Photo by Lisa

Reluctant disappointment quivered in the heavy air as I tromped home through the now-less-than-pristine snow, dirty from passing cars. It was the kind of anxiety-ridden disappointment that gives a sharp blow to the gut and leaves me empty.

“Perhaps,” he had said. Not a real answer, but he didn’t seem inclined to give one. “Perhaps…”

What the fuck does that even mean, anyway? Perhaps. It was just seven stupid letters woven together into a word loved by commitment-phobes everywhere. It was the stupidest word in the English language. It was right up there with the maybes and the we’ll see’s and the I’m not sure yet’s of the world.

I walked home through the bitter cold, bemoaning the curse that caused my heart to be crushed by the less-than-worthy. I didn’t need him. But oh, how I wanted him. I blew a sharp breath out into the cold air, expelling the pessimistic thoughts within me. They hung in the air for an ephemeral moment, a white cloud of negativity that soon dissipated.

Who knew seven letters could be so bittersweet?

The Forgotten

Photo by Lisa

We grow together, the six of us, huddled together in the dark for comfort. Although the blood in our veins is not the same, we are family nonetheless. The busy world outside the door and broken windows doesn’t touch us. Time doesn’t exist in here. We don’t exist anywhere. Our dirty, cold bodies are hidden from passersby, though even if we were on the streets, their eyes would just slide over us without registering our sallow faces. We are the judged. We are the downtrodden. We are the forgotten.

Flying at the Fair

Photo by Lisa

Screams and laughter wafted on the evening breeze as we stood in line for the swings. This ride was always your favorite and I had grown to love it as well. As the sky darkened, the ride lit up with glowing orbs of light outlining the hulking joy above us. The gears inside churned and clunked, an industrial sound at odds with the music streaming from the center of the spinning tower.

When the music began, we were children again with sticky faces and hands from stuffing ourselves with cotton candy and funnel cakes, eagerly awaiting our turn. As we waited in the line, you took my hand and we stared wide-eyed and awe-filled at the magic before our eyes. Soaring, laughing, whirling people swinging higher and higher above our heads until it seemed they touched the very sky. Our turn to ride would soon come and it would be the closest we’d ever get to flying.

On Responsible Writing

I am completely against censorship in all its forms. I feel like I have to put that out there in the beginning of this post in order to have a conversation about responsible writing without being misunderstood.

Fifty-Shades-of-GreyFor the book challenge I’m doing, one of the prompts is to read a trilogy. I’ve heard terrible things about the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy but I’m a believer in reading something for myself before forming an opinion. So, I checked it out of the library and got about a quarter of the way through the book before I was so disgusted with the emotional abuse that I stopped reading it.

With the movie coming out this weekend, there’s been a lot of hype and renewed criticism surrounding the story. It got me thinking about censorship versus being responsible with your writing.

I think it’s really important to be aware of what you’re writing in terms of what it glorifies and what it condemns. Fifty Shades of Grey is an easy example of this. EL James wrote it as a romantic relationship with lots of steamy adult time. What I got from it, and I know I’m not alone in my viewpoint, is that it glories abusive relationships.

Do I think the book should be banned or censored? No.

Do I think James should have been more responsible in how she wrote the book in the first place? Yes.

We are responsible for the stories/music/films/artwork we create and bring into this world. From interviews I’ve seen with James, I don’t believe she wrote her novels maliciously, and I think she serves as a warning to make sure your work truly matches your vision before releasing it into the world.

What are your thoughts about writing responsibly? I’d love to hear your points of view!

Back up your data–Writing Workshop

Backing up your files is an annoying, tedious task but it’s one that is incredibly important. I recently learned this the hard way when my new computer stopped working. My files weren’t gone; they were simply out of reach on a computer with a broken display.

Thankfully, most of the important story files had been emailed to friends before my computer crashed. I was able to find and save them to the computer I’m currently using so I can keep working. I’m really lucky. I could have lost everything.

So, where can you back up your files? These are some I can think of:

  • Cloud storage
  • Email
  • Google docs
  • USB drive
  • External hard drive
  • Dropbox

Personally, I’ll stick with emailing them to myself. It’s the least intrusive method I’ve found and it works well for me. What methods do you like using?

P.S. Go back up your stories now!

My life in flux

I know I missed Flash Fiction Friday yesterday and I’m sorry if any of you are upset about it (Z, I’m looking at you). I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t have time to prepare something, but I have good news!

After graduating from my master’s program 9 months ago, I was finally offered a full-time sciencey type position! I’m incredibly excited about it, but it means putting my affairs in order, saying goodbye to the Hudson Valley and everyone I love, and moving 5 hours away. It’s been stressful and exhilarating and anticipation-inducing, but I found a place to live and will be packing up soon!

I am so excited for this opportunity. I love writing, and dream of being published, but science will always be my first love.

Book Challenge–January Roundup 2

Here are some more spoiler-free reviews of the books I’m reading for the 2015 Book Challenge! What books are you reading right now?

warm bodiesA book turned into a movie: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
A zombie love story? Yes, please. This novel follows a zombie named R as he falls in love with a human named Julie and they change the world. Marion somehow manages to make his debut novel gruesome and romantic at the same time. I loved this quirky romance with its exploration of what makes us human. Awesome read.

gone girlA thriller: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This novel follows the story of a man whose wife goes missing and the hell he endures as he’s accused of her murder. I never connected with any of the characters but I finished the book because I needed to know what happened. The ending was anticlimactic and I was left feeling very creeped out and unsatisfied. I appreciate the skill that went into weaving this story, but overall I didn’t like the book.

hellblazerA book based on or turned into a tv show: Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano and John Ridgeway (Illustrator)
I read this compilation of Hellblazer comics because I love the new show ‘Constantine.’ The comic follows John Constantine, a demon hunter and magician, as he finds himself in the middle of supernatural events and tries to restore the balance between heaven and hell. Although the characterization of John Constantine is significantly different between the comics and the show (and I prefer the more altruistic version of him in the show), I appreciate both incarnations. I’ll definitely be reading more of the comic book compilations and am looking forward to seeing more of the show! Highly recommend.

HVZAA graphic novel: Hudson Valley Zombie Apocalypse by Linda Zimmermann, Don E Smith (Editor), Nick Mockoviak (Illustrator)
I got this out of the library thinking it would be a novel. To my surprise, it turned out to be the companion comic to the novel (which I will be reading as soon as I track down a copy!) I liked this comic book, but felt a bit lost sometimes. The comics offer short vignettes about minor characters in the book as they deal with the zombie apocalypse overtaking the Hudson Valley (and beyond). There were a couple story lines that were incredibly poignant and I enjoyed those the most. I thought they were a beautiful departure from the usual gore in zombie stories.