Lesson 2: Share Your Writing

by Nancy

Share your 10-minute writing for Lesson 2, and read what other writers have done.


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Mar 28, 2011
Lesson 2-Essentials of Fiction
by: Melanie

Christopher paces, then he sits down at his computer and starts drumming his fingers impatiently.

*I need someone to help me with my plan but I don't know who I can trust.* he thinks out loud. He gets up and paces some more.

Just then his face becomes more sinister when he shows a toothy grin as he reads the following e-mail:

Greetings Christopher!

May name is Charles Hortan. We have a common enemy-Justin Michaels! I want to discuss this further.

Charles Hortan

Christopher looks in his e-mail inbox. He notices 10 messages from Charles. Christopher reads one of them and nearly gags.

Feb 07, 2011
Flight (Part 2)
by: Indiana

...Eventually the monotone noise of machines is getting override by other sound. It’s getting more and more loud echoed by the tunnel. It is a sound of the steps. Other people are surely following us. Tapping of their feet is clearly getting closer. He slightly turns his head checking the distance but pretending not to and does speed up the pace to his maximum. He still struggles to believe that people can run after being the first through the passport control. Nevertheless the noise avalanche is getting on his nerves. His upper body tends forward, shoulder blades moving up almost touching his flashing ears. His back does not look straight anymore. It is stiff giving away his fear of being left behind. Every minute waiting in the queue matters and the price to pay is his career. If he would not be at the conference on time he would be publicly disgraced. The humiliation he could not stand!
His coordination betrays him first. He misses the end of the moving stairs and regains the balance only when his right arm almost touches the floor just to loose it again as his heavy bag bumps into him from behind. When he is finally straight his head stays in the bow focused on watching his steps. His pace is getting very uneven and jumpy that makes his shiny leather suitcase twisting like a snake. Elegance is ruined. He cannot walk this marathon any faster but still hesitates to run. He still most likely struggling to choose between two humiliations of looking an idiot running away from the mass or being a looser that can’t make it to his own presentation.
Shame is unavoidable but it is the public at the conference that he cares more about. At the moment his knees giving up and bend to run the people mass overcoming him. Fanatically focused on reaching the passport control counter the stream surrounds him making his perfect figure just a body among others equals and then starts pushing him out of the race. They pay no attention neither to the order or rules no to his amusement or humiliation. And they feel no shame. Neither do I.

Feb 07, 2011
Flight (Part 1)
by: Indiana

Picture yourself queuing to exit after being locked in the plane for seventeen hours. That includes four hours delay that you were forced to seat in this metal tube as well. They do it to you our days! Let you on the plane and then keep annoying with sincere apologies. You are one of a few Europeans on board crowded with Chinese. You are lucky to fly business but your neighbor is your boss. The benefits of your seat magical conversion into a fabulous bed and more then forty great movies have been wasted on you. Instead you learned that your boss is not perfect boss only but also perfect son, perfect husband and perfect father. You are equipped with the life-example how to make your miserable-self a success although given a hint that the probability is none.
Sure you know what I feel by now. My eyes are red and swollen. My hands restlessly keep trying to make my chestnut hair looking less punky. The smell of food and sweat makes my stomach turn. I feel dirty and stinky although I know I am not. Shouting in Chinese raises as an emerging revolution. I wish stepping away and letting those angry and devoted people from behind to storm the door, crew and police. My watch reminds that the conference we came to attend already started and we have just two hours left before my boss speech is due.
At the urge of my patience I’m watching him remaining perfect. Grey heir miraculously stays fixed and black suit seats like just being pressed. I wonder whether it was at his thirties or forties when he has been turned into a mummy by cosmetic treatments, regular diet and excessive exercises. He wears a face of respectful banker and his straight posture projects respect and assurance. Somewhere in their farm deep in the Switzerland his old parents have all the reasons to be proud of their only son.
- No worry, my dear! We will make it. We are first at the line through the custom control and we have no luggage to wait for – he patronizing me pointing at two suitcases we carry.
His encouraging perfect politician’s smile and deep sure voice suppose to replace my hectic thoughts with inner calmness guaranteeing that everything will be all right. They finally announce us free and the race begins. We are the leaders at first. He walks fast in equal steady steps with the straight back and high head. He looks forward and skillfully rolls the heavy black suitcase behind him. We are entering the tunnel and he follows the moving stairs with no hesitation just like exercising at one of the walking machines in his elite sport club. I feel irresistible desire to make a shot for the banner at the airport. “Traveling with us you are never late!”
Eventually the monotone noise of machines is getting override by other sound. It’s getting more and more loud echoed by the tunnel. It is a sound of the steps. ..

Feb 06, 2011
Lesson #2
by: Arayablue

A voice in the distance shouted, “I’m going to get you!” as Clayton began walking to his room. His large shadowy frame shone in the doorway. He entered his room and opened the door wide to reach for his state trooper hat on the back of the door. He looked around for his state trooper sunglasses and leather gloves. Clayton thought to himself, “If only I had a state trooper jacket. That would make me an official state trooper officer.” But for now, Clayton was satisfied with the few items he had acquired. He sat down on his bed and took off his sneakers and put on a pair of black leather lace shoes. He stood up slowly while putting the state trooper hat on his head. He poked his chest out and placed the glasses on his face and stretched his fingers to put each glove on. He looked down the corridor from his room and saw nurses and attendees running around like keystone cops in a black and white movie. They were attempting to strap the patient down on a gurney when the patient yelled, “But you don’t understand! He did this!” Clayton adjusted his eyes to see the man on the gurney kicking and screaming. He hated the smell of alcohol and medications that lingered in the halls. It reminded him of the visits to the hospital where his father would frequent after having an “episode” as his mother would call it. But each time such as this, he tolerated the smell as he leaned on the edge of his doorway with folded arms and a half smile on his face. No one could see his piercing eyes through the sunglasses which bore down on the patient as if he wanted to choke the life from him. Finally, it was over. The patient went limp as the liquid from the syringe entered his arm. His eyes were half slits as the attendees and nurses wheeled him out the main door that closed with a bang and automatically locked behind them.
Clayton savored the moment by continuing to stand in the doorway of his room. He felt a triumphant of satisfaction. There were other patients standing in and out of their rooms shaking their heads and talking to one another wondering what the man did to deserve the treatment he got and if it would happen to them. There was one patient in particular. She stared at Clayton standing against the doorway watching the scene go down. She gazed at his tallness and broad shoulders and dirty blond hair and suddenly, felt a chill.

Jan 28, 2011
by: Olivia

The light shining on that vase made Rose wonder. "Do I shine like that?"
"Rose?" Tom asked.
Tom was a big, burly man who happened to be Rose's boss.
"What? Huh?" Rose asked.
"Are you ready?" Tom asked.
"For what?" Rose asked.
"Did you hear a word I just said?" Tom asked.
"No, I was too distracted by that shiny thing!" Rose exclaimed.
Tom's nostrils flared.
"I'll be right back!" Rose exclaimed.
Rose ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror.
Her make-up was starting to fade so she whipped out her eye-shadow & Mascara from her Black Prada handbag and got to work. Rose started with a thin layer of silver eye-shadow that made her look smart, then to top it off she added a light coat of smokey black mascara. Oops, Rose forgot her lip stick. She put a dark shade of ruby red lipstick over her already juicy lips.
Rose glanced at her hair nervously. Her brown hair was pulled into a tight bun. One last hopeful glance and she was ready. Her dark blue eyes sparkled in the bright blue bathrooms light.
"Explain to me what we are doing again." Rose ordered making sure she didn't get distracted.
Tom explained that Rose would be having a very important book signing in England in one week, so she had better be prepared.
"Don't worry Tom I'll be there!" Rose exclaimed.
"You'd better be." Tom snapped.

That's the end, please give me any instructive critisism that you can think of.

Jan 24, 2011
No lesson 2 !
by: Meher Ansari

Hi Nancy,

I am simply enjoying my CWN course. I deperately want to contonue. Please send my lesson 2. I know it's about character building and I am reading about it from all around here but i do not know what precisely is the assignment. Please...

Jan 22, 2011
Ben's Dream
by: Zoey

Open doors. Lights. Check register. Turn sign. Check shelves. Looking through the lines of albums, placing each one neatly into its proper place in alphabetical order, I think about the fact that no matter the race, religion, age, gender, political ideology, what car they drove, what pet they had, how good looking his wife was, or how many times her husband cheated on her, no matter the disease, disability, or traumatic life issue, all of these artists eventually ended up on the same store shelf, standing side by side, ready for more people to influence with the pulsating power of music. Maybe someday I could be like them. Ben Andrews wasn’t such a bad name to read on an album cover. I turn my back and walk to the back room. Still 15 minutes until customers arrive, definitely enough time to play. I pull out a beautiful black guitar I keep hidden behind the curtain in back. I’m tired again today, but never too tired to play. The moment my fingers feel the guitar I’m in a world where it doesn’t matter that I can’t be normal by common standards. So what if my dad had left before I knew what a father was, or that Mandy was gone too now. Mandy, my mother, also known as the mother of methamphetamines, locked in her world of punk 90s culture, but trying, always pushing, to make a life for us after disaster struck. It didn’t matter. I was floating in a world beyond reality, but it was the furthest thing from a hallucinogenic experience, and the closest thing to raw and bitter realism. That was the beauty of music. It is the escape mechanism that somehow connects humans with what truly matters in life. For those 15 minutes I can’t feel the aching of my 20-year-old body. I forget the fact that I may be bound to a wheelchair sooner than I expected. I forget the past, the regrets, everything they did to me, and I simply love the only thing I feel can ever love me back. Music. 9:00 AM. Store opens. Fantasy is over. It’s time to face the world. Every day I put on a smile, I try to be sincere, but truly I’m realizing I can’t handle what my life is turning into, but somehow I can’t find the strength to turn it around. I hated myself for watching my disease and my family consume my every emotion until all that was left was a hollow shadow of shyness to give to the world. I was only 20 years old, but every day I felt like my body couldn't take another movement, or I would fall apart, everyone around me laughing, mocking, not caring at all, because I had never contributed to the world anything worthwhile. But I knew for now, the music is all that matters. I just prayed that someday there'd be more.

Jan 15, 2011
Lesson 2 Character - Alison, by Anonymous L
by: Anonymous

Alison stomped her small feet on the graveled pathway to rid her sneakers of whatever they accumulated after she helped clean out the kennels.
Two of her new charges, both female Pomeranians, had been sick, and she preferred to keep a close eye on the disinfecting of their sleeping quarters. She could never fully trust her hired helpers.

She sat down on a wooden bench outside the kitchen door, and removed her sneakers. In the laundry room, and array of disinfectant hand washes banished any sign of bacteria from her slim hands; her faded jeans were exchanged for another less faded pair.

Ten minutes later, she was seated in her sun room, a cup of coffee at her elbow, browsing through yesterday's newspaper - crime; a drowning; corrupt city official jailed. With a yawn she tossed the paper aside, and picked up her phone - not much point in waiting any longer, she decided. Take charge, take them on, tell the selection panel what she thought of the judges they chose for the next district dog show. Honestly, what were they thinking.....

Jan 13, 2011
Moses Jefferson
by: glenda

Another day was coming to a close as the old weinzered man shuffled down the dry,dusty road. His skin was the color of polished mahogony and hair looked like steel wool,shoulders slightly bent as he whistled softly along his way. He was not what he appeared. He felt like he could just be called "Uncle Tom" or in his case, "Uncle Moses". He seemed to just blend into whatever task was given him, with a "Yes Sir, yesery".
He might be from the old school. He may have worked for the St. John family all his life. He may know his "place", but he was not blind,deaf or dumb! He can see what wasis going on with young Martin St. John.
Now he is faced with a decision that will change his whole life. He has always prided himself on honesty and living by the Good Book. Now he has the power to bring this family to it's knees, right a wrong from days gone by. But to do so will affect everyone he holds dear. Will they be able to forgive him? Is this just an act of revenge, simmering and bubbling in his heart all these long years, or is he doing "the right thing" ?
Why doesn't God just give him a sign? Tell him what to do? Maybe he needs one of those airplanes that pull a sign trailing behind to spell out the right thing to do?
He would like to look Martin St. John right in the eye, tell him what he knows! Let the cards fall as they may. But the queasy feeling in his stomach ain't cause he ate something bad. Maybe he does not have the courage to hurt those he loves even if the truth needs to be told!

Jan 06, 2011
Rich Poverty [continued]
by: Linda

Jeff was good looking, earning well and cruised with a fine car. He doted on her and she loved him. He would make a dream husband and they would have lovely children. Her own home would be heaven on earth and she would love it.
But why was she not innately happy and contented even though the world thought she was. There was something more and she knew what but she dreaded it; she had always dreaded it.
She left home one day to the church and had a chat with her family’s spiritual director. She gave him a message to her parents and travelled from there. No one saw her again until ten year after. She was allowed out of the monastery for a final visit to the outside world.
‘Caro – Caro!’ Her friends and family called affectionately and pleased to see her again. Her siblings were doing very well. Some had married and had good jobs and others rounding off their academics. Her parents look healthy and happy. Jeff, she learnt was heart-broken at her disappearance, but she was glad he got over it and was married with two beautiful children; they looked like what she had dreamed having but did not have. Instead, she had more: she had many children in the multitude she helped and prayed for. She dreaded poverty but now she lived in it relished it with unfathomable joy and she never lacked even when she always gave out the last of possessions for the needy. She worried about her parents and sibling, but God seemed to be doing a better job taking better care of them than she did or ever could.
She looked at her loved ones and felt peace. But they looked back at her and saw their happy-go-lucky, selfless and loving Caro now with the contentment they had never really seen before. Caro Mensah had become a Nun, living a life of poverty and service, and she loved it. It was her greatest desire to love and to serve but she had dreaded path to it. Her lack of contentment in the past gave her the courage to conquer her fears and now loved her rich poverty.

Jan 06, 2011
Rich Poverty
by: Linda

It was not easy for her; it had never been easy. First she watched her parents struggle to feed the family and send all their seven children at least through secondary school. She was determined to study in the university and major in accountancy so that she would not only easily get a job [accountants being one of the most available positions for employment] but get a well-paying one.
It didn’t matter if her parents could not afford to send her to the university; she would take the prerequisite exams anyway and cross the bridge if she passes. She did and didn’t bother to ask her parents for financial assistance, but her father offered the little he had anyway and insisted she accepted it when she refused and suggested he used it for her siblings’ upkeep. Her father was a civil servant with many mouths to feed and her mother a petty trader with little to contribute. Four of her siblings were in the secondary school while two were in the primary.
She set out to the university with very little money and quickly made friends on her first day. All of her friends were ready to squat her but she chose to stay with one. Her parents had taught her all her life to be decent and of good morals, but she didn’t find these helpful enough in her present situation. She must finish from the university and she needed money to do that as well as still assist her parents with her siblings’ up-keep. She made friends with fellow female students who went clubbing at nights and did ‘runs’ [slept with men for money]. She did her runs on the nights she needed money but never as frequently as her friends did. At first, when she brought money home to contribute to her siblings’ schooling, her father objected until she explained she borrowed some money to start up the business of selling recharge card in the campus and it was booming. This gave her the idea to do this business and it actually turned out a thriving one. And so she was able to see herself through school and at the same time assist in the upkeep of her siblings.
After graduation and youth service, she had no problem getting a job because she networked easily and so found favour with people. She became an accountant in a multinational company and life seemed as if it was a farewell to poverty. Her parents breathed relief, her siblings were progressing in their academics and she was looking forward to marriage and a family of her own.
[to be continued …]

Jan 04, 2011
A matter of trust
by: Prinko

When Kate Smithson walked into the salon that day, butteflies were fluttering deep inside her stomach.

“Hi gorgeous,” Benji greeted her, cheerfully as he led her to the chair where it was all going to happen.

Kate nodded, breaking into a tight smile. She sat up straight and stiff.

“Relax sweetheart,” Benji crooned in her ear. “When you leave here, you’ll be a new person.”

“Hmmm….,” she managed.

Benji’s fingers combed through Kate’s long tresses, gently, lovingly.

“Let’s get rid of this school girl length and give you a sophisticated, executive look.”

“You think?”

“Yes, my dear. I definitely think. Your clothes are so tish, but the hair is just long. No style. No statement.”

Catching her expression in the mirror he patted her shoulder. “It will be fabulous. Trust me.”

Kate swallowed. After such a long time those two words had that effect on her. Pictures flashed. Words drummed inside her head. “Trust me, Kate.” “I love you, Kate.” “Forever, Kate.” And those blue-grey eyes that had her hypnotized.

“You OK, love?” Benji’s voice cut into her thoughts. “Need a minute to rethink?”

She knew Benji was an expert with hair. She knew that he’d do wonders for her ‘look’ and would help boost her self confidence. So what was she waiting for?

Catching Benji’s reflection the mirror, she smiled.

“Let’s go for it.”

Dec 31, 2010
by: Anonymous

Ali Ben Jira, 23, was a great leader. It was within his struggle and brave acts that he made the country get rid from so much oppression and corruption. He was becoming more and more famous and loved by people. So that encouraged him to continue his heroic way. However, great women form a great danger for him. He risks so much of thunderring shocks if he meets a great woman alone. The danger will be multiplied when they are a group of women, not only one. One day, he was assigned by his engaged manager and supporter, Nadine Ben Francis, to spend a whole day with a group of volunteer supporters for the great case (all of them are women) to seek some business and plans. When Ali entered the house and became alone with the group of women, he was seriously troubled. He was gazing on their faces troubled and feared. He was hardly understanding their talkings and their strange behaviours. Let’s say every moment, he understands something different than he had understood the previous moment. In result, he was understanding nothing. How dangerous are women ! Ali could hardly speak saying some cut and troubled words. He was living a really horrible danger. Two hours later, Ali, feeling the fatality of such a danger, escaped from that home breaking the mission.

Dec 31, 2010
My Lesson 2
by: Amie Agcanas

Patricia, a pretty woman in her late twenties, who lives with her widowed mother. Looking at her one could never guess how intelligent she is, which is the reason men find her intimidating and women secretly envies her. In college she doesn't have many friends, aside from being intimidated, people think her to be a snob while in fact she is just too shy. But being alone doesn't bother her, she prefers to read than be with her girl friends and talk about boys and dating. She loves to read, she discovered a whole world of dreams in books. It is a magical place for her, she would cry with the characters, laugh and rejoice with their victories. It is this same passion for books which made her seek out a job at a local library. To most people her job is boring but to Patricia "It is heaven on earth".
Her mother Beatrice, is a kind, quiet woman who loves to see her daughter get married and yearns for a grandchild. She often worries about Patricia, she doen's want her to be left alone one day. She often wonder of Patricia's sexual preference. Is she gay? Beatrice would push the thought away, "It couldn't be," she thought "there are no signs of it, not even a hint." Then she tried to remember if there was a time she even suspected of Patricia being in love. Beatrice shook her head and sighed, she could not figure out Patricia.
Acutally Patricia have been in love before, there was someone. Sonny, a guy Patricia met in college, they were classmates. Sonny has the most gorgeous brown eyes Patricia has ever seen, she would often look into his eyes and it would feel like she is being sucked in. She would look at him from afar and she would feel an aching which would leave her breathless. Her heart would seem to burst everytime he would look at her or smile at her, or talk to her. They knew each other by name but nothing more than that. Sonny is a popular guy while people avoided the wierd Patricia. After one semester they were no longer classmates but Patricia would see him often across campus with his friends and some girls. After college Sonny is no more than a mere ghost of Patricia's memory, the very thought of him made her sad for longing. "How could one man, any man made make her feel this way?" Patricia thought. "Is this what falling in love feels like?" It is an alien feeling for her, and she could not find the answer in any of her books. She could just identify with the characters, but still she could not associate the feeling that she feels, even up to now after seven years the feeling still exists. She had no idea for how long would she be able to bear the sadness, the longing, the gnawing pain.

Dec 30, 2010
Social- 1/2
by: James B

Michael is drunk. He is on a night out in town with some friends. Empty shot glasses and bottles are scattered across the table they are sitting around in a booth in Liquid nightclub. Pumped up dance versions of the latest pop hits blast and reverberate around them.

He is sitting next to a girl: a friend of his mate Matt’s girlfriend. She is quite pretty, her profile illuminated by flashes of red and blue from the dance floor lights. She had told him her name but he can’t remember it. He struggles to pick out words as she slurs loudly into his ear.

“So you know Matt and Susan?”


“Cool. I’ve known Susan for years, we went to school together. Like that we are.” She says crossing her fingers tightly in front of their faces. The motion of which slightly throws her off balance and she tilts towards him. She steadies herself by placing a hand on Michaels knee and leaves it there. He likes it but it makes him feel slightly uneasy.

“So, how long have you known Matt?”

“A while” he says


“Quite a while” he shouts louder towards her ear.

“Cool. Yeah, me and Susan have known each other for ages. Bessie mates we are. Stayed in touch all through her being away at Uni. I’d go down to her nearly every other weekend. We got in some right states!” Michael’s smile was close lipped but open as he nodded at her. He think he feels her eyes catch him as his gaze drifts down to her cleavage but she either doesn’t notice or mind. “Yeah, she’s the clever one” She continues “did ,wos it? International Poly something or other” Michael works on being intent on her words. “Weren’t you with one of her mates from there for a while?” She says placing a fingertip on his chest.

“Yeah. Jo. We split up.”

“Oh. Shame. I don’t have a boyfriend. He’s a prick. Always on fixing his car or taking something apart and putting it back together. Taking photos for his blog or some bollocks. What’s the point? What do I care about how a fucking carba-feckinging-whatever flipping well works anyway ay? What do you do?”


“What’s your job?”

“Oh, I’m a chippie, a carpenter”

Dec 30, 2010
Social- 2/2
by: James B

“Bit thick like me then? Sod all them clever dicks. We don’t need none of that bollocks do we?” Michael finds himself still smiling and nodding. “I’m a beautician. Do nails and hair and that. In the shop. But do some at their houses too, you know, old dears and that. There’s this one old girl, Betty, she’s a right old character. Known her for years mind, she used to look after me mum when she was a kid. Anyway, she loves it, full extensions, long sparkly, acrylics, you know, fingernails like you see all the black girls with?” She says running her hands through her hair and wiggling her fingers at him “Imagine that ay?! 73 she is. Love her I do. Hope I’m like that when I’m older”. Michael glances around the table. It’s only the girl, him and Steve, who has passed out propped up in the corner on the faux velvet, left round the sofa. “You’re great to talk to. Very interesting and a good listener” she says leaning closer to him “and quite sexy too”. She hangs her harm on his chest, holding his collar. Her other arm is draped round the back of him. He can feel her breath coming heavily from her nostrils on his face, their eyes locked. He smiles while his hands absently pick at the label of the bottle he has propped in his lap. He really could do with a shag.

“Do you know where the others are?” He says. She pulls back from him and gestures out to the dance floor, one arm still round behind him, as much for support as anything Michael thinks to himself.

“Out there somewhere I think” She replies

“I’m going to have a look” Michael eases himself up and shimmies around the table penning them in. He stops as he walks away and looks back to the girl who is absently looking off to another bit of the club, missing her mouth with her straw as she goes to take a sip of her drink.

Disaster averted he tells himself as a slight sense of disappointment flush his cheeks. He turns and heads towards the toilets.

Dec 30, 2010
My characters
by: Amie Agcanas

Sidney - a pretty woman, mid thirties. Very intelligent, eloquent, kind and considerate. She's a writer, very confident, funny and fun to be with. She lives in the house she inherited from her mother. She married her husband not out of love but out of need, she was so lonely back then and very vulnerable. She needed someone and Ben was there. Soon she married him because she knew how deeply Ben loves her, she hoped and prayed that someday she would fall in love him. But after nine years and two children she found out it was impossible. She adores her children and they are the only reason she hasn't left Ben. After nine years she realized she could not forget Sonny her boyfriend in college. But she knew it was too late to right a wrong decission, unhappy she may be she won't let any unhappiness touch her children's lives especially at this young age. She exerted all her effort determined to keep her missery to herself. She used all her pent up emotions and energy to write beautiful poems of life and love. Her inspirations are her children, and Sonny the love she lost. On the other hand Ben has been good to her, almost perfect and she also cared for him somehow. She can't bear the thought of hurting him knowing that the only mistake he made is loving her. Everybody thought her marriage is very ideal, neighbors and friends called it "made in heaven". She dreaded the day that anybody would find out how unhappy and misserable she really is. Oh, how she hated herself for not loving Ben! If only she could turn back the hands of time! There were times she wanted to cry out loud in frustration, the longing for Sonny makes her feel helpless. Her every thought belongs to him and she could no longer remember the time when she really felt true happiness, but she is determined to sacrifice her happiness in exchange for her children's happiness. And so, on with the charade!

Dec 28, 2010
Money Problems
by: Brande

Tony had just docked the Sea Clipper, his boat, when Dan Witlow, bank president, came strolling down the dock, carrying a brown manila envelope. As, he neared the boat, he called out to Tony stating that it was imperative that he come down off the boat to settle his debt. Tony had no idea, as to what Dan was talking about, so he emerged from the boat.
“Tony, I’ve warned you in the past about late payments on this boat, haven’t I? Well your late again, the payment was due two weeks ago. I’m giving you to the end of this week, to make the payment, or the bank is going to take possession of the Sea Clipper. In fact, I have already been contacted by a interested buyer.”
“Look Dan, business has been bad, however I will try to get you the money by the end of the week somehow. You just can’t take a man’s boat, especially if it is his livelihood.”
“Remember the end of the week, or else the boat will be sold. Understand?” Dan, then turned and walked up the dock.
Tony climbed back on the boat, went into the cabin and started to search for anything of value that he could pawn, so that he could make the payment on the boat. Nothing.
Then he remembered the shady character that had approached him yesterday afternoon, Mr. Gulliver Jonas; he wanted to rent the Sea Clipper, to sail to a small island, where he was going to meet some friends. Jonas kept looking around, and shifting from foot to foot. Every so often, he would glance up the dock as though he was expecting someone. Because of his actions, Tony had turned him down stating that the boat needed repairs .
Tony wondered if Jonas was still in town. If so then perhaps Jonas would be willing to pay a little more to get to the island, something like killing two birds with one stone. Jonas would go to the island, no questions asked, and he would be able to make the boat payment; allowing him to keep the boat one more month.
Tony went in to town, stopping at Clipper’s Inn, to see if Jonas was still in the vicinity. He found that Jonas had not left as of yet, nor had he found another boat to take him to the island. Tony went up the stairway, and knocked on Jonas’s door. Jonas answered and invited him in.
“Hey Jonas I have a proposition for you. Pay me five hundred and I’ll take you to the island, no questions asked.”
“It’s a deal, Captain, how soon can we leave?”
“Pay me now, and we can leave within two hours.” Jonas handed Tony five hundred dollars, and stated “I’ll pack my bags and meet you at the boat in two hours, be there.”
Tony headed to the bank with the five hundred dollars and made the payment, then headed for the Sea Clipper, waiting for Jonas to show.

Dec 17, 2010
Atsu Ref Sheet
by: Anonymous

I make characters in my spare time to role play with. So instead of making a whole new one just for this...I'll use one I made yesterday.

What is this person's occupation?
Atsu is a photographer. Mostly landscape, but if something catches his eye then he'll wip out
his camera. He's freelance mostly and sometimes will do weddings or birthdays.

What type of home does the person have?
He has a 'mini-mansion'. Atsu is Egyptian and descends from royalty. His family is very
wealthy and can afford a lot of luxuries in life.

Is the person in a relationship?  With what kind of partner?  What is positive and negative about
this relationship?
Not yet. I made another character, Nasrin, that I want to pair with him. I'm not usually one to
pair my own characters with each other but thought why not. Nasrin is 19 and Atsu is 24. She
is a fox and Atsu is a panther. Nasrin is somewhat of a free spirit and a little naive when it
comes to 'adult' situations. The positive is that they were made for each other (literally). The
negative is that…they aren't together and haven't met yet.

What is his/her family like?
His family, again, comes from wealth. They aren't exactly…welcoming people, but family is
very important to them. His parents work and travel all over the world. He has cousins, aunts
and uncles all over the place as well. He has a very big family.

What does he/she enjoy doing?
Atsu enjoys sweets. He's a big fan of them and they're somewhat of a sin. He won't eat them in
front of anyone else, usually just as a midnight snack. He also enjoys his photography.

What are his/her greatest strengths and weaknesses?
His strength is, quite literally, his body. And another, I guess, would be his photography skills.
His weakness is women. Women who like to role play (with characters).

What is his/her deepest desire?
His deepest desire…is to fall in love and start a family.

What is his/her greatest fear?
Atsu's greatest fear is being alone until he dies.

What is something the person desperately wants to change about himself or herself?
Atsu doesn't want to change anything about himself. He doesn't call himself perfect but he
doesn't see anything wrong with himself.

What is something the person doesn't know about himself or herself?
I haven't figured that out just yet.

Dec 16, 2010
Had a tough time with this one but here goes...
by: Shawna

“What am I doing?” Beth asked herself as she sits against the wall with her knees drawn up to her chest. She watches as box after box is carried into her tiny one bedroom apartment. Taking a deep breath she lays her head on her knees and closes her eyes. Even with her eyes closed she is still seeing lines and lines of boxes. “Just a few weeks at most” Nikki had said. “Just a few things to get me through the next month” she had said. Raising her head again, she watches Nikki prancing around in her mini skirt and half top with heels that have to be at least 4 inches high. Practical as always, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nikki would choose this attire for moving day. She always said, “If you dress the part you never have to do the work.” It seems in this case that she is right again. Having started feebly trying to drag one of her boxes off the back of the truck inch by inch, heels wobbling and an exasperated look on her face, it had taken no more than 30 seconds for the first man to ask if she needed any help. Now there had to be at least 4 of them carrying all of her boxes in while she smiled and directed them to leave her boxes in the middle of my living room.
“Why can’t I just say no?” I ask myself for the zillionth time.

Dec 14, 2010
Deerfield Meadow
by: Bunnyphonic

Deerfield Meadow likes to quit. In a huff, she walks out of job #5 in just as many months for the year of 2010. If you told her she was a quitter, she’d always shake her head of straight, flaxen hair in denial. She likes to swim the backstroke along Da Nile. She’s been doing it for awhile now, so she’s kind of a professional in the realm of all things deniable. And it’s never her own volition, it is always the wretched and flawed ways of others all around her, every time. This boss was just too disorganized. The last boss whipped himself into a state of frustration and never told her how to get things done in the office. The one before that was just a dick. The jerk before that was too young and inexperienced. And the boss from January 2010 just never listened. Tie all these sorry carcasses of previous bosses together with a thick knot of twine and drop them into an icy lake of rejection. Deerfield refuses to reflect on any of these events, seeing no string or connective tissue betwixt them. And perhaps her bliss is what’s fogging up her irises like the hot hot steam of a Turkish bath, slowly opening her vision to all that was once unseeable.

Dec 03, 2010
Tulip Man
by: Tony

"you see this?" The tall skinny man asked."this is you,im going to turn you into a tulip."he said while holding up a small 4" black plastic flower pot.His eyes were dead,machine like.He did not receive pleasure from this or any feeling at all.It just was.He continued to stare at the chubby little scared man standing directly in front of him.Mesmerizing him hipnotizing him,cementing him to the spot where he stood.All the while the others surrounded there prey.A look of utter joy on there moonlit faces.They felt.Unlike the skinny one.They loved this lived for it begged Him for it.tonights act fed them like a church feeds the soul.

Sensing that his end was here frozen with fear the chubby man did the only thing his mind would allow him to do.He raised his face to the dark sky and released his last cry.It spoke of broken promises,lost dreams and of the saddness his young daughters would feel.then the darkness came and he felt no more.

A month later the flowers bloomed in there black pots next to them sat a newspaper clipping.

Dallas Morning News

Body found in an unincorparated part of town.spokesman for the police department says they are still investigating and are following some leads.They did say that the killing seemed ritualistic and that the victim had parts removed he would not go into detail for fear of compromising the ongoing case.The victim who's name is being witheld is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

Nov 28, 2010
Kat´s Family Death
by: Gilaine

Kat - Family´s Death

After 2 people broke into the house shooting with MP5 all over the place and killing Kat´s son, Kat gets down and covers while pulling out of the cabinet a Colt M1911 and starts shooting back. Jack picks up his 10mm Glock which was on top of the counter and starts shooting the assassins as well. Jack follows them outside shooting at them. While Kat still inside, she reloads her weapon and crawls the kitchen floor till the corner. She puts out her face and looks to the family room and sees her son lying dead and runs to him. Jack while on the porch, he gets shot in his shoulder but keeps shooting. He goes down the porch stairs and runs towards the vehicle. The assassin starts the engine while reloading the MP5. Jack comes closer and kills the passenger by shooting him in the neck splattering all the blood over the driver. The driver then pulls out his fully-loaded gun, and puts on Jack half of the magazine leaving Jack severely bleeding lying on the front yard. Then he accelerates and leaves.

Running to her son Kat picks him up and yells strongly crying out for help. Tears come out of her eyes while grieving for her son´s death. She immediately hears Jack and hurries outside. Standing on the porch she sees him lying on the front yard bleeding out from the shots he received. She runs to him and grabs him. –Don’t die on me Jack, please! - yelled Kat while tears come out of her eyes. Ambulance and police arrives at the house putting Jack in the ambulance as well as Shaoqiang. While in the ambulance, Jack starts bleeding out more and tries to talk. –Kat… (Coughs) I’m… sorry... I…- Kat desperately says –Don’t… don’t talk you’ll bleed out faster. - She cries. And yells –Don’t fucking die on me Jack! You are all I got. My baby is dead… Please don’t! Just don’t die on me, please I beg you Jack! Don’t leave me! I need you! - Kat yells while crying desperately. Jack looks at her and says –Kat… be strong, I know you are. - Kat tells him –Shut the fuck up, please! Just don’t die, please! - While holding her hand, Jack looks at her, closes his eyes slowly while smiling at her and then dies. Kat shocked began to yell -Jack? Jack! Jack! No, no! Fuck! No! Don’t... - While deeply crying. She lays her head on him and says –Please come back Jack, I need you… please…-

(ACT 1)

Nov 28, 2010
All too-trusting nature
by: Phyllis

Mark was a new acquaintance, an American national who came to the country to join the annual surfing competition. He was introduced to Brett by another surfer. From what Mark has known about Brett, he’s one of the top surfers to beat at the competition and so he started to befriend him, with every intention of sabotaging the latter’s performance. He asked to borrow one of Brett’s boards, to which the latter amicably agreed. Mark wanted to ruin Brett’s chances at the competition obviously, but at the same time he wanted to find out his techniques and copy them.

Nov 26, 2010
Learning whats important
by: Kristina

Kevin's mother calls him to invite him to dinner. Kevin explains to his mother he couldn't make it, but he would try. He had so much to do and a deadline to fill,he knew it would hard. She explained that it was important to come because her sick sister was there for a visit. She sounded like she was worst with her cancer. She wanted to see everyone, it had been along time. He said he couldn't promise anything but he would really try his best. He didn't want to miss his aunt, he loves her very much. Time must have gotten away for him. He got so busy the next thing he knew it was 10pm. Three days later his father called to tell him his mother's sister had passed away.

Nov 08, 2010
Golfing Groans
by: Nupur

“Aseem?” said the voice on the telephone line.
“Yes boss!” jumped Aseem to reply. The fact that it was 7AM made no difference ot either his boss Raj or to him. Such is the life of an investment banker.
“You do play golf, don’t you?” boomed Raj genially.
Aseem held his phone away from his ear as he considered how to reply. Ibanking had not left him much time to pursue other activities. Nor, to be honest had he wanted to.
“Well? “
Raj took that, naturally as a yes.
“Well, then I’ll see you in an hour at the Bandra golf course.”
Aseem had an hour to learn to play golf. He coughed. “Not feeling too well boss, but we can play next week.”
“Aseem hung up, sweating. Had Raj bought it? Or did he know and was laughing at him? Either way, Aseem knew he didn’t have a choice. He had a week to learn how to play golf.
To his surprise, it was not difficult. After all, how could a game designed around old fogeys be tough? The lost sleep pinched him, but he reminded himself that it was all in a good cause.
When next Saturday came around, Aseem found that he was actually looking forward to it. Open air and the greens had already had a relaxing effect on him which he had grown used to. He nodded at the receptionist at the Bandra golf course, who knew him as the first visitor.
Although anxious to win, Aseem realized that would defeat his purpose. He played just well enough for Raj to stretch himself, but not so hard that Raj would dislocate his hipbone.
“Why didn’t you tell me you could play, Aseem?” puffed Raj as he adjusted his glasses and raised his arm to take a swing at the ball with his club.
“I didn’t know myself sir” smiled Aseem, reflecting that it was the truth at least.
“Ha ha!” was Raj’s reaction.
Aseem laughed too. After all, it was funny.

Oct 30, 2010
The Sad Side of Stubborn
by: Phoenix

Danae had always had a close and loving relationship with her mother. However, their relationship changed when Danae’s boyfriend was killed in a car accident six months ago and Danae found out she was pregnant ten days later. Danae’s mother, Marjorie, suggested Danae move back home until the baby was born, but Danae had flatly refused the offer, and since then had hardly spoken to her mother.
Now, sitting at the top of the stairs in her newly rented town-house, Danae was regretting her head-strong ways. “What have I done?” she asked herself, as she covered her face with her hands and started to cry. “Why did I push everyone away? Why didn’t I listen to Mum?”
Danae sat there, with her head bowed and tears streaming down her face for almost half an hour. She was brought out of her period of self-questioning by her baby moving inside her. To Danae it seemed that the baby was trying to tell her something.
“You’re right!” Danae exclaimed after the baby kicked again, harder than before. “I can’t just sit here feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on my mistakes. I need to do something, get moving, and take some positive action. Thanks Baby.”
Carefully making her way down the stairs, Danae once more rued her stubborn streak. It had landed her in trouble more than once over the years, but this time it may have cost her more than she could bear to lose if she couldn’t work things out with her mother.
Picking up the phone, Danae dialled the only phone number she knew by heart. Her heart was pounding as she waited for her mother to answer.
“Hello?” and unfamiliar voice answered.
“Er, who is this?” Danae asked.
“It’s Ted. I’m Marjorie’s neighbour. Who is this?”
“Oh, Ted, I didn’t recognise your voice. It’s Danae, Marjorie’s daughter. Is Mum there?”
“I’m sorry, Danae,” Ted said in a sincere voice. “I was just trying to find your number. Your mum was taken to hospital about five minutes ago. She’s had a stroke.”

Oct 23, 2010
Time to Say Good-bye
by: Anonymous

She knows what she wants to say. She has been rehearsing the conversation in her head all afternoon. Diana is tired of having Eric tell her what to do. She has put up with him for too long. Diana pulls into his driveway, mentally preparing herself for a battle. She knows Eric won’t hurt her…physically, but he seems to have a lust for it emotionally.
Eric stands on the porch, Diana told him over the phone she was coming, they needed to talk. She had hoped he heard the hint in her voice. As she stepped out of the car, she felt her hands begin to shake. “Stay close to the car” she told herself. “Tell him quickly then leave”. Diana told him quickly that it is over. “I’m in an unhealthy, unloving relationship and I don’t want to be with you anymore”, the words come tumbling out of her mouth. Eric stands and listens, his face growing redder. He crosses his arms over his chest. As he opens his mouth Diana gets back into her car and drives away. She watches Eric in the rear-view mirror.
A few hours later, Diana wonders if she made a terrible mistake. Rather than crawl back to Eric she goes for a walk. Head down, focused on the day, she bumps into a stranger. Diana apologizes profusely. She smells the hint of alcohol on this mans breath. “It’s okay doll” his words slur together. He smiles and winks and just like Eric she’s putty in this mans hands.

Oct 18, 2010
by: Anne

Erika hurried through the pouring rain. She had twenty minutes left of her lunch hour and needed to get a pair of shoes for tonight. She had a date with a gentleman of distinction and CEE CEE
had a sale on shoes that would wow any man. Erika could not pass that up, she could say she was shopping sensibily now.
Come on light, hurry up, she fumed. She stepped closer to the edge of the road willing the light to change and started across just as the light turned. Immediately a horn sounded stridently in her ear. Erika stepped back quickly and felt her shoe fill with cold water. People moved around her wanting to cross the street before the light changed again. Erika went to step forward and could not move her left foot. What was happening the light would not stay green forever. She looked down and saw her hell had slipped between the slats of the storm drain. Drat, this could not happen now, there was only fifteen minutes of her lunch hour left. She pulled frantically, watching the light. Finally, she pulled her foot out of her shoe and bent to remove the offending shoe from the grate. A sudden gust of wind tried to pull her umbrella from her hand, but she held on with one hand and yanked the shoe with the other. Two things happened at once, the umbrella folded inside out and Erika sat rather unceremoniously on the sidewalk. She grabbed her shoe , saw the heel had remained in the grate and started limping gingerly across the street, one shoe on and one shoe off. The rain plastered her hair to her face and cold water leaked down the collar of her blouse. Three steps across the road and horns wre blowing and brakes were screaming. Erika pushed her hair from her eyes and darted ahead , stepped back, darted ahead until she reached the other side of the street. Slipping the heeless shoe onto her soaking wet foot, she straightened out skirt, pushed her hair back and decided she was going to take an extra long lunch today.

Oct 18, 2010
The Way to a Man's Heart...
by: Lauren

Beth Smithers isn’t a very attractive woman, and it shows. From her stringy hair to her apple figure, she knows she’ll never win any beauty contests, but it’s never been a problem until now. A young divorcee has moved in next door and Ralph Smithers is getting sucked in by the old “helpless me” ploy that Dorothy Brown is playing on him. Oh, what to do. Well, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so Beth gets to cooking. Soon, the house permeates with the smells of a good meal. One night it’s chicken covered in barbeque sauce, another night it’s pork chops rubbed with sage and onions. And oh, the pies. Because Beth can seriously bake a pie. Cherry, mince, blueberry, pumpkin, all of Ralph’s favorites. So far, so good, but just in case Dorothy steps it up a notch (Ralph has invited Dorothy to dinner! Luckily she’s into health food! Beth does NOT cook health food!) Dorothy goes after Ralph’s weekends. Toddler RJ takes a sudden interest in balls and wants to play catch. A fishing rod magically appears on the couch one day. Another day, it’s a pair of ball game tickets. And finally, the coup de grace, a 50” flat screen TV shows up in the den, just in time for football season. How is Beth doing it? Where is the money coming from? Garage sales and E-Bay! Beth has decided to master the art of multi-tasking, so while she’s watching RJ during the day, she’s snapping pictures and posting another man’s treasures up for sale. On weekends, she’s scouring through people’s unwanteds. And Beth has an eye for good junk. Her paypal account is blossoming nicely. Now she’s got him diverted. But what about the bedroom? The marriage has been a trifle stale since RJ came along. What can she do??? Pole dancing. All those nights watching Dance Your Ass Off have given Beth the nudge she needs to start exercising. Not to lose the weight, no – Ralph loves him some roly-poly, but a bit more agility never hurt anyone. Soon, Beth is able to stretch her legs in a split, loop her leg around a pole, arch her back and give Ralph a come hither look that’s got his blood boiling.

Dorothy is completely forgotten – she can go find her own handyman somewhere else.

Oct 09, 2010
Morrigan's fear
by: Tonya

Morrigan walked down the long hallway towards her room.Though the hallway was poorly lit,she could still see the dirt on the walls and smell the dust from the carpet.She passed other rooms, wondering how she’d gotten to this point.Whose fault was it?Her father was in prison for murder, her mother was somewhere in the country,and her two younger brothers were separated,living in different foster homes though Morrigan had no idea where.She hadn’t seen anyone in her family for years.She’d run away from the last foster home two years ago and now here she was,in the safe house for homeless teens.At least she wasn’t on the street anymore.God,that’d been horrible…never knowing where to lay your head at night. Suddenly,one of the doors opened and out walked Aidan.He was well-muscled and tall with white blond hair and pale blue eyes.He was older than her and for some reason had latched onto her the first night she arrived.Yeah,he was really good looking in that rugged,street-wise way,but he was also slime.
“Hey,Morrigan.Looking good tonight.”She didn’t think of herself as particularly pretty.She looked up at him and narrowed her almond-shaped, hazel eyes at him in a scowl.She stopped walking and flipped her waist-length,dark auburn hair back behind her shoulders to show him he didn’t scare her,even though he scared the shit out of her.
“Leave me be.I’m tired and just want to be left alone,”Morrigan said wearily.But Aidan just smiled,then suddenly reached out and grabbed her, shoving her against the wall.His large hands gripped her upper arms as he held her there against her will. She tried to push him away, pushing against well-muscled biceps to no avail. He grabbed her hands and moved them up above her head,gripping both her hands in one of his.His mouth came to her ear and she could feel his breath hot against her neck.“You’re beautiful, you know that?”His free hand moved from her tiny waist up to her breast.Her heart hammered against her chest.She thought about screaming, but would anyone help?She closed her eyes in despair.But before she could give up,she felt strength welling up inside her.She opened her eyes and ripped her hands from his,and without really thinking about what she was doing,she shoved her palm against his nose, breaking it.“You bitch!” he yelled as blood poured from his nose.Rather than turn away like she thought he would,he made a grab for her instead.He was used to street fighting,used to broken and bloody noses, although he was usually the one giving them, not receiving them.She spun around out of his reach, brought her leg up and kicked him hard in the solar plexus.He doubled over,wheezing and in pain.She then brought her elbow down against his neck,and down he went.She stood over him, breathing hard,wondering what in the hell had just happened.Where did that come from?How had she known to do that?She’d never even been in any type of fight before!What the hell was she?

Sep 26, 2010
Casey O'neill
by: Molly

Can someone help me as to how to enter my my 10 minute lesson

Sep 22, 2010
by: Christel

Consciousness ebbed in painfully in sharp sensory pulses. First Julien was aware of an acrid smell, familiar yet repugnant. The odour seemed to aggravate the next sensation which was of muscle spasm in his back, a brutal knot that spanned up into his neck and echoed in his hip. The light hurt his eyes, intensified his pain, and seemed simultaneous to the next sensation which was of cold air seeping up from the ground and like a blanket around him in a chill breeze. All these pieces added together into creeping horror. He wasn't prone on his bed or any manufactured surface and when his eyes moulded the hazy wash of light into recognizable imagery he saw branches like arteries spread in a grey sky above him.
Julien's mind began a manic stream of thoughts to process his horror and helplessness. How was it that he was in the forest? Why couldn't he remember the sequence of events that led to his being here now, presumably unconscious or asleep. Julien pushed numbed fingers into the dirt and urged his torso into a seated posture and the spasm in his back lanced through him and his sudden movement brought on a migraine instantly. The pain dimmed the corners of his vision and further stunted his ability to piece together his present scenario. Alarmed he realised the smell must be his own urine- the dampness in his crotch surely lent credance to this notion?
The pattern of trees before him seemed vaguely familiar- the crooked oak with the hollow trunk was a marker he recalled about three miles north from his cabin. The sky around him had a hesitant quality as if it was coming into full register. It must be morning with the sun behind the ridge not yet even visible. Yes, the brightest point was the eastern ridge, so it wasn't nightfall. How long had he been out here? Plundering his mind he realised the last recollection was of dinner the night before. Anxiety swept over him, consumed him, his heart beat fast and his breathing quickened. Helplessness born of vulnerability- why couldn't he remember? Julien's life, always so orderly, controlled, the precision of his habits, attention to detail- now meaningless for the last nine hours of his life. There was no one for at least ten kilometers of unchartered land. No living person to help him piece together the mystery of last night. All he could do for now was search for material clues around him and hope they prompted recollection.

Aug 27, 2010
Hopes & dreams
by: Anonymous

Mike was the strong muscular type type, his long defined arms wrapped around Meg holding her pulling her tight towards his lean tanned body.
She could feel his dark tousled hair on the back of her neck & his warm soft breath made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. Meg sighed she loved the feeling of being with him, holding her, keeping her safe. Nothing, noone, could get her now, she could lie in his arms forever.
Suddenly she felt him move a litle, his warm lips gently moving over her neck, slowly giving her small flutters of kisses then a little soft nibble on her ear, she started trembling with anticipation, then his tongue. "Eeewww!!"
Beep! Beep! With a start she jumped upright in bed, screwing up her eyes up at the annoying alarm clock, 7am, moaning she quickly turned it off. "Jasper!" she turned to look at her scruffy, old dog sitting on the bed next to her, he had been trying to wake her up, with every failed attempt until now.
"Damn! Another dream, a great dream none the less, but what a let down" Still she was used to them by now. "bye, bye Mike".
"Better get up then" Meg turned & placed her feet into her fluffy, soft slippers, rubbed her sleepy bagged eyes & opened the curtains.
"Aagh!" The sun was blinding,screwing up her eyes, she tried to focus. It was a beautiful sunny day even if it was early.
She turned & looked around her small, but cosy apartment, everything neat & in its place. It was a lovely apartment with everything she felt she ever needed. Yeah everything that was except Mr Right.
"Maybe one day I'll find my Prince Charming" she whispered to herself. "woof!" Jasper barked loudly, which startled Meg. "Yeah boy your right, who needs Prince Charming when I have you, I love you too." she chuckled to herself.
Suddenly she jumped up & looked at the crooked looking clock on the wall, her shift was due to start in half an hour. "Gotta run boy!" & with that she ran to the bathroom, leaving her dream as a distant memory.

Aug 24, 2010
my stories introduction.JFM
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

This story is taboo. It has dangerous imagery of good and evil. Keep out of the reach of young impressionable minds. Reading this story may cause mental illness or brain damage! Beware it is with the use of provocative language. Welcome to my photo shop of dark images were illusion becomes reality..It is said in the Talmud. “A dream is a prophecy in miniature”... Over the course of the next few pages…I will attempt to establish these forbidden images in your mind. Imagine what you would do if…certain events took place…events so explicit and horror able that they would freak you out...Michael de Montaigne wrote, “the mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor if he knows not discretely how to use it”… As we proceed to this bizarre story. So sit back relax and stay focused. The story is about to begin.

Aug 17, 2010
by: David

Beep! Beep! Beep!
James opened his eyes looking around wondering what the hell that awful noise was, Glancing down rummaging through his bed sheets finally finding his cell. Squinting he sees a message from a number he doesn’t recognise. Tossing the cell back on the bed he gets up to go to the kitchen while mumbling to himself.
“What the hell happened last night, don’t think I’ve ever had such a bad hangover“

As he stands up from his sofa bed the room starts spinning taking a minute to get his balance he heads for the kitchen, Stepping over his scattered clothes staggering across the living room into the kitchen he quickly opens the fridge taking a bottle of water, he opens a drawer removing a couple of aspirin from a packet he moves them towards his mouth nearly gagging as he takes a whiff of stale smoke from his fingers. He shoves the aspirin in his mouth screwing his face up at the chalky taste he quickly takes a slug of the water. Relief on his face as he can already feel the water recharging his organs.

Remembering the message he heads back into the living room. Sitting on his bed he picks up his cell and click the message it reads, “Don’t know where you went last nigh? Hope your ok? Jess x”. Who was jess he thought to himself. Then like a plane flashing through his muddled brain it was all coming back. Sneaking out of bed, looking at the blonde girl lying there sleeping, heart beating trying desperately to find a way out. Making it to the front door trying to open it with no luck. Cringing as he remembered climbing out the bathroom window.

Staring into space he wondered to himself, Should I take a chance with this one as he thinks about sending a message back? Startling him the apartment phone starts ringing, “what if I gave her my other number” he says to himself. Picking up the phone he recognises the familiar voice it’s his mum.
“What happened to you last night” Her voice high pitched hurting James ears.
“I I .......”
”Don’t give me no excuses boy. Bet you were out drinking, poisoning your damn liver again”

“No ma I only had a few”

“Yeah right you’re heading for an early grave like your damn father”

With that James quickly slammed the phone down, rage building he picks up his cell looking back at the message from jess he smashes the phone straight off the wall. Sobbing he thinks, maybe I am better off alone. How could anyone ever want me?

Maybe I am better alone!

Aug 13, 2010
In my latest writing project my main character
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

is not a person, its a place.

WITHOUT the use of my computer, I have already writen eight pages.

Title Incubus house, Salem Massachettes.

(In my attempt at show I wrote this about the house).

"The House was located high on a hill, one side over looking a cliff with a share drop into the white caps that appeared as the water pounded the rocks below". "The other side over looked an old cemetary on the grounds".

(I have already given the owner of the house a strange nabor and the House a Strange history as the new owner discovers).

One of the former occupants of the house was a serial killer who claimed to have no memories of the acts he was accused of.

He claimed some dark thing took over him, he could see things as a dream.

He chalked them up as night mares and bad dreams.

When he woke up with blood on his hands he knew the truth.

In his anguish he left a note in his own blood, he commited suicide.


Aug 03, 2010
Mr. Getsintrouble
by: Nancy F

“Got - zen - true - bull residence. Claire speaking.”

The sports page rustled as Hardy lowered it over his usual breakfast of oatmeal with cranberries, brown sugar and nuts. He mouthed at his wife, “You’re working today?”

Claire nodded, poked a finger in the ear not listening to the phone conversation and turned her back to them.

Down fluttered the sports page. Up went Hardy’s hands waving around in a stirring victory celebration. He grinned and waggled his eyebrows at his kids, who stopped eating their cereal. First the left eyebrow then the right eyebrow appeared up over the rim of his glasses. This made the hair over his ears alternately stand up and lay down. They giggle and, dropping their spoons, except for Nev, made faces and waved their arms. Or, well, Al did and Evie sort of did and Nev waved his spoon, which plopped oatmeal on the breakfast table.

“I saw that!” said Claire returning to the table. She wiped Nev’s face with a face cloth.

Hardy hung his head and dropped his long arms into his lap. He tried to look guilty about getting caught but his twinkling eyes betrayed this ruse. Al and Evie copied their father’s moves. Their lowered heads swung back and forth between their parents. They giggled some more.

“I won’t be able to do the errands and housework that I was going to do, so Hardy, you and the kids will have to do it! The list is on the kitchen counter. Have fun!” she called over her shoulder as she left the kitchen heading for the bedroom.

Hardy stands and strikes his best superman pose. Al, Evie and Nev stared up at their father with visible excitement.

“Have no fear Gotzentroubles!” he said, “The world will remember that on this day, Saturday, July 14, 2010, at 7:14 in the morning, our task by energy, not by boasting, is done!”

But… not always.

Jul 29, 2010
Martha's Lesson 2
by: N Kotkin


This was very interesting to read! You really seem to know what life is like for TJ. I love the rituals and the obsession with goals - they help us see that the illness is not actually about food, though it translates into that.

I think it would help us to know in the beginning that TJ is a girl - I assume that she is female though Terry can be a boy's name too, so we are never quite sure.

One phrase stuck out to me:
"Beelining back to the kitchen,"
It makes us believe that TJ is eager to get back to the kitchen to eat, when the reverse is actually true, so it seems out of character.

I think this would make a great short story or piece of a novel even. So keep on writing!

Jul 27, 2010
@ Joe
by: Martha

Your story reminded me of a 3 minute cartoon sketch depicted on The Soloist DVD. (This is the movie starring Jamie Fox and Robert Downey Jr. that is based on the true life of a homeless musician afflicted with schizophrenia who is befriended by a LA journalist.)
The sketch features a little girl's story about losing her parents at a young age, being tossed through the foster parent system, then becoming homeless because everybody in her support system caused her to gradually give up and accept becoming homeless. I think your story prompted the same reminder that short sketch strove for -- that every person has a story. Your character may not have been homeless, but his story draws a parallel based upon the desperateness of alcohol and what happens when one succumbs to that weakness and makes choices with that in mind.

Jul 27, 2010
Lesson 2 Writing
by: Martha

TJ Rinaldi strode across the parking lot, workout gear bag slung casually over one shoulder while her rolling backpack click-clacked with every crack it encountered. She tossed her gear casually into the back of her Civic, then slid into the drivers seat, grabbing her sunglasses from the overhead niche. Once she got onto the main road, she started mentally reflecting on her daily activities, reorganizing her schedule in her mind. Need to head back to the apartment to grab a quick bite to eat, check. Need to update the exercise journal - 3 more milestones ( 10 extra crunches, 2 extra minutes on the Stairmaster, 2 more pounds lost), check. Friday, need to find time to attend early bird Mass, check. Need to rewrite marketing notes, review text and study questions for Monday's exam, check. Call Mark to confirm movie schedule Saturday night, check.
Once back at the apartment, the gear was dumped just inside the front door as she headed to the kitchen. A Lean Cuisine was pulled from the freezer; broiled fish with lemon on a rice pilaf was the microwave special of the day. As the carousel turned, she poured a glass of ice water, added lemon, then retrieved her exercise journal from the TV room. Turning to a fresh page, she proudly recorded her latest exercise accomplishments in the current Rinaldi exercise journal. The microwave's ding punctuated the air and she shelved her thoughts with the journal.
Beelining back to the kitchen, TJ immediately felt the familiar loss of appetite twinge as the lemon and fish odors wafted through the kitchen. She pulled out the bar stool and perched on the edge, fork in hand while an overwhelming sense of trepidation enveloped her viscerals. She stabbed at the piece of fish, and started to chew the first bite. The newly-created bolus was forced down her throat, sliding slowly and with hesitation. Two more morsels followed, then her stomach's protest against the offending chyme increased. The leap to the sink, the hair pulling / head hanging motion followed by the familiar projectile convulsions were finalized with the dry heaves. Terry reached for the lemon-dunked glass of ice water and mentally resolved to accept the calorie-free liquid lunch. As the queasiness subsided with each gulp, she headed towards the front door. She reassured herself with the next item on the to-do list, "Time to warm up for today's run; maybe I'll break 4 miles today…"and started to warm and stretch her muscles on the stoop.

Jul 27, 2010
@ N. Kotkin

Sorry to respond so late to your question -- I have been traveling with limited Internet access.

I would not have expected that this was the opening to a fantasy adventure story. As you say, it might be a good idea to give readers some clues at the beginning of the novel about what kind of world they are in so that they know what to expect (and so that you'll attract the right kind of readers).

Are you a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' of America? You might find some useful resources and contacts on their website: http://www.sfwa.org/

You mention that you intended to make the character's greatest weakness indecisiveness, rather than low self-esteem. I don't think the fact that I came away with low self-esteem necessarily indicates any problem with the way the passage is currently written. I had picked up the indecisiveness and was just inferring that low self-esteem was at its root.

Thanks for taking the time to help other writers with your thoughtful critiques in this forum.

All the best,

The Other Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Jul 21, 2010
@ Angelo
by: N Kotkin

I think you did a good job of portraying David's greatest weakness in your assignment.

I especially liked David's indecision because, as you thought, it did help me feel empathy for him.

I realize you had the 3000 character limit (I personally find that a bit low and restrictive) but if you are continuing to develop this story, I woudld love to see a bit of David's everyday life and struggles before the scene you posted.

Jul 21, 2010
re: why I didn't David leave the money
by: N Kotkin

I agree - your version of the scene is definitely more realistic. I'm just a sucker for happy endings. And, sometimes, I like my characters to do the opposite of what people would expect them to do.

Jul 21, 2010
why I didn't David leave the money
by: Angelo

Dear N Kotkin,
I thought I should explain my reasons for not meeting you expectation of having David leave the money. I felt that the main criteria of the exercise was to write a scene of character's greatest weakness. Davids weakness, as profiled (which I didn't post), was he inability toonly think of himself irrespective of who he hurts. Now this is due his depression and alcoholism making him hard and unforgiving i light of his loss of his life before losing his employment.

I would assume that the reader would like David to have a moment of sorrow for the little girl, specially as she reminded him of his little girl. I wanted to oppose that by having him do what people like him, who are down and out, that he comes first. I am trying to show real life I suppose.

I hope this shows my reasoning.

Jul 20, 2010
Lesson 2 - excerpt
by: Robbie

In this scene,which is a re-write of a scene from a story I'm revising, Roy's wife is in emergency surgery for a gunshot wound inflicted while she was watching her friend Lisa's shop...

Roy saw Lisa looking intently at the newspaper in Elisabeth's hand and followed her eyes to the crossword puzzle. PINKSOCKSDIDIT popped out at him from the puzzle. It was on the diagonal, like the one Annabelle had shown him with her name on the diagonal of her finished puzzle. Pink socks did it. What was Annabelle had tried to say to the EMTs? The detective said the EMTs said it sounded something like "ink ox". This is silly, he thought. Just a stupid coincidence. I'm imagining things because I'm afraid for Annabelle. He glanced quickly at Lisa and saw that she had been watching him and looked away when he looked at her.

He felt sick suddenly. He stood up to go to the bathroom, but swayed a bit, or maybe a lot -- he wasn't sure. Elisabeth stood up suddenly and said, "Daddy? Are you okay?" then William and Edward both stood up and went to him to steady him. Lisa, too, asked if he needed something -- a glass of water? Just before she stood up Roy noticed her socks. They were pink -- petal pink, to be exact. He remembered petal pink nail polish. Suzette - the girl who had practically stalked him way back in high school - preferred petal pink nail polish and that was how he knew what that particular shade of color was. She hurried out the door of the waiting room to get him a drink of water. Maybe I should stop her, he thought. What if she's actually Suzette? Oh, no, that's stupid. How can that be? Now I sound like some ghost chaser. He sat down, thinking about pink socks and Suzette and Carl Merriam's murder and his wife in emergency surgery. He didn't get up until he heard a gunshot.

Jul 20, 2010
@N Kotkin
by: Gail

Re: Critique of Gail's Lesson 2

Thank you for your lovely comments.

Eleanor and I are still debating what she's going to do next, but hopefully we'll have reached a decision before long ;)

I didn't do any character sketches for my first novel, either, until I'd written more than half of it. I then had to go back and change quite a few things, because the characters weren't who I'd thought they were. A tough lesson, but a valuable one!

Jul 20, 2010
Thank you N Kotkin for your critique
by: Joe

Yes I botched it when I couldn't fit my original scene into the comments window. It was 3840 characters which was way to big. I took out all the dialogue to make it fit so some of the atomsphere got lost. Again thank you for your comments.

Jul 19, 2010
Critique of Joe's Lesson 2 Exercise
by: N Kotkin


You wrote an interesting scene for the Lesson 2 exercise, though I thought it might be even more powerful if the homeless guy decided against taking the money after seeing the little girl's picture and being reminded of his own daughter. Perhaps even an alcoholic holds some things sacred. I liked the tension that built when he contemplated his decision.

I noticed some inconsistent verb tense shifts (past vs. present).

Good luck to you with your writing projects.

Jul 19, 2010
Lesson 2 exercise
by: Joe

I have had to prune this scene to meet the 3000 character limit so apologies.

Lesson 2 exercise:
David Murray walked into the community volunteer office, his large frame towering over many of the destitute who were waiting for any assistance offered by the volunteers. He always dropped by after lunchtime looking for a handout or an opportunity to obtain money.
A small, grey haired middle aged man came into the office. He looked well to do and his clothes didn’t suit his manner and attitude. He walked up to the counter and waited to introduce himself.
Jeff Armstrong recognised the name and shook Brown’s hand.
Armstrong explained Brown’s task. A young girl who lost her parents in an accident and now cared for by her grandmother was his first client. Brown was handed a folder with the girl’s details and attached was a twenty dollar note to be used to offset expenses that Brown may have. David Murray had by now worked his way over to the counter and pretended to look through the list of work vacancies sitting on top and stroking his salt and pepper beard, same colour as his head of hair. He watched and listened as the two men discussed the papers now in Brown’s hands. He heard how the young girl pictured was an orphan losing her parents in a car accident over a year ago. She never smiles or laughs and only speaks when she needs or wants to. It is hoped that Brown’s experience as a school teacher can help her. Brown thanked Armstrong for his confidence and set about bring some joy in a little girl’s life.
David and stared with relish at the twenty dollar note attached to the papers. Brown shaking Armstrong’s hand came round and placed the folder on top of the counter, and asked if he could use the rest room. Armstrong took him to the back and came back.
David had the folder sitting there on the counter, opening it saw the picture of a little girl who reminded him of his own daughter who he hadn’t seen for a few years now. They left him, his life crumbled around him losing his job, in a depressed state. Turning to alcohol he lost his friends, his family. He touched the twenty dollar note with his finger, it felt warm and soft, and thought of how many drinks he get. He stood there for a moment deep in thought.
Mr Brown came back and David now moved away and headed for the front door leading out into the street. Mr Brown picked up the folder and also headed toward the door checking the folder as he went and to his horror realised the money was gone, he retraced his steps in case he dropped it. Upset he told Armstrong of his misfortune and he and Armstrong searched the office, at one time asked those in the office if they had seen anyone at the counter moments before. No one looked up, no one answered. Resigned to the fact that the money was gone Mr Brown with a heavy heart left the office.

Jul 18, 2010
Critique of Gail's Lesson 2
by: N Kotkin


This was an excellent start, but you left us hanging! What does Eleanor choose? I'm dying to know as I have a shameful amount in common with her. Anyway, it is very well-written. And there are a lot of directions you could take this in.

I also liked the conciseness of your character sketch. I didn't do any for my first novel and I'm still trying to get the hang of it with the main character of my new project.

Hope to read more about Eleanor in the course!

Jul 18, 2010
Lesson 2
by: Gail

Part One - character study
Eleanor McDermott

Tall, slim, dark wavy hair tied back loosely, long nose, wide smile. 40-50, teacher, arthritic hands. Flowery blouse, linen slacks, sandals. Drives a Morris Minor, likes antiques and books and growing herbs. Single, had her heart broken in her 20s and never loved anyone else.

Mid-terrace Victorian house
Mother was a hippy in the 60s, father not known. Has several aunts and cousins.
Hobbies/interests - travelling, music, reading, gardening, antique fairs
Strengths - excellent teacher, good listener, very loyal and reliable
Weaknesses - very private, afraid to love
Deepest desire - the love she lost
Greatest fear - getting close to someone and getting hurt
Change - her inability to let people in
Doesn't know - her father runs the antique store in town

I use this technique for all my main characters, and several of the 'lesser' ones. I need to know who they are, and to understand how they will interract with each other. It's a very useful technique, and really helps to shape the character's actions and reactions to events in the story.

Part Two - Greatest weakness: scene

Eleanor trembled. She'd flushed when Michael had handed her the sugar bowl, their fingers touching lightly during the exchange, but she could tell from his demeanor that the contact had not registered with him. He'd turned back to the kitchen counter and was now arranging biscuits on a plate, his back to her. She carefully placed the sugar bowl on the counter and took a few steps back, forcing herself to look away from the little curl of greying brown hair that strayed from the hairline below his ear. She'd spotted it earlier and had been overwhelmed with the urge to wrap it around her little finger.

Annoyed with herself, she sipped her coffee and looked around the room. Its familiarity held nothing to keep her mind from wandering, though, and her thoughts returned to Michael's deep brown eyes and crooked smile, and the ridiculous way her heart fluttered when he looked at her. Praying that the other teachers would hurry up and join them, she gripped her mug and tried to focus on the reason for the meeting that was about to start.

"Chocolate hobnobs," Michael said from beside her. Their eyes met over the pile of biscuits that he held out for her, and Eleanor trembled again when he smiled.

"My favourites," Michael added. "Do you like them?"

Eleanor swallowed as she faced a dilemma. Tell the truth, and add a penchant for a particular brand of biscuits to the ever-growing list of things that they had in common, or lie and give herself the option of distancing herself from him?

She smiled, and took a biscuit from the pile.

Jul 16, 2010
@N Kotkin
by: Robyn

Yeah, that's one of the things I have to work on when it comes to past and present.

Jul 16, 2010
Critique of Lilly's Assignment
by: N Kotkin

Hi Lilly,

Your untitled assignment is a good start to a story. I'm definitely interested in reading more!

I was a little confused about this sentence as Joy shows Dave out of the house:
"Thank-you," Joy just about stomached a smaile.

Wouldn't she be beaming broadly at Dave - the only person in the room who is supportive of her - and just about stomaching her family's responses earlier.

I especially like the mystery surrounding Dave (Joy never answers her mother's question about whether or not he is a boyfriend) because that peaks the reader's curiosity. Right from the beginning, you have us rooting for Joy and her exhibition (since her family does not).

Good job!
N Kotkin

Jul 16, 2010
Critique of I'll Show the World
by: N Kotkin

Hi Robyn,

I had wondered who wrote the assignment titled "I'll Show the World".

I think the piece has a nice flow to the narrator's musings.

I notice some shifts in verb tense. "There I was [past] in my apartment staring at the wall." "Why do [present] I trust people so easily?" You want to chose either past or present tense and stick to it consistently.

I especially like the beginning and the end - both are very creative!

Write on!
~ N Kotkin

Jul 15, 2010
Assignment Critique Question
by: N Kotkin

Hi Nancy (By the way, my name is also Nancy),

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my assignment. The brother came off exactly as I had intended. However, the narrator's greatest weakness is her indecisiveness, not low self-esteem - I'll have to work on that.

This is an excerpt from the first chapter of a book. After Chapter One, the entire rest of the book is a fantasy adventure tale and I'm wondering if the first chapter misleads the reader into expecting something other than a fantasy, setting the reader up for disappointment as they get further into the book. But I had to establish the mother's death and set up the narrator to clear out her mother's house so that she can have the fantasies.

I'm wondering if I should use the first chapter as is, scrap it, rewrite it, or try a different approach altogether. What do you think?

Nancy K

Jul 15, 2010
by: Robyn

Just noticed I forgot to put my name on my mine. It was the I'll Show The World. Must remember not to do anything that requires thinking before I've had my coffee, lol.

Jul 15, 2010
@ N. Kotkin

Hi N. In answer to your question, I see the brother as a type-A personality, self-centered, stingy, manipulative, and insincere.

I see the narrator as indecisive, passive. She describes herself as introverted, ungrateful, unstable and scatter-brained, so I would guess that her great weakness is that she is insecure. Low self-esteem would also explain her being indecisive and the ease with which her brother manipulates her.

I like the complexity of the narrator's response to her mother's death, her conflicted emotions that don't fit the conventional idea of what she's supposed to be feeling.

I also like the dialogue that shows the process of the brother's manipulation of the narrator -- it feels very authentic.


Jul 15, 2010
Critique of Persistence
by: N Kotkin


I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your assignment titled "Persistence". I really felt like I got to know Carl and his world. I love the fact that he gives the man's wallet back and then continues to attempt to get money from the ATM.

I have one very minor suggestion - why not just give the temperature (for example: 93) instead of saying it reads "over 90"?

I think you could sell "Persistence" as a Flash Fiction piece. Or get it published on one of the internet Flash Fiction sites (for example: everydayfiction.com).

Best of luck to you.

Jul 15, 2010
I'll Show The World
by: Anonymous

I wish I could say it was a dark and stormy night but unfortunately it wasn’t. The moon was shining bright in the night sky. There I was in my apartment staring at the wall. How could he do this? How could the love of my life, the man I’ve been with for ten years do this to me?
Why do I trust people so easily? I’ve known him my whole life. I should have known he would cheat on me with that blonde hair woman. I slap myself on the forehead in frustration. I was one of those people who tried to fix things and this time I couldn’t. There was no hitting the rewind button. I was stuck being miserable until I could move on.
The thing is though I don’t want to move on. I want to be with him. I no longer want to be Whitney Fenton. I want to be Whitney Lucas. I secretly prayed that this blonde woman whatever her name was would never get the chance. Let him suffer.
The answer machine beeped for the twentieth time. I watched the light blink back and forth. I knew who it was. It was him. He was going to tell me how sorry he was. The other messages would be my friends telling me “see what happens when you trust someone so much. You need to stop doing that.” My parents and brother will be lecturing me about how it’s my fault he left. I need to grow up and handle everything in a timely fashion.
I just can’t do anything right. Why is that? Why can’t I just go straight up to him and say. “You’re a jerk and I hope you have a miserable life.”
I sigh and lean my head back on the couch cushion. There has to be something better to say but what? What could I say and really show I mean it. I could see it now. I’ll run up to him with a whole speech ready and I’ll freeze. What will I do next? I’ll run. Run away and come back to my apartment and hide from the world.
I couldn’t handle it any longer. I stood up, ignoring the cramp forming in my leg from sitting so long and head over to my desk. I get out my notepad and I sit there and write. I’m going to do this. I’m going to come up with some suggestions and will be strong. No longer will I be trustworthy or shy. I’m going to show him I don’t need him. Crap, my pen is out of ink.

Jul 13, 2010
Lesson 2 Assignment - Post 2 of 2
by: N Kotkin

Finally, finally, the last person left the viewing room. My brother approached me. “Someone needs to clean out the house so we can put it up for sale. I’ve got to get home to the kids. We left them with a sitter whose staying overnight, but she needs to leave tomorrow.”
“So you’re saying that ‘someone’ is me.” Kids my ass, you’ve got a full-time nanny.
“Well, you don’t have any reason to rush home.”
“I’ve got a job,” I retorted indignantly.
“So have I.” He raised his eyebrows inferring that his time is infinitely more valuable than mine will ever be, just because he makes oodles more money than I do.
“Why can’t you just pay someone to do it? Aren’t there companies who handle estates?” Fat chance of that. My brother is still clinging to the first dollar he ever made.
“We could do that,” he replies, dragging out the words as if he is actually thinking about it as a real possibility. “But they wouldn’t necessarily do what we would want them to do with her things. If you do it, you could pick out what you want to keep.”
There it is. I knew he’d get around to the bribe. “Alright,” I gave in once again, loathing myself for it. “But I don’t know how much time I can get off work.”
“How long do you need to clear out one person’s belongings?”
“You know what a collector she was. She’s owns more things than some small countries do.”
“Just do what you can.”
I knew he’d get me to do it. He always sticks me with the jobs he doesn’t want to deal with. Though he did volunteer to go to the funeral home and pick out the casket and sort that all out. He didn’t pressure me to go with him. I should be thankful for that.

Jul 13, 2010
Lesson 2 Assignment - Post 1 of 2
by: N Kotkin

I'd like to know what you perceive the narrator's greatest weakness to be. How do you see her? How do you see the brother? (Due to 3000 character restriction, assignment is posted in two parts - please read both parts before answering.)

Why am I sad? Because I’m at my mother’s funeral. I’m supposed to be sad. But we didn’t see each other that much. Nor did we get along very well when we did see each other.
I’m just acting the way I’m supposed to. It is all an act because I can’t figure out my jumble of feelings right now. Do I actually feel sadness? Yes, I think I do. My mother is in that coffin right there. We’ll never talk again. But I never looked forward to our conversations. Still, we’ll never get to talk again. Something has changed forever.
There should be more people here. She was gregarious and had a lot of friends, the opposite of my introspective self. That’s why we didn’t get along; we were such polar opposites. Where are all her friends? Don’t they want to say good-bye? People avoid funerals. It depresses us thinking about the inevitable day when it will be ourselves in the coffin. Is that why I’m sad?
People are leaving. I should thank them for coming. I’m being a terrible host, unlike my brother. He’s a natural schmoozer. Only I know the real truth - none of this is fazing him a bit, though he plays his role as dutiful son so well. A much better actor than me. I’ve always been the thankless, unstable, scatter-brained daughter. The truth is I’m not unstable and I’m every bit as smart as my brother. I just can’t decide what to be when I grow up. Now that I have grown up, it does seem a bit irresponsible to continue delaying the decision. Of course, it’s not by choice. I just can’t find anything worthwhile to commit to doing or being that someone will actually pay me for. Unlike my brother who had tunnel vision and is now reaping the rewards as a full-time tenured professor at an Ivy League institution.

Jul 13, 2010
@ Lilly

I feel sorry for Joy -- so nervious about her speech and her exhibition, and her family isn't paying much attention.

Like Joy's mother, I'm curious about Joy's relationship with Dave. There seems to be a very interesting dynamic hinted at here, where Joy is grateful to Dave for his confidence in her but also resents him or is uncomfortable around him.

Thanks for sharing this!


Jul 13, 2010
@ Charles

Congratulations on "Persistence." I think it works as a complete short short story. In a very small space, you are able to draw us into Carl's mind and world, give us a sense of his values, establish a conflict (Carl's desire to steal from the ATM), and then raise the stakes.

There are some wonderful details; for example, in this sentence: "He wondered if the new sore on his arm was due to the hot winds that changed the air's polarity or had a bug or spider slipped up his arm from the weedy ground under the bush at the Bank of America building on Santa Monica Boulevard where he had slept under the night before." These details very efficiently sketch a picture of Carl's world, and they feel authentic.


Jul 12, 2010
Actively attaching emotion to your work
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

Let your reader feel what your charcter is feeling.

Jul 12, 2010
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

Good Work Lilly.

Jul 12, 2010
No title
by: Lilly

No title as of yet, and this was fresh as a daisy from the 10 minute session so I've not checked it or altered it etc.

"So there you go," Joy had finished the speech she had spent ages practising for. Her brother was picking the dirt from his finger nails, her Father was reaching for his books and her Mother stood there with a blank expression. Joy's throat began to feel dry.

"Well, we are all very excited at the gallery. It's not often we get such a wonderful collection to show off." Joy had forgotten Dave was there. Standing inbetween herself and a poster for her debut exhibition. He was smiling at her. For her, even. "Dave's confident," Joy thought.

The silence was getting a little awkward.

"Well, I'll be off," Dave said after a pause, "My tea won't cook itself."

"I'll see you out." Joy half rushed Dave back out the living room, through the tiny hallway and back to the glass panelled front door. "Thank-you," Joy just about stomached a smaile.

"Seriously, your work's good, they'll see when they come to the exhibition."

"I'll call you 'Positive Dave' from now on," Joy secretively told herself. Outloud she just said "Thanks Dave, for coming tonight."

They smiled their goodbyes and Joy closed the door with a rattle. She shuffled back to the living room and tok a deep breath.

"Who's he then?"

Joy couldn't believe it. The first comment to come out of her Mother's mouth had absolutely nothing to do with Joy's hard work of getting an exhibition together. No. It was about the man who came along. The only person it seemed to have confidence in her.

"I told you already, he's Dave," Joy responded.

"I know he's Dave, but is he, you know, your boyfriend?" Her Mother asked rather bluntly.

Completely ignorin her, Joy asked, "So what do you all think about the exhibition?"

"Will there be alcohol there?" Her Brother asked.

"Not sure."

"Are you going to be selling the work?" Her Father asked, the first remotely exhibition related question.

"Not sure, haven't thought that far yet."

"You want to make sure you do. No good doing all that work for nothing." He went back to his reading.

"You don't know a lot do you?" Her Mother asked.

"Well I thought I'd come here and show you the posters seeing as it's not for a few weeks. I stupidly thought that a bit of support from my own family wouldn't have been too much to ask for." Joy picked up her poster, turned around and without a second look left the house.

Jul 11, 2010
I have work to give each character a story to tell (this make them feel alive to me)
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> 3.
> Johannson replied "Yes, a two legged animal, homo sapian". Bedford scratching his head, “I don't
> understand". Johannson victim number one had the fur of a lynx on her Mary Ann Nicole’s, was in
> white chapel not in an area were lynx run wild". Bedford with a confused look
> on his face, “What does that mean?" Johannson continued, “victim number two Anna Chapman’s body was covered in Bear fur". Bedford looking at Johannson was
> confused, I don't get it?"
> Johannson tugged on his ear, “Victim three Elizabeth Strides body was covered
> with hyena fur". Bedford asked Johannson. "What does that all mean”. “first of
> all how did you identify the furs"?
Johannson looked up, "A friend of mine a Zoologist collected samples for me to compare, them to the
> ones found on the bodies". Bedford scratching his head, “I still
> don't understand what does that all mean?" Johannson smiling again, “We are looking
> for someone who works around animal fur, or who hunts kills and mounts these
> animals When we find this person all we have to do is look for the
> connection with animals".

Jul 11, 2010
I have created a bunch of characters both good and evil.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> 2.
> After examining these he looked up with a big smile on his
> face. “Do you have a few minutes to talk”? Johansson looked up, "While I live and breed,
> It’s my good friend Inspector Bedford", "what can I do for you gentle man today?"

Inspector Bedford replied; "I was examining the files on the stalker case and your report got my attention". Johansson flashed a smile while looking right into Bedford’s eyes,” I heard
> you also were assigned to the case." Bedford;" I am here to ask if you
> wanted to combine your investigation with ours". Bedford went on; "our
> two investigations have been the only two to turn up any useful information". “On
> many of the cases we have handled in the past?”
> Johansson; "What part of my report are you talking about?" Bedford said; "your crime scene report". "It says, after closing off the crime-scene of the first victim, were the victim body was found on the ground, you saw a clear path of grass were the body had been dragged from a location where a set of
> wheels from a coach".
Bedford asked him; "you wrote that
> didn't you?" Johansson response was "yes I did". Bedford then
> went on to say "you also wrote the front horse on the left side was missing a
> shoe", You had included a sketch of the scene showing where the body was,
> where it was dragged from, next to the wheel marks of the coach showing the four legs
> of where the horse stood, showing the rear foot of the horse on the
> right side".
> Inspector Johansson with a big smile on his face said, “Be glad to help in any way I can”. Then he told Bedford and Mc Donald “The crime scenes are like puzzles and, when we are lucky, the pieces fit neatly
> together”. As Johansson lectured us on the subject we realized just how bright he
> was. Johansson continued. “In some cases, determining what happen is like trying to create a
> picture from two or three different puzzles-you have plenty
> of pieces, but they don’t fit. And inspectors often have to deal
> with pieces that just aren’t there”.

Johansson looked into Bedfords eyes, “I take a methodical approach to finding and handling these pieces at the crime scenes”. “This allows us the chance to formulate theories about what
> happened”."For example. The bodies of the Stalkers Victims all had animal fur on
> them". Bedford looking at Johannson said, “Do you mean that all three victims were killed by
> some kind of animal?"

Jul 11, 2010
The advantures of Bedford & Mc Donald.
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

> Chapter three
> 1.
> In their discussion Mc Donald and Bedford agreed, It was
> Inspector Rem sons reports that was the least informative and the most
> imaginative, Bedford ever read the reports and said remsons report went something
> like this, "As the fog rolled in fast, you could hear the duets of the bull frogs
> and the crickets.
> When all of a sudden it got deadly silent. The imagination
> would play tricks just before the terrifying screams, when the Stalker
> struck, you could see the eeriest sights".
>The gas lights over the marsh gasses, would play havoc with
> the imagination. People swore the area was haunted in Hyde Park white
> chapel, with the Stalkers Victims. One man even swore he saw "the ghost of
> one of the Stalkers Victims".
> As she appeared to him, this ghostly white figure walking
> displaying all of the ghastly cuts and wounds, on her lifeless body a grayish
> white. Rem son discovered that the witness had consumed a large
> quantity of something a bit stronger then ale, that he got from an Irish sailing
> vessel, something they called whiskey previous to his sighting.
> It was Inspector Johansson’s reports that contained
> practical information. Johannson a student of Dr. Edmond Locard, a French police
> officer. Johannson learned from Locard , every contact you make with
> another person, place, or object results in an exchange of physical
> materials.
>Using this principle, upon examining the Bodies of the
> first three victims. The physical materials of animals fur was found on the
> cloths of the three victims. With the other elements Johannson found at the crime scene.
> This is why Bedford and Mc Donald had a great deal of
> respect for Johannsons and his methods of Gathering and processing the evidence
> they could turn into leads.
> One hour later we went to have a meeting with Johansson,
> Chief Inspector Bedford walked over to the desk of Inspector Johansson.
> As Bedford and Mc Donald approached Johnannson at his desk
> Johannson noticed them held up one finger to indicate to give him one
> minute. Bedford saw that Johannson who was sitting at his desk had
> a double magnifier on his desk with a bunch of envelopes on the left , marked
> crime scene trace elements of the Stalker Case. On his right was envelopes
> from the British Zoological Society marked samples of animal fur.

Jul 11, 2010
Back to Bedford and McDonalds advantures at scotland yard.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> It was two hours later, after we finished with the file, we
> went to speak with Collingsworth. Without us even knocking on the door, a voice from inside
> said, “come in” Collingsworth said.” “I’ve been expecting you”.
> Collingsworth smiling at Bedford in an apologetic way said, “I know I
> promised you that you could work on the un-solved murder case of your father”. As
> Collingsworth poured hot water on the tea for Mc Donald and Bedford, then
> himself. “But an emergency came up”. Bedford looked at the old man he surprised him
> by telling him, “I expected you would be putting us on this case”.
> Collingsworth’s face showed surprise, “how could you possibly know that?”
> Bedford’s response was, “your old friend Sir Percy Cromwell’s editorial in the
> London Times”. Bedford explained, “the London times mentioned something under the heading Parliament was disrupted yesterday”. “The only thing in Parliament that was hotter than the temperature was the tempers that flared up between the superintendent of Scotland Yard and the Royal Duke”. “It also mentioned”. “The Prime Minister had to step in to escort the superintendent out of Parliament before blows could be exchanged”.
Bedford scratching his head then said, “plus, the buzz from the other Inspectors
> and Constables as I entered today, all I had to do was put two and two
> together”. Then Collingsworth’s face turned red.
“Of course”. Then he proceeded to tell us about the Royal Dukes and the treat he made giving
> Collingsworth thirty days.
> Bedford remembered his father always thought highly
> of Collingsworth and his father always spoke well of him. It made Bedford feel
> so good that Collingsworth thought that highly of him and his
> ability’s. Poor Collingsworth did not deserve the rotten treatment he received from Sir
> Arthur Drew and the Royal Duke at Parliament.
> After we left Collingsworth’s office, he remembered
> telling Mc Donald, “ I don’t know just what we can do, but we have till the end
> of the month to do it”.
> We both agreed , we will give this case our best
> effort. Bedford made arrangements for A coach to be ready for tomorrow early.
> He re-examined the reports and commented to Mc Donald about
> the other members of Scotland Yard and their
> abilities.
> Pointing out things of importance. Because of what the Royal Duke had did. All the Inspectors were scurrying about feeling the pressure.

Jul 10, 2010
by: Charles

Carl opened the top buttons on the three shirts he wore under his puffy blue jacket. The Southern California Santa Ana winds were blowing and he saw the thermometer outside on the sign at the UPS building read over 90. He reached under the layers to scratch his left arm above the wrist. He wondered if the new sore on his arm was due to the hot winds that changed the air's polarity or had a bug or spider slipped up his arm from the weedy ground under the bush at the Bank of America building on Santa Monica Boulevard where he had slept under the night before. He sat on the bus bench making sure he was not obvious as he carefully watched people walk up to the ATM, slip something into the slot in it, punch buttons and money would come out of another slot.

When it was not crowded he would walk up to the ATM right after someone had drawn money from it and try various items in the slot and he never got any money. He had selected a variety of items he thought looked like the small card the people had used to get money. He kept his selection in the pocket of his puffy blue jacket whose arms were stained with the dark grease of the homeless worn like rank. The more grease on the clothing the longer one had been on the streets and thus the more wise he must be to have survived for a length of time. When he had moved to Santa Monica from the skid row in downtown, he sought out those with the largest display of homeless grease on them to ask where the coolest place to sit on hot days was. They told him it was the public library but even though it was hot today, he wanted to keep trying to figure out how to work the ATM.

Carl saw a white car pull up right around the
corner of the bank and park in the red zone. A thin young man ran from the car to the ATM, slipped something into the slot, and withdrew money. Carl saw the man had a panicked look on his face when a meter maid pulled up right behind his car. The man ran over to his car. Carl went to the ATM and saw a wallet on the small shelf at the ATM. He was going to try a comb that he had meticulously broken teeth off in a pattern into the slot but instead opened the wallet. He counted two hundred and forth dollars in it. He saw the man was starting to drive away and ran to his car and slapped the wallet against the front window.

The man got out of the car with a relieved smile on his face and said, "Oh, my, thanks. I would be lost without that."

The man reached into the rear seat of the car, walked around his car, handed two quart sized bottles to Carl, and said, "Thanks, Thanks, I can't thank you enough. Here take these."
Carl returned to the bus bench and looked at the bottles. One was a shampoo and the other a conditioner. He ran his hand through the tangled black curly hair on his head, pulled out a couple of dried leaves and decided to try the modified comb in the slot again. Maybe this time he would get some money.

Jul 10, 2010
Next batch of word bites
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> Bedford started reading the file along with his assistant
> Mc Donald. Who worked with Bedford’s father on the beat as street
> constables before Bedford’s father was killed in the line of duty.
> The case file simply marked The White chapel Stalker
> Case. Bedford and Mc Donald after reading the file came to the same
> conclusions: Five different teams of inspectors and constables their teams, have been
> Investigating this case. Each inspector with their own team went down
> different roads with there investigations, each road all winding up in a dead end.

Jul 10, 2010
Chapter two
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

Chapter two
> It was 20 hours later, as Bedford and Mc Donald had just
> arrived at Scotland Yard, Mc Donald with blood shot eyes and Bedford with a massive
> hang-over, after Celebrating last night, on their success in the Royal
> Courts, walking into Scotland Yard. To the acclaim of all the other Inspectors and
> constables. On the success in the royal courts of the murder case they had just completed.
> At Scotland Yard, it was a beautiful day outside but was
> stormy inside Scotland Yard as the Chief Inspector entered, he walked in
> with the London Times tucked neatly in under his arm that he bought
> from the hawker on the street outside.
> As he walked in. His tall slim muscle demeanor that
> of a younger man even though he was thirty years of age he had
> the body of an athlete in his early twenties.
As the large file was being delivered by Bedford's assistant, Sergeant Mc Donald, as the Chief Inspector was having his daily morning spot of tea.
>Seeing Mc Donald carrying it, his left
> eyebrow raised just a slight. Along with the file was a note from Superintendent
> Collingsworth. Bedford was finishing up his tea he started reading the note.

Jul 10, 2010
End of chapter one as we go to scotland yard
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

> In Parliament Sir Arthur Drew and the Royal Duke managed to
> roast the butts of The Prime Minister and Superintendent Collingsworth over
> an open split on this issue and make Collingsworth
> look like a damned fool.
> The Prime Minister turned to Collingsworth both men feeling
> the pressure that the Queen’s cousin and Sir Arthur Drew had put them
> under. Collingsworth left Parliament with a bad feeling, the
> feeling of helplessness.

> Later the Prime Minister told Collingsworth, “to tell you
> the truth", "personally", "I wouldn't have blamed you the least bit if you popped
> him one in the mouth”, “that pop in jay", “I hate listening to Drew's
> snickering”. As Big Ben struck twelve, both Collingsworth and the Prime Minister left
> together, heading back to Scotland Yard.

Prime Minister Wilson asked Collingsworth, "who is your best
> team of investigators at the Yard?" Collingsworth reply was, "that would be Chief
> Inspector Thomas Bedford and Sergeant Arthur Mc Donald". Wilson asked Collingsworth," Are they on the Stalker Case?"

> Collingsworth told the Prime Minister, "No, they just finished up the case they were on". "As soon as I get back to the Yard I will put them on it".
> Parliament was in session debating on the fate of Scotland
> Yard.The Parliament was divided on this issue.

> Shelved the issue for a month. The Prime Minister
> along with his friends did some Damage Control to
> prevent the Royal Duke and Sir Arthur Drew from totally
> taking Over the debate on the issue. While Wilson and Collingsworth were feeling the wounds. The Royal Duke and Arthur Drew were gloating over their success on this matter.

> Collingsworth hated it when instead of his work speaking
> for It self politics was involved, he was an Inspector a constable not a damned
> politician.

> Wilson and Collingsworth took a Hanson Coach to Scotland Yard . Continue their Conversation all the way back to Scotland Yard.

> As the coach driver pulled up to the front entrance,
> Collingsworth remembered that Bedford and Mc Donald had been scheduled to
> appear in the Royal Courts on another case So he told the Prime Minister he would have to
> place them on the case tomorrow .
> The Prime Minister warned Collingsworth that time was short
> and this matter would affect his future and that of Scotland Yard for
> the years to come.

Jul 10, 2010
small bites
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

> The Prime Minister was mortified he had to put himself between Collingsworth
> and the Royal Duke as tempers flared up. Collingsworth continued, ?You were born with a silver
> spoon up you?re fat....? The Prime Minister never had seen Collingsworth in such a state of frustration.
> As Sir. Arthur Drew Laughed out
> loud. Collingsworth turned his anger on
> Drew, "What the hell do you find so funny", ?you
> would not find it funny if I bloodied your big mouth now would you??. It was getting
> out of control. The Prime Minister had to haul poor Collingsworth out of
> Parliament before any damage could happen to Collingswoth?s reputation.

Jul 10, 2010
This chapter is the conflict the sub-plot
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

It was Sir Percy Cromwell, a good friend of the Prime Minister, and editor of the London Times,
> who protested the Royal Duke’s treatment of Superintendent Collingsworth.

Jul 10, 2010
story one bite at a time.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> Collingsworth, started to lose his temper, he was
> right in the face of the Royal Duke, looking at the Royal Duke pointing his finger of his left hand
> at him, said roughly to the Royal Duke, "you idiot", "take your finger away from my face before I bite it off",
>Then said sharply “what do you know about investigative work", “you have the nerve to tell me, I should resign, if I don't catch this killer before the month is out". He blurted out "Who the hell do you think you are"?

Jul 09, 2010
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

?How do you figure?? ?Just how did you figure he was left-handed.? "I've never listened to so much trash in my life". Turning it into a personal issue.
Verbally attacking Collingsworth. Collingsworth took a defensive posture as the Veins in
> Collingsworth?s neck throbbed, a signal to those who knew him that they had
> crossed the line. He cleared his throat. "We will leave no stone unturned
> in our investigation". "We will catch the
> stalker". ?That is a promise?. Collingsworth asked for Parliament to indulge him?for a few minutes?While he demonstrated how he discovered that the stalker was left handed?As he asked for a volunteer to help him in revealing that fact?
Sir Percy gladly obliged him?As they stood in front of the robust body known as parliament?Collingsworth told them. ?It had been determined that the stalker was left handed.? As he demonstrated in a face to face with Sir. Percy?Collingsworth explained, ?The victim and the stalker while facing each other.? Collingsworth by the use of a rolled up copy of the London Times. Joking around said, ?Gentlemen we have all heard the expression that the pen is mightier than the blade.? ?The first cut with the un-known weapon was on the victims right hand side a lunge forward.? ?This demonstrates the stalker use of his left hand.? ?Clearly you can see that for yourselves.?
> The Royal Duke told Collingsworth, "You have one month
> to catch the Stalker or turn in your resignation?, ?is that clear".
> Collingsworths reputation was built on his success,
> solving cases as an inspector in Scotland Yard. He would try to keep things to
> himself like a dormant volcano ready to erupt. But not on this occasion,
> he was hot. He was breathing deeply.

Jul 09, 2010
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

?How do you figure?? ?Just how did you figure he was left-handed.? "I've never listened to so much trash in my life". Turning it into a personal issue.
Verbally attacking Collingsworth. Collingsworth took a defensive posture as the Veins in
> Collingsworth?s neck throbbed, a signal to those who knew him that they had
> crossed the line. He cleared his throat. "We will leave no stone unturned
> in our investigation". "We will catch the
> stalker". ?That is a promise?. Collingsworth asked for Parliament to indulge him?for a few minutes?While he demonstrated how he discovered that the stalker was left handed?As he asked for a volunteer to help him in revealing that fact?
Sir Percy gladly obliged him?As they stood in front of the robust body known as parliament?Collingsworth told them. ?It had been determined that the stalker was left handed.? As he demonstrated in a face to face with Sir. Percy?Collingsworth explained, ?The victim and the stalker while facing each other.? Collingsworth by the use of a rolled up copy of the London Times. Joking around said, ?Gentlemen we have all heard the expression that the pen is mightier than the blade.? ?The first cut with the un-known weapon was on the victims right hand side a lunge forward.? ?This demonstrates the stalker use of his left hand.? ?Clearly you can see that for yourselves.?
> The Royal Duke told Collingsworth, "You have one month
> to catch the Stalker or turn in your resignation?, ?is that clear".
> Collingsworths reputation was built on his success,
> solving cases as an inspector in Scotland Yard. He would try to keep things to
> himself like a dormant volcano ready to erupt. But not on this occasion,
> he was hot. He was breathing deeply.

Jul 09, 2010
To quote Sherlock Holmes (The games a foot)
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> Sir Arthur Drew asked Collingsworth, "What has
> Scotland Yard Learned about the identity of the Stalker can you tell us"? Collingsworth
> coughed then replied, "We have not as yet learned his identity". “He has been illusive”.

> Drew then asked, "Can you tell us just what have you
> found out?" Collingsworths response. While he studied the
> Johannson report, “According to our Inspector
> Johansson, "the mutilated bodies were left at the
> scene, the scenes where all void of blood". Johansson
> stated, “he believed that crime took place somewhere else and the bodies were dumped at the locations.” He then reflected that, "it is hard to believe a human beings could do such a horror able thing to one
> another.” “The crimes all followed a pattern, each one duplicating the other. The Victims, Mary Ann Nicole’s, Anna Chapman and
> Elizabeth Stride, were all street walkers in the White Chapel area". Drew
> said, "Go ahead continue, what else".

> The atmosphere grew stuffy. Sweat beaded Collingsworth’s
> forehead. "Johannson’s report
> described at each one of the scenes there was wheel marks of a coach,
> a horse with a missing shoe, plus Johansson used plaster for the boot prints he found
> at the scene, he believed they belonged to the stalker". “One more thing he was left-handed, he said slowly.

> “I see,” Drew replied, "is that all?" “Not entirely,” Collingsworth said, “We
> have eliminated those groups of Religious fanatics who might feel as though it was
> their duty to punish the Sinners”. “At present, we have several Suspects at the Yard, that as we are here speaking, being questioned by my constables".


As Drew Finished up his questions. Then the Queen’s
> Cousin, the Royal Duke, gave Collingsworth a cold hard stare. With piercing
> dark eyes, and yelled "You mean to tell us, with all the resource of Scotland Yard,
> you have nothing worth while to tell us".

“How do you figure?” “Just how did you figure he was left-handed.” "I've never listened to so much trash in my life". Turning it into a personal issue.

Verbally attacking Collingsworth. Collingsworth took a defensive posture as the Veins in
> Collingsworth’s neck throbbed, a signal to those who knew him that they had
> crossed the line. He cleared his throat. "We will leave no stone unturned
> in our investigation". "We will catch the
> stalker". “That is a promise”. Collingsworth asked for Parliament to indulge him…for a few minutes…While he demonstrated how he discovered that the stalker was left handed…As he asked for a volunteer to help him in revealing that fact…

Jul 09, 2010
I write everyday & revision in between.
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro


Placing the superintendent of Scotland Yard out on a limb. In the middle of the argument. “How can a country with some of the most brightest minds in the world be so dumb?” Collingsworth wanted to know.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Cousin the Royal Duke vigorously opposed the
> motion and quoted the Queen, “What utter nonsense.”
> The Prime Minister, Wilson was for it to protect the people
> from the criminal elements that were running wild in England of this time.

The prime minister knew that Collingsworth remarks would not win over any new friends from the opposition in parliament. But Collingsworth could not back down. The argument for the forensic sciences would lose ground if he did not defend it.
> It was an extremely uncomfortable day sitting in the
> heat, it must have been close to one hundred and ten degree’s in Parliament as
> the sweat poured down onto the faces of the members of Parliament, waiting
> to be called by the Prime Minister. Was good old Collingsworth.
> In the heavy smell of pipe smoke as it filled the halls, hanging thickly in the air causing their eyes to tear.
> When Percy Cromwell, made the motion for the prime minister
> to take the podium. Arthur Drew tried to block it, but had been voted down by
> the other members of Parliament. Making Drew miserable. When Superintendent Collingsworth saw it was Arthur Drew asking the questions, he expected a
> whole lot of trouble more then normal.
> It had been Wilson who beat Drew to become The Prime Minister. Drew never forgiven him, Drew was looking for the opportunity to make Wilson pay for it. He knew that Drew and the opposition would attack the messenger, Collingsworth’s stand on forensic sciences.

> Drew and the Royal Duke had become very close like two snakes in a bushel.
> Collingsworth was expecting trouble, but not prepared for
> the fire storm he was in the middle off and was about to rain down on
> him.

>The Prime Minister was asked by Sir Arthur Drew at
> Parliament, “What is it you can tell us about the stalker case"?
> He told Sir Arthur Drew, “the first body was found by one
> of the constables who was baptized on the job only one hour”. “As he was
> patrolling the Hyde Park area of White
> Chapel”.
"The Stalker has taken the
> lives in white chapels east end. For the details let me
> turn it over to our Superintendent of Scotland Yard, Nathanial P. Collingsworth.
> As Superintendent Collingsworth, A thin,
> sickly looking man in his late fifties, whose health was poor ,with a full head of graying hair who kept coughing into his hands spitting up blood as he talked, carrying a large file walked up on to the podium in
> front of Parliament, opened up the files then said; "Gentlemen, At Present, Scotland Yard has
> several teams of Inspectors working on this case.”

Jul 08, 2010
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> 5.
>On Day One In the morning,
> Outside of Parliament, on the streets the crowds had gathered to
> protest the Horror able living conditions. As the Constables held back the angry crowds. Some of
> the more aggressive ones in the crowd was throwing stones at the members of
> Parliament as they entered.
> The intense heat only added fuel to their angers.
> Collingsworth knew this was going to be an extremely long
> hard day from the way it all started. It could only get worse.

> In Parliament, Big Ben had just struck ten in the bell tower of London.
> Inside of Parliament the atmosphere was even more unbearable. Parliament had been in session debating the issue, on if they should spend monies for the expansions more prisons, constipalities and
> a new more efficient Scientific Scotland Yard.

The crowns prosecutors selling forensic science?s to courts of the crown. While the barristers sold forensic science as junk science with no validation.

Crown?s Prosecutors proving otherwise. The British people split in half on the issue? These were tough times.

Jul 08, 2010
@ Cheryle

Hi Cheryle,

To respond to your question, I'm not sure that I can clearly identify a "greatest fear" based on this passage, but I don't think that's a problem.

On the contrary, I like the sense of emotional complexity that infuses this scene. There seems to be a lot going on beneath the surface. I have the sense that more about the narrator's feelings about Trejor will be revealed as the story continues.

If I had to try to pinpoint specifically what the narrator is feeling in this scene, I would guess that she is attracted to Trejor and afraid of her own emotion, afraid of losing control. And she is using rage as a defense against her own desire.

There is definitely a sense of tension and internal conflict. This captures my interest and raises the expectation of learning more when I read more of the story.

About your concern about losing focus as you're writing and going off on a new track: that can be wonderful if your imagination is working and the story is taking on a life of its own. Maybe instead of resisting this, you could allow it and see where the story wants to go. The key then would be to return to the story afterward and write a new -- focused -- draft once you know where you are headed.


Jul 08, 2010
Lesson 2
by: Cheryle

Thank you. I wonder though, did I hit the mark of the lesson? Were you able to sense what her greatest fear is? When I write I often times get lost in the story and forget where it was I was going and can end up on a completely new track. I guess thats what I am talking about when I say I want to find focus. Thanks again.

Jul 08, 2010
more; Chronicles
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

> 3.
> The Secret is about the evils of that time. Evil has
> existed from the beginning of time. Since Satan was
> kicked out of Heaven and forced onto this earth.
>If Mary Ann Nicole’s, Anna Chapman, Elizabeth
> Stride , Mary Jane Kelly and Catherine Eddowes were
> Asked if hell exists? They would say “Yes”,
> “right here on earth”. The evil would go by the
> name of Jack the Ripper.
> Its in the Bible. The Bible tells us of many such Demons who existed. This is
> about the one who possessed the mind of Jack the Ripper.
> This was our first major case out of Scotland Yard. It all started when;
> 4.
> In Victorian England. The political climate that existed was one of stagnation at
> this time. The Queen had proven to be ruthless in her pursuit against
> change. She trusted no-one.
> But she had her hands tide when in 1297 the Magna Carta was
> confirmed as English law. The great charter, was drafted by some English
> barons to curb the powers of King John, The Royal Dukes great grandfather.
> The barons captured London and forced the king to
> “sign” the document which allowed for the formation of a Representative body known as
> Parliament. Queen Victoria never forgiven King John. She was going to make his great great Grandson the Royal Duke pay for his follies.

Jul 08, 2010
@ Cheryle

I'm glad we're getting the chance to learn more about the world and characters that you introduced in your writing for Lesson 1.

I like the way you present Trejor first as a scent, a sensation, a reflection in the mirror. This creates a lot of tension.

I think the dialogue here works well. The speech sounds natural, but the characters seem to mean more than what they are saying, to be negotiating something more significant than who will pay for the narrator's drink.

I am intrigued by your subtle hints at the canine qualities of these characters.

Jul 08, 2010
@ Joseph

Intriguing title. And I like the opening comparison of an inspector's work with a historian's. Thanks for sharing this.

Jul 07, 2010
Lesson 2
by: Cheryle

The hairs on the back of Nazee’s neck prickled and the muscles in her biceps tensed. She slid her right hand beneath her cloak and rested it on the hilt of her blade. Lowering her head, she eyed his murky reflection in the dirty broken mirror that hung behind the bar as he approached.

She had caught his scent when she walked in the door and her eyes had sought him out from beneath her hood as she scanned the room. He had stared at her blatantly.

He was behind her now. His marred reflection in the mirror revealed nothing more than his height. Her pulse quickened and her fingers tensed around the cold handle of the blade at her side.

He stepped around her and leaned on the bar.

“Hey barkeep! How about a drink over here?” He yelled over the din of the room, his voice both deep and raspy.

“What’ll it be Trejor?” the barkeep asked.

“Give me a pint and one for the lady.” he said.

“I can pay my own way, thanks.” she said through clenched teeth without raising her head.

“Ah, one of those.” he said his smile evident in his tone.

“One of what exactly?” she said sarcastically as she turned to face him. She was at once taken aback by his strong features. He was tall and muscular, his face pale and his eyes as black as the waist length hair that framed his face.

Watch yourself, stand your ground!

Her glowing yellow eyes narrowed as she sized him up. Cocky, self assured and old school. Hmph!

“Easy honey, I don’t bite.”

A dog that doesn’t bite? Right!

“Like I said,I’m all set.” she said coldly and turned back to the bar.

“Wow, cold! Have it your way, honey.” he chuckled as he walked away.

I’ll show you honey you horses ass!

She thought of a thousand ways to kill him as she gulped the last of her pint and slammed the tin stein down on the bar.

Someday she’d learn to control her temper, but not today. Tossing a gold coin to the barkeep she said “Keep the change.” then turned and headed for the back room.

Jul 07, 2010
Secret Chronicle of Scotland Yards 21 chapters long
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

> 2.
> It was at an auction that I purchased the memoirs and
> private notes of Sir Arthur Mc Donald. Where he
> tells this wild story of events that took place during the
> Victorian era in England . Mc Donald who was
> dubbed knight of The realm by Queen Victoria without any
> explanation on how he won this honor to the press and the people of England .

> It was upon his death at age seventy-five, in his memoirs
> and notes he wrote about his long time association with his
> dear friend and mentor Chief Inspector Thomas Bedford, they
> both were partners working in Scotland Yard for many years. In
> his memoirs was the explanation of why he was knighted by the Queen.

An unbelievable tale. All the pieces fit together when I
> purchased the personal Diary of Queen Victoria.

Jul 07, 2010
To share
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

Secret chronicle of Scotland Yard.
> written By J.F. Mazzaferro
> Chapter one.

> A historian is just like an inspector, probing for the truth. I Learned this when I had to put the
> pieces together of the history of Scotland Yard. As I
> obtained these piece’s to the most complicated puzzle the history became
> clearer as to just what took place and why?

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