Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Feeling Lost, but learning from it (Watch out for spoilers, about midway down)

This isn't a unique feeling or post, I'm sure, and the title is a bit cheesy, I think, but seriously. Seriously!

OK. So, I started watching the TV Show "Lost" about three weeks ago. I wanted to figure out what was going on before the finale, so I could watch the finale. I just wanted to know about the hype. Yes, I got sucked into some stuff, though I had no clue what was going on with some other stuff. Thanks to Wikipedia, Hulu and my cousin, I felt pretty ready for the finale.

I almost cried the entire time! Some of my predictions came true, some had no legs to stand on, anyway. But, oh, my gosh.

Then I started to think about the parallels between the pilot and the finale. If you haven't seen it yet, but want to, maybe you shouldn't read past this point. If you don't care one way or the other, keep on reading.

Jack Shepherd, one of the main cast, starts out the entire show when he wakes up, after the plane has crashed on the island (you all knew that anyway, right?). It starts, as I recall, with the zoomed in close-up of his eyes opening. Vincent the dog finds him in the field, and then Jack's racing for the beach, starting to try to save everyone's life. The plane is in flames, and people are screaming. Locke is discovering he can walk. (He was in a wheelchair.) I think still in the pilot, there is the ubiquitous reference to black and white, good and evil.

What about the finale, then? Jack again is racing to save everyone, only this time, with his last breath. There's a subdued yet rushed feeling to his last walk through the bamboo. He has given his life to save the world this time, without thinking--much like his gut reaction in the pilot. Whatever he may have done in the meantime, he is what he is--he could not escape it. He was caught in that trap from the first episode. At the end, he sank down, fell down, and watched as the last few people escaped the island--Sawyer (once, his competition), Kate (his love), Claire (his half-sister), the pilot, Miles, and Richard. He sort of smiles. Vincent the dog finds him where he has fallen, in the bamboo patch. He's wounded again, as he was in the pilot, but this time, there's nothing he can do about it. There's a zoom-in, and he dies--with the last scene showing us his eye closing.

It's hauntingly beautiful, in a way. That his life has echoed itself, that he has done what he has to do, he has accepted it. It tears you apart--at least, it tore me apart. The parallel, and all of the meat in-between--his character development, the way he said goodbye to his loved one(s), and the sacrifice--all the death, to be completed by one last death. It's like literary fiction!

Yeah, sure, there are alternate time lines and alternate universes and alternate existences--in fact, in the finale you learn that the people from the flight made a place together, a (loosely-termed) purgatory of sorts, where they can meet each other again, remember, and then move on to the next plane together. (Not airplane, guys!) Yes, there's a lot of goofy other stuff going on--polar bears and such, and time travel, some group of people under an initiative that no one seems to know anything about. Think past all that. It's not so important as the basic story, which I believe lies in the first and last season (although this could be just me, as those are the only full seasons I watched). It's the struggle of life, death; it's the turmoil of emotions and relations, of friends, family, strangers, love, hate, the wild vs. civilization, good and evil. Opposites, that are so magnetized to each other that they cannot be one without the other, in many theories, in many instances.

These parallels are, in my humble opinion, beautiful ways to frame stories. The overarching themes that carry through, the true-to-character actions, the parallels, the meat in-between.

And though I didn't understand everything that went down in the finale--I think, after I've, ahem, gone through my grieving process--that it brings this show a bit of closure, and provides some lessons we can all learn from. And that, even if I don't understand, even if I am torn apart, I can respect, admire and even enjoy the framing of the story, and the story itself.

RIP, Lost.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blogfest: Let's Talk

Well, I guess I missed a few blogfests. What can I say? Next time I'll catch 'em.

But today is the "Let's talk" blogfest, so talk we shall. I just did some very light revisions on this piece, and trust me, I'm sure I missed great gobs of stuff. So comment away, okay? (Did you notice that rhymed? Yeah, I'm tired.) It's long, so stop reading whenever you want.

And check out the other partakers here. Oh, and thanks to Roni, our host!
“Well, what’s your name?” he asked.

“Excuse me?” she asked.

“I asked what your name is.”

This wasn’t at all going the way she wanted it too. This wasn’t how she imagined intruders. This wasn’t how she imagined anyone. “What’s yours?”

He grinned. “Okay, then. You can call me John.”

“John what?” she asked. She crossed her arms.

“There is no last name. You can call me John.”

“You have to have a last name.”

“I do, but I don’t want you to call me by it. Now, aren’t you going to tell me your name?”

“It doesn’t matter what my name is,” she said. “However, since this is my place, and not yours, and I don’t know you and I doubt very much that you are friends with my roommate, who, by the way, will be home very soon, it matters very much what your name is.”

“Fair enough,” he said.

They stared at each other while he ate the sandwich.

“So, your roommate’s coming?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said, hoping he couldn’t tell she was lying.

“He’s your boyfriend?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, he is,” she said. “And he won’t take kindly to you, I can tell you.”

John smiled, and stepped forward. He dropped his voice. “He must make love to you every night, and thank his lucky stars that he’s with you as he does,” he said.

“Excuse me?” She flushed again, and stepped back into the refrigerator.

“And he must really like the color pink, too,” he said. “Because it’s everywhere in here.” He tipped his head, and his voice dropped to a whisper. “But you don’t seem like a pink sort of girl.”

Did he see everything? No, she didn’t like pink as much as Jenna. Jenna was the reason behind the pink.

“You don’t have a boyfriend coming home,” he said. “I doubt that you have a boyfriend.”

She looked up at him, embarrassed and angry. “You don’t know anything.”

“I don’t know about that.” He laughed.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

He ignored her question. “You don’t have a boyfriend. You’re buttoned up to here,” he said, pointing at her neck. She reached up and fingered the offending button. “You’re bursting to be loved, to be that object. And you’re afraid. Not just of me. You’re afraid.”

“And you,” she said, her cheeks burning. She was angry. Angry that he could see things. She fingered the top button of her shirt again. “You’re hiding out. You’re afraid. You expect me to believe you, and you come in here and tell me about my awful existence, and stand as close as you can, and you know what you’re doing—you know…”

He grinned, and she stood up.

“You need to go now.”

“I don’t want to go,” he said. “I like you, you know.”

“No, I don’t, and I don’t like you.”

“You tend to get to read people well, when you have to,” he said.

“You didn’t even tell me your real name.”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I did.” He smiled. “You ought to have a boyfriend. Someone to love you.”

“Who are you hiding from?” she asked him.

He sighed. “From the police,” he said. “You should have figured that out by now.”

“I had.” She glared at him.

“I didn’t kill anyone,” he said.

“Then what did you do, and why are you here?” she asked. “I’m tired of asking.”

“Then it’s a good time to stop,” he said. “And speaking of that, maybe we should go back to the other room—you don’t look comfortable, up against the refrigerator like that.” He smiled. “Nice, but not comfortable.”
**Some notes: Jenna is her roommate; he is escaped from prison and ended up at her and Jenna's apartment on a weekend in which she (unnamed character) is all alone.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I loved playing tag when I was little. I played Merry-Go-Round Tag one day, and injured myself.

You know how kids don't have merry-go-rounds at school anymore? Well, I'm one of the reasons why. Statistically speaking. I hurt myself playing that game!

I wonder if you know how it goes? One person is it; they stand in the middle, their eyes closed; then kids move around the outside of the Merry-Go-Round, trying to get away. Oh, yeah--and the Merry-Go-Round is moving. As fast as you want.

I have a little scar on my leg that has faded over time; it marks where my kneecap used to be when I was about ten. As I've grown up, it's grown down. a white, cock-eyed circular thing that marks where I slipped off the Merry-Go-Round and cut a very large, bloody and pebble-filled gash into my poor little leg. Trust me, it was painful. And I wasn't even it!

Blog-tag is not so painful. Or, at least, hopefully it isn't. I know lately, it's seemed like I've done nothing but blogfest, but I really am here, with other things to tell you. Amalia T., my lovely blogging/writing/other buddy, tagged me with some other lovely people, all who are delightful. Check her out, check out her links, and then, don't forget to return and check out my answers to this exciting literary sport of blog-tag. Five questions with five different(-ish) answers...oh, the thrill of it all!

Question 1 - Where were you five years ago?

  1. It's hard to believe now, but I was in college. Where did the time go?
  2. I was just getting into Ballroom Dance.
  3. In a very cold dorm room.
  4. In crush with some guy.
  5. In a good and happy place.
Question 2 - Where would you like to be in five years?
  1. Published. (Amalia, I'm keeping this one.)
  2. Home, after traveling the world.
  3. Living the dream!
  4. Among loved ones.
  5. Dancing with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly....? (Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?)
Question 3 - What is on your to-do list today? (Or, in this case, tomorrow.)
  1. Work. It's not exactly 9 to 5, though--it's more 8 to 4:30 with a lunch break.
  2. Choir. Last one of the season! I have to go.
  3. I should be doing some writing. It's not too exciting--but it's historical, it is sometimes fun, and I get paid for it.
  4. Finally cooking that chicken tikka masala. (Thanks, Jamie!) And then doing the dishes. Shucks.
  5. Well...practicing for that Fitness class I'll be teaching...but I'm sure we all know that's not going to happen...
Question 4 - What snacks do you enjoy?
  1. Ice cream. Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream! Chocolate's my favorite.
  2. Peanut butter. Straight.
  3. Fruit. This is a category of its own. Almost anything goes! Strawberries, bananas, apples, fresh peaches, cherries, blueberries and raspberries top the list.
  4. I really like cold baked beans. This is not so much of a snack as a side, but oh, well.
  5. I also really like cold sweet potatoes. Nothing on them! (See 4!)
Question 5 - What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
  1. Pay off my house and other such loans.
  2. Travel around the world.
  3. Diversify! Invest in my future, a few stocks, and let some collect in the bank. And donate some to charity.
  4. Buy something nice, and big, for my parents. Like a new house.
  5. Open up a dance hall in my non-dancing town.
Amalia says that the rules are to tag five bloggers I admire. This is totally unfair, because she tagged some I would have. And I suppose she'll say no tag-backs. What's a girl to do? :P But there are still many awesome followers to choose from. This is difficult! And to limit it to five? Well, here goes.

Roland at Writing in the Crosshairs
Charity at My Writing Journey
Eric Trant at Digging with the Worms
Jon Paul at Where Sky Meets Ground
Laura Canon at Pray for Rain

So, check them out, y'all! (I totally love to say y'all. Does that make me a wannabe southerner? I'm from the northern half of the country!) And then come back--I'm sure there's a blogfest coming up somewhere that I signed up for and forgot about.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bad Girl Blogfest

Oi. This caught me off-guard--how did the May blogfests sneak up on me so easily? I had a lot of work-related writing to do tonight, and so this, which is from a story I started but never finished, is the best I can do. I'm about to pass out from exhaustion, now. Maybe I'll try and make edits tomorrow.

I probably won't, though.

I think I may have to finish this one, too. We'll see.

Oh, and do read other entrants here. Thanks, Iapetus999, for hosting!

“Do you hear something?” Jared hissed.

“Shut up. She won’t even notice we’ve been here. The girl is totally loaded. Her family must be those guys who own—”

“I don’t care what she owns!” He could hear it again, he thought. Maybe not, though…it could be in his imagination, after all. Couldn’t it?

“You aren’t helping, Dude. You aren’t going to get anything for your share. I'm doing all the work.”

“I don’t want it!” He ducked around Phil and peered out the window. He could just see Candace—Candy. That was what she said to call her—as she had been the night before. Soft short-shorts, so that the definition of her legs was visible. She had beautiful legs. “I don’t want it!” He wanted her, not her possessions. He was in love.

“I’m telling you, she won’t even know.” Phil almost sounded like he was going to giggle.

“How can she not? These look like heirlooms.”

“You know about the rash of burglaries. We’ll blame it on that.”


There was a soft sound, and he stopped. This time, Phil heard it, too. He could tell. They stared at each other, and crept forward.

“We need to get out of here,” Phil said.

It was too late. “Hello?” Candy was standing in the door. Jared froze.

She was wearing all black, and Jared noticed that first. Even her shorts were black. He didn’t think he’d ever seen her in that. She looked hot. And mad.

His stomach dropped into the nether region of his feet. “C-Candy.”

“Hi, boys. What are you doing here?” Her forehead furrowed, and he wanted to kiss her. He shoved that thought down. He had to do some damage control.

“We—we—“ he couldn’t ever talk around her, could he?

“We thought we heard the burglar in your room, Candace,” Phil said. His eyes were round, his face white—he actually looked believable, Jared thought. He glanced back at Candy.

“So, you two were just trying to protect me,” she said, her tone hard. “How sweet.” She stepped into the dark room.

“Phil—” Jared didn’t know what to do.

“That’s it exactly, Candy.” He could hear Phil’s thoughts; he was saying, Shut up, Jared. I’ve got this covered.

Candy seemed to trip over her couch, and she landed behind Phil. She grabbed him from behind, twisted his head and brought him to his knees, his scream piercing Jared’s ears. Run, Jared. Get out of here.

Candy hit Phil’s head against her coffee table, and he dropped belly-down to the floor. She yanked his head up by his hair. “You know what your mistake was, boys?”

Phil wasn't saying anything. He wasn't making any sound. Run, Jared. “Wh-What?’ he stuttered.

“You don’t know your enemy.” She laughed, short and low, and pulled something out of the pocket of her shorts.

“I don’t understand,” Jared said.

Candy grinned, and her face looked feral. “I mean, it’s hard for me to get robbed by that burglar…when I’m the burglar.” She unfolded the metal with one hand, and held the small, sharp blade up against Jared’s throat. “And you read about the other jobs--you know what they say about me.”

“Y-yes,” Jared said. “No-n-no-no…”

She licked her lips. “That’s right. No survivors.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Primal Scream!

OK. It's time for another blogfest, and I'm not even done with the last two. (Thanks for the reminder, Roland!) Sometimes I feel like I just keep blogging by the skin of my teeth, you know?

Anyway, this is the Primal Scream 'fest, hosted by Raquel Byrnes. (With more to come--even this week, yet!) And I'm not completely sure what all I was supposed to do in this blogfest, except post a scene that may include a primal-ish scream. Self-explanatory, huh?

Well, I'm not so fond of this, for this scene, and I don't think I did the best with it, but it's from my WIP, and looking at it sure has been helpful. Pulling bits out really make you look hard at what you have, you know?

Here are a few bits of explanation, this time:
-Herrick wants the Stone
-Sallie knows how to use the Stone, and Herrick wants to know how
-they are not at this time known to Sallie, but she can hear them. Whoever they are.

So, anyway, I hope you enjoy it, at least some. Check out Raquel's page to see more, okay? Thanks!

Herrick thrust the Stone into her hands. “Take it.” He folded his hands around hers, forcing her to curl her hands around the rock. “Think.” He snarled, his face inches away from hers. “Think,” he said again.

She felt like he had inserted a knife down her spine, into her vertebrae. Her mind turned white-hot, smoking, and she could see a pile of brown and ash, the ruins of her house on the Outside. She could see Trina, staring in horror at her, backing away, crying, babbling something. She could see Herrick, standing in front of her, bending over her. His mouth moved. Think. Think. She had to think, she had to do something. She was there, and she was here. She saw almost everything separately, then at the same time, then darkness, stars, fire, heat.

Pain, pain, hot, searing—

Circle, sphere, black, white, red-orange-red—

A long spire, a horse with wings of flame, a horse that was not a horse, but moved more gracefully, with fire in its eyes, brown, black—

“Don’t force it,” Amity saying, over and over. “Don’t force it. Don’t force it.”

She was screaming, she hurt, she screamed more.

“Let go,” they said, “let go!”

“No!” a woman screamed, and something whizzed past Sallie’s ear, and it was a knife, and it hit the man who was with her, the man who was Herrick.

She felt something fall away, and she dropped to her knees, to her palms. She pressed her forehead on the marble of the tomb and closed her eyes.

“Get the hell away from my daughter,” her mother said.