Story “Human” Complete edited First Chapter. “Waiting For Eternity”

Chapter 1 “Waiting for Eternity”

He told me I died.

That I was buried underneath the watery debris of the fallen dam I had been walking on moments before, causing my lungs to burst…and I died. It’s amazing how quick a life can be taken away. In one moment you’re there, and the next you’re just gone.

I was still working past the initial shock. What came after death wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. There was no bright light, no silver lining, no out of body experience.

In movies I had seen they always show the person crossing over to embrace a deceased loved one. I had been half-expecting Grandma Marie to be waiting for me and holding a pile of cookies. I wasn’t expecting a sullen skinny man named Gilbert.

The room I was currently in—well if I can even call it that—was white, just an endless chain of sanitary nothing.

“Where am I?” I asked.

             “You died” he had said, plain and simple. As if there was nothing complicated about it. I knew that voice he used, my father had used it often. ‘It is what it is, and there’s nothing you can do about it now’. It was how he had reasoned with everything. My father and I were so different. I saw things with meaning and affection and, well, he didn’t.

              “My name is Gilbert. I’ve been assigned to be your guide through this decision process. Tell me Alexandria, do you remember how you got here?”

              I could hardly forget it. I was still coughing up water, could still feel my throat burning and my fear of not being able to breathe—drowning was a very unpleasant feeling.

              He continued to stare at me through cold stony eyes. He looked human. He had sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, but there was no depth to him. He had no lines showing that he had ever fallen in love, been disappointed, or ever been afraid. He was just empty.

              “The difference between you and I is that you still have your humanity. This is the place where you are cleansed before taken up to what is beyond.” He said coolly.  “Your death was very unexpected so you have a choice to stay here or to go back to earth and continue a human life for one more year. There you will be permitted to deal with any unfinished business you may have.”

              My thoughts seemed to get lost from the time Gilbert talked to me to the point where I had been ushered away like cattle to another room. Although the things he had told me were slowly starting to seep back into my consciences I was far to absorbed in the idea of getting the chance to go home to really listen to them.

              Of course with any offer that was usually too good to be true there were some repercussions. He said as long as I had my humanity I would be easily perceptible to demons and seduction. If seduced I myself would become a demon and would carry out the job to seduce other potential crossovers.  However I had already made up my mind on a impulse long before he could tell me about how dangerous it was.

              He had me stand in one of two lines with a bunch of offhanded people in my soaked squashy shoes and dripping wet hair. As far as I could tell all of the people who had died suddenly were in my line and the others who died old or with a long term illness, who had prepared themselves for death, were in the other.

The white sanitary (well, whatever this place was) was filled with people, all dressed in a wide variety of outfits—whatever you were wearing when you died, that was what you were stuck with until you made the cross over. So if you died naked in a bath tub, that was it, stark naked for everyone to see. Everyone was very calm though, very still—not at all what you would expect a large crowd to look like.

Even I felt the strange sereneness from this place. I only had my thoughts to keep me company.

There were several pillars spread out through the wide room, but they blended in well with the rest of the white placements. There were four desks at the top of the lines where people who were as voided of their humanity as Gilbert were waiting. The marble floor looked ancient and new at the same time. Like it was made out of something you would see in Greek mythology, but it was so polished that it didn’t look aged.

              I thought about how I ran away from home. I wasn’t sure how long ago it was now. Based on the medieval outfits and wide circus tent dresses I got the feeling that time wasn’t linear here. It had been pouring buckets of rain, but in my stubborn state I couldn’t see the danger in that scenario. My mother was yelling at me and I was yelling for reasons I can’t even remember…I knew my father would just take her side so I packed my backpack and snuck out my window. I thought I could just drop out of school and join a band or something awesome like that.

There was a dam that separated my house from the town, from my escape, and I tried to climb over it. Half way there the flood swallowed the sticks and pulled me down with it. I wondered if my family even knew I was gone. Would they care? Would it even make a difference?

              “Alexandria Watson” a woman spoke softly motioning with her long stiff neck for me to take a seat in the chair across from her desk.

The lady sitting across from me—Petunia Plattwood, she said was her name—was oblivious to my inner struggle. She just sat there behind her desk, patiently as if nothing affected her. This seemed to be a pattern here. I suppose I couldn’t expect to see a friendly face when everyone had been drained of humanity.

              I exhaled deeply and plopped down. She already had my file in front of her. I wondered if it was like a longer version of Santa’s Nice and Naughty list. I got the feeling that I would never know.

              “Are you sure that this is what you want?” she asked slowly, turning through the pages of my file. There was a certain aristocracy in her high-pitched voice, as if there was more than just a glass desk standing between us. She was dressed in a polished pink jacket and a matching pin skirt and tiny top hat. It was almost comical that even in death people cared what they looked like. Her manicured hands clasped in front of her on the desk as she waited patiently for my answer.

I slumped back in my chair, but after a pointed look from her I straightened myself and nodded.

“I am,” I said, grinding my teeth together. This was another thing that I thought would pass after I had died. I had ground my teeth down so much that I had been forced to wear a retainer at night for protection. I couldn’t say I was going to miss that thing.

I knew what she probably thought of me. Soggy converse shoes, skinny jeans and a large oversized Guns N’ Roses t-shirt. I hadn’t fit in much in life so why would I expect any different in death? I had inherited my mother’s face—her blue eyes, plump lips and ebony hair, but that was about as far as anyone would go in calling me beautiful. I despised my lean form and my dainty little feet. To top it off I was stuck at 17.

More than anything else that defined the received condescending look from her eyes. I was a teenager, therefore I knew absolutely nothing.

My parents were always giving me this look—and that’s why I did it, ran off I mean…to show them that I could take care of myself. Perhaps if I had listened to them I wouldn’t be in this position at all. I would be home, warm and tucked under my blankets while my mom made me dinner. If I was less stubborn it would be easier to acknowledge, but I didn’t want to feel guilty. My own selfishness was the only thing that kept me from falling apart at the news of my own demise.

              “This decision should not be taken lightly Alexandria” Petunia said calmly. “Going back to earth is dangerous no matter what the circumstances are. You haven’t been fully cleansed of your humanity so you are an easy target of seduction.”

              I smiled slightly, but thought it would be inappropriate to laugh.

              “Look when I got here—my guide, Gilly”

              “Gilbert” she corrected.

              “Gilbert, he already gave me the whole run down on everything”

              I could recall all of the ominous warnings he had given me. I’m sure he meant to sound intimidating, but I was too excited as such a prospect to care.

              Gilbert had told me the basics…everyone had a guide when they died, to explain things and to let it sink in before sending you on your way to deal with people like Petunia. Death was a very complicated process.

              He explained how the choice was able to make now had been made after the incident with the fallen angels. He said that they now wanted to take precautions to make sure the ones who went to heaven were going to stay there.

              “When a soul is put back on earth they are up for grabs for both sides. It’s up to you to prove your worth and to stay out of harm’s way. Manipulation on your new vulnerability is one of the key components that the demons use to turn you. It’s a very dangerous game.” He told me.

              Petunia straightened and then paused briefly.

              “Alexandria, you are still very much tormented with humanity, and you died very young so you will be a more perceptible target. Demons are not what you would expect them to be. They look like ordinary people, the mailman, a cute boy in your math class, a librarian…. And they will say or do anything to possess your soul.”

              “I understand” I said, “I do, really”

              She took a deep breath and then nodded once.

              “As you wish, you will be given one human year to get it together and then you will be taken up here to get cleansed, assuming that in that year a demon doesn’t conquer you first, which in that case I am afraid there isn’t anything we can do.  Rules; one, no one from your previous life will be able to see you, so in order to keep a low profile you must make sure that the other mortals do not realize this. Two, you are no longer human even if you do have a presence on earth so you will not ever be hungry or tired…but all of your human instincts will be heightened. It’s important that you try to stay away from emotions of anger or jealousy or greed which will draw you out to a demon.”

              She opened a clear box and pressed a big button that made the chair I was sitting in sink into the ground. It all passed in a flash. I could feel my hair go up into the air and my hands clenched down on the seat I was sitting on for fear of falling off of it, but in an instant it was over. The chair was gone, as was the white room and Petunia. I was at my hometown sitting in a pew of a church. I should’ve known I’d end up here. It felt strange to feel the smooth russet wood under my white fingertips. I had never been to this church before, but something about it made me feel at ease. There were worn bibles along the back of the pew in front of me and the carpet was emerald green. The sun shone through the stainless glass windows and broke out in a rainbow of colors. It was refreshing to see color that wasn’t white.

              I got up, my legs shaky and I moved out to the aisle. At the front of the aisle a priest stood. He looked ancient. He had wrinkled turtle skin, white ashy hair and glasses. He was reading out of the bible marking passages with a pen. When he heard me get up his head lifted to mine. He winked when he saw me and I gulped surprised that he knew who I was.

              “Alexandria?” he said. I nodded and walked over to him. “I was expecting you. You’ll find what you need in that box over there.” He continued, pointing to a box at the end of the room. He continued to mark passages not phased by me.

              I walked over to the wooden box. It reminded me of one those things they use in sermons that you pull bread out of. There was a simple cross engraved on the top and a small latch to open in the front. I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to touch it. In all of the movies I had seen, when a dead person tried to touch something there hand would shoot right through it. I placed my hand on it carefully, and at the feel of smooth wood I opened it and grimaced. There were clothes—very preppy, expensive looking clothes, an I.D.—on it was a picture of me, and a changed last name…Alexandria Watson had now become Alexandria Angel. I rolled my eyes at the irony.

              I had absolutely no idea where to start or what exactly I was supposed to learn from all of this. Part of me was still hoping that it would all turn out to be a bad dream.  All I cared about was getting my life back. The rest would follow.

              Little did I know the smell of my arrival had already struck a loud chord through the damned. The taloned hand of the devil scraped through the earth, pointing in my direction…letting the demonic wasteland know that another injured bird had landed. The hand had already started to close…like a fly trap, waiting for the inevitable.

              I should’ve stayed home.

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Hypertext and Feminism

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Reading has drastically changed with the advancement of technology. Doors to new possibilities have opened and books are no longer acknowledged as single purpose objects. Through digital mediums stories can now be told in experimental and non-traditional fashions. One experimental writing form is hypertext. According to Ted Nelson, hypertext is defined as “a software system that links topics on the screen to related information and graphics, which are typically accessed by a point-and-click method.” Hypertext breaks traditional form and adds several interactive features allowing participants to explore the message or theme at an exceptionally profound level. Nelson believes hypertext was the catalyst for the new era in written word. This new era was drastically different than traditional methods of reading and writing, but was readily accepted by those who utilized digital literary mediums.

“Patchwork girl”, a hypertext story written by Shelly Jackson, uses hypertext to present a feminist message. Jackson tells the story by using drawings of female body parts stitched together through text and illustration. The story and the images utilized to create Patchwork Girl uses this breakage from traditional writing and parallels it with the voice and perspective of a female narrative. Patchwork Girl is written in Hypertext style to give writer Shelly Jackson an experimental voice to mold and shape as her own without being transfixed to a still page. Patchwork girl correlates with an expression of feminism because it moves away from the indoctrinate style of writing with its nonlinear form, its deconstructive body of the monster and its lexias, and the random selection of its text.

As seen through lecture, hypertext has three central defining functions. It has multiple pathways to continue the reading, chunked text, and a navigation system of links. The form of hypertext is revolutionary because it breaks apart linear writing styles and puts it into something completely new. By making the writing nonlinear the author is essentially no longer in control of the flow of the story. Instead, the reader has control and can navigate the story as she or he wishes. The reader chooses the pathway and she or he autonomously concludes the ending.

While some authors of Hypertext stories may etch a constant fixed destination, other Hypertext stories reveal alternate conclusions depending on the reader, at least the reader can choose the road. The reader is not bound by a narrow pathway, but instead she or he has liberty to choose. The journey to the destination matters and choice, freedom, and independence is what Hypertext offers. Equality reverberates in the very foundation of Hypertext.

In Patchwork Girl, Jackson has more of a conversation with the reader about feminism and allows the reader to come to the same conclusion through the nonlinear usage of hypertext. The message of feminism is all about equality and by using hypertext this message is not only in the writing, but it also in the construct. Patchwork Girl has apparent ploys to convey a feminist message, but the hypertext medium itself expresses feminism because it breaks away from tradition. The writer and the reader become equal participants in pushing the story forward. Just like in feminism, both parties are equally important in carrying out to the finished goal. Robert Coover wrote that “the traditional narrative time line vanishes into a geographical landscape or exitless maze, with beginnings, middles and ends being no longer part of the immediate display. Instead: branching options, menus, link markers and mapped networks. There are no hierarchies in these topless (and bottomless) networks, as paragraphs, chapters and other conventional text divisions are replaced by evenly empowered and equally ephemeral window-sized blocks of text and graphics — soon to be supplemented with sound, animation and film” (Coover 707).  He continues by rhetorically asking if hypertexts are “to be linked to the chain of existence and events, (he answers) yes, but bound by it? No. I forge my own links, I am building my own monstrous chain, and as time goes on, perhaps it will begin to resemble, rather, a web.” Coover’s quote repeated by the monster in Patchwork Girl, not only shows the power of feminism underlined, but also relates directly back to usage of hypertext. Hypertext is completely different from the traditional hierarchal form of writing and just like the monster wishes to be something equal and autonomous, hypertext does so simultaneously.

The first image that is seen when entering the story of Patchwork Girl is the deconstructed monster. The body metaphorically represents the body of text that is the story and the body that must be sewn together in order to unfold itself into its story. This monster parallels greatly with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and is also equally as important to understand and travel through to comprehend the message of feminism behind the story. The female monster correlates Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’s monster and offers a parallel to the words of Mary Shelly’s monster. What the monster in Frankenstein yearned for the most was a female companion to be his equal counterpart so he did not have to live in solitude, dominating over another sex. The wish was denied in Frankenstein, however this power of equality is granted in Patchwork Girl as the author stitches the patchwork of the story and creates the female monster. Frankenstein thinks better of creating the female counterpart in Mary Shelly’s book and destroys the monster and in Patchwork girl the female monster is given a voice to parallel as the reader patches it together. The reader essentially gives the monster life and the female monster interrupts the voice of Mary Shelly and remarks “I told her to abort me, raze me from her book; I did not want what he wanted. I laughed when my parts lay scattered on the floor, scattered as the bodies from which I had sprung discontinuous as myself rejoice to be.” The body is reassembled by reading about all of the different body parts and the story cannot continue without first reassembling the body parts of the monster and thus giving it the voice and option to speak its story. (PatchworkGirl)

Hypertext relents the author from taking dominance by allowing the reader to make the choice of which text box to click on and continue the story. The link between written and stitch not only portrays the metaphor written in the following body paragraph, but also shows the equal importance of the reader and the writer. The reader must stitch the story together and the writer is responsible for the text on the screen. Both links to sewn and writing parallel each other to convey this importance. There are five paths for the reader to take; “the graveyard, the journal, the quilt, the story, and the broken accents.” The reader chooses where to begin by constructing the story together. The reader in a sense is responsible for constructing the monster by which text box they decide to click on. All text boxes lead to several more text boxes in which the reader again gets to choose randomly of how to progress this story. The reader is essentially the parallel of Frankenstein and is responsible to giving life to the female counterpart of the monster. Shelley Jackson uses the voice of the monster to remark on how the original Frankenstein story structure and control of the author kept the monster back. “I alone remember the real Mary. Her curious mix of resonance and passion. The part that twisted under me with a dark satisfaction and the part that wiped her hands afterward and twitch the curtains open with punitive haste. You can see it in her book. How she embeds her tale in a thickness of letters and second hand account as if precaution were needed to secure the monster behind those locks and screens.” The usage of hypertext gives the monster more dominance vs in Mary Shelly’s story where the still pages in them self held the monster back and kept it constrained. It is only through the random selections of story that allows the female monster it’s free voice to speak openly and lively with the reader. The author seems to have little power to what the monster will say next because it is not controlling the voice.

Patchwork girl is an expression of feminism because it moves away from the indoctrinate style of writing with its nonlinear form, its deconstructive body of the monster and its lexias, and the random selection of its text. Hypertext diverges from the hegemonic style of writing and provides freedom for writers and readers. Not only does hypertext writing reflect the feminist theory, but the theme within Patchwork Girl explicitly reflects the medium through which the story is written. Without the shared control, the work perhaps could not be close read and defined as something equal. Nor would it be able to parallel with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so deeply to its very core and would lose its ability to critique the author through structure. Hypertext is one of many experimental forms of the digital that opens the door to convey new messages. It is important to understand how hypertext can be used so a deeper point can come across to the reader.

A penny for my thoughts.

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In times when life touches us with chaos and things that are completely out of our control, I find that gratitude is the best weapon against this natural force from consuming our emotions and our mind.

If you have something to be grateful for it can stand against the weight of any misfortune or circumstance.

I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my siblings. I am grateful for my nephews. I am grateful for my parents. I am grateful for my family to be. I am grateful for my fiancé; my compass, my love, my best friend and my hero. I am grateful for our two cats, who bring life and joy into the apartment. I am grateful for my true friends who have stood by me for better or for worse and the friends who were temporary, but who made me smile while they were still present in my life. I am grateful to all of the professors and teachers who have supported me inside the classroom and outside. I am grateful for the gifts of talent I have been given; my singing voice, my writing skills and my imagination. I am grateful for my own appreciation and for my love of the things that I am good at. I am grateful for the education I have had and for the ability to have an intelligent mind that will allow me to continue in the future if I permit it. I am grateful for the strength and understanding God has bestowed upon me to help me get through things that I do not understand. I am grateful to live in a country where my health is taken care of. I am grateful that as a woman and as a disabled I do, at least in comparison to other places, have it pretty well and have opportunities that others may not have. I am grateful to be able to write and voice whatever I please without fear of consequence to my safety. I am grateful for the past I have lived and the mistakes and misfortunes I have grown from. I am grateful for my present, for the enormous support from a great list of different people (they know who they are). I am grateful for the future that I may still have, without expectations because I realize that there are things out of my control, just acceptance…and of course gratitude, for the ability to have gone through so much and to be able to handle it with acceptance and grace for that of which I have no control over.

I believe full heartedly that when handled with a list of things we are grateful for we can rise up stronger for the beautiful chaos in the thing that we call life.

Scene from my Young Adult Novel called, “Human”.

“Are you sure that this is what you want?” she asked slowly. There was a certain aristocracy in her high-pitched voice, as if there was more than just a glass desk standing between us. She was dressed in a polished pink jacket and a matching pin skirt and a tiny top hat. It was almost comical that even in death people cared what they looked like. Her manicured hands clasped in front of her on the desk as she waited patiently for my answer.

             I slumped back in my chair, but after a pointed look from her I straightened myself and nodded.

             I knew what she probably thought of me. Soggy converse shoes, skinny jeans and a large oversized guns and roses t-shirt. I hadn’t fit in much in life so why would I expect any different in death? I had inherited my mother’s face—her blue eyes, plump lips and ebony hair, but that was about as far as anyone would go in calling me beautiful. I despised my lean form and my dainty little feet. To top it off I was stuck dead at 17.

             More than anything else I knew that was what really defined the condescending look in her eyes. I was a teenager, therefore I knew absolutely nothing.

             I had gotten used to this stare from my life. My parents were always giving me this look—and that’s why I did it…to show them that I could take care of myself. Perhaps if I had listened to them I wouldn’t be in this position at all. I would be home, warm and tucked under my blankets while my mom made me dinner. If I was less stubborn it would be easier to acknowledge, but I didn’t want to feel guilty. My own selfishness was the only thing that kept me from falling apart at the news of my own demise.

             “I am” I said, grinding my teeth together. This was another thing that I thought would pass after I had died. I had ground my teeth down so much that I had been forced to wear a retainer at night for protection. I couldn’t say I was going to miss that thing.

             The lady sitting across from me—Petunia Plattwood, printed in big shiny letters on the gold plate in front of her—was oblivious of my inner struggle. She just sat there behind her desk, patiently as if nothing affected her. This seemed to be a pattern here. The white sanitary (well, whatever this place was) was filled with people, all dressed in a wide variety of outfits—whatever you were wearing when you died, that was what you were stuck with until you made the cross over. So if you died naked in a bathtub, that was it. Your birthday suit on display for everyone to see. Everyone was very calm though, very still—not at all what you would expect a large crowd to look like.

             Even I felt the strange sereneness from this place. I only had my thought to keep me company.

             “This decision should not be taken lightly Alexandria” Petunia said calmly. “Going back to earth is dangerous no matter what the circumstances are. You haven’t been fully cleansed of your humanity so you are an easy target of seduction.”

             I smiled slightly, but thought it would be inappropriate to laugh.

             “Look when I got here—my guide, Gilly”

             “Gilbert” she corrected.

             “Gilbert, he already gave me the whole run down on everything”

             Gilbert had been the man who had told me the basics…everyone has a guide when they die, to explain things and to let it sink in before sending on your way to deal with people like Petunia. Death was a very complicated process.

             I remembered when I first got here. I was still coughing up water, could still feel my throat burning and my fear of not being able to breathe—drowning was a very unpleasant feeling. Then I woke up here. The white room was empty when I got here, and only Gilbert was there to comfort me—though there wasn’t very much of that. The people in charge around here weren’t very affectionate, but I suppose without humanity they wouldn’t be expected to be.

             “You died” he had said, plain and simple. As if there was nothing complicated about it. I knew that voice he used, my father had used it often. ‘It is what is, and there’s nothing you can do about it now’. It was how he had reasoned with everything. My father and I were so different. I saw things with meaning and affection and well, he didn’t.

             Gilbert had also explained the choice that I would be able to make now—to go straight to heaven where my humanity would be cleansed or go back to earth and finish out unfinished business, but be easily perceptible to demons and seduction.

             I have to confess that I wasn’t really listening to his long lecture about demons. I only heard the part about where I would be allowed to go back to earth.

             Petunia straightened and then paused briefly.

             “Alexandria, you are still very much tormented with humanity, and you died very young so you will be a more perceptible target. Demons are not what you would expect them to be. They look like ordinary people and will say or do anything to possess your soul.”

             “I understand” I said, “I do, really, But I also know that I won’t be at rest until I figure out what it is that needs to be done on earth.”

             She took a deep breath and then nodded once.

             “As you wish, you will be given one human year to get it together and then you will be taken up here to get cleansed, assuming that in that year a demon doesn’t conquer you first, which in that case I am afraid there isn’t anything we can do.  Rules; one, no one from your previous life will be able to see you, so in order to keep a low profile you must make sure that the other mortals do not realize this. Two, you are no longer human even if you do have a presence on earth so you will not ever be hungry or tired…but all of your human instinct will be heightened. It’s important  that you try to stay away from emotions of anger or jealousy or greed which will draw you out to a demon…And lastly, but most important of all…you can never fall in love with a mortal.”

             I laughed.

“No problems there boss.” I smiled. Falling in love really wasn’t my thing.

“Alright then Alexandria, good luck”

             She opened a clear box and pressed a big button that made the chair I was sitting in sink into the ground. It all passed in a flash. I could feel my hair go up into the air and my hands clenched down on the seat I was sitting on for fear of falling off of it, but in an instant it was over. The chair was gone, as was the white room and Petunia. I was at my hometown sitting in a pew of a church. I should’ve known I’d end up here. I got up, my legs shaky and I moved out to the aisle. At the front of the aisle a priest stood. He winked when he saw me and I gulped surprised that he knew who I was.

             “Alexandria?” he said. I nodded and walked over to him. “You’ll find what you need in that box over there.” He continued, pointing to a box at the end of the room.

             I walked over to it. I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to touch it. In all of the movies I had seen, when a dead person tried to touch something there hand would shoot right through it. Then again I suppose if this was from Petunia and those other souls, then I would be able to touch it. I placed my hand on it carefully, and at the feel of smooth wood I opened it and grimaced. There were clothes—very preppy, expensive looking clothes, an I.D.—a picture of someone I didn’t recognize. There on the picture was a girl with ivory skin, big brown eyes and light caramel colored brown hair. I had yet to see my own reflection, but I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to. My last name was also changed…Alexandria  Watson had now become Alexandria Angel.

I rolled my eyes at their serious lack of creativity. Stuffed all of the stuff from the box into a backpack and left the church, ready to enjoy the heck out of last year I had on this earth.

                 

Caged Bird Sings

 

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There is a natural order to things. A natural flow, i’d say. Life has a way of pushing you in a direction, down a road and making pieces of a puzzle fit perfectly together so when it comes down to it you look at this thing that makes perfect sense and you think, “okay not bad, this could be good. Why should I do anything different”. This life could fit inside a frame and look amazing, but if you really look at these stills…what happens in between them? When it’s not the image of perfection what is it? It looks perfect on the outside and you feel like you’re saying all of the things like the universe handed you a script, highlighted words and said speak here and everything will be okay.

How long have I told myself “this is going to be good?” How long have a waited for a future that I somehow believe to know that is coming, but I am still unable to feel. Is it me? Am I supposed to continue to listen to the voice that tells me that I’m building something that will be worth it. That i’m going to be happy?

People call me brave, but the truth is I’ve never been a risk taker. I don’t jump for the feeling of love because love doesn’t come with security. I don’t really make the effort to study abroad because I’m scared to be alone. I let myself be taken care of because it’s easy, because it’s nice, because it’s secure.

However, I can’t say this is the person I want to be. Are the people we want to be different from the people we are?

For my the first part of this life, I have felt like a caged bird and now I want to break free, but I feel trapped in the hands of a life that I chose years ago.

 

 

Three Seconds

*More of a creative musing or a daydream, than a stand alone piece, but I have chosen to write everything that comes to my mind in this place. Even the pieces that don’t quite make sense.

 

She took a deep breath. She hadn’t expected to see him. She had hoped, selfishly, that maybe he transferred for schools or took a semester abroad, but it was useless. It didn’t matter how many pictures he posted flipping off the camera or how punk he was trying to be, she knew who he really was. She knew his favorite food, she knew his dreams and his fears and she knew that he wasn’t angry or aggressive. She knew so much.

She also knew that he didn’t like that.

He stared at her for a moment. She imagined how she looked to him. She had chopped half of the length of her hair off. She attempted to carry herself higher on campus and supposed she came across as someone rather serious. Certainly not someone who would spend an evening getting shit faced and grabbing his hand as they attempted the worst form of line dancing that had ever been seen.

He had a petite pierced pin up looking girl on his arm.

She couldn’t help, but give him an eye brow lift at the sight of her. She wasn’t his type. He glared at her.

Getting to truly know someone was a two way street and he knew her just as well as she knew him. She didn’t really like that either.

Three seconds she looked directly into his eyes. He usually looked away, but he held her gaze.

Three seconds of silent communication in that hall before time picked back up.

I miss you.

No prejudice, no anger no slamming doors. Just Silently screaming those three words that were the only words left to say at this point.

She released her breath and continued walking. The pierced pin up, oblivious that the man attached to the arm she was clawing at even knew the woman walking further and further away from him.

Neither of them looked back. They both kept moving forward. Appreciating the three seconds they had together.

There’s Still Hope

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The speech is annotated, borrowed from a motivational speaker, but I had to post, not only for myself and to say thank you for my own amazing support system; Alberto, my mother, my father, my siblings, my friends, but this is also for the people like me who hit the bottom and are trying to find a way back up. ❤

 

“I want you to close your eyes please. I want to ask you how are you? What heaviness are you carrying? What tears do you hold back? What pain, what fears, are kept inside?

The fear that we have is that we are going to be alone, because if they don’t like you then who will? If they don’t accept you then who will? And I started believing that I was not good enough. I started believing that I was a failure. That I would never be someone that people would like; that people would respect.

I want to ask you who are you going to believe in yourself? Are you going to believe every one else’s judgement of you? Are you going to believe when people say you’re a failure.

You don’t have to hold on to these fears. You just take one step at a time. not to say that these fears will completely disappear, but, can you forgive those who hurt you because that’s where healing starts. Every time someone puts you down, will you make the decision to bring someone else up?

Picture yourself in an open area where there are no bodies and no shelter and there is a storm above you. The storm represents the situations in your life. you don’t tell anybody what you’re going through because first of all they wouldn’t understand and second of all they can’t even help you anyways. You’re in this storm and you’re down on your knees, cold and you’re weak and you feel like this is the end.

What kind of purpose do we have to live? Are you just here to live to die? I mean is there not a purpose for me? Is there not a purpose in life?

Are you not still here?

There are some things in life that are out of your control, that you can’t change and you’ve got to live with. The choice that we have though is to either give up or keep on going.

And it’s not the end until you’ve given up.

You are still here. And just the fact that you’re here should persuade you that you have another chance to get back up.

You don’t have to do this alone. Hold on to that person who you think might help you. And imagine them right now saying that they can’t stop the storm right now, but they will hold you and keep you warm until the storm passes. Because when they hold you the storm is still there, but it’s okay because there with you all the way.

Don’t give up. There’s still hope.”

 

The Word “Always”

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Rowling’s secret that Alan Rickman took to the grave was “the meaning behind always” A question like that took someone who must have been a brilliant, special man to truly understand the meaning. Further proof that J.K. Rowling is a genius.

I still struggle myself to find the meaning of Always, but I am at a passé. I do think that the people who understand “Always” are the most successful to find great, maybe tragic like Snape’s, but great love.

A few extra thoughts if the author does find the time to read this; I wonder, if Always translates into what love really is. It is not necessarily romantic, platonic or often mistaken for hate, but if it is instead a love that just simply is. A person who does not have a label necessarily, but someone who would give unconditional love to another human being that would no waver in its devotion, nor would it ever change with the changing seasons of the types of relationships.

Heart Healing

I pick myself up off the ground.
Off the stones and dirt that pressed on my skin,
Off of the shards of glass sticking into my heard, my heart and my body.

Too stiff too move, too broken to scream and too tired to fight.

A hand helps lift me up.
My legs shake and I feel about to topple over.
The hand keeps me steady on my feet.
“No more falling down for you.”, It said to me.

How To Start Writing a Novel

First, let me start by saying that every writer is different. This is not the sole way of how to begin writing a novel. I simply find that this process works best for me.

Usually when I get an idea for a novel it is essentially focussed around one conflict or an image of a character. I try to make the characters honest and real by giving them basic attributes that normal people have. (It is not necessarily imperative to these written down in the story. On the contrary there are times when the reader prefers to get to know the character through there words and thoughts alone. However, for the writer, it’s good to know their physical attributes, the sound of their voice, what they think is funny, what gets under their skin and their personality etc.) Personality is key in a novel because even if the character grows in the story it needs to be believable.

Believable is not the same thing as real. Even if the book is fantasy or sic-fi the reader will still want to try to place themselves in the story so once you give a character core morals, make sure you stick to them or have a damn good reason of why they change.

Next I like to start with an outline. If there is a conflict or a needed growth for a character what scenes are needed in the story to get there? For example, perhaps you are writing a crime novel and you need to create scenes that build up tension leading to the case being solved. Or, maybe your writing a story about two people falling in love. What needs to happen in the story for feelings to bloom?

Next, ask yourself ideally how many chapters do you want? (this is also subjected to change, but it’s helpful to try to fit scenes in an outline so you have a foundation for each chapter.)

Start with outlining the first chapter…where is your character? Are they talking to someone? Are they doing something? How will this pull the reader in and help set the stage for the rest of the story? The first sentence is usually the hardest. I like to think of it as if it is a hook for a paper, ending in a thesis of where your story is headed. After outlining the first chapter start labeling chapters, for example 1-18 and put scenes you previously imagined in the linear order where you think they would fall naturally in the story. I find it helpful to have an idea of what the ending will be before I start writing so that I can create scenes that will lead up to it. You may find that the ending doesn’t fit as you get half way through the story and you can change it, but initially having one helps you put the puzzle pieces into perspective. Writing a novel is a grueling process, but I find that this helps me create my first draft fairly quickly.

Anyways, I hope this was helpful! I am currently working on my third novel and I find that this process never fails me.

P.S. If you are writing a novel, even if you don’t find this advice helpful, I still congratulate you on the hardy task of creating a written world!