PG-13

WOW, the first term of my school year has definitely whizzed on by, and it’s already nearing CHRISTMAS (Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be writing more on that later on, but for now Happy Holidays!). I guess my determination to continue this blog hasn’t been very, well, determined. I hope I haven’t lost my readers. Well, the 2 readers I probably had in the first place. If you’re like me though, you probably would’ve checked every weekend, frantically hoping to see a flash of a new post. Anyway, I’ll be writing more later, but for now…

*This was a pre-written post from aaaages ago, I just found it today, and thought I might post it.

Woot! It’s the third week of school officially, and it’s been really great! There’s definitely many, many of you out there for which the beginning of the school year is a pain, but none of that with me. I’ve landed myself some great teachers, not to mention finally getting rid of my pain-in-the-neck math teacher from last year and a GREAT drama class! So what’s up in the second week? Well nothing other than my favorite event ever—POETRY SLAM!!! Okay, so it’s not exactly a large-scale open mic night like I’d hoped for, but some beanbag seats in a secluded corner of the library and some student-teacher judges are like, the next best thing right? Sure.

The theme was games. Anything along that theme could be performed, from mind games to relationship games, to plain old board/sports games.

In the past, I’ve made some terrible, terrible attempts at composing spoken word poetry, some of which I was pretty proud of but looking back, oh boy were they bad. So given the chance to try again, I worked so hard on my piece, and that hard work really paid off; not only did I get 1st place with a 10/10 on my scoring charts, but I also produced a piece of writing that I’m still fantasmically proud of… and I know, blah blah blah. I will post it here, and maybe later video of the performance, so you can actually hear the rhythm in this piece being performed (I’ve always been a drama geek.)

Pretence

Every day she paces the sidewalks back from school

Dragging out each second of the ticking clock

Hanging in the living room

Back at the home where she doesn’t want to be.

Reaching the door she hesitates,

Collecting in all the empty breaths she can hold so they don’t escape

And before she can find another reason she has to wait

She steps in through the door and just sits.

Now I don’t mean to be blunt,

But at the mere age of 14 this was the victim of rape.

And simply accepting as a cruel twist of fate,

Has kept the secret to herself

And no one else

Not even her father knows.

Each day she suffers from this lie

As she sits alone,

Holding back all the tears building up in her eyes,

The back of her throat plugged up with a million sighs

Wondering how many times she’s allowed to try

Before she has to get it right.

Her father comes home at approximately 6 pm

So if she’s able to recollect herself before then,

The year will have passed in silence.

Approaching six she sits up a little straighter,

And when it gets a little later

Pushes her pain down to the bottom her lungs

As the hollow spaces act as the rungs

Of a ladder

That with every shallow breath

Climb a little bit deeper.

The two sides of her smile get a little bit steeper

And her eyes no longer carry the shine of her tears

Dried up for the first time since the year

That it happened.

And she’s still playing those games.

Tug of war between dealing with the consequences of keeping silent,

and scarring the world, telling them of the violence she had to face.

Playing hide and seek with the truth she’s compressed

Beneath her pasted smile and moulded chest.

Dressing up in a thick layer of fake just so she can resemble normal.

And trying to count the number of scars she’s painted

To get over the loss of her uncontaminated body.

These are the games the victims of rape are forced to play

The games of pretend when they say

that everything is okay,

When its not.

And it’s because the truth is burning hot

Spitting sparks like fireworks they’re too scared to touch

Only they don’t die out,

But keep on burning

Lighting up the skies,

Spelling words that read

FREE ME in glowing letters

While their screaming GIVE ME BACK MY SANITY

Regardless of whether you need it or not.

And if I’m honest to God

If you took it in the first place maybe you should go and try to find your own

Cause I’m busy keeping track of the sparks that ignite.

Until they’re extinguished by the falling tears and

Angry sighs

Of the ending of a game that was surrounded by lies.

And by then,

They won’t even care about being stripped of the innocence in their bodies

When every shred of dignity they’ve been gripping to in their bone-white fists

Has been ripped out by the people very people

Who greet her

As she paces down sidewalks.

Yes, that was the poem that won. I think I really just whipped out all my emotion into that one. Anyway, I was supposed to perform it in assembly, only our vice-principal who conducts those things thought the content was inappropriate to be performed in front of 12-16 year olds. Mostly the 12 year olds though. But, honestly, sure, it breached some pretty mature themes, but was it really inappropriate, just ‘cuz it talked about rape? Oh yeah, I said it. It’s not. Mr. Vice-Principal asked me to change it. Being the dramatic writer that I am, I was thinking about getting up on that stage and just saying “I will not be performing my poem today. Being an artist, I am proud of my work for what it is, and I don’t care who says it’s not ‘appropriate’, but I will remain true to my work.” And then launching into a big speech. But the actress inside me jumped at the chance of performing in the 2nd week, and I managed to make the changes without compromising the integrity of my work, even though really rape was the whole point of it. Now that sounded pretty depressing.

I hope your first few weeks of school have been just a productive and great as mine!

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Going “Live”

Well this blog is coming along well… over-night, I have reached a grand total of 111 hits, and I’m grateful! I know all you bloggers out there are saying “Pffft 100 hits? That’s less hits than I get PER DAY!” but what can I say, I never really expected anything other out of this blog than the motivation to keep writing. There.

Anyway, a rare experience today, instead of posting something recently written (truth is, my recently written folder is quite an empty one) I will proceed in writing a “live” paragraph or two as a jump-start to my potential novel. I suspect this is a moment that shall go down in writing history; keep your eyes peeled, and don’t blink!

As she slowly slipped into unconsciousness, the feeling of a soft numbness starting to tip-toe into the edges of her mind, she came to realize that she wasn’t crying. Then she remembered that she couldn’t, not when the entireness of her body was submerged, marinated in that cloudy, chlorinated pool-water. Of course, there was also the matter of being Claudia Wynham, who wouldn’t have been crying in a moment like that, even if the physics of being underwater allowed her to do so. Her still body grew colder as she continued to drift downwards, and when the last floating strands of hair rested along the bottom of the pool like settling dust, the final grip she held on consciousness began to loosen. Overhead, she could hear the quiet cries of ambulance sirens, and the beginnings of red and blue lights flashing against the surface of the now-still water. She shifted, sending a succession of ripples that traveled along the pool from one end to the other. When at last the dying ripples created miniature splashes at the edges of the pool, when the whispers of sirens grew into blares, and when the source of the flashing lights came to a halt in the pool-side parking square and the pitter patter of police boot came to rest over her, Claudia Wynham’s final plea of survival was heard.

Did you like it? I hope you did, and any suggestions and criticism would be greatly appreciated in the comments!

What could happen next?

-Annie

 

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Motivations and Wanted Help

Cutting to the chase…

Instead of my normal apology plus excuse for not writing for what feels like MONTHS, I am instead, going to make up for it by making the structure and contents slightly different from the norm (Ooo, I know it’s exciting for me too!). What I’ve got today is news. I have finally, finally set my mind to starting and this time FINISHING a novel/shortish book, and the reason for this sudden motivation is nothing other than being unexpectedly given a once in a lifetime writing offer. I won’t go into the details, but what I will say is that it’s a great way for new writers like me to get out and get published. Of course, right now I feel really hopeless as time is limited and summer is almost finishing, so this may or may not happen; hopefully it does!

What I’ve got so far…

Plot outline (very vague so far!): A young girl wakes up, and finds herself in complete darkness. She realizes that her physical body/being is currently in a coma, and her consciousness and the “darkness” she’s currently surrounded in is actually inside her head. She doesn’t care. Darkness is the one thing most familiar to her in her life, always left alone in the darkness both physically and emotionally almost constantly. Instead, she chooses to embrace the dark, and quietly reminisces on past moments of true darkness. And that’s basically where my train of thought ends. I want this story to be along the lines of some emotional struggle inside of this girl, one that she chooses to “sweep under the rug” but is uncovered through her time inside of herself… If that makes sense.

I hope to get started on this ASAP, and would appreciate ANY ANY advice at all or suggestions and comments on what I can add to the story, how the rest of it could go, and what you think of the plot so far!!!

Every little bit counts!

-Annie

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Art exploding with color!

Another 3 days have passed since my last post, I hope this doesn’t end up as another failed attempt of a blog soon…

So what have I been up to? After following the Freedom Trail of our country ’tis of thee, I was lucky enough to be able to tour the great Museum of Fine Arts. There was a special exhibit open named “Chihuly”, which was basically by an artist who made huge, colorful sculptures out of glass (I’m sure there was more depth to this, but all I could pay attention to was gasping at the pretty sculptures). Here are some photos…

These photos, added to the lights of the city view from my window inspired a haiku:

City Lights

Night in the city

glittering lights swallow up

the resting silence

-Annie

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The sound of nature…

Right now I’m in Boston, staying not 20 minutes away from the site of the Boston Tea Party. Where the independence of our proud nation began. Well, not really but points for dramatic effect! My most favorite part by far about Boston here is all the forests and trees that merge almost seamlessly with the neighborhood and houses, seeing nature here at it’s best… Thinking back the almost treeless streets of areas of China in comparison really makes this whole global warming thing hit me hard. So I decided to write a tanka (form of japanese poetry) in honor of this.

Nature’s Harmony

Trees sigh in the wind
Whisper quietly their song
Roots digging in deep
Entwined in the tightest knots
In a perfect harmony.
Trees take their last breath
Singing last words of their song
Roots become unearthed
Knots begin to unravel
Machines tear through unity

 

Consider my very first tanka complete!

-Annie

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Without a care in the world.

Just One More Step

I see you sitting there,

Under your favorite tree.

I hope and hope with all my heart,

That you still remember me.

I left you many years ago

But you weren’t supposed to know,

That I was always here for you

I just never said “Hello”

I heard you crying every night,

A sound that broke my heart.

You should’ve known that I loved you,

That it would’ve hurt too much to part.

I was the sunshine that danced with you,

The footsteps in the dew.

I was the wind that guided you,

That helped you to break through-

That wall you said you never could,

But you did in the end.

I was always in the shadows,

Always just around the bend.

If you’d just taken one little step away,

From the comfort zone you’re too used to

You would’ve known that I was there,

Always there, for YOU.

Instead you stayed where you thought you belonged,

Filled with endless sorrow,

When all along you could’ve controlled

The way you saw Tomorrow.

Strangely, this was actually inspired by a random girl sitting by the side of the road on top of a fence, without a care in the world… I don’t even think I know how that could inspire a poem like this; she wasn’t even under a tree! Inspiration does comes from curious places…
And my life right now?
Eat. Shop. Love America.
Truly without a care in the world!
-Annie

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Inspirational indeed!

Yes, I have been M.I.A for the last two days, but I have a perfectly LEGIT excuse! I’ve been frantically preparing for my long anticipated trip to America, and after spending an excruciating 13 hours suffering on the flight over (not to mention waiting 3 more hours once the flight had been delayed, I am finally here! Even though the wait in the airport was long, reading this article on the Official Blog of Lantern Hollow Press  helped to entertain me: Things for a Writer to Do in an Airport  (:

First stop back, picking up the pizza our friends had ordered for us, and making it back to the hotel/motel (it’s nice.) for dinner. It was great to finally be relieved of the hunger that came from me refusing to touch that horrible plane food. Early tomorrow morning I hope to be getting my camera, and so can take pictures for inspiration and post them.

Right Now

Get lost in the moment,

Don’t waste your precious time.

Don’t worry about your future,

You’re not yet past your prime.

The past is already gone,

And the dreams may be sweet

But time is running out,

Don’t waste your time for sleep.

Think about right now,

This moment,

This heartbeat

And when it’s gone

Don’t miss it,

Let it take it’s last bow.

And move on to the future,

Because the future is right now.

Every step you take,

The present moves with you.

Every move you make,

The present makes too.

Memories for the past

May stick around,

And of your voice isn’t loud enough,

You won’t make a sound.

Don’t hover in the past,

It’s already gone

We all know it never lasts.

You’re mistakes may haunt you for

This moment

This heartbeat

But then it’s gone

Don’t miss it.

Let it take it’s last bow

And move on to the future

Because the future is right now.

And in the end

When it’s all over,

The memories might last

But when the last breath comes,

You’ll get the last laugh.

Right now I happen to be suffering a severe case of jet lag, so I have to admit I cheated and instead posted a poem written aaages ago, which just happened to place yesterday in a inspirational poetry competition, and will be published in the A-Muse Magazine Anthology (online magazine). I didn’t really believe that this poem had any potential, but it was one of the only poems I felt that really fit snugly under “inspirational” and I’m surprised (and happy of course!) that it won!

Further thoughts…

The scenery in America is just. so. darn. beeeaaauuutiful!

I just want the swim in the blueness of the sky!

And tango with the wild forest trees.

Oh yes. Inspirational indeed.

-Annie

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“Life is never boring, but some people choose to be bored.”

If you’re bored and you know it clap your hands! I’m about to post one of my slightly longer short stories here (oxymoron much?), so I’ll keep this post short. I’m glad I at least managed to get this done today, since for the majority of the day I was utterly bored to tears death. Even watching Pretty Little Liars—which has never failed to entertain me before— had no appeal to me, as the newest and latest episode was SUCH a disappointment! Lucky for you guys (I think I just pointed out maybe one, two readers at the most? Haha.) at least I can post this story for you to keep YOU entertained. How selfless me, I know. Well..enjoy!

Convicted

“Hello Doctor, I’m here for my test?” The girl strutted inside without waiting for a reply, and gazed across the room at the Doctor, smiling politely. For a moment, the sheer whiteness that surrounded her stunned her, and when her eyes cleared she noticed a strange-looking machine that was covered from top to bottom with wires. These wires protruded out of minute sockets on each surface, and a faint humming sound ran through the entire length of the room. Her eyes followed the snake-like forms as they flowed straight into the Doctor’s blistered hands, different colors fading into a tangled mass that was quickly being unraveled. The Doctor, clad in layers of plastic coats that clung to his stout body with static, bustled around at the other end of the room, and while he only half-heartedly monitored the machine that stood in front of him, he did not notice that the girl had entered.

“Eughh. Could you be a little more gentle Doc?” a rumbling voice groaned, snapping the girl out of her momentary trance. That was when she noticed a middle aged man that sat strapped into the machine, half hidden by the massive tangle of wires. His skin was almost covered with wires that seemed to have been plugged straight into his body, connecting him to the machine, with still more wires being vigorously plugged into him by—the doctor? So the test is some sort of… health check? The girl wondered to herself, rubbing her wrists, red and raw from the handcuffs that had been roughly forced onto her arms; then abruptly taken off her before leaving her outside just a few minutes ago. Nonetheless, it was better than the ugly, scratchy ankle chains she had had to wear before, along with the others in her unit. Convinced that the patient in front of her would take a longer time than expected, she leaned against the wall, settling into a relaxed position. A blunt edge dug into her back, and she looked behind to see a plastic sign that read: ‘Please wait outside until Doctor calls you in.’

Oops. She thought to herself, although she made no motion to leave the room, and stayed, leaning against the wall and quietly watching.

“It’s kinda great to be leaving this place Doc. I mean, sure, the um, living conditions are um, great n’ all—“ at this point the man broke up his stuttering and gave a hearty little chuckle that sounded suspiciously sarcastic: “but um, actually I mean its not that good, err, well — what I mean to say is that it’s just great to see my family again, is all. “ The man stuttered, carefully avoiding saying anything that would cause any hesitation regarding his release.

“Hmph. You got kids?” The Doctors’ voice was gruff, almost hoarse.

“Huh? Oh yeah Doc, two girls. Tell you the truth Doc, it’s been, um, pretty hard on my um, wife these years, what with me in um, prison n’ all. I’m mighty glad to um, go home again, I’m just happy they um, proved me innocent.”

This time the Doctor only grunted. Across the room, the girl smiled to herself. This man would go home again—and soon she would too. They would see their families again, and somehow, living a real life again would make up for all those years wasted away, sitting in an empty jail cell. Outside now, it would be snowing, and she wondered if the snow was thick enough, and whether her brothers were sledding, or sipping piping hot chocolate, or putting up the Christmas tree. Christmas! She would be back in time for Christmas, and even though she could no longer remember the taste of turkey and mashed potatoes she was almost drooling at the mouth. She wondered if her mother would like her, and whether her father was out buying presents for the family, and would there be one for her? She wondered if they had ever forgiven her for what she did, for the Incident. She herself had never forgotten that ugly, cruel picture of her sister, writhing on the ground. Her sister, deformed. Every cell of her body yearned for forgiveness, and she really wanted her parents to like her. When she got out, as soon as she got out, she would go straight home. No, first she would go to that candy shop her mother used to take her to every Christmas, and she would buy… She would buy gingerbread! And she would make sure to save enough for her brothers when she got home. Everything seemed so real now, and with a pang her heart lifted as she pictured the years and years ahead of her, now that she would soon be free.

“You know Doc, I’ll bet the world is amazing, huh? And to think about it, you’re kinda like the guy that makes everything um, come true eh? Like, you get to be the one that sets guys like me free. Well err, I guess it all depends on your machine thinger but I dunno… it’s still kinda you doing everything ain’t it? Say, how about, after I’m um, free n’ all­—“ The man paused, savoring the reality of the word “free” that rolled along his tongue, so wonderfully real, then continued: “—we could maybe um, get together, that is to say, your family and mine and I guess um, well for one it would be mighty nice, and I could at least thank you for, um, well… I dunno for what actually, but like I said; it would be nice.” The man gave a nervous giggle before abruptly stopping, unsure of the Doctor’s reaction.

“I ain’t got no family.” The doctor decided after a long pause, hiding a flicker of pain with an exasperated sigh.

“Oh.”

“Well, um, Doc, I’d like to ask you this, what happens to the um, guys who um, were, um, convicted? Do they err… die?” The last word came out as a barely audible whisper.

“They die happy.” The Doctor’s voice trembled, unusually gentle until his face hardened once more. The girl watched transfixed as the last of the wires were plunged into the man’s skin, and the Doctor slowly walked to the monitoring screen.

“Well Doc, just to say, it’s been great meeting you. You sure don’t um, say much, but err, you’re a good man that’s for sure.” He smiled, a genuine smile, and waited. The girl stifled the urge laugh and cry with happiness for him, and partly for herself too. The machine warmed up as the lights of the monitor began to flash, and the man himself looked like he was in a state of utter happiness. The lights suddenly turned off as the man gave a sudden jerk, and fell limp in the chair. Startled, the girl gave a small gasp that echoed off the corners of the room. The man didn’t move. Sudden realization clouded her eyes like a dense and heavy fog, and a tear slid down her cheek, searing her flesh.

The doctor turned towards her.

“Oh. You’re a bit early aren’t you? Never mind, just wait here for a moment, and then we’ll get you ready for the test.” An insincere smile was pasted onto his face as he scurried out the door and shut it behind him. The girl could hear muffled conversation outside, and she leaned into the door.

“We really oughtta post a guard here to stop things like this from happening.”

“It’s too late for that now ain’t it? What are we supposed to do with her? I might as well tell you this now, some of these guys we convicted, they seem, well…”

“Innocent? Well they aren’t, so we’re doing them a favor by telling them otherwise. “

“I guess. I’ll have to try to handle this one.”

“Shame. It’s so much easier when they die happy.”

 End

I hope this wasn’t too bad, I decided to write this piece focusing more on dialogue, as it was never really my strong point before and I chose not to use much of it in any of my pieces (excluding this one of course) as of yet. I guess practice makes perfect…

Hoping you had a much less boring day than me!

-Annie

*EDIT: I feel that I need to mention now that the idea of this story originally came from a prompt I found on the internet, I don’t remember the source, but if you recognize this as your own or know whose idea it was, tell me in the comments and I will source it!*

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Chinese Tea vs. English Tea

Tea Leaves

I can still remember that summer night,

That cup of green tea in my small little hands.

The tiny pagoda where my family sat,

Surrounded in the jade bamboo.

The tea was warm, steam rising to my face,

And my hands were cold,

Cold, against the porcelain cup.

I took a moment

I took a breath

I took a sip.

I sipped in the bitter tea,

And it was in that moment,

That I sipped in China.

I took a sip of the bamboo leaves, rustling in the wind.

I took a sip of the glittering pond, the waves made by the fish.

I took a sip of the Yellow River, the pebbles carried along.

I took a sip of the fishing boats, at the crack of dawn.

And when I finished,

All that was left,

Were tea leaves.

Soggy little clumps cluttered at the bottom,

Of my memories,

My dreams.

Hope you enjoyed this, just another little poem inspired from China, case in point: Chinese Tea. To be quite honest I really hate the bitterness and plainness of green tea, and sweet, milky English Tea is waaay better suited to my tastes. Still, I feel that this poem captures some of the key aspects of traditional China (bamboo, tea, pagodas, ponds etc.), completely unlike the crowded, sweaty and busy streets in the bigger cities I see today. I’m just so thankful for Suzhou SIP, where everything is just so laid back… and CLEAN! Okay, well this blog post has officially provided me relief my from my sore mouth (braces!) for 5 minutes, time to go back to sucking on ice cubes…

-Annie

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Weekend getaway? Not really!

So what have I been up to this weekend? Well, even though you probably DIDN’T ask that, I feel like blogging briefly about it anyway, so hang in there! First of all, absolutely unexpectedly and against my will my parents decided that I needed some “fresh air” and “family time” away from my precious computer and asked me to pack an overnight bag and go with them on a company weekend trip. It ended up being really fun, and pretty much all of my dad’s colleagues brought their families along.

Where did we go? To a Cowboy County Club, where we did activities ranging all the way from laser tag to boat rides, kayaking and rock climbing. All in all, it turned out to be a trip worth making (despite the hillbilly chatter and constant smell of horses).

While we were at the pool over the weekend, we noticed an area of artificial beach that was half-hidden and unnoticed behind the gigantic, blow-up water slide. I ended up spending most of my time there, with a book and my flip-flops (The book was The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, I became a fan of his after reading Message In a Bottle and A Bend In The Road, both of which were very good, leaving The Wedding a bit more of a rather boring disappointment).

Inspiration comes from this…

Flip Flops

Once when I was on the beach,

I felt the wind blowing through my hair.

The suns bright glare was shining through my soul,

And the sand was burning right through-

the flip flops I wore that were a sun-bleached brown,

Just brown and nothing else.

I waded into the salty sea with nothing but my flip flops,

And let the gentle waves caress my blistering feet,

Then to slowly slip them off.

I stood there letting my bare toes get buried in the sand,

And watched as the waves let the shoes take small nervous steps.

Each step they took grew bigger and wider,

And before I knew it they were running off

Pushed by the waves toward the horizon.

Leaving not a single footprint

For me to remember the precious moment when I walked on water.

And from this I gather that this was quite the productive trip!

-Annie

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