North Fork–Right Fork

May 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Four kids inhaled the star-brushed sky as they lay with their backs against the warm road, tar digging into whatever exposed skin it could reach like chiggers. This was a night like no other. They sensed it in the magic of the night, the gaudium essendi. Laying there with an eager sense of anticipation, a giddiness, a feeling in their gut that was not to be reduced down to a college-wide virus, they asked questions best discussed under such a sky: What is art? What is beauty? They were no longer freshmen; as newly college sophomores they were more daring. Matthew pulled out his pipe and a tin of tobacco, packed some in, and lit the quaint wooden pipe. He offered a smoke, and one girl took him up on the offer. She gingerly took the pipe from him and tentatively sucked in and blew the stinging residue out. Interesting but definitely not a lifetime habit.

When they realized their conversation was never-ending, the four acquaintances decided to take a nighttime walk. They could still soak in the stars, but not be as restless. They walked along the winding road, coddled by the mountain range. The giant’s steps quarried in the back of the mountain were cloaked by night’s absent star. A yellow glow appeared on the road, like a piece of broken car mirror reflecting distant headlights. The peculiar sight intrigued them. They hurried closer, not totally convinced they hadn’t imagined the thing.

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Elena Rose

January 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

Matthew stood in the center of the wood floor, brown eyes darting around, deciding what she should wear today. Elena Rose was pitching the fit of a toddler, but he continued, trying to dress her decently. Mothballs and rodent remnants punctuated the air, a scent which never became familiar to him, though he cared for his wife daily. Although she was crazy, he loved and cared for her unconditionally. His frail white hands, textured in wrinkles, gingerly dressed the cream figure in a flowered sundress and colorful plastic beads, topped with a green hat to accent her strawberry-blonde hair. A tasteful outfit, much like the Elena he knew as a younger man would wear. Summer swept in quicker than expected, pinching off spring’s delicate flowers and moderate temperature. The husband and wife felt suffocated by the boxes and trunks encompassing them. The items were piled from floor to ceiling, spewing forth the remains of his wife’s legacy. She didn’t get out much anymore; she told him that she preferred the attic of their home more than town or the rest of it, because her belongings gleefully decorated every corner of the stuffy wooden room.

“How do you like your outfit today Laney?”

She smiled.

“That much, huh?”

“I’m glad you approve,” he winked at her. “I’m thinking about cleaning out this old attic and storing some things in the basement. What do you think?”

She smiled again and gave a slight head nod like a queen acknowledging the presence of her inferior.

Sweat droplets slid down his forehead, leaving trails like slugs, reminding him of the reality he must enter into once again. Matthew wiped his brow in staccato with the back of his forearm. He glanced back at his wife. She had nodded off. He trudged down the attic stairs.

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Life: How To. {What I learned freshman year.}

September 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

You are wonderful, beautiful, and brilliant. Admitting these things to yourself isn’t boasting or pride or vanity. Realize that you are created imago Dei, and He is more wonderful than you can possibly imagine.

Pursue your passions endlessly. There’s a reason you feel like they’re engraved into your soul. Discover new things about yourself— new ideas, new quirks, new loves. Don’t get caught up by the temporal qualities of life; don’t let the trivialities of everyday monotony blind you to the beauty.

Breathe in peaceful moments. Look up. Feel the stars engulf you on a crisp, clear mountain night. But they highlight your existence. You get to gaze up at these gorgeous things burning millions of miles away, and ponder whatever you please. Even from such a distance, stars help you see beyond the malaise surrounding. It’s only temporary. Don’t let the darkness eat you up and don’t think it can. There’s plenty of light. Find joy in the wonderful small things. Find joy in existing. Being.

Don’t nod because you know something applies, forgetting it applies to you. Seek truth, and admire it when you see it. Let beauty and truth change you. Let them rip the black nature from your beating, bloody heart.

Love so much that it takes more than what you can give. Invest in people. Let them surprise you, amaze you. They are probably smarter than you think.

Love art dearly for it is a truth-saying we need, but don’t glorify it to the point of idolization.

Don’t trivialize your problems by comparing them to other people’s. No matter how small your own may seem, it’s still a difficulty and it’s ok to see it as one.

All of a sudden you have lost direction. It feels like open heart surgery while conscious, without anesthesia. Every particle of your being, your very soul, is cracking and ripping in different directions. There will come a point when you are fatigued from life. Maybe you’ve already experienced it. You’ll want to give in. It may even seem unstoppable. You feel like a child battered and beaten by warning waves of a tsunami, and only when the storm comes, when you’re dragged under by that magnificent force, will it diminish into a calm wave of puppies lapping over your toes with their small pink tongues.

Anchor your soul in the good. Let your roots grow deep in the soil. They absorb nutrients, and you grow. Maybe not like a tree. Floods, fires, and metal cannot sweep you away quicker than it took you to grow. You’re a mountain. Stalwart and bold. Resilient to the forces of evil. Beautiful and beloved.

Thoughts for a Penny

May 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is an excerpt from a novel I began in November 2012, for NaNoWriMo. After abandoning it for a year, I am diving back into it and expect to complete it by the end of this year.

 

The metal buildings around them swirled into a dim grey landscape. all the familiarity that had once comforted him was lost in the mass of the grey cage around him. Portions highlighted by streetlights provided the only break for his eyes and mind.

Down the street they went, the road forever darkening. Shadows created an entrancing effect on the faces of the men; they were poltergeists through the curtained windows in shiny buildings. At last they stopped in the shadow of one apartment house. The building, though silver like the rest, was unfamiliar to him. Keren could not make out the numbers; the whole world was blurred, as it is when you hold up a sheet of ice and inspect your surroundings, wondering if it will help you gain perspective, and discovering instead each flaw in the frozen spectacle. Their feet shuffled down the walkway, and it pulled them to the doors.

The foreboding twins, composed of sturdy old wood, swung open to welcome them. He expected to see nothing. Instead, three stout men stood in waiting. The men grew as they approached. Keren blacked out.

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Ode to a Lost Sock

May 4, 2014 § 1 Comment

You

Were the best,

My dearest.

And now that you’re gone,

I see just how much

You

Mean to me.

Your bright colors,

Salmon and sky blue argyle,

And soft, faded fabric

Cradled my feet

Catching my toes in loose strings.

I doubt you really loved me,

For your other half

Captured your affections

Long before I could,

But your loyalty stayed.

O cruel world ripped

You

away.

Others tormented

By our bond,

You,

The laundry room

And careless college students

Plotted against,

To separate us

Forever.

You

Were the best,

My dearest.

And I’ll never forget

You.

 

By Emilie Brooker and Mercia Tremblac

Books v. Ebooks: Because I like throwing them across the room.

April 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

As a writer and a book addict, I’ve often partaken of the “physical/real books v. ebooks” debate, but I’ve never written a concise list to reinforce my opinion (I prefer physical books).

1. They are like people. Each mark received from the places the loving reader drags the book only adds to it’s character. You can read them in the rain, in the midday sun, in the middle of the woods, without worrying about screen brightness, damage, or battery life.

2. You can make stuff out of them such as giant domino sets (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np450xMSncE#t=167), notebooks (oh the horror), or art… good art. Think about it though, if a book is bad art in the first place, you may as well recycle it into a notebook, where good art will be made, or craft it directly into a work of art.

3. Vintage. Old books are the best. They are magnificently bound and smell wonderful.

4. They are durable, which is of utmost importance when reading a book like The Hunger Games or Of Mice and Men. Physical copies give you the added benefit of flinging them across the room, throwing them out the window, or jumping up and down on them without the anxiety of a potentially cracked screen.

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Author Interview with Oliver Dahl

March 30, 2014 § 1 Comment

I have had the privilege of working with Oliver Dahl, up and coming author of three published works. Below is an exclusive interview in which he answers some questions many readers and writers have asked.

1. When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer?

Without hesitation, I would say when I received a proof copy of my first book. Seeing something I’ve worked at for so long in its final form is quite rewarding. In retrospect, the real moment I became a writer–or anyone becomes a writer, really, is… when we start writing!

2. Which character in Lies do you identify with most?

That’s a difficult question. None of the characters have truly desirable or commendable traits. They’re all pretty awful people, but I might have to say Mary Warren. She was kind of a band-wagoner, pretending to be cursed just for the attention, not to try and save her friends like Ann was doing. But then she realized what she was doing was wrong, and tried to change. She was able to acknowledge her own faults and end her charades, but it didn’t end up paying off for her.

3. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to keep writing! Whether that’s short stories (as I will likely start putting out a few of these here and there) or full-length novels like Beneath, (www.oliverdahl.com/beneath) I want to keep writing, keep improving, and keep putting stuff out there that others will enjoy.

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