5 Problems Writers Face...with a Couple Solutions



1. Writer's Block
The dreadful writer's block creeps upon even the best and most creative writers at some point in their careers. The blank screen just seems intimidating, the words feel forced like scraping paste out of your brain, or there's an obstacle that is even worse--lack of time. There are so many ways to overcome this and many blogs that discuss it. You need to do what works best for you, since everyone is different. Besides a lack of time to write, I've overcome every instance of writer's block easily. What I do is simply keep writing, something else of course. Be it a blog entry like this, a new short story or new premise to a novel, I write no matter how bad it is. I actually am always "working" on about 5-8 pieces. When I'm stumped somewhere, I move onto a different one. Rarely do I get through looking at all the projects and still am unable to write. Every blue moon when that occurs, I go into my own slush pile, comb through the ideas, snippets, and drivel I've written years ago (I've kept manuscripts written in high school). If there's nothing there that inspires me to write I read a book. It takes me out of my own plot for a couple days, and then I get back to work. Another great tip I've seen out there is to change your medium by handwriting if you're used to typing, or record your voice telling the story. I also bounce my ideas off friends and let them contribute. More than none the ideas don't end up in my draft but their ideas spark some of my own.

2. Perfectionist Tendencies
This is a hard one. Being a perfectionist is rough in writing because it never is perfect. You edit draft after draft, and revise it until the book is now rotted pulp on the bottom of floor of a paper factory. It feels that bad. Then after you get it professionally edited (huge internet debate where some claim a good writer needs no editor, but that's nonsense because no one is perfect), which I still do despite being an English professor, someone finds a missing comma and you want to throw yourself off a bridge. You simply have to learn to let go. It's tantamount to dropping your kid off at school for the first time. You've prepped him, prepared him, but you won't be there to ensure he is perfectly behaved or does well. You have to--in the words of Frozen's Elsa--"Let it go." I had someone criticize my blog because I  had a few typos (I posted and then proofread when able to back then), and this person said, "It's not worth doing unless you can do it perfectly." I lived that way for a long time, which is why I  never had a blog, never tried to get published, and never let anyone read my book. I would never get anywhere in life if I only acted upon things that would be perfect. I don't think anyone would because no one is perfect, especially in a subjective business such as writing where style and content are almost as equally valued as perfect grammar.

3. Bad Criticism or Reviews
The subjectivity of the industry leads to this one. Recently on Facebook I saw a link writers were up in arms about. An author verbally attacked a reader for giving a bad review. It was your average bad review, not even scathing, just the reader admitted that she did not like the novel and it was falsely described as similar to other novels in the genre. The man went insane on her as far as accusing her to stealing the food out of his mouth and ruining his career. All my writer friends could not believe the audacity of the author. Yes, we all take bad reviews and negative criticism badly. It's like someone criticizes your child as a failure because you've put so much sweat, tears, and energy into creating the novel. However, you must learn to handle it and turn it to constructive criticism. After I initially get over the negative feedback, like swallowing cough syrup, it fades. Then I go back and read it and see what I can glean out of it to improve myself or my writing. I really hate still when someone is not constructive--"I hated it. I don't now why, but I just did"--does not help anyone. Every review I leave, whether good or bad, I spell out what I thought could use improvement and what I thought worked well. There's no real advice on how to get over this hurdle but just know they happen and you should never verbally challenge them unless the reader is absolutely wrong. I saw this once where a reader proclaimed historical inaccuracies and the author sent the reader a very nice response with a link to educate the reader that in fact the author had it right. This peaceful exchange made the reader add another star to the review. Authors and readers are all people, so treat them that way. Even though they can't see each other's face, cyberbullying is ridiculous and childish.

4. Test Groups
This one is the largest challenge for me. It is always a good idea to have about ten readers to read your book and give it feedback if you've never been published. I have seen this advice on many publishers and agents websites, one even wanting a list and their written feedback. This is problematic. If the book does not yet have a copyright you want to give it to people you trust. I know a man who had his poetry stolen, put into a contest where the woman won, and had to sue and prove his copyright to get the prize, money, and the magazine even paid and interviewed him about the incident and how it is a problem today to post writing on the internet. Fearing this kind of situation, you give it to friends and family. However, these people will rarely give you negative feedback; in fact, I'm learning that although they are very interested in helping you by reading your story, they actually don't do it. They either don't make the time, or worse, they can't get into it or dislike it but don't have the heart to tell you. I sent my novel to ten people to read. Two read it and it's been six months. One was a glowing review, one had some constructive criticism but read the roughest draft I had. I am still trying to figure this one out.

5. Time Constraints
Whether it is a deadline, a full time job, childrearing, or a full social calendar, writers lack time to actually write. This is the largest problem I have and there's little advice out there about what to do except to make time. And I do. Some days it's twenty minutes of sketching out a plot or writing out an exposition scene that establishes a character; I do something--every single day. At times it is only jotting down what my daydreaming yielded on the way home from work or writing a scene in my head before bed, mentally saving it for later. No matter what, I find the time. Even right now my three year old son is looking over my shoulder telling which letters I'm pressing. To be a writer, you have to write, and ignore distractions, so you truly must make time. Sometimes my notes, plot outlines, character sketches, and random scenes don't get used until summer, where I don't work much. Then I have plenty of time to hang out with my child and to write.

No matter what, writers have obstacles. It s a hard, subjective business, that takes a lot of effort and work. Not everyone can do it. But there are ways to make things easier if it is simply letting go of notions of perfection or making the time to hone your craft. These all can be overcome with some conditioning and by making small changes in life.

Young or New?

When attempting to unsuccessfully sell your novel, as an author it's always good to regroup to figure out the why. I like to talk it out, or write it out so to speak. I read countless blogs, articles, and books by professionals; by now, the do's and don't's of the industry are ingrained in my mind. So if I did not commit any literary faux pas, then what pray is keeping me from landing an agent? Most people will say it's a subjective business, the right time and agent combination is needed, you have to know someone, blah, blah, blah. Taking the standard rejection letter reasons as the end all truth won't help you even if it may be true. 
 




Let me walk you through this experience. You have a finished novel, copy edited on its 50th draft (no, not really exaggerating, first draft was handwritten in 2008), and you are ready to share it. After countless hours of crafting a story, bringing characters to life, putting your blood, sweat, and tears into your work, you need to boil it all down to a little blurb so that a potential agent can get a gist of your book without having to read it all. They don't have the time to read ALL of the manuscripts sent their way. After all, in this digital age everyone thinks they are publishable authors. They get a lot of garbage and I'm not trying to pick on people, but I've read my share of books where plots go no where, characters are flat, and the cardinal rule taught in your very first writing class is ignored: show the reader, don't tell (in case you never had a creative writing class).

Basically you have to write the agent a query letter. In this letter you include a hook, or sentence to encapsulate very many things but foremost the agent's attention and interest. Next, there's a paragraph synopsis of novel--by far, an arduous task to boil down 300 pages into a paragraph and give it justice. Next, you describe yourself, credentials (daunting if you're not published at all), and compare/contrast your work with famous works in the genre. Last, you ask agents if you may send your manuscript to them not forgetting to add a personal compliment to fluff their ego and show them you are well researched. The writing of the letter is one task but the research is another time consuming process. Some agencies only represent certain genres, only some agents will represent your line of work from there. It is best to research the type of books they represent, past sales, currents authors, and most importantly whether they are taking queries and what their submission policies are (they vary).

So you've done your homework, crafted a killer query letter, and sent a few off. Then you wait. Rarely do you get productive feedback. Again, agents have limited time. What is an author to do? 

A smart writer will look for reasons it may have been overlooked, ignored, or rejected. After having published colleagues view the letter, I had a suggestion to change the hook. I had a lot of trouble with the hook, so this made sense. I drafted a few, asked the Facebook masses and selected a new one. I knew this wasn't enough. I needed to make the book more marketable. A good idea is only a good idea, without a target audience, it's just not a lucrative product.

When I sent out my queries, an experimental genre was in the works, but it wasn't well represented at the time. It's called New Adult and it is still a new genre. Whereas I thought books with a protagonist age 17-19 was a very marketable age bracket, like Twilight, Hunger Games, and Divergent, it actually is not. It's straddling the Young Adult genre and adult genres. You would think this would give you the best of both worlds, but I'm finding that's not necessarily the case. This is why New Adult has arisen. It is much like Young Adult literature from my understanding, but it can pick and choose its level of romantic intensity and can face issues that are too taboo to allow kids to read. Now, I'm not for sheltering the youth of our nation, but it is a fact that Young Adult books are read by children, sometimes as young as ten or even younger. Keeping graphic things away from kids is a pretty good idea; we don't want eight year-olds reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Where Twilight toyed with sex, the protagonist was over 18, married, and it was a plot convention (as in sex equals half-vampire baby that takes her life, ergo making her vampriric change necessary and not a choice, not suicide). Much like the series, my series uses it as a plot device too in a way. My characters contemplate sex and begin these actions but are prevented. It is a very necessary plot element that they try to be intimate but are stopped. While writing the scene, I felt awkward, even though it is done in other YA books, and I felt that perhaps my book spoke more towards adults. I often consciously censored characters' thoughts and behaviors to appear more PG-13, when I shouldn't have.

Note the difference in covers:


The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)
New Adult
Young Adult

                    





















After discussing these issues out loud to a friend, she suggested I revamp the book and make it for New Adults and to make it a little more risqué. So now I'm trying give it a overhaul without changing too much. By sliding the timeline forward by six months my protagonist could be graduating high school and starting college in the second book (where the sex actually occurs). Looking at the New Adult genre, I realize now that my main character and book may not fit nicely into any other genre. I will need to tweak it to make her slightly older and finishing high school, but all the points of sexual tension and attraction in the story will no longer need to be watered down. 
The moral of the story is to know the industry (constantly keep up with the industry), know your audience, and to write what you want to write without censorship or hindrance. I need to stop thinking about how people will react to certain scenes and just write. Perhaps I'm intended to be a romance writer rather than a Young Adult author.

The Problem with Being Empathetic


Empathy, defined as the ability to understand and share feelings with other people, is a good trait to have. You can imagine being in someone else's shoes, live vicariously through them, deal with and grow from experiences that don't actually physically affect your life. I am proud to consider myself an empathetic person. But honestly, it really sucks sometimes for a variety of reasons.

1. Their loss is your loss. One of my best friends recently lost her child in utero 7 months along. I was living vicariously through her due to the likelihood I'll never have another child (see The Mother's Grimm Tale). When she had to tell me they lost him, so I could but the brakes on the baby shower, her pain became my pain. I couldn't stop my imagination from following them through the process of having to give birth although the child was stillborn, to visually see the nursery when they got home with all the baby things that had anticipated the arrival of the child. All the wasted time hoping and envisioning a future with that child, all the dreams for the future were gone. I also couldn't stop making parallels. It's how I, or any empathetic person, digests a difficult situation. My pregnancy problems came into play around the same time. My baby was induced and born about the same gestational time. My baby and I lived despite the complications. Although I'm exceeding thankful for that, I feel utterly guilty that some people die and some survive. I imagine if it had been me instead, and I want to weep thinking of my life without my boy. I feel like I've lost my unborn child, and I cling to my alive one praying nothing will ever harm him.

2. Their gain is your gain... until you realize that you aren't really physically benefiting from their experience. It's tantamount to winning the lottery and then saying, "oh, sorry, wrong person." The same day I heard about my friend's baby passing away, I was informed of a friend who was expecting again. I was excited, ecstatic for her. Since she formerly had trouble getting pregnant before her twins, it was a dream come true. She discussed how they'd have to move into a new house, something they probably could afford because her new job. I was smiling like a idiot on the phone. After I hung up I felt deflated though. While she described their plans, I walked with her though the rooms of new, bigger houses, envisioned a baby again, a sibling for her boys to dote on. The success she feels, even when exhausted that she has a good job and money to be able to support a family of five, maybe not comfortably, but able. Then I realize, this isn't me living this dream, but my friend. And my deflation doesn't stem from jealousy or coveting this ideal life I pictured with and for her. It comes from feeling overwhelming joy for someone and then taking a step back. Those feelings of euphoria are for someone else, not me. Although I am happy for her, and I do not want a large family, huge house, and I love my job and family, I want to keep that joyful feeling when someone shares good news. It's like I came down off a good high, an adrenaline rush gone. I wish they could bottle up that joy and sell it. Whoever could would be millionaires.

3. You never stop feeling. This is the worst. An empathetic person always feels, so he or she is constantly happy, sad, angry, embarrassed--whatever emotion the person you're connected to feels. So there's no numb feeling, or bored feeling. You constantly feel and it is exhausting. Take the day I had the other day--pregnant--yay! Baby passed away--OMG I want to puke! I felt so much in that day I was rendered exhausted and useless. I actually went to bed early from being so tired. Any scenario on a daily basis can call upon your empathetic nature. You walk by a park where you first kissed someone and your heart flutters again with feelings of new love. You see a lonely old man in the bar who seems depressed and nags the bartender trying to get a listener to his woes, so you say hi knowing well he will unburden himself on you and make you depressed. You realize it's okay, though, because he's been carrying it long enough. Honestly, I wish I could turn it off and not feel, not care.

4. You don't have anyone for emotional support...unless they are a fellow empathetic person. Since you are at the top of the sensitivity pole and place yourself in dire and pivotal situations mentally speaking, you'd expect the same of others. Instead they pity your plight or ignore the situation not knowing how to deal with it properly. They seem insincere, almost as if you can see "better you than me" or "poor thing" burning in their eyes. Emotional support and connection is necessary to get through any difficulty. The way I can get over something is when friends share something similar, bare their soul to me, and shows that they have been there; they are okay now. This gives me hope, and helps me feel as if I'm no longer alone. It makes whatever the difficulty is much easier to face. This is the goal of an empathetic person for his or her friend in need.

5. You are forever misunderstood. People mistaken empathetic reasoning for narcissism, egoism, or blatant selfishness. The way an empathetic mind works is it tries to make a parallel with one's own life to get a point of reference, to know how to connect and feel with the person. If this connection is spoken aloud, a friend can sometimes get upset. I've been told "It's not about you!" once before, but in saying that, the person has exposed him or herself as making it all about his or herself as well. Your problems ARE about me, as in I am your friend, your confidant, the person you came to for advice. By telling me, you have enveloped me into your problem and I am a part of it too, not as much as you obviously but I am. Being an empathetic person involves me even more now. By making a parallel, I am trying to show you I am here for you and I can feel this with you, not competing with you. According to Berkeley University, "listening is never enough. The second trait is to make ourselves vulnerable. Removing our masks and revealing our feelings to someone is vital for creating a strong empathic bond. Empathy is a two-way street that, at its best, is built upon mutual understanding—an exchange of our most important beliefs and experiences."6 Habits of Empathetic People What they mean is we must exchange experiences and make parallels in order to truly bond and create an understanding. I'm not actually trying to make you feel better because I think my situation is worse. Honestly, why would I want to have a bigger problem than yours? No thanks!


In the end, I'm still happy that I'm empathetic. It is much better than being cold-hearted or pitying others when they really need that empathetic bond to help them. We strive to have this connection to others, to parallel our experiences so we can feel together. No one really wants to feel alone, to struggle alone. We want others to reach out to us, connect, and experience it together. I think I'm a good person through my empathy. Why else would so many people, even strangers, come up to me and discuss their problems? For example, an old man sat down with me yesterday at the mall (the only Starbucks seat left) and started talking to me. After five minutes, he was discussing the loss of his daughter. People can see that others are empathetic, that they'll listen, and connect. He saw that in me. Another part of being empathetic is being the go-to friend. One of my friends calls me on a regular basis to bounce her ideas, problems, and situations off me because I "give the best advice." I objected by saying, "but I never tell you what you should do," and she responded with, "You make me see what I want, make me talk through it, and you are there for me." And this is what an empathetic friend does, he or she is there for others. They are in the moment feeling with the friend. I don't think that's a bad person to be.

Fifty Shades of Romance

As a special Valentine's Day entry for the lovers out there, I'm going to delve in and examine Romance novels (in general terms from YA to erotica) and our sometimes peculiar fascination with them. My studies of them and my recent launch into reading them is because of this: romance novels are the most widely published form of fiction (a 1.44 billion dollar industry in 2013 according the therichest.com). If so many are published, then perhaps I can get published. Solid logic, right? Worth a shot anyway, I think.

Only, there is something that heavily disturbs me about these books, and I'm not talking about the sex. It's the fact that the heroines sometimes make me want to vomit. Just imagine Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga as a nympho and bam! we have our heroine. Now, I am a closet-Twilight lover, I must admit (although while I do, I cringe). I can see some positives in the story: reinvents vampire lore and the Byronic hero, promotes abstinence until marriage (not realistic perhaps but a very noble notion), and its success speaks for itself. However, my paradoxical dilemma is that the very fabric of its success relies on chauvinistic patriarchal expectations of womanhood. Whoa, that's a mouthful. What I mean is the the protagonist Bella is a whiny, sniveling, weak (physically and mentally), super insecure girl. I say "girl" because she never seems to reach womanhood, not because she becomes a vampire and stops aging, but because she never grows as a character through her vampiric transition, marriage, and motherhood. Essentially, she has no redeeming qualities (except her capability to love), and no personality (except she is clumsy). The fact her self-esteem is so low is depressing. How many guys like her and fight over her and she still thinks she's just "ordinary"? This cookie-cutter girl with no self esteem sold the book to audiences, though, and is why the novels were so successful. By nature teenage girls, for the most part, are insecure. The blank personality allows us girls and women to insert ourselves into Bella's shoes and have vampires and werewolves fight over us and live the happily forever after. That's the paradox: weak women equals dollar signs.


This is a large problem, especially when one goes to write a romance novel. If spineless waifs without personalities sell books, what does that say about us as a society? This issue is compounded by books like Fifty Shades of Grey. I must undermine my credibility for a moment here and admit I haven't read it, yet nothing about it makes me want to. All the things people praise it for turn me completely off. The premise has been described to me as "Billionaire attempts to control and make ordinary girl his S&M sex slave." Hmm. Perhaps I have too much feminist ideology to delve into this, but pain and submission just aren't my cup of tea. I don't care how rich a man is; I will never be dictated to the point my autonomy is out the window. The point is, this seems to be another fine example of successful romance, but again, the situation doesn't warrant any positive feelings toward the protagonist. I won't condemn the author for a the wimpy damsel, however, as this trilogy started out as erotic fan fiction based on none other than Twilight (a major improvement some say).

I feel that romance novels should be romantic, about love, an equal love between two people. Bella lives only for Edward's love and dies for it. Ana Steele is expected to leave her autonomy at the front door and become a slave. How is either situation actually romantic? We don't really want to be Juliet or Bella or Ana, not when they give up so much for love that a happy ending in the real world wouldn't be quantifiable.

Not all romance is like this. I gravitated as of late to historical romance, which I think is hard to pull of due to the difficulty in being historically accurate. What I love about the genre (besides I'm a sucker for period dramas), is the protagonists all seem to use a Lizzie Bennet type mold and throw in a healthy sex drive (after marriage of course). Lizzie, the icon of the Modern woman, from Austen's Pride and Prejudice doesn't take crap from any man especially the rich Darcys of the world. She's never degrades herself to slavery for a man or live and die for him. In fact, what Austen does, (purposefully maybe) is show that a man and woman must be on equal ground for love (even in a patriarchal society). This message echoes across historical romance where heroines break the glass ceiling of damsels in distress and rescue the men (emotionally or physically, or both) sometimes in outlandish, historically inaccurate ways. Personally, I'd rather read historical inaccuracies than a sniveling weak woman who needs, like actually needs, a man to breathe.


Let me put my ax-wielding feminist views on the back burner. These books with the weak damsel in distress sell. In fact, it seems at times that the weaker and characteristic-less heroines sell the most books. Apparently, it is what women want because they can relate to it. But this should not be so. This was enough to turn me off writing or reading another romance, but then I found a few gems among the rough: strong heroines. Think Katniss Everdene (Hunger Games) getting freaky and then falling in love despite her desire to never settle down. There's a huge difference, and a pleasing one, to see a strong woman falter a little when loving, than a slip of a girl groveling until a man finally saves her.  An example of what I mean is how the movie Eclipse (yes, more Twilight, but just listen) actually has Bella save Edward's life. Yeah, that wasn't in the book--in the book, she's was like "okay, let me think about saving him, oh no, cool, he didn't need me to because he's (batt eyelashes) oh-so perfect." Okay, she didn't say that, but that's my interpretation of it. However, she actually did get scolded like a child for almost hurting herself to save him. Normally, I hate when the movie strays from the book, but almost everything the movie franchise did was beneficial to the saga.

This view may sound jaded, but we need to support those novels that have strong female characters, not to the point where the man becomes Bella Swan--because that's not hot either. Men that cry about nothing, not sexy. The puppy-dog we need to fix, not fun (or realistic) either, but men in romance novels is a whole other problem that needs fixing. What we need to do is show what feminism really stands for: equality of genders. The heroes and heroine should both be strong people, that perhaps butt heads, find themselves in a predicament to overcome, a problem to solve, are in an entertaining or dramatic situation, who falter briefly when realizing they're in love, and hopefully live happily ever after in the calm after a battle. We need to rewrite true love. It shouldn't end in suicide to be together, or dying to be with someone (literally) then changing species; it shouldn't involve slavery, pain, or submission of a physical sense, especially with law binding contracts; it shouldn't have either gender ruling the other. It should be what James Baldwin proclaimed: “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.” To me, that is a romance novel worth reading.


Purgatory: A Prologue

In 2013, I joined the NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project to challenge myself as a writer. I knew I'd fail the challenge, but decided to go through with it in order to attempt to make writing more of a routine no matter how busy I was. The rules were simple. In the month of November, the contestant was to write and post as much writing as possible, the end goal being 50,000 words. November is actually the worst month possible for me to do this in (or April), but I didn't have a choice in the matter. So as I graded papers and then lengthy research papers (not to mention taking care of the wild toddler son), I squeezed in writing where I could. I ended up with over 8,000 words. Not near the almost impossible goal they set for me, but I was proud nevertheless.
This excerpt from my NaNoWriMo project is the prologue to Purgatory, a YA paranormal romance novel surrounding two teens whose lives intertwine in the limbo of afterlife where they struggle to resolve unfinished business, guided by William, a ghost child who long ago forgot his identity. In their new situation they learn to rely on each other and that salvation may actually be found in each other.
Let me know what you think. It's pretty dark, mind. I may finish it or completely scrap it. 

The church bells tolled announcing nine pm. Her parents might notice her missing soon, but then again, probably not. Her mother was most likely drunk and her father still working in his home office. Not that it mattered much; at least she told herself that. She had planned this for a long time, and was ready, so why was it so hard to follow through with it? As always she second guessed herself, faltered in her flimsy convictions. She was on the precipice, literally staring off into the sea from the cliff’s top. The wind whipped her midnight hair around her which obscured her view, but that was a good thing. The drop off was a few hundred feet. She shivered trying not to think about how cold it was in the water below. The New England winters were something she hated, one of the many things. In fact, she was here because she hated everything about herself and the world. Everything except HIM. And he had no idea she existed, and he never would. She didn’t want him to feel bad about this, to ever know that her heart panged her beyond expressible words. If only she could talk to him, tell him how she felt. But now he was as lofty as a god, the popularity wagon had just scooped him up and he was going on a date with HER, the one lead henchmen of the popularity clique, the girl that ruined her life on a daily basis. She was in the letter, she was to blame, and she would learn and hopefully feel guilty about driving another girl to her death.
Yes, that was what she was here for—to die. She felt her jacket pocket; her letter was still snug in a Ziploc bag, as well as her cell phone. They’d see it all, all that those girls and even a few guys had done: the hazing, bullying, lying, stalking, harassing, and the relentless texts messages from various numbers making fun of her. It was beyond what one person could endure. She knew her father was too busy to care, but once they found her body he would see to it justice was done. He would care when it was too late, and her mother would lose herself down a whiskey bottle but that was nothing new. She just felt bad for her brother, but he was off at college starting a new life; he had protected her her entire life up to this point. She saw that now. She was too fragile out in the cold, wild world. She was supposed to cling on two more years and start afresh in college according to the school counselor, but it was too far and it wasn’t a dream. College was another nightmare that would follow this. This life was hell, which was where she was headed according to her faith.
It didn’t matter now. The love of her life, her soul mate—she was so sure—was on a date with her enemy. She was packing it up and Hell would be better than where she was at in life right now. All she had to do was lean forward, embrace the wind and let gravity guide her down…
The screeching of tires broke her from her morbid conviction. Some reckless driver was taking the turn too quick. Didn’t the idiot know about black ice? The car was careening out of control and was coming right for her. It was a blue jeep, the same blue jeep HE had just bought with his years of lifeguarding money. He had only gotten his license a couple weeks ago and wasn’t experienced on the ice.  This was typical of the sick, twisted thing called fate. She wanted to commit suicide, yet she wouldn’t even be given that chance. She would be accidentally killed by the very person she loved most.
However, the car slammed violently into the guardrail and then flipped over only once onto its hood. The rail had done its job and the crashed car was now immobile, and she was still safe on the cliff’s edge. She took a step towards the car in hopes to save him, somehow help. Perhaps serendipity had given her some luck and threw them together in this situation so that she could finally talk to him. No, that wasn’t her typical luck. Her other foot slipped over the edge of the cliff and she fell down smacking her head on the crags. She felt gravity pull on her legs as the world began swirl around her, and in that instant before she lost consciousness, she saw his face in the overturned car. His eyes met hers, and then all faded to black.

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