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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

Snazzy Snippets: Petrichor

Today I'm linking up with Alyssa and Emily for their bi-monthly writing link-up, Snazzy Snippets! If you'd like to find out more, read the latest post here.

There are three different prompts this month, and all of them worked out well for Petrichor, my NaNo novel from 2013. It's a bit of a trainwreck at certain parts (as all first drafts are), but at least I managed to find a few gems in my 100,000-word tangled up mess!

My narrator in all of these snippets is Cobie Stirling, and you can find out more about her from reading the snippets or clicking here.

Let's doooo it.

A snippet where characters consider their backstory
Yesterday, I saw things I haven’t seen in... well, ever. The stories my dad told me were replaced with real experiences. I saw blood and guns and an actual crime scene, and I had to watch as a bullet was pulled out of someone’s arm.

Now, Dad’s stories are real. Actually, they’re more like nightmares.

When someone I walked to the hospital--Decker--has a brush with death, it makes me want to marry Ryker while we still can. And maybe, if we do that, I can get out of this little house and this town that’s too small for my dreams. Except, for all the hell Oakridge has given me, I still love it. There are inexplicable things tying me down here, and I don’t know whether to stay or to cut myself free.

A snippet featuring a child
I think of Tommy. I’m just trying to give the kid a normal upbringing, sort of. As much as I can. While Mom’s cramming his still-chubby-and-baby-soft arms and legs into khakis and argyle sweaters, I just want him to feel alive, to know that life is so much more than church and tarts and social gatherings. That he doesn’t have to slick his hair back, that he can let the wind mess it up every once in a while. I just want him to live.

A snippet from something you wrote more than 2 years ago 
I lie down in bed. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to be awake. I don’t want to be conscious, I just want to float away and disappear. I wish I was back in the cove, I wish I was somewhere else.

My hair lays on my face, a soft, tangled mess, and I don’t care enough to push it off. I close my eyes and pretend I’m on the back of a motorcycle. It’s a small escape, but it’s something.

After a few minutes of that, the mental pictures have done nothing but make me homesick for a place or a feeling I’m not even sure exists. I get out of bed, the fall chill clinging to my legs, and I open my desk drawer and pull out Blade’s old polaroids. I lay back down and lay them all on my chest, holding up one at a time to study them in the moonlight. There’s one of me and Ryker, my arm wrapped around his neck. Another one is of the falls, which soothes me, because that’s my home. There’s one of the blue sky, the white clouds puffy, the blue of the sky deep and slightly grainy. This one makes my heart ache, and I’m not sure why.

I look at them for a while into the night, even though I’m still not sleepy, I end up falling asleep somewhere around 3 am. The last thing I remember is a shot Blade must’ve taken while Ryker and I were on a motorcycle. The shot is taken from the back, the motion blurring, the sun bright, and as I fall asleep, I can almost taste the freedom.

Did you do Snazzy Snippets? Let me know in the comments! 
If you want to link up, go here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All snippets copyright Kylie Walden 2016.


  1. Ahhh I love these! I can picture Tommy so clearly, and I love the last snippet. I would read the heck out of this if it were published.

    Ellie | My Snazzy Snippets

  2. What a fun idea! I love how vivid these snippets are. And the name of your novel alone, Petrichor, just makes me want to read it. (-:


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