The Stress Root

Someone suggested that I deal with the root of why I can’t write. The stress itself. I struggled a lot in first semester because in school grades matter. The difference between an A and a B could mean the difference between your registration being 1 hour sooner which is the difference between getting into the workshop you need to graduate or not. There’s a lot of pressure to measure up to the standard of “good” that the professors deem acceptably “good”. And after everything I went through in first semester, I left disappointed. In myself and in the system. I have a perfectionist complex, and if I don’t meet things to my level of what I think is acceptable I get down on myself.

It’s not that I can’t write, it’s that I feel I can’t write to the standard expected of me by the professors who are grading and judging me. Whenever I’ve thought I had something great I’d receive a much lower grade, and although I’m there to learn, I feel like the environment isn’t as conducive to learning as I expected. It’s not that I want to quit. I worked too goddamn hard to get in to quit. But my expectations of the learning environment are a lot different. Basically it as to do with expectation vs reality. Writers are very self-conscious of their writing (at least I am). I think it’s because when we write something we pour our heart and soul into the characters and the story. It makes us vulnerable.

To turn around and then have a group of peers and professors judge you on that is not just nerve wracking, but also hits my self-confidence in my ability to write. I want to write things that people enjoy reading and can relate to, and obviously not everyone is going to enjoy my writing, I mean, even I know I have a long way to go and a lot of improvements to make. Heck, re-reading some of my book makes me cringe because I’ve learned so many useful techniques that I can apply to it and make it that much better. But I want to learn in an uplifting environment. I don’t want to go to class and be like “Oh, I wonder which taboo thing I did this time in my writing.”

Apparently I write a lot of cliche things that I don’t know are cliche. You’d think with the amount of books I read (47 this year) I’d know what’s cliche and what’s not, but I’m not very knowledgeable with all the technical lingo of writing. I just write. I write and the story grows and the characters grow, and soon they’re out there living and I’m doing everything I can just to keep up behind them to document their journey. How do you judge someone on their ability to properly document someone else’s journey? Because people are cliche, they say weird things, and do things out of order. People aren’t perfect, so why should their journey be?

In order to write again I need to re-find that place where the writing is solely mine and not about what other people may think of it. I need to accept that from a technical, university standard, I might not be an A+ writer. But that doesn’t matter. What matters in writing is being true to yourself as an author, and being true to your characters and who they are as people. If you love and are passionate about your characters, other people will see that bleed through the writing. That’s why some of the best books aren’t necessarily the best written. I started this journey because I want to proudly hang that BFA on my wall, but in doing so I don’t want to look back and think I sold out just to make the grade.

I want to beat the system knowing I stayed true to my own authorial self and that I never wrote my characters out of character. I need to always be myself, and my characters also need to be their own self as well. And if that’s not good enough for my professors, then I guess I was never cut out for this school thing to begin with. Because ultimately it should be more important to me to be true to my writing, than for me to get an A, because that’s what writing is really about. It’s about finding those people and stories you are most passionate about and sharing them with other people who want to read them and can love them the way you do. Writing might be a solo act, but it brings people together too. Storytelling is where this began. A group of people sitting together and swapping ideas. And that’s where I want to stay.

~Kat

Categories: Life or Something Like it | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Writers Block

Is alive and coursing through my system, ravaging the creative spark. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced writers block to this level. I mean, sure, I’ve had days where I couldn’t write, but they usually followed times when I had been writing for long hours over the course of multiple days. I’d take a few days, maybe a week, to regenerate and off I’d go writing again. But this. This is different. It’s been two weeks. And I have tried. I’ve stared at the blank page and told myself even bad writing is a place to start. And off I’d trek. I’d start the story. Then I’d erase it and start again. And I did this, am doing this, over and over to no avail. Nothing I do will make the words come out in coherent order.

So I guess my question is what now? Normally I’d take a serious break. I’d do a little soul searching, maybe focus on something else creative, like art or music. I’d think about my story and properly sort through my thoughts and feelings regarding it. Maybe I’d even try and work on older writing projects, since dealing with characters I’m already familiar with might help get me back into that head space. But I don’t have that luxury. As it stands I’m now 7 days away from school starting, and with it 7 days before I have a 3500 word short story due.

I’ve taken a break. I’ve tried writing, even if it was bad. I’ve walked away, and come back, slept on it; I’ve switched characters, names, locations, POV’s, tenses, and there’s still nothing. I’ve even tried writing not fiction in the hopes of getting the juices flowing. I thought if I couldn’t think of anything, I could write about a real experience, but even that ended in disaster. I know writers block is common and usually happens, sometimes multiple times, to writers, especially those that write a lot. It’s different from the “what if I never think of another story?” because it’s like there is a blank space where my characters should be. It’s a raucous room gone quiet. The door’s locked, and I’ve lost the key.

So what do you do? How do you get over creative blocks? Any suggestions? I’m at a complete loss, and stressing out because I have this looming deadline.

~Kat

Categories: Life or Something Like it | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deals with a Moderately Uptight Faerie Prince

CHARACTER LIST
CASTIEN – Firstborn; prince of Winter; Mab’s stepson; 410-ish years old, but looks 20.
ELYDIR – Castien’s half-brother; prince of Winter; Mab’s son; 200-ish years old, but looks 16.
CLARA – Human; kidnapped; 17 years old.

SETTING
Arcadia, specifically Winter court.

SET
Winter castle: Bedroom and courtyard. Later the Winter Woods.

PROLOGUE
Spot up on Elydir addressing audience

ELYDIR
Upon Summer’s end when Winter’s breath draws nigh
Two kings’ dissent disrupts a shaky truce
To contend betwixt the ferns for which they vie
A raucous thunder rolling through the roots
We’ll host a masquerade to ease your heart
For war has agitated Winter’s land
The queen performs her part, though I consort
To overthrow a prince with wicked hands
And so present a mortal girl to you
A gift illicit, surely turning heads
For this indeed is such a nasty coup
And those who miss the clues are now misled
Faeries know to break the veil is dangerous indeed
For what may mortals do to faerie kin when freed?

Spot fade.

*
SCENE 1

Lights up on a bedroom. A window faces offstage on one side, and a door leads to offstage on the opposite side. Elydir enters through the door dragging Clara whose hands are bound with ice. Clara struggles.

CLARA
Sam, what’s going on?

Elydir throws Clara on the bed.

ELYDIR
I am Elydir, faerie Prince of Winter, and your master. You will address me as such, lowly mortal.

CLARA
Alright, you got me. Ha-ha. You can take me home now.

ELYDIR
I have wooed you, foolhardy girl. (Elydir breaks the ice around Clara’s wrists). These will be your quarters until the masquerade where you will be presented as a royal gift to the queen. Any attempt at escape will be met with–

CLARA
Sam, this isn’t funny anymore. Take me home.

ELYDIR
Are you daft? You are slave to the court of Winter. This is your home now.

CLARA
But Sam, I thought…

ELYDIR
(Grabs Clara’s wrist and pulls her forward) You will address me as master Elydir or not at all, is that understood?

Elydir goes to exit when Castien enters through the door.

CASTIEN
This is what the guards spoke of?

ELYDIR
Mab will be so impressed, don’t you think?

CASTIEN
You would endanger the lives of Winter to entertain your mother?

ELYDIR
You know how she gets. Queen of Winter taming a mortal? Even Summer’s likely to get jealous.

CASTIEN
You think Mab will take well having a human in her court after what they did to her? Mortals do not belong in Arcadia, Elydir.

ELYDIR
Come brother (Elydir claps Castien on the back) this is a time for celebration. She’ll be the talk of Arcadia, and you know we need the good press right now.

CLARA
Excuse me, I’m sitting right here.

ELYDIR
Your position in the room is inconsequential to the conversation.

CLARA
If impressing the queen hinges on my good behaviour shouldn’t you be nicer to me?

CASTIEN
She bargains.

ELYDIR
You’re right. The dungeons might suit you better. I’ll have Tanner escort you–

CLARA
That won’t be necessary.

ELYDIR
That won’t be necessary, master…

CLARA
Master Elydir.

ELYDIR
(addressing Castien) Lovely ring to it, don’t you think? (addressing Clara) I’ll have the seamstress up to take your measurements. God forbid Mab should see you dressed in commoners clothing.

Elydir exits. Castien pauses at the door.

ELYDIR
(from off) Are you coming?

Castien exits. Clara falls on the bed and cries. Fade out.

*
SCENE 2

Lights up on the bedroom. A shoulder bag is sprawled on the bed; a notebook, cellphone, keys, and other knickknacks have fallen out of it. It is the middle of night of the next day. Clara wears a contemporary knee length crinoline dress, and looks for a way to open the window.

CLARA
Stupid window! Don’t faeries need fresh air?

Castien enters. Clara doesn’t notice.

CASTIEN
It’s quite a drop from this height.

Clara fumbles and turns around.

CLARA
Is it always freezing in here?

CASTIEN
What is your name, mortal?

CLARA
Yes, thank you, I’d love a coat.

Castien walks to the window. He twirls his fingers and using lighting effects the pane disappears. The wind howls.

CASTIEN
Jump if you like. I don’t care how you disappear.

Wind ruffles Clara’s hair and she shivers.

CLARA
Clara. Clara Hatter, and I’m not trying to kill myself.

CASTIEN
Best find someone who can help you escape.

CLARA
I must’ve missed the line of people outside when that twat locked me in here.

CASTIEN
Perhaps we can make a deal then.

CLARA
Why would you help me?

CASTIEN
Consider it a mutual interest. (beat) Are you familiar with faerie deals, human?

CLARA
Does it matter? I refuse to be a prisoner here.

CASTIEN
In return for my help, you will owe me a favour. Are these acceptable terms?

CLARA
What kind of favour?

CASTIEN
That has yet to be determined. But if you have another way of escaping by all means–

CLARA
No, wait. (Beat) I’ll do it.

CASTIEN
Then we have an accord.

Castien holds his hand out to shake. Clara takes it.

CASTIEN
I, Prince Castien of Winter, do swear on pain of death to return you to the mortal realm. Do you, Clara Hatter, swear on pain of death to return a favour of my choosing?

CLARA
I do.

A gust of wind blows through the room, ruffling Clara and Castien’s clothing and hair. Castien takes a ring from his pocket.

CASTIEN
Wear this ring at all times.

Clara looks at the ring, but does not take it.

CLARA
I won’t marry you as the favour.

CASTIEN
Do not be absurd. The magic here has a way of changing mortals (beat) eventually.

CLARA
You mean I’d become a faerie?

CASTIEN
You would become a Changeling. A creature of Arcadia, neither faerie nor human.

CLARA
(Examining the ring) And this ring will protect me?

CASTIEN
You wish to return home, do you not?

Clara puts on the ring. Fade out.

*
SCENE 3

Lights up on the bedroom. Two days have passed. Clara wears a floor length goddess dress and wanders around holding an open book. The script on the cover is elegant and unearthly.

CLARA
Fancy castle, fancy dresses, and they can’t afford a book written in English. (reading from the book) Asta–Asto—Astlavo meluca hatini–Good god. (Clara collapses on the bed) This is giving me a headache.

Elydir enters.

CLARA
Castien, god, finally! I’ve been waiting–

ELYDIR
Now why would you be expecting my brother?

Clara sits up.

CLARA
Elydir. I thought–that is–he was–food. He said he’d bring me food. Because I’m hungry. Famished.

ELYDIR
If you need something you can ask me.

CLARA
Why would I ask you for anything?

Elydir offers Clara a white flower.

ELYDIR
I came to apologize. I was wrong to trick you, and I’d like to make it right.

CLARA
You can start by taking me home.

ELYDIR
I am prepared to do that if you would help me with something first.

CLARA
What is with you faeries always asking for things?

ELYDIR
Has someone else asked you for something?

CLARA
No–I mean, yes they did, but–

ELYDIR
Was it Castien? It’s dangerous to make deals here, Clara.

CLARA
I–I said no.

Elydir sits at the foot of the bed.

ELYDIR
Castien is unwell. I travelled to Earth for the purpose of finding this (pulls a small vial of liquid from his pocket) and then I met you. I didn’t expect–know that I am sorry, and very worried for my brother’s health. As heir, if anything happened to him Winter would be utter chaos.

CLARA
What is it?

ELYDIR
(examines the vial) I believe you humans call it experimental treatment, but he will not take it. I’ve tried everything, even putting it in his food. Perhaps if you–he wouldn’t expect the medicine to be in something you give him. I know it’s a lot to ask, and I understand if you will not do it. (beat) I don’t know what to do.

CLARA
You care about him a lot. (Clara holds out her hand) We can work together.

ELYDIR
Thank you, Clara. (he hugs Clara and gives her the vial) The masquerade is in three days. Perhaps that would be the best time. There will be much food and drink. He should be less suspicious.

CLARA
You can count on me.

ELYDIR
I will take my leave. If you wish to visit the courtyard I will have the guard outside escort you.

Elydir exits. Clara picks up the book beside her, but stares at the closed door. Fade out.

*
SCENE 4

Lights up on a courtyard covered in snow. Trees line one side with a stone bench beneath. One day has passed.

CASTIEN
(From off) If Mab asks me to look at one more decoration I am going to kill her myself, Tanner. (beat) I don’t care what you tell them. (beat) I employ you to make up excuses.

Castien storms on stage holding a bow. A quiver filled with arrows is slung across his back.

CASTIEN
(muttering) One day off. Three weeks with this masquerade–All of Winter in an uproar–and she thinks she can refuse my one day off? I am firstborn, heir to the–

Clara enters while Castien is speaking. She wears a similar dress to the previous day, trips on the hem, and crashes into Castien.

CASTIEN (Said at the same time as Clara)
Herne’s horn!

CLARA (said at the same time as Castien)
Goddamn it!

Clara rights herself and smooths out her dress.

CASTIEN
How did you get out?

CLARA
Wouldn’t you like to know, Mr. I-make-deals-then-piss-off-for-three-days.

CASTIEN
I have been kept busy with masquerade preparations, but it is imperative that you stay hidden.

CLARA
I was looking for you, but your guard said you weren’t accepting visitors. Are you (beat) sick?

CASTIEN
Don’t be ridiculous.

CLARA
Everyone gets sick sometimes.

CASTIEN
What did you need me for?

Clara notices the bow and plucks it from Castien’s hand.

CLARA
You do archery?

CASTIEN
I hunt.

CLARA
Like, rabbits?

CASTIEN
If you no longer have need of me, I am in a hurry.

CLARA
Is having a conversation with you always this hard?

CASTIEN
Are we not conversing right now?

CLARA
Talking is different than having an actual conversation.

CASTIEN
(beat) I hunt spirits and small creatures. I like the chase–the distraction of tracking my prey.

Clara holds the bow up and struggles to pull back on the string.

CASTIEN
Like this. (He takes the bow and shows Clara how to hold it properly) The tension on this bow is wrong for someone of your stature. I am much stronger than you.

CLARA
Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I’m not strong.

CASTIEN
Your sex is irrelevant. Faeries are naturally stronger than humans.

CLARA
Can I tag along while you hunt?

CASTIEN
Absolutely not! It’s far too dangerous.

CLARA
You said you hunted small creatures.

CASTIEN
And you think those are the only creatures lurking in the Winter Woods?

CLARA
You just want to keep me locked in that room forever.

CASTIEN
I had Tanner bring you a book.

CLARA
You promised to take me–

Castien covers Clara’s mouth with his hand and looks around.

CASTIEN
I promised to take you to the mortal realm. You failed to specify when, and therefore I will use my best judgement in deciding the specifics of the matter. No one can know of our deal, do you understand? If Mab is given any inclination of your existence she is liable to kill you.
.
Castien removes his hand, and takes a step back. Clara holds a strand of hair out to Castien.

CLARA
Is it turning grey yet?

CASTIEN
I have a plan.

CLARA
(Pause) Well? What? You’re not going to tell me? Don’t I have a right to know? Do you have any idea what–

CASTIEN
Are all humans this obnoxious? I said I have a plan, what more do you need?

CLARA
Gee, I don’t know. When it’s happening might be a good start. Maybe how I’m involved?

CASTIEN
Go–back to your room!

CLARA
You can’t tell me what to do.

Clara marches to the bench and sits. Long pause where Clara and Castien face away from each other. Clara throws a snowball at Castien and hits him. Castien turns around.

CASTIEN
Herne’s horn woman!

CLARA
(clutches her sides and laughs) Oh my god your face.

CASTIEN
Yes, you’re irreverence is highly amusing. Are you sufficiently contented?

CLARA
You’re kind of (beat) beautiful.

Castien exits in a tizzy. Fade out.

*
SCENE 5

Lights up on the courtyard. It is night time. Two days have passed. Decorations and lights dress the trees. Guests are heard but muffled. Acoustic folk music plays. Clara enters wearing a lace tea dress. Her eye makeup is elaborately done to look like a mask.

CLARA
How can it be so hard to get a coat around here? A shawl, a jacket, a freaking scarf!? It’s like no one’s ever heard snow is cold! (Speaks off) Hey, you! Yeah, you in the helmet!

Clara exits. Elydir enters wearing an elaborately embroidered tunic. The guests get louder.

ELYDIR
Where did that woman go? If she gets herself killed I will pull her back and kill her myself! Humans are such a nuisance. Is it so hard to sit still for five mintues? (looks around. Speaks off.) Guard!

Elydir exits. Castien enters wearing a similar tunic to Elydir’s. The guests get louder.

CASTIEN
Elydir must have taken her, but where? He’s been strangely subdued these last few days. What is his plan? Present Mab a human, but for what purpose? (beat) I must find Clara.

Castien exits.

CLARA
(from off) I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean– (Clara backs up on stage with her hands raised. She speaks off.) No, I mean no offense, but my eyes–

Castien enters, sees Clara and approaches.

CASTIEN
Clara, where have you– (speaks off) Princess Rhoswen, how lovely–

The noise from the guests crescendo.

CASTIEN
You must accept my sincerest apologies, the girl is unaccustomed to–

The noise drowns out Castien’s voice. Castien takes Clara’s hand and leads her across the stage to the courtyard bench. The noise quiets, and a waltz starts.

CASTIEN
Do you dance?

CLARA
If you mean shuffling my feet in a slow circle, I am a master.

CASTIEN
It is of little consequence, I suppose. Follow my lead.

They dance.

CASTIEN
Why isn’t Elydir with you?

CLARA
He was supposed to be right back, but I got cold.

CASTIEN
You shouldn’t wander by yourself. It’s dangerous.

CLARA
You say that a lot.

CASTIEN
Because not all fae take kindly to humans. What did Rhoswen ask for? Your lips? (he brushes his thumb across her lips and then across her cheekbone) Or maybe your eyes…

CLARA
She wouldn’t really have taken my eyes, though, (beat) would she?

CASTIEN
What do you think?

CLARA
I think we should have a drink, and then I’d like to go home.

CASTIEN
Why would I have a drink with you? Has Elydir not asked you to poison me?

CLARA
What? That’s ridiculous, why would I–

CASTIEN
The vial in your pocket. What did he tell you it would do?

CLARA
How do you know about that?

CASTIEN
What did he tell you, Clara.

CLARA
He said you were sick, and that it was an experimental medicine.

CASTIEN
Faeries don’t get sick.

CLARA
Castien it’s okay to be scared, but if it’s preventing you from getting help–

Castien halts, though the music continues.

CASTIEN
Faeries don’t get sick, Clara. And if they don’t get sick, what do you think is in that vial?

CLARA
I–I don’t know.

CASTIEN
What happens should a human poison me, Winter’s heir? Do you think they’d bother with a trial before killing you?

CLARA
But Elydir said–

CASTIEN
Elydir says a lot of things, but it is seldom the truth.

The music stops. After a short silence a new song starts, slower this time, and Castien resumes leading Clara. Pause.

CLARA
Why go through all this trouble just to get me home?

CASTIEN
We made a deal.

CLARA
So? It’s not like we signed a contract.

CASTIEN
Clara, to break an agreement made on pain of death is to die.

CLARA
What do you mean die? Who would agree to something like that?

CASTIEN
Evidently, you did.

CLARA
But I didn’t know… Why would you agree to that when you knew?

CASTIEN
Unlike my brother my first priority is to Winter. My father would never allow your presence here, and as future king it is my responsibility to ensure the safety of all who dwell in my court.

CLARA
That’s noble of you.

CASTIEN
My life belongs to Winter. If I am unfit to protect this realm, I am unfit to be king, and I would welcome death in that case.

CLARA
You’ll be a good king, so you shouldn’t worry much about dying.

CASTIEN
Are you a fortune teller?

CLARA
You offered to take me home or die. Killing me, or having me killed, would have been easier and less dangerous, but you didn’t. You chose to risk your life so that I could live. Someone like you isn’t so terrible. Someone like you would make a good king.

CASTIEN
For someone so gullible you are awfully observant. (Castien leads Clara to the bench, and drops her hand.) Wait here and I will take you home shortly.

Music fades to a low hum; guests are heard. Castien exits. Clara sits on the bench. Enter Elydir. He is armed with a sword.

ELYDIR
My elusive human is found at last. Rumours of Castien running off with a human girl are rampant throughout the entire ballroom. (looks around) Where is that brother of mine, Clara? Has he taken the medicine yet?

CLARA
He’s still alive if that’s what you mean. And he’ll be back.

ELYDIR
So you’ll wait for him, but not for me? I’m hurt.

CLARA
The difference is he’s actually taking me home, (takes the vial from a hidden pocket in her dress) not setting me up for treason. That’s what it’s called, right?

ELYDIR
Look at you, being clever. I should have given you more credit.

Elydir walks to the bench.

CLARA
Was anything you said the truth?

Elydir grabs Clara’s chin and tilts her head up.

ELYDIR
Rhoswen was right. Your eyes are delectable. (swipes the vial) All that emotion bubbling just beneath the surface.

SFX: ice crackling. Elydir pulls Clara up, and her hands are bound with ice.

CLARA
Let me go.

Castien enters behind Elydir who doesn’t notice. Castien wears a cloak with a sword concealed beneath.

ELYDIR
Conspiring against the throne sounds just as nice. I’ll be hailed a hero.

Castien unsheathes his sword and holds it to Elydir’s neck.

CASTIEN
Let her go.

Elydir lets Clara go, takes a step back and unsheathes his sword.

ELYDIR
Don’t tell me you’ve gone soft for the girl.

CASTIEN
She doesn’t belong here.

CLARA
Standing right here.

ELYDIR
And who do you wish to win? Who is your prince, Clara?

CLARA
This isn’t a game, Elydir.

ELYDIR
Isn’t it? I’ll admit the chase is fun, but the capture is thrilling.

CASTIEN
Put your sword away.

ELYDIR
You first, brother.

Swords clash. Fight ensues.

CASTIEN
How long have I been the subject of your schemes? Did you think me unprepared for this?

ELYDIR
I am happy to see you are not. Treason is no fun without a sword fight, and it’s terribly unconvincing without some kind of flesh wound.

More fighting. Elydir disarms Castien. Using light effects Castien unleashes a flurry of ice magic. SFX: ice crackling. Castien dives for his sword.

ELYDIR
All this for a mortal girl?

Elydir charges Castien. Clara pushes Castien out of the way. Castien grabs hold of Clara and as they tumble to the ground Elydir’s sword shatters Clara’s bonds and cuts her arm. Castien grabs hold of his sword. More fighting. Castien disarms Elydir who falls to the ground. Castien presses the tip of his sword to Elydir’s neck.

CASTIEN
Did you really think you could best me at swordplay?

ELYDIR
Of course not. When I came upon you and Clara I knew in my heart I could not let you betray our poor mother. Our own prince lost to the enchantments of a mortal girl. What would Summer think of such weakness? And so I had no choice but to protect our court from such treasonous acts. You understand, don’t you? I am the only one fit to be king. Guards! Guards!

SFX: rushing footsteps, shouting.

CASTIEN
I will deal with you later. (Castien sheaths his sword and runs over to Clara) You are an idiot, now run.

Castien takes Clara’s hand and they dash offstage. Lights fade. The footsteps get louder. Shouting is heard. Spot up on Elydir as he makes his way to the side of the stage and speaks off.

ELYDIR
If her masquerade is disrupted she will have us all killed. You must keep this quiet. Just ensure they do not make it through the portal. I will deal with Castien once they return. Now go. Quickly!

Elydir follows offstage. Fade out.

*
SCENE 6

Lights up. Castien and Clara have entered the winter woods. It is still night time. Stars and a moon shed light. SFX: footsteps and talking. Castien and Clara run onstage. Clara’s arm is bloody, and her dress is speckled with blood down the one side. Clara is out of breath and lags behind as Castien pulls her along.

CLARA
Castien, please, slow down. I can’t run anymore. (Clara clutches her side) Couldn’t we sit for two minutes? The dryad said she’d mislead the guards.

Castien leads Clara to a snowy mound and has her sit. The footstep sounds get quieter and fade away completely. Rustling trees, animal sounds, and forest noises fill the background. Castien bends down to examine the cut on Clara’s arm.

CASTIEN
That stunt you pulled back there was incredibly stupid. Elydir could have killed you.

CLARA
But he didn’t, and you’re alive. I saved your life. Fancy that. Me. Saving your life.

Castien grabs a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes away some of the blood on Clara’s arm.

CASTIEN
I must admit I am not very adept with healing magic. Are you okay to continue?

CLARA
Faeries can heal people? How does it work? Why can’t you do it? I thought you could do anything.

CASTIEN
The cut is not deep, and the bleeding has stop–

CLARA
So you’re not going to heal me? You can’t tell me you have healing magic and then not use it.

CASTIEN
Given our relationship it seems inappropriate.

CLARA
That’s just cruel. Have you ever been cut by a sword? It hurts. Look at my poor bleeding arm. What if I bleed out and die?

CASTIEN
You are being ridiculous.

Clara pouts.

CASTIEN
You are the most frustrating mortal I have ever met. (Castien replaces the handkerchief in his pocket) Close your eyes.

CLARA
Why? What are you doing? How does it–

Castien places his index finger over Clara lips.

CASTIEN
Close.Your.Eyes.

Clara folds her hands in her lap and closes her eyes. Castien hesitates. He places his hands on Clara’s shoulders and kisses her. Clara goes rigid. The blood on her arm disappears, and there is no indication that she was ever hurt. Castien avoids looking at her. Clara stares at her hands and fidgets with her dress.

CASTIEN
There is a portal not far from here. Few know of its existence, but I have acquired permission to use it from the dryads who dwell in this area.

Castien motions for Clara to follow. An inhuman cry echoes through the forest. Clara glances over her shoulder, and shivers, rubbing her hands on her exposed arms.

CLARA
Won’t Elydir think to look wherever we’re going?

CASTIEN
My brother may think he can outsmart me, but he still has much to learn. Here.

Castien unbuttons his cloak and drapes it around Clara’s shoulders. Clara fumbles with the clasp.

CLARA
Thanks. Is this place safe?

CASTIEN
No place in Arcadia is safe for humans, but most things would not dare attack me.

They walk through the trees. SFX: creepy forest noises. Spot up at one end of the stage to represent a portal. Castien and Clara stop in front of it.

CLARA
How does it work?

CASTIEN
Picture the place you wish to go and step through.

CLARA
Really? That’s it? It’s not like healing magic where you need to… (Clara looks up at the sky away from Castien and closes her eyes) I’m imagining the place.

Castien takes Clara’s hand and leads her into the light. Blackout.

*
SCENE 7

CASTIEN
You can open your eyes now.

Lights fade in. Castien and Clara stand under a modern streetlamp. It’s still night time.

CLARA
It worked.

CASTIEN
Where are we?

Quiet sounds of traffic. A train whistle sounds.

CLARA
The park. My house is right over there. (Clara points out across the audience) I’m kind of nervous now. How do I explain where I’ve been?

CASTIEN
I will erase your memory.

CLARA
You can’t do that.

CASTIEN
Clara, no one can know where you’ve been. The veil must be kept at all times, do you understand?

CLARA
Of course I don’t understand.

CASTIEN
Human knowledge of faeries is dangerous. Not just for you, but us as–

CLARA
Stop doing that! Stop telling me everything is too dangerous. I’m seventeen years old! I’m not a child.

CASTIEN
If you would remember, it is a nightmare you will never forget.

CLARA
Please. Let me keep my memories.

Castien places his hand over Clara’s eyes. A bright flash of light. He removes his hand.

CLARA
What did you do?

CASTIEN
I have locked them away in a dream. You will remember, but you will not believe they happened.

CLARA
But–

Castien places a finger to Clara’s lips.

CASTIEN
I always collect on a favour owed.

Castien unclasps his cloak from her shoulders and exits. Fade out.

THE END .

Categories: Creative Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

5min Monologue

Sorry this is so late. I split it into smaller paragraphs so that it’s easier to read.

 

CHARACTER LIST

OLIVE – 75

SETTING

OLIVE’S APARTMENT BUILDING. THE YEAR IS 1985.

 

SCENE ONE

Lights up on Olive.

OLIVE

E’erbody dyin’. (beat) Maybe that’s a exaggeration. But just last week Mabel in the hospital, and she cryin’ on the phone to me. I says ‘Mabel, you get up and you’s walk ‘fore they send ya to the Maple House.’ That’s what them doctors and nurses do to us old folks. You’s hip broken? They send ya to the Maple House. You’s fallin’ too much? They ship ya there with a shiny bow. Ain’t no comin’ back once they send ya there. (beat) They ain’t never gonna get me in there. My daughter, she tryin’ though. They gonna have to drag my cold dead body out a these here apartment ‘fore I let them put me in there. Ooo Lawdy. Just a thought a that place gives me shivers.

I ain’t never had a friend last more than a year in there. That place sucks a life outta e’ery person, even the workers. You done believe me? Why, three months ago my good friend Tessa Ann went to the hospital with a broken foot. They send her to the Maple House, and she gone. Dead. The week ‘fore her accident we’s just chattin’ over coffee in a fit a life. She decline so fast I bet they poisonin’ her food. That place be the death a old people like me. I ‘spect my daughter want me someplace safe with all them prostitutes and drug addicts they lettin’ in this apartment, but I tell her ain’t nothin’ more dangerous to Olive than the Maple House. She cryin’ ‘Mama, please’ but I won’t have it.

(The telephone rings. Olive answers.) Jeanie? Ah, naw. Law, ya din’. Tell me ya din’. Jeanie how many times I gots to tell ya stay away from that steppin’ stool. They sendin’ ya for surgery? Naw, Jeanie you know I gots my cortisone injections tomorrow. My back be hurtin’ for weeks after them. I be lucky if I can walk outta the clinic. Call Mabel sweetheart, she come visit ya. Mhm. Law, Jeanie, you make sure you walkin’ ‘fore they start talkin’ ‘bout you know what. You know Tessa Ann din’ last more an a month. Mhm. You take care now, ya hear me? (Olive hangs up the phone.) Way was I? Right, right, them prostitutes. You know just the other day I’s comin’ home from the supermarket, and they’s standin’ right in the doorway. This ‘sposed to be a apartment for us old folks, and now they lettin’ all kinds a ruffians.

I hear ‘em down the hall comin’ and goin’ all night. Back in my day they’s a different standard for white womens. Too busy plannin’ them fancy DDR meetin’s. Now they’s runnin’ all over the place, at all hours in they short skirts. I says to Luella, she my neighbour two doors down, ‘Yo mama know you down here dressed like that?’ You know what she says to me? She tell me to mind my own damn business. Law, I’s about slap her. Ain’t got no respect for themselves or others. I says to Mabel I gots too many health issues to be runnin’ ‘round this place chasin’ all them white girls in they undergarments. Why, just last week the doc says I got—was he sayin’? Congestive heart failure or some like that. No wonder with all them scanty womens runin’ ‘round here, practically give me a heart attack.

Why, Frankie say some young fella name Jimmy gone died a a overdose couple weeks back. Maybe suicide, I dunno. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who gone kill ya first. All them medications, or that old folks home. It’s like they just tryin’ to kill me. It’s no wonder with my back the way it is how I even get outta the house. It just can’t take all the walkin’ no more, but you know I do. Law, and these knees a mine seen too many floors to count. I even had one replaced ‘bout five years back. Now I be creakin’ and bowin’ like ain’t nobody’s business. But I ain’t leavin’ this here apartment, no ma’am. I be here ‘til I die, or they drag me outta here kickin’ and screamin’. Ain’t much I gots to choose in my life. I ‘spect where I die be the only thing, and ain’t no one gone take that away from me. Nuh uh.

BLACKOUT.

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School

I’m coming up to my 4th week of 1st semester of my 2nd year. To say my workload has been hectic would be an understatement. So far I have written and submitted a 5min monologue, submitted my first draft a 6000 word short story, and I’m currently working on the first 5 pages of my stageplay. This is on top of all the readings (did I mention our history teacher started us a week behind), and commuting (3hrs total twice a week). In 3 weeks I have another assignment due, which I need to pick an author (who I’ve never heard of), research them, read a bunch of stuff they’ve wrote, write a 500 word report, and then submit a 3500 word minimum story as a hommage to their writing style. Yay? Not to mention from now on I have 5 pages of my Stageplay due every week, and my history assignments start this week. I’m FINALLY catching up on those readings. 6 more pages and I’ll have last weeks readings done.

And after all that, I don’t want this to be a complain-y post. Since I’m so busy, I haven’t been able to keep this updated at all! When was my last post? I don’t even remember. So I thought I’d share some of my school writing. It’ll be the polished, edited works, so they won’t be often, but they will happen. I got my monologue back last week so I’ll upload that one. The final draft of my first short story is due Nov 4, so I’ll share that one sometime in November when I get it back. And my Stageplay is due in December. So there you have it. One piece of writing a month-ish, for your entertainment. Maybe I’ll share my Sonnet today. It’s the prologue for my stageplay.

Happy Monday, I’ve got a lot of homework still…

~Kat

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Book Update

I feel like this has been long coming. Recently things have been crazy. I’ve been posting tons of Life posts, but  my writing posts have been sorely lacking. I wish I had really exciting news like “my book is finally done” but, hahaha that’s hilarious, as if my book would actually be finished… Because I’m a perfectionist, and I also want to add two more scenes in the section I’m working on. The good news is I’ve ACTUALLY had time to work on it, and I’ve been making good progress. I know some author’s have talked about how it took them four years to write their first book. I feel like that’s really easy to do. It’s hard, because as a newbie, unpublished author I’m in school full time for 8 months of the year, and the other four months I’m trying to work and save money for the 8 months that I won’t be working. I get to write, but it’s mostly for school. My favourite time is when I can write full time on my book. It’s when I’m happiest. But now look, I’m back to talking about life stuff, and not book stuff!!

So, book is fantastic! My writing improves every day that I write (practice makes perfect and all that jazz). The main reason why my book has been taking so long this summer is because I’ve been busy working on another project at the same time. I said I wanted to spend all summer writing. Be careful what you wish for, because this is happening, but not on what I expected. I have, in fact, started a new book with a friend. Yes that’s right, I’m 20 chapters deep in the first draft of a new novel. It doesn’t have a name yet, but we’ve been calling the story Winter’s Grasp. Definitely multi-book. There is A LOT of story. A lot of plotting. A lot of gushing, swooning, heartbreak, action, you name it. It’s Fantasy/Romance. There’s faeries. A winter prince. Magical humans. My best category would be NA. It’s too racy for YA, but not quite old enough for Adult. So yeah, that’s what took up most of my June, and half of my July.

Writing with someone is different, but I’ve found I LOVE it!! We feed off each other’s energy, and it keeps propelling us forward to write more. I’ll share an excerpt with you from chapter 1. You can let me know what you think. Again, it’s the FIRST draft! So be nice, hahaha. But I’m so in love with the characters ❤ ❤ ❤ I will try and keep you all updated with news!

~Kat

Funhouse Excerpt:

She turned down one of the rows to her left. A sparkling light flickered in her peripheral vision, and she turned, the Funhouse entrance staring back at her. The steps creaked under her feet as she followed the flickering lights refracting off the mirrors just inside the doorway, beckoning her in.
Strange shadows danced just out of sight, sending chills down her spine. After several lefts, and a few more rights, Alena realized the lights weren’t getting any closer. She turned around to go back and walked into a mirror.
“Great. How the hell am I supposed to get out of here?” she muttered.
Wasn’t there a saying if you follow the inside wall of a maze it will lead you out? Alena pawed the mirrors along one side, and found herself at another dead end. “I could have sworn I went left here before.”
Ogden had definitely sensed some unwelcome magic in the funhouse, and was busy hunting it down when he came across a girl with black hair guiding herself with her hands. Clever trick, he thought. Still, watching her from where she wouldn’t see, he felt certain she was about to fall into some sort of trap.
Alena looked around at her many reflections. Was there… more of them? She tapped against one of the mirrors, retracting her finger when it shocked her. What the…? Was there some kind of electrical wiring back there moving the mirrors?
“This isn’t funny,” she huffed.
Very clever. Ogden could sense the hidden shadows cursing her for what appeared to have been the use of magic. He was sure that was what he’d seen – felt – but she was only human, wasn’t she? He stepped toward her, looking her over with suspicious eyes.
He looked past her at the mirror she’d tapped. Whatever magical trickery had been there was long gone. Her touch had done it, somehow, and by extension probably saved her life.
A tingle went down Alena’s spine. She spun around, squinting into the dark. “Is someone there?” There couldn’t be. She shook her head. “I’m just freaking myself out now.”
Ogden’s voice was low as he stepped into the circle of mirrors she’d wandered into, though he was speaking beyond her to those who were hiding unseen, waiting on their prey. “I see I’m not the only one enjoying this game.”
Alena stepped back, and let out a startled cry. “I thought you were a demon.”
“Oh? And now what do you think I am?” Ogden wondered.

Categories: Book Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Disappointments and Let Downs

You know when things are going really good? And you’re sitting there thinking, man, I know this can’t last forever? Well, that’s what happened. My school funding has been denied. I’ve already been stressed out trying to find money for a commuter car, since 90min commute to school is a money suck in our current vehicle. Our debts are being chipped away very slowly, but now I have tuition costs on top of everything else, AND I won’t be working, so we will be down to 1 income, with rent, bills, car payment, etc… My anxiety has been back in force. My eating habits have been suffering because of it. I keep believing things will work out. They just HAVE TO!! But it’s so hard to see right now.

I managed to JUST BARELY squeak into the 2nd year workshops I wanted to get into. They are really small classes. Fiction is 15 seats, and Screenplay is 8 seats. I’m lucky to have got in at all. And now that I AM in, I don’t even know if I can afford to take them. In light of this I have set up a gofundme page to help cover my first semesters tuition costs. I hate asking people for money. Like, actually, I’d rather skip meals than borrow 10$ for groceries… But this is my dream. And I won’t back down without a fight. So to all the benevolent people in the world. Here is a link to my page:

http://www.gofundme.com/b70uds

~Kat

P.S. I have reward levels! I don’t expect people to just give me money for free 🙂

P.P.S. Did I tell you about the 2nd book I started writing with my friend? I’ll be back to update my Book Musings link soon!

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I’m Still Alive

I’m moved. I have the next two weeks vacation, and then I work almost full time for the rest of the summer. I have accomplished a lot of writing in the last week. Not only on my book, but also the book I am writing with my friend. Having two book projects on the go has it made it difficult to finish anything, but as usual everything is trudging along at a decent pace. It will all work out in the end. Recently I read the first 3 chapters of my book and didn’t change one single thing. It makes me hopeful that I’ve finally come to a place where the story is acceptable. Both in it’s pacing, action, romance, and plot. So many things didn’t make sense before, but it feels like finally, FINALLY, things are coming together to some kind of end.

I’ve been meaning to post sooner, but I honestly haven’t had anything to say. So I will leave you here. I’ll let you know if anything exciting happens 🙂

~Kat

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Tempest in a Teacup is right!

Guess what? As if I wasn’t JUST getting settled in a new city I’m moving AGAIN! And AGAIN it is in the month of June! That’s right, next month I’m moving. My husband got this amazing job opportunity, so we are moving 90 minutes north. I will admit a 90 minute commute to school isn’t ideal, but did I mention it was an AMAZING job opportunity? I mean, we could be home owners by this time next year, it’s THAT amazing. And also the housing prices in that area are so ridiculously cheap it’s actually sickening, and gleefully satisfying to think I could actually own a house. A HOUSE!! You know, with a garage, and a real yard. Grass! I could have my own grass!! And did I mention the garage? So yeah. Moving.

My writing projects have been put on hold AGAIN! I have been working like crazy (they keep calling me! I can’t say no!), and now I have left 3 weeks open in June to move. So, tonight I’m working on my book, and tomorrow I also have time to work on my book, but it looks like my big book writing summer plans have been totally ruined. Between work, and life, and people, and now moving, I’ve hardly had time to look at my book. It saddens me to no end. No, really.

Anime Crying

 

 

 

<– Me.

 

 

 

 

It’s really depressing. This was supposed to be my summer of writing, and it’s turned into my summer of working, house hunting, and working… lots of working.

In brighter news I got to see my husband this weekend! I don’t get to see him for another 3 weeks now. God help me. I really miss him. But we have been able to make leaps and bounds in our debt repayment since I’ve started working. Woohoo! Lots of cheering! He starts his new job tomorrow. I’m going to work on my book now.

~Kat

Life is rough
But I’m still breathing
And as long as I’m breathing
I can still fight.
As long as I’m breathing
I’ll see you again.

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On Finishing 1st year, Moving, and Work

I have come through exams and survived.

sick-squid-girl-shinryaku_08_05-11(This may or may not be an exaggeration of actual events)

Currently I am procrastinating my need to pack. I’m moving in with my parents for the summer so I can work before heading back to school in September. I am both excited, sad, and nervous. Excited because a summer at my parents place means I get to spend time with my family for the whole summer! I get to see my brother on a weekly basis, and we can finally start recording some music!

Anime-Music-Cool-HD(not an identical representation of my brother)

I’m sad because it means the summer away from my husband, but having two incomes will help pay off the debt we accumulated while I was in school. Finally I’m nervous because of work. After 8 months, I hope it’s as easy as riding a bicycle.

So, what news doth thou bring? I PASSED!

tumblr_lxtsl1MrKE1r0q6x8o1_500

Yes, that is correct, you are looking at a Writing Major!!449218_1354427741381_300_225

 

No longer am I the nameless, undeclared reject hiding in the faculty of humanities. Operation weasel way into Fine Arts has been a 100% success!! With an A- no less.Kawapaper_LuckyStar_0000042_1920x

Thank you, yes, thank you, please, feel free to throw roses at my feet…

483750

But seriously, I’ve been happy dancing around my living room calling and texting my family for the last hour.

I move Tuesday, start my first work shift Saturday. I will eat lunch and go pack now. I want to celebrate! This writer is stoked for summer!!

~Kat

P.S. I’m starting a new project. Hopefully I’ll have details in the next month or two so stay tuned!

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