Prompts 61-62

Prompt 61: When have you experienced “heaven on earth?”

Heaven is an elusive concept, and it’s a lot like beauty in that it’s in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced anything quite as grand as “heaven on earth” but two experiences came to mind when I thought about how to answer this prompt.

The first was a night hike to watch a meteor shower with friends in college. It was as close to the heavens as I’ve ever been while standing on the Earth. When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronomer. I love the stars. Standing on top of that mountain in the middle of the Adirondacks at midnight in November as the “stars” were “falling” was a surreal experience.

Unfortunately it was short lived. One of us was not dressed appropriately for the wind at the top and we couldn’t let him freeze so we headed back down. I slipped and split open my elbow on a boulder; although I had so many layers on I didn’t realize it until we got halfway down and stopped so my friend could relieve himself. I thought I’d landed in a puddle because my sleeve felt wet and sticky at the elbow. Heh, whoops.

We ended up driving to a golf course to watch the height of the meteor shower. Bunch of stupid college kids lying on the cold ground at 2am watching the stars. I know it doesn’t exactly evoke a feeling of “heaven on earth” but for me it came pretty damn close.

The other experience, a bit clichéd maybe, was my honeymoon. I’d never been anywhere exotic before. The most exciting vacation I’d taken in my 28 years of life was to Disney with my family in 2015, and a big reason it was the “most” exciting was the fact that my husband proposed on that trip. We had a longer engagement to save money for our nuptials (21 months from proposal to wedding) but also to save for a traditional honeymoon.

If the stars are my first love, open water is my second love, and they are pretty tightly woven around my heart. Growing up near lakes and rivers breeds a certain awe for being out on the water. Family trips to Maine’s southern coast inspired my love of the ocean, but the water was not warm up there. I had never experienced warm ocean/sea water and I decided I wanted a Caribbean honeymoon so I could experience it.

We went to Jamaica and stayed at a Sandals resort. I’ve never been to an all-inclusive resort before, but they were the best. I’ll say it. Blanket statement with nothing to compare it to. Even after losing a day to motion sickness after a snorkeling excursion, it was still the best experience I ever had.

And as for “heaven on earth?” If I had to describe what heaven might be like, I’d imagine peace and calm and warmth. Laying on the anchored float in the warm water under the Caribbean sun, I felt that calm, that peace. Maybe I’m a woman of simple pleasures, but I cannot wait to go back and float on those warm waters again.

Prompt 62: How do you act when you’re afraid?

I don’t get frightened often. I’m honestly struggling to think of a situation where I was truly afraid. I curse and shout at jump scares; I don’t like being startled. I don’t understand fans of horror films that primarily resort to jump scares. How is that entertainment? Cool, my blood pressure just spiked through the roof, lemme take a few deep breaths to get my heart rate back under control.

I’ve been in uncomfortable situations that weren’t necessarily scary or dangerous (who hasn’t?) and one of my reactions to those situations is to laugh. I’m a discomfort giggler. Not that it’s really the same thing as being afraid, but I guess I laugh at scary things too, after I’ve sworn at them.

It’s a fun thing to explore with your characters too. How do they react to fear? Here’s a small list of some things they may do when scared.

Cry
Hum/Sing
Pace
Dissociate
Bite their nails (I do this too, come to think of it)
Wring their hands
Tap their feet
Pray
Talk/ramble on about anything to distract themselves
Hold their breath
Hyperventilate

Notes: Alright, one prompt left for the week, then a story for Saturday. This week flew by, but I’m glad the weekend is here. After all the excitement of last weekend, I’m looking forward to a couple days to relax. And the sun is finally supposed to come out! Yay! Have a great night, I’ll see you tomorrow!

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