Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fiction Class Assignment #2

Dear Globlets,

I had three different options to choose from for this assignment: One person wants something that the other person has (+doesn't want to give?); Two people have half of one thing and neither half is any good without the other - neither person wants to give up his/her half; One person wants something that the other has but the protagonist doesn't get what he/she wants and some other complicated shit I don't remember but was still less complicated than the second option. The second option is the one I decided to do in the end.

We were also asked to make sure the character and setting was described in extra detail.

Initially I wrote a different scene using the first option but I realized that it didn't really work with the topic. That was written the day before it was due. The second piece was written the night before, naturally. I'll post the first one once I think of an ending. With the help of my mom, I decided to write another scene, the following scene, using the second option.

I thought it deserved a higher mark than it received, but oh well. I mean, I realize there were a couple of mistakes and she said she thought that when the protagonist stuttered on the phone due to her drunkenness, it was more distracting than anything else (removed for your convenience), but it's like she starts at 85% and if there are mistakes she'll lower the mark. That's fine, but what do I have to do to get a mark closer to 100%? I'll ask her, I think.

I was the only one who picked the second option, too! There was a show of hands in class to indicate who chose which topic and I only saw my hand go up when she asked about the second one. She didn't see my hand. Ugh. It could still fall into another one of the topics, too.

I just felt like I put quite a bit more into this piece than some of my other ones, yet my mark was lower. :/

Also, some of her comments were a little strange, I thought. I think if she read it one more time she would have understood better. But, perhaps, as a writer, I should make sure my audience doesn't have to read it many times before they understand what I'm saying. - ?

Anyway, please provide some constructive criticism if you can/want to. Here it is:

Drowning in the Rain

I was lying on my modern cream-coloured couch with my eyes closed, just thinking, trying to process all that has happened and all that was going to happen. “You’re not getting any younger,” my mother’s reminder resounded in my head. “You’re not getting any younger and then one day you won’t be able to have any of your own.” That’s why I was so glad I had found George.

I let my mind wander into the past and I thought of the times George and I had talked about children. We would sit in the park and watch the kids play. We’d say things like, “I’d never say that to our child” and “I wonder what ours would be like.” He wanted kids as much as I did, but no matter how hard we tried, I couldn’t get pregnant.

I opened my eyes and looked over to the nearby Birch coffee table that we had bought together at IKEA. I smiled, remembering how bad he was at following the instructions and how patient I had to be when I was explaining to him what it was he had to do. He insisted that he would do it when I offered to take over. It was probably a man thing. Didn’t we have pieces left over? I chuckled softly to myself, but then I felt my heart sink. I was happy for one moment, recalling one of our greatest IKEA furniture-building adventures, but then I felt like I was just hit by a huge wave of sadness. I could almost hear the smack it made as it slapped and enveloped my entire body. My lip quivered and my eyes welled up. The wave had dug into me and was going to leak out now. I reached over to grab the wine glass that was waiting patiently on our coffee table before my tears blinded me. My hand, beginning to shake, lifted the glass to my lips. The moment the thin glass touched them and the red liquid reached my tongue, salty water droplets leaked from my eyeballs and down onto my hot cheeks. Some droplets sneaked their way to my mouth and managed to squeeze between my lips and the glass so some sips were saltier than others. It didn’t matter; it was the alcohol I was after and not the flavour. It could have been beer for all I cared.

George used to make fun of me for not liking beer.

I wept. I wasn’t quiet about it.

We were going to have a family. We were going to have a family! I set the wineglass down so I could scream into the nearest pillow. My voice soon went hoarse and I returned to simple crying. It felt like I would never stop. I pictured myself next to George. We’d hold hands as our beautiful children ran around in the park. Our son would have his hair - blonde and curly; our daughter would have mine – blonde and straight. She would complain that her hair is too straight and that she wished it was curly, and her brother would tease her by showing off his outrageously curly locks. Sometimes I would braid her hair at night so when she woke up the next day it would be wavy. Her hair would be so soft and I would tell her that it’s perfect even though it wasn’t curly. I’d say it was perfect because it wasn’t curly. She wouldn’t understand then, but maybe later she would. I then realized that it probably wasn’t healthy or productive to constantly create scenes in my mind of a parenthood I would never know. I punched my thigh and told myself to get a grip. I wiped my face dry with my sleeve.

I threw my legs off the couch and reached for my salty wine. I slumped back on the couch, exhausted from crying and remembering, with my legs spread apart in a most ladylike way. I let my hand feed me the wine again. And again. I decided I no longer had control of the hand and it was its fault for getting me drunk.

I damned my eggs and I damned his sperm. Why couldn’t they just get along? Why did we have to go to the doctor’s that day at that time? Why did he insist on being on time? Why couldn’t he have left later? Why did it have to rain that day? I will never forgive the rain. My eyes became cloudy again and began raining themselves.

While I thought about the In Vitro procedure we were planning, I remembered that he had frozen some of his sperm already. Realizing this, I gasped and choked on my spit. Technically, I could still have his children. Technically, there could be a George Jr., even if George Sr. was not around for him. Did I want this? Could I really do it? Could I be a mother without George? Whatever came out would be his.

I called his mother.

“Hello?” she answered.
“Joan, it’s Stephanie.”
“I know. We have caller ID. What is it? You sound...”
“I had an epiphany.”
“Oh? Well, what about?”
“Well, the day... when George and I were going to the doctor’s...”
“I know very well about that day. Why are you reminding me?”
“I’m sorry. I... it’s hard for me too, Joan. We were going to talk about the In Vitro fertilization, okay? Well, I remembered that he already had some of his sperm frozen, which means I can still have the procedure done.”
“I can’t believe you’re actually thinking about doing that still. I mean, maybe if you were his wife...” she went on.
“I thought you were past that. You know we just didn’t want to get married.” He’s gone and I’ll still never hear the end of this.
“Well, that’s too bad. That sperm is not your property!” she screamed into the phone.
“Why are you saying this? We wanted to have children together,” I replied, confused about her motivations.
“But you can’t! He’s dead! You won’t be having a family together anymore!” she shouted. She frightened me. I was silent; I was crying but I made no sound. Could she really prevent me from using his sperm?
“Why? Why won’t you let me have his kids?” I finally asked her.
“So you could go off with some other man who his kids would call their father? They would be his. Not some random...”
“You really think that?”
“I don’t want my grandchildren calling someone other than their father their father,” she decided.
“But this isn’t about you!” I reminded her.
“Well, this isn’t about just you either, Stephanie. It’s about my son. It’s about my son’s children. I’m sorry. I can’t let you go through with this.”
“What are you talking about? You can’t just...”
“No. I’m sorry, Stephanie.”
“But, Joan, you don’t have any other sons. You don’t have any daughters. This would be your only chance to have grandchildren!”
“And you’d raise them all by yourself, would you?”
“I can do it. I know my family would be willing to help as well.”
“I don’t know. It seems wrong,” she said.
“How is it wrong? We were going to do this anyway. The circumstances have changed, yes, obviously, but your son... George would have wanted this,” I urged while trying to keep focused. That wine...
“How can you know what he wanted?” she exclaimed.
“We talked about it for ages. He wanted children. I still do. I want to have his children. I have no intention of seeking another man!” I explained.
“But you don’t know! You don’t know what will happen in the future.”
“Neither do you, Joan! We could have something really great. I could bear your son’s beautiful children. Their bright shiny faces would look at you and know you’re their grandmother.”
“But...”
“And they would know who their father was. We could tell them about how wonderful he was, how good of a man he was. We could tell them he would have loved them. We could tell them and they would know about him,” I explained. Silence came from the other line. “They would know him. Wouldn’t you want that, Joan?” I started crying more loudly.
“I...” Joan struggled to speak.
“Joan, please listen to me. Joan? Joan!” I heard a click on the other line, followed by the dial tone.

I felt sick. I couldn’t breathe. It felt like she was killing me, choking me with those bony old hands of hers. I was so close to having what we wanted, even though it was significantly different. I would still have had his children, but that idea has been taken away. It felt like she was taking my children away from me and they weren’t even been born yet!

Another wave hit me. This time, an old cruel woman with bony fingers held my head under the wave. I choked, I swallowed the salty water and I drowned in the wine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flashback.

Dear Globlets,

When I was in grade two, Mrs. Toby-Fisher's class, I was asked how to spell "present." People often came to me when they needed to spell something; I was known for my good spelling. Earlier that day, Mrs. Toby-Fisher talked about the words "desert" and "dessert," and said that one way to remember which is which is to think which one you would rather have more of. "If you want more dessert, remember it has an extra S." Surely you wouldn't want to have more desert if you were in one, so it only gets one S.

When my classmate asked me how to spell "present," I thought back to the lesson of *wanting more = extra S.* Therefore, it was only logical for "present" to have a double S since most people want more "pressents."

Except not.

I was wrong.

My classmate gave me shit since she handed in something that had a spelling error.

I never misspelled "present," "desert," or "dessert" ever again.

The end.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fiction Class Assignment #1


Dear Globlets,

I changed some of this based on what my prof suggested. As promised, something I've written for ENG154. (I did promise, right? Whatever. It's happening.):


Mind vs. Body

He promised that he would be coming by, solely as a friend and had no intention of behaving the way he used to with her. She believed him, mostly. After all, he was a nice guy and never demanded anything from her.

The doorbell rang. She popped a mint into her mouth and walked downstairs to open the door.

"Hey!" they both said when they saw each other.
"Long time no see, eh?" he said. She nodded and moved aside to let him enter her home. He opened his arms to hug her and she, not sensing a threat, responded by opening her arms and leaning in. The hug was much tighter and longer than the kind of hug one would give a friend. They let go of each other, but his hands took a little longer to leave the sides of her body, and they even lingered on her hips for a moment. He looked into her eyes; she giggled awkwardly and turned to go up the stairs.

Once in the kitchen, she asked if he would like something to drink. He agreed to a glass of water. While the cold water plunged and splashed inside the tall, crystal-clear glass, which was quickly beginning to sweat and get fogged up, she could feel him staring at her and she wondered what he was thinking. She set the water jug down and, with the glass in hand, quickly turned around to face her guest. He looked straight at her as he took the glass from her hands; his strong fingers made marks appear on the wet glass. He thanked her for the water and without looking away from her, he took a sip. She looked back at him but soon broke the stare by giggling once again. She turned away.

"So, what have you been up to for the past month?" she asked.
"I'm sorry I didn't reply to your e-mail. I should have let you know what was going on.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I thought you were done with me. I was okay with that. I would be okay if you are done with me. Just let me know."
"No! I'm... I'm not done at all," he claimed. He set his glass down on the counter and faced her again. He smiled and she smiled back.
"It's so good to see you!" he said suddenly. He wrapped his arms around her waist and picked her up. She screamed and demanded that he put her down. Finally, when he did, his arms accidentally, or perhaps not so accidentally, grazed her breasts. Again, she giggled. He gave her a look she could not decipher.

"I'm sorry," he said.
"Mhmm," she replied and looked down. "Um, I'm seeing someone.".
"Oh. Really? Tell me about him!" He sat down in a nearby chair.
"I don't think you really want me to tell you about him."
"Go on."
"Well," she sighed, "It's not serious. I mean, I don't love him. We're just dating. I think he understands that our relationship isn't going to go anywhere. But, well, now I'm not sure. I don't know. It's complicated. He is sensitive, though. I'm worried he's grown too attached to me." He nodded as though he was trying to process the information without showing much emotion. After not speaking for several minutes, their eyes met once more. He got up, moved closer to her, slowly, and placed his hands on her shoulders. While still looking at each other, his hands began to move down her body: to her sides, her waist, and her hips. He pressed himself up against her, pushing her back against the wall. Her hands inevitably left the wall to hold him. He groped her just once and she closed her eyes, bit her lip, but just before he managed to kiss her, she removed his hands and pushed him away. She tried to calm herself down as her breathing had become heavier in those few moments.

"I can't," she said. She wanted to and she could not prevent her eyes from convincing him otherwise. Her mind said "no" but her body said "yes."
"I'm still really attracted to you. I wanted to come here and just be your friend, but I can't help it. Something about you makes me... just... yeah. There's too much chemistry."
"I'm in a relationship. I can't do this to him."
"Does he have to know?"
"Yes? No? I don't know. You've confused me. I need to figure things out now. I think you should leave."
"Oh. Well, okay. I'm sorry."
"Yeah. It was good seeing you again."
"It was. Okay, I guess I'll see you later." She followed him down the stairs to the front door.
"Yup," she replied. She tried not to make eye contact again. He opened the door and turned to face her.
"Bye," he said. She automatically looked back to him and failed to look somewhere other than at his eyes.
"Bye," she whispered as they stared at each other one last time. He turned away and shut the door behind him.


"Fuck," they each said on their sides of the doorway.


Mark: 8.5/10


Also, for the record, Jack Vettriano is one of my all-time favourite artists.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Funnies for Profs?

Dear Globlets,

Here is a portion of an e-mail I just sent my ENG150 prof:

The research topic I was thinking of using did not quite fit into any of the general topics from the handout; that is, unless there is racism among the UVic rabbits or we can use them as alternative fuel sources, which is probably unlikely. To be honest, I think they would probably be better in a stew than in a car.


I said "rabbits" instead of "bunnies." Am I allowed to make funnies? He's like... serious but also really funny sometimes. I think as long as he's in a good mood when he reads it, I'll be fine. But maybe even if he's not, I'll have cheered him up? Eh, we'll see. I'll let you know how it goes. I was very serious in the rest of the message.

Oh, and school is good. I have lots to post!

I also have a Kindle. Bitches.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Justice is Served.

Dear Globlets,

Long time no write. Will write soon. Will soon write something other than "will write soon" and "I promise," I promise.

In the meantime, I like this:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I like this 37:

Dear Globlets,

I like this:

"Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd."
- Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Right.

Dear Globlets,

These are EXACTLY the shoes that I'm looking for - to go with my new black dress that I love and want to wear so very badly:



While I was looking to see if any shoe retailers in the area carried Mary Janes like the ones I'm looking for (a traditional Pump would be fine too), I found these that I really love:




Mmmm, shoes...

Wrong.

Dear Globlets,

This is so wrong on so many levels:


Fucking Japanese people.