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Open Mic!!!

December 2, 2009

I received a ton of mail last week from teen writers everywhere who LOVED my Open Mic feature, so it’s back by popular demand!

To participate, pull out your poems, short story, and novel excerpts and post them in the comment section of this post for everyone to read! Don’t forget – 300 words or less. And feel free to post even if you’re not a teen!

P.S. Since I am currently under a Twitter embargo in an effort to finish book three in the Prophecy series, I’d appreciate it if anyone can post a link on Twitter to the Open Mic post! I want as many people as possible to be able to participate!

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38 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 1:29 am

    This is a poem I wrote last year, well almost two years.

    The Place I Love So Dearly

    The wind blows the wisps of my auburn hair coloured hair against my pale skin,
    wrapping itself around my black frames, a frame of my pale blue eyes through a looking glass.
    The powerful waves wash on the shore in desperation,
    the thunder bellowing its rage,
    the lightning lighting the midnight sky with streaks of bright light,
    the wind blowing its strength with the salty scent of the ocean.
    The cry of seagull, the warning to others.
    The sound of the waves echo in the shells I pick,
    the ones I put close to my ear to listen to the melody of the Ocean I love so dearly.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 11, 2009 7:40 am

      Hi, cedar! I really love this poem. It’s very visual – I can see everything very clearly. Your descriptions are beautifully vivid.

      Would you do me a favor and copy this into this week's Open Mic? I guess I need to start labeling them with the date (sorry about that!), so no one get's confused! I don't want everyone else to miss out on this gorgeous piece…

      MZ

      • December 12, 2009 2:14 am

        Thanks!

        Sure, no problem. 🙂 I’ll try. It takes me a while to figure things out. :/

  2. gushingenthusiasm permalink
    December 4, 2009 1:43 pm

    I absolutely love this idea, and love being to read everyone’s work. =) this is another exert from the piece I posted last week.

    “I slept uneasily that night. I had dreams of Jehovah showing me His wrath for questioning what I was told. I was not one of the sacred left to the Heavenly Kingdom, but an outcast, sitting alone on an island, starving, paying for my sins. I awoke with a start. As I glanced at my alarm clock, I saw I had only five minutes left of sleep before my alarm would have stirred me from my slumber.
    I rose out of bed, and took my morning shower. As I dried off, I noticed my reflection in the foggy full length mirror on the door. In the last few years, my hips had filled out, and combined with my short frame, it gave me a curvy and comfortable look. I liked how my body looked. Supposedly, it was a sin to look at yourself or others in such a way. But, I could never figure out why it was bad to admire the bodies that God gave to us.
    I dried my self completely, and toweled my hair as best I could. I dressed in my simple attire. I put a olive green cardigan over my white fitted button down and jeans. That was one rule I could deal with from the Witnesses. They preferred for you to dress simply. I pulled my long red hair into a sleek pony tail, and fished my glasses out of a pile of clutter next to my bed. I went down to our usual Monday morning breakfast. Mary was always punctual and loved her routines. We ate a silent breakfast, consisting of eggs, bacon, biscuits, oatmeal and orange juice, not unlike any other day. We parted ways, as she headed to tell the world of our faith, and I headed to John Dewey for another day of my high school career. “

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 5, 2009 12:09 am

      Gosh, this piece has a lot of depth. SUCH a strong voice… I’m really enjoying this, even though this particular excerpt has a hint of sadness.

      Thanks for sharing it!

  3. December 3, 2009 11:54 pm

    You guys are great!! =) You should really check out inkpop.com, its awesome.

    This is an excerpt from my WIP temporarily entitled “Mortal Feelings in a Faerie Heart”, Enjoy!

    I strained my eyes to see the courtyard. The heavens provided almost no light due to the clouds that had blown in. My throat convulsed and I clenched my jaw, fingers already gripping the railing, to keep from crying. “Damn you,” came out in a gasp. Why did he have to worry me like this?

    Why was I worried like this? Damian could handle himself better than anyone I had ever known. He was a wolf for crying out loud. But I could blot out the memory of his face, the anger in his eyes, and his words…

    I had tried to blow it off, my own anger still raging. I had walked through the school looking for Chad, ready to wring his neck for what he did to Jessica, but I never found him. Despite feeling like I could easily beat him to a pulp, I couldn’t deny the facts before me. There was something sinister about him. I couldn’t be sure what it was, but to do what he did to Allison and Jessica…

    I beat my fist on the railing so hard a gasped in pain. If something happened to Damian I swear to God I’d—

    “You would what?” A soft, velvety voice wafted past me. My heart raced. It was almost palpable, like the voice was tangling itself through my hair, caressing my neck. No, no, that’s silly. Its just the wind.

    “Keep telling yourself that, love.” Dear Lord, I could swear someone was standing behind me, whispering cold words in my ear. I was afraid to turn, paralyzed with fear. I recognized that voice. Arielle.

    A low laugh made my skin crawl. “Soon, my dear,” it whispered, “soon you won’t even be able to hide in your safe little world. Not even in your own head.” He snickered again. “I own you.”

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 4, 2009 7:35 am

      Very interesting… and dark!

      Thanks for sharing!

  4. Madisyn Kylie permalink
    December 3, 2009 11:07 pm

    Where I am I cannot tell you
    Who they are I can’t apprise
    Do not look for me this evening
    For Fear’s formidable in my eyes.

    My dialogue ambiguous
    But I have hitherto lie
    Even in my vaguest of dialect
    You must sense my hands are tied.

    These behemoths will not harm me
    These deplorable creatures with no face
    Leave for now if you don’t believe me
    But my written vociferation you can’t displace.

    Forgetting I’ve made impossible
    You feel helpless do you not?
    You did not want me anyhow
    They’ve left me here unsought

    I must be getting back now
    To the life you’ve condemned me to lead
    But I must tell you, it enthralls me
    To envisage you languishing for your greed.

    ~Don’t believe there was a certain inspiration for it, was just a Monday, haha. Stopped by to read what I’d missed and saw open mike, and went, “How can I not?” ❤

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 3, 2009 11:11 pm

      This is just… Wow. Really, really impressive.

      I have SUCH respect for people who can write poetry. It’s just something I’ve always been terrible at. What a gift you have.

  5. Kate Coursey permalink
    December 3, 2009 6:09 pm

    I wrote the beginning of this story about 6 years ago (fifth grade) and never finished it, but looking back on it now I’m thinking of revisiting the idea.

    God died on April 3, 1320, in a little gilded casket on his bedside table. That was the only conclusion he could come to, although it is entirely possible, given the circumstances, that it was something else entirely that caused events to unfold the way they did.
    The morning bell sounded over the dim cloisters of Chestfold Abbey. Isaac opened his eyes, vision skewed from the awkward angle at which he lay on the cot, begrudging the daylight that had arrived far too quickly for his liking. Outside a mist of rain blurred past the windows. It was cold, despite the stove tucked in the corner of the room, and he found himself wishing fervently for a hot breakfast or a cup of tea.
    He sat up. The other servants had already dragged themselves out of bed, blinking in the morning light, muttering to one another as they folded the thin blankets at the foot of each mattress. Slowly Isaac pushed himself to his feet. The water basin lay on a nearby table. He plunged his hands into the ceramic bowl and lifted them to his face, allowing its frigid contents to sluice down his neck, washing away all traces of the grogginess that pervaded his body.
    “Isaac.”
    He turned. Caleb had approached from behind, his hair disheveled and matted, dark circle prominent beneath his eyes.
    “Hey.” Isaac dried his face. “Have you heard anything? I fell asleep.”
    “Nothing,” Caleb said. “Might be dead already, it’s hard to tell. The Abbot won’t say a word.”
    “When will it open?”
    He shook his head. “I dunno. I checked, I really did, but nobody will talk.”
    For a moment Isaac was silent. He had stayed awake as long as he could the night before, hands clasped together, praying that God might bring deliverance for the captives.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 3, 2009 7:03 pm

      Ohhhhh! The Abbot? The captives?

      Definitely want to know more when reading this one!

  6. December 3, 2009 4:42 pm

    She’s sitting under the roof of an old, broken-down factory.

    There haven’t been anything there in over 10 years now, its one of the old scary places where you can see shadows within shadows, feel someone breathing down your neck, but when you look, there are nobody. Just the cold air.

    And it was certainly cold this night. But she doesn’t notice. She doesn’t care. She haven’t been able to care for anything other that it for the last two years.
    She’s been in heaven and hell countless times the past years. Ever since the first one. She remembers it vaguely, like it was from a distant past, or even another lifetime.
    She was given a needle. She didn’t ask what it contained. She didn’t care. She just thought that was a way out if the hell she was in. Or at least, thought she was in.

    She had been the ideal girl back then: tall, blonde hair, good figure, smart and funny. But she had secretly struggled with depression. Her life felt pointless, she felt no joy nor any sorrow. She felt like a line that slowly and un-noticeably went lower and lower.
    And that was when she had the choice.

    She took the needle. And after that she felt perfect. She was in heaven.

    But after a while she faded away. Everything she once were, were gone. She is no longer accepted in heaven, because she can’t get her hands on enough money. But whatever she can get keeps her from hell. It allows her to exist, but only like a shadow.

    Like the shadow within shadows.

    this one turned out quite depressing, but I’d love it if you comment

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 3, 2009 5:20 pm

      Wow… you’re in Germany, right? (or did I get that wrong?)

      If so, I can’t even fathom that you could write this in English. I promise you my attempts at writing in any language other than English would be laughable. Silly American!

      Anyway, this has very strong atmosphere… I really enjoyed it.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      • December 4, 2009 3:16 am

        im norwegian actually : )
        thank you, it means so much that a published writer that I enjoy reading so much actually takes time to keep contact with her fans ❤

      • malovise permalink
        December 4, 2009 5:48 am

        nah, I’m norwegian 😉
        thank you, it means so much that you take time to have contact with your fans all over the world, you really are one amazing person and writer

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        December 4, 2009 7:34 am

        Well your support of Prophecy means so much to me, it’s the least I can do! Plus, I just think you’re an amazing group of people!

        And you're Norwegian! That still counts as amazing! You wrote something in a language other than your own. I'm so jealous!

  7. December 3, 2009 2:13 am

    A short work in progress I have sitting on my whiteboard begging to be typed. Oh how sad it is.

    I looked around scared, feeling like a little neurotic dog, like the one Sydney had that died in 8th grade. I was gagged and bound and scared. I looked around my eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness. I squealed like a little piggy as lights popped on and a figure came falling into the room onto the ground. I blinked and squirmed my way over to the figure. I squealed again even louder seeing it was Sydney. I nudged her with my head, trying to get her up. I continued to squeal. Nothing. I squealed louder trying to say her name. My eyes widened. She was ok. She had to be okay. I hiccupped and lay on the floor next to her. She was okay. She had to be okay. I just kept repeating that to myself. I closed my watering eyes and fell asleep next to her….

    I woke up to the sound of squealing. I rolled and saw a rolling and squealing Sydney. I inched over to her squealing. I stopped as a door opened and a thin smoky air wafted in. I looked at Sydney with panic in my eyes. We both started inching towards the opposite wall. I squealed louder feeling my ankle being nipped. I fell to the floor backing up squealing. Her eyes widened but she didn’t bother to help me. The smoky air continued to come at me and something continued to knaw on my ankle. I cried and squealed in pain trying to escape it. I continued to inch back until I finally rammed into the wall. I cried as the thing chewed on my ankle hardly. Sydney looked around and saw water on the floor. She smirked and kicked it with her foot causing it to fly through the air. The smoke hissed backing away. I slumped against the wall continuing to cry. Sydney looked at me and sighed. She went behind me and started to work on my knots with her hands.

    A wee bit over 300 words but if rounded its 300.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 3, 2009 8:47 am

      I enjoyed reading this, hon! Thanks for posting!

  8. Indigo permalink
    December 3, 2009 12:07 am

    I’m so tired
    melt this body
    leave no soul
    exhaust through the eyes
    of no one

    Tired
    sullen
    more than dark days
    melt me to the core
    farther, farther
    to where no one knows
    no one can touch
    nor feel

    Privacy is a privilege
    a mistake
    left for those who are haunted
    lost in the otherworld
    of themselves

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 3, 2009 12:38 am

      Well, you know I’m going to say I love this. How can I not?

  9. December 2, 2009 11:03 pm

    The very start of my NaNo project – I already posted it on my blog in the full prologue, but I thought it’d be okay to put it here. (And yes, I know it’s 304 words, but hopefully that’s okay in order to have a complete finishing sentence).

    Even with death upon her, the end imminent, Lady Sorcha Darrow was still beautiful.

    She had fought for two days, but ultimately she had lost. In the end death would always emerge triumphant. And this day she was its prize.

    “They will come for me,” she croaked. Her voice was as dry as her mouth, her lips cracked like the earth at the height of a hot summer. “They will come for me. Soon.”

    Her confidant in all her secrets, the ageing cook of her husband’s household, watched Sorcha struggle to sit up. Her hair, that soft white-blond colour that one usually sees only in very small children, was matted against fair skin slicked with sweat. Her blue eyes were still bright with the fever that continued to ravage her body.

    The pregnancy as a whole had been hard on her, her slender figure becoming even more waif-like as her growing stomach swelled further. But even as the child acted more like a parasite and she its host, Sorcha had endured, aglow with talk about how this one would be a boy and how she loved him already. She felt it in her heart, she had said.

    The birth had been worse. Much worse.

    The babe – it was a boy, after all – had died not long after entering this world. Tiny and weak it lay there, silent as the grave while his mother wept and wailed, begging unseen people to help her, for someone to come and save her baby.

    “I really should have known not to have made a bargain with them,” Sorcha said. Sanity had finally returned from the hold of the fever, although only long enough to let her say goodbye. “They never just grant boons with no consequences. Why should I have been any different to them?”

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 2, 2009 11:40 pm

      Oh, man… This is GOOD, Catharine! Really GOOD!

      I feel so honored that you shared it here. How far into it are you?

      • December 3, 2009 12:17 am

        25k/ a third into the first draft. Which is cool. 🙂

        You don’t know how happy your comments made me just now. As you know, Prophecy (and how much I adored it) was one of the big things that made me decide to go historical (and Victorian) for this story.

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        December 3, 2009 12:37 am

        Well, I totally love the darkness of it. I’m seeing a dimly-lit room, maybe a fire… It’s very vivid! Go, you!

  10. J.J. permalink
    December 2, 2009 8:41 pm

    This is slightly over 300 words. sorry:)

    Elianna broke into a full run once she hit the shoreline, she didn’t have to avoid the water so she didn’t. It was a relief to feel it splash her legs as they began to burn from the strain she putt on her muscles. The house had disappeared completely from view before Elianna remembered she wasn’t supposed to be out alone anymore. In her excitement, she’d completely forgotten. She turned to go back, but it was too late. Nenad was on his way to her, and even from a distance she could make out the anger in his posture. She ran to him as quickly as she dared, and as she got closer she could see the thunder in his expression. He was more than angry, he was furious.

    “I’m really sorry…I forgot—” Elianna said, but Nenad didn’t allow her to finish. He grabbed her arm and squeezed with bone shattering force. Elianna’s arm, where he held it, dissolved. Yet, in some bizarre anomaly, every other part of her stayed whole. Nenad’s eyes grew wide with shock. He dropped his hand, and her arm, where it had been held, became whole again. “How did you do that?” he demanded. Elianna turned her back on him, not wanting him to see he’d hurt more than her body. Her morning had started out so pleasant. She hadn’t been expecting his rough treatment outside of a designated sparring period. Not anymore.

    Nenad grabbed Elianna’s arm again, trying to force her face him. Where he touched, once more, gave way to the pressure. “Stop it!” He yelled, “Explain yourself!” Elianna turned to look at him “Thanks for the shoes.” She said, as she stormed past. She had no explanation for what was happening. She only knew he would never be able to hurt her again. Not physically, anyway, not if she knew it was coming.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 2, 2009 9:04 pm

      Ohhhh! Interesting!

      This is a very intriguing premise already. I want to know who these two people are, how Nenad has the ability to dissolve Elianna’s arm, and why she’s not supposed to be out alone.

      Nicely done!

  11. December 2, 2009 8:32 pm

    Just something that I’ve been working on lately. 🙂 Love this idea, by the way!

    “I really think you should have some of this hot dog,” she breathed.
    It was in her voice. Danny could hear the fear that coated her hot-dog ridden suggestions. She was afraid for him. It all suddenly became clear- she wasn’t messed up in the head, she just wanted to get him down from the ledge.
    “I know what you’re doing, and it’s a waste of time. The only way I’m getting down from here is by throwing myself off of here until I’m a puddle of bones on the hood of somebody’s car.”
    His words terrified both of them. Her steady breaths turned labored and trembling. Rocks scuffled around and he prayed that she wasn’t approaching him. He didn’t need anymore ammunition to jump than he already had.
    “Look,” she started in a cautious voice. “I just don’t think it’s wise to commit suicide on an empty stomach. Think of the people who will be ripping your body open for drug tests and stuff. You don’t want to disappoint them, do you? Just eat some of this to give them some peace of mind. So when they do study your organs, they can find the hot dog and think ‘Oh, at least he didn’t die on an empty stomach.’”
    Danny was stunned at the utter absurdity of her words. Though his mind raced quickly for a bitter response, he could find none. How do you answer to that? How do you possibly rectify that kind of statement with a reply?
    Still reeling in her ignorance, he couldn’t help but finally turn his head to look at her. She stood watching him- hood pulled up over her sleek blonde hair and a half-eaten hot dog in her right hand. She blinked up at him.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 2, 2009 9:03 pm

      I don’t know if you intended this to be funny, but it is, in a wry kind of way! It made me laugh, but I wanted to know more, too, like what drove Danny to the ledge.

      Thanks for posting!

  12. December 2, 2009 2:42 pm

    Here’s an excerpt from my young adult novel in progress, commments welcome! 🙂

    “Does it have anything to do with… a guy?” He asks, his smile teasing and his eyes twinkling conspiratorially.
    I blush in spite of myself. “What happens if I say yes?” I ask cautiously.
    “Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere!” Keith shouts triumphantly, jabbing his finger in the air in victory. “So, who is this lucky gentleman?”
    His name is Luke. He’s new in town, just moved here a few weeks ago. He moves around a lot, from place to place, doesn’t stay in one place for very long.”
    “Like a nomad, a wanderer,” Keith says, nodding. “Go on, go on.”
    “He’s very… Secretive,” I say slowly, trying to figure out how to sum up Luke in just a few short words. “He’s mysterious, aloof.”
    “Oh, the tall, dark, and handsome type, the best kind,” Keith says.
    “I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. He’s just… Different then other people.”
    “Different? In what ways?”
    Besides the way his eyes seem to pull me in and how it feels like he’s looking right through me into my soul and how he seems to be able to read me like a book, that’s pretty much it, except —
    I look down at my hands again before speaking, unsure of how to continue but knowing that if I don’t the secret that I’ve been forced to keep for weeks now has the potential to eat me alive. Finally, gathering up my courage, I look back up at the Keith, looking him right in the eye as I say, my voice barely above a whisper, “I don’t think he’s…human.”

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 2, 2009 4:16 pm

      Love this dialogue. Feels very authentic to me, and I can picture everything while it’s happening, too.

      Great job! You have ot tell us when you’re finished with the book!

      • December 5, 2009 12:40 am

        Thanks Michelle!

        You have no idea how happy your comments make me! I always worry about how my dialogue sounds in my writing! I’m glad you like the story! My goal is to finish writing the book by January 1st, 2010, but we’ll see! If you or anyone else wants to read anymore of the story, (currently titled “The Stranger”) I’ll be posting chapters as I write them on FictionPress.com at: http://www.fictionpress.com/~ellaink

        Thanks again for your lovely comments, Michelle! 🙂

  13. December 2, 2009 1:44 pm

    Great poem, Porphyria. It feels like it could be a little longer–maybe another stanza, but I really really like it. I love how you give the emotions personality.

  14. December 2, 2009 1:02 pm

    woops linve four is guilt not guild… lol

  15. December 2, 2009 1:00 pm

    Yayy new poem posting time : )

    My regrets fill this shallow basin
    And begin to spill over,
    Because of the faucet I refuse to turn off.
    My good friend guild has returned–
    So that I may bare my share
    Of his weight.

    He brings his friend despair
    Who shows me the error of my ways.
    I want them to leave me,
    But they never will, for always
    I am left with their weight and hollowness.

    It is I who turned the faucet on,
    Why does it remain so?
    I pull myself from the basin–
    Just as my wings disintegrate.

    Comments are EXTREMELY welcome : )

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 2, 2009 1:26 pm

      Oh, mannnn. I like this even better than last week’s.

      Then again, I can SO relate.

      Very nicely, done!

    • Rhia Raye permalink
      December 2, 2009 1:31 pm

      Very lovely! Perfectly executed.

    • December 11, 2009 1:17 am

      I really like this poem of yours, Porphyria. I love the emotional feelings that are brought out in the imagery you have chosen.

      This is my favourite line: “My regrets fill this shallow basin
      And begin to spill over, Because of the faucet I refuse to turn off.”
      ~I can relate to this line (or couple of lines) I have too many regrets that I never let go, the beginning of trying to hard.

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