Monday, May 18, 2015

Short Stories & Such 18: Best Friends Need your Help

Back in 2012, I wrote a piece on Writer’s Digest with the title’s prompt. I revised some parts. Hope you enjoy!

 
Best Friends Need your Help

 
"Hey, we've done something terribly wrong and need your help. We can't talk about it over the phone. Please meet us at the spot where we made our pact back in high school. You know the place."

The call ended just as soon as it started. I didn’t quite understand what my two best friends were up to. It had always been that way since High School. I would be the one who cleaned up their mess, and sometimes, it wasn’t pretty. In a way, I was glad our friendship lasted the way it did. They were the popular ones everybody wanted to hang out with. Growing up allowed me ample opportunities to distance myself from them, especially after what they did at prom night.

Just hearing their shrill voices brought back memories of how they would talk behind the teacher’s back and when confronted, they turned to me so I could bail them out on some lame excuse like, “They were discussing the reasons Hitler considered getting rid of the Jews…” or “They were going over the formula for the assignment…” something like that.

All I knew now was that I had to go help them in any way I could. That’s the awful part. There was always a pull to get them out. Even though, I had nothing to do with that boy’s fall at prom night, I took the blame and they made sure to visit me in prison.  

I grabbed my coat and car keys. I had trouble turning the car ignition and fumbled through my purse for a tissue to clean the blob of bird poop that just happened to fly down on my window. Not to mention I almost drove over the rose garden in my haste.

That old building a few blocks from the school was still standing after all these years. That’s where we made our pact to stay true to each other, love the quarterback Andrew Lacey, and be best friends for ever, ‘til the end.

There it was and there they were, wrapped in their fluffy coats and skinny jeans, wearing knee high boots. Painful was the word for this picture until I got a look at their faces. Their heavy makeup covered the bruises and made them look like porcelain dolls.

“My goodness! What happened?”

“Never mind that. Do you still have it?”

“Have what?”

“You know: the necklace?”

“No. I pawned it last year.”

“You what!?!”

“I sold it. I never did like the thing...”

Their eyes filled with horror. “We can’t trust you.”

“What?”

“You were supposed to hold on to it forever.”

“It was just a trinket Andrew gave us. It had no sentimental value whatsoever.”

“That’s what you think.”

My two best friends from High School. My two best friends who would stick with me ‘til the end. My two best friends took hold of my arms and dragged me to the edge of the second story building. My two best friends…

 

If you’re interested in reading the first draft and the comments left, check out March 13, 2012 at
http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/best-friends-need-your-help

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why I Write 8: The Characters are Alive! Alive!


I took a writing workshop last month during the MT. SAC Writer’s Weekend, which resulted in a bunch of poetry. I got to meet some wonderful people and the presenters were awesome.

Attending the event also strengthened my motivation to finish the current novel I’m writing. Gosh, I already have mentioned that I have about four novels that need revising, each in a different genre. It’s hard to believe I’ve written that many. Too bad I can’t say I’ve published them =( And that’s where the workshop lifted my mood. There are a multitude of authors who also took a long time to publish. I guess I fit right into this mold.

The recent novel I’m working on deals with mystery, the supernatural, and science fiction type of things. It’s rather complicated, but I haven’t given up on it yet. Why? Because it isn’t about me anymore. The characters are taking center stage. They want their story told. Isn’t it amazing that this could happen?  

When you sit down to write, you find that you want to go in one direction, but then you have a character that wants to go the other way. And it’s okay. You can change the course of the story. The important thing is making it believable and worth a reader’s time.

 

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quote 13


“The horse moved like a dancer, which is not surprising. A horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music.”

-          A Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin

 
I love the way Helprin described horses.

I can picture a herd of wild mustangs running over plains.

Beautiful.

Hear the sound?

Oh, oh, the picture changed.

The horses are running on the beach shore.

Their hoofs competing against the pounding waves…

Hey!

This just became a poem… What a way to get the mind going, huh?

 

Next time you run into a quote you like, try responding to it, and maybe there’s a poem hidden in its message. You never know. =)

Good luck!

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Death as Metaphor 17: What Say Ye Inevitable Death?

We have no control of our future. We want to “stretch” our lives beyond death because the future is unknown as death. This is one reason poets write about death.

Death is a constant reminder of the end- mortality- so we want to reassure ourselves that we are still part of the living and build hope.

The symbols and meanings attached to death are not fixed because individuals have different experiences, circumstances, and thinking that change the metaphor and context.

Since we cannot control death, we use metaphors to help our reasoning of it. Our personal culture, ideas, myths, our fears and hopes, all influence our understanding of death.

So, we may continue to use death as a metaphor for the future since neither can be controlled. And a lot of great poetry has been written because of it. From inspirational to the macabre, death is a constant theme in our lives.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Books I’m Reading 15

Beautiful Lego by Mike Doyle. As the title suggests, the author and artist has collected artwork created by various artists using LEGO bricks, blocks, and figurines to construct cities, buildings, vehicles, animals, etc. Quite a feat!
 
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington is about a teenage girl named Jade who moves into a haunted house and must solve the murder of the ex-popular/mean girl of school. It’s a great book. It keeps you reading and guessing who might have done it. Pretty soon you’ll have a list of suspects like Jade!
 
Blue Horses, poems by Mary Oliver. Oliver has an interesting way of putting words together in her poetry. Right when you think it’s simple, you get glimpses of a much more complicated individual. Good read. 

Who Says Bullies Rule? Common sense tips to help your kids cope by Catherine DePino. This book is for parents, administrators, teachers… anyone involved with children. Just like the title says, there are a ton of useful resources to look at, sample cases of bullying, and cyberbullying.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Art 4: Life Drawing 101s

Back in 1998 (Wow! that far back?) I used to take Life Drawing classes. I really enjoyed the classes and the art professors. Not only because I actually learned something, but because of the freeing nature of drawing. Every time I picked up the charcoal, I was amazed at how I was able to ‘see’ the model in front of me and capture some essence on the page. I’ve always felt I could do more in my drawings, but this particular piece looked almost complete and I liked the way the dark lines made the model ‘pop out.’


 

 

Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s that Month again!

In case you didn’t realize, but this is a month packed with a lot of activities. Not only is Easter celebrated in April, Arbor Day and Earth Day are right behind it. So if you can- help plant a tree and make sure to reduce-reuse-recycle.

We’ve also had the Lunar Eclipse. That was a sight!

Here are other happenings this month: Autism Awareness Month, Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month, and Child Abuse Prevention Month, and National Poetry Month.

Here are a few websites to consider:




 



 

 


 



Check out your local libraries for events =)

Also, the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015 is now on Amazon! My poem “Sudden” is one of the submissions. Very excited.