Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I don't know if this is going to amount to anything, but I thought it would be a nice way to end our conversations with Blackbeard. :D

"Well, that's beside the point."

"It's completely the point! You just won't admit that you like me now." Darcy grinned victoriously.

"I do not, and I will not concede my point. I have not yet had my revenge on you." Blackbeard summoned his full, and considerable, height. "I cannot leave until my vengeance is carried out."

"But thanks to that little stunt you pulled on Thanksgiving, my aunt has officially gone off the deep end. And she is a descendant. You just don't want to leave."

"She does have a convincing argument there, old boy." Patrick eyes smiled over his round spectacles as he looked up from the morning paper. "You do have to admit, Mr. Teach, that we have had some tremendous fun since we've aquainted ourselves with dear Miss Darcy. Remember the Halloween party?"

"I insist that I cannot leave yet and there is no other reason than that which I have already stated. My business here is not done!" Blackbeard boomed in his most commanding voice and was entirely unconvincing. Darcy laughed as she answered her ringing phone.

"Detective Stebbins. What? You're kidding?" Patrick and Blackbeard glanced furtively at Darcy. "Ok, I'll be right there."

"What is it, ducky?" Blackbeard asked.

"Oh, Eddie, you're defintely going to want to stick around now. That was central and apparently some fool just strolled into downtown walking an alligator. You look me in the eyes, Edward Teach, and tell me you don't want to know what's going on there."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cut up

So something weighing on my mind a lot lately is the issue of self-harm.  As some of you may or may not know, I am a cutter.  I haven't cut in a long time, but it's something you never get over.  It's an addiction.  You get to the point where you feel like you need it to feel human, to feel real.  And even a paper cut can refresh that feeling.  Cutters do not want to die.  Quite the opposite, we cut to feel alive.  If someone you know is cutting, the last thing to do is to chide them.  The best thing is to understand and come from a place of love.  Try and reach out to them.  They really want to be acknowledged and loved and most of all understood.  If anyone has any stories to share about this particular subject, feel free to share below.  Thanks for hearing me out, readers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Want to know what Blackbeard was doing before he tried haunting Darcy? Click to find out.

Also, Happy Thanksgiving y'all! (And can anyone tell me why Blogger is eating all of my edits?)

"Edward, where's Patrick?"

"I resent that accusation"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Funday

Ship happens. To everyone. Not all days are filled with magic. However, someone just smiling at me can make my day brighter, a well placed joke can lighten the mood, a hug can relieve pressure and make my sick belly feel better. This is my Monday Funday post to you Spatulans. If you're bummed it's Monday already, if you've gotten some bad news, if you're just bored waiting around for quitin' time - this is my virtual hug, smile and well placed joke. Because we all need to laugh. And a hug would be nice. And smiles... OK you get the idea. Just enjoy.
 Guess who is Turning Japanese in this music video?
 Billy Collin's action poetry is really fun to watch and nice to hear.
The oldest rocker in the neighborhood. 
Baby Bat's are frackin cute
Seeing sound? Say, what? What. No, really. See this sound.
Holy, photographs of water droplets, Spatulans!
And you wanted to know about using your off camera flash... ok ok here you go.
"Cowbells and hand claps. Huey Lewis was Hot and Cold before Katy Perry was born." my Friend Matt Whaley
Don't be a bully. No, really. This video was really intense. Not to be a downer, but I had to share.
Now to lighten the mood watch this Canadian Treasure sing! Bam!
Being smart is sexy. Damn right. Read the newspaper to me, baby. Spell correctly for me, baby. (C-O-R-R-E-C-T-L-Y. Correctly. Is being a smart-ass sexy?)
Tom Waits has a new CD. I want. Watch this music video for his new song Satisfied
Guess who else has a new CD/DVD. Tegan and Sara. They Get Along. Like Woah.
Check out this woman mechanic. Yes.
I was told to read Lydia Davis' short short stories. Instead I found this interview with the writer in a 2008 article in The Believer. I like her. I want to read her short short stories now.
I also found this interview with Joyce Carol Oates who says running feet helps writing minds run. While I'm not advocating running to boost your writing/magic making capabilities, or anything overly exerting, this is a good read and I will say that being able to move around outside makes me feel more inspired.

Have a Fantastic week, Fantastic Spatulans. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011


My mind is blocked
Within a thousand tragedies
A melancholy requiem

Death knocking at my door
A thousand troubles join the fray
And nothing will come out

Just some random musings.  I had 2 friends die this week within a few days of each other so I'm in shock currently and not having much inspiration other than to be an emo kid.  How is everyone?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vignette: Motorcycle Drive-by

[This is a continuation of last weeks theme of writing small scenes/glimpses of a story inspired by a song. This little vignette is brought to you by Third Eye Blind's Motorcycle Drive-by. If there's a song you want to request I write about for next time, leave me the title and artist in the comments and we'll make it happen! :) ]

"The City" was the hardest thing Fred had done since he moved there. All he could think about in the days before the trip was how long it had been since he'd glimpsed the coast. Carolina would always be his home. He was sure his mother was still baking chicken on Sundays and doing little else.

What he missed the most was the smell. New York City also had a smell, and it was far from a pleasant one. Living on the ocean was different, and that is of course the reason he had left in the first place. Too laid back, too calm, and the sand gets everywhere.

When he was eighteen it was what he wanted most- to move to a place where the environment took over the minute you set foot outside your door. That was New York City at its most basic. Survival mode took over you. No matter how high up the ladder you climbed, you always felt like scraping for more.

But after scratching and clawing for ten years, Fred felt like it was enough. His twenty-eigth birthday was only two days behind him, but the lines on his forehead were starting to show. His teeth stained by tobacco; a habit he developed when he moved here. And although his hands showed no signs of arthritis, they ached for something different, something more alive and tangable.

So that day, after selling all of his posessions that couldn't stuff into his ruck sack, he pointed his Triumph towards the South with only one word on his mind, "Home".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Hello, internets. I feel I should apologize because the post is rather short. I'm just having trouble concentrating because I got a movie in the mail today and it's calling to me from it's place on my coffee table.

Anyway, if you get my historical reference then send me a note and I'll send you a cookie. Maybe. I'll at least give you a round of applause. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go sob over the final Harry Potter movie.

“Don’t pout, Edward, it doesn’t suit you.”

“You’re cheating, ducky. And I’m not pouting, I’m glowering.”

“It’s not cheating. Where in the rule book does it say I can’t use a Bluetooth to avoid looking like I’m crazy?” Darcy hadn’t been anywhere but work in the past few weeks for fear of having a public outburst because of Blackbeard’s incessant pestering.

“I wouldn’t have mentioned old Harald if I’d thought it’d give you ideas. He’ll get a right laugh out of it if he hears about it.”

“I just can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. It’s brilliant. I can talk to you without having to whisper and act like a total creeper.”

“At least I can take some small consolation from this.” Blackbeard allowed himself a little smile.

“And what is that?”

“Now everyone thinks you’re an attention seeking, insensitive jackass who can’t live without her telephone for two minutes. But at least they don’t think you’re crazy, right ducky?”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Filling In the Gaps" or "What Job Would You Write Home About?"

I'm working on a story. Yes! Thank all that is Holy! I'm working on a story! Behold the glorious singing of angels and cartoon birds acknowledging this great feat!

I actually don't know where I found this image... Sorry.
But my story is about a person in China. A person singing karaoke in China. While I have some memories and experiences of China and karaoke that I can write from there are a few things that kind of hinder me: a fading/shoddy memory, not actually being in China, not having actually sung in karaoke. So, I'm going to put in some research. This research isn't going to be too hard core, like moving to China or actually singing in a karaoke contest (maybe I'll sing... but just thinking about singing in public is making me anxious while I'm sitting here... in my apartment...), but I feel it's research just the same: I'll ask some main characters about their experiences and life in China, and I'll go to a few karaoke nights at The Badlander and the VFW.

I know we've all heard the adage : Write What You Know. But what happens in the times when we don't know. Do you make up things? Do you look it up in a book? Do you go somewhere? And on the flip side: Research To Know. If you haven't been or experienced and you find out and research to know what you do... with what do you fill in the gaps? A voice that is robotic and all researched out? Do you just research to fill in the gaps?

There's an article I read in Poets & Writers about writing what you know and filling the rest in with research. It was about the different jobs one had and the experience one gains which one can then use for writing. (OK look... I don't buy a lot of magazines because of my need to buy toilet paper and Kleenex but I recently indulged one lazy sunday and bought myself this magazine because there was an article called "Why We Write: A Necessary Magic" that made me think "I could use this for FS!"... there's something wrong with me I think... perhaps not?)

All of these things got me thinking: One What jobs have you had that you could write about? What job, horrific or splendid, could you give one of your characters from experience? I've been an agricultural feed processing assistant, a juvenile blue crab research lab assistant, a news paper writer, a reference librarian. Two What jobs have you never had but always wanted to have? I've wanted to know about the circus life. Also I'd like to know what it's like to be a musician on tour, and a professional photographer. Three When you write, do you research, write from what you know, make things up to fill in the gaps, or do a combination of two or more of these things? Four What jobs or things have you done for a day or a week just to see what it was like? Have you done anything for research sake because you didn't know anything about it? I went on an Owl Institute Research outing once. I love owls and this tagging and recording outing was pretty unexpected but I could use the experience for something.

To Keep Writing/Arting

Basically, this post is about you. OK. It's about me and my ticks, through which I ask and want to know about you. That's right. Stop hiding in the corner comment space, you Fantastic Spatulan, you. I want to know something.

I've been wraslin' with some doubts and questions about writing and how to keep doing it. "How do I keep writing/arting/making magic", this thing that I feel was put on this Earth to do, when I'm not in a class, being published, or motivated? When I have doubts and fears and biases about my own writing - how do I ignore them and keep going?

Today after breakfast I was looking through the books in my "library" in hopes of finding one to help with a Fantastic Spatula post. I noticed there were a lot of writerly/arting advice books like "The Bodacious Book of Succulence" by SARK, "On Writing" by Stephen King, "Eats, Shoot and Leaves" by Lynn Truss, "Writing Fiction" by Janet Burroway. Not to mention the art and photography text books and collage books that help inspire. I remembered when I read these books for the first time and was so excited and inspired and ready to write and make art that I couldn't stand it. I wanted to write well from then on. But things get put in the way. Etc. So on. And so forth. But I wanted to feel that excitement of reading something inspirational again, where I wanted to do nothing but write. And I also wanted to know why I couldn't be that excited without having to read or see someone else reading or writing or arting.

I want to know: What are some of your top inspirational/how to/ motivational writing and arting books? What do you go back too for that dose of "I wanna write/make art like woah"?
What are your top five books on writing or making art? This question is for my own benefit, yes, because I wanna read your top five favorite books on writing and arting. Also, I think it's time we all share a little bit so us FS writers can get to know the audience to whom we are writing. And the readers can get to know the readers!

I want to know: What keeps you going? What is it that you do, whether you want to or not, to write/art/make magic.
How do you keep doing this? This is also a selfish questions, cause I wanna try some new techniques... Also, consider this cathartic where we all share how it's hard to motivate and keep going but we all do it any way. Let's commiserate together... oh yeah!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vignettes: Dandelion Girl

I thought that for the next several weeks instead of trying to write a continuing saga while attempting to get my NaNoWriMo up to speed, I would post a different vignette of a story based on a song. Points to whomever figures out which song it is! :) Hope you enjoy!

"What's this one again?" Pan's curious fingers picked up the mason jar and held it to the light. Miniature tufts of dandelion seeds dancing and glowed in the afternoon sun. Her curious hands had been all over her mother's pantry. Ditra had long ago given up on keeping the curious little one out of the small room.

"That's the dandelion seeds, Sweetie. Remember how you blow on them and make a wish?" She spoke to her daughter in soothing but firm tones while wiping her hands on her checkered apron. "Yes, but what's it for?" Pan's impatience was beginning to show.

"You remember. What do we do with their leaves?" Pan sighed heavily; she knew well what the uses were for all the seeds on the shelves. At least for the ones she could reach. "I know mom, but I want to hear you tell the story again. You tell them the best." It was Ditra's turn to sigh audibly. "Fine, fine. Dandelion leaves are what we put in our salads, right? They help our bodies fight off infections and a lot of other things."

Pan listened while gazing into the jar and tapping on it so that the light changed. "Uh-huh. Now can you sing the song?"

"Oh alright...

Prince or pauper, beggar man or thing
Play the game with ev'ry flow'r you bring
Dandelion don't tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion..."

[In case you're curious to what the song is: here's a hint!]


It's been nearly an eternity since I felt okay
Forgotten in the name of my own protection
"You can't break what's not there" I used to say
And the feeling worsened like an infection

It's cold being lonely and it's lonely being cold
To sit in the lofty towers of apparent apathy
But nature abhors a vacuum, so I've been told
But somehow I thought the exception was me

In the emptiness of emotion that I had created
The all consuming dark of the surrounding void
Consumed all that was left of the heart ablated
But darkness doesn't stop when you're destroyed

It spread around me, burying me alive
Pressed underneath the power of my own choice
I lay suffocating, praying for help to arrive
The layers above me muffling my voice

And now I lay entombed under my morass
A testament so that all may look and see
Preserved inside the clear lifeless glass
The inner mummy that I have come to be

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Argument

Probably the only person who'll find this week's installment funny is my Mom. To everyone else, take a peek at what happens when an argument breaks out between Edward Teach,  a.k.a.Blackbeard and Det. Darcy Stebbins. (I figured I should probably name the poor girl, she does suffer so.)

And we have a new ghost, so everyone make him feel welcome. He's certainly not getting any love from Darcy and Edward.

“Oh, come off it, ducky. You don’t know what you’re saying.” Blackbeard took giant steps around Darcy’s apartment. For being a ghost, he had very heavy footsteps.

“I don’t why you’re so adamant about this, Edward. I’d hardly think it was a subject you were well versed on.” Darcy threw her hands up and turned away from Blackbeard’s tantrum.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How To Do Alone: A Lazy Sunday

What's not to love about A Lazy Sunday? Unless you're so in the future that you hate Sunday because you keep thinking how the next day is Monday and how it will be time to go back to work again, there really isn't anything to dislike about Sunday. Today was A Lazy Sunday for this Spatulan. And by lazy I mean I enjoyed my day off, ate breakfast late, bought something nice for myself (a magazine), and did something nice for a friend. This post is How to Do Alone: Lazy Sunday Edition. (It's lazily been posted late at night too! I'm going the whole nine yards with this one, yo.) Being lazy alone isn't hard but one could possibly get stuck in the same old wake late-eat late-watch same movies in bed-grumble about monday-lazy day routine. Here are some suggestions to shake up a lazy day. But not too much shaking, because we're still trying to be lazy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Well now that we're all back and settling into our blogging routine once again, I have to confess one small thing: I have NaNoWriMo-itis. 

NaNoWriMoitis is pretty severe. Seeing as how some of you are also participating, or know what it is about, I won't drone on at length about it. Suffice to say, it's a month long hand-wringing, sweaty brow, stress elevating, and panic inducing marathon. 

I will state for the record right here and now that this is the ONLY marathon I will ever participate in. I am not a runner/sprinter/athlete of any kind. For those of you who are, I commend you. I would also like to commit you to a local mental facility, but I'd do it with all the love in my heart. It takes a lot of discipline to train for and run a marathon. I, however, will not unless their are bears involved. 

No, my marathon calling is of another sort. I tend to lack discipline for any creative venture that takes longer than a few hours. I flit from working on one story, to starting another one, to taking pictures, to painting, to creative visual journaling, to facebook stalking (hey, it's an art!).  I rarely finish anything that I start. And I will even put off starting until the nth moment, just so I can say I didn't have enough time. 

Needless to say my ability to stick to one thing and see it through until the end is in desperate need of work.

This is what drove me to participate in NaNoWriMo. Last year I decided to participate and actually make myself finish something. It was rough at first. I had started a week late as I do with most things. But an idea for a novel came to me early that Saturday morning. The characters were there, in my head, begging to be written. So that morning, in my pajamas, I signed up and started writing. Did I finish? Well, to the detriment of several friendships, my sleep patterns, and my house keeping...I did! I hit the 50,000 word mark with one day left to spare! 

Not bad, neh?

So what, as Mama Wiggins would say, is the moral of the story? The moral, my dears, is that starting late is better than never starting at all. 

Which reminds me- I'm already a day behind. (Some things never change! ;) )

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Borrowed Conversations

New month, new ideas! This has been bumping around in my head for a while. I like the idea of hearing bits of conversation out of context and trying to figure out what's being talked about. So, I've created a few conversations between a woman and some unwanted guests.

See if you can figure out who she is talking to in this first conversation before it becomes apparent.

“Look, Edward, if you insist on hanging around, you’re going to have to do something about your head. It’s freaking me out.” She glanced briefly into the corner where her guest sat.