Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal July 11, 2016 - 10:35pm

This paragraph was running through my head yesterday for some reason.

I wonder if you'd consider trying a breakup of the last line so part of it is at the very beginning, part at the end with the needle going in at the beginning, the decision being made, and then the plunger push remaining at the end. I feel like it's quick, the needle is in and we're on our way, and we don't get a moment to do the light body/needle horror or really feel the needle entering. Or maybe I feel like the decision is made and the paragraph is weighted towards thought and could be balanced by just a little more physical action, a stretching out of the needle feeling.

On the other hand, it's a quick punch at the end, which has its own merits. I was thinking about it  as-is while away from my computer, so that tells you something.

 

Awesome. This makes me happy.

Also, the last line is literally the last line of the chapter, so the quick punch was what I was going for.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal July 13, 2016 - 10:08pm

“Oh stop! Look around at what those ideals got us!” She drops her tablet and marches to him. “Yes, I killed him. He was going to kill me. Is that what you’d prefer? For me to be dead?”
“There’s always another-”
“Bullshit!” She shoves with both hands. “There was no other way. He was about to kill us both! What good is having ideals if you’re dead?” She pushes him again. “Huh? Tell me!”
He holds up a finger. “Abby, stop.”
“Make me you coward!” Another shove.
He points at me. “This is him talking.”
A fourth shove, into the wall. “Make me!”
He grabs her wrists as she moves in again. Her arms flex and he tightens his grip. “Abby, stop!” After a second she relaxes and his grip softens.
She blows a strand of hair off her face and nods at his hands. “See?”

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 7, 2016 - 10:26pm

Come on, isn't anyone writing?

 

They pass the station and take up position in an alley. At first I think they’re sweeping the area but they turn and head straight away, right toward the hospital. When I realize they’re not doubling back I know something’s wrong.

At least it's new!

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 7, 2016 - 10:40pm

That’s like telling someone you love them, and think they’re a great person, and then you abort their child which leads to the death of your own children. It doesn’t mean anything. Actions. That’s what this world is all about, not words or intentions. Actions. We need to be careful with what we say, but we better be god-damned certain how we act. There's no wiggle room for our actions. There's no room for interpretation. Misspoken words - we can apologize for those, but actions, that's set in something stronger than steel, that's set in memory.

This is from Make a Wish for Icarus II, which will go from short story to full novel based on some interesting ideas I had. I'm going meta!

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 8, 2016 - 8:43am

^ that kind of reminds me of the conversation Neo had with the Indian guy in the train station, 3rd matrix movie. 

T. Dagarim's picture
T. Dagarim from Atlanta, GA August 8, 2016 - 11:36am

I'm sitting on my bed staring down at the bundle of toilet paper beside me which is the source of my confusion. You ready for this? I get home today, and I feel like I'm about to start. It's a huge relief, since I missed last month. Which was weird anyway, because I'm always on time. I have to pee really bad and I'm cramping, so I grab a tampon and sit on the toilet, but the cramps are so much worse this time. So I'm peeing, the cramp keeps putting more and more pressure on my freaking uterus. It's like someone is pressing their foot below my belly button until my insides are going to squirt out through wherever. It's so bad, I let out a little accidental moan. Just when I think it can't get any worse, I hear a plop, feel cold water splash me down there, and the pressure's gone. No, it wasn't poop. Whatever just splashed me definitely came out of my vagina. So, I look down.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 10, 2016 - 9:59pm

^ intriguing...

one observation: I was kind of jarred out of the narrative when I read "the cramps are so much worse this time." 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 10, 2016 - 10:00pm

alright, been tweaking this for about ten minutes, not completely happy yet

The man blinks rapidly and stumbles several steps backward. For the first time his face registers an expression. Confusion. He hobbles around, sucking air, and collapses. His entire body tenses, back arching unnaturally, jaw clenching shut, then convulses violently. Strained groans gurgle from his throat and the tip of his tongue falls to the floor. Blood seeps from his eyes and mouth as the convulsions slow. Eventually he grows still.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 11, 2016 - 6:28am

^ Unpack the words, Thuggish.

*rapidly, unnaturally, violently, Eventually*

You're using a lot of sight, don't forget the other senses.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 11, 2016 - 8:48am

see that's what i've been doing THEY'RE JUST SO PACKED! 

now this i want to explore- it's meant to be a quick paragraph where this guy dies horribly. how do you use other senses? 

EDIT- actually, i was kind of hoping "sucking air" would be enough of a sound. maybe i should expand on that..?

EDIT EDIT - wait, strained groans is a sound...

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 11, 2016 - 9:42am

It seems one of the great tragedies of our time, that when I ask someone to explain the concept of love, and to say whether they have experienced it, that it becomes a very nuanced idea, abstract, the person has to think long and hard, it is an idea that hangs on at the edge of their consciousness. Even those who have been married for 50 years - who know for sure - still have lingering doubts as to the veracity of their claim. But ask someone to explain hate, and say whether they have experienced it, I'll barely have enough time to press the record button before they provide a thousand autobiographical examples, indexed and time-coded.

Not sure, what I'm going to do with this, but et voila!

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 11, 2016 - 9:52am

^ interesting concept. question! are you assuming that love and hate are opposites?

also, i'm just going to throw this out there... i hate (see what i did there?) the comma after "time" in the first line. unless you really want the speaker/reader to pause there.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 11, 2016 - 9:55am

I do. You will pause. You will pause and like it.

Also, I'm just using the trope to present an idea. It isn't meant to challenge the notion that love and hate, or love and indifference, are opposites. It's an extended quip!

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann August 11, 2016 - 6:04pm

@T. Dagarim, It's less like a foot and more like a little angry gnome who claws and stabs you repeatedly in the ovaries as he twists your uterus like he's wringing out a damp cloth, often while it also feels like the Tinman just kicked you as hard as he could right in the vagina. Menstrual cramps anyway. Not sure about having I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant toilet babies.

@Thuggish, You could try making causal or temporal relationships between some clauses instead of connecting things with “and” and commas (I reference this page a lot for ideas). Mostly, you're just listing things. Writing out the relationships between them might help lessen the “packed” feeling. If this is a character dying, it makes sense to me to also slow it down by using more periods and fewer commas. Some of the adverbs could also go. I like that it's anticlimactic.

@Jose, The first clause is a non-restrictive modifier so the comma is actually correct and not just doing empty emphasis work -- although technically the comma should come after the "that" rather than before it (because you could cut "It seems one of the great tragedies of our time that" and the whole sentence would still make sense). Looks good to me. :D

I think I've got about 40 new pages. Whew.

Maybe it's all the middle of a dream – one that goes on like an odyssey, where you forget yourself, you get someone else's face, and you don't remember until it's all over with. To remember, you've gotta wake up. The photos on my dresser must've been taken at our last house, some time when the weather was warm, 'cause the too-tall, stubborn girl in them is carefree in jeans and a Knicks jersey, with a different nose, different breasts, just a little eyeliner, and both her babies—one of them dewy, drooly, and smiling, and the other... It can't be a dream, and it was at the last house, couldn't have been earlier than '92, because a smile still doesn't dare brighten his face. The look he gave that camera was a sober, blank look, dimmed further by the flash of the camera, further still by the man holding it.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 11, 2016 - 10:12pm

^

You know, I was actively fighitng the "ands" and "withs" the entire time I edited that paragraph. There were even more! But I hated the way more sentences/periods read as well, I wanted things to read and move a little quicker...

I'm going to have to redo this from scratch, I can just tell.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out tomorrow in depth.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 11, 2016 - 10:09pm

... wait... that was a surprise-you're-preggo-baby?

T. Dagarim's picture
T. Dagarim from Atlanta, GA August 12, 2016 - 7:04am

@bethwenn, Haha. I'm gonna need a woman's perspective on that entire short story on draft 2. Concept is, a girl has what she thinks is a baby, but it turns out to be an egg about the size of a grape. Confusion ensues of course. The visuals you laid out are phenominal.

T. Dagarim's picture
T. Dagarim from Atlanta, GA August 12, 2016 - 7:42am

We need a way to transition to the beginning. What led us up to this point. A what happened. A who said what. Why. And, of course, most importantly, how it made them feel.

Behold, this is life:

A personally significant, yet socially obscure and misunderstood story, centered around pointless dialogue. Antagonist - Protagonist, interchangeable. It's all shot up with just enough verbal heroin to make it seem reletively useful or remotely relevant. What a poor excuse for communication we've devolved to. This is life. A dog screaching until your ears bleed. And later that evening making your leg his bitch in the living room. Pissing on the carpet. Shitting where you can't find it. A sequence of events. I was born, lost my virginity, bought a house, and that's all led us up to here. Ah, but it's all just instinct. It's animal. It's evolution! It's the ubiquitous completion of eternity and mortality rolled into one chronological Diary of The Life and Times at Humanity High. It's nothing. Simply nothing. Until you introduce that which truly defines the human experience. Now, tell us how it made you feel. Enter - sympathy. Enter - therapy. Enter – chemicals. This is life and we need a way to transition to the beginning. We're all so damned dominated by the expectation that the way it made us feel is the only important thing left. What actually happened just isn't interesting or exciting or painful enough. Our past is having the abortion of morality's psychological rape. We need a way to transition to the beginning. Life has pissed on my carpet. Raped my leg. And I'll tell my story out of order.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 12, 2016 - 7:32pm

Round two...

The man stumbles several steps backward, wheezing. For the first time his face registers an expression: confusion. I strain to raise my head enough to watch him hobbling around. His entire body tenses, back arching unnaturally and jaw clenching shut. The tip of his tongue falls to the floor. He collapses and thrashes violently, blood seeping from his eyes and mouth, eventually he growing still.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel August 13, 2016 - 12:05pm

^

I think "thrashes" implies "violently," so you can cut it and maintain the power. And maybe instead of "seeping" try "spills" or "slips". And the "I strain to..." seems off for some reason. It begs me to ask how he recognized the previous lines. Just a thought.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 13, 2016 - 2:46pm

^ yes, consider "violently" cut. 

the narrator is on the ground with broken ribs, initially with the dude who dies hovering over him. so the way i imagined it when the other guy stumbles away and hits the ground, narrator has to lift his head, which is difficult. maybe i'll reorder things a bit.

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann August 15, 2016 - 8:13am

T. Dagarim, Sure. Put it up on the workshop when you feel comfortable with it! I and others who have actually been pregnant before and know more than me will be happy to help. If you're interested in verisimilitude: just keep in mind that emotions run high in that situation. Most women who aren't actively trying to get pregnant are terrified of getting pregnant, and if you're bleeding, you're swimming up to your tits in hormones. If I can make another gross generalization: we also tend to be fairly paranoid about anything even slightly abnormal with our periods. By the time your character senses that something is inside of and coming out of her, her mind would already have jumped to "omg I'm pregnant and it's dead." Once it's come out of her, she probably wouldn't be calm enough to say: “So, I look down.”

Some TMI, but we're all adults here: I was on the Depo-Provera shot up until recently. When I was still on it, my uterine wall had become very thick and started shedding in horror movie chunks of veiny, bloody flesh-like flakes. One night I went to pee, wiped, and saw that. I thought I might have been pregnant, not known it, and had some sort of horrible miscarriage. The panic attack came immediately. It was 11 at night so I couldn't call my doctor's office, and my boyfriend was playing poker, so I just cried and Googled miscarriages and ovarian/cervical/bladder cancer until I fell asleep.

 

Thuggish, I tried to edit/reorder your paragraph a bit, but then realized this isn't the workshop and I don't know if that's okay? I don't want to foist uninvited edits/suggestions at you.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 14, 2016 - 10:48am

^ I swear, I have heard more horror stories about that depo-whatever shot... (It's great being a guy sometimes).

And yeah, knock yourself out, I always like to see what other people would do with it. Especially these days when I'm sooooo out of the zone lately. (What's the worst that can happen? I say "nah, not what I want to do." ?)

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann August 14, 2016 - 9:57pm

Birth control can be weird. I guess chemically forcing your body to stop doing things it's programmed to do is bound to have a few odd side effects.

The packed feeling you described might be a pacing issue. My instinct would be to edit it sort of like this: “The man stumbles backward, wheezing. For the first time, an expression comes over his face: confusion. I strain to raise my head enough (over/above what object[s]?) to watch him hobble around (where has he gone that it's harder to see him now?). (time+location: e.g., Once he's at the end of the hall), he tenses, clenching his jaw and arching his back unnaturally. (Possibly another spot of figurative language here to break things up: e.g., Heaviness comes over him like such-and-such analogy. Or, bring back mention of the groans. Or, incorporate some interaction with the environment.) He collapses. His tongue falls to the floor. Blood seeps from his eyes and mouth. (I'd linger on the things you've already described here with another figurative line or two about his movements. You want to hold the reader's attention at this point for longer without introducing new information, a trope called Amplificatio. That way you're passing time for the reader instead of telling through adverbs like "eventually".) He grows still.”

Sheri Attani Rohrbacher's picture
Sheri Attani Ro... from San Jose, CA is reading The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt August 15, 2016 - 8:50pm

1st paragraph -

There were no window coverings. The waning moon had removed all color from the garden beyond the small room and painted it with dwindling luminosity instead. Inside, A. S. turned on the banker’s lamp, its glow bringing a sharp masculinity to the cherry desk. As he sat down, a lock of dark hair fell across his forehead, it’s curl ending just above an eyebrow. He woke his laptop then went to his email account, opening one from a friend first.

T. Dagarim's picture
T. Dagarim from Atlanta, GA August 15, 2016 - 6:26am

bethwinn, there's no such thing as TMI for writers. Haha. I'll definitely finish it out. I'm not sure where it's going, as I tend to be a pantser. It works out wonderfully for me sometimes, and other times it's a damn disaster. It's very interesting the way you describe everything. The emotional impact definitely needs to be reviewed. Reading back over what I had written, I don't think it's even close to where she would be emotionally. It would be impossible for me to know, but your explanation has helped start down a path. Thanks.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 15, 2016 - 9:09am

I'd linger on the things you've already described here with another figurative line or two about his movements. You want to hold the reader's attention at this point for longer without introducing new information,

 

See, I think that's the primary problem right there. Takes me like, a hundred comb-throughs, to eliminate that kind of stuff these days... 

You know what this is? It's the same thing when world-builders try to put a hundred races in their fantasy novel and you barely know their names instead of going deep into a few.

Amplification eh... googled examples... yeah, this must be avoided. We should start a thread about 

 

bethwinn, there's no such thing as TMI for writers.

Isn't that the truth.

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann August 15, 2016 - 9:53am

It's Amplificatio (pronounced Amplifi-ca-ti-oh or cot-see-oh); I believe Amplification may even be a separate trope where you add more information in a highly subordinated sentence (not sure on that). It might be hard to find examples of Amplificatio with Google; it's a bit of an obcure one with multiple names, and different writers also came up with subdivisions for it which makes it even more confusing. :( When I search for it, Google autocorrects it to Amplification and you have to actually click "search for Amplificatio instead". Here. My professor called it the "once won't do it" trope. It's used when there’s a point so pivotal that you need to hold the reader’s attention a little bit longer. An example of an Amplifcatio would be: “In the last twenty years, a mere speck of time in the millions of eons of the earth's existence, we have etc...” It doesn't really give new information. It just holds the reader’s attention on a point by emphasizing it, usually through some kind of framing, progression, comparison, or division of something into its parts.

I'm hooked on tropes. We should have a trope thread. I could start one.

"Takes me like, a hundred comb-throughs, to eliminate that kind of stuff these days..."

You should just set it aside for a while after you've written it. I can't edit my writing effectively at all until I forget what I've written. The more I bang my head against it, the harder it is to see it with clear eyes.

 

Sorry, I will stop bogging down this thread with commentary on people's paragraphs now. I'm super addicted to caffeine right now and it makes me chatty.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 15, 2016 - 10:00am

Is it? I looked for that! Thought it was a typo... 

Eh, I edit both ways. Write it, immediately fix, a few more times... then some day later I come back to it. 

... Yeah, we're hijacking, new thread...

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann August 17, 2016 - 5:21pm

So frustrated with the scene I'm working on. I've been stuck on it for months.

Great grandad used to say, no more Rochester for me, no more building railroads upstate. Clearing out trees with picks and shovels, sun up to sun down. Blowing up tunnels, losing fingers, rioting on the rails with the Irish. No more shopkeepers and landlords refusing to serve us. Bensonhurst—where you can speak the madrelingua. He never did learn English. He'd say—always rubbing the meaty nubs where his ring and pinky fingers used to be, staring off like all his luck was due to come in over the horizon—he'd say, you pray to God, pray to the saints—spit on the halo that don't answer, move on to the next one—and when that don't work, when not even those holy fucks are listenin' to what you say, that's when you go down the grocery store with your pickaxe and say, hey, gavone—you gonna open your fuckin' ears now? Open your fuckin' register and take my money? Salute a cent'anno!

Wind blows through the treetops. Up in the sky, a newspaper surfs the gust, the headline reading: Governor faces Corruption Charges.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 24, 2016 - 2:06am

I looked down at the fifth grader, his own cock cut out and shoved in his mouth, at the trails tears had cleared through the thick dried blood. I looked back up at his seventh grader brother with the literally bloody hatchet he got who knows where. He shrugged, red dripped off the blade as the penny scent filled my nostrils. "He hid like a bitch, so he's got to pay." These kids would take hours, so I did the child the only mercy I could and stepped down on his head. Hard, hard, hard, until I felt the black top give way to gravel. I took off my shoes staring at the sky and didn't look down until I was barefoot and had walked half a block. That was fine, it was all fine; it was time to find a drink I'd actually feel and I'd never liked those boots anyway.

 

@Thuggish - rewrite of some stuff from Tinkerbrick

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 24, 2016 - 8:21am

I remember talking about this...

Yeah, that drives the point home pretty hard. 

Also, when are you going to finish that book? I want to read it (all).

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. August 24, 2016 - 11:16am

@Bethwenn. The scene is pretty tight. Pretty greasy slick good. Leave it be for awhile. Maybe you're stuck cause it's at the top of the hill, and you just need to park it there for awhile. Not saying it's perfect, but I'd be hard pressed to fix it anywhere. It's really nice. Love the surfing paper and  "spit on the halo that don't answer".

 

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on August 24, 2016 - 7:32pm

Some backstory to explain this paragraph.  This is essentially a true story with fictional elements.  Suicide is a huge deal in Veterinary Medicine (we have the highest rate of any profession, not that I'm bragging).  But literally every veterinarian knows someone personally who has committed suicide.  I wanted to explore this but I'm having issues of finding a new creative way to explore it.  So I am attempting to work on a piece told from the Dog's point of view.  So here is an experiement to see if that even works.

She’s sitting on the bed now and has the bag open next to her.  She is constantly rooting through the bag and pulling out more and more objects.  There are a few strange vials that contain weird smelling liquids.  She also pulls out a few syringes.  I know that they are syringes because master uses them when he is giving me or my friends on the farm medicine.  She is sticking different syringes in each of the bottles and drawing up specified amounts.  I think she is also reading something off of a sheet of paper.  I walk over to her and sit at her feet, hoping to get a better glimpse at what she might be doing.  I let out a small whimper to get her attention. She finally looks up at me.  “Duke, you’ve been a good boy.  You remember that okay.  I love you and you are a good boy.”  Well of course I know she loves me.  I always love being told I’m a good boy.  It makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished my goal as a dog, enjoy life and please the masters.  Lady master then picks up a syringe and taps her leg a few times before jamming the needle into her leg and pushing the plunger.  Something is definitely wrong here.  I start barking at her, trying to get her to move away from that bag and those smells.  She continues to ignore me.  I reach up to the bed and grab the bag in my teeth, throwing it to the ground.  “Duke, drop it.  BAD DOG.  Get out of here,” she scolds as lady master grabs my collar, dragging me from the room.  So throws me into the hallway and slams the door.  How could she do this to me?  I need to be in there with her.  Something is very wrong.  I need to help.  I start scratching at the door.  Scratch.  Scratch.  Scratch.  I lean against the door trying to get a better idea as to what is going on inside.  I hear some shuffling and then a thud followed by silence.  Too much silence.  Silence followed by more silence.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 24, 2016 - 11:51am

@Dwayne

So that paragraph of yours has been rolling around in my head this morning...

I really liked the image of the tears of the dead kid in the dried blood on his face. Really powerful, not going away as the hours pass.

But that line about "pretend I never liked those boots," I don't know why, but I really like it too. Somehow it captures the feeling of absolute shit the narrator must be feeling. 

Don't ever cut either of those lines!

Anchoret's picture
Anchoret August 28, 2016 - 11:08pm

[.]

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 24, 2016 - 7:43pm

@Dalton

How does the dog know the liquids smell if they're inside vials?

Sheri Attani Rohrbacher's picture
Sheri Attani Ro... from San Jose, CA is reading The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt August 24, 2016 - 8:26pm

2nd paragraph

“I think this will interest you,” it read and followed with a link and the words “Bit different. Still, it might help. Site’s always changing, evolving. As I said, it’s a bit different.” What little there was of text certainly sounded like his friend but A. S., always leery of links, still debated clicking on it. He’d known people whose email had been hacked and it was at best a pain to get it all straightened out. Was it called “hacked”? Or was email impersonation something else? A. S. wasn’t sure, his knowledge of the lingo being limited, but the term hardly mattered at the moment. The important thing was the legitimacy of the email. And it certainly appeared legitimate.
He clicked on the link.

 

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on August 27, 2016 - 9:45am

@Thuggish

Good point. Didn't think of that

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on August 27, 2016 - 10:31am

And now an excerpt from "The Beauty Master 5000".  Currently in the Writer's Workshop.

“Ummm, can we stop for a second?” Cannon asked.
“CUT.”  The director didn’t even bother to look up from his phone. “What now Cannon?”
“This ‘Curtain to Go’ product seems to be defective.  I hadn’t noticed but this portable wall/divider thing has a hole in it.  I think it might be torn or something.”
“It’s supposed to be there Cannon.  Don’t worry; the hole is padded to prevent chafing.”
“Really?  What is the point of a product made for privacy and anonymity purposes that has a hole in?  I mean it seems too low for a window.  Am I supposed to get down on my hands and knees to be able to see through this thing?”
Muffled chuckling and snickering was heard throughout the studio.  “If that helps, then sure Cannon.  By all means get down on your knees.”

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 27, 2016 - 11:16pm

^ I have a sneaking suspicion I know what's going on here...

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 27, 2016 - 11:17pm

Hey look, I'm still working...

 

The team catches on quick. Despite their serious demeanors they ask plenty of good questions and seem excited to try it out. It’s the type of briefing I’ve dreamed of giving for years. 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami August 28, 2016 - 8:59pm

From The Incarnations Of Hemato Tomato And Anna-Marie:

Growing up as a trans woman necrophiliac--at least so I thought at the time, before I realized it was something else, that puberty a kind of paradox; sometimes the cat was in the box, but if the cat wasn't inside the box that cat made be somewhere else trying to court the woman you could have had. But you didn't want to subject anyone to or want anyone to know your kinks because you felt so guilty. You were someone who technically should not even exist, you would be treated as among the damned if they knew. Even if there was some small home you were not a killer.

There was a mothering instinct I had that made things even muddier, and it made coming to terms with my true feeling about girls a constant head ache. I also had a thick growing beard, despite being referred to as pretty indirectly. I distinctly remember one girl passive aggressively saying in law class, "Why is it always the hot guys that turn out to be gay." So most of my life was spent unsure of what kind of bizarre sexual fascination I had, and trying to deflect being called queer as someone who always felt more like a girl than a guy.

Loosely based on the Anna-Marie Boeglin case. I've linked the historical case and other guillotine research for your searching. In mine case I didn't know as much French then as I do now, so I'll be writing another book more true to the case.

This one is 50% me and 50% Boeglin from 1839-1840, in a near future United States. A kind of darkly weird romance between me and her.

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on August 29, 2016 - 10:53am

From a Non-Fiction piece I'm working on called "The Games we played".  Based on games my brothers and I made up as kids to entertain ourselves.  This is what happens when you grow up in the late 80s/early 90s without cable TV and with a family on a budget.  A time before the internet (which seems strange now).

 

I’m sitting in my big wheels tricycle circa the late 1980s.  My hands are firmly gripped on the handlebars in anticipation.  My eldest brother, Brian, is behind me making clicking noises as we ascend the hill.  I get a glimpse of the visibly outlined path set out before me, lined on either side by a continuous contour of trees.  A few of the branches, sticking at lower than acceptable angles, form hazards.  The path is layered with old leaves from autumns past. The faint trickle of a nearby stream is heard overtop the sound that rustling leaves make in a late summer breeze.  Brian cautions me on the hazards of the course as my other brother Brent stands nearby, waiting for his turn.  I’m old enough this time to steer myself.  As we crest the hill he asks me if I’m ready.  I nod yes several times, attempting to convince myself.  My heart is in my throat, about to leap out.  I take a big gulp of air to force my heart back into my chest.  We pause just one moment.

D.W. Behrend's picture
D.W. Behrend from New Jersey is reading Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield August 29, 2016 - 2:16pm

Written this morning, from a WIP just started under the working title "Seedy Santa Mannequin":

With a sudden jerk and an almost deafening whoosh of air from the brakes’ hydraulic system, the train lurched forward and began to move. Michael looked back over his shoulder, keeping the decrepit mannequin in view for a few more moments. He flinched as he saw the thing begin to turn its head, as if it too wanted to keep an eye on him. It couldn’t actually be moving … He realized with a start that the track curved here, and the motion had given the illusion of the tattered St. Nick turning to look at him. The train picked up speed, and he turned to face forward, cold sweat all over his back. He shook his head, trying to clear away the image of that horrid black mouth, and the lingering echoes of its awful laugh.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 31, 2016 - 6:57pm

@Thuggish - It feels like another life when I started on that book, but yeah I think soon. 

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann September 1, 2016 - 7:41am

Thanks, Gail! The scene is a bit of a mammoth at about 15 pages long right now. I think I do just need some distance from it.

I managed to write a bit over 5,000 words before classes started up Monday. Now I'm a slave to class reading/writing.

I don't remember much about my first kiss anymore, but I remember hiding in the hall outside the kitchen at our apartment in Stapleton, listening to Mom and Dad scream at each other over it. I knew it then and I know it now: I broke their marriage. In our bedroom, Drita had the closet light on and the accordion doors shut tight. Her shadow blocked out the light through the slots, crouched on the floor in there, bawling to herself. Mr. White called from school, concerned for my emotional well-being and the level of support I was getting at home. The scuffles my smartass mouth always started with other kids were one thing; this was another. With the potential for bullying, open homosexuality can be a safety issue. When Dad saw me peek around the kitchen doorway, it was all over. The living room carpet—all hard and thick-knit—left imprints on my face I was curled up there so long while Dad whipped my back with his belt. The walls were paper-thin so you could hear Drita crying from out in the living room like she was next to me. The first few whacks, Mom screamed on my behalf. After that, she just cried at him, pleading over and over, “He can't help it!” He'd never whipped me that much in one go before. The pain was more like a burn. Like fire. Could've been minutes or an hour. It was gasoline doused on my back, lit to high flames every time the leather cracked.

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. September 1, 2016 - 7:48am

@bethwenn. Nice stuff. It's cooking. Stir and taste is what we do I guess. Just happy to have a kettle on the stove with something in it. Have a good day.

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien September 4, 2016 - 4:11pm

How does everybody make those big ass quotes?

Here a paragraph from a coming of age novel I'm working on.

The girls drift-walked towards the juke. Each held a Coke can with one hand wrapped around the can and the other, just forefinger and thumb, absently rolling the straw that stuck out the can’s top hole. Smitty watched as they swayed to the sounds of James and Bobby Purify. They moved with a studied indolence known only to teenage girls. Bernie Smith—who the boys called Smitty and the girls called Bernard—entered on the backbeat, dropping an arm onto each girl’s waist. They smiled and curled into him, Coke cans pressing cold against his chest.

Again, how do you guys make those quotes? 

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien September 4, 2016 - 4:52pm

Here's another paragraph from the same coming of age novel.

At Troy Street there were teenagers everywhere, some milling about in the middle of the street, others leaning up against the cars parked along both curbs. Rick didn’t slow down for any of it. Just as he’d sped up for the kids on Belmont, he accelerated through the ones on Troy like they weren’t there. Every kid moved, some quickly, others headstrong, evading contact by mere inches. BAM! BAM! BAM! Snowballs strafed the truck’s windows and doors. Rick didn’t slow down or speed up. He didn’t curse or look around for the culprits. He drove on. “SAINT LOVE!” rang out down the block. The Richmond Saints were a street gang from Brands Park. To become a Saint you had to first become a Pope, and before that a Bishop. The girls, regardless of age or accomplishment, were called Nuns. It was a Catholic neighborhood.