Monday, September 30, 2013

Short Stories & Such: Getting Your Money Back


The following story came out of another Writer’s Digest prompt in which you write about money... that is, getting it back. If you get a chance, write one and describe how you get the money back. Here’s my attempt:
 

Getting Your Money Back

Usually, I wouldn’t be caught dead this early in the morning. Each time I inhale, a puff of cold air mixes with my carbon dioxide and a gray cloud forms in front of me. If it wasn’t that the rent is due for my new apartment, I wouldn’t be sliding this plastic into the ATM machine. Hmm, that’s funny. Let me try this again. Maybe the machine is waking up, too or is frozen. No cash? Just yesterday I took out $40 for the freaking gas. I had $5,000 in the bank! Ugh! The bank is closed and… as a matter of fact. There is only one person I know who would be responsible for this. I’ll have to confront her before she leaves for work.

“Open up, you skunk!”
 
I keep knocking on the door, but no one answers. I know she’s home because the kitchen light is on. You could see it from the living room window. Not to mention her car is parked up front. My mother warned me against opening a joint account with her.

“Come on!”
 
“Alright, already….. Oscar? What are you doing here so early?”
 
“I’m coming from the bank.” I pushed her aside, “Don’t you lie to me, where’s my money?”
 
“Your money? You must be crazy. What would I do with your money?”
“Where is it?”

“Stop! What are you doing to my things? If you don’t go, I’m going to have to call the police!”

“Tell me why you did it?”

“You’re hurting me…”

“Why?”

“Enough, Oscar.”

I turned to the direction of the voice, “Mother?”

“That’s right. Now, let your hands fall off Toni’s arms.”

“But she took my money- “

“I said: ENOUGH!”

I let my hands release the grip on her shoulders. A red mark could be seen on them.

“You have no need for money, son. I received the call last night. I knew you would come here. Now,” she took me by the hand and sat me on the sofa, “I will drive you home.”

Then, she shot me.

 

 
Scroll down to ‘Chilo’ (February 12, 2013) if you’re interested in the comments I got for it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Books I'm Reading 5

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to start posting on Mondays instead of Tuesdays. I hope you continue to enjoy reading them.

The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs by Nick Trout is a great read. Cyrus is a veterinary pathologist who reluctantly takes over his father’s practice in a small town. The character is established and consistent throughout. This book deals with a lot of issues, but the main thing is how the main character changes and discovers what is most important in life.

Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed. This is the first book in a YA series and it was a delightful read. It deals with a teenager grappling with her family and her mother’s ancestral home. What I mean by grappling is that she has visions of the past, but I won’t reveal the details. It’s one of those books you just have to see for yourself. No spoilers from me.

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis. This is a great story revolved around two teenagers who get their memories wiped, but must overcome obstacles to get them back. The best part is that magic and ghosts are involved.

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writer's Workshops 2: The Picture and Your Senses


Michael Torres said in a Writer’s Workshop that a poet should always have a beginner’s mindset when writing so you could be open to new things. He also said that the image we form in our poetry should be clear and specific with enough details so the reader can picture what’s happening. For example, he said to think of a poem as a photograph and not as a snapshot full of feeling.

So the next time you sit down to write that inspiring thought, make sure to use as many senses to form the picture you want others to see. Oh, and it’s okay to leave something to the imagination.

Take a look at my latest published poem "Matches" at the following link to the San Gabriel Poetry Quarterly (it’s the second page--- click “older posts” at the bottom).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Death as Metaphor 4


Sorry for the late post! Sometimes it seems I have my head screwed on backwards, but here goes...

 
Contemporary poetry is experimental… culturally specific… but what truly constitutes contemporary poetry? What is poetry? and Why do we write it?

I have found that contemporary poetry is more personal and geared toward finding an identity. It focuses on experiences without being caged in any particular form or structure. I have always written poetry. My good friend calls the poetry I write “raw psyche” because it is written in the moment; words pour out and are freshly laid out on paper. Nothing is censored and it usually is abstract.

I find poetry to be a medium to express myself in various ways. Writing poetry enables me to put down inner reflections of life around me. My deepest thoughts, emotions, ideas, concerns, etc. are represented in the poetry. Many authors use poetry to do the same thing. Poetry is like a kaleidoscope. That’s why I’m interested on the different reasons authors incorporate death in their poetry and why I use it as a metaphor.

Besides the obvious eulogy, elegy, literal meaning, mourning, expectation of death, and sufferings of war; death is a symbol for other losses such as the death of a marriage or friendship, even the death of a movement. As I reflect and react to a poem, I get better at understanding and appreciating the need for poetry as a representation of our time here on Earth. It is the words themselves that draw attention to what poetry is about: the reaction and reflection of the here and now.

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Writing Endeavors 5: And I keep a' chugging along...

I've been busy with editing my YA novel this week that I find myself excited about the progress. That old saying: Never give up... well, just don't. Persevere in your goal and you will see results.

I never thought I'd get to where I am. In between the checking and re-checking, I have written another novel. This time a fantasy novel.

I noticed I'm better at what I'm doing the more I do it. There's something about keeping to the writing. So, I'm going off to my editing and hope you find yourself writing, too.

Good Luck!