Sunday, May 24, 2009

Think Coraline's "Other Mother's" hand...

I've woken up laughing and woken up feeling like I'd been crying, but until last night, I'd never woken up screaming.

I had gone to sleep in the usual way. Finished Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman (Oh, I am loving her) and settled down to sleep. Now Mike, who snores like a beast and likes to sleep to the TV, often sleeps in the basement on our couch, especially now that it's hotter and he's sick-- so I had the bed to myself, which I can't say I mind.

Anyway. Last night, I rolled over, while still asleep and my eyelids fluttered, and I saw an impossible spider the size of my hand, (leg thickness like the fingers and just as long), something I'm fairly certain doesn't exist in this hemisphere, but my brain said Yikes!, and I jumped backwards out of bed, screaming and shaking, terrified it'd somehow gotten into my clothes or hair. I stripped my bed, looked under and behind my bed -- and nothing. I tried to return to bed, but couldn't bring myself to actually get beneath the covers and close my eyes.

I ended up joining Mike on the couch -- thank goodness it's one of those huge sectionals, so we each had our own couch basically. I KNEW the thing couldn't have been there. But even now, in daylight, I find myself waiting for it to scuttle by, a skeleton hand of a spider, and I imagine myself crushing it, listening to its exoskeleton's crunching bones.

I just can't shake it. And I keep thinking, Dang it, I wasn't asleep when I saw it! How else did I get out of bed screaming? Unless in that very first movement and the beginning of that scream I was still asleep.

The whole thing has sufficiently creeped me out. There is a very good chance that I'll be joining Mike on the couch tonight, snoring, T.V., sickness and all.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

What she had come to think of as her secret on those rare occasions she surfaced in the fog, she realized was no secret at all. Everyone knew why she lay on the third floor of The Cavanaugh Psychiatric Hospital. And right now, “everyone” was solely comprised of an orderly or the occasional nurse poking their heads in and out, reminding her of the whack a mole games she’d loved at the fair as a child. Sometimes one would venture in, patting her arm, checking her temperature or blood pressure, doing all of the nursey-type things that nurses do. It would have been ridiculous to try to hide it here. The reason for the angry lines running down her arms, now wrapped in white bandages from wrist to elbow and the why of her journey in an ambulance she’d called herself were laid bare and completely open for discussion; only there wasn’t anyone to discuss it with yet, so she gave life to the inanimate objects all around her. The bed was a mouth, yawning wide, her feet and head stretched from top teeth to bottom, holding it open; the lamp accused her whenever night turned from day, her Cyclopsed interrogator and the only signal that morning had come. There was a high window to the right, but its curtains were always closed.

That morning, when she woke from the fog thinking that her secret was no secret at all, she wondered if the lamp could be trusted; it was on now, but it could be lying. How would she know if night had given way to day with only its fluorescents to tell her? She sat up in bed, suddenly desperate to open the curtains and see the moon, the sun, anything large and outside of herself, anything outside of this green-walled room. Her head was throbbing with the slight movement of easing up on the pillows. She raised her hands to her temples and realized her left wrist was attached to the IV pole at the bed’s side. How long have I been here? While she couldn’t recall exactly how many times the lamp had been turned on, she did remember several occasions of just that. Her will to wake up, to permanently join the present had been smothered beneath the weight of her secret. She might have been in this room for days, weeks, dear God, years? The panic took a bright and fevered hold, and she willed herself out of the bed, feeling weak and on the verge of crumpling, hanging onto the IV pole and staggering across the room to the window. Once she reached it, she lay her forehead against the green cinderblock next to the curtain, thankful she’d made it. She reached for the cord hanging near her and pulled. The curtains opened, and she made ready to shade her eyes, but there was no change in the quality of light in the room. Blinking, she edged directly in front of the window and looked outside – except it wasn’t outside. There was only brick. Not the green cinderblocks of her room, but a wall of red schoolhouse brick – no moon, no sun, no stars or clouds.

She opened her mouth to scream, but the vocal chords were sore, rusted wires producing a squeaky croak, and she merely fell with a non-dramatic plop to the floor.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On Writing in Dreams

I feel a new day dawning.

I think I've got work. I'm meeting with the community college adjunct coordinator next Monday. She said she's got one or two classes for me this summer. Better than that, my alma mater, the university which I just graduated from offered me a class this fall. There are good things just around the corner.

I dreamed that I met Stephen King, and we were talking about writing. He was sitting across from me at a restaurant, and we were discussing the finer points of dialogue, description, the overuse of adverbs, and the dreaded passive voice. And I felt like the air was as full of him as his chair- he just filled the room, his presence. It was electric, and I wanted to have it, that electricity, to hold lightning in my hands.

I wanted to know what it was like to capture whole people with words.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Help me out -- what's your writing regimen?

I'm still alive, I promise!

I'm at mom's. Since graduation (woohoo!) I haven't written one fictional word of substance. It's only been a week, and I've been with mom since, so I'll not be too hard on myself. I'll try to set up a good writing regimen when I get home tomorrow night.

Help me out in setting paramaters:

1. What are some good guidelines for starting a writing regimen?

2. What sort of writing schedule do you try to keep on?

p.s. I did it! A master's in English is aaaaaaaallll mine!