Light Breaks

The light floating in
From the open window
In the old, dark basement
Plays with your features
Light and shadow morphing your face
Perfect in my memory
Broken in the light

The light from the open back door
Blocks out the hunger in his face
As if I’d seen it, I’d have known
That he was stealing
My hard-earned innocence
One greedy grasp at a time

Trigger warnings
Movie monsters and men in black
The dark and the broken
Play hide and seek in my head

Coloured light breaks through coloured glass
A reminder of my place in the world
Dust flies through the beams
On my way to the ceiling
Flat on my back

Come and get me

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Writing Prompt #4

Prompt: The orchestra on the Titanic famously kept playing as the ship went down. Describe the sinking of the Titanic from the point of view of the musicians playing in the ballroom – from their interactions to the sights, sounds, and sensations they experience as the ship sinks.

Continue reading “Writing Prompt #4”

Submissions and Contests

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Today, I thought that I would share with you a few places that I’m planning on submitting. I figure some of you may be interested in this, and others may want to submit to these calls and contests as well. If you don’t already know about the website [places for writers], I definitely suggest you check it out. It is a website that posts open calls for submissions and contests. They’ve pointed me to the most obscure projects, but also helped me get published for the first time.

The Fiddlehead

Deadline: December 1st

Details: A Canadian Poetry (<100 lines) and Short Fiction (< 6,000 words) Contest. Top prize is $2,000 and publication. Must be snail mailed. $30 entry fee for Canadians. Includes one-year subscription. Open to international entries.

Monstrous Project

Deadline: December 1st

Details: Submit a 1 paragraph pitch for art (prose, poetry, comics, drawings, etc.) on body issues. For an upcoming, fledgling project on body image. May be included in online format or published in a book.

The Amanda Davis Award

Deadline: December 15th

Details: For female writers under 32 years old who is working on a short story collection or novel but needs funding to continue. $2,500 top prize. Need to submit writing between 5,000 to 40,000 words and a short statement about your financial situation. $20 entry fee.

PRISM Short Fiction Contest

Deadline: January 25th, 2013

Details: Canadian Short Fiction (< 6,000) contest with a top prize of $2,000. $35 entry fee for Canadian entrants. Includes one-year subscription. Open to international submissions.

filling Station

Deadline: February 15th, 2013

Details: A call for “Experimental Writing” by women. Up to 10 pages for fiction.

 

The Importance of Encouragement

Get ready. I’m going personal for a second. I had this as private for months, but I want to share it now.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. For a long time, this dream was dashed because of two people. One is my first psychiatrist. He told me I’d never make anything out of myself and at first I believed him. He stopped me briefly, but only briefly.

The person who was first to really shatter me was my teacher in grade 7/8. I would have been 12 or 13. Grade school was not good to me. I had no friends, I was tormented by the kids because I was hovering close to 6 foot by then, and I held a lot of “Catholic guilt” being at a religious school. The worst part was that the adults were equally cruel to me. I don’t know what I ever did to any of them, and it’s stupid that the question still comes to my mind. I was a child, they were adults, nothing I could have done would have made me deserve any of it. It happened anyway.

I’m not going into the specifics about how each adult wronged me, how the priest made me hate religion, or how no one was ever reproached for the well known poor treatment. No. I’m just going to talk about Mr. D, and how for years afterwards, I never wrote a word.

It was a tiny thing, but I was already so fragile. I was staying inside for recess because I had no friends outside. This was a huge thing and I don’t remember how I managed to stay inside. Nearly every day, I was forced outside to the reminders of how worthless I was there. I was writing a story (one I remember as, but probably wasn’t, really great). It was very LOTR-esque, and I remember it had “chaos” in the title. I can’t stress enough how excited I was about this. I gave it to Mr. D to read, tell me what he thought. (I guess it’s important to mention here that despite everything, I was a really big fan of Mr. D.)

He handed it back to me after merely glancing at the first page, said to me, “the title is spelled wrong”, and refused to read it further. It was such a tiny thing but I remember being utterly crushed.

I didn’t write again until high school, when it was like I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and never showed a soul. At one point, I let my friend Allison read something. She loved it so much I continued.

I needed a lifeline more than anything at that grade school. It was a miracle I made it out alive, though more broken than when I went in. I don’t have one good memory there. I wish it would get torn down. I’m sure Mr. D is still there, or somewhere, tearing up dreams without even realising it.

I would go to my old hometown just to watch the place crumble. I’d gleefully spit on its ashes, dance in the rubble. I’ve never hated a place before, or even a person for that matter, but I will happily hate that place for the rest of my life.

Writing Prompt #2

Happy Hallowe’en, everybody! I hope you night was sufficiently ghoulish.

I’m trying something new today. I bought a book the other day that is filled with writing prompts. So, on days when I don’t have anything to share, I will do a writing prompt from the book! To make things interesting, I might even do some prompts from the comments.

Prompt: Put your iPod on random shuffle, write down the lyric of the first song that comes on, and use it as an opening line. Here we go!

“Hush, just stop.” Amanda’s mother said. “There’s nothing you can do or say.”

“I loved him, Mom!” Amanda cried into her mother’s shoulder. “He told me he loved me, too.” Her mother smoothed her hair and dried her tears.

“I know, sweetheart,” she began, “but it doesn’t always work out.”

“And now he’s with Trisha! Trisha of all people.”

Amanda’s mother stifled a smile. She remembered teenage heartbreak. She remembered how intense and painful and how ultimately fleeting it was. She couldn’t say this to her daughter, though, of course. This was a lesson she would have to learn in her own time.

“Trisha was my friend,” Amanda continued. “We went to the Spring Fling on double dates. How could she do this to me?!” She began to cry again.

“I know you feel betrayed,” said her mother, “but Trisha liked Michael, too. You told me yourself when you first started dating… last month.” She tried to keep the sarcasm out of the added ‘last month’. It seemed like Amanda was getting her heart broken every other week.

“You would stick up for Trisha! You always liked her better than me!”

Amanda’s mother was startled by this escalation. “Well, that escalated quickly.” She was trying to make Amanda laugh but it did not work. “Of course I don’t like Trisha better than you. You’re my daughter. But you and Trisha have been friends for years; it’s not uncommon that you would like the same boy. Did you think of how Trisha felt when Micheal chose you?”

Amanda brushed the comment off, “she said she was cool with it.”

“And what did you say when Trisha told you she was dating Micheal?”

“That I was cool with it and I was over him.”

“Do you see my point?” Amanda’s mother asked.

With a deep sigh, Amanda answered, “yes.”

“Now come give me a hug and go finish your homework,” Amanda’s mother said with outstretched arms.

Amanda got up off her knees, gave her mother a hug, and went into her room. Loud music began to emanate from the room, indicating that Amanda was going to be just fine.

What do you think? Would you have gone another way with the same first line? Do you have a prompt you’d like me to do? Leave it in the comments! Thanks for reading!