted future. At least, that’s from my experience.
Blaze, main character, the students at the school bullied her for being different, easy to pick on, and socially awkward. The teachers never gave Blaze a chance to work through the trauma she had experienced as a small child. Blazes’ mind is a dark eery place where the most twisted things were allowed to happen. I decided that the students and teachers needed to be displayed in the most Blaze-ish way possible. Meat hooks were a great foreshadowing choice that I snuck in. Those of you that read the book…did you catch that?
I took away the sound of the room. The blood that dripped from the open wounds, no creaks, or steps were all void of sound. Loud music in horror movies, even the lack of music, usually means that something is going to pop out. So, I wanted to try it out in a book. I loved the result. It truly added to the emotion of this scene.

After it was written.
The finished nightmare in chapter three made it’s way to my favourites list. I ended up reading it at the Laughing Oyster Book Reading Series on Vancouver Island, Canada. I had never read in front of anyone since English class in school. I mumbled my intro to the crowded room. My hands vibrated as my knees grew weak.
And then, I read the two pages.
When I finished I glanced up from my sheet of paper at the audience panicked that I picked the wrong passage for the crowd. I meekly said, “thank you,” into the mic.
A pause.
Nothing.
Not even a cough.
Finally, they all let out a breath at the same time before they began to clap. It was then I realized how intense the passage was. That the air in the room was sucked out while the audience held their breath.
This is my goal. I want my readers to truly feel the aura of each scene the way I read the nightmare of chapter three that day.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook

I have done a live reading of this scene on my Facebook page.
Skip forward to 14:12 for the reading.    (Click Here)

 

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