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Thursday Night Write with Author Saundra Mitchell

June 10, 2010

Welcome to a very special edition of Thursday Night Write!

While I try my best to comment all the TNW posts, as the feature has grown and grown (each week TNW gets, on average, 1300 hits in the first 24 hours alone! Yes! That many people are reading your entries, even is they’re not commenting!), it’s gotten tougher for me to keep on top of it all. Some weeks I get to all the entries, some weeks I get to a few, and some weeks I don’t get to any of them (which makes me as sad as it makes you). I’m sorry my comments are a bit sporadic, but I’m doing my very best, I promise.

Anyway, I figure you guys probably get sick of my comments after awhile, so I’ve lined up occasional guest commentators to give you guys a little variety and some new insight into your work. This week, author Saundra Mitchell has agreed to be our guest commentator.

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Saundra is the author of the Edgar-nominated mystery, Shadowed Summer. If you’re ever looking for a gorgeously written Southern Gothic, this is your book. Enthralling and atmospheric, Shadowed Summer will take you to the deep South where “every secret is a family secret.”

I’m also ridiculously excited for Saundra’s next book, The Vespertine. Releasing in Spring 2011 with Houghton Mifflin, The Vespertine is a Gothic thriller (with romance, of course!) that is already garnering praise from authors like Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead Tossed Waves) and Aprilynne Pike (Wings and Spells0). Perfect for fans of Prophecy of the Sisters!

Saundra has agreed to guest comment your posts today but wanted me to let you know that her comments will come in throughout the next few days as she has a particularly busy weekend lined up. We don’t mind, Saundra! We’re grateful to have you here on Thursday Night Write!

Same rules apply; 300 words or less, and don’t forget to comment at least one other entry if you’re going to leave one of your own.Your excerpt can be anything, as long as it’s yours – a poem, piece of a novel or short story… whatever!

On another note, Kenneth, Rebekah and I will be doing an unusual show this week on Burn After Listening. Saturday happens to be our town’s annual Relay for Life, an all-night walk for the American Cancer Society. I chaperone an all-teenager team of about 25, but we’ve decided to go ahead with the podcast live from the field. It might be a little crazy, but it will no doubt be fun! Join us at 10pm EST.

Happy Thursday Night Write, guys! ❤

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64 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon Hamling permalink
    June 13, 2010 8:30 pm

    ‘Ello, lovely people of the world. How do you do? =] Here’s my post. Comments and critique would be much appreciated. Thank you!
    ——————————————-
    “Zelorina, please don’t do this.” Amelia pleaded
    “Do what? I’m simply helping you along. You need a date for the ball and that Xander is one hunk of a man!” Zelorina purrs.
    “Then you slip him the love potion for you and not me. He’s a right foul git. He’s beastly, rude and hardly a MAN. The last thing I want is that troll drooling pathetically over me.” Amelia protests sharply.
    “Too late.” Zelorina smirks.
    “What d’ya mean?” Amelia says crossly.
    “He’s eaten the cake Amy and looked at the card.” Zelorina smiles devilishly.
    “Oi! I hate you!” Amelia storms off and Zelorina calls after her.
    “Remember you can’t make the antidote until after the ball in January my little potions master.”
    “You should shut it before I decide to turn around and hex you.” Amelia taunts over her shoulder.

    • Shannon Hamling permalink
      June 14, 2010 5:23 pm

      Way less than 300 words I know but who said we had to go maxing out words like credit cards here…haha…=]

      • June 14, 2010 5:28 pm

        My philosophy is keep writing til the scene is finished. If the scene is finished in less than 300 words, then leave it 🙂

    • mak...XD permalink
      June 14, 2010 7:54 pm

      short and devilishly sweet. although i dont COMPLETELY know what’s goin on here, i loved it. what will happen next? i have many theories swarming my mind atm…continue next week!!!

  2. June 12, 2010 2:23 am

    Yes, I am continuing my saga about Venetia and the amulet! Incase this is your first time reading, let me recap. Venetia accidentally found an amulet that is actually a portal to the Realm of Otherness, of which the evil Arachne wants to open to take over the world. Venetia must protect it, but she has the help of her schoolmate, Andrick, and two time travelers, Reviva and Cadmon. Enjoy another random scene!

    INT. SCHOOL LIBRARY. LATE MORNING. 1886.

    VENETIA (seventeen with long, brown hair, golden brown eyes, and a brown school girl’s clothes with torn stockings)sits a table pouring over a book on mystical realms. B.G.-a fairly large school library with rows of books along the walls and tables in the center. Other students in the same uniform puruse the library without complaint. Venetia reads a chapter on the Realm of Otherness.

    VENETIA:
    (whispers)
    Yes, yes, Reviva has told me
    all this…It was open before?
    Then how did it close? Oh, in
    the year fourteen twenty-two,
    a valiant knight by the name of
    Xander Viramor valiantly faced
    Arachne and sealed the portal.
    No one knows how, not even the
    hero himself. What? How can that
    be possible? Ugh! Wait, maybe
    Reviva can take me there and we
    can ask about his…

    SAFIA (seventeen with an olive complexion and dark, curly hair) listens over her shoulder.

    SAFIA:
    Who’s Reviva?

    Venetia slams the book shut.

    VENETIA:
    It’s just…a story I’m writing.
    Yes, that’s what I’ve been writing
    in my journal every morning when
    you see me down by that tree…

    Safia sits next to her.

    SAFIA:
    You weren’t reading in your head
    you know. You were looking up
    information on sealing another
    realm. I knew something was up.
    You’ve changed. And no, you cannot
    blame your mother’s death on this.
    You are exhausted, not tired from
    a lack of sleep. You’ve been out
    doing something, and I can tell
    it’s not a fun task, especially if
    you rely on Andrick’s help. I know
    how much you dislike him, though
    I’m not sure why…

    VENETIA:
    He acts like every other boy in
    this school-out for his own interest.
    If I took an interest in him, he would
    be ready to break my heart first chance
    he got!

    SAFIA:
    So, you do fancy him!

    VENETIA:
    Oh, enough of this petty school girl
    talk! You’re right, something has come
    up, but you can’t help me. I don’t even
    like asking Reviva for help, but it’s
    necessary. I’m not going to satisfy
    your curiousity tonight, so go gossip
    with the other girls and leave me to
    my fate.

    SAFIA:
    I’m not here to gossip! I’m here to help!

    Venetia stands up.

    VENETIA:
    You can’t help me!

    Venetia starts to leave her.

    SAFIA:
    You don’t know that.

    Venetia stops and contemplates the validity of that comment.

    • June 12, 2010 5:56 pm

      You’ve got some nice exposition here, Dana. Wherever you’re going with this, the reader certainly wants to follow! Is this a play or a screenplay? If it’s a screenplay- if I may- screenwriting is my day job, and I have a free screenwriting format guide on my website you might like to download. It has lots of tips for making the most out of this unique structure, plus tricks that I’ve learned over the last fifteen years. Michelle linked my site above- please do come poke around.

      • June 12, 2010 7:24 pm

        Thanks Saundra! It would be a screen play, but I had trouble formatting it for the the thursday night comment section. I did learn the proper format in college. Actually, I’m the screen play adapter for this children’s animated feature called “The Christmas Wish Bear.” It’s being animated right now! But I could always use more tips; I believe one should never stop learning even in their own craft! So I will check out your website. And if you have any tips on getting a literary agent or producer to represent your work, I would love to hear about that too. Thanks so much for reading! This is a totally improv’d script, so I don’t have an exact outline for this story and I put up scenes from different sections every week. Basically, I don’t know where I’m going with this either, but I have a lot of fun writing it. And I’m so glad people are enjoying it! Thank you!

      • June 12, 2010 7:39 pm

        If you want, I can send you a copy of one of my scripts, and if you’ve got the time, I’d love to hear your professional critique on it. And can I also just say that the model on your book cover looks scarily like myself! lol

    • Shannon Hamling permalink
      June 14, 2010 5:20 pm

      I love reading your script! I do a little theatre acting with my school’s drama club and I continuously envision how this would look on stage but i’m also a film student so it plays like a movie in my head! I love it! You’re an amazing writer….=]

      • June 14, 2010 5:27 pm

        Thank you! I’m very flattered. I think I would make it a screen play, but it’s kind of hard to format the script in the comment section. Most of my first drafts end up being in play script format cuz it’s just easier, then I type the final draft in screen play format. It would be interesting to see if this would work on stage. I do so many scene changes it would be hard tho! Thanks for reading!

  3. June 11, 2010 10:39 am

    Blinking twice, Ensley was shocked to see that the source of light—whatever it was—had been extinguished. Anyone with brains was afraid of the dark; countless demons used the dark as their prime time for creating terror. Because most people sleep at night, they were unable to defend themselves, giving the advantage to any demon that just happened to be hungry for souls, memories, lives, intellect, or blood. As a child, before her parents were murdered, Ensley didn’t have to be worried about going to sleep; the Land of the Living was impervious to demon attacks, but they were proven wrong by the Deyalii. Ever since, sleeping scared Ensley because she knew that there was a great chance that she could be captured or killed in her sleep just for being an angel. Until she was eighteen, she was as helpless as a mortal—and her birthday wasn’t until next week.
    “There is no where to run, Ensley Sheth,” All the demons boomed in identical voices. Suddenly, blades whizzed in the air, all heading for Ensley. One sunk into her shoulder and she wanted to scream in pain, to sink to the ground, but at a time like this, that was allowing yourself to be captured and Ensley would not allow herself to do that. Through tears, Ensley saw that they had formed a wall that could not be penetrated on only one side; probably the direction they didn’t want her going.
    Ensley darted off, running as fast as her legs could ever run. There was something entirely wrong, though: None of the demons—and there had to be hundreds—followed her. Either she was going in the worst direction possible or they were letting her run, only to attack with stronger demons later. Someone or something was controlling them, sending them after her because she wouldn’t be breathing right now if they weren’t.
    “You can run from your fears, Ensley Sheth, but they will always catch up with you,” echoed the same voices from a distance.

    • mak...XD permalink
      June 11, 2010 3:57 pm

      this is soo darkly wonderful!!! it brings back memories of a very close friend and a past story i wrote. how do you plan on ending it? and…an angel?? you have me a little dumbfounded at the moment. that’s very good.

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 11, 2010 7:43 pm

      OMG, I always love your writing and this story. Can’t wait to read more.

    • June 12, 2010 5:59 pm

      This is exciting, and very anime-esque. You’ve got a great handle on imagery, which makes everything here so vivid. There’s lots of tension too- you leave your audience wondering what’s going to happen next, and that’s always a good place to leave them. Flooded with imagery and wanting more is a great place to be!

      • June 13, 2010 10:26 pm

        I really love this story line! You write amazingly well, and I especially liked this for how… dark it was. :] Amazing job, I’m looking forward to more!!

  4. mak...XD permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:30 am

    Hello, my friend,
    I am Darkness.
    No, pet, do not be afraid.
    I surround you with my
    Many bodies.
    Each with her open arms,
    For you.

    Stare into me.
    Get lost in me.
    Do your eyes burn?
    No?

    Then jump back to
    Reality.
    Remember who you are.
    And forget the
    Shadowed-bliss you once
    accepted from me.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Welcome, again,
    My pet.
    What sweet dream did you have?
    I warned you.
    I told you in the first place
    that I am
    Everywhere.

    When you close your eyes,
    It’s me you see.
    You cannot escape me, pet.

    Do you see them?
    The scarlet orbs,
    Enclosed by the blackest
    Mist

    Do your eyes burn?
    Do they ache?
    Your eyes cannot resist me.
    You will stare into me until
    they spill over with tears.

    And finally,
    You will feed me with
    Your blood.
    Sorry, pet.
    You have refused me.
    Now is my vengeance.
    You will see me consume
    Your soul,
    Forever.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    if anyone has any better ideas on how to separate this poem (its one poem just two parts)
    It would greatly be appreciated….comments and critiquing …thankz!!!!!!! <3<3

    • Caroline permalink
      June 11, 2010 8:21 am

      Wow! I love it, I loved how you called the human “Pet” it made the beastly like thing seem more like a monster. Great job! 😀

    • June 11, 2010 9:10 am

      I admit, I’m completely biased, mak…XD. I met my husband at a vampire fan club, so any kind of immortal monster in poetry and prose is going to make me extra happy. This is no exception. You managed to make your narrator menacing, but also a bit mysterious, what with the letting their “pet” go, only to come back again later. I really like that!

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 11, 2010 10:38 am

      I like this alot. It’s very menacing because the narrator calls the human “pet”. Very well written.

      • June 11, 2010 12:32 pm

        MAK., I always love what you write! I really liked this, it was a little creepy, but in a completely good way!! :] I love how, at first the narrator almost seems… nice, with the first stanza, and then it turns threatening. This was reallly well written, great job!!

    • mak...XD permalink
      June 11, 2010 7:55 pm

      thanks everyone!!! and sorry to sound harsh…but its really darkness speaking. i put darkness in the form of a person (maybe me) and to me…i almost based it on the fears a typical human may have of the dark. the human mind is a very odd thing. and mine has a terrible imagination that frightens me sometimes. i wrote this poem on, not just a typical human’s fears, but MY OWN….glad you all enjoyed it either way!!!! <3<3<3<3

  5. June 10, 2010 10:37 pm

    This is a tiny excerpt from my novel that I’m currently querying. (Keep your finger crossed for me, yeah?)

    Instincts—Lance.

    I watched from the porch as she drove away. The door opened behind me and I felt my brother move closer.

    “Why aren’t you out?” I asked before he could speak.

    Ian sucked in a breath, and I sighed. I hated this. Hated the endless arguments with him. “I ordered everyone on patrol,” I said mildly, turning to face him.

    “I was on patrol.” He snapped defensively, “But there is nothing out there!”

    “And you left your brothers out there alone?”

    Guilt mixed with anger in his eyes for a moment before the fury won out. “Greg and Matt can guard each other’s back. So don’t try and guilt me.”

    My temper shifted, and I felt a curious calm fill me. He saw it, the inner beast rising. He stepped back, catering to me. “Go,” I whispered, and turned away. I felt the air shift, saw the backlash as he followed my orders—finally.

    I could feel Conner’s presence in the house, puttering in the back of the house. I was too edgy to see him—I couldn’t hear his lecture again, not right now. Without calling to him, I ducked into my tiny room, stripping off my shirt and laying down on the bed.

    Phil disturbed me. He was too attentive, too present in her life. Territorial instincts demanded that I challenged that, fight for her. Everything in me screamed to go to her, protect her. And there was no doubt she needed it—Harry deserved to be slowly torn to pieces for hurting her. I couldn’t resent Phil for protecting her. I might want to, but she was not mine.

    Rage shot through me, and I clenched my teeth, forcing back the primal scream of fury and denial the mere thought had produced.

    Ali. What would she think, if I told her—when I told her, because it was truly a matter of time. What would she do, how would she react when she knew I wasn’t quite as simple as I appeared. That there was a part of me—vicious and deadly and oh, so protective.

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 10, 2010 10:41 pm

      I really like this, though I’m somewhat confused. But that’s kind of good. It intrigues me so much!

      • June 10, 2010 10:48 pm

        :/ sorry it’s confusing, dear! It’s from about halfway through the book….might be why it’s confusing.

    • June 11, 2010 2:09 am

      This has some really fantastic tension to it, Nazarea! It’s very fang and claw, and it leaves me wondering both what happened before, and what’s going to happen next. I find the last line especially lyrical- great rhythm and weight in those words there.

  6. June 10, 2010 8:34 pm

    Okay,so I’m going to post two if thats all right. :] The first is the first poem i can ever remember writing and I’m pretty sure it is the first, and the second is from a few weeks before school ended. A friend of mine said the completely wrong answer with amazing confidence, and me and my other friend couldnt stop laughing, and it turned into this. Not to sure how….

    Burning.

    Everything
    in my life is
    burning.
    Crashing down.
    With
    noone around to
    help put it out,
    it all breaks down.
    Crumbles.
    Burnt to ash.
    Never
    to be rebuilt.
    Never to be saved.

    For
    noone knows to
    help when the fire
    is hidden behind
    trees of lies.

    So
    it will burn.
    Burn for forever.
    Never to be rebuilt.
    Never to be
    Saved.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    5-25-10

    You say this with such confidence,
    Your words leaving a terrifying turbulance
    Of that of a racecar,
    Leaving my scrambling mind far
    Behind.

    How do you not understand
    That I don’t comprehend
    What it is you’re saying?
    What game you must be playing?
    As your words whirl around in my mind.

    I don’t know what to think.
    And if I dare blink,
    What will I see?
    Where will you be?
    And will you still see me?

    ‘Cause I feel this is all a distant dream.

    ~ ~ ~
    Any comments welcome!

    • June 11, 2010 2:12 am

      These are both very nice pieces, meagan; I especially like the second one. The first one is beautifully written, but very abstract. It’s hard to get close to the narrator, even though the imagery is very strong. The second poem is so immediate; the metaphors you’ve chosen really resonate. Leaving the terrifying turbulence of a racecar is so apt and so visceral- very nicely done!

    • mak...XD permalink
      June 11, 2010 8:02 pm

      Meagan these are beautiful. i love the first. the words come after me sooo hard and sharp. it is short and gets quickly to the point. but the repetition of the same concept is put into different words…a different form. that is the pure loveliness of it.
      (btw…is there any other way to contact you???your link goes straight to yahoo…and i’m a tad bit confused)

      • June 13, 2010 10:30 pm

        Thank you so much MAK!!! And yes. My e-mail is yahoo, meg_9511@yahoo.com, but I also have a facebook and a myspace(but I rarely get on myspace any more.) Thank you again!

  7. joey permalink
    June 10, 2010 8:22 pm

    Deal After Reap Keeper
    Want Another Vivid Eat
    Alternate No Dread Under Places
    Used Pure Inside Night Twilight Only
    Trying Honored End
    Cleansing Love Each And Rosey
    Waft Armed Real Meaning
    Love Ignighting Great Happy Times
    Be Ever You’rs Often Now Dreamed

    dark
    wave
    and
    up
    up
    into
    the
    clear
    warm
    light
    beyond

    • June 11, 2010 2:16 am

      This poem has a wonderfully essential, visual weight to it, joey- I really like the way you’ve marked out upper case, and threaded them so that the wide end and the narrow end of the poem contain all the same words. This is a clever piece of concrete poetry- and maybe I’m a little loopy, but I think it looks like an axe. 😀

      • joey permalink
        June 13, 2010 8:03 pm

        Thanks Saundra! and you’r right it does look like a axe 🙂

  8. FlaglineGeek permalink
    June 10, 2010 7:28 pm

    It was so wonderful to hear such nice comments on my piece last week (thank you so much), so I’m starting right where I left off. This is the next 310 words. (Sorry, I had to finish the last paragraph.) It’s still part of the material that was written awhile ago (and there is a little more than this.) So far, I haven’t written anything new (because I’ve been working every day on a different book), but I will. You guys gave me the last ounce of encouragement I needed.

    “I–I can see you.” I stuttered. He looked back at me with those beautiful eyes. Except now they were wide with surprise. I could tell he was just as shocked as I was.

    “Really?” he asked.

    “Yes, really.” I confirmed. “You’re beautiful,” I blurted out. I didn’t know why. I spoke on impulse, not thinking of how weird that would sound.

    “This has never happened before. I don’t even know how to explain it to you,” he said. He pretended not to notice my comment about his beauty.

    “At least tell me why you’re here and what you are.” I insisted. “It’s only fair.” He still seemed reluctant but, in a way, I think he agreed.

    “Okay,” he began, “but don’t scream or anything. We can’t alert your mother. And, don’t tell anyone.” His voice was firm and I nodded. “I am a faerie and I’m here to protect you.”

    “A faerie! Oh my gosh! Wait—protect me? From what?! Is someone trying to hurt me?”

    “You’re not allowed to know. If I told you, I would be risking your protection.”

    I looked away to hide my frightened face. I didn’t doubt that he could protect me. His muscles looked like they could do some harm. And I was sure he had magical powers that went along with the whole faerie thing. But it still scared me to know that someone or something was out to harm me. Who could it be? Someone from school? Someone close to me? I instantly ruled out my parents, boyfriend, and closest friends. That left everybody else. But what was I supposed to do? Not have any contact with the outside world? I couldn’t live like that.

    Scared, I turned back to face him. To look upon his gorgeous, comforting face. But he was gone. And at that exact moment, Michael walked in.

    • June 10, 2010 7:40 pm

      Oooh, I like this very much!!! I really want to know what is after her, great job!!

      • FlaglineGeek permalink
        June 10, 2010 7:47 pm

        Thank you very much. In the next couple of weeks you may find out.

    • June 10, 2010 10:41 pm

      OOooohh…Nice!! I want you to keep writing because I want to know more 🙂

      Fae guardian, hmm? Different–I like different. Keep it up, chicka!

      • FlaglineGeek permalink
        June 11, 2010 10:44 am

        Thank you very much. I actually hadn’t read any faerie stories before this (except the back summaries of a few) so I’m glad this is different.

    • June 11, 2010 2:19 am

      Wow, FlaglineGeek, you certainly know how to end with tension to keep your audience wanting more. I’m dying to know who Michael is and where Fae boy just went. Since he’s there to protect her, I’m hoping he’s just invisible!

      • FlaglineGeek permalink
        June 11, 2010 10:51 am

        Thank you so much! Michael is actually her boyfriend, but in the last scene I posted her and her fae guardian (Makani) kissed!

  9. June 10, 2010 7:14 pm

    This is something that I wrote a while ago, but I hope you all enjoy!!:]
    ___________________________________________

    The Search

    Finding and losing seems to be the internal war
    That each of us have through out our lives.
    Whenever the feeling of confidence comes
    At us puffing out our chest,
    There always is a thief that comes and steals it away.

    Leaving us crumpled on the floor
    With are hands reached out towards the sky
    For what ever we discovered about ourselves.
    Trapped in a dark forest
    Frightened for your life you run around
    With a heart beating as fast as
    The rain drops pounding the leave covered floor.
    Whimpers escape your lips through your enclosing throat
    And exhaustion brings confusion with every step you take.

    But no matter how much you search
    You can only get a glimpse of what you are.
    Like waking up from a dream
    With no memory of what it was about
    But knowing that you were dreaming.
    And then when you least expect it
    Remembrance hits you with such clarity
    That every other struggle fades away,

    And you have this perfect memory of yourself
    Until a new struggle emerges
    Of figuring out how to be that way again,
    While the thief laughs at you and mocks you
    By changing everything around so that you lose yourself again.
    And then the search of self-identity continues
    And repeats itself for the rest of your life.

    • June 10, 2010 7:44 pm

      Oh my gosh, this was extremely beautiful, and so true (in my opinion.) From the first sentenceyou pulled me in, your writing is just so beautiful, the imagery is really nice, and I really really really loved this!!!! It was so amazing,great job!! 😀

      • June 10, 2010 8:21 pm

        thank you so much!!! im glad you like it!!!

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 10, 2010 9:45 pm

      This is extremely well written. I love it.

    • June 11, 2010 2:36 am

      I love the wisdom and maturity in this poem, Puck. The way you expose the search for self, and in the end acknowledge that it’s not a single search, and it doesn’t ever end, is a rich and poignant sentiment. And you’ve explored it in a very universal way, by focusing on sensation instead of elaborate metaphors. I like this.

  10. June 10, 2010 7:02 pm

    ouu, can’t wait to see some of the writing from this night :]
    this piece comes to you from day [5] five, entitled ‘dreams.’
    it’s from a writing challenge called thirty days of letters, where you have a different topic to write about on a daily basis, a letter of sorts to a person, being, place or idea and you are given a month to complete them all. the word ‘bitchsnake’ is borrowed from the gargoyle by andrew davidson, a wonderful book which i encourage you to read. hope you enjoy :]

    ——–

    dear dreams,

    please stop taking control of me every time i close my eyes. i blink for a split second and i get a glimpse of the bitchsnake that’s curled around my spine and is waiting patiently for her time to strike, for when i fall asleep and am left unguarded. do you know how hard it is when you start believing that dreams are reality, and that reality has been swallowed up forever?

    i’m waking up at three am every morning gasping for air and i’m scared to go back to bed so i down another energy drink from under my bedside table and i lie staring at the ceiling until my alarm goes off. my parents are unaware of what’s happening, only because i think that they rarely see me. i lash out at them when i come home from school and then i disappear into my room until the morning, only leaving to use the bathroom, to shower and to scarf down some food.

    could you please stop ruining my life? i’m paranoid that people are talking about me behind my back because of my strange behaviour, but you’re to blame. i never know what’s reality or what is all in my head.

    please, bitchsnake, please leave me alone. drinking is the only thing that cures me of you, and that’s only a temporary solution. i’ve tried everything, but you’re making me believe that i’ve wronged, to have you plague me so.

    i just want my life back, is that too much to ask?

    • June 10, 2010 7:50 pm

      That project sounds like alot of fun! I really enjoy this piece. I can feel the anxiety, the needto go back to normal. This was really well written, and as all of your pieces,I loved it!! Awesome job :]

      • June 10, 2010 8:28 pm

        oh, it really is a lot of fun!
        i’ve started posting it all on my tumblr account, http://www.fragilebeauty.tumblr.com
        i’ve already written up to day six or something, just been slow in posting them :p
        and thankyouu for all that, you really are just feeding my massive ego haha.

    • June 10, 2010 10:44 pm

      What??? Where did this come from, girl? I–of course–want more. Very curious about the bitchsnake…nice name, btw. As always, would love to read more.

    • June 11, 2010 2:38 am

      This is some really powerful and vivid writing, Alix-wa. You have such a strong voice, and you did a fantastic job of carrying the theme word bitchsnake all the way through the piece. I especially like the image of it curling around her spine– so that later, when she lashes at her parents, the metaphor is ready to strike. This is really great- tight, focused, and raw writing, with a really strong voice. Well done!

  11. June 10, 2010 6:50 pm

    Yay, love TNW & guest authors! You guys are awesome! This is from my new WIP, that comical/demented one I posted a snippit from a few months ago. 🙂
    ________________________________________

    “Danny, are you drunk? I was just calling to tell you that I’ve got your wallet-”

    “And you stole my wallet too? Unbelievable!” he sputtered, but his anger and intoxication made the word sound something like “una-bleeve-bluh.” He jumped up on his heels, but he underestimated the amount of beer that filled his gut. He swayed on his feet, leaning into the kitchen table to sturdy himself and knocking over more glass bottles in the process.

    “I didn’t steal it! Cheese and rice, take off your freaking beer goggles and chill out! You dropped it when you left the restaurant. I got your number from one of the business cards,” she explained.

    “Hey, Ollie,” he began softly. The anger disappeared, clearing a path for the most recognized emotion that his binges always birthed. The slow, steady sheet of desolately outlined misery swept up from his toes, and he could feel himself letting go of all optimism. “Do you really think you stopped me? I have pills, and knives, and a bathtub, and a bungee cord. Your little rescue mission didn’t mean shit.”

    It was silent on the other end. Amidst the hard pounding in his skull, he could hear her labored breathing. He waited. He waited for her to say something motivational and inspiring, something that would surely push him to stop drinking and sober up. She seemed like the kind of person who would have plenty of those kinds of speeches shoved in her pockets for suicidal whack jobs like himself.

    Instead, he heard a faint click. And then the dial tone. She had hung up.

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 10, 2010 7:34 pm

      Oh, wow. This is very interesting. I wasn’t expecting the suicide angle, and it intrigues me so much!

      • June 10, 2010 7:54 pm

        I really did like this, and I’m looking forward to more on it, great job!

    • June 11, 2010 2:32 am

      Dang, Katie! This certainly didn’t end where I expected it to after the beginning! The layers of irreverent at the top are disarming, so when you drop the suicide bomb on us- and then the hang up!!!- it comes full-force. I really enjoyed that emotional whiplash. It was unexpected and unfiltered and very cool.

  12. June 10, 2010 6:41 pm

    Love me some TNW! 🙂

    This bit comes directly after the dialogue I posted last week (little long again, sorry…I can never find a good cutting point). Can’t wait to read all your guys’ stuff too!

    ————–

    Chloe shot Alethea a death glare and snatched the pompoms out of her hands. Alethea gave a knowing little smirk and meandered back over to where the cheerleaders were sitting. Chloe continued glaring long after her companion had rejoined the group. This whole stupid thing had been orchestrated by Alethea. It had been Alethea who had announced, perhaps a little too enthusiastically, that the squad was holding try-outs for a couple open slots. It had been Alethea who had told Chloe she should sign up to try-out and then forced her to put her name down on the sheet—she had pointy little fingers that were very good at pinching. It had been Alethea who hadn’t let Chloe leave school that afternoon, dragged her to the gym, and now forced her to take the damn pompoms. Clearly, Alethea was sure that Chloe needed to do this.

    As everyone around her talked and stretched and got ready for try-outs, Chloe simply found an unoccupied spot on the wall and leaned against it, staring at the pompoms in her hands. There was something about holding pompoms that felt strangely familiar to her, but she couldn’t imagine why. She’d never liked cheerleading and she’d never participated in pep rallies or chanted along with crowds at sporting events. She had never felt the desire to jump around in front of an audience or wear a skimpy little cheerleading outfit. Hadn’t she?

    It came all at once, in a blast so strong and sudden and unexpected that it almost took Chloe’s breath away. She felt herself sucked in to this memory that she, well, couldn’t remember ever having…

    ***
    In a gymnasium. A high school, perhaps a middle school, but most certainly one of those places that’s far too large for someone who’s only five. Six? Maybe four. The small cotton cheerleading costume feels too big, but the skirt is of the kind that’s fun to twirl in. Which is what Chloe was doing. Her arms spread wide, the pompoms flying out like feathers on wings, the skirt sticking straight out, a breeze hitting her legs. Her sneakers were making an obnoxious squeaking sound on the floor as she tried to spin faster. The colors in front of her eyes blended and, while she was aware of a crowd of people filling the bleachers in the gym, the faces swirled into a dizzy tie-dye. Out of the quick snatches in her peripheral vision, Chloe could see other little girls in similar costumes joining in the spinning game. The energy of being small and young did not let Chloe get sidetracked by the nausea creeping up on her. Finally, laughing, she collapsed to the floor along with her companions.

    It was a basketball game. Whether it was middle or high school didn’t matter, because everyone looked the same level of “old” to Chloe’s young eyes. The mass of little cheerleaders were off to the side, clear of the court and milling around at the side of a set of bleachers. From where she was lying on the cold linoleum floor, a pair of sneakers came into Chloe’s view, stopping close to her face. Chloe, still giggling, pulled herself into a sitting position and looked up at the person standing in front of her.

    “You ready?” The woman to whom the shoes belonged was tall—at least from Chloe’s viewpoint—with a bright smile and kind eyes and wearing a sweatshirt with a cartoon dog on it. Her face was familiar and her hair was exactly as Chloe’s was now. Chloe’s mother picked the shabby white pompoms up off the floor and reached out a hand to pull little Chloe to her feet. “You’re going to be wonderful, Butterfly.”

    Chloe’s dad appeared at her mother’s side and reluctantly wrapped an arm around her waist. He waved a video camera. “I’ll be taping the whole thing.”

    His gaze flickered over Chloe’s shoulder. Her mother’s face turned dark for just a moment, but, sensing Chloe’s eyes, the brightest snapped back quickly. Hugging the pompoms to her chest and watching her parents retreat to the bleachers, Chloe turned to see what her dad had been staring at. Standing a few feet away was a mother and daughter pair, both with dark red hair, the girl about Chloe’s age. The mother kissed the daughter for luck and hurried into the stands with the rest of the parents. The red-haired little girl scooped up her pompoms and skittered over to where Chloe stood and smiled.

    “Good luck, Chloe!” the girl said.

    Chloe returned the girl’s smile. “Good luck, Alethea!”

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      June 10, 2010 7:42 pm

      I’m really loving this story. The memory concept is interesting and fresh. It was nice to see one of the actual memories, too.

      • June 10, 2010 8:00 pm

        I was really hoping you would post more on this, and I’m soo happy you did! I really like the story line, and as FlaglineGeek said, it was nice to see one of her actual memories. Great job,and i hope you post more next week!!

    • Caroline permalink
      June 10, 2010 8:22 pm

      Nice job! I like all your describtion! Keep writing! 😀

    • June 11, 2010 2:29 am

      You have a great grasp of time and motion, Erin! Moving between Chloe’s present and her memory is deftly done here. It’s disorienting enough that it really reflects what Wee Chloe is seeing in the memory, without confusing your audience. Segues and transitions are really tough to master, but I think you’re on your way!

  13. Caroline permalink
    June 10, 2010 6:08 pm

    Yeah I’m first again! Here’s something from my new book idea! Enjoy.

    He hauled the deer across the clearing; Shadow set it down in the food stalk. This was the time of slavery in the packs. Brokens men would slash you on the back, like a whip, if you didn’t do as Broken said. Shadow was a rebel and for that he paid. Broken himself had given Shadow a scar, on his eye, left eye to be exact.
    That day was a wet, stormy, day and Broken was in a good mood. He had decided to let all wolves off duty until the rain stopped! “Finally!” Shadow had so that day and he finally got what he wanted! “I know right!” His friend, Storm, had finally said something. Shadow laughed and walked to the den him and Storm shared.
    Wild bolted in, he often got messages from our ancestors. He panted “Okay this, this is a prophecy! Our ancestors they gave me a prophecy! No more messages!” Shadow looked at Storm, “So what was it?” Wild smiled, “Oh, to be exact, ‘When Darkness shines, The packs will be disturbed, The Shadow will arise, and only then will the packs be at peace’” Wild was older than Shadow, and Storm. Wild was trained to be a fighter before Broken had come!
    Shadow nodded, “Okay, so Broken’s the Darkness, but who’s The Shadow?” Wild shrugged, “Well being that Shadow’s are lonely and, well not paid attention to, then I suppose that would be whoever is not paid attention to here!” Storm laughed, “But that’s Shadow.” Wild nodded. Shadow for once looked terrified!

    • June 10, 2010 6:43 pm

      I’m very intrigued by this story. I’m interested to learn more about these characters. I like the world that you’re creating here and you do a good job with including the little details (like the fact that Shadow has a scar on his left eye from Broken). Good job! 🙂

      • June 10, 2010 8:03 pm

        I like this story line Caroline! The imagery you use is great, really great, and I’m intersted in this prophecy,keep it up!!

    • June 11, 2010 2:26 am

      I admire the world you’re creating here, Caroline. That’s one of the most important aspects of writing a book that’s not contemporary people doing contemporary things. Figuring out your characters’ places in your world early on, and making it clear to your readers, is what will propel you into the action of your story. This is a strong start!

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