Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Hiatus... of Sorts

So... as you may have noticed, I've missed a couple weeks of Flash Fiction Friday. No, I'm not out of story ideas, but I am taking a break from writing Flash Fiction. These days, I'm concentrating on rewriting/writing/editing a couple comic books and a Script Frenzy screenplay script.

I'm working towards finishing them all (in a perfect world in which there are both unicorns and holodecks) before I start school in September.

Of course, if inspiration strikes in the form of a Flash Fiction story, I'll write and post it, but other than that, I'm pretty much on a Flash Fiction hiatus.

I may post some actual blogs though. Possibly about my random thoughts/experiences as I write/rewrite/edit because then it doesn't count as cheating on the projects I'm supposed to be devoting myself to. Right? Right? Facepalm.

Anyway, consider yourselves updated.

Update'd, you are.

And now that I've resorted to Yoda-channelling with a touch of Zaboo (from "The Guild
: ), I'm going to sign off.

Till next time! ; )

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flash Fiction -- No Slate at All

"The night, it isn't so young," she said.

She opened the car door, her other hand already fumbling for her keys in her purse.

Gord smiled. "Neither are we."

His seat belt was unbuckled before she could blink, his hand on hers. She felt like she was trying to swim in mud.

"I'm sorry, Gord," Kelly said, "I can't do this. I thought I could, but I can't."

Gord's smile disappeared. His retracted his hand, put both of them on the steering wheel. At ten and two. Overcompensating, she noted, without meaning to.

"I thought you said we were trying again. I thought you said there'd be a clean slate."

His words were a metronome. Kelly tried to remember a time when there was music to them, too. She shut the door, and waited for the flock of memories in her mind to land on a single branch.

"I said I'd try," she said finally.

She couldn't look at his face. She'd break right in two if she did. She stared at his hands. Ten and two, Kelly thought, ten and two.

"And yet you haven't." His knuckles were white on the steering wheel. "You haven't tried at all."

Kelly sighed. "That's not fair. I have tried. And if you hadn't--"

"It's not a clean slate if you're allowed to say 'if you hadn't'. If it was a clean slate, there wouldn't be anything on it, don't you see? How can I win? How can I win if the rules are always changing? Tell me, Kelly. You have all the answers, right? Tell me how to win."

His knuckles were bulging out oddly, white islands in the tanned sea of his hands. Kelly could feel her whole body tense. She wanted to tell him to let go of the wheel. He couldn't win, he couldn't steer away from the cliff their marriage had fallen off -- it was too late. But she couldn't say it. She couldn't say anything.

"How many times do I have to say I'm sorry?" Gord shouted, "It's like you don't even hear it. I could be saying 'beer' for all you'd care."

"You might as well be saying beer!" she said, "I'd believe you if you said 'beer'. I'd believe you meant it. I'd believe it's what you loved, what you wanted, what you cared about. What is 'sorry'? When you say it, it's random sounds that happen to sound like a word people know how to say."

His hand became a fist then, and he punched the steering wheel, hard. She flinched, and hated herself for it. The honk pierced the silent night, and echoed in Kelly's ears long after his fist had reverted back to a hand.

"Please," Kelly said, "The neighbours..."

"I don't give a damn about the neighbours."

Kelly laughed. She couldn't help it. "That's because they're not your neighbours anymore."

"Yeah? Yeah? Or it's because I care about our marriage more than you ever did," he said.

"Gord. We don't have a marriage anymore. We had a separation, we had another try, and now we have nothing. We have a dream that became a nightmare that we both should have forgotten by now."

"I'll never forget," he said, "And neither will you."

He locked the door in the same instant she reached to open it.

"Let me out, Gord." She tried the door even though she knew it wouldn't open.

"I don't think so. I let you out, and it's all over, isn't it? That's what you're telling me. Not only do I not have a clean slate, but I don't have any slate at all."

"Unlock this door, Gord. Unlock it or I'll scream."

It was his turn to laugh. "You're the one who cares about the neighbours, not me."

Panic rose in her like a sudden storm. She tried to stay in the eye of it. It was a quality she'd cultivated well, considering all the years she'd had to perfect it, living with the tornado that had been her husband.

"You'll meet someone else. I know you will. We just don't belong together. Please, Gord. If you ever loved me, please let me out."

He leaned back, considering her words. "Do you think I ever loved you?"

Kelly stopped trying to pull up the lock. She twisted her head back to look at him. "Didn't you?" she asked.

He smiled. It reached all the way to his watery blue eyes. "I didn't think you thought I did."

Clarity hit her then, like lightning in her panic storm. The sky lit up and power jolted through her.

"You're wrong. I didn't think you didn't love me," Kelly said softly.

Slowly, she leaned over him.

"I think, deep down..." She ran a finger across his chest. "In your heart of hearts..."

"Yes...?" he breathed.

Her lips nearly brushed against his. Her knee was on the seat between his legs. He didn't move.

Then, finally, her searching fingertips found the button.

"....You never really gave a damn what I thought," she finished.

The lock released; its 'click' punctuating her sentence. Without hesitation, she slid back to her seat, opened the door, and slammed it closed behind her.

"Kelly!" Gord yelled through the window, "You'll regret this. You just made the biggest mistake of your life. You're going to wish you died here tonight. I know how to win now, Kelly. I know how to win!"

Kelly kept walking, keys resolutely in her hand. She didn't look back. She didn't want him to see that she was smiling.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Day I Printed my Script Frenzy Script

If you know me in real life and/or you follow me on Twitter, you probably know I wrote a script during April for a little something [that took over my life] called Script Frenzy (

What you may not know is that last Saturday, I printed it out.

Yes, that's right. Script. Printed.

I had no intention of doing this. But, at some point, between rushing home from work and running to comic book shops for Free Comic Book Day, it occurred to me that I was incapable of picking an excerpt to bring to the Wrap Party. What?! I couldn't miss Free Comic Book Day! And anyway -- I went to get Script Frenzy prizes! Okay, fine, you can add an "under the guise of" before the "get" and "ing" immediately after, but then you'd have to get rid of the "to" and that's just too much effort so you might as well leave it as is, since it pretty much leads to the first point anyway.

Point number one: I was rushed and/or lazy.

I decided I might as well print it all and decide what part would be read out... later. After all, why do now, what you can do in some other indeterminate point in time?

Point number two: I don't have a printer.

This isn't, strictly speaking, true. I have two printers, both in a box in my closet, both destroyed by vastly entertained felines. Their innards have been, well, not so innarded. Why are they in a box in my closet if they don't work? See previous point.

Point number
three: I haven't printed anything out other than résumés since I graduated university where I wrote and printed more essays than I care to remember.

Essays are a different animal and are therefore not affected by this odd printing experience. And I'm not talking about résumés. You can't make me.

Point number four: Writing things in bold is fun! Whee!

No, really, this is an actual point. Some of my script more than resembles this point. The characters wonder if the author has reached 100 pages. The author tells the characters to stop talking to her and finish the scene. Print... that? Really?

The Rest of the Story:

So there I was, comic books-in-bag, listening to the printer making strange "I have a million ideas. They all point to certain death" noises, and watching a hundred and one pages spill out of the complaining printer.

Unexpectedly, a variety of emotions washed over me.

First, shock: I wrote all that? But there's so many pages? So... many... pages...

Then, panic: Oh my God. It's still printing. The pages. They're never going to stop. NEVER!

Some guilt. Can't forget the guilt. How many trees died in the making? Oh, no... There's someone else waiting for this printer, and she only has one page... *Apologetic glance*

But, after the guilt, and the shock, and panic, and other miscellaneous feelings passed, pride and glee took over. See that? I wrote it. All 101 pages. I printed, therefore it is!

Now, I've been writing since I knew how to write -- possibly earlier -- and yet, it's still hard to consider myself a Writer. Note the capital "W". Yes, okay, some of the stories of my youth involve a koala bear named Cuddles being smuggled into Canada because he was just too cute to leave in Australia. But, Cuddles not withstanding, if I found out right now that no one would ever read a single word of mine, I would keep writing because I don't know how to not write.

But... printing that which has been written by me? It just seems so... final. Once printed, it can't unexist.

Printing is a strange thing, and watching something I wrote being taken seriously by the printer (even a complaining printer) was a special event. It forced me to realize that I needed to trust and respect myself and my writing more. It proved to me that I had truly accomplished something. And, in a whisper that might have been my own, it said "Now go edit."

So... I'm off to find a Red Pen. I can't wait to plotify plot holes, re-write characters, cross out entire scenes, and underline sentences that trail off into...

My advice (you know, the thing you didn't ask for?) is this: when you doubt your inner Writer, print.

When you question whether your writing means anything, print.

When you think "What?! $10.60 to print something I wrote, that's sitting on my computer screen as I fish for my credit card?! Chihuahua! (I had written "Pshhhh!", but spellcheck insisted on changing it...) I could buy a real book/script by a real writer for that price!"... especially print.

It's worth it. You're worth it.

After all, when it's on your computer screen, it's there, and it's real, but when it's in your hand, printed in all its typo-y glory, it's really, really real.

The End.

P.S. Writing in Italics is fun! Whee!