Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting It Out

This isn’t good writing. Hell, it’s probably bad writing (I haven’t read it, just wrote it five minutes after the bottle of water). I’m posting it on blogger because I need to get this crap into the universe. Maybe then the world will start to make sense again. I feel like I’m in some alternate reality and I’ll wake up and my mom won’t really be here, like I’ve made a better reality in my own mind – one where she lived. 

She screamed my name, I turn to see the surf beating her down. She surfaces and I’ve never seen such terror. My heart stops beating. My terror rises to match mom’s. She’s going to die. I can’t watch my momma die. Momma. She tries to reach my outstretched hand. I needed her to reach my fingers. If I could just touch her fingers I knew it would be okay. Every time she got close another wave slammed into her, ripping her further away from me.

I can’t get any closer to her, the stone is soaked and the moss will steal my footing and I know, know despite my desperate need to reach her, that if I move closer, I’ll be gone as well. And then there will be no one to help. As I kneel the waves sweep over my legs and lower abdomen. It’s supposed to be cold but I can’t feel anything.

I scream. For her. For help. For anything that will make it better.

Running steps. Voices.


Other partygoers have come to help. P steps into the surf, his hands close around my mothers. Another wave comes to sweep him out. D, his son, jumps in the water to help his father. A crowd is behind me, someone brings a lifesaver.

My baby sister comes running, ignores her self-preservation and goes to leap after my mom. She’s grabbed as she slips, and is pulled backward. Uncle S throws the lifesaver out. It doesn’t reach.

P and D get my mom to stand. Her dress is around her waist. Pull down your dress before you embarrass yourself – god, what am I thinking. My mom could die and this is what I think? A wave smashes them down. P and D move with the tide and push her forward. Sister grabs her hand and mom is dragged out. J, P’s wife and D’s mother runs in to save her family. I feel her pain.

My mom stands behind me, surrounded by others. Crying, chanting over and over “Look what I’ve done.”

I’m glad she’s safe but I’m too petrified to turn to her. To see her. Because I thought she was going to be gone and I don’t know how to deal.

I watch the other three get pulled out.

My cousin M turns towards me. I start shaking. Tears pour down my face. He wraps an arm around me and tells me its okay. I get myself under control. I walk back to my Uncle’s house, get a drink of water – my hands won’t stop shaking.

July twenty fourth my heart stopped beating. For one, horrifying, moment I thought I was going to lose my mother. I wasn’t ready.

The water mesmerizes you as it crashes against the beach, the waves sparkle and entice. You’re seduced by the sheer magnificence stretched along the horizon. You want to join, to feel just for a moment, what the ocean does. You dip your toes in. Relish in the freedom.

Peace settles over you, nature’s beauty spread beneath you. Maybe you feel powerful.

And then with a mischievous grin, the water tries to steal you, to assert it’s dominance. To prove that no matter how strong man feels, he will never have the upper hand.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've Returned (To The 21st Century)!

Ten Things I hate about no internet for two weeks:

1.   Doing nothing while Mom builds my new desk.

2.   Bonding with Mom by painting a bookcase.

3.   Reorganizing 200+ books by genre then height seems like a good idea.

4.   Cleaning my room down to the very last piece of paper, thus removing all chaos from my living space.

5.   Making a significant dent in my To Be Read pile.

6.   Writing 15,023 words for my manuscript (and then being really lame and counting them...through Microsoft Word)

7.   Weeding for Grandparents so I can spend the earned money at Harry Potter World.

8.   Going downtown to watch the fireworks.

9.   Spending quality time with friends and family alike.

10  Watching my cat catch, kill then play with five baby rats is the highlight of my day. (And yes, Sister made sure I knew just how deranged I am for being entertained. So no need to tell me again.)

Okay, I’ll be honest, the only thing I hated about not having internet for two well, not having the internet for two weeks. Sounds weird, I guess but aside from bemoaning the lack of internet I got a lot accomplished. I missed writing and reading blogs and hope everything is going well for the rest of you – sorry for the unexplained was rather sudden on my end.

My two weeks of forced vacation were more eventful then I would’ve liked but this is just a quick post to let everyone know I’m back.

Grandpa, awesome as he is, got us a new wireless router and my connection is faster than a snitch! (If you don’t know what a snitch is...I feel sorry for you. Period.)

How have you been? What’s the best/worst thing that happened to you in the last two weeks?

Word Of The Day: Behemoth - Any creature or thing of monstrous size or power (and yeah, the Internet is so my Behemoth)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not A Tease

I know that today I’m supposed to offer all you wonderful people a glimpse at another character.

(You know what’s about to happen, don’t you? Another dreaded have to admit though, I’m very convincing. Right?)

The problem with showing you a glimpse at a character today is that over my technology hiatus I poured over my hundred pages of dialogue reminders (little snippets of conversation to spark my memory for scenes for the trilogy I have planned) as well as the thirteen chapters I had in past tense and the three in present.

Actually there are two problems. The first: after looking over everything, I decided I needed to start from scratch – I didn’t start in the right place and I could condense chapters 1-4 into two chapters and it would be SO much more exciting. Problem two actually played a large role in deciding to execute problem one.

Remember Hunter? Well, that lovely, charming, crooked nose, black-haired boy decided to throw a giant wrench in my plot. For a moment I wanted to kill him viciously. I’d drag out the torment, prolong his suffering and laugh like the evilest of villains.

Then, I saw it. The light. The magnificent thing he’d just done for the story.

He upped the stakes, condensed events and made everything that much more complicated and murky. Rorys choices are going to be harder to make, the aftermath harsher, and make the reader’s interest increase (well, I’m hoping anyway).

He basically offered me a tool to make Rory’s everything worse, which, since readers are really just voyeurs rooting for the heroine/hero to valiantly (or not so valiantly) traverse the mess their life has become is great. The worse it is, the harder they have to try and the more frantic the reader is because what will they do!?

So maybe now I want to smother Hunter with kisses and grant him all his dreams. Theoretically anyway, I am a cruel author and things aren’t that easy in the world I’ve created. But, if I could I would.

I’m starting all over and I’m happy about it. Unfortunately, while I can integrate old stuff with new (because things are essentially the same) everything is a bit of a mess at the moment.

Next week, promise, I’ll have something to share.

Do your characters surprise you? Do they ever do something totally unexpected and throw you, the author, into the line of fire for once?

Guys your following me (I’m assuming) because you have a vague interest in what I have to say. Well, today I have some advice for you, do yourself a favour and check out Erica’s blog. Her posts are interesting, she’s funny, sweet and one of my favourite bloggers out there! If all of that weren’t enough she’s starting a beta service on her blog (and we could all benefit from her keen eye!) and having an awesome contest.

So go, check it out, click here! and don't forget to tell her that I sent you, so I get extra points. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Return of the Melissa

I seriously underestimated my ability to procrastinate.

While I rid myself of technology (for the most part) I forgot, well, everything else - my giant to be read pile for starters.

Needless to say, the first five days of my self-imposed isolation passed with me reading several books, staring blankly at empty word documents for hours on end, and distracting myself by working for my grandparents.

To pass the time I even bought Zac Effron.

Well actually I bought his (long lashed, very girly) action figure at a garage sale for two dollars. I gave the plastic replica to Ramona (what would I have done with it?).

Then there was Canada Day. And what kind of national pride would I be showing if I ignored my countries birthday? Not a very good one, I suppose. (It’s a good thing I did celebrate then, right?)

After that, the Great Purge of July began. I wrote like a crazy person, foregoing sleep and only ate enough so I wouldn’t pass out. My mind honed on the task at hand and approximately 46,000 cliché riddled, adverb strewn, rule breaking words poured into a word document. For two days my fingers pounded out my stream of consciousness in a sort of written word vomit of utter rubbish.

For the first time since September my mind cleared, my emotions and sanity righted themselves; despite being underfed and awake for over forty eight hours, I felt more awake than ever.

Sunday, exhausted from the Great Purge, I had a nap then spent several hours scouring the forest around my house, looking for my cat (Sister let her out).

In the end, I only have 745 words. Abysmal as it may be, considering the amount of time I set aside, I’m ridiculously happy with the first 200. I finally found the powerful beginning so many writers search for and I rediscovered my own writerly confidence during the Great Purge.

My fingers ache (I keep expecting bruises to form).

The pain brings a satisfied smile to my face: the voices in my head are sharper, louder and even more insistent.

I’ll be done my first draft by August 23rd.

I know it.

In the words of the Wiseman from Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth: The way forward is sometimes the way back.

How are you doing in your creative endeavors?

PS. I seriously missed you guys!

Word Of The Day: Astern - in a backward direction