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Phobia

FMWriters monthly challenge: June 2012 – Phobia

We all have something in our past we are reluctant of coming public. I wish it was something embarrassing that I could simply get embarrassed with and get it over with. Unfortunately, I liked being special and being the only possible child for another very special person, I just loathed publicity.

“I thought you told them you’re searching your father?” Mykola innocence didn’t save him this time.  

Saul-Erik asked something.  He was loosing his patience, asking this what felt like sixth time, but I wasn’t paying him much attention. I was busy beheading Mykola with my eyes.

Drops were forming over my hair, I could feel my hair greasing up. Or was it sweat? My throat was dry and my muscles suddenly ached from all the running yesterday.

Suddenly I felt Saul’s fingers close around my elbow and it was jerked from under me, forcing me to look at him.

“You are Huntsman’s daughter?”

I still didn’t see his eyes, only the gritting teeth and tense jaw muscles.

Oh great, I was near finding my beloved daddy and now this!

“Are you Huntsman’ daughter?”

He shook me violently, pressing me off my chair and forcing to look up. I didn’t like what I saw – his entire face had turned into grimace and for the first time in my entire life I actually felt the threat, the need to get away and hide as if being caught up by a grisly bear.

“Don’t you dear faint on me!” his yelling brushed over my hair and I felt the heat from his slap mix with pain. “Answer me!”

“Yes! I am Huntsman’s daughter!” I screamed, pulling myself away from his arm, but it didn’t happen. He was out of this world and everything I had imagined him do, this was worse. I never imagined him hit me. Get angry, turn away, but no hitting.

Suddenly he let me go and I fell away from his reach. I immediately thrust myself further away and hit against the wall. This wasn’t far enough, but it was furthest from anybody else in the living room.

His slap worked its way to my brain and the light throbbing from the red mark changed into headache. I wanted to cry.

This was why I didn’t want to tell them before I could reach my goal. Before I could finish the terror my father brought and make them understand I wasn’t the same. I am not my father, I don’t kill for pleasure!

I had to get Mykola away from here. If he says I have already taken a life, they would never believe I was different.

With that I gasped and I wanted to beg. In my entire life I had never had to beg, but tonight I was willing to do it, beg for Saul’s forgiveness and make them see that I wasn’t same with my father!

But if I even made a sound, he would have simply tossed me out on the street and I knew it. It didn’t matter right now that I had helped Rasmus or Malek or Harry. They were sitting there behind their round table and gagged by Mykola just as much as Saul was.

It was better to leave myself, I decided and dragged myself up from the corner, eyeing my chance as Saul had left in the bedroom.

I froze on the second step, Mykola standing on my way.

“That’s what happens if you hold back information, darling!” he whispered and grinned.

“Like you were much better!”

I only felt the wind as Saul pushed himself between us and pressed me back to the corner. “You knew and said nothing to me! That is hardly honesty!”

“Saul –“ I started, but he responded without looking at me.

“Get out. I will have no-one related with that monster in my house!”

“Yes sir.”

I didn’t even know why I had said it, but I used the moment and ran back to my house, out of their way and hid myself under my own rusty bed. I should have run further, but I reacted by hiding myself under my bed like I did whenever they showed my father on TV. Back then I waited friends to call and mock me for it, realizing I was his daughter. Tonight I was hiding for my life and that only because I was his daughter.

Six hours later I didn’t hear anything from their house anymore, but I didn’t come out either. The floor was cold and the wall molted, reeking of wetted wallpaper and old newspapers that I saw under it.

Suddenly I heard footsteps on the stairs. They were heavy, wearing big boots and I knew it was Rasmus, because no one else had such boots around here. The kind that clings every time the chains brush against the buckles.

I pressed myself further away. I knew I should have pulled the blanket lower to hide myself better from being seen from the door, but it was too late. He had already reached the door and the door handle creaked.

The door opened and he looked in.

“Evelyn?” 

I held my breath. My shoulder was in the light and I instinctively pulled it in the shadow.

He was about to close the door, when he probably heard my movement, because he reached his head out one more time and eyed lower.

He held his breath for a moment and I knew he had seen me, but instead of coming straight after me, he simply sighed and closed the door and left.

I panicked. I wanted to leave, but I could still hear him on the stairs, so instead I crawled up against the most darkest place  I could manage and I begged God to forgive me the killing in Sandlewoods, for trusting Mykola and for any misleading action I had ever taken, as long as he would keep me from their revenge. Moment later I cursed him for letting me be born, because this faith, I assumed, had to be punishment for doing something very bad in my youth. Or my mom doing something wrong, but there was only one thing my daddy was and that was our punishment.

I saw daylight sneaking in from the curtains. No one came, but I was sure they were just outside, waiting me to walk to them, spreading this news to everybody. My dad had killed nine of them – there couldn’t be a family out there, who wasn’t related to them one way or the other.

They could just torch the house? I was allergic to the mold, I was reminded by it when the tears mixed with the dust and it burned my cheeks, but why bother with cream if all they had to do is fire my house up?

I hit my fist against the wooden base, then again and again.

Right then I heard the door open again and it was enough to make my heart jump. I pushed myself back against the molted wall and held my breath.

I didn’t know the man, who entered, but he didn’t seem angry. Instead he seemed relaxed, looking around, getting acquainted with my papers on the nightstand.

Something cluck in his jacket pocket. He sat down on the bed and I heard it come out of his pocket right before he put it on the floor and tossed it to me.

“Here,” the low voice said, “Saul said he’s sorry.”

I looked at the bottle that had hit my elbow.

It was the one unmarked blue plastic water bottles Saul used to carry with him. The one that no one else was allowed to touch. The ones that had painkillers added to the water

He waited and I waited. I still didn’t say a word, didn’t even breath properly.

After ten minutes he had enough and he rose. “Anyway, Saul wants to see you when you get over this childish hiding game. Bye!”

“Childish?!?”

I was out from under the bed and up before I understood he tricked me.

“See? That wasn’t that hard now, was it? Oooh!”

What ooh, I frowned.

“Perhaps shower first, then Saul.” He suggested chuckling and nodded towards the bed. “Unfortunately you need to climb after the bottle yourself,” he looked at me again, “but you already know the way I guess?”

He burst laughing and went, leaving me standing there like fish – gutted, molded and dehydrated.

But while I was there, contemplating my own death, I realized that it wasn’t gonna be that easy with my neighbors. Especially if Saul had the mentality to first cure his victims and then torture them again.

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Filed under Dead Child's Portrate, Phobia, Working through ideas

I am not what I write

I started writing this with clear image of what I wanted to say. Now I don’t think it’s that easy.

We all remember the article about a teacher, who was socially blackmailed for writing fantasy erotic novels. I call it social blackmail, because what else would it be if other grownups start a campaign against someone? I had completely forgotten the article until I saw an old video I had liked on youtube from one of her graduate students and it made me think of the values I am presenting in my writing or what I’m expected to present.

The latter is what made me think if I’m possibly risking the same faith?

When I write, when I create a character, I never thought I should play fair with it and write someone that reflects me. Yet when I present the story, with girl, who kills a woman, man who rapes another, youth with drinking problem, a serial killer, grownups playing hide-and-seek, I receive this weird glance filled with questions. They just are what they are – different people, animals with their own characteristics and their own problems.

There is a movie called Crossing Over by Wayne Kramer.  In that film a 15-year-old girl, Taslima Jahangir presents a paper in school that is so misinterpreted by the authorities she gets deported from US. I have seen parts of this movie several times, but it never called for me to watch it. I don’t like this kind of humane dramas, because I can’t afford falling apart before the tv like that. Until I saw this part of the movie and it did exactly that. It made me think how many of such “probable threat” youth have been mishandled like that in real life? Is it really so that you can be turned into terrorist for what you write? How far will be the time where fantasy becomes a taboo for not suiting the leading world? 

Everything has to be same color throughout. If you present yourself one way, it is appaling to western world that there could be different side of you that you don’t present so openly. You are what you write, you eat, you drink, you watch, you say.

Just because I write on these topic and write through their POV doesn’t make me support their cause more or justify their actions. To me there is strict line between literature and reality. For someone even to think that I would go and kill someone I don’t like, because I was capable of writing about this in my work is appalling to me. Good writer can write their characters whatever their own background compels them. I write about the serial killers, questionable characters and weird folk because that’s who they are. I won’t stop writing about them just to please anyone. Even if this means the story will not get published, I’m not writing for numbers. 

 It scares me that this is the world I’m entering with my writing, so I’m making the disclaimer right here:

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I, as a real person, do not support killing anyone in real life, torture against both animals or humans, criminal acts, immoral behavior or anything else that is not in compliance with law or common ethical standards.
 

Now that this is off my chest I can turn back to writing my book, because I just found mighty interesting way the story could go…

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To write or not to write?

Or should it be called “other people’s paranoia is stickier than gum in your hair”?

 There is so much around us that can shake our belief in ourselves and in our writing. Watching others being braced for choosing different occupation to start with. Today again. How to find courage to actually continue on the journey you chose if the only person interested continuing is right now sitting here, staring at the screen and wondering if it’s not yet next thing to put aside?

Poetry. I have never understood it, never gotten the point or seen the beauty of it. My mind is cross when I think of it and though I know how to breathe through one or how to understand it, I’ve never felt the chill of reading or writing one. Poetry is for other great geniuses.

Yet every time someone new comes to town and they find out that friends of mine deal with poetry, I feel more and more reluctant to come out that I write stories and don’t meddle with poetry. Because that’s what writer should do, right? Write poetry?

Am I going crazy?

They are smart people and honestly, they really are. But my smartness goes missing and my mouth shuts when I’m suddenly glanced at as some mediocre idiot by new acquaintances before they go on brazing how smart my poet friends are.

They are right – who cares about how much research you buried in your last piece or who cares that you just single handedly rolled through entire volume on bugs just to find one that would fit your purpose of the story? They never find out of these things. They just say you’re smartass if you mention that “um… that glue goes through your plastic as if it was paper”, because you have no idea where you know this. The monkey is back and has hidden the key to the library in my head.

I have studied writing deeply for two years. I started learning this, because I wanted more and I felt that I reached to point where I couldn’t get pass unless I took out textbooks and studied how this was done. I can’t live without it and I really feel that this is something I could work on with, something that goes through my heart.

Since I got the first book and didn’t deny that I was actually learning it, I’ve become a joke. Who learns how to write? Come on! It shows lack of talent! Years on I’m starting to feel the same way. What talent is there if I grave for teaching, stepping over the milestone and get rid of the cliché in my stories? If I was talented, I’d know how to do it by mere sniff.

I want to hide those books now. I want to hide that I’m learning to write or that I write at all. I’m not proud anymore that I’m putting so much effort in my work and it takes so slow process to bring results. They don’t even have to introduce people what they do and they are geniuses and smart.

Perhaps I’d just once would like to hear that I’m genius too, smart and talented, educated and wise. I feel I’m rushing myself for nothing. Why go through this? Is it stealing my life from something better? What would be better for me?

It just is undermining, nothing more.

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Writing about itching and scratching

 I want to write about something that even mentioning the topic makes people squeamish on their chairs. I love it. On the other hand, publishing folks might not like it that much. It surprisingly thrilling to read something that has been banned, too. Why is that?

Also, being around people a lot lately, who preach the freedom of thought and ideas, are surprisingly judgmental of things around them. Like one lady that I’ve come to respect over the past year – she was the most amazing lady, preaching about freedom of speech and harmony and loving each other and Earth as our Mother… and following her on FB this past few months… All her testaments talk about protesting against one thing or another or how the government is poisoning them. That woman is so afraid!

Or a friend I’ve admired for close to 6-7 years. She is amazing artist, but quietly loosing her touch with reality. She also talks about freedom and happiness and ideals, yet she constantly comes back to her little truth of being harassed constantly because of her gender.  

Yet I’ve got several, who consider themselves conservatives, opinionated people, who speak of everything, not just preaching, but really talking about things that hurt and things that bring them joy. Surprisingly, they are unhappy and ok with it – they get angry, then they calm down again.

I took up a little chats with my friends on those topics and came to alarming results. I tested my book idea, giving each the same amount of information: “I’m writing a book about two men having sexual relationship, but who are not lovers.”

People, who said they are opinionated conservatives, listened this one sentence, burst laughing and then asked questions on relations and the reasons. Also, they asked about how I would represent it to the local editors, adding they would like to read it. Over all – they were interested what took the characters to take the path they are taking.

People, who said they are free minded people, I got very different responses. The one concerned of her own sexuality, immediately took the approach of the sexuality in the book and said it won’t be published because of it. The entire conversation turned into discussing intimacy between two people instead and how erotic and sensuality is the same (which I preferred to differ on the opinion).  The one having “old religious” views gave me long questioning stare, cheered on the topic, but didn’t get past that. Later I saw an article she had posted on her page about traditional family model. I hadn’t even mentioned homosexuality, because that’s not the main idea, nor had I said anything about cheating on their partners or threats of family life.

It has made me think if those conservative people really are to blame for censured books and topics?

General stand is that they are to blame, but how then is it that if I talk to them, they can find the point of the story and they care enough to learn more about it while free-minded, free-sexual-oriented just blast-hatch on it without any interest of any deeper thought? They just seek what goes together with their cause, but neatly leave all the rest out?

Perhaps I should re-orient myself to write for those opinionated folks instead of blasters, because the last month’s experiences have led me to believe there is very little freedom in free thinking.

Still, I appreciate having both of them around, because if I think back on this, they do make a nice sphere and together I can talk both on details, moods and backgrounds, see the problems it rises and find the solutions.

But when it comes to scratching the ideas that irritate – both are to blame.

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Excitement turns to dust and depression flips its wings.

 In other words – how writer’s life is either dipolar disorder or Phoenix raised from its grave.

I spent 5 hours in the library yesterday and just wrote my novel instead of plotting it to pieces. In the evening I came to a grim notion that I have the emotions, characters, close to solid plot, scenes, places (got the street names for last!) and dilemmas, but somehow they aren’t interacting, the lovers are stiff and emotionally barren and oddly I’m still writing the plot that goes around the corner and doesn’t touch the characters at all. Neither are the small signs showing that I had figured out already and reasons why the society is as it is. Like watching jelly wobble on a windy day.

So today I’ve come to my conclusion that I will set the whole written part (1/9th of  100k) aside and start the story from the beginning once more. Because there simply isn’t anything that would show the plot in the character’s lived or vice versa.  That’s, what, third time now?

At least I figured it out now, ay? Not when I was in editing stage and read the book as if made of stiff puppets.

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Continuing research

Interesting how one idea that has left you close to death with researching it out suddenly stops being interesting at all. Then, after half a month has past, its suddenly up and rolling again. I feel like suddenly I need to start working on it again as life isn’t a petty time passing by.

Today I had an exam I had prepared myself for quite some time. I feel like it suddenly put me back on track on working again. Perhaps its just the adrenalin finally leaving my body and having brains back again.

Or perhaps its the interesting topic of legislations of Soviet Union the teacher is talking about in front. Though surprisingly interesting topic (did you know there is a keep place in Siberia where they keep many documents related to Baltic states?), I must say the topic of How much to use real history in my story looks much more appealing.

I have decided to use background mix of real life, but to put the story in a made up society and the city.  Therefore I now need to know what and how I’ll put up as facts and what I will add. And there is still the question of their background. Like the man responsible for them. Who is he? Should it be he? In what terms did he work on such things?

Also, finish up the yoville love as well. That game is seriously distracting. While I’m at it. All the programs created for writing. I’ve come to conclusion that though helpful and though I kinda like using them, they are still not for me.  Working the system up is very time consuming. I think I’m still paper and pen person.  Having it all in one-two notebooks and then working from them seems still the best way I work. Plus no problems with different computers. I do like Dramatica Pro and Scrivener, which I think I will add to my writing systems after all   (I adore that I can create my own templates!). But everything else. No.

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What to do if your idea is asking for a lawsuit?

I am now part of the Merry Go Round Blog Tour! I am the 20th on the line so all I can hope for is you have enough patience to reach my blog.

 But today’s topic itself for me would be – what to do when your idea is surprisingly similar to some already existing story or show or movie or series?

Last time I faced this problem was, when I wished to create a secret serial killer service. I spent 3 long days on building flesh on the bones, when I decided to see what has existed in real life and started strolling around in the Wikipedia for ideas. “This looks similar,” I noted soon, “and this here,” I felt better – meaning I wasn’t very far from reality, which was good – “and this one!” and I got slightly worried. Then I reached Mossad. Thank you, fine! Good bye my so caringly built idea!

Now, over a year later I face the same issue. With my sanctuary idea. This time I believed I had done the research and found out all the possible similar ideas out there. And yet, when I inserted the search term, I winded up on a page that described the same idea. I knew it wasn’t original or anything, but to find something that’s like one-on-one, it still comes as a shock.

But I’m not willing to put it aside again.

What can I do to make it less likely to lawsuit? Or to have less similar lines to the show?

I guess I first need to determine exactly what I’m planning.

Secondly, refocus my impact character.

Thirdly, change the reasons and whatnot why the sanctuary is built.

 

I know this looks like an odd post, but I’m slightly off today, watching my idea get volcano ripping it in two.

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Filed under elements of writing, my own works, Working through ideas