Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bad Poetry Friday

Untitled (c. 1997)

What did Van Gogh know?
He never really fell in love
except for that whore
he cut his ear off for
I want something more
than a one time fling
I’d like to feel close to you
I’m always on the outside
looking in on your portrait.

Notes:
This is a blatant rip-off of a Lisa Loeb/Jewel playlist I had going.

I knew nothing about Van Gogh except he was mentioned in a Lisa Loeb song.

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NaNoWriMo Week 4 Check In & 2012 Excerpt

Ack! *Muppet arms*

There’s only two days left of NaNoWriMo and I don’t know about you, but I was in danger of FAILING. Then I chained myself to my chair and pretty much wrote 11k words in three days by mostly doing 15 minute sprints. This year’s story was a real sh*teous work of art and it was like pulling teeth to finish. I kept veering off and coming up with ideas for short stories and new novels.

But I did it anyway. It’s done. It’s craptastic, probably my worst #NaNoWriMo yet. Hopefully, you fared better and are kicking back with some sparkling apple cider or a winter ale and laughing at everyone else who is scrambling to make deadline. Note: Is this how real  professional writers feel?

As promised, this is the raw beginning of this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, another YA piece, though this year I decided to make it harder and write the damn thing in two voices (both 1st person) in present tense. It’s a lesbian love story with an “unprom” as the backdrop and a lot of drama.

It sucks.

CHAPTER 1

APRIL 10th,

AVERY

I can’t escape Madison Shea.

She is everywhere.

Her bubble-letter posters advertising Student Council/Prom Committee meetings adorn every hallway in this godforsaken school. In the entrance to the office there’s a giant picture of her and her blond hair in that swishy ponytail grinning at the camera and holding the soccer team’s state trophy over her head in celebration. Go Lions! The captain of the football team doesn’t even have his photo in that display case and he’s the principal’s stepson.

She is forever leaning against the locker next to mine, in her perfectly worn Levis and oxford shirt and pink flip flops, laughing at her friends. She’s constantly smiling that toothy grin. It;s like her face is frozen that way and she’s all teeth and bright, shiny eyes.

God, those eyes. It’s like looking into the frickin Gulf of Mexico. I goddamn drown every time I catch her gaze. Shit.

I can’t even call her a bitch or hate on her because she’s nice to everyone. Everyone. Even Keesha, this asshole cheerleader who once called me a dyke in front of our entire Spanish II class. It’s not like it’s a secret, but it was pretty fucking awful, especially when Senora Catalana said, “En Espanol, por favor.”

Jesus Christ.

At least Madison didn’t laugh when that happened. She just gave me a sympathetic look and went back to conjugating verbs.

I think that smile killed me more than that dyke comment.

God, Madison.

She’s involved with everything. Everything. I swear her picture will be on every club page in the yearbook, even on the African American Student Union page. I can see it now, her blinding blondness among group, the token white girl, smiling like she belongs there. Like she belongs everywhere.

I about peed my corduroy pants when she came to the inaugural Oak Bluff High Lion Pride meeting last winter.Yeah, it’s a student Gay-Straight Alliance, but I figured she had enough on her plate. She didn’t need this too.

But I guess she felt differently, because right now Madison Shea is sitting across the table from me, talking about smiling as she tells us that the Student Council rejected our idea for a “Purple Prom.”

“I’m really sorry, Avery,” she says to me, all solemn and sweet. “I know how much you guys wanted this, but the prom committee really wants to go with the theme ‘The Time of Your Life.’ They really want to play that old Green Day song.”

“But that song is like a hundred years old,” I argue. “It’s prehistoric. Why can’t we do something from this century?”

She just shrugs and glances down at the take wood table in the middle of the Drama room. I stare over her shoulder at a giant poster of Wicked on the wall as she says, “Look, I tried, but the committee was practically unanimous with their decision. I’m sorry, but it’s a no.”

Madison lifts her head up and I meet her ocean-colored eyes. All I can do is stare at my girlfriend.

My girlfriend.

 

——————

That’s it. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to work my way through a bottle of wine and forget that I even wrote anything for NaNoWriMo.

How did you do?

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Mortification Monday

Note: the entry below may be even more mortifying than last week’s underwear episode. As much as I wanted to, I did not edit anything out.

2/23/94

 

Dear Diary,

So much to tell-my major crush on Jimmy is still on! Though Tiffany scared him off with a note. In the note there were 2 people on top of each other and Jimmy + my name under it. At lunch Tracy went over to ask Jimmy out for me. She told him I liked him& I wanted to ask him out. He aid if I didn’t sent her out to ask him out the answer is no. I think that he likes me but he’s playing hard to get. Anyway I have another crush on Joslyn’s (my best friend) boyfriend! I’m hot for his bod! If they breakup I’m gonna ask him out. Jos & Steven were going out until one day Steve and Jos were frenching and he bit her lip and she dumped him.

I found out that Melanie and a bunch of my friends smoke. I don’t care but I’m surprised. I was an acolyte at church and I got an 8 on band Olympic. Yeah! I also got a letter from my pen-pal Megan in Michigan! I am glad she wrote me. We had a duck and cover tornado drill today in 1st. I hated it. I held Spike the Hamster. I am off my crutches since Friday and I am also on the track team. Mom went to talk to Mrs. Anderson (track, basketball, volleyball and country line dancing coach) about my ankles.

I can’t really think of much to say. But I’m in LOVE with Jimmy and George.

Love,

Danielle
PS- Tiff and I have as notebook with each other.

Notes:

1. To make it clear, Joslyn is now with George, not Steven, though I recall harboring a crush on Steven for years until he just disappeared one day.

2. 1st period was Biology or Life Sciences and I was in charge of feeding/ taking care of all the assorted animals every day. We never did actual work in class, just science crosswords and word searches.

3. That note thing happened to other people in  middle school, right?

4. And now that I think of it, Jimmy was not playing hard to get. He probably wasn’t interested.

 

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Inspiration Playlist Volume 1, Track 4: “Bukowski”

This week’s inspirational song is a wee bit darker than last week’s School House Rock jam.

“Bukowski” is probably my favorite Modest Mouse song. It also doesn’t hurt that back when I lived in Boston, one of my favorite bars was Bukowski Tavern because it offered really cheap burgers and 99 types of beer, which is pretty fitting since Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife” in 1986.

Woke up this morning and it seemed to me,
that every night turns out to be
A little more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he’s a pretty good read.
But God who’d wanna be?
God who’d wanna be such an asshole?
God who’d wanna be?
God who’d wanna be such an asshole?

The end of NaNoWriMo is in sight. Raise your glass and give a toast to inspiration.

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Bad Poetry Friday

Happy late Thanksgiving! Before you try and work off your third slice of pumpkin pie with some Black Friday shopping,  here is another bad poem.

 

Untitled (c. 1997)

What did Van Gogh know?
He never really fell in love
except for that whore
he cut his ear off for
I want something more
than a one time fling
I’d like to feel close to you
I’m always on the outside
looking in on your portrait.

Notes:
This is a blatant rip-off of a Lisa Loeb/Jewel playlist I had going.

I knew nothing about Van Gogh except he was mentioned in a Lisa Loeb song.

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NaNoWriMo Week 3 Check In & 2011 Excerpt

Hello Chickens Turkeys!

We’re well over 2/3 done with that NaNoWriMo Beast. Are you still alive? If you need some advice to keep rolling, I’ve got  a few words for you: keep that butt in the chair! It might be sore, but you can do it! Some fools are already done and bragging about it. If they weren’t so amazeballs I’d hate them.

I am. I’ve barely eeked out 33k, but I’m counting on my household to fall into a turkey coma tomorrow so that I can pound out a sh*tload more words.

And since I promised to share the opening of my Year 3 NaNoWriMo story with you (and because I love to humiliate myself), this is my YA project known as “This Doesn’t Deserve a Title Because it is Really Sh*tty and No One in Their Right Mind Will Ever Read This.” Catchy, huh? And those 21 words counted toward last years 50k.

Last year’s novel wasn’t a complete waste. I found a few salvageable bits and it gave me an idea for my current WIP which is a Death Row Road Trip Romance and unlike anything I’ve ever written.

“TDDaTBiiRSaNOiTRMWERT” is a contemporary YA about a teenager who hides her poverty from her rich boyfriend. It’s pretty much a ripoff of Pretty in Pink, only there’s an epileptic dog.

CHAPTER 1

Libby was not technically a thief. Stealing toilet paper from the bathroom in the teacher’s lounge wasn’t a crime if you were so broke you couldn’t afford to shell out two bucks for a four pack of single-ply tissue. The warning bell rang and Libby hurriedly stuffed two rolls of double-ply–the teachers at Orange High School had very high standards for toilet paper—into her worn black backpack. Ordinarily she would have just pilfered the paper from a student bathroom, but Orange High used the jumbo rolls that were locked in cases on the sides of bathroom stalls. It was impossible to steal those- they didn’t fit in a bag. Libby hadn’t even zipped up the bag yet when the door to the faculty bathroom swung open revealing Vice Principal Morris.

“Ms. Carter, is it? What are you doing in the faculty lounge?” The bell rang again and the vice principal continued, “Why aren’t you in 6th period?”

Libby was frozen in fear. What was she supposed to say? She couldn’t tell Morris the truth. The wicker basket on the counter next to the sink gave her an idea. “The girl’s bathroom in C-wing was out of tampons and this was the closest bathroom. I’m sorry, but it was an emergency.” She gestured toward the back of her denim skirt. Period troubles always worked on male teachers. Pulling it on a female administrator was a risk Libby had no choice but to take.

Vice Principal Morris scowled, revealing even more frown lines on her weathered face. She didn’t trust Libby Carter. In her experience, students who transferred mid-year were always trouble, regardless of the reason for transfer. “You could have visited the school nurse. I’m sure she could have given you the feminine products you needed. Instead you trespassed in the teacher’s lounge and as the bell we just heard indicates, you are late to class. Come with me, now, young lady. I’ll give you a late pass to show your teacher as well as your ticket to detention today.”

Libby started to move toward the door but the toe of one of her black army boots connected with the large metal garbage can and Libby lurched forward causing her backpack to fall from her hands. One of the rolls of toilet paper spilled out of the bag and landed in front of Morse’s black patent leather heels.

“Theft, too, Ms. Carter? That’s detention through the week. It would appear that you are starting your school year at Orange High on the wrong foot. Your first day here and already you’ve racked up a detention.”  The vice principal reached down and picked up the roll of paper and tossed it into the trash can and turned to leave. She hadn’t spotted the second roll nestled in with Libby’s Chemistry textbook.

Come back next week to see the start of this year’s craptastic NaNoWriMo work of art! Also, tell me how NaNoWriMo is going for you.

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Mortification Monday

Note: I’m about to share my most mortifying moment ever. I’ve only ever told one person about this and she laughed. Please be nice.

2/13/94

Dear Diary,

I’m worried, upset, and bored. I’m worried about what happened in Sunday School. See, near the end I looked under the table and there was a pair of blue underwear. They were near my seat. After Sunday School, a bunch of us were joking around about the underwear. When I told mom she said they (the teachers) could have put it under there as a joke. It could have been in someone’s pant leg.

It could have come from my pant leg. I also have a blue pair and since it was near me I’m afraid that people might think it was mine. It may be.

I get off restriction tonight. I can’t play softball for a month. My pen pal has only written me once. I can’t write her again until she writes me back. I’ve written her 3 times. I made my Valentines today. I also worked on my horse collage and finished it. I wish I could run, ride my bike, or do something outside. I wish to do something destructive.

 

Love, 

Danielle

 

Notes:

1. It seems like I was always in trouble or on restriction (grounded).

2. That sprained ankle is really cramping my style.

3. Now that I shared my most mortifying moment I feel better. In retrospect it wasn’t that bad. Yes, that was my underwear that fell out of my pant leg. Yes, I was wearing dirty pants. But it could have been worse: it could have fallen out while I was in church in front of people. Now I always make sure to check my pants before I put them on.

 

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Inspiration Playlist Volume 1, Track 3 “Conjunction Junction”

Hello fearless writing friends! How goes NaNoWriMo? It took me about four 2500+ word days to catch up, so as of yesterday I was caught up with a sexy 27,000 words. Now I’m stuck again, but that’s okay. I have a new jam to get me out of my writing funk.

While brainstorming songs for my Inspiration Playlist on my commute I started humming a classic that always makes me smile. How many of you remember School House Rock?  My all-time favorite song of theirs was “Conjunction Junction.”

Conjunction Junction

 

You may also want to unpack your adjectives or brush up on your prepositions.

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Bad Poetry Friday

Another one written for a friend.

 

Hillary (7/29/00)

Sipping mocha lattes on Broadway
watching hippies, hipsters, and homeless men
with our heavy hearts
holding hands
trying not to think about
tomorrow
next week
next year
holding onto each second
wondering why we chose to walk this path
all we know is that we’re in the right place

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NaNoWriMo Week 2 Check In & 2010 Excerpt

We’re nearly two full weeks into NaNoWriMo and I’m already 5056 words behind. I don’t know about you, but this year NaNoWriMo is kicking my ass. It doesn’t help that Scrivner is missing over 2000 words I wrote yesterday. It makes me want to cry and punch my computer in the face.

My daily word counts will pretty much have to be 2000 words a day if I want to make my goal. Yikes.

How are you doing? Are you on goal? Or are you like me and happen to be wicked behind?

Whatever the case, you’re doing it. You got this.
And I’m sure that anything you’re writing is 10x better than my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel The Good Girl, which was my first attempt into YA lit and is about a high school cross country runner who falls for the wrong guy and her life pretty much spirals out of control. Yeah, it sucks and starts with the cliche of a girl waking up in a hospital.

Prologue

I woke up groggy from a dream I couldn’t seem to remember.    At least it felt like a dream, I didn’t think there was anything else that could explain why my head was so empty and throbbing they way it was.  I struggled to open my eyes, but my eyelids were heavy with fatigue.  I didn’t remember ever being in this much pain before.   I was finally able to open my eyes and took in the dim and sterile room around me:  the blinking monitors of machines, vases of flowers on the windowsill, and my mom asleep in the chair next to the bed.  I had never been in a hospital room before, but I had seen enough television shoes and medical dramas to know what one looked like.  I was definitely in one.  I tried to rack my brain to remember why I was in a hospital room connected to all of these tubes and machines but my brain wasn’t cooperating.  I started to panic when I tried to move my arms but they were too heavy to move.   I tried to look at my body to make sure everything was still intact but my limbs were paralyzed with fatigue.   I was too tired and weak to continue trying to move.  I closed my eyes and as I started to drift off to sleep a face flashed in my mind.  This was his entirely his fault, everything I had done over the last few months was because of him.  They should have warned me about him but they didn’t.  Warned me about what would happen if I let me guard down and trusted him.  Told me to make a better choice.   Would I have really listened if they had?  Probably not.  But I wish they had at least tried to tell me what he was really like.  Perhaps I would have been better off if he had never noticed me in the first place. I wouldn’t be part of a twisted love triangle.  Maybe this broken heart would be the least of my worries.  Blaming someone for this mess makes it only slightly more bearable.   If I had to blame my broken heart on anyone it would be Noelle.  After all she was the one who introduced me to him in the first place.  But it’s not really her fault, is it?  It was his fault.  He did this.  Then my wind went blank.

Chapter 1

This is going to be embarrassing,  I thought as I laced up my running shoes.  This is probably the worst idea ever.  It had been Noelle’s brilliant idea for us to join the cross country team.  If I didn’t love my best friend so much I probably would have told her to bug off and run by herself.   But I didn’t, which was why I was putting on a tiny track uniform and brand new racing flats.

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