Tag Archives: short story

Freewriting Fridays 6/21

21 Jun
This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 51st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone remember this long ago freewriting exercise?  Or maybe this one? The idea of freewriting is simple; just write.

I like to use 750 words. You can do whatever you like. There is only one rule: WRITE!

Prompt: “Creatures Kissing In the Rain”

Sinewy.

Is that the right word? It sounds like what I think I mean to say but dictionaries and writing teachers would probably argue the word choice.

It is impossible to think of the right word with him standing there in front of me. His lank torso bare in front of me and his lengthy nest of dun brown hair hanging limply to his cheeks. There is a segment of it caught on his lower lip. His lips are thin and wet. The rain has soaked his face. His glasses are covered in spots and drops. His smile is unmistakable as he takes the thick frames off and catches my glance.

It wasn’t the first time that he and I had skipped class together. We had almost made a a habit of it the last year. He was the artist and I was the writer. He was actually talented and I was just barely good enough to get in the school magazine.

There was a few mile stretch of woods behind our school. We weren’t the first delinquints to use it to hide from teachers. There had even been a fire or two from reckless teenagers throwing their butts into litterpiles of red leaves and wrinkled copies of the student literary magazine. My writing makes excellent kindling.

Most kids would stay to the border of the woods and just smoke or drink or even screw beneath the low creeping bushes. Not him. He had found a cave way out across the creek. It was nothing more than a hole in the ground to look at from outside but inside was enough room to sit comfortably the two of us.

He had moved a tape deck inside and had a great collection of old casettes. They were things he had gotten from his older brother. Thin white dukes and odd creatures with high hair and make-up eyes that crooned creepy little tunes of death, sex, and the other things that captured the imagination of humankind especially moody, melancholy teenage boys.

He was shirtless now. Sitting cross legged. We had walked here in a pouring rain under massive thunderheads with flashes of deep purple lightning across the sky. Shut up! I am the narrator so it was purple lightning. It did smell of the sort of moist black dirt that earthworms wriggle free of. Since I am the narrator, there was nothing uncomfortable at all about sitting in a hole in the ground scrawling in a notebook with my clothes clinging to my wet body that was anything but lank or sinewy.

He was thin and beautiful but I was the sort who got nicknames inspired by farm animals. Somehow he seemed not to notice how largely uncomfortable I was.

“Take off your shirt”.

Was that phrase really passing his lips and tumbling into the small space between us or was I hearing my own thoughts. It was projection. It was desire,right?

“I’m not a perve. I’m seventeen and I have seen it all before. We are going to build a small fire. We can let our clothes dry over that.”, he spoke from his years of experience. I mean I was only fifteen and I was sure he had more than just a few years on me. He must have been a boy scout because with almost no real tinder, he had a small fire burning.

He took off his shorts too. Now there he was almost naked. A small fire licking the top of our makeshift makeout den. We hadn’t actually ever made out.

Except in my imagination.

I listened to him and had my top off in seconds.I was a little hesitant but my underclothes disappeared as well. I reluctantly also kicked aside my soaked jeans. Now we were both sitting there in the near buff.

“Boxers?”, he said.

I turned a little pink in my cheeks. My heart was a steady patter in my chest.

“No, that’s cool.”, he shrugged. “To each their own.”

He pulled his sketchbook out of his backpack and began to stare in that way where he made you (okay, me!) feel like he was looking not just at you but sort of into you.

Holy crap! This is such horrible hormone induced writing. I was scribbling away too. It was words just wordswordswords. They were all about him but he wouldn’t know it to read it. It was the same terrible teenage poetry that girls in my creative writing class wrote about the teacher.

I was careful not to use too many revealing terms. I could talk about this feeling forever but I couldn’t express it fully. I mean what if one of those footballers found my notebook and knew how bad I wanted to kiss my best friend.

Boys don’t kiss boys. That’s what father says.

Who dares me to do another “Freewriting Friday”? No edits, just wordswordswords…I need a topic. Please comment with a short story topic. I’ll use the ones I don’t choose on future fridays.

Weirdsday

10 Oct
Portrait recadré de Lovecraft

Portrait recadré de Lovecraft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am thinking of starting some lucid dreaming experimentation. I am inspired to keep a dream log and I am working out the details of a “weird fiction” that I am writing in homage to H.P. Lovecraft and his The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Good idea or nightmare waiting to happen? I will tell you tomorrow if I am not thrown into the far reaching depths of the mental canyons of madness and the echoing unreality of eternal insanity.

Wish me luck.

 

Freewriting Friday (8/31)

31 Aug
English: Print of Princess Charlotte of Wales ...

English: Print of Princess Charlotte of Wales as a young girl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey Guys!

I had almost forgot but this is “Freewriting Friday”. If you are not familiar with the concept of freewriting or the challenge I have set for Fridays, then please feel free to click the link and travel back in time to last Friday when I explained the value of freewriting as a tool in the writer’s toolbox and as a weapon against writer’s block. I also set the topic for this week’s challenge to write about:

“Writer’s Block as if it was something material and part of the physical world.”

Now, I present you with my 750 words or more. Remember that spelling and grammar errors are allowed and forgive them. Here is my attempt from last Friday’s challenge.

Once upon a time there was a young queen who said,”If only, my lonely days would end and I might have a child,” but never had one. “I would call her Story and she would be beautiful and her voice so sweet that all would come to hear her recite”, pledged the young queen as a tear ran down her cheek.

It happened once as the young queen was bathing, a large frog leaped from the water onto her breast. “Queen Muse, your wish shall be fulfilled, before twelve full cycles of the moon have passed,you shall birth a daughter. You may name her ‘Story’ as you have planned and it is true that none shall be able to resist the lure of her voice and shall travel far to hear her recitations.”

What the frog had told her had came true, and the young queen had discovered she was with child and began to recite short fables and long epics as she rubbed her hands over her round belly. It came that she had a little girl who was so pretty and words so mesmerizing that the queen could not contain her joy and ordered a great banquet.

She invited her kin from near and far, friends and ambassadors from all of the other kingdoms and lands that bordered. She invited also the greatest bards of the village that they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. There were thirteen of them but she only had twelve silver lyres with which to gift them, so one of them had to be left at home as she could not be embarassed.

The feast was held and the bards brought gifts with which to bestow the young princess- one gave words, another wit, one richness of tone, and so on with everything one might wish for Story. When eleven of the bards made their tribute, suddenly the thirteenth bard entered the hall and said not a word to the others or the queen and spoke directly to the child, “Your words are wistful and kind but on your thirteenth winter, your lips will fall mute and the cold winds shall blow fiercely and entrap you within a block of frigid and unbreakable ice. All may see your beauty and imagine your voice but never hear you from within”. And without saying another word, he left wrapping his cloak around him tightly.

Shocked and frightened, but the twelfth bard, whose good words were yet to be spoken walked forward and knowing he could not undo the evil sentence, but could perhaps soften it he said, “This truth is truer than true, winter’s breath is cold and bluer that blue, but if the right words are told your skin will take a rosier hue and then Story you will know precisely what you shall do”

So each winter, the queen made her castle more secure and boarded up the windows and put curtains across the doors. She spoke with wise women and magi too but all agreed that none could prevent the sad truth.

Meanwhile the gifts of the bards were generously fulfilled on the young girl, for her recitations were perfect in every detail and crowds would gather in the spring and summer just to hear her speak ten words of poetry.

It happened that on the very day when she was thirteen years old, that the queen was away in the east and though she hurried her envoys to bring her home that the young princess Story was alone.

She always wondered about the bricked off dining hall and the tower above it and though she knew she was forbidden, she climbed up the narrow winding-staircase, and reached a little door. An old iron key was in the lock but when Story turned it the door went wide.

There was a tiny desk and a tiny scribe.

“Who are you?”, the young princess spoke.

“I am the writer of the tale”, the goblin answered. His eyes two tiny black marbles rolled towards her and he pierced her finger upon his quill. He wrote in blood upon his parchment.

The young princess fell to the floor and the winds ripped the boards right from the windows and the doors and ice pierced the thatch and all around young Story grew a pile of ice that froze into place and became solid as glass. Though you could still see the surprise on her face, none could hear another word from her lips. Sadly, the writer spoke and “This is my block”.

Luminous and bright the ice held her tight and though all knew that story lied within through this winter and then hundreds more, the young princesses freedom none could restore. The castle fell into disrepair and the kingdom into poverty and the block was carried down and placed at the center of the hall. The twelve bards of the kingdom had each tried their most magical words but they echoed and boomed but no reply was ever heard. Historians and storytellers from the world wide would come and recite to the princess inside but none could seem to break the spell and the princess was locked in her own forzen hell.

The queen after most of a century collapsed over that granite hard ice block with her daughter inside finally giving up all hope in bleak sadness she died.

How long passed? It depends on who is telling the tale but one winter when all was white with snow and the air pierced by hail, a young traveller sought shelter inside of a ruined castle hall. All the tapestries torn and the furniture burned for warmth, the young man sat against a solid block off ice that was now fogged white. He brought his cape close around his body and pulled from his satchel a pen and a bound pad that he had inherited from his father who had inherited it before and he began to read a story that started a hundred years or more before in a forgotten kingdom with a long-dead queen and thoughtless act and an evil deed.

See his father had been a bard as his father before and each had sat and written just a little bit more. As the young bard read he realized that he was within just such a hall and though the block was covered in leaves from fall and piles of snow, he brushed them away and just had to know.

Inside was a young frail dark-haired child, no older than he and her eyes were wide and her blue lips slightly parted as if in middle of a word.

He opened his ink bottle. It was more than half frozen and dipped in his pen and then her began the tale again. Only as he wrote and he got to this moment and he got to this part he could hear nothing but the beat of his heart.

He wrote quickly as if he could not waste a moment and despite his haste chose each word wisely and finished the tale and as he did he could see the princess was not quite so pale.

Her skin began to become bright as spring roses and her lips like blood. As she warmed the blocked began to sweat and then pour and puddles began to appear on the floor and suddenly as if winter was over and never to return a warm wind blew and spring had returned.

From Story’s soft mouth came the words that she meant to speak those centuries before. She whispered them now into the ears of the young bard who had freed her, “Who is this story for?”

Done. So now let’s see yours?

Please link your answers to last week’s challenge in the comments here. The challenge for this next Friday is to write about:

“Google Image Search the word, ‘resplendent’  and choose the image you like best and then ‘voracious’ and your favorite for that word  and write a story involving the two images. Try not to use the two words in the story.”

Ready? Go!

I will check back with next Freewriting Friday.

“The Novel”-The Author

21 Aug

So, here’s my first official “The Novel” post in this blog. Let’s just cut to the guts of it.

Who…

I’m a thirty-seven year old male, a freelance writer, and a now a blogger. My life so far has seen me try many occupations. I have worked in a mail room, cooked pizzas for a fast food delivery place, done door-to-door political canvassing, been a tutor at a junior college, and worked my way from the kid who dipped fish out of the aquarium tanks with a net to assistant manager of a big-box retail store.

Where…

I live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That’s right, I’m an “Okie”. I have lived in this state for the last few decades. Before that I had the opportunity to live in many other states in the US and also in Italy. I spent some time in Germany as well. I have lived here long enough to call myself an “Okie”. I might not be native but transplanted and adopted into the southwest state that’s shaped like a pan.

Why…

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to write novels. I remember sitting in my bedroom at the age of seven with a notebook and a pencil creating the further adventures of my favorite comic characters. I illustrated them as well. Let’s be upfront, I was much better at writing the stories than drawing the characters. I would rush to my where my dad sit reading yellowed pulp novels and demanded he read my comics and stories. I am not sure how long they sat around before my mother threw them in a trash bin or used them as scrap paper for grocery lists.

My next attempt was as a teenager, this time a horror novel. I wrote a whole chapter that time before showing it to my father. Dad took the red pen to it and I took the criticism hard and tore it to pieces in private.

And so it went on. Over the years, I have had hundreds of great ideas. Dozens of them would hit paper but finishing seemed too daunting. I had a drawer full of less than half-started novels.

A few years ago I came close to finishing one. Thanks to NaNoWriMo.  I don’t mind saying that it was pretty damn good for a first draft. So what happened? Fear happened. I was so afraid to show it to anyone else that it sat on my hard drive without anyone reading a word of it but myself. My early experiences with criticism convinced me to keep it hidden away. Until, the day that my hard drive was lost on that laptop and the one completed novel was gone.

Until the summer of 2012. I don’t know what triggered it, but one evening I sat down to write about an idea that had been fermenting for a long time. It was an idea that had come to me in a dream (no, really…) several years ago and I had tossed it around upstairs. I had even written lots of little notes about it on the backs of envelopes, receipts, in notebooks and on my laptop. The story and the character captured me immediately. I was prisoner now to this idea.The words flowed effortlessly but I realized I wasn’t at this point writing a novel. I had lots of good scenes but the connection between them escaped me. Did it happen again? Was it three months completely wasted?

No.

I decided to begin again from the very first step. I would start with planning my novel. I could use these ideas, characters and scenes but connect them with a solid plan.

So, I am creating a journal of my experience from planning to hopefully publishing and promoting my novel. It is “The Novel” for now, a title will come later. I will periodically post here about the development of this novel, and this will add an extra incentive to my novel writing process as I will know that there will be another set of eyes on my progress.

Just for your information, I will post current word count with every “The Novel” blog entry. That will be in the form of the Word Processor count (wp).  Any comments of encouragement along the way or questions about that particular topic would be gratefully received.

The novel writing process begins (again) now.

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