Scrap Writing (9.30.2015)

More writing scraps to discard!

I may re-purpose this piece into a fully fledged short story, but for now I’ll leave this.

 


Scrap Writing

                Lady fingers and a hasty blonde ego pushed milk, cheese, and eggs across Vanessa’s belt line.  Vanessa smiled with her courtesy, scanned with her habit, but her eyes followed a snowflake down hairs as nightly and drawn as her own.

                A young raven woman swayed between handmade, wood-made homes; wandering through a world that longed for the electricity in its past. She held her hands up to the clouds as they fell down around her.  And then Little Sister looked over her shoulder: through the iris emeralds that had watched Vanessa grow tall and cynical; and she smiled to Vanessa from the grave.

                The sky wisps had heralded snow and a shivering shellacking; as did her phone’s meteorological report.  The posthumous would forever tease her with bygone happiness, but she could, at the least, capture fragments of her favorite memories falling past the window panes.

                Anticipation for the night nearly ruined it though as she picked up the carton of eggs to bag it, but pink hairs barged into her vision as Lylette entered her space to intercept the damaged goods.

                “This one has a broken egg.  Can you get another?”

                Vanessa scurried off to the refrigerator and flipped through the last six cartons, but at the end of the day the lot had been picked through and the imperfect batches remained.  She shuffled eggs around to make a good eighteen and hurried back with apologies and bows.

                The lady looked ready to vent over minutia, but she left without spoiling Vanessa’s evening.

                “Thank you”, Vanessa said, “I have bad eyes.”

                “I think they’d work better if you used them.”

                Vanessa would more easily manage this grocery store than execute its functions, but she lacked ambition for the real world.  She lived in her mind, and she’d likely land the homeless shelter if not for Lylette’s hand tugging on her leash once in a while.

                “What were you thinking about anyway?” and Vanessa talked of snow, but not sister, and Lylette looked out the window and wondered.  “It’s cold, but I don’t see anything.”

                Vanessa sifted through applications on her phone and showed Lylette her Weather App.  A physicist by name of “Lazy Hazy” pointed to west-moving cold fronts and said, “Like, a nine-five chance of snow, dudes”, before kicking back airs that were bad for his brain; and left Lylette wondering how someone so high could engineer radar and computer programs to extrapolate the weather.

                “How does he predict the weather anyhow?”

                “Calculus”, Vanessa said, and just like that Lylette lost all interest.

                Lylette knew math and snow from her window sill: always threatening to pile over her; but Vanessa had to chase down her numbers.  Other kids played; she went the library with her pencils and scribbled all over their excess text books.  “Math is fun”, she had said, and thus her days of sociopathy began.

                Vanessa and Lylette chatted idly about non-math things till they were told to close the store.  “I’ll leave the eggs to you, calc girl”, and Vanessa moved all the good eggs into fresh plastic cartons that she labeled as mixed batches.  The six cracked shells she put into a cardboard container and took with her as she and Lylette checked out.

                “Are those the cracked eggs?”

                “Yeah.”

                Childhood treasures grew into her vices and values, and any meat had been a treasure.

                When they got back to their apartment, Lylette dibbed the hot water, while Vanessa took over the kitchen.

                Two sloppy yolks she threw away.  The intact four she scrambled and cooked extra brown -just in case-, and chopped them up on her spatula.

                Sesame oil in a wok; brown and red rice from the day past; Vanessa waited till heat left a mark on her rice before tossing it around.  She opened two cans of sliced pineapple and poured the juice into the fry.

                Chop, sort, slice; she pushed her pineapples off her cutting board.

                Too much liquid; she cranked up her heat.  Crack, crack, sizzle bop: better than brass to her midnight ear, but she turned on some ZUNpets anyway.

                The best food was timed with a work-weary appetite, and she had her fillings ready in the cold.

                Onion, pepper, mushrooms and squash -yellow stuff and zucchini green too- diced and sautéed early in the day.  She tossed them in… tossed the egg in… tossed in peas, corn, and a whole bag of kale ‘n greens from her frozen stores.  She laid her pepper blanket red, black, and thick; pinched her salt; and stirred the spicy season in with tamari, tamari, tamari.

                She never got enough tamari in.  She threw half a cup in -maybe two-thirds-, too much for sure as she tossed and turned till dryness and fluid mediated an accord.  Vanessa served up two bowls in time for Lyllette, and one bite later Lylette said, “Needs more tamari”, but that didn’t stop her feasting.

                Fried rice spun nicely in a microwave, but fresh off the burner they shoveled it in.  The mushrooms and eggs bounced around so spongy and soft and carried the sweetness of the pineapple.  The rice didn’t muddle or mush and it fluffed up in her mouth.  The chaotic dispersal of carrots and onions and pepper gave each bite a different chew; and the greens and squash extended the soft texture of the dish without dumping in more rice, more carbs.

                A peppery heat soothed her icy breaths, and she settled into winter and whiskey under a blanket as she closed her eyes and whispered, “PSHUU!”

End


So there’s this little anime called Wakakozake.  The episodes are two minutes long, and they follow an Office Lady after work as she eats out by herself.  She talks about the food, makes you hungry, and goes, “PSHUU!” when she feels happy.

It’s silly, it’s cute, it’s kind of pointless; I like it.

I wanted to cap this piece off already, and Wakakozake came to mind so I just gave Vanessa her “PSHUU!” moment.

On that note, I don’t think I’ve written a cooking sequence before!  I deviate from my usually slow prose style, but hey, cooking is fun and energetic!

Let me know how I did!  Like something?  Hate something?  Say so!

Also… I used “ZUNpets” in a writing piece…

ZUNpets…

Have some ZUNpets.


Speaking of Touhou, I listened to some Touhou arrangements while writing, because I always listen to Touhou music while writing, and this particular arrangement stood out to me:

Alice Magica Spei by circle: Secret Messenger

If Yuki Kajiura ever arranged Touhou, I wager it would sound a lot like this.

I adore this music.

I also listened to KOKIA, who I learned about over at OtakuLounge.

Tatta Hitotsu No Omoi by KOKIA

I normally don’t listen to Japanese music because I don’t understand the words, but this song relaxes my usual tension; and Japanese phonetics have a way of melting into the sounds.

I let the auto-play on Youtube take me to some other KOKIA songs.   Vocalized music in general has a very low success rate with me, but I found myself liking about 3 out of 5 KOKIA songs, with the rest fairing no less than a neutral response.


I’m going to start my re-watch of School-Live!  I prefer to watch something twice over before critiquing it, as the first viewing will carry too much emotional reaction.

I liken it to studying an NFL game.

  • Enjoy the first time around for “what” it is and what happens.
  • Go in deeper the second time around, study the film, and seek out “why”.

I’m still debating whether to write a review separately, or combine a review and critique together and format my discussions into increasingly deeper layers of analysis and spoilers.  That way, if someone not familiar with School-Live! reads it, he/she can stop at a given point and say, “alright, I’m interested, I’ll stop here, watch it, and come back”, while maintaining interest to those who have seen School-Live!

Then again I feel like there are reviews everywhere for every show ever, so I may stick to a pure critique.

Scrap Writing (5.27.2015)

Hello!  Hello!  I’m not dead!

I’m working on a follow-up short story to Under the Cherry Blossoms that is titled Paper Days.  I have qualms about writing Paper Days, but I’ll talk about those issues when I post it.

In the meantime, I have more scraps to discard.


 

Scrap Writing

                Love luscious lured Seresa from her hotel bed, and invited her to run down the hill slope and into a valley not yet tamed nor tampered by people.  She could run an asphalt marathon or beat up bullies in the boxing ring, but Nature offered her an unruly challenge and a chance to obtain the masteries locked by agility and fluid life.

                Seresa adjusted her footing for each sink into the dirt; bounced off the rock hidden beneath the ground.  Ferns and low plants routed her course round and round yet another obstacle.  The occasional tree offered a branch low enough to rush three steps up the trunk and then grab; grab and scale the canopy before dancing down to the earth.  She scaled a cliff of dirt and roots: five meters in five seconds.  She leapt across river stones on just her toes, and swam the spaces against rain swept currents.  She chased a deer, and though she could not keep pace, she could veer left to right to left with the beast without losing the wind of her speed.

                When her prey escaped her, she stopped and settled hands on hip.  She heaved for air, but felt comfortable in her lungs.  Exhaustion permeated her, and she shook it off by flexing and stretching her limbs.

                Seresa began her journey back to town, wandering haphazardly and seeking the dead.

                Life prevailed in this paradise, but so many victors required a sustenance, and Seresa sought out those poor souls: camellias ravaged by deer; a young oak starved by the growing giants around them.  She knelt before them, provided her sympathies and listened to the stories they left in the evidence.

                She touched what was left of the physical remnants and coaxed a spirit at peace to vacate this world; and the victims consoled left behind green and blue and purple wisps.

                Seresa materialized a crystal full of shimmers in her hand, and the stone sucked in each aurora.  By valley’s end she gained the magical essence of six flowers and a tree; and at the lip of her mind she wondered which of her clothes she should enchant.

End Scrap


I really enjoy Youtube’s auto-playlist feature.  Sometimes I forget about it and it’ll cycle along to vocals I don’t care for.

More often it leads me to some really, really cool Touhou Arrangements.

The Spring of Saigyou Ayakashi, by Dust Box 49/Ziki_7

If you do nothing else; at least listen from 5:30 till the end.

I’ll address how I came across this beauty in a later post 😉

Wheel of Destiny by Dust Box 49/Ziki_7

Eerie, elegant, cool… perhaps a bit threatening?

Sounds like Sakuya =P

Unknown, Little Scarlet by Diverse System/Yanagi

I never connected with the original U.N. Owen Was Her.  I found the instrumentation blaring and somewhat painful to listen to.  Remixes and arrangements enlightened me to the brilliance of the melody itself, but not even TAMUSIC could hit me with a tune that would stick.

Enjoy this one when you next study 🙂

I want to bring a different content to the blog… this week… tomorrow… today even…  I want to put my ideas on display.

They’re there, in my head… stuck behind self-consciousness, confidence crashes, and depression swings…

When others share their problems to me, I deliver answers cleanly, efficiently, and with great articulation.  I bumble sometimes, but I respond to others well.  Poke me with the right question, and you’ll receive an answer unique to me.

I want to talk to some of the questions that haven’t been asked; that I want to ask.

Hopefully I’ll have something soon.  Positive thoughts!

Enjoy your night 🙂

Scrap Writing (5.8.2015)

Whelp, I’ve gone one month and four days without posting.

Halfway through April, my eyes began to bother me… to the point where it killed my right eye just to write in a journal.

Turns out I’m near-sighted in my left eye and far-sighted in my right eye, and the disparity throws my mind for a loop.  I’ve been adjusting to glasses over the past week, and I can finally use the computer again!  Though I have to take it easy still…

I’m back to writing though!  And I’m warming up by writing scraps, as usual.


Scrap Writing

                Heading the financial assets at Paperless Press was the first stable job of Seresa’s life.  She arrived in the morning, left in the afternoon, and received a credit to her bank account each Sunday at 2:00am.  An office provided her privacy, and her cute little assistant impinged that gift.  She enjoyed his dedication to her, his reliability, and his affection, but she couldn’t lay her hands or body on him; company rules.

                Seresa couldn’t work through the night if energy and muse possessed her.  If she slept poorly she came to work groggy; instead of sleeping in, arriving focused, and working into the evening.  They shoved health seminars, relationship counseling, and business strategy meetings into her weekends when she had already mastered her health, her persons, and her work.

                Paperless Press maximized structure over individual performance; and it wore on her subtly and without her cognizance; until under a setting sun, her assistant asked her, “Are you alright?” and he cited the loss of her usual brightness.

                “Just a little stressed.  Thank you for your concern.”

                She dismissed Toby’s inquiry as a symptom of his infatuation; but when she looked in the mirror that night she saw darkness under her eyes and a wilting stem.

End Scrap


I hate structure at the expense of individual ability.  I understand why a regulated lifestyle works for so many people, but count me out.  I’m accustomed to fluidity.

Hopefully, I’ll get used to these glasses as well.

Scrap Writing (4.4.2015)

Sometimes I think I should just stay away from larger projects like a short story.  The resulting panic attacks just seem to mount up over the weeks.

I wonder if I’ll ever be cut out to write some of the novels I have in my head?

Retreating into the small once again; this bit was a short story that I scuttled because it was headed for a melancholic end.


Scrap Writing

            Vanessa lived in her thoughts, in a bed her own, her alone; on the favorable position of the second floor overtop the apartment manager’s office.  She had sights elevated and distant from her window sill, but no tenants to consider when the sun fell and her feet began to pace to her mind’s crescendo.  Passing the days warm and asleep limited her opportunities to meet another.  Nights dedicated to technical writing and editing squandered her chance for midnight romances or beers with a pal.

            The hermit’s life suited her, but some evenings saw her pained, wrought with envy for the waning sun gifting its last rays through her shuttered window.

            She dreamed a wave and a smile would wait for her on the cul-de-sac, eager to trade faces and first names and an intention to love; but when she peered through the blinds, reality drew an empty road, and she resorted to familiar vices to persevere this despair.

            Blog articles, news feeds, movie reviews… her computer engaged her mind and spun her thoughts to challenge the enlightenment of society.  She read from the branches of good thoughts charged by motifs emotional and pure; wished to connect and delve deeper into racism and sexism and greed and dig up the rot in the roots; but she settled for pushing “like” buttons instead.

            She checked her mail for work updates and a request from human resources to transfer her tasks to Courtney, the other writer.  Two more hours at the office would see Vanessa earning overtime pay for the rest of the month; and so it was suggested -without option- that she exercise her vacation days; and she sighed.

            Vanessa enjoyed sneaking poetic quips past the rule of her informational diatribe; treading the boundaries shared between technical and creative writings; earning snickers and compliments as her boss reviewed her manuals.

            Work served her challenges and her challenges to structure.

            Idleness allowed her to kick feet on her bed and read and muse; but this night her legs fell heavy and resisted her whimsy.

End Scrap


I might pick this one back up.  For now I’m following the advice of Extra Dry Martini and I am moving in baby steps.  “Just get a scrap done”, “Just get a blog post in”, and the like.

Here’s a nice piano arrange I’ve been into lately, which I’ve been listening to out of kkcwkoh’s youtube channel:

Mysterious Mountain, arranged by Senpi.  Original by ZUN.

If you have any thoughts on keeping the passion-train rolling… what works for you, muses you’d like to share, advice, etc…  I’d love to hear it.  I’m horrifically prone to Neophobia, which leads to apathy, which leads to… failure…

I’m good at writing, but as of right now I’m just a skilled editor/teacher masquerading as a writer.  I’m better at helping others write and reviewing others’ work, and one of these days I’d like to figure out how to help myself.

Scrap Writing

So I’ve decided to revive an old habit: scrap writing.

Basically, I write up random settings/characters/ideas just for practice’s sake.  Sometimes I keep rolling with it, but mostly I leave the scraps behind.  Getting caught up with a short story just because it’s nearly done and then stalling for days; usually just leads to a broken down engine that falters for months.

Fred Gallagher probably put it best: Creativity is a muscle that requires regular exercise, lest it suffer atrophy.


I’ll be throwing scraps around on the blog, if only to keep updating it and maybe find and excuse just to rabble; I like rabbling, I like putting myself on here because I intended this to be a “blog of me” and not just my writing stuff.

Often my scraps will focus on descriptions: partly because I love flinging words at pictures; partly because I find it easier to just ignore descriptions throughout a complete story.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Most descriptions are unnecessary and/or exceed reasonable length; at least in my experience.  Eventually I’m going to get into “Writing Technique” posts where I talk about my writing design choices, and I choose my words deliberately when making description.

But…

I’m not always certain of the result, which is why I prefer to scrap write those things I struggle the most with: settings, people, objects/animals, and above all else: describing the person whose perspective I’m following, without the description feeling “plugged” and “disruptive”.

That said,

Scraps away!


SCRAP

            Vanessa drifted through Kalina after the night and snow sublimated her messy world into impure absolutions.  The pebbled schematic of rust and dust blanched white beneath her booted step; sky-scraping glasses once blue with the moon blacked out or shimmered with human spirit.  Even concrete lost its shadows up high where the clouds had fallen low enough to obscure shape and form.

            Bars and Clubs disrupted nature’s monochrome with their invitations: extending warm glows and neon invitations to Vanessa; offering her renewed life and company; but she settled for the first bench on the road; sweeping it of snow with her gloves and settling into the seat of her apricot coat.  She dangled cashmere legs and a lofty, floaty shin skirt to the airs; muffled her face in black and navy hues; and closed her violet eyes to the occasional boy admiring the black hairs sleeking down to her brow, her shoulder, her back.

            She should call it a night; go home; but isolation wore her down.  She did not want to crawl into an empty bed on digested leftovers and no conversations to mull; and she was content to simply exist within public space till this urge dissipated or was satisfied.

SCRAP END


I tend to worry about my coherency when it comes to descriptions.

Do my words confuse you?

Does Vanessa’s description feel “plugged”?

Feel free to comment.  I’m always open to critique: positive, negative, and whatever else.

 

Oh, and if you like a piece of scrap writing and would like me to evolve it into something longer; let me know and I’ll see if anything comes to mind.