Parataxis (First Exercise of the 4 AM Breakthrough)

Parataxis   You can’t.   Mom.   Really.   He’ll do it again.   He’s a bastard. A real A-Hole!   Seriously.   Mom.   What are you thinking?   Re-Marriage? Next Saturday? That’s ridiculous.   Don’t you listen?   Didn’t you see the porn in his closet? Buried in the back of his desk? In the garage?   In MY closet? And Lisa’s?   He’s scum, Mom. Scum.   You’re not listening.   Well, I didn’t think I’d have to go there. But now I do.   Follow me. Look here. Look in this box. Wait for me to unlock it.   You see those? Those are Ben Wa Balls. Not marbles, Mom. You don’t know what those are? Of course not.   Another reason NOT TO MARRY HIM. Again. Christ.   You stick them in your Vagina. Yes. Supposed to strengthen it. Make sex better.   Probably just for the guy.   You know who gave those to me?   Dad. Yes, Dad.   I don’t know why!   No, I haven’t used them.   The point is he gave them to me. Lisa got a pair, too. Ask her.   But you have to believe me. I wouldn’t lie to you. You don’t want a man like that.   I don’t care about your religion. I don’t care about the cost of an annulment. I don’t care that you don’t want to be alone.   He’s going to give you a disease. He’s unfaithful.   I’m sorry that it’s hard to believe.   Oh yes, it happened. Look at these. Yes, he gave me those, too. They look like gay magazines. Girls don’t really want to look at pictures of muscle-bound men masturbating with each other, do they? I think girls would rather look at Playboy.   And look at these. Yes, they are graphic sex...

Book of the Year for Writers – The 3AM Epiphany

  There is a man out there, a man I have never met, named Brian Kiteley. He happens to direct the creative writing program at the University of Denver, where the aspiring writer can go to receive the rarely offered PhD in creative writing. Amongst his many other accomplishments, he has written two very inspiring books for the writing student at home. If I were to seriously do each of the exercises in the book, The 3AM Epiphany, I would probably deserve a degree. Well, it would be nice to get some feedback on it, though! I have done some of the exercises in this book, and plan on posting them periodically. The goal: to do them all! Once finished, however, I won’t be done… as he has faithfully provided another book full of exercises: The 4AM Breakthrough. These exercises have it all: An explanation behind the theory of the exercise. In other words: Why do it? Clearly defined word limit Clear instructions with just enough boundary to make me want to push the envelope of creativity. Shall we have a turn with the exercises? Let’s pray to the sleeping baby Muse: Exercises coming...

Dusty ole Doll

Found this dusty little doll up in the attic, and remembered. Stories! Found them all crumpled, deteriorated, half moth-eaten, the fluff of her soul. “Let’s start this again,” she whispered, her voice tart and moldy. I liked her. “Sure, why not?” I embraced her. And then a silly thing. A weird thing. Unreal. It happened. Perhaps she simply disintegrated in my grasp, but I could swear – I still feel the itch – that she diffused into my skin. I feel different now. Confident. Inspired. (Hell, I look different, too (see above)) Or maybe that’s just the irradiated half-caff, half-nuked, pure toxic get-up-and-go drink festering in my gut. Whether or what, there’s gonna be some changes going on around this old joint. 1. I declare myself the dictator of my own realm. Muah ha ha haaaaaa 2. I declare a thumb war! 3. I do declare that I will post more often. Creatively. (Or not) 4. And I will try not to...

The Power of the Demented

by Carter Ossman A King now dead A city once ever so jubilant corroded Buildings with beautiful decorations now covered with thick, sickening black vines People once pleasant and gracious to each other now just rotted corpses skeletons The survivors blend in All hail the...

Phantom of the Pen

-by Lori Moritz Writing tools are important. Consider the tools above: a pen, a pen case, ink, and a Carnival of Venice Mask. Why are these important? The Pen There is nothing like writing by hand. It creates a mental time warp that slows thought down to perfect narrative speed. It buffers the mind enough to imbue language with passion, something I can’t get while typing at ludicrous speed illuminated by nothing but the milky backlight of a computer screen. Writing instruments are personal. I prefer fountain pens that are heavy. I can’t hold a pen like that; I must wield it. Fountain pens glide over the paper and magically make their mark independent from pressure or force. I can write for a long time riding the inertia and momentum of such a pen. The only trick is getting up enough force to start. (ahem) I also love how such pens vibrate in response to the texture of the paper. Point is: the correct writing tool will inspire you. Find the pen, the color, and the notebook! (the only thing missing in my photo…) that you LOVE. And write in it. Write stupid things. Write smart things. Write secrets and write puns. Test out a few until you find a favorite, and then incorporate your pen into your writing routine. Computer work is fine, but every writer needs to write a little by hand. The Pen Case: Simple. A wonderful pen must be protected from would be pen fiddlers. The case is the solution. Ink: The right color and consistency is a key partner to your pen. Not Pictured Here Paper: Make sure you get paper that doesn’t bleed. You should enjoy the texture of it. Try a few in various notebooks. Carnival of Venice Mask: If it makes you feel like part of the Eyes Wide Shut Cast,...

2010 Booklist

– By Lori Moritz 2010 is winding down to a grinding (rapid, smashing????) halt. At least I managed to read a bit. These are the books I read in 2010, in no particular order… and some with odd commentary: World War Z by Max Brooks via Paperback This book gave me Nightmares. BRAVO! The Stand by Stephen King via Amazon Kindle This book took me a year and a half to read completely. This has nothing to do with Mr. King’s story telling ability. In fact, I read quite a few other King books in the year simultaneously.  In short, LOVED Part 1; The superflu and aftermath was horrific. Great apocalyptic stuff. Part 2 took the longest for me to get through… lots of political and social philosophy weaved into a tremendous amount of character development and people going about their newly assumed roles in the aftermath. There wasn’t much action. Sorry, I am an action junkie. Part 3 returned the action and interest… with the final STAND. Whoot! Overall, the year and a half was worth it. King does a fantastic job getting me to care about his characters. I felt like I was living their lives with them. And I am charmed by his ability to gross me out. That’s not an easy thing to do… The Passage by Justin Cronin via Audible audiobook This book I read because Stephen King told me to. Ha. Ironically enough, the novel follows the pattern of King’s The Stand quite closely. In Part 1, a deadly virus created by the US government wipes out nearly the entire population of the planet by turning the infected into vampires. This part of the book was riveting. Cronin did a wonderful job with this. Part two takes place some 100 years in the future, and concentrates on a colony of survivors. Again, lots...

Exercise for Better Writing Ideas

By Lori Moritz This is not about a writing exercise… this is a writing about exercise… the physical kind. I have read it countless times by a countless number of successful writers: You should exercise your body if you want to exercise your mind. Now, I used to shrug this stuff off with an, “ of course!” But that was because I always maintained a strict exercise schedule consisting of running, biking, and weight-lifting… that is, until I had a baby. That sort of threw a wrench in the whole “I’m the healthiest writer in the Universe!!!” mantra. It wasn’t that I had no time to get the sweat on. Instead, I had absolutely no motivation to find out that I had gotten VERY out of shape. So, many months pass with absolutely NO exercise, and guess what… the same amount of months pass with NO writing or fresh writing ideas, either. Why was that? Well, I wasn’t exercising. So, how does exercise help the writing mind? For me, exercise forces me to get deep in thought… it is the only way I can avoid the pain of exertion. While deep in thought, the ideas flow. I can concentrate on character, plot line, dialogue… I find solutions to logical inconsistencies in my storyline… it’s amazing! Recently, I have had a dearth of ideas. Running cured that. It happened this weekend, when I decided to start back on the old routine. I took a four-mile loop around the neighborhood and ran into a patch of bees. In short, I got stung in the chest, back, and the upper left arm. I have an aunt that is deathly allergic to bees. I asked myself the question, “What if I were deathly allergic to bees?” I really could be. It runs in the family. I wondered if I should stop running and...

Writing Contest Update

I have been away from online ventures for the past two months because I almost died. You think I’m kidding, but it’s true. I know it has created a detriment to my writing audience, so I am in the works to ramp this back up again. The good news is, I am having fun. I want to wrap up the old contest I have up here by Thanksgiving, and then start a new contest. Anyone have any good prompt ideas? Respond with them...

Sacrilege

I can’t help but post this. I’ll probably burn for it… and for a long time, too, considering how much I enjoy looking at...

Writing Challenge

Time for a new challenge… it’s been awhile. Parameters: Write a short response to the prompt. Read and respond to other responses. Vote for your favorites by clicking the thumbs up. (Note, it will only let you vote once per user or per IP address) After enough responses and votes come in, a winner will be chosen. Prizes: At this time, the winning entry will receive a custom illustration for their story, and a featured post on my website. (For you to bedazzle everyone with!) Prompt: . It is said that a ghost roams this shanty farm. Who (Or What) is it? How long has it been there? Why does it lurk here? What does it see? Tell us its...

Book Review – Under the Dome by Stephen King

. . How I can finish this book, Under the Dome (1074 pages), before I can finish The Stand (1141 pages), when I started the Stand one year ago, and Under the Dome three weeks ago is beyond me, but it’s true. Under the Dome reads like a season of 24. The book opens with a series of tragedies that initially befall the residents of the small Maine town of Chester’s Mill, and lopes along, downing one domino of tragedy after the other, until… Whammo! What happens? Well, you’ll have to read the book for that. King populates this novel with many characters. So many, in fact, as a budding writer, I find it intimidating. I think the more I study writing, the more intimidated I get when I look at the minefield of cliche I must traverse in order to get to the inside of ONE character, much less twenty of them. King may not flush all the cliche from his population, but does he have to? In a town like Chester’s Mill? It’s believable that people would live by them. I wasn’t distracted by Big Jim’s H3, nor by Barbie’s military kick-ass a la Reese from the Terminator. The characters are fun. They fit the bill. They are reachable and understandable to everyone, and no one has to tread through a mound of rich metaphor to get the point. Sometimes that’s just what I need to read, and I am so happy King is there to provide. The Plot involves a fun thought experiment. (I personally LOVE thought experiments like this) What would happen if … a large indestructible dome suddenly enclosed an entire town, completely separating it from the rest of the world in every way (except, for some odd reason, sound and radio-waves pass through it with no problem, and air and water can trickle...

Eavesdropping and BananaFish….

. J.D. Salinger, God rest his soul, wrote more than just the incredible coming to age novel, The Catcher in the Rye. He wrote many short stories, and many related to a central group of characters. I’m taking a UCLA Extension class called Putting Dialogue to Work. The first assignment requires that we read the Salinger story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Although the story is in the American Realism genre, I LOVED it. I think it is because my grandfather was a WWII veteran, and from him, I came closer to understanding what a veteran might feel while trying to reinstitute himself into society. Here was my assessment of the story: * Muriel comes across as shallow and indifferent. She hadn’t been able to get her call through for 2.5 hours, but when the phone finally rings, she doesn’t bother to rush for it. Her call seems habitual rather than motivated by any sort of conscious desire or need to communicate. She paints her nails while she talks. I inferred that she probably spent more attention on that than the actual conversation. She takes her rings off, probably including her wedding ring, to hang around the hotel room. Despite her mother’s concern, Muriel behaves like any teenage girl. I can envision her rolling her eyes to look at her brain as her mother voices her concerns. Muriel is so far removed from reality that she feel invincible. She has, “It can’t happen to me syndrome.” I was taken by the following dialogue between Muriel and her mother: “When I think of how you waited for that boy all through the war-I mean when you think of all those crazy little wives who–” “Mother,” said the girl, “we’d better hang up. Seymour may come in any minute.” The fact that Muriel cuts her mother off in mid thought here...

Latest Challenge Winner – Tantra Bensko

Tantra Bensko wins! . Write about the Witching Hour -by Tantra Bensko . . Midnight came and went many times today. I have never experienced this before. I knew no one was looking when I started turning my head around like an owl to see all the midnights lining up around me. One started speaking to me. Come. Come this way. Another started speaking. Come this way! It was like when my husband and I would spin our son around on a swivel chair and then both call him to run to us in different directions, and watch him fall over. Midnight was playing. And so it was time. Time for something. A little test of what different possibilities could be like in different repeating times. I gave myself a kiss. On the arm. I petted my ankle. I caressed my face. All in different midnights. I was trying to learn to remember what it was like to feel adored, touched because of being beautiful. My only option was myself. If I did something nice for my skin in many midnights at once, would there come a point at which all of them would hit me simultaneously? I liked the linearity of the repetition, but am a big fan of the non linear. And being touched sweetly all at once in many places by myself was sounding really fun. I ran my hand through my hair. I pulled my toes. I felt along the line of my hip, with my hand cupped, feeling the tautness of the shape. I traced the edges of my lips. I felt so loved, and had been so lonely for long, longing for touch, I was ecstatic when suddenly, all the midnights I had just participated in collapsed in on themselves from the weight, and I became like a Picasso painting. All directions at...

Zombie Dreams (with a Werewolf Cameo)

. Zombies are ruining my sleep…. . For the past few weeks, I can’t seem to escape a night without  having multiple dreams populated with horrific zombies in pursuit of my flesh. Last night, the dreams were extra memorable: I found myself in my childhood house. I stood outside at the very edge of the driveway and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see three zombies by the swing set, taking note of my presence and coming for me. These zombies had some interesting features (zombie 3.0 Beta version, I think). They sported the usual rotten bodies… half face/half skull, shreds of flesh dangling with shreds of muddied clothing. They generally lumbered along, but they had ‘burst of speed.’ . Burst of speed! . Can you imagine a zombie creeping up on you from behind with burst of speed? It happened to me in the stairwell. (God knows why I decided to escape the zombie by going upstairs into a confined room. Maybe I was attempting to get up on the roof and throw the zombie off… I’m not necessarily the most intelligent person in my dreams, evidently.) I ascended the stairs, and a zombie came upon me with burst of speed. I had to kick it off. Thank god it didn’t bite me. Now get this, I grab a PENCIL to protect myself (thinking I could puncture its skull, har har). At this point the zombie starts singing. SINGING? Yes. Not the typical nasty moan you might expect. No, this was a siren’s call. It sounded so alluringly beautiful… haunting and pleasant… I had to turn around. I gaze upon this putrified thing at the bottom of the steps with brimming eyes. It sang at me again (Sang at me, ha!). I felt sorry for it. The sound made me long to...

On Remembering a Past Death

. Why Our God is a Vengeful God . – by Lori Moritz . Layer One – The First Fragments . The imminence of death gave me superpowers. They found me guilty. I was guilty. So was she. Had they found me innocent, I would be innocent. And so would she. This choice held interesting consequences. Then I died. . Layer Two – Love . After pronouncing my sentence, I could taste her emotion infiltrating the air of the judgment chamber. Her guilt altered the resonant frequency of the molecules that bounced off her skin. They transferred her message to me, collision by collision, a carrier-wave tuned to my soul. It whispered her inaudible scream of sorrow and fear. But no one caught her. The stupid fools have yet to learn how to read matter by influence. It’s so obvious, I guess it can’t be seen. So, she was innocent and I was guilty, and that’s the way it would forever be. I loved her. That didn’t stop me from hating her for letting me face death alone. For not admitting the crime, and thus willingly joining me in death. Let’s be more precise. I did hate her. For seconds only, but the emotion existed enough to make an indelible mark, a fine etch in the crystalline-perfect nature of our resonant souls. I feel it now when her thoughts land on me from light years away. They are the cold obligatory caress from a disinterested lover’s hand. I lost her. Then I died. . Layer Three – The Betrayal . “Guilty!” the judge spat out, and with it, a thousand unsaid crimes of her own. This decision, this label of guilt, drew me inside the boundary of all things dangerous. Danger seized my consciousness, and I became what was known as evil in their eyes. I disagreed with this....

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