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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/554627-The-Writing-Practice-Journal/month/10-1-2020
by Joy
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #554627
Encounters with the Writing Process
From Kathleen's bids

New Intention:

Now in 2017 and the following years, if any, I shall use this journal for whatever I please to write. *Rolling*
Still, I reiterate: Read at your own risk!

Old Intentions:
Now, starting with June 2013, I will use this journal for the entries for "I Write in June-July-August . Afterward, I'll go back to the part I have down below in red. Still, read at your own risk
. *Laugh*

Now, starting at the end of 2010, I am going to write into this journal directly, without making any other copies. Freeflow, but from prompts. I may use prompts or simple sentences as prompts, which I'll put on the subject line. I'll probably use some of the prompts from the Writing.com app.

And yes, I do intend to make a fool of myself, because I miss writing on a good old fashioned typewriter with no other cares. Maybe some ancient and wise author like Dickens will watch me from Heaven, shake his head, and say, "You haven't made a dent." Not a dent, but making my own mud is my intention. So, if you read, read at your own risk. *Laugh*

Truth is, I had started this journal in 2002 for the different reason of writing down ideas on the craft of writing. Over the years, my personal blog took over what I wanted to do here. Afterwards I continued with writing exercises with no order or plan to the entries. And now, this.

Who says I can't let my hair down! Okay, I can't because my hair is short. *Wink* But I've got nerve.

*Flower4**Pencil* *Shamrock* *Pencil* *Flower4**Flower4**Pencil* *Shamrock* *Pencil* *Flower4**Flower4**Pencil**Flower4**Pencil* *Shamrock* *Pencil* *Flower4* *Shamrock* *Pencil* *Flower4**Flower4**Pencil* *Shamrock* *Pencil* *Flower4*

October 23, 2020 at 2:34pm
October 23, 2020 at 2:34pm
She always sat on the bench by the fountain. It was her move, and Aiden’s countermove was to amble about as if he were taking a walk, ramrod straight to make his body seem taller than it could ever be, imagining his short stature didn’t belong with him and that she seemed to like his company.

Thus, approaching tentatively, he would wave at her, then would make himself comfortable crouching on the bench next to her. It felt like a cosmic event and it had seemed to be working as Aiden’s long -term goal was to establish an emotionally close relationship with Penny.

“Hi, Penny, how are you, today?”

Then, they would begin chatting. All through his planned coincidences, Aiden never sensed any resistance from Penny. It was as if she approved of these so-called chance meetings.

Until today, when Aiden walked toward the bench by the fountain. When he caught hat sight of Carter, sitting next to Penny. Carter, the tall guy who was both on the basketball and the football teams and on the Dean’s list to boot. Carter sat sprawled with one arm behind the bench where Penny was, obviously expressing his ownership of her.

Aiden slowed down feeling a terror in his bones as if he were losing his gait. As if his being there was now a forbidden act. As he slowed down, he saw Carter put something in Penny’s hand. Penny looked startled and at the same time her eyes found Aiden walking on the path. Carter saw Aiden, too, and waved at him; then Penny did, too. Aiden waved back not daring to disturb their universe or the universe in general that always backstabbed him. It was the pattern of his life, the fabric of his being with bits and pieces of his past following his shortness throughout his life.

So, he kept on walking all the way to the other end of the campus. On his way back, he saw that the bench by the fountain was now empty. He went to it wanting to kick it, wanting to break every slat on it, but he just sat on it exactly on the spot where Carter had been sitting and sighed. His sad frustration now overpowering him, he closed his eyes and felt the place where Penny was sitting when his fingers hit against something, something cold, small, and metallic, but he couldn’t grasp it. Baffled, he opened his eyes and saw that there was nothing on the bench where he sat. Immediately, he heard several shrill clanging sounds right under the bench. What was it he had made fall through the slats?

He stood up, his eyes searching the cement ground. When he bent down to look under the bench, he saw the small key chain with only one key on it. A serrated tiny metal thing encompassing its own entry, a cherished possession. That key had to have the ability to stop or enter someone’s life, but whose was it?

Suddenly, he realized it. He had seen it. He had seen Carter put something in Penny’s hand. This keychain had to be it. A romantic talisman, an invitation, a self-packaging of importance. The importance of the tall, handsome Carter, a tangible reality of what the world was made up. This bulkily knotted world identifying only with its only brand of choice—the outward looks of things and people. Aiden wasn’t going to let this world get to him. He would face it and throw the keyring at Penny’s face.

He found her in front of her dormitory, talking to another girl. “Penny,” he called to her triumphantly, “I have something that’s yours.” The other girl smirked at him before leaving Penny’s side and entering the building. “Aiden? What is that?”

Aiden held the keychain up high and jangled it. “See? This!”

“That is not mine!”

“I saw Carter give it to you.”

“Carter didn’t give any such thing to me. The only thing Carter gave me was a piece of gum. Where did you get that?”

"It was on the bench where you were sitting with him a while ago.”

“Silly! Carter had to go to practice and I had to drop a book at the library. It must belong to someone else. Give it to me. I’ll give it to the house mother, so she can find who lost it.”

Aiden dropped the keychain in Penny’s hand. A coincidental mishap? Of course, he didn’t believe her, but why expose his feelings for her? Why risk being vulnerable?

“Yeah,” he said, “Sure, you take care of it, Penny.”


Oct. 03, 2020-- CONTEST ROUND: Plot Background Story
All the other non-contest assignments are in "2020 NaNo Prep

October 17, 2020 at 11:23am
October 17, 2020 at 11:23am
His own house glared at Aiden. The heat of the summer evening crisped his skin, adding a buzzing inside his head. He took the first step going to the front door, but on second thought, he turned away. He didn’t want to go inside yet. Inside, where Penny had to be hiding her secrets from him.

He looked at the bench a short distance away, half-hidden in the shadows. He took a few tentative steps toward it, then lowered himself on it. The crescent moon’s light mixing with that of the flickering street light at the corner was increasing the pallor of the bench. He touched the seat of it with his hand, feeling its peeling paint. It labeled him, marked him, showed him his status. His status had no luxury of pride, as he might be the man betrayed.

Everything was spinning out of control just like the fly that kept landing on his nose and around his mouth. It had to be attracted to the leftover sweet smell of the ice-cream he had licked sloppily, a few minutes ago, on the way home. Why did sweet things attract flies? Why would his wife generate a pull on a man other than himself?

He felt the fly circling around his head, the sound of its wings artificially loud in the quiet of the night. He waved his hands around his head, but the fly was adamant. Finally, he caught it in his hand and squished, feeling the tiny wetness of its last moment.

This place was his domain, his turf. A fly had no business being there to pester him. In the dim light, he could see the form of the darkened oak, the largest tree on the front yard, where the asphalted driveway began at the sidewalk of the narrow street.

The unmown grass had to be visible from the lawn. He decided to take care of it soon, before his next-door neighbor voiced another complaint. An imaginary scent of freshly mown grass filled his nostrils, and a sudden breeze whispered softly, “Do it!” Then, it stirred the leaves of the trees.

Aiden sighed, his breath puffing out low and warm, soothing the rougher edges of his mood and this black moment. He wet his lips and raised his eyes to the dark haunting form of his two-story house. It seemed to shake lightly like his stern aunt’s forefinger, accusing him of others’ crimes. But this was his house, with the smaller oaks around it, their wayward branches caressing its roof. He could see it fully, even with eyes closed, in all its different shades inspired by the time of the day and the quirks and habits of the seasons.

He could also see the entire area in his mind’s eye, with roads surrounding the house, then in their surreptitious manner, leading to the Long Island Expressway. When he thought about it, the rest of the place, all the distance to the South Shore and Manhattan, was difficult to visualize in detail, although, when he drove on the roads, he knew them as if they were etched in his brain and he never got lost. Still he could not imagine them like this garden in the night, the terrain of it where he knew every inch. He could praise it to the sky or leave it unattended. Wasn't it his choice?

Suddenly, a flash of light caught his eye. The light from the kitchen window. It had to be midnight by now and Penny had to have come down for a drink of water, or better yet, to check if he had returned. Then, he heard the kitchen door creak open.

“Aiden? What are you doing sitting in the garden in the middle of the night? It is hot out. Come inside.”

Yes, they had central air installed before moving in. His skin would probably feel better inside, especially after a shower.

“Coming!” Aiden said, adjusting his voice to a louder, happier pitch. Penny should never guess what worried him and what he was up to.


Oct. 03, 2020-- CONTEST ROUND: Setting Background Story
All the other non-contest assignments are in "2020 NaNo Prep

October 9, 2020 at 6:41pm
October 9, 2020 at 6:41pm
Antagonist Background Story

No Church, No Consolation

         Perhaps the church would heal him, calm him down. Just maybe. As Aiden began sitting down, a church member tapped him on the shoulder to let him know that the seat was reserved. Who reserved pews in Church?

         It had to be his height again, or rather the lack of it, that drew vindictive actions from people. A darkness gathered on his face and rested there, but he rose obediently and crouched down in the only empty pew at the back.

         His mind now began evoking other things, with all kinds of scenarios ending in Aiden’s long lingering agony, this shortness of him, the elevator shoes that didn’t help. Only Penny had the power of charming away his brooding over his stature, over Carter, and all the other tall boys in school. Penny who was the golden knotted twine that tied Aiden to Carter and to Aiden’s painful past.

         Penny, the sound of her voice, the light of her giggle, the touch of her fingers. How could she have left him for Carter while they are all fledglings in high school? Granted, she might come back to him, but only after Carter would ditch her. And Aiden would gratefully accept this second-place to Carter. He knew he would.

         He grated his teeth, recalling a recent incident. The incident when all three of them were attending the Easter dance in the school’s large auditorium, crowded to suffocation, with teachers and chaperones.

         When Aiden, to make up for his short build, had climbed on a bench to see where Penny was, he was ordered down by Mrs. Reed, “Get down, Aiden!” Mrs. Reed, the teacher with the habitual scorn on her proud face, had flung herself upon him again, her anger at Aiden’s impropriety raging like fire.

         Yet, just before jumping off, Aiden had stopped spotting them, dancing cheek to cheek. That Carter, wrapped in his greatness of being the super student and football hero, stealing his girl.

         Not that Penny was officially Aiden’s girl, but she was the only girl who gave him the time of the day, and he had received her attentions with gratitude. He had been grateful because no other girl had looked his way. Ever! The reason, he surmised, was this shortness of him blocking any recognition from all those defiant girls.

         “Aiden! I am telling you. Get down!”

          He jumped then, without looking, right on Mrs. Reed’s feet, clad with short-heeled black pumps. Her screams in pain were neither ladylike nor slight nor ordinary, but unequalled in intensity.

         Such sordid luck! It had gotten him a day’s detention. All because of Carter.

         Maybe, he hardly knew Penny. She was so changed. No more that sweet smiling girl in Aiden’s imagination who would look toward his desk with interest and a wish to please.

         The service hadn’t started yet. His amiable intentions had made another mistake. Aiden glanced at the altar with an apologetic expression, drooped his head, and rose. No church for him today. No consolation.


Oct. 03, 2020-- CONTEST ROUND: Antagonist Background Story
All the other non-contest assignments are in "2020 NaNo Prep

October 2, 2020 at 6:35pm
October 2, 2020 at 6:35pm
Aiden's eyes shot wide open, blue and startled.

"Get under your bed, Aiden," he heard his father's voice. In an instant, he was off the bed and on his feet, feeling the chill of the late afternoon. The house was shivering, too, and the floor under his bare feet shuddered.

The six-year-old Aiden ran into the closet. How could he trust a bed in which he was made to take an afternoon nap against his wishes!

This had to be a game, San Francisco's game, fated during the Creation. The big one that came on October 17, 1989. No tell-tale signs with this one, but it was big enough to sink and crash the entire house.

Aiden, now 36, leaned against the back of the chaise-long on the porch and closed his eyes tight to recall.

A steadily clamped mouth, as if a notch carved at the bottom of a strong head, with a sense of calamity. Why can't he remember more of his father? Yet, his mother, how fine boned she is! So frail, and slim, with her protruding belly, carrying the brother which will never come. Yet, Aiden recalls the baby things, spread on the sofa from the purchases of the day before the earthquake hit: several brand new blue overalls with Donald Duck, Teddy Bears, and Superman on them; milky-white diaper-bundles, Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Powder, tiny socks, and a pair of baby shoes. He has tried so many times to imagine the baby feet that could fill those shoes, but it wasn't meant to happen.

Then, no more San Francisco for the orphan Aiden, a lonely child. He is in Long Island, now. Kings Park. A different place. Uncle Matthew's place. Aunt Nora who faults Aiden for just about everything, and to begin with, for existing. Granted, she is already over her head with Aiden's older cousins, Julia and Ivy.

Thinking back…Sometimes it hurt; it really hurt, Sometimes, he panicked because he didn't know how to handle it all. How could he know in his early ages that in stressful times of change, those who have a stake in the act of kindness could make the object of their kindness a punching bag?

"Aiden is wild. Don't believe him. He is lying because he has a switchblade. He's hiding it," Aunt Nora is screaming at Uncle Matthew, Aunt Nora the cheater, Aunt Nora who Aiden saw kiss another man in the living room, when others weren't home, and Aiden talked about it in his uncle's presence.

"No, Mom, that switchblade isn't Aiden's," Ivy butts in and is immediately sent to her room. Julia stays quiet, although she watches Aiden standing by the open window, bawling, and she knows the switchblade never was Aiden's but hers.

One single really bad earthquake. That was all it took.


Oct. 03, 2020-- CONTEST ROUND: Protagonist Background Story
All the other non-contest assignments are in "2020 NaNo Prep

© Copyright 2020 Joy (UN: joycag at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/554627-The-Writing-Practice-Journal/month/10-1-2020