Thursday, February 18, 2016

Writing Final-ish Scenes and "Deadpool"

So there are 11 days left in February and about another 15k outstanding in my current WIP.  Well something interesting happened last night.  After catching "Deadpool" with a friend once I got back in, I sat down to write and I actually did.  Which is odd because when I sit down to write I normally burn an hour doing others stuff I don't need to be doing.  I think there were several factors at play last night such as:
1. Being on a bit of an inspired kick after seeing "Deadpool" and the idea of breaking that fourth wall
2. Limited time, I knew I had to be up early today so I couldn't mess around and was trying to get to bed early asap
3. Scene in mind ... and sometimes that makes the difference, other times it doesn't but I'd been playing around with a scene in my head that actually didn't land as I thought it would

The scene not going as planned ended up causing me to actually go into what is the final-ish scene for "Back to Somewhere" which is at 45k now.  But there are still some loose ends so I'm thinking there will either be one more chapter then an epilogue or just one massive epilogue.  I'm also thinking if this ends up being at 50k rather than 60k I'm okay with that as well since I think I'll end up adding scenes during the revision.  As there were things that came up during the draft that I wanted to incorporate.

I always had a final line in mind for B2S but I haven't had the chance to write it in yet.  I'm hoping to capture in the next bits I add.  And fingers crossed I finish this weekend so I can treat myself to a comfy writing chair AND finish MD revisions. 

Btw, Deadpool was quite entertaining.  Definitely not for the little ones but worth viewing.  Especially see as it gave a bit of proverbial kick to the writerly brain.  Also we saw it at the Moolah theater on Weds night so the tix were only $5!  Good deal :)

I think I'm one movie away from accomplishing a goal for this year.  Off to read. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

An eventful weekend thus far and Happy SAD!

Technically it's 2/14 which means it's Singlehood Awareness Day! 

Or Valentines Day for the locals ;)

Oye so on Friday I took the day off from work to hole up at BreadCo again.  Again I got in another 5k  ::does a mental happy dance::  I've begun to setup for the descent and have learned a couple things in writing it which have been cool (and quite helpful for when I revise). 

Then today, Saturday (well... yesterday), we did what is now week 3 of skating.  Before I report on the incident from there let me just say that I found myself getting my balance a bit better this week AND made it around the rink 7x.  Last week I went 3.  And my niece's mom pointed out that only a non-skater would count the amount of times they went around the rink.  But I need to have measured progress so I'm counting until it's more natural.  With that said on the last lap I took a pretty bad fall.  I feel correctly, meaning I landed on my butt but the momentum of the fall also caused my head to hit the floor too.  What happened?  Well one of the more experienced skaters was skating backwards and saw me a little too late and since I'm still learning, my control wasn't quite there to dodge the collision when I realized what was about to happen.  So of course I fell and he maintained.   And when I say my head hit the ground, IT HIT.  And it hurt.  Now... hours later I'm starting to feel soreness in one cheek of my butt and the left side of my neck/collarbone is hurting.  Did have a momentary headache earlier but it went away. 

Though I think I might be due for a migraine based on the Pepsi I had drank while writing at BreadCo. After the fall my nieces rushed over and wanted to hold my hand to finish out the last lap.  A couple guys helped me up once I seemed to  be with it again.  This week more of the family showed out for the learning skating session and we ate at Waffle House afterwards.  The niece had fun being able to hang out with her cousins.  Later she got her hair down and when I came to pick her up she told me today was the best day ever.  People... it's clichĂ© but it's true - it really is about the little things and for kids simple things like this make all the difference.  Last Saturday she thought it was the best day ever too.  It was the first time she had Waffle House and really LOVED the waffle she got. 

While the niece was getting her hair done I had packed my laptop prepared to get in some writing before meeting up with a friend to see a movie.  And I did sneak in some writing before the movie started from our comfy theater seats.  That's right I wrote in the theater during the 20 minutes before the trailers started.  We were originally going to see "Deadpool" but it was sold out so we watched "How to Be Single" instead and both found it hilarious. 

And unrelated but had to share.  I'm so getting better with my budget.  I remember I used to go way over sometimes with the groceries even when I wrote out list and planned.  Today I only went over by 10 bucks!  And that was with no handwritten list.  I just worked it from my memory and was constantly asking myself what I think I can cook and what do I have at home now to work with.  So yay me.  Heck at one store where my budget was 50 I was under and had 11 cents to spare.  And I'd be worried I'd gone over there. 

At any rate I should be jetting off since it's laundry day plus I'd like to get in a bit more writing and/or reading before I pass out. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Dedicated Valentine - Short Story

                For our anniversary my girl got me a pair of diamond studs, watch, and new jacket.  I was anxiously awaiting for today’s surprise.  It seemed every day there was something new coming from her.  While she worked, I was at home.  For years I’d been the struggling musician.  She’d had her hard years on the streets as well but it was because of these lows that we found each other. 

I still struggled to find solid work but on certain days I felt good.  On these days where the job lead might pan out to something more; I’d find myself returning to the apartment, picking up my ukulele, and starting my composition of the ultimate ballad.  I didn’t have much but I did have my music.  So every day I worked on her song.  The verse I knew -  

 The rain on your cheeks

Mixes with the tears from your eyes

I know my girl weeps

I’ve heard her story

And for all her worries

My soul is hers to keep

                Those lines stayed with me.  Whenever I sang them I felt the pitter patter of my heart go from steady to rapid.  Even the quiet lull of the rain couldn’t calm the feeling that thoughts of her spurred.  So when the sky turned to dusk and the dusk changed to night I worried.  My girl hadn’t come home.  She worked until six every day and she wasn’t the type to not call.  I’d never tried calling her at work especially since my phone had been shut off recently.  I now regretted not letting her pay it.  Instead I headed across the hall to the neighbors door.  The creaky floors probably announcing me before my first knock. 

                Mrs. Ray was a sweet lady.  I couldn’t tell how old she was and sometimes when she caught me staring she’d give a good lashing with her tongue by saying “Boy, didn’t anybody tell you?  Black don’t crack, now move along my story on.”  And with Mrs. Ray no matter what time of the day it was, her ‘stories’ were always on. 

                She swung her door open immediately, “What chall want t’day?”

                I smile and try to fight back the nervous foot to foot shuffle, “May I use your phone please?”

                Her brow raises, “My phone?  My lil old corded thing?  Ain’t you kidz all about having the screens that walk and talk with ya?  Why you need my outdated reliable cord?”

                Mrs. Ray might lead you to believe she wasn’t hip to the technology but I’d seen her with a smartphone so I knew she possessed one.  Why she felt the need to make point of my ‘youth’ was one of those default characteristics of an aging population that always needed to make you feel inferior for your inherit stupidity for being your age.  No doubt.  I could have been the founder of some huge start up knocking at her door to offer her a free gadget and she’d still give me a good dose of her anecdotal lashings, ‘Boy you still wet behind the ear.  Move along now, my story bout to come on.’ 

                Disregarding my want to point out her usage of technology I instead inform her of the current situation.  She listens with intent but I can tell part of her mind is wondering what she might be missing in her story.  Her patience is being tested.  “I’ll be quick,” I tell her, “it’ll only be but a second to phone her office.” 

                “Wait now,” she says her attention full on me.  “How long you say she been gone now?”

                “Since she left for work this morning?”

                “What time migh’ dat a been?”

                “Sometime after 8, why does it matter?”

                Mrs. Ray rocks back on her heels and tsks, “Boy, that chil’ ain’t been going to no work.  Seems to me she been up to no good.  Police were here bout dat time.  Saw them cuffin’ someone and loading them on the bus.  Yeah she went to work alright.” 

                I open my mouth but no words come out.  I’m torn between telling Mrs. Ray about her human worth and attempt to defend my girl in the same breath when I’m hit with a look.  Mrs. Ray, for all her talk, is no nonsense and she’s telling me with that look alone I know better. 

                And I do.   Which is why it hurts so much.  Mrs. Ray lets me in but instead of calling the number I had written on the back of a card I call the downtown police station because I have it memorized.  Me and my girl, her more than me, has had it rough.  Her years on the street were plagued with her constant thievery looking for that next score.  But my girl wasn’t a thief.  She’s an opportunist.  Before then she was an artist and before that someone’s daughter.  That stuff still haunts her.  How quick people will turn on you, to throw you away as if you were a thing meant to be discarded.

                It’s my own denial too.  Me and her we’ve come a long way so when someone confirms she was booked and the things she’s stolen I don’t hesitate.  I pack them with me.  As I walk in the rain I compose her song.  I’ll work on it until the day I die.  When it feels right.  Until we’re right.  Until the day comes our past stop negating the choices of our future selves.  I’ll continue to make this walk.  She’s my girl and even in all her imperfections, my soul is still hers to keep.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How to Publish Your Book Visual

This will be a quick post.  I came across the following on FB today and wanted to share.

Still working diligently on the current novel and hoping to finish early in order to work on MD.  After a conversation with my manager I'm feeling a bit better about it.  It's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of.  I don't have too many people in my everyday life that I can meet up with and chat about my process and where I'm stuck. 

Link here -

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Montgomery's Diary - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – Fight or Flight
I was cold.  Erratic bubbles swarmed my panicked limbs.  I kicked against it.  It held on tightly, pulling me down.  I fought with frenzied determination.  Once freed, I burst toward the surface.  I was bound to breach when I felt the piercing sting, flesh broken, spirals of blood danced before me.  It latched onto me again. 
It pulled me down further. 
    I was tired.  I wanted air.  I settled for water.  It burned.  It chilled.  It surrounded me.  I was submerged and dragged deeper into its depth.  The rippled sight of the sun was the only show of mercy.  The surface was there.  I could make it.  I was just there.  I only needed to reach.
    I sunk further. 
    "The sun..." I thought to myself but I was cold.  I was tired.  I was...
Blinded by
Our paradise...
I dreamt.  I dreamt a lot.  I thought I was awake.  I dreamt I was awake a lot.  I wasn't.  I fooled myself often.  This was my unintended past time.  I was my own worst prankster.  There was nothing more miserable than not being able to trust your mind. 
I was going to wake up.
Almost there, just a little further, and... 
Sleep was a villainous pusher.  I was addicted to the state it kept me in.  Cocooned in its blanket I became its number one customer.  This lulled unconscious oblivion sometimes felt like a gentle sway.  I pictured myself being carried from one sleep narcotic room to another.  They seemed similar in their effect but so distinct in their appeal.  I couldn't tell them apart. 
Where was I?
My eyes were always heavy.  Always so tired.  I came close many times.  I never stopped trying.  I fought for that little bit of awakening every moment it occurred.  It teased the corners of my lids just before I went under again.  Then it came, the unease of waking, but I would do it.  I was almost there.  I just needed to focus.  "I would do it this time" became my mental mantra.  Until I dozed off again.   
I wondered if waking up from anesthesia was a similar battle- foggy in nature, hard to resist, and so discomforting you might cry.   Those moments when you really wanted to wake were the worse. 
There was warmth.  It sheltered me.   My body stole from the elements that surrounded me.  I saw nothing and felt only unwavering warmth.  It was strange.  I didn't know where it came from, what it was, but thought it had a purpose and knew without a doubt- it was mine. 
When at last a breeze chilled my forearm I opened my eyes to darkness.  It was as if I hadn't opened them at all.  There were small flecks of moonlight that broke through the dense canopy of trees.  Night had fallen, I thought, but I was lost by how I should feel about it.  Was this the right time of the day?
Where was I again?
How did I get here?
Where was here?
I heard a rustle to my left.  Without a thought I turned my head in the direction of the sound and my neck screamed.  My body throbbed from the slap of sharp pain jolting every nerve ending.  It was the wakeup call I hadn't asked for.  I flinched as the remnants of the pain died down to a soft echo.  I refused to move my neck when I heard the sound again.  A name came to mind, one that ached with an arsenal of heat, security, and...  I don't know.  I called out to it like a wish filled with vacant hope.
"Joe?" I whispered. 
"Joe."  Yes.  "Joe." 
There was no answer.  I waited.  I waited even as part of me said I shouldn't.  Somehow I knew.  I knew this wouldn't be right.  Couldn't be right yet I found comfort in my doubt when I wasn't sure of anything else.
I licked my dry lips and discovered another problem- thirst.  I heard the rustle of shrubs but saw nothing.  The lack of light did nothing to ease the worry that bubbled deep.  The sound came again.  Closer. 
"Joseph," I whispered.  With the name there was a swell of emotion that I would have given anything to be buried in.  To navigate through its darkness; I was ready to be lost.  It lingered long enough just for the warmth to grow cold.  The memory associated with the warmth disappeared just as the sound came again. 
It was closer.
It was letting go. 
Whatever it was, the stealth mode it once maintained was no longer an issue.  Boldness grew in the absence of movement.  It, this thing, person, animal, that lurked in the darkness must've known at the same time I realized my problem.  I couldn't move any part of my body south of my neck.  Paralyzed beyond fear I willed my fingers to grasp the soil, my toes to tickle the air, for my tears to hold back, and in the strength of my conviction nothing yielded. 
Why wasn't there more light?  Why?  I couldn't wrap my mind around the ‘why’.  I needed the explanation.  My body itched with the slithering feel of insects navigating against its terrain.  I needed-
I wanted-
To stop.  For it to stop.
Stop touching me.  GET OFF!
    Closer.  Closer.  My heart kept a pace that was infinitely louder and rapid with each twig snap, leaf crinkle, and growl toward my direction.
    Growl?  No.  I heard wrong.  That definitely wasn't a growl.  I wasn't going to be ravished by a rabid dog or-
I couldn't scream.  My throat parched.  It's so close. 
Sweat beaded my forehead.  Was it this hot at night or just me?  My mind burned with pyrotechnics as an assault of memories exploded into my head.  Were my eyes opened?  Were they closed?  Why did it matter?  I remembered-
    I was a girl.  I was the person voted most likely to succeed.  I was a good daughter.  I was a great friend, cool girlfriend, and decent temporary fiancĂ©.  That all seemed to vanish in lieu of my latest gig- the perfect prey. 
    My head ached, the memories slowed, and the breathing grew louder.  It stalked my body in the dark.  I felt the heat that emanated from its body.  It was large.  It now kept a small distance from me.  For the slightest moment I felt it lingering at my head, sniffing my hair.  A disgruntled whoosh of air swept past me. 
    The force of it sent a new wave of fear down my spine.  It paced, sniffed, and clamped down on my head.  I was dragged by my hair an inch or two from where I'd been.  It ran off no doubt with some unhinged extensions in the cracks of its teeth.  It wasn't far.  I couldn't move.  It waited.   We were at a stalemate. 
    I didn't want to think.  I didn't want to give breath to my fears because the more I stepped away from the rabid dog theory the more I knew I wasn't even in the ballpark.  Denial could no longer spare me the truth of the reality.  The only thing I could be sure of that I was unknown to it.  I was being tested. 
I failed. 
    So I thought positively.  The sense of touch had always been there.  It couldn't be total paralysis I figured.  I hoped.  Why hadn't I gone to school to be a doctor instead of...  School.  I'd gone but I left because-
    I'm an actress.  I've acted!  It's how I met Joe.  Joe won't be here.  He wouldn't be here.  I knew that before.  He couldn't be.  As I remembered my limbs trembled like a low electrical current was coursing through them.  My head thrummed with images I couldn't understand.  Again I wondered if my eyes were open or not. 
It was darker now.  My eyes rolled around unable to focus on anything specific, as images came and went.  What was it I was it I thought I saw?  The sound of movement brought me back.  It circled me.
    Panic set in.  The small trembles of my limbs evolved.  My body convulsed like a fish desperate to be in the water.  I couldn't think about anything else at that moment.  I was happy for the motion, at the possibility that came to mind.  I might die, I could be eaten alive, but at least I was able to move. 
    The convulsions bothered it.  A shadow moved inward, without hesitation, it was beside me and a warm hand smoothed the spirals all except one.  I felt a lock of hair tugged from the rest.  The convulsions slowed; again they were quiet trembles that kept wake my sleepy limbs. 
    "You've been worrying."
    "Joseph?"  My eyes sprung open.  I had my answer.  Even in the darkness I could see the gleam from those hazel eyes.  I wanted to touch him, feel his stubble, and caress his cheek.  I wanted to hold him.    "I can't move."
    There was a growl and my happiness waned.  We weren't alone.  We were both in danger.  I needed to take his hand.
    "We have to-"
I stopped.  A new pain took over and I was blinded by it.  Joe was holding my hand.  He shushed me as he patted my head.  My eyes quirked but I was in too much pain to question the unusual behavior or to remind him I was human and not a pet. 
    Teeth sunk into my thigh.  Warmth spread down my leg but I couldn't- the convulsions started again.  No, that wasn't it; I was being shaken.  A memory, clear as day, formed in my mind of a terrier ripping into a stuffed rabbit.  Flinging it into the air, it's stitching unraveling, bits of cotton collected sporadically across the ground.  I thought only of the discarded stuffing. 
    The pain in my thigh festered.  I had trouble keeping my eyes straight.  They were swirling.  Things moved.  Joe clutched my hand, my vision blurred, and for a moment I saw his father.
    "Elicia," he smiled to me.  He always called me by the Spanish version of my name.  It was nice to see a friendly face.  Was this what dy... I was shushed.  I looked into his father's eyes and smiled. 
    "Es muy malo," I said to him before he could ask me about my Spanish, "Tu chico esta muy ocupado para ensenarme" It's very bad.  Your boy is too busy to teach me.  Then he was gone. 
    Everything ached.  Constant throbbing exhausted my nerves.  Sleep was ready.  It had always been there.  I hadn't fought harder.
    "Joe," I croaked.  I cleared my throat but it only grew irritated.
    "I'll tell you," he said to me.
    I didn't want to think what that meant.  Images were coming to me again.  I slipped into a vision when a growl awakened the pain filled lull I'd sunken into.  It was at my head yet Joe was still there.  I worried.  It made me think of her.  Of all times to be reminded of my mother now hadn't seemed like the time.  More than any moment before I considered genetics and what being my mother's daughter meant...
    Was I still being shaken?  Had it stopped?  I couldn't remember if it did.  I wasn't sure I felt much of anything, even the pain seemed to ease.  Joe's hand gripped mine tighter.  His gaze never strayed away from my eyes.  It was as if his eyes spoke to me.  They danced with stories he hadn't yet told me.  The growling dimmed.  Joe's hand stroked my head.  They found a rhythm.  Silence triumphed.  Everything was fragmented.  It was true.  The warmth had been mine all along.  My body was on fire. 
    When he whispered close your eyes I didn't know if it meant forever. 
February 2nd
Today you told a story I'd never heard.  You looked at me and I knew.  So now I’m writing it down.
"If body parts had personalities, my stomach was uber aggressive.  It demanded action.  At some point I could swear it was eating away at my backside and wanting to attack my butt like it was Sunday's roast."
I laughed.  And you smiled at me.  Everyone always ate up your stories.  Even with it just the three of us now, I enjoyed every morsel of words as if they were the only things in the world.  
"I clutched my purse.  Digging at it probably kept me from beating my stomach.  I felt a bit desperate at that moment and shook my purse, keys rattled, and not much else.  'You wish,' the keys jingled to me.  Still I pulled out everything.  I came away with more lint, receipts, and an unfathomable amount of hate that I pleaded with the universe to just convert it all into currency- preferably American dollars.
I closed my eyes and looked into the hot California sun.  How many dreamers before me had done this same exact thing?  How many had come before me only to face it's heat and feel there was no turning back, no matter the consequence?  How many?  How many had survived to know better days?"
Today was a better day.