Auld Lang Stacey; or Stacey, You’re a Firework!

 

Yikes.

So I started this story on Jan 2, wanting to make it a holiday-themed piece. Originally, it was supposed to be a Christmas story, but by then it was too late so I opted for a New Year’s theme. And now it’s even too late for that, but by the time January ended I was too far into the story to change it to a Valentine’s Day theme. And I already have a story planned for that holiday, anyway. So what took so long? Some of it is the usual: procrastination and writer’s block. But I was also very busy with life – I actually have one, believe it or not. Also, the story got way longer than I planned. It’s over ten thousand words and I wasn’t even planning to write half this many words.

Nevertheless, I’m proud of myself for merely finishing. It shows I’ve grown. In the past, if I had difficulty finishing a story, I would simply shelve it. I have tons of unfinished stories. (Well, I don’t have them – I’ve thrown most of them away.) But I was determined to break my bad habit and finish this one. And I did! It’s far from literary genius, but at least it proves that I can finish what I started, and that my intentions for this blog is actually working! It’s great motivation too; now that I see that I can follow through on finishing this story, then I certainly can for others!

Moving on:

Auld Lang Stacey marks one of my first fictional ventures outside of The Writer’s Block, (aside from Nature Boy) on this blog. It also marks the third appearance of a particular character.  And this won’t be the last of her! I have plans for her to appear in at least another story. Please note that, like every piece of fiction on here, it’s written as is. So, beyond fixing typos, it isn’t edited, which means you’re essentially looking at the first draft. And now without further ado, I present to you (sorry, totally did not mean to rhyme so cheesily): Auld Lang Stacey…after the link to protect your virgin eyes from the language.

SERIOUSLY. There’s a ton of swearing and other such content that could offend, so if you’re not into that kind of stuff you should probably not click the link.

‘Specially if you’re my parents. Or older sister.

You’ve been warned!

Read the rest of this entry »


55 Word Short Stories: Self Serve

“Could you please show me where the home renovation books are?”

Stacey doesn’t bother looking up from her book to see who’s walked in. “Do it yourself.”

“You mean the Do It Yourself section?”

Stacey’s still reading when she replies, “No, I mean, do it yourself. I’m tired and I’m at a really good part.”


Opening Lines: Draw up a list of five favourite novels and review their opening lines. What drew you in? A beautiful metaphor? The hint of danger? Try duplicating the effect in opening lines of your own. See where they take you.

1. “In one of my earliest memories, my mother and I are on the front porch of our rented Carter Avenue house watching two delivery men carry our brand-new television set up the steps.” From She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

Not sure what drew me in about this opening line; the first time I read it was over ten years ago. Maybe it was the subsequent lines that followed. It’s a pretty mundane description, so perhaps what drew me in was the interest into where this was going to lead. Or the fact that the narrator begins with “In my earliest memories”, meaning that she was looking back on her life and that the novel is a bildungsroman: not exactly original, but nevertheless, my favourite kind.  At any rate, this opening line lead me to read the book that would become my favourite of all time.

2. “The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o’clock.” From Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

It’s pretty obvious why this opening line is so appealing: you want to know how this man expects to fly, why he wants to, and if he’s successful. Not all of this curiosity gets satisfied right away, particularly the why. But it all ties up so beautifully in the end. Toni Morrison, you are a genius. Which is why you are one half of the name of this blog.

3. “They’re all dead now.” From Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald.

The attraction of this opening line is pretty self-explanatory, too. It drew me right in and didn’t let me go for 566 pages. And again – you have to get through the book to find out whose voice it is at the beginning, and the “they” who are “dead now”.

4. “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.” From Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood.

Again, I read this book years ago – back in high school – so I’m not sure what it was about this line that drew me in, so I’ll have to venture a guess. Perhaps I wanted an explanation as to what the narrator meant, since, at least to me, this line sounds like a riddle of sorts, a puzzle, that the reader needs to figure out.

5. “A long time ago I disappeared.” From Caucasia, by Danzy Senna.

Yet another opening line whose attraction is obvious. Who disappeared? Why did they disappear? In this case, instead of “the hint of danger”, it was the hint of mystery.

Now it’s time for me to write my own opening line.

**

This is where your soul goes to die.

Read the rest of this entry »