Tag Archives: creative writing

Creative A.D.H.D.

Hahaha!!!!!! (Scary...)

I think I’m only just now starting to catch on, but I think digging up lost fiction and trying to revamp everything all at once is my mind’s way of straying from the larger task at hand: working on my novel. Or beginning work on my writing prompt if I want to attempt to win any thing.

But – since I’m already here – I just uncovered yet another flash fiction piece (which I think could/should be more than that, but alas, is all it has come to be for now), and I’d appreciate some feedback on this as well. Forgive me for being all over the place – I am making a promise to myself to do some serious work on the previous piece I posted and put it up again, to prove I can make some sort of progress!

So in the meantime, here are some bits and pieces of a little ditty I call “Refuge”:

I died in fall, in the hours when the air is still and the sky gushes with red, and the drama of New Jersey stands frozen and suspended in some pocket of serenity. I watched the neighborhood slowly spring to life from beneath the solid oak porch of a large woman in her 80s, her pink cotton robe brushing against the cracks in the panels as rays of sunlight gave way to small glimpses of my cracked red lips.

A thin strand of brown hair lay plastered to the open wound on my left cheek. The plastic that covered my face blurred my surroundings, and through it I could just barely see the glistening reflections of frost on the empty beer cans that had found refuge with me there. My glazed blue eyes could scan only the environment which was right in front of them – they remained open, and frozen in a final position.

I couldn’t remember much about my actual death. Those last moments became a blur, like a night of heavy drinking. I had been taking a walk just three blocks from my home, the heavy night air kissing my face as I cleared my mind after a long day. He came as quietly as the wind and squeezed my fragile shoulders, the calluses on the tips of his fingers rubbing against my skin like sandpaper. His nails dug in directly above my shoulder blades and I went numb and disappeared.

It does go on for a bit, but I just wanted to give a general idea for now.

 

Beautiful (and creepy).

Now you may be wondering why this girl is stuffed under some old woman’s porch. Oh, you’re wondering how she’s telling a story from the other side, too? Pft. Let’s just say I was feeling very inspired by a certain Alice Sebold after reading The Lovely Bones.

It was one of those things that just popped into my strange mind and made its appearance on the page. I would love to keep working on this one and developing it into something lively. But for now, what do you think of the general story? Is this something that could be of interest to you, if it was to be built on?

As always, I’d love the feedback.

Decisions, decisions…

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How far do I take this makeover?

A healthy reminder.

I mentioned The Journal of Unlikely Entomology in a previous post, as well as the story I planned on revamping and submitting.

So after lunch today I lit a pumpkin spice candle (mmm) and dusted off the two pages of a would-be horror story, ready to go to work. I figured it would be a piece of cake to work on something that already has some sort of foundation to it. But, as I sit here staring at the tiny manuscript I’m becoming as overwhelmed as I would be starting from scratch.

And why is that? Because it sucks. It really does. It sat in a dark drawer for two years and with good reason. But, deep down, I do believe there is some potential here. A professor of mine referred to the piece as having a sort of pulp-fiction feel, which I didn’t realize it had at the time.

But it certainly needs a ton of work. There’s no real story here. My main character turns into a praying mantis and eats her lovers. Why? Sometimes, in my opinion, the reasoning can go left unsaid, and a great story can still be produced. But in my case, I feel as though it needs some sort of explanation. And maybe more dialogue? Dialogue never was an easy task for me.

The piece starts off a bit slow:

“A thin ray of light kissed the wall, displaying the outline that formed between the arch of her back and the curve of his stomach. Black hair swept his knees and she dug her nails into his fleshy thighs. He gasped, a puff of air escaping between thin lips as she drove him to heaven.”

That is the opening of two years ago. While I will say I appreciate the seediness I created, I think it feels too forced. A quick clean-up today gave me this:

“A ray of light scraped the wall and threw their outlines on display. Her black hair swept against his knees as she dug her nails into his fleshy thighs. He gasped then, as she drove him to heaven and a puff of air escaped between his thin lips.”

“Drove him to heaven” may seem a bit much, but it reminds me of a Quentin Tarantino film and works with the mood I’m trying to create.

However, a few paragraphs down digs right into the “good” stuff:

“She lifted herself from him, the suction-cup sound of parting flesh lost among groans and cries. The white walls were decorated in a contemporary splash of red as she raked at his face and chest.”

So, I was thinking, maybe diving head first into the action is a better idea. Draw the reader in from the beginning, so they don’t have time to wonder what the hell is going on. Catch ’em off guard! Eh? It’s something to consider. It won’t be her first victim, after all. There will plenty of other opportunities to explain.

It’s a welcomed break from banging my head against the wall whilst novel writing. So instead I’ll bang my head against the wall over this piece.

I’ll post something a bit lengthier once I feel confident enough to do so. This baby needs a lot of work! Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Happy writing!

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A quickie!

No, not that kind! This isn’t that sort of blog! Sheesh.

While taking a break from my novel-writing, I thought I’d share a few poems I’ve written. I’d refer to my poetry skills as “eh”, but the majority of the poems I’ve completed hold some special meaning for me.

untitled

I kissed the concrete

and a thousand heartbeats

pounded against my mouth

(We died together down here.)

But who thinks of death

when you’re thinking of

your morning coffee and

collecting change for the subway

and what to make for dinner that night?

He kissed her goodbye this morning

was all he could smile about

as he said his goodbyes from

the belly of an airplane

and fell into the flames of freedom.

 

I am here, I am silent

A mother in a conduit

A daughter in a murky lie

I am here, I am silent

Screaming your name

And bouncing off the steel

That you used to

Hide my limbs

In pieces

In the plastic

That held

Our daughter’s crafts

That were never

Quite good enough

But you scraped them

From the darkness

And put me inside

And told her

I had left her

While you

Kissed her on the head

And I sucked

The cinnamon

Of her skin

And the things

She once held

The Fear

My heart made use

of the knot in my stomach

to lasso a ring around my throat.

It clawed its way

beneath my tongue a while,

a slow tempo

that caught no attention.

 

It hid there,

barely beating,

until the knot gave slack

and I took it back

as an apple,

an easy gulp,

like a snake swallowing an egg.

 

Aaaaaand, we’ll end this post with a bit of mushiness:

 

Timelines

I navigate the

stretch of road

between us

with precision.

Dips and grooves

keep me out

of daydreams

before I diagram

the constellations

I’ve memorized

in his eyes.

Passing Parker, Marilyn, some New York City chic

that lingers just before his home,

my home,

the place my beating heart lies.

 

Feedback is much appreciated. Back to the novel.

 
Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

“Lady Lazarus”

Sylvia Plath

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Submit, Submit, Submit!

This is what I look like when I'm scraping for a good idea.

While strolling through the aisles of Barnes & Noble yesterday afternoon (I could spend hours in that store), I picked up a copy of Writer’s Journal and the latest issue of Poetry Magazine.

Picking up magazines and reading the poetry and short stories that get published always gives me the imaginary kick in the butt I need to get back into gear and continue submitting everything I possibly can to every literary magazine and website there possibly is.

So after flipping through the pages of Writer’s Journal, I found information on an annual contest, in which you are provided with half of a sentence to begin your story. I love writing prompts, and am definitely excited to get creative with one of these lines:

Inside the envelope…

Struggling to her feet…

Whatever you do, don’t…

I’m pretty keen on that last one, and already have a few ideas swirling inside my little head.

The possibilities are endless. So please, wish me luck!

I submitted a few poems to Poetry, which is published by the Poetry Foundation. I have all fingers and toes crossed on that one.

I’m praying that something will stick, and I’ll be able to start a platform for my future as a creative writer. In other news, the job market is still quiet. So to keep myself somewhat immersed in the literary world, I am working to get a job at the bookstore. Anything to surround me with what I love (but so bad for my wallet).

I continue the uphill struggle, sometimes bursting with inspiration and sometimes wanting to wave my white flag. So it goes for every writer; we must keep our chins up high!

                                                                                                                                                                                                       “All these words for love (for you), all these ways to say believe in symphily, to say let us live near each other.”

Reginald Dwayne Betts

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Of Murder and a Praying Mantis

Look out, boys!

Men think the majority of us women are crazy. But they should be counting their lucky stars that they’re not a male praying mantis, or their life would end shortly after completing one of men’s favorite past-times. (Do I really have to elaborate here?)

While at the writing event I attended about a month back, I spoke with a fellow writer who handed me a card bearing the silhouette of what appeared to be an ant, and the title, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. Now, I will admit, I had to Dictionary.com the word “entomology”, and was surprised at what I found.

entomology

[en-tuhmoluh-jee]

noun

1. the branch of zoology dealing with insects.

A little confused, a lot curious, I hopped on my computer and went directly to the site.

An excerpt from the About Us section, found on www.grumpsjournal.com

The Journal of Unlikely Entomology is a new literary market for fiction that delves into the world of things that creep and crawl and explores the limits of what it means to be human. The Journal publishes biannually in May and November, with an additional roving mini-issue some time during the year.”

Suddenly I understood. And it was awesome.

I did a little bit of snooping, and found some wonderful writing (particularly this story: http://www.grumpsjournal.com/jue1/stories/jue1-ness.html) and great artwork.

Then I remembered a short story I wrote for a creative writing course about two years ago, and thought it an interesting idea to dig it up, dust it off, and do a bit of editing. Then, just maybe, I’ll cross my fingers and toes and send it off for consideration. After all, what are the chances I come across a literary journal dedicated to all things creepy-crawly, and here I am sitting on a story about a woman that turns into a praying mantis and eats the skulls of her lovers?

Fate!

(Maybe.)

Anyway, before I begin the editing process, here is a raw glance at Prayer to a Charlatan God. Please keep in mind that my writing has developed over the last year or two, and this has not been touched in quite a while.

“What the hell are you doing?” His words were quick and panicked.

She lifted herself off of him, the suction-cup sound of parting flesh lost among groans and cries. The stark white walls were decorated in a modern-like splash of red as she raked his chest. He fell silent and she leaned her head back, her jaw slowly unhinging with a quiet pop and lowering itself between her breasts. She swallowed him back to the base of his thick neck, the crunch of bone and Velcro-like tear of muscle arousing her as he was separated from his own shoulders.

She closed her eyes and ran her fingers across her throat, massaging as she broke him down. Her jaw reattached with ease as she finished. She said a prayer and dressed, slowly, enjoying the view.

Hahaha. Boys, beware!

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How do you flesh out a murderous, drug-addicted, overprotective stripper in 1985? I’ll tell you how.

In this story, the hair doesn't matter.

Or at least, I’ll try. Angel Vasco is 25; young, hot, can have any man she wants and knows it. It’s 1985 in Queens: sex, drugs and rock & roll, baby.

Angel lives in a cramped apartment with her sister, Sarah: 23, naive, already defeated. Angel and Sarah lost their mother as children, and were forced to care for themselves when his wife’s death emotionally disconnected their father. Sarah allows a long line of boyfriends to take turns beating up on her, and even Angel isn’t able to knock some sense into her sister’s head, so instead she ignores the problem.

Until something happens that almost wipes away Angel’s former identity as a female powerhouse. After a performance at Angel’s club, Half Moon, an admirer enters her dressing room, and refuses to leave until he gets what he wants.

(Excerpt)

“I’m gonna head home.”

I stood up, somewhat uneasy now, pulling everything into my arms as quickly as I could. He had moved to the doorway, and when I looked into his face the features had changed. His green eyes were muddy, and his lips had thinned and lengthened across his face. A layer of sweat glistened between his eyebrows and an erection throbbed against his zipper.

“I said I have to go.”

I attempted authority, raising my chin to the air, but I could feel the walls tightening around me. No one had ever tried to follow me back to the dressing room, but the men who took to the other girls were always nervous or eager, pathetic – middle-aged and grey-haired, smoking a cigar to look important. This man had a messy confidence, and a stone face that never doubted he would get what he wanted.

I tried to squeeze under one of his arms that blocked my exit, but he lowered it against my breasts and I felt its strength against my own weight.

“I don’t think so. I haven’t gotten my money’s worth yet.”

Angel is traumatized by the incident, and almost loses herself in the aftermath. But she quickly bounces back, and has one thing on her mind: revenge.

This is a very quick look into what I am working on, to hopefully gather more interest and motivation towards finishing. Let me know what you think, and if you’d like to know more!

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A quick and bloody post.

Reposted from Albert Berg's Unsanity Files. Ouch.

Last week, a blogger I subscribe to asked his fellow writers to post a short story in response to this rather disturbing picture he posted (and had received quite a reaction to). So, in honor of my love for all things bloody and gory, I came up with the story below. Quick, to the point, hopefully somewhat entertaining.

 

Thank goodness I remembered the pliers.

 

The hammer I found in the bottom drawer of her dresser (beneath the socks and a sachet of lavender) wouldn’t get the job done correctly; why was it there in the first place? She didn’t seem like the type to worry about intruders. She let me pass by her in the doorway on the notion that I was there to fix the plumbing. She hadn’t even called the landlord to complain of a clogged drain.

She begged for her life a few times (I’m only assuming here) through the lace pair of underwear I had stuffed in her mouth, and may have said something about a brother or a boyfriend. A roommate? I’m still not sure. If there was one, they didn’t show up during my brief visit.

She moaned and slid across the bathroom floor like a fish gasping for air, while I hummed my favorite Mozart piece and pulled a fresh pair of latex gloves up around my wrists. I gave each one a snap (my favorite part) and sighed. I picked up the hammer and turned to face her.

She looked up at me, slumped against the gleaming porcelain and panting. The walls, the toilet, the sink, blinded me with their purity; she kept a very clean house. I felt sorry to make a mess of it.

“Now, this will only take a second.”

One swing and she was quiet. The hammer turned out to be good for something.

The panties out of her mouth, her teeth gleamed as purely as her surroundings. Just another day at the office.

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Going nowhere fast; What makes me happy.

This pretty much sums it up.

I’d hate for this post to be depressing or too focused on “self-hating” as I recently read about in another blogger’s post, but I have spent the past week or so moping around, lying in bed for an extra hour, going back for seconds, crying at the drop of a dime, things that aren’t normal (or too becoming) of me.

It seems I’ve hit some sort of obstacle and I can’t figure out how to get around it, without having to jump through the ring of fire or swim through the lake of piranhas. I’m stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck.

I’ve tried to focus all of that negative energy into something worthwhile, like my writing, but every time I flop into a chair and stare into my 45 pages of writing, I’m clueless. This is no good.

So – more for myself, I suppose, but hopefully to encourage a few others that are feeling rather “blah” lately, too – here are a few things that always manage to make me feel better. I’ll be referring to this list later, I’m sure.

1.)

The best $8 bottle of red around.

The delicousness speaks for itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two things never disappoint. Nothing cures a bout of depression like a large glass of dry red wine and some fresh mozzarella topped with balsamic and a Jersey tomato. (At least Jersey is good for something, right?)

I enjoyed a pick-me-up late Wednesday night with drink, mozzarella, a best friend, and…. another…. friend:

E.T. wanted a piece of the action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Reading. When I read, I can forget about my crappy day for a moment and focus on the crappy day of someone else. Or else I can delve directly into an exciting moment, a love story, a murder, a scene of violence or sex or adventure. It takes my mind off of what is going on around me or in my crazy head.

Current read:

Exciting. Depressing. Compelling. You know the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.) Working out! This used to be something that made me even more depressed; who wants to sweat and hurt for an hour when there’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in the freezer? (Still sounds tempting.) BUT – nowadays (most of the time) I’d rather grind out my frustrations on a bag or a treadmill. FYI: A pulled muscle is sexier than an ice-cream gut.

4.) Anything on ID. This is my favorite channel; plenty of blood, guts and…more blood and guts. Murder, murder, murder. Hey, I am a writer of horror. I’m sure if Poe was here, he’d be making the popcorn before another episode of 48 Hours…

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.)

So inviting.

So this queen may look a little more inviting than ours, but ours is still a big comfy mess. When I’m being a negative nancy, just shove one of these under me and I’m good to go. Sometimes hiding under the covers for an extended period of time truly does the trick.

 

 

6.) Pretty much any movie from the 1980’s can cheer me up. Doesn’t the same go for everyone else?

Who doesn't enjoy the story of an awkward teenage girl, forgotten by everyone but the hottest guy in school on her birthday?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.)

Love.

This man right here. But especially the image of this man right here, in all his ’90s, grungy, long-haired hotness. So his hair is short and spiky now, but I couldn’t resist posting a picture of his former look. Either way, he’s hot. And he takes good care of me. And looking at this picture makes me laugh. And smile. (And I’ll probably get in trouble once he notices I posted it. Oops.)

Ending on #7 – it’s supposedly good luck, so let’s just stick with that. These things help pull me out of my ruts (although once in a while, only time can pull me out completely).

What makes you happy when you’re feeling convinced that the world is about to end?

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Filed under Fitness, Jobs, Uncategorized, Writing

In progress.

A quick excerpt of my most recent writing. This week, I may send my first two chapters to a New York publishing company. Keep your fingers crossed. Is this worth a read? I hope so. Feedback, anyone?

 

“Angel, how the hell are we supposed to get out of the front door without anyone seeing us? Aren’t they going to wonder what the fuck we’re putting in my trunk? It’s pretty damn obvious there’s a head and a pair of legs in there. I can’t believe I’m doing this.” He leaned against the sink where the condom wrapper still sat. I grabbed it and threw it in the trash.

“We’ll go out the back way. Just pull the car around. Listen, I’m scared too. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t thank you enough for helping me, Hugh.” I put a hand on his shoulder and tried to find a crack in my voice. “You know I’m not a violent person. I never would have wanted things to turn out this way.”

I was sixteen when I had my first boyfriend. I had already been sleeping with Mr. Paoli for nine months, but I knew it wasn’t love; only lust. I agreed to slip into his bed each night and he agreed to buy my friends and me anything we wanted; he thought blackmail was a more reasonable sentence than jail time.

Charlie sat next to me in math class that year, and had started dropping his pencil near my desk just so I would lean over and pick it up. While the other girls were sporting the modest seventies fashions their mothers forced on them, my breasts spilled over tube tops and out of push-up bras I bought with Mr. Paoli’s money.

“Hi Angel.”

Charlie stopped me at my locker one afternoon, his left hand fingering the lock while he stuttered and tried not to stare at my chest.

“Wou-would you like to hang out with me? To-tonight, maybe?”

I giggled and put a hand on his shoulder. He was shaking.

“Yes, Charlie. I would love to.” I winked and his mouth broke into a crooked smile. “My place or yours?”

I gave Charlie my address and told him to look for light from the candle I’d put by my bedroom window. That night he arrived ten minutes early, knocking loudly on the pane glass. I warned him to be quiet as he slipped into the room.

“What now?” He barely had both feet on the floor. I sighed and reached one hand around to my back, unclasping my bra.

“Let’s get to the point, Charlie.”

I listened for the rough idling of Hugh’s 1975 station wagon and imagined that the dark wooden paneling was one of the reasons he never took any women home. A thin ray of light crept through the single fogged window of the men’s room, bouncing off the trash bag that concealed Steve’s legs and feet. The light began to warm my scalp and a sudden wave of exhaustion swayed me into the sink. I hadn’t slept in more than a day.

“Pst – Angel! Hurry up, I’m out back.” Hugh’s whisper came from the other side of the window, startling me back into the moment.

I looked at the dark heap on the floor then back at the window. “Jesus, I could use some help, Hugh.”I heard him shuffle over the gravel toward the bar’s back door.

“Sorry” he mumbled, as he reentered the bathroom.

Minutes later Steve was in the trunk, Hugh was sweating behind the wheel and I was lighting a cigarette with the early morning wind combing through my hair. We decided to drive to a nearby construction site, where a new apartment complex catering to couples 55 and over was in early production. Miles of dirt and areas of hollowed earth lay before us, still quiet before the start of the work day. We parked by a sagging fence and I scanned the landscape, using my hand to block the sun from my eyes. Hugh rested his forehead against the steering wheel.

“There.” I pressed my index finger against the windshield and pointed towards a ditch by one of the new apartments, likely to be filled in and built upon soon. “And let’s hurry up. It’s nearly seven.”

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