Saturday, April 28, 2012

Writing (and some sampling)

Uh...if you haven't noticed by now I haven't been updating this blog too much in the last few weeks. One of those reasons is that I have been writing. I am by no means a trained writer. I went to university and wrote a LOT of papers but those were all essays and the topics were all about theory and culture. I haven't written a real piece of fiction since high school but I had to give myself this opportunity since I have stories I want to write and share with the world. So I have been practicing A LOT and figuring out how this writing fiction thing works.

So here you go. I have deprived you all of posts for this so I'm going to put a little bit of myself out there. Please keep in mind this is the FIRST draft (by first I am taking Kenneth Oppel's advice - this is actually the second or third version but first draft). Here is a small sampling of the the three stories I'm working on:

Story #1 Sample
Background: The story is supposed to be magical realism with a little horror twist. It involves new neighbors as well as copious amounts of garden gnomes and dandelions. Hopefully it will turn into a novelette.

                Pollyanna went down to the basement to check on her prize-winning tomatoes. If Farrah had started to eat them for breakfast, there was no telling what she might be doing in the middle of the night.
                Those juicy plump red veggies were very addicting. Even Pollyanna had trouble resisting them despite that fact that she was the one who thought up the addiction spell in the first place. She wanted to make sure they would last through the winter to make it into the spring contest. Even though, technically she was cheating, but since you can’t detect a spell on tomatoes she knew she’d be safe. Those prizes helped keep her in business, and anyway, she’d never survive out there – getting a real job was definitely not for her.
                The tomatoes were doing well. There weren’t many left in this batch and they’d be all gone shortly after the contest but soon enough it would be summer and she could start up a new project. Perhaps some lovely strawberries. Fresh love would have to find a way into her fellow {city-ites} hearts somehow.
                She thought about that for a while. What would her new project be about? Things were getting quite dull around here. Something new needed to happen soon. Something to spice up her life.


Story #2 Sample

Background: This is a fantasy story about a girl who has wraith-like qualities and calls herself by that name. She protects the city by day and secretly sucks the life energy out of people by night. Then a man shows up and she is afraid he will figure her out. There is a lot of other fun stuff that happens in there including her finding out where she came from and why she's the only person who needs to take human energy from them to survive. Hopefully it will turn into a novella or full length novel.


I stand in the corner. The curtains are drawn and it’s pitch black in this room. The man I have chosen to re-energize me is on the bed, sleeping. It’s a deep sleep and I wonder how I’m going to wake him up. Not like it’s the first time I’ve done this. But I’ve had to come back sooner than I usually do and I wonder if he will have the energy to wake this time.

...

 
I reach over to the man. He’s balding, his face wrinkled already despite the piece of paper in his wallet that says he’s only 35.
                “Wake up.” I whisper.
                I put a hand on his chest, kneeling on his bed. “Wake up,” I say again. This time my voice is a little more brave, a little louder, and he stirs. So I say it one more time, pinching his arm as I do so.
                His eyes pop open. Blue like the sky. So beautiful.
                Samuel. That’s what the piece of paper said his name was. Samuel looks dazed for a second, then as his eyes adjust to the light he finally sees me.
                “There you are.”
                “No,” he trembles, “Not again. Please...” he begs, struggling for the words that will make me stop what I’m doing. But I don’t stop and now he trembles even more as I get a little closer.
                My long blond hair brushes the skin on his cheek and along with the trembling, he cringes. I am nothing more to him than the monster who visits him in his sleep.
                No. I am not a monster. I can’t be. I am just different, I tell myself. I need him. I will take him.
                “Look at me.” I whisper. I try to use a soothing voice that will calm him down a little, but I’m not sure if it will work. My best bet is to create some sort of distraction.
                “Please,” he starts to beg again, then he mumbles something almost inaudible, something about being tired. So tired, all the time. I understand where he’s coming from because he’s the one who will cure my own exhaustion.
                “I know, Samuel. I’m sorry. There’s no other way.” His eyes go wide for a second, calculating. Yes, the distraction is working. I know his name. What else do I know about him?
“Calm down, Samuel.”
“Yes.”
“Alright, then. Look at me.”
By now I was only inches from his face. I take my red contacts out, one at a time, revealing the only yellow eyes I’ve ever seen on a person. I exhale slowly, letting all the breath out of my lungs. Then quickly, while he’s still mesmerized by my yellow irises, I clench his jaw with my long skinny fingers and open his mouth.
Energy begins to flow out of him as I take in a deep breath. In the darkness it looks to me like smoke rising from a recently put out flame. A small fire, being extinguished from the world. I have snuffed out the candle, and am greedily trying to take what is left of it.

Story #3
Background: A Y.A. dystopian set in a world where technology rules and words don't exist.


Later that night my family sat down to have supper together. The rules: Eat at the table. No screen allowed. Tell us at least one thing that happened to you today. The rules are the same for every meal, whether we spend the day together or not. My parents lecture us on the importance of community. Its the same everywhere, but mom and dad seem to think community can mean as little as four people. Our family is this home’s community. Sigh.
We have fresh carrots from the garden house – raw. Giselle made spinach pouches with raisins (not fresh – ick) and almonds. The flour for the dough was milled yesterday and it makes up tenfold for the dehydrated grapes, travelled from the south last winter. I wish I had Giselle’s talent for cooking.
Mom tells a story about her coworker taking her out for chocolate. I’m jealous. I’ve only ever had chocolate twice and it was worth every pound of carbon footprinting to get it from the magical forest of cocoa into my watering mouth. The first time I tried it I almost died. Made me rethink my entire green campaign I was putting on at school. I was researching the history of sustainable living and realised that homes could be completely sustainable if we cared enough to stop the southern trucks from bringing in our special treats. But that was before dad butted in and told me that the north couldn’t be completely 100% sustainable. We’d be living off canned goods six months of the year and no one would be able to do any real work – we’d all be slaving over our garden homes in the summer.
Dad tells a story about one of his students at the university. I zone out here. They are usually all the same. Student needs help – dad helps them. I secretly think he never tells us anything about his personal life outside of the house because he’s trying to give us mini-history lessons without us knowing it. It’s hard to imagine that the only interesting things that happen during the day are about how he had to teach X kid about X.
Giselle tells mom and dad about having to borrow her connector to me because mine is finally completely broke. She says this in her most snooty voice. Like I’ve stolen out of her wallet in front of her very eyes.
“That would be the most interesting thing that happened to you today.” I try and hurt her back. I was going to bring that up later. Maybe add in how much I wanted the newest software since I waited so long to ask for a new one. Now I can see mom mentally calculating the order in her head. There was no stopping her when she had that look on her face. It was determination incarnate. She must have already had a plan about what she wanted to get me and now she’s waiting for her chance to get up from the dinner table, turn the screen on, and say the magic words. Ugh.
Everyone looked at me.
“What?”
“Your turn” they said in unison.
“Hmm...let’s see. The most interesting thing that happened to me today.”
“Stop dragging it out.” Mom had the look of death in her eyes now. She was just itching to get up and run into the living room.
“For your information, I’m going to be a published author.” They all stared at me with blank expressions on their faces. “By the Storytelling Foundation. I added.
That’s when it sunk in. Mom’s eyes bulged out of her forehead. Her whole demeaner had changed in a matter of seconds. Now she was jumping out of her seat. There was a spinach leaf that went flying off her fork and landed on the wall across the room. Looking at her fork like it was a foreign object, she threw it next to her plate, careless. She jumped up and down with her arms in the air, twirling and turning about. She looked like a crazy person. Giselle was laughing at her.
Dad was just sitting there with big open eyes, hands over his mouth and muttering “wow” over and over again. He looked like he was going to cry.
My family was proud of me. This felt so good.
Giselle stopped laughing at mom, now she was squealing and running off somewhere. From the looks of the direction she was going it was probably our bedroom. She came back not 5 minutes later clutching her connecter to her chest.
Later she showed me the mini-vid she made to add to her feed. She had said nothing more than, “Guess what everyone? My sister is going to be a published author. Stay tuned for more info!” Then she had put it on the net for all her friends to watch. Twenty minutes later there were already 15 replies. Everyone was so happy for me.
It was just the kind of enthusiasm I was looking for when I connected with Brent earlier.

(And you will just have to wait and see how she can be a published author when words don't exist and how technology rules yet sustainable living is the only way of life.)

And that's it! Please keep in mind that these are samples of my first drafts and if/when I do publish them names and other things are bound to change. Thanks for reading and I'll be back soon with more book reviews.

2 comments:

  1. so awesome
    hope u get published soon
    the 3th one sounds awesome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading about my stories :D It means a lot to get that kind of encouragement. Thank you for your kind words.

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