NaNo Day 3: Announcements Imminent

So I’m currently listening to 1989 (thank you very much to my amazing roommate Emily for picking it up at Target this weekend), and while it’s not my favorite Taylor Swift album (that will forever and always be Speak Now) and I had a lot of reservations about buying it (Wonderland‘s what sold me), I’m enjoying it now. And it’s making me want to dance. So that’s good. (Realizing as this plays that I actually like basically all the songs but the singles, and those will probably grow on me anyway, so whoooooooo T-Swift does it again.)

Today I scheduled as a non-writing day because I knew my procrastinating butt well enough to realize I wouldn’t have finished my term paper first draft due Tuesday yet. What I didn’t realize was that I also wouldn’t have started it. (Which is to say: I can’t even remember what my topic proposal from a month ago is about. Um.) So, I’m off to rock out to “Bad Blood” and, you know, figure out what I’m writing this paper on.

While I’m off drowning in peer-reviewed film journals and eighty-year-old movies: ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE COMING VERY SOON. Like a couple things possibly probably tomorrow and other things later this week and I am dying from the anticipation, dude. Keep your eyes on the Chapter One Young Writers Conference site and social media.

And a reminder that the November Ch1Con Chat is this Thursday at 8 PM EST and we’ll be discussing NaNoWriMo! Find more info here.

Talk to you tomorrow as everything starts coming together! AHHHH!

Goal for today: 0.

Overall goal: 6,000.

Current word count: 7,140.

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: The End Where I Begin, Chapter Fifteen

First off, this:

Also this:

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way: Hi. How are you? Are you having a good day? (I’m going to assume yes after those two videos.)

I’ve been sick(ish) for the past week or so, but I’m almost over it now and I just finished reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue and my plans for the evening involve revising and a meeting with a couple amazing Ch1Con team members, so I’m well. (Also: HOLY CRAP NANOWRIMO BEGINS IN THREE DAYS SOMEBODY HOLD ME.)

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a chapter from my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, The End Where I Begin. As always, a reminder that this has seen little to no editing and I’m still in the process of writing the novel, so there will be mistakes and inconsistencies and all that fun stuff throughout.

Also, heads up that this is the last chapter of TEWIB I’m posting. This is less because I plan to actually do anything with it (because it was always just a practice novel anyway), but because I kind of, sort of definitely have not written anything on it since the end of last year’s NaNo and that 53k ends in the middle of Part II. And this is the last chapter of Part I. So this is really the onlyhalfway decent stopping place.

Thanks for keeping up with this over the past year! It’s been fun.

Read previous chapters:

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

**********
Chapter Fifteen
The blast of searing air knocks me off my feet. I fly down the hall. I land on my back, and my skull knocks against tile, and everything is a thousand colors, temperatures, swirling sensations. Chunks of concrete and twisted metal rain down upon me.
I hurt everywhere—no longer just in my jaw or my elbow, but everywhere—and it’s a wonder as I found myself on my feet, limping away from the explosion, with a scream in my throat but no way to hear it.
All I hear is a high-pitched buzz in my ears. Rich, black smoke chases me down the hall. I don’t know where the recruiting officers are, or anyone else, but I know the Second Origin must have set off this explosion, they must have, and I have to keep moving.
If I stop moving, they will get me. Again.
The smoke fills my lungs, clogs my throat. I lean against a wall and cough, retch, have to keep walking.
I don’t know where I am. This entire hallway looks the same—just one long expanse of blank walls and doors, and now it is torn to pieces, I can hardly see anything, why is no one else down here?
The tears burn down my cheeks, but I am not crying, and finally I spot the other end of the hall. A second stairwell. A way out of this madness.
I wrap my swollen fingers around the knob, clumsy, and push. It won’t open.
It won’t open, it won’t open, why won’t it open.
I shove my shoulder against the door, the entire side of my screaming body—my ribs are on fire, my leg is weak and covered in blood—and it moves just enough, just enough for me to slip through—and I trip over the thing on the other side of the door.
I still can’t hear my screams, but I’m aware that they must echo around this compact, concrete room, and Dr. Reede is on the floor before me with blood all around her head and a hole in her face and someone is saying my name. I don’t even notice it until I realize I can hear.
I spin. Dr. O’Brien lies on the floor behind me, only the hole in him is in his chest, and it’s not just one hole but several, and the vomit is in my throat but it won’t come the rest of the way out. My head is spinning, I want to lie down on the floor beside them but also run, run as far as I can, and the light is flickering, flickering, about to go out overhead.
Dr. O’Brien’s lips twitch ever so slightly. “You have to go, Miss Dylan. You have to go now. I’m sorry. We wanted to give you time. But you have to go.” He takes a breath, thick with liquid. His eyelids flutter, but he forces them to stay open. “Fifteenth floor. Press the green button. Prick your finger. Say your name.” He gasps again. It’s the sound of a fish without water, only of course he has too much liquid instead, and in the wrong places, and now I am crying, but I do not know why, because I barely know him anyway.
His last words are: “Don’t let them succeed.”

I don’t know how I find my way to the top of the staircase, but when I crawl through the door to the lobby, it is into a world of screaming sirens and flashing green lights and a bomb went off here too, so everyone is dead.
I pull myself up against the wall, but before I can move a step towards the elevator bank, the vomit finally works its way past my teeth, and I retch across the glossy black marble floor, now dull with blood, and the acid is not nearly as hot as it should be against my raw throat, because the explosion was so much hotter.
Faintly, faintly, beneath the alarms, people are screaming. I slide my feet across the floor, shoulder braced against the wall. The elevators are so close.
I press the up button and a sob breaks free as it lights up in response, because thank God, the elevators are still working, I cannot climb fifteen flights of stairs right now, and I don’t have the time.
I sag against the wall. I close my eyes. I don’t want to see the people. All of the Clinic’s extravagance torn apart, coated in dust and blood, the terrorists are real and I am truly leaving.
The doors slide open with a ding.
I step inside.
Someone shouts, “Help! Help me!”
I don’t want to look, I don’t want to see which poor soul on the floor is yet to stop breathing, but I look anyway. It’s not one of the blast-victims. It’s a woman covered head-to-toe in black striding towards me through the smoke, perfectly whole. Even her face is covered. She levels a gun at my head.
A member of the Second Origin.
“Alexa.” My name does not make sense on her lips. It sounds like a foreign word.
My heart is in my throat. I am no longer in pain, but numb. I don’t feel the button to close the doors beneath my finger, but when I look down I have pressed it.
“Alexa!”
I slam my fist against the button for the fifteen floor. I crumple against the marble.
The elevator lurches upward and I vomit again. All that is left is acid. It burns in my nostrils, sends fresh tears to my eyes.
I rock back and forth.
Dr. O’Brien did not tell me which room to go to on the fifteenth floor. I do not know how I will find it.
The doors ding open. Finding the room is not a problem. The fifteenth floor is a single, carved-out space with no windows, everything covered in the same black metal as the door to Ramsey’s cell was made out of.
So close. I am so close. I can see the control panel that must house the green button from here, in the direct center of the room. A low black thing.
I stumble out of the elevator and my forehead cracks against an invisible wall.
No, no—not invisible. Transparent. Of course. Glass. A glass wall, keeping me out of the room I need to get to.
“Let me in.” My voice is hoarse, lower than it should be. “Let me in, I have to get in, I have to go!”
They’re going to kill my family. They’re going to kill Daddy and Calvin and Amelia if I do not go. I don’t care if other versions of them exist in the other realities, these are my version, and I want them, I want them so badly. I don’t want to go, but I need to. I need to go to save them.
“My name is Alexa!” I scream. “I am Alexa Dylan!”
The glass wall shifts, separates. It comes apart before me and I fall to the floor with a hollow bang. It is hollow beneath the metal.
I crawl forward. I am so close to the control panel. I need to press the button before the Second Origin figures out where to go—before they come to stop me.
Press the green button. Prick your finger. Say your name.
Press the green button. Prick your finger. Say your name.
I reach the control panel. I am sobbing, blind. My cries echo throughout the vast, empty room so loudly it feels as if the entire reality is crying along with me.
I drag myself upright. The control panel contains two buttons.
The one is green. The other is the same color as my Identiband keeps flashing.
The elevator doors chirp open behind me. I spin.
“Leave me alone!” I scream. I know it will do no good, but I don’t know what else to do, but no one barrels out of the elevator at me. It is empty.
I don’t know what’s happening.
I turn back to the control panel and press the green button. A needle presses into my palm, but the pain is so miniscule compared to everything else that I barely feel it.
I sag against the panel. “My name is Alexa Dylan.” The lights in the room flash—go out. I am filled with a ticklish, upside down, sick feeling, the way I used to feel when my dad carried me with my legs over his shoulder, arms parallel with the ground. Laughing and kicking and screaming.
Only now I am crying. I cry as the Fifth Reality disappears from around me. I cry as they all disappear, and I never got to say goodbye.

**********

Happy early Halloween! TALK TO YOU NOVEMBER FIRST.

~Julia

ANOTHER Apology and Wordy Wednesday (“Fine”)

This is two weeks in a row I’ve missed Wednesday. This is getting bad, guys. Oops.

This week’s (again) belated Wordy Wednesday is a song called “Fine,” which I wrote a few weeks back during a spurt of I-wish-I-had-an-interesting-life-like-Taylor-Swift-so-I’ll-just-make-up-stuff-instead. I then had some fun recording it with an out of tune guitar and some really bad harmonies using Audacity–it’s pretty awful (but sounds slightly better if you listen with cheap ear buds in), but here’s the video anyway.

**********

Capo 4—C, Em, G, D

INTRO

You called me up at half past 7:00

Told me to meet you at a quarter to 11:00

And I said fine,

But it wasn’t fine

VERSE1

I showed up five minutes late, but you weren’t there

It’s things like that that it so hard to care

But then you arrived, at 12:05

And I said it was fine,

But it wasn’t fine

You slid into the booth on the other side

Running your hand through your hair like you had something to hide

And you didn’t speak for such a long time

CHORUS

And there’s always so much going on

Between the lines

As life wears us down with the daily grind

And you ask me how I’ve been,

And I respond as best I can

That I am fine,

When the truth is I’ve been breaking all this time

But the words get caught up in my mind

So I say fine,

And you say fine

VERSE2

You feel the need to comment on the weather

And I say that it’s too warm for December

And then there’s a silence, that isn’t bad but isn’t right

But it’s how it’s been lately, and it’s better than a fight

So you say fine,

But I don’t think it’s fine

When the waitress comes around to take our order

It’s weird because you don’t order for me

And although sometimes I didn’t want what you said,

I miss you trying to figure out the pictures in my head

[Repeat CHORUS]

BRIDGE

I don’t understand what’s going on

I just know that something is so wrong

And when you leave at 1:15

I can’t help thinking this is how it’s meant to be

Just awkward silences and spaces in between

Empty words and stares don’t mean anything

And I’m missing you, I’m missing you

But you don’t even know me

You can’t even see

CHORUS2/ENDING

That there’s always so much going on

Between the lines

As life wears us down with the daily grind

And there’s always so much going on

Between the lines

As life wears us down with the daily grind

And you asked me how I’ve been,

And I responded as best I can

That I was fine,

When the truth has been breaking me all this time

And the words aren’t going to get caught up in my mind anymore

I shout them to your back as you walk out the door

And I say, it’s not fine, we’re not fine, I’m not fine

And at 1:24, you say you know, and nothing more

And that’s the one time, that it truly is fine

**********

Has anyone gotten any good books as gifts via one of the many holidays the past few weeks?

Oh, also, heads up: I’m finally getting my wisdom teeth out next week, so that might affect the next Wordy Wednesday. But I SWEAR, I will be back in classes the week after that, so things will be back to normal again, okay?

20

~Julia

PS. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my One Year Boligversary Giveaway! It ends with the year, so make sure to enter before the clock strikes 12! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/50b1be0/

Wordy Wednesday (“Superman”)

Before we begin, enjoy (I know you’re curious–you are, don’t deny it):

 

Per Rachel’s request, this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem. 🙂 It’s kind of a strange one though, back story-wise, because I usually remember having written things, when I look back on them, and I have absolutely no recollection of this one; someone might as well have stolen my laptop and put it on here. But I can guarantee you that it’s not about real life, or at least not my life, because I never had this sort of situation at homecoming; instead, that dance usually put me into a state of single-and-proud-of-it.

For example, look how single-and-proud-of-it this girl is:

65

Junior year homecoming. You know you’re jealous of my tree-hugger tendencies. And my distinct inability to tan.

So yeah, it’s fictional. Just putting that out there. As much as I would love to be, I am not Taylor Swift.

**********

Where did this all

begin? This urge

to see your face,

to be a hopeless romantic?

I never had

a reason to try

and look pretty

until I met you.

 

But suddenly

I find myself primping,

and worrying, and caring

what you’ll think, as I

slip on the dress, and

pull on the shoes

and the parents take

pictures of the homecoming group

that you’re not in.

 

And as I eat dinner

at the restaurant, laughing

with my friends, I can’t

help but look around,

wonder if you’re also

there, somewhere

just out of sight, but maybe

I’m not out of sight of you.

 

And as I wait in line

to enter the dance, and then

as I check my purse, and search

for friends, my eyes and

ears and foolish heart are

on the lookout for

you. When you brush

past me and you don’t even

truly see me, because I’m looking

in the opposite direction,

I know it:

 

like you’re the fire

to my ice.

like you’re the gravity

to my wayward star.

 

But you never say

hello, and when I try

to get your attention,

you don’t hear me,
or maybe you ignore me…

I know how to

ignore, too, and I

can’t help but wonder

if you’re ignoring me in

the same way that I

ignore guys that I

don’t like who just

can’t take a hint

 

And then I’m

scared, because

what if it’s true?

 

Or maybe, you

ignore me because

you just honestly don’t

know what to think

and maybe that’s okay,

but maybe it’s

not.

 

And I just can’t

stop thinking

about you.

And it’s not

fair.

 

But it’s funny, because

for every time

I saw you,

you aren’t in a single

picture, and I won’t

remember you.

Not a shadow,

not a whisper.

Not a blink, or

a smile, or

a camera flash

to link my thoughts

to you.

 

And the truth is

you are nothing

but a shy little boy

who’s so scared

of what other people will

say, and think, and remember,

that you have to be loud,

and obnoxious, and a flirt

to distract them from

who you truly are

on the inside.

 

And no one will

remember you

because you are just another

mask, so tightly painted

on that no one will

ever realize your true

identity until they

try to get to know you

and by then

it’s too late

to save her

anyway

 

It’s too late

to save

me.

**********

So guess what’s next week! (Other than our impending doom on the 21st.) IT’S MY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! 😀 And in honor of the momentous occasion, I’m going to be hosting a party. With balloons and cake and stuff. Only not really, because this is the internet. (But maybe I’ll take pictures of me eating a cupcake or something in celebration.)

What I really, truly will do, though, is have an awesome giveaway for you, so check back here on Tuesday, December 18th for the details. Whoohoo!

 

18

 

See you on Tuesday (which is thankfully after finals are over)!

 

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Lamplight”)

GUESS WHO FINISHED HER AP LIT PROJECT???!! THIS GIRL FINISHED HER AP LIT PROJECT!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAAAAAT!!!!!!!! 😀

Ahhumm. Anyway.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem I wrote back a couple weeks ago, around my birthday, called “Lamplight.” It’s kind of dark (no pun intended), so lo siento about that.

**********

Light blinking on and off

Candle in a storm

Electric lamp swinging back and forth

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth

Right left, on off, can’t breathe in this

Darkness, rain, hurricane

Off

On

Cover your eyes

Look between your fingers

Blink, open, blink

On off

Please

Stay

On

**********

Also, in other news: The spring musical went really awesome last weekend — I got a ton of compliments, which just blew me away because I thought I sucked — and then that continues this weekend. 🙂 Oh, and GUESS WHAT TODAY IS!! “Rep Your Favorite Artist Day” at school! Check out my Taylor Swift faces:

(You know you’re jealous of my mad impersonation skills.)

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday! If you guys could leave her a “Happy Birthday!” comment below, it would be super awesome. 🙂

~Julia