Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Last night I was visited by a strange woman. It was pretty strange. She was a shorter woman in her mid-thirties, blonde-haired, average weight if a little round, with dark eyes and an aqualine nose. She came to me as I was falling asleep and begged me a favor that I have no idea how to perform, but it filled me with emotion, and I was inspired to write for her.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
I know who I am now
They tremble and weaken
Seeking a cause to believe in
How can I-?
How will I-?
They find strength in their weakness
And I can nary life my head.
The war is done and its soldiers dead
I know who I am now
Others bled and died side by side
Seeking to change the battle's tide
How did I-?
How will I-?
The living weep with grief and strife
And they find peace in death.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
I'll note that this is a venting piece based on some years-long-seething that broke loose. I don't like vent poetry very much.)
Sunday, May 26, 2013
with sword and steed
and belly full
of bread and mead.
Ride, ride noble knight
with sword and steed
to spread the word
and noble creed.
Ride, ride errant knight
Strike out vile and greed
Travel still farther
Vanquish evil deeds.
Ride, ride noble knight
with sword and steed,
gallop full speed
to defeat the seed
of earthbane and fiend.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I was glad to know they'd come to me, though. I have not known such pain in years, but my friends ask me. I think my best friends ask me because they knew I was "that girl" in elementary, middle, and most of high school -- the one that people said "Ew, only Barbara would ever date you" or leave love notes in my locker with some poor soul's number on it knowing I'd desperately call it, hoping, maybe, that my own shriveled heart could know peace. My, though, how the ugly duckling blossoms!
I spent a lot of my youth with older folks. I didn't care for the bullies that swarmed the schools and playgrounds. I liked to talk to the special education teachers during recess in elementary school, and I played chess with the college kids and teachers in middle school. I went to every English Festival with Mrs. Kovach and drove her nuts with every spare second she had. When we moved to New York, I did more of the same, because I knew I was still the underdog. I volunteered at the hospital and made some friends. Mostly, I just wanted to enjoy sidewalks and flowers.
A sagely woman at the hospital told me the most important thing I've ever heard about love. Our acquaintance at the emergency room reception desk was recently, disastrously divorced. He was tired of the usual coaxes and was failing every blind date his friends had set him on. The sagely woman told him:
"Love is like a car accident, Dave. You can never see it coming."
I could feel the words sinking, but our friend and I were incredulous. This woman had been married for thirty years to a man that was sitting at home, building a library and fixing up the house for his wife and him to enjoy. Then again, anecdotal evidence is the weakest of all cases. I shrugged and helped more folks find room numbers and friends.
See, though, love is like a car accident. If you're trying to do everything you can to keep yourself out of an accident, you're going to be okay. You check both ways three times at the stop sign. You wait just a second at the green light to make sure that cheetah coming at you stops at the red. You keep distractions at an absolute minimum and you check your tires. Nothing is going to catch you by surprise today, old sport. You're going to get to your destination without a trouble.
It's when you have a plan, a thought, an obsession that preoccupies you, a single idea that won't let your mind keep your guard up, that you don't take that extra second at the light. That's the moment that some mad idiot comes slamming into your life and paralyzes it, and you can't seem to stand up right. Your life is changed forever. You didn't see it coming. You certainly didn't ask for this mess. But it's here, and it's not going away.
I have yet to find a more appropriate metaphor for love. Car accidents are scary. I've been in enough of them to know I never want that to happen again. I've yet to find a better metaphor, though, for the suddenness, the vulnerability of those involved, the casualness of the events leading up to such an event. It's these big and little things that make this singular idea so immortal in our entertainment and desires. Love is so 10,000 years ago and yet strange beyond belief even as we explore distant planets and decode the human genome.
I believe in love at first sight. I'm a fantasy writer -- of course you know I believe in it. But I didn't believe in it until I was caught suddenly and powerfully by surprise one October day after a horrid breakup. I thought I'd prepared myself against all surprises, and I was wrong, and here I am. Everything has changed, but that's okay. Change is okay.
One day I'm going to write about the day Alex and I fell in love at second sight. That will be after some short stories finally get posted up here.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
residing in a golden cage
It must be fed with gentle hands
and watered with aqua vitae
Sometimes it dips its warm head
into its water dish
and dances about
shaking the droplets from
its soft feathers.
Rarely does it jump about
eager to leave its cage
and we must coo and whisper
and we must nourish and play
until it is calm again.
When the cage door opens
the feathered thing hesitates
only for a second
before it learns
how to fly again.
And it flies and flies
until it is wounded and tired
and must find another golden cage
to rest in.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
I am in the process of submitting to some writing contests. One is a competition for crime-writing, which I've always wanted to give a try. Some are creative nonfiction. Some are literary fiction. A couple are fantasy short story. I'm expanding my horizons. Mostly I'm trying to get publishing credits so literary agents will feel more comfortable trusting me and maybe (hopefully) ask for a full manuscript (soon).
Oh, and I submitted Crimson Promises to a very few agents. Of course, it wasn't until the manuscript was on its way to New York that I learned that I had to print it on the most expensive paper I could find. Gr. Not that the paper I used was cheap (it was the good stuff the grocery store had!) but it wasn't the 100-bright Hammermill 30-lb/500sheets stuff I NOW have. Quite heartbreaking.
Hopefully the agents will see past this error and fall in love with Justin anyway. The more I have to practice these query letters, the more I love Justin, and I didn't think I could love him any more. I think that's the most important thing I learned in this year's ENGL 2810 -- that a foolish character is the most sympathetic one. My mentor told me she loved Justin because he was stupid at times but noble, and that he was sympathetic because he was so lively. Hopefully the agents will love this lovesick, loyal young man and want to see how his tale pans out.
Anyway! I am not going to post these short stories I'm cooking until at least late Fall when the contests are over. I have thought them over and drafted them, and I would like some reviews. In the meantime, I have thought of a new story that I will probably start posting here. It's my style -- adventure, love, magic, fantasy world. It kind of fits into the Promises world, but not really.
If I have no luck with Crimson Promises (and I worry, of course) I am going to finish Anatha's Light and Inner Secrets. People loved Inner Secrets. Maybe I should work on it next. I don't know.
Oh, and poetry will go here, but you all know I'm not a big poet. I mostly use it to stretch those creative muscles. I'm a long-distance writer. These sprints kill me.
Why haven't I been posting my writing circle pieces? 1) because they are a little bit personal and I'm not ready to post them... quite yet 2) because the one I do want to post isn't finished yet. And that will be the first thing I post here when I run like an ostrich in the Savannah off of this campus in 13 days, 7 hours. That, and Seth the Mage. I really like Seth and I'd like to finish his tale soon.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
- They are never alone who are accompanied by noble thought
- The weekend ahead predicts enjoyment
- Things don't just happen; they happen just.
- When the moment comes, take the one from the right.
- There are no ordinary moments
- You form passionate relationships without compromising your independence
- Those grapes you cannot taste are always sour
- Th real test in life is not in keeping out of the rough, but in getting out after you are in
- You cannot manage men in battle. You manage things; you lead people.
- The kind of advice we do not like to take often turns out to be the best
- The love of your life will carry you through any circumstances.
- The one you love is closer than you think
- Wherever you go, whenever you can, try to leave a gift.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
that never ends
can never end
and is filled with I-don't-know
A place I could never leave
Fables of heaven and hell
Elysium and Vallhalla
Golden palaces and green fields
Brimstone pits and cemetaries
Halls of ale long tasteless and dry
Now I know
that not a second less
will sate this hunger
to consume him
This infinite thing,
Monday, April 8, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
A boy who's lost all wanders into the woods. A hunter helps the boy but in doing so is bitten by a werewolf. The boy is devastated and searches for the entire month for the cure with the hunter. They become best of friends. The boy realizes he has not lost all, for he can still make wonderful friends. They fail to find the cure. The hunter chases the sun on the final day to avoid the moon, fails, and takes his life to save the boy. The boy goes on with this important tale in mind.
When night falls to reign, the moon begins to shine. Forest voices constantly yell, Do not listen, Infernal Lady!" Though these spells in trance leave, nothing will become. Lycanthia is your name, its sound a howl. Planted horror passes. Sol, give peace! Blood on the moon shines. Sol, give peace, eager to devour your open eyes. Free her from evil. . . Sad Lycanthia walks to the Sun faster. Their soul light, it shed wanting blood beings without more. Luna falls, the beast coming out, ready to die. Lycanthia plunges a dagger into his own heart, breaking the curse. Sol, give peace, leading to this sad end. Sun, look at her, his eyes closed in eternity. Freed from evil . . .
Saturday, March 30, 2013
- No one remembers the fifth one.
Edits I'm working on include
- cutting down on dialogue. My characters have always been chatty.
- cutting down on background. A lot of it isn't relevant enough to warrant the space it takes.
- cutting down words. Never use two words when one will do, as they say. Also, I really want the action to come in earlier. I hate a book that doesn't get exciting until page 100, so why would I write one?
- Vampire Hunting by Jacques Van Gould
- A Relief for Fungi Allergies for Fairies by Celeste Pixie
- The Things I Put in the Drinks: A Guide by Max Prist
- Rules for Eating Cakes by Meadow Rose
- Excerpt: Eating cake at your birthday is essential. It may be cupcakes. All calories from birthday cake go to party guests as the First Rule of Birthday Cake. If birthday boy or girl does not have friends/guests, calories go to the cow that submitted milk and butter for cake batter. Rule Two: All cakes must be made with real ingredients or real sentiments will wilt. Eating cake off another person’s plate brings no calories to thief as calories stick to original owners.
- A Better Guide to Vampire Hunting by Gunter Hellsing
- Love Potions that Probably Work by Tristan Brooks
- Love Portions to Stay Away From by Iseult Books
- Dating Tips from Life’s Great Kings, a collection by John Keenan
- Excerpt 1: Make sure she isn’t your mother (Oedipus)
- Excerpt 2: Ask yourself: Would I start a massive war and lose my best men to reclaim her should things not work out (Meneleus of Sparta)
- Excerpt 3: If your first born is not a boy, it’s probably best to cut off her head and avoid mucky divorce drama. Divorce makes finding a new queen awkward (Henry VIII)
- Excerpt 4: Tell your wife that blood on her hands is best cleaned with vinegar and a clean, cotton towel. Ease her mind. (Macbeth)
- Bedtime Stories that Will Keep Your Kids Up Tonight: The Gory & Horrific Edition
- Bedtime Stories that Will Keep Your Kids Up Tonight II: The But Why Edition
- Bedtime Stories that Will Keep Your Kids Up Tonight: New Ideas for Siblings to Fight About
- The Best Vampire Hunting Guide: Keeping Your Skin Intact by Jacques Van Gould
- Monsters in the Closet: Could It Be a . . .? by Father Michael de Brozzo
- Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Spat Them Up: A Boy’s Tale of Horrible Cohabitation by Timmy Thompson
- Starving for Brains in a Swagger-YOLO Suburb by Droopy Yard
- How to Cook Liver: A Cookbook for Zombies by multiple authors
- Deceptive Vampire Authors by Gunter Hellsing
- How to Make a Monster of Legend
- Love at First Bite by Serin Van Gould
- How to Hunt Vampires for People Who Value Their Lives by Jacques Van Gould
- Great Haunts by Mildred Founder
- The Shy Cub by Sam Wolffe
- Vampire Hunting Tips by a Vampire Hunter: Don’t Go There Edition by Gunter Hellsing
- A Guide to Ill-Humored Humans by Celeste Pixie
- Excerpt 1: Humans hate puking. They really do. The Tribucan Stomosis Spell is best saved for zombies and werewolves.
- Excerpt 2: For creatures that strive to fly in planes and admire birds, humans hate sudden levitation. Expect urination and screaming from most.
- Excerpt 3: Humans are already extremely worried about their figures and portions. Avoid spells that inflate skulls and feet.
- The Fairy Godmother from Hell
- Crimson Promises (a very real story, but never a book, by me)
- Who ordered the kidnapping of an orphaned girl? Assassins descend upon Rubenville in the night. Young hero Justin DeBlazz and his allies must fight the last great decimator Astarte to save his estranged cousin. He not only has a trinity of assassins in his way – he must submerge himself in a war rife with murderers, demons, death goddesses, and dragons.
I most certainly would have written a first chapter, but I am emotionally spent today. Next Saturday will be very productive. I might even write some original content that I've written on my own.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Two sisters are separated by fate to opposite sides of the world. One is born on the East Coast of the United States. The other is born in China. They have forgotten the other exists during birth. Both are brilliant, have excellent memory, love at first sight, are hard-working bums, and trust their closest friends whole-heartedly. The Chinese sister goes to an American University, and the two meet at dinner. They are instantly best friends and sisters again.
David has drifted from bars to nightclubs and even to Zumba dancing trying to find the right girl. He is rumored to be a serial dater, though he just can't find his click. As the rumors spread, the "wrong kind" of people vie for his heart. He has a great job and a big house, so all those fish in the sea seem to be full of sunnies. His great job sends him to Tanzania and Kenya for research, where he falls instantly in love with a villager. She does not have internet or phone and has no idea what kind of house he owns. These lovers, thousands of miles apart, are together again.
Jarrod's lover is not nearly as far as China or Kenya. In fact, Ryan lives in his county. Jarrod is a loner and a quiet man, though, preferring online chatrooms to venturing out finding his soul mate. Unfortunately, this lifestyle draws the attention of police as they try to hunt down a credit card thief. Jarrod's suspicious online activities land him in jail for three days until the police find the actual suspect. Ryan is in jail for drug possession. He and Jarrod meet, and they stay in touch. Fate is met again.
Cynthia has been having trouble conceiving. This makes her irritable, and she has grown distant from her wealthy family. People avoid her until she is no longer invited to the more minor family gatherings, though she watches the social networks once in a while to see what she's missing. She notices her 14-year old is pregnant and scared. Cynthia's sister is furious. Cynthia takes her niece in and takes the child as her own. They relocate to a nice, quiet suburbia, and her niece can goes on to nursing school while Cynthia raises her own little boy.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I think if I keep track of my progress, I will be inspired to get everything done faster and finish this draft. The sooner I finish that, the sooner I get to editing and then submitting.
- I am currently at page 190
- There are eleven chapters so far with about nineteen pages to a chapter
-So far, twenty bandits, one elf, sixteen fish, one hare, one horse, and eight orcs are dead.
- Our adventurers have traveled through two Towns and one city since leaving home
- They have taken three detours on the road. Dominick protested all three.
After a dragon fight, a showdown with a grand witch, the final battle, and epilogue, I will be needing some honest critics. Or I can just let this book sit around my hard drive with all the others. Whatevs
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
I am writing, but I am writing a novel that I hope to publish someday. A group of my friends recommended I keep it off of the Internet, so most of my writing is barred from this blog. When I have shorter works, I will post them here, but this project is demanding all of my attention.
I am a Cornell student, too, and taking organic chemistry. My time for writing is quite limited, especially as preliminary exams approach. During the long breaks, I have more time (in between Post-Test Stress Disorder nightmares) and will post more often.
In the meantime, I apologize for the sporadic writing! I am working on something!
For those curious as to what this behemoth is, I will provide the premise. It's not at all formal or well-written for an agent, but just in case you ARE curious:
Essentially, Justin is a champion swordsman and a beloved personality in the Catsnian court. His best friend Mark is always at his side to make trouble with him. One morning, Justin finds his cousin Tara in his home, newly orphaned and lost. They take her in, but mercenaries follow to take her as well. Justin and Mark defeat the first two, but the third is the legendary killer, Astarte. Without killing a single guard, Astarte steals Tara away, and Justin, Mark, and Dominick set out to save the girl. A great journey ensues that holds the fate of the war in its balance.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
The footsteps in the fresh snow speak loudly to me. Some are long and tell "Watch out! It's slippery here!" Others are short with brown tufts between heels - promises of safety. Some are in the grass beside others and say "I am a rebel and a friend!" Others still are nearly buried, alone. The footsteps walk me safely home in the storm.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
Four loud raps interrupted the man. He cackled as he scuttled to the bolted wooden door and peeked through the musty keyhole. On the other side stood a man in muddy robes with a wooden leg and long hands that better resembled talons than human appendages. The robbed man released the latches and bolts and yielded the passage to the ville creature at his door.
"Welcome, Sebastian," said the robed man.
"Mordecai," the bird man greeted. His voice was raspy with age and chronic sickness. "Have you prepared everything as I have asked?"
"But of course," was Mordecai's reply.
The creature, Sebastian, hovered to the bench and let loose a hoarse laugh to himself. Then he wandered top the collection of corpses deeper in the room laid beneath fresh candles by the robed man. Most were soldiers from the battle at the nearby river, but there were some boys and maidens among the fallen.
"What will you be creating tonight my lord?" asked Mordecai. "May I offer any suggestions?"
"A battle mage," replied Sebastian.
Mordecai let out a croaking "ah" and knotted his hands together. "Let us work right away, then."
Sebastian walked past the first few bodies and paused at a white pair of feet. Without touching any other part, he plucked at the toes and rubbed them. Slowly, his hands moved up the ankles. The body was a drummer boy who'd fallen by an archer's arrow. "This one has good feet," he said aloud. Then he examined the legs beside him. "No, never mind. I want a woman's feet. They've more muscle to them."
"Yes, you are right," Mordecai agreed. "Always right, sir."
He stopped at an older captain's corpse. His steel armor was at his side, and his sword on the table beside him. "I like his arms," he said. "Truly strong - not massive, but dense like diamonds. But his hands are awkward. Cut them just below the elbow."
"Yes, sir!" Mordecai said and started with his bone saw on the soldier's body. As Sebastian looked over the other bodies, the sound of flesh and bone slicing apart echoed in a quick rhythm.
The ugly creature stopped at an older boy's side. Blood still colored his cheeks; his lips looked as though he were smiling in the midst of a dream. Without a word, the creature opened the boy's shirt and chest, plucking his heart from the hole. "A perfect heart for my creation," he muttered. "And good lungs. This one was a bard."
Mordecai paused to look. "Yes, my lord. I will set it aside for you!"
The creature stopped at a young woman's side. "Perfect hands, this one. Tired but not destroyed. Was she a musician or a tailor?"
"An adulterous housewife, murdered by her husband in her sleep," Mordecai said.
The creature snarled. "I've no need for a traitor." He paused, snarled again, and moved to the next soldier. From him, he took the ribs and stomach. "Such a waste of good material, these wretches!"
The next body had only one arm and a pegleg. Sebastian was furious. "Where is his other hand!" he demanded.
"Lost many years ago in battle, sir," Mordecai replied from the altar table.
"Foolish boy!" Sebastian removed his hand with his knife and set it on the table. "I need another hand. One that can withstand fire."
"May I suggest the soldier at the end, sir? He has worked with the hot tars and catapults for many battles."
Sebastian looked over the soldier at the end. The face of this body was very tired. Though it was shaved, the deep greys suggested that even eternal sleep was not deep enough for this exhausted soldier. His hand was dexterous and calloused. Yes, it matched the boy's hand well! The would work well together! He removed the soldier's hand and took his ears as well.
"What face will you choose, sir?" Mordecai asked.
Sebastian ignored him and found a young woman with strong, tanned legs. He severed them gently, careful not to ruin them in a geiser of blood, and set them on the table. The feet were of average size though the toes were painted. The creature did not understand why women painted their toes when no one ever saw them.
Three witches were among the dead. Sebastian took the curling brown locks from one and the blue eyes of another. He contemplated the third witch's lips. "What was their death?" he asked.
"They stood trial, sir, and admitted their guilt when accused of cursing Lord Grey's father," said Mordecai.
Sebastian snarled. "I've no need for foolish truth-speakers," he hissed and moved on.
The creature seemed troubled. Though there were so many bodies, he could not choose from them a set of lips or a face. Mordecai suggested a handsome man's strong-set face, but Sebastian growled. "I want a woman," he said alas.
"A woman, sir?" Mordecai said. At the creature's waving arms, he shuddered. "Of course, sir. A woman, sir."
"The soldiers will hesitate before they kill a woman," he said.
"Yes, sir. You are brilliant, sir." Mordecai quickly moved over the bodies. "The priestess here, she is a virgin and a beauty. The soldiers loved her."
"Good. Give me all of her beauty."
Sebastian walked slowly among the bodies groaning. He paced over and over among them. "An old man knows many things," he grumbled, "but his mind is made up." His decrepit fingers fell over a boy with soft hands and delicate skin. "The scholar is a fool too. He thinks he knows everything. Which would you choose?"
Mordecai paused in his preparations. "I don't rightly know, sir," he said.
Sebastian grumbled and worked to extract the young man's brain from his skull. He was careful removing it, for he did not want to damage the delicate mass.
Next the creature took a long glass tube and poked it into the bellies of several men. When his tube produced dark red fluid, he moved to the next corpse. At the bard's heart-less corpse, he stopped and removed his liver from the same emptiness. Pausing, Sebastian removed all of the bard's guts.
"Sir, his guts are weak," Mordecai warned.
"Nay, they are so strong that they appear weak," Sebastian rasped. "I need a battlemage that can stomach his own atrocities and a liver that will not make him blind with anger."
Mordecai let out a low moan and set the guts with the other organs. "Sir, shall I add this man's blood net to your things? He watched his son die in his arms."
"Yes, do that. No man's blood courses so true as a man watching his kin die," Sebastian said merrily. "Give me his tongue as well. My battle mage will want to taste death."
"Is there anything else I can give you, sir?" Mordecai asked.
The two robed men stood beside the table and looked over the forming body. Sebastian set the bones, the flesh, the many organs in place carefully, pausing to clean the cuts. Mordecai offered him more tools and rags to clean the blood, and the creature took them. Within the hour the body was a messy pile. All the organs were in place and ready.
Sebastian spoke a profane chant and set the pieces together, starting with the priestess's face to the witch's eyes, the scholar's brain to the head, the soldier's ears to the beautiful face, the sister's lock's to the lovely head, and the priestess's delicate neck and shoulders to the bard's lungs and heart. The heartbroken father's blood net set in the organs all the while and prepared to pump the bard heart's blood, and the guts fell into a complicated line down past the virgin priestess's womb and nether areas. The strong legs fastened to the wide woman's hips and to the delicate waist. Sebastian let out an otherworldly moan and took Mordecai's chalk to his hand, and with it he painted the flesh the color of hazelnuts to give it one solid form. With a word, the body breathed, lowering and raising its breasts and belly as it did so. The body let out a harrowing scream as it opened its eyes.
"It is successful!" Mordecai said. "Congratulations, sir!"
Sebastian said nothing to the other robed man. He shook a jeweled bottle at his side and poured it into the screaming body's lips, hissing, "You will know my arcane magic, underling, and do as I say. Speak, and tell me you know what I expect from you!"
In that moment, the body opened its eyes and ceased its screaming. It parted its lips to form words. Sebastian let out a frustrated moan, and then he fell to the ground. Mordecai shrieked and turned to the body and then the abomination, speaking: "You've killed him! You've killed your master!"
The body spoke more words, slowly and tiredly, and the second man joined him. At the sight of their deaths, it curled its knees to its shoulders. It stayed on the table for hours, shivering, trembling, breathing the stench of death from the chamber. When alas its body ached too much to sit, it stepped onto the stone floor and walked.
"Who am I?" it asked the corpses. Seeing the desecrated bodies around it, the body froze. "What am I?"
The scholar's brain ticked inside and brought the creature logic. It was a woman, born from pieces of many people. The father's tongue hungered for revenge against the dead men that had done this to all of the dead. The bard's heart ached to make it all right. The priestess felt the filth of desecration and death. The creatures magic surged through the father's veins, but she did not know what to do with it. The soldiers were tired of war and death, and all ached for eternal sleep that now eluded them.
"I will right our deaths," she said. "I promise."
The woman took a grey robe from beside the doorway and stepped into the gold-splattered temple. A new day was just beginning, and there was much to be done.