Thursday, October 15, 2009

Failure, Webcomics, Music

My whole plan of writing a short story every day totally fell apart when I remembered that I actually had to do other shit. This bodes poorly for NaNo. Oh well. Anyway, I've been drawing a lot lately and that sorta cuts down on ym blogging et cetera. So, you know... whatever.

Today, my brother said to me, 'do you actually do anything other than sit around and read webcomics' which I actually had to think really hard about. After a moment of collecting data, I remembered that, yes, I do go to work on occasion and sometimes I draw and write and play music, but I do spend an awful lot of time reading webcomics. But I can't help it! There is some majorly good shit out there! And it's free ! Why the hell not? It's also better than watching a television show coz it isn't going to get cancelled. Woo hoo.

Anyways, I have been reading Questionable Content rather a lot. It is painfully hipstery but I kind of like it for some random reason. I guess I just like the characters or something, even though they do remind me of the fucking indie kids I know (fuckin indie kids. Wow, that is hostile. Disclaimer I actually like these people quite a lot, I just find their music irksome). But yeah, I decided to start reading from the beginning and I'm only up to, like, #600 now, so... yeah.

So yeah, speaking of music, I gave my brother a tutorial on pirating music and the first thing he goes and does is download Wide Open by Jason Aldean. As if I don't hear "Big Green Tractor" enough in the course of a day, now he doesn't even have to have internet access to play it. Joy oh bliss. I spend most of my evenings now listening to that or Johnny Cash's lesser known crap (I like me some Johnny Cash alright, it's just that there's a reason some of his stuff doesn't get remembered). I managed to segue into Nine Inch Nails via "Hurt" but it snapped right back into Johnny Cash again.

Whoo. I myslef just got the best of Apocalyptica. I've actually never listened to any of their songs but I figured hey, cello = good, metal = tolerable, what's not to like? So that's another thing to annoy the sibling with. It amuses me that he says he likes all kinds of music and yet pretty much whenever I play anything he tells me it's horrible - i.e., Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Patti Smith, Ministry, kidneythieves, The Ramones, The Dresden Dolls, cocorosie... never complains about Rasputina, go figure. And then he tells me that I only like one kind of music and that happens to be the kind he doesn't like.

Didn't mean to spend so long complaining about my brother's taste in music. Another funny anecdote though - I was sitting around listening to Skinny Puppy the other day and he walked in and said, "You haven't adjusted to country life very well, have you?". I laughed.

Fuck, this post is tedious. Jesus Christus.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Short #2

Liese stood by the window and looked down. There was quite a crowd gathered below, eager to witness the horrible spectacle which had already begun to unfold.

Word had reached her that the fire escape had been rendered useless, and the realization that there was no way out now had caused many of the other women to freeze up and cease to function entirely.

Listening to the panicked screams of those around her and the sound of the fire rising from the floor below, she was momentarily lost in a trance. Two years ago she had still been living in Germany, entertaining dreams of how she would cross the ocean and live in New York with her brother. She was going to learn English, she was going to work her way up from her factory job to one in a store or cafe, she was going to marry a handsome American, things were going to be good.

Things had not worked out that well. She had arrived in New York and went to live with her brother. She had learned some English, but she had not moved up in the world. She still worked at the shirtwaist factory, she was still miserable. Gerhardt had died in early January and she was now completely alone.

She was going to die alone now. The smoke was filling her lungs and the heat of the fire pushed her closer to the open window. This was not what she had wanted. To die by fire, incinerated and forgotten. No one would identify her, her parents would never know what became of her for even if they did hear news of the fire, which was doubtful, they didn't know she worked there.

She wondered how much she would be aware of - would she feel the flames burning away her flesh or would she be killed by the smoke before the fire even reached her?

Her desire to live had never been so strong as it was now. She thought of all the things she would do if she were to somehow get out of this. First and foremost she would find herself a different job, a better job. She knew enough English now to get by. Then she would start working towards getting what she really wanted.

But what did she really want?

She wanted to go home. She wanted to have never left. She had gained nothing in the last two years. She didn't even know why she was here anymore. Trying to find a husband. Ha. That was bullshit, the sort of nonsense she had told her mother to try and console her.

She remembered the day she had left home. Her mother hid behind her hands and cried while her father explained why it was necessary for Liese to join her brother overseas. She was so young. She didn't know what she was in for. She didn't know anything. She still didn't. She wished she had listened to her mother for once rather than trying to do what was 'right' for the family.

"I'm sorry" she said, wishing that her mother could somehow hear her even though she couldn't even hear herself over the surrounding cacophany.

She stepped up to the window, and she jumped.


Short #1

I'm going to try to write thirty one extremely short stories over the next month in preparation for NaNo. They are most likely all going to be terrible. Anywho, this is the first one (written on Thursday), slightly edited for clarity but still awful.

I saw Virginia for the last time on October 1st, 1846. It was a Thursday. I was greeted at the door by her mother who had been staying with her and her husband at their cottage in Fordham. She had a smile for me but I could see through her facade of joviality. Her eyes gave away her inward weariness. She let me in and we stood in the front room exchanging pleasantries while I kept eyes and ears out for Virginia's husband.

I had never cared much for the man, nor the way he treated my friend - he was a drunk and prone to fits of ill-temper. Every time I had visited them in Philedelphia he had been nothing but rude to me and spoke poorly of my own husband, all the while treating our Virginia as a servant. It was this behaviour which caused me to cease visiting them altogether.

But from all accounts I had heard from mutual friends, Virginia was dreadfully ill and that her her condition was rapidly worsening. The concensus among them was that she would not last the winter. Thus I endeavoured to pay this final visit.

Maria sent me upstairs to her bedroom, and I tried to be as quiet as possible lest I disturb her rest. She was however awake when I entered the room, lying in bed and gazing out the window at her garden.

She had always been a pale, ethereal creature, with nearly transluscent white skin, black hair and dark eyes, but now her cheeks were flushed, her eyes encircled with shadows and I thought that she had never looked so beautiful or strange. It was as though her proximity to death had brought out all of the life in her, and she seemed to transcend human beauty.

She looked upon me and smiled, indicating a chair in which I might sit. "I am sorry that I do not rise and greet you, but I fear I am very ill"

I felt sick with grief at the thought that she, my dearest childhood friend, would never recover from this illness and yet she remained so calm about her situation. I sat and took her hand in mine. "Don't speak of such things" I said, but she shook her head.

"It's true. I have been ill for a long time and I believe that soon it will be over" her smile faded now. "My poor husband. This has all been so hard on him. Sometimes I wish that I could somehow recover and live on for his sake, but alas, some things are not meant to last"
Some things are not meant to last.

Virginia died at the end of January, as predicted. I attended her funeral and spoke kind words to her husband, distraught as he was. I did not see him again, and he himself died only two years later.

Even though that was many years ago now and I can scarcely recall what she looked like - she was pale and she was lovely, but I cannot remember anything more than that - I still sometimes think of her words. 'Some things are not meant to last'. She is long gone, with so many of my friends and relatives, but those words remain. Those words haunt me.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nano Approaches

That's right. I'm going to participating in National Novel Writing Month again even though last year was a miserable failure (I'm pinning that on the fact that I moved in the middle of November and my computer crashed). The only thing to hold me back this year is the fact that I'm working, but fuck that, I'm going to do it anyway. Yeah.

My novel this year is going to be called The Parker Sisters and is about clones. Anyway, to warm myself up I'm going to try to write one flash fiction per day until November first. I have not done one yet today, but I've still got a good seven hours before I have to sleep. So. Yeah. Anyhoo, that's what's up in my world this week. Whee.