Snippets #17

Chuck Palahniuk-Fight Club

I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.

We are not special.

We are not crap or trash, either.

We just are.

We just are, and what happens, just happens.

And God says, “No, that’s not right.”

Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can’t teach God anything. (207)

Snippets #16

Thomas Pynchon- The Crying of Lot 49

…The sight of sawdust, even pencil shavings, made him wince, his own kind being known to use it for hushing sick transmissions, and though he dieted he could still not as Oedipa did use honey to sweeten his coffee for like all things viscous it distressed him, recalling too poignantly what is often mixed with motor oil to ooze dishonest into gaps between piston and cylinder wall. He walked out of a party one night because somebody used the word “creampuff,” it seemed maliciously, in his hearing. The man was a refugee Hungarian pastry cook talking shop, but there was your Mucho: thin-skinned. (4)

The Tiny Soldier-Part 5 (Flash Fiction Chain 5)

All right folks, I am so stoked. Today is another round of Chain Fiction through the amazing Photrablogger. Here’s the exercise Photrablogger provides this photo:

img_0814-fileminimizer

Then you write a story based on this photo and whatever section of the chain that come before you. Today I am writing part 5 of the chain here, to understand go read the previous parts, you really should too because they are awesome:

1. Abirami

2. Sona

3.Yinglan

4. Dr. KO

Character List:

Rick-Protaganist, 10yrs Old

Jenna-Rick’s Social Worker (Not present this section)

Mrs. Montgomery/Ma-Foster Mom to a houseful

Jake-Montgomery’s biological boy

Sun-The Monkey

***Elaborated Characters*** (The Other Kids Sorted By Tables)

Table 1-

Mesa-Boy, 14 yrs old

Toro-Boy, 12 yrs old

Wheeze-Boy, 8ish yrs old

Table 2-

Danus-Boy, 11 yrs old

Makaya & Kumba-Boys, Twins, 7 yrs old

Table 3-

Marilyn-Girl, 11 yrs old

Britney-Girl, 8 yrs old

Kanya-Girl, 6 yrs old

Summary: Rick has jumped from foster to home to foster home. His current house is run by Mrs. Montgomery, who cares for twelve children, including her own son Jake. The boy has made a special friendship with the monkey, who is named Sun. Sun had just started to tell Rick a bit of his history, when bedtime cut their story time short . The scene begins after the previous night of revelations from Sun.

Without further ado, The Tiny Soldier Part 5:

Twelve hours without power and things were starting to get tense. Ma had left for the postoffice early. Distracted, she announced to a half awake room that Jake was in charge today. Rick knew second he heard that, it was going to be a bad day. Plus his new friend had him on edge.

Breakfast was warmed up gravy and scrambled eggs. Jake slopped it out with a special disdain, over bricky biscuits. For a dessert, he told each recipient their chore for the day, which he wanted finished by noon.

Rick had seen some hope in that he was on dishes, a task which left him alone in the kitchen, and which usually meant that he could get a half hour of reading in if he hurried.

Things were obviously weird though when he went to sit down. Usually the main pack of boys, six of them, all sat together at one table. This pack was lead by an especially energetic fourteen year old named Mesa.

Mesa was one of the originals kids Ma had taken in. He had been around so long that he held a special status second only to Jake. His special place meant, he was the only one who could really get away with challenging Ma’s boy. Usually the two enjoyed a tedious peace, both with hopes of keeping Ma happy, by maintaining order among the children.

Mesa’s best friend was a boy called ‘Toro.’ He was twelve years old and had been living on the streets for sometime before he ended up under Ma’s care. Wheeze sat with the two of them, listening to their discussion with a worried face.

The other two tables were split up between the other pack of boys and the girls. The four boys were huddled in their own intense discussion. This group was led by eleven year old Danus. He held court with two seven year old twin boys Makaya and Kumba and six year old bespectacled Moses.

The twins were polar opposites. Makaya was incredibly headstrong and motivated, first in all his classes. Kumba on the other hand was very withdrawn. Sometimes late at night Rick would hear him crying. Makaya’s harsh whisper would fill the room urging him to get over it. Rick had heard enough tidbits of that horrible night which haunted the twins, that he felt a deep pity for both of them, despite Makaya’s regular heckling.

Moses was perhaps strangest of them all. A bird like little boy, he was very quiet. He refused to play rough with the other boys and instead would hide in the room doing his small booklet of math exercises over and over. He claimed to have a rich Mother and Father, who any day now would be around to pick him up and take him on their world travels.

Rick had thought at first they could be friends, but then the boy’s unbreakable stare and lack of communication skills dusted all those hopes. Moses sat now staring into space. Rick decided to sit down opposite him. Danus and the twins paused the conversation to acknowledge his presence, but then went right back to their intense conversation.

“Listen,” Danus said, “he’s out of here, okay? Him and Toro are going tonight. Toro has him sold on the cable and smokes.”

“No way,” Makaya said. “First they have no money. Second, Ma and the police will track them down.”

“Ah Mesa’s a horse,” Danus said. “He’ll get work and a room easy. Get real. Ma told him just last week, he was ready to go so whatever. He’ll go and then you know what, then he’s all ours.” He made a gesture towards Jake who was putting the remaining food on to his own plate.

The table of girls were watching Jake too. There were three of them, Marilyn, Britney, and Kanya, and they were 11, 8, and 6. They were referred to as Mrs. Montgomery’s girls in the community and they were something of a cherished novelty. Their goodness seemed to rebound off the rowdiness and roughness of Ma’s males. Where the boys had to make do, the girls were treated like the angels, Ma knew them to be. Where Ma could endure her boys suffering any indignity, minus Jake of course, the girls she demanded be treated with the proper respect. The girls took the whole unfolding scene in with wide eyes.

Jake was standing in the middle of the dining room. All three tables were now staring directly at him. Rick just hoped to god that Jake didn’t start talking. He tried to will him to sit down with his mind. Jake took a big mouthful of his greasy biscuit and began to address them. “Now I know everyone is bummed the power is out. Trust me no one hates that more than me. But Ma is doing everything she can to take care of us, so we have to hold tight.” He took another huge mouthful of food. “Now I know when Mom’s gone things can get out of hand–”

Rick lost focus of what Jake was saying, when a shadow passed over the window. His heart rolled in his chest. Was he going crazy or what? A little monkey hand flopped against the window. No one heard it and the rumble of Jake’s voice still filled Rick’s head, even though he couldn’t make out the words. Then the monkey hand was pulling the window up.

Rick tried to speak up, slowly raising his hand. “Not now Rick,” Jake said. “Just let me finish my point.”

Rick wanted so bad to speak, but then another monkey paw was up on the sill and then Sun’s smiling face stared into the room. Rick wanted to scream out, warn them all about Sun’s presence, but then he disappeared, leaving an open window. No one else had noticed him.

“Now guys,” Jake said, “I think we can have a great day as long as you all give me the respect I deserve–” With the last word a half eaten banana exploded on the side of Jake’s face. “Mesa!” Jake yelled.

“I didn’t do it,” Mesa yelled back, before a soggy biscuit blasted him in the nose.

Mesa without another word picked up his whole plate and whipped it hard at Jake’s head. Jakes was just able to duck and the full plate of food went smashing into the wall. It’s contents rained down on everybody. The room exploded into chaos and screams. Brown gravy and eggs flew through the air, while smiling little faces darted for cover.

Rick kept his eyes on the window, but there was no sign of Sun. A handful of eggs hit him in the face and his vision blurred. He dropped to the ground and began to crawl his way across the floor. Mesa’s leg came out of nowhere and whacked him in the side. Rick rolled with the impact and kept crawling towards the door out of the house.

Rick rubbed the slime from his eye and watched as Mesa held Jake in a headlock and ordered him to “calm down.” Toro and twins came crashing into the two older boys and then all of them collapsed into a rolling mess on the floor.

Marilyn, now standing on a chair above the fray took a glass of water and poured it on the group. “Stop you animals,” she screamed. “Ma’s going to kill you!”

Rick snuck out the side door and erupted in laughter. Sun watched it all from a tree, cackling himself.

“Look at em go boy!” Sun yelled.

Danus came bursting out of the house, a mess of eggs chasing him out. Rick ran down the stairs, scared for his new friend.

Danus saw the monkey right away and marched right past him and over to the tree. “Oh my god Rick, did this monkey start all that? I thought the banana came from Toro, but I wasn’t sure.”

Sun checked Danus for second and then looked right at Rick. It was the weirdest thing, but Sun’s whole face seemed to taunt Rick, as if it said, “Should I talk to him? Should I? Should I?” Rick tried to counter plead with his own face, begging Sun to keep quiet and go away.

Sun smiled at him for a moment, then let out a robust screech of laughter and yelled, “try to keep up egg heads!” Then he darted down the tree and into the bush. Both boys took off after the Monkey without another word.

Little Moses stumbled out the side door next, wiping the eggs from his glasses. A small tear ran down his cheek. He was just able to see Danus‘ back as he disappeared into the jungle. With a complete refusal to reenter Ma’s dining room, Moses followed after the other two boys…

Until next time ponder these questions…

Where and why is Sun leading them into the jungle? What happened after Eve named the Monkey? Will order ever be restored to Ma’s house? What will she say when she discover the mess? Will Mesa and Toro escape into the night? Will Jake ever recover his position? Stay tuned for the next link in the chain!

Shock Photo! Mark Twain Goes Shirtless!!!

A news way to see one of my favorites!!!!!! 🙂

Dysfunctional Literacy

(image via wikimedia) (image via wikimedia)

Who knew that Mark Twain took a photograph while shirtless?    I mean, Mark Twain is known for many things, such as writing classic literature like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and The Prince and the Pauper.  He was a satirist.  He came up with a lot of great quotes.  He hung out with Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, and there’s even early film footage of Mark Twain with his daughter.

But I just found out there’s a picture of Mark Twain shirtless.  How have I lived almost 50 years without knowing that Mark Twain went shirtless?  How can people NOT know about a shirtless Mark Twain?

I didn’t know that people back in the late 1800s ever went shirtless.  I thought people back then were fully clothed at all times.  Whenever I see a photo from the 1800s, I…

View original post 707 more words

Flash Fiction Chain #5

So excited for this!

PhoTrablogger

Flash fiction Chain #5 Flash fiction Chain #5

We have amazing writers who can do wonders with mystery  and fantasy. And are very brilliant to play around with many characters. So I thought of making it a bit challenging by giving a theme this time.

Why don’t you try a story for kids this time, with 1 character, or maybe 2 or 3 characters?

This is the theme for this year’s second Flash fiction Chain


View original post 561 more words

Joe’s Top Ten Books of 2014

Great suggested reading list!

BookPeople

photo (69)

~post by Joe T., BookPeople Assistant Buyer

I’m finally putting together my top 10 list for 2014. It was a difficult task as I limit myself only to books I actually finished, thus leaving out a considerable number of works that are fully deserving of mention but are sadly left out due to getting sidetracked and never quite completing them (William Gibson’s The Peripheral and Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, I’m looking at you).

So, with that caveat and with no further fanfare, here are Joe Johnston Turner’s TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2014

1) Area X (The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer 

Without a doubt, Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy was the book of the year. Published as three novels and released over nine months, it is truly meant to be read as one large novel. With shifting points of view and perspectives, Vandermeer’s style and technique keeps you as undermined and…

View original post 935 more words

Snippets #15

Peter Taylor, The Art of Fiction No. 99 From Paris Review

Taylor- Yes. I feel justified in doing that because if you have any profound thoughts or views they will emerge from within the story inevitably. I still believe that. I tell young writers not to worry about writing a profound story because, as James said, a profound mind will produce a profound story and a superficial mind will produce a superficial story. Remember Tolstoy’s saying that Chekhov was so given to truth that he could not possibly have presented anything but the truth. And he said—Tolstoy said—that it’s very much the way it was when he was learning to ride a bicycle. He was learning in a huge gymnasium, and there was one lady, standing in the middle, walking around there, and he kept saying to himself, whatever I do I must not run into that woman. And he circled around her—he could hardly ride the bicycle—and ran her down. That’s the way Chekhov is with the truth, whatever he tries to do . . .

The Shadows On the Wall Part 7 (Flash Fiction Chain)

Today’s post is my part in a Flash Fiction chain started by PhoTrablogger, which I am super stoked about. You can go there to get the scoope on this whole party, but I will also include the link to all the previous writers in the chain here:

Part 1: Sweety

Part 2:  Travelling Hat      

Part 3:Saya

Part 4: Moses

Part 5: Sona

Part 6: Manvi

But here’s what you need to know. Here’s the provided Photo Prompt:

img_9989-fileminimizer

Here are the Characters:

Maggy-19 year old Granddaughter of the Owner of the House

Robert-House Cook

Steve-House Caretaker

Grandpa- Owner of the House (Who Is Missing)

***New Character*** Frank Somerset

Context: Maggy has arrived at her Grandfather’s house to investigate his prolonged absence. After some frightening developments, Maggy discovers there is a dungeon below the house. Maggy was just about to explore this subterranean lair when she was attacked from behind! Without further ado Part 7 The Shadows on the Wall…

A warm burn at the base of her neck woke her up. She rubbed at it for a moment before she realized she was laid out on a hard bench. She felt the cold, damp wood with her hand and all the confusion of the last day or so came flooding back. She was in a very dark room and could see nothing but a stale yellow light that came through under the bench in front of her. Terror kept her face down, but she could hear a shuffling taking place across the room.

“This is sick man,” Robert’s voice echoed off the cavernous basement. “I didn’t agree to this.”

“Shut up,” Steve ordered. His voice was deeper, fuller and healthier than it had been earlier. It was the voice she had often heard as a child, ordering her back on to the sidewalk out of the flowers. “You don’t want Frank to have to hit her again, do you?”

“He does it again, I’ll kill him,” Rob barked.

“Shh-” Steve said. “Calm down boy, Frank took no pleasure in assaulting the Misses either. She got the jump on us, all right? The ceremony was not prepared–”

“Damn your ceremony.” Rob fired back.

She had to bit her hand from screaming. She couldn’t believe Rob was even having this conversation. “Listen boy,” Steve said, “a deal’s a deal. You’ve been paid, right?” She could taste her own blood, as she bit down at this. “Now help us with this final part and it’ll all be over, okay? Now reach down there and grab the man’s leg and slip it into the metal slot there.”

There was the sound of more grunting as the two men wrestled with their work on the other side of the room. Warm tears were now spilling down the side of Maggy’s cheek, as she tried with all her might to suppress a scream. “There. Great.” Steve said. “You look wonderful Sir. Never better, I think.”

“I am going to be sick,” Rob said. “Ah enough of that now,” Steve said. “After everything outside can’t be much left in you anyway. Now here just help me with these last two straps.”

“No way,” Steve said. “I am not touching him anymore.”

“You ingrate,” Steve said. “This is your benefactor, the honorable Sir William Somerset, who is responsible for every little favor and nicety of your pathetic existence, Robert Brittle. So please in final execution of your duties to the Sire, place his wrist into that strap. Please before Frank gets back–” There was massive explosion as the door to the dungeon was slammed shut. It was followed by the slow shuffle of feet.

The shuffle was terrifying. Frank must have walked with a limp because every step was a loud slam as he tossed his healthy leg forward and then a rough slide as he pulled the other one along. She listened to this sick cycle as it flopped down the stairs. The sound of it on the hard rock of the basement was too much for her.

She exploded up off the bench with a belly ripping scream. It was kicked right out of her by the sight now before her. There was her Grandpa. He was in a classic black and white tuxedo and stood arms outstretched as if he was about to embrace his special sweetie. The mortician must have been a Master because her Grandpa now looked ten years younger, waistline gone and a full head of hair, just like Maggy liked to remember him.

There were signs though, signs that in her heightened fear stood out. The eyelids closed shut with jeweled clips, the tips of his hands patched with grey, which peeked through the smeared makeup on his hands, a loose lifeless hang in his posture, an unsightly bulge in his throat, all told her that Grandpa was definitely dead.

Worse still, in some sort of sick mockery, there on top of her Grandpa’s head was a giant purple and turquoise, diamond encrusted fish head. His hands were stretched over a black base of granite, that had a basin of water at the top. The whole scene was garishly backlit by candles and a single house light, which caste a web of sparkles in the water.

Steve and Ron stood on either side of her Grandfather. Steve looked proud and Rob looked embarrassed. Terror sent another rumble up her throat, but then Frank came through the door. Her mind folded in on her. There was her Grandpa again, but like he had been when she had last seen him alive, bald, hunched over, pudgy around middle, but now he walked with a pronounced limp. He was in a tuxedo too and he looked right at her and smiled.

Steve bursted into announcement. “All hail the honorable Lord and Servant of That which Defies Nomination and Explanation, Brother of our honoree tonight, Sir William Somerset, and Great Uncle to the Holy Transcendent (that’s you Maggy), Frank Somerset!”

“Ah good she’s awake,” Frank growled. “Has she agreed to the ritual?”

“No Sir,” Steve said. “I was just about to inform her of the duties.” ……

What sort of wicked spider web has our Maggy fallen into? What is this Mysterious Ritual the gang has planned for her? Who is this wretched man, that claims to be her Uncle? And most importantly, how will she escape and can she survive the shadows on the wall!?!?

Flash Fiction Chain #4

Really like this idea!

PhoTrablogger

Flash fiction #4 Flash fiction #4

What do you think of this building??

This is the theme for this year’s first Flash fiction Chain

This chains runs for 10 days. There will be 2 events per month. Too much of everything isn’t good. Right?

On 1st,  and 21st. Hope this is ok with you all.

Ideally each author will get a complete day to write their story.

Anyway You have a NewYear Surprise

click to open your surprise

Finished Flash Fiction chain #3 can be found here.

People across the globe with totally different time zones participated in the previous chain. Really enjoyed the plot twists from fantasy to mystery to science fiction,  and then to reality.Looking forward for more fun in this new one.

Order of the Chain

We have 11 people this time. Lets not make each story too long and with too many characters, to avoid too many confusions.

Like always, you still have all your creative freedoms though…

View original post 267 more words