Mr. Worde and Mr. Painte – A Writing Challenge

ReadinginBetween_writing_exercise

Note: It’s not going to be poetry this week, folks. I got really sick and am really behind on my submission for #StrangeLit. Also, I found myself rescuing a kitten yesterday (We can only foster him until he’s old enough for solids/strong enough, though. Anyone interested in adopting? We live in Quezon City, Philippines). And I’m still sick. So I didn’t manage to write any poetry, even surreal ones involving cows and chiffon.

But what I DID manage to do was transcribe and edit a short prose piece I did care of an exercise in Wonderbook, which, by the way, is a book all creatives should have. Buy a copy on Amazon or Book Depository today! Totally worth it.

This particular snippet was inspired by a weird image. I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! And feel free to write stuff  based on this image too.

ReadinginBetween_writing_exercise

“Why, Mr. Worde! I certainly did not expect you to call upon me,” Mr. Painte said with a finny flourish. His scales winked in the lamplight, making his spots dance. “Did someone die?”

Mr. Worde narrowed his eyes and rubbed his chin. The cockatiels on his shoulders fluffed their feathers in aggression. “Regrettably, not, Mr. Painte,” he murmured. I called upon you because…hm. Mr. Penne was correct.”

The giant fish of imagination somehow managed to blink. “Beg pardon?”

“Have you looked at a mirror lately? Far be it for me to show regard for you, but your spots have been…” Mr. Worde sucked at his teeth. “Distressingly ORGANIZED.”

Mr. Painte let out a keening sound as he whipped his head around to the mirror mounted on the den’s door. He hopped around the fat old man of logic’s book piles and ink pots to get closer look.

“Oh no. Oh no! How could this happen? My beautiful chaos is gone?”

“Curious indeed,” Mr. Worde responded as he adjusted the perfect circle above his head. “I have never seen such precision on you. Could it be that someone is attempting to shape imagination?”

“This is not shaping! This is controlling,” the fish said with an angry fin flip.

“Control is not always so bad,” the heavyset man points out, smoothing down his vest. The birds have moved down to his elbows, perfectly balanced, having calmed down. “I am not that horrible, yes? But then you…you are not me, and I suppose it is rather distressing.”

Mr. Painte looked at him with suspicion. “Mr. Worde? Did you just imagine my feelings? And…” he minnowed through the sea of paper. “How long have you had those birds on your suit?”

“Er, well-observed,” the man conceded with a tug of his beard. “I have become increasingly fanciful over the last few months. It is like someone–a lot of someones–decided that they can forego structure. I feel so very IMPRACTICAL. I assumed it was a phase, but…”

“But then Mr. Penne told you what was happening to me,” the fish finished. “This is nothing to blow bubbles at. But what do we do?”

“Well,” a throat was cleared as gills beat open and closed. There was a moment of silence. “I suppose we have to see the humans,” Mr. Worde hedged.

“I suppose,” Mr. Painte muttered as he looked forlornly at his symmetrical spots. “It can’t be helped. When do we leave?”

The rotund man pulled his halo low over his eyes with a wry grin. And then, they were gone.

Writing 101 – Childhood Treats

So the challenge I’m taking on today is about childhood treats; or at least, things that make me think of celebration.

Pfft. This is FAR from easy, because there are so many things that I think of as “celebration food” – especially from childhood, when I still had a grandma who enjoyed cooking tons of food for Christmas and birthday bashes. I could go on and on about morcon and scalloped potatoes (“when in doubt, add more cheese”). I fuckin’ love those.

Surprisingly, though, they’re not what I associate with special occasions. What I crave for when I need to celebrate something is a slice (okay, SEVERAL slices) of my favorite cake: blueberry cheesecake.

Isn’t it awesome? (image from http://highdesertvapes.com)

I don’t even remember when I first tasted this wonder of wonders; I only vaguely remember one of my favorite aunts sharing the refrigerator cake recipe with my mom. All know is that when I barely want anything else on my birthday. If I absolutely needed to have a birthday cake, I almost always expect it to be a blueberry cheesecake.

Maybe it’s because I love the taste of blueberry preserves, or it’s because mom used copious amounts of cream cheese when she used to make it (if it isn’t obvious yet, I’m a huge fan of cheese), with some nice buttery graham crackers (I am also a fan of butter). Maybe it’s because I’d gotten sick of sponge-based cakes by the time I first had this wonder, or it’s because it’s the first time I actually tasted blueberries in any form. Either way, I feel like the sugary-fruity sweetness coupled with salty-tangy-creamy goodness is the best way to remind yourself that everything is perfect in the world.

There are other food that I enjoy that involve cream cheese or blueberries; but I don’t think any of them combines those two things as well as the blueberry cheesecake does. The first time I had a forkful of this, felt the soft creamy texture of the cake mashing against the crumbly base on my tongue while little bombs of syrupy berries exploded against the roof of my mouth. There’s no other way to describe it: this is a SPECIAL cake.

Oh, I liked black forest (CHERRIES!) and red velvet (INDULGENCE!), too. But they never really felt as decadent. The experiences I had with them were not the same.

Dammit. Now I want some blueberry cheesecake.

What’s YOUR favorite childhood treat?

Writing 101: Point of View – Triangles

I’m actually writing this on the day before it will be posted (because I expect to do other things that will be putting me off a writing mood by the time Friday comes around for me). Thankfully, Rurouni Kenshin reinvigorated my brain enough to make this possible-ish.

Not stellar, but better this than nothing.

The Daily Post Challenge I’ll be tackling today involves writing different points of view. They’ve suggested a scene with it, but I’m not quite sure how to make it work for me at the moment. So I’m doing another scene instead.

Here’s hoping this post won’t make you want to throw up.

Triangles

Jules folded the triangular flaglets with his full concentration. He’d rather not think of anything other than the task at hand, because to pay attention to anything else means that there will be an ERROR. There is nothing more terrible than mismatched flaglets for a fiesta; they may come in different colors, but they need to be the exact same size and shape – otherwise, they can detract from the entire joyous experience.

Instead of enjoying the punch or savoring the food, they will keep looking at the decor and say “Hey, doesn’t that flaglet look lopsided to you?” and everything will be ruined.

He can’t let that happen. He puts the ruler on the thick paper, marking out precise measurements with a very sharp pencil.

***

Carradine tries to fold the paper one-handed; the other hand is devoted to smoking. He tries to not curse at Jules for dragging him into this, and mainly succeeds. His only revenge is the complete lack of devotion he puts into the entire task.

He’s only here because he owed the guy a favor. He never thought that the favor would involve stupid paper folding and cutting. He simply assumed that Jules would cash it in for something more dramatic, like beating up someone for him, or stealing some Mountain Dew from the office cafeteria. Instead, he was asked to help decorate for the department’s Christmas party. Christ.

He glanced at his other companion, Sylvia. Well. At least company hottie Sylvia is stuck with them, too. It doesn’t seem so bad.

***

Sylvia watches Jules surreptitiously, trying to copy exactly what he’s doing without being obvious. This was never her strong point, crafts, but she’s already volunteered – albeit accidentally – and there’s no point in doing something if she’s going to screw it up, especially if it means that she loses to HIM.

Of course, anything she does can’t possibly be as bad as what Carradine is working on – the asshole isn’t even trying. But that’s still no excuse to not make an effort. Her career depends on doing well here (HR had told her the last time they passed her over that she has no teamwork skills, making her unqualified for a promotion). So she’s going to fold and cut perfect fucking triangles, if it’s the last thing she’ll do.

She showed her work to Jules, pitching her voice in a way that made her sound friendly. He ignored her.

Bastard.

Writing 101: A Bit of a Disagreement (Herocles Vignette 1)

Today’s Daily Post Challenge deals with contrasts and, if possible, we’ll have to write it as a dialogue. Not sure if I can do it properly, but here goes (with characters from the Superhero story)…

If only because the world needs Liberty (art care of my sister)
If only because the world needs Liberty (art care of my sister)

A Bit of a Disagreement

“You can’t possibly plan to go out looking like that,” Enye began.

Ean batted his (obviously fake) eyelashes at his (practically identical) twin sister as he twirled in his (ridiculously short) toga dress. “You’re just jealous because I have better gams.”

“You do NOT have gams,” the girl retorted. “Because only girls have gams. You’re not even an honest-to-god transvestite. You could insult a whole lot of people with that getup.”

“IF they find out,” he replies with a grin and a voice that sounds creepily like hers – slightly husky and full, as if she were speaking from her diaphragm all the time. “Which they won’t, because I TOTALLY look like a real girl.” He purses his lips (slathered in rather ostentatious red lipstick) at her. “You’d look like a real girl too, if you tried.”

She frowns at him, looking down at her (frayed) purple unicorn sweater and (tattered) blue denim jeans, with pink socks peeking out of them. “What the hell is not girly about how I look today?”

He gave her the “incredulous twin brother” look, the one where his (perfectly trimmed) eyebrows jump an inch up his perfectly-tanned forehead. “Enye,” he said in his natural voice – smooth and clear, like he’d just downed some rum to clear up his throat. “I say this because I’m your brother, I love you, and my day job is in PR. You look like a gay hobo. A screaming gay middle school theater reject who ended up on the streets.”

She rolled her eyes at Ean and switched gears. “Well I still don’t know how you think you’re supposed to fight crime in a white dress, a wig, and silver wedge gladiator shoes. Can you even MOVE in those?”

His response was to perform a handstand, and reveal that the bottom half of the “dress” was a skort. He lifted his right arm and bolted upright with only the power of his elegantly-muscled left arm. He ended with a circus flourish, a needlessly ostentatious bow, and an obnoxious grin.

His sister crossed her (admittedly jelly-ish) tan arms, covering the eyes of the unicorn on her sweater. She frowned. “Yeah, well I still think you’re nuts. Why in the name of all that is holy would you want to get into crimefighting? DRESSED AS A GIRL?”

His grin softened. “Because I have powers, chiquitita,” he said, his gray eyes looking into her gray eyes. Then he flipped his wig (which looked remarkably like Enye’s hair) as he turned and sashayed (creepily like a five-dollar tart) the window sill. “And because I have awesome gams, which will make it hard for criminals to figure out who the superhero Liberty really is.”

“But you still look like me, ” she pointed out with her neutral journalist’s voice, her hands gripping her elbows hard.

“I know!” he crows gleefully as he puts on a silvery domino mask and retouches his lipstick. “Don’t you look awesome?”

Before she could respond, he leaps out of the window and into the night.

Writing 101 – A Meeting

Oh, The Daily Post just posted a character building challenge! One of the more interesting challenges to be sure, but I can’t guarantee that this will turn out great for me (after all, I still feel like I screwed up the “place” post; why should this be any different?). Doesn’t mean that I won’t try, though.

Going for fiction again this time (because I’m a hermit and I don’t meet too many new people that I feel comfortable writing about). Hope you enjoy it!

Lessons

She found herself watching his hands, which were wrinkled at the back like old, well-read newspapers; they made her wonder how many times he would fold and unfold them in a day in an act of study. He was folding and unfolding them now, fingers flicking at the sides of a deck of cards as he moves to misdirect her gaze so he can palm the one she chose. His palms, she notes, are rough – but not by any means aged; they were hands that belonged to craft – the devotion carved out in webbed lines stretching and widening with every gesture.

He makes a joke, a very old joke that her grandfather once made, and she looks away from his hands to his face. She couldn’t quite believe that it came from that face – slightly round and porcelain-smooth, lips formed in a perpetual smirk, dark eyes full of wonder and secrets, dimples folding inward like the hidden pockets his vest most definitely has. He wiggles his dark eyebrows at her, and they bobbed up into his forehead like dramatic puffs of stage magic smoke. The one on the right has a piercing she never noticed before, hanging like a silver crescent moon.

“And now you are not paying attention,” he points out in his strange, Eastern-European accent. It had a hint of either impatience or amusement, which she never could tell apart where he was concerned. He takes her hand firmly, as if she were one of the many tools of his trade, and presses the cards onto her palm.

Without his prompting, she begins to shuffle the cards. She watches him as he watches her, his eyes darkened with focus and the pulse on his neck steady. When her fingers slip and a card flips, she watches the pulse stutter and his eyes flicker.

“Again,” he says, this time standing and turning away to pace in front of her, his shoes silent even on the marble floor. His back is straight, but his gait is not – it has an unbalanced grace to it that she did not expect. She feels him keeping an eye on her as she goes through her false shuffles and passes, and sees him nod as she lays out four cards on the ground in front of her. He approaches them, turns them over, and barks out a laugh at the four Queens.

“Finally, someone with potential!” He snaps his fingers, brings his hands together in a prayer position, and opens them like a book. On his palms lay a new, unopened, deck of cards. Heart beating, she takes it with the reverence she felt it was due.

“I would be honored to teach you, little girl,” he says. “Come back tomorrow, and we will see what else you can become.”

Clutching the deck, she smiles and runs out of the theater – glad that she had followed the man from the bay.