Thursday, November 29 will be the debut of Act II of Masquerade with my new short story Swallow.
From here on out you can expect to see new short stories (~1,500-2,500 words) posted regularly on Thursdays unless stated otherwise, with perhaps some super-short flash fics/poems (>400 words) sprinkled around randomly. (I do looooooove flash fiction.)
I’m overjoyed to return to writing to say the least. I’ve written a good part of Swallow and it just feels like I’m back where I’m supposed to be, like I’ve been on vacation for a year and I’m finally back at home sleeping in my own bed.
That said, having this creative energy flow through me once again is just as terrifying as it is exciting; some poor fictional soul is going to die. Who’s is going to be? My bet’s on the butler.
What inspires your writing, or gets your creative juices flowing?
One of the main things people find out about me, upon the first meeting even, is my love for music. If I’m not listening to it, I’m talking about it. But what many don’t realize is that I’m not just an avid listener, fan-girling over every new track released by my favorite bands. While I do get excited about that, the first thing that comes to my mind is: “Oh, boy. I’m going to get a good story out of this one.”
Many writers thrive in silence, but sitting, just listening to my racing fingers clapping the keyboard, is detriment to my writing groove. I’ve got to have it, and it’s not just for the noise. I enjoy silence when reading, studying, and pretty much everything else. But the songs’ tone greatly influences that of my own work, and I use it to my advantage. If you readWink, Wink, chances are that was born out of a satirical tune from Panic! At the Disco. I wrote Silver to Disturb’s Indestructible; Red Rain to Reba McEntire.
So I have decided to make a list of 12 of my favorite tunes from my writing playlist (it’s 800 songs strong, but I won’t bore you with all that). I encourage you, if you’re into this kind of thing, to try writing a hundred or so words listening to a couple of these songs (if you do, share it in the comments! I’d love to read what you come up with!).
Note: the tracks are not listed in any particular order.
Every day is another pitiful story to be told, and from the poor notepads and spiral notebooks in which are written days’ worth of pathetic memories: we hate you all. We don’t care if you were bullied in the locker room today at school for wearing the wrong-sized bra, because you couldn’t afford a new one; despite what you think, we could not care any less for love-stuck ramblings of your crush; and don’t even get me started on bad parent rants.
My cover and I have been adopted by eight different teenagers and adults over the years, thanks to a nifty magnetic spine and loose leaf paper; they fill me up just like new when I’m full with enough room to hold another year’s worth of experiences. Oh, how I long for the day the magnetic strip falls out and I can be discarded for good.
Currently a nice boy with superb penmanship, Jaxon, owns me, who has been in and out of counselors’ offices taking a new pill every other day, and admittedly his tales are nowhere near as horrifyingly boring as his predecessors. Instead of pesky bullies, he writes of violent dreams and urges. Disgusting recollections of high school crushes no longer plague my pages; all you will find in the meat between my cover is cold evil.
In today’s entry, he writes to me specifically, asking me whether he should simply kill everyone he knows and end his torture early before it could get any worse. My advice to Jaxon, if I could speak, would be that life is worth living; from what has been written on my body, there must be many grand experiences to be had so long as you keep pushing through and ignore life’s bullies.
However, Jaxon – wonderful, wonderful Jaxon – if things really are so terrible for you, be a doll and take me with you on the way out of this life, okay? The sooner I burn to a crisp, the sooner they recycle me back into a human being.
He was the lingering presence in the back of the room, seldom noticed but often felt. The others were beneath him, so why, he asked, should he associate with such scum? While everyone was racing to discover themselves, to find the key to the padlock on the door to the rest of their life, he sat in the dimly-lit side of the room cocky and uncomfortable.
He had it all, yet it wasn’t enough. What he couldn’t get on his own he could obtain by exploiting his friends and family. Wealth, fame, and lasting friendships were what he longed for – but each always seemed to be just out of reach.
“It’ll only take me one more day,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time.”
But years passed and he had yet to see the finish line, the day he’d be able to call it quits on everything he’s worked for and retreat into darker, lonelier wretches of the world. He expected everything to magically fall into place – he hadn’t planned to actually have to work for the achievement. Nevertheless, here he was at a point lower than he was before and his confidence even lower.
Eventually the last of his light turned to blistering darkness, his surefire morals becoming twisted and confused. The few bonds he shared with others grew thin before withering away, that aura of prestige he so valued decimated.
He once had everything he ever wanted; unfortunately, he was too blind to realize it until it was already spent.