Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Soap bubbles

He stood leaning on the fence, watching the world go by about him, in no hurry to go anywhere and with absolutely nothing to do. The mild autumn sun was beginning to set in the distance, still sending golden rays over the world.

A plane was tracing a white line on the sky, looking like a little ant with a tiny reactor on its back. He followed the trail upwards, tilting his head back until his hair tickled the back of his neck, shading his eyes with one hand. The plane soon reached the rich foliage of a tree and disappeared behind the yellowing leaves.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bitesize fiction. "I hate you"

"Are you going to go already?" He kept pressing the keys on his keyboard lazily, killing monsters in a video game. He didn't even glance at me and I was growing impatient.

"You're the one who should go and apologise. You were a right ass back there!" I waved my hands emphatically towards the door.

"I'm sure I did nothing wrong. She really deserved every word." he commented, not bothering to raise his eyes from the computer screen.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Street fights

My hands were burning and trembling and I had the desire to clench them into fists. I felt utterly helpless and I knew it showed in my actions. I was afraid to speak, knowing I'd stutter as soon as I opened my mouth.

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" They all laughed and it sounded like a hoard of hyenas. They didn't know any better, I was smarter than all of them put together, but they were simply too many. My heart was racing and wild plans flashed in my mind.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bitesize fiction. The wild west

"Once upon a time, long looong ago, when I was still young and had just met your grandmother, I used to be a sheriff. Everybody in our little town respected me and knew better than to cause trouble when I was on watch." The grandfather paused to take a long drag from his pipe and to look at his grandchildren with sparkling eyes. The little ones were all ears.

"Really, Pa? And the bad guys? Did you catch any of them?"

"Sent them to jail? And shooting and horse chases and...?" the smallest of the three was getting very excited about the story, flailing his hands around as if shooting imaginary bandits.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Broken Pencil Poetry. Licking the blackboard

Ambition can make us break any barriers that might stand in our way, but it can also make us break ourselves in the process. Obsession is like a vehicle that drives us when we believe we are in control and it literally runs on illusions as fuel.

It also gets rather boring at school, staring at the blackboard all day long.

I believe I've said enough about the next piece. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Rupture II

I crush the cassette in my sweaty palm, hearing the plastic bending, but stopping before cracking it. "So... it's over. You're gone and I never did anything to stop you. If anything, I just pushed you into it, little by little, until you just leaped into the abyss yourself."

My head probably hurts from crying, but the only feeling I can still perceive is the burning hole in my chest and the sickening feeling in my stomach. "You idiot! Why? Why..." I don't even know anymore. The world is trying to spin the other way around and all my words have run dry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Rupture

"I want to crush you like an ant." A long pause, interrupted by the sound of grit teeth. "Do you know how evil you are, how heartless?" There was no answer. "You drag me after you on an invisible leash, always tugging a little harder when I try to get away. Always ready to prove to me that I can't live without you."

The silence grew heavy, like a dusty old blanket thrown over reality. In the distance, a bird sung a few tentative notes, then went quiet.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Questions greater than ourselves

I went to the bathroom to wash my face after a few long and tedious hours of staying up a bit too late. I look in the mirror, but the image looking back at me is somewhat alien. I am aware of every move I make, wondering if maybe someone else is doing everything and I'm just an observer.

There are a few questions that have troubled me many times before.

Are we identical with our bodies and with our minds? Is there a unity within us or are we a strangely put together puzzle? I often feel that these parts of me are somewhat strange, only brought together by accident and not really fitting. Not fitting to one another and not fitting to my needs.

This might sound odd. But let me continue...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

See-through

For those of you who don't know, my favourite literary genre is science fiction. "Literary genre?" some might ask. Despite rather popular opinion, science fiction is not a subgenre, it is a supergenre. Many writers deal with more complex issues than alien invasions and such popular themes.

Lately, my laptop has been broken, so I took out my two favourite books and started re-reading them. They were written by the Strugatski brothers during the period of the Russian communism. The stories are full of satirical portrayals of the situation back then and philosophical issues.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little free talk

I have been afflicted with chatterboxy and I'm afraid it's pretty bad. Which is why this post will be delayed (because I want my new chapter to have enough time to be noticed; I don't get 100+ views and comments within the first hour) and why you might not want to read it, unless you have time to waste... I mean, spare.

I have been working hard translating a book (about Hitler, mind you) and even went over my deadline, doing 10 pages a day every day... If I took a couple of hours off to nap, it felt like a sacrilege :D

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chapter 3. The only way back is walking forward

The gatekeeper walked towards another wooden door, with intricate carvings on its surface. I could make out strange landscapes and symbols I had never seen before. I didn't have much time to study them though, because the old man opened the door and stood aside, waiting for me to walk out first.
I was however unable to step beyond the threshold. The view in front of me took my breath away. The sun shone over rolling hills covered with short grass. Here and there, a few groups of trees and bushes. In the distance, the horizon was lined with a mountain range, grey and jagged at the top.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chapter 2. A theatre of illusions

My eyes widened. What kind of an answer was that? A thousand dark thoughts crossed my mind at once. I studied the man carefully. He was rather old, but did not seem weak at all, quite the opposite. Was he in his right mind? His attitude and speech were clear, but his words made no sense.
Before I could ask any more questions, he called out to me from the other end of the room "Come with me. I will tell you what you need to know."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A journey without a proper destination

"The first of many." he said. I looked almost incredulous. Could one of my craziest dreams be allowed to roam free?

That was my first book. A collection of poems. Publishing it was like flinging a piece of my heart out to the universe.

And after that, a new step into the unknown, guided only by my fingers on the keyboard. It used to be a pencil on an old notebook page, eraser close by, just in case. There are no mistakes in poetry though. Just a flow of words.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chapter 1. "Great adventures, unforgettable"

"I can't believe you managed to take me out to town."
"Correction, I dragged you out of your gloomy little den. You were covered in spider webs and a thick layer of dust." My friend laughed at her own joke. I managed a grunt, trying not to give in to her attempts at shaking me out of my melancholy.
"No, Melinda, I was working." I narrowed my eyes. Of course she wouldn't know, she lives with her parents, who always dote on her like she is a little princess. She didn't notice my quick glower and carried on.
"Work work work. Can't you have a little fun from time to time?" I was about to protest, to tell her my time was precious, but she cut me off. "Please, Liv, live a little." She chortled at her new joke. Her laughter was clear and spoke of carelessness and summer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reaching out to the abyss

A muse is... What is a muse?

Most of my love interests have been far away, unreachable in one way or another. Often, in distance. Other times (most of the times, in fact), the person was simply not interested in me.

Could there be some truth in the cliche saying that "art is created through suffering"?

This has certainly been the case with my poems. But not the usual kind of suffering, no. An emptiness in my heart, missing something or someone I could never have. And the accursed too vivid imagination to fill up the gaps with illusions.

Muses are meant to be so enticing, they elicit tears. Untouchable, unreachable... perhaps even impossible. And, to the enjoyment of the audience and to the woe of the artist, imaginable.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Imaginary foes

A military leader talking about teaching his daughter that their enemies were lowly and deserved being hated and hurt. The reason for the war might have sounded righteous in the ears of some:  the people were poor and hungry and the war spoils gave them food. The prisoner of war commented "Her belly might be full, but her spirit will be empty," referring to the indoctrinated daughter.

This is a scene from Star Trek, but even if the series is science fiction, this fragment struck me as depicting a very real issue.
War is a matter of perspective. The side that you're on is in the right and the other one is wrong. Maybe from all points of view.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Normality

"Ok, why exactly are you here?"
"Because I thought my intelligence would get the better of me."
"Oh?"
"My intelligence... You see" and he looked left and right, then leaned in to whisper secretly "I'm almost certain my mind is a lot smarter than I am."
"And you see that as a problem?"
"Well, yes. Especially when it's trying to take over my life." The look on his face was very serious.
"Go on."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The winner

The contest is over and the winner has been found.

Congratulations to Desiree! To everyone, thank you for participating! I wish I had more coupons to give away.

But, if you still want to get my book, there is a 20% off discount you can use on Blurb, code BLURB20.

I'm sorry I had to choose the winner without a live audience, although I waited for a while. I can assure you I was 100% fair.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Choosing a winner

The book giveaway contest entry period is over. Now it's time to find out who has won the $75 book coupon from Blurb.

First of all, here is a list of everyone who entered, in the order of their comments:
  1. Desiree
  2. Practical Parsimony
  3. Carol Wyer
  4. Odie Langley
  5. Felissa Hadas
  6. Vicky at PPCT
  7. Justlittlecajunme
  8. Juanita
  9. Storycollector
  10. Georgia Little Pea

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book coupon giveaway contest

As you might have heard, my poetry book, The relativity of a corroded mind, has been published! But don't rush to buy it just yet, since you might be able to get it for free.

The people at Blurb, who published my book, have given me the opportunity to give away a $75 coupon to be used on their site. That would allow you to get even several copies of my slim little book. Maybe you want to give some as gifts to your friends, who knows?

However, first I will be holding a little contest to find the lucky winner for the coupon.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"As a memory"

He sat down on the chair in the middle of the kitchen and tilted his head back. His hair was wet, hanging in long curly strands above the floor. He caught it all in one fist and then the other. "About this much."

The scissors made several scrunching sounds, hungrily biting at the curls. The strands fell limp on the floor.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My poetry book has been published

Good news, I have finally published my poetry book! It took a lot of hesitation on my part and a lot of encouragement from my friends. I was about to give up, when my fiance said "You have everything, right? Just go ahead and publish it." He helped me with the cover and so, it's out in the world: "The relativity of a corroded mind".

 
Here is how it all happened...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Broken pencil poetry. Non-poetry

I used to hate poems. School made me believe that all they were ever good for was memorising and then reciting them in class. They were invariably syrupy and whiny. And they often rhymed too much.

When we got older, we had to explain the poems we learned. Some were easy, straightforward. Some were extremely intricate and we could almost feel the poet's ghost standing behind us, grinning at us racking our brains to solve their mysteries. I got pretty good at it. I started liking it. I even found a poet whose writings I really liked.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bitesize fiction. "No"

"No..." she said politely when he offered her a drink.

"No, no..." she argued when he brought her chocolates. He looked at her slim frame and tried again. The answer was a nervous "No", emphasized by a shake of her head.

"No!" she hung up the phone annoyed. She thought to herself that, if he were to call her at work one more time, she'd have to call in sick for a week. Maybe even request a transfer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Give yourself a pat on the back, a hug, a slap on the face. Be your best friend.

I have been a very stubborn person, ever since I was small.
I would set my own personal rules and abide them strictly. There were things I didn't like and wouldn't do under any circumstance - eat certain foods, listen to certain music, wear certain clothes that were in fashion.

Sometimes, I applied those rules to other people as well and also pointed out to them that they were doing "wrong things" and that I would never do that.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How do I put this...?

Spring - rejuvenation. Fire - passion. Hercules - courage. Romeo and Juliet - love.

Symbols are the root of our language. If we remove the little connective words between them, we would still be able to understand one another at some level. Some meanings have been lost, some altered. What once meant war now means peace. Each day, with the people and events that become important to our society, we gain more symbols. Communication is dynamic, but it is also strongly related to our culture.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spring green

I like spring - it is my favourite season, when everything suddenly turns green, the flowers explode on the tree branches and the birds start chirping outside.

Spring is nature's season; everything wakes up from hibernation and starts a new year. There have been a few showers these days and we're expecting sunshine next week, with a few plans of going out to the park, doggie and all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Beyond the canvas

What if the human body were elastic like a membrane? What if we had to change our appearance more drastically than the mere phases of age?

There is a theme common to several science fiction stories. One being living in symbiosis with another, which provides it with a body, a voice, transportation. The "parasite" would be the actual soul and personality.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Petty crimes

Appeal to the sympathy of the public and they will feel that your opponent has committed a crime against something they hold very dear. Make your enemy look immoral and unethical in other people's eyes and they will stone him to death. You will not have to throw a rock even.

It sounds cruel and strange and dreadful. Yet, it happens everywhere around us, often without us knowing it. Sometimes, we're the public, we're throwing the stones, judges in a subjective courtroom. Sometimes, we're the ones pointing the finger.

There is no conclusion to this. There never is.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Broken pencil poetry. Diving into the sun

I've always looked younger than I really am. I've often acted half my age as well. Somehow, though, I feel that I've missed out on a lot of the madness of childhood while I was growing up. Things are rarely the way we imagine them to be and we keep holding on for a dream until long after we've woken up.

I've also always been fascinated by the energy of youth, by people who live with passion rather than just live. I have constantly seen children younger than me who had more talent or knowledge than I did at their age or even when I was older.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A garden in a pot

Ever since I was in school and living with my parents, I've always had a small potted plant to take care of.

Little plants with big stories to tell

I had a colocasia, a plant with big leaves, also called "elephant's ear". It barely had two or three leaves and was quite sturdy, but I did take good care of it and enjoyed seeing its vibrant green. I can't remember very well, but I think mom took it for the balcony plants once and it withered a bit soon afterwards.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The light

The church bells tolled solemnly, filling the air with a metallic sound. No matter the event, this sound has always been ominous to my ears and I usually hurried along, head low.

This time, I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. I was standing among the mass of people, huddled around the church in the street, in the parking lot. We were all listening to the bell, waiting.

A little after midnight, the little flickers of light started moving out of the church and spread among the crowd, passed on from person to person. Soon, everyone had a lit candle in their hands.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dream shards. Harley Davidson eggs

Last night I dreamt I was staying at a hotel of sorts with my mom, my fiance and a few other people. My mother's room was very elegant, with antique beds, tall mirrors and it was all extremely clean.

Out to find my friends in their other room, I met the little fat boy, who had a bunch of scallions in his hand, going to lunch. I started talking to him, to maybe get a couple of scallions myself. My dad and I always used to have them with almost every meal in spring.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bla bla blo blog

I thought it would be interesting and quite fitting to talk about blogs. This is a blog and you, dear reader, are quite likely also a blogger, since one knows best how to be patient and read another's posts.

Extra, extra, read all about it!

A few months ago, the pet blogging community started a challenge: what did our blogs mean to us and what was our "schedule" or lack thereof?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Broken pencil poetry. Clay

I used to live in a small, quiet town with my parents. Wherever you needed to go, it would take you about 10-15 minutes to get there. The streets were clean, there were chestnut trees on the sidewalk on the main street and you could really feel at home. The centre of the town was a long street, only for pedestrians. The forest was within walking distance and I used to go there every week for karate lessons.

Most people would say it isn't paradise city, nor extremely fun. It is my home town though.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Homesick

A little drop of sea water curled inside a seashell, wailing quietly, singing the only song it has learned to sing. Longing for home, sitting on its little spot on the table.

The little gold fish in the aquarium opens its mouth a few times, listening, understanding. In its own little mind, there is a call, a call of the sea. Singing with mute sounds, it joins the seashell in a chorus. The seaweed undulates slowly, dancing to the song of the waves.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Resistance is futile"

Some of you who have read my other posts on this blog probably know that I am fond of sci-fi and particularly of the Star Trek series The Next Generation. Very few of you know about my father.

It has been more than a year now, that he died of cancer. I was there with him the last few days and it was a grueling time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scorpio Design

Maybe you've heard of my fiancé, Scorpio, though I don't say much about him here (he's rather camera-shy). He's a friendly guy though, don't worry. Also, he's quite the budding artist and this is what the whole story is about.

Lately, he's been improving his skills in graphic design, both 2D and 3D. Since we're both kind of out of work right now, he's been making logos for a lot of companies.

He has also recently launched his little presentation site, showcasing some of his newest and best logos. Feel free to look around, though it's just at the beginning and doesn't have a lot of content yet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Once upon a village road...

Big world, very big world
For the first 4 years of my life, I lived with my grandparents at their village house. Life was simple then, I was in the garden all day or playing with the hatchlings and everyone around me seemed old and wise, including my 10 year-old friends.

My grandmother was like a second mother to me. I know you hear it a lot and it's as cliché as can be, but it is true. She took care of me, since my parents had to work. Maternity leaves lasted only a few months back then and there was no word of paternity leaves yet.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Broken pencil poetry. The tunnel of dreams

"Your condemned Impressionism,
Blending over my Cubism,
Let us bathe in Realism"
Lavi, "The tunnel of dreams", 2006
Look, I've just quoted myself again. I should feel like one of the classics now, sipping ambrosia and being offered nectar and ambrosia by critics from a silver platter. Yes? No, not really. The classics would spit in my face.

So would the critics.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Desiree!

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Marcel Proust
This is one of the quotes that we find at the beginning of the virtual journey through a breathtaking garden. Our careful guide, Desiree, takes us on meandering stone paths, under tall shady trees and past lovely flowers and ferns. Here and there, a water fountain, a surprising copper butterfly. It is as if she has whispered gently to nature to help her turn her garden into such a serene place.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"The cat sat on the mat"

I received a hard blow today and I must say it hurt.

Of course it's not the only one, of course it's not the worst. But it is one that shakes my little world in a very intimate way. It makes me doubt myself, hate myself, you name it.

And it's silly at the same time, of course. I'm not deluding myself, I'm an idiot for paying too much attention to this and letting it overwhelm me. But hey, I live in a very small world. Small things look bigger in a small world.

But let me take it from the beginning... Two beginnings, in fact.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Where birds fear to fly

You know the Chinese temples high up in the heart of the misty mountains. Or maybe you've read and seen artwork from The Lord of the Rings, where Rivendell is a big valley in the mountains.
 
 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bitesize fiction. The flower in the window

The light outside was growing dim and it was dark in the room. She lit a small lamp and set it on the windowsill. Next to it, there was a small pot with a tiny lily of the valley in it. Its suave perfume wafted gently in the air.

Everything was still in the room, in the house. The floorboards screeching, the wind bellowing outside seemed too familiar, yet so far away. The fire was crackling in the hearth, warming up the air and making the room seem almost less empty.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Only the eyeless know

The sound of water dripping seemed awfully eerie in the silence. Added dampness to an already wet stone ground. Pik-pik-pik. Endlessly.

I couldn't move for a long while, listening to the sound, hypnotised. Where was the sun? I didn't dare open my eyes, because I knew what was expecting me. Darkness. I opened them either way, wide, peering into the endless black. I stared intently, not blinking, until my eyes hurt.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Digging out tattered old memories

She fell in her chair and dozed off on the desk in approximately half a minute, which, she would later have to admit, was a record. Everything was working just fine, she was just about to fight off a relatively dangerous nightmare, when a firm hand grabbed her ear and tried to extend it out of the known universe, pulling her out of the dream in the process.
Lavi, an unfinished story

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The old story about the pen and paper

Why do I write? Once, I thought it was because I wasn't very good at drawing. To be honest, it's more because I'm incapable of telepathy. There are thoughts and dreams roaming in my mind and I can't share them in a way that won't alter them. I often even forget them. In its own simple way, writing helps me record and transmit my own thoughts, at least in part.

Why do I write? Because talking doesn't come easy to me. I am barely learning to talk to people about things that are important to me. It helps to quietly formulate a thought before setting it loose in the world. I get nervous because of people's reactions to what I say.

Deşteaptă-te, române!

Today, I got an e-mail from mom about great Romanian people and their achievements. And about how they often get pushed aside or have their inventions stolen by other people. And we say it over and over again, that our country is probably the worst in the world. I would say, no, Romania can still produce wonderful people, but it all goes to waste when we are led by stupid and egotistic people.

It's no secret, because now, after the Communist regime, we can at least voice our opinion without getting arrested. But what we say still falls on deaf ears, I'm afraid.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Popping the speech bubble

"I type quickly - 90 words a minute, when I am happy, care free and in a good mood. I don't believe in fancy stuff. In my writing, there is no poetry, no complexity, no literary frills. Therefore, I need only to barrel along, saying whatever comes to mind, and waving cheerfully at people who happen to pass my type writer."
(Asimov Roving Mind 337)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A cup o' tea

I'm holding a cup of tea in my hand, looking at its steamy surface. I made it too sweet today and can barely taste the linden. If you live in our crazy coffee-driven, beer-cheerful and additive-filled times, you'll probably quirk an eyebrow. "Who still drinks tea nowadays, except for old people or when they have a cold?"

No, don't get me wrong. Not instant tea, not the popular ice tea, nor even flavoured black tea. Plain old linden tea with honey. It's ridiculously out of style, that sound of the teaspoon clinking against the porcelain cup.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"The measure of a man"

I will begin by saying that I really enjoy science-fiction, in part because of the broad possibilities it explores, but also because of some of the more metaphysical aspects. If we encounter an alien race, what will our relation with it be? How would we consider a sentient machine?

Science-fiction forgets about the "it's impossible" and wonders "is it probable?". So, let's wonder for a while about the likelihood of things that seem impossible now, but which bring out some of the fundamental issues of humanity.

Monday, February 14, 2011

1+1=2, not 11

Oh, shit! It's Valentine's day.
You see red and pink everywhere, hearts and roses, cards, "I love you"s, ribbons and balloons. And somewhere in the whole commotion, love was hushed quietly in a corner, to be admired and praised, while at the front of the store, the smell of money wafted gently. Is it really that bad?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

No, you're doing it wrong!

Sometimes I'm surprised by people. I shouldn't be. We're all playing charades, trying to guess what the others are miming and try to mime back a bit of what we feel about it all. It's almost funny when you think about it.

Don't let yourself get caught unaware... Don't let them understand more than you'd like. It's really very funny. But oh, so complicated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"I'll try anything once." "Except sex!"

I'm at a loss... At a big loss because I realise sometimes that all the things I'm putting so much effort into are useless and silly and - most important of all - not vital.

Let's take it from the "dark ages". Watching the same cartoons over and over on tv, reading stories written in a horrible way and a number of other "entertaining activities" that have done almost nothing for me.

Then, there were computer games, which ate a good many years of my time. But hey, they were fun.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Be a darling, pass the salt and pepper of life

It's crazy in here. The grinning crocodile is grinning at you trying to say "no way, no how, not a lizard's chance in hell".

My dear friends (if there are any out there), I have very often been taught a bunch of bullshit by a lot of people. People including my parents, my friends, teachers, people who feel it's their "duty" to educate other people...

And it doesn't take a lot of hitting your head against the wall until you realise you've got a headache and should stop.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The "today" issue

Today I realised something while looking at photos of my old classmates. I'm stuck in time, looking like I'm 16 years old, expecting everyone to never change as well. I'm sure it would be hard for me to accept change if it hit me like a train.

The trouble with "today" is that I keep thinking about yesterday. "Yesterday" was good, it was cool, I had friends, people read my poems and my dad was still around. I was also the social failure and ugly duckling who had no clue what a little girl should do. But I still showed everyone at school... I showed them, heh!

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