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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Armistice

Some craving has been eating away.

Through my heart and stomach, it’s tearing its way.

It punctured my lungs and drew out my breath.

It hollowed my gut and made it its nest.

Entwined through my ribs; it wound its way tight,

and I don’t even have the will to fight.

It bore its way into my thoughts,

so dazed that my mind is beginning to rot.

 

It picked me clean and left the bones,

an empty shell bleached on the stones.

But hold me up onto your ear,

there is no ocean inside to hear.

And every time I open my mouth it seems,

nothing comes out that’s worth my esteem.

It’s eaten the words right out of my throat,

so full on my grief it’s beginning to bloat.

 

They tell me I need to find stillness inside,

to seek out myself in solitude and pride.

But only with you does my disquiet subside,

an armistice between my heart and my mind.

007-black-and-white1

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So there I was, uncomfortably cramped in the seat of an overcrowded Greyhound when a coffee, spilled in the compartment above, trickled down through the light fixture and onto my head as the bus pulled out for the five hour drive. A few days later, the retainer wire behind my teeth snapped off in the middle of the Hobbit, maliciously stabbing my tongue each time I endeavored to eat the overpriced popcorn I refused to let go to waste. And, to top it off, the back of my dress ripped up the butt seam on my way to work as I dodged the slushy wake of a passing car, so that I had to sit gingerly at my desk for the rest of the day trying to avoid pinpricks from the safety pins holding the whole mess together. All of these things had an ill foreboding; writers can always sense dreadfully ill-plotted foreshadowing, even in their own lives.

I’m surprised I even got up in the morning considering how convinced I was that some disembodied voice might tell me my wristwatch had it in for me. I just know I’ll get my skirt caught on some protruding sharp corner on my way to my orthodontist and I’ll knock the cup of coffee from someone’s hands as I try to steady myself in a hectic twirl, the threads of my skirt unraveling around me while I hop on one foot to avoid the wave of people stepping on and off the bus, only to finally find my feet as it begins to pull away and, stepping forward to get the driver’s attention, slip on the spilt coffee and hit my head on the curb, my watch ticking on with smug contempt. And on top of it all: my teeth are so crookedly misshapen that my family can’t bear to have anything but a closed-casket service. Hey, it could happen.

Stranger Than Fiction

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Playing around in different styles. Here’s one I rather enjoyed writing.

***

“So it was you who suggested that mayhem in -shire, was it not? It proved to be a sound investment.”

He said it in such a casual, offhand manor, so against his purposeful nature, that I knew it to be a trap. But there was no way to avoid such a direct question, so I ventured a guess, placing confidence and a bit of incredulity in my voice.

“No, it was not my suggestion. I believe it was Marces idea initially, though surely you remember!”

A knowing grin shadowed the corner of his lips and for a moment I feared I might have misjudged him. That forced nonchalance may not have been unconsciously done, but Marces piped up indignantly.

“Really Charles, if I’d known you’d have forgotten my part in it all I might as well not have come!”

His eyes moved to her with a flash of annoyance, as though just remembering she was there. Inside, I heaved a sigh of relief, blessing the knowledge Mr.Coroner had given me.

“Do forgive Charles, Marces,” said I reverently. “We all know, including he, how much work you put into the project.”

“Well I’m glad at least that you did not take my credit, as many others would have,” she assented with a sniff. “Charles seems so taken with you, he would believe anything you say!”

“Surely not,” I laughed. “I don’t think that Charles truly believes anything anyone says, until he has seen it for himself.”

“As should anyone.” He put in, no longer lounging. “Even the closest of confidences is inherently unreliable.”

“How can you say such a thing? Have I not your trust!” Marces appealed fervently.

“Not in the slightest.”

“Charles!”

“What is trust hmm? But a sure way to invite trouble! There are those whose opinions I value of course, whose suggestions and council I would seek above all others, but even they are not exempt from scrutiny. To trust any is mere folly. Everyone has their own agenda.”

“I would be surprised if Charles trusted even himself,” I said with a coy smile, and Merces peeled with laughter. His calculating gaze turned to me.

“We deceive everyone, dear lady, even ourselves.”

I forced myself to keep a steady tone. “Perhaps such deceit exists, but to live without trust is a lonely life indeed.”

“All life is lonely, there is no part of it that we do not tread by ourselves. Surrounding oneself with the dealings of others only gives the illusion of alliances.”

“Is there no one that you hope to give yourself to? Do you not cringe and wither away without friends to lift the burden of your anxieties?”

“It would only serve to deceive me further about the very nature of this world and from it would spawn only more sorrow. After all, in the end, there is no one who can share in our final repose.”

I had nothing to say to this, so I remained quiet, and inside I felt my heart sink into my stomach. There seemed no way to gain his confidence, no way to find out the secrets he held and, all it once, I truly felt that our lives were lost.

“Oh this is becoming so morbid!” exclaimed Marces. “Let us speak of other things!”

But Charles was not paying her any mind; he was staring at me quite solemnly. I hoped he thought my interest was of an amorous nature, as the truth would only strengthen his case.

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Silver Lining

I was asked the other day, “What would you rather be as a writer: The best of the worst or the worst of the best?”

Well if you’re the best of a bad lot, you don’t have very high expectations to meet, but their ones you’ll most likely surpass. If you’re the worst amongst your betters, you’ll always be overshadowed and discredited by comparison, but you’ll still be good enough to be successful. So which would you choose? I’m here to tell you the truth of it: you’re knee deep in shit either way. They either hate on you because you’ll never be as good as they want you to be, or they hate on you because you’re the Nickleback of writing.

So, is there a silver lining in this proverbial poop bowl? No. Well, unless writing makes you happy… that’s a silver lining right? But then, writing is kind of a love/hate relationship isn’t it? Passion and intrigue and meaning are derived from conflict in our stories, so why not in the writing that created them? Even the best of the best must have wished eternal torment on the world and everything in it because they couldn’t figure out how to make their antagonist relatable.

Which leads me to wonder: Where do the great writers keep their terrible writing? I keep my bad writing in a folder stuffed under the short leg of my wobbly writing desk. Kind of poetic isn’t it? No, not really, I just have a shitty writing desk.

What to do with all the misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences, and cliché narratives of our past? I have no clue. But don’t lose them, and don’t throw them away. Why you ask me? Is it because you’re only as bad as your last mistake? Is it because you learn more from your failures than your successes? Perhaps. Honestly, I just need a good laugh now and again… usually followed by a facepalm.

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Where have I been? I’m not sure.

Wandering a forgotten city. Dozing by a traveler’s shrine. Mourning the loss of a friend. Falling through endless space.

Writing takes you all kinds of places, but some things can’t be put into words. Have you ever tried to write something indescribable? Sometimes, I feel everything is… indescribable, unfathomable, unattainable.

Where Have I Been

Words are such cumbersome things… drawing isn’t easy either.

 

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I’ve been very busy recently, and haven’t had much time for writing. I decided I would write for 15-20 minutes before I left for work today and post whatever I came up with.

Once upon a time, there was a woman whose life was everything she wanted it to be. She traveled the world and wrote things down. Things she saw, things she heard, things she thought, and things she dreamed. Sometimes people read the things she wrote, sometimes they didn’t. Some people loved her, more people disliked her, and most people didn’t even know her name. It didn’t matter to her though; all that mattered was that she wrote down stories and someone read them. One day she couldn’t think of anything to write. She had written every word she knew. So she created new words. But no one else knew how to read them or what they meant or even what they sounded like. She tried to teach them, but she’d forgotten how to speak in the words they understood. So she continued to travel and write stories that no one would ever read. It didn’t matter to her though; all that mattered was that she wrote them down.

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In my writing, it’s rare for me to complete something that I’ve started. It’s like I’m unable to just sit down and see my story to the end, an inherent predisposition perhaps, a latent defense mechanism? A way of protecting myself from some pre-envisioned failure or inadequacy. Things have changed in the past few days to make me see otherwise.

I’ve recently posted a short story I submitted to an acclaimed writing workshop in Seattle; the opportunity would be life changing. Let me preface this by saying I didn’t get in, and yes, it was horribly devastating. But I mentioned in my last post that even if I didn’t get into the workshop, the experience of actually writing an end to a story was quite revelatory. I always thought I was afraid of how my work would stand up once it was done. On some level, all writers are anxious about this, and I’ve realized that it’s not the entire reason we leave things unfinished. So many of my stories, and my characters, have been with me my entire life. I’ve been writing them for years, and I’m not sure how I would feel if I were to be finished with them. I think I would feel very strange, like a part of myself was missing.

  There comes a moment where you just have to leave it behind and move to the next thing…but you do it really happy. Because whatever you leave behind you has taken on a life of its own

–Neil Gaiman

I’ve spent the better part of my time daydreaming about moving to Seattle for the workshop, and now that it’s not going to happen, I’m more sure than ever that something has to change. It’s time to try and finish things, so that others can finally begin.

 

Sherlock

 

 

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