Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 2013 Junk Mail

The holidays were good and I'm feeling optimistic this year.  I think I'll see the fruition of some of my personal projects and maybe I'll finally get some longed for stability in my life.

  • I'm writing and writing.  I'm still working on the first draft of my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel.  It's up to about 66,000 words and I believe I'm in the last quarter of the story.
  • Work is going well.  I like the company and the people I work with.  Can't complain there.
  • I've been developing some good household habits and the big news for me lately is I've been working on decorating my apartment.  In the past, my apartment's walls have been barren (even though I have some original art and a lot of good photos) and there were boxes all over the place.  All that has changed as I slowly work on decluttering and decorating.  The big project right now is creating a Gallery Wall of some of my art and photographs.  It's taken over a week as I've been putting up pictures, a few at a time, living with them, then making modifications and planning the next group of pictures to put up.  I'm almost done but it will likely take until next weekend before I'm finished.  This gallery is on the wall above the couch.  If you can believe it, that entire wall was blank until last weekend.
  • There were a few pictures on the opposite wall, the one above my desk, but I took those down and moved my bulletin board all the way to the right.  This left more than half the wall blank.  I bought some white three foot wide rolled paper, taped the paper to the wall, and unrolled a four to five foot section.  This swath of blank white paper is being used to post pictures, maps, spreadsheets, timelines, articles, etc. for my current writing project.  I have a box where I store such things so I can reference them but it's great having them up on the wall where I can stand up and look at them when I need to.  Having a visual reminder of the story up at all times also helps keep it in the mind as I go about my daily activities.  If someone comes over and I don't want them to see all my notes, I can take the paper down and roll it up.  My living room is really starting to feel a bit like an art studio which is what I was going for with these changes.
  • Shooting pictures.  I've been trying to keep in mind how important it is for me to be out and about using my Nikon 1.  I really need to learn to use all the controls so I'll be focused on that in the coming months.  You'll see the results here.
  • I'm still working on my Luis Buñuel film survey.  I need to watch his last three films:  The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty, and That Obscure Object of Desire.  Learning about Luis, his friends, his influences, etc. has been very satisfying.
That's pretty much it for now.  When I've made good progress on the decorating/organizing front, I'll post pictures.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Fire and Brimstone

Step forward into the light, calls the sound.  A blast of trumpet, a musical scream that wakes everyone up.

We all get up from our beds and graves.

We look at our hands and the sky and the mist and shiver in the cold.  I wish for the boatman but he isn't coming, not this time.  Too busy.  A blast of light overhead.  Fire.  Brimstone.  I taste bile in my mouth.  My perfect hatred of fire and brimstone, of shouting and screaming, men being dragged out and thrown into the street makes me bristle with anger.

Everyone gets up.  Even I hear the call.  They all move across the misty ground, deader than doornails, towards the light.  I don't move.  Someone comes up behind me.  I don't bother looking to see who it is.

"I'm not going so leave me alone."

I feel a hand on my shoulder, a gentle squeeze that makes me start then a gauzy, sheer wisp of whiteness brushes past me.  "I'm not going," I say again as I watch those raptured souls move around me.  They are all taking deliberate steps, floating over the ground.  After a while I am alone.  Sitting in my own grave, the ground a grayish blue, the light fading in the distance.  The fire in the sky had turned to black, charred and smoking.

I get up and walk in the opposite direction towards darkness.  Though the light is fading, I'm certain I can create my own as I go along.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Writing Life: Ten Lines (or sets of lines) From Novels And Stories I Haven't Written Yet

This is the time of year for top ten lists and Miss Turtle has decided to compile her own. Keep in mind I don't know how these lines will fit into the story, when they will be written, or even what they will be about exactly. Also, they are all from separate stories, minimal editing has been done, and, with the exception of the line from Story No. 1, they were written cold. When I finally get around writing the stories down, these lines will likely change.  The numbering is purely for reference.

Story No. 1:
Revenge is the purest form of self-destruction.

Story No. 2:
Character 1:  Why do you keep following me around?
Character 2:  Because you need following.  If you keep wandering around in these dangerous parts by yourself something bad is going to happen.
Character 1:  Why should you care?  We don't even really know each other.
Character 2:  Hell if I know.  Must be your big blue eyes or, more likely, my own damn boredom.  Not much is happening right now and this is, well, it's a form of cheap entertainment.

Story No. 3:
He sat as he had for days.  Mute, virtually paralyzed, unable to respond to any stimuli until he saw the flash of needle and the syringe being filled.  There was no change in expression nor did he move but a single tear managed to leak out of his eye, running down his cheek when he finally blinked.

Story No. 4:
You're not going to shoot anyone!  You're just a damn accountant!

Story No. 5:
The house dreamed, stretching and reaching.  Its own hunger had finally been satiated and the desire to take more and more had subsided.  Now it sat, looking regal with its old architecture and strangely elegant broken down insides.  No one would go there anymore, it had done all it could to keep all the living things away.  If anything or anybody tried to breach its walled and glass skins, it wouldn't just take lives, it would take everything that existed outside the overgrown garden walls.

Story No. 6:
The water pouring into the narrow space was warm at least.  I looked up as the opening was sealed shut.  I waited for them to turn off the lights but they remained on.  The water was already up to my waist.  I looked at my hands for a moment then up again.  I couldn't figure out why they left the lights on.  I took a deep breath.  At least I'd learned to swim and tread water that would keep me alive for a little while.  My heart was pounding.  I was really going to drown this time.  I'd almost done it twice before but this time it seemed inevitable.

Story No. 7:
The President sat alone in the Oval Office.  He'd come to Washington riding on the backs of those voters who had high hopes for him.  And he'd believed that he could live up to those hopes, but it was after 2:00 am EST on Wednesday and he'd seen the very last of his idealistic plans vanish in this week's round of grueling late night meetings.  At least he'd held onto those plans until after he'd passed his first hundred days milestone.

Story No. 8:
The first time I saw my true love, I was getting on a train.  The power had switched off for a few minutes as it does underground, and everyone was looking at their phones, their faces illuminated with that cell phone blue light.  He was the only one not looking at his phone.  Instead, he was looking at me.

UPDATE:  This one wasn't written cold, actually.  A friend posted on FB that she'd gotten on MUNI and the lights went out for a few seconds and everyone's face was illuminated by a cell phone.  I asked her for permission to use this striking image in a story.

Story No. 9:
Character 1:  I liked you a lot better before.  At least you seemed to like me then.  Now you can't wait to get rid of me.
Character 2:  What else am I going to do stuck with the likes of you for 50 years?  The whole universe in front of us, decades of time, and only you for company?  I had to compromise on something.

Story No. 10:
This time I'm getting everything back.  Everything I lost, that I hold dear is coming back to me.  Just this once.