Special “guest” post!

Okay so the post itself isn’t a guest post. Actually it’s a scribble that my thirteen year old brother wrote for me about my room. I thought it was really funny and so true, so I asked him if I could post it here. Anyhow, I’ll quit boring you all, here it is.

The Writer’s Room

The sole purpose of the room is writing; the miscellaneous junk reflected that purpose. You see, writing is more important than cleaning up the ever growing collection of gum wrappers, dirty clothes, snack boxes and coffee cups. Blank paper number one, sticks out like a cat in a dog park and number two isn’t blank for very long.

Furniture is organized to make the writers life easier. The bed is right next to the computer for late night inspirations. White boards and chalk boards, along with sticky notes and 150% devoured books, lined the walls. This is a room where writing is easiest.

But it still wasn’t completely easy. First, you had to cross the minefield of pens. Then you would have to decide on which of the endless supplies of writing utensils you would utilize. Everything (walls, writing paper, non-writing paper and even skin) could be, and probably already is, written on. Why, you ask?

Because this was not a room. This was where maid Marion sat, writing letters to her love. This, is where D.R. Watson wrote out he and Sherlocks daring escapades. This, is where Phileas Fogg gambled, and hatched the ridiculous idea that one could go around the world in only 80 days. This, is where she took emotions, and transformed them into words. This, is the writer’s room.

*EDIT* FYI my room isn’t quite that bad.  And it’s usually quite clean.  Just have to defend myself.

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In A Better Place

In A Better Place

“Mommy?”  I look down at Madeleine and observe my daughter’s light blond hair and blue eyes.  It’s painful to see the way she looks like her dad.  My own hair and eyes are both much more boring with their drab brown.

“What honey?”  I whisper in her ear.

“I think I hear the stars whispering.”

A smile lightens my despondent features features for a brief moment that seems to freeze in time.  “They’re welcoming someone to heaven baby.”

“Who?  Who get’s to go to heaven Mommy?”  She looks at me with such curiosity and eagerness.  I don’t want to be the one that extinguishes her beautiful, fiery joy.   I don’t want to tell her, but I have to.

“Daddy does baby.”

“Why did Daddy go to heaven Mommy?”  How do I explain to her?  How do I explain that her father will never watch he go on her first date?  That he’ll never walk her down the aisle at her wedding?  What will I say when she asks about that day, when I came home just in time to answer the phone, the phone call that told me he had been killed during the 9/11 attacks?

Swallowing back my hurt and enraged tears, I answer, “Because God said it was time for him to come live in a better place.”

“In a box?”  She remembers the coffin, but I know she has no idea what it really is.  She doesn’t know what it means to lay a life in a box forever.

“No, baby.  Daddy went to live with the stars.”

“Oh.”  Is all she says, but five minutes later she says, “Will he come back?”

“No honey.”  I whisper.  “But you’ll see him again.”

For whatever reason she accepts my answer at face value and doesn’t ask when, so we sit in the grass watching the stars for another five minutes or so before I decide that Madeleine should be in bed.

“Come on sweetheart.  Bedtime.”  I say, adjusting the hem of my shirt as I stand and pick her up.

“Please Mommy, can I stay up late?”  She’s rubbing her eyes as she tries to make her sleepy protest and I smile to myself.

Part of the hurt that he’s gone is knowing that at 4, Madeleine won’t remember him.  She won’t remember the way he insisted we make ‘indoor s’mores’ every Christmas eve.  She won’t remember the way he would sneak into the house after a long day at work, just so he could surprise her and hear her scream and giggle, ‘Daddy!’  Almost always he would have a lollipop or a little trinket for her.

He used to tell her the most elaborate stories before bed.  He’d usually plotted them out all day at any break he had, he would put some new experience into this growing saga for her.  Sometimes we would sit by her bed and tell these stories for an hour before her little pixie face relaxed as she drifted off to sleep.

By the time I have her ready for bed and I’m pulling the blankets up to her chin, every movement is a battle not to break down and run away sobbing.  I gently kiss her on the forehead, “Goodnight Pixie.”

At the sound of her dad’s nickname for her, she smiles, “Goodnight Mommy.”

I leave the room and gently shut the door behind me.  In my own room nothing is comforting anymore, it’s all his and I can’t stand to see it.  Who am I trying to kid? This whole house is his!  Tomorrow my mother will be here.  I know she’ll try to tell met that everything will be okay, everyone does, but they’re wrong.  The world won’t be the same again.  Not without Josh.

Basic function itself is impossible, but I still shower and get ready for bed, normalcy at least seems like I may be handling things.  My hair is dark after my shower, wet and a little curly.    It makes me think of how Josh used to run his fingers through it right after I showered.  For some reason he liked to play with my wet hair.  Pulling on a tank top and shorts I grab a blanket from my bed and lay on the couch.  I won’t be able to sleep in his bed for a long time.

*****

And that, that’s my piece for In Mon. this week.

Inspiration Monday VIII

Well this post is extremely last minute, but I have an excuse (not a surprise, I always do).  School is almost out, Easter weekend was busy and to be honest I really was so tired I couldn’t even write.  So, here’s a couple of takes on it.  One isn’t really a story, more of a random couple paragraphs on my thoughts.  The other is a story, but it’s not entirely complete, more of a clip from a book I sometimes work on when I’m stuck on my real book.

To explain the piece below, I liked the prompt that BeKindRewrite posted, ‘his revenge was different than I expected’ but all it made me think of was the Count of Monte Cristo (it happens to be one of my favorite books, though I haven’t read it in awhile) so the piece kind of turned into what I view the book as.

His Revenge

*****

His revenge was different than I expected. Less openly angry and more coldly calculated.

He endured fourteen years of prison and misery to get to it, I thought for sure the man I once knew would be all too eager to taste his revenge. But his trials had changed him. He no longer cared what happened to him, so long as he would have his vengeance before he died. Fourteen years in prison he followed with ten years of studying and preparation. Studying of those who cased his misery, preparing by becoming immune to pain and poison. And when he had finished this harsh school, he came for his revenge.

I watched as he attacked each of them, oh so slowly he exacted his price. His method was nearly barbaric, ripping away first their wealth then their love. Until when all they wished for was death, he pretended to grant their wishes, only to doom them to a life without escape.

But the worst was the revenge he took on his lover. For the woman he loved had waited a mere eighteen months before marrying his enemy. For that woman he planned living terror, taking first her rich life, then her husband, and finally he went to take her son.  But something happened.  He couldn’t do it.  He left the son to her, left her with the poor life she would have had.  And when she begged to have him back, he disappeared forever from her life.

Someone Else

*****
My black eyes flash as Elyse shoves a shirt and some earrings in her purse.

“No.” I say, grabbing her wrist. When she gives me a weird offhand glanced I explain, “I already got busted once, I go to juvie if it happens again.”

“Oooo a woman with a record?” She teases and I feel the urge to knock the grin off her face. Then she stops and says seriously, “Doesn’t matter. I’m doing it. Not you.”

I roll my eyes but don’t move to stop her. “Your funeral.”

She grins and heads out the door.

Once upon a time, I probably would have tried to stop her. But that was then, and back then, I used to be someone else.

I used to be the girl who had it made. I got the grades, had a perfect boyfriend, never cussed much. Now look at me. I can’t go four hours without a fix. I dropped out of high school. My parents kicked me out. What happened? I don’t even use my real name, instead I’m known only as Darcy.  The girl I used to be, Tony Donavan (don’t ask what possessed my mother to name me that, I don’t know) is all but gone. But every once in awhile, in moments like this. I think of the way I used to be someone else.

She Didn’t Change the World

This piece was inspired, written and posted in the hour of 1:30am – 2:30am so please excuse me if it’s not very good.  The prompts this week have gotten me to do some really interesting thinking.  Maybe it’s all insane, but at least I’m doing the thinking.  Anyways, here goes!

She Didn’t Change the World

Her sunken cheeks and hollow eyes had become the features that defined her, but underneath she was still just as beautiful.  I was still able to see the occasional spark of life in her green eyes.

In the end she spent all of her days in bed, separated from nature and cut off from beauty.  It brought her to the end of her long battle, when she could no longer go and stand hours in her woods.  The little fight left in her was swallowed by a monster named Depression.

The monster came for me, too.  For a long time, it held me captive.  Sometimes I still wonder if the monster has me.  But I won’t stop fighting.  I’ll keep going for her.

Her final breaths were the hardest for her.  I wish I could say they were the hardest for me too.  But that was on the day of the burial.  When Dad asked me to say a few words.

     A few words…I thought, How can a few words do my mother justice?  But Dad was insistent so I planned those words two hundred times, trying to find a way to do my mother the justice she deserved.

The day came of course, and I stood with sweating palms and knocking knees, trying still to say something worthwhile for my mother.  Finally, I swallowed back my tears, brushed the blond hair out of my face, and my shaky voice could be heard.

“My dad asked me to say a few words for her.  So Mom, if you’re listening somewhere, I want you to know that you were truly remarkable.  Mom just know, I’m thankful.  You didn’t know it, but those thousands of socks you washed, every meal you made, it changed the world.”  I choked and had to blow my nose before I went on.  “An-and to those of you who think my mom–special as she was–didn’t change the whole world, you’re right.  She didn’t change the whole world; just mine.  I’ll miss you Mommy.”

Be sure to see Inspiration Monday to see all of the pieces!

Death’s Artwork

This prompt has so many amazing possible ways to translate it so I decided to give it a second go.  I loved the way ‘The Phoenix’ turned out, but I also wanted to do a more dark piece with it.  Anyhow, hopefully it turned out just as good.

 

Death’s Artwork

I am standing in the black, cold dark.  Tears dripping from my chin after wandering a slow path down my face.  I brush my black hair away from my eyes, something so trivial and easy, but so impossible to actually do.  Because here I am, standing in this destroyed place, surveying Death’s artwork and knowing exactly who will next become part of it.

“Give the order to fire.”  I told the general standing beside me.

The man nodded respectfully and I felt tense exhilaration at the use of power when he yelled the command, “Fire!”

Immediately the archers let five hundred perfect missiles fly and I knew that of those five hundred, all of them would find a mark somewhere, I only hoped that most of them would be lethal.

Screams of pain followed a second later as the arrows found their marks.  I could feel the visible taut attitude in the crowd intensify as they realized that soon they would be in that same position, without the help of a great deal of luck.

“Call for a volley.”

The general looked at me strangely when he registered that I had decided to break the rules of war, but still ordered, “Volley!”

This time a volley of equally mixed flaming and regular arrows whizzed toward the sky, hitting their marks and causing more intense and more regularly occurring agonized screams.  I smiled with malicious hate and pleasure.  This war was mine and mine alone to win.

Hot crimson blood drips down my back from the gash on my shoulder.  I have yet to reach back and feel it, but I already know it stretches from my left shoulder top to the bottom edge of my right shoulder blade.  My senses must be dulled because although I see the horror and feel sick at the pungent smell of rotting corpses, I barely feel the pain.  How could I when I am surrounded by this scene?

Briefly, I imagine what each of them must have left behind.  A wife, small children, siblings, parents, anyone really.  What will they say when these men, their sons, brothers, fathers and lovers , do not return for them?  Their anguish already fills my mind and I feel sick with rage that this could happen.

Then I spot a man that died on the end of my blade.  His eyes are still open, portraying pain, terror and the heat of the battle he took his last breaths in.  I am horrified by what I have caused, I know he is only one of the hundreds I have slaughtered, added to the thousands that died because of me.  Some even sacrificed themselves for me.

In the heat of battle it was easy to over look but even then I knew, he too left something behind the moment he died.  Someone who was innocent to the suffering this war and I have caused, but will bear the punishment of pain and loss anyway.  I close the man’s chilling eyes, thoughts of remorse running through my head.

The blade of each foe I faced became my world as I slipped into a pattern of only action and reaction.  There was no time for fear, no time for remorse as my blade ended the lives of so many.  I could not hesitate even a  second or I knew my end would find me.

The ground around me is littered with bodies and soaked with blood.  What plants used to grow here will be dead by tomorrow evening.   The sky is black with storm clouds that occasionally light with brief streaks of lightening.  I stumble over to the face of the cliff and lay back.

What was vindictive pleasure has become remorse and bitter regret now.  I am fading fast and even faster realizing that although I did win this war, I will not be alive to enjoy my hard won victory.  Such is the irony that Death has added to his artwork.

Be sure to look at Inspiration Monday!

The Phoenix

First Inspiration Monday post of the week (by me anyway).  I’ve decided to do a more typical fantasy piece this time since I call myself a fantasy author, but rarely write fantasy anymore besides my book.  It’s not one of my best but hopefully you all like it.  If you can’t tell, I used the prompt ‘Death’s artwork’.

The Phoenix

The Phoenix

There were few things in life more exhilarating than free fall, Cyton had discovered that long ago.  Now, as he plummeted to the ground, he made no move to snap his great wings back and glide just above the earth.  Instead, he continued falling until at the last second, when no other creature could have pulled back, Cyton’s huge red wings shot out and suddenly he was no longer weightless.

Those same great wings, fiery red and over eight feet wide, carried him easily back to a comfortable flying height.  One ruby eye remained fixed on the world below.  His world.  For was he not the greatest of all creatures, ruling over his dominion endlessly?

The picture of stunning beauty, Cyton was the proudest of all creatures  Each of his feathers glowed fiery red, never out of place more than a minute.  His eyes sparkled with pride and temper like perfectly cut twin garnets.  The deadly sharp weapon he called his beak, shone honeyed and golden, striking terror into the hearts of men.   He was the symbol of the Sun and her own fiery rebirth every day.

Cyton had always loved the Sun.  She was the one thing he valued above himself.  Every morning he longed to dance with her, in her rise to dominance over the earth and every night he mourned her and the loss of her throne.  So often the phoenix wished to follow her.  But he had a duty and he would not fail to carry it out.  He would not fail to protect him as requested, but the days of his release were approaching rapidly.

Cyton did not dread the end like other creatures, why should he when he had long ago conquered the man on the dark horse?  But he did not like the days of sickness and molting that led to it, nor the growing after his rebirth.

Nevertheless he looked forward to it, longed for it with every fiber of his being.  It was majestic beauty incarnate, fierce and untamed.  Untainted by the weight of the world.  Death was simply death and Cyton would know nothing else during it.

The weeks of molting passed slowly, but in time, pass they always did.  Cyton did not regret the slow loss of his splendor, he instead eagerly awaited the fire.  And finally, it came.  Lighting Cyton with the primitive callings he had so long suppressed.  Death and it’s flames consumed him and the phoenix died joyfully.  Lit with sparks of pleasure at becoming Death’s artwork once again.

Future-Proof

Another Inspiration Monday prompt!  Hope you all enjoy it.

Future-Proof

The term was my topic for a creative writing assignment, my teacher had asked us to define and show what our topic meant to us through a creative approach.  Whatever that meant.  I tried hard to get a new topic, she told me I was stuck with it.  Actually she even got mad when someone offered to trade with me.  For some reason, she wanted us to stick with the ones she’d made us do.  Too bad.  The topic I’d been about to trade for was ‘fun’.  That would have been easy.  So I left school that day with a small snip of paper carrying two words scribbled on it.  Two words that could change my life.

******

That report was awful.  Plain and simple, it sucked.  I turned it in two weeks later, got my passable grade that would please my parents enough to spare me the lecture, and forgot about it.  Until one day, two years later, I saw the phrase: Future-proof.

My boyfriend and I were on the edge of a break-up—something about me being too guarded—my parents had split the month before, and I was flunking out of school.  My life was living hell for the time being.  I figured that was didn’t kill you makes you stronger right?  In any case, I didn’t bother to feel sorry for myself.  There were worse excuses for human life hanging around my school than me.  In any case, at least I looked like I had it all put together.

I’ll be the first to admit, I had my bad days, days when nothing went right.   One of those days changed my life because out of the blue I found that awful paper with its horrible topic: Future-proof.  I moved to burn it, but at the last second I hesitated, I hadn’t understood what the topic meant at the time.  But what could it mean now, to future-proof, not something as I originally thought, but someone, specifically me?  The idea intrigued me so much I forgot to burn that stupid paper.  Instead it made its way to the top of my pile of junk sitting on my desk and that night, I decided to future-proof my life and me.

And I did too.  I broke up with my boyfriend the next day, ran away from my mom’s and got a job–as a waitress at Applebees–two weeks later.  Of course running away meant quitting school, but that was fine.  Why fight the inevitable?  I figured.  I was going to fail anyway so I was fine with just making it quicker, more painless.  The first year was hard but I got by in my little one bedroom apartment.  Loneliness set in, but I was okay with that too.  I’d planned for it.  Not to mention, if it meant that I wouldn’t get burned anymore I was okay with that.  I had it going for me, I decided.

Still, thinking back, I no longer think that future-proof means the same thing for me as it did even on that night.  Truthfully, I wish I hadn’t dumped my boyfriend the next day (even if we would have broken up anyway), I wish I hadn’t moved out of my mom’s house, and I wish I hadn’t decided to get a job instead of trying to not flunk high school.  I future-proofed myself right out of the hard times by locking myself in a prison of excuses, loneliness and alcohol; so tight that none could touch me, none could hurt me.  But the more I hid from the hurt, the more vivid the pain became.

So tonight when I saw the words, ‘future-proof’ I flashed back to another night, fifteen years ago, when the same phrase changed my life, and I decided it was time to stop being future proof.