Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Hat

So I said I would post something longer, and here it goes.  This is just a writing exercise that turned into a very small story (and don’t look too much into the spacing, just how it ended up after copy pasting).  Enjoy!

 

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John wandered, aimless and unconcerned, like an old dog who has lost his master.  His eyes never left the pavement; the cracks might have been of great interest to him or maybe he didn’t have the will to lift his head.  There seemed to be nothing left in the man, no reason to continue on with his life.  His chest heaved and fell with long breaths like the sigh found in the middle of a long sob.  He shuffled along the sidewalk, hands stuffed in his leather jacket, oblivious to the people who jumped to the right or left in order to dodge him.

He passed by shop after shop, never stopping to look at anything in the windows.  Sun beamed into the storefronts, illuminating the objects inside while car horns blared outside as if to announce the fine goods the stores offered.  Clothes, candy, shoes, toys, every shop had something.  People went in and out of the stores, butterflies fluttering from flower to flower in search of the perfect nectar.  The main street was alive.  It brimmed with joy, laughter, and festive talks and was filled with the aromas of freshly baked bread, brewing coffee, perfumes, and flowers.  The smells, the sounds, the sights, all of it was paradise for the shoppers keen on enjoying a pleasant summers day.

Paradise for everyone except John.

His head began to lift.  John could see the stores, could see the street that wound around the nearby ocean boardwalk, could see the skyscrapers off in the distance, could see the people jumping out of his way, and now, could see the little hat store on the end of the street.

Right before the street turned into an oceanfront boardwalk and the cars turned to go off their own way, was a hat store.  It was plain and small.  The leaking mortar from the brick walls told of its storied history, one which might have just been a story of advanced aging due to neglect.  A small bell hanging just outside the door jingled in the wind.  Hats lined the store’s windows, each one on top of a white faced mannequin that stared out onto the street with the same blank look occupying John’s face.

John stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, accruing some angry utterances from people who almost bumped into him, and stared at the hat shop.  His face danced.  Light returned to his eyes, a fire only brought on by passion or want of vengeance or deeply buried memories…or maybe all of them at once.  He pushed up his sleeves, rolling the leather well past his elbows, and marched towards the hat shop.

The bell jingled as John entered the store.  Hats of every variety stared at him, but he didn’t stare back.  The already small shop seemed even smaller as John, with chest puffed out like a young stag trying to impress a mate, stepped up to the counter.

A little man sitting behind the counter pushed up his horned glasses and swept aside a half done hat.  He spit out the pins in his mouth and said, “Welcome to the Hattery, is there…”

John interrupted him and pointed to a sign in the window, “The tricorn hat!  Do you have one?!?”

The little man picked up one of the pins he had just spit out, placed it in his mouth, and began using it like a toothpick, saying, “I think I just sold the last one to a little boy about five minutes ago.”

A jingling of bells let the shop owner know that the odd man had already exited.

John ran around the street, searching down every corner, every alley.  He raced past people, knocking their shopping bags into the air, spinning them around in a ballet style performance.  From one side of the street to the other, he searched and searched and searched.  Ending up back at the hat store, John’s eyes kept scanning the area, but his deflating chest was evidence enough of what he thought.  He was about to give up, about to turn around, stuff his hands in his pockets, and forget he ever felt anything at all when he saw something in the distance: a three cornered hat perched on the head of a little boy carrying a red balloon.

He sprinted to the boardwalk.  John couldn’t pull his gaze off the hat.  His eyes became clouded, almost milky.  Maybe there was a private screening of his past life going on somewhere in there.  Maybe he was remembering some purpose he had forgotten long ago.  His eyes only showed that a story was being told, not what the story was about.

John was ten feet away from the child when a gust of wind rushed past him and picked the hat up off the boy’s head.  It floated in the air, hovering there for an instant like a hummingbird about to sip sweet nectar, before flying towards the water.  John rushed forward, tried to grab it.  His fingers wiggled in the air, almost as if they could feel the fabric.  He was about to grab the hat, about to take it into his hands.

The wind wouldn’t let him have his prize.  It took the hat even further, pushing it dangerously close to the edge of the boardwalk and the ocean below.  John’s legs ached with every step and his hands tensed each time his fingers stretched to grab the illusive quarry.  The hat kept sailing and the wind kept mocking.  Just as John was about to grab the hat for the second time, he collided with the railing.  He tried to climb up on it, tried to get just a few inches higher, but the hat was already gone.

Having completed its cosmic joke, the wind died down.  The hat swayed from side to side, plummeting to the ocean like a red leaf in the fall.  It touched the water.  For a minute, it sailed on the open waters.  John watched with wide eyes as a wave swallowed the hat and dragged it under the sea.

John leaned on the railing, staring out into the waves.  His body didn’t decompress, didn’t fall back to the way it had been before.  A smile, one so small it needed a microscope and a team of scientists to discover it, inched over his face.  He stared at the sea and said to himself, “Guess that’s a sign, time to get on with it then.”

 

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It’s been a bit

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I was trying to keep this blog regularly updated, after all, have to stay active for all the people that read this…too bad sarcasm doesn’t work well in writing.  Anyways, I came down with a bit of a flu or cold or something (does it really matter what it was?).  From now on, I should be keeping this updated…probably.  Let’s not hold me to that though.  But hey, first brand new post on the wordpress site, so yeah, that’s something!  Next time I’ll do something more intensive, most likely a bit about writing.  Stay tuned.

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Sentences pt. 1

Today, let’s take a quick look at sentences.

 

 

Ok, not exactly like that (though if cutting out pieces of paper and writing words on them helps you out, then go for it!).

 

A sentence can have power.  A sentence, which is a combination of words that can be found in the dictionary that can also be found in a bookshelf, maybe in a library, may hold some power as long as the writer is able to think about stuff.  Look again at those two sentences.  One is short and to the point, the other is long and convoluted.  See the difference?  Now, let’s look at a good long sentence and a good short sentence.

 

The dog picked up something.  The dog, black hair bristling, snatched a decaying bone and growled; it took a step forward, its giant paw swallowed by the mud.  Now before we go picking these apart, take notice I wrote these two sentences in a minute (ok yes, I do not put that much time into the blog…yet).  But, can you see the difference?  The first one is vague and doesn’t convey any message or feeling.  Look at the second.  You can see the dog, can feel a certain level of fear.

 

So what’s the trick?  Read, read, and read.  Soon, you will be able to pick out good sentences.  Next, maybe even more importantly, write!  Practice makes perfect (cliche, but oh so true).  When you are looking at your sentences, make sure to ask yourself if it is clear, if it ends and begins strongly (prepositions are sometimes fine, but don’t end every sentence in them), and try to vary your sentence lengths.

 

That’s it you say?  Ha!  No.  I could go on about sentences and get into the nitty gritty, but let’s leave that for a part 2.

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Music and Writing

I think I mentioned I would talk about writing here, and I might not have gotten to it on the first post, but here I go!

 

 

 

Music and writing.  Do the two go together?  Is there some other catchy question I could throw in here? (DOES MUSIC GIVE YOU CANCER, FIND OUT AT 11!!!).

 

Simply put, I love listening to music when writing.  It drowns out any distractions (save for the music itself), but it also serves a purpose.  Certain music, certain beats and rhythms, give different feelings.  Try listening to a classical piece and a new Taylor Swift song, you are probably feeling different emotions, thinking different ideas.  For me, some songs just scream of a certain character.  I see that character with the song, and when I listen to the music, I can jump inside the character’s mind and really understand him or her.  Sometimes the music doesn’t matter (when I am really into the writing everything fades and I come back wondering how I skipped over twenty songs), but sometimes, it propels me into a different mind set and takes me to a new world.

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So, I thought, well, it’s about time to start blogging again (redux)

 

 

So I thought, well it’s about time to start blogging again.  And here I am.  Do I know what to say?  Not a chance!  How many people are going to read this?  Zero to five…if I am lucky.  I might set a new record and dip down into the negatives (or maybe I could find absolute zero and every scientist in the world will thank me for my great discovery).  It doesn’t matter though, I’ll be here plugging away (maybe literally when a book comes out).

 

So, I’ll keep this updated, talk about what I am working on, the fun of the writing industry (oh yeah, this is going to be just chalked full of sarcasm), and maybe some other, random fun stuff.  So come along for the ride (or don’t and let those scientists gives me that award for finding absolute zero!).  

P.S.  This may seem familiar to about, oh two people.  This was my original post on the blogger site, but now here I am on wordpress.

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