Cataclysmic (middle section)

So I decided to show you guys part of what I’ve been working on for my novel. If you guys remember, I have been working on this novel called “Cataclysmic.” The name actually started as a placeholder, but then as the story progressed, I realised that it was perfect for the story I wanted to tell. So here is the middle part.

***

‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ I exclaimed.

Not only were we in a dark, underground jail cell, but I was trapped with Aaron. The guy who, for all I knew, wanted to roast me on a pit and eat me. We had been previously on a hill next to our high school in San Rafael, California, when the creature approached. After seeing the creature, Aaron had grabbed me from behind and thrown something at the beast, sending us to this cave. After the sensation of popping from one point to another, I was faced with more versions of the creature. Each one was identical to the other, with green scales surrounding its body, red eyes, and a blue horn on top of its head. They each carried some kind of metallic object in their hands. The objects reminded me of the Grim Reaper’s scythe, except they didn’t look old.  As soon as I wrestled my body away from Aaron’s, I was grabbed by an invisible force and thrown in the jail cell; Aaron along with me. The creatures disappeared from view.

There was nothing I could see outside of the bars. No indication of where we came from and no sign of the creatures anywhere.

Inside the cell, there was nothing except for the small orb in Aaron’s hands, which he took out of his pocket. It didn’t cast enough light for me to see the entire layout of the cell, but I could see the rust on the wall next to the cell door. The walls were made of metal, but the torches hanging around the opening of the cave entrance were lit by fires instead of electricity. I tried banging on the door, in a futile attempt to break free. To my surprise, the doors sparked beneath my hands, shooting electricity through my body. I hastily withdrew my hands and took a step back

‘Where the hell are we?’ I asked.

‘Trisha, this might be hard to hear, but you’re in the same spot we were just in,’ Aaron said.

‘That can’t be right. We were just on the hill, not in a cave. Now really, where are we? And what do you want from me?’

Aaron looked at me like he was pained, but I didn’t let him speak. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.

‘And you know what? I wouldn’t have been in this cell if you hadn’t been following me. What is your problem anyways? I don’t even know you –,’

‘You do,’ Aaron interrupted. ‘you do know me.’

‘What?’

‘It’s just…’ he started while looking at his hands.

His expression reminded me of when Tyler would eat the last of the chocolate candy. Tyler always felt sorry afterwards, but I knew he was only saying that to make me calm down. Looking at Aaron at that moment, I rethought of everything that I knew of Aaron. Maybe I judged him wrong.

‘Don’t you remember me?’ he asked.

‘No…should I?’

‘This is hard to explain. I never thought I would have to explain it to you hear, in the parallel world.’

‘A parallel what? Are we in some form of Doctor Who episode?’ I asked, jokingly, hoping that it wasn’t the case.

I remembered nights staying up late with my Dad watching episode after episode of Doctor Who. We would wait till Mom and Tyler went to bed before tiptoeing into the living room to watch the Doctor save the world from an alien attack. When Rose got trapped in the parallel world, away from the Doctor, Dad had run to the nearest 7/11 a few blocks away to grab two pints of ice cream for both of us, and a beer for him. We stayed up all night crying over Rose. To this day I can’t eat ice cream without thinking of the Doctor and the way I clung to Dad’s shoulder after the Doctor put the device around Rose’s neck, sending her to the parallel world, forever.

‘Sort of. Look, do you remember this?’

He took out this small round object from his pocket. It was the heart pendant that my imaginary friend Leonard gave me when I was 6 years old. It was something Leonard and I used to fight away the bad guys in my stories. It served as a protection amulet to ward off any evil doers in my backyard. Somehow I had lost the amulet once I was 8 years old and stopped believing in Leonard.

‘Where’d you get that?’

Aaron handed the amulet to me. It was exactly how I had last remembered it. It was cool to the touch and a bright red light seemed to glow from within the pendant. I knew this was the amulet because of the marking I made on the right side of the heart. ‘T and L forever.’ I remember the day I put it there. We were in my backyard, under the big Camphor tree.

‘What is it?’ I had asked Leonard, as he handed me the amulet.

‘It’s an amulet to ward you from the bad guys.’

‘Cool!’ I had thought any kind of adventure was cool back then.

‘You should write something on it, so that it can be a message for future you. Like in Doctor Who.’

‘Like Doctor what?’

Leonard looked at me like I was missing a head.

‘You haven’t watched Doctor Who yet?’

When I shook my head, he let out an exasperated sigh.

‘You have to watch it. You never know…’ he trailed off.

After I scratched in the engraving, my mom had called me in for dinner.

I started watching Doctor Who that night.

‘I kept it after your parents told me to leave you alone.’

‘Why would they want you to leave me alone? Wait,’ I said, fully realizing what he meant by that statement. ‘You were,’ I started, unable to process what was going on. I didn’t know how to phrase what I wanted to ask.

Aaron nodded. The light from the orb in his hand was moving in a circle around the cell. The light made the gold tint in Aaron’s hair more prominent.

‘My real name is Aaron Leonard Rodgers. I didn’t want you to leak my real name to your parents. But that backfired once the elders figured out what was going on.’

‘My parents? What have they got to do with ANY of this?!’ I asked, upset that he would even think about bringing them into what was happening here.

‘They are guardians, like me,’ Aaron hesitated, ‘Like you.’

The walls seemed to cave in on me when he said that. My parents were guardians? This didn’t make any sense. To lighten the mood, I said, ‘Oh, you mean like the Guardians of the Galaxy?’ I remember my parents took me to see that movie when it came out. Just them and me. Tyler was at a friend’s house and my parents were both off for the weekend, which was a first in months. Mom wasn’t into the whole Marvel franchise, but she came anyways to spend time with me. It was always my Dad and I who spent most of our time obsessing over the Marvel comics. I was happy to have them both to myself, since that rarely happened ever since Tyler was born. After the movie, in the lobby, my dad had tried so hard to beat me at a dance off,             but he couldn’t get his footing right. He kept falling on the floor, which made everyone in the theatre’s lobby turn to look at him. I didn’t mind at the time, since it was nice to be spending some quality time with my dad.

Aaron gave me a look that told me he was getting tired with my little quips.

‘Trisha, this is serious. Your parents were..’

‘I know this is serious, Aaron. Or should I say Leonard. I’m finding it difficult to believe this is really happening.’

I turned my back away from him.

‘I’m sorry if I got angry. I understand how this might feel –.’

‘No you don’t. You’ve had this knowledge prior to this moment and I’ve been the one in the dark. And now we are literally in the dark. I’ve kept it together when my parents died and when I thought I saw that thing. And even when we first met, I kept my cool. Now you tell me that my parents were some kind of guardians and you expect me to just accept that? Aaron, there is only so much I can take before I break.’

In a futile attempt to escape, I grabbed on to the door, hoping to somehow break free of this imprisonment. Electricity ran through my body, causing me to jump backwards, straight into the wall behind me. As my head hit the wall, a couple of startling memories of the past few months came to me.

It was two weeks back and Tyler was asking me to play blind man’s bluff with him. I didn’t want to play, but he kept insisting. To shut him up I put a blindfold on him and told him to wait thirty seconds. With his eyes covered, I made my way to the small shed outside by the pool. There was a hammock in there that I claimed as my own when we moved in. After ten minutes, I heard Tyler open the back door. It was a hot day out and I was sitting in the hammock in my bathing suit. The next door neighbor’s backyard was being renovated so every now and then the sound of a jack hammer could be heard.

I tried to crouch down below the Bay windows, but this didn’t seem to work.

‘Trisha, I know you’re there,’ Tyler said.

After a moment, I heard Tyler sigh.

‘Okay, so you don’t want to play with me. I get it. But do you really think that hiding yourself in your room will change the fact that our parents are gone? I kind of thought coming to San Rafael would bring us closer together, but all you’ve been doing is moping. I’m going inside to watch Netflix. You can come join if you decide to stop hiding away.’

I heard the distant sounds of his footsteps as he went back into the house.

As quick as I heard the backdoor slam close, I was pushed from this memory into the next. It felt as if I was slowly floating in the space of nothingness. It was neither hot nor cold and the only feeling I had was of just being in my body. After a few scary moments of me wondering if this was the end, I saw a trickle of light ahead. I started to move more closely to the light, like a bug drawn to a lightbulb.

Next thing I knew I was back in my house in San Francisco. Except everything was in boxes and we were moving out. The back of the house had been boarded off because of the fire. Tyler and Aunt Kristy were fighting over what they should bring back to Aunt Kristy’s place.

‘But I want this blender,’ Tyler was saying.

‘I have the exact same blender at my place. We don’t need another,’ Aunt Kristy argued. We all knew who would win this fight. Tyler, once he set his mind on something, always got his way.

The front of the house looked nothing like it once did. All of the pictures of Mom and Dad were packed away and the only picture that adorned the shelf above the couch was the one of Tyler and I at the Marin County Fair. We were sitting on the benches in front of the merry go round eating our ice cream cones and looking at the new iPod mom got me for my birthday. It was the day Dad had gotten that promotion at his work. He had been working tirelessly to get the promotion at his law firm, and when his boss had fired one of the other lawyers, they decided to finally give him it. We woke up early that morning to make it early to the fair. It felt like luck was on our side that day when we missed the traffic getting out of San Francisco and gotten free upgrades to cut in line at the fair.

‘Oh I want this,’ Tyler said.

He had walked in to the living room while I was checking out the picture.

He was starting to get taller, like dad. He was already almost to my shoulders. I unfortunately took after my mother and stopped growing when I was 12, five years ago.

‘Well too bad. I’m taking it. It’s going to stay in my room,’ I said, hoping to put some older sister authority to my voice.

‘That’s not fair. I called it first. You were just staring at it. So there,’ he said, while sticking out his tongue.

‘You got everything that you wanted. I just want this picture,’

‘I got the frame, so it’s mine,’

‘You can have the frame. I want the picture.’

‘That’s not how it works,’ I half yelled, grabbing the picture.

‘Yes it is. You don’t know.’

He grabbed the other end.

We continued to fight over the picture when the doorbell rang. It surprised me enough that I jumped, causing the picture to fly out of both our hands, smashing against the wall.

Tyler’s eyes started to well up with tears.

‘You couldn’t let me have this one happy memory, could you?’ he asked, stomping down the hall to the bathroom that wasn’t taped off by the fire department.

The doorbell rang again.

I rubbed at the tears threatening to fall from my eyes.

When I opened the door, Jake was standing there wearing his work uniform. He worked at a movie theater and they made him wear these horrendous black polo shirts with a movie title on the back. His hair was still as floppy as I remembered it the last time I saw him, in the hospital.

‘Jake? What are you doing here?’

‘Well I hadn’t heard from you since the hospital. And I was worried about you. I didn’t get a chance to talk to you at the funeral. You left before I could say anything.’

I didn’t know what to say. I had never been that great at confronting people. Even telling him how I felt about him four months ago was the hardest thing I had to do.

‘Um… we, ugh…’ I began.

‘Look. I get it. What happened was horrible. I care about you and would hate to see you shut yourself up for the rest of your life.’

I was reminded of the look he gave Jenny in the hospital weeks prior. The look I wished he would have given me. Even in the hospital, she was the one he was looking at with tenderness. I had spent so many years pining over him, only to be rejected; and for my childhood best friend, no less. Looking at him then, I realised that it was useless to chase after a guy who would never see me as more than a friend. But I couldn’t stand a future where we would be friends without the pang of heartbreak. I had to let him go.

‘No,’ I said, after a few moments, ‘I don’t think you get it. I don’t want to be friends anymore.’

I went to close the door, but Jake pushed back.

‘Trish, you don’t mean that. You’re just—’

‘I do mean it. I don’t want to see you again.’

With that final statement, I slammed the door closed.

‘Trisha,’ a voice called from somewhere.

‘Trisha, wake up!’

‘Wah?’ I exclaimed.

‘That’s it. Breathe. In. Out. Good.’

‘Aaron?’

‘Oh thank God! I was worried the shock from the bars had killed you.’

When I opened my eyes, I could see Aaron crouched down in front of me. The orb with the light was in between us, illuminating our faces.

‘Am I really a cold hearted bitch?’ I asked.

Aaron furrowed his brow.

‘No. Why would you think that?’

‘It’s just,’ I began, ‘I didn’t care to hear you out and I’ve been distant with everyone.’

‘That’s normal. You’ve gone through a lot in the past few months. I would have been more concerned if you didn’t freak out.’

I nod, not knowing what to say after that. Aaron offered me his hand. When I stood up, I felt as if the world was spinning around me. Aaron steadied me with his hands.

‘Your hair looks like it’s trying to do the wave,’ Aaron joked, trying to lighten the mood.

‘What do you mean?’ My hands went up to my hair.

‘It’s just from the electricity that you touched. Don’t worry about it.’

There was an awkward silence.

‘So, what were you talking about earlier?’ I asked.

‘Well, as I was saying before you touched the bars,’ Aaron started, ‘Your parents were never supposed to be together. But, because they are, things are getting crazier by the minute.’

A sudden chill ran through me. What did that mean, that they weren’t supposed to be together?

‘Why weren’t they supposed to be together?’

Aaron bit his lip.

‘Well, it’s complicated. They are from two different worlds, for one. The other reason, well, I can’t tell you.’

Aaron looked at me, pleading with me not to pry. As much as I wanted to figure out the other reason, I let that one slide. If I was going to get anything out of Aaron, I would have to start trusting him to give me the information I needed.

‘Okay, I’m not going to pry about that last one,’ I began, not particularly fond of dropping the subject. ‘But why do you look different than when I was little?’

The amulet, heavy in my hand, brought back memories of Saturday nights playing around the garden in the backyard, facing off faeries and ogres. Leonard had always had freckles and brown hair in the memories brought back by the amulet. He didn’t have the golden blonde hair and green eyes that Aaron has. These two images clashed with the solid form of the amulet. If Aaron wasn’t Leonard, then why would he possess the amulet?

‘It’s the machine. Watch.’ Aaron said.

He pressed a button on the orb in his hand. Suddenly, his appearance started to change. His image was pixelating, like when a picture on Facebook is loading. There was a bright light that came, as if, from around him. I covered my eyes. When the light seemed to fade away, I uncovered my eyes to find Leonard standing before me. We were silent for a minute as I took the sight of him in.

I babbled a few incoherent questions, unsure of how to respond in this situation.

‘Just think of it as a holographic projection. The machine can make you think what it wants you to think. It’s a lot of science stuff, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough Doctor Who, which I convinced you to watch, to imagine what is happening. I’m not sure myself on the mechanics of it, since the elders only told me which buttons to push.’

‘But that doesn’t explain how you were only visible to me and no one else. And how we ended up in this cell.’

‘It’s complicated. Lets just say that there are two worlds connected by a big machine, that must be protected at all costs. That’s really as far as I can tell you now. We will have to wait till we see Ada to give you the full scope of what this is.’

‘Who is Ada?’ I asked.

‘She’s my tutor.’

I didn’t want to believe a word he was saying, but the evidence was staring me in the face.

‘But why create such a device?’ I asked.

‘The elders in my world believed that by connecting the worlds, we could end the reign of the darkness that was coming over us. Look, we can sit here all day and discuss this, but it’s useless without Ada here to explain it. We need to think of a way to get out of here.’

‘But that doesn’t explain –,’ I began to say, as the cell doors opened.

Going unnoticed as Aaron and I talked, the lights had gone on in front of the cell. I could see more of the cave wall illuminated by the torches carried by the two people in front of the cell.

One of them was one of the creatures, and the other was…Jake.

Instead of the clean shaven face I was used to, here was a guy I barely knew. His face was painted with cuts and bruises, and his right eye was barely staying open. His clothes were tattered and he held his right arm close to his chest. I wondered if he had been following us from the hill.

‘Hurry. We’ve got to go!’ Jake said.

Aaron had taken a step back.

‘No. There’s no way I’m going with you,’ Aaron said.

I turned a questioning gaze at Aaron.

‘Why shouldn’t we?’

‘Trish, you don’t know him. He is a robot created by Baltazar and his only objective is to take you to his master and torture you.’

‘That can’t be—,’ I started.

‘It’s true Trish,’ Jake said. ‘I was made to befriend you and take you when Baltazar gave the signal.’

‘See, I told you,’ Aaron said with a smirk.

‘But, I’ve changed. When I met Jenny, something clicked for me. It’s not something I can really explain. Aaron here probably knows more about it since he was your imaginary friend.’

I was in shock. I had thought that Jake had somehow gotten through the parallel world, or wherever we were, and came to save us. But as I looked at Jake, as if for the first time, I realised that I didn’t really know him at all. I guess my brain had filled in what it thought was a reasonable story for Jake. But none of this explained the creature next to him.

‘If you are here to help us,’ I asked, while pointing at the creature, ‘then why did you come with that?’

As if he anticipated this precise question, Jake got something out of his pocket. It looked like a remote control.

‘I found this in the laboratory down the hall, after I went against the other mutants. It’s still in the prototype phase, but it works pretty well. It’s a Hypno Ray. Look.’

Jake pointed the device at the creature, or mutant as he called it. Jake pressed a button and said, ‘turn to your left.’ The mutant actually moved to the left.

‘Now, do the Macarena.’

True to the gadgets’ scientific properties, the mutant actually started dancing! I started to walk towards the opening when Aaron grabbed my wrist.

‘Stop. This might be a trap. Jake was made to do one thing only. And that was to gain your trust to bring you to Baltazar so he can have you destroyed.’

I was starting to get tired of their bickering.

‘Explain to me this. Why does Baltazar even want to destroy me? What have I ever done to deserve this?’

Aaron’s grip on my wrist loosened and I could see in the periphery of my vision that he was biting his lip. Obviously, this was something I wasn’t supposed to know about.

‘Well, uh…it’s complicated–,’ he began.

‘Come off it Rodgers. She has a right to know. Look, if you don’t believe that I’m on your side, look at this.’

Jake turned around and grabbed the hem of his shirt. The shirt was then pulled up and on the bottom of Jake’s spine was a hatch door for what could have been a battery. The hatch door was the same colour of Jake’s skin. Inside was a bunch of muscles and a few wires, which didn’t seem to be in any coherent order. They were a jumbled up mess, save for the few wires that looked to have different coloured wiring strung together.

‘See? I’ve rerouted the instructions to my system. I am my own man now.’

Not having been too familiar with standard robotics, I was still equally confused. Aaron, however, seemed to find this an acceptable response. After a moment’s silence, he walked outside of the cell doors.

Following suit, I got out of that cell.

Aaron was busy studying the door on Jake’s spine.

‘But how? I mean…’

‘I guess what Baltazar never counted on was his pets getting real human feelings.’

I continued to stare at the two of them.

‘So Trisha, you were asking about why you were important to Baltazar.’

‘Jake, don’t,’ Aaron said.

‘She should know why they want –,’

Before he could continue, there was a long piercing shriek. It was inhuman in nature and seemed to make Aaron and Jake tense up. The mutant started getting more animated next to me.

‘Shit!’ Aaron exclaimed.

‘Trisha, we need to go. Now!’ Jake barked.

The noise had come from the tunnel to our left, so Jake turned to go out the right one, Aaron following suit.

I turned to follow them, but the mutant grabbed my arm; its claws digging into my flesh. Jerking my arm back and forth, I tried yanking myself away from the mutant, to no avail.

‘Trish!’ Jake yelled. He tossed something small into the air. I extended my other arm out and caught the object. It was the Hypno Ray.

‘How do I use it?’

‘Push the green button and tell the mutant what to do.’

I pushed the button and told the mutant to let go of my arm. It didn’t budge.

‘It’s not working!’

‘Keep doing it. Baltazar’s voice is getting through his circuitry. The Hypno Ray will need extra power to work because of the pull of Baltazar’s voice.’

I kept my finger on the button and repeated what I wanted it to do. After a few minutes, the resolve on his face was breaking. Its hands started to lose their slack on my arm. Eventually I broke free of the mutant.

‘Go to sleep,’ I told it. Lucky for me, it followed my command.

As I followed Aaron and Jake, I began to feel a chill creep onto me. I hadn’t expected to enter chilly weather when I woke up that morning. The corridor we were running through was dark, save for the torch on the wall every five feet. I could still hear the noise from behind us, but it got fainter as we got further in the cave.

After a good ten feet, Jake yelled back at us.

‘Found it!’

I was so focused on getting farther from the cell, I hadn’t realised that they had stopped, causing me to bump into Aaron.

‘Oomf! Sorry! What did you find?’

From the faint glow of the torch a few inches next to him, I could see Jake’s hand go towards a chord in the wall.

‘This.’ A hatch opened up in the ceiling, revealing some light.

‘How did you know that was going to be there?’ Aaron asked. With the light above, Aaron’s expression was visible. He clearly didn’t believe this stroke of luck that led us to safety.

‘I stole one of the cave plans from Baltazar’s desk before I came to rescue you.’

‘You made it into his chamber without detection?’ Aaron asked.

‘Well he hadn’t figured out I went rogue till just now, when he discovered the bodies. The room’s security system okayed me entry because of my DNA.’

In the distance I heard barking, growing nearer and nearer.

‘Guys! Let’s figure this out after we get above ground!’ I yelled.

Memoir writing: a rant

Memoir writing is something new I’ve been tackling for the past year. And I am happy to say that it all stemmed from writing this blog. What got me into memoir writing was the piece I wrote for my grandma. I looked at it and thought, “what if I could use this for my portfolio?” So I started turning pieces of it in to my workshops for class. I did a fairly good job at keeping my classmates interested in what I was writing. After that, it’s all I’ve been focusing on, except for the few times I write my novel.

I really don’t like non-fiction novels. I would much rather read something fictional. However, through discussions with my supervisor, I think I have my own story to tell. I thought that maybe because I am only in my 20’s that a memoir wouldn’t be appropriate, but it fits me better. I haven’t read many memoirs and so this whole subject is new to me.

For memoir writing, I feel like the story is there, I just have to dig deeper to find it. It’s a different technique than writing fiction. At least for me. There are truths that I want to put down, and there are truths that I DON’T want to put down. So getting those ones I don’t want to put down is very hard. I can write two paragraphs and not feel like writing for a week because it was hard to put those words on paper. Or the screen.

This is a new area for me and I feel like it can either go well for me, or it could very badly. I will take this to wherever it may lead me.

I know I haven’t been blogging that much lately and I apologize. I truly want to keep up with this blog, so I will post an update every Wednesday about my life, reading and other bookish things.

Nana, eleven months has gone so fast

It’s apparently been eleven months since my grandma passed away. There has been so much drama since it happened. I think it’s typical to happen since there are five siblings.  I keep hoping that things would blow over and that everything will be okay. I still remember when my mom called me to say that she was in the final hours. I couldn’t believe it was happening. How could a person who means so much to you be taken away so fleetingly? I’m shocked at how time flies. I miss my grandma so much. I wrote this piece as kind of an ode to what I’ve been experiencing throughout the three months I’ve been in Wales. It seems haphazard but I think it kind of speaks for itself.

That time that guy said he could see Lara Croft’s boobs in Tomb Raider so he could impress you. Or that time someone jumped from the slide and got send to the hospital. Or when a kid got his forehead bashed in playing kickball. His teeth were inside his head. Or even that time a wild dog strolled into the elementary school campus. These moments play an interesting part of my young life. Moments that sit in my head like honey. I sit and watch the world go by; all while walking down from the store. The ocean dances into view as I take the hill down to my house. Moments of pure innocence, the only kind I ever want to think about. Watch me drift into the void of space and reality, while still holding my head high. I’m searching for this object of infinity that I won’t find at the store.
Now, three months later after writing this and after traveling many miles, I have figured out that I’m irrevocably fucked for life. I will always be on the precipice of being one of the group and the odd one out. I’m the American, Californian, Asian, the mutt and the short pale girl. I’m sure one day I’ll look back on this time in my life and laugh at all the drunken nights spent in some random Guy’s arms or in the bed of a trolley. I’m forever converting dollars to pounds and making sure I say underwear instead of pants.
A year is a long time to change one’s fate and to start life in a new country. What was once a daunting adventure is now a fun experience that I would not change for all the gold in the West. I’m still haunted by moments that make me sad and upset, but the ever presence of time is a good remedy. My first experience of grief has pushed me forward and has reminded me that life is precious. It’s been eleven months to the day since she passed and there has not been a day that I don’t reflect on the impact of her life. It’s like that Doctor Who quote, “The day you lose someone isn’t the worst. At least you’ve got something to do. It’s all the days they stay dead.”
Nana, I wish you were here every day and I know that your life mattered for everyone. I think when you’re out of your mind you experience the most clarity of your life. I miss you so much.

Dizziness: a night of debauchery and dancing!

 

I wrote this paragraph during a class I was shadowing yesterday. We were supposed to go through the Market and write about our experiences. While the class had such amazing things to say, whether they were stories or just small observations, I felt like I was the weird one. I mean, they were all undergraduates, but they each had some great ways of writing. I think the best thing for any writer is to not sit and compare themselves to other writers. You probably won’t be the next Jane Austen or even the next George Orwell. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not a great writer.

These past few months have taught me about my own strengths in writing. I kind of feel like I’m a fraud whenever I turn in something that means a lot to me. Cause somehow I think that I am not worthy. Writing takes time and effort. My classmates have helped me a lot with figuring out what kind of writer I am. My ideas don’t seem stupid when I show them my work. I even had someone said that I’m a pretty good writer, while reviewing my work. I am in no way arrogant, so that one statement really motivated me to think.

From reading other people’s work, I realize that I do want to expand on my own writing. I wrote a poem the other day, and while it is not completely finished, I will post it here. It is really personal to me and I feel like I’m putting myself out there for criticism, but I need to overcome that. Sometimes you will write about someone close to you and the topic might make you feel awkward since you know them so well and if they read what you wrote about them, maybe that will change their perspective of you. But writing is something that you have to realize is very personal and there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say. So here is my piece called “Dizziness.”

I don’t usually like posting about drunken nights or anything that will be seen as non-professional, but I feel like this is a work of art. I’m not going to post about all of my crazy mishaps with alcohol, since I know that I want employers to read me in a positive light. But here is my one bit of admittance that I’m not perfect and hopefully that won’t hinder anyone’s decision to hire me or not.

1.

I’m drunk
More drinkssssss
Can’t say no
Spinning around with
this guy
Blue jacket, cute smile
Drink more       no more…

Other guy dips me
I’m
bumbling
around
making a mess of my feet

Then I’m in cute smile’s
arms and we’re spinning
It’s something magical

Then we’re holding
hands
and we are running
And I’m lost
in the deep fathoms
of his deep brown eyes

And I’m in a cab
I feel the
loss of his absence
through the thick jacket
I was so excited
to be put on.

 

2.

London is a beautiful place
And it’s the day before
Halloween
And I’m drunk again

He comes to the party
late with his “boy toy”
his hair is a mess
it’s wet
really cute

Try to come up
with something…
witty… yeah… that’s it…
to say but all
that comes
out            is
“Wanna dance?”

We twirl again
and then again
and his hand is in mine
with his other behind
my back, dipping
me…

Then we are out
the door
to see the world of
Baker Street
and a satellite for
waxy aliens.

 

3.

We are talking
after three beers
I’m fine
But where are
we going? I grab
the bottle of Whiskey

Down the hatch
and grab some more
….something that starts
with a J….
Or was it an I?

I talk some more
He’s annoyed
“Don’t touch me”
his eyes say
And I’m sad…

He’s aloof
and a little bit
hesitant

Less
inviting
and then
B L A C K O U T

Oh God
why am I …

in a trolley???

****

I hope you guys liked this draft of a poem. I think I want to continue on to the musical that I was writing. I feel like I have a better grasp on dialogue now, so I will continue with that and then hopefully collaborate with a lyricist.

Also, here is the piece I wrote when I was in the Market yesterday:

Walking into the Market building, I’m surrounded by this innate feeling of home. A place where people greet you with a smile and don’t try to rush you while shopping. A place where you can feel like a part of a community and a person of value. There is a definitive feel of what is Wales. The traditional Welsh cakes are new and different to me. It’s something I can take with me when I do decide to go home. The array of different cultures transports me back to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I am the foreigner; the oddity. Yet in this market across the pond, I’m home. Parts of the market reminds me of my small town by the sea. It’s the cloth jewelry holders that remind me of what I’ve lost and the many months ahead to find the strength to move on.

London Calling! To be or NOT to Be, that is the question… writing skills

It’s been a month since I got here! What? That’s crazy talk! I feel like it’s been a lifetime of amazingness… which of course is not a word, but I’m a writer. I have “artistic license.” Since I only have two classes a week, I have a ton of free time to work with. Mainly I spend it writing, or reading. But sometimes I go on walks to help give myself inspiration. There’s a park behind the place I’m staying at and it has given me some great inspiration for my writing. Plus the open air just really makes me happy. Wales in the Fall is beautiful. Especially in London… it’s spectacular!

Coming from the Bay Area, I haven’t really experienced this thing you call “Fall.” So when I actually got to walk around London in the Fall, it was like Heaven on Earth. I am seriously not kidding. My favorite site in London was the Buckingham Palace. Not just the building itself, but the trees surrounding it. It gave me the perspective that hey, I could be a royal. Hahaha. Just kidding. I’m totally not about that high life. Give me jeans any day.

I saw Hamlet! The one with Benedict Cumberbatch! It was amazing! I did snooze during the show… in parts where Benedict wasn’t in them… but hey. I literally had no sleep for two days. The performance blew me away. I am a huge fan of Hamlet and getting to see him portray such an iconic character was awe inspiring. He brought so many different layers to the character of Hamlet. I was not disappointed. Afterwards, I got to see him. Well, sort of. I was in a crowd waiting to see him and I was a few people from the front. But I got a great photo.

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The rest of the trip was amazing. We went to the Tower of London, the London Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Square. I went with my flat mate, Harsha, who is from India. She is such an amazing person. Normally when I’m around people for an extended period of time, I want some time to be alone. But I felt very comfortable around her. I’m glad that I have her as a friend. She loves taking photos and so we would always go around taking random photos. I like being behind the camera most of the time, but she definitely brought the photogenic part of me out.

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I want to talk about the feeling of homesickness. I miss home like any normal person would in my situation. I’m a thousand miles from home and knew no one before coming here. The friends I have made have all helped me out in so many ways. I think I’m more happy than sad now. It sucks not being able to physically give my mom a hug or even cuddle with my cat, but they’re always in my heart.

I’m also going to bring up the fact that I am an American. The people in my program are all from the UK. Sometimes when they talk about things, I sit there wondering what in the world they are talking about. But it is an enriching experience. I don’t want to just be hanging out with international students. Students from here are cool as well. I thought it would set me apart and alienate me, but I quite like it. People aren’t as mean as I thought they would be about the fact that I am from America.

I want to write a poem about my experience… I’m not a poet so you’re going to have to bear with me. FYI I haven’t edited this at all… so if it’s rubbish just say so.

The sweet smell of Fall in the air
Cold      Crisp
Voices of different languages
The steady heartbeat of
another
against my chest

I yearn for home
and want for another
This dark, new experience
hanging by a thread
I’m scared and restless

Images and sounds
help me leave the darkness
of the world and into
a parallel universe.

This feeling inside me
will never fade.
If only for a moment
shall our paths cross

Then maybe I can see
again.

*****

Maybe that made no sense. But I stopped thinking during that exercise. I think as writers, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to one medium of writing. I wrote a short play as an exercise for a piece of fiction I was writing. And it gave me one of the best scenes that I had. If you can translate something you wrote into another form of writing, maybe that will give it some new perspective. I’m not saying change it, just try to write it as a poem, a play, or maybe a fiction piece, if you’re writing poetry. These might help you come up with new ideas and new perspectives on what you are writing.

Now that a month has passed, I know that I can succeed in this new country and I am looking forward to the many months ahead of me.

What if….?

All throughout any writer’s life there are “what if” moments. I’m not talking about the usual “what if” moments where you ask yourself, “what if I didn’t say yes to going out with Henry?” or even “what if I didn’t join the Glee club?” No, a writer’s “what if” moments are those moments that they think of a story idea. Like, “what if Peter Pan was really a ghost andFor i he haunts dreams?” Those are the “what if” moments I am talking about.

These moments is what makes writing fun.  For instance, when you get to the middle of a story and you’re stumped at what to write next. If you ask yourself, “what if..” maybe you will get somewhere.

I’m not talking about switching points of view. Cause really, those authors who write books using different perspectives, such as that book “Grey” and that book that Stephanie Meyer almost wrote, “Midnight Sun,” are all just money loving amateurs. If you are forced to write from an entirely new perspective, it probably means you just want more income.  Plenty of people will disagree with me, but it’s what I believe.

Switching points of view is a cheap way to go about writing. If your piece doesn’t have what it takes to really peak a reader’s interest, changing the point of view won’t do it any good. Go back to those “what if” moments.

I will give you an example from my short story. Halfway through writing my piece, I had no clue what I wanted to do for the conflict and ending resolution. An amateur writer probably would have said to change the perspective and the story will come to you. However, I did not think about that. I mean, I did actually analyze the other characters and what they would be thinking in their heads, but I didn’t consider changing the perspective. What I did was ask, “what if we had the main character cry?” It’s such a simple thing, but what would make my character actually shed a tear? I wanted my character to be sort of tough on the outside, so that it would be very significant if she was to cry. As soon as I started thinking that, I knew that there had to be something really drastic to have her cry. That is why I feel like I have to go back and try to make the relationship between Hazel and Aaron more substantial. Also, I need to change the girl’s name since I only used it as a placeholder.

Again, I am not a professional writer. I do not make any money off my writing and so all of what I am saying is just advice. Thanks for reading and I hope you will continue to follow my blog.

Origins: A publishing idea

What is it that makes famous people so … irresistible? Is it their nice looks, the way they talk, or even maybe the way they demean other people? Nah. It’s probably just their smell. I’m soooo funny! Anyways, as I continue on through my blogging adventures, I want to branch out into new projects. As you guys may have already heard, I really want to get into publishing. The thing is, I don’t really have any experience. I have applied several places and have not heard back. In the mean time, I want to kind of open up a new idea.

What if I got a group together and started editing manuscripts? Mainly it would be fiction, but it could include such things as poetry or even play writing. The idea would be to start up a space where writers can put out their ideas and get more readership. It’s not blogging, or anything, but an actual work of fiction. We could even try the idea of only showing parts of the manuscript and selling the finished copy through email.

I know printing books would take a while to master and not that many people go for an actual book these days, so in order to get recognized, I would have to start in the eBook business. So, what I am presenting to you is the chance to get your work heard. I would have to find someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to help edit work.

All of this would be unpaid, but as we move forward, we can maybe make some money by selling books.

The name of our group would be “Origins.” If anyone is interested, please contact me here, or at jill.rogers92@gmail.com.

Writing in the abstract

I sat down to write yesterday and find myself terrified of what I would find floating around in my head. Sometimes I need to shield myself from the brutal honesty that is my life and hope for the best. Here is an example of what I wrote when I stopped actually thinking. I hope you guys can get a sense of who I am and what I want as a person.

Thoughts run thought my mind. I can’t think. Why won’t this end? Ending is some crazy form of a new beginning. I watch from a distance, only half aware of my surroundings. Can I breathe, or am I just absorbing the air around me? I look into the distant crevice of my mind and wonder about the way of life we all lead. If you stop a moment, what will that moment bring towards the future? I can’t out run my life, but I can outsmart it. Maybe I don’t have the brains, or even the charisma, but I know in my heart of hearts that I am meant for this life. Reach into my world and think of happier days. When we think of happily ever after, do we dream of you? Or, maybe, just this unsubstantial piece of ourselves, that we have yet to conquer. Words speak the truth, and yet there is more truth in our untruths that can ever be explained. I sit here in the wasteland of my slumber, waiting for the time and place to come out and see the light. I am falling, leaping, jumping, whining into existence. My fellow writers and I have all but conquered our fear of the unknown. On the contrary, we embrace the weird happenstance of our lives and wish with all our might that we might find the falseness of our ways. I’m writing not to calm myself, but to bring up the fundamental parts of me that seem to scream at the world. Maybe I’m not the best at everything, but I know something. I can’t see beyond these four walls, but what I can’t see is the ugliness and horrific nature of human kind.

Maybe it scares me that I can’t seem to connect fully with the characters I create in my head, but that’s what makes it intriguing to write. If we all knew what was in our hearts and minds, what kind of monsters would we be? What if there wasn’t anything holding us back from who we want to be, but still, we can’t push back? I want to focus on the abstract and look into the sun with open arms. Thoughts pile up in our heads, almost yelling at our bodies to set them free. Is there any way you can let them out? Stop thinking and just write. There does not need to be a plot line, or even any conflict. But look inside of you and get whatever it is out. Darkness and light need to be in coexistence, otherwise you might go crazy.

I want to bring up the fact that I am not writing from a script. I have no clue what I even want to write about. I sometimes just want to write and never truly think about what I am writing. We might get our best antidotes from that… and I’m not even sure I used that word correctly.

I realized that I never made a specific post about the Supernatural convention, so I will get to that later on. Here is a great photo from the convention.

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Poetry writing and other such nonsense

I used to take some poetry classes in college. I would not ever consider myself a poet, or even a poem enthusiast. To be frank, I rarely get poems. I tend to glaze over them and give a half ass interpretation. But I will try to write you guys a poem that expresses my unique voice and feelings towards life and other such ambiguous things.

I’m not the greatest person
I fall when it is my turn to start

Can we bring it back to tomorrow
Things fall
falling
Fell
Fault

I’m dying inside
There is only me
Find me
I’m tired
Shaking

The world is spinning
A new day has sprung
Don’t fix me
Singing is just a shot in the dark

Darkness
Light…of a thousand stars
Burning, flaming, heating

****

Obviously poetry is not the best thing I’ve ever done. But here is a poem that I did think through over a year ago. It’s called “Running Away From Time.”

**

Walking away from me

Away from me

Allusive to the point of exasperation

Point of EXASPERATION

There is no point

Yet it is in EVERY point

Come

Back

Lover

Keep me in your arms

Draining

Draining

Drain

Rain

-ing

Dying              Living              Breathing

Here again       gone ….

Your breath on my neck

pRiCkLeS

***

I’m sitting on his couch, two couch cushions apart. His eyes move from the TV screen to my face, back and forth. Doctor Who is playing. He leaves to go to the bathroom. He comes back. Sitting closer than before. He yawns and puts his arm around me. That’s cheesy as hell I remark. It worked didn’t it? Was the only thing said before we both turned and our lips met. He pushes me onto the couch. My head is impaled by a knife.

***

I’m sitting on his couch, two couch cushions apart. His eyes move from the TV screen to my face, back and forth. Doctor Who is playing. He leaves to go to the bathroom. He comes back. Sitting closer than before. He yawns and puts his arm around me. That’s cheesy as hell I remark. It worked didn’t it? Was the only thing said before we both turned and our lips met. He pushes me onto the couch. My head is impaled by a knife.

***

I am sitting on his couch (wait, haven’t I been here before?), two couch cushions apart. His eyes move from the TV screen to my face, (yes, I’ve definitely seen this before) back and forth. Doctor Who is playing. He leaves to go to the bathroom. (Leave while you still can!) He comes back. (You are screwed!) Sitting closer than before. He yawns and puts his arm around me. (Crap! Think of something clever to say…) That’s cheesy as hell (Why can’t I come up with anything new?) I remark. It worked didn’t it? (Yeah, for a psycho killer) Was the only thing said before we both turned and our lips met. He pushes me onto the couch. (nooooo! Stop!

I’m falling…

Falling

Falling…..

*Doctor Who theme song is heard.

My eyes open.

It was just a dream.

I actually wrote some comments about it. Here is what I said:

I don’t like writing poetry, but the poetry that we’ve been reading made me want to experiment with the concept of time. I started out wanting to have time shown as a person, since it always seems to be rushing past me, never slowing. Then I remembered what Lucy Corin said about repetition. I wanted to repeat myself until I got bored and found new inspiration. The first part is a poem about time, and the next part is part of this dream state. When I first go to bed, I always have these weird thoughts before the point of unconsciousness, which is the poem about time. And then I jump to the action of the dream. In dreams we are brought to the middle of the action, so I decided to try not to add as many details as possible. I brought in the repetition to portray the idea that the character would die and then be put back into the dream.

****

I know none of this really makes sense, but I wanted to show to the world my different creative processes. It’s good to have your work come in different forms. Sometimes if you write a poem, play, or short story about the topic you are most interested in writing about, different things will come to you. Meaning that if you are writing a poem, try writing the poem as a short story.

I started off not knowing what I wanted to write about for my blog post, but I realized that I am fascinated by the act of poetry writing. I hope you guys like what you read. I would love more feedback on my blog and other things. Love you guys! 🙂

captain kirk dick

Here’s a picture of Captain Kirk with a penis…

Blind Progress: a writing piece

So over the years, I have noticed an improvement in my writing abilities. I could formulate sentences better than when I was younger. I think the thing that really stuck with me over the years is what I like to call “blind progress.” Mainly what this is, is the brain’s inability to notice when something you have done over and over again has changed. You’re incapable of even realizing how much you’ve changed until you’ve grown older. And yes, that is exactly what growing up feels like.

When I was younger I always feared that my writing sucked. And that no matter what I did, I would never sound as amazing as other writers. It has taken me my entire high school and college careers combined to realize that I have a voice. My voice might not sound as sophisticated as any of my classmates, but it’s mine. Of course no one can hear the way I sound in my head.

My writing skills have drastically improved from stating the obvious, to telling a story. I think what makes a bad storyteller and a good storyteller is the ability to not “state the obvious” but to paint a picture. Look around you for a second. Think about the placement of the furniture around you. Obviously the desk is in front of the window, with the chair placed right next to it. That is stating the obvious. But if you can paint a picture to the reader without stating the obvious, then you’ve gotten farther than I got my first four years of high school.

So if I was to describe the scene that I’m in right now I would write it like this:

Jillian sat on her bed, thinking of what she wanted to write next. Her bookcase staring her in the face, as if to remind her every morning that she was a reader. She would always be different. And that was okay. Her body seems relaxed in her position on the bed. Clothes, shoes and unopened letters litter the small open space on her floor. The room is small, but cozy, with enough space for a desk by the window and a TV by the door. Jillian spends many nights wondering if it matters whether or not her room is clean. She worries that maybe she’s isolated herself for way too long.

And that was an example of something that I would consider to be an improvement from how I used to write.

I started this blog post wanting to get across the idea that writing is an ever changing process. I may not have published anything, but I do know how to write. I would write something a little more in depth about this, but I feel like I’ve already gotten my point across with my other post. I will write a review for the Mara Dyer series next. =)

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Here’s a picture with my friend Erin from a few years ago.