Getting the lead out

16 Comments

The Daily Prompt had me thinking again this morning.   This is what it had to say – “When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?”

~~

I vaguely remember the pre-keyboard era.  Either that, or I am trying to block it out because I do remember it and it makes me feel somewhat vintage.  I was the girl who loved to write letters to pen pals, write silly love poems, short stories and crazy plays that could only be created by an 8-year-old mind and acted out by animal puppets.

I would spend hours printing and practicing my ‘cursive’ writing.  (that word plays heavily in my vocabulary these days, but with an alternate suffix and a very dissimilar meaning!)  I loved to write so much that my wonderful penmanship turned into an obsession with calligraphy.  My doodles in high school were never flowers or hearts, but intricately designed versions of the alphabet.  There was something so satisfying about being able to create that type of flare with my own hand.

calligraphy

(image credit)

Now the world is so different.  Millions of fonts can be downloaded with the touch of a button on the keyboard and all of that creativity I used to enjoy has been replaced by technology.  I miss the excitement of buying new ink for my calligraphy pen or having to buy new pencils because I had spent so much time writing that they had all been worn down to little nubs of wood and lead.

Although I began writing my novel in longhand, the novelty wore off when I realized how much faster I could record the ideas on ‘paper’ by using a keyboard.  I do miss the days of the natural flow of ideas from brain to pen or pencil and didn’t have to tune out the incessant clacking of the keys.  Oh, how we suffer now for our arts.  ;)

 

 

An abundance of gratitude

10 Comments

Lately I have been writing from a place deep within myself.  I have written about issues very close to my heart and the comments I have received have been, not only engaging and warm but, overwhelming to say the least.

I am humbled by the fact that my words have pulled on the heartstrings of many friends and even strangers who have taken the time to comment and let me know that my words hit close to home for them as well.  Some have expressed feeling like I am writing just for them.

Your words encourage me to listen to my inner voice and keep sharing my words.  So this afternoon, instead of digging deep into the well of raw emotion, I simply want to say thank you.   Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and, most of all, thank you for being the eyes that absorb the ideas that I love sharing.

bottom of my heart

(image credit)

 

The “eyes” have it – fiction

7 Comments

This short fiction was written last year for a small collection called F*cked Up Fairy Tales.  It was used to raise money for charity.  Since I had never posted my submission on my blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to put it on here and use this as incentive to delve back into the morbid portion of my brain.  (The book isn’t going to write itself!)  This is my macabre version of the Princess and the Pea.

*****

The sputtering neon sign cut through the malignant darkness, blinking as the electric current passed through the wires.  It simply read ‘vacancy’.  He knew wayward travellers would soon arrive at the only motel for miles and he had meticulously prepared for the new stragglers lost on the unforgiving stretch of highway.  Each room had been cleaned by him and the deodorizer had been applied liberally to extinguish any remaining scent of decomposition.  He surveyed each room, his eye focusing on anything that may have seemed out of place, and closed the door leaving the room ready for the next guest.  He sat in the tiny office waiting for the first sign of headlights he knew would be coming.  He sensed that she was near.

The storm winds had escalated and the rain began to pelt down on the tin roof of the motel.   The staccato beat of water on metal soothed him.  He closed his eyes and let the sound bathe him in its rhythm.  She was closer.  His eyelids fluttered opened to see the high beams of the oncoming car slash through the darkness and his pulse quickened.  He could almost hear her heartbeat racing as she maneuvered the car through the puddles.

vacancy-pink-neon-sign-326-p

The flashing pink sign looked like a strobe light as the wipers furiously tried to keep up with the rain on her windshield.  Her grip was tight on the steering wheel and she could hear her mother’s voice in her head calling it a ‘white-knuckle’ drive.  The vacancy sign grew brighter as her car made the turn into the motel parking lot.  She was almost positive she hadn’t been followed but parked the car at the back of the motel just to be certain it wasn’t spotted during the night.

She collected the small travel bag from the passenger seat and reached into the glove compartment for the Glock, tucking it into the side of the bag and concealing it from plain sight.  Exhausted from the drive she headed to the motel office and hoped for a short reprieve from having to constantly look over her shoulder.  This motel, in the middle of nowhere, may be the one place she could silence the voices in her head and shut out her warped reality, if only for a few hours.

She pushed the door open and immediately noticed the odours.  The deodorizer hit her senses first, but her keen sense of smell detected the pungent scent of death lying in wait underneath the lilac spray.  This essence was no stranger to her and she continued forward to ring the bell on the unattended desk.  Her hand absently moved to the side of her travel bag and traced the outline of the pistol.

He came out of the back office and greeted her with a warm smile, welcoming her to the motel.  The menial task of signing her false name was done and he moved around the desk to show her to the room.  Her hand never left the side of her bag as she followed him along the concrete walkway.  His gait was confident and his silence was comforting.  They exchanged no words as he handed her the key to the room that was meant only for her.  She opened the door to the room and felt his stare burning into her back.  As she closed the door and turned the deadbolt, she knew he was still standing a foot from her door.  She could hear his breathing and rather than feeling unnerved, she felt connected.  Nothing about this quiet man-made her feel uneasy and that was the feeling that scared her the most.

She poured a Scotch and stripped out of her rain-soaked clothes.  The acrid stench of decomposition was evident in her room as well but the smell dissipated slightly with a few more sips of whiskey.  She cranked the water in the shower and listened as the pipes vehemently argued with the task.  The hot beads of water from the shower stung her skin but she welcomed the pain.

Skin flushed red from the hot water and cheeks blazing from a half bottle of whiskey, she teetered across the floor and poured herself into bed.  The duvet felt like silk against her bare skin and the pillow was perfectly plump but, as much as she tried to fall into a deep sleep, she could not find a comfortable position on the bed.  She tossed and turned and what she hoped would be a fitful rest was a combination of half hour naps.   She awoke in the morning, achy and wearied.

Determined to find the cause of her lack of sleep she tore the duvet from the bed, letting her hand roam the top of the mattress to detect any imperfections.  Nothing was out of the ordinary.  She grasped the handles on the side of the mattress and lifted it from the box spring.  The orb was not as round as it should have been, but that was from the pressure of the mattress.  The noticeably cloudy film and diluted pupil stared into nothingness as the human eyeball lay lifeless in front of her.

She moved across the room and took a long swill of Scotch from the bottle.  The murky eyeball seemed to follow her as she crossed the room again to get dressed.  Whiskey was not her first choice for breakfast but, given the circumstance, she didn’t care.  She packed her bag, tucked the Glock into the back of her jeans and collected the human remains that thwarted her slumber.

He was in the office when she arrived, coffee in hand and wearing the same warming smile he had worn the previous night.  She was not surprised that his first question was to inquire as to how she slept.  She gently placed the slightly misshapen ocular sphere on the desk and simply tilted her head, lifted her eyebrows and waited for his reaction.  His smile never wavered.

He spoke first, “It’s almost perfect, isn’t it?”

His words hung in the air as he eagerly anticipated her response.  The ticking of the incessant second-hand on the clock seemed to echo in the tiny room and his brain felt like it would explode.

Her response was succinct, “Show me more.”

He knew it would be her. From the moment the winds changed and the rain foreshadowed the previous night, he knew it would be her.  The Prince of Darkness had finally found his Princess.

A rose by any other name is just how I choose to describe it

10 Comments

Moon

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
–Anton Chekhov

~~

There have been times when I have been writing that I feel my words have become too “flowery”, too descriptive.  I love to take imagery and let the reader truly visualize what it is that I am trying to convey.  I am also a big fan of using metaphors to get my point across.

For a few brief sentences, I tried to rein in the flourish in my writing and then I realized I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be writing with another voice that is distant from the one I have come to know and love.  Sure, I could artlessly tell you that the rose petal was falling off, but I would rather tell you that the withered skin of the aging rosebud hung listlessly, clinging desperately to the last breath of life held in the stem.  That is my writing voice, that is who I am when I am being true to my craft.

But it is hard to find the balance between too much and not enough.  When I write, I want the person reading to be able to smell, taste and feel my words.  I want that person to be so immersed in the images that they feel like they have left their physical world and have been transported into my words.  But I don’t want them to get so lost in the description that they feel the train of the story is going recklessly off the tracks.

Perhaps the delay in writing my book was to allow my voice to develop through my blog.  I have achieved a level of comfort here with my words and my ideas and I know that my voice is my own and not a weak interpretation of another.  I don’t just feel like I am telling meaningless stories anymore, I feel like a writer.  And Mr. Chekhov, I will never be the one to simply tell you that the moon is shining.

 (Thank you Daily Post for the encouragement)

Starting 2015 the ‘write’ way

10 Comments

I was going to be lazy today and not pull the starter cord on my brain.  I was content to let it sit idle and enjoy the distant hum as it sat listless but that would go against everything I want 2015 to be – creative and filled with stories.  And although I am closing in on the end of a 70-hour work week, I still feel like I should at least try to conjure a few words from the recesses of my imagination and begin the new year the way I should, by writing.

words

I would like my brain to become so flooded with words and images that they spill over each other to fight for their right to be etched on paper.  I want to feel so full of inspiration I can do nothing BUT write to be able make room for the new ideas being born.  I would like to wake up in the middle of the night and rush to the computer to capture those ideas before they escape and trickle down into the abyss of lost thoughts.

If I can do this every day, if I can play my metaphorical flute and conjure those words like a snake,  writing will become a need, a desire much more passionate than just wanting to write.

Day one – success.   Happy New Year everyone and may all of your wishes come true in 2015!

 

 

Would I hit the button and turn the chair for MY voice?

10 Comments

Lately I have been going back through past blog posts and reacquainting myself with some of the words I have thrown out into the eternal abyss known as the Internet.   After spending time digesting my previous musings, I have come to a great awareness about the novel I am attempting to finish.  Unless I just keep writing the damned thing and stop editing as much as I’m writing, I’m never going to finish the book in this lifetime!

From two years ago, when I began this blogging journey, to now, my writing voice has changed.  That same voice that was so timid in the beginning has grown and evolved into someone different.  It has gone through that rite of passage to be comfortable in its own timbre.

Looking back on some of my earlier posts, I am so tempted to edit and repost some of those phrases and paragraphs but I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be denying who I was when I wrote those posts and not allowing myself to accept the voice I had when I began.  The same holds true for those chapters of my novel that were written from that less experienced recess of my brain.  While the characters will evolve with my determination to finish the book, those first chapters speak volumes about the beginning of their journey as the cast and my journey as a writer and their director.

chair on the voice

(image credit)

I’m glad my voice is different now.   It sounds more experienced.  It is comfortable being heard by others.  It has a more believable quality to it because it has faith in its ramblings.  If I were a judge in that chair, I would hit the button to see what my voice has to say next!

 

I’m dancing like nobody is watching (and ignoring the looks of disapproval)

11 Comments

I started my blogging journey in August of 2012.  I had no real direction, I had no real premise for the project I was about to launch and I had NO idea what large, creaking door had just opened into my imagination.

Since that first string of awkward words I have found a rhythm.  I have found a group of friends with like minds who share the same disease linked to sleep deprivation that I have come to love and understand.  I have found a community of people who love writing, who feed on words and language and who encourage me to feed that literary wolf who hides in sheep’s clothing.  I have found my home away from home.

Today marks another milestone in my blogging journey.   Today my number of followers increased to:

2000

That is such a big deal for me and I just want to thank each and every one of your for your support and encouragement!  I guess it’s time to get writing that next blog post.

(image credit)