The manga section of Barnes and Noble is particularly busy today. The smell? Pungent and sour, with the slightest hint of salty. A pair of socks dragged themselves through the carpet after a ten mile run through the sewers and fell asleep in the corner, where a permanent stain now resides. There are four characters that have wandered over in the past four hours. Differentiation between smell is tough, but luckily my eyes have adjusted to the hazy fog that fell over me when I sat down. At 2:08pm, a man with a blue pullover stopped short when he saw me shoved into a corner, hunched over my laptop with a look of contempt, and immediately took off his shoes. He picked them up carefully and placed them in between two bookcases only to skirt off down the comic book section. Now that his shoes are off, he is truly free to peruse the shelves. I don’t see him again until 2:30pm, where he drops down a few feet in front of me to grab volume four of Blood Lad. He turns the book over in his hands a few times and then leaves, nearly forgetting his shoes as he disappears towards the check-out desk. Around 2:45pm a girl in elephant pants approaches with a boy on her arm. They talk in low hushed voices. The girl picks up a Death Note book and says something under her breath. The boy lets go of her and tells her promptly that she looks great and doesn’t need to lose weight. He begins to mumble something else, clearly irritated. I give them a silent fist pump as they make their exit. I wish them the best. At 3pm the third character arrives, a rarity in this section. She’s embarrassed and red faced as she runs over to pick up a manga with a bunch of girls in practically no clothing on the cover. She flips through a few pages and nods to herself before pulling out her wallet and taking off towards the cashier. Why must we play these games blue-dress girl? Why? I respect her either way. Around 4pm, a man quite possibly the grandfather of time itself shuffles into the section. He looks as if he has fallen out of a Tolkien novel and has no idea how he ended up here. I’m writing furiously, practically smashing keys as I power through a fight scene, rigorously adding in dialogue tags and finding other words for “leaning.” He surveys me for a moment and then takes a step closer. I trust he knows that I’m not in fact a strange entity cursed to write in this corner forever (though I actually might be). He wanders over, searching the shelves and running his finger along the wood. Stopping short of the case, he reaches down and pulls out a tiny compact book. He sits down next to the shelf and for the next twenty minutes, cuddles up with book, the sweetest smile across his face. I don’t know who this guy is, but I want to be as happy as him someday. He is my new hero and I watch him out of the corner of my eye while pretending to write. When he leaves, he takes the sun with him and I’m left in the frozen wasteland that is this corner of Barnes and Noble.
What is this about though? What is the meaning of this? Simple. When I write myself into a hole, I set thirty minutes aside to do character studies of random people I see until I figure out how to properly transition in my story. I’ve figured it out now. So, signing off until I post the next section.
“Something’s wrong,” he whispered, laying the bird down on the table. It slid out of his palms, its head bending backwards so the nape of its neck nearly touched the mantle beneath. The wings were fashioned like a cocoon, tucking the body away, the white feathers neither ruffled nor out of place as Wynn let it roll onto the counter. Audrey leaned forward over her homework and touched the bird anxiously, her index finger just barely pressing against its mangled right leg.
As promised, I have an excerpt from Welcome to the Grave. But, first, I wanted to give a bit of background to what any of this is about. So far, it’s about a company of reapers. This corporate job of reaping has just about the same prestige and sex appeal as the ad men of the 50’s (at least, I hope it does). This is the fourth draft, so while there is still some work ahead of me, I wanted to put something out there. I gave a bit of a background about where the main character works, but it’s all still in the works regarding the overarching plot and sub-characters. This is also a new style of writing for me since I normally delve into detailed prose and heavy themes. But, I’m trying my hand at something more satirical.
“The theories surrounding The Company© varied from a bad hand at poker to an I-owe-you left over from the 14th century, because God was not one for commercial investments. Apparently, the frivolous and poorly executed calling of converting sinners was not enough of a for-profit job to occupy the amount of creatures working for the Big Guy Downstairs. They had to come up with something to keep them occupied or else things like Rocky II and Jackass would continue happening. The company existed off the backs of workers like Abelard, who didn’t know they were getting a bad deal until the moment they wrote their name on the dotted line.”
I keep thinking to myself that I need to upload some of my artwork, because I have a ton of it stored away in closets around the house, and half of it is hanging on the walls in various rooms. Most of these pieces I did for my AP Drawing portfolio during my senior year at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy. I can’t remember exactly what I named my concentration, but I know it was something along the lines of Nightmares because I thought that would give me a lot of room to work with. The best and worst part about submitting a portfolio is naming all the pieces something accurate to what is presented to the judges while also maintaining a certain amount of professionalism and the tiniest hint of bullshit. Instead of renaming all of these I thought it would be more fun if I named them after reactions people had/things that I distinctly remember people telling me about each of them.
Hi, hello, no, stop – stop. There’s no need for all of that (Please!). I started a separate blog a few years ago, but I think it was becoming less of a portfolio and more of a diary of sorts full of a lot of anger, anxiety and whatever else is currently brewing in the pits of my stomach. Either way, here we are. You, me, and this brightly lit screen between us. The romance is something out of a Katherine Heigl movie, preferably with more comedy, less crying, and that girl from The Ring crawling out the television and ruining the carpet. My kind of Saturday night. So, as of right now, I’m going to be posting like crazy some of the pieces I’ve written over the past few years just to update and convince you people that I definitely have work! I promise! It’s just all on my laptop and buried in about ten folders which I keep meaning to sort through (Does anyone else have a problem with naming things by smashing your hands on the keyboard, or is that just me?). Oh, and the title of the place – believe me, it’s not some kind of twisted joke on my own mortality, but a thing (honestly, there’s no better word for this, I went on Thesaurus) I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I’m trying my hand at magical realism that’s drenched with sarcasm, much like myself. Here’s an excerpt:
“So, what is this?”
That’s right. What really is this? That’s the kind of hard hitting questions this book (yikes, I’ve committed now) is going to be asking. I’m two steps away from a protagonist in an existential crisis and three from a love triangle involving a theater geek who’s had enough (Enough of what?) and possibly another girl who keeps to the shadows and only wears neon orange pants. I’m thinking they’ll meet by making eye contact in that slit that all public bathroom stalls seem to have while one of them is washing their hands. In reality though, it’s actually about reapers and it may take place in New York. I’ll post an excerpt soon.
If you stick around, thanks I appreciate it. If not, I hope you get really obsessed with anime and all your friends make fun of you…not that I would know anything about that though.