Writing this tonight, after writing a lengthy piece about Insidious (and why it’s way better than people give it credit for), felt a little different than writing most nights felt. This is the story (if you haven’t read my intro already) about a girl whose dead friend returns to earth to visit her. Michelle, the girl who gets the visit, doesn’t know why her friend’s here. This is the eighth part of the story. If you dare read the first seven parts (which feel a little choppy and uncertain now) well, here they are. I’ll preface this, as usual, by saying that I tend to do more academic writing and, to a lesser extent, creative non-fiction. I am not a fiction writer, although I’m reading about writing fiction. As such, I am only slowly learning what the hell I’m doing — and I say that assuming I ever learn! (End moment of needless self-deprecation).
I’m trying to write a novel length piece by sticking to a fairly simple 1,000 words a day. If you’d like, you can read earlier installments of this story, which are posted here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six. As I often say before posting, I’m a developing but somewhat experienced academic writer (i.e., I have a Master’s and am working on a PhD). I am NOT an experienced fiction writer (I have no professional experience at all), so these are my attempts to stick with a project (which I never do, when I write fiction) and piece a story together. I would like to write something “of novel length” which I can then work at shaping into a novel-type-project. So if you’re reading it, thanks for reading! Continue reading “Annie, You’re Dead, Part Seven”
So not only have I never written a novel, but I haven’t written a short story in almost six years. There are a couple memoirs I’ve worked on sporadically since then, but not consistently, and I never get very far with them. I mostly write reviews and literature and film analysis for this blog, and for my doctoral work, because both fiction writing and personal memoir writing, while very appealing to me, also intimidate me.
So, if you haven’t read this on a previous post already, I decided to start my own Nanowrimo over a month after the fact, after letting the real Nanwrimo month slide by. Suddenly (and, not fortuitously, during final paper writing time) writing fiction and just abandoning myself to the messy process, without worrying about much self-editing yet, sounded appealing. So I’ve started writing about a friend who died and, who in the story under formation, comes back to visit me.
If you haven’t read any of my pieces yet (which is highly likely) I’m on day four of thirty days, and I just told Annie, my dead-and-returned friend, what it was like when she died. Now I’m telling her what her funeral was like. What I’d say about this project is that there are a lot of things I like about it and that I’m pleased with, but there are some incongruous elements of the different narratives, and I feel like I’ll have a lot of gaps to fill in if I want to turn it into something more “concrete” and “pulled together,” when final papers are done and after the month of initial, intense, base-writing is over. If you’d like to read the story up to this point, here’s part one, part two, and part three. But I don’t flatter myself to think you have enough time or interest to necessarily do that, so the background I just gave you should catch you up to speed, if you care to read part four, below. Best! Continue reading ““Annie, You’re Dead” : Part Four”
Pre-Story Lamentations on Life:
Okay, so I worked six hours at my video store job today and finished (and submitted!) my second of three final papers for the third semester of my PhD program. Woo-hoo! As such, I’m kind of running on fumes right now, and I can’t guarantee this (third) section of my self-imposed daily writing goal will be any more coherent than my first (here), or second (here) – which were both fine, except for the fact that I sporadically switched points of view between the two of them and realized it post-online publication. (A problem I have to fix, but I work 25+ hours in the next four days and have one more final paper, to start and finish, before I’ll likely have a chance to do that). Some details about the Oreos are fucked up too. The Oreos tie both narratives temporally together, when they’re supposed to happen on two different days. I’ll fix that later. I was writing fast. I can’t say mindlessly, because I’m sure my brain was working rather hard, but I was disregarding details and narrative congruence in a big way.
On the bright side, I got promoted at Torrid today! On the downside, I tried on all the clothes that got too big when I lost weight, and they fit again. On the bright side, I’m one paper away from making through a full-time PhD course load during a semester in which my brain erupted into unplanned, delusional mania, and it’s over now, and I’m no worse (except maybe fatter) for it. I think I’m destined to be larger than I’d like, now that I’m in my thirties. The days of 125 lb. 25 year-old Kalie are sadly gone, as dead or deader than the friend I’m writing about (sorry for the insensitive joke, “Annie,” but I think you’d appreciate it). You win some, you lose some. I gained pounds and lost my mind. So it goes.
I’ll end on a high note. I’ve listened to Shakira (Waka Waka, specifically) on repeat now to pump myself up for my 1,700 + words, which I have to finish before midnight tonight – in two and a half hours. So now that I’m done rambling, here’s the third installment of my post Nanowrimo, but Nanowrimo-style story, based on a close (indeed, a “best” insofar as I like to use that word) friend, who died two and a half years ago in April.
P.S.: I usually write in the morning. We’ll see how tired night writing goes. Continue reading ““Annie, You’re Dead” Part 3″
She opened the Tupperware container and removed two more oreos, hoping that James wouldn’t notice they were gone when he came over later tonight; they were his private stash, that he kept at her apartment, and she liked to pretend she didn’t eat them. She was wearing black and gold – an ornate black and gold necklace with decorative flowers on it, from the edgy clothing store she worked at part time. She was wearing black and gold – and her hair was flipped a little toward the side, which she did sometimes to try to make it look more voluminous, although, she thought, the trick never worked really that well. Still, when her hair was parted in the center, it looked too flat, like it was painted to the top of her head and stuck to the side of her face. She didn’t much like that. She had never much liked her hair, for that matter. Continue reading ““Annie, You’re Dead”: Part One”
True to the title of my piece, this is not a horror story. Although, what I see now that I didn’t see when things like this happened was just how much my friend and I wanted it to be a horror story, how much we enacted the things that we read in our Fear Street books and our horror movies, and made the world of horror come alive, if, simultaneously, to our delight and our chagrin. Again, this is not a horror story. This is a childhood memory – a childhood memory I share on an overcast day in early November, when my frenetic, two-and-a-half-month mania has dwindled and I’ve suddenly fallen into this shifting state that fluctuates between focused, positive energy and complete depression and self-loathing. This is not a horror story—at least, I hadn’t intended it to be so. But, maybe it will turn out that way as I keep writing. One never can predict the end of the story, after all—or, at least, I can’t—when one’s merely writing the beginning. Continue reading “The Blue Man – Or, This is Not a Horror Story”
Horror Blogger Confession: While I usually drag Michael to see horror movies on opening night, a second viewing of Beauty and the Beast took precedence over a first viewing of The Belko Experiment this weekend. I mean, the remake of Beauty and the Beast was soooo fantastic the first time, and I was seriously craving something uplifting. Graduate school, after all, is stressful (this semester more so than last), our country’s being shit on by the most corrupt president and cabinet in U.S. history, and I’m kind of an anxiety head case as it is. So I really needed to see Emma Watson affirm that she wants much more than this provincial life before she forms a healthy partnership with a lovable, furry CGI figure whose horns and stature make him look like Krampus’s gentler, non-demonic doppelganger. I’m only human, and I love watching Lumiere, the talking Candelabra, sing about food. So I put Belko on the back burner and all was well.