Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kei Lumosa (chapter one)

(it's not the greatest, but don't y'all be stealin' this!)

This is a dark place, and these are a dark people. They all came to this city of hiding and escape, the hole beneath the rock, as runaways. I don’t think any of them expected their secrets to follow them here. I imagine that haunting insecurity comes as a cold shock, but there is nowhere else for them to go. In two weeks I’ve had no luck finding him. Time is being wasted, and I’m afraid for what that means. And, I think these people are beginning to suspect that I am no runner. That I am a secret.

The sun rose that morning over Tana Shaneh, but no one saw it. The clouds that always smothered the small city were so thick that light never broke through them. A heavy wooden door begrudgingly scraped open to reveal a young woman wrapped in a dark shawl. She stepped hesitantly out onto the cold stone road in front of her and shut the door softly behind. She let go of her long skirt to hide her pale bare feet and pulled the shawl up over her copper hair. The streets were empty, as usual. The windowless buildings stood over her in darkness, guarding the narrow alleys that hid between them. A vomitous stench filled the stale air. She stepped carefully through the filth and black, trying not to breath it all in.

Suddenly, a man came running up the street, his face hidden beneath the same dark cloak they all wore. She reached inside her coat to wrap her fingers around a hilt, but the man was not running toward her at all. He stopped at a door a few yards in front of her and slammed his fists on it, over and over. Another man opened the door and his visitor whispered angrily at him. The men’s faces showed their excitement, which, though muted, was still so rare in this place. The woman walked cautiously closer, hand still at her side. In a second the man, and his neighbor who heard the noise and came outside, joined the messenger, and all together ran back down the street toward whatever was happening. She followed quickly. Was that light ahead?

The woman pushed her way into the gathering crowd. She was usually in fear of the silent, hostile eyes staring at her with mistrust. Now they were only glances, because the novel distraction was the fire burning in the middle of the alley. She looked up into the faces illuminated by the flames. There were none she recognized. She looked back into the blaze. Even by the fire, the air was still cold. She tried to keep her face vacant as she remembered the warmth where she came from. Sadness and frustration threatened to betray her, because as much as she wanted to return home, it would be meaningless, if she failed here.

Why were they all so fascinated? And furious? She looked up just in time to see a man toss a bundle of paper into the fire. Forgetting any pretense, she dropped to her knees and stared into the flames, eyes wild and searching. Between garbage and dry leaves she saw words. But it couldn’t be a book. She hadn’t seen any writing since she arrived. She shot back up to her feet and marched over to the man, grabbing his arm. “What is that? What did you just burn?”

“It’s a story, idiot,” he growled at her. Her eyebrows raised in shock.

“Who wrote it?”

The man threw her off with a violent shove. “The same fool that always writes these ridiculous things and leaves them to be found. And what is he trying to do? Since we can’t find him, we’re burning his work instead. To teach him a lesson.” Others sneered in approval.

“And what lesson is that?” the woman snapped.

“That he has no voice here.”

Her eyes narrowed. No one in this city ever wanted to be seen or heard. She knew of only one who was too strong to be silenced. “Where did you find all this?” she asked in an even tone. The man turned and threw the stick he was holding toward the building directly across the street. She glared at him once more, but decided that threatening him would bring too much attention. She left the circle. Even with her outburst, no one watched her go. Strange people. She pulled the shawl to hide her face as she crossed the street.

The building didn’t seem to have a door. At least not one the woman could find. She went to first one empty side, and then toward the other. An icy, wet gust came around the corner, blowing with it a piece of paper. She saw it out of the corner of her eye and bent to pick it up. There were more pages in a puddle ahead. She collected all of them and walked back out to the street. She tried reading the pages but they confused her. Many were exactly the same, with the same words and the same paragraphs. She sat near the gutter to sort them, putting the copies together in piles. There were three unique sets. Taking one sheet from each pile, she put them in the order they seemed to fit. The sad, sickening story she found there forced her tears. It had to be him.

let's try something new....

funny that i haven't posted in a week, and the last one was about how inconsistent i am.  very nice, yes?  i could play it off as "i only update on saturdays"...

today i'm gonna post part of my story.  the one that has the most background work done on it but the least amount of actual writing.  novel one has the most writing done, but it's kind of leading me along where it wants to go.  novel two is more complicated and has more characters and more backstory and i pretty much have it mapped out where i've decided it should go.  just gotta write it down!  so i'm working on that today, and to get myself in the mood, i'm going to share with you the mysterious chapter one!  get pumped!

and a question- what do you do to get ready to write?  oddly, i have to start by writing something else really quick, like an email, or a blog post :)  that's if i'm going to type my story out.  if i'm writing it in my great big notebook of everything, i have to prep by writing a note to a friend or making a list of things i need to get done later.  i think it's cleansing.  i like the act of writing, using a keyboard or a pen.  nothing's more exciting or terrifying to me than blank paper.  so writing a bit is like stretching before a run for me.  it makes me anxious to get started.  when i'm writing, i forget other things, i don't notice time passing or if i'm hungry or that my cat is on my lap pawing at the pen or computer mouse.  if anything was distracting me, like the tv or work or anything, writing something small and quick will get all that out and get me ready to start my story.  that's what i have to do.  that's what this post is!  what do you do?

later days...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

a sonnet!

(i had fun with this one)

As when the lights in a theater fade,
So darkens the sky just before a storm;
And as the dancer with baited breath waits,
So is the hush before the skies perform.
The violin’s played and the curtain drawn,
And graceful, the dancer steps into view.
The gray sky bows as the crowd watches on,
And falls a mist as soft as morning dew.
The music crescendos, the dancer leaps.
The thunderous applause shakes the frail stage.
The skies split and rain floods the land and sea.
Black clouds crash, lightning breaks the dark display.
Silence plays her song for an empty house
As the remnants of the rain take their bow.

short attention span

you'll see published on here mostly poetry, because they don't take very long to write.  don't get me wrong- they aren't always easy, they get read and re-read five hundred times until i word them exactly how i want them, and even then, sometimes other people read them and have suggestions, so i change them!  i was in a poetry class in college where we had to weekly write a poem and share it with the class and give comments and stuff.  it was online.  all the comments were always "oh yay, you did good" and never real critique.  the professor was good about it though.  she really helped me with my sonnets.

ha!  i've already gone off topic.  i do have a point, and i might make it there.  poems are a complete thought.  a SINGLE complete thought.  i do write some poems in sequence, but they stand on their own.  (at least i think so).  however, as a writer, i have another passion besides verse.  storytelling can be equally as eloquent, if not quite as metered.  i love writing stories.  short stories are fun, though i haven't written one in forever.  i've started four novels.  recently i combined two of them, so i guess i have three started.  i love them.  they're my babies.  i know the stories and nearly all the words.  the problem is, i write like a chapter, then stop.  and don't pick it up for weeks.  or months.  and then i re-read all i have written so i know what's what and then i write another chapter.  one book i've been working on since high school.  that's sad, i know, but that's how i am in life.  pick up a hobby for a week.  drop it.  pick it back up next year.  i'm not sure the reason.

the other issue is though i know i should be working on the one story that i have written the most of, the good one, the one people have read and liked.  but then i get inspired to work on the second longest one, or the one that is just starting to look like a good book.  it depends on what i'm reading at the time, a movie i see, any kind of art.  it's very distracting.  and makes it hard to get anywhere with novels.  it's something i'm working to overcome, setting goals and keeping journals.  does anyone else struggle with this?

later days...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a fan favorite

(like i really have fans... no, it's just the poem i've most recently shared around my little circle and the poem most warmly received... enjoy?)

What to write on blank pages
When war rages,
When time changes,
And chaos corrupts youth
Creating curses that last?

Can numbers un-numb us,
Or pictures persuade us,
Or will we watch the world
Fade in flames?

What words could inspire,
Light to live higher,
Furnish with fire?

Will anything amplify,
Damn the darkness,
Fill the future with hope?

What can move us anymore?

day two

i spent today helping out a friend who is also a writer.  he wrote a screenplay and he is asking a lot of us to read it and help him out with it.  it's been really fun.  i take mad crazy amounts of notes when i read things, so he may be getting more than he thought when this is done!  but i'm doing my best to be fair to his style and story, but giving helpful advice where i see weakness.  i think that's the job of a good editor.  i looooove editing.  in college (and high school) a lot of my friends asked me to check their stuff.  still now, i have my sisters bringing me papers for me to help them with.  recently, it was so awesome, i had just finished reading "Pride and Prejudice" (Jane Austen classic) because i wanted to read the newer book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (Seth Grahame-Smith future classic) and compare.  after reading Austen's book i soooo wished i was still in college because i had the incredible urge to write a paper on it!  (nerd = me)  then not two nights later, my sister came over wanting help with a paper about the SAME book for her senior english class!  YAY!  i didn't write it for her (that would be very naughty) but i got to help with the thesis and structure and conclusion and all those fun things about paper writing!  it made me very happy.  and it made me realize that my grad school plan to become an english teacher (and hopefully one day, professor!) is a good good plan.

insight into my bookish life, lucky you!

later days!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

no pressure...

here's the first poem (by me... took a while to pick out because it's the first one!!!  it's from a few years ago)

little girl, little girl
she can hardly sit still
her eyes can never focus, her heart cannot slow down
always needing something
needing someone to be around
always talking and listening
because she’s afraid she’ll forget the sound

she dances to the music in her head
because she’s afraid of silence
always moving because she’s afraid to be still
(that things will stay the same)
she’s waiting for the rain
because she’s afraid of no change
always looking for something else
afraid to let things stay the same

what are you looking for little girl, little girl?
a place that is home
a person that is home
a feeling that is home
arms that are home
when will you find it little girl, little girl?
she just does not know

she dreams of a difference
she longs for that change
yet here she sits writing her verse
as if anything can be resolved with just words
because as afraid as she is that she’ll never feel
she’s more terrified to find it, afraid it won’t be real
afraid it can’t be real

little girl, little girl
keep on dreaming little girl
you can’t give up
i need you to hope for me
don’t accept this
i need you to dream