Being a Girl

Okay my lovelies, tonight I am sharing a piece I wrote for a class with you. This poem was one I wrote for my creative writing class. It is meant to be a spoken word, but I think just reading it gets the main point across. As many of you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge feminist and often speak out about the struggles that can come with being a female. This poem highlights some of the day to day difficulties we, as women, face with societal expectations.

Being a girl is easy. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Don’t be too different, but don’t be basic.

If you don’t cover up, you’re a slut, but don’t cover too much, you prude.

Never put guys in the friendzone, but stop being a tease.

Don’t be too fat, but don’t be too thin.

Being a virgin is the worst, but having sex makes you a whore.

Don’t talk about wanting kids, but never say you don’t want them.

Wear makeup, but don’t wear so much that it makes you fake.

Don’t flirt with guys, but if you if you ignore them, you’re rude.

You can be smart, but not too smart.

If you’re emotional, they’ll say you’re PMSing, but it you’re stoic, you’re a bitch.

Don’t be boring and stay in, but don’t be a party girl and go out.

Stop being desperate for love, but make sure you don’t enjoy being single.

Don’t be too girly, but don’t be too manly.

Make your own money, but don’t be too successful.

Don’t be easy or sleazy, but stop playing hard to get.

Stop hating yourself, but don’t love yourself either.

See, being a girl is easy. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 17.

As you can see, we face a lot of paradoxes. Most of us hate them, but yet we all, boys and girls, help enforce them. We all play into ever single one of these paradoxes. We need to stop judging each other for everything little thing we do, and start focusing on accepting each other. Nobody’s completely nonjudgmental, but doesn’t hurt to try. 

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If This Were a Movie

I wonder what would happen if this were a movie. One of us would make the four hour drive, say how sorry we were, and the other would run with tears in their eyes, and fling themselves into the other’s arms. We would declare our love for each other, tell each other we were always meant to be together, and share a passionate kiss that makes all the viewers wish for a story like ours. A love song would play, the camera would zoom out as the screen fades to black, and as the credits roll there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we lived happily ever after. All the pain wouldn’t matter, because it would only be a matter of time before the happy ending. But life isn’t like a movie. There are no songs in the background that warn you of what’s coming. There is no script to keep you from saying the wrong things. The person you love doesn’t always love you back. The silence doesn’t always end, the anger doesn’t always fade, and the gap between two people sometimes just keeps getting bigger. There is no paper that holds the words that would make everything better, because you aren’t following the same story they are. You have one ending in mind, and they have another. You play out a resolution and an end to the silence, and they see the end of your story line. They are a major character in your movie, but you are a minor character in theirs. To them, you are insignificant to the whole plot. There aren’t happy endings in life, because life isn’t a movie. We say the wrong things, we play our own music, we make our own choices, and we aren’t guaranteed a happy ending. The guy ends up with the wrong girl, rather than the one everyone is rooting for. The girl cries silently as the boy drives away, instead of dramatically sobbing. The boy keeps driving; he doesn’t stop to say goodbye one last time or turn around to tell her he loves her. The girl makes stupid mistakes and fights back, rather than becoming a blubbering mess. The boy moves on and the girl is left behind. Life would be easier if it played out the way the movies do, but life isn’t a movie. No one is watching. No one is rooting for the main character. No one cares about the ending, because it’s only a matter of time before the happily ever after turns dark again. Sometimes there is no closure. Sometimes the bridge just burns. Sometimes people don’t work out. Sometimes people don’t miss you. Sometimes they don’t come back. If this were a movie, you’d be back, things would work out, and that’d be the end. But this isn’t a movie, and I don’t expect a happy ending. This isn’t movie, so I know this can’t be fixed. This isn’t a movie, and yet our scene has faded to black.

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Why We Write

A small prose inspired by an emotional day and a binge watch session of 13 Reasons Why. No need to worry my dears; just creativity expressing itself a little darkly this evening.

They say that people write in order to become the people they aren’t; the people they wish they could be. But I have a different theory. I think that we write because that’s the only time we can be who we truly are. Because the only time we are entirely unafraid to let the real us out is when our hands are on a keyboard. We write because talking about our feelings was never really our thing. Because we are ensured that the paper won’t judge us when everyone else will. Because it’s the only time we can be completely honest without being afraid of what someone will think or who they’ll tell. We write down the things we are unable to say out loud. We write down the things that we feel like no one will understand. The darkest and most secret parts of our soul go on the paper, because it won’t worry; won’t get sad or scared or mad. But maybe what we are most afraid of is getting no reaction at all. Of being written off and forgotten about. When the words of tangible, it’s harder to forget they existed. We write to sort through the muddled mess we call our thoughts and try to make sense of our lives. We write to understand the world and its bittersweet reality. We write to have control over a fictional world, because our own seems so chaotic. We write to create the friends and lovers we don’t have, and the struggles that everyone knows will somehow work out. We write instead of screaming until our throats are hoarse. We write instead of bearing our souls to someone because the paper won’t betray our trust. We write instead of saying things out loud because then there’s no one to sell your secrets for a moment of acceptance. We write instead of showing our broken side, because we have all but forgotten how to be vulnerable. We write so that we can put on the show for one more day, without anyone ever seeing how broken we are inside. We write to remind ourselves how to be carefree and fearless. We write because our souls are irreparably shattered, so we give out pieces of it one word at a time. We write because that’s really all we know how to do. We write to keep ourselves from going insane. We write because we need to.

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100 Reasons

I haven’t written poetry in a very long time, however this little beauty was inspired by Lady Gaga’s song, A Million Reasons. This was also quite personal to write, but I also found it very therapeutic. Poetry is not my usual forte, but I think this one turned out quite well.

I have 100 things I want to say to you, but 101 reasons not to say anything.

I have 100 reasons to trust you, but 101 reasons not to.

I had 100 reasons to stay, but 101 reasons to run.

I have wanted to text you 100 times, but I’ve had 101 reasons to put my phone down.

I have 100 reasons to want to see you, but 101 reasons to stay away.

I have 100 reasons to cry over you, but 101 reasons to keep my eyes dry.

I have 100 good memories with you that occupy my mind, but 101 bad ones that still haunt me.

I have 100 reasons to fight for you, but 101 reasons to lay down my sword.

I had 100 reasons to believe it would work out, but 101 reasons to stop kidding myself.

I have 100 reasons to still care about you, but 101 reasons to wish I didn’t.

I have wanted to go back to you 100 times, but I’ve had 101 reasons to stop myself.

I have 100 reasons to let you walk out of my life, but 101 reasons why I don’t want you to go.

I have 100 reasons to be angry with you, but 101 reasons I can’t hold onto that anger.

I have 100 reasons to hate you, but 101 reasons why I can’t.

I have 100 reasons to just let you go, but 1 reason I can’t: I still miss you.

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Newest Novel Attempt

As much as I love sharing my thoughts with all you lovelies, I feel as though I have been neglecting my other blog categories these past few months (year?). Therefore, I thought I would share my latest attempt at a novel. As they all do, this one has started off really well, as I have been managing to keep the writer’s block at bay so far.

This one was inspired by a very personal situation I went through this summer. My uncle was kept in a medically induced coma following a horrific car accident, in which he was severely injured and burned. During his month long stay in the hospital, we always wondered whether or not he could hear us talking to him. We never found out, because we unfortunately lost him before he was ever waken up.

This story is from the point of view of a nineteen year old girl in a coma. She has no memory of how she ended up in this state. She cannot move nor speak, however she can hear and feel (not pain of course). Her memories are hazy, and she often finds herself slammed with memories when she realizes who a person in the room is. Here’s a small exert from what I have written so far:

It dawns on me for the first time to wonder where the hell I am, and why I can’t make my body cooperate. I try to open my eyes again, but still no luck. I am left alone in the darkness of my own mind, and I can’t escape. I hear beeping all around me. I must be in a hospital. I think, putting the puzzle together. But how the hell did I get here? I try to think back to before the dark, but all I remember is the fierce sting of pain.

I start to panic. How am I going to get out of here if I can’t move? I can’t even open my eyes or call for help. Why can’t I move?

“You can see her now,” I hear the woman’s voice again, but it sounds far away. I wish I could reach out and grab it. I wish I could let her know that I hear her. I hear the sound of someone shuffling slowly into the room.

“Presley?” I hear a quiet voice, barely above a whisper. It sounds unsure and is dripping with fear. It sounds familiar, but the owner of the voice is just out of reach in my mind. “Oh, Presley,” the voice sighs with remorse. “What happened to you?” I could ask the same thing. I feel warm skin on my hand. “Your hand is like ice,” the voice says right before I feel warm breath on my hand. Who the hell is this woman and why is she blowing on me? I want to yank my hand away and demand to know who the hell she thinks she is, but I am powerless in this broken body, so she keeps on blowing.

She leans forward to plant a sloppy kiss on my cheek. Some water drops onto my face, and I assume this strange woman is crying. As she pulls back, I the smell of vanilla mixed with sandalwood assaults my nose. Suddenly, the black disappears, and my mind is reeling with memories. A woman with honey blonde hair and a warm smile pulling me into her arms. The same woman kissing a scrape on my knee as I sit on a sidewalk. The woman singing to me softly while I drifted off to sleep. Her voice rolling over me in waves of calm as she sang ‘Take my hand. Take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.’ I know that smell. I know that voice. I know whose smile that is.

I still have a long way to go on this one, but it’s an exciting start! Nothing is better than the thrill of hatching a new story idea, and beginning to put that story into words. I sincerely hope I am able to keep up the progress and finish this one.

 

Floor Planning

When writing a novel, it can be very difficult to stay consistent with your setting’s layout. One scene, your character is turning the corner to get to the kitchen, and in another the kitchen is just down the hall. While many readers may not even notice, to us authors, it’s important to get the story perfect. This includes the layout of the setting. Having been struggling with this myself during my latest novel endeavor, a solution seemed to slap me in the face. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this sooner- floor planning. The thing about floor plans is that they can be as detailed or as simple as you would like. As you can see, my main setting is a simple rectangle with a few rectangular rooms. For me, this is as complex as I’m going to get. However, some more ambitious people may design more complex shapes, add more furnishings and appliances, or even add measurements. This particular one took me about 5-7 minutes to complete and has helped tremendously. To do mine, I simply sketched a rectangle, divided it in half, and then divided the halves into the rooms that were essential to my story. Sure, the apartment could have another room, but it would be irrelevant for my story. My characters have no use for a guest bedroom or an office, etc. It also helped me to map out where some larger furnishings would go. Things like beds and T.V.’s had location relevance, however where exactly the lamp was in relation to the couch wasn’t so much. These diagrams can be very simple and easy to complete, but can help a ton. It has made writing scenes so much easier- I just refer to the diagram as I write and it makes the scene go much smoother and helps me to ensure my layout is constant throughout the story.

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Getting Off the Floor

As humans, we tend to get knocked down in life a lot. When we are sitting on the floor, it can be easy to indulge in those the moments of weakness, by that I mean letting our pain and suffering consume us. Giving in to feeling bad. However it is my belief that it is okay to do this sometimes. It’s ok to sit on the floor, absorb the sadness, and open those floodgates to release the kraken. This can make you feel better, and will probably help take a load of your chest. However the key is to not let it consume you forever. Stay on the floor as long as you need to, but don’t set up a residency there. Because in all honesty, there is nothing that will make you feel as strong and powerful as when you pick yourself off that floor and continue with your life. You get a surge of “I can do anything” accompanied with a “Nothing can break me.” That is what the following scene tries to convey. It is still a work in progress, but all creators know that powerful emotions are hard to illustrate, even if you have felt them yourself Here’s a little exert from what is hopefully my future novel, Fly:

Jenny stared at herself in the mirror. Her breakup with Chase had hit a lot harder than she anticipated. She gazed into her own hollow, dead eyes.

“What is wrong with you?” she asked her reflection. “Why can’t you ever hold on to anyone? Why can’t you ever just be happy?” Jenny looked down at the counter. The pills were out of the container and in her hand before she realized what she was doing. She stared down at the seemingly harmless handful of little white pills she held in her palm. It would be so easy to just take the whole lot of them, and be done with the world. It wouldn’t be hard- just one quick swallow and it would all be over.

                What about your family? a voice in her head whispered. What do I care? Jenny asked it back. I’ll be gone anyway…

                She began to cry, ferocious tears streaming down her face. Her knees gave out, and she fell to the floor, still clutching the pills in her hand. She wrapped her arms around herself, as if to keep herself from completely shattering right there on the bathroom floor. Never in her life, had Jenny felt as broken as she did there- in that instant. She didn’t want to die, but she didn’t want to feel this way anymore either. She ran through every broken relationship she had experienced in her life, and found all her faults in each of them. She thought about all the horrible things that have happened in her life- that keep happening. She thought of all the things she did wrong and how this was all her fault. It was her fault she felt this way- she had let this happen.

                Jenny sat on the floor and sobbed for what seem like hours, all the while clenching the pills in her hand, so disappointed in herself that she had come to this. Disappointed that she had let the sadness take over her mind like this. Disappointed that she had let herself become to broken inside. 

                Jenny heard a noise outside the door and froze. A soft knock erupted from the other side of the door. Jenny’s eyes immediately went to the lock, which, thankfully, she had turned.

                “Jenny?” a soft voice asked. It was Jilly. Small, innocent Jilly. She was so unexposed to the pain of the world, still nestled in her cocoon of safety and ignorance. Jenny wanted Jilly to stay that way for as long as she could. She couldn’t stand to think of her little sister’s life completely shattering because of her and her weaknesses. Jenny stood up, wiped the tears from her face, and opened her hand into the trash, letting every last pill fall into the bin. Then she opened the door to her sister’s blissfully ignorant face, and forced herself to smile down at her. The war inside her may not have been over, but she allowed herself to revel in the fact that she had won this battle.

Novel Writing

Writing a novel, no matter how bad you want it, can often times be seemingly impossible to finish. I have been working on my “masterpiece” since I was 15, and I feel that I have been stuck for a long while. 17,046 words in, and I feel as though progress is dwindling. Here’s the bottom line- Writing a book is HARD!!! This book is just one of the six I am attempting to write, and let me just say progress is difficult. So many concepts floating in my head, so many stories to tell AAAHHHH!!! Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in my own words and other times I feel like I have no words left in my head. However, in order to remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing here is one of my favorite passages from my baby:

I dream of happiness. I am young again surrounded by warmth in a meadow with trees and flowers all around it. I dance and skip in my happy little spot.

Then it turns cold. The trees turn from green and lush to bare and gray, and the flowers disappear. I spin around trying to see where my warmth went. The wind starts to whip around me. “Mom,” I hear the voice, but cannot see who it belongs to. “Mom,” I hear it again. I whip around to see Becky. But as she comes closer, I see that her face is bloody and broken. She walks with a limp. “Mom,” she says it again. “Mom, you need to run.” I look at her. Her eyes are afraid. “Why?” I ask her. “He’s coming! Mom, He’s coming! You have to run!”

As she says this, her face begins to twist. She lets out a terrifying scream. I close my eyes, and when I open them He is standing there. I turn and begin to run. He does not follow. I look back to see Him with a smile. It is not the twisted smile I have grown to expect. It is the smile I fell in love with. That sweet crooked one He flashed me the first day we met. The one He had on His face when He asked me to marry Him. The one that was always on His face before the alcohol. I turn around and walk back to Him. He still smiles at me. My brain tells my legs to turn around and run, but they don’t listen. My heart is locked on Him.

 I stop in front of Him. He raises His hand, and I instinctively flinch, expecting a hit, but He just brushes my cheek.  “My Leah,” He says as He caresses my face. “My sweet Leah.” I smile at Him. “Do you love me?” I ask, looking up into His eyes. His hand freezes, and He stares down at me. “Do you love me?” I ask again. He takes my hand and kisses it softly. “I did,” He says quietly. “But not anymore.”

 His grip tightens on my hand. His sweet smile morphs into the twisted one I remember so clearly. I try to scream but I can’t. He puts a hand around my throat. I try to fight back, but I am powerless against Him. I can’t breathe. I stare down at Him, my eyes pleading for Him to stop. I am going to die. I have fallen into His trap once again…

The scene describes a dream one of the protagonist has one of the first evenings described in the book. It takes place after she is beaten, once again, by her drunken husband for not responding to his “call” fast enough. Writing her dream scenes has been my favorite thing to write in this book so far.

Days of the Week

Much like my “Months of the Year” post, another good exercise is to personify the days of the week. It’s a fun way to think about a subject a new way. How many times do you really think of Tuesday as a person? It challenges you a little, and gave maybe even give you insight to how you view each day of the week. As a writer, I love to create characters, and personify figurative things. Here is one of my days of the week- Monday:

She is very unkempt, due to her busy lifestyle. It is rare to find her in a good mood, because she always has so much to worry about. The worry keeps her up at night, making it hard to sleep. People tend to write her off as a bitch, because she can come off as cold-hearted. She is always dressed as though she did so as fast as possible. It is as if she tries to look nice in her business suits and heels, but it is hard to see when her shirt is untucked, and her blazer is torn at the sleeve. She drinks what appears to be gallons of coffee on a daily basis, and is often running around with stacks of papers in her hand, as she flits around the office building where she works. The job pays well, but makes her miserable and is a huge stressor in her life. At the end of the day, she goes home to an empty apartment. If it weren’t for the garbage full of take-out containers and the cabinet full of half drank liquor bottles, you would think no one lives there. Despite all of this, Monday just really wants to find love. She believes that if someone were there to lessen the loneliness she feels once she leaves the office, maybe she wouldn’t be so bitter all the time. Maybe she could be more like coffee with sugar and cream instead of a straight shot of espresso.

I wrote as though I was peeking into her life for a day. It was fun to not only describe her physically, but emotionally as well. What is her daily life like? Why does she behave and feel the way she does? What don’t many people know about her? When you make your characters real like this, the story will come together that much easier.