Category Archives: Writing

Flash fiction – it’s a first!

Here ya go. A flash fiction piece based on prompts from Regan Leigh’s blog. Feel free to let me know what you think…

I used to stay away from the woods.

Silly, I know. But for a guy who grew up watching every slasher movie ever made – where all the best slashes happen after some helpless, clueless, shoeless girl wanders out of the cabin/house/tent and into the dark and menacing woods nearby wearing nothing but a nightgown and a look of horror – ‘the woods’ hold a special place of loathing in my heart. If I must venture forth into the wooded unknown, I’m smart about it – daytime, cell phone, well-hydrated, never too far from the tree line. Bowie knife. As a general rule, however, the woods and I don’t get along.

Then there was Katelyn. The new girl on campus, she moved into the dorms just after fall semester started. Every guy in Adams Hall wanted a piece of that action, but she was untouchable. Chicks that hot didn’t mix fluids with the peon first years in Adams. So naturally, when she spoke to me, I assumed she was talking to someone else. She had to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. When I looked up I saw this goddess. She bobbed her head as she spoke, and her hair swished across her face. One time she had to pull a few strands from between her lips. Her glossy, plump, juicy – oh and then she laughed and touched my arm and whoa. It was like a mini dose of the electric chair. That perked me right up. She was asking me if I could give her a tour of the campus grounds, show her where the different halls were, the party houses, that sort of thing. I couldn’t form words but I could move, so I nodded yes. And then the giggle and the touch and a kiss on my cheek and she was gone. Thank God I remembered the time: 7:30pm. Tonight. Adams’ front steps.

After my last class I headed to my room and spent the rest of the afternoon bustin’ out what homework I could. It was 6:57pm when I looked at the clock. Just enough time to get my triple-S on – shit, shower and shave – and head out to the front of the building.

The sun was setting, so as she sauntered over to my perch on the steps she was bathed in this pinky gold haze. Her brown hair floated between her shoulders in loose curls and her eyes sparkled like the shimmer in her lip gloss. She was wearing a long, white dress that ruffled with the breeze and some sort of sweater thing over her shoulders. Before I could say a word, she glided up the steps, reached down and wound her arm around mine and we were walking.

Everything was hazy and surreal. Her words drifted through my head like a dream, and it was like she was leading me around campus, not the way other way around. But it was comfortable and nice and I went with it. When we finally decided we’d seen it all we headed back to Adams. But then Katelyn made a turn toward the back of the dorm. That’s when I started to get a grip on my senses again.
She was walking us straight toward the woods.

“Not really much to see back here, Katelyn.” My voice sounded strange.

“Just looking for a little privacy ‘s all.” Katelyn’s voice sounded different, too.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide my growing fear, but I didn’t care. The tree line was really close now. “There’s all the privacy you want back in my room, my roommate’s outtie for the weekend.”

“Nope. The woods are perfect. Come on, you’ll love it.” There was a grating edge to her voice and she tightened her grip on my arm as she sped me through the first few feet of the woods.

“No thanks, girl. Think I’ll just head back in.” I tried to slow my pace but she held on tighter and her head swiveled back to glare at me. “What the – ” Her shoulders were still facing forward as she continued to speed through the trees. My heart flipped and twisted in my chest as Katelyn’s swivel head turned back around and the last of the campus lights faded into the night.

There wasn’t the slightest hint of a wind, but I could hear the trees start to rustle. It sounded like they were rustling to each other. To the left. Over to the right. Left. Then right. In front of me, Katelyn’s head jerked right and left as the trees rustled back and forth, like watching a ping-pong game, and she sped faster through the trees. I don’t know how she wasn’t running into them in the dark like that. It was almost like they cleared the way for her.

Then she stopped.

The rustling stopped.

And we were standing in a clearing surrounded by trees.

Katelyn let go of me and stepped away and I tried to run, but something wound itself around my feet and I fell to my knees. I reached down, felt a jagged vine there and gave it a tug. With that tug, Katelyn came barreling into me feet first, screeching, the vine an extension of one of her legs. An instant later she shot straight up and let out a howl like a creaking tree. She looked down at me and thick, woody vines shot out of her mouth and through my body, pinning me to the ground there. The pain was hot, searing and everywhere. My scream only lasted a few seconds before roots grew down my throat and burst through the back of my neck. The last thing I felt was my body stretching, like something pulling me in a dozen different directions.

“Look at this, students. We’ve got two trees who’ve grown together. Notice how the trunks twist around one another. One tree was probably stronger than the other. Now look over here…”

I hate the woods.

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Where’s my blade of grass?

“An Irishman is never drunk so long as he can hold on to a blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.” ~ Unknown

So either I’m not really Irish or I’ve been really drunk, because I’ve lost my blogging groove.

It doesn’t help that I usually snake the internet from the random wifi in my neighborhood – which I have to access from outside the house – and it has been occasionally rainy and/or wet more often than not in the past few weeks. That pretty much hosed me. One of these days I’ll be a big girl and either a) get my aircard fixed for my computer or b) get real internet like everyone else.

So let’s see… *digging through mental notes. Not a whole heckuva lot has happened lately. I didn’t win the lottery recently (dammit) and I haven’t finished my book. I’m still working on it though. I’ve actually been fighting the writer’s block by editing – a suggestion from a fellow writer friend whose name escapes me now – and i’m a little under halfway through my first edit. I still have fresh writing to add to the beginning since my original start took place somewhere in the middle of the timeline (*watches as a black wasp – mud dauber? – hovers menacingly around my ass region) but I’ve been plugging away at it. A few friends have mentioned that my story feels like a series, and the more that rattles around in my head, the more I feel like leaving this particular work where it is: a bit of a tease. The ending that I have in mind seems so far away that when I start shopping my ms around (notice how I said when? that’s right – I’ve got aspirations) I think it would be too long for anyone to want to mess with. So shorter and sweet, right? Sure. We’ll see, though. I’m fickle.

In other news (ha! news), the play is this weekend and the next. Nothing major there ‘cept it’s been chopping my nights into two halves: before practice and after. That’s also been cramping my writing/lounging/tv catching up on time, so that when I get back home, dinner made, and settled for the night it’s later than my usual start time for all of the aforementioned activities. And not that I mind staying up into the wee hours of the morning half-drooling over Sam and Dean Winchester – don’t let me fool you, I don’t mind it at all (I’m lying about the half- drooling, too) – I’d just like to start a little earlier.

Hmm… more. Sorry I’m behind on journal entries. Kate, Wyatt and Nathan are still doing there thing. Wyatt’s been smittenly lurking in the background of Kate’s karaoke nights, Nathan has been snooping in Wyatt’s books, and Kate is still fishing for the man of her dreams and playing single working mom. I just need a few hours/days to put it all to paper/puter.

In other news, my five year old got his cast off yesterday. He was thrilled, and he got to go swimming for the first time without. He’s such a little fishy!

(is that it?)
(hmm… for now)

Okay, well I’ll quit bending your ear for now. If I remember anything life-altering or think of anything super awesome to impart I’ll be back. In the words of my good friend,

Peace and hair grease

~h

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Filed under Life Sucks, My life, Writing

Gonna go back in time

I’m trying to get back to work on my novel, and since I hit a Great Wall of China stretch of writer’s block, I decided I’d go back to the beginning. The one I haven’t written yet. Now I’m writing, so I guess that’s a good thing, but it just doesn’t feel quite right. I’m still writing though!

You know what’s funny – not in the ‘haha’ sense but the ‘hmm’ sense – it’s easier for me to write these character journals, which take place before the start of my written story, than it has been to try to start a new beginning. I’m already considering using the journals as an opening to the story, but it’s still pretty early in the thinkin’ stages on that.

Anyway… yup. Guess that was all. Man, this blog really is all about me, isn’t it? Haha…

~h

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Vagabonds and failed attempts

Yesterday I went on a nice long (too long) walk with my friend. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was setting, and I realized that walking with me is probably like walking with a 5 year old.

I notice everything.

Pretty wildflowers, too much trash, an empty Extenz package (you know what I’m talkin’ bout, Willis), and last but not least – a mulberry tree.

Right on the other side of the guardrail was this mulberry tree loaded with plump, ripe berries. We couldn’t resist, so we hopped (okay, straddled, checked foot placement, and slipped) over the guardrail. We both about busted it a couple times trying to navigate safe footing on the loose rocks there, but it wasn’t far to the tree. And there we stood/sat – grabbing at the branches, stuffing our faces and staining our fingers with the sweet and sometimes tangy berries. All the while cars zoomed past, probably wondering where our hitchhiking packs were. It was great though, and well worth the brief pit stop. Got us thinking about going back with bags so we could bring some home. What can you make out of mulberries anyway?

On to failed attempts. Well, I didn’t get chosen out of the 500 something entries in the chase/suspense scene contest. At first I was a bit frustrated, being as I think I’m a pretty decent writer and all. But the more I got to thinking about it (and as I remember what Nathan said about how he sifted through the entries) I realized that my scene just didn’t quite fit the bill for this particular contest. It wasn’t that my writing wasn’t good. Just not right. I especially love what Lisa Brackmann wrote about her process. Felt a lot like the way I write. So I’ve decided that I’ll just keep plugging away. Another day, another contest, right?

So… yep. That was my past 24 hours. What did you?

~h

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Yes, Smee?

“I think I’ve had an apostrophe.”
“I think you mean ‘epiphany’.”
“Lightning has just struck my brain.”
“Oh, that must hurt.”
~Capt. Hook and Mr. Smee (“Hook”)

So as I was driving to my sister’s house yesterday and talking to my friend about writing and blogging I had a great idea. Really great. ‘I hope someone doesn’t steal it’ great. I have a new idea for a book, and this one is gonna be a doozy. I can’t help it – I’m excited!

Well, was excited. As I started to dig into some of my source material, my excitemenet cooled and that big helium balloon of happy started to sink a bit. What I need/have to work with is daunting and antiquated and little overdone (in my opinion). But then –
everything got all bright and sunny and that little rubber beacon of hope started to fly high once again. And then more ideas started to erupt from my pores – early, very early ideas – seeping through the cracks of my subconscious. They are written down now, not to be forgotten. I will address them all at some point. But right now I’ve got to start with the first. But I can’t tell you what it is yet, this brilliant idea of mine. I’m sorry, I love you all dearly, but I – juss cahn’t doit, Cap-ten. I doon’t hahve th’ powerrr. Okay, so of course I have the power – I’ve got the power! By the power of Grayskull – I have the POWWW-WERRRR! (btw, I think Hollywood would be remiss – and just plain idiots not to use Channing Tatum as Heman) (Channing Tatum is so hottt…mmm… ahem. where was i? oh yeah…) But I’m choosing to use it for good rather than evil. (Thundercats! HO-OOOOOOOH!) (sorry, apparently i just channelled some long-lost saturday morning from my youth)

So not only am I dealing with a new idea that’s burning a hole in my fingertips, but I’ve still got my current wip to get finished.

“Egads, woman! What are you thinking?”

Pretty much that I like to torture myself. A lot. Never fear, though. I promise to drag you all along with me.

~h

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