Sunday, June 28, 2009

Watching, waiting

She will be laying there immobile all day regardless of noise, movement, sun or rain, seemingly dead to the world, until her sixth sense guides her to quietly disappear. Her hiding places are innumerable and always growing. Under beds, behind the folds of curtains, narrow areas between open door and walls, improbably high closets, extremely low storage areas and even chair seats that are tucked under tables. Unfortunately for her, her snore is unmistakable, the loud rumble guides me to her. It’s low vibrations deceptively sound as if they are eminating from a much larger object, perhaps a motor or a man.

Down on all fours, stretching my arm under the bed I grab the scruff of her neck and pull her lank muscular body slowly towards me. Her eyes staring, evaluting me quietly, allowing herself to be reeled in while waiting for a moment to counter attack. She was good at waiting, having cornered green grass hoppers under furniture, she would casually wait lying down on top of obtrusive furniture like some owners wait in front of restaurants to reclaim their due from valet parkers. Now she was playing the other side, she was the one who was caught and needed to escape. This did not seem to matter so much to her, she still had that same focused look on face and exuded the same sense of expectation and quiet confidence.

Bound in a towel, I lie her down back against the checkered blue and white bathroom floors stomach up and still she has not released her gaze. She does not protest but maintains her stare as if trying to read my face or hypnotize me. Refusing to succumb to my fear, I take the needle and work to steady my hands while turning my eyes away from her face to look at the cool white fur on her stomach. I then carefully proceed to start the injection when sensing the needle, she instantly and violently un-skins herself, causing the needle to fly in the air as we both watch, her in victory, and me in horror as it twirls like majorette's baton in a lively parade and lands just inches away from my arm.

Between my hands, still as if she had never moved, she watches me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

2nd Assignment

We were trained for these situations. We were told during training that one day there could be an accident, that we could be lost forever in space. We were trained to stay calm and meditate so we would not hyperventilate in our helmets before the crew could plan a rescue mission.

Getting ready for our first few outings we would joke about it. “Tod just wanted to thank you for your cot with the window, being best buds and all.” “You better hall your shit out of my space bugboy.” Then out of the hatch one of us would go. Sometimes there was no time for a quick rebuttal and you would do your best to show them the finger with those overly thick space gloves.

Being the only girl I got a lot of “hey baby it may be your last chance”. At which point I would pull out my laser cutter and smile. I don’t get a lot of those lines anymore but now that I am out here floating and my rigger has blown I think of them and those clowns. As the only girl I had to be tough, but now drifting, I am left here to ponder if I was perhaps too tough. Did they check my rigger, the cord? It was routine procedure but we have been busy with the pod getting older and needing more work so that a lot of routine procedure was neglected.

There was the time I snapped a picture of Tom nude in the cleaning pod and forwarded it to the crew. It was suppose to be just a simple forward to ourselves but somehow it was sent to Earth space station as well. That did not go well. No, not well at all.

Then there was Dem. Dem was sending me messages anonymously for weeks till finally I was able to trace some of the content back to something I had read in his files about his love for bugs. Enraged I forwarded all his message to the crew, destroyed his cover and nicknamed him bugboy which stuck.

Before finding him out though, I had gotten into a Tiff with Nick. I had been so sure it was Nick.

The confined space, the monotony, the incessant sound of the air system, and the emails were beyond anything training could have prepared me for.

When we were on computer maintenance duty I accused him. He denied it. “Come on” I hissed “only someone as dumb and corny as you could write stuff like that.” He grabbed me and pushed me against the console. I clawed aimlessly because his arms were too long. That night, I stole Nick’s picture of his wife and through down the hatch during a regular garbage dump. That was a golden rule here. Never touch anyone stuff. It was there life.

Through my closed eyes I could imagine the picture frame floating by with his wife accusing eyes staring at me.

Alone floating in space, I tell myself not to cry but I know my face is wet, when suddenly and very gently, I feel a hand on my shoulder.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Safely Aboard a New Ship

Changing class is hard work once you have missed the deadline. After exchanging much bickering emails with 2 Gotham Writers Workshop administrators, in which I strained to remain polite while maintaining a firm and aggressive attitude, swishing my sword, cornering my opponent and jumping to avoid their close swipes, I was finally awarded the right to change class!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jumping Ship


I wanted to know if it would be possible to change classes with another teacher. I don't feel I am getting enough out of the class and that the teacher is thoroughly reading my assignment.
For example, my first assigment was only 390 words and she had missed the fact that the only 2 characters were sisters even though it clearly states this. Also she didn't seem to participate so much with our responses to her first lecture questions but gave us a generic "very good" reply.
I would like to take another fiction class if possible but I am open to sci-fi and creative writing as well. I do not mind being placed in a class that has recently started if there are openings. I am also open to any day of the week.

Thank you for your help

Second Opinion-s

So much for my call to arms from my fellow students. I have only received 2 quiet responses from my request to exchange writing assignments for critiques a motion which I had feared I might cause a revolution by circumventing our less then entheusiastic teacher. I'm not quite sure where any of my revolutionaries are. They are not in class. No one has responded to the teachers questions and yet they did not jump at the opportunity to learn from a peer to peer exchange of work with me. They are very quiet.

One of the students who responded to me has asked me not to judge the others too harshly ensuring me that they must be busy with their own agendas. I assured her she must be correct but I can't help but think that they could exchange assigmnments that had been completed and could probably review my short assignment in a few minutes.

I have also checked the workshop's refund policy, but unfortunately that window of opportunity has past, I am locked in and apparently there is no help.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second Opinion

I want a second opinion. I don't feel as if the teacher carefully read my 1st assigment judging by her comments, especially the fact that she assumes the two and only charcters are friends, when one of the few lines mentions that they are sisters. There were so few words (under 400)that for her to skim over this fact leaves me feeling her criticism are irrelevant.

I noticed today that she has posted her new lecture at 12:00 am with 2 participation questions, yet it is now 4:00 pm and nobody has posted answers. Are all the students sulking over what they also feel may be unmerited negative criticism of their work?

Or perhaps its her comments on our first comments to last weeks questions, an umbrella "ok very good"blancket variety which left us unentheusiastic to participate again.

Maybe they are all jumping ship and trying to get into another class as they won't receive a refund. Would I be able to do this...or have they set up such a hornets bees of requests to jump that all new requests are being denied.

So due to my disappointment and lost faith in my teacher's compentance and because I have decided to try to squeeze a little more mileage from my Gotham Writer's Workshop, I have asked fellow students if they want to exchange assignments for comments. I wonder if this might seem a bit renegade, as if I am circomventing the teacher, but what is there left to lose?

First Assigment

Do your best to keep your work on the assignments under 500 words. The brevity will help you focus your work. If you really need to run longer, keep it under 750 words
Write from A to Z. Each sentence will begin with the next letter of the alphabet. For example, "Any way you looked at it, Jim and I were over. Because of his obsession with jigsaw puzzles, I was leaving him. Could I really leave him? Don't doubt it." You get the idea. Let yourself go and see how the letters lead you. There are only two rules: You need one fragment and one 100 word sentence that is grammatically correct within this story

Assignment 1 :


Are you really going to do it?

Buy the laptop?

“Come on,” she answers in her exasperated voice.

Damn right I am. Eliminate the weak points, that’s the rule I now live by.

Fine but think about it, about what it means.

Granting him the opportunity to move on with his life, while allowing me to eliminate excess baggage that is holding me back?

Hell, that’s harsh. If I remember correctly, he put you through med school.

Just because he helped me, which I’m not say he didn’t, does not mean I have an outstanding dept or a life long obligation. “Kenneth Cole shoes?” she holds daintily a pair of sparkly red shoes with impossibly high heels.

“Let me see them. Maybe you can get one of those counselors.”

“No, we are definitely beyond counseling and have been for years actually.” Opening the antiqued microscopic buckle and pushing her foot into the opening while using her sister’s shoulder to balance herself she peers into the mirror. “Perfect, I love them”.

“Question is, where are you going to wear them if you need my shoulder just to stand?”

“Right, well perhaps I can use them in bed” she says kicking her foot out jauntily.

“Sex, you mean they will be for sex. Testosterone stilettos. Un-useable, in your situation”

“Valentine’s day is coming up, I could easily have a voraciously good lover which would require these shoes.”

“why are u doing this?”

“x-rays are strange if you think about it, I was showing one of my patients her x-ray this week and coming from China she spoke very little English so I had planned to point her heart out to her in order to help explain, and to emphasize the great importance of taking care of the heart, but suddenly I was kind of standing there with my pointer in my hand and from the side of my eye I saw her nodding as if she agreed with me or rather as if she was assuring me I had come to the correct conclusion about my own life.

“yea, so what does that have to do with anything.”

“Zero, it has absolutely nothing to do with anything, it only has everything to do with me getting these shoes, she says precariously wobbling towards the busy sales girl while pointing at the shoe.”

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