Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Doctor's Office

"I am sorry," said the receptionist, tugging at her teddy bear scrubs, "but Dr. Crawford is running a bit behind."

Superman sighed. Really, for him to wait, how ridiculous - he had to save the world! Okay, maybe he did not have to save the world right now, but think of it. Now, right now, why any sort of old woman could be getting mugged. Or worse! Perhaps a group of young co-eds were going to get into a car and drive... drunk. Of course none of those problems were of concern to Superman. He had to save the world. Not right now, but, hey, you never know.

Superman sighed again. He forced himself into the waiting room chair. The pattern, which looked designed to cover up dirt, did not seem to be doing its job very well. Ever cautious, Superman reached into his pocket for his little bottle of Purell.

He wished he had brought a book, The Daily Planet, anything, as the wait got longer and longer. He crossed and re-crossed his legs innumerable times. Even using his X-Ray vision on the attractive receptionist with the teddy scrubs had grown old. For goodness sake! What could Dr. Crawford be up to?

The nurse cracked open the door to call in a patient, "Clarence."

Ahhh! By the time he got seen the world most certainly would have fallen into dire peril.


Here I am, located at computer Libr140 in the W.E.B. DuBois Library Learning Commons, imbued with time and nothing to say. I could remark about the oft discussed pronunciation of the dear DuBois' last name. I could complain about the dreadful parking situation here at UMass. (I mean, really! Over $200 to park down by the Mullin's Center!) I might also mention my drastic unhappiness at the fact that the University (capital U, of course) has chosen to taken away my grants following the realization that I am, in fact, an out of state student. Who knew that all these many, many years I am actually a (traitor) student from Connecticut. Good ol' richest-state-in-the-union Connecticut. Alternatively, I might begin a discussion about my worry about graduating (May is so soon.), my even greater anxiety about hearing back from graduate school, or what if I need to find a job concerns. Truly, there must be nothing so difficult in the world as being twenty-one. Well, except maybe the impending being twenty-two.

Who of us can imagine not being a student. Certainly not me. This is not because I lack imagination. (I was an inventive child.) It is simply that I am a student - that is what I have been brought up to be via sixteen years of education, not all of which I have enjoyed, but all of which I feel has been a of benefit to me. Simply put, I cannot imagine not learning, not waking up with a paper to do, not waking up with a book to read, and not having that time of wake up be sometime after 8:30. I like being a student. I like being engaged and challenged and pissed-off by a difficult class, which later I will get an A in (or else I conversely don't like it). More than that I am comfortable in my large holding environment.

I am a humanities major, English specifically. All of this aforementioned education has given me a great appreciation for beauty and an ability to think, at least decently. All of this aforementioned education may not have made me marketable. Probably it has and in my intense anxiety I fail to realize that because I have options as a person of the humanities and have not funneled myself comfortably in a career that four years of undergraduate education has prepared me for.

This post has become unfortunate and self involved. Two things I prefer not to have, but there it is. I am doing the best I can do. I have people to love me and support me and to help take care of me. I am lucky and grateful. I am trying to have the strength to do what I will do.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Über-Short Star Trek: Voyager Summaries - Season Two (Part Two)

Parturition: Neelix and Paris food fight over Kes but then bringing up (alien) baby brings them back together again.

Persistence of Vision: The memories that haunt: Janeway faces and accusatory Mark, B'Elanna desires an amorous Chakotay (which we'll never see again), Kim misses the slightly dull Libby, and we all realize how difficult things are for Tuvok, who has lost the most. And Janeway wasn't crazy.

Tattoo: Oh, so that's how Chakotay got that thing on his face.

Cold Fire: Creepy Kes episode with creepy Ocampa guy. All around creepiness abounds, and Tuvok gets boiled.

Maneuvers: That b*tch Seska is back in all her glory, this time with the Kazon. Chakotay does a bad job of dealing with "his problem." Seska impregnates herself with Chakotay DNA. Uh oh!

Resistance: A planetside episode. B'Elanna and Tuvok are kidnapped, Janeway is mistaken for a dead daughter, and an old man dies.

Prototype: We find out that Janeway is always right when B'Elanna is taken hostage by a group of robots wanting to reproduce who fail to inform anyone that they are (a) at war and (b) killed all of their creators.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

3rd person omniscient.

I am working on my story The Strand. Since doing that POV exercise, based on the story, I have decided to re-work the entire story in 3rd person omniscient. This is partially a technical exercise and partially a result a feedback I got from my E355 class and teacher.

I am also reading the recommended Mrs. Dalloway, a beautifully rendered 3rd person omniscient work. The things Virginia Wolff can do with language. Reminds me of Michael Cunningham's The Hours, which I adore, and, of all things, Sylvia Plath - connection = mental illness (specifically depression in very talented writers).

Also, I am thinking about minimalism, still. A result of the Amy Hempel workshop at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. I love when writer teachers advise you to try everything and say that you are young. I feel that youth, which I obviously have in bounds, is such a lucky thing when it comes to education because if affords some much room for experimentation. I'll be honest, after the Hempel workshop I had a crisis of faith in writing, as I am not a minimalist, but also had a try at a Mary Robison Why Did I Ever style work, technically still in progress. Oh, minimalism, and, so, of course, Gordon Lish.

I'll post a newly rendered version of The Strand when it's ready. I am also going to expand it, probably also in the third person omniscient. It's easier to cut than to add, as they always say. I think I am going to write for before the story more than after it, but perhaps I'll do both. I have to see...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I am blank minded, bushy tailed, tall, awake. I am waiting for... I am waiting for reinvention, for capitulation, for absolution. I am waiting. We are all waiting. I have, in my bag, one lighter and four fat cigarettes, all cancer and not caring. Fuck it, we are all going to die anyway. That is not the kind of absolution that I am waiting for. Not in the least. I am waiting for beginnings. And endings too.

I am riding sky high, racing down the highway to the thump thump of tires and the hum of the engine rocking my car baby style into oblivion. I am not driving to where the sky meets the earth, to meridian, to God because I don't believe in that and I have only a third a tank. What with gas being up to three bucks like it is, what else can you do? The wind is blowing my cig out and pushing smoke in my face, and I am waiting here in motion, not standing still. Because maybe in waiting you have to move a little to what you want. So now I am moving in any direction, an unfixed vector unsure if I will get reinvention, capitulation, absolution.

Multiple choice test with nothing that can be excluded. I am pressing the graphite into powder around the (b) bubble, but this time I have not clue. I'll make a star pattern with the dots. Hell, question seven I'll answer twice (c) and (a). I was going to go wrong anyway. Why do I flounder so when I know that this is something that I want so badly in this time. Everything is so acute lately: the smoke stinging my eyes, the mummer of the highway, the prick of the graphite underneath my ring finger coloring the unique groves that tell the world that this is me!

I am clunking quarters into a payphone. Fuck! When did a phone call become fifty whole cents? I am trying to connect. I am trying to absolution and capitulation if I can't get reinvention. People don't change - just whirl round and round at this speed, being squashed toward the equator into a big bulge. Earth: the perpetual carnival ride.

When we were kids, you and I would pack ourselves into the Scrambler with Denny from next door, sliding back and forth. Always with Danny in the worst seat where he'd get crunched the most and the ride whirled. I would get you sick on neon blue cotton candy, and your little girl hands would reach for mine all blue and covered with the stick of sugar and saliva. I didn't know any better than, and I surely don't know any better now, even with all of the education behind me telling me nothing about the world and nothing about you. It's not like I've got your long brown hair and big eyes in my mind like a giant cliché anyhow.

I am wishing for a lot of nothing. I am curled up on the old corduroy couch thinking, "When did they ever make couches in corduroy?" Mom gave me the old couch for Christmas, and first thing I did was tear off that plastic cover that she used. I'm not covering a couch with Saran Wrap. I don't want crinkling every time I move, not when I am trying to do some of my serious thinking, like now, when I am wishing for a whole lot of nothing. I am figuring that nothing is all I need to get out of my problems. Plus, then I won't be waiting for absolution, for meaning, for damn anything at all to come my way. Maybe not even waiting for you, still a little girl to me - a sugar coated gumdrop in your pink party dress. The one with the toile at the bottom and the lace sleeves. You always liked things a little overdone. And if I clanked that whole fifty cents into the phone and got your number from the operator in a flat voice, then, even then you wouldn't want to hear from me anyway. Always, who would I be to you?

I am waiting for growing. For the active verb of grow. I am waiting to be. It's not quite a new beginning. I was at a rest stop off 91. In the stall, in a decidedly female hand (odd) was the statement "I don't feel that I need to be alive," ink smeared slightly as if a hand had run across it. Waiting may be hard but never that, Baby, never that. Keep your cool, Baby. I wish I was coming to get you.

Again. Driving into the meridian, I feel like floating - like nothing at all but a dandelion seed in the ebbing air stream.

POV Test

I have written a section I am working on for The Strand. (It's an earlier section.) Please, let me know which works best.

Third Person, Limited:

They were on the brink. She could feel it, as she walked down Strand under the dower English sky, Charles closer than necessary at her side. They were talking, of all things, about Tomas More’s Utopia.

“A walk doesn’t equal love,” Haylee reminded herself. “I fall in love a dozen time a day but always with this man. This not-my-husband man.”

Charles was holding forth on the Utopian alphabet of the 1515 first edition. She felt an urge to shake him, to say, “This is our moment. Don’t you see?” so as to confirm the pivotal nature of the current instant. Instead, Charles stopped.

Haylee, are you all right? You seem to have gone a bit pale.”

“Quite. It’s just the chill of fall, I guess.”

“I have to run,” Charles said seemingly suddenly, turning toward the curb.

The moment fractured, as Haylee followed, taking his hand lightly.

“Please,” she said, suddenly breathless, “I don’t want you to go.”

Third Person, Omniscient:

They were on the brink. She could feel it, as she walked down Strand under the dower English sky, Charles purposely closer than necessary at her side. They were talking, of all things, about Tomas More’s Utopia.

“A walk doesn’t equal love,” Haylee reminded herself. “I fall in love a dozen time a day but always with this man. This not-my-husband man.”

Charles was holding forth on the Utopian alphabet of the 1515 first edition, thinking, “I must impress her,” over and over again in his mind. Wishing to talk of nothing but a trip back up The Strand to his office at the College. In Charles’ mind, he was laying Haylee down in his mind, unbuttoning her beige cardigan, reciting John Donne. He had always wanted to make love reciting John Donne’s Unholy Sonnets, had waited his whole life for a woman with whom he felt he could do that. And into that fantasy Haylee stepped, mind ablaze with Mallory and Tennyson, more specifically to him, mind ablaze with romance.

Parallel, Haylee walked filled with thought. She felt a sudden urge to shake Charles, so seemingly involved with More, to say, “This is our moment. Don’t you see?” so as to confirm the pivotal nature of the current instant. Instead, Charles stopped, Haylee looked distracted and disinterested. He felt his middle go hollow in realization; she, a married woman, would never care for him.

Haylee, are you all right? You seem to have gone a bit pale,” Charles said, attempting to gain equanimity.

“Quite. It’s just the chill of fall, I guess.”

They were lying to each other, living the romances of which they were so fond.

“I have to run,” Charles said seemingly suddenly, turning toward the curb, the recent realization of Haylee’s unavailability leading him to crave solitude.

The moment fractured, as Haylee followed, making herself act out of the feeling of necessity that this time with Charles had created in her. She took his hand lightly.

“Please,” she said, suddenly breathless, “I don’t want you to go.”

First Person:

I know it. We are on the brink. Charles and I, walking down The Strand in the gosh-it’s-cold-and-I-want-his-arms-wrapped-tight-tight-around-me. I want to tell myself a walk isn’t love, but I know that I keep falling in love with this man a dozen times a day. Now, here, this is time with Charles, time without Sheldon of the pushed tea and the Weetabix and the crushed forehead kisses on the way to the Underground. Sheldon who is always in a hurry, but here is Charles like me wanting to slow it down with books and time, time, time. Why do I feel so crushed with feeling for him, in this moment of him talking about Thomas More, and I don’t even care about Thomas More, really, just about Charles’ voice. I want to take him right now, tell him, this is how it is with you and me. This is what I want and screw Sheldon and all of that. I used to say, “Who knows what happiness is anyway?” but now I know that happiness is with you, and I have got to take this moment and make you know it. I have to do it, to not be afraid anymore because I can’t risk this limbo where I will never really have you at all. I won’t let you turn away because this is it really, and I am taking you hand, Baby, because today I am done with these inhibitions, so let me say it. “Please, I don’t want you to go.”


I would really like to try a new template called Foliage. However, people have been having trouble with the drop-down menu, and I am not sure that I would be able to manage it. If anyone has ever tried it and gotten it to work successfully let me know. Maybe then I would like to give it a try.

Über-Short Star Trek: Voyager Summaries - Season Two (Part One)

The 37's: So that is what happened to Amelia Earhart. Why wouldn't the crew know was gasoline is? No one stays on the beta earth, and Captain Janeway gets all choked up.

Initiations: None of the Bar Mitzvah's I went to were like this. Chakotay nearly gets killed again and again by a totally emo Kazon teen.

Projections: Descartes meets the Doctor. And the answer isn't quite "I think, therefore I am."

Elogium: Kes gets yellow goo on her hands and realizes she had to have a baby now or never. But she is just one (and how would we feel about that if teen mothers get us into an uproar). Some crazy space stuff is to blame. A crazy space slug- looking creature tries to mate with the ship.

Non Sequitur: Kim sees what the road not traveled is like when he get caught in an alternate time line in which he is still in what looks like present-day San Francisco plus one shuttle craft.

Twisted: Everyone gets lost and thinks they are going to die. The viewer knows better - this is just season two.

To do!

(a) Write Valentine's Day card
(b) Read chapter four for P380

(a) Go to Career Fair (weather permitting)
(b) Read Taking Sides 3
(c) Go to work

(a) Go to class
(b) Read handout for E297
(c) Go to Connecticut
(d) Dinner at Dad's

(a) Spend the day with Mom

(a) Have lunch with Dad
(b) Have dinner with Mom
(c) Drive back to Amherst.

(a) Clean
(b) Read Taking Sides 11
(c) Go to work

(a) E380 POV project
(b) Call local businesses for Senior Campaign
(c) Go to work

Über-Short Star Trek: Voyager Summaries - Season One

Caretaker: Oh, no! 70,000 light years from home! Our intrepid captain must join forces with the Maquis and save the Ocampa from the Kazon (the new bad Badies!) by blowing up the dying Caretaker's array. Alas! The crew is stranded.

Parallax: Lots of technobable and B'Elanna gets to be chief engineer. Oh, and they "break" the event horizon of a black hole in order to get out. (People of science people die quietly in side, here in the 21st century.) And the Doctor shrinks.

Time and Again: A time travel episode. Quickly, Janeway and Paris must be saved, but, oh the irony, the rescue mission is what would cause the catastrophe in the first place.

Phage: Are two Badies too many? Voyager answers, "No!" Meet the Vidiians, a sad bunch all dying and harvesting body parts. We feel less bad when they steal Neelix's lungs though.

The Cloud: A mission to get Janeway coffee goes terribly wrong! Energy is lost instead of gained, yet another space-dwelling life form is injured. Next week Janeway will have to try the coffee substitute.

Eye of the Needle: Everyone misses home - a lot. The Romulans are the good guys, a bit more time travel, and a lot of disappointment.

Ex Post Facto: Ooo, Latin! Paris gets in trouble with a woman but this time it is serious. Murder charges must be dropped when Tuvok proves Paris innocent based on "the eye witness of a dog."

Emanations: Kim dies round one!

Prime Factors: A way, way too hospitable group try to get the crew of Voyager to stay. Someone flirts with Janeway. They don't get home, but Tuvok and B'Elanna get in a lot of trouble. And we learn once again that Seska is a b*tch.

State of Flux: Our dislike of Seska increases when she gives technology to the Kazon. Boo! Hiss! Ew, and she flirts with Chakotay who is not fooled this time.

Heroes and Demons: Old English poetry meets science fiction when the Doctory must rescue Kim, Tuvok, and Chakotay from a Beowulf holonovel.

Cathexis: Chakotay helps while "dead." The ships needs to be saved from the nebula. Tuvok goes crazy and tries to kill everyone - don't worry he was under the influence of an alien symbiont.

Faces: B'Elanna is just a Klingon. No, wait, she is just a human. The Vidiians do some evil experiments, and we get to see what Roxann Dawson looks like without make-up.

Jetrel: Neelix recalls the an event on his planet that parallels the catastrophe of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Earth.

Learning Curve: Season One ends in a bit of a fizzle. Tuvok runs boot camp and everyone gets all last-day-of-camp-in-middle-school emotive.

step into the future

Weblogging is the OED Word of the Day today.

Interesting, reminds me of Tennyson ("When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see; / Saw the Vision of the world and all the wonder that would be. -- "Locksley Hall")

Reminds me of my favorite television show, Star Trek: Voyager. (Namely because that is the quotation that appears on the dedication plaque for the ship. N.B. They misquote Tennyson, writing "For I dipt" instead of "When I dipt" - Are there two different interpretations of the poem?) I ought to do some Voyager episode reviews or something. I am getting back into the show after buying some import DVDs of it. Important! Do not buy import DVDs. Just trust me on this. Overall, I guess it is worth it because most of the episodes work, and I was able to get the entire series, something that would not have been possible with the US pricing. However, I have seen all of season one and part of season two again and one episode had such bad video quality as to be not viewable. This was the season two episode "Elogium" - the one where Kes is freaking out and the ship is getting lucky with the giant leech-like space dwelling alien. Not my favorite episode luckily. Still I hope it's the only one I have problems with.

The Pigs!

Here are photos of Hank and Arnold, the two pigs that I might be caring for soon!

Character Sketch

Here is a character sketch / story beginning that I wrote. I have to do a long-ish piece for E355 for the entire semester. I am trying to decide if I should work with this or do more with the story The Strand. What do you think?


Lorena was washing the dishes again. Yesterday, while washing the dishes she had been able to forget herself. So she was at it again, turning the Mikasa dinner plate between her swollen fingers. But today she could not forget. Today, looking at her swollen fingers and feeling her stomach pushed against the cold granite of the counter, she felt every bit what she was.

Her mother had not spoken when she came to pick her up in front of her dorm at Wellesley. Her belongings were scattered about on the sidewalk before her. “This is my life,” Lorena thought, “These few boxes.” These few boxes that her roommate had helped her pack-up, sympathetic but unwilling to meet her eye. How could she have been so careless?

Now she was back home, in a house filled with silence – this time against her. Lorna’s mother had spoken to her only once and her father not at all. It had been during the car ride back to Litchfield. Her mother was a practical woman. She did not admonish her daughter; it would have done no good this late. She only said in a low voice, “We’ll pull in the back. Of course you won’t be going out at all.” Lorena understood. She was an embarrassment, a blemish on their otherwise perfect social standing. News of her ‘mistake,’ as her mother would later put it, needed to be kept private. 1950s Litchfield would not be tolerant of such a situation.

Because Lorena was a rich girl and brought up with notions of what wealth and class meant, she had imagined a different turn of events. When she let Clyde finally take her, it had been with the thought that this was his pre-cursor to marriage. They had been going out for almost a year, were juniors in college – of course he was looking for a wife. And of course he needed a wife who was giving, who would take care of him properly in all ways. Removing her cardigan she had imagined being called Mrs. Ackers, pressing the tablecloth for an evening dinner party, and having to be a tad bit authoritative with the caterer at her son’s christening. (The caterer would want to have small cubes of cheddar in a year when brie was really the cheese of choice.) She had not contemplated pregnancy for the simple reason that it did not fit with her plans. Her life to date had always fit with her plans. Being Mrs. Ackers was the next step.

Things always went linearly from winning medals in dressage, to being salutatorian in high school, to bringing her family pride with her success at Wellesley. For all of this she had thought her family would support her when Clyde did not. Yet here she was washing dishes, under house arrest, whispered about behind doors that had never been closed to her before. Three months along, feeling bloated and like a child.

Majestic Nonsense

I am writing for the blog Majestic Nonsense. It's a creative writing blog in which each of the three authors is responsible for writing a portion of the story and then passing the tale along to the next writer. I have just submitted my first post for the collaborative work. Please, check it out.

Live More Healthy

I am trying to live more healthy. I am (1) trying to eat better and (2) trying to get back into doing Pilates. Today is day 3. My abs hurt, but I do feel good about myself and my effort...

New Horizons

In mid-July 2015, after my thirtieth birthday, the first spacecraft ever sent to Pluto will reach its destination. The mission started a little over a year ago. Ten years and a mission to our favorite new non-planet. 2015: Welcome to the Kuiper Belt, New Horizons.

Day 1

In the dream, my brother had blue, blue eyes. I awoke confused. His eyes had always been brown like mine.

While shampooing, I had an itch under my left eye. What a panic to have an itch near your eye and yet know your hands are toxic.

It was then I decided to begin a diet.

Why is it that sometimes milk goes bad before the sell-by date? Yet other times, like now, the milk is good for days after.

I imagine that it is so cold that all my toes freeze to the sidewalk underneath my Vans. It would be so hard to balance without my bottom ten digits to maneuver by.

I realize that I am not sad for Derrick because it is not pity that he needs. It is not quite compassion, merely its off-spring help.

The knife slices out careful rectangles of sourdough. Later, I will have to change to triangles. Incidentally, will this make me fat?

What does it make me if I am trying to out-snob, as it were, in a snobby class? And why hadn't anyone made me read Faulkner yet? Let me be literate because I want to know literature because I want to write because I want. I want so badly. Everything seems so acute right now, so liminal. In these moments, I am the liminal figure that I always analyzed in texts.

You are my happiness, which is wonderful and frightening. It is wonderful because I have you. It is frightening because it makes me vulnerable with the feeling of how-could-I-exist-without-you?

I make a start with a crunch.

Sl, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, [sl, k1] 6 times, then rep. Purl a row and think of waking in tomorrow.


Hoober, I love you! (You are the most wonderful person ever!)

MacGyver Situation

You are lost in rural Nowhere. You believe that someone is stalking you by foot. (You have reason to strongly suspect that your stalker is your girlfriend/boyfriend from Freshman year of high school.) There are no signs of civilization. The road you are on is bare. There aren't even power lines. All you have with you is a box of Cinnamon Altoids , a small bottle of Powerade, a set of binoculars, and a sweatshirt size XL. What do you do now?

Check it Out Now!

An early draft of the story for E355 is done!

The Strand

“No, screw it, or I’ll miss the train,” the tea was pushed back at her, a kiss planted on her forehead as an afterthought. Haylee watched the teabag, swollen with water, bob up and down precariously as the flat door closed just a little too loudly. The lock slid into place. She picked up the bowl with a sigh, noted the remaining Weetabix coloring the milk. Unconsciously, she smoothed the already smooth tablecloth. The tea, not drunk, went down the sink. She made sure to close the pop-top on the dish liquid when done.

The house was always so empty after Sheldon left and the bustle of the London streets so far below that the only sounds that reached her were as a silent whisper of a child.

Tuesday, two days before the much anticipated Thursday, was market day.

Thursday was escape. Thursday was King’s College and Victorian literature. Haylee lusted for books, haunting the library stacks from Dickens to Hardy to Wilde. The library smelled of old paper and was too cold with its vaulted ceilings. All noises echoed, and she would slide her feet from book stack to wide table where she would read. She would bring home literary criticisms, dog-eared copies of Vanity Fair and Emma. Sheldon would look at her a bit bemused. Every evening he would ask, not unkindly, “Haven’t you read that already?” A simple man who looked only to the crosswords in The London Daily for intellectual satisfaction – how could she expect him to understand?

But it was Tuesday. The grocery list was already jotted down. She yanked on her olive Wellingtons, rubber squeaking against bare skin and resisting her downward pull of trouser cuffs. The contents of her purse checked, she grabbed her umbrella and headed for the door.

Haylee ducked her head, darted water droplets, hunkered down into her coat to fight the chill the rain had brought with it. Pulled pork. Tomatoes. Apples. A box of Smarties for Sheldon. The listed circled through her brain blotting out intrusive thoughts.

“At least,” she thought, “I’m trying.”

She was unprepared for the hot, damp humanness of the market. It was uncharacteristically crowded. A bulbous looking woman bumped Haylee into a row of tomatoes, one splitting open into a gapping hole of seed filled fertility. The sharp and acidic smell of the tomato made her dizzy and a little nauseous. Haylee slid through the crowded market quickly and anxiously. She had to finish the shopping, had to get outside to the fresh smell of wet ground, had to clear her head.

On the walk home she decided to stop for some mint tea to settle her. The disorganized feeling from the market had made her queasy. She chose the shop two and a half blocks from the flat, a small and unpopular establishment filled with the smell of burned tea leaf and kitsch décor – teapots of a pumpkin or a couple dancing, a singing frog creamer, mismatched and unironed table cloths in bright geometrics under glass, pies with crumbled crusts, and a seemingly anachronistic jukebox. The place was virtually empty upon her arrival, affording her a pleasant window seat from which she could watch a small girl holding her mother’s hand and stomping puddles along the street. The mother looked down at her offspring with joy bordering on awe as if recalling her own youthful joy at something as simple as rain. Thus preoccupied, Haylee did not notice him until he had moved right next to her.

“Hello, Haylee.”

My, God! And it wasn’t Thursday yet.

She had not taken the kind of care that she ought to have, not anticipating seeing him here, not anticipating seeing him anywhere really outside of the small room they shared with half a dozen others on Thursdays in the Franklin Wilkins Building at King’s College. He was out of place here, an intruder in this moment of her life. It was as if he had been transported from that classroom. He looked exactly the same, light brown hair arching over his forehead and creating stubble all along his chin, heavy framed glasses, not unattractive but instead distinctive, his perpetual tired looking azure eyes. He had the look of a man who read too much and didn’t go out enough. He looked down at her from his standing position, clearly anticipating being offered a seat.

“I have to go,” she said, standing, leaving her tea cup, still warm, radiating a ring of frosty looking steam onto the glass.

Outside, she was sick. She dry-heaved holding the damp fence in front of Saint Clement Danes church. Rain water ran cold down her coat sleeves. She tried to breathe deeply and not shiver.

“Here,” he wrapped his coat around her. She had not counted on him following her out of the café. His coat smelled of his musk. Ironically, it began to settle her down.

“I think we ought to talk,” he said carefully.

The flat was only a block away, but she did not offer. Instead, he led her in the direction of the Aldwych Station, paid for their tokens for the Underground, and seated her with great care in the poorly ventilated train. When they began moving she felt for sure she would be sick again with the stale air. However, the presence of his hand on her back calmed her as much as his presence in the café had unnerved her before. Of course he would be kind.

“Charles,” she said his name experimentally, but he hushed her.

“I am taking you to my office. We’ll talk there.”

So all she could do was sit, wrapped in his coat, smelling of his musk and not think about her husband.

Things did not go as planned. Haylee had an eloquent speech in her mind about how this could not continue. Then his office door closed, and he was kissing her.

Had his stubble not grated against her face, had he not pushed her back into the doorknob with a bit too much force, had the smell of his musk not suddenly made her nauseous and the office not suddenly felt claustrophobic, she wouldn’t have blurted it out without thought.

If he had been more gentle and clean shaven she would have let him have her one last time just so she could hear him say the line of poetry he always cited upon completion: “If thou must love me, let it be for nought / Except for love's sake only.” If he had said it, she would have been able to leave easier, knowing that Charles was only an opposite – a man with glasses, an office in King’s College, and all that meant.

As it was, she turned her head away from him and pushed at the bulk of his chest.

“I can’t. I’m having a baby.”

Haylee did not look back to see his face – the beauty that would cross it as a result of awe, anger, confusion, and sadness. She raced for the door, feeling as though, if she didn’t get out of the College, she would die with emotion. She let the door close with a crack, leaving the world of Charles with it.


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Some Updates

I have just added a meter to track the progress of my current (and near future) knitting projects. As I am a person who enjoys knitting a lot, I felt this would be a fun way to utilize this space and infuse it with more personality.

I have also chosen a new template, switching from Dots to Tic Tac Blue- I did not want my blog to look like the portal blog for the class I am taking.

The story for E355 is coming along as well. I might post some of the new material shortly. I just want to take time with what I have, write more, and edit a bit. It's due Tuesday, so all of that should be soon coming.

In personal news (Here I am not taking my own advise), I have decided to take Psychology 380: Abnormal Psychology pass/fail. It is my last semester, and I would like to enjoy this material. Having both parents in the mental health field and having exposure to mental illness through volunteer work at the hospital, I am excited to learn more and enjoy what I am learning without the worry of having to get an A. Additionally, in reference to the pigs I mentioned earlier; one of my mother's co-workers recently got two Pygmy pigs. They are living at his second home in Vermont, a residence he does not inhabit during the work week. As a result, he wanted to know if we would be willing to occasionally have the pigs as guests at our apartment. Seth and David said, "Yes," so once the pigs are trained they will very likely come to visit us. You cannot overestimate my excitement!

Those are the updates. I hope to provide more creative posts in the future. Also, I may include some knitting pictures. I'll have to see. Good evening, All!

Attention! Attention!

The pigs are coming! (Stay tuned for details.)

Statement of Purpose

Did I mention this blog is for a course I am taking: Writing into the Blogosphere. For this class we are supposed to write a prospectus on our "vision for [our] individual blog." I figured I would record it here, in the spirit of the class' theme.

1. What will it look like? Well, naturally, like this. I want my blog to be low frills. This is by necessity. I don't know html or any other programming language. I picked the dots template offered by Blogspot because it appealed to me aesthetically and did not make readability suffer. My focus here is to create a blog that is for reading. It will thus not have too many pictures or links. The one acceptation to this would be if I decided to use this blog for posting about my knitting, something I have considered because there are a lot of great knitting blogs out there. I am a knitter and would enjoy being part of a community of knitters. I am considering dabbling in the knitting blog. I would, possibly, test it out here. Then there would be pictures.

2. What will you discuss? I want this blog to be my open forum. I will vary my topics and discussions. Some work will be creative. Sometimes I will post reviews or ed-ops. Perhaps, I will sometimes go against my wishes and post about myself. The class is experimental, and I want to experiment with this blog.

3. How often will I post? When I feel like it but at least once a week. Rate of post-age depends on level of business.

4. Will it be arranged around a theme, genre, or purpose? No. (See number 2.)

5. How will you present yourself? That is difficult to determine as I don't plan on having this be a journal style blog. I want this blog to be more about external things than myself. That being said, I want to present myself positively.

E355 Fiction in Progress?

I am working on an assignment for my Creative Writing Fiction class. I have to write about a character, who should be in motion and then offer a surprise. At least that is what I judge is wanted from the syllabus. Here is my start. Any help would be, of course, helpful.

“No, fuck it, or I’ll miss the train,” the tea pushed back at her, a kiss planted on her forehead as an afterthought. Haylee watched the bag, swollen with water bob up and down precariously as the flat door closed just a little too loudly. The lock slid into place. She picked up the plate scattered with crumbs from his half eaten crumpet with a sigh and smoothed the already smooth tablecloth. The tea, not drunk, went down the sink.

The house was always so empty after Tem left and the bustle of the London streets so far below that the only sounds that reached her were as a silent whisper of a child.

Tuesday, two days before the much anticipated Thursday, was market day.


I admit it, I have a prejudice, rather a preconceived notion, about blogs. I think that blogs are rather self-indulgent. They are a sort of pseudo-self-aware, self-analytical diatribe. A blog is like an episode of Dawson's Creek: very entertaining but with a sense of over self-awareness (in the case of Dawson's Creek often expressed with a plethora of SAT vocabulary).

Self-awareness is not a bad thing. Neither is self-indulgence. But where should the blog fit? The blog is not a journal / diary, where self-indulgence is more than acceptable. The blog is a sort of digital forum, open to anyone. This simple fact necessitates that the blog be more than just a record of ones feeling, action, and complaints about daily life. A blog should, perhaps, entertain or at least inform. It should have purpose. And the writer should realize that his blog is not only about him, the writer, but also about you, the reader.


In Progress:

-2 knitting projects: 1 blanket, 1 set of sleeves for a sweater started (and abandoned) a year and a half ago.

-a book of A.S. Byatt short stories, which I will finish; A Biographers Tale, which I won't; and Asimov's Foundation trilogy, which who knows if I'll finish it or not.

-way, way too many tubes of body lotion.

-2 pieces of short fiction: an attempt at minimalism loosely based on Why Did I Ever (following a writing crisis after taking a summer workshop) and an attempt at a new start.

-a box of Apple Jax.

-Season 5 of Dawson's Creek (soon anyway).

-This weeks copy of Time. (I wish it was Newsweek.)

-The current pay cycle at work.

-A page a day calendar with knitting patterns, some of which I hope to complete this year if I can ever finish with that always put aside sweater and eternal blanket.

-many Nintendo DS games.

-an application for an assistantship, in case I get into graduate school.

-the movement of the DVD set I ordered from China to here.

-boxes of Annie's Cheddar Bunnies in original and white cheese.

-so, basically, life.