Friday, November 12, 2010

National Novel Writing Whaa--?

So, I'm kinda firing up the writing kiln again, and it feels

I can't remember if I posted the story I wrote for my creative writing class on here, but I submitted it in revised form and I feel like it's starting to shape up.
I would love to turn it into a book.

Also, some friends and I came up with a friggin sweet idea for a children's book--photographs by my lovely lanky husband v2.0, story by moi, moi-meme et je!

Plus, I picked up a fun little pre-Christmas gig at my friend's artisan jewelry store/gallery, which will usher me into ski season!! For which I'm duly stoked. Skiing! Woot! Also, Zumba-ing my friggin' heart out lately and exercise always makes me feel invincible---powerful, strong, happy!
So, yeah.

Now if only I could grow the stones to email or worse, call, my ex and ask him to negotiate on some financial/travel matters for the kiddos....
Thanks, but, I'd rather have a speculum shoved up my inflamed urethra!
(believe me, not as fun as it sounds!)
(and did I actually spell "speculum" wrong, or does blogger just not have it on file?)

Ok, in honor of the impending ski season, here is a poem I jotted out today in 10 minutes in class. It is done in the Pantoum format, which basically means that lines 2 and 4 from the first stanza become lines 1 and 3 of the following stanza, and so on...also, they are 4-line stanzas.

Hit it.

Ski Season

The chairlift sways
Up I go
The wind cuts through me
Up and up

Up I go
So I can come down
Up and up
So slow, so cold.

I will come down
so fast and then--
slow and cold
I'll go back up.

So fast I swish
from left to right
Slow and cold
From bottom to top.

From left to right
I zig and zag
From bottom to top
I slowly ride up.

I zig and zag
down the slope
I slowly ride up
til the light fades out.

Ok, so I departed from the exact format a bit here and there, but I LOVED writing with such circular, repetitious flow!
I will do revisions on this one, definitely.
The theme fits the format very well, don't you think?
The textbook describes this format is something that makes you revisit an idea and skiing is just that--round and round, suffering through the slow crawl to the top, so you can race down the snow!
I will spice up my language choices to give better visuals and tighten up some of the places where a line seems too long.
Mostly, it was fun.
It was maybe the first time I felt the thrill of the Math that is the invisible structure of poetry...

Ok, if you have any time left, here is my revision of that story, which I have now confirmed I did NOT yet post here:

They stood with throngs of people moving around them in at least two directions, his hands slipping on the handles of the heavy duffel bag in one hand, wilting tickets in another. He stood before her, agitated but tongue-tied.

“Grand Central Station.” He paused, eyes flickering over their surroundings. “We’re a walking cliché.” He attempted a smile, but it came out more like a grimace.

“Nothing about this is cliché,” she said. He nodded, mouth forming a straight line.

“So what do we do next?”

“We already talked about that. Nothing.”

“Yeah.” He paused, opened his mouth, then closed it again, handing her the duffel.

“Don’t forget to write?”

She sighed, snatched the tickets from his dangling arm. “Enough with the clichés.” Her tired eyes had hardened, willing him to stay out—far outside of her. She was not only in a hurry to get onto her train, she was in a hurry to not be seen with him; it wouldn’t do anything for her reputation to be seen with a civilian, especially one so young.

She glanced at the clock, the ticket. Her body shifted almost imperceptibly away from him, the precursor to a step.

“Don’t go.”

“Jim.” A sigh, laced with impatience.


“Jim. We decided.”

“I want to un¬-decide, then! I want to—I want to…” He swallowed hard, and started to back away. He was angry, ready to fight for her, ready to beg, but the look on her face stopped him cold. Time passed like a fun-house mirror, each second a lifetime.

He said her name softly, then.

“Rachael.” Like a prayer, or a wish made on a falling star.

She turned away from him, willing herself to melt into the swarm of uniformed bodies making their way with purpose around them. She pressed forward, every step feeling like the future engulfing her, when an arm reached through the shield of bodies and stopped her progress. Again she found herself face to face with the boy she had pretended to love.

“Ok, Jimmy. Ok. Say your piece, but then, really. I have to go or I’ll miss my train.”
He looked defeated then, maybe realizing for the first time that it truly was ending. She would leave, and he would go back to being a lonely boy in a city full of people who didn’t understand him.

She hadn’t understood him, either, but he had interpreted her silence as a warm blanket of soft security enveloping him, instead of the brick wall hiding her true feelings that it really was. Rachael had needed a few weeks to recharge her batteries before heading back into the battlefield and it was just pure luck that they stumbled across each other. He had a private dorm room, and she had been looking for a place to hide from the world, from its ugliness and its heavy demands on her. She was only five years older than Jimmy, but she had thoroughly used up those five years—military training and rapid advancement in this time of unprecedented war. It was as though the whole planet was caving in on itself, each country viciously trying to consume each other country in its path toward the sky.

“Take me with you!” He nearly shouted the words, his eyes widening in disbelief at his own impulsiveness.

Rachael stepped back, sharply glancing around. This isn’t happening, she thought. “Jimmy…you know it doesn’t work like that. You know that can’t happen.”

“But I—I—” She knew which nefarious ‘L-word’ was on the tip of his tongue and she had to act fast.

She braced herself, so she wouldn’t roll her eyes or employ a sarcastic tone. “Jimmy, I will never forget you.” She was so convincingly sincere that she almost believed herself. I should be an actress instead of a soldier, she thought. She kissed him once, lightly, on the neck and ran her fingers across his childishly stubble-covered cheek and turned away again, this time forcing herself to move as though with regret.

Some romantic notion in the boy was satisfied. The tension left his body and his shoulders slumped. He closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath. Even though he was forlorn, his perception of the world remained intact and he was free to move forward through his own life. She had changed him forever, but would forget him as easily as stepping through a door onto a train.

“Captain Moralez.” The nearest soldier saluted her and a hush fell as she stood before the sea of anxious faces.

“At ease, soldiers. We have a long ride ahead. Let’s all just get some rest and I’ll have orders for you at oh-six-hundred.”

Rachael took her seat and pulled out a notebook and a stack of maps. She already knew how unlikely it would be that any of them would make it through the next attack, but until she had different orders, they would proceed with the original plan.


Mr. L said...

I'm glad you're writing (publicly) again!