Sunday, June 24, 2012

Piano camp

Today was the second day of piano camp, and I'm pretty crazy busy so I probably won't post for the rest of this week. Here's an old poem, from January 2009 that I really like.

Silence sits
high on the wall
and waits for night to fall
Noise he suffers
as he waits
and watches shadows crawl.

From corners first
they spill to floors
and slowly creep along
Colors change
and sounds die down
as silence sings it's song.

A sticky web
that coats the mind
and seems to make all shrink
Silence spreads
and takes control
he moves so fast-- don't blink.

Before they know
or comprehend
that there is no more light
Darkness breathes
and silence sighs
they merge and form the night.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nano excerpt #10

The end of chapter two! Also, I know yesterday was the summer solstice, but happy summer!

That night I couldn’t sleep, my head was going in circles. I was restless too, first I’d be too hot and as soon as I shifted I’d get in an uncomfortable position and then I’d have an itch. I tried not to watch the clock ticking the night away.
And then I started to hear something-- a bird singing, or maybe just my blood rushing, or a song… I felt an actual pain in my chest as the noise drifted into something almost recognizable. It was still too far away to make out-- no, I corrected myself. The sound wasn’t getting closer. It was just the band starting up. I hadn’t heard them for years. I had a vague memory of weird dreams that music caused though, and it was getting loud enough to make my head spin and my heart thump-- so I reached over and grabbed the ear plugs on my desk. The night was finally silent, and I sighed and went to sleep.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nano excerpt #9

This is a new section, which I don't know if I really need. I like it fine but it doesn't really do anything :/

“We’re home!” Jake announced, banging the door shut to really let us know. He had just picked up mom from work, and I headed towards the kitchen and the cake. “I am staying out here until you light it,” he informed us from the hall and Elle grinned at me with the lighter in hand. Mom was standing in the door way still in her nurse’s scrubs, smiling at us.
“Hi mom,” I said and went over for a peck on the cheek.
“Hi,” she said, smoothing my hair back into place. “The cake looks beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I said, looking back as Elle lit the candles. It glistened, the dark chocolate covered in home made caramel sauce and studded all over with chocolate chips. It really had turned out well.
“Hurry,” Jake begged us and I rolled my eyes.
“He’s been looking forward to this all month,” mom said in her quiet, amused voice. “Or all year if you believe him.”
“Done!” Elle announced and I flicked the lights off. The glowing candles were in a formation to make a twenty one, and they only lit up the curve of Elle’s chin and her long fingers. The rest of the room seemed pitch black compared to the sparks of flame and the one patch of gleaming moon light behind Elle.
“Happy Birthday to you,” mom started singing, and I joined in enthusiastically off key. Jake appeared, wincing at either the sound or the darkness, and Elle moved back from the candles so he could sit at the table. “Happy birthday to you!” we finished, Elle almost giggling.
“We should record that sometime, it’s quite special,” she whispered to me and Jake shushed her. He thought for a long time, his face turned away from us from where he sat, and finally blew all the candles out with a huge gust of breath. We clapped and mom turned the lights back on, and the room transformed back into the one I knew. I could see mom’s expression now, she was smiling at the back of Jake’s head and looked tired like usual. Jake twisted around to grin at us and Elle grabbed the knife to cut up the cake.
“You know how to do it Elle?” Mom asked, though Elle had already started.
“Yes mom,” she said. “And besides, no piece is too big right?” mom laughed at that, a sound which I always thought made her seem younger.
“You’re right,” she agreed. “Give the biggest one to Jake.”
“That sounds good,” he said and soon we were all eating away. It was delicious, rich and sticky and the chocolate chips provided the perfect bit of crunch along with it. We all sat around the table, for the first time since Christmas and I couldn’t help but look at our reflections in the window. You could barely see the moon light on the floor any more, our bright artificial light was pushing it outside. We took up the whole window, all I could see in it was laughter and faces eating and the perfect family of four.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

50th Post! Nano Excerpt #8

I can't believe it's my 50th post already! Pretty crazy.

“Don’t go in the kitchen!” I warned, and stepped inside.
Something was different. I paused, one foot still on the porch, and took a breath. The cake smell was gone, replaced by the aroma of old leaves. With all the greenness and the warm wind, that was the last thing I expected. It smelled like fall.
“Move,” Elle said behind me, her arms full of pillows and bags, and she shouldered her way past me before I could think.
“I won’t, don’t worry,” Jake said in answer to my warning and followed Elle inside, leaving me still in the doorway. Was the smell of fall so weird? I wondered. I shivered slightly and stepped the rest of the way inside, shutting the door and looking around. Everything was exactly the same, the family picture of us from ten years ago, a painting Elle had given mom last year, a photo of the three of us being goofy last summer. I could hear Jake and Elle talking from her room, their voices loud and reassuring as I followed the smell past the kitchen and into mom’s room.
Maybe she’d been home, I thought, and gotten some fertilizer out for the garden. That was probably it. But that didn’t explain the leaf sitting on her dresser, a large silver leaf with golden veins. It almost looked like metal but it was soft, I picked it up and it felt like a feather. And it smelled like fall.
“Hey,” Jake said from the doorway, poking his head in. “What’re you doing?”
“Nothing,” I said with a frown, looking down at the leaf “Have you ever seen anything like this?”
“No,” he said, his eyes flicking down and back up. “Where’d you get it?”
“I found it, here,” I said, and he slowly leaned against the door frame.
“Mom must have found it,” he said with a shrug, and I nodded. There was no reason for me to think that it hadn’t been there before I’d gone to get Jake, no reason other than the smell. “Aren’t you going to make my cake?” he asked, cracking a smile, and I nodded. “Cannot wait!” he said, high fiving the door frame as he turned to go and already whistling. I put the leaf down and left the room, closing the door behind me.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Nano excerpt #7

“How are you?” he asked both of us, smiling at Elle’s pajamas. “I feel like we haven’t talked since Christmas! How come neither of you talk to me when I’m at school?”
You never talk to us,” Elle said bluntly, which made me laugh and him shake his head furiously.
“No, it’s not like that,” he insisted. “I’m just really busy.” He sighed at our identical expressions of skepticism and shrugged, rubbing the sleepiness away from his face. “I have the worst hangover,” he muttered, which made Elle jab him with her elbow. “Hey it’s legal!” he told her. “We waited until midnight.”
“That’s right!” she ohhed. “So. Weird. You’re an adult!”She grabbed some of his stuff and they followed me to the car, chattering the whole way. Jake had to fill us in on everything that had happened since Christmas. His girlfriend of last semester dumped him, he told us with a shrug. But he had found a new girl, a lovely girl, who liked to play guitar… 
My thoughts were not entirely there as I drove home. Jake and Elle were laughing and talking and I was focused on the road, making a comment or smiling every so often. Jake was half turned around in his seat so he could look at both Elle and me, and his hands flew everywhere as he told story after story. He had had quite the night- or early morning rather, and there were not words to describe how hyper on exhaustion he was now. I felt stupid, sitting there not saying anything, but Elle was filling in the necessary ‘Oh!’s and ‘What happened next?’ and I didn’t know what else to do. Finally the drive was over and I jumped out of the car.
“You okay, Vee?” Jake asked, hurrying after me and catching my elbow before I could go inside.
“Yeah,” I said, but he still stood there looking at me expectantly. “I’m fine,” I elaborated. “Just tired. I hope I’m not catching Elle’s cold.”
“Ugh, that would not be good,” he said, his face clearing. “I have to get my stuff so I’ll meet you inside k?”


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nano Excerpt #6

The first buildings of the town started popping up around us, we had come through all the hilly forest roads without my really noticing them and now we were beginning to see signs of habitation. “I’m so excited,” Elle bounced, realizing how close we were. “Is it three yet? It’s past! He’ll be here already.” I smiled silently.
Elle was somehow completely herself around Jake, though I had never actually seen her in a situation where she wasn’t completely herself. And I-- I didn’t know how to be around him. I felt like the older one when I was with Elle, the mature and responsible sister who could still laugh and be silly. Around Jake I felt about eight years old, him looking down on me even if he didn’t mean to. He was just really tall.
“There he is!” Elle exclaimed as I turned into the library parking lot. Jake was laying on the stone lion, of course. The lion had spectacles and was reading a fat tome, and my brother had always climbed on it as far back as I could remember. The librarians had stopped telling him to get off because he would just be back on the next minute they looked away. Today he was sunbathing, face turned up to the clear sky with his head resting on the lion’s. He almost looked asleep, and didn’t move at the sound of our car doors. The sun was making his hair practically shine, and the sudden thought that he looked like dad made me falter. Elle was already out of the car and sprinting towards him, he heard the sound of her coming and turned his head.
“Hey,” he said, smiling and sitting up.
“Happy Birthday!” She exclaimed and he caught her in a hug.
“Happy Birthday,” I echoed, walking across the lawn towards them.
“Vee!” he said, standing up when Elle let him go and folding me into a barrel hug. His arms completely encased me it felt like, and he almost lifted me off my feet. I made a noise of protest and he laughed, putting me back down.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nano excerpt #5

I actually did some rewriting today, wohoo! First is the rewritten version, and then the original, with notes in red. If anyone's confused, tomorrow is the anniversary of their dad's death.

Elle followed me and sighed into the may air, it had gotten warmer while she was asleep. I quickly rolled the windows of the car down, letting the wind sweep out the car's constant smell of just having been vacuumed.
"When I get a car," Elle told me, propping her feet up on the immaculately clean dashboard, "It's going to be messy."
"Of course," I agreed. I could imagine it perfectly-- paint splotches on the seats, clothes she'd forgotten about discarded in the backseat, and paint brushes lodged in every spare space.
"Your dream car?" she asked me, and I smiled.
The streets rolled by in silence, Elle with her faced turned towards the wind and me staring unseeingly ahead. I wondered what she was thinking about; art, or Jake's birthday, or tomorrow's anniversary, or the cake-- and she looked at me and bit her lip like she always did when she was about to ask something.
"Are you nervous for tomorrow?" I blurted before she could say anything.
"Erm," she said non-commitedly, playing with her bracelet. "Not nervous, no. There's no reason to be, right?"
"No," I sighed, her logic making me slightly irritated. "It'll be just like every year." That was not a comforting thought, true as it was.
"I don't want to think about it today though," she said, leaning forward to turn the radio on. I didn't get how she could put it out of her mind so easily, but I fought with her about what station to listen to and tried to forget as much as I could.

Elle grabbed a sweatshirt and followed me, and sighed when the warm may air hit her face.
“When did it get to be so lovely out?” she murmured.
“While you were sleeping,” I told her, and got in the car. It was immaculately clean, everything in it’s proper place like mom would want it and I made a face. It always smelled like it had just been vacuumed.
“When I get a car,” Elle said, hopping inside and following where I was looking, “It’s going to be messy.”
“Of course,” I agreed, I could see it now. There would be paint splotches everywhere on the seats and  paint brushes lodged underneath them and clothes she’d discarded and forgotten everywhere. Just like her room.
“When I get a car,” I told her, pulling out of the driveway and down the street, “It’s going to be purple.” That was all I wanted. We both fell into silence, staring into our futures and our dream cars, and Elle yawned.  This seems a bit random/ “look at me I’m telling you about the characters!”-ish.
“Are you nervous at all?” she asked me abruptly, without turning her head.
“For what?” I asked, though I knew. She blinked, irritated, and I said softly “Yes. If I think about it, which I’m not going to.” I don’t know how she did it, going one second from the silliest of things to the most serious. To switch over so abruptly left me reeling, even though I hadn’t completely stopped thinking about it since I’d remembered. Maybe that meant she had been half thinking about it too. “Are you?” I asked for something to say, glancing over. She shrugged and looked down, playing with her bracelet. “Hey, you can’t just shrug,” I insisted. “You brought it up.”
“Never mind,” she said. “Forget it. It’s not like there’s a point in talking about it right?”
“It’ll just be like every year,” I said, though that was not a comforting thought. She nodded and turned on the radio, a sure way to distract us both.
“Oh God,” I said at the same time that she yelped “I love this song!” She grinned at me and I sighed, shrinking slightly in my seat.
“Turn it off,” I begged her, fighting the urge to cover my ears. I had to keep looking at the road even though I wanted to run out of the car. She was laughing and I persisted, “Turn it off! I’m allergic to love songs!”
“That’s nothing new,” she remarked, but sighed and finally turned it to a different channel. I straightened up immediately and sighed with satisfaction.
“Thank you,” I told her politely and she snorted. This new song was about lovers fighting, which wasn’t wonderful either but it was better at least than someone crooning their adoration to the world. Same thing here :/

And then I was thinking that I might just cut this section entirely, since I don't want to play up the anniversary too much. We'll see, at least I can move past this part now!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Surprise a poem

Here's another poem! From December 2011, another angsty one :P

The thing about poems is that
I'm different each day
I never am the same, and every
time I start to write a poem
I'm someone new to be unraveled
and maybe that's this age
this feeling that I do not know
(who I am or what I want
or what I need or who I want to be)
anything at all, but even though
there are worse things to feel
and this will pass, I hate
this age with all my heart.
Tomorrow I might love it.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

.........can Tumblr be my excuse?

This is the first time I've not only missed two days in a row, but done it willingly :( Both days I prepared to post the next part of my nano, stared at it for a moment shuddering at all the editing that had to be done to this section, and then got distracted by shiny Tumblr. I have avoided tumblr for so long (almost a year! A year!) and I'm getting sucked back in. This was first Fruits Basket's fault, and now it's also Tom Hiddleston's. I can't escape!

Anyways, after my non-excuse, I still don't want to edit that section of my nano. I really am awful at editing. I  do it all fine as long as it's changing four words, but as soon as I get to a part that needs actual re-writing I just stop. I have no idea how to get past it (except I do (just do it) but I have no desire to). This is why I'm probably never going to be a professional author.

So here's a poem! From January 2011. This one has a tune to it, but it never got any accompaniment.

The house is silent
and all the stillness
surrounds me
everything I am
is still
alone not lonely
this is all I really need
I'm all that I need
right now
sometimes the silence
makes me think everything's fine
in the world
sometimes in the silence
I'm fine


Monday, June 11, 2012

Nano Excerpt #4

The proper start of Chapter Two, and we're back to Valerie who is now seventeen.

Today was Jake’s birthday. I stared down at Elle’s text- Cake’s out of the oven! No I did not sneeze on it and slowly put the phone back in my pocket. Today was Jake’s birthday, which meant that he’d be coming home from college. The school bus pulled away with a groan and warm wind hugged in from behind, pushing me forward. I watched my feet as they walked me to the house. The week had passed so fast-- the leaves were almost uncurled on the trees and tomorrow would be the ten year anniversary.
“Hello!” Elle sang at me as soon as I opened the front door.
“You don’t sound sick!” I said, hurrying through the hallway into the kitchen and the smell of cake. Elle was leaning next to the stove, watching the two cake layers steam.
“I slept until quarter of one,” she said with a happy sigh. “My fever’s completely gone and I just have a bit of a runny nose now.” She was still in pajamas, her clothing of choice at almost sixteen.
“That’s great,” I said with a smile, already moving the pans to the counter and poking around their edges with a knife to loosen them. They smelled gorgeous; that rich, earthy chocolate smell that filled the whole kitchen.
“Oh I have to tell you, mom left the car for you to pick up Jake,” Elle said, her fingers sneaking towards the cake before I batted them away. The sunlight was falling through the window and warming my toes and I focused on that, not on her words that were reminding me about tomorrow. “His bus comes in at three a clock, and you have to pick mom up at eight a clock tonight.”
“Three?” The first cake was sticking to the bottom still and wouldn’t come out, I made a face. “I won’t be able to finish decorating the cake before I have to get him.”
“I can do it,” Elle said persuasively and I shot her a look. “I’m not that sick!” she wailed. I didn’t want to tell her that I would never let her do it, no matter the circumstances-- her artistic abilities did not carry over into frosting. And I always made the cakes, even mine.
“You’ll just have to distract him when we get home so I can do it,” I told her, and she sighed. “Besides, don’t you want to come with me to get him?” She definitely wanted to come. I really really needed her to come, I could not handle fifteen minutes alone right now. Or fifteen minutes alone with Jake, either.
“Well,” she amended. “Yes. Alright. But will you let me help make it?”
“Yes, you will help by making sure Jake doesn’t see it,” I said, grinning when she smacked me with the pot holder. “Come on!” I gave up on the cake and grabbed the keys from the table, heading out to the car.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nano excerpt #3

What I started doing at the beginning of each chapter, was to put in a little snippet of a different story (that yes, ties in later). So here is the first one! I'm not entirely sure about the writing in these parts, I wanted it to make it sound different which it does, but I don't really love it.

Chapter Two

He saw her for the first time on a dancing night. She was sitting in a tree, motionless, and staring down at them. Her golden hair blended into the leaves but her eyes were piercing, blue as the sky in the day time and flitting from face to face. He ducked before she could see him and then ran to the queen to laughingly move them along. She could have nothing to do with them, nothing at all.
But of course she followed them. He caught a glimpse of her every time he turned around, she was as quiet as a shadow but the woods were bright with moonlight and would not hide her completely. The creatures around him were too caught up in the music and the revelry to notice her but she wouldn’t stay hidden forever. So he caught her eye as he danced, tried to make his face look serious even as she gazed back smiling, and mouthed the word ‘Go.’


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Forgot again

No excuse either, I just really need to start doing it in the morning when I actually do have time and not wait until later when I don't, and then forget. Oh well. Here's a poem that I wrote a couple of days ago, I don't think it works terribly well as a poem, but I like the words a lot.

And always, I am full
of contradictions.
I believe that I can do all things
and nothing, too
I'm alright, and I'm the worst
there is hope, and I am lost
I want to go explore the world and
never leave here.
And always, what I want most
is conviction.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nano excerpt #2

Here is part two of the first chapter of last year's nanowrimo story :)

When I was eight, the year after my father died, the music came again. I sat upright, my eyes on the woods as the sound wove it’s way closer and closer. Someone was singing this time, a shrill voice that had pierced through my dreams. I couldn’t understand the words but it was making my skin crawl in a way that sent me running down the hallway in a burst of energy.
“Do you hear that?” I demanded, coming to a stop in Jake’s room. I had never told him my stories about the faeries I heard, but he couldn’t possible be sleeping through this song. And I was right, he was lying stiffly in bed staring at the ceiling.
“Hear what?” he asked, shifting towards me and sighing. I just stared at him. The song was reaching it’s climax, the voice climbing higher and higher until it seemed like it was right outside the window. He was blinking at me with his ‘Oh god what’s she going on about now?’ look, but I saw him flinch when the song was cut off by laughter and shrieking.
“The Faerie music,” I said boldly. “You can hear it, you’d be deaf not to.” But he was already laughing.
“Faerie music?” he gasped, wheezing. “Oh, that’s good. Are they dancing with their friends the elves and leprechauns? And maybe some unicorns?” I wanted to punch him.
“You can’t do this!” I shouted, over the sound of him still laughing and the next song that had started. “You hear it! What else could it be?”
“Not faeries!” He stopped laughing and sat up, looking at me pityingly. Which was even worse than the laughing. “Gosh Vee, it’s the neighbors.”
“The… neighbors?” I faltered.
“They’re having a party,” he explained to me slowly, like I was two. “Lots of dancing and singing, and they must have huge boom boxes because everyone on the whole street can hear it.”
“But…” it didn’t sound like noises humans would make. “The shrieking,” I pointed out hurriedly. “And screaming, that doesn’t happen at parties.”
“Some parties it does,” he said knowingly, already sliding back under his covers. “But you had better ask mom about those.” I stood there motionless for a minute and he closed his eyes. The music was still going but it seemed duller now, like something that really could be made from lots of piccolos and flutes and wound up humans. It was stupid to think faeries were real before thinking of the neighbors.
“Hey,” Jake said softly. I looked back at him but his face was hidden again, the moonlight had only showed off his lovely laughing face when he was sitting up. “Sorry if I was mean about it.”
“It’s fine,” I said shortly, and padded slowly back to my room. It was fine, even if it meant one more memory with my dad meant nothing at all. All either of us needed was a good pair of ear plugs. After that I started sleeping through the night.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I've been reading through last year's nanowrimo novel today, it actually isn't as bad as I remembered! In parts at least. Here's the very beginning.

When I was little, I used to think that faeries visited the woods across the street. Not all the time, but once or twice a year I would wake up to music seeping in from somewhere outside-- a wild music full of high voiced flutes and screaming laughter and the drumbeat of dancing feet. I would listen until the sounds moved away, and I’d always be sad to hear it go even though I’d dream cavorting dreams of shadows and monsters after.
Some nights I’d be brave enough to slide out of bed, trailing blankets after me, and press my face to the window glass. The trees across the street were just a mass of darkness that were impossible to see through. I was never brave enough to go out and find them, and I don’t think the thought even occurred to me. The woods were off bounds at night and sitting there frozen, my head pounding with their music against the coolness of the glass, I didn’t really want to get any closer.
I told Elle fantastical stories about the music and the faeries who roamed the woods as soon as I could attach a name to what I thought they were, but she slept like a rock and never really believed me. Once I woke crying from a whirlwind nightmare of dancing with faceless creatures and my dad was there, stroking my hair and murmuring to me.
“What was it, Valerie?” he whispered when I opened  my eyes. I blinked up at his shadowy head and desperately searched for eyes, nose, mouth-- and sighed when he shifted into a patch of moonlight.
“It was the music,” I told him groggily. “It gives me bad dreams.” He was motionless for a long moment, his eyes looking past me and out the window.
“So don’t listen,” he said at last, smiling back down at me softly. “You don’t have to listen.”
“I don’t know how not to,” I said, balling up the sheets in my fists. I stared up at him hopefully, waiting for words of wisdom, or even a reprimand, but he just laid down next to me and let me nestle into him.
“Neither do I,” he said into my hair, so softly that I might have dreamt it.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Old poem

Here's a poem from February 2011, which really sums up my mood a lot of days!

My mind is going round and round
and all the noises every sound
seems loud and yet I want to sleep
and can't relax and nothing seems
to have a point and all I'll do
all night I fear is sit and think
and ponder pointlessly until
the night is gone and I'm asleep.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Rain poem

Yesterday was awfully rainy, (today too) but they must have had some bike race/event planned because I saw about 50 bikes go by my house in the morning, and then I saw them all around later throughout the day. I can't imagine how miserable it must have been to spend all day in the cold wet.

The sky has been dripping all day
steadily, and in spurts
of splattering, juicy round drops

like fragile perfect blueberries
that don't leave stains
on hunched-over shoulders
and furiously whizzing
feet and gears, chains and wheels

chains decapitate the rain-berries
tires crush remains
but the rain never stops
cyclists cannot win on days
when life is a puddle
and the world is a drip.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

No Excuse

I really have no excuse for missing yesterday. I ended up being busier than I thought I would be, and then didn't remember to do it before bed. I'm getting so bad! I need to have a sticky note on my pajamas or something.

Here's a poem from April 2010. It's a weird poem and I wish I could remember what was happening when I wrote it, but I like it even if I can't :)

This day this moment now
is ringing in my ears
the who they why the how
has all built up for years

And I am me
and you are you
and everyone is everyone
is one


Friday, June 1, 2012


Happy June :) it's almost summer! I love summer and spring and fall the most :D

I wrote 14 poems in May, though I've only posted five of them. Here's two short ones, and the rest of them will probably never see the light of day.

There was lightening last night
no thunder, just sudden
flashes of white
that lit up the sky
and the trees, and the yard
and disappeared, leaving
imprints on my eyes
and me staring outside
waiting for more.

This next one is really silly :P

My poems, like cheese,
ripen with age
the older they get
the more I realize
they stink.