December, 2011

Portfolio 3-Short Fiction

Writing short fiction was definitely a huge challenge for me. Out of all the genres that we covered over the semester, short story writing seemed to be the most difficult for me.  Making up characters and putting them into a story is harder than it looks.  I have always stuck to poetry because that’s what I know I am good at and that’s where I feel safe.  Writing short fiction has taken me out of my comfort zone and I am glad this class helped me get acquainted with it.

I  had many struggles with my story, “The Progeny”. I started out brainstorming ideas of what I wanted my story to be about.  I knew right away that I wanted to write about the Moon and the Sun quarreling. I took that image and decided that it would be an interesting story if I used the sun and the moon as the mothers of our world. I didn’t want the story to be cliché but I wanted it to have a mythological sound. My story was intended to start off positive and end negatively but the rise and fall of the moon and sun were the main focus of my story. As I read over my story again, I did feel like the closing paragraph could have been seen as biased because of the word “we”. I do feel like this should be changed considering that the narrator played a neutral role throughout the story.  I think using the word “they” makes it flow better.

My second story, “The Magical Wheelchair: A Christmas Story”, was easier to write for some reason. I just thought of it right away and it didn’t take long to write. This story is more of a comedy/drama and having dialogue was interesting because I’ve never tried that before. I had a lot of fun creating my characters so I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback.

This class has been a great learning experience.  I enjoy any opportunity that allows me to be creative. In this class, I was kind of able to be forced into doing new things and writing in genres I’ve never tried before.  I wish we could have spent more time writing in class and sharing instead of working at home on the blogs. In this class and many others I have taken, I feel that the blog writing disconnects the student from the teacher. I’m an old fashioned student I guess. I did really enjoy the free writing exercises but I think we spent too much time focusing on the weekly readings. It’s definitely beneficial to read other stories and poems in the genre you are writing in, but at the same time, sometimes the class seemed to be more of a normal literature survey class than a creative writing class. All in all, this class has been fun and a good learning experience and I look forward to taking more workshop classes. Next semester I am taking poetry workshop. Maybe the semester after that I will take one in in short fiction writing. We’ll see.

The Magical Wheelchair: A Christmas Story

Gilbert White lives in a brownstone apartment with a decent view of Central Park. He does not have any friends or family and is a rather lonely old man. He collects disability checks and spends his days walking through the park. He looks forward to these walks and enjoys the exercise and the fresh air. He has Tourette syndrome so he is unable to keep a job. He had worked for the post office delivering mail for forty years but his disability caused him to lose his job. People were constantly complaining and Gilbert’s boss didn’t want to keep losing customers. Gilbert has a case of what is called Coprolalia in which he yells obscenities at people uncontrollably. This illness is difficult to control and it has greatly affected the way Gilbert lives. It has held him back from living a normal life but nothing prepared Gilbert for the day that would change his life forever.

Gilbert was crossing the street one day to take his usual daily walk in the park. While he was in the middle of the street, his Tourette’s kicked in and he yelled “HOE” while his head just happened to be facing in the direction of a sensitive old lady next to him. She began hitting Gilbert with her purse in the middle of the busy street while a car started racing right for them. The old lady saw the car and moved out of the way in time but Gilbert did not see it coming and it hit him. Gilbert suffered major injuries and became a paraplegic. When he awoke in the hospital from his unconscious sleep and couldn’t feel his legs, he came to the realization that his new form of transportation would become a wheelchair. He began to worry about not being able to take his walk through Central Park anymore.

When he was taken home to his apartment, Gilbert was surprised to see a wheelchair sitting there waiting for him with a red ribbon on it. He didn’t know how it got there but Gilbert was a simple man and never questioned anything. The wheelchair looked every bit of normal. It was fully functional and durable, both the things that Gilbert needed for his strolls through the park. It was all he was concerned about and Gilbert didn’t ever hope for anything more.

It was night time and Gilbert got sleepy. He wheeled over to his bed and lifted himself up. Gilbert felt overwhelmed knowing that he would have to do this every night. For the first time ever, Gilbert realized he was alone and that feeling made him cry. He cried himself to sleep that night only to awake to the same reality. Every day Gilbert woke up, made himself breakfast, took his daily stroll on his wheelchair through Central Park, and came back home to spend the rest of his evening alone. And every night he would lift himself onto his bed and cry himself to sleep.

One night while Gilbert was sleeping, he was awakened by a little man in a green suit.

“Are you currently seeking employment?”, asked little man asked.

Gilbert was not frightened at all and responded “Yes, but I am not able to work around people.”

The little guy told the man that he already knew everything about Gilbert and still needed his assistance. “What kind of job?”, asked Gilbert.

The little man grinned and said, “A job at the post office”.

Gilbert was excited and missed his job at the post office so he agreed to go with the little man when he told Gilbert that they must leave at that moment. The visitor helped Gilbert into the wheelchair and brought him up to the roof. He told Gilbert to hold on and yelled “Beam me up Scottie!”

All of a sudden, Gilbert noticed he wasn’t on the ground anymore. They floated up together, way above the clouds, so high until all Gilbert could see was white. There was white snow everywhere around him when the wheelchair landed. There were more little men around singing and building toys and the whole place looked like it was a page out of a children‘s book.

“Welcome to the North Pole. My name is Fredrick”, said the Elf…and the wheelchair that you are sitting in is magical. We are offering you a place to live here with us with a job and full benefits. Unlimited refills on hot cocoa and an everlasting supply of happiness. With that wheelchair, it will give you the chance to be in both worlds.”

Gilbert was astonished. So astonished, that he started to question why all this was happening and asked the elf, “Why me?” Soon then, he realized that in the North Pole, he had full use of his legs and his Tourette’s was gone.

“Here you can be productive and happy. Your job responsibilities include helping Santa and the elves prepare the toys all year for Christmas and enjoying all the great perks that the North Pole has to offer…Here you can have friends and celebrate every day. There is never a sad day here at the North Pole”, said the elf.

Gilbert could not turn down this opportunity and started right away. The North Pole employed Gilbert from January through November of every year. But for the month of December, Gilbert took off to stay in his world. He found comfort in strolling in his wheelchair through Central Park for the whole month during the holidays. He wore a Santa suit, (that he borrowed from Santa himself), and people encouraged and welcomed him while he yelled, “HOE HOE HOE” with a smile on his face. This brought Gilbert great joy that he could find a way to bring  joy to others. He was merry and the old man never cried himself to sleep again.

The Progeny (Revised)

In the beginning there was a paradise where everything was created in a series of two. This paradise was operated by a system of duplicate constructions. There was a double of every animal and insect. All the plants were dually mounted from the root, linked as allies and connected with loyalty and love, creating a sturdy family of symmetrical balance inside the ground and above the surface. Nothing could move them and they certainly didn’t want to be moved. The balance of two created an equilibrium of serenity and stability. Even the trees stood grounded with confidence on two feet, entrenched like soldiers in their firmest poses, just waiting for the strong winds of a wandering war to come and try to knock them down.

This was the empire of the Sun and the Moon. They worked together to maintain their kingdom and to conserve their perfectly synchronized union. They showed no ambivalence towards one another and worked in a harmonious partnership. There was only one rule; an understanding between them both that once a creation was made, it could not be touched or changed; only monitored.

They relied on each other. The Sun was the mother of the Day and ruled with the power of Light. She provided growth, warmth and direction. The Moon was the mother of Night and ruled with the power of Darkness. Her dim and underwhelmed glimmer, evanescently offered the empire a peaceful slumber and played the role of an alternate sun for all nocturnal animals. The Moon was envious of the Sun, and the Sun was truly confident, if not vain. The Sun created the first of everything and the Moon could only shadow her vision. This inevitably made the Moon start to feel inferior.

Although the Paradise seemed imminent to perfection, there was always work to be done. The Moon continued to make reproductions of the Sun’s creations without hesitation. The Moon knew that any action that went outside the norm would alter the steady union of their empire. Nonetheless, she felt it was necessary to prove to the Sun that she was also capable of creating perfection. It was the Moon’s turn to shine.

Without informing the Sun, the Moon conceived her own creation and planned to birth it forward. In order to follow through, the Moon knew she had to outsmart the Sun even for just a few minutes. By doing this, The Sun would be temporarily out of jurisdiction. This would be the day that everything changed. The Sun had no idea what was coming. The Moon at her fullest potential rose out from her underworld and stretched forth to eclipse the bright Sun. Her momentous strength filled the sky so vindictively, that all the animals and creations below felt a great chill of terror rumble through them. Once the Sun was completely obstructed from interfering, the Empire grew dark and grim. It was then that the Moon created the Empire’s first Human. She was female and undoubtedly beautiful. Her hair sable like the darkness of Night and her skin enchantingly pale. She was embodied with all the attributes the Moon could give her but these also included her mother‘s darkest characteristics. The girl, incarnated from the most malevolent intentions, looked up at her mother with devious eyes. She was the first epitome of evil that the Empire has ever seen, controlled by an unknown rage that was handed down from her mother. The Moon looked down at her creation and became afraid of her own child. A greater force was now in control and not even the Moon nor the Sun could save the empire from Human destruction.

While immersed in her failure, the Moon felt helpless and began to descend while the Sun’s resilient determination returned her vibrant brightness throughout the sky once again. The Sun felt betrayed for the first time but her light burned brighter than ever before. She looked below at the Moon’s feral creation and felt the somber essence of the human’s impious demeanor. She feared that this human creation would be the beginning of the end. She knew she must prevent the destruction of the Empire she worked so hard to maintain. This human was unstable and destructive but nothing could be done to remove her. She would be an inescapable threat to their Kingdom. In order to stabilize the wild human, there must be an equal body to balance the original.

The Sun sweat profusely from pressure and anxiety. She needed this next creation to be flawless and so her desperate passion to succeed repressed her ability to think clearly. Her intention was to create an opposite but at the same time make a stronger and superior creation to outdo the Moon’s work .This human was not to be anything like the Moon’s human. After much hard work, The Sun was ready to deliver her creation to protect and defend her Empire. Her stunning design was born. He was a divine production of the Sun. His yellow wavy locks flowed like fervent springs down his perfect face. His intense skin unblemished, gorgeous gold. His heart pumped from the brightest energy. The human knew he was stunning and became conceited. He inherited the Sun’s confidence but he was arrogant and did not care about anything other than himself. He was obsessed with his own perfection and lacked any potential to be useful to the Sun’s cause. She knew she had failed much worse than the Moon. Because of their competitive nature, the reign of the Sun and the Moon inevitably came to an end. They would soon be overthrown by a new kind of regime, one that would dominated their Paradise indefinitely.

The Human Race ruled the empire after the fall of the Moon and the Sun. The Sun and the Moon became slaves and would rise and set whenever they were required to. The Man and Woman ruled their own separate realms and agreed to share equal power over the empire. The duality of the empire was convenient in such that they were able to divide all of the creations down the middle so that they would both have the same amount of things to possess. The Woman was hungry for more power but remained cool and collective on the outside. She continuously plotted against the Man in order to overthrow him but her endeavors were always ineffective. The Man took full advantage of nature and spent all his time near the stream staring admirably at his own reflection, oblivious of the Woman’s scheming strategies.

Inevitably, the Humans mated and the rise of their race populated their Paradise. To the Moon and the Sun’s surprise, the first biological human offspring  were doubles; human twins. The new Dynasty grew strong and the rapid ascension of humanity populated into millions.  These are their roots, sturdily planted inside their history. They are firmly held together by their passion to survive.  They are beautiful creatures bred from vanity, arrogance and vengeance.  They are greedy, insatiable, never satisfied. They are successful in producing quantity but not quality. They are the Human Race, racing to rise, racing to rule.

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