topic: author

Short Stories #1: Guess who died?

A/N: First original content post. Enjoy. A bit sad.

I sat on my couch, rummaging through my Facebook feed - mindlessly, while sipping on some apple juice, because coffee never held my taste. I was halfway through the bottomless pit of useless posts, when something caught my eye. It was a co-worker, from three jobs ago - they had posted about an older actor, the words “Rest In Peace” next to their name had made my heart drop.

Ever since I could remember, my siblings and I had this morbid obsession with being the first ones to tell our Dad about certain celebrity deaths. Who ever got to him first would walk up to his spot on the couch, while he watched Judge Judy, and tap his shoulder and say, “Guess who died?”

When we’d tell him who, he’d responded with a “Oh, man”, especially if it was someone he had admired or liked. Thinking about it now, it was sorta odd, the pride we felt when we were the one to tell him the news. 

Who was going to be the one to break the news to Dad?

I remember when Michael Jackson died, I was up North, a few hours away from my family, when I heard the news over the radio. Immediately, I phoned my Dad and he was shocked and I was happy. Happy to be the one to deliver the news, even years after, he’d bring it up and say how he didn’t know until I called him.

So as I googled the actor’s name to confirm his death, a familiar number popped onto my screen. I smile weakly and answered, it was my sister.

“Hey, did you hear about..”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard. So are we going today?”

“Yeah,” she confirmed quietly. “I’m bringing Abel, he got the day off.”

“Okay, I’ll see you guys there.”

Four hours later, my sister, brother, and I stood outside in the cold. Being the oldest, I stood in the middle and kneeled down beside the gravestone - it was always clean, we made sure of it. 

Always with fresh flowers too.

“I came the other day,” Abel said. “The rain left some spots, so I cleaned it up.”

“It looks good,” my sister smiled and wrapped a hand around his waist. I looked over my shoulder to my little sister and brother and smiled, before looking down at our father’s tombstone - it had been two years.

“Hey, dad, guess who died.”

Real writing tip that is actually really really important: SAVE BACKUPS of your work!!! Email yourself the file every few weeks or so!!!!! I had five book drafts and a completed manuscript and a query letter and now my computer is completely dead! Thankfully though, I had emailed myself the files just a week before it happened! Backups are IMPORTANT!!!!

Marilyn French (1929-2009) was a radical feminist author. She wrote numerous books on feminist issues, both fiction and non-fiction.

Her best-known novel, The Women’s Room, was published in 1977, and follows the lives of several women during the American feminist movement in the 60s. Other non-fiction works include Beyond Power: On Women, Men and Morals, and From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women.

Author definitely has trust issues, and it takes a while for him to truly become attached to anyone. Once he does though, he shelters them extremely, possibly excessively. It’s one of his major flaws as both his temper and lack of trust combine to make him extremely overbearing. He won’t be soft or gentle either, as his anger often takes control and he’ll just become overly possessive, and even come off as though he feels entitled to the person he is now “protecting”. He’s dangerous, and we really can’t forget that.

So I have a little favor to ask.

As I’ve mentioned a time or two in the past, I am working on a story that I’m hoping to get published. Part of the submission process is writing letters to publishers, getting yourself noticed, and kind of showing off that people actually like to read what I write 😂 so I started a Twitter account using my pen name.

This is where the favor comes in! If you use Twitter, it would mean the world to me if you could follow me. I’d love to be able to show potential publishers that people enjoy what I have to offer {and I’m not quite ready to share my Painfully Thick™ blog! lol!}. I’ll mostly be tweeting writing updates and some behind-the-scenes info about running this blog - like perhaps when a new chapter of Blind Side is coming?! :)

Thank y’all so much in advance! 💖💖💖

A few weeks ago, something really cool happened! Penguin Books sent me one of their latest writing books, Light the Dark, telling me they liked my blog! Penguin Books is one of the largest publishing houses in the U.S. Way cool, right?

Light the Dark has 46 of the most acclaimed authors in the industry answer the question, “What inspires you?” by beginning with a passage from literature that had a profound impact on them. I’d like to participate in the concept by answering that question myself and asking you to participate in the same way. You don’t have to post your answer online if you don’t want to, but how cool would it be to flood the online world with this?

While you can all probably guess that I would point to Harry Potter for mine, and while that did have a big impact on shaping my relationship with literature and my career, I’m sure you are all tired of me talking about Harry Potter. So I’ve picked something different:

“Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

I encountered this poem in my creative writing poetry class in college. It comes across as more of a lighthearted, joyful poem. And while I don’t know that it was necessarily a life-changing piece, I felt an immediate bond with it, because it captures exactly how I’ve often felt with storytelling. The idea being that, it’s something I love so much, that I wish I could ingest it–live off it. Reading or watching a story isn’t enough for me. I need to chew on it, swallow it, digest it, have it give nourishment to my brain, my heart, the marrow in my bones. And on difficult or monotonous days, the promise of a good story waiting for me once I’ve finished my responsibilities, has sometimes helped sustain me.

It’s really the first stanza that speaks to me most:

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry. Reading, watching, and writing–especially writing–stories has given me a happiness like none else. On a good writing day, I could sing. The sky could fall down on me, and I’d still be happy. There is no happiness like mine. All I want to do is eat stories.

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Hi ! It’s Book-I-liked-when-I-was-young Time !

This week it is about “A good little devil” (“Un bon petit diable” in French), from the author Pierre Gripari. 

Now, I am French, and Pierre Gripari was/is a very popular and successful children writer in France, which is probably why a lot of his work was available at the local library and why I was able to read (I should say devour) most of his children books, for I was a huge fan. 

I remember little-me eagerly waiting to go back to the library, arms full of books to be returned, then snooping in the shelves, looking for another of his book I hadn’t miraculously found yet.  

His stories were always somewhat weird, and definitely really hard to predict. Some of them were funny, others were quite sad, other were absurd (I love absurdism. Special mention to his book “Je-ne-sais-qui, Je-ne-sais-quoi, ou la femme de bon conseil”, unfortunately I’m not sure an english version exists :/) - or just.. weird. But no matter waht would be the story, it would never miss to make me dream and travel. And they definitely influenced me, both in my view of the world and in my writting style. 

I’m pretty sure “A good little devil” was one of the first book I read from Gripari. That must explain why I’ve kept a really vivid memory of it. His children books were mainly short stories, so you would often have several other stories in the same book.

 [SPOILER ALERT] It’s hard to not completely spoil the whole story, but in short, it’s about a little devil who doesn’t like to be evil, and he can’t find his place were his devil parents lived, so he left to try and find a place were he could be happier - heaven, for example. When he goes there, he must pass several tests; one of them includes playing with numbers (sort of). Happens I really really like figures and numbers (talk about a nerd..), so this specific part of the story definitely resonated in me, when he have to think “differently” about a specific number, then he redraw the number in a slightly different way, and then the number came to life, popped out the paper sheet, and walked away. Sight. Simply thinking of it makes my day.[END SPOILER ALERT]

So, if you’re got young children/nephews/nieces/peeps who likes to read, from 8 to 12/13 years old, I would definitely recommend to give it a go; not sure the english versions are easily accessible though, will try and find another author (hopefully more widely known and translated) for next time :)

Byebye and see you next week!

PS: English is not my first language, feel free to point out mistakes I wrote!

Author needs to feel depended on in a relationship. He’s extremely controlling, which hasn’t worked out for most of his relationships in the past, and by feeling that his s/o is dependent on him he can satisfy his need to manipulate all situations. While vey possessive, he’s a definite protector for what’s his and will watch out for his s/o’s wellbeing, although he will turn a blind eye to any complaints made on his controlling character and might often become consumed in his work and simply forget or not care about anything else for periods of time.