Monday, August 31, 2015

Writer’s Workshop 13: Dialoguing Stories

In one workshop, we had to use only dialogue to write a scene. It’s actually a good exercise if you’re trying to differentiate the voice of your characters.

I’ve used this technique in some of my writing. I write the dialogue and, then, I add the description. It helps when you’re pressed for time and want to get the story down, too.

Try it and see what you get.

Prompt- Have two people talking to each other about something that’s bothering them or other issue without adding facial expressions or descriptions. The idea is to get their voices to guide the reader to what’s going on.

Here’s my attempt:


“I’m glad I caught you.”

“I can’t talk right now.”

“Don’t give me that.”


“You and I both know why you’ve been avoiding me.”

“That’s not true.”

“Then, explain to me why you don’t return my phone calls?”


“When I congratulated you on your birthday, I didn’t even get a ‘Thank you’ or happy face texted back.”


“Are you still there?”

“That’s not fair…”

“You bet it isn’t…We both know why you’ve been doing this and why, you, all of a sudden, got pregnant by your husband.”

“I have to go.”

“You’re in love with me.”

“Stop it.”

“That’s why you stopped seeing me, calling me… you name it.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Am I? Then why can’t you stand being in the same room as me? I mean, you used to make it a point to hang out with me almost every weekend. You said you couldn’t get enough. You said you loved me.”

“Stop it! I love my husband.”

“Do you? Because last time we spoke, you couldn’t remember his name. Why don’t you stop pretending and admit it?”

“I love my husband.”

“Admit it.”

“I can’t… I’m gonna have another baby. Little Christopher’s four now, and he can’t be around you.”

“What!?! Don’t you dare—”



BTW got my poem, Before my Commute, published in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Summer Issue 67 (psst… you have to scroll almost all the way down to read it=))

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote 15

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
-Henry Ford
It’s all about attitude.

Sometimes, I hear “I can’t” a lot from students when I’m substituting and I remember that nothing is impossible. There might be need of a little guidance and a little support, but if you think you can do something, it will happen.

I’ve seen adults say they can’t do something when they haven’t tried such as using some form of social media or learning a new skill for a job. Again, nothing is impossible.

It’s the right attitude about learning how to do something or getting started on a project or other. I thought I’d never complete my supernatural detective novel, but I did! I’m so excited. Now, the hard part starts: write the synopsis and edit, revise, edit, revise… and one day it’ll be in print. The question is: do I have the right attitude to say I can? I think so =)


Monday, August 17, 2015

Death as Metaphor 19: Personal Poetry Reflection and Analysis

A meaningless life protrudes

from an absence of death.


Death has been rampant throughout history, and individuals react to it in various ways that help the poem evolve into meaningful reminders of it.

I have a collection of poems that make use of death metaphorically to express different feelings, events, and thoughts. The poems do not follow any particular structure. Some are not pertinent to my own life but the lives of others or things around me, including dreams. Each poem delves into the concept that death is not just a literal meaning in which everything ends; death is usually thought of as somber and peaceful.

I have discovered that death is a symbol for something much greater because it constitutes the end of something important. It could be a friendship, a love, a feeling, a change of one’s identity such as a rebirth, and much more. Death is an important metaphor for authors to explore the deepest emotions possible in a way that touches the reader on different levels through imagery.

Here is an example of how death is used as a metaphor by Adrienne Rich, which differs from my poetry, but that hints on the rebirth process:

In 1971, Rich commented in a poetics essay, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” ( that women should share their imagination and experience through writing by looking back at things and their lives with new eyes. She considers women ‘dead’ in a male-dominated society until the woman ‘awakens’ from her victimization and expresses her anger through writing and we are able to use poems as windows to our world.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Short Stories & Such 20: Leaving Town Abruptly

Leaving Town Abruptly

The rasp sound extended from the kitchen door causing the wood to crease and moan in my bedroom. I wrapped a blanket around my pajamas. 3:30 a.m. The darkness guided me to the first obstacle: the clothes hamper and then, the leg of the chair. After some fumbling for a light switch, the rasp turned into a pound until the moron outside went for the doorbell.

“Aaron, pack a bag.”


“Quickly.” She pushed me back inside the house until my back hit the door knob. “I have to get out of here now.”

“What? Where?”

Her eyes were erratic, I was sure she didn’t hear any of my questions.

She clasped her tiny hands on my blanket, “I need you to come with me.”

I yanked her hands free of the blanket, “Now, wait a minute. You don’t think I’m going to just drop everything and leave?”

“I think you will…but you need to get ready while I explain.”

“I’m not going to do anything until-”

“Fine,” she brushed her long bangs off her face. “My husband found out. About us.”


“He’s coming after me.”

“Us? I don’t get it.”

“I told him I was having an affair… with you.”

“You what!?! You told that maniac you were….why?” I threw the blanket over the kitchen counter. I rubbed the hairs growing in my sideburns.

“There’s no time. Get your things together.”

“His after you. Why should I bother?”

“If he thinks you were my lover, he’ll be looking for you, too.” She cupped her hands in her face and sniffled, “I’m sorry. I was trying to give him some his own medicine.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Jerry, we need to talk to him.”

She lifted her face, now smeared with mascara.

“Okay… I’ll talk to him. He couldn’t possibly believe-”

“You don’t understand, he’s got a rifle.”

A sudden thud came from the front door. Every ounce of hope attached itself to me, professing it was the wind. As I turned to the direction of the sound, a burst of light flashed before my eyes.


Check out the original draft and comments for June 5, 2012 at

Monday, August 3, 2015

Books I’m Reading 17

Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones is a poetry collection. Jones has a strong voice and most themes deal with race, gender, and life.

A Poet’s Ear: A Handbook of Meter and Form by Annie Finch is a detailed book about writing poetry along with examples of the different forms described. She has a website, too.

Ageing Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White. The author explains a lot about using our muscles to do the exercises. What she recommends will help you get stronger, limber, and feel younger. She combines a lot of stretches and dance movements.

Clean, well-lighted sentences: A Guide to Avoiding the Most Common Errors in Grammar and Punctuation by Janis Bell. This book explains a lot of the rules in a comprehensive format that’s easy to read. Of course, practice is key to mastering everything Bell points out.