Friday, September 27, 2013

FFF 18.2

6 minutes :)

Beat that for a 100 word flash fiction!

He keeps looking at me with his groping, watching eyeballs. It’s a familiar feeling, but at the same time, new. 

This isn’t the kind of man who usually approaches me, but somehow I know it’ll happen, even before he slips up behind me with a grocery cart loaded down with Doritos and Dr. Pepper.

And he goes for it.

One hand reaches out, and grabs me, squeezing gently, like he’s unsure of what to do, or if he’s made the right decision.

Then he leans forward and inhales, drinking in my ripe scent.


Just like an orange should be.

Flash Fiction Friday 18.0

This morning I'm completely hyped up at the prospect of seeing Bif Naked tonight in concert (for, I think? the third or fourth time). It's no secret that I have an absolute voice-crush on this singer* so I was thinking of using one of her 'first-lines' as today's Flash Fiction prompt.

If you want to hear the voice, here it is**, and here's the line for the prompt:

He keeps looking at me with his groping, watching eyeballs.

* Seriously, I love voices that have lisps, slurred syllables, rough, etc... in other words, before they get all their personality/individuality trained out of their voices. If I like a singer, often I only buy their first and second album before their voice has been trained into snore-inducing near-perfection boringness.

** Too bad there wasn't a video of her actually reading... but this is the cut straight off her first album. This may not be her best work, or even a great example of her voice, but this 'poem' at the end of her album makes me laugh, like every single time I hear it, and that's never a bad thing :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just when you think it's all over... find another stash of boxes.

Okay, so I'm house-sitting for 2 weeks while my parents are out of town (which is why I was picking up my nephew from school last Friday) and one of the things I promised to do while they're away is go through the *gulp* boxes of painting stuff in their basement. And by painting stuff, I mean all the porcelain related things I took after my Nana died.

There is a storage area under the stairs which is about a 5' x 6' space that is packed up to the ceiling...

This is before I started on Tuesday morning:

 This was Tuesday evening, 10:30pm:

...and all that stuff that's out... barely a 1/3 of what's stored:

This was where I was at around midnight last night, after I hauled a car load of stuff I'm donating to the next Porcelain Artists' Convention, May 2014, of which I'm on the board, helping organize, and handling all individual & commercial registration:

Sorting through the actual porcelain pieces to pull stuff out for donation has been relatively easy. There are pieces I obviously am interested in working on, and ones I never would... like a million tiny cute animal figurines...

What's taking a long time is that I'm also going through all the paint, and all the different mediums. To break it down quickly, depending on what oils/additives you mix with the dry paint, you can get paint that dries on the porcelain immediately, stuff that takes a few hours or days to dry, or paint that never dries, ever. Yes, you always have to fire the piece to set the paint, but depending what style you are painting in, having a closed medium (the one that dries) or an open medium (one that never dries) or one in-between.

To give you a better idea of the scope... this is one box (that was inside a much larger cardboard box) which is about 12" x 6" x 18". It's full of paint. Some of these colours are old... and if/when you use them on a 1st firing, then paint another colour on-top, or even if the colours touch, they will cannibalize each other and make a horrendous mess. Only about 1/2 of the paint vials have labels. About 1/10 of the bagged paint have labels. Some of this paint can only be used on glass because it has a lower firing temperature. I've got probably another 2 boxes worth of unorganized paint.

...all those stacked plastic storage containers you see in the previous photos... those are all filled with different mediums, paint, firing cones, etc. And there are more smaller boxes, like the one filled with paint.

And when this job is done, I have more boxes to go through, including a bunch from the Victoria house (the witch's hut) which are full of things from the shared life with my soon-to-be-ex husband.

Which makes the porcelain/paint stuff an easy, less emotionally-taxing task.

Well, I've got less than an hour before I need to pick up my nephew from school, so I better clean up what I can to get it out of the way, and out of temptation's way for a curious, imaginative, energetic 6 year old boy.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

FFF 17.2

I know, I know, I dropped the ball... yesterday turned out busier than expected, what with picking up my nephew from school and entertaining him until my sister was done work.

I did start reading him a new book... "Rasmus and the Vagabond", by Astrid Lindgren (same author of the "Pippi Longstocking" series) which may be a little too old for him still (my nephew is 6), and we played Lego for several hours, and since I'm still fighting off this cold, I was wiped when my sister finally came to pick him up.

Here we go, quickly written, unedited, and it may be worse than usual due to my foggy brain :)

The term ‘cut-throat’ isn’t an empty cliche when you see it happen in real life. One moment there’s life, then the skin peels open along the blade, a gush of blood bursts over your hands, and the heat and heartbeat evaporate in seconds. It’s fast, so fast you could fool yourself into thinking there was never life in the first place, but that’s what’s strange. 

Cut-throat usually means ruthless, or fierce, but when you see it happen, it’s the opposite. A quick and near-painless death, the blood pumping out before adrenaline can take control and crank the muscles into fight-or-flight hardness.

It’s messy though. 

A bullet would be neater, but I suppose cleaning up is part of this job as well.

But I’ll tell you one thing, after working as a butcher’s assistant, I’ve now turned vegetarian.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday 17.0

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day yesterday, here's the line for today... and I hope you have fun with it ;)

The term ‘cut-throat’ isn’t an empty cliche when you see it happen in real life.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yargh, it be Talk like a Pirate Day

Yo ho ho, avast ye maties, hoist the Jolly Roger.

Today it be International Talk like a Pirate Day, the only day it be okay to refer to ye female friends as wenches and ye male pals as land-lubbers or scurvy scum.

Okay, that's about all the pirate talk I can muster... I better brush up.

Sorry I've been MIA, got hit with a wickedly awful cold at the tail end of the weekend and have been in bed most of the week nursing a fever & sneezing until my brains rattled.*

I'll be back tomorrow for Flash Fiction Friday.

* yes, this is an excellent time to make some dumb-blonde jokes ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday 16, & 16.2

I'm going to be selfish today and mix FFF up a little...

Do you know why?

Not only is it Friday the 13th today (which is AWESOME, of course), it's also my birthday. instead of giving you a sentence, I'm going to give you a theme:

Write about the best, or worst birthday gift you ever received, or a gift that you have some kind of strong memory about. I'd prefer it to be from your real life... 'cause then I get to know you better :) But if you want to stick with fiction, go ahead ;)

...and because I'm *selfish* and am scooting out to see my family right now (actually, I'm spending the weekend there...), I'm going to take the day off and re-post a relevant flash fiction piece I wrote for a Unicorn Bell submission and not write a new one for today:

My first memory is the day I told my first lie.

It was my third birthday and, as only the second grandchild born, I was a little bit spoiled in having all my aunts, uncles, parents and sister gathered together at my Nana’s house to celebrate.

What I wanted was a truck, a gloriously heavy yellow metal Tonka dump-trunk like my sister had, large enough for a small child to sit in. I was not allowed to sit in hers. What I got was a blonde doll who you fed water to with a bottle... and then you would sit the doll on a pink plastic potty where... well, you get the idea.

I remember the moment unwrapping it, I remember the disgust I felt when I figured out its very limited purpose... and I remember the brilliant smile on my Nana’s face, so excited was she that I had opened her gift first.

My first memory is the day I told my first lie. Somewhere in a photo album, there is a picture of me with my Nana, my tiny face twisted by the new and unfamiliar desire to please someone other than myself. And though I hated that doll and never played with it, I can clearly remember that ugly, pink plastic potty.

Monday, September 9, 2013


I've never been good at taking notes. Blame the dyslexia for making my handwriting poor enough that even I can't read it... seriously, the doctor's scrawl across a prescription pad is about a million times more readable...

I write a grocery list and 10 minutes later I'm squinting at the piece of paper like it's covered in ancient Sanskrit poetry. Yes, I have been known to turn the paper upside-down in hopes that I was looking at it the wrong way... (no luck).

But on my laptop, I'm a little better.

Well, sometimes. For university classes... no one could really be much better considering I typed out the lectures nearly word for word (I am not exaggerating). I've taken notes for meetings, and things like that, and am really quite good at that kind of thing (surprisingly, I know).

But for stories? Yeah, being a pantser isn't so conducive for the whole note-writing thing.

I *lent* the first 8 chapters of SCARLIGHT to a writing buddy last month, and I use the word lent because there was no expectation of commenting/critiquing since this is still horrible first-draft stage. She was simply curious and wanted to read what I had so far.

Well, today when I opened my SCARLIGHT file (for the first time in a month, literally. Last save was Aug 9th), I scrolled through it because... heck, I have no idea... probably because she emailed me and reminded me that, despite all the moving/divorce craziness, yes, I actually am trying to write a new novel...

...and I found... this at the very, very end:

need to stop/stand still, introspection to grow. if you are doing, you aren’t growing/learning
so busy, richness of experience, but no time to think
uncertainly/risk ->untapped question, 

Now, I seriously have no idea what this even means, why I wrote it, or how it even connects with this particular story. And yes, it ended like that... with a comma.

Maybe I should just give up on the notion of note-writing...? Since, if anything, they are getting less comprehensive with time, and I can't even blame bad handwriting for this one...

For all those other pantsers out there... do you take notes on future scenes? How do you do it, point form, a quick overview, or snippets of scenes/dialogue?

I won't ask the plotters since, well, they're probably all looking for sharp sticks to make sure I can't get close enough to infect them and their perfect organized note-taking ways.

...sorry for all the ellipses... I am very tired...



Saturday, September 7, 2013

You'd swear it was a prank, or a bad tv episode...

The Vancouver condo is 99% clean! YEAH!

...but I found something... odd...

Tucked at the edge of the kitchen counter was a mysterious note... and I don't recognize the phone number, or the handwriting:

Doesn't that seem like something that would happen in a bad tv episode? Or something someone would do as a prank?

Honestly, I have no idea what to think... especially since I have no clue how this note got into my condo, other than (I guess) the movers and a few other tradespeople have been in and out, plus the concierge has my spare key and I asked him to water my plants in the summer... and where I found the note, it could have been there for a while since it was behind my watering can.

Seriously... what the heck?!?!

Should I be completely creeped out, or flattered?

How weird is this?

Friday, September 6, 2013

FFF 15.2

7 minutes...

I had fun with this one, though it ended up as more of a character sketch than a story.

I just brought another load of stuff to the Kits place, and after I haul it in and unpack, I'm going to scoot out and give Eva a good long walk. Then I'll be back to read your stories!!! YEAH! So excited!!

200 words:

Jasper McFee was one hell of a guy. Not one hell of a good guy, or one hell of a bad guy. He was the kind of guy where you never knew if what was spewing out of his mouth was fact or fiction. I’m not talking tall tales, or fishing stories where a wide-mouth bass was thiiiiiiiis big, or even dame stories, like some triple-F-cup decked in leather throwing herself at him in a bar.

No, with Jasper, it could start out with a parking ticket, and end up with him naked in an alley four cities away with the police on his ass or gangsters emptying lead at the dumpster he was hiding in.

He’d be knocking back a pint while telling you his story, fresh bruises on his face, or a nasty-looking bandage on his arm, and just that way he’d tell it, you’d have no idea if he was full of shit. You’d say, ‘Good one, Jasper’, but he’d just smile in that funny way of his, shrug like he didn’t care if you believed him, and something about that look on his face would make you sober up and stop laughing.

Flash Fiction Friday 15.0

Wow, still in crazy-mode. I've never posted so late on a Friday before...

Okay, here's the line for today:

Jasper McFee was one hell of a guy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Internets back on

Wow, I'm exhausted... and still a couple more car-loads of stuff to box up and haul over.

Y'know, I really should stop buying things at Costco... you wouldn't believe how many boxes are full of redundant cleaning supplies... like, do I really need 87 rolls of paper tower? (yes, I am exaggerating...)

And internet is finally hooked up. I don't even have a desk, but I was going through withdrawal so bad, I set my computer up on top of my dresser (which requires standing to see the screen/use the keyboard/mouse) and browsed for a fast 20 minutes before dashing over for more packing/cleaning.

Today Eva and I managed our first walk to the Kitsilano beach (I've been depriving her of long walkies with everything going on...), and she had a beagle-tastic-sniff-fest along the shore-line, her tail wagging so hard I swear she almost lifted off once or twice.

...and Berkeley, the evil black cat, AKA the cat who hates everyone except me... seems to like my roommate! He slunk onto her bed last night (which freaked her out), and actually let her pet him for a minute without biting!

Maybe he's going soft in his old age?

...though he still hisses at her every time she walks by...

Okay, time for sleeps.

Flash fiction friday should be on this week, as per usual... and I'm estimating I'll have completed all the moving related insanity by the end of the weekend, so I should be more reachable next week, and plan to catch up on my blog reading.

Hope everyone is doing well! I'm pretty sure school's back in sessions, so for all those parents, and high-school/university students... good luck getting back to your regular routines :)