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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Vacation

One more workday left
Tension; Anticipation
No! I’m ready now!

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Not a What

“What?” they ask,
“Do you want to be?”
“Not a what,” I say with glee.
They look confused.
They frown. They glare.
I smile back, a silent
“So there!”

They try again.
“What’s your career?”
I chortle –
“Now, that’s a better question,
My dear.”


Bloodletting 1

            “She’s waking up.”
            Hands held down the shaking body as she flailed and jerked instinctively. Her head thrashed from side to side as she fought to see. A field of blurry white. Light. Ceiling. Walls. Coats. Words she used to know rushed through her head. A dark head with black strings and a shiny metal circle leaned closer as they rushed by the walls.
             Doctor.
            She wrenched back onto the gurney, as far away as she could get, nearly flinging herself off, and screamed wordlessly. The high, thin sound shattered the white with the gentleness of a knife. She couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stop the screaming. Couldn’t stop the images. Couldn’t stop anything. Tears ran down her face. She didn’t know.
            “God have mercy.”
            “Code Grey!”
            She continued to scream as strong hands pushed her back into place and thick restraints were fastened.
            “Haloperidol – get a 0.4mg – no, a 0.5mg syringe. Now!”
            It was as if she didn’t need to breath. Only scream. She didn’t stop until the drug replaced the white with utter blackness.

Genre Issues: Bloodletting

            Of the three novels I started here (or novellas, who knows?), one has proved much more challenging to move forward with than the others. The goal was to try out three different genres: science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
            The science fiction and fantasy have been much easier to move forward with (ideas, purpose, overall plot focus, etc). I think the reason is familiarity and complication level. I’m definitely more familiar with science fiction and fantasy, and while some books in those genres have extremely intricate plots, others don’t. It depends on how many twists, turns, and dramatic reveals the author wants the book to have. If that isn’t the emphasis, you can move forward without too much planning.
            I’m not sure it’s possible to have a successful horror book without twists, turns, and dramatic reveals.
            As a result, I’ve been doing a great deal of research into the horror genre (with lots more to go) to help me feel a bit more grounded on reader expectations – especially what not to do. I may break those rules anyway, but I’ll have tried. Anyone who wants to share rules, favorite books/movies, etc, please, feel free. This is a genre I’ve never tried, and it requires a level of intricacy that hasn’t been my usual style so far. While I truly believe that writing challenges are good for a writer’s brain and skills, I also know that listening to other perspectives and techniques is very beneficial (seriously, I will take whatever tips/links you want to give).
            You see, to make matters worse for myself, when I finally came up with a focus I like for the horror story, it turned out to be something that I don’t know much about. So that’s requiring a good amount of research, too. That’s partly because it may require an ensemble cast. Like usual, my brain isn’t taking the easy road when it comes to ideas.
            This may be the one that makes me break the revision rule.
            In any case, I haven’t posted on this story since July 3rd, (and it didn’t even have a working title at that point) so here is a refresher before we move on:

Bloodletting 0

            Cinnamon and blood. The warm spicy aroma once associated with cake and cookies mixed with the metallic wrongness until the once bright room blurred and bile burned its way up the back of her throat.
            Sudden pain in her head broke through the dizziness, and when she reached one shaking hand to her forehead, she realized that somehow she had ended up on the floor. She immediately pushed up to her feet only to stumble backwards, hitting the counter hard with her shoulders before sliding down the smooth cupboards to the cold tile. The shaking made the dizziness worse, and the quivering weakness of her muscles made the fear spread through her like blood.
            The reminder brought the smell back so strongly that she would have whimpered if she’d had the strength. There was something… Her shattered mind didn’t want to remember, so the images came like flashes of light through a murky haze. Unwillingly, she turned her head to the right and the pooling horror lying there. Tears and bile swelled as her small body shuddered. Gasping breaths racked her as she spun back and desperately tried to crawl away from the desecration of her childhood.
            Every inch was a struggle as she forced trembling muscles to reach and pull. She didn’t hear the footsteps or the hissing curse, but the warm drops down her face made her raise her head and whimper.
            “Mom.”


Air Conditioning

The hero leaves —
Hot sun
Sweat and tears
Walking onward
Fighting the heat
Trying to cool
Sweating
Melting
Failing

With her last strength
She reaches the door and
Flips a switch:

Deus Ex Machine


Humidity

Unseen and suffocating
Pressing against us
Worse than heat, stealing our breaths

One Month Down!

One month down – I have officially kept up with this experiment for a whole month.
Wow! (Or should I say, “Whew!”?)
It feels very good to be writing more. I have been so focused on one series that I haven’t written much fiction outside of that. I think I’ve only written poetry once or twice in the last decade (I can’t believe I can say that truthfully), and I’ve never attempted some of these styles before. It’s good to be able to flex my mind and my writing skills and try new storylines and genres. I’m hoping to add some short stories or maybe a short story series and maybe some plays and… who knows? None of that may happen, or all of that may happen.
The main point is that it feels wonderful to be creating.
At the same time, it is very strange to publish projects as I write them. What I post is first-draft-level work, and anyone who looks will get to see it (aaaaaahhhh!). Also, the fact that some of them are novels is especially strange. The poems can stand alone, but putting a novel out there for people to read as I finish a section or a couple of paragraphs is both exciting and terrifying. I have been trying not to edit what has already been posted (except for typos and grammar mistakes), which means sometimes I have to think harder about what’s coming next. I can’t go back and change the past to make the future I want more plausible. The further I get into them, the harder it will be to obey this rule.
That said, I’m going to try. One of the reasons I’m going to do my best to follow this rule is that it is an excellent exercise for me to improve my plotting and overcome the urge to edit. I have always struggled with going back and editing as I write. Although I have gotten better, I admit that I had to fight myself every step of the way to finish my first novel. I still haven’t finished the first one I started working on. Every time I worked on it, I kept re-writing what I’d already written and changing directions at the same time. Even on my current book, I find myself making pretty big changes every few months. It’s a big step from where I was, but I think I can still do better.
This project is going to push me to do better. Some of it is going to be a major struggle (all the more so since people can see it). Knowing that it will improve my writing helps keep me going.
So does knowing that people are reading. Thank you for your interest! You have front-row seats as I ride this rollercoaster of a project. Welcome to Month 2. For all that it has been a month, this is only the beginning: the beginning of these stories, the beginning of this project. Where it’s going, I can’t say. I guess we’ll find out together.

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