Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Essence of Writing

You know the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? I'm living proof it's a lie, a dastardly lie. I'm an old dog and I'm learning all sorts of new tricks.

I love to write and I want to learn to write well. I have some differences with the modern style, which seems to be less is more, because I do love me some hyperbole every now and then and have been known to descend into purple prose. I'm taking the cure for that - it's called an editor. Heh.

Five years ago after a long dry spell that began when I graduated high school, I started writing fan fic. I don't know if I should be ashamed or not, but a fact is a fact. Still, I was completely ignorant that there was a whole world of fan fic out there. I worried about being sued and such, but hell, we were on the group's own official forum and no one, least of all them, seemed to care so it was full speed ahead.

I wrote some stuff that'll never see the light of day outside of the archive Lori and I set up. Sometimes I think it's a shame, because a strange thing happened.

We got better. Really - we did. We began to stretch our wings (or pens), usually with Lori in the lead dragging me kicking and screaming behind her. We graduated from fan fic and began to fight our way into mainstream and finally found success.

This is an example from a fic I was working on:

It is always dusk when she comes to me.

In this crude hut there is no light but the faint flicker of flame from the wick floating in the bowl of oil; or the blinding blaze of sunshine when Flower or her mother opens the door.

I live – I exist – in a twilight dream. I lie trapped and sweating, tied to a makeshift bed; held not by ropes but by the weakness of my broken body. Planks joined together by vines – in the beginning I could smell their nectar. Planks that make a solid surface for my broken bones, with a special cutout to clean my body of its wastes. To allow them to wipe my naked ass. Lying here, helpless, alone, there is plenty of time to regret the past and to hope the coca leaves will bring forgetfulness. She gives them to me to ease the pain and perhaps they do, to a degree. But not completely. It is not the agony it was, but I think I shall never again be free of the hurting.

I am losing my manhood. I have lost the use of my legs because one, the one belonging to the shattered hip, cannot be moved, and my right arm, my dominant arm, is in a splint and sticks out from my body as if it belongs to someone else. My left hand and arm are good for nothing. Nothing! I can finger the deep and swollen wound on my face, but even now I find it difficult to hold a cup or a bowl to my lips without making a mess like a small baby. Citlali put stitches there; what she used I cannot even guess, but some of them broke with the swelling and she did not see fit to replace them. I will have a pretty face, if I live through this.

She put a hot knife in my neck – I can remember this thing vividly – and pulled out a piece of metal. I suppose I should be thankful to be alive.

But I’m not.

It is dark when next Flower comes, bringing with her the fresh air of freedom and a bowl of food. There is no shaft of sunlight from the open door, only more darkness, but still I turn my head away. She has come to complete my humiliation.

But I have been alone too long. I turn back to watch her. I see her face reflected in the small light of the bowl as she sets the food on the rough table. It is a young face, with slanting eyes and high cheekbones and a mouth that is made for kissing. I feel myself get hard. At least there is one part of me that still works.

She wears her hair uncovered this night; the blackness of it blends with the dark room except where it covers the shoulders of her red blouse. My broken bones must be improving, because I want this woman. I suddenly want this woman with everything that is in me.

She bends over me, her hair tickling my bare chest. I close my eyes and concentrate on control.

“Qhipa,”** she says. This is what she calls me. I don’t know what it means and I don’t know why she uses it; she knows my name, I have said it enough. She talks to me in her birdsong language but every now and then there is a Spanish word and somehow we manage a communication. She is teaching me the words of her language when she has the time; there is much to do to stay alive and there is only Flower and her mother Citlali. These are strong women.

Her hand reaches down to uncover my loins. She has the stone pitcher ready. My good hand jerks out to grab the covering, but I am too slow, too late.

She stares at my erection and moves her gaze to my eyes. I look away, ashamed. I don’t know why I am hard, I feel so impotent. I squeeze my eyes shut to force back the tears.

“Qhipa …”

Her hand is small, the skin no rougher than my bearded cheek. She turns me back to face her and I venture to open my eyes. She is smiling. She nods and sets down the stone pitcher. I watch in amazement as she hikes up her skirt, catching it with her teeth, and straddles me and my bed.

She puts no weight on me; her bare feet are flat on the floor, her womanhood poised above my cock. Automatically I try to shift my position and she hisses ”Non!” Obediently I lie still. The stab of pain has convinced me to let her be in charge.

I watch, entranced, as she guides my cock to her entrance. She is tight, I can feel the resistance and I know she is virgin. But she doesn’t hesitate. Slowly my cock disappears into her warmth as she lowers herself until I am deep inside her. Her arms are outstretched to keep her balance; I see the muscles of her thighs flex and relax as she moves above me, never touching any part of me but my cock. She stares into the distance as if she’s in another world, and then she lowers her skirt and I close my eyes to concentrate on what is building inside me.

I go from heavy breathing to panting. It is so huge, it has been so long. Muscles tighten in anticipation, bringing more pain, but this pain I bear happily. My orgasm bursts out of me, along with a cry of anguish and repletion. And she stops moving as I empty myself into her.

It is the most unloving loving I have ever experienced, and yet I know she cares for me, as I am beginning to care for her.

She dismounts as if from a horse or motorcycle and cleans herself without embarrassment. “Qhipa,” she says tenderly and kisses my cheek before briskly cleaning me too. She holds up the stone pitcher again and raises an eyebrow in question. I nod.

This time I am not ashamed.

** Flower is speaking Quechua, the language of the Incas. “The adverb qhipa means both "behind" and "future". For the speakers of Quechua, we are moving backwards into the future (we cannot see it, ie. it is unknown), facing the past (we can see it, ie. we remember it).” From Wikipedia.

A dream/memory, part of a story that never was finished. A fan fic. It's not perfect, not even close, but if I can continue to write at this level, then I have hope that my stories will find a home.

God, I just love it when the words come together!


  1. Say, whatever happened to this story? I was reading it, but never read the end. Maybe the knee surgery interferred with my goal. Please direct me in the proper direction. MJ

  2. This is why you stopped writing fan fic. The ideas were too original to remain tied into someone else's boundaries.

  3. It never was finished, MJ. Perhaps one day its time will come, but right now it's too angsty. I'm into Southern Belles, lol. :-D