Where are you with your writing goals?

We’re almost done with the first month of 2019, and I’m curious, did you make a resolution about how much you were going to write this year? And, if you did, how did you break it down? Is it by day? Week? Month?

My own personal goal is to write at least 250 – 500 words a day of my own material. This is on top of the 3,000 – 4,000 I produce as a ghostwriter.

I’m happy to say that thus far, I have managed to achieve my daily goal. Some days I exceed it, but, overall, I’m right in the range that I chose.

It hasn’t been easy.

Not for lack of desire, but because of time constraints.

I work a full-time job on top of my ghost-writing. And I work a part-time job as well. This is in addition to being a husband, father, and a homeowner. Tack on a couple of cars that keep threatening to die and life is extremely busy. The last thing I want to do at 11:30 PM is prep a piece of flash-fiction, but, then again, it really is something I want to do.

I love the feedback that I get, and I’m always thrilled when the posts are shared.

Which brings me back to the initial question: where are you with your writing goals?

I hope you don’t think you’re working on something unachievable because you aren’t. You may have to adjust the number you want to reach or the amount of time that you need, but you can reach your goals.

The biggest hurdle to overcome in writing isn’t time or numbers, it’s our own feelings of inadequacy. When we start to lose focus, when we believe that we can’t do something, we lose the drive to complete the task. When that drive is gone, so too is the belief that we can accomplish what we’ve set out to do.

We don’t feel that we’re up to the challenge.

That’s why we create goals, so we can recognize that we are fully capable of doing what we love.

And what we love is writing.

For me, writing isn’t a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I suspect that it’s much the same for most of you as well. Some of you found it early in life, and you’ve been honing your craft for years. Others found it later, by accident.

Regardless as to how you came to your passion, the fact remains that it’s yours.

So, stick with it. Don’t let go.

And don’t be afraid to adapt your goals to what you need.

Remember, they’re your goals, so keep writing!

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January 22, 1947

Hobbies keep us happy, and they help to keep us out of trouble.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a hobby is as individualized as the person enjoying it.

Collecting is a grand and time honored pastime, and there are many in Cross who enjoy building collections of various items. Some gather baseball cards, other books, and still others the bittersweet memories of lovers lost.

Juliet Marchant was a collector, and one who went to extreme lengths to build her collection, although she never shared the details of her passion.

She was the proverbial old maid. Juliet was an only child, and her parents left her a sizeable inheritance when they died in an accident in 1908. With no inclination to wed, Juliet enjoyed her life as a free woman. She traveled the United States and Mexico extensively. As she grew older, Juliet traveled less frequently, although she began to receive large shipments of unknown pieces of furniture.

During this latter period of her life, she had a large building constructed on her property. Beautiful stained glass windows illuminated the interior, but no one could enter the structure. There was no door to be found and the windows were reinforced with steel. When questioned as to how one could gain access, the aging Juliet would give a conspiratorial wink, and let the subject drop.

On January 22nd, 1947, Juliet was found dead on her front steps. On the table in the kitchen was a small shipping container, and in it was the freshly preserved body of a young girl in a plain, white cotton shift.

The police searched the house and found a small passage that led to the new building. Beneath it they discovered a vault, along either side of which were lined mummified remains.

Each had a date tattooed on its throat, the oldest from 1907, and the most recent, 1944.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #death #missing #fear #scary #nightmare #newengland #secrets #murder

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January 20, 1942

Cross, like fate, has no favorites.

Strange deaths and disappearances strike down the good as well as the bad, and while those who are good are lamented far more than those who are not, it does not mean that those who are kind and generous have suffered any more than their opposites.

Mr. David Leder is a prime example of such a case.

As a young boy, David fled the dangers faced by those of the Jewish faith in Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. He made his way across Europe, then found work aboard a ship that brought him to the United States. By the time he was in his late sixties, David was well to do, and he had moved to Cross and established himself in the community.

He was an active participant in his synagogue in Boston, and he kept the Jewish faith alive and well in his home. During the Great Depression, David sold off large parcels of land that he owned in various townships, thus ensuring that the poorest of his synagogue could eat and weather the terrible financial times.

David also cared for those in Cross as well, and he could often be seen in the company of Duncan Blood and the young Ezekiel Coffin. The three of them would often meet at Duncan’s home where they would discuss how best to serve the community.

During January of 1942, when the country was still reeling from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan, David set out in his large black Ford for Duncan’s.

He never arrived.

David’s vehicle was found the following morning, all four doors open and frozen blood coating the inside of the car. His clothes were neatly folded on top of his shoes beneath the car. David’s wallet and watch were with his clothes, and his gold fillings were there as well.

Everything but the man.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #killer #fear #writerofinstagram #murder #secrets

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January 17, 1923

In all the years he has visited Cross, this man has only been photographed once.

He is a Reaper and one with whom Duncan Blood is well-familiar.

Each January, for as long as anyone can remember, this Reaper has walked out of Blood Farm and into Cross.

He has a smile for all he meets, and he smokes contently on his pipe. It is not unusual for him to stop and sit and smoke a spell, nor is it unusual for him to vanish into houses and streets as if searching for someone who needs him.

This man is a quiet Death.

There is nothing horrendous about his coming, and more often than not, he comes for the aged or the ill. Rarely does he leave with more than the single person he came for, although there have been times where he has left with two or three souls in tow.

Only once did he walk back to Duncan Blood’s home with more than what most would consider the Reaper’s fair share, and that was on January 17, 1923.

On that particular day, a group of young men and women raced into Cross in a pair of 1921, Ferris sedans. As the citizens of the town watched in fascinated horror, the first of the cars struck the Reaper, and the second ran over him.

Yet the Reaper was unharmed, and when he stood up, there was a look of disgust on his face.

Calmly, the Reaper relit his pipe, and as the flames touched the tobacco, the cars came to a sudden and quiet stop.

As the Reaper turned around and continued on his way, residents approached the cars, curious as to why they had stopped.

The answer, they discovered, was that all eight people were dead.

And each person’s body was mangled, as if they had been run over.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #secrets

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January 12, 1925

Sometimes, killing a person simply isn’t enough.

Such was the case with Deborah Walch.

Deborah died at the age of 32, killed by a single bullet to the right temple. The round carried away most of the left side of her head. Her husband, along with their two children (ages 12 and 10), then proceeded to dismember Deborah. Neighbors and family friends purchased a specialty casket equipped with locks and a bell system which would connect to the headstone. The bell would serve as an alert to the cemetery’s caretaker, who would then fetch Duncan Blood.

To many, the murder of Deborah Walch, as well as her subsequent disposal and burial, would seem horrendous.

To those who knew her, however, it was the bare minimum.

No one knows what happened to Deborah in the weeks leading up to her death on January 12, 1925. Prior to January 1, 1925, she was a loving and generous person.

At exactly midnight, with the coming of the new year, she became a monster.

By the time dawn arose on that morning, Deborah had murdered the family’s pet dog and eaten the barn cat raw. She attacked anyone who came near her, burying a knife to its hilt in her 12-year-old son’s left forearm.

The doctor was brought in, then a priest, and finally Duncan Blood. None of them could determine what had happened to Deborah or cure her.

On January 12, she fired five rounds of a six-shot revolver at her family. Her daughter, age 10, seized the weapon from Deborah and fired the killing shot.

94 years have passed since Deborah Walch’s death, and still, the town wonders if her bell will ring.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #casket #madness #secrets

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January 11, 1933

The private study of the head librarian for the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University has been closed since 1934.

Dr. Enoch Millenia was a small, industrious man who excelled at the study of the various Germanic languages and was considered by many to be an expert in the field of Nordic mythologies. His private study was his crowning jewel, a place where he could show close friends the wonderful objects and books, he had collected over 30 years in academia.

On the night of January 11, 1933, Enoch retired to his rooms in a small house on the university’s grounds. Once there, his housekeeper heard him retire to his library. She distinctly remembered him turning the key in the lock, thus ensuring he would not be disturbed.

A short time after 10 pm, the housekeeper heard a horrendous noise from the second floor, and the entire house shook.

According to the housekeeper, Enoch laughed, said something in a language she did not understand, and then his laughter turned into a pain-filled shriek. A voice, “painful to hear,” bellowed, and the glass in the windows on the first floor broke.

When she managed to reach the study and unlock it with the spare key, she found exactly what is seen in the photograph.

The room was stripped bare, and there was no sign of Dr. Enoch Millenia.

After an extensive investigation, the school secured the room, and the university keeps the room locked. Enoch remains listed as missing.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #Miskatonic #norse #German #secrets

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January 9, 1924

During the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1919, Cross isolated itself from the rest of New England. This was done to stop the disease from laying waste to the town, and in this Cross was successful.

One resident saw the epidemic as an opportunity to sate masochistic tendencies.

Mrs. Lucille Racine was a quiet, polite woman who enjoyed the being a member of the ladies’ auxiliary and sitting with the sick and dying.

Little did her neighbors know how much she enjoyed sitting with the ill.

After the worst of the epidemic passed in 1920, Lucille was seen to have numerous transients working on the old barn on her property. She was, according to Lucille, offering the men viable employment opportunities, which they gladly accepted.

On January 7, 1924, Lucille died suddenly at the library, and it was left to the town to go to her home and see what could be done about the property and the two cats she owned.

On the morning of January 9, several men traveled to Lucille’s property and inspected the home. The structure was sound, but no sign of a will could be found. The men recalled the repairs to the barn and went to search it for paperwork.

When the men entered the barn, they were surprised to find a small antechamber equipped with a nurse’s uniform and a gasmask. A sliding panel was set in the chamber’s interior door, and before anyone stepped in, the panel was moved to reveal a glass pane, and the men saw what Lucille Racine had hidden from the world.

Ten beds were arranged in the room beyond the glass, and there were two men in each bed, set head to foot, and chained in place. Later examination would show all men were sick with influenza.

None of them survived.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #illness #imprisoned #secrets

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