Category Archives: Writing

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Writer’s Block @ Community Cafe October Meeting

A Gathering of Artists

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Writer’s Block @ Community Cafe September Meeting

Writing Prompt: Dirty Bunny

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Vector #666 by Tomasz Brymora – $360 on display at Community Cafe, 2444 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, Florida

[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.

It’s My Anniversary!

One year ago, I moved from Patch.com to WordPress and never looked back!!

Love my blog. Love all of you who read my blog. Keep reading, I’ll keep writing! :*

blogaversary

Two En Homage To Poe

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.

Writing Horror: A Feel Good Activity

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Bela Lugosi as Dracula

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!

Wordless Wednesday: Secret Places

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Afternoon shroud

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A great place to write.

The Last Unicorn

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The very last printed copy of I Blew Up Juarez sold Friday night! 

Wordless Wednesday: Ready For The Show

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Between Fugues

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Indian Summer (orange filter)

A handsome fellow, even in his late years. Either it was his age or an injury that kept him from standing straight, yet, he managed to get from his program seat quickly to the venue hallway where I stood. His eyes are bright and excitable, typical gaze of someone needing to share. I’ve learned in my public affairs years to allow the man his audience; at this age, if he doesn’t get it out, he may never have the chance.

“I knew it was the first Brian!” he offered, “I had a sense the moment you started.”

Thank you, my standard reception.

“Well done, good story.”

Thank you, my standard response.

“I’ve got a whole bunch of metal in my back from Vietnam.”

My heart swells with the distinct affection I have for the wounded warrior.

A watchful shadow angles in over my shoulder, reminding me of other affairs.

“You and I could speak on that for hours,” I share, “but I won’t keep you. Thank you, I’m sure we’ll see each other again.”

My standard sign off.

My escort leads me down the hall, out the doors, to my truck. On the pathway, I can exhale again.

The presentation at the Florida Bibliophile Society is my last for 2014. Fall season has arrived, and my mind is shifting from sunbathing to studying, I suppose the academic calendar is now permanently stitched into my subconscious. Fall means, hunker down, collect data, commence writing because Spring means organize and validate data, present a completed, legible work by end of Spring.

This year I managed to publish one of the fifteen novels I have written since retiring December 2011. I experienced the roller coaster ride that is production and publication, with that 4G twisty of getting screwed by business partners, but in the end I have decided it’s a ride worth experiencing again. Baby is in the book biz, and Baby is gonna deliver!

This fall I’m going to prepare the continuing saga from I Blew Up Juarez, a collaborative effort between selected fans and the self, and if this business model works, I believe I could deliver a solid series within the next two years. A horror anthology featuring one of my short stories is due for release soon, I’ll update in a separate post with those details once I secure them. A political science dystopia I’ve been chomping at the bit to produce will come out of hiding. I desire to release this during the 2016 Election Season.

I’m also putting the brakes on this blog for a bit. I want to adjust it to distinguish short stories, stranger-than-fiction, and writing prompts from each other, plus add a gallery of favorite photos by season. So there will be takedowns and ups and request for reviews here and there; any feedback you have, hell, even the douchebag feedback you love to leave, feel free. It only enhances the blog experience!

Finally, I’ve recently discovered my aunt is dying. She’s the eldest on my mother’s side, and so, I’m going to spend time with my family in the coming weeks. My plan is to delve further into my origin story, and who but the elders of the clan would know them best? I, ever the skilled scribe, plan to document every story, so I might make room here to journal my progress. Expect a bunch of photos from the Pacific Ocean; I might pull a Where In The World Is Von Simeon? on you guys!

Only one life left. Making the most of it. :)

 

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