You're riding down the road thinking you're on a one-way path straight ahead and into the future. But something from your past comes around the corner and you realize you're not on one long linear path but a weird, wonderful tangle of twists and turns and that anything can happen.
Me meeting up again with a childhood pal, Stephanie is one of those odd turns of the wheel that I didn't see coming. Who knew that by publishing my books that I'd not only meet up again with long-lost chums, but that my act of wild, uppity-woman, literary abandon would inspire another to do the same?
I'm so pleased to welcome my friend, Stephanie Albright, to Writer Wednesday. We played imaginary games together in elementary school and now we're sharing our imaginary games with the world through our writing. How cool is that?
Kudos to you, Stephanie, for allowing your heart to bleed onto the page and bring forth your words into the world for all to enjoy.
Stephanie's current release is The End. Here's the setup:
We all have it. That feeling that something bad is about to happen, something really bad. We don't like to think about it and we never talk about it, but still, we worry about it. Sometimes we can almost feel the Earth holding its breath and waiting. We are all preparing in our own ways. Some have built bunkers and gathered supplies, some have a contingency plan on paper or maybe just in their head but nothing concrete. Then there are those of us who are in the middle, we don’t have a well supplied bunker but we have a stash of things we might need when that day comes and a sort of plan to go with it. We think about how much we will miss things like chocolate bars, wine and coffee and brainstorm about ways to preserve the things we will miss the most. We decide where to go, if leaving is possible and consider the pros and cons of each possible location. The more pessimistic at heart are checking things off their bucket lists before it’s too late and maybe even devising an exit strategy. When Lucy and her sons wake up to a living nightmare on the last morning of their weekend camping trip, they must make the most of the people and resources surrounding them to endure, The End.
Sounds like the sort of Apocalyptic story where people find out what matter most to them kind of story that I like. Stephanie was kind enough to share an excerpt too. Check it:
As I walk down the beach on the last day of the Columbus Day weekend, I wonder if I am the only one who feels it. Maybe I’m just crazy, but then I see the fear in the eyes of those I pass. Even if they are smiling, it is there, the fear. We all feel it, every person on this planet, but if we don’t talk about it maybe it will just go away. Who would want to be the first to mention it? People would call you crazy, even if in their hearts they know you are right. So we all just keep working and going on as if nothing is wrong, but waiting for it to begin and wondering what will happen when it does.
We are all preparing in our own ways. Some have built bunkers and gathered supplies, some have a contingency plan on paper or maybe just in their head but nothing concrete. Then there are those of us who are in the middle, we don’t have a well supplied bunker but we have a…..stash of things we might need when that day comes and a sort of plan to go with it. We think about how much we will miss things like chocolate bars, wine and coffee and brainstorm about ways to preserve the things we will miss the most. We decide where to go, if leaving is possible and consider the pros and cons of each possible location and what to take with us and what to leave behind. The more pessimistic at heart are checking things off their bucket lists before it’s too late and maybe even devising an exit strategy.
It’s sad really, this thing that should be uniting us is not. It is driving us more and more inward, making us keep secrets even from those we have rarely kept them before. We tell ourselves that our fear is irrational, but we know it is not. When the lights blink, we wonder has it begun. Every storm, or drought or sinkhole or earthquake could be the tipping point, so we silently go over our plans and gather those we love around us under the guise of movie night or dinner or painting the den. Whatever it takes to have those we want with us near, just in case.
Some days, I am so tired of my job and my life that I wish for it to begin, most Mondays as a matter of fact. Maybe it will be a good thing, a time to hit reset. A chance to make things better. Sometimes out of the rubble something beautiful emerges, something wonderful. But, then again, it could just be a slow painful death.
We can’t stop it. The signs are there to see if we only look, but we don’t like to look. There are too many of us living too well for the Earth to sustain and the Earth seeks balance. It will come one way or another, the Earth will get her way and we are powerless to stop her. She’s done it before and she will do it again, the black plague, the ice age, tsunamis, floods and droughts. Which tool will she choose this time?
Everyone scoffed about the ending of the Mayan calendar and made fun of those who were ready for the end that day, but we were secretly relieved when that day came and went without incident. We patted ourselves on the back for not holing up in a shelter, or stockpiling food, water and ammo while at the same time, we knew we had dodged a bullet.
There will likely be no warning. It will probably begin innocently enough. Some people will get sick and we will think that the epidemic is contained but it won’t be, or a drought will make our already overtaxed water supply insufficient. We will be encouraged to conserve and told it will be okay, but it won’t. Things that we thought we had conquered will return to exact revenge, things like cholera, dysentery, smallpox and the plague. Or maybe it will be a large catastrophic event that will change everything in a moment.
I didn’t realize how long I had been walking, as I turned to head back I saw the sun was just about to set. I stood still and watched until that magical moment when dusk began, then I hurried back up the beach before it got dark. Tomorrow I was going back and it made me sad because I felt more at peace somehow at the beach, more alive.
I'm so glad that I got to connect with the old friend through our love of reading and writing. I hope that you'll check out Stephanie's new book. I'm off to buy my copy now. Buy links are after the author bio.
Stephanie Albright grew up in Amanda, Ohio. She moved to West Point, Mississippi in 1986 and graduated from Mississippi university for Women in 1989. She now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and four sons, where she is a reading specialist. Stephanie loves Georgetown, South Carolina and much of her work is set in and around Georgetown county.