Today is a deviation.
This is a self-bashing, contemplative post of mind spew. Prepare yourself.
Featured image is a picture taken by the Hubble Telescope of the Swan Nebula. All rights reserved.
Hey folks, I’m alive, see?
Here’s another short from The Book. I hope you enjoy it!
If you’re interested in reading more, please see previous posts under the Science Fiction header.
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A friend and I have been running various prompts using one-liners in order to hold ourselves accountable for writing.
This takes place sometime between the pick up and Beginning of an Aftermath
and features flashbacks of Merrikh’s past, and tidbits from Between the Stars.
How do you quantify the magnitude of a star?
Silence echoed an answer in the gentle artificial breeze as Merrikh sat, staring up at the stars through the boughs of scarlet trees. Unseen giant fans moved the air through the expansive room, rustling the floating embers of his unruly hair. His elbows rested on bent knees, neck straining as his gaze followed the slow movement of their propulsion through space.
It was a hypothetical question. Rhetorical. For instance, you could measure a star’s mass or its temperature. You could measure how far its warm fingers reached out into the vacuum oblivion of nothingness. A star was something tangible. However, the energy it exudes is far from what most would consider tangible. Most.
Merrikh’s gaze shifted to his hands as fire licked out over his knuckles. He smiled wistfully, closing his hand over the flame and retracting his energy. Tangible, eh?
He sighed and stretched his legs out, leaning back against the trunk of the tree he sat beneath, intertwining his fingers on his lap. (more…)
This is a short passage that takes place in The Book. You’ve probably seen posts about it. This is all my original work. Please do not copy or redistribute without (easily-attainable) permission. This is from Hazel’s point of view, pre-relationship, post-world-end.
If you like this and want more, please like and subscribe! 🙂 Comment for me, as well. What are you scared of?
She could almost see it, like fireworks behind closed eyelids, sitting cross-legged there in the training room across from the man himself. The cement floor was warm from the heat that radiated from his body, still gleaming with sweat; broad shoulders lifting and lowering with the sweet cool air. She’d peeked a few times to his chagrin, and had since lulled herself obediently into some semblance of meditation. And she could almost see it.
She could almost feel it again; the fire that leapt between them in the air, grasping tendrils reaching through atmospheric particles towards her as she skittered, breath heaving through aching lungs.
On Earth, they would have probably called it PTSD, the icy fingers that stroked her blood vessels as her legs churned calories–and suddenly she was fleeing her nightmares. The first few times, she screamed and ran painfully into the cargo crates built into an obstacle course through the long-former storage room, she woke up in cold sweats in the night. She whimpered and suffocated over and over, overwhelmed by fizzing spectres in the corners of her small cabin, particle hands reaching toward her and ghastly mouths open in fierce hunger. (more…)
You know those guys,
You’ll know the ones I mean.
Blonde hair, blue eyes, broad shoulders.
Football players, baseball players, wrestling.
The whole shebang.
The ones that stand tall in the hallways
But they’re quiet.
And they’re uncertain.
Their friends are loud.
They laugh hesitantly, cracked smiles.
I don’t know when it was that your eyes drew to me
As if you pleaded for me to crack open that hard exterior.
Or maybe you were longing for something that I had.
Sometimes I remember those eyes
I don’t think you ever wanted anything from me
I don’t think you were interested in me.
I think you were interested in what I had.
Maybe you secretly watched Japanese cartoons.
You’d never be able to tell another soul.
Maybe you played video games
Talked loudly and laughed with people across the world
In that way you’d never laugh with
those broad shoulders
And tall hallway walks.
Those eyes pleaded with me to find your secret.
Or that’s what I like to tell myself
when I remember
The way you looked across the room
The loudness in your gaze.
“Set me free.”
I wonder where you are now
I wonder if you grew up well.
You never mixed with me,
I don’t even remember your name.
We weren’t friends.
We weren’t crushes.
We were people.
Sometimes I think I see you
Walking across campus
I wonder if you ever cracked
I wonder if it ever set you free.
So, took a look at The Book for the… well, maybe second time this summer outside of figuring out backstories and worldbuilding. (Check out some of that here.) And yknow what I figured?
Well… I’ve mentioned in previous posts that there were specific bridges I knew I’d struggle with crossing, but I’d handle those when I got there. In another post, I may have even mentioned that I’d met that bridge, and decided to edit around it for the time being.
I need to rewrite it. Entirely. From the ground up.
There’s no other way to thoughtfully progress the story past the bridge, because the bridge is literally blown to pieces before you even cross it.
But I’m starting from the beginning. I’m tearing down walls and rebuilding them. I realize that this is NOT the first time I’ve done this, and with just about 60,000 words (48k of the book currently and the rest in backstory which I can drag in), I have a LOT of material to work with. I guess that’s the head’s side of the coin. The tail’s side is that just about 60,000 words is a lot of stuff to rummage through and pull out the best of.
So, excuse me as I print out 30 double sided pages at a time and sit on my living room floor with scissors and glue sticks as I paste parts here and there into a notebook.
I get it, such a waste of paper, Poppy!! How could you!? I know, I know, it kills me a little too. But the loading times into some of these documents… is brutal. And sometimes I need to see things side to side and NOT on a screen. It makes my brain light up in prettier ways.
So, when I mentioned there might be more sneak peeks/back stories (like this.) from The Book, I’m afraid I’ll need to post-pone a lot of that posting (ahaha. Pun totally intended) until I have a more solid visualization of what is real and what is.. well.. fiction, as far as the end-product goes.
If I sat down and did this, and worked through it with a criminal, superpower level focus, I could probably rack together these strings and pull the book out in maybe a few days. That’s how much content is staying, as far as I know currently. And likely, it would be much longer than it sits. Dude, I have skills. And plans. Except I only wish I had that superhuman focus. Somebody get me some Adderall. And prayers. Lots of prayers. And patience. Oodles of patience.
Anyways, if you want to see more of what I’m up to, please check out our new facebook page! 🙂
As always, with love and smiley faces,
There was once a camp counselor who loved training her children. She was an undergrad in physical therapy, albeit ironically because she was on the heavy-set side; but she always enjoyed teaching the kids at camp every year how to move their bodies in a way that was safe and fun. She’d worked at this particular camp every single summer since she’d graduated high school, so many years ago.
This year was a little different. This year, they’d gotten a new counselor. This young man was about the same age as herself, but he was the most attractive thing the counselor (we’ll call her Jamie.) had ever seen. He had striking black hair and glittering green eyes, he had broad shoulders and thick biceps. He was a walking dream.
Jamie was pretty certain that this young man (We’ll call him Trent.) and herself would have fairly evenly nothing in common. But as the days began to pass of the month-long summer camp, they began to talk and find that they had a lot in common.
It came to be that Trent confessed his love to her beneath the awning of the cafeteria during a sudden rainstorm after all the kids had trundled into their cots. And so, they began a hesitant relationship.
A week passed, then two, and the camp was drawing to a close. There was a softball tournament coming up as the final activity of the camp, and the whole grounds were excited. Jamie was in charge of teaching the little girls how to throw and catch the softballs. Trent was working with the boys.
They’d spent so much time together since that fateful night beneath the cafeteria awning that neither had slept much, and some of their duties had been shirked in lieu of spending time together. However, they didn’t know much about each other.
The truth was, Jamie had a big secret.
And that big secret was that at a certain point during the year, though it was never exactly the same, her face turned absolutely grotesque. Her ears would wind up, her nose screw and bubble, her eyebrows turned downward. She became what most people would call a part-of-the-year goblin. Her hair, normally a plain brown, would turn a drastic red that would curl past her hip and tangle atrociously. She likened herself to an ugly troll-doll.
So when it came that she had exhausted herself so thoroughly in spending time with Trent, she found herself beginning to change a little earlier than she’d expect.
Of course the camp knew about her condition, and it was no surprise to them. Nor to many of the children who had attended many years as well.
However, Jamie absolutely did NOT want to let Trent in on this awful secret.
She began to fear that Trent loved everything about her that he saw on the surface. Maybe in all that time they’d spoken, they’d not touched the very inward parts of what made them who they were; so they loved the thought of one another.
When it came to the softball game, Jamie hadn’t seen Trent for days. This was quite unusual and Trent was afraid that she had gotten sick or worse–that she wasn’t feeling their relationship. They’d seen each other every single day for hours, would spend hours into the night talking. So to go without even three or four days was alarming to Trent, who was beginning to invest serious thought into what they would do after the camp ended.
Jamie was terrified that if he saw her the way she was, he’d run screaming. That he’d find her grotesque and never wish to speak to her again. Trent was terrified that he’d said something wrong, or let her in too much and she found something displeasing.
On the one side of the field stood Jamie in her troll-esque appearance, on the other stood the striking prince. The boys and the girls were playing a competition against one another for a final cup.
At first, Trent thought she’d shirked her responsibility off on another camp counselor to stay away from him. His eyesight, you see, was pretty awful.
But as the game progressed and much head tilting had occurred, he began to realize the truth.
Half-time came about and he marched across that rustic baseball diamond and took her face in his hands and kissed her, before all of the counselors and children, who let up a whooping cry.
When they ended the kiss, he was very upset. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked, frustrated.
And she told him she’d been afraid of what he’d think.
He faltered a moment, remembering his fear as well. He cracked a smile and shook his head, “From now on, I want to see all of you, always. I want to see the bad, the good, the funny, the sad, the happy, the ugly.” He ran a timid hand over his scalp and grinned sheepishly, “Because that’s the only way to love someone, isn’t it?”
***This is from The Book (my original story). I started writing this earlier and wasn’t sure if it really had a place in the actual storyline, but I really liked it.
It’s not entirely logical with the events in The Book: Doesn’t align well with the timeline. I’m pretty sure this would be strategically impossible to put in the book itself.
These characters are mine. This world is mine. No touchey without permission, please!!!***
If you like the featured image, it’s the Bubble Nebula, photographed by the Hubble Telescope.
—This is a super short scene between three characters. If you like it and want more, let me know.
A bit of background information that may explain some things. Merrikh is an alien. Hazel is from Earth. Mush is the captain of the ship, Sidereal, and Merrikh’s best friend (easily.) Sidereal is a spaceship that picks up people from planets that are in danger from this dark, ominous race of Shadows (essentially.) that suck the energy at astonishing rates from planets (devouring planets) before moving on. Sidereal tries to save as many species as possible (sentient and not) before the Shadows take over.
Merrikh’s sister died during the evacuation of his planet when one starpod crashed into another. She was an honorable Far-Seer, and foresaw the apocalypse of their solar system.
I hope that clears some things up. I’ll probably post more about Sister and Merrikh’s old planet. I really like them. They don’t fit in The Book very well, but interesting and lots of back story, to be sure.—-
Desert/Between the Stars
All was dust, scattered where the planet used to reside, caught in a phantom gravitational field. Billions of people, thousands of buildings, plants, animals… all dust. All that was and ever would be scattered as tiny particles that might someday build stars or planets. But for now, and for the next trillion years, it was a desert among the void, hanging motionless between the stars.
The starpod hovered nearby, white under-glow bright against the blackness of space. Two men sat silently in the cockpit, staring out at the remnants of a solar system.
“This is it, then,” Merrikh said with a deep breath. “This is all that’s left.” A memory tickled the back of his head. Dust…
“We’re all stardust.”
“What’d you say?” Merrikh asked.
“It’s something someone told me once,” the young woman said, light blue hair flitting about her face in the warm breeze. Merrikh was playing with the purple grass, plucking at the strands, enjoying the feel of the blades between his fingers. The night was cool, her small hand warm inside his own. The red and white planet in the sky gleamed above their heads. “They said we were just the children of the stars. Nothing but star dust.” She chuckled, and the sound was a phantom melody that rang in his ears, over and over and…
Mush nodded solemnly beside him in the cockpit. “We were in the area, wasn’t sure if you’d seen it since…” His voice drifted with meaning, his eyes still facing forward. “I mean… I guess you wouldn’t have…”
Merrikh shrugged. “I dream about it sometimes.” He gestured at the scene ahead of them. “I guess I’ve always remembered what it looked like.” He shrugged helplessly.
Mush nodded with a slight grin. “Must be some of your Seer blood,” he joked half-heartedly.
Merrikh chuckled, but silence quickly filled the cockpit. “Speaking of…”
Mush shook his head and strapped himself in. “You don’t want to see that, Merrikh.”
“So it’s there, then,” Merrikh said, not facing the captain. “The wreckage.”
The small man nodded. “Pieces of starpod. Bits…” He shrugged helplessly. “Nothing decays in space.”
Merrikh felt a little sick at that. He swallowed the bile that threatened to emerge with the little he’d eaten before their quick side-expedition. He knew he shouldn’t have asked. He could almost feel the pressure in his head at the memory of the corkscrewing flight that changed his life forever.
He forced his mind to other thoughts, pointing to another large body of dust. “That’s one of the moons, isn’t it?’
“Our calculations show that’s where it was,” Mush affirmed.
“Is it still orbiting?”
The captain shrugged, “I don’t handle that extent of the astrophysics, Merrikh.”
“Wish I could’ve shown…” Merrikh’s voice trailed off, and he scratched his neck with a sly grin. “Nevermind.”
Mush smiled beside him. “Let’s head back then. I just needed to show you…” The captain swallowed. “I mean, we were close enough, so…”
Merrikh smiled and slapped his friend on the shoulder. “Thanks, don’t worry about it.” He strapped himself tighter into his seat, tapping at the controls.
Mush followed suit and the blasters fired, carrying the small spacecraft into light speed and back to Sidereal.
Hazel kissed Merrikh’s temple, her pale face bright in the moonlight glow simulation in the wall, light hair gleaming along the curve of her shoulder. “Talk to me?”
Merrikh’s arm squeezed her hip, fingertips tracing the length of thigh that was draped across his diaphragm. “I saw my planet.”
Her fingers threaded through his hair, calming the static embers that still flickered in the remnants of their lovemaking. He sighed in bliss at the massage against his scalp, leaning into her hand. “Was it bad?” she asked softly.
“It’s exactly as I remember it…” he murmured, pulling her palm from his scalp to kiss the inside slope of her thumb. “What has it been?” he murmured to himself, pressing her hand into his chest and stroking her knuckles. “Almost eighteen years now…”
She kissed his temple again. Her other arm cradled his head, and she bent her hand to squeeze his shoulder. “You don’t look a day over twenty-six,” she told him, nuzzling his hair.
He chuckled, “I don’t know what that means,” he assured her. “I think my species lives a lot longer than yours…”
Hazel smiled, pulling her hand from his on his chest and turning his chin to face her. “You mean I won’t see you as an old man?” she teased, tugging on his striking red hair, pouting playfully, “I’ve always wanted a man with a bit of grey.”
Merrikh pulled her closer and kissed her, tucking a strand of her blonde hair behind her tiny ear. “Ah,” he teased, kissing her nose, “But you’ll be an old woman before long,” he assured her. His fingers tickled over her ribs, making her body retaliate. “Plenty of grey for the both of us.”
She pulled his hand from her ribs, grimacing slightly, her silver eyes dancing in the dark. “I think I’ll be too grey for you by then.”
Merrikh shook his head, twining their fingers together, “No,” he murmured matter-of-factly. “You’ll be just as silver.” He kissed her neck, turning them over so he hovered over her. “And I think silver is my favorite color.”
So, I’ve been meaning to talk to you guys for awhile now about inspiration and my muses. I’ve created and (accidentally) destroyed two or three different drafts of discussions and I’m deciding I should just combine them.
So… Let’s talk about my muse, shall we?
My Writing Muse
My writing muse is literally my OC. He’s a fiery (literally… and, of course, stereotypically…) and brooding individual that really (ahaha) fires up my world… Which makes me seem a little crazy but bear with me.
So I’ve been writing The Book since middle school. Long before Celldweller dyed his hair red and published his album, End of an Empire. But let’s be fair… he looks like Merrikh. sans hair flip. sans… well… actually… he’s pretty close to how I’ve always envisioned Merrikh. Merrikh just has more tanned skin… and fancy ears. Cuz… he’s an alien.
He’s the first-mate of the spaceship–but really in name only. He’s just best buddies with the captain and actually manages the “boiler” room of the ship. (more…)
There are a lot of times I do things that I wish you didn’t see; because they’re not things you’re supposed to do.
So I’m going to lay it out for you as well as I can so when you’re older you’ll read this and say, “Huh. Guess she really did think of us all the time like she said she did.”
Yeah. I do think of you. All. The. Time.
Once you find your passions, stick to them. You’ll have more than one, usually, or you’ll have one thing that you’re absolutely obsessed with. Stick with it. Whether it’s you have a love for medicine, film, flying airplanes, science, caring for animals. Whether you’ll love archery or fencing. The world is your oyster, girls. We live in a magnificent time where “woman power” is a real thing. Take advantage of the opportunities that will be open to you that weren’t available to me at your age. (more…)
The great NPH was lounging at a party. His party. Hundreds of people milled the fantastic lot, shoving themselves into corners and networking with all the greats. And yet, somehow, Harris had kept a bubble of space about his lounge chair. Perhaps it was because he was in his dark study with sunglasses and a tanning board on his lap that people were hesitant to approach him.
Everyone knows that if you throw all of his roles together–Barney and Dr. Horrible specifically–you get a mastermind of such magnitudes you aren’t certain he wouldn’t single-handedly annihilate the world.
Despite this, I sat down beside him and started fiddling with the books on his shelf. “You ought to do that on your yacht.” I told him, pulling down a toy figurine of said boat. He lifted his sunglasses and eyed the toy, and brought it into his lap.
He turned it over in his hands, and nodded thoughtfully, “I imagine so.”
“I imagine you should have thrown this party on your yacht.”
A beginning of a smile pulled his face. A flash of genius wiggling into his eyes. “Yes, yes, yes.” He shot his gaze at me excitedly. “Three beautiful, bikini clad women to surround Miss Poppy on the yacht–YES.”
I wasn’t entirely sure how to take what he had told me. I was a little bewildered on what to do with three large breasted, hipped, bikini clad women while on a celebrity yacht, when I looked up to find said celebrity had vanished. (more…)