Tag Archives: writing practices

Free writing:

Free writing here because I’m too lazy to go into the front room and find my clipboard.

Working on a new D&D campaign. So full of potential and possibilities. Or not. Eric and I had a conversation the other night and it became very apparent that he really does look ahead, always, almost to a fault. For him the world is potential and possibilities. This isn’t true for me. Ask me where I’ll be in five years and I’ll answer that it will look very much like today. Even though it will be very different. Maybe even profoundly different. Because looking back five years, ten years, my world is considerably different, and I couldn’t have predicted today at all. I look back. I compare today with yesterday before I make any predictions about tomorrow. This view is also quite flawed. Would it make any sense to predict tomorrow’s weather not only on today’s and yesterday’s, but the weather of last year’s March 5th? Yet, I measure life like this. Take gaming for example. In the beginning, I had nothing previous to compare it to. I was excited and fearless. Now, I get stuck in comparing today with yesterday. “I’ve already run *that* campaign,” I think. “And *that* idea failed previously.” And why should I even bother getting excited when this campaign might peter out like the last one and the one before? Of course, paradoxically, it’s lack of enthusiasm and thought that causes many of those campaigns to fail. It’s pessimism and I wonder of really pessimism is the comparing of the present to the past, and especially the negative aspects of the past.  It affects my writing as well.  I am smothered under the weight of past failures and paralyzed from even trying anything new or dynamic.  It’s fear of discomfort versus comfort.  It’s many things.

Got nothing done Friday that I can remember.
Yesterday, I DMed and played Star Wars Galaxies some.  And watched The Departed.  It’s not a bad movie, but I didn’t care for the abruptness of the ending.  That seemed shoddy to me.
Today, we decided that an Eberron campaign might be interesting, and have been steeping ourselves in that.  Also went out and played disc.  Disc is good.

Free Writing before the clock strikes…

And Can Teach gives me:  What do you think about ghosts?
(Yes, it is from the elementary resource page, but hey, still good.)

I don’t believe ghosts exist.  With agnosticism comes freedom from being scared of things that go bump in the night.  Everything has a rational explanation, though perhaps one that isn’t known yet.  For example:  When I was in college, I did think that my one dorm room was haunted.  I heard knocking coming from the inside of my closet.  My friends did as well.  I never experienced the knocking phenomenon in any of the other rooms I stayed in.  Supposedly, even, there was an accident during the building if the dorm concerning that room.  But…  There was an explanation, whether it was due to one of my neighbors on a different floor, the wind, the heating system,  So many things that I didn’t investigate.  I didn’t, however, do the simplest test–opening the closet door.  ‘Cause, back then, you know, I kind f thought maybe the explanation was a restless spirit.  Today, armed with skepticism, I’d like to think I’d swing the door wide.  I still like a good ghost story though…  And I still don’t like being too scared.  And yes, I still get scared.  Thoughts of certain scenes from certain movies still give me the creeping willies, and they’re usually ghost related.  Slashers?  Not so much,  Same for zombies, vampires, or any of the more corporeal monsters.  Matters of the spirit are another matter.  Ghost and possessions.  Very scary stuff for me, even now when I’m rather certain that when I die, my bones will turn to dust and the memories of me will fade from other people’s minds.  But, way back in the monkey era of my mind, the dark is still scary, and the possibility f things that can’t be defeated by silver bullets and crosses and general sharp objects is the worst.  The height of helplessness.

Free Writing

(Done here because I’m too lazy to go get my note pad.)

From WritingFix Daily (a site I’ve never used before):
“Why is it so mixed?  Write about a trait or skill that is your biggest ‘Mixed Blessing.'”

Feigned Competence.  That’s my biggest mixed blessing.  My dirty secret of life.  What is feigned competence?  It’s my ability to know a small amount about something and then look knowledgeable and able concerning it.  It’s not something I do on purpose.  I don’t ever claim to have more experience than I do, it just comes off that way and no one questions it.

Some examples from my life:
Between sophomore and junior year of college, when I moved back home for the summer, I worked at Baker’s supermarket in the deli.  I started Memorial Day weekend amount the rush of people buying fried chicken, luncheon meats, and potato salad.  The supervisor and other employees didn’t have time to explain everything I was supposed to know.  I learned how to used the scales and the meat slicers and the rest I picked up by watching.  Several weeks passed and I was told to break down one of the slicers and clean it.  Although this was done every night, I had never been taught it and never had the opportunity to watch anyone do it all the way through.  “I’m not sure how,” I admitted.  That surprised my fellow employee.  “How long have you worked here?” she asked, a bit put off.  “Two and a half weeks,” I guessed.  “I though you’d been doing this for months,” she muttered, and showed me how to clean the cutter.

A similar think happened concerning HTML and website design.  I had done most of my early pages using an online text editor.  When the day came that I had to host my own pages, I hadn’t made the connection between and HTML file being a type of text file one edits with Word Pad.  When I asked Eric for help, he was absolutely amazed that I didn’t know this already.  After all, how long had I been fiddling with web pages?

A passed Calculus with a B in college and never really learned anything.

The problems occur when my knowledge breaks down.  Instead of being that ultra capable person that can handle the situation, I suddenly become foolishly incompetent.  I don’t even realize that I’ve projected that first image of myself.  I’ve been raised to take pride in what I can do, maybe that’s part of it.  But it’s harsh when I’m found out.  I never realized this trend until Eric pointed it out to me (and named it) six or eight years ago.  Since then, I’ve become more aware of it, but it’s like standing on shifting sand.  I begin to question anything I’m good at.  There’s a possibility that it’s all false, and when I ask a question I will be ridiculed.

What if I’m not the writer I think I am?  Sure, I got good grades and feedback in college.  I have a few things published in ‘for love’ magazines.  But nothing substantial in a very long time.  Not even a nibble.  What if the writer I’ve projected myself to be has been unmasked and now I’m just a bumbling fool?

30 min.

Protected: Writing Practice – “Current Lusts”

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Writing Practice

“Yes, Father,” she whispered and tried to commit to memory the words he had just spoken to her.

The man was not her father. What she remembered of her father was that he was much younger than this man. His face was unlined, and he had strong, dark, angry eyes. She never saw eyes like that anymore. The dead’s eyes were cold as nothing in the desert was. The old man’s eyes were milky with blindness.

Her first father had left her here one night. He had rarely said a word to her in all her life. That night, he had shouted something of demons that she had not understood then. Very soon after she realized that it had been her fault that her mother had collapsed and raved and writhed on the hot clay floor of their hut. She tore at her white linen, soiled it too. Only woman who had given birth to a child touched by a demon behaved that way.

Sons were left with the Keepers and daughters were killed, that was the way of things. She didn’t know if it had been love or weakness behind her father’s angry eyes that led him to leave her. Somedays she thought it was one, some days the other. Somedays she wondered if he just had meant to curse her, the demon-touched child, with an unnatural life. Never had a girl been left.

She lived because her second father was blind. He had needed an apprentice. He had found her on the woven-leaf mat outside his hut and taken her in. Without asking anything, he began to speak to her. The old man with a face like poorly cured leather and eyes as white as his hair told her things, many things, that night when she was still trembling with fear and night-cold. What he told her made her shiver more.

By the morning, there was nothing to be done. He had taken her in. He had given her knowledge. Once that was done, none could harm her. She would be a Keeper. Her house would be the catacombs of the dead. And her father would give her the wisdom to live on after his white eyes became cold.

Writing Practice

I’ve been trying to get two thousand words a day done, whether it be MarieII, Helna’s journal, or other things. Yes, I should be working on MarieII, but I’ve been meaning to write about this character again since New Years. Marie hasn’t been completely neglected. I took her along to disc. Some editing, some brain storming, some fleshing out of characters.

“Witch,” the bravest boy hissed as she walked by.

She kept her head high and level where some might have bowed. The sand was hot under her feet. She could feel it through the soles of her sandals, yet she did not walk any more quickly. He would think she was running away if she did, even though the sun hurried her along much as the clothe merchant had. He was a tall, pale man, paler than a corpse with dark liquid eyes that were too alive for him. His long fingers had shoed her away after giving her what she had come for. He didn’t even count the money, as all foreigners seemed to do.

He had heard the stories about her, she knew. And he feared.

She passed by a copse of girls. She had heard their giggling a hundred steps away. They were in an alley, a red-shadowed space between to clay buildings. She tried to tread softly, balancing the rolls of linen on her hands. She rose up on her toes, but they still heard her and fell silent. Had they smelt her? Had they caught the spicy fragrances on an illusive breeze? Or was it the smell of blood and ichor that scented her hair? Or had they noticed in the brief moment that she slipped by that her hands were stained. Their burgundy was stark against the white cloth. Why had she not been taken, in the instant that she went by, for just another girl, carrying out an errand for her mother?

She envied laughter. None would ever be hers. She would claim tears instead, she would treasure grief like the other girls collected bangles and the favor of boys. Unlike most, she had a destiny and a purpose. The elders had asked her once if she would trade that. Their voices had scared her, one of the few things that ever had in her life. The words had been uncaring and the question was asked again and in her dreams some nights, an infinite mutter by ghosts. Her answer had decided her standing in this world. And the next.

She knew that then when she answered, three years younger than she was now. The voices had frightened her, but not the question.

When she came to the door, dyed the color of her hands and baked, she turned around and lifted her face to the sky. She didn’t care if any of them thought the ritual was strange. None would bother her. Adults thirty years her senior would not berate her for idleness as they might the any other girl returning from a chore. They would not speak to her at all. They would not even look at her if they could avoid it. As she shut her own eyes to the hard yellow of the sun, she could suddenly feel their gaze, fearful that she might catch them. But they had to look at her and recognize. She did not. With her eyes still closed, she turned to the door and opened it, holding the fine white cloth to keep it from getting dirty.

She would see them all, given time.

Writing Practice

She didn’t trust this man. She had heard things. Rumors.

They say women had been found mangled. No, not mangled. Not chewed, not eaten. These were all the wrong terms considering the stories she had heard. Torn, ripped to pieces. Those terms were closer, but still, not quite right. Teeth had definitely come into play considering the stories. What kind of teeth had always been the question.

She knew now. The man before her smiled a curve of small, jagged teeth. There were impossibly white, like sun-bleached choral.

“So, it’s the fugitive, come to see Edward Tyne,” he said. His tongue was small in his mouth and the words came from far away back behind his teeth.

She took her eyes from his mouth, teeth now gone, but she didn’t dare look away from him. His head was large and oval with a prominent nose and jaw. When she didn’t answer he flared the rounded nostrils of his nose and turned slightly as though to look at her sideways. His eyes would be small in any head, shards of dirty blue glass. Nostrils flared again, another turn, and he regarded her with the other side of his body.

“I’m not sure,” she said finally. She didn’t manage to keep her voice steady. It quivered. Well-trained muscles made sure that her entire body remained still, but so rarely did she speak that her words came out unbidden. “They say you have connections who might be able to help me, but they say a lot of things.”

“Do they?” For a moment, the man’s eyes went utterly blank. His lips twitched back and she could feel changes of her own coming on. She doubted she could kill him if it came to that. She clenched her fists tight. He pushed closer to her, his smile tight. “Oh, I can help you fugitive, but it will cost you. My help is pricey.”

The sea and blood in his breath made her stomach turn. She knew everything they had said about him, even whispered, was true.