Writing Prompt #2

Today’s writing prompt is:

He couldn’t believe that she’d slapped him.

My Response to Last Week’s Writing Prompt:

At first, I was going to try my hand at some non-fiction, but then lines of a poem kept coming to my brain, so I cheerfully gave in. It’s been too long since I’ve really delved into this side of my craft.

I Can’t Stand Tinsel This Year

Christmas trees make the scent
of pine fill my nose, tingling and fresh,
though I don’t recall ever having
the experience of a living
tree shedding its needles on the carpet.
Instead, it’s tradition for me
to pull a plastic tree from a cardboard
box and make it alive by the
love its given as we beautify it.

From simply naked to glamorously full,
all Christmas trees are special.
Mine’s only three foot tall, maybe five
since I set it on a wrapped box.
It has two strands of lights and plenty ornaments,
but it doesn’t have any tinsel.

My love helped me make
cardboard garland that I hung
on the bookshelf, but I cry
whenever I see tinsel in the stores.
When I run my fingers over the
shiny, swimy stuff, I see Grandpa’s face
and hear him laugh as we decorated
what became his last earthly Christmas tree.
Those kind blue eyes supervised
our decorating as he rested in his recliner.

We didn’t realize how sick he was.
We didn’t know to savor the few months to come.
I just want to hold his hand and make him smile.

Experimenting

It seems that most writers pick a particular outlet–fiction, poetry, non-fiction, script writing–and stick with it like a jealous lover. And that’s easy to do once you’ve found what you love and/or are good at writing. But, I think it’s a good exploration to experiment with writing that you haven’t tried before.

I’ve spent most of my writing career flip flopping between being a poet and a fiction writer. This year, I discovered that I don’t have to be mainly one or the other; I can embrace my love for both. It’s more fun that way anyways.

I’ve only dabbled in creative non-fiction a little, and I regret never having taken that class while in college but I will try to experiment with it some more this coming year. And I have discovered that I love non-fiction in the blogging world, so why not in the creative realm?┬áPlay or screen writing is something that I’ve never really tackled, but I think I’ll make that another writing goal for next year.

What are your 2014 writing goals? The new year is fast approaching.

My Current Projects

Today, I’m going to talk some about my current creative writing projects. I know this week seems rather “me” oriented, but I promise it isn’t on purpose. I think it’s partly the write what you know theory kicked into high drive and partly the need to babble after having been gone for so long.

As I’ve already mentioned (several times), I attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. And, as I explained before, I have yet to finish this novel.

Because I had become so overwhelmed by it, I decided to take a break for a while. But I haven’t stopped writing.

I decided to take an idea from one of the guest writers who visited Western while I was studying there. He told us that he wrote short stories during lulls of his ┬ánovel writing. This actually wound up birthing both a novel and a book of short stories. I’ve decided to try doing this in order to keep the little creative hamster in my head running on his wheel.

So, I started a short story yesterday that I’m going to try to finish by the end of December.

It’ll be easier said than done though, due in large part to the fact that this story is going to require some research. Also, I’m going to be hosting Christmas Eve lunch at my apartment this year, so I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time preparing for that. Anyways, I’m going to try to write the story of Jesus’ birth from Mary’s perspective. I’m really excited about this, but I’m neither a Biblical or historical expert, hence the research.

The novel that I’m currently working on isn’t something that most people who know me well would be able to picture me writing.

My main character, Lari, is a serial killer who keeps body parts from her victims as souvenirs, of a sort. But her sickeningly fascinating collection isn’t the focus of the story. She meets a young woman, Susan, who has the most amazing eyes that Lari has ever seen and she, of course, wants them for herself. But, Lari makes a fatal mistake–she allows Susan to become an important part of her life and the quickly become best friends.

The central conflict of the novel is Lari’s struggle between wanting to possess Susan’s eyes and wanting to protect her best and only friend.

I’ve really enjoyed creating this world and the characters in it, but I was so intensely in their heads that I wasn’t entirely present in my own. Honestly, talking about them makes me want to return to their story right now, but I need to get ready to leave for work soon.