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Open Mic! And a New Rule!

December 10, 2009

Okay, guys, time for this week’s Open Mic!

Post your poem, short story, or novel excerpt of 300 words or less for everyone to enjoy.

I’m going to try and comment on them all like I normally do, but I am really in the writing cave trying to finish up with book three in the Prophecy series, so no promises. That said, I DO promise to READ every one, and I’m instituting a new rule as follows; if you post, you have to read and comment as least one other entry, k? I think that’s fair, and it will insure that everyone’s work is getting read more widely.

Plus, on nights like tonight when I’m really swamped with my own writing, I won’t feel QUITE so badly if I can only read and not comment.

I’m SO enjoying reading you work, though. Seriously. This has been an amazing experience for me, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to share your writing with me and the world!

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2009 2:00 am

    Here’s an excerpt of a short story or possible novel that I’m working on. (It’s 342 words, I hope that’s ok!)

    I never imagined my 16th birthday would turn out like this.
    In all the years I had fantasized about my sweet 16 birthday, I had always envisioned my best friend Summer and I behind the wheel of my new car (a birthday present), cruising down the highway, not a care in the world. Never had I imagined how the night would really turn out: instead of being out cruising with Summer, I’m stuck in a room with a bunch of important- looking people in suits while waiters weave through the crowd carrying trays laden with flutes of champagne and assorted finger foods. Tonight is the opening night of my aunt Jenna’s art exhibit, “a monumental moment” in her career as a painter, as she likes to constantly remind my uncle Brian and I any chance she gets. So, being her niece, it was kind of expected that I give up celebrating my special day and help her celebrate hers. Not that I minded, (much), I’m just as excited for this exhibit as everyone else, but, seeing as how today is my birthday as well, I would’ve liked to have gotten a birthday breakfast to at least acknowledge that it was my special day too, but aunt Jenna and uncle Brian were just so preoccupied this morning with getting everything ready for the exhibit, that it must’ve slipped their minds (which is totally understandable, just… a little annoying). But that’s not to say that they totally forgot about me. As a matter of fact, just this morning as they were putting on the coffee and making breakfast, they each gave me a hug, wished me happy birthday, and then aunt Jenna handed me a rectangular-shaped box, saying apologetically, “here’s a little something to say sorry for dragging you to this thing tonight, Blythe. I know it’s your birthday and I promise we’ll celebrate as soon as the exhibit’s over, I swear, cross my heart and hope to die,” she made the sign of the cross on her chest with her finger for emphasis.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 17, 2009 7:58 pm

      Nice voice in this, Breezy! I can easily picture the scenes in my mind – both at the gallery and in the kitchen earlier that day. The flashback, especially, isn’t always easy to pull off. Nice job, hon!

      MZ

      PS. Sorry for taking so long to comment!

  2. Ayla permalink
    December 14, 2009 12:30 pm

    Here is MY Excerpt of my novel. Please note that me and Sierra who posted above share an account… So here is my novel excerpt-

    I lay at the end of my bed, waiting. I did not know what I was waiting for, I was just waiting. I have been sitting here for months. I know something is after me. Though nobody has told me, I just know that something or someone is after me. I can feel it. Leila, the servant, came in with my supper. She placed it on my end table and waited to be dismissed. Then, for the first time in nine months and eleven days, I talked.
    “Leila? Something is after me.” I said to the fourteen year old maid. I could tell she was surprised by me speaking.
    “How do you know that something is after you mistress?” she replied with a shocked face.
    “I’m not exactly sure Leila. The only reason that I have been sitting here for the past nine months is because I’m afraid that if I get up, it will get me and possibly kill me.”
    “It has been eleven months mistress. You missed your birthday.”
    “How old am I?”
    “You are seventeen. I must be getting back to work now, Eyla, your sisters need their supper also.” She said. I made a dismissing hand signal without talking. I am the eldest of all my four sisters. My parents died two years ago in an accident. Their carriage drove into a river when the driver was drunk. Now all I have left are my sisters and Eyla.

    • Sierra M. permalink
      December 14, 2009 12:31 pm

      Good one Ayla!

    • Ayla permalink
      December 14, 2009 12:44 pm

      oops! the last Word is supposed to say leila… minor typo

    • Ayla permalink
      December 14, 2009 1:04 pm

      I have a name for the book, Its called-

      The Murder Commited by a Mind

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 15, 2009 12:10 am

      Very interesting, Ayla. I want to know what’s after her!

      Keep coming back!

      MZ

  3. Sierra M. permalink
    December 14, 2009 10:47 am

    An excerpt from my novel.

    I moan and toss on my bed. I hate my slumber. I always have nightmares. They are killer nightmares, like someone killed my parents, but I know that they died in a car crash, the day of my birth. Rouge, the rogue that has taken most of my species and killed them by possessing a person close to the wolf to lull them to her. She was a werewolf herself, though she was more of a shape shifter. She wasn’t affected by the moon like I am. She is or was a half-breed. She was supposedly killed by a hunter . . . the human hunter. But, by my dreams, they say that she was the one that killed my parents. That stupid girl shifter killed them. My father was a wolf while my mother was human.
    Though she loved my dad nevertheless. That is the way most of us were spawned. That is how my species is slowly dying. The less werewolf that is in the blood of a wolf and a human together slowly takes away the wolf inside the spawn’s blood. That is how our numbers are lessening. Wolves change on their sixteenth birthday; it is when we shift into our true form. All wolves have a destiny, cheesy, I know, but we all do and mine happens to be revenge and to find Rouge and kill her, if she is still alive. I can’t let her kill and make us disappear. If only I knew my destiny, because, right now, I don’t. It is only a matter of time until I do.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 15, 2009 12:09 am

      Very cool concept, Sierra! You definitely have me interested in your world…

      Thanks for posting, and I hope you come back for the next Open Mic!

      MZ

  4. December 13, 2009 6:57 am

    One of my current WIPs. It’s a real pleasure to have you reading it, though, Ms. Zink! It’s from something I started as a NaNoWriMo, but have every intention of finishing as a full novel.

    “You know that I’m working at The Peacock now?” Iris nodded in reply to her own question. “I was there last night and… two fairies – the big sort, not the little silly ones – were sitting in a booth all glamoured up. And the man got…” for a moment she saw those heavenly eyes again, and shivered. “He got murdered. With iron, through his heart.”

    More silence, though this time thoughtful magic silence. Iris looked at her governess and tried to figure out why other people couldn’t see the witchyness of her. Her face was all peaks, from her sharp chin to her angular cheekbones, and there was a greeny-blue tinge to her skin instead of the normal pinkish-brown of human folk. It was her eyes that were the most telling, cat eyes that saw everything.

    “What do you think you should do?”

    Iris blinked, startled, and readjusted her glasses. “Is there someone I should tell? Some sort of fairy policeman?”

    “No.” Miss Jessamine linked her long fingers together over her embroidery. “No. You should not do that.”

    It gave Iris a chill. “Why?” Was there something worse than being pinched by little fingers? Did policemen with shiny fairy helmets have something against people who could witness murders? “Miss, what should I do?”

    Green light pooled onto the floor in drips from the embroidery, and Iris saw the little figures stop moving and die threadlessly. All magic needed life, Miss Jessamine said. Sometimes big magics needed a little magic to create lives for it to feed off. Like embroidered dancers. Iris wanted to weep for them and their short little lives. Instead she wriggled her toes and noticed that she had put on socks of different colours.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 13, 2009 11:41 am

      This is vividly written, Rebekah. You have a knack for description, and I can clearly see everything you’ve described. LOVE that last paragraph especially!

      Great job! Come back next week and post again!

      MZ

      • December 14, 2009 5:41 am

        I certainly will!! Thank you for the encouragement, so very very much. I kinda needed that. You’ve really made my whole week.

        Rebekah

    • Sierra M. permalink
      December 14, 2009 12:02 pm

      I thought this was great! Very descriptive… Im sure you could write a GREAT book.

  5. rosylee permalink
    December 13, 2009 6:54 am

    This is my most recent effort, inspired by the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

    eighth daughter from the countryside
    plays erhu a thin
    girl the world is your conversation
    of overlapping quotation songs.
    ninth aunt disappears
    behind a sea wall
    tied up in bundles yet
    carrying the voice
    of a violin.
    Wailing tears crumple
    thick and salty
    to the ground in rebellion.
    Soldier sleeping alone
    on a grave
    of cascading papers
    curiously musty and sour-smelling.

    • Ayla permalink
      December 14, 2009 10:34 am

      I thought this was great!!!! Very beautifal

  6. December 13, 2009 6:43 am

    Eek, sorry I’m late! Was heading out the door for a weekend away when you posted this. 😦 Different WIP this time, a ghost story.

    There was no color, not at all. The sky was gray, no matter what the weather. The grass was gray, no matter if it was well tended to or left to wither and dry in the summer. Until now. After more than six decades of existing in a gray world of which he was not a part he had seen a single flash of color outside his attic window.

    It was a girl, her hair a copper color that was still semi-washed out and gray-tinged, but to someone who had not seen color in decades it stood out like a splash of bright red paint on a white canvas. He had passed it off as his mind playing tricks on him, and for weeks he did not see it again.

    But then she reappeared, coming up the stairs to his little attic. Her hair was brighter, and now her skin had a delicate flush to it. Something had happened in those past weeks she had been absent, but he did not know what. What he did know is that she looked more real, more vibrant. More alive.

    And most importantly, most differently, she could see him.

    He did not mean to catch her attention. Honestly. It was just she was there, right in front of him, weeping because she did not want to die. He could understand that, and if he had had a heart anymore it would have broken right there at the sight of her and her self-portrait looking out from the paper. So sad, so sad were the both of them.

    So sad were the three of them: girl, ghost and portrait. Two of them were not real, and the third was well on her way to joining them.

    • rosylee permalink
      December 13, 2009 6:57 am

      Very thought-provoking. I love a good ghost story – this one is so subtle and very emotive.

    • gushingenthusiasm permalink
      December 13, 2009 2:59 pm

      This left me wanting to know more, for sure. Great work. I love the descriptive words you chose.

  7. December 12, 2009 8:28 pm

    Another bit of my work in progress. It most definitely is supposed to be funny. It’s kind of a mixture of drama/comedy with a heaping dose of morbidity mixed in. I’m glad that’s how it was read! (And I apologize if all of it is clustered together. I’m not so good with XHTML like Day!)

    “Cheese and rice, these waffles are orgasmic!” she exclaimed delightedly. Danny coughed in surprise at her declaration, choking on the piece of food that he had been in the process of swallowing. Ollie didn’t look any older than seventeen, and he knew that he had said his fair share of perverted things at that age, but since when did the term orgasmic become so common that it was used to describe waffles?

    Danny decided that he needed to get out more often.

    “You okay, there?” she asked. He looked around to see if anybody had heard her zany outburst before he nodded and took a sip of his soda to soothe his aching throat. She crinkled her nose in disgust.

    “I don’t understand how you can drink pop so early in the morning. And I definitely don’t understand how you can drink it while you’re eating waffles. Do you not understand the concept of the three main meals that society has laid out for us? Why not orange juice or coffee? Pop is acceptable with lunch or dinner, sure, but anything before noon is just plain blasphemy.”

    He blinked. Because it was all he could do. The look on her face confirmed that she was just as serious as she had made her rant sound. This was the second time that she had unleashed her screwball logic on him, but it wasn’t any less of a stunner than the first time. He didn’t know what to say. Was he supposed to answer like she hadn’t just said something completely outrageous? Or was he supposed to just mentally question her sanity and resume breakfast?

    He was stumped.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 12, 2009 11:26 pm

      Katie! I really enjoyed this! It DID make me laugh out loud, but I also sense the shadow of the drama and morbidity you mention. Good job!

      Thanks for posting!

    • gushingenthusiasm permalink
      December 13, 2009 2:58 pm

      Hah! I loved it. well written, and very amusing.

  8. December 12, 2009 11:51 am

    I had to cut down the scene a bit and it’s still 1 word over the limit. (I hope that’s alright.) I’m just so excited to have one of my favorite authors to be reading it! Of course, it doesn’t even compare to your writing, Ms. Zink. This is an excerpt from my first finished novel. I’m working with revising it at the moment:

    That was the happiest I had ever seen Joyce and I was glad for her. Everything else escaped my mind, except that we were happy.

    The night had become darker once we laid our blankets down. The grass was slippery from last night’s summer rain. It smelled fresh and clean. Nobody else was around.

    Joyce laid on the blanket next to me and I threw a blanket over us to keep warm. The picnic basket was completely forgotten about, sitting back by the swing sets. Neither of us were hungry anymore. Joyce was frazzled by the conversation about David and I was frazzled because she was. I was sure that Joyce’s stomach was flipping in joy at that moment and deep down, I was proud I had given her that excitement.

    I felt Joyce sigh and I looked up at her.

    “What do you think will happen?” She asked, transfixed by the stars overhead.

    I relaxed a little and loosened my grip on the edge of the blanket.

    “I don’t know,” I said. “Things come to me by surprise sometimes. It makes me want to think about the future.”

    “What do you mean by want?”

    “Well, there are so many things to think about during the present. I mean, you can dream about the future at night when you’re asleep, but it’s just wasting time during the day when other things need to be done.”

    “I guess you’re right.”

    I heard yelling from far off in the distance and saw purple streaks light up the sky. Then it faded to pink and disappeared.

    “I guess it’s starting then.” I said.

    “Yep, it’s just the beginning.”

    Then that thought came into my mind once more but this time I couldn’t put it off.

    Marissa was dying. And that was just the beginning.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 12, 2009 12:32 pm

      Ohhhhh! Nice! I REALLY like this. Your language is very straight-forward in a very good way. I would definitely want to read on…

    • December 12, 2009 8:02 pm

      Gah, I wish I knew what was going on. That was so well written and the interaction between Joyce and the narrator was awesome! Great job! 🙂

    • December 13, 2009 6:45 am

      I think the commenters above me said it best, so I’ll echo them and add my own as well. I like how it starts off and slowly fades into the slightly more worrisome dialogue, and the last few sentences definitely make me want to read more.

      • December 13, 2009 2:13 pm

        Thank you, everyone! You don’t know how much your comments mean to me. I hope someday each of you will get to read more, in a published book. 🙂

  9. December 12, 2009 2:16 am

    (I accidently posted this in the wrong Open Mic. Oops… Here it is again)

    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.

    • December 12, 2009 10:54 am

      Cedar Lyn, I love how you repeat words without going over the edge with it. “A frame of my pale blue eyes through a looking glass” was my favorite part of the poem. It’s so pretty! Good job. 🙂

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 12, 2009 12:32 pm

      You already know I love this from my comment in the other Open Mic thread, but I’ll say it again.

      I LOVE it.

  10. gushingenthusiasm permalink
    December 10, 2009 10:37 pm

    I will save time and space by no posting an exert this week, but a tanka poem I wrote last week for a friends blog:

    autumn leaves crunch
    remnants of an ideal spring
    flutter in my wake
    no longer green, but old brown
    soon beneath blankets of snow

    • December 11, 2009 7:08 pm

      Nice poem, gushing! very descriptive! I can picture all the scenes in my head as I’m reading them! 🙂

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        December 11, 2009 9:24 pm

        Where’s yours, Breezy?!
        O_o

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      December 12, 2009 12:34 pm

      This is so beautiful in its simplicity. I’m working on simplicity. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but obviously, you have a gift for it.

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