Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Freebie....

A sneak peek of a work in progress...This is the first draft...just filling the sandbox...

Declan O'Bran
May 4, 1912

I find myself once more at a beginning. The beginning of this writing...the beginning of a new... life? Or what may pass at this moment for life.

My name is Declan O'Bryan and although I am writing this, I am no longer of the living.

The events and memories are foggy and disorganized to me now. I was a traveler, just passing through Salem on my way home to Boston, stopping at the tavern for a drink to take the chill off my bones and find lodgings for the night. I remember this much at least..this much and the woman.

I arrived in Boston only two days ago. Is that possible? Is it possible that only two days have passed since I first walked the narrow streets of the North End? I can say it has been two days but in reality I no longer have any sense of time or urgency that I am aware of the hour. Except for the day's dawning. Of that, I remain keenly aware. I can sense the approaching sunlight beneath my skin, a hot, slithering bile that crawls its way just below the surface, lightly shimmering the blood within my veins. The weather in early Spring is still chilly enough to require a cloak but the chills that devour me have nothing to do with the temperature this morning.

To say she was beautiful would not do her justice. A long dark mane surrounded her heart shape face, a sharp widow's peak pierced her forehead like an arrow. Ebony eyes melded into her copper complexion, shades of mocha and black swirled together in an exotic blend.

I seemed unable to resist her although I am not one to indulge in pleasures of the flesh casually, yet when she took my hand into hers, I followed her to her room above the tavern without question or second thought.

I felt nearly as if I had simply fallen asleep and was wrapped inside the dizziness and desire of a sensuous dream. I could not move and yet I was able to follow her; I could not speak but yet I groaned outwardly. The overwhelming scent of a million spices filled her room and danced on her skin like sweet honey, making my head reel as it became more difficult for me to breathe with each passing second I was in her presence.

She closed and locked the door behind us and began to undress slowly, whispering to me in a language I could not understand but could only grasp the meaning as she smiled. In a moment she stood naked before me, proud, exquisite, long supple legs, full breasts, taunt ripe belly, her dark hair draped around her narrow waist in a sea of thick black waves.

I had never seen such a exquisite woman, nor never have I tasted such exotic flesh. and when she pulled me to her, I drowned within the agony of her embrace.

I awoke in a strange barn sometime later and she was gone. I was dressed again but could not recall how I had gotten there nor could I remember what had transpired. My body ached with fever and my throat burned with thirst. My stomach clenched as waves of agonizing spasms washed over me, leaving me curled tightly on the dirt floor. I trembled in the chill of the barn yet I could not find the energy to get up to venture to someplace warmer.

I knew I was dying even when I knew nothing else and seemed unable to help my situation.

Ashley Donaghue

July 1, 2013

How do I start this? How do I begin? Dear Diary? To Whom it May Concern?

And what shall I call you? Diary? Journal? My Inner Sanctum? My Subconscious?

I will write because I was told it would help, not because I particularly want to. I do want to feel better however, anything is better than where I am at at the moment.

And where am I exactly? Three months after a very public emotional break down and what the professionals perceived as a suicide attempt. Perceived is the key word here..

I could fail I suppose, return to that dark place that exists inside everyone of us yet no one ever wants to talk about. You know all about that place, don't you? When someone you love and count on is taken from you on an icy road on a cold April morning when all he wanted to do was surprise you with your favorite coffee from Starbucks when you woke up, that dark place is the only place left to go.

I'm strong, stronger than most but this one time I didn't want to be. I wanted silence and to disappear for awhile. I took too many sleeping pills and had too much wine that night but I didn't want to die. They got that part wrong but nobody seemed to care. No one but me.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Sandbox...

This Monday morning I am reminded of the importance of a first draft and of building castles.

As writers, we all wish we could get to the end of our current work-in-progress so that we can go on to the next thing. We love beginnings...beginnings are fun...beginnings are joy and full of bright promise.

I am as guilty as the next of believing I have made my way to  a final draft after working on a first draft until I can't stand the story myself anymore. Then, as readers, we realize this isn't how it works.

Maybe there are some writers who can put out a first draft and it is a masterpiece and ready for an editor to swoop in, I believe Dean Koontz just might be one of these talents, but for most of us, we write with our hearts and then when we begin the edits on our beloved first drafts we realize much of it is hogwash and we manage to break our own hearts with the truth of it.

If we only realized from the beginning that we are just filling a box full of lovely, colorful sand for future use, it would save us from ourselves. This is why I find for myself, the importance of writing the first draft as quickly as I can, do a little editing to clean it all up nice and shiny, and then bury it for a few weeks or a month. 
Then I unearth the story once again and begin my real work of building something out of what I have shoveled in there.

Sometimes however, we discover that there will be no castle out of the mess, it is and shall ever remain, a pile of lovely sand.

But other times, well...the castle begins to build itself in that first reading, you can see the turrets and towers immediately, the fine structure, the endurance of what is there before you.

And that is the best feeling of all...