Fall Is Upon Us

I’m always excited for the new school year. Maybe it’s the excitement of walking the school halls again or the anticipation of taking new classes after a long summer break. Whatever the reason, I feel especially enthusiastic about this semester despite the fact that I’m taking two 400-level literature classes (Post-War European Literature and British Romanticism), a publishing class, and a writing workshop.

Due to my optimistic outlook, I set out to make a list of goals. Among them, are to read more books and to be more focused in my writing. So far, I’ve been able to do the latter with help from the advanced fiction workshop I’m taking with Jessica Treadway, associate professor and author of Please Come Back to Me. She is simply amazing! Every class, we do a class exercise, and so far, each one  has sparked my imagination in creating new characters and plot ideas.

The following is something I wrote two classes ago. The prompt was to start with the phrase, “I used to think”. Instead of using the first person singular, I used the first person plural. I think it turned out rather well, or at least better than I expected. I think I will use it as an introduction for a longer piece.

We used to think that we were invincible, that we were untouchable, too above everyone else, too close for anyone to come between. We were Tommy, Matt, JL and me. We used to think at that age of thirteen and fourteen we could do anything.

During summers, we ran up the steepest hills behind Tommy’s house and stood there at the top, stances heroic. The town below us, just squares and rectangles of green and brown, was conquerable. Sometimes, we would yelp and hoot, making our voices known, making them echo in between the cacti and the tall canyons that towered behind us.

“Aaoooooo!”

Matt could always howl louder and better than any of us. Maybe that’s why we listened to him. There was something in how he tilted his head and arched his back, splaying his arms outward, as if he was challenging the world. He was ready for anything. It was visceral, as animal as any of us could get.

The summers were hot, but never humid. Skies shone blue and brilliant white, bleaching the world around us. We lived in a quiet, man-made oasis. A long time ago, buildings sprouted from the sands and the trees and grass were planted out of the sheer will of man.

The town was especially sleepy during the summers.

But we weren’t.

Summers were when we ran the fastest and swam the farthest. But one summer – that summer – was different. That summer, the desert nights were the coldest in our lives. That summer, we couldn’t conquer the town, but instead, the town conquered us. It swallowed us whole and we lost ourselves in it.

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Character Study

My professor said that the following was a good character study when I read it out in class. Here it is: Over the past few weeks, I realized that the majority of my awkward social interactions take place at where I work — the Blue Shirt Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville. Davis Square, for those … Continue reading

Published Short Story!

It’s official now! I now have my short story “The Piece of Mail” published in The Daily Flash Anthology.

It is a run-on sentence story about a girl who doesn’t want to check the mailbox for her older sister.

The Piece of Mail

During the summer of 1970, checking the mailbox was the most difficult task I was told to do, because Sara said she couldn’t do it; she said waiting was enough and that if she saw a letter – a letter telling her that he had died – she would die a little inside, too, or rather, a half, but that was her trying to seem strong, because I knew she would crumble, but not like how old, crusty bread crumbles, but like how the ruins of Grecian architecture crumbled, over time, elegantly, so I didn’t want to check the mailbox every day; but also, I didn’t want to put on shoes because it was summer and my flip flops broke (the straps snapped because the rubber was so cheap) and I had to go out running on the hot black asphalt, let it singe the soles of my feet, and it hurt and stung as if it was a lead-up-to-the-big-pain pain, and Mom would yell at me from the window, saying it wasn’t proper for me to go out running like that with only shorts and a skimpy tank and no shoes, and then the whole situation made me angry because Sara could check the damn mailbox herself, because she didn’t understand that Michael meant as much to me as he did to her, so when I finally saw that letter from the army, I died inside, completely, because I was the one who had to check the mailbox every day, and I crumbled, but horribly, like a girl who had just lost her brother.

One Sentence Stories

Very short short-shorts, I discovered, can be loaded with meaning and emotion. Here are some that I wrote in class:

Sitting Alone in a Throw Blanket on the Sofa
I watch reruns of Will and Grace while eating a microwave dinner on a Saturday night because my boyfriend dumped me. I fork at the soggy peas and reflect on how many calories this pseudo-Indian tofu paneer has. Maybe I should go on a diet.

Waiting at a T-stop
The subway cars screech as they turn the corner to where I am. I hope that I don’t go hard of hearing early in life. I’m only thirty.

Natural Pillow
“I have a fat stomach.” She exclaimed. “So don’t tickle me.”
“I like your stomach.” He replied with a smile. “I like laying my head on it. It’s soft, comfortable, and has in-built temperature control.”

Calories
Five calories in black coffee equals five minutes of kissing equals ten hugs. I wonder how much we burn in a lifetime in kisses and hugs.

Bullshit
I was never great at playing that card game. I was never good at lying, especially to you. So maybe that’s how you found out. Or did you always know?

About Me


Escapist, nerd, fantasy/sci-fi fan. Academically inclined. Writer in training. Also, Writing, Publishing, and Literature undergraduate at Emerson College.

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