Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Seven Year Story

Here is a first chapter of a collaborative effort between my seven year old daughter and myself. This is a first draft and keep in mind, I'm trying to get my daughter interested in the process of writing so yes, it moves a little quickly and I do allow her to compose 50% of the stuff in here so if you choose to bash this one, just keep in mind, she's seven and I'm very protective. If you feel like bashing, bash some of the swill I've put up here in the last couple years.
The bunny
Alanis Jean Harris
Dale James Harris

Chapter One

One day at a beach there was a girl named, Marissa. She was walking along the shoreline
alone as her brother played in the water, and her parents lay on their beach chairs. She was a little scared walking off by herself, but since she knew she wouldn't go in the water alone, she thought would be okay...she was wrong! The trouble wouldn't come from the water at, but the trouble would come from the woods just up the shore. The woods where she heard the noise.

Walking down the beach, Marrisa kept her eyes on the sand as she looked for pretty rocks in the shallow surf. She almost stepped on a pretty shade of blue rock. She thought it was a blue rock, but she managed to keep from putting her weight down on it. Hovering on one foot she slowly moved her foot to one side and there she saw a robin's egg. She saw a path from a tree straight to the robin's egg. She gently picked the egg up and she saw the nest and put the egg carefully back where it belonged.

She was just lowering herself down from peering into the nest when she heard it. The noise!!! The bushes rattled and out of them popped something she wasn't expecting to see. It was a little bunny. It looked like a lot of other bunnies, but this one was just as blue as the robin's egg she had replaced in the nest. The bunny, sat up on its hind legs and looked Marissa right in the eye. It looked like it had something to say.

Marrisa didn't see it at first, but hanging around the neck of the bunny was a small gold charm. “Hi, blue bunny. Don't be scared. Watcha got there little guy?” Then something very unexpected happened.

The bunny, wiggled it's nose, it's whiskers twitched and the bunny said,”What I've got here, little girl, is a charm. A charmed charm. It lets me talk to humans. I came to talk to you, Marissa.”

“How did you know my name?”

“I was sent by the great hart to fetch you. Follow me.” With those words, the bunny hopped away a few meters, stopped looked back over it's shoulder to see if Marissa would follow and hopped and stopped again waiting for Marissa.

Marissa didn't know what to think. She was scared, but just then she took a step forward. Then another and another she took as a many as she had to till she caught up with the bunny. The bunny went slow enough so Marissa could keep up. It seemed like they went a long way into the woods. Just when Marissa was scared she would never find her way back to the beach, she and the bunny came into a clearing. Standing in the clearing were more animals than Marissa had ever seen outside of the zoo.

There were foxes, bears, more bunnies, countless birds including owls, robins, eagles, pheasants, sparrows, hummingbirds and all sorts of other birds that Marissa had never seen before. In the center of the clearing was a small glassy pond. In the pond floated a wise looking swan, some assorted ducks, and a few ducklings. Around the pond stood yet more animals. Quietly standing in place were badgers, coyotes, skunks, beavers, rodents of all sorts, like field mice, shrews, chipmunks, and moles peeking out of their holes. There were many deer there, too. But the most special deer had yet to make his appearance.

The animals began to divide into two groups, making an opening and then of all things....they began to kneel! The clearing was even more silent than before. Marissa was wondering what in the world was going on. Just as she was about to open her mouth to ask a question, the blue bunny announced, “All hail the great hart!”

From deep in the woods, a majestic looking buck strode forth. He was the biggest buck Marissa had ever seen. He was at least as tall as her dad. He was almost the size of a small horse! On his head, were antlers like any other buck, but not like any other buck, were the colors of those antlers. On the right side of his head, the antlers were a brilliant gold. The antlers on the left side were as red as blood. Striding purposefully over to the blue bunny, the massive deer bent his great head and lifted the charm from the blue bunny's neck with one of the tines of his special horns so he could talk to Marissa.
“Marissa, we have been waiting for you,” his deep voice rolled. He turned his head to the blue bunny. “Good work, (need a name). You have done well.

There is grave trouble afoot, Marissa. We need your help. (end chapter 0ne)

Mystery pt I


About three weeks ago a dog showed up in my yard. Friendly dog and obviously one that was used to being around people. My dog, Sassy, was in heat so it wasn't unusual for dogs from the neighboring fields to come visit during this time.

The dog is and Australian Sheepdog also called a Koolie. Well, I figured the koolie would be here until Sassy wasn't in heat anymore, but another week went by, Sassy hadn't been in heat for days and the koolie was still here. I wasn't polite to him nor did I feed him. If he belonged to one of the neighbors I didn't want him feeling so welcome here that he never went home. I don't mind dogs in my yard at all. In fact I don't chain up my own dog. That's one of the huge benefits of living in the country in my opinion. But the koolie would get right up close and want attention.

Once when I was lying on the ground dropping my lawn tractor deck he lay down right next to me and put his head on my belly. I would push him away and tell him to cut it out, but he seemed nonplussed about my rudeness. Another time I opened the door to go into the house and he just walked right in like he owned the place.

Keep in mind, it's been three weeks and I haven't fed him nor even been civil him nor even taken a good look at him yet. The other night I had some friends over and I invited the koolie in to get their opinion of what I should do and I took my first good look at the dog. His fur was matted beyond what one would even think a neglectful owner would manage. He had scratches, scabs, and wounds all over his body. Apparently my little koolie friend had been living in the woods for quite some time.

My friends agreed that this was a lost dog and more than likely abandoned as Australian Shepherds are noted for their loyalty and just aren't the type of dog to go wandering off and not come back. Paully was talking about adopting him and I thought, “Perfect, as long as he is out of my yard.”

I then got up and go to the bathroom leaving my friends and what was to be Paully's new koolie at the counter. When I got out of the bathroom there was the koolie lying on the floor by the door. Both of my friends were looking at me and chuckling. Paully backpedaled from her earlier words of adoption and told me it was too late. The koolie had already adopted me.

So here the newly names Mystery lies on the floor with my daughter napping next to her. I'm glad he is here and wondering how I am going to afford getting him fixed and getting him his shots. Loyalty is far to scarce a characteristic in the world for me to go throwing it away. I'll put an ad in the paper on the off chance that whoever lost him wants him back, but I'm not too worried that is going to happen. Mystery found me for a reason. Now let's see where this new path takes us.

WP Pt 3


Okay it's been over a week since the first class and the only entry into my writing log has been the smoothing out of something that happened in class. I have no creative energy right now it seems. 'too many real world issues to deal with. Whine cry wah blah. So I've finally determined that if I can't wrtie well or can't write creatively, I'm going to start by just writing period.
What comes next is pretty much stream of consciousness pablum.

Wings just scored a goal....uh oh
franzen took a sucker punch in the face. Why do teams have to get dirty like that when they are getting their asses handed to them?

Been a real up and down emotional time lately. The more I know the less I know. House, life, work all out of control right now. I'll get a handle on the work stuff in the coming week. I'll get a handle on the home stuff in the next two weeks. The emotional stuff I've been working on for a year. The more things change in that regard the more confused I get. How come I feel like I get wiser every day in matters of work and in matters of work and self, but iin matters of the heart I just get stupider and stupider?

I feel so much love and so much hate sometimes within split seconds of each other. Maybe even at the same time. I want to die. I want to live. I want to be better. I want to live a “normal” day without being a “normal” person.

I want time to ride. I want time to read. I want energy to think. I should probably quit whining.

Writing Project Flotsam Pt 2

Warning: I haven't had time to edit or proof most of this writing project stuff. A lot of it is simply journaling, free thought and etc. Maybe I'll feel like painting some of these turds later, but not right now.

Marathon Writing pt 2: Presque Isle

I'm sitting on a rock facing the ore dock as a freighter is slowly making it's way in to unload. To the left of the docks is the Superior Dome. First of all, great name. Isn't there anybody more imaginitive that could come up with a better name. I know it is unofficially called the Yooper Dome, but I'm not sure I like that either.

Damn thing looks like a UFO landed. Does anybody think that is a cool looking building from the outside? It's covered in a gray tarp FFS. It's like that neighbor that is going to put siding on his house in 2001 and in 2008 he still has the Tyvek up.

Left of me are rocks from the lake. I wonder how many years they had to take on their journey for the tides to finally bring them to the beach. Were they already there and the erosion just exposed them to the light?

Right of me are more lake rocks, followed by sand with many gulls flying over the masts of multiple boats in the harbor.

Oh, black smoke is really pumping from the freighter now. They must be throttling something back or they are starting some machinery that helps them get rid of their load. It's trickled back to white smoke now so I'm betting they started some piece of machinery that I can't see. I had a diesel Ford Tempo once used to make black smoke like that when I started it and then as the engine warmed up the smoke would fade to gray and then white then to an invisible exhaust.

I had a lot of fun with that car in high school. The thing got almost forty miles to the gallon long before forty miles to the gallon was hip or cool.

To call it a sluggish car is an understatement though. It was a manually shifted five speed and if you wanted to pass someone you had to slingshot around them. You had to fade way back from the car in front of you, downshift and hammer the accelerator when you anticipated the road in front of you would be clear enough and straight enough to pass. If by the time you were nosing the other guy's bumper and the road ahead turned out not to be clear, you had to fade back and try again next time. It was rusty and red and really physically unappealing. I had two choices in high school. Let the the kids make fun of me for what I drove or embrace the vehicle for the awkward, ungainly, ball of shortcomings it was.

I would pull up to stoplight and rev my engine next to some really hot Mustang or Trans Am and offer to race for pinks. They would look at me and laugh. Only the truly dopey old people or the ones that took themselves too seriously didn't get the joke which only made me think they were the joke. I mean that car might be able to peel out if I threw it in reverse, got it up to 35 then dropped it back into first and that's still a maybe. I tend to think that tactic just would have broken something in the driveline though.

Then when I was asked to drive to a party I would arch my eyebrows and tell people which ones I thought were good enough and which ones didn't deserve to ride in my Tempo. That was usually accompanied by some eyebrow arching and a sarcastic mulling frown.

When I asked a girl out I would often list the Tempo as one of my strengths and reasons why she should date me. “Zee-ro to 55 in about a minute and a half given a good tailwind and a slight downhill slope. You need that kind of excitement,” I would tell the girl. That would get a smile. I lived for the smile from a pretty girl. Lived and died.

Because I endorsed my embarassmentmobile, it became a running joke. Not the bad kind of “I'm ripping on you joke”, but the good kind that everybody was in on with me. Soon the other kids were asking to ride in my car and telling me what a sweet ride I had.

Thus Begins the Writing Project

The next several posts will come from a writing project I am doing this summer. Enjoy or revile as you will.

Updated 06/19/08


--this is a rehashing of a bud of an idea starting during the first class.

In my chair I sit. In my room I contemplate. Out of the corner of my eye I see the blackness that grease-like seeps out through the crevices of my life, piling up as it oozes from the niches before it tumbles over under the pressure of the increasing dark pushing in behind it. The piles grow and cascade, grow and cascade as more and more finds its way around into my room. Calmly, in my chair the chill warmth of the blackness slowly climbs, enveloping my legs and the legs of my chair. Absorbing the memories of knee surgeries and the pain of wanting to run away.

Unmoving I am increasingly submerged in the ebony. Thinking my thoughts. Being my nothing. I remain seated. The blackness swallows my lap as the magma flow continues. Urges long gone. Extinquished, denied, or fulfilled.

It licks my fingertips resting on the arms of my chair. Morasses of regret of things that have slipped through my hands. Regrets of those left untouched. More blackness, less light. It's inexorable. Unblinking, stil I sit.

It consumes my abdomen and gnaws its way up my chest. The heartaches. The forlornness. The unpatchable cracks. Still it feeds.

It has found its way around me. How long before it finds its way into me where it will stay. Where it will live until I die and when they bury me, my carcass will feed it so it can wait, hibernate, and grow until it finds its next host. I can no longer tell if the ooze is still rising around me or if I am sinking into it. It laps my chin. I wonder if I should stand.