The Reading List #3

Oh yes, it’s another one of these again! Why? Because I have been getting very behind on my reading as of late. I don’t need to explain why this is at all (I’ve gone from having too many hours in the day to too few), but the fact remains that I still have a lot of books from Christmas left to read, plus some very new ones.

An update on where I left off (which was all the way back in October of last year). I made headway with Less Than Zero and read Imperial Bedrooms twice as the result of nearly two months of read trips with my dad. I’ll be reviewing these nearer the end of the month. ChokeInvisible Monsters and The Informers were also some picks of mine, with reviews to come, but the fact remains that there is still an awful lot left on my shelf to read. Considering months seem a lot shorter than they used to, though, I doubt I’ll be finishing all of these any time soon. Some of the books I’m hoping to sink my teeth into, and soon, though, are as follows:

On the Road
On The Road – Jack Kerouac

Reading about this book gives the sense that it is an important literary work. I probably won’t be able to dispute this in the slightest; and Beat literature is something I’ve been wanting to delve into for a while. There is something about Kerouac’s On The Road that captures my imagination, but other than this, I’m not entirely sure of what to expect – good things, of course, and fascinating things, and if some reviews are anything to go by, the same sense of freedom and wanderlust perpetuated by Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum DiaryI bought my copy today, so more on this to come very soon.


Cathedral – Raymond Carver

There are an awful lot of Carver’s books that I want to read, Cathedral is placed here because of all the great things I have heard about it. Minimalism is something that fascinates me, so the idea of exploring Carver’s stories is an exciting prospect for me and, I feel, important in understanding the technique. The prose might be a refreshing or welcome change, and I’m quite looking forward to it, and to immersing myself in it.


Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis

I guess I lied previously when I stated that I only had The Informers and Imperial Bedrooms left of Ellis’ work to read. I guess I was ‘young’ and didn’t know. Regardless, I’m pleased to say that I received a copy of Glamorama for Christmas, but haven’t yet gotten around to reading it. The fact that it is nearly 600 pages long wasn’t really off-putting to me, but at the same time, I do feel as though I will really need to throw myself into this book to gain anything from it. Not a bad thing at all, but there’s a kind of build-up to this book. Honestly, with the way things are going, I have a sneaking suspicion that it may just take all of September for me to finish. Get ready for one hell of a review when I do.

The Road

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I’ll admit it. I found out about The Road by way of the Fallout Wikia. It may be a step away from the usual for me, but more than likely a pleasant one. I read the first couple of pages as soon as I bought it, but didn’t continue. This had nothing to do with how I felt about the book, just that it was at a time when I was attempting to read about three different ones and wasn’t giving any of them the attention required. There is something incredibly haunting about what little I have read of McCarthy’s prose, though, so I would quite like to see this in full force and intend to do so very soon.


Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk

A while ago, when I first started to get into Palahniuk’s work, I was also watching a lot of 9/11 documentaries on television – the end result of watching these documentaries was a kind of paranoia that every time I left the house something horrible was going to happen. This may have had some bearing as to why I didn’t even consider reading Survivor, but the paranoia has since passed and I’m looking to get back on a bit of a Palahniuk bender, starting with the above. I’m already fairly sure that I’ll breeze through this – Chuck’s novels all seem to have the same effect on me – and I’m hopeful of the prospects.

So, this is my offering for the time being; and if anyone has any recommendations they’d like to shoot me way based on the above, feel free; I welcome new reading material at every opportunity. I suppose that this means a number of book reviews will start popping up from time to time, and of course, I have plans. Oh yes, I have plans. For the time being, though, I’ll hopefully be steadily working through these books for the duration of September until the madness of October hits, and afterwards – of course – NaNoWriMo. I’m getting ahead of myself. This list should keep me busy for quote some time yet.


Leave a comment

Filed under Writing & Literature

Changes …

I suppose I should have probably put this in the ‘Inane Thoughts’ category, but it really does have … something … to do with writing. Obviously, I’ve been making a lot of changes to this place recently, and I’ve been through a lot of changes in the past nine months or so as well.  I don’t really know how relevant any of that is. But the more I look back at old pieces, the more I’m starting to consider whether these changes in my life have actually been reflected in my writing.

I’ll start with style and tense, though, because to me, this is the most obvious change. Upon looking back at things written pre-2012 I’ve noticed mostly that it was almost impossible to tear me away from third person past tense. I wrote everything in third, I guess because it was comfortable, because it was what I had been used to reading and it was comfortable enough for me to write in.

Now, I just can’t stand it.

I don’t mean for this to be insulting to anyone who writes in third person past, because I don’t mean I hate this type of narration. I’m just not comfortable writing in it anymore. And for me, this is more than a little strange because it’s all I wrote in for nearly a decade. Like I said, it was comfortable. It was straightforward. I liked that as much as anything else.

Really, I couldn’t tell you what my issue with it is now. I feel slightly out of my comfort zone when I try to revert to it, not that I wouldn’t like to try, and as though there’s something missing. There’s a connection I’m not making because of the way I’m writing the story. And I start to consider how each story could have been so different if it was just written in a different way; I mean, there are some that probably wouldn’t have worked, but a number that would have, and these seem a little like missed opportunities to me. I also feel as though there’s something I’m not quite reaching or tapping into that I desperately want to, and that the narration is important in relation to this.

Anyway, self-indulgence over for the time being, I suppose what I’m really getting at is how much does narration and style really govern? As I’ve stated above, there are times when I feel as though the direction of an entire story hinges upon it. But then, are there novels that would remain almost the same regardless of how they’re told? I’ll use a very well-known example here; how different would the Harry Potter novels have been if they’d have been written in first person? Considering J.K. Rowling followed Harry for the most part (and yes, I did read these, even though they’re not my usual ‘bag’, but it was quite a while ago now, so the details are probably off anyway), how much would this have impacted the story? Then, on the other hand, we have a favourite of mine, American Psycho, which would not be the same novel if written from a different perspective, and there is no way around this. If Tim Price was telling the story, it would have been impossibly different. It probably wouldn’t have been titled American Psycho either, though, because in Price’s mind, Patrick Bateman doesn’t butcher women in his apartment. Price just doesn’t know anything about this. 

I digress (if only slightly). The easiest answer to the question would be that it depends entirely on the novel, and to some degree, it does, but I do think it also depends on the writer. There are certain hallmarks we come to associate with certain writers; so it’s not too far-fetched to guess that this is also the case from a more personal standpoint. Part of writing, in and of itself is, after all, establishing your own voice as a writer, as well as allowing your characters to establish theirs. I would guess that this has a little something to do with knowing yourself before getting to know anyone else; knowing yourself as a writer before getting to know the people you’re writing about. Because no matter which voice you use, it’s never entirely possible to shake the feeling that you’re still telling someone else’s story. You’re writing  about them, not  as them. (Oh, look, I switched into second for a while, there).

And I have to wonder, is this really anything more than drunken rambling?But it’s been bothering me for a while now. So I suppose I just had to get it out there.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing & Literature

Page & Screen: What It’s All About

If nothing else relatively new comes out of this, then this is, perhaps, the most obvious. I’ve been in two minds about this for quite some time because it would be easy enough to say: ‘well, what the hell does it have to do with literature?’ But really, the connections do exist and they’re fairly obvious, so sure, I feel as though I can justify the existence of this new … ‘project’, at least in my own mind.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas; 1996, Dir. Terry Gilliam
Based On the Novel By Hunter S. Thompson

From the stellar success of franchises like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and, (as much as I hate to admit it) Twilight, to groundbreaking cult classics such as Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (pictured above) and Fight Club , adaptations are firmly rooted in cinema history.

In the best scenarios, a successful adaptation will capture the essence of the book and highlight the themes that run through it without forgetting the importance of the visual and sensory aspects that contribute to the experience. The worst-case scenarios usually involve sacrificing the substance of the novel for the style of the film. Essentially, it’s about finding a balance that showcases the strengths of both mediums ; and when it works, the end result can be fantastic.

I have to admit, I’m more inclined to focus on the positive where I can here. Not every adaptation works, and not ever novel will be ideal to make the transition from page to screen; but I don’t feel as though bringing a book to the silver screen is really a bad thing in most cases. There’s a level of disconnection that maybe has to be exercised – it’s easier to treat the book and the film of the book as separate entities entirely because both usually have strengths of their own. There are ways we envision and interpret the things we read that don’t always add up, ways in which the film actually improves on what we imagined, and ways in which what is on the screen doesn’t quite meet our expectations.  I mean, I feel a little like I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m going over things that mostly everyone knows in a bid to try and explain this project, when maybe it doesn’t need that much explaining.

So the goal? To take a look into the transition from page to screen; what makes an adaptation successful? What makes it fall flat? Is there ever any such thing as a faithful adaptation, or will there always be the need for some kind of ellipsis? I also plan on taking a look into how the themes of the source material are represented on screen, if at all, and how, as well as the cultural impact these films tend to make. The intention is to break this little project up into sections focusing on different things, but exactly what these things are I have yet to determine. But the real challenge will be keeping it in line with everything else that goes on here, because this is not a movie blog. It is simply that the two mediums have a lot in common with each other.

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how it works out sooner or later.

1 Comment

Filed under Page & Screen

Short Story: Circa 1988

Note: I had some spectacular, all-singing, all-dancing post planned for today (well … I didn’t really, but I was thinking about it, I swear). I finish work, get in the car, get the news that we’re going out tonight, and unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping well. So, because I was out late, and because I’m lazy and probably tired, I’m going to post a ‘short’ tonight from all the way back in November. Enjoy or don’t, I’m not too sure as yet … I mean, I could easily tell you what I think in retrospect, but I’m also too lazy to do that tonight.

Circa 1988

Mark Sullivan remembers 1988. He remembers the summer, the kid sitting almost silent in front of the television screen, inexplicably drawn to the glass. He remembers how the temperature was rising, how she used to sit out on the balcony of their apartment and fan herself, staring listlessly up at the sun. He remembers he face, her smile, her golden-blond hair that she got from a bottle. Mark Sullivan remembers 1988, and the story that made headlines that year.
Mark watches this kid, day in, day out, waiting for the moment he turns eighteen. Waiting for the moment the college funds, saved up year after year, life insurance, a final payout, can be blown on whatever the kid cares about most. This kid, he doesn’t know much. He doesn’t care about much. He just sits in front of the screen, staring at reruns, at movies, at cartoons, at whatever a thirteen-year-old boy is supposed to watch. The kid, he doesn’t have too many friends. He forms bonds through the glass, phased through layer after layer of an invisible something, perhaps a million miles away from whoever it is he’s watching.

He has a thousand and one things to do before the end of the day, before the end of the week or the month. Most of it, paperwork to sign, print his name and that immortal date. The month. He can’t forget because the legal documents say he can’t. He’s trapped in this moment forever by the numbers written in his own hand, some unspoken agreement between himself and his late wife, a promise. A pact. Nothing quite so clandestine. He wants to stop signing but he can’t, not until this kid is old enough to go out on his own.

Mark knows this kid’s secret, after all. This secret that the boy staring at the screen doesn’t even know, how he came to be. How it was that his mother first got the idea, planted in her head by some screen bimbo or another, some brunette who’d starred in maybe two or three more movies than she had, who said she had all the answers to keeping your career alive. On track. Making sure that you were the only one those headlines talked about, the only one that women from here to Connecticut knew about. Gossiping. Whispering. Exchanging facts, rumors, things they heard from some unnamed source, about how Callista Vaughn was due to marry a big money producer. About how Callista Vaughn’s dress was going to be a Vera Wang original, but then, whose dress wasn’t a Vera Wang in this day and age? About that producer, how he never thought he’d get so lucky in all his sorry life.

This much is just about right. Mark doesn’t know and doesn’t care how he managed to hook up with that screen legend, that sex goddess. A woman thousands of boys, now men, had grown up fantasizing about, jerking off over until she disappeared one day. Then, when they were maybe married themselves, with kids, she came back in the exact same position as they were in. They could still fantasize. That bride to be, that aging screen princess, she’s the woman they walked down the aisle with. That honey blonde, or golden blonde, or maybe platinum now, the best way to hide gray hairs, they shared their first dance with her. They spoke their vows to her. Each one of them looking for their perfect replica of Callista Vaughn, or better.

No, Mark Sullivan doesn’t know how he got so lucky, or how he got so unlucky. What it came down to was that she wouldn’t take his last name. The kid, his surname is Vaughn, so that he could get ahead in life. So that her legacy would make sure he got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it. The kid staring at the screen wouldn’t even have to lift a finger so long as he kept her last name.
With a surname like Sullivan, though, he’d have to fight just like the rest of the kids his age. No leeching of momma’s reputation for him. Mark knows that this is the only reason she insisted, only to have the best for her son. The kid stares at the screen, still, flinching every so often at every flash of light, at every scream. The heroine gets kidnapped and he looks lost in the moment, a boy who doesn’t know what to do because he realizes that he might just be about to lose everything. He turns to Mark. Mark, sitting at the dining table with his head down, squinting at papers, trying to make out tiny inscriptions on the document which illustrate loopholes. Ways for the company to get out of it. Not many do that unless a real star is involved, or if they know they’re talking to a schmuck.

“Dad,” the kid pauses, licks his lips, his shirt too big for him, making his frame look even smaller than it did already, sunk into the plush sofa. “Why would someone do that?”

“Do what?” Mark, dad, mutters back at him, not paying attention, suddenly wishing that his son was still staring at the screen. He doesn’t quite watch as the kid twists in his seat to face him, leaning forward, squinting. He keeps looking down at the paperwork, not seeing, not bothering to read it anymore, just in search of a distraction.

“I saw it. What they cleaned up and took away. That’s all that was left of her, isn’t it?” still, Mark doesn’t listen much, but he knows now what his son is talking about. Mark, who could care less about his son’s questions, because the kid reminds him as much of her as anyone can. He’s as close as he can get without being her sister, or mother. Without being a daughter instead of a son. Some days, he doesn’t even want to look at the kid, forces him into school each day to make sure he doesn’t have to spend time with him around. This small ghost who just stares at the television screen.

“Don’t tell me they don’t teach you physics in school,” out of the corner of his eye, Mark sees the kid shake his head.

“No. They do. Only, they don’t teach us that,” the kid pauses, or Mark thinks he does, maybe for breath, maybe to think about what exactly it is that he’s saying. That he’s asking about. Some things a kid doesn’t need to know right away, not just yet. Mark knows this. Learn too young and it breaks something inside of you, something important; you stop being who you thought you were, not so much a kid anymore as a shell. Growing into the teenage years too fast hurts more than any growing pain. Than any insult. “They don’t teach us why someone would do that, either.”

This time, Mark looks up from the paper he’s stopped reading through, looking directly at this brown-haired little ghost sunk into his sofa, this kid who has everything Callista used to have but doesn’t even know it yet.

“You want to know why a person kills themselves?” he repeats this like he doesn’t already know what the answer will be. Like telling a story to a small child, pretending that everything is new, exciting, not tiresome and pointless like it all suddenly seems. A prime reason to end it all right there; that life just isn’t new and exciting anymore. He watches the kid nod his head slowly, almost looking entranced, not tempted to glance back at the screen anymore. This kid could be any six-year-old he’s tucking into bed and reading a story to, only this story doesn’t have much of a happy ending. “It’s because they don’t want to live anymore. Alive, you’re aware of everything you’re doing wrong, and if you’re the kind of person to make a lot of mistakes, sometimes, death is the only way to put an end to that.”

“You think she made a lot of mistakes?” just like every question this kid has ever asked, this one floors Mark. He doesn’t know what to say. It’s as if this kid is interrogating him. Wanting to know why he decided to answer this way instead of telling him how kind and beautiful his mother was. Exactly the kind of thing any thirteen-year-old boy wants to hear.

“I don’t think it was that,” he tries not to choke. “I think things just got real hard.”

“Was it because of me?” exactly the kind of thing no kid wants to think about. It’s like telling a kid whose parents have just divorced that they got divorced because of something bad he did. That now his entire life has been thrown into chaos, because of that one little lie he told. Because he withheld information. Because he was sneaking extra snacks at recess to sell to the other kids for small change.

“Why would you think that?” Mark just wants to get back to his paperwork. Filing, insurance policies, a payout. Mark just wants to get to the end of this so that he can forget she ever existed afterward. He wants it to end so that he can sell the apartment and move out, move on, somewhere he doesn’t have to be constantly confronted by the small ghost in his sofa, images flickering across his face in the darkness. The kid shrugs. He doesn’t have an answer to the question, but he expects answers all the time. It’s just like a kid to expect answers that an adult doesn’t really have.

“Jason always tells me about how his mom says things were going just fine for her until he was born. That she wishes she’d never had him,” whether or not that was Callista’s reason, it was hard to say.

Once they were married, this starlet wanted a kid more than anything else in the world. Mark remembers how they locked themselves up inside the apartment whenever she wasn’t busy doing magazine features about her supposed comeback. When she had the time to want for the things she didn’t have, they sometimes spent whole days and longer locked up inside their room, refusing to even eat because they were that desperate to conceive. He slips off into a world lodged somewhere between reality and an intangible past, looking back as if he’s glancing at a reflection, a mirror image that lies while simultaneously being real.

Months and months of trying this, of Callista telling every imaginable source about how they were trying so damn hard for a kid, how they were fucking like rabbits just for that one chance. She talked to daytime TV hosts about it, who had to wave their hands and whisper small, insignificant asides about how this was supposed to be a family show, and she couldn’t get away with saying the things she was saying live. About how she would have to cool it for those shows that came on after dark, after half the world was asleep, safe from profanities, from the suggestion that any actress had such a progressive sex life. She told them about the different positions they’d been trying, about the best times of the month to try. About how the fucked at just the right time during her cycle to ensure the highest chance of her getting pregnant.

It was a wait that seemed to go on forever. Every home pregnancy test, every visit to the gynecologist, seemed to drag on forever. Whenever Callista heard the word no, she was inconsolable for maybe a week or two before they were right back on it again, picking up from where they had left off.

“You have no idea what we went through to get you,” Mark mutters this almost to himself, so the kid doesn’t really hear it and can only stare for a minute longer before turning his attention back onto the television screen. Just a new cartoon. A new episode of a show based on some comic book from the sixties.

Sure, Mark went through hell trying to give Callista a kid, but the only reason she wanted a baby so bad was to give her career an extra push. Already columnists were lining up to interview her about the recent nuptials, but Callista knew the media better than that. She wasn’t a naive twenty-something any longer, already able to tell that as soon as coverage of her wedding and everything that happened since wasn’t hot news anymore, she’d be history again.

In short, Callista wanted a baby to make sure she stayed in the spotlight.

The one test that came through positive, that day she whipped the media up into a frenzy.

Any talk show we could get on, she was on the waiting list, ready to drag him on set and scream ‘we’re pregnant’ at anyone who would listen. Any middle-aged man who grew up masturbating to her pictures in magazines could imagine Callista in stirrups, maybe the way he’d seen his own wife giving birth, screaming and sweaty, but somehow still glowing, forcing a head, shoulders, a torso, an entire human through that entrance, that exit, that had been pounded so many hundred times by that same guy, that same dick. Any lonely housewife, bored and flicking through glossy magazines would be able to hear every agonizing detail of Callista Vaughn’s sex life, her tips. That you couldn’t get pregnant if you had sex standing up was a myth. Same as if you fucked in the shower.

This kid, all he’s ever done since he tore kicking and screaming out of Callista’s vagina is stare at the same television screen. He learned to stand trying to reach that screen. He learned to crawl towards it. This kid loves TV more than he loved his own mother, because those fictional characters are just so much easier to connect with.

“Son?” the kid shudders and tears his blinking eyes away at the demand, the sound of an address he knows all too well. It’s rare he hears his own name. Now, Mark refuses to call him by it. “Your pal, Jason? His mom’s really fucked up.” He doesn’t wait to hear the kid’s response. Instead, he turns away, moves towards the kitchen. There’s beer, spirits, but what it comes down to is, Mark doesn’t want any of that. He just wants an excuse to get out of the room for a few minutes. He knows he should have taken the papers with him, pulled up one of those high stools and started writing, signing at the kitchen counter.

Mark, his hands press up against the marble counter-top, eyes rolling up at the off-pink ceiling, a mottled, strange color. The only room in the house not painted white. The only room in the house with black marble counters, with neat sets of utensils lining the far wall. Easy enough to run someone through with a butcher knife. Callista would only ever buy the best.

None of them ever cooked a meal in this room, but only one member of staff ever did it anyway, the one member of staff Callista could afford to keep on after her career started to pull down the drain. Even after she made her comeback, they still had this one maid come cook come nanny, this one woman who had nothing to do with the family except for the fact that she was being paid to be there, to do all the menial tasks Callista didn’t know how to do.

Used to be her face, Callista Vaughn’s face, lined billboards, shop windows. In theaters, all you could see was her face next to some handsome male co-star, the hero and the heroine side by side. She wanted to take on more challenging roles, she said. Wanted to show the world that she was more than just a sex symbol, that she really could act as well. One night, one slow night when they’re done trying and she’s massaging the small bump that is her stomach, a curve underneath the sheets, Callista looks at Mark and tells him,

“All I ever wanted to be was an actress,” he watches her sigh and slip down beneath the sheets. “Ever since I was small. That’s all I wanted. Is it any wonder I’m still hanging on so hard?” Mark, he doesn’t answer, just switches the light off next to the bed. One flick of a switch, and they’re both in darkness. The truth is, Mark doesn’t know what to say to that. He was raised in a family where you marry someone, you have a kid with them, because you love them. Not because you want to keep your career on track. As he closes his eyes, rolls over on one side, he hears Callista whisper through the darkness again. “It’s funny, isn’t it? Once this kid’s born, I’m quitting movies for good.”

Quitting something you’ve done for most of your life, like smoking, isn’t that easy, You’re already addicted. Mark knows this because it’s only recently that he stopped drinking.

It’s only recently that he stopped asking for that extra glass of Cristal at parties, downing vodka, whiskey, in huge, fiery gulps. It’s only recently that he stopped staggering out to the taxi or the limo, he forgets which they could afford at any given time, thankful that he didn’t have to drive home. Instead, he carries around tall glasses of bottled water with ice. Virgin martinis, or a flute of coke. He stopped because Callista asked him to, but really because he couldn’t stand the headlines. The tabloids referring to him not as a drunk himself, but as Callista Vaughn’s drunk husband. His one vice not his own. His every action scrutinized, bot not to degrade his own merits. Callista asked him to stop because he was damaging her reputation, but couldn’t divorce him because it would look even worse than having a drunk husband. Because the baby was on the way and the kid needed a father. He didn’t stop. She had to keep going. After nearly thirteen years of coming home stinking sour, booze on his breath, Mark stopped.

When you’re addicted to something, a lifestyle, a drug, drink, you can’t just turn your back on it.

You’ll always know that you left behind something that made you feel good, no matter what it cost to feel that way. Like the kid’s addicted to TV, and tearing him away from it will mean he’ll just go back and sit on the sofa again. The next day, he’ll be back there again, and you’ll tug him away, only for him to go back. This goes on for a while, until one day, you walk into the room, and he’s not sitting there anymore, but it’s hard to say where he is. He might be wandering, lost, from room to room, barefoot and wild-eyed because he doesn’t know what to do. He might be out on the street with his fucked-up friends for once. It’s hard to say what’s changed, but somehow, you know everything has changed for the better.

Mark knows this, but he’s still tempted to reach inside the fridge and open a bottle of beer, the first in months. Weeks. He doesn’t know how long because he hasn’t been counting. He doesn’t much care, either. All he knows is he really could use a beer.

“Dad?” even now, the expression is foreign, it almost hurts his ears to hear it. For a moment, it’s almost as though this kitchen, this pink-tiled hell is his heaven, a cocoon he doesn’t want to leave. It’s a room where words can’t hurt him, but he still can’t escape the truth. His guess is right; that if he has a beer it might make things better just for a while. He might be able to put these things to the back of his mind where he wants them to belong, but they never will.

When mark looks at the paperwork still sitting where it was on the table, limp, lifeless, he’s back where he was fifteen minutes ago. He’s back faced with the reality of things, not a memory, something he has to deal with, to know, not to ignore. When he looks over at the kid sunk into the chair, sunk and staring expectantly around, not at the screen this time, he’s a part of this life, this thing, a length of time that goes on and on with no sense of stopping until you reach the very end. Until you know you’re going to die.

“Dad,” the kid repeats the word, and Mark knows he’ll answer this time, because he’s sick of hearing it. “How many movies was mom in?” Mark doesn’t know what to say.

The kid’s mother was in a lot of movies in the late sixties. She so desperately wanted to be a Bond girl, but didn’t every twenty-something in those days? Every girl who knew she was attractive enough to do it. She settled for a role in a prime-time series first, something to do with special agents, spies fighting for the good of the country. It was only natural that she made her name here, formed her reputation, running around in high-heels and skin-tight cat suits, her dyed, bleached, teased hair cropped because it was hard to manage otherwise. Silky and smooth for the camera, bobbing about her neck, the sharp cut threatening to slit her throat every time she slid across the floor.

Boys growing up with this series knew what to expect from Callista, the secret agent they always wanted to fuck, but could turn on the TV at six and see some other guy about to fuck her instead. Some actor whose name they couldn’t remember, but who all the girls in class swooned over. Some dick with long hair who got to get up close with their beloved Callista.

By the seventies, Callista had just started out in movies. She was already a household name, so most directors had no trouble finding a film to cast her in, no screenwriter would turn down the chance to write a part especially for her. Some leggy, sexy blonde who was undressed for most of the time she was on screen, or wearing something that clung to her flesh. A second skin. A fourth-degree burn covering most of her body that she could slip on and off at will. In casting sessions, most of them would just say ‘you’re that hot spy from TV, right?’ and she’d just nod, give them a little smile, read her lines and fuck up every one of them but it didn’t matter because she was great to look at.

“As many as any actress makes before she decides she wants to settle down,” this was the official lie they’d agreed to tell him. Mom settled down because she wanted to. Because she fell in love with some rugged, young producer who made promises and got her pregnant instead. Behind the scenes, this official lie was the first line of some black comedy, where they both laughed bitterly in bed about how their lives had turned out. About how she’d only settled for Mark because he was there, because he had money, because he’d worked on a number of reputable projects and she knew that this could work for her. It really could work. Because she knew that this was someone she’d have to spend the rest of her life with, she found the most handsome guy she could, but one desperate enough that he’d propose to her, marry her in a heartbeat.

Mark never bothered to tell her how he wanted more than that. He was just glad he got so lucky.

“But how many?” the kid repeats, impatience rising in his otherwise placid voice. “Like ten? A hundred? How many did she make?” the truth is, it’s impossible to say how many she made. It’s impossible to say how many movies Callista Vaughn made because about half of them flopped at the box office. Sure, she had legions of adoring male fans going to see her, visit her in what they considered to be her domain, but they were the only ones. Most of her fans were too young to get in; the ones that got caught out while using their fake IDs, not old enough to see a film rated R. This was what killed Callista’s movies nine times out of ten. The rating. The critics, for the most part, did the rest.

“A lot,” Mark’s answer cuts across the low rumble of the television set, the sounds of his own breathing, their own breathing, him and this ghost on the sofa. He looks back down at the papers. But can’t bring himself to sign anything, just him and the papers at a stalemate, refusing to do anything. Sitting silently, he stares out across the room. The curtains are still drawn across the balcony door.
For a while, that door was a crime scene. For a while after, a shrine. Now, the door is just there, but hidden, so that he doesn’t have to face reality.

He doesn’t sleep in their bed anymore. He sleeps on the plush sofa the kid is sunk into, a world all on its own, away from dark drapes. He keeps the television on, screen playing the same few scenes of softcore porn over and over. The same woman gasping, butt naked, moaning, only nobody’s really fucking her. They’re just there. This actor, paid to hump her without even getting his dick wet. Mark doesn’t care. The television is the last thing he turns off at night because the sound of a fake orgasm brings him some kind of comfort.
It’s like being in a room full of people. You don’t care about what anyone’s saying, you can’t even bear to hold a conversation with most of them, but the soft, low buzz of the conversation makes you feel safe. Makes you feel like you’re a part of something, even if you’re sitting alone in a corner. You know that nothing is wrong, nothing is really wrong in this room because the conversation is still going on, because nobody has stopped talking. Because there’s no reason for anyone to stop talking right now, not really. You wait a while before approaching anyone because you’re so at ease.

“Mom was really famous, wasn’t she?” these days, it’s all the kid can think about, all he can talk about. His mom. His absent mom. He doesn’t care that a copy of The Lost Boys was playing at the time, but he’ll never watch the film again. He doesn’t care about anything much, apart from watching the same images play over his face, ghosts playing over a ghost, neither of them really there any longer. Mark can’t make sense of the kid’s behavior most days, has got him booked in and seeing a shrink about it, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much good. At night, the kid won’t go to sleep without the television set still playing, only Mark can’t do anything about that or care because he knows he does the exact same thing.

“Pretty famous, yeah,” he sounds tired. He sounds tired and looks tired, but he knows it. He is. He doesn’t sleep much at night. He wants to get out of the house, to sell up and move away, but the kid’s shrink says it would be too much. All this suffering for some thirteen-year-old boy. “Way back when.”

“Before she had me,” a moment of silence hangs in the air, and Mark doesn’t want to admit to it, but he can’t tell the kid the truth, either. That she only had him to become more famous than she already was. That she only tried so hard …

“She wanted you more than she wanted to be famous,” letting a kid know he’s loved. The only way to handle a head case. The two things were always mutually exclusive – she couldn’t have one without the other. Callista always wanted her own way, though.

Way back, there was an episode of her show that was pulled from the air. You can catch it every so often on late night re-runs. Callista wanted to do something more edgy. Not content with her closest to nude scenes being her barely dressed in a silk slip, Callista, she wanted to film a topless scene. And the company, they said no. They said they had a strong following. They had a strong following of teenagers, kids just learning about sex, or kids raised in liberal America by hippies. Kids, younger than teens, whose parents didn’t care much. Kids of hippies whose parents didn’t like them watching it, not for the sex, but for the strong pro-War message.

The episode never aired, but eventually, Callista got to do her scene. Said she made a few sacrifices, but said that she was doing it, not for the ratings, but for the liberation of women everywhere. Spiel that’s still hard to believe, even eighteen years on. The show was coming to the end of its last season, though they didn’t know that yet, and Callista was intending to use the episode as a springboard. When they cut it, she was beyond words. Her perfect, pink nipples never made it onto prime time television, because the censors wouldn’t let it happen. Now, that episode, lost for almost two decades, swims around in the same time slot as the softcore films, the B-movie violence. Bad special effects. When they air episodes in blocks of two or three or four, the same length as a feature, you can see Callista Vaughn’s breasts, immortalized on television forever. The only part of her that wasn’t going to grow old.

Callista Vaughn never really got old. She got to maybe middle age, still cutting her hair and bleaching it platinum to hide her gray hairs the best she could. Still using the latest anti-aging serums, refusing cosmetic surgery but seriously considering it as, year after year, she got older.

“Do you think mom fell?” when the human body hits a hard surface at terminal velocity, the end result is an unrecognizable mess. A body is either like a water balloon with viscose fluid, not-quite solids floating around inside a fleshy exterior. Upon impact, the skin, the rubber of the balloon, gives out because of the force it hits a hard surface at. Because of how fast it’s traveling on the way down. There’s too much inside, held inside by flesh and bone maybe, too much water inside the balloon, and the sides split, everything splits. When a body hits the sidewalk at terminal velocity, you can bet you won’t be able to recognize who it was that fell from that height; you’ll see the intestines spread out along the ground, five feet long and not curled, packed tightly inside anymore. The stomach has burst, undigested food slathered in blood. You can see what used to be a ribcage sticking out, up, the way that they do in horror movies like a cage, arms, legs. Clumps of hair. She must have fallen headfirst, because you can’t really find her face, all you can see is what used to be platinum blond and gray hair, now red and matted with slow drying blood.

“Probably,” Mark doesn’t know how to talk about it anymore.

The limbs, what’s left, stick out at odd angles, not attached to anything anymore. There’s a six-foot trail of blood in a rough circle, the limbs are still pumping out the rest. Veins knotted and tied, only the bonds are broken now because the impact blew them off. If you could find Callista Vaughn’s head, if she hadn’t jumped, fallen headfirst, the eyes would be closed, and it would look like the head of a doll that’s been dragged around a few too many times, but sticky and dirtied with blood rather than dirt and fingerprints. Most people won’t know what happened until Mark sells the story to People magazine.

“But what I don’t get, is …” the kid pauses again, like he can’t figure out a way to say it. Like these word get lost in his head before he can get them out. “Mom was so pretty. But that mess on the sidewalk, it … it wasn’t her, you know?” Mark hauls himself up from his seat, step by step getting closer and closer to the sofa where the kid, the ghost sits, paler now, while he thinks about it. Mark catches a glimpse or two of what it is he’s been watching. Callista’s pale green eyes stare back at him through layer after layer of invisible glass. Callista, the way she looked once, young, golden-blonde, whole.

Leave a comment

Filed under Excerpts & Short Stories

Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat – Now: The Lit Junkie

Because honestly – Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat seemed a little too sane. (:

And because what I do here probably can’t be considered sane. This is an ongoing change that purely reflects the changes in my writing, my way or writing, and what I intend to focus on. It’s not that ESWR just wasn’t ‘good enough’. But as my previous post mentions, this place is going through an overhaul, sooner rather than later, and this is the first of a number of planned changes.

Unfortunately, WordPress appears of have disabled their URL tool. Sneaky, WordPress. Sneaky.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inane Thoughts

Another Time, Another Place

There’s a lot to be done. The first order of the day: an apology that will no doubt seem completely empty. But nonetheless, I’m sorry. Of course I don’t think so highly of myself to apologise for my lack of presence, but I suppose I’m really apologising about lying. Because I lied about my hiatus. I lied about returning from it, too.

In that, it’s gone on for far longer than I expected – too long – and I’m well aware that I’ve been gone since the start of the year. Things kicked it up a notch for me, I suppose. I landed a job. I landed a full time job which, for the most part has left me mentally drained. I quit that job on Thursday.

But for most of the year, I’ve been left without any free time at all, really. I’ve also been left without any drive, because the evenings have left me ready to sleep, or waste what little time I have, and it’s not healthy and it’s not good, but it’s a habit I’ve grown into. But somehow, knowing that this stage in my life is almost over has brought about a kind of relief … and my goodness, have I missed this.

I’ve missed spending time on WordPress more than I’d probably ever say; because there was a time when I’d get excited about writing my next blog post and networking and interacting and, generally, blogging was exciting. Then, of course, I immersed myself too readily in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, and after Christmas, things just seemed to spiral out of control.

Honestly, they’ve been that way ever since. I won’t go into the specifics, but a lot has happened in the past eight or nine months. Things hit their climax. Now, I have … time.

I have time to focus again. So in typical fashion, and in a very long-winded way, I’m saying I actually am back, now. But, I’m afraid, I have a lot of remodeling to do. But I’ll work out those kinks along the way.


Filed under Uncategorized

A Late Start To The New Year …

… although it is a start, nonetheless. Allow me to explain. Admittedly, there is still no improvement on the employment front, which in part was the focus of my leaving. In all other senses, however, things aren’t so bad. Okay, so I haven’t done half of the things I intended to do, but all the same, things aren’t terrible right about now. In fact, things haven’t been terrible for a while – unfortunately, Rootkits happen to be some of the most annoying things known to man, and just about as soon as I got my laptop up and running, yep, one of the damned things burrowed itself so far into my system it was a factory reset. Which kind of left me stumped.

Now, my laptop appears to be on the straight and narrow again (that has no bearing on the paranoia I experience every time I log on, though), and I have an awful lot of books to go through in the next few months … and of course, my first draft of Free Fall is still sitting in a box file under my bed, waiting to be edited.

So Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you all so much for bearing with me – this place will be back up and running before you know it, hopefully without a plethora of absences this time. Coming soon: a number of book reviews and fanfiction-related rambling.


Filed under Inane Thoughts

Back In The New Year

I’m sure it’s been pretty obvious that I haven’t been keeping up with blogging during the past month, and naturally, the main reason for that has been NaNoWriMo. However, it’s not only that. Ignoring my word count for a second, things have been a little more hectic here than I might have hoped, and I haven’t been able to find much to blog about in between, so I guess it’s just that I find it more practical to announce a short hiatus than to post one or two entries this month of mostly bad quality, or that don’t make sense.

I’m looking at entering this year’s NaNo Novel into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for one thing, so whatever time isn’t taken up with Christmas-related activities (of which I still have a long list to do) and the ongoing search for a job that doesn’t even exist yet, I’ll most likely be editing. And I’ll try to drop a line stating how this is going. The other reason why I’ve decided to take a short leave now of all times is far more personal and I won’t bore you with it, seeing as how I’m no closer to finding a solution, and doubt that I will be any time soon. But the official word is that I’ll be back to blogging in January. Back with a vengeance, hopefully back on form, and maybe even back with a job.

So first and foremost, my apologies for this; honestly, it must look as though it’s been a long time coming, given my abysmal blogging performance this year. Secondly, thank you to everyone who has followed, commented, and supported me thus far – I’m terrible at keeping up, but I can’t tell you enough how much I really do appreciate it. And I can’t thank you enough either. So I really, truly am sorry for doing this right now. I just think it’s what I need and what the blog as a whole needs given everything that’s been happening.

So for now, this is goodbye, but not for long at all. And again, a huge thank you. And if I don’t poke my head around the door at the right time of year; merry Christmas to all of you. And I hope you all have the most excellent New Year.

I look forward to seeing you all again with fresh ideas, and more importantly, a fresh outlook on life. =)


Filed under Inane Thoughts

I Can’t Help You With That Embarrassing Problem, I’m Afraid

Something went wrong, didn't it?

Last month’s Teens Can Write, Too! Blog Chain was excellent, very fun, and I couldn’t wait  for this month’s. Yesterday’s post was by Miriam Joy at A Farewell To Sanity and before that, Kirsten at Kirsten Writes! Both of whom have written really entertaining posts with some hilarious, and sometimes baffling search terms involved.

So, I am afraid to say that I don’t have nearly as many entertaining search terms. Mostly anyone who finds my blog via a search engine seems to type in entries such as ‘eat sleep write repeat’ or ‘felicity-zara stewart wordpress’, which all in all are pretty likely to redirect here somewhere along the line. Yet because of this, when strange search terms do come along, I tend to notice it quite quickly.

The first strange term was quite an early one, and while it does make sense in context, it’s far more entertaining out of it. One visitor in particular wanted to find details on;

‘Patrick Bateman lifestyle’ 

Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that my blog is a handy all-in-one guide on how to live life as a psychopathic Yuppie who does unmentionable things to women by way of starving rats. But if it was, then I can certainly see why this search would yield results.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), my blog isn’t an all-in-one guide on how to live like a psychopathic Yuppie at all. It is but a humble writing blog, you won’t find that much torture and misogyny here (or at least not intentionally). My apologies to whoever managed to find my blog while obviously searching for something much more visceral, though; I have a feeling that reading about the writing pursuits of a certain 19-year-old aspiring author isn’t exactly what they were going for with that one. This review might prove useful, though.

The next is more than a little odd, and possibly inappropriate, too. Cover your eyes, kiddies;

‘Balls sleeping accidentally exposed’

I …  don’t have anything witty to say about this one off the top of my head, as every time I read it, it seems to make less sense. I just don’t understand this search term.

What I mean to say is; dear visitor, I am very sorry to hear about your embarrassing predicament, even though I can quite honestly say I have never found myself in such a position. This is primarily because I lack male genitalia, but also … well, no, actually, it is just because I’m a girl.

The strangest part about this search term, however, is that I really have no idea how it relates to my blog. I’ve never posted tips on how to avoid this issue, having never suffered from it myself, and in living memory, I’ve never written about anything dealing with it, either. Until today, I can’t even remember whether the word ‘balls’ appears on this blog (maybe in a quote, I’m not sure). Okay, so that book review might have had something to do with it … somewhere along the line? Very, very vaguely connecting point A (the search term) to point B (the review) is the underlining fact that the book in question is ‘about’ the porn industry. That said, I doubt exposure is a worry in said industry. More the whole point.

Next up, we have;

‘Nanowrimo cannibalism’

I swear, you couldn’t make these up.

I mean, what in the heck is NaNoWriMo cannibalism? Oh, yes, today I decided that I was going to live on a healthy, and somewhat sustainable diet of human body parts while writing like a maniac. Is that it? Or … the … you know what? I just can’t get my head around this one at all. It pains me to say this, but I’m not writing about cannibalism for this year’s NaNoWriMo (at least not yet), although I have encountered a few characters who have made cannibalism a part of their lifestyle.

And finally,

‘M love a’

Probably the most baffling one yet. As in, I don’t even have a book review (because, yes, my oddest search terms have all related to my book reviews) to link this one to, or understand what it is that this person was actually trying to ask, let alone what they were trying to find.

Honestly. I don’t think I could even guess at what m loving a actually pertains to, unless it’s some kind of special code, or initials. Could be that ‘Mia love Anthony’ … or ‘meerkat love ants’? Yes. This search term is really that strange to me.

So my take on this? The people who reach my blog via search engine are either psychopaths, people with extremely obtrusive genitals or cannibals.

I also have a feeling that several of my visitors were sorely disappointed when they searched for ‘Jannah Reid’ most likely in the hope of hitting on one of the websites included in the 90% that are porn sites. Don’t ask how I know that. It could be why I’ve been getting some rather strange notifications on my computer as of late, though …

These are probably the most notable results I’ve … well … noticed, but some worthy mentions go to;

‘Where do jackals sleep’ – I couldn’t honestly tell you. I might be able to tell you where they lie, though. My apologies, that was absolutely terrible … this blog isn’t ideal for nature enthusiasts.

‘Hunter S. Thompson sleep’ –   not really sure what they were getting at with this one, not surprised they ended up here, though.

‘Eat write or die’ – well, that’s quite an interesting form of self discipline. I don’t doubt that it gets results.

‘Writing and droning’ – how nice of you to point out that this is what I do most of the time.

‘4 storey freefall’ – something I can help you with, dear visitor! I’m not sure how the 4 storey part relates, though. But if you want to know about someone falling at least 1,000 feet, I’m your girl.

So, there you have it; the weird and sometimes wonderful world of my stats page. As a part of the blog chain this month, a quick NaNoWriMo update;

I hit 50k late on Thursday evening. I’m nowhere near done with my story, though. Actually, I don’t want to be done with it; I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been struggling to even get 14k done over the weekend, but this has much more to do with time than it does my novel. So right now, I’m sitting on 66k and barely halfway through, in love with even the characters who are despicable human beings, and not looking forward to the end because … damn it, I just don’t want to say goodbye. I guess that’s what editing is for, though …

So that’s me punching in and out for the month! I urge you all to check out the following blogs, as they’ll all be coming up with some excellent posts, with far more interesting and amusing search terms than mine, throughout the course of this month!

November 5th —– Kirsten Writes!

November 6th — – A Farewell To Sanity

[You Are Here] November 7th — – Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat

November 8th — – Embracing Insanity

November 9th — – Novel Journeys

November 10th —- – Red Herring Online

November 11th — – Tay’s Tape

November 12th — – The Land of Man-Eating Pixies

November 13th – – Random On My Mind!

November 14th – – This Page Intentionally Left Blank

November 15th — – Here’s To Us

November 16th— –  The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer

November 17th — – Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for the next month’s chain)


Filed under Writing & Literature

A Tentative Excerpt from Free Fall

I’m not going to lie, I’m normally very cagey about what I post with regards to NaNoWriMo. Most of the time, whatever I do share, in terms of excerpts, can already be found on my NaNoWriMo profile, under the Novel Info. These are, of course, the only excerpts I feel somewhat confident in sharing. They are also, usually, the first part of the first chapter, or something to that effect. So, guess what I’m going to be posting here?

I have other reasons for this, though. The main reason this year is the difficulty I have in trying to find an all-ages-appropriate excerpt, because there always seems to be something with me. Anything. If I was a director, I’d be notorious for getting my films an 18 certificate or above, I’m almost sure of it, and my novels, I will admit, have this tendency to go a similar way. This year, this is especially prevalent. More so than any year before, and most of my novel thus far has been laced with … well, we’ll call them ‘literary nasties’ shall we?

So yes, indeed, this is the excerpt from my profile, possibly with more to come as the month goes on, however, this is entirely dependent on 1. my cumulative word count at any time and 2. whether or not I feel it’s appropriate. I’m also doing this, somewhat, to see if I can clear my name, perhaps? What I mean is that I don’t think that this excerpt is terrible, but alongside the rest of the novel, it needs work. I like it better than some of the things I’ve written, which says a lot, considering this was a part of what I wrote on the first day … and the general consensus seems to be that writing 17,000 words in a day cannot possibly yield results.

I’ll leave that up to you to decide, however. Critique, criticize, something else beginning with C here and feel free to rip this to shreds if you do so desire!

“Courtney smiles at the woman opposite, wearing nothing but a satin gown, one elbow resting on the counter top while she sips her coffee the way she’s always liked it: black. Her short, blond hair is a mess, poker-straight layers curling at the ends, at the edges, the bottom layer falling in soft waves. Every morning, and he knows this because he’s watched her do it, still feigning sleep, she gets up a half-hour earlier than he does to put on a thin layer of make-up, the layer she’s wearing now. Her second skin. The only face she wants him to know, a fake beauty that he can wake up to every morning.

Her nails, manicured, on her free hand, they trawl through her hair, feeling for split and damaged ends, the ones she cuts off after she colors. She could almost look as though she doesn’t quite know where she is, as though the world is a new, foreign experience for her, every morning waking up to the early noise of a city just taking its first steps. Taxi cabs and cars stuck in traffic. A crash that almost happens, but doesn’t. She uses her free hand to pull her robe back onto her right shoulder, then to check her cell phone resting at the edge of the counter. She purses her lips, takes another sip of coffee, and says nothing.

She could be any other girl in the city, looking this way, only Courtney doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want her to think that there are a million others like her, even though this is a cruel truth that both of them know. It’s why she bleaches her hair lighter than the rest of them. It’s why she tries to make sure she’s the best dressed at every work function, every dinner party. Every time they go out for sushi, she goes the extra mile. And he loves her for it.

Courtney’s tie hangs loose about his neck, silver-gray, looking almost as though it’s attached to his pinstripe white shirt. Some object, some accessory, that doesn’t move. A different tie for every day of the week, a new appendage that flaps around while he looks for more coffee grounds, while he offers to cook the bacon, Monday morning’s treat that Alison insists he cut every last sliver of fat from. Most days, she leaves it there in the middle of the plate, not as an insult, but because she just can’t take the risk. Because just sniffing it piles on calories.

He runs a hand along his shaved, stinging face. He checks for stubble. He knows there’s an ingrown hair or two, but he can’t do anything about it. This is something he realizes as he checks his watch. His hair is dry, now, combed flat, not blown dry. His pants are neatly ironed with the creases perfect, meticulous, like some invisible housekeeper did it in the middle of the night, rather than him doing it, in the evening before he slides into bed. All part of the same routine. He doesn’t quite know why it is that they keep doing this same thing, over and over again, but the fact remains that they do, and he doesn’t see sense in refusing to go along with it; they have a good life. Whenever things start to seem wrong, this is what he tells himself.

Whenever things start to go wrong, this is all a part of what Courtney thinks to himself. Death and destruction in the news once again. Gunshots. Sirens. Things he knows he’ll end up dealing with in the morning, in the evening, whenever he gets that call. If he’s not due to do it, he sits behind the same desk all day and files the same paperwork, trying to remember a time when his life wasn’t made up of the same routines. As a kid, all he did was stare at the television screen. He’s still staring at it, only now, it’s a pile of papers that need to be signed, or the raw ingredients he needs to cook for when the girl, the blond, Alison, gets home from work late, or the pants he needs to iron before he goes to sleep, or his girlfriend waiting for him in bed. Do something too many times, and it all becomes a part of the same ongoing routine.

When she’s done with her coffee, Alison gets to her feet, hopping off the high stool with the gown fluttering around her thighs. Courtney, he finds it difficult to care about it anymore, but then he reminds himself who he’s looking at. Alison. It almost seems impossible for him not to love her, he’s been doing it for so long.

The two of them, Courtney and Alison, they’ve been living in the same co-op building, the same apartment, for a decade. They’ve had the same décor since 2001; the same off-white that never dates or goes out of fashion. The two of them, they’d like to live in a home that’s on the cutting edge of the latest trends, but the fact of the matter is, they have better things to spend their money on. A cabinet behind the dining table displays an array of vintage wines, spirits matured for half a century or more. They live on a diet that, over the years, has come to cost more than the rent on the place. They try to eat out more times a week than they eat in, so Courtney knows which days he’s going to be preparing a meal, and when they do eat out, it’s never takeaway or pizza. Sometimes this is all Courtney wants.

Courtney and Alison, they’re both the ailing product of a world raised by pop culture. A world that refused to look on in shock and awe, and instead either turned away or joined in, aware of how the depraved were now the center of attention. In a world where indecent exposure and lewd behavior became common practice. After Courtney turned seventeen, he stepped into this world and now he can’t get out. He can’t escape it. He grew up in a decade of unrest and dissatisfaction, where he never could see why everyone was so distracted by their finances. Where he never wanted for anything, except his parents.”

1 Comment

Filed under Excerpts & Short Stories, NaNoWriMo