“A sonic boom shakes the motel. The foundation sways deep in the sand. I run to the window. A plastic doll body is roasting in the oven. It doesn’t matter what I touch. Solidity shatters beneath my fingers. I am missing three-quarters of my fingertips. I miss them. I miss rubbing them over lightly moistened glass rims until a soft chime sound came back, a high-pitched HUMMMMMMMMM sound that traveled into my ears and went ricocheting down the canals. I crawl out from beneath the bed. In the event of a nuclear attack, hiding will save me from nothing. I will only be cremated against the box springs. I’ll be trapped beneath the mattress until some unsavory survivors locate my corpse by means of the resulting stench. What they do after will be inconclusive. They might bite the bits of intact flesh. They might drag me into the sand and leave me for predatory animals to eat.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Every so often, I have a million writing-related things I’m doing at once. This week, I’m trying to balance writing my new project with finishing the edits for my short story collection with reading more of Crystal Eaters with doing submissions (especially since I haven’t worked on submissions in about a month and a half because I was so distracted by going into damage control mode with the last project). There’s a lot of jumping around which is stressful but at the same time, I enjoy being busy. I like having a multitude of things to do because I feel like I’m accomplishing things. And in the midst of all this editing and submitting and reading and writing, I’m still getting new ideas for future stories. On Sunday, I had an idea for a sort of bizarro story that (at least in my head) seemed brilliant. I told my husband my idea and he seemed a little frightened. Often, people don’t know how to deal with really out there ideas. So now I’m really excited for the new project. Plus, with my new formatting, I could finally relax with my more literary project, a pseudo-biography/my-interpretation-of-events based on the story of my family moving to America in the 1960s. I’ve mentioned that story once before. That’s the project where I gave the first few pages to my husband to read over and when he got to the end of what I had written, he kept desperately clicking the page because he wanted to read more. Recently, I had been reconsidering the approach to that story but with the new formatting change (and as I said the other day, I know that it’s not a ground-breaking way to present my work but it’s something I haven’t really used, at least not in years), I feel like I can really get back into it and do the story justice. A lot of the writing was being inspired by paintings and so I put FocusWriter on my laptop for some creative inspiration. All I do is load one of the inspiration pictures as the background for the document and start typing while staring at the image. It helps me stay focused when I’m not feeling as inspired as I would like. Another program that’s similar to FocusWriter but that works for Windows is ZenWriter. I used that program on my last computer and it was very helpful. There’s something to be said for having a program that gives you a new perspective on your writing. There are other programs but the two I mentioned are the ones that I’ve actually used. But do some research and see which program would work best for you. Until tomorrow, friends.