It’s been a crazy week. I’m in the final days of directing a one-act play. I’m utterly exhausted, but I’m proud of the end result. My cast did a fantastic job creeping people out in their roles as robots and porn-film-makers and art collectors. The audience loved what we did last night, and I’m hoping for a similar reaction tonight.
On the writing side of things, I’m well into my second novel, which I’m writing without any previous plotting. Working this way has taken some time to get accustomed to. I’m used to writing out a timeline at the very least, or a scene-by-scene breakdown at the most, before sitting down to write any piece of the actual manuscript. Writing without a plotline in mind is both freeing and restrictive. I’m able to change things as I go, allowing myself total creative freedom, but at the same time, things get easily muddled, and I spend a lot of time writing pointless scenes just to figure out what’s going on.
I think next time I sit down to write something of this volume, I’ll try to mesh the two methods together, doing some light plotting/worldbuilding before getting into the crazy creative process that is writing a novel.
Maybe I’ll post a snippet here soon, if I can find one that I’m sufficiently happy with.
High school is wearing on me, and I find myself glad more and more often that it’s almost over. There are things I’ll miss, but stress is definitely not one of them. I’ll hear back from my first choice colleges in late march, so keep your fingers crossed for me, and for any other seniors you know.
It’s weird to think that, in just a few months, I’ll never see most of these people again. There’s not many I’ll miss, but I think I’ve met a few that are willing to stick with me, and I with them, which is a nice thought.
I’m sitting in our little black box theater as I write this, the same theater where I had my first kiss and my most recent kiss, where I had my first lead in a play, where I’ve made myself laugh and cry and scream and fall in love. So many things have changed, but they still haven’t gotten around to repairing the ratty curtains, and the room still has the same smell: a mixture of feet and linoleum and dust that is somehow perfect.
I’m rambling. I hope everyone’s had a great day or, at the very least, a decent one. Find something to smile at. Hug someone. Write a few words.
There is nothing here. The stairs are tall and steep. Cobwebs hang from the ceiling, and I fear that there is a woman living in the attic, but there is nothing here. Nothing. No time, no place, no reassurance that I am still living. No reassurance that anyone is still living. The world outside keeps turning, I am sure, but when I walk up the twelve mahogany steps to the upper floor, I am afraid of what I will find. If I will find anything.
I am afraid of the woman in the attic. I know that she is there. I know. But she had not come out for weeks and weeks, and am afraid that she is dead. I am afraid that I am sick. It was just a cold. I swear to god it was just a cold.
When momma died it was just a cold. Jimmy, too. But no, that was something worse. They smiled. They’re still smilin’. I know they’re still sitting outside, right where I left them seven months ago. Jimmy’ll be on the porch, wearing his straw hat and waiting for me to come get him the lemonade I promised. Momma’s probably out by the duck pond. We have a duck pond, did you know?
It’s beautiful in the summer. Though I don’t know if the ducks are gone, too, now. Maybe they’re all dead.
I wish that they had had time to finish the kitchen before they all left. The plumber never finished the toilet. The old lady in the attic must be upset.
These stairs are too tall. They are the only thing that is finished. I feel sick.
It is just a cold.
Just a cold.
I want to sing it to myself. It sounds like a song. Just a cold just a cold.
My arms are stiff. It is hard to move. I find that funny. I find that so funny.
I have not brushed my hair in weeks and that is the funniest thing of all.
Momma laughed a lot, at the end. She’s still smilin’ now.
I wonder what Jimmy was thinkin’ when he stopped talking. His joints were all stiff, like a little puppet boy.
Little puppet boy.
I wonder if I’ll grow a long nose.
I step up one step. Just one. I have eleven more before the attic.
I won’t go there.
Two step, three step, four. I sing to myself as I hop up them like a bird. My legs are getting stiff too.
Just a cold.
Just a cold.
All the way to the top step. That was fast. I laugh. I laugh lots and lots and lots. I am alone in the house.
Except for the woman in the attic.
I go over and pull on the string with the small metal hoop. It’s like a hula hoop. Jimmy and I used to hula hoop. Ours was green though and this one is only small and metal.
I think I was gonna get married today. A long time ago, I was gonna be married today. I was gonna wear a big white dress. All poofy, like Mary Sue’s.
I can’t seem to stop smiling. I wonder why. All poofy.
The ladder to the attic lands with a thunk. It’s so loud. I laugh some more.
I won’t climb the ladder, of course. The woman in the attic scares me. Just the first rung. That seems fun.
I wonder if Jimmy cared that I never brought him his lemonade.
Oh, look. I am on the top rung now. The attic is all around my head. How funny.
The woman is here, just like I thought.
She’s sitting in her rocker chair, and it isn’t rocking, but she’s grinning at me all the same.
I want to say hello, maybe drop curtsy. I notice that her skin is flaking a bit at the edges of her eyes. Her dress is all full of holes, and I wonder why no one has ever offered to patch it. She’s not so bad. Maybe we can be best friends. I cannot say hello, because my face is all stiff too, now.
Momma, momma, I was gonna be married.
We are alone in this house. I go stand by the woman in the attic. Her eyes are yellow and have holes in them, and she isn’t staring at me anymore because I have moved so that she is not looking at me.
Can I stay up here with you? I want to ask. But I can’t because I can’t stop smiling and my face is all stiff. I stand behind the woman in the attic. I stand straight and tall because that’s what I want to do, and that’s what Mrs. Brown always told me to do. Stand up straight.
I wish I had a hula hoop. I put my hand on my heart like I’m saying the pledge of allegiance. I said that pledge every day while I was in school.
I can’t feel my heartbeat.
I’ve put up my first story excerpt. Scary stuff.
I’m going to be posting all of my writing as pages, rather than blog posts, so that they’re easily accessible (in the side bar).
This first excerpt (In the Beginning) comes from a collection of short stories that re-tell a few Biblical tales from a more feminist, progressive viewpoint.
Let me know what you think!
I’m a writer. Still in high school, more than ready for college, trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life and why we’re here on this tiny little planet in the middle of nowhere in an infinitely expanding galaxy. But, for now, you can call me Syd.
I’ve created this blog with a threefold purpose: to talk about my experiences with writing, to give me an outlet for my existential crises, and to maybe even share some of my work. I’ve been hesitant about this last one for too long. Recently, I went to talk with two local publishers, and they told me that I need to be putting myself out there more as a writer. I need to see if people think my stuff’s any good.
I write a little bit of everything. I’m not very religious, but I re-wrote a couple Bible stories with the hope of spreading more feminist/progressive stories into different areas of our culture. Last year I wrote a novel about two dimension-traveling college students who have to run from shadow monsters that live in the void between dimensions. This semester, I’m working on another novel about…well, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about yet. Suffice to say, it revolves around a girl, Marley, who’s from Earth, and a boy, Angelo, who’s from a realm up in the sky, called the Aesir. It’s pretty crazy right now, but I’m happy with where it’s going. I’ve also been known to dabble in some poetry, and I’ve written a few ten-minute plays (the most recent starring a Christmas Tree and an Oak Tree. I made a girl cry with that one.)
I read a lot of Stephen King, and my favorite book is Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Other favorites include The Circle, Outlander, Good Omens, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Harry Potter, Oryx and Crake. Sci-fi, fantasy, fiction, magical realism – I’ll read anything. I also love food. A little bit of that might seep into this blog too.
So, here I am.
Nice to meet you. Hopefully I’ll be back soon.