Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Hey all it’s time for another round of vocab. It’s been a while since I put one of these up. The last few books I read were either audio or belonged to a friend so I wasn’t able to mark it up and come back to it later.

Anyhow, this round we’ve got another one by Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning.

For anyone new to this, I like marking up my books as I read them. When I finish something I sometimes post a bit of what I’ve marked. It’s usually either, words I didn’t know or words I think are not used often enough, cultural references, and words I think are worth sharing.

 

 

What we learn about ourselves in those moments, where the trigger has been squeezed, is this: the past is not dead. There are things that wait for us, patiently, in the dark corridors of our lives.

 

Desiccate – to dry out; often for the purposes of preserving

 

Are Fictions safe places? …Should they be safe places?

 

Alec – a somewhat autobiographical comic book by Eddie Campbell

 

Grand Guignol – “the theatre of the big puppet” a theatre in Paris popular in the early 20th century. Known for their particularly grotesque and horrifying work.

 

Hebrides – archipelago off the coast of Scotland

 

Did you know May the third was the day that the devil was cast out of heaven, and thus the day on which it is unpardonable to commit a crime?

 

Imitable – capable or worthy of being imitated

 

Ruminant – an animal with more than one stomach, like sheep or cows

 

The finest things I have seen are dead places.

 

Awl – a metal spike for punching holes in leather

 

Whirligig – pinwheel

 

Ducks don’t like socks, they said, it’s a duck thing

 

Inveigh – to rail against something, or communicate with great hostility in regards to

 

Lassitude – physical and mental weariness

 

Apiary – where bees/beehives are kept

 

Punctilious – showing great attention to detail, particularly regarding correct conduct

 

I sometimes imagine I would like my ashes to be scattered in a library. But then the librarians would just have to come in early the next morning to sweep them up again

 

Okapi – a mammal native to central Africa, kinda like a giraffe but zebra type stripes on their legs and ass and… well here’s a picture.

 

 

Jack Benny – vaudevillian comic from the early to mid-20th century

 

Ducal – relating to a Duke

 

Quiescent – inactive, dormant

 

She was waiting for him, in the place where flowers die.

 

Reynard – fox (French), or a trickster character from a French fables

 

Shighthound – hounds that hunt by sight and speed rather than scent and endurance.

 

Drystone – style of construction popular Northern Britain and Western Ireland, in which stones are interlocked without mortar

 

Hawthorn – a tree, it looks like this

Shows up in folklore, as the entrance to the otherworld, also as the crown of thorns used on Jesus.

 

Secateurs – pruning clippers

 

Obverse – the ‘heads’ side of a coin. The counterpart of a fact.

 

Druids, Norse, Catholics, Protestants, doesn’t matter. That’s what people pay lip service to. The old religion is what gets the crops up and keeps your cock hard and makes sure that nobody builds a bloody great motorway through an area of outstanding beauty.

 

Pusillanimous – timid, lacking in courage

 

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In eighth grade, we read Bradbury. I took my copy of the book into the kitchen one evening while my mother was at work and put it in the oven. It was new. It had buttons on it instead of nobs, with arrows pointing up and down, so I set the temperature to 450 exactly (you could only go in increments of five).

I put the book on the top rack, closed the door and sat in front of the oven. I watched the thermometer rise waiting until the last possible moment, so I could save it in the nick of time and feel like a hero.

I came closer than I meant to though. I’d forgotten about the metal rack and conductivity of heat. The book took flame. I threw open the oven door and reached in. There is still a burn on the side of my thumb from this. I dropped the book on to tile of the kitchen floor, burning side down, and stopped on it a few times.

The flames went out easy enough, but the smell of fire hung in the air and my mother would be home soon. I turned the oven off, got bag of popcorn from the pantry, and microwaved it until the smoke alarm sounded. I didn’t much care for popcorn, especially burnt popcorn.

I carried the smouldering bag to the back yard. Opened it, pinching tenderly by its paper seem, and dumped the contents out behind the bushes (those prickly ones with the red berries) for the animals.

When the kids at school asked about the black sear marks on the back of my copy, I told them I’d burned it for dramatic effect. And so no one would steal my book. It worked way better that writing my name in it.

The nano eeks along unimpressively while Descent into Madness holds steady at 1795

 

 

She lay, head on folded arm against the corner of the sofa. Her other hand still reaching out towards her cocktail glass. He could see there was sleep in her eyes and fire too; in such a fashion that he feared for her drifting off to slumberland with her eyes still open, in case in her dozing, that one rather than the other should drift from her orisons and set the building aflame.

 

Hot, soaking air drifted in off the lake through open doors of the balcony. It eddied in the living room and brought up the smells of juniper excreting from her brow. Only those two social warriors retained any vertical ability at this point. The rest of the lot had disappeared to the far corners of the city in those yellow and white bugs of transport. What had remained of the soiree had since gone quiet.

 

He rose and traipsed across the hardwood to the kitchen, his feet now bare, his steps lightened to avoid making noise, but also to mind the spots now sticky with secrets and ginger syrup. Francis refilled his glass at the side boards, snuck in an ice cube now that no one could see and spurt the heathery scotch over it. ON his way returning to the couch he took the pitcher from the dining room table. He gave it a little shake after sitting down.

—still got ice in it, he said and pressed it to her face.

He poured for her, placed the pitcher on top of a magazine, and nudged the glass towards her, she gave a slight groan, but still grabbed the drink and took it back to her corner of the sofa.

She smiled at him as she drank. —we win, she said

He looked around once again to confirm this. —I suppose you’re right.

He reached out with a finger moistened by the sweat of cold gin cocktail and scraped the sleep out of her left eye.

—You want to call it a draw? he asked

—are you scared of what comes next? she responded

—this whole night, he shook his head. —it’s all been, well, an experience, that’s for sure.

She let out a giggle that seemed to bubble up and drip down her face.

—At least you’ve gotten most of the sex out of the way.

—most?

She shrugged and sipped. —At least the part that tends to trip people up. Nothing left worse than anything you dealt with at the last place.

Francis stared down into his melting ice cube. That look returned to his face, that look she met when she first saw him on college green, wearing that strange overcoat with the zipper. Tin coloured sky still too bright to look at.

They were really horrid to you back there, weren’t they?

He swallowed the rest of his whiskey.

—can we not talk about that, please?

—what else is there for us to talk on. I think we got everything else done.

She touched his arm. —it’s over there, ok? I promise. You’re ours now.

Jenny reached her arm over the back of the sofa and pulled herself up. She shuffled on her ass towards him. He did not shy away, but looked out the window, thumb scratching at the glass in his hands.

Her arms slipped round his neck and pulled him down into her.

—I guess it makes it my turn to start.

 

 

*

 

So in all of my chit chat rattle brag about the kickstarter and how it’s going, I noticed that while I’ve talked about it I never actually posted to here what it is. Well, time to remedy that:

It’s called Descent Into Madness 

This winter to celebrate my birthday I’m doing something drastic with my work. Something new.

And I want you to be a part of it.

Over the course of seven days, I’m going to lock myself in an unfamiliar room with my typewriter and cover the walls with words. I don’t know what the work is going to be exactly, because I’m making it for you.

I’m turning writing from something solitary and distant into a performance. I want to see how a writer holds up when they come out from the protection of their caves and have to do their job in front of the people who read them.

By patronizing this project, you will be able to watch this happen and be part of it all. You can buy the book that will come from it, original pages, For my top patron I’ll even get a tattoo of your initials to commemorate the project.

Welcome to the creative process. Watch the madness ensue.

Plus you’ll get to see me dance…

 

all it takes is 2$. that’s it. two bucks get you a seat at the show. 10$ and you get to join in.

yes you can always throw in more. but If every one that subscribers to this blog were to donate 5$ the project would have full backing at this point. and I’d much rather have you lot there with me at five a pop any day over a precious few throwing in more.

I hope you all will join me

 

 

 

 

* the video is supposed to start at 3:05, but I can’t figure out how to make that happen, so feel free to skip ahead to that point. or not. I love this frackin movie.

 

 

 

Nano Count is six thousand something and Descent into Madness has broken the halfway mark. More about it at the end of the post.

 

I poured my whiskey in the dark.

That was my first mistake of the evening.

When Toar asked me what I wanted to drink, I told him whiskey and he told me the good stuff had all been hidden away in the pantry out of sight. There were only two people in the kitchen when I got there, Ken the bass player with long stringy hippy hair like he’d forgotten to cut its 40 years ago or whenever his band stopped touring. The other ken was chatting up Gypsy about some sound related thing or another neither of us could probably get a shit about.

I tried to ghost around them, which was difficult cause I was searching for a glass and there they right with their heads all in front of the cabinets. We helloed curtly, me pretending I just didn’t want to jump into the middle of something, but really the pair separately merited two completely different greetings and I wanted to find my way to the whiskey before anyone else arrived and did what always happens at parties; congregate in the kitchen like animals by watering hole instead of spreading out through the perfectly huge fuck of a house.

The pantry was on the other side of the breakfast room table. I found it quite roomy so after finding the whiskey cleverly hidden behind a row of soup tins I shut it behind me, which is why I found myself pouring whiskey in the dark. There were three decent bottles in there. I grabbed what I remembered to be one of the better Connemara’s, placed down my glass and opened the bottle.

It was my thought that as I was supposed to keep this collection a secret, it would be best if I made as few return trips to the pantry as possible. So I did aim to pour a little on the heavy side. Then to add to the complexity, the glass was large, oddly shaped, and quite heavy. I poured with a great amount of guesswork. I counted to four in my head, though not being able to see how much was coming out, it didn’t do much good.

When I opened the door and returned to the kitchen there were considerably more guests than when I had left, that herd of fuckin antelope. All a little surprise to see a body comin out of the pantry.

Most of the eyes found their way to the glass. Which, when I also looked, noticed, contained and a vulgar amount quantity of liquor. The other Ken, the banjo playing, scout-leading, tea-totaling judge-of-character-in-chief, led the onslaught of disapproving looks, I smiled and helloed and exited left to the back yard.

As I said, that was my first mistake of the evening. Most of the next few also involved alcohol, so I won’t bother listing them. The others were the disclosing of a secret and a shouting match with a fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 
I’ve been bad about linking and nagging, so here is the link to Descent into Madness  
if you haven’t backed the project yet, but would like to please follow the link and check it out. Every backer counts. Even just 2 or 10 dollars can make a big difference.  I want as many of you as possible there for broadcast. I’ll need the company. If you haven’t backed it yet or wish you could donate more, but can’t, remember that just sharing the link with your friends or on social media can really help as well.

A big thank you to everyone so far for supporting the project. I’ll post a final list of backers to thank all of you, but until then you can follow me on twiter @lordaddison or on facebook here
where I post thank yous and updates as they come in.

The cage was distinctly person shaped. That much was unmistakable. There was really no better way to put it.

I could give you the dimensions: just shy of seven feet high, a foot, maybe eighteen inches deep, two or three feet wide. At least that’s what the man guessed. (He didn’t know exactly. He wasn’t all that good at measuring things with his eyes, but roughly equivalent to the interior of a coffin.) But the best way to describe the size and shape of the thing was person.

The two men standing on Canal Street, already sweating, with the wrought piece of black iron between them, waved their arms at passing taxis. They had dragged it past the queue along the front of Union Station each driver waving them on and now they stood on the corner.

There was no shortage of starring as the two men carried the thing east. Up and over the bridge where people cursed or shook heads as they were forced to maneuver around them. Halfway across, the pair moved to the reddish iron grating of the street so other people could still use the sidewalk. Though the drivers of cars were not happy with this decision.

After they turned off of Monroe, they had to lift the cage over their heads, so as to fit down the stairs to the subway. Downstairs, they shouldered it then put it upright on the floor as the first man, the one in the grey wool coat went through the handicapped entrance with the swinging door instead of the turnstile and held it open. The second man, the one in the leather jacket began leaning the metal contraption and set it down on the floor so it would prop open the entrance.

The CTA attendant, by this time was lending her full attention from the windows of her kiosk, as had the Chicago police officer with whom she had been chatting and receiving Duncan donuts breakfast.

-exuse me sirs, y’all can’t take that on the train.

So, I figured for Halloween, I’d put up the next part of “Skulls” since it has a spooky name.

This is the first time I’ve kept up a running thread of narrative. Though they are all fairly short bits, people (mostly the little bear) keep requesting more. Maybe it will be an interesting little experiment to post bite sized portions of this story until it runs its course, but more likely this will be the last one for a spell.

If you missed the previous installments, here are parts one and two. Or you can click on the Skulls tag to bring up the whole thread or Daily Droppings and that will take you to all of the fictionish stuff I’ve put up here.

 

—Hey!

Atticus could hear the yelling out in the yard.

—Hey kiss, get out here!

Riley’s head was up. He did a little hop up to his feet, shook himself, and trotted out of the crypt. Atticus sat up. The jingling of Riley’s collar came back towards him. John stood on the edge of the step down —Hey, dufus. Ma wants you back for dinner.

Atticus stood up and brushed off the dirt on his trousers.

—You shouldn’t play with the skulls said John.

—I wasn’t playing, said Atticus —I was talking to her.

—Their dead, Kiss. Those are just old bones. They can’t hear you, John put his hands on the top side of the door frame and leaned in.

—That’s not what mom says, he put Sally’s skull back on the shelf and started blowing out the candles.

John looked around the room at the candles —How did you light those? he asked. Atticus kept his back turned, walking on the shelves.

—Matches from the kitchen, he said.

—Bullshit, said John —you took it didn’t you?

—You shouldn’t swear in the crypt, said Atticus. He slipped his hand into his pocket to cover it. His thumb slid the spark wheel back and forward.

—I’m not in the crypt, fuck face.

Atticus was on the last candle. He had run out of shelf. —Give me my lighter, kiss

—You can’t hurt me here, John

—Well Mom and Matthew and Joey are all waiting for us, so come back to the house for dinner and give me my damn lighter.

Atticus dropped the lighter on the ground and bolted for the door.

 

 

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P.S. If you happen to be reading this in realish time. I will be doing a reading at the Red Line Tap tomorrow Nov 1 at 2pm. Your hangover should be over by then. Also, If it isn’t up already (I say ‘if’, because I am writing a week ago so I don’t know what has happened since now) The Kickstarter project should be live tomorrow as well, please be sure to go check that out and help out if you can/want to.

Happy Haloween