Day 119 of 365:

{One Word Writing Prompt: Solitude}

Our house is located in the middle of the town we live in, in a closely packed subdivision of brick, single family homes that are the very definition of suburbia.  Everything is neat, orderly and tightly packed together.  By that I am referring to not only the houses, but the people too.  It’s a closeness that easily folds into your day-to-day.

There is one house in particular where I have a pretty clear view of the kitchen windows while I am standing in my own kitchen.  When I am up at 6 am, letting out dogs and brewing coffee, through the darkness of the backyards, I often notice that the light in their kitchen is on as well, telling me I am not the only one awake.  When I am outside on my patio on a warm evening, I can tell from the dancing blue and green shadows that they are watching television.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I spend all my time watching the window’s of my neighbours.  That would make me creepy.  But still, when your houses are in such close proximity to one another, you catch glimpses of movement, the glow of lights, blinds opened…blinds closed.  You don’t mean to, it just happens.  And you really don’t give it a whole lot of your attention…except that  somewhere in your mind, you are aware of the fact that all around you, other families are also going about their lives.  They turn on lights.  They watch TV, just like you do.

The other day, I realized that the family that lived in the house behind ours has moved out.  There had been a for sale sign on the lawn a few months back, but I hadn’t heard that they had sold.  The cold winter months that keeps us all hibernating in our homes, prevents news and  friendly chit-chat (gossip) from spreading through the neighborhood like it does during the warmer months of the year.

I didn’t see them leaving, didn’t see a moving truck, but they are definitely no longer there.  The windows are black, devoid of light and movement.  I can only assume that a new family will soon move in and replace them, but until then, it’s an empty house.

I was struck by how much this bothered me, this sudden emptiness.  I was saddened to see and to know that this house is…alone.  The bodies, and voices that filled its halls and rooms have left.  To know that dearly valued possessions (dishes, cups, pets, shoes, pillows, coffee maker…) this house once protected have been removed.  The walls that ricocheted the sounds of laughter are now silent.  All the special events, celebrations, and even the small quiet, beautiful moments, once gathered by the people who created them, have vanished.  Just like the furniture, the dishes, the pets, the shoes, and the coffee maker…all are gone.  The sun shines through the windows, but it’s warm glow is cast upon nothing.  2443765747818982761

Though it may be surrounded by a sea of other houses, this newly emptied house stands in stark contrast.   Within the bricks and mortar, beams and drywall of homes all around it is the constant sound, movement and the energy of life happening.  But here, all is still.  It may as well be the only house, on a dead-end street, forgotten long ago…

…desolate and smothered in solitude….



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(The image I used above is not my photograph!  Unfortunately I have no idea as to its source.  But it is a beautiful and it is mournful and it served as my inspiration, helping me find the words that fill this post.)




Caffeine Mantra

Day 109 of 365:

{Motivate Me Monday}

This is the only thing I need:


Getting settled into Monday.  I am leaning heavily on caffeine, an insane amount of optimism and a ridiculously high dose of ambition.

But first – coffee….  did I mention that already?…


-Janice 🙂




Five Favourite Things On A Friday: The Playlist Edition

Day 99 of 365:

{it’s a list!}

First of all….  hip-hip-hooray for the 99th day of the year! Just seems like a milestone kind of number, doesn’t it?


So it’s Friday.  And I haven’t done a Five Favourite Things post in like forever.  Plus it seems like a GREAT day to shake some booty, so I’m gonna make this one all about music.

horns up
Horns Up!

A little known secret about my writing habit….I HAVE to HAVE to have music on and loud while I write.  And each of my stories has its own playlist.  True Story.  (not a little known secret though.  I go on and on about needing and having music at my side all. the. time.)

Seriously, my writing playlists are NO JOKE when it comes to my productivity.  For the novel I am currently working on, I have about 150 songs or so that rotate around and play constantly in the background of my life, whether I am writing or not.  It’s like having a personal soundtrack.  To anyone else, I am sure my playlists seem random and disjointed.  But I actually put a whole lot of thought into the selections I make.  The songs speak to me in a kind of secret language, guiding me through each twist and turn in my character arcs and plot outlines.  A kind of writing tool that has become indispensable to my process.

Today?  A certain few songs kept repeating and jumping out at me as I went through my day.   Without further adieu, here is my Five Favourites List in honour of my hardworking playlist:

5 favourite

I love that these songs are not at all related to each other, but they play seamlessly in my writing life.  I also love that their connection makes total sense to only me.

(I wanna know: what’s playing on your iPod today??  What songs inspire you to write?)


Rock On, Peeps!


-Janice 🙂


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