Friday, May 30, 2008

More book… less cook!

So as my time winds down on my year off from the real world I have been writing a lot more and baking a lot less, as you can see from my latest postings. So I figured I would give you another bit from my book. Please keep in mind that these look-sees I post have not been professionally edited, so there are mistakes in there that will one day get fixed. I'm a writer, not a copyeditor (much to dismay of my current freelance boss!)! 

Obviously this tidbit has been taken from the center of a chapter. The beginning part is being kept a secret for a reason, as I don't want to give away to much on my blog! Why ever would you buy the book if you already know what happens? So if you are confused at the start, I meant for you to be ;) 

“Well she pulled this curtain around us both, even though no one else was there, because at some point the other woman must have left without me realizing it. But so she pulls this dark purple curtain around us, which I notice has those little mirrors puffy painted all over it. Do you remember those?” Liv shook her head yes and I continued. “I used to have an entire outfit with them on it. I remember it, it was grey stretch pants and a grey sweatshirt and the mirrors were surrounded with white puffy paint. I thought I was the shit in that outfit!” I paused to take another sip, and then said, “I got it at the Bucks County Mall on Street Road. They had a bunch of different colors but I remember thinking grey was really sophisticated.”
“Um hello! Enough eighties reminiscing, back to the psychic!” Liv exclaimed as she rolled her eyes at me.
“Oh sorry,” I said taking one last sip before putting my drink back down. “So she takes out this wooden flute thing and tells me the blow into it four times high and four times low, and of course once again I had no idea what she meant. But you know me, I didn’t want to seem like a freaking idiot in front of the psychic, so I blew four times high and four times low.”
Liv spit out a bit of her food with a laugh and said, “How did you do that?”
I laughed too and said, “I have no idea, but I must have done it right because she got a big smile on her face and said ‘Good, excellent, good!’ and clapped her hands practically right in front of my face. Then she pulls out some sage and lights it, and it is literally on fire, like I was expecting Smokie the Bear to come in and intervene. So she blows it out and bits of burnt leaf go all over me. Then she waves it around my face and head and starts chanting something under her breath.”
“Why do you have a care bear band aid on your arm?” Liv asked.
“What?” I stammered, totally caught off guard by her change of subject.
“Why do you have a care bear band aid on your arm?” Liv asked again.
“You just now noticed that?” I replied.
“We have been here for forever, and you are just now realizing that I have a care bear band aid on my arm.”
“Yes! Why is it there, and why do you own care bear band aids?” Liv said, reaching for her cigarettes after filling up on fried onion.
“I had some weird pimply thing on my arm and I picked at it and it freaked me out so I put some Neosporin on it and a band aid, and now it’s not freaking me out anymore,” I answered, myself not full of onion, as I reached for the last bite.
“But why the care bears?”
“Because the purple care bear on the box was smiling at me when I was in Target and you know me, I cannot refuse anything purple nor anything bear, so I brought him home. Low and behold the box contained bands aids, so not only did I get a purple cardboard bear, but first aid as well.”
“You are a crackhead!” Liv howled.
“Yes, yes I am, and that is why you love me in only the way that you can!” I replied with a smile and a chew.
Fred appeared and took away our now demolished appetizer and informed us that he would put in our lunch order now. Feeling like I couldn’t eat another bite, I groaned, leaned back in my chair and started rubbing my stomach.
“I love how you rub your stomach like that and yet back in college you broke up with Tommy what’s his name because he rubbed his stomach after he ate,” Liv said, making me choke on the sip of margarita I had just taken.
I sat there painfully coughing as I laughed and tried to decide how best to defend myself. “Oh my god, how do you remember these things!” I said through another cough.
“I’m like a tree,” she said with a triumphant smile.
“What?” I laughed.
“I’m like a tree, trees are old and have long memories,” Liv said, still smiling.
“What the F are you talking about?” I said.
“That’s what they say,” Liv said, sounding a bit less sure of herself this time.
“Who are ‘they,’ ” I questioned.
“Those people,” Liv said with a doubtful half smile.
I sat there laughing and trying to figure out for the life of me what she could be referring to when it hit me. “Ooohhh mmmyyyy Goddd, do you mean elephants?” I busted out.
She sat there looking from side to side, as slowly a big smile erupted on her face, and finally she laughed. “Yes, I believe I do.”
“Now who is the crackhead?” I laughed.
“That’s why we are perfect for each other!” Liv said, raising her margarita to toast our frienship.
I lifted my glass and tapped it against hers, making that clinking sound I love. I took a sip as Liv put her glass down, prompting me to protest. “Um excuse me, you clink, you drink woman!”
“Sorry, sorry!” she said in her mock annoyed as she picked up her glass and remedied the offense.

– Copyrighted 2008 Shoo Elephant Shoo 

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Books and Bakes

Monday, May 19, 2008

More where that came from

Yet another sampling of my book for your reading pleasure. The writing has been going well, and things are finally starting to make a little bit more sense to me, which is comforting considering I only have two and a half months left before I'm supposed to be finished! I'm confident that things will work out and I will be able to work non-stop until I'm done, so the fears of going back to work so to speak have subsided nicely! 

“I told you, you couldn’t refuse Kohrs!” Pen said. We were looking out over the ocean even though we couldn’t see it by this time of the night.
“I’m fully capable of refusing Kohrs Pen, I’m not a freaking heifer,” I regretted it as soon as it came out of my mouth.
“Cause I was calling you a heifer?” Pen said sounding exasperated. “What the hell Eddie?”
“No, I know you weren’t. But when you say I’m incapable of refusing ice cream it just makes me feel like I’m fat and totally unable to turn down junk food,” I said, trying to make my voice sound calm in an effort to turn the placating on Pen.
“You are not fat at all, you look great! You didn’t even gain weight when you quit smoking! That’s amazing everyone gains weight when they quit smoking. Seriously, you are not fat,” she said, taking a lick of her vanilla custard.
“Here’s what I don’t get Pen,” I said, a stroke of brilliance smacking me in the forehead. “If you say I’m not fat, then how can you go around acting like you are? You weigh 108 pounds! I weigh thirty more pounds then you, thirty pounds, and yet you say I look great. How am I supposed to believe you when you go around talking about how fat you are?”
Pen momentarily froze, the spoon still in her mouth. It was then scary how astonishingly fast she was able to regain her composure and turn things around to suit her own purpose. “I’m not fat, I know that. But I’m skinny fat. I’m not toned at all, my body is all flabby and I have cellulite all over the place.”
“Every woman alive has cellulite Pen,” I interjected.
“That’s not true, look at her, her thighs have no cellulite on them, and,” she sighed “they don’t even touch,” Pen said, pointing to a passerby.
“First of all, it’s night time, so I cannot actually tell if she has cellulite or not. Second of all, and most importantly, she was like 14 years-old! What the hell, you are 33! Your a woman, not a girl. Why the hell would you want the body of a 14-year-old girl?” I stammered.
“Listen,” Pen said, sounding as if she were my boss and not my sister. “When you get around to getting a husband, you will understand what I’m talking about. You have to be perfect all the time. People tell you that once you are married, you can relax, it’s not true. Trust me, you’ll figure this all out when you get married.”
It was another one of those Ally McBeal moments in life, where you swear you can hear the arrow come whistling towards you, and then thud, it lands directly in your already bleeding heart. When I get around to getting a husband, as if it’s as simple as taking out the trash. When I get around to getting a husband. I wanted to vomit my peanut butter and chocolate mixed custard all over the brand spanking new Ipe boards that were under my feet. A roll of thunder sounded far off to sea, as if nature was backing up my angry, hurt emotions.
Pen having no idea of the damaged she has just caused, continued on. “And besides, I’m holding myself to a different set of standards then I do other people. I do think you look great, I just judge myself differently.”
I threw my half eaten ice cream cone in the trash can conveniently placed right next to our bench, and stared at the back of the no thigh touching 14-year-old girl as she walked, unaware, down the boardwalk. I knew in my heart that it was asinine to compare myself to her, especially since I had just been railroading Pen for doing the same, but for a brief moment I wondered if I would be married if my thighs didn’t, in fact, touch.
We sat there, not saying anything, the thunder becoming louder, for at least five minutes before Pen simply said, “I love you.”
I smiled despite myself, and said “I love you too,” as Pen ate her last spoonful of ice cream, before throwing the cup away in the garbage can on her side of the bench, making me wish I hadn’t thrown mine out already. I thought briefly about going back for more, but the idea of facing that stick figure, snooty teenage girl working the counter again made my desire to vomit return, so I opted not to.
“Let’s go back,” I said, hearing defeat in my own voice.
“Alright,” Pen said.
We both stood up and headed down the boardwalk to the closest ramp to the house. As we neared the darkened windows of the psychic storefront, Pen looked pensively at the sign and said, “Don’t go this year.”
“Why?” I questioned.
“Because, you guys get all caught up in what they say. It just freaks me out, I don’t get why you want to know what’s going to happen,” she answered.
“First off, I don’t get caught up in it, and neither do mom and dad. And second, it’s fun. It’s not like they ever tell you something bad. They just say a bunch of ambiguous stuff that could be true for most people. I don’t get why you are so afraid of it,” I said.
We were back down on the street as the first few raindrops began to fall. A large, fat drop landed directly on my right eye, leading my to quickly wipe it away for fear that my mascara would begin to run. That of course led to wondering why I care if my mascara runs in the rain because it’s raining – everyone is getting wet for Christ’s sake! Why do I care so much?
“I’m not afraid of it. I just think it’s wrong somehow. I don’t know, I just have no desire to hear what they think is going on in my life,” she said as she pulled the small hood of her thin sweatshirt up over her head.
“Well, I get a kick out it. Besides, she might very well tell me that I’m going to marry George Clooney, and I certainly want to be on the look out if there’s any possibility in that!” I said with a straight face.
“Well now that would be useful information wouldn’t it!” Pen said laughing.
We stopped on the sidewalk across from the house and waited for traffic to pass so we could run across the street. The rain had grown heavier in the last few moments, and by the time we made it on to the covered porch we were soaked to the bone and laughing.

– Copyright 2008 Shoo Elephant Shoo

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Books and Bakes

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another update from my book!

Here's another snipit from my book… it's been awhile since I posted anything so I figured it was time to put something out there! Hope you likey! 

“So where is the book going?” Liv asked. I was lying in my bed, barely able to move, and she’s asking about the damn book.
“Nowhere. The book is going nowhere. It’s a joke. What the hell was I thinking? I can’t write a damn book!” I said, my voice cracking.
“Did I wake you up?”
“Yeah, but I have to get up anyway.” I said, with no actual plans of getting up.
“It’s 11:30 Eddie, why are you still in bed?” Liv asked, half laughing at me.
“It’s called depression Liv. It doesn’t allow me to get out of bed. It doesn’t allow me to do anything. I’m going to go, I need to get something to eat.” I said, flatly.
“Are you okay?”
“No. I gotta go. I’ll call you soon.” I hung up my cell phone, feeling a little guilty about being so shitty to Liv, and rolled over to fall back asleep.
Within ten seconds my phone rang. Knowing it was her, I didn’t answer it. I didn’t have the energy to talk anymore. I didn’t have the energy to do anything other than slowly move into various positions in my bed.
Another minute went by and my phone beeped, alerting me to a voice mail from a no doubt pissed off Olivia. I didn’t even bother to listen.
I had spent the last two weeks pretending to write in my room, but not actually able to type a single letter, let alone word or sentence. I felt so overwhelmed with the task that I had given myself that I had basically become paralyzed with fear.
Here I was with this unbelievably amazing opportunity in front of me and I was terrified of it. I couldn’t admit it to anyone else though. I couldn’t stand the look of disappointment staring back at me from the mirror, there was no way I could stomach it from someone I loved. So I sat in my room either messing around on the Internet, or reading, or staring out the window and wondering how many other people out there were fucking up their dreams.
When you spend your entire life thinking about this one goal, that if only you had the time, you would achieve it. And then someone gives you the time, and you are completely unable to achieve it because you don’t even know where to begin.
That’s my problem. I have no idea where to begin, and I don’t even know if I have the courage to tell the story I want to tell. I don’t want people to think differently of me because I finally reveal who I am. Even if it’s only a fraction of who I am. What if people hate it? What if they all think I’m insane? What if my dad is angry at me? What if my family is angry that I have spilled our secrets?
But then I keep thinking about how it’s the only story I know to tell. I need to get it up, to get it out. It’s like when you feel like you need to throw up, but you don’t want to actually throw up, but then you wrestle with the idea of knowing that you will feel better once you throw up. It’s exactly like that. Knowing that I want to get this all out, to get it up and out and then be able to move on from it is a great idea in and of its self. However, the actual writing of it is like the physical act of vomiting. It burns and aches as you heave up whatever has been churning in your stomach. It’s painful and you hate doing it, regardless of the fact that you know it’s a means to the very end that you seek. Once you throw up you feel better, and then you can go about your life feeling better.
So here I am with my freaking head in the toilet swallowing hard even though my teeth are sweating and I know I will feel better once I just do the damn thing. Yes it will be disgusting. Yes my throat might burn and my teeth will feel as if I’ve burned all the enamel off of them. But then maybe my insides won’t ache so much anymore. Go on kid, yack it up, brush your damn teeth and and then maybe we can get on with this thing everyone else keeps calling life.
I rolled over, picked up my cell phone, and dialed my voicemail to listen to Livs message. Surprisingly she just sounded worried about me, which made me feel even worse for hanging up on her. I scrolled through the list of saved numbers in my phone (which was depressingly short) and dialed hers once I came upon it.
“I’m sorry I suck,” I said as soon as she said hello.

– Copyrighted 2008 from Shoo Elephant Shoo

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Neverending Story

I'm reading The Neverending Story by Michael Ende and I'm wondering why it has taken me 29 years to get around to this fantastic tale. Of course the movie is a childhood classic that I watched countless times growing up, but being a lover of the "fantasy" genre, I'm absolutely enjoying the book just as much as I did the film. I'm not far in, so I'm sure my affection will only grow, and when you encounter a passage like that which follows and you know the writer comes from the same internal place as you, you know it will be extremely difficult to read the final words, whether they are happy or sad.  

If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger –
If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early –
If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared to many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless –
If such things have no been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next. 
- The Neverending Story by Michael Ende 

Needless to say, I completely understand why Bastian did what he did! 

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Books and Bakes