Writers' Corner

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:15 am

Sara

First, I TOLD ya it was nit picky.... And most importantly if you are trying to reach an "idea reader" who won't trip over the word, then leave it in.

Kafkahead
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:12 am

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Kafkahead » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:02 pm

Well, I'll be posting my piece now, if you don't mind. I'm not worried about publishing it, since it's more of a gift for the Forum in of itself. (P.S: sorry if what I'm typing right now doesn't make much sense, but I'm feeling a bit tired. need to catch some shut-eye).

Invention


With care, he held the tiny ballerina in his hands and placed it on the table, letting it adjust its legs with the mechanical pace of an insect. The bright candle light reflected on her brass dress like the sun on a mirror, and for a moment, she seemed like a fairy with green copper wings and bronze skin.

The small dancer moved around the table in twirls that made the tiny pieces of oiled metal shine as she danced along an unheard tempo, with tiny acrobatic hops that spoke a sensuality and emotion that surpassed any he had met before.
It was his most beautiful creation, he thought, holding the tools of his trade, long prongs of seemingly menacing, yet quite harmless metal, coated in clean asbestos and prepared to arrange new contraptions at the service of his ingenuity.
But his hands felt tired, and his eyes trembled in the dim work room that doubled as his resting place, and so he took the mechanical key away from the ballerina and let her die slowly into a small curtsy. He felt sleep pulling his eyelids down with a heavy grip. Maybe I can admire your beauty tomorrow, he whispered silently to the bent figure on his work table, dropping the tools next to the great pile of equipment next to him.

He walked into the bed, dressing the same clothes, tired and yet filled with the energy of many potential ideas and concepts that arose from within him. He could feel them gather round his heart, the very essence of the Muses pulsing through his arteries to the brain and bursting out through his neurons, giving him a feeling of ecstasy, combined with the sweet, ghostly fingers of slumber passing over his eyes and putting him to sleep.

In his dreams, a maiden came forth from the dark, walking on a radius of light that came from an infinite horizon. Upon her black hair, lay a seven-starred crown of polished platinum, and her body was wrapped around a cloak sewn out of the cosmos. Her gaze was set on the heavens, but her expression did not evoke to him haughtiness or unjustified pride: instead, he could sense that the look she gave the oneiric sky was curious, naïve, intense. He could almost sense that comets would through the black mantle that hovered above and settle down around her neck, like cool ice beads of a necklace.

He staggered towards the beautiful lady, in a movement that he perceived as stroboscopic, almost as if he were watching a sequence of paintings.

Her arm stretched out to him, slowly, with a suaveness of its own, hand holding rolled parchment. Without taking her eyes away from the embellished ceiling of the firmament, she dropped the scroll on his hands. Its texture was flaky and cracked to the tact, as he uncoiled it, the words written in black ink.

He read the parchment in silence: the ink of the words dissolved and painted the scroll with new designs, new schematics, so he could see a black outline of orbits and the dark spheres of planets and astral bodies following the elliptic paths on a night made of old paper.

Poems came forth, whispered in silent voices, speaking of the distant stars that held beautiful jewels on their surfaces, and of the men and women that lived on the Moon and the Sun, just as the old Satirist had told his Master, when he had been a young boy.

Morning came, and the lady left, but both the her light and gift stayed with him. He had much work to do.

Kafkahead
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:12 am

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Kafkahead » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:11 pm

A small note: it's unfinished, but this is the first part of the story. I'll write the whole thing down later. Anyone interested on reading it, PM me, please.

Kafkahead
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:12 am

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Kafkahead » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:19 pm

Another note: Most of is written to the end is a bit shaky. I feel that it makes no goddamn sense, that the story is straying away from the original path, that it's demanding something else. Please, someone tell me if it seems so, because I can't handle that sensation.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:15 pm

Not bad for a seventeen year old. Just keep working on it.

User avatar
Sara Slaymaker
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:21 pm

Kafkahead, stop qualifying! One caveat is permissible - more than that makes one think you don't stand by your work.

I remember someone here (can't remember who, now, but I'm sure one of you will tell me) saying that he had been having trouble selling any of his work, and called Harlan for advice; Harlan's response was, "You're writing shit. Stop writing shit and start writing good stuff." If you're qualifying that much, you obviously think something is wrong, so go fix it! And then post again, 'cause I want to keep reading.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Kafak

I agree with Sara, you need to quit being so hard on yourself. If you don't like what you are writing, why should anyone else.

Second of all, you may want to consider this an ULTRA short. It could stand on it's own all by itself. But, it's your story, make it what you will and let the rest of us see the progress!

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Steve Evil » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:55 am

Sara Slaymaker wrote:I remember someone here (can't remember who, now, but I'm sure one of you will tell me) saying that he had been having trouble selling any of his work, and called Harlan for advice; Harlan's response was, "You're writing shit. Stop writing shit and start writing good stuff."


That was Michael J. Strasinksy (sp?), who went on to do Babylon 5, a program I used to enjoy before a friend of mine turned it into his religion. . .

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Moderator » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:12 am

Straczynski

(Who also wrote the movie Changeling, which died a sad death at the boxoffice. My feeling it that it was such a dark film that most people didn't want to handle it. It astounds me, even now, that such a horrific event -- the systematic kidnapping and murder of several young boys in the LA area in the 1920s -- remains largely unknown in the annals of mass murder. The event was on a par with John Wayne Gacy's crimes.) (Highly recommended, but steel yourself before watching.)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Chuck Messer
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Chuck Messer » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:17 am

Okay, here's my contribution to this thread. It's a fragment, a scene that belongs to nothing in particular. It was one of those things that demanded I write it, so I wrote it down just to shut it up.

Gottedamerung by Chuck Messer

Where was spring? Would it ever come?
The men stood in the Berlin square, their ashen, unshaven faces matching the gloom of the overcast sky. They stood there like shabby statues, the only sign of life being when they occasionally shifted on their feet.

Manfred Roemer stood in the middle of them, wearing the same frayed overcoat and almost shapeless hat. He stood there, with the rest of the men, listening to Goebbels, the Toad Man. Goebbels stood at the podium, barely able to see over the top, croaking his speech like a little tree frog. He didn't seem to be forming words, just making shrill noises about the battle to come, and the ultimate triumph against the evil Bolshevik army that even now rumbled just outside the city limits.

Roemer could hear the rumble, like distant thunder that just rolled on and on, slow and unstoppable. He almost laughed when Goebbels mentioned about how he knew the terror and triumph of battle, as if the army would have ever taken that scrawny, misshapen little man. Roemer glanced around him, at the ruin that was once Berlin. It was amazing that anything could still be left alive, after all the fire and hate that spilled out of the bellies of British and American bombers.

Roemer hated them, even though he knew they had every reason to be so angry. Why was he here, among all these men with their stone faces? Not that he felt there was much choice. Men were rounded up, whether they were fit or not, old men, draft rejects, given a rifle or a Panzerfaust and hastily trained so they wouldn't shoot themselves in the foot. Those that tried to avoid ‘service’ were summarily shot or hung from a lamp post. His asthma had kept him out of the army. Now he was in the 'militia', the ‘Volksturm’ holding a Mauser bolt-action rifle that rested heavily against his shoulder. The sharp smell of grease from his rifle mixed with the pungent body odor in the air. There hadn't been water for bathing since the bombers smashed the water mains a month ago. He didn't want to fight for the Fatherland, the Deutschland that put Hitler in power and made that poisonous toad, Goebbels, its mouthpiece.

He kept quiet during the first few years of the Nazi’s reign. He made himself as invisible as possible to the State. Those that didn't disappeared. Hauptman, Von Arnault, etc. Names were all that remained of friends he knew he'd never see again. Finally fed up, he became part of a network that kept thousands of Jews hidden in Berlin, right under Der Furher's nose. The Jewish families were shuttled from one hiding place to another, in an elaborate shell game, with the Gestapo trying to guess which shell held the prize. He didn't feel particularly brave, or heroic. He couldn't even remember any faces among the families he helped move around.

Goebbels finished his speech with the words; "Now folk rise up, and storm break loose!" The words fell lifelessly onto the crowd, into a mass grave of closed faces.

There were smatters of applause. Goebbels seemed disappointed by the reception his speech got from the crowd. He dismissed them with an imperious wave of his bony hand.
The men turned and shuffled toward the Brandenburg gate, worn leather scraping dirty pavement. Roemer moved with them, keeping his eyes on the back of the man's neck ahead of him. He knew why he would be fighting. The German army had slaughtered their way across the steppes, and starved millions of Russians to death. Now, the Russians were fighting their way into Berlin.

They would not be in a forgiving mood. The men moved through the Brandenburg gate like a dust cloud. They trudged toward the rolling thunder to the east, Roemer with them, silent to the last, keeping his thoughts to himself.
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

diane bartels
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: CHICAGO IL

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby diane bartels » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:48 am

Chuck, wow. That was great. I wish I wrote that well. Is there more to the story?

User avatar
Sara Slaymaker
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:19 pm

Chuck, what Diane said. Wow.

Do you know of Chris Bohjalian? Have you read his latest, "Skeletons at the Feast"? If not, let me know and send me your address and I'll lend you my copy. It is soooo worth reading.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

User avatar
Sara Slaymaker
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby Sara Slaymaker » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:26 pm

Barber wrote:Straczynski

(Who also wrote the movie Changeling, which died a sad death at the boxoffice. My feeling it that it was such a dark film that most people didn't want to handle it. It astounds me, even now, that such a horrific event -- the systematic kidnapping and murder of several young boys in the LA area in the 1920s -- remains largely unknown in the annals of mass murder. The event was on a par with John Wayne Gacy's crimes.) (Highly recommended, but steel yourself before watching.)


Yes, Steve, a completely worthwhile, engrossing and thoroughly horrifying movie. I loved it and hated it. Don't know that I could ever watch it again, but very glad I saw it.

Felt the same way about 7 Pounds, by the way. My daughter and I still have intellectual discussions over the theme of that one.

On the subject of movies, can we have some favorites, please? I am proud and ashamed to say that the one movie I can watch over and over again, and enjoy it every time, is Galaxy Quest. Same goes for My Favorite Year, Moon Over Parador, Moonstruck, American Dreamer, Only You and The Stunt Man.
Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.

diane bartels
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: CHICAGO IL

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby diane bartels » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:04 am

Curiosly enough Changling was on cable last night. Amazing filn, so engrossing. Jolie was brilliant I thought.

Kafka, will have so,e thoughts to pm you with re your story fragments when school is over for the semester after this week. Was gonna send u one of mine and realized it needs a major rewrite. As Ricky Ricardo would say "Lucy..." Shame on me.

diane bartels
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: CHICAGO IL

Re: Writers' Corner

Postby diane bartels » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:06 am

some thoughts. amazing film. The fickle fingers of fate fly heedlessly over the keyboard this early. :oops:


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests