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Thursday Night Write

April 15, 2010

Time for Open Mic! You guys know the drill; 300 words or less of your poem, short story, or novel excerpt. Leave it here for comment, and don’t forget to comment at least one other post if you do.

I’ve had a tough week with a lot of personal nonsense, but I’m back at work on another new book and that always makes things better.

Lastly, I’ll be doing a HUGE chat from 9pm-11pm EST on Twitter tonight with awesome authors like Sarah Rees Brenna, Holly Black, Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia, Bree Despain, and James Dashner. Just use the hashtag #YAlitchat to participate!

😀

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99 Comments leave one →
  1. Moni-ka permalink
    April 16, 2010 8:44 pm

    A sonnet I wrote for class. It’s a little late, being friday and all, so I hope you don’t mind.
    __________________

    Things I picked up on my trip to Costa Rica

    Costa Rica: A trip of a lifetime.
    Many things came back with me, some I bought:
    A bottle of salsa on which to dine,
    Pictures I took with the Camera I brought.
    A colorful shawl with a butterfly,
    A wonderful, nice-smelling bar of soap,
    So much sand: No matter how much we tried,
    Four times we washed shoes, and gave up all hope.
    One pound of coffee that my parents drank,
    Colones in coins over one thousand,
    A lot of dirty clothes that really stank,
    And postcards I lost and forgot to send.
    But the worst souvenir of all the things
    was a peeling sunburn that really stings.

    • April 19, 2010 5:28 pm

      That was lovely! Such a nice way to remember things about a vacation.

      I liked these lines the best: So much sand: No matter how much we tried,
      A lot of dirty clothes that really stank, as a peeling sunburn that really stings.

  2. mak...XD permalink
    April 16, 2010 5:09 pm

    Screams of terror protruded out of the lonely old house on Cherie Street. This old house was of a beautiful Victorian design. But it held an incredibly frightening past.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Johnathon Cherie was a wealthy, successful man with good values. He was brought up in a very modest home and was constantly reminded of the value of a simple dollar. His parents were well educated and had too well an idea of what it was like to be poor.
    The world does work in a terrible way when the unmarried Johnathon Cheri found Marcia Grey, a beautiful woman who charmed him with her sinful seduction. The history of this woman was unknown to Johnathon, but he fell in love with her anyways. Marcia was a money-hungry, black widow of only twenty-five years of age.
    Marcia was all the more inconspicuous as the Cheries lived in a very small town and were very much accustomed to visiting strangers.
    The black widow cheated justice by moving from town to town after killing her unsuspecting and rich spouse. Johnathon, like Marcia’s other victims, was blinded by a terrible beauty.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is part of an assignment that went totally out of proportion for me…I’m so sorry for that teacher who’s gonna read this!!! 😄 But at least I might get good comments here….just the beginning of a possibly long WIP. Hope you enjoy!!! oh yeah…that first part is sorta our time…and the long part after that is a flashback. i NEED to explain the history of what happened in the house….thanks guys!!!!!!!!!! ❤

    • April 17, 2010 11:36 pm

      Oh, woah, awesome!! The first three words immediately drag you in!! This was so great, and I don’t know why you would feel sorry for the teacher, ’cause this seems like something everyone would enjoy!! Really great job 😉

    • April 19, 2010 5:30 pm

      I think you are setting up for quite an interesting story! I like the idea of starting it off in the present day and flashing back to what happened.

      Nice work!

  3. Indigo permalink
    April 16, 2010 4:37 pm

    Hey, all! Beautiful writing everyone. I apologize, my son’s been sick and a family member passed, which explains my absence. Here’s a short poem:

    I am a statistic
    a number
    a poll
    a floater

    I am the insignificant
    the abused
    the wretched

    I am all things hated
    all things loved
    feared
    destroyed

    I am your worst nightmare
    I am your lover
    your friend
    I am your death

    • April 16, 2010 4:52 pm

      I’m sorry about your family member, I hope you and your’s are ok…. i love this. I really do. I love how you are all things hated AND loved. I just… I dont know what to say except, woah, and that I especially love the last stanaza.

    • April 16, 2010 5:04 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your family member passing. Hope your son is feeling better.

      This poem is amazing! I love that is simple, short but full of so much emotion. Makes me think of my character, Grim, too, especially the last line.

      I love this.

    • Indigo permalink
      April 16, 2010 10:37 pm

      Thanks, Danielle and Meagan. We’re doing okay, my son is better (finally!) and we’re still coming to terms with my husband’s mom’s death.

      I really appreciate the comments!

  4. Ayla permalink
    April 16, 2010 8:16 am

    awww dang it! i missed my two fav authors (cassandra clare and michelle zink) chatting on twitter! 😦

  5. April 15, 2010 11:54 pm

    Another bit from the fantasy novel (and, yeah, it doesn’t seem very fantasy-ish right now…but that’s because I’m still sharing snippets from the beginning). This is part of one of Jack’s chapters (sorry about the language, by the way). Have fun. 😉

    ————

    The great thing about showers is that, not only do they get you clean and make you feel better, but it’s the place to think. As usual, I thought about my friendships and wondered, as I often did, how the five of us had remained friends for as long as we had. How had we not murdered each other in cold blood? How had I not thrown Clio off a roof or shoved Kim or Gloria or Ella in front of a bus? Yeah, you could say it was human restraint and we knew right from wrong and all that shit, but I knew well that they frequently wanted to kill me too. There’s a point you hit when human restraint goes out the window. That’s how people become murderers. And even though we had remained friends for so long, I truly hated how I was always made into the bad guy of our group. I was the one with no censor who would be sarcastic regardless of others’ feelings. I know that. I own up to it.

    After my shower I went to get dressed. I was supposed to meet up with the others in ten minutes. Whatever. They’d suck it up and get over it if I was late. Out of my closet, I picked out a pair of jeans and a sweater. Some people called my style “preppy” and I personally thought they could go screw themselves if they really cared that much. I liked looking nice, I liked being organized, and, hell, that got me the girl so, ha, I win.

    Just as I was getting ready to head out the door to meet my friends, my cell phone started ringing. I seriously considered just ignoring it, especially after seeing the name “Gloria Roberts” flashing on the screen. I actually had my finger over the “silent” button, ready to press it, when I chose to answer. I’m an idiot, apparently.

    “Where the hell are you?” Gloria screeched as soon as I answered.

    “I’m leaving now,” I said.

    “Did you not hear that we were meeting at the mall at five? Are you really that stupid?”

    “I’m leaving now, Gloria, stop screaming. It’s the fucking mall, it doesn’t matter that much what time I get there.”

    Gloria hung up on me. That just shows you the nerve of some of our group. She called [i]me[/i] and then [i]she[/i] cut off the conversation, like I was inconveniencing her. I shook my head and headed out the door, seriously wondering once again why I dealt with four best friends who were girls.

    • April 16, 2010 4:56 pm

      Ha, this mad me laugh a little. I love this story line! Cant wait to read more of it!

    • April 16, 2010 5:12 pm

      Nice! I like “hearing” Jack’s voice. I’m impressed you’re tackling five different PsOV. I’d never be able to keep them all straight in my head, if I tried. 🙂

      Best line: I’m an idiot, apparently.

    • mak...XD permalink
      April 19, 2010 5:52 pm

      i dont like you….now i have to wait till next week to know what happens!!!!!!!!!!! *cries*

  6. Ashley Pulawa permalink
    April 15, 2010 10:45 pm

    I could smile and pretend like nothing’s wrong.
    Walk down a crowded road, singing a song.

    I could party with you and laugh out my heart
    Or I could cry you a river, and fall apart.

    I could look you in the eyes and tell you I’m fine
    Shake my head, wave my hand, & say nevermind.

    I could make you believe that I’m happy inside out
    Laugh and dance like my life has no doubts.

    I could hold your hand and walk you into the light
    Even if my own life has no delight.

    I could be calm as I look you in the eyes.
    Even if my mind is screaming Why’s.

    I could walk the line with my head held high.
    Or I could put on a straight face and tell you a lie.

    I could show you a big red arrow that points to my heart.
    Tell you to help me find a new start.

    I could look in the mirror but the mirror can lie.
    It show’s who you appear to be not what’s really inside.

    I could hold onto something, that was once my all.
    Or I could give up and brace myself for a fall.

    I could go back to the life I had before.
    But I choose not to go their anymore.

    • April 16, 2010 5:01 pm

      Wow. Thats just… WOW. This was superb. I especially love, “I could look in the mirror but the mirror can lie. It show’s who you appear to be not what’s really inside.” Your poem is sad, it’s kind of like a hello and a goodbye, with the line, “I could go back to the life I had before. But I choose not to go their anymore” Like it’s saying a sad “hello” to your new life, and a bitter farwell to your old one….. at least thats kind of my interpertation. It was awesome though! 🙂

    • April 16, 2010 5:15 pm

      I agree with everything Meagan wrote!

      This is a fantastic line: I could look in the mirror but the mirror can lie. It show’s who you appear to be not what’s really inside.

      That’s just powerful! This is a wonderfully sad and hopeful poem. Well done!

  7. April 15, 2010 9:57 pm

    a little bit longer than 500 words, but i’m sure you’ll be fine. it’s a WIP, something that i found in the back of one my books and decided to rewrite. enjoy :]

    ———————-

    compare yourself with me,
    you’ll find that we’re not so different.

    we’re both complete nerds who drink red energy drinks just to stay up late enough just to be able to beat that one boss on a video game. we both have an innocent quality about ourselves that make it hard to stay in relationships with others because we don’t want to go too far.

    but then again, your hair is the opposite of mine, dyed red and black and back to your soft blonde, whereas mine decided to stay a nice chestnut colour. your eyes are sapphire blue against my muddy brown, but i like variety. your friends sport dyed hair as well and fake smiles while i have friends who buy original shirts off of innovative websites and aren’t afraid to act silly once in a while.

    and hey, maybe instead of listing off the similarities between the two of us, i feel compelled to notice the variations and point them out to you.

    when it comes down to this, all i want to say is ‘you there’.

    i think you should know that you’re twisting my stomach into an unmanageable knot and my heart’s beating faster and my breath is hitched in my throat and the least you can do is give me a second of your life.

    my hands itch in your presence because i remember how you kissed me that night and how they got tangled in your hair and how i could feel your smile in the dark and how much you loved it all. my shoulders are trembling because i can still remember what it feels like when we lay together and i could feel your chest heave with every breath you take as the idea of your warmth is shotgunning through me like electricity.

    because see, i’ve been hiding these feelings for years and even though i’ve had other crushes since then, i can’t just seem to get your smile or the way your eyes twinkle when you’re planning mischief out of my head. since i gathered the courage to kiss you on the last day of the year, everything i’m feeling is starting to fizz in my stomach and the carbonation threatens to shoot the cap off.

    i can tell it’s foaming and rolling down my sides, leaking out my fingertips and all i can say is sorry for not telling you sooner. i know i’m not your ideal girl and i know that i might get a little jealous when you’re around girls that i find are prettier than me, so i need to say sorry. i’m insecure and need to be constantly reminded that i am worth something and that i am loved, so please won’t you tell me that i am?

    at the same time, though, i’ll dissect your words to find the hidden meanings and the things that you aren’t saying just as i know that i’ll drive you mad until you end up punching the wall in anger.
    but you should also know that i’ll drive you into passion. if you’ll let me, i’ll drag us headfirst into something beautiful, something worth being. i’ll strip away the bullcrap and drama until we’re breathing in the essence of emotions and for most people, it’d be too much. it’d be too strong. but we’re strong enough to match it, i’m sure of it. we won’t capture the feelings but we can dance in step with them if only you’d just try.

    and it won’t be easy, but i don’t think you want that. you want a challenge and if there’s ever been one, it’s me. i can’t say that i’ll warm you from the inside out or cradle you through the hardships of being a teenager, but i’ll make you feel. i’ll make you think. i’ll make you breathless and exhilarated and even more bright-eyed than ever. i’ll be there until flames lick the back of your legs and your heart is on fire, smouldering behind your ribs.

    so hey boy, won’t you at least try me on for size?

    • April 15, 2010 10:01 pm

      oops, meant to say 300 words, typo :p

    • April 16, 2010 12:42 am

      Wow….damn. I REALLY like this. I love the pure emotion in it. The slight angst. The honesty in the voice–all of it. I really like the line:

      if you’ll let me, i’ll drag us headfirst into something beautiful, something worth being. i’ll strip away the bullcrap and drama until we’re breathing in the essence of emotions and for most people, it’d be too much.

      *sigh* soooo great.

      Only problem I had was the lower case–it’s a pet peeve of mine, but after the first two paragraphs it faded and I was drawn into the story. Great work, dear! 🙂

      • April 16, 2010 3:19 pm

        thankyouu nazarea. :]
        i love hearing how others like my work, when the bulk of my writing is based off of past events in my life. i love hearing comments like these because it shows that i can take something painful and ugly and turn it into something truly beautiful.
        as for the lowercase, i guess that’s part of my signature. i used to write in uppercase until one day it just looked ugly to me. i write all of my prose in lowercase so then when i capitalise something, you can tell that it’s important. it’s just what i do :p

    • Moni-ka permalink
      April 16, 2010 8:48 pm

      Wow, I can totally relate!

    • April 19, 2010 5:34 pm

      Wow Alix! This is one of your best! There are so so many fantastic lines in here. I love the raw emotion. The up and down feel of this.

      Well done!

  8. April 15, 2010 9:40 pm

    Okay, here’s the opening sequence to a YA. Enjoy. 🙂

    I was in the dream again.

    I was tied, my wrists above my head, the heavy weight of him bearing me down into the bed. His hand was on my throat, choking off my air, and I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t scream. Ice blue eyes smiled coldly, a vision of perfection that was slowly killing me.

    “Alianna,” he whispered, and I shuddered under him. His eyes went blank with rage and I felt him fall away, felt the bruising blow land even as his weight lifted, driving the little breath I had left free of my lungs in a rush. I bit down on my tongue, fighting back the scream clawing at my throat. Don’t scream. Can’t scream. My eyes squeezed shut as I fought through the pain and he jerked on my hair, forcing my eyes wide as it tore free of my scalp and my scream filled the air.

    “Alianna,” he murmured again. He covered me, smothered me, wrapped me in his smell and the reminder that I was his, that I had chosen a monster. Tears burned in my eyes, and I shivered, convulsively, despite the warmth of the room.

    “Alianna.”

    The voice was sharper this time, and came with a slap that made me yelp as I jerked. My eyes went wide and collided with his. Annoyed, ice blue. I went still under that furious gaze, waiting, my heart pounding in my throat.

    He was irritated, and when irritated, Harold Hanes was dangerous.

    I shivered, unable to help it—the truth was Harry was always dangerous. After two years of trench warfare and hiding bruises, I knew that better than anyone.

    “You fell asleep, babe.” He said quietly.

    My eyes darted around the room—it was quiet, shockingly so. I recognized my surroundings instantly—the too sterile smooth walls of the wealthy, the expensive flatscreen that adorned the large wall in Harry’s bedroom. I hated his house—had always hated it, from the too clean air to the sickly sweet smell of lilies that permated the foyer and made me gag. I licked my lips, nervous, “Where is Chris?”

    His eyes narrowed slightly and I cringed. Finally, he said evenly, “He left a bit ago—to give us some time alone.”

    The fuzz of sleep was receeding, and I managed to suppress the shiver that threatened at that word. Alone.

    Such a dangerous thing to be.

    A smile turned his lips, almost pleased at the fear rising in my gaze and making my breath short.

    • April 15, 2010 11:57 pm

      Wow! What an opening! I think my heart just stopped. This was aboslutely amazing. I was sucked into the story so quickly I didn’t even have a choice. I want to read more!

      • April 16, 2010 5:14 pm

        Wow, this is a very strong opening, which is good! Wow, this was really great! My heart stopped for a second i think, and i just have to have more on this.

    • April 19, 2010 5:35 pm

      You gave me chills, Nazarea! Wow! What a rush of emotion in this piece!

  9. April 15, 2010 9:26 pm

    Meagan! YES! Like that! 🙂

    I like how you build on it… the dying want someone to hear them…

    Nicely done!

  10. April 15, 2010 8:48 pm

    I wasn’t going to continue that script I’ve been doing the past few weeks with Andrick and Venetia, but I thought of a little scene I could include, so I hope you enjoy it 🙂

    EXT. GRAVEYARD. NIGHT. 1886.

    VENETIA (seventeen with long, brown hair, golden brown eyes, and a brown school girl’s clothes with torn stockings) looks fixedly on the silver moon, which glistens like a glass orb. She is carrying a rose and looks very solemn. ANDRICK (eighteen with dark, curly hair, green eyes, and wearing a slightly unbuttoned oxford, and relaxed brown pants) is passing by the graveyard and sees her by chance. He hides behind some nearby trees and watches her. She goes to a pearly stone and kneels before it.

    VENETIA:
    Mother, I am so sorry that I haven’t come
    to visit recently. I got caught up in some
    business that I still don’t quite understand.
    It involves this amulet that I acquired by
    chance.

    Venetia holds up the amulet from her pocket to the face of the gravestone as if she was holding up to her mother’s eyes.

    VENETIA:
    It looks like an ordinary necklace, doesn’t it?
    It is far from ordinary though, Mother! What it
    does, I’m not sure, but all I know is a very
    monstrous man wants to use it for some kind of
    ill good, and I’m risking my life to make sure
    it does not happen.

    Venetia breaks down into tears.

    VENETIA:
    I’m sorry, Mother! I know you told me to be
    strong, but I’m so scared! I got forced into
    protecting the world, and it is so hard to
    try to have a normal life! My schooling is
    so close to its finish, and yet I may have
    to stay because this horrid object keeps me
    from finishing my course work! I cannot
    socialize like a normal girl either. How
    can I spend time with them without risking
    their lives too? None of this is fair, Mother!

    Venetia sobs for a moment and regains her composure.

    VENETIA:
    I will do my best to figure this out on my own.
    I wish you could help me, Mother. You were always
    good at this type of stuff. Here is your rose.
    I miss you. I love you.

    Venetia starts to leave but sees Andrick, who forgot his anonimity being so moved by this scene. He steps before Venetia.

    ANDRICK:
    If I knew about your mother, I would not have…

    VENETIA:
    Forget about it.

    She tries to leave, but he blocks her path again.

    ANDRICK:
    You know, you do not have to do this alone.
    I can help you.

    VENETIA:
    You can’t help me. No one can.

    She bypasses him and leaves. He looks at the moon shining on her mother’s grave and, as if prompted, he follows Venetia.

    • April 19, 2010 6:26 pm

      Dana- Each time you post something from this I get excited. I have no idea what’s exactly happening since we only see glimpses of the story, but I look forward to reading them. I can see what’s happening and for some reason I have these voices in my head for your characters. Weird, no?

      Well done! Hope to read more soon.

      • April 20, 2010 8:45 pm

        Thanks Danielle 🙂 I will keep writing it. Most of the time when I write a script, I have the whole plot planned ahead of time, but this time I’m making it up as I go along. And it’s not going in a linear order, but I’ll try to explain the plotline ahead of time so it doesn’t get too confusing. I’m glad you can picture the voices. One of the points of a script is to paint a picture for the people designing the show/movie. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this! Thank you for reading/commenting ❤

  11. April 15, 2010 8:42 pm

    The opening to one of my novels in progress –

    She smiled “ I’m Eve”. There was something scary in her smile, still I smiled back.
    “Short for something?”
    “Short for ‘Fallen from Grace’, it’s a fun trip, really”.
    That smile again. I took the seat next to her. The teacher had his back to the class writing on the board. The boy on her other side threw me a look. She was pale but still pretty. Not like the girls where I was from. Back home they were all well tanned and bleach blond. Around here there was some variation. Some girls a healthy tanned bronze, the sun having kissed every inch of them, making me want to follow in suite. Some girls peach colored, soft looking, tempting a guy like me to take a bite. And some girls had fair skin, like fresh milk, begging to be sipped. She was the kind of girl who would look light even with her skin embraced by the sun and sky, but something told me she with held that pleasure from them. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d bestow that pleasure on me. The boy was glaring at me, he could be trouble…I couldn’t blame him. I’d mark my territory, in more ways than one. Some part of me whispered that she wasn’t his territory though, much as he may posture and hope. If I was him, I’d glare too, but being me, for now I would just stare.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 8:47 pm

      This is a great piece. You have us inside the head of a teenager. This part felt especially authentic to me;

      Some part of me whispered that she wasn’t his territory though, much as he may posture and hope. If I was him, I’d glare too, but being me, for now I would just stare.

      I like it when teens are portrayed the way I know them in real life – as intelligent, insightful human beings instead of slang-dropping morons. This character could easily be several thoughtful guys I know.

      Nicely done, hon! Keep coming back!

      MZ

    • April 15, 2010 8:54 pm

      “Short for something?”
      “Short for ‘Fallen from Grace’, it’s a fun trip, really”.

      LOVED that. So dry. I want to hear more from Eve.

      • April 15, 2010 9:01 pm

        Wow, I really like this, it made me laugh in places like this, “Shhort for something? Short for ‘Fallen from Grace’, it’s a fun trip really.” This was just really great, especially how you descibe their different skin tones, so vivid.

    • April 15, 2010 11:03 pm

      I loved this line:
      Some girls peach colored, soft looking, tempting a guy like me to take a bite.

      I liked the humor in it and it totally got my attention and made me wonder just what kind of guy he was. I really liked the voice in this!

    • April 16, 2010 12:00 am

      I really like this. The description of the different “kinds” of girls was great. Very engaging. I have to agree with the others about the line “Short for ‘Fallen from Grace’, it’s a fun trip, really.” That’s just quality dialogue right there!

    • April 19, 2010 6:29 pm

      Your character’s voice sounds real which is huge! Love the details of the different skin tones of girls. I agree with the others that the “Fallen from grace” line was great!

      Nicely done!

  12. Corrine permalink
    April 15, 2010 8:26 pm

    Just the usually writing thing

    “Dude, are you okay? You just spaced out.” Mapleleaf mewed. “Yes, why, is this like a Warrior freak camp?” I was so confused my meow was cracking. “Well, Yeah all our leaders kicked us out and we turned to Starclan and they gave us gifts. I have the gift of flight.” Mapleleaf mewed proudly. “Yeah right, prove it.” I meowed. Out of nowhere wings grew from her back and she flew off.
    I looked at the other Warriors. Then they used all their powers to. From Mind reading, to water surfing. I was impressed. So one of them challenged me. I stood on my hind legs and waved me paw down while howling “Summon Fire.” Flames burst out of my paws and I moved it. First left, then right. Then up, and down. That cat was so scared she ran into her den. Mission completed.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 8:32 pm

      You’re writing is getting better by the day! This flows so nicely. It is every bit as good as the Warrior books we read every night!

      I especially like how you’ve made the dialog flow as if the cats are real, modern kids. This made me LOL;

      “Dude, are you okay? You just spaced out.” Mapleleaf mewed. “Yes, why, is this like a Warrior freak camp?” I was so confused my meow was cracking.

      Very nice, sweet girl. Keep writing.

      You Know Who

      • Corrine permalink
        April 15, 2010 8:35 pm

        Thanks all this makes me want to keep writing

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        April 15, 2010 8:43 pm

        That’s the idea, my love.

    • April 19, 2010 6:32 pm

      Love the name Mapleleaf for the other cat. I like how the cat’s have powers. Plus their voices are human-like that I forgot they were cats!

      Nicely done. Look forward to learning more about these cats.

  13. April 15, 2010 8:07 pm

    Wait, that didn’t work so well. The spaces didn’t turn out right. Can you delete it and I’ll post it again?

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 8:22 pm

      Sure, hon! Will do right now!

      MZ

  14. April 15, 2010 7:57 pm

    “He must be watched.”

    “Who, Aurelius? He’s out cold. Emptied half the cellar in one night alone. We should find him other lodgings before he bankrupts us.”

    “I want him where I can see him.”

    “I thought you and Aurelius were friends.”

    The Master fingered the cool weight of the secret in his pocket.

    “He’s a dangerous friend. Frankly, I’d rather have enemies. You know where you are with an enemy. Time has done strange things to Aurelius. He’s spent too much of it hiding his identity, slipping through shadows, playing a part.” The Master rose and paced the room. “He’s not just here to seek refuge. He could have gone anywhere for that. He’s up to something, and I’m making it your job to find out what.”

    “Thank you, Master.”

    If he caught the ironic tone in the chancellor’s voice the Master didn’t dignify it with a response. He had moved to the window and was looking down to the Great Court below. With a detached sense of time he heard the Chancellor’s retreating footsteps and the soft click of the door closing. In the court below, the last scholars were weaving their way back to their rooms, unsteady on their feet after the evening’s revelry. They clung to each other, laughing with the ease of youth still free of the cares of the world. Five hundred years ago he had done the same. With Marlowe.

    Marlowe, Marlor, Marlerus, Marley, Marlin, Merlin, Falcon, Falconer, Falco. So many years, so many identities. No wonder his mind had fragmented. Yet beneath Falco’s confusion the Master had noted a disquieting trace of irony, a flash of the rebellious intellect that had first exiled him to a life of shadows. Instability harnessed to intellect, both pulling in different directions. The combination had always made him more dangerous, not less.

    He must get word to Phaeton. Marlowe is back.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 8:21 pm

      Ohhhh! I like this, Lia! I especially like how the dialog moves along at such a nice clip. It’s not bogged down in too much description.

      REALLY like this bit;

      If he caught the ironic tone in the chancellor’s voice the Master didn’t dignify it with a response. He had moved to the window and was looking down to the Great Court below. With a detached sense of time he heard the Chancellor’s retreating footsteps and the soft click of the door closing. In the court below, the last scholars were weaving their way back to their rooms, unsteady on their feet after the evening’s revelry. They clung to each other, laughing with the ease of youth still free of the cares of the world. Five hundred years ago he had done the same. With Marlowe.

      Just that little drop, “Five hundred years ago,” really gets your attention.

      Love! And so glad you joined us!

      MZ

      • April 15, 2010 8:33 pm

        Woah, I really like this. I love how you write, the detail you use. This is really great

    • April 15, 2010 9:15 pm

      LOVE THIS!!!
      I love the names, I love the flow, I love everything about it! Abso-floggin-lutely amazing!!!

    • April 15, 2010 10:56 pm

      OOOOOH…i like this. A little confusing with the names, but it might be cause the boys were talking to me when I read it the first time. I really do like it, though and I’d like to read more….very good work, dear! 🙂

    • April 15, 2010 10:58 pm

      I have to agree, I was already interested but when it got to “five hundred years ago” I was like whoa! I also loved that you set up so much history and I got such a sense of his relationship with Marlowe in so few words. I’m really intrigued!

    • April 19, 2010 6:35 pm

      Lia- WOW! What a way to grab a reader! Lovely and intriguing! Hope to see more!

  15. April 15, 2010 7:34 pm

    I wrote this poem for class. I was responding to a Francesca Lia Block poem. 🙂

    FAIRY DUST

    It is fairy dust that guides me in
    and leads me away into the garden of words and wisdom
    bright colors light up the sky and I spin until I’m dizzy and my head aches
    Though your words are magic, floating around your lips like cigarette smoke
    I still see Los Angeles and drunk crowds of girls
    their shirts too tight and their skirts too hiked up

    It is the fairy-folk that seduce them
    Glittering eyes and invisible wings
    their lips taste like fire, delicious to the soul, burnt to a crisp
    my head is pounding when we walk into the club and
    music bounces off one ear and out the other
    you say its usual
    I don’t believe you

    One of them – their eyes dolled up in silver eyeshadow
    Makes a pass at me and I may have felt myself blush like a school girl
    cooties are one thing, this is another
    Leading me, fingers entwined like branches
    I am a tree, stable, but not tonight

    Tonight I am someone else
    not sure who she is or who I am
    but she is full of life and smiles and arms outstretched like
    she owns the world
    Gold glitter falls on top of her like autumn leaves in a pile waiting to be picked up
    no one picks me up

    I am on the floor breathing
    Fairy faces lean in towards me and I know
    I know this is the end as I know it
    their lips graze mine
    kisses like juice of fruit spilling down my chin

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 7:48 pm

      Ok, wow… you guys are blowing me away tonight. This is INCREDIBLE, Rachel. I want to pick a favorite part, but I don’t know if I can. It’s all so beautiful.

      Maybe this;

      Tonight I am someone else
      not sure who she is or who I am
      but she is full of life and smiles and arms outstretched like
      she owns the world
      Gold glitter falls on top of her like autumn leaves in a pile waiting to be picked up
      no one picks me up

      Damn, girl! I LOVE it!

      MZ

      • April 15, 2010 8:03 pm

        Ooh, how can I express how this made me feel! Rachel, you rocked me with your seductive fae. I remember feeling enchanted like this as a teenager. I, too, like Michelle’s favored excerpt, but I also love “kisses like juice of fruit spilling down my chin”. Messy, but gloriously excessive. 🙂

    • April 15, 2010 8:07 pm

      I also love the section Michelle quoted! There is so much great imagery here. I loved this too:

      Though your words are magic, floating around your lips like cigarette smoke
      I still see Los Angeles and drunk crowds of girls
      their shirts too tight and their skirts too hiked up

      I lived in LA for a long time and this totally evokes the sort of magical but not magical feeling of partying there. Great poem!

      • April 15, 2010 8:38 pm

        Ah!! Dude this is AWESOME!!! Just absolutely increduble! It drew me in right away 🙂 my favorite lines are, “It is fairy dust that guides me in and leads me away into the garden of words and wisdom bright colors light up the sky and I spin until I’m dizzy and my head aches Though your words are magic, floating around your lips like cigarette smoke” and the one Michelle quoted. Just amazing!

    • April 16, 2010 12:35 am

      Rachel, can I have your skills? Please? That was GORGEOUS!

    • April 19, 2010 6:36 pm

      Rachel- That was wonderful! 😉

  16. April 15, 2010 7:28 pm

    What a cool idea! Since I was brave this week and posted over at Secret Agent, I’ll post my snippet here. It’s the first chapter of my YA Paranormal Romance that I will be querying soon.

    I died before I was even born.

    It was April 13th, not a Friday, but it might as well have been. My mom was in labor with me as my parents raced down the two-lane wooded road that passes for a highway in our part of Michigan. A thunderstorm raged, blotting out the last of the sunset. They were two miles from the hospital when a speeding car slid through a stop sign and slammed into them.

    They never even saw it coming.

    My dad died first, instantly, the steering column punching a hole right through his heart. Their ancient car didn’t have airbags and the seat belt wasn’t enough to save my mom. She bled out while they were using the Jaws of Life, and since I was inside her, I died too.

    The paramedics couldn’t do anything for my mom, but they thought I deserved a chance. They cut me out, right there in the intersection, in the middle of the pouring rain. I was blue, but they wouldn’t give up. A bunch of tiny puffs of air later, I finally gave my first cry. A true wail of angst.

    The nurses said they should call me Lucky. Gran said, “What’s lucky about coming into the world with your parents already dead?” So she named me after the reason for my sad situation. The name my nineteen-year-old mother joked about on the phone with her, before she left for the hospital.

    She named me Rain.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 7:46 pm

      Oh, Valerie… This gave me serious goosebumps. SERIOUS.

      Beautifully, impeccably written. Heartbreaking and a little bit lyrical, but also matter-of-fact in a way that makes everything so real.

      Very nicely done. If I were an agent, I would totally ask to see more of this. Good luck to you! And keep us posted on your progress, okay?

      MZ

      • April 15, 2010 7:53 pm

        Oh wow, thank you so much! Goosebumps, that’s so awesome! You just made my whole week!

        I will definitely keep you posted! (As you can see, I like exclamation points!)

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        April 15, 2010 7:56 pm

        Lol! I am the Exclamation Mark Queen. I always tell people the reason I give hugs to everyone is because they’re the exclamation points of affection!

        Very interested to see what happens with your manuscript, hon.

        MZ

    • April 15, 2010 7:52 pm

      Oh wow! If I picked the book up at the store and read that, I’d buy it. That was amazing. Beautiful, sad and intriguing.

      This is powerful and yet not overdone.

      Good luck with querying!

      • April 15, 2010 10:33 pm

        Wow, thank you so much! I hope it’s a book in a store one day!

    • April 15, 2010 8:05 pm

      That is a dynamite opening for a novel! Whoooweee. I already feel for Rain, love her fate-leaden name, hope she’ll rise above it, and hear her voice loud and clear. Brava.

      • April 15, 2010 10:34 pm

        Thank you! It’s so awesome that you feel for her already!

    • Corrine permalink
      April 15, 2010 8:29 pm

      Wow… I don’t even know what to say. My favorite part was the first line it really made me keep going. Keep writing 🙂

      • April 15, 2010 8:41 pm

        I must aree, the first line drew me in immediately, and had needing to know what it was about! 🙂 Soo great, and i really want to read more!!

      • April 15, 2010 10:35 pm

        Thank you! I like the first line a lot too. So glad you want to read more!

  17. April 15, 2010 7:11 pm

    Hello! I’m usually a stickler for following the rules, but today I feel like being a rebel! Watch out! O_o
    I’m also cheating and posting the snippet I posted last week which is a bit over 300 words. I haven’t done much writing this week, so there ya go! I’ll go stand in the corner now in time out. 😉

    From Grim…this is from the POV of a character named Leigh. Not sure if I’m doing the swapping views throughout, but I like seeing Grim from someone else’s point of view.

    I’m inside the groundskeeper’s home trying to listen to what he and my father are discussing, but I can’t focus on a single word. Staring out one of the windows in his office, thinking what it must be like to be a living thing amongst the dead is when I notice him by the tree. Although I know he wasn’t there a moment ago, he looks like he’s been there all his life, like he’s part of the tree, just another branch reaching out to something or someone we never see.
    There’s a tug at my soul, a need to run out there to him. I know what he is. I know who he is and that should stop me from wanting to see him. It’s not that he’s gorgeous and irresistible, making all the girls swoon because he doesn’t. His dark coffee colored hair could use a decent cut and an introduction to a hairbrush. I doubt anyone would notice him if they passed him by on the street. He’s the type that blends into the scenery, the background, the world.
    If it’s true that the eyes are the windows to the soul, then looking into the eyes of the soulless should be frightening. It should make a person run in the other direction. It should be the first clue that the boy who understands you better than anyone you’ve ever met, isn’t a boy at all.
    And yet, if they looked into his eyes as I have, they’d understand.
    He tells me his eyes are changing. He tells me that it happens to them all. He wants me to remember who he was before all of this. He wants me to hold onto the memories he won’t be able to keep once it happens. He wants me to tell his story when his eyes are no longer blue, but consumed by the blackness.

    My boots crush the leaves as I approach him, making him look up at me. His smile warms me while the pain in his eyes breaks my heart. I don’t know how to stop this from happening. The swirl of the blue and black in his eyes look like a child’s marble. I sit down in front of him. I take his hands in mine. They’re cold like the air that breathes through the red leaves of the tree we sit under.
    He is not soulless.
    He is not a dark creature of the night.
    He is not some romantic storybook hero.
    He is not alive.
    He is not dead.

    He is the in-between.
    He is my death.
    And his name is Grim.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 7:22 pm

      Wow… so interesting to see grim from someone else’s POV. I can really feel Leigh’s inner torment. I especially like this;

      If it’s true that the eyes are the windows to the soul, then looking into the eyes of the soulless should be frightening. It should make a person run in the other direction. It should be the first clue that the boy who understands you better than anyone you’ve ever met, isn’t a boy at all.

      Is your book written in alternating PsOV? Or is this an exercise you do to get to know your characters better?

      In any case, I love it, as I do all thing Grim! And Danielle!

      MZ

      • April 15, 2010 7:38 pm

        Michelle- I’m not sure at this point. I’ve written two scenes from Leigh’s point of view. The first was to figure out who she was. This piece was inspired by your picture prompt last week. I liked her voice in it and seeing Grim through her eyes. Sometimes I write pieces in 3rd person point of view about Grim to get a glimpse of him.

        For now, I’m going to write what comes naturally. If that means two PsOV, then rock on! If I end up wanting it entirely in his voice, rock on to that too!

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        April 15, 2010 7:49 pm

        Well, it’s a great idea to use little writing exercises like that to get to know your characters better. And it’s always obvious that you know Grim, inside and out.

        Which is a very, very good start.

        MZ

      • Ashley Pulawa permalink
        April 15, 2010 10:48 pm

        I could NEVER get enough of this Danielle!

      • April 19, 2010 6:39 pm

        Wow! Thank you, Ashley! 😀

    • April 15, 2010 7:27 pm

      Gee… I didn’t even try to make it purdy either.

    • April 15, 2010 7:39 pm

      Wow, I really liked this a lot. Without knowing anything about the story, you totally sucked me in and I felt for this girl and what she was losing. It sounds like it must be a great book! I really liked the passage Michelle quoted, and I also liked the line:

      “He’s the type that blends into the scenery, the background, the world.”

      I don’t know why, I just think it’s a really good description. Great job!

    • April 15, 2010 8:42 pm

      I love the rhythm of the last few lines, though there may be too many short ones, thus reducing their impact. Totally loved “He is the in-between. He is my death. And his name is Grim.” Chills. 🙂

      • April 19, 2010 6:41 pm

        Lia- Thank you! And thanks for the tip. I may clip two of the lines under what he isn’t to make it a bit stronger! 😉

    • Stella permalink
      April 16, 2010 4:41 pm

      Oh, Danielle! I love this! Grim from someone else’s POV is really interesting. I agree with Michelle; this is my favorite:

      If it’s true that the eyes are the windows to the soul, then looking into the eyes of the soulless should be frightening. It should make a person run in the other direction. It should be the first clue that the boy who understands you better than anyone you’ve ever met, isn’t a boy at all.

      Beautiful writing. I can’t wait to read everything else!

      • April 19, 2010 6:42 pm

        Thank you so much, Stella! I’m happy you liked seeing him from someone else’s POV. 😀

  18. April 15, 2010 7:01 pm

    I’ve hit the end of my WIP. I just have to write the epilogue and I’m done, not counting edits and stuff. *does happy dance* This snippit is a bit more boring than what I usually post, but eh.
    _________________________________

    “You saved her life, baby,” Mom spoke from beside me. I pulled my eyes away from the three, who were all speaking animatedly to each other. I imagine Dexter and Peyton had a lot of catching up to do. “You saved all their lives.”

    Confused, I glanced up at her, but she wasn’t looking at me. I followed her teary-eyed gaze to where a small, grungy-looking group of people were gathered in heavy coats and winter gear. They were speaking to the police. Crying to the police.

    “They were ..?” I trailed off. Mom nodded in confirmation. Peyton wasn’t the only person locked in those cells. Derrick had continued his and my father’s dirty work and found a new batch of victims to torture.

    But I had saved them.

    “And even though I’d like nothing more than to smack you for being so stupid and careless,” Mom kept rebuking. I stared at her, welcoming the scolding with ease. After Derrick’s punishing words, I felt more solid than ever. “I want you to know how incredibly proud I am of you. I know it doesn’t seem like it, because of how I acted earlier, but I really am. I’m horrified at my behavior, PJ. I just missed him so much, but there’s no justifiable excuse for being a lousy mother. I hope you can forgive me, because I-”

    She was going to start sobbing again. I took initiative and wrapped my arms around her neck, relishing in the warmth of her comfort. “I love you, Mom.”

    She gave me a choked, watery laugh. “I love you too, baby.”

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 7:20 pm

      Aw, this is so sweet, Katie! I like that the dialog seems so real.

      And I’m SO PROUD OF YOU!

      YOU FINISHED A BOOK! That is a huge freaking accomplishment, hon. Whatever happens from here, you’ve proven that you can finish, and that really is one of the hardest parts.

      Onward and upward, bay-beeee!

      MZ

    • April 15, 2010 7:32 pm

      Katie! YAY! For finishing your book! *does a happy dance for you* That’s so exciting.

      I like this piece even though I’m not sure who Peyton, Derrick and Dexter are. Dexter… vaguely… I like how real it feels between the mother and narrator. Nicely done. Love to see this all put together. Good luck with the next stage of writing. 😉

      • April 15, 2010 8:44 pm

        Ohh, this made me tear up a little, lol. This is really great, and I didn’t find it boring 😉

    • April 15, 2010 9:01 pm

      How can you not forgive someone who admits she’s a lousy mother? Especially as we know that can’t be true. If her daughter is a heroine and has saved lives we know she had to have done something right along the way. Love how the daughter comforts the mother. The reversal of roles is very touching and only makes your heroine all the stronger.

      Congratulations on finishing! What an enormous achievement that is!

  19. April 15, 2010 5:23 pm

    Hope everyone is having a grreat week!!!

    House on Haunted Hill. (4-11-10)

    Hospitales.
    They are
    just so full of
    death.

    I’ve
    never been
    able to smell the
    “sickly sweet scent”
    of death,
    that is supposedly there.

    No,
    just how
    it is too
    quiet,
    and way too clean.

    Whispers
    of the deceased
    still linger
    in the
    halls.

    Trying
    to tell you
    their heart-breaking
    story.

    Or,
    when you
    hear the voice
    comming from
    a speaker
    far off,
    “Code blue
    in ICU”
    and you just
    know.

    This
    is why
    I hate
    hospitales.

    Sure,
    they do good,
    people live.
    But, I can
    never get past
    all of the
    Death.

    this isnt my best but i havent really written in while, any feedback is welcome 🙂

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      April 15, 2010 6:42 pm

      I love this, Meagan. It’s grim, but not macabre. There’s sadness underneath, and I like that it’s kind of stream-of-consciousness.

      Nicely done! Especially since you’ve been on a writing hiatus. It’s not always easy to get back in the swing of things, but this is wonderful.

      MZ

    • April 15, 2010 6:42 pm

      Meagan-
      I like this: Whispers of the deceased still linger in the halls. Trying to tell you their heart-breaking
      story.

      and this: But, I can never get past all of the Death.

      May I offer a few suggestions?
      Hospitals is spelled without an “E” but I like how it spells “tales” with the “E”. Not sure if it’s intentional.

      If you keep with the “tales” idea throughout I think you could condense or cut the part about the smells.

      I like the idea of the deceased still lingering in the hallways waiting to tell their stories. Maybe you can build on that? Um.. because I’d like to see that. 😉

      • April 15, 2010 8:55 pm

        Danielle ~ Ha, no it wasn’t intentional, I just can’t spell well at times, but I like what you said, I don’t think I would have ever noticed that 😉 So now I’ve got a question for yoooou….

        In the
        dim glow of
        the hospitales
        lights,
        I walk down
        the hall, dreading
        every
        single
        step.

        I swear I can
        hear them
        whispering.

        The deceased.
        The ones
        left behind.
        They have a story to tell
        and they want me to hear it.

        The whispering
        is growing.
        It’s becoming
        a quiet roar.

        They want
        me to give them
        my undividing
        attention.

        But
        I do not
        have time for it
        right now.

        I want them to
        leave me alone!

        I have my own problems
        to deal with.

        He’s dying.
        ……. You mean like that? Like build on it like that??

    • April 15, 2010 8:46 pm

      Now, this is equal to any poetry I’ve ever read:

      “Whispers
      of the deceased
      still linger
      in the
      halls.

      Trying
      to tell you
      their heart-breaking
      story.”

      Yes, you ARE a writer. Write on!

    • April 15, 2010 9:28 pm

      Not sure why my post didn’t attach here…. Oh well… here it is now: Meagan! YES! Like that! 🙂

      I like how you build on it… the dying want someone to hear them…

      Nicely done!

      • April 16, 2010 5:11 pm

        Thank you so much Daniellle! I’ve never even considered building on oe of my poems, but I’m really glad that you said I should 🙂

    • mak...XD permalink
      April 16, 2010 5:50 pm

      meagan…i searched for a piece by you just to read…i love your poems that much…and i read both of them…the latter is most definately stronger and i thought for a second i felt something at my ear…i swear it…lol. but as i said. i looked for your poem and you took my breath away once again….<3

      • April 17, 2010 11:55 pm

        Wow, thank you so much, that really means alot! And when I wrote it, I creeped myself out a little, lawl, I’m a wimp though :P… And i LA-OVE!! your work, btw!… And a comment about a question you asked a week or two ago; I usually see the narrator as someone else, but when I read a poem, sometimes I kind of think of it as the author being the narrator, it being told from their perspective. So it kind of depends, how i see things, lol.

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