I write a lot. I’m going to post just an excerpt of a thing I wrote recently, to clue you in on what the writing is like. Actually, this writing isn’t characteristic of anything else I’ve ever written, but I like it and it’s short, so it’s going here. I’ll probably update this page with more writing periodically.
Earlier, I was writing my book, and I wrote this section, which is an exchange between my two rival protagonists, reluctant partners. One is a strong-headed warrior woman, the other the loyal sister of her rival. It isn’t even edited – I’ve kept it in perfect form so you can see the stuff I generated out of it.
—Rise of Serentonia, Chapter 11 (The Silent Sister)——
“You’re clinging to your brother as if he’s your life-line, and he’s not. He’s just an arrogant, brutal monster, and if you stick with him, you’ll –”
“You’re the monster!” screamed Day. She found suddenly that the dam had been broken, and now tears fell without halting from her eyes like the rain that fell from the sky, rain that was warm and wet like the blood she was seeing at the corners of her vision, and oh, if she could only break Leaf’s other wrist, or knock down the clock tower with the flood of her fists and show them all, show them all that there was no monster, that they were all wrong, that Flare was…Flare was…
“What?” But Leaf was a mountain, and Leaf would not drown. Day picked her head up as she was deflected and stared at her training partner, whose burnt orange hair was the fire Day could not extinguish, that Flare was struggling to extinguish, and if Flare could not do something, then Day had no chance. No chance. Now she was the one drowning.
–Five of the seven un-named poems that sprung out of this. Should I call them a character study of Day? That would probably be correct.—
I wanted to make you drown.
I wanted to see them all fall down,
watch it all break – London Bridge is
falling down, falling down,
but silver and gold
are no match
for the diamonds that are
the product of my eye-work –
handy man that I am, or vision
expert on the subject of blurry,
foggy, impassable rivulets –
and you thrust your hand into the
waterfall and the shadow casts all the way
down, a shield on the rock face
that does not splatter, even get wet,
no paint greyer than grey,
and you stare.
You stare, unflinching,
and I am the one drowning.
At times I saw
blood and roses and gunfire –
hellfire, too, and the flames
rocked back and forth like a boat
unguided on the thunder seas,
and the captain screamed as the wave
crashed over her and burned,
like lemon vodka
in the Siberian cold
and I, overcome with
classless violence and
vengeance on tongue tips and
verity in my soul…
I swallowed the captain in my
womb, and the sky cleared.
I will not speak.
I have no gift with words, those
to present that will work to
wipe away my watery storms.
I am not lightning,
I am the current
that comes with the thunderous
beating of hearts and other
You say I am a flute,
my melody fights to fly so
No, no, do not romance me –
call me a silent piccolo.
I will not speak.
Such concepts do not lend themselves
to silent sisters and mercenaries
of which I am easily classified
into one, two, both.
You say neither.
(I have started to filter out your flattery.)
I am not the girl
who spoke in turn
and danced to a foxtrot alone
so perfect you forgot
I was dancing, and the lights
on the stage went out, but I still
danced my foxtrot out of view.
See, the audience sat in their seats
arguing – over tap-shoes and ballet,
and I spun and spun, keeping in time,
though my heart beat out a waltz,
and for a second-two-three
I dreamed what it would be
like to see the audience or have
them see me.
I heard that waltz, I let my toes
wander out without how or why,
and for the first time, you looked up,
and my, if I wasn’t the finest one
you had ever seen dancing
in the beat of three.
One two three. Elate.
One two three. Deflate.
One two three. Create.
The room is now empty.
This is a short piece which I wrote in English class when I was supposed to be writing about a distinct memory I have. Ha. Ha. For some context, it fits into my Serentonia series, and it’s really late in the series (book 8 or something horrendous like that), but it’s pretty cute on its own. It’s from the perspective of one of my main characters, Liam, and talks about the Thanksgiving break he spent at his friend May’s house, which he spent with his girlfriend Tasha and the rest of their mutual friends.
I remember that one time. With the leaves and the coffee and the garbage bags that never got used because we were just too busy throwing leaves and plastic cups at each other to actually get any work done on the yard. It wasn’t a day of much importance to anyone living outside of our Riverfront-bubble, but it was the first moment in which I realized how much we meant to each other.
I remember Freddy throwing Lyra and Claude throwing Tasha, and while the girls were getting their very giggly revenge, May and I were downing cups of cider like there was no tomorrow. Locking eyes, grinning like fools, intertwining arms, and throwing back our heads to let our tongues burn and our throats scald, and every time we came up coughing and laughing and wishing we hadn’t done it, but before those thoughts could have any sway we would reach over and refill the cup.
And then later, when the six of us finally realized that our task of raking leaves was unlikely to happen, we made a little stack of them and sat in this odd entanglement of limbs and dyed hair. I didn’t know who was on top of me and whom I was on top of, but it didn’t matter. And we watched the sun shrink over the trees and talked about nothing in particular, until our noses got so cold and our fingers got so numb that we got up and went back inside.
Later, I seem to recall curling up by the fire with more cider and a book, which we took turns reading late in the evening. The book was about a detective and a doctor, and a dog, and maybe a margarita or two, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was the crackle of the fireplace, and the vibrations of our voices, and the touch of hot cider on our wind-beaten hands. What mattered was Claude’s bass and May’s heavy soprano and Lyra’s alto and Freddy’s baritone and Tasha’s light soprano and my tenor. What mattered was when Tasha laid her head on my folded knees, and I undid her braid and let her thick black hair run through my fingers. Lyra fell asleep leaning against the couch, and when Fred started to nod off, Claude decided that we should all go to bed.
In the end, just the three of them went. I stayed on May’s auburn-scarlet rug and ran my fingers through Tasha’s hair and watched as May Harrison read from the book, her silhouette just coherent before the fire. Eventually, May shut the book – the case had been closed. I sat in the living room with May cross-legged and darkened by the fire, and I couldn’t tell what I would do next. If I could have stayed frozen in that scene forever, if May could have picked up another installment and continued reading in her colorful, warm tone, everything would have been perfect.
We stayed there for maybe another half hour, just staring at each other and drinking cider, and it took perhaps that long for me to realize that Tasha was still on my legs, and she was asleep by this point. I felt my neck pop when I turned to Tasha, to make out the indent of her glasses in her hand and the shine of her hair against my shorts. It took a while to move, but I eventually managed to wiggle Tasha into my arms and get into a standing position. I was the first to move, but once I was standing above her, May reached forward, collected the glasses of cider, and moved into her kitchen.
I carried Tasha upstairs, nudged open the door, and deposited her into the queen bed she was sharing with already-sleeping Lyra. Maybe Tasha stirred – if she did, I kissed her on the cheek and stroked her hair before stepping out of the room. I probably told her I loved her. Then, because I don’t know what to do with myself anymore, I hurried back downstairs to see if I could help with anything, or if we could turn back time and go to the leaves and the cider and the living room. May was at her kitchen sink with a cup in her hand, looking as if she was about to wash it out but had gotten stuck. My footsteps alerted her to my presence. For a long moment, we stared at each other and summed up the day. I saw in May Harrison’s eyes the story of the detective and the doctor. I tasted cider as it scorched my insides. I felt the chill of the evening air and heard the crunch of leaves under my feet. Maybe I realized that I had been imagining May’s hand slipping into mine out there in the cold, on that pile of leaves, or maybe I had been imagining the act of imagining it.
I remember May bit her lip, tentative, cautious. She didn’t have to say anything and neither did I. We both knew how to communicate, how to speak without words, and May was more brilliant than I had ever given her credit for. I knew how much she loved Claude, Lyra, Tasha, Fred, and even me. Me most and least of all. Then she smiled that lovely smile that seemed real everywhere except in her blue eyes, passed me without touching me, and vanished up the stairs.
I stood there with smile-less blue eyes ingrained in my head until the grandfather clock chimed midnight and the spell was broken.