My personal time has taken a back seat to everything else already in the back seat. I think about writing, try to set aside time for writing, and then find myself a day later down the road saying "what happened?"
Thank God for Quote Snack's writing prompts. For some time now, I have been doing them, especially when I fail entirely at my personal horological management. Blogger E.A. Able sets you off with a short quote, sometimes just a phrase, and a five minute limit.
Even on my worst days, I can find five minutes. I can always find five minutes.
Her most recent writing prompt was this sentence: I didn't have anyone around for whom I had to put on a cheerful mask. My response is below.
All the masks were lying on the floor. Brightly colored ones, dull ones, grim ones, cheerful ones. Feathers, bangles, glitter on some. Curious inlaid rims on others.
Christ, it looks like a Mardi Gras carnival float wrecked here.
I squat down, picking up one from the floor, turning it in my hands, the light glinting off its smooth polished surfaces. It was one of the most cheerful ones: upturned eyes, a broad smile, glowing pinks and yellows.
I didn't have anyone around for whom I had to put on a cheerful mask. I set it carefully on a shelf, giving it a little pat.
I turn to the dance masks. These are the Great Carved Masks. They were done carefully over many generations, carvers telling stories as they huddled around a fire, carvers breathing the magic of the Spirits into the faces. Here is Raven. Here is Wolf. Here is Salmon. Here is the Hamatsa.
The masks are heavy. They are freighted with meaning, freighted with magic. I pick one up, weighing it in my hands and my heart. I carefully put it on and look at myself in the mirror.
I have become the Cannibal at the End of the World and Whoop-Szo will send the avalanche to destroy me.