Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale
September 7, 2011 40 Comments Writing Stephanie Ayers

It’s Indie Ink time again!! I’ll share my challenge at the bottom, and I will admit that this was WOW out of my league and way out of my comfort zone.

The leaf is dancing with me. It is red and crisp and freshly fallen from its bough. It challenges me to a game of chase. In its newborn innocence, it does not realize that it needs me to be able to enjoy the game. Its dips and whirls are only possible because of me. I allow it to think otherwise and begin the game.

The game is fun. Up, down, around the tree trunks, the hard bark scratches as we go. We plunge down to the earth and we skip across the water and we rest for a moment on the grassy shore of the lake. I am not tired because the leaf is light as a feather, but I like the feel of the grass under my toes. The leaf goes flying again, reaching as high as the top of the oak tree nearby, before it descends towards the earth and I stop chasing it. I watch as it goes down, down and then I breathe and it goes back up, free-falls when I inhale, up with another exhale. The dance continues until I run out of breath and the leaf falls to the water. The water runs away with the leaf. I am sad the game has ended.

I am so sad that my heart becomes heavy and fills the air around me. My sadness oppresses the water and she returns the leaf to me. It is wet and I am still sad and can no longer carry it along. Its tiny voice reaches me in its own sadness, waiting for me to exhale.

This week my challenger was Nick, who challenged me with “You are the wind. Tell me what you see, where you go, and what you feel. Use Hemingway’s Icebery Theory and let the reader use his/her imagination.” Excellent challenge, Nick!!

I challenged octoberesque this week with “…because the river runs through it, an even divide, the old world on one side, the new world on the other like a mirror of past and future.” You can find her response here.

This is such an awesome group, I’m still wondering why YOU haven’t signed up yet!

Tags
Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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  1. 40 Comments

    Jason Hughes

    I think that was very good, esp considering how outside of your comfort zone it was… I esp loved how we were to think of natural processes as a game, giving life and joy to an otherwise annoying (at least for me!) part of nature… I hate the wind, LOL!

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      I enjoy a simple wind, a soft breeze, like the one that would chase the leaf, but strong hurricane winds I can do without.

      Reply
  2. 40 Comments

    Sausage

    Nicely done…that was bloody good.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Thank you! It’s very odd to not have my splashes of color throughout, but refreshing at the same time. I do not think I could write like this all the time, though.

      Reply
  3. 40 Comments

    Lance

    swoon

    My favorite author, my favorite style, my favorite sentence structure.

    You killed it. It was was strong. Now we rest.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Wow thanks, Lance. How come I didn’t know you were a Hemingway fan before this? Haha. Rest sounds good.

      Reply
  4. 40 Comments

    Renee

    This is simply lovely. Excellent work!

    Reply
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  5. 40 Comments

    Diane (PandorazBox80)

    Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I’ve never read Hemingway before but this makes me want to.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Wow!! What a nice compliment! Thank you!

      Reply
  6. 40 Comments

    supermaren

    Yeah, you totally killed it. I wish I could give you something constructive, but can’t think of anything. I thought you just knocked it out of the park, especially since it was so outside your comfort zone.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      I am not a Hemingway fan, but its thanks to caring friends and fellow indie inkers that I finally understood what its all about. It’s as unnatural for me as it comes, but after doing it? I’m still not a Hemingway fan, but I did enjoy this.

      Reply
  7. 40 Comments

    Sarah

    Awesome!! What a great take on the prompt. I don’t think I could have handled it anywhere near as well!!

    Reply
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  8. 40 Comments

    billy flynn

    Awesome DM! The motion and the emotion you created was very good. I’m going to have to google Hemingway’s theory but you’ve have risen to the challenge elegantly.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Thank you!! I always enjoy your take on the prompt too. You have an incredible imagination.

      Reply
  9. 40 Comments

    (FL) Girl with a New Life

    What a cool prompt! And I enjoyed what you did with it. Makes me want to sit outside and write.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Well, isn’t that the best compliment I have ever received!! To inspire someone to write is probably the biggest dream a writer has.

      Reply
  10. 40 Comments

    lizculver

    Wow, for being outside of your comfort zone (and I would have totally been there as well) you did an amazing job. Beautiful and sad.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments
  11. 40 Comments

    Carrie

    I’m not familiar with Hemingway much but regardless, I enjoyed the feeling of this. The floating, the sense of play.

    very pretty piece

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      Thank you. I like the sound of it being a pretty piece, I don’t know why.

      Reply
  12. 40 Comments

    amanda

    I used to be nervous when prompts were so far out of my comfort zone, but I’ve learned that it always ends up well. 🙂 I love your piece. Thanks for being brave and writing it.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      You know, when it’s all said and done, it was fun. Thank you.

      Reply
  13. 40 Comments

    kelly garriott waite

    That was an amazing challenge and an amazing response. I can picture that leaf floating in the wind. Especially enjoyed your ending.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      It’s very comforting to know that despite the very factual aspects of this piece, you were able to see it enact. It gives me a whole new perspective on show not tell. A sort of…odd one. Thank you!

      Reply
  14. 40 Comments

    Tina

    I think you did a great job, for being out of your comfort zone. You personified the wind, made it child-like. That was really cool!

    Reply
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  15. 40 Comments

    Galit Breen

    Oh my this is poetic. I adore the license tat you took making the wind sad.

    {You rocked it. NOT out of your league!}

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      That’s very nice of you to say, LOL. I don’t think I could write like this all the time. It’s quite a conscientious style for me.

      Reply
  16. 40 Comments

    TheKirCorner

    Wow, wow, wow. I felt like the wind…I was breezy and light and floating. Great job!

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments
  17. 40 Comments

    Brandon P Duncan

    Very interesting, indeed. I have not taken many literature classes (or creative writing, for that matter), so I have to admit, I did not know of this Iceberg Theory. After reading about it, I think it does have a place; though I’m not sure I personally would take the time to omit so much. Pretty cool though.

    As for knowing that this was a story about the wind? Yes. After the first sentence. However, that’s not due to your writing, I just have a wicked overactive imagination. And among other things, I have played with riddles since I was in the single digits.

    Good job, though. That would have been tough for anyone. You had your work cut out for you on this!

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      You would not believe the amount of time I spent sweating over this challenge, but once I really digested what his point was, and started reading a little of his stuff (I am not a Hemingway fan), I found this easier to write than I thought. Perhaps because it was about the wind, I was able to be more expressive and descriptive. I don’t know if I would have been able to do it with another piece.

      Thanks for taking a look and giving me your thoughts.

      Reply
  18. 40 Comments

    Nick Rolynd

    Oh, wow. I love how you imagined the wind’s thoughts. I think you did a great job! =)

    Reply
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  19. 40 Comments

    Donna Sturgeon (@Donna_Sturgeon)

    What a wonderfully written piece. I read it once to read, and then I went back and read it again, simply to enjoy the beauty of your words. Very nice.

    Reply
    1. 40 Comments

      DM

      This was such a nice compliment. Thank you, Donna!

      Reply
  20. 40 Comments

    bridgetstraub

    Yep, definitly the wind. I have a hard time with challenges like this, so I’m impressed. Nice job.

    Reply
  21. 40 Comments

    From the Archives: Waiting to Exhale « My Write Side

    […] was originally written last September in response to an IndieInk challenge where I was instructed to be the wind using […]

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