Week 12-Final Project-Earthquake

Earthquakes’ train

The tremor briefly ripples desiccated dirt on the road in parallel lines. Stillness follows. A starling whistles once, then again. Wind blows west and rustles the prairie grass. Chiseled men relax. They return to dig and pick apart the hardened earth with steel pickaxes. Dust clouds fills nostrils and mouths. Sweat pours down their chins. Shirts come off. Sun burns.

Look! A flock of starlings abruptly lift westward from telephone wire. Active men squeal to a halt. Rumbles tingle toes. The numbing of feet forge waves of fear straight through toughened bodies. Jelly legs and panicked voices forewarn men and beasts: Earth’s westbound train approaches. Nails and hammer drop with a thud. Weak waves of dirt flutter in reply. Hundreds of feet begin to stampede in differing directions.

The other men bustle past me. Their shoulders shove mine as they scramble to safety up the cactus-peppered landscape. I fall in line onto my hands and knee; I press my right ear to the ground. I eat dirt and listen. The deafening roar of vibrating earth intermixes with churning wheels. Not sure how far, now. Teams of horses whinny and rear. I push up and run out of the way one second before hooves crash down where I crawled. My stomach derails with shockwaves of adrenaline.

I howl in helpless pulses. Faces around me melt with fear. The inevitable groundbreaking eruption fuels fights. Fist knock hats off balding heads. The beat of the breaking earth trembles louder. How many of the men here will survive? Will I? I slap my face. Wake up, Sam! Don’t freeze up now. A straight path opens up on my left between the Mill and the General Store. Time slows. Hobos cling to the stores’ wood siding. Slate shingles fracture at their feet. The last water barrel topples. Water ejects in thick rivulets. I run, full speed ahead.

Injun arrows cross country above my head as I steam onward into their path. Undeterred, I grit my teeth and put my head down as I run. Ululations thunder out the sounds of my heart beating in my ears. Windows rattle from the increase frequencies underfoot. Cracks split panes. Men slip and fall. Animals scatter and trample. At the last possible moment, I flatten myself against the side of the General Store as the Injuns scream on by me. I watch. The sheriff crumples into a pile of flesh. Blood-soaked dirt swells.

My mental switch flips. I turn sharply on my spurs and run against the undulating flow of teeming Injuns. A tomahawk sails past my head and into the wood. Twang! Rifle shots mix with metal slicing into skin. Short screams reverberate between the stores’ walls. Bile and disgust rise in my throat. Sweat overtakes tears that leak from the corner of my eyes. I breathe in hard. And I run. Gasping, I emerge from the human tunnel and keep going. The crescendo of disintegrating buildings fuels an explosion of debris and dust behind me. Its force blasts me onto my face.

The Mill’s foundation cracks opens and yawns. Wham! Earth rips apart with the sounds of two freight trains that crash full throttle. The Mill shatters and disappears. Burning fuel sears my nose and lungs. I taste blood and dirt. My legs shiver. I collapse. I wait for the shaking and the screaming to stop. I close my eyes and come to a standstill.

When I regain awaken, my temples are pounding. I get to my feet, swaying woozily. A familiar shape lies on the ground. I limp over to the other man, kneel, and push him over on his back. I look into the face of my youngest brother, Jesse.

Jesse? Is that you? Wake up, brother. Wake up! Come on. We gotta get out of here!

I shake him somethin’ awful.
He doesn’t move.

Week 11-Day 5-Old Swimming Hole

Old Swimming Hole -> Temptation -> Diamonds in an Unlocked Jewelry Case
The water sparkles invitingly. You reach out tentatively to touch the icy reflection. A million bright lights cut out in angles on the horizon. You squint and blink, pain cutting your eyeballs ever so lightly. Noises! Behind you! You swivel as a thief in rubber-soled shoes, freezing in place. Your eyes scan the scenery for any movement. Only the sound of rippling water greets you. Slowly you reposition yourself and slip your toes in. Pause. No alarms. You put both feet in. Water shimmers around your ankles. No other customers around to dive in. No lifeguard to protect the old swimming hole from intruders. You dive in, the thrill of the chase buoys and propels you. You’re in now. The point of no return. You’re in deep. You rise up for air, gasping. No one’s around to hear you rooting around the place. Yes! You backflip under water. You breaststroke quickly to shore. The place is all yours! No finger prints. You can turn over each piece in the case. Shells, rocks, seaweed, an old boot. It feels good to be bad! No one can catch you now. You fill your heart full of these shiny memories that glitter. Temptation. Fascination. Admiration. You scrabbled out of the pond of liquid jewels, each one dropping off you in a million tiny pieces. You dry off. Water on your skin disappears. Watery fool’s gold. You escape the shop without being seen. No video surveillance to catch your raid. Just dark foot-shaped shadows on the dirt.

Unlocked diamonds in a jewelry case are an old swimming hole 
The pool of glitter temps you. You squint, looking from the corner of your eye. Looking at the shimmer head on? Daggers of pain hit your cornea. Laugher peals out of the swimming hole, temping you to take a dip in its forbidden treasure. Other kids splash and play. They flaunt their watery wealth on their necks. Heads emerge from the black velvety depths. Sun radiates their pearly necks laced with water droplets. The peer pressure bears down on you. You join your partners in crime, digging into the fresh-water case. Joy. Freedom. No parents are around. No lifeguards. Just you, the others, and your wet playground. Water games enrich your day. The unrecorded activities whet your confidence that you will all pull  off the swimming hole heist. Your swimming suit pockets fill with abundance, seep out, then refill. Each fill brings a bigger cache of memories. Adult footsteps crack on sticks. Oh, no. You scramble unevenly to escape your summery den. Hurry! You wave to the others.  Arms and legs brush off the proof of your crime. Towels soak up the blame. Squeals reveal your location. Caught! Your parents see you quickly trying to hide your tracks. Stop! Your father stares. Your mother crosses arms. Feet tap impatience. Come! You hang your head in shame. I’m guilty! Guilty as charged! You lift your head defiantly. Your ear is turned. Ouch! You are dragged away. Your escaped partners watch  from behind bushes as you are dragged away to your punishment: No dinner!

Week 7 Assignment-Expressed Identity

This week’s assignment asks us to pick one of our writing pairs from this week, expand it to 200-400 words,  and write it in third-person POV. My teacher liked my treehouse/book pair so I wrote more on that one.

Expressed Identity: Treehouse/book

            David spent his leisurely hours climbing up the boards that were nailed into the side of the oak every six inches until he reached the landing outside the treehouse door. After pulling back the curtain, David steps into ‘The Adventures of the Pirate Brothers,’ a miniseries filled with swashbuckling adventures in arcs of fighting, treasure hunting, and stealing ships from enemy pirates. Fiercer than Blackbeard, the Pirate David dedicates his life to sailing the fictional high seas, his best friends at his side, cannon blasting any girls who dare to kiss them, and going down like a pirate should, with drops of his spilled blood decorating the ocean floor and wide-brimmed hat slowly drowning under rocky waves.

David sat down on the wide oak boards that bound the floor, the walls, and the flat roof cover together in tight, parallel lines. He pressed his blue ballpoint hard into the parchment and slowly carved the names of each club member in a list on the left side of the paper: David, Simon, and Mark. To the right of each name, he drew an underline where they would sign in cherry-juice blood and pledge allegiance to their crew. A blue jay screams outside the window cranny, which opens out towards the well-mowed lawn. A black curtain hangs heavily in the doorway with an unevenly stapled sign marked ‘X’ in thick red marker. The sound of footsteps thuds up the planks and hushed hurried whispers heighten the anticipation.  David froze, trying hard not to breathe or think ahead and guess the ending. Three knocks and a unified round of ‘yo-ho-hos!’ mark the beginning of the next fearsome chapter.

Week 7-Day 2 Pt 2-Expressed Identity

Hello! I had a brief opportunity to catch up with the writing from yesterday’s class assignment.  These are the same 10 words I posted yesterday, but in different pairings of 5 each. I was lazy, so I simply reordered the suggested words to help me get started in writing.

An accountant is a quilt

CPA

Knitting

boring

Wool, thread

April 15th

covers

numbers

heavy

The IRS

decorative

 An accountant is the CPA of quilted comfort, knitted wool of numbers settling on you in a reassuring, boring fashion. An accountant covers the blow of exposing your wallet to the deep-reaching fingers of the IRS, with a heavy resignation. April 15th may signal the beginning of troubles yet to come, but you will be kept warm and toasty under the accountant’s decorative spread.

 A football coach is a storm cloud

sport

darkness

helmet

threatening

rushing

thunder

Graceful loser

lightning

encouragement

gusts

A football coach is a storm cloud of thundering cleats in a field of soaked muddy puddles.  The rush of helmet thundering against helmet, angry billows of grunts rise up from the not-yet men, urged onward by gusty yelling.

The violin of kites

strings

kites

symphony

flying

instrument

March

Stradivarius

Twigs + paper bag

music

caught

The KT9000 is the violin of kites, swiftly and deftly arcing through the air in graceful movements, even when the March wind crescendos in cacophony against it. Rainbow silk woven against wooden cross instruments sails aloft in perfect pitch of color and visual freedom, a symphony of rhythms that only young boys with their fathers seem to hear while in the stadium of a sunny, blustery afternoon in the park.

The ballet dancer of love letters

Swan Lake

handwriting

Prima ballerina

Hand-made paper

Tchaikovsky

Pen, ink

Tiptoes, on pointe

Swoops

Pirouette

Ink drops

The ballet dancer of love letters guides you in leaps and bounds across the page, in large swathes of lusty black ink, which seem to pirouette in slightly darker spots across the page.

Shame’s moon

embarrassment

Crescent, full, half, sliver

Fear

Tides

punishment

Ebb, neap

humiliated

Glow

fearful

Night

Your punishment glows upon me, surging my humiliation in sudden tides of pain. No night for me, I am embarrassed under shame’s full moon, revealing my inner darkness to examination against the shore of your loveliness. What remains of me is a mere sliver of my fearful soul.

Week 7-Day 2-Expressed Identity

I have a confession: I have not enjoyed most of the first six weeks of my creative writing course. Until now.

I watched this week’s Introductory video in which Pat Pattison explains expressed identity. When you have two nouns and you compare/contrast them in the ways below, it’s important to choose two nouns that don’t make literal sense when compared; otherwise, what you have is a description. (Paraphrase from course materials). In short, you compare the two nouns in one of these three forms, otherwise known as ‘express identity’:

x = y
the x of y
y‘s x

In today’s writing, we were given ten pairs of nouns. I read each pair in each of the three forms and decided which one I would write.  I took these pairs, created two columns, and wrote the first five attributes that I associated with that noun. Beginning with the expressed identity I chose, I wrote a paragraph. I could only get through my first five pairs this evening. The second set of five noun pairs where the same words but reordered.  I will try to catch up tomorrow. At the very least, I will do five noun pairs from tomorrow’s given selection instead.

Week 7 – Day 2 – Expressed Identity or Noun on Noun Collisions

accountant/storm cloud

an accountant is a storm cloud

CPA

darkness

boring

threatening

April 15th

thunder

numbers

lightning

The IRS

gusts

An accountant is a boring storm cloud, full of cold air and heavy rains sheeting down in needle-thin lines on your tax return of easy living. Steadily pouring over each line item, an accountant blows financials gently forward via your W-2 and 1099. The accumulation drowns your hopes for recovery from your budgeting darkness. No lessening of your April 15th forecast, gloomy for the foreseeable future.

football coach/violin

a football coach is a violin

sport

strings

helmet

symphony

rushing

instrument

Graceful loser

Stradivarius

encouragement

music

A football coach is a violin, conducting his sporty orchestra in swelling crescendos to their first-string victories. The sweet sounds of fans clapping, parents singing out to their children, and the musical stress of a spiking football. The best football coaches are instruments of practice, play the leading grace notes in loss, and provide symphonic encouragement to all team members.

kite/ballet dancer

the ballet dancer of kites

Swan Lake

kites

Prima ballerina

flying

Tchaikovsky

March

Tiptoes, on pointe

Twigs + paper bag

Pirouette

caught

The ballet dancer of kites is dressed in rainbow silk, golden rods, and tightened with a belt of ecru twine that stretches down to your fingers. Gaily flying through the air, your Prima Ballerina sways back and forth in skillful arcs, aided by a gusty toss from March winds.  Bourgeois twigs and roughly hewn paper bags spectate in awe, their Swan Lake audition as wispy and far away as the clouds born high above the earth.

love letter/moon

moon’s love letter

Crescent, full, half, sliver

handwriting

Tides

Hand-made paper

Ebb, neap

Pen, ink

Glow

Swoops

Night

Ink drops

The moon’s love letter whispers silver words in a bold spotlight of hope onto the inky landscape of your heart. Black trails of longing that mark the corners of your soul ebb away as you read each glowing desire on the handmade paper. Perfume tides wash upwards into your nose as you drink the floral aromas that rush into your lungs and bury your worries at sea.

shame/quilt

quilt’s shame

embarrassment

Knitting

Fear

Wool, thread

punishment

covers

humiliated

heavy

fearful

decorative

The quilt’s shame unraveled itself embarrassingly, caught on the punishing edge of your 1850’s antique wooden chest, after you yanked it mightily out into service for your winter cover. Decorative blushes of reds and pinks fearfully crisscross with retiring spring flowers, a complex humiliation of the quilt’s psychology.

Week 7 – Noun on Noun Collision

Week 7 in my creative writing class has arrived. Huzzah! Now we take on noun on noun collisions. [Whenever I heard a phrase like, A on B, it sounds sexual]. So anyway….

We’ll be fooling around with expressed identity, which pairs nouns in different combinations. In the trio below, both x and y are nouns. I might choose to write about two nouns in these forms:

x = y
the x of y
y‘s x

I tried watching this week’s Introductory video but was unable to pay attention. I give up. I’ll try again tomorrow, when the daily writing begins.