Christmas in the Country

A Three Part Story, Accompanied by Three Photos

They put in the effort, but it does sometime seem strained, like they forgot they were supposed to be trying, so, of course, I don’t feel at home out here. It’s like our dinners in the country are something of a different world compared to those in the city. I do feel like I standout when I’m here. Like a familiar guest.

Part 1: The Tree Read More

Writers’ Salon, No. 13

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Prompt • One Man’s Trash
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Write a short piece inspired by the prompt (about 600 words). Anything and everything is welcome—poems! fiction! non-fiction! lists! soliloquies!

Do what you feel, post it unedited.

Part I — Leading Up Tuesdays

Tuesday mornings the putrid black bags line the slim Brooklyn sidewalks, stuffing walkers to a single file row to pedestrianize on, creating a weekly-practiced ballet of shuffling feet as the occasional passer-by intrudes on the oncoming commuter’s space. Every Tuesday, every week, the city turns the mornings into an unbearable medieval town of refuge, kicking-off the day with a burn of the nostrils that grows into the awful hatred of neighbors. Every Tuesday, every week, the morning overflows with the unwanted.

As the elements circle back towards the forewarning early November chills, Robbie knows his time is shorter by the Tuesday. Soon, mid-December will freeze his bones, uncaring of the layers his weekly scavenging has produced, unapologetic to the weathered, sun-browned, Costa Rican skin that will ash, crack, and ache. The whiskers on his upper-lip build into a bristly broom’s head, creating a cheap, aluminum armor that only slightly keeps the cold and the stink from reaching his brain. But like the endless rotating winters, Robbie has performed this decoration ritual for over three decades, and he knows that if plans are met in time, he will regain his corner kingdom to brave the shivers and the sniffles like the proud conquerors he imagines his ancestors to be—like the proud conqueror he imagines himself to be. Read More

Writers’ Salon, No. 12

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Prompt • Eclipse
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Write a short piece inspired by the prompt (about 600 words). Anything and everything is welcome—poems! fiction! non-fiction! lists! soliloquies!

Do what you feel, post it unedited.

To her, New York City still didn’t feel like home.

She had moved into a cramped apartment in Brooklyn only two months ago, taking up the spare in a three-bedroom, four-story, walk-up that was occupied now by five humans and had  only just been emptied the day before she would settled her mattress and suitcases in the space. Her knowledge of the subway system was limited to the L train and the NQR line—the only trains she had taken up to this point—the only trains that shuttled her to-and-from her two part-time jobs and her bare room. The moments she felt some semblance of joy came from the slight glances towards the tips of the skyscrapers, and she was reminded why. Read More

Craft Exercise #1

Pick ten people you know and write a one-sentence description for each of them. Focus on what makes each person unique and noteworthy.

N.D. – His limbs and his length resemble an age-battered tie, wrinkled and slouched on a plastic hanger, draping his arms around you as he hugs a hello; ironically, an accessory he probably never once wore in his life.

N.F. – With his broad shoulders stretching shirts thin, thunderous thighs and calves to match, it’s surprising once he opens up with such a small and skinny smile, on such a childlike, emerging face.

K.F. – The conviction in his walk and the confidence in his stance makes believers of anyone who oversees the delicacy of his frame, of his oxford-clad structure. Read More

Craft Exercise #3

Write a 300-word description of your bedroom. Think about the items you have or the other elements of your room that give the best clues about who you are or who you want others to think you are.

“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

~ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1

IMG_0895The desk drawers are bare and the closet is nearly empty, save for a few button-downs I want to keep wrinkle free and a jacket that is way too puffy to fit in any of the bags… whatever will I do with that jacket? When I first unloaded my few belongings in this room, exactly ten months ago, the foam green walls gave me headaches and that jacket was not yet mine, it hung at some sports store in a mall, waiting for the June winter to arrive so the jacket could find me. Those days have come-and-gone, today it’s a beaming 92 degrees outside, but my next move is to a city already sprinkled in light snow and tormented by biting winds — the jacket is a nuisance today, come next week it will be a blessing.  Read More

Night Terrors

An age-old terror during a too-important month: Darkness.

The night terrors are getting worse. Night after night the terror seeps in. With no say to escape the darkness, with no way to run away from it. He’s no longer just being infested by them anymore, he is subconsciously inviting them.

Last night, while dreaming of the beautiful girl, he remembers walking towards the closet, in a strange house. He can’t see much through the stuffy shadows, but still feels the strangeness. Black walls, black fittings, black typewriter on the black desk, black art on the walls. The moon outside is bouncing light through a black window, black light. The snow outside paints a winter wonderland, but inside it feels musty and warm. At first he walked into the closet to grab a gift he had for the beautiful girl, all along, subconsciously, knowing there is something wrong inside the closet. Something dark. Unwanted. He starts hearing the walls shaking, words won’t come, he feels the closet wanting to devour him whole. The jet-black mouth wrapping around the walls, the teeth closing down. Read More

NaNoWriMo: My Short Story “Three Years” Part II

National Novel Writing Month starts this weekend. Here’s a taste of what I will be writing.

Here is Part II from the first story I ever wrote, from Senior year in high school, which will be the basis for the novel. It’s a very personal story, and really not that great since it was my first, but here it is, in all its glory and high school angst, un-edited for your enjoyment. Let me know what you think. (Click HERE to read Part I)

It was a year into my career at Prep, and I have learned how to get around things, how to get around the rules. So it’s another break in, but this time it was into the theater, not to go fill my stomach with cookies and milk, but to fill my head with the secure words Josh fed me time and time again. We easily walk into Haas; that wasn’t a problem, the door is always open. We walk into the theater and he shows me the stairs behind the stage to go up onto the catwalk. We climb of course, even with the small amount of liquor I had in me, this was still a bad idea, but I didn’t care. We were sitting on the springy metal catwalk, and there were other people there, jumping around, being idiots, but Josh and I just sat there and talked: talked about my Kelly, his Sydney, and about our problems. Seeing how bout our relationships were so similar I never understood why mine ended and his is still living. Right then, sitting together, just talking, about my problems, his problems, music, random shit, this was all too similar to the thousands of times that we have done it before. Then I realized he was a friend, a great friend, a close friend to talk to and have forever. He was always there, on the catwalk, in my room, and the many times in his room. He took my pathetic advice on his problem with Sydney, I took his advice on Kelly, oh Kelly… oh Alex…

Alex! I had completely forgotten her; I was too busy thinking that I lost Alex in the hundreds of people that had showed up at this little “get-together.” So I lost her, she is probably with some else, having fun. So I head upstairs, to get away from all the commotion mostly, but to also look for something, even though I don’t know what that something is. So I see a chair, grab it, and take it out to this peaceful unused balcony on the second floor. I open my new beer, pour it into the red plastic cup, and sit. I close my eyes, thinking, listening… Read More

NaNoWriMo: My Short Story “Three Years” Part I

National Novel Writing Month starts this weekend. Here’s a taste of what I will be writing.

Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResThis coming month I’ll be participating in the National Novel Writing Month. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a project which pushes you to sit down and write a novel, from start to finish, during the month of November. Keeping on schedule, about 1,500 words per day, to reach a 50,000 word deadline on November 30th. I’ve only written short stories, so going for a novel seems like a pretty fun project to take on.

Here is Part I from the first story I ever wrote, from Senior year in high school, which will be the basis for the novel. It’s a very personal story, and really not that great since it was my first, but here it is, in all its glory and high school angst, un-edited for your enjoyment. Let me know what you think.

Three Years

As I walked around, with a beer in my hand and my eye on a girl, I start to realize all the people at this party; all my friends and class mates, pretty much every senior is here with friends or dates. Everyone here is having fun; it is like a movie party, with no drama, and everyone just having a great time and saying goodbye. I know there is music playing and people screaming, but all I can hear is this one song playing over and over in my head, and all I can remember at the time is that one day…

“She said I think I’ll go to Boston,

I think I’ll start a new life,

I think I’ll start it over, where no one knows my name,

I’ll get our of California, I’m tired of the weather,

I think I’ll get a lover and fly them out to Spain.

I think I’ll go to Boston” (1)

I was getting out of the car and walking towards the huge building we parked next to with my aunt. It was the first time I had set foot on this campus, and I knew it would not be the last. There were dead bugs everywhere, cicadas, I believe; that was the year they swarmed every inch of grass. The street leading to the main building looked like a carpet of dead bugs. I didn’t know if this is to show me what the next couple of years here at Georgetown Prep would be like, but it was not a great first impression of the place. I didn’t know if this was the place I would drift by for the next three years, but at the moment I felt like one of those bugs; dead and stuck somewhere I didn’t belong.  Read More

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