Category Archives: Writing
[Fun day with Writer's Block last Sunday! This was an ekphrastic exercise, my favorite timed prompt. Here's what I produced in the 15 minute time frame.]
Concept: Observe one of the featured paintings on the Community Cafe wall, and write in response.
He bought me this bunny. He bought me this bunny because when we first met at the fountain, he overheard me talking to my best friend Jordie about the movie “Con Air.” Jordie and I thought we were the only Americans at the fountain in Hannover until that afternoon. The three of us kept talking about bunnies in movies. “Best film rabbit ever?” “Donny Darko!” He and I hugged at whim, a random affection imparted to a random man in a not so random city, or as Jordie pointed out, in a very romantic city. “Come on,” Jordie begged like a whiny kid, “give love a try, one more time, for me.”
“For you, or because we’re in Europe?”
“Just fall in love, kiddo.”
He brought the velveteen, blue-gray bunny to the bistro that evening. I’m so glad you called, he said. Where’s Jordie? He asked. When I didn’t answer, he blushed. “I brought you something.” I already saw its black leathery nose peeking out of the top of his bulky cargo pants. I watched as he fished around, knowing what he was going to do before he did it, but psyching myself to not laugh until he did it.
And then he did. And I laughed so hard, so hard… I don’t remember ever laughing that hard before. Or ever since.
That bunny rode on his dashboard during the six months he was away; I, back home in Florida, pretending not hearing from him every second of every minute of every damn day didn’t cause me any heartache. One scary phone call at 4am; he thought he was in trouble. I trembled for him, I cried for him, all the while repeating, “You stay alive, baby. That’s your job, stay alive,” in the steadiest voice I could.
I never knew the beauty of a sunny day until the day he landed at the airfield. Safe, all in one piece, handsome in his tailored suit. It looked like the one we saw across the street from our table, on a headless mannequin behind a shop window. I squinted as sun rays coaxed him down the stairs and into my arms…yes, it is the exact same suit.
In a separate bag, he carefully removed the bunny and placed it in my hands. Coated in motor oil and sand, he kept apologizing for its sorry state. I hugged the dirty, sandy bunny, the talisman that brought my heart home in one piece.
And that’s why, my sweet little girl, this bunny is so old and dirty. It was busy keeping your father’s love for me alive.
Like any disillusioned Gen X teen buried in 90’s angst, I drank in Poe’s work like a healing elixir. I embraced my darkness, played with the ‘black dog’, and became enthralled by the beauty of madness. No secret I borrow directly from Poe when I compose my more macabre pieces; in fact, I make sure to mention when I’m channeling Edgar Allan Poe in a composition.
May I not suffer his fate, but if I do, please write a decent obituary, and perhaps, throw in these original poems, inspired by The Master:
Ode to Three Birds Tavern
(Composed 5.31.12)Once upon a day dreary wind choppy, sky bleary I wandered into tavern here soaking wet, ordered a beer Soon it amounted to more than one and out peak’ed the afternoon sun Kristen sparked the music box right with rockabilly to delight the boys in the back pushed the cue the bartender kept pouring brew the winds calmed down the sky did clear and all of this cause I stopped for a beer.
Stopping By The Master’s Grave
(Composed 4.4.13)youandI have been here before youandI youandI have spoken in cold air and youandI were youandI despite the chill youandI have much in common youandI darkness we wear like a furry cloak in the air of despair will me towards the black trust me to honor your way your words your fundamental melancholy youandI have much in common youandI I will see you brother it will not be too soon.
The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.
But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?
I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.
While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!
Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.
All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:
As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!
Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.
Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!