Posted in poetry

Metaphors for Burning

your lungs are filled with smoke and ash
the flames around you lick your flesh
and climb the curtains like devilish kittens

but when you reach your fingers out
and grasp your friend’s sleeve
and you gasp at her, you’re choking
she just pats you on the back
and tells you to breathe.

but the flames that bite your fingers back
are climbing into your mouth,
down the ladder of your throat,
and filling your belly.
they have eaten all of the oxygen in the atmosphere
and now they are coming from you.

give me your hand back, she tells you
but when you offer it to her
she does not try to extinguish the flames.
she cups your hand with hers
and sighs, satisfied, because–she tells you–
she was so cold.

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Posted in exercises

Scrawled in the Margins (A Perspective Study)

Scrawled in the Margins

They’re suffocating me with their definitions of love, half-formed and mismatched. My pages ache from the nights when their hearts hurt too much with the weight of the things they think they know and the things they don’t realize they haven’t learned. There are tears were their shaking hands pressed too hard in their fury.

They tell me their love stories. The happy ones—the ones filled with summer nights and lipstick stains and messy hair getting tangled around their fingers. The sad ones about locking themselves in the bathroom at lunch and running mascara and lost appetites and returning Christmas presents because she dumped him at the beginning of Winter Break. The screaming matches in the front lawn, the whispered fights tucked behind the locker door, the furiously scribbled notes between teacher’s glances in science class, the thrown rings and ripped away sweatshirts.

Their nostalgic fingers wear down my edges, which were once white and crisp and respectable. When I was new, I had dreams. I had ambitions. They brought me to school with them and I thought I was going to be filled with the infinite knowledge that filled libraries, but instead they drew hearts and stick-figure animals and rainbows that disappeared into two-dimensional clouds. They smudged my ink to resemble the blood stains of battle and their tears smudge their letters into meaningless chatter. Still, I keep them safe. I protect them because they tell me the letters are important. They may need them one day.

Posted in poetry

Melody

It’s in the back of your head
as you pull the blanket up over a long day,
stress pounding in your ears
like a heavy bass.

Your heartbeat lulling you to sleep,
your thoughts singing along,
trailing off during the last repetition of the chorus

Like the lullaby
your mother used to sing to you when you were small,
before bed time stories,
before you were expected to carry the torch
against your own nightmares.

 

Posted in short stories

Last Call

Last Call Header.png

Title: Last Call
Word count: 4342 words
Summary: Arlen works as a 9-11 dispatcher until a particularly distressing phone call changes his life forever.
Notes: This story was written in response to a few uncredited dispatcher stories that were circulating online a year ago. I can’t imagine the emotional difficulties of having a job that revolves around the distress and tragedy of others. I wanted to explore the trauma of the worst case scenario, how the brain might try to cope–or protect–itself from the damage.

Continue reading “Last Call”

Posted in Dear Readers

Dear Readers,

Dear Readers HeaderHave you ever read how-to guides for blogging? If you haven’t, I’ll give you a few of the highlights:

  • Make an introduction post.
  • Create a posting calendar. Stick to that calendar. It should be broken down to the hourly, with your posts scheduled to optimal times of day for maximum chance of exposure determined by very official-sounding people.
  • Should you feel the need to stray, create a new blog.
  • Cross-post your blog posts to every single platform ever. Don’t think too hard about the fact that this renders following the blog pointless if you get the exact same content on Twitter.
  •  @#$^ Twitter.
  • Don’t swear. It’s unattractive.

I may be paraphrasing a bit, but you get the gist. Blogging should be a business, even if it isn’t making money, even before you know anyone is listening, before you’ve moved beyond “I just want to write about writing.”

I made my URL. (I wanted to get it while the getting’s good. I already am stuck with unfortunate e-mails.) And then I waited.

While I waited, I tried to think of an introduction. I tried to form a thesis statement for this blog to build upon, like a research paper. I tried to create a calendar with categories of posts. I thought of some clever names for them like Flash Fiction Fridays and Sonnet Sundays and I tried to create a theme for every day of the week. Was I going to blog about book reviews? Currently reading lists? Talk about my favorite authors? Blog a book?

While I waited for all of that to come together in a brilliant flash of inspiration, I changed the theme. Again and again and again. Nothing looked quite right. This was probably because there was no content on the homepage, and I knew I needed to change gears–at least temporarily. If I didn’t post something, I knew I never would. So I talked to a friend, and he suggested I share my “Love in the Stars” haiku series, which I had written inspired by his own haikus (found on his Instagram) and then tucked away in my Google Drive.

Another friend reminded me about a story I had been sitting on for a while because I wasn’t sure what to do with it when it’s finished. And I read Book Riot’s YA newsletter, and I had a lot of thoughts I wanted to put down but no where to put them. A tweet from an old favorite author reminded me of when she was the only author for whom I would venture outside of the fantasy genre, and I wanted to talk to her.

I was reminded, over and over again, that all I wanted to do was talk about writing. I wanted to share small projects, ones I liked but had no plans for. I wanted to share my favorite books and authors. I wanted to discuss trends and tropes. I want to have a conversation with people who love reading and writing. While human beings are creatures of habit, and a schedule is likely to form organically because I am no exception, I don’t want to worry about what day of the week it is.

I hope that’s alright, dear reader, because we have a lot to talk about.

With love,

Kristin

P.S. I might make fun, but I did do a lot of reading to find out why I was unsuccessful in blogging in the past. I particularly liked this post over on Jane Friedman’s blog.

Posted in poetry

The Fool

I’ll catch you,
he whispered.
jump.

his voice burned her ears
like the whiskey in her throat.

his fingers reached up for her
pale against the dark asphalt
of the ground below.

it’ll be fine.
don’t you trust me?

he would not wait much longer.
she sat on the wall first
before she pushed herself over its edge.

that way, she would have less distance to fall.