Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

 

Honestly, who hasn’t? I know I have. In fact I have two I’ve written but haven’t published yet. One is done and just needs the finishing touches on it and the other one haunts me day and night because it’s not quite done.

I have lots of “reasons’ for this. Don’t we all? But my reasons are simply a matter of time because as a ghost writer, I have plenty of time to work on writing for my clients, but when it comes to my own work…not so much.

I always dread coming to the end of a project. I know I”ll miss the work and the inevitable friendship that blossoms between me and my client. It can’t be helped. I’ve climbed inside their head and walked around for a very long time. I get under their skin and listen to their story. I obsess with every detail and work and work and work until I find THEIR voice, THEIR thoughts, THEIR emotions and put them into THEIR words.

I do it for them. It’s all about them and I love that. I LOVE helping someone get the story out and then seeing their smiles – and sometime tears – as everything they had bottled up and couldn’t say, is finally out. It was said. It was written and it will live forever, long after they are gone. Their story will continue.

It’s a total rush for both of us.

Everyone has a story or two. Not everyone can express it, but that’s where I come in. There’s a wonderful feeling of being anonymous and being in the background and helping someone shine.

I could tell you some of the stories I’ve written for others, but then I’d have to kill you. OK, not really.

One day I was searching for something online. Up popped a gazillion links on the subject. As I scrolled down the first page on Google, one link caught my eye. I looked again and clicked the link. It brought me to a blog I had written for someone else that I had completely forgotten about! I KNEW the words were familiar. Ha!

I was proud to see my words ranked so high on Google. *twirls and bows*

If you need a ghostwriter, hit me up. I always love meeting people and writing their stories. There’s no drug that compares to the feeling.

So tell me, what story do you want told?

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If you’ve followed this blog for a few years, then you’ve read many of my stories about the battered women and convicted felons I’ve worked with. I am now writing the book I promised them, many years ago. The book is about Chantelle and myself, and how our two opposite lives came together one day and how we helped each other. I hope you will join me and cheer me on and support me as I write this.

She sat on the edge of her bunk, eyes closed and reminding herself to breathe. She breathed through her mouth because her cell smelled of urine and hot dogs. They must have been serving hot dogs and beans again, along with a piece of bread and cold coffee. Her lips were swollen and her head hurt where she had slammed it on the dashboard of the car the night before. She hung her head down and tried to block out the sounds. The constant talking and clanking and yelling of the people in the ward never stopped. Her cell mate was snoring soundly with her back turned towards her. She was huge and her orange jumpsuit barely contained her massive ass and thighs. The fabric was stretched thin against her back and she could see the outline of the woman’s bra.  The cell mate arrived yesterday and immediately wanted to chat with her. She asked her her name.

“Jane. My name is Jane,” she replied. Jane seemed like a good name to use. It was the name first given to her as an infant and her head hurt too much to be clever or witty. Jane was her fallback name. It came out of her mouth effortlessly.

“Hi Jane, nice to meet you. What they got you in here for? Oh, my name’s Clarice,” she said and extended her large and black hand towards her. Jane remained seated as she stuck out her hand and gave it a limp shake. She didn’t like being touched but it seemed easier to shake hands rather than explain it. Clarice looked at her for a moment and then sat down on the bunk across from her.

“Is that your bunk?” she asked Jane. “I hope it’s OK for me to take this one…”

“It’s fine. I’ve been the only one in here today,” she said. Why was it people could never take the hint when you didn’t want to talk? Jane was tired of talking and explaining herself. It seemed like people had an urge to tell you all about themselves, when in fact, no one gave a fuck. Maybe they just liked to hear themselves talk. Maybe it made them feel important or at least alive. Jane didn’t know and didn’t care. She leaned back and stretched out on her bunk and stared at the stained mattress above her.

The place was dingy, but that was to be expected. It’s not like this was a 5 star hotel. It wasn’t even a 1 star hotel. It was the County Jail and she was being housed, fed, and clothed on the taxpayer’s dollar. She knew that because she had been reminded of it her entire life.

“Oh is that right? Well it’s nice to meet you,” Clarice said and sat down. She looked around but there wasn’t much to see. Two bunk beds and a toilet in-between them. Concrete floors and walls and bars across the front, which looked across to another cell. They were in Ward C. The hallway was long with 30 cells built-in. All of them were full. This was where they brought everyone and stored them, to be sorted out later. Jane couldn’t count the number of times she had been placed here. Four? Or maybe five? It didn’t matter, she knew the routine.

She’d go up before a judge, be assigned a public defender, and plead innocent. This would annoy the judge, but a court date would be set. She’d not be able to make bail because no way Razor had the money to bail her out. He hadn’t done that the last time or two. She was getting older but not too old to keep working. Razor had other younger and prettier girls he would take care of before her. If he bailed her out, great. If not, she was prepared to do her sentence again and wait it out. At least this way, she had a place to sleep and food during the day. It was boring as shit, but it was better than being out in the cold. December was a horrible time to be a whore. Trying to look enticing without freezing to death was impossible. She had her regular customers, but they were home with their beautiful wives and adorable children for the holidays in their warm houses with wonderful food on the table. She imagined their homes as she lay there, listening to Clarice prattle on.

For the rest of chapter, and to follow along as the book is published, go to: https://www.patreon.com/SusanLewis?ty=h

“It’s my time to go.”

Posted: March 28, 2013 in Writing
Tags: ,

“No it’s not,” I said and squeezed her hand.

“Yes, it is and I’m ready.”

“I’m not,” I said and brushed her hair away from her forehead.

Even at her very old age, her eyes were still crystal clear and a beautiful shade of blue. They really were piercing and I had not looked into them for too many years to count.

She had been my 5th and 6th grade teacher over 30 years ago and even then, I remembered her as old. I was 10 years old when I first met her. She was old-fashioned, kind and strict. The thought of talking back to her never entered your mind. You learned in her classes. You sat up straight. You said “Yes ma’am” and you turned your homework in on time.

When you received an “A+” you knew you had earned it. The same with a “C-.” Each and every piece was returned with her markings from her red pencil. You knew by her comments that it had been thoroughly read and critiqued.

She missed nothing.

She was my salvation when the math teacher I had decided she hated me and began her 2-year cycle of bullying me and another girl.

It was Mrs. Aronson who stepped in when she could. It was Mrs. Aronson who spoke-up and tried to stop it. It was Mrs Aronson who would tell me not to listen.

It was Mrs. Aronson who convinced me to write.

When she asked me to stay after class one afternoon, I gulped and nodded while I held my breath. I couldn’t think about what I had done wrong and tried to ignore the giggles of my classmates as they chanted “Susan’s in trouble! Susan’s in trouble!”

One look from her and they shut-up and scurried out the door.

I slowly walked up to her desk and waited until she looked up at me. She smiled and asked me to sit down. She was holding my paper in her hand. I racked my brain trying to remember what I had written and why I was in trouble.

I sat down and waited. Each second felt like a week while I watched her read it again. I could see some red marks on it. I was suddenly convinced that it was so bad, she was going to kick me out of her class. The fact that she couldn’t do that was beside the point. I had finally crossed some unknown line that kids aren’t supposed to cross.

I had written something that was bad and it was going to get me into trouble.

She turned and looked at me as she handed me my paper. I took it in my hand. The paper shook. I looked down and read her notes on it.

They were praising it. She commented on what she liked, along with her corrections on my grammar and sentence structure.

She had given me an “A+” and I thought it was a joke.

I looked up at her. She was smiling.

“Where did you learn to do this?” she asked.

“Do what?”

“Tell stories. Is this story true?”

“Yes!” I said. “This really is what happened on our vacation and my brother Jeff really did throw-up all over me in the back seat of the station wagon. My Dad was driving…”

“It’s OK, I believe you,” she said and chuckled. “I read your story and it’s wonderful.”

I nodded my head. I no longer felt as if I was going to vomit.

“You still need to work on your grammar, but that will come in time. But I want you to promise me something.”

“Anything,” I said. I loved her and always had.

“Promise me you’ll always write.”

“Who? Me?”

She laughed and put her hands on top of mine and pulled them towards her. “Yes, you,” she said and held them tight for a moment and then let go.

“Ummm….”

“No, you do NOT say ‘Ummmm.” That is not the proper way to speak. You either say “Yes” or “No.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Good. Now go home and I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said and began grading lessons. I got up and walked home, stunned.

Thirty years later, I saw her at a park. I recognized her immediately and felt a huge smile cross my face.  She could barely walk and someone was holding her hand as they walked around the lake. I stopped and just watched her for a moment and then walked up to her.

The woman she was with turned around and smiled. She tapped Mrs. Aronson on the shoulder and she stopped walking. I held out my hand and told her who I was. We looked at each other for a moment. Her hair was still in a bun, she was wearing the same perfume and she had her gloves on because that was the proper way for a woman to dress when she was outside.

She was very frail , but she was walking around the lake anyway.

“You probably don’t remember me, but I wanted to tell you how much you helped me.”

The woman with her hugged me. She was her great-great granddaughter.

I could see she was reading my lips. She smiled and nodded and took my hands in hers. “Yes, I remember you. Your eyes haven’t changed. Are you still writing?”

Her question floored me. “No, I never really…”

“You must,” she said. “You promised me you would, didn’t you?” she said and raised her eyebrow.

I was suddenly back in her class.

“Yes ma’am, I did.”

“You are not the type of person to break promises,” she said.

That’s all she needed to say.

“I will start right away,” I said and looked down and kicked some dirt.

“You start tonight, you hear me?” she said.

I kept looking at my shoes.

“Yes ma’am,” I said.

“Good,” she said and chuckled. She put her hand under my chin and lifted my face to hers.

“I don’t have much time left and I always wondered about you and how you turned out. I’m glad I got to see that you turned out just fine,” she said.

“Yes I did,” I said.

“I’ll be gone soon. I’m ready.”

I wasn’t. I had just found her again. I still heard her voice telling me I was good enough, that I could write, that I must write no matter what, that I didn’t deserve to be bullied.

It has always been her voice in me that kept me going, through unbearable heartache and loss, through all the rejection.

It’s her voice I hear when I make a typo or write a sentence wrong.

I cringe and fix it because she believed in me and loved me and cared about me enough to push me and never accepted a reason why it couldn’t be done.

She saw the best in all of us and never accepted anything less.

And that’s what we gave her. Our best because we knew she was right. No matter where we went or what happened to any of us, she forced us to know we were good and worthy.

It’s her voice I hear that I can do it and I will do it.

She’s the reason I teach.

She’s the reason I write.

She’s the reason that teaching is a noble profession and no one can take that away from me.

She is who I write for.