Let’s DEWEY This! – the 300’s

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Ahh, April. The month for blooming daffodils, refreshing rains, chirping sparrows, and…

MMMUUURRRDDDDDEEERRRRR.

Oh, is that not… Is spring not the time for reading about bloodthirsty kill sprees? That’s more of Halloween’s forte? Welp, too bad, because April was section 300 in my Dewey Decimal Discovery project, a section which houses the – dun dun dunnn – true crime!

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The Houseplant in Love with a Girl

This was my first story ever published. It’s been a year since its release in Vandercave Quarterly, so in honor of its publiversary I am now reprinting it here. Enjoy 🙂

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I love her.

I love her, I love her, I love her.

But I cannot tell her this, because the mesophyll affords me no need for a mouth.

Perhaps, as she pours the morning water upon me, causing my limbs to bounce beneath the shower… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, I can will them to bounce just a little more, and she will see this and she will know that they bounce and jump with joy for her.

Perhaps, as she moves my heavy ceramic pot to the brighter windowsill where the three o’clock sun can find me, where it accentuates my strong and manly stems… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, I can align my shape so that the light shining between my leaves upon the wall may spell out my ardor in sunlit letters.

Perhaps, as winds thrust through the open window, as they blow into her face her long brown hair (brown like my soil! Oh how many things we have in common!)… Perhaps, if I try very, very hard, with the help of the wind I can scoot to the sill’s edge, fall with a crash onto the floor. She will hasten to sweep up the dirt, but not before I tenderly grasp her hand with my roots.

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There was a time when I stopped writing.

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For good.

Or at least, for about seven years. Which felt like “for good” at the time. The hiatus started around 2003, when I was about 16 and caught in a toxic friendship with someone who was extremely hurtful towards me, mainly about my writing.

Before that point, I LOVED telling stories. Growing up, I was that kid frantically scribbling stories at every possible moment, whose mind brimmed with people and places and plots. But soon writing devolved into an exercise in dread, because anything this person didn’t like was lashed to bits.

I was manipulated into believing I was an awful, horrible, no-good writer. So at 16, I stopped.

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To plot or to pants

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Writers LOVE this question: are you a plotter or a pantser? They talk about it all the time. They talk about it more than they actually write! 😉

In case you don’t know, this question is in regards to how you go about creating your novel. Do you form the whole plot ahead of time, following an outline of pre-planned scenes from beginning to end? (That is, do you “plot?”) Or do you wing it, forging onward with maybe a loose idea of where to go but mostly improvising the journey? (That is, do you “write by the seat of your pants?” Shortened to “pantsing.”)

That great term “pantsing” has become pretty normalized among writers, but to the first-time hearer it’s probably not intuitive. The casual eavesdropper probably thinks “pantsers” just go around pulling down trousers. Fortunately that is not the case!

(Well, maybe some do. We’re a weird bunch.)

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