Gretel–Second part

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For those who are interested, here’s the bit that follows right after the one where Nora meets Gretel.

Like the last bit I posted, this is raw and unedited, and probably bears only the faintest resemblance to what the final version will be like. Please save critique for December, since I’m still just trying to crank out 50,000 words between now and November 30th. (Although, the way this story is going, it’ll wind up taking closer to 200,000 to get the whole thing out. Sheesh!)

I feel obliged to give a small trigger warning; there is nothing graphically depicted except for the aftermath of nightmares. If you’re inclined to get triggered by that, then stop reading when they’re getting ready to go to sleep.

Gretel, part two:

This is the part I made sure not to talk about with Robin. It’s all so confusing, and keeps getting more messy the further I go. I know I’ll have to talk about it at some point, but I think I can keep it to myself until I’m a little more sure about what’s going on.

Gretel settled down, rummaging through my art supplies, and I went into the kitchen to think about something for breakfast. As I looked through what was in the kitchen, I couldn’t help wondering whether she was going to still be there when I was finished. I peeked around the doorway, and yup, there she was–Not my good pastels!

“Wait. NO! Gretel, you can’t mess with that!”

She stiffened. Her eyes were big and I saw a pout coming on. I took a deep breath. “Gretel, it’s fine with me if you color. I just would rather if you used something else, instead of those. Here, I should have gotten you the crayons and paper.”

I went to the shelves, and pulled out the box of ninety-six crayons. Then I pulled a stack of blank paper out of the printer. “You can use these. See, ninety-six colors. It will be plenty. Those ones you had, they’re special for me. I don’t like to share them very much.”

She was still holding onto the pastels, and didn’t look likely to let go. I dug inside, for the patience to deal with it. Come on, I told myself. You deal with little kids all the time. You can be patient with this imaginary little kid, too.

Right. Imaginary, but making a total mess of my art supplies.

“But I can be very careful,” she bargained.

I shook my head, and reminded myself to be patient. “No. I don’t want to share those. But you can use these crayons however you like. I bet you will enjoy them even more.”

A thought occurred to me: How did a fairy tale character even know about coloring? Oh, right. Because she’s a figment of my imagination, and I know plenty about coloring.


Read the rest…

Gretel

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Here’s a piece of the novel I’m working on for NaNoWriMo this year. It’s absolute raw draft, and when I was typing, I wasn’t bothering even with capitalization, so apologies for that. I think the spelling is okay, but if not, oh well. I can go back and fix that later. :)

Feel free to comment, but if it’s an editing type comment, save that for December, because my goal for the next 18 days is to just churn out text until I’ve got at least 50,000 words. :) I’ll share parts of the novel this month, when I get things that hang together well enough to show up in the finished version, in some shape or form.

I’ll put the start of the excerpt on the main page, and then you can click the “read more” button to read the rest.

So, without further ado….

excerpt from Fairy Gifts:

it must have been a dream, even though i am pretty certain i was awake. here’s how i remember it: i came home, went inside to check the mail, and something caught my notice outside. i put down my bag, and went back outside. there was a stone. no, there was a trail of stones. for some reason, i followed it. it went around back, and then into my garden.

i kept following it, not sure why. at some point, i realized that i had gone out of my garden, and into somewhere totally strange. normally, there’s not a gate at the back of my garden, but this time there was. normally, what’s behind my garden is mark and josie’s back yard, but this time, it was a dim forest. why did i keep walking? i couldn’t say.

but i did.

i followed the stones, and the forest kept growing around me. it started to get dark, and i heard strange rustling sounds around me. i looked back, and it was like the stones were glowing. i walked a little further, getting more nervous with each step. finally, i chickened out, and went back home.

“why did you chicken out?” asked robin.

“wouldn’t you have?” i asked right back. “i mean, strange path, dark forest, weird sounds. any normal person would back out at that point, right?”

she just gave me that therapist look, the one that says, “this is your story. tell as much of it as you want to tell.”

“okay, so there is more. this was on thursday night. i didn’t have work on friday, and when i went out of the house in the morning, the stones were still there. but it was earlier this time, so i decided to follow them again.”

nod. nothing more. so i continued.

it was morning. so i figured that it wouldn’t get so dark, at least not so quickly. i figured that any of the sounds, i could handle them, so long as it was daylight. i followed the stones, and once again, they led through my garden, and into a dim forest. i kept walking. at least i had the sense to leave the stones where they were. i mean, if you’re going to follow a weird path, it might be a good idea to make sure you’ve got a way back out.

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I Have Learned My Lessons Well

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I wrote this story years ago, but it still has power. I still remember the refrain: “I have learned my lessons well: Good girls don’t remember. What they remember, they don’t tell.”

I am unlearning those lessons, and hopefully beginning to be the kind of person who is able to remember my past, and to speak about it. But it’s a long journey from here to there. People have told me the story is rather upsetting, so be careful as you read it. I don’t describe anything in detail, but apparently, quite a bit comes through anyways.

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The Rule of Silence/Story: Revenge

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We don’t talk about these things. If there was one rule obeyed in our family, it was the rule of silence. As adults, I think each of us has touched on speaking, and then backed away, putting up walls of denial between ourselves.

My sisters and I, between the four of us, probably show nearly every symptom of having been sexually abused as children. Physical problems, mental ones, emotional ones: the signs are there, but we don’t talk about it. My older sisters talk almost constantly about their various physical problems, but have never mentioned sexual abuse as a possible factor. My younger sister? Well, she’s the one who does the acting out, sleeping around, making really unwise choices, having brief intense affairs, and all of that.

Four or five years ago, she asked me whether I had ever wondered whether I’d been sexually abused. Her timing was bad: I was on the way out the door to the first meeting of a class, and our younger brother was visiting. I meant to get back to her on it, but… well, I didn’t.

Part of it is because it’s all tangled up in shame and guilt and denial. As much as things happened to us, there are the things we did to each other. And it becomes difficult to confront, because I don’t know how to approach one part without acknowledging the others. I remember the sheer mean-ness of how we—me, my older sisters, my mother—treated my little sister because we were jealous of how her father favored her over the rest of us. We teased her, a lot. And none of us protected her.

And there is the anger I hold towards my next-older sister, who even if she didn’t sexually abuse me (she may or may not have, I don’t remember clearly enough to say), definitely taught me that she had the right to touch my body whenever and however she chose, whether or not I wanted her to do so. It’s something I’m not entirely able to forgive, and as I grow older, I still hold her responsible for it. She may have been hurt herself, she may have been young, but I still believe she should have been old enough to know better.

I worry, sometimes, that part of why I am reluctant to get clear memories of my childhood is that I, too, did things to hurt my siblings. I don’t know, and I also have no idea what I would do with those memories if I had them. The rule against speaking holds strong, and words are a weak tool for making up for sins I committed a quarter of a century ago.

The rest of this post is a story I wrote quite a few years ago, pulling together some memories I had on this topic.

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Story (unfinished): She Hangs in the Balance

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I wrote this story in college, and I’m really not sure how to finish it, and whether it needs more than is here.

Not sure what else to add as introduction, so I’ll post the story behind the cut.
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some poems

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Honestly, I tend to think most poetry is dreck, mine included. However, I do tend to capture something in my poems, and I guess they’re not that bad. I’ll post them behind a cut, and you can skip reading them. If you do read them, please comment.

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Story: Mirror, Mirror

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I wrote this story when I was in college, and have edited it to polish it up a little bit a couple of times. It’s one of my attempts to see whether I could write a fairy tale from a different viewpoint. Please comment, and let me know what you think. (The story is behind the cut.)

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The Beginning

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I have a lot of stories to tell, but I don’t need to tell them all immediately. For right now, I’ll just link to two of the stories I have posted elsewhere. I have been told that they can be upsetting, so be take care of yourself.

“The Rule of Silence” (musings) and “Revenge” (story)

“I Have Learned My Lessons Well” (story)