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November 26, 2007

week 8–9

Well, we had to find quotes by authors on the writing process this week for ICW so here they are. 

The first principle is that a poet writes his personal life in his work out of its tragedy, whatever it may be, remorse, lost love, or mere loneliness

- W.B. Yeats

I’d been having a bad week. The script I was meant to be writing just wasn’t happening, and I’d spend days staring at a blank screen, occasionally writing a word like the and staring at it for and hour or so and then slowly, letter by letter, I’d delete it and write and or but instead. Then I’d exit without saving. Ed Kramer phoned and reminded me that I owed him a story for an anothology of stories about the Holy Grail which he was editing with the ubiquitous Marty Greenberg. And seeing nothing else was happening and that this story was living in the back of my mind I said sure.

   I wrote it in a weekend, a gift form the gods, easy and sweet as anything. Suddenly I was a writer transformed: I laughed in the face of danger and spat on the shoes of writer’s block. Then I sat and stared glumly at a blank screen for another week because the gods have a sense of humour.

- Neil Gaiman

On sitting down to write: It's like standing on the edge of a cliff. This is especially true of the first draft. Every day you're making up the earth you're going to stand on.

- Peter Carey

The act of writing appeases one’s memories and eases the act of forgetting. When I write, I make my memories tangible, and in this way I can get rid of them. On the other hand, writing is but a ploy to convulse memory back into life. And the more I write, the more my memories return to inhabit me.

- Jorge Semprùn

November 01, 2007


We did haiku too.  They are fun and short so I did quite a few.  I like the images they create in general and it was fun trying to remember enough Japanese from the course I took last year to write one in Japanese. 

O sakana wa        Oh the white fish
Aoi mizu de iru      Is in the blue water
oboemasen          It doesn't remember

White foam of the waves                                      Fog is cold and damp
Stands out brightly in the dark                              Shrouding everything in gray 
Of the vast ocean                                                  Sunlight shimmers through

A puffy white cloud                                               Rain spatters the ground  
Floating above the great earth                            The droplets dotting the dust

Reflects in the lake                                               Smell of soil released

The air is smoky                                               Wind blows the orange leaf
The dust covers everything                              Through the clear frosty air
Dark sky and red sun                                        Across the green grass

The rainbow glitters                                         Tall brown cliffs are touched
In the mist at the fall’s base                             By the clear azure water
Thundering water                                              While the sun beats down

The brilliant blue sky
Encompasses the mountains
Imposing and gray

La gemma verde            The green bud
E` piccola ma cresce      is small but grows
sara` la foglia                It will be the leaf


We had to write a poem where we were really big, so here it is. I liked writing it since it is an intersting idea. :D
I pass many balls
Floating in the darkness;
Small and rocky and cold
Or larger, but my hand
Simply passes through the gas
Of blue or gray,
Though there is a solid core.

The largest has a red spot
Like a red dwarf
Among the swirling
Yellow, whites, and browns.

I like the one with rings.

The line of brown pebbles
Doesn’t bother me

As I pass through

I am getting closer
To the source of the light

I am growing warmer

A small rocky red one
Is too hot on one side
Too cold on the other.

It is mean.

I see three more balls
But two are too close
To the flaming source

Of heat and light.

I am forced to squint
But I can see
A beautiful orb of blue
With wisps of white

And hunks of brown and green

It is pleasing
So I pick it up,
Throw away the small rock alongside it,
And brush off the bugs.

So many!

None of the others
Had bugs on them.
Just my lousy luck.
Oh well.
They’re gone now.
Time to play.

October 25, 2007

some poem

Here is a poem I wrote week one when I was lonely since sometimes I write just to get stuff out.  California is very far away and it takes time to adjust :O I just do random free verse when I feel like it.  This is basically to show what I do when it's not an assignment.

I feel alone
Though students hurry all around me
chatter and noise
But in my room
there is only quiet

I sit alone
though I am chatting
It's good to stay in touch
through the intarweb
But you can't hug a computer screen

I love the food
And accents
And the excitement
of new things
New people to meet

I say hi
and know many names
and faces
but none are really close
None I can really talk to

I want to do more
Learn more
Meet more people
Keeping busy
At least keeps me from missing
what I miss

I miss the beach
the sound of the waves
And the sun
The gray here is typical
Not bothersome or a downer
But not energizing either
It just is 
And cold

I miss my friends
The ones I can be
Myself around
Where I can really talk
and do anything with

I hope I can find someone
I connect with here
and that I don't miss
too many adventures
While I have adventures
of my own here
far away

Afternoon and night
night and morning
Time zones change
so much
good morning
good night
I don't know what to say
Neither do you?

I'd say more
How I feel
But we are so far apart
So it doesn't matter
We can't do anything together
Either way
We're friends

Just let me get through
These months
Though I want
to enjoy my time here
far away from home
I don't want to waste it
Though I feel
this experience
is wasted on me
I'm too hesitant
or is it apathy

Let me live
life in the present
Enjoy now
you too

Home is where
the heart is
Which isn't here
I'll have to leave soon
So then if
This gets to feeling like home
I'll just miss it
I loose either way

I don't want to be lonely
Help me get settled
Be careful
Relationships are so hard
Making friends
is a lot of work
Sometimes I just
want to sleep

Make time go
It flies
Let me have fun
But then let me go home

week 3

We had to write a character walking into the Graduate and ordering a drink and the scene stops when the character gets the drink.  It was to use the style we were given in class. 

The girl entered the bar through the peach coloured doors with clashing yellow handles. It was called the Graduate. Inside was not dim, like the bars seen on TV full of old men or thugs, yet not bright either. She was wearing black boots, and black tights that were almost see through but not quite and had the sheen slick fabrics have. Her jean skirt was ragged on the bottom though stylishly so, at least she thought so. Style was important and skirts with cut up bottoms were in style, not that her mother would understand since she would say it’s not stylish but trashy. Adults never understood her, and she was lucky if her so called friends even did. Her black coat was unbuttoned to reveal the dark-blue, tight-fitting shirt she wore underneath. She had worn it purposely to show that she was no kid, and so she did belong there. She could handle a glass of beer. Though if you were going to get technical she technically wasn’t allowed to drink yet, since she was not eighteen but a mere seventeen years, eleven months, and two days old. Adults were so picky about things such as age and she doubted twenty nine days would make a difference in how her body processed alcohol or how she felt when drinking. Rules were so over-glorified.

   Music filled her ears, almost to the point of overflowing her earphones but not, so she could properly drown out the world with My Chemical Romance’s latest emo, upbeat, drum-heavy, song without actually disturbing anyone with it, a careful balance of volume control she had mastered thanks to year of ignoring everything her parents shrilled and squawked at her, except when she needed money of course, then the answer was actually important.

   Her eyes roamed the crowded room, full of not modern plastic tables but wooden ones that fit the bar feel. The tables themselves were used by many university students opening their mouths to talk to friends or drink more yellow-brown beer. She could only hear the guitar riffs and hammering drums of her music so she felt removed from the busy, yet relaxed bar scene. She however was not relaxed. She was under age and just hoped they didn’t ask for ID. There was no reason they should since she looked like any other university student, and even had a bigger bust than most of the girls, she had noticed with a smirk. And when she was with her boyfriend (now ex) at this bar she had never been asked for ID. He was three years older than her so he was legal and with her looks and the fact she was with him no one questioned if she was legal too.

   She caught the eye of a skinny guy with glasses who had glanced at her as she walked by. He had a geek aura that wasn’t just there, but radiated off him like heat waves off the blacktop in summer. As if she’d ever go with him, even if she was desperate, and she wasn’t, not really, not enough to do anything with that nerd. She hoped she didn’t have an ‘I’m under eighteen’ feeling coming off her. Then she wouldn’t get her drink and would get thrown out. That would be horrible. She would not just turn red but melt from the self-confidence-evaporating heat of embarrassment. She rearranged her shirt as she glanced around, eyes darting rapidly. She tugged at the hem of her skirt. It wasn’t even new, but old and boring she now thought. Her skirt was so lame, it was a year old and her mom had only given her a hundred pounds to go back to school shopping, so she had splurged on her cool, new, black, calf-high boots and not had enough left over to buy any new skirts. When she had asked for more money her mom had told her no, she already had perfectly good clothes. Obviously, her uncaring mother did not understand the importance of having this year’s styles.

   Walking past the foosball table she saw a guy sitting on one of the couches in that corner who was not just cute but gorgeous. She quickly turned away to not seem like an awkward gawking teenager. She had to act like a cool university student, not an underage girl.

   She knew that ordering a drink was no big deal, but a simple request, yet she felt her heart beat a bit faster and herself grow warm. With a motion which she thought was laid-back and cool, but was somewhat hurried, she pushed back her light brown hair, pulled out her earbuds, stuffed them into her coat pocket and walked to the wooden counter with determination. Standing there she decided not to order the sweet fruity sort of drink she usually got, but a Fosters to look like she drank all the time and knew what she was doing. It was a bit of a wait.

   “What will you have?” the bartender asked in a voice that wasn’t kind but polite.

  “A Fosters” she said, glancing at the triangular, metal, taps under circular labels.

   Grabbing a glass the man put it under the tap to fill her drink. The alcohol didn’t gush out but streamed slowly from the nozzle. She wished it would hurry up so she could pay and be done with this before she got caught.

   “Two pounds ten,” the man said, the drink nearly full, but not quite.

   She took the money from her purse and gave it to the bartender, who rang the purchase up at the till to the side. Then he topped off her drink and set it on the counter in front of her with the hard thunk sound of glass on wood.       

October 21, 2007

week 2

We had to take a dialogue based piece a classmate wrote and write it from another POV, so I did.  I really liked the piece I had to work with so I had ideas easily.    

I lay on the soft carpet in the sleeping, talking, bed in the middle of it cave. I have sandy coloured hair, and brown eyes and am about as tall as Food Giver’s thighs, though if I stand on my back legs I can reach the counter where there is food. The carpet is dark coloured and ooh is that food? Oh, no, it’s just a hairball. Snuff. My owner, (I call him Food Giver), and his mate, Say-rah, whom he has deep feelings for are talking in here. I know he feels deeply for her because he gets happier when she is around or nervous, I can smell it, and he puts his mouth on hers a lot so she must have food in there so I would like her too then if she gave me food.

Say-rah usually smells like not natural strong smelling stuff that prickles my nose and is a little bit like flowers. Also arfmmmn (a sweet smell), salty, and she likes going barefoot so that smells tasty. She usually has tough dark extra skins on her legs and has small white hands that are gentle when she pets me. I like being petted. Say-rah is kind and bears her teeth a lot, in a playful way. But her mouth is closed tight now and she looks like she has just seen a rabbit and is waiting for it to stop moving so she can pounce on it, quietly waiting, tensed for action. She is sitting on the bed. I like the bed. It is soft and humans sleep on it and I do too when they are not looking but then when I hear them come in the door, for I have excellent hearing, I jump off fast so they don’t know I have been a bad dog and been on the bed. And a cat thinks it is so sly, ha!
Oh, what is it now? The two humans are talking quietly but that does not mean that they are calm. There is agitation in the air, I can smell the nervousness and feel the tension. Say-rah said something and now it is quiet. Food Giver is standing up with a slightly sweaty smell coming from him and he is not happy. Maybe Say-rah said he is a bad dog. I get nervous like he is then, though he is not too upset at being a bad dog because he is not hiding like I do or putting his tail between his legs. I know he has no tail, but he lowers his head when he feels he has been bad. I have seen him with Say-rah that way before, like when she yells when they are shouting and mad in the talking box with clours, sofa, small, wooden, table, people gathering cave. It’s a good cave because the humans bring food in there and give me some crunchy salty flat food while they stare at the glowing colorful sound making box. And the sofa is almost as comfy as the bed. But I’m not supposed to go on that either. It isn’t a good place to be when there is yelling though because then it is loud and anger fills the room and things fly. 
Food Giver said something, but now it is quiet again. It is a tense quiet, like something needs to be said or done. Maybe the three of us can go outside on the grass and I chase the ball. That is fun. It would make Food Giver and Say-rah feel better because I like it. Run, run, chase, run, ooh I want to go outside now. This quiet is not good. Food Giver and Say-rah are upset. They are sure being quiet for a long time, and not moving or anything, except to shift around a bit. The carpet is soft. I want food. Food makes me happy and tastes good. But I do not get food until later usually. Food-Giver puts it in my bowl. That food is small round bits and is crunchy and hard to chew but still food. I like meat better, or those flat salty things, or the sweet, soft, easy to chew, with creamy bits food, or well, food in general. Now I’m drooling.
My ears perk up because Food Giver said one little sound. Now Say-rah is talking with anger and frustration in her voice, though sadness is there too. Food Giver talks back with a similar feeling. Sarah says a little more, the sounds come out fast like rippling water over stones. Food Giver and Say-rah talk a little more. Food-Giver says ‘no’ and more sounds. Then there is more silence. Hmm lots of silences. We need less silences and more food. The little square on the table hums a little and there is a swooshing sound, and a slam sound, but in the cave it is quiet. Huff. Say-rah is looking down, and Food-Giver just stares at her, his breathing even though he is not all the way calm. He is waiting. Say-rah says ‘no,’ quietly. More silence. The bird chirps far away. I hear footsteps on hard ground. There is dust under the bed. I still want food. It is quiet.

and as you can see, it is from teh POV of a dog :D  I love dogs.

October 14, 2007


Here is the dialogue we had to do for ICW prose section.  I couldn't think of a good secret so I feel it is weak, though I do like writing dialogue.  Characters are fun to create and diologue helps to make the character.  Oh and I forgot to do single quotes, but I'm from California and double quotes are normal there. :O

   Dim orange light of the afternoon sun pierced the windows and spread out across the hard tile floor. Rows of tan orange lockers, similar to the colour of apricots but not at all appetizing, lined the almost deserted hall of the school building. It was almost empty for there were two girls of about seventeen standing in the hall, talking. One was tall and thin, like a giraffe for she had that awkwardness about her too such as when the giraffe has to spread its legs tripod-like to be able to lower its head enough for a drink. She was always slouching as if embarrassed by her height and wanting to be smaller, to slip away into the shadows such as the long, gray ones created by the lockers that were partly shading her, making her shoulder-length, straw coloured hair seem dark brown and her hazel eyes gray. The other girl was short and stocky in comparison, yet petite would be a better word for she was not overweight, just small and so the pounds showed more readily. Her long, brown hair that frizzled down to her waist was her most notable feature, yet to look at her face the thick eyebrows she couldn’t be bothered to pluck, glasses, freckles and rather large nose stuck out as well. 

   It was she who was speaking. “So, how did you do on last Friday’s Spanish test?”

   “Eh, it was ok,” the other said, unenthusiastically, shrugging a little. “I passed at least.”

   “That’s good,” the shorter girl replied with a smile. “I did horrible,” she slashed the air with her hand. “Our teacher is a grammar Nazi,” the girl’s hands spread palms up shaking at the ceiling, “she doesn’t care about ideas at all, just do you have subject adjective, verb, whatever, agreement,” she shook her head. “So annoying.” 

   “Yeah, it is.”

   “I wish I had a better teacher. Mrs. Lackso is sooo frustrating.” The girl bent her hands like claws. “Something should be done about her.”

   “Done about her?” the taller girl said quietly. “Like what?”

   “I mean like make her retire or something.”

   “Oh,” the taller girl let out a nervous chuckle, “that.”

   “I’ll have to ask my cousin for help if this keeps up.”

   “Help? Isn’t that going a bit far?” she raised her eyebrows.

   “Well, my cousin is studying Spanish at university so she should be able to help me.”

   She’s a university student,” she said surprised.

   “Yeah, what did you think I was going to say?”

   “Nothing, nevermind.”

   “But now you have me curious, Michelle.” She bounced on the balls of her feet a bit, “Tell me.”

   “I’d rather not.”

   “Come on. Now I want to know.”

   The girl was silent for a moment. “I just only ever saw your cousin Rocco.”

   “Oh, him? He’s no good at Spanish,” she waved her hand dismissively. “He’d be better at wrestling a bear than saying oso.”

   Michelle glanced at the milti-coloured floor and then the lockers. She shifted her weight to the other foot. The silence filled the corridor.

  “So, what are you doing this weekend?” the shorter girl asked.

   “Nothing much,” Michelle replied. “Maybe we could get together.”

   “Yeah, you should come over to my house.”

   “Oh, um, wouldn’t it be easier for you to come to mine?” Michelle looked at the shorter girl eagerly. She’d heard, uh, things about the other girl’s family.

   “It’s no problem for you to come to my house,” the dark haired girl told her. “We’re having a family dinner.” She smiled. “So there will be great food, like spaghetti and ravioli and rizzoto,” the girl closed her eyes as if imagining all the delicious things to eat, “so good.” She nodded her head in satisfaction. “We Lipari’s know how to cook.”

  “Ah.” Michelle nodded and then asked, “What sort of name is that?” just make sure.

   “It’s Italian. Lipari Island is just off of Sicily.”

   “Heh, interesting.” Michelle gave a half smile. There was small silence.

   “So, can you come?”

   “Well, actually,” Michelle glanced sideways nervously, “I have a lot to do this weekend. You know Mrs. Lackso assigned us that paragraph to write in Spanish and then I have physics homework and I really should practice my sax,” she tried to look like she was sorry, giving a fake grimace. “And my mom wanted me to clean my room and I have to watch my little sister I think when my mom has her breakfast date with a friend.” The words sped out.

   “Oh,” the long haired girl shrugged. “I understand. You’re busy.”


   “Ok. Well, I guess I’ll see you Monday then.” The girl put her hand up in a half wave and turned to start walking down the hall.

   “Right.” Michelle turned towards the door and pushing it open let out a sigh as relief washed over her like the cool air of the late afternoon.

flower poem

Here is the poem we did interrogating a flower.  I know the rhyming needs work, but I hope to improve.  I just thought rhyming would be fun since the poems I write on my own never rhyme.  I like the ideas I came up with though since one does not usually associate a flower with crime. We had to come up with a new style for this poem so here is what I did.

The Expandette (Espanderrone in Italian) is an old style of poetry originating from the monks of Northern Italy during the 13th century. It is a form where each stanza has one more line than the previous one, so the first stanza has one line, the second two and so on. This was to increase their praise for God each time, so that by the tenth stanza it is quite a long praise indeed. Each stanza is made up of rhyming couplets, so the odd numbered stanzas end in one line that does not rhyme with any line in the stanza. Also the first and last words of the poem must be the same, usually “God” in the original poems. However, over time the form has been adapted to become used to describe various topics, not just ones concerning religion. Though it lost popularity, during the Romantic period a small group of Italian authors picked up the style again, though with much shorter poems than originally, and it even spread to the rest of Europe.

Flower Crime

‘State your name,’ the voice behind the light said

‘I am Miss Flower
I sit by the bank hour after hour’

‘I am Inspector Ucello so don’t waste my time.
There are some questions I’d like to ask concerning a crime.

It happened by the river.’

‘I’m in here for questioning?
But all I know is how the birds sing
Or the creek ripples over a stone

And the wind whispers all alone.’

‘I think you know more than you say
You were there that day
The incident occurred
Or so I gained from a little bird

Tell me’

‘I live in a lush green meadow
My pretty petals on show
My sweet fragrance floats all around
Simply sitting I make not a sound.
I am in the same place all of the time

And I tell you I witnessed no crime.’

‘Everyone questioned said you were there
When the harmful substance was released in the air
It hurt a poor boy who happened by
He went away with a tear in his eye
And a runny nose he wiped on his hand.
Now that I can not stand.’

He looked at her accusingly.

‘I’m innocent!’ the flower cried
Ask any of those who sit by my side.
Qualms with others I have none
I would not hurt anyone.
The breeze blows me about
But I do not argue or shout.
I am complacent and kind

There’s no reason to question me; there’s nothing to find’

‘What about these?
Accusations from the birds and the bees.
They have seen what you have done,
Out in broad daylight under the sun.
Things are not in your favor.
You are known for outrageous behavior.
I have a record of previous crimes.
You’ve been sited multiple times

For indecent exposure’

‘To all, myself, I do not expose!’
‘Ah but flowers wear no clothes,
Your sexual organs are out for all to see
Your perfume and colour entice every bee
Your stamen and pistol are out on display
From morning ‘til the end of the day
Surrounded by pretty petals, you flaunt for everyone
The parts used for reproduction.
You, dear flower, are so indecent

To jail you really should be sent!’

‘You’re accused of illegal trafficking too’
‘Inspector I say it isn’t true!’
‘Ah but flower you lied
From the law you cannot hide.
I have here photographic evidence
Of more than one instance.
Innocent insects come by
You powder them with golden dust and away they fly.
You have others do your dirty deeds
You are no better than the clinging weeds.

You’re a criminal.

The pretty flower sighed and shook her head
Then looked up and quietly said
‘Perhaps I am guilty of those things,
Of utilizing creatures with wings,
Or of being so sweet a hummingbird will not miss
Hovering by to give me a kiss,
Or of exposing myself for all to see
Though I do not think one should hide beauty
Beings of great beauty are generally accused
By those less beautiful so I am not amused
By these accusations with which you toy

I tell you I did not touch the boy!’

‘You can not escape now.
If you are innocent then tell me how
We have this video of you
At the scene of the crime with the boy too?’
The flower then cracked, ‘All right I’ll admit
I am the one who did it!’
I did not mean to, I swear
But my pollen floated into the air
On the breeze it blows
And then up the little boy’s nose.
It could have just as easily been from the trees
But it was I who made the boy sneeze.

I confess.’

‘So you finally admit it,” he said with a grin,
I knew you were guilty from the time you came in.
Your delicate face could not hide
The criminal I saw lurking inside.’
With a flick of his wing he commanded, ‘Take her away!
A prison cell is where she shall stay.’
Handcuffs were clamped around each leaf of green,
The rings of iron for all to be seen.
The guards lead her off down the hall
Where she broke down and began to bawl.
She was so upset because of her guilt
That she positively started to wilt.
It is not pretty, I must relate,
To see a flower in such a state.

week one work

Here is the poem we did in class with the rules: *each line has to have a word from the SPAM poem, *each line must start with he, she, I, we, you or they except the last line *each line must have ten sylables.  The pronouns bit made me think of all those verb charts in my Italian courses so that is how I got the idea.  I didn't do so well with the sylable requirement since I don't know exactly how the Italian words fit for that.  I was trying to make fun of grammar since the sentence can have the correct verb but still make no sense.  The last line is purposely ungrammatical.

Conjugation Italian

I am, io sono, sitting on a couch.

You are, tu sei, such a big bass blowfish.

He is, lui è, so anharmonic.

She is, lei è, like a carcinogen.

You are, Lei è, with a real demigod.

We are, noi siamo, your destiny.

You guys are, voi siete, beyond it.

They are, loro sono, degumming gnomes.

Don’t conjugating just make you curdle?