Posts Tagged ‘vl2f’

light, smoke, pillow, whipped, chat

In Too lazy to assign a category on July 23, 2007 at 8:30 pm

The light was dimmed, he sat down to smoke a cigarette. He was thinking about the chat he had earlier on with that strange woman. She was a fascinating creature yet slightly frightening. They had been chatting for several weeks now and he would love to meet her in real life. Unfortunately this was something he could only dream about, at night on his pillow, or even during the day. Thoughts about her had developed the habit of popping up regularly lately. He thought about her and indulged in fantasies.

Now he wouldn’t talk to her for three days. She would be absent. Had things to do. Places to go. He missed their conversations already. When he told her so, she said he shouldn’t act like a little drama queen. She said otherwise she wouldn’t want to talk to him on her return. The thought of that made his entire being ache. Fortunately she had accepted his elaborate apologies.

He tried to look at the bright side. She had been as kind as to give him some tasks to perform. His intention was to make her proud of him. He hoped he would be able to live up to her expectations. The tasks were rather simple. But he knew it was of the uttermost importance he fulfilled them to her satisfaction. She had made it very clear she wouldn’t bear talking to him anymore in case he failed.

And as a reward, if he did well, he would be allowed to talk to her over the phone. The thought of her sweet voice made his knees tremble. No doubt her voice could be harsh when displeased but he just knew she would have an angelic voice. She was like a Goddess. Everything was perfect about her. He couldn’t imagine a woman more beautiful, more intelligent, more witty, more just, more …

Oohwww, to be her servant, the chosen one to please her in everything she would desire. To be the one to clean her house, wash her clothes, shine her shoes or comb her hair. The lucky one to be corrected when making mistakes. To feel her eyes follow him around. To watch his every move. To know her guidance and tenderness, to hear the sound of being spanked or whipped for being ignorant and stubborn.

He already was absolutely sure that would be the ultimate honour and he was prepared to do anything in order to achieve that utter bliss. He knew the road was long and certainly would be bumpy but happily and slightly impatiently he started his first task to perform. He would be a good boy and she would be proud …

You get 5 words and with these 5 words you have to write an entry. The words might or might not be related. You decide how to combine them, and how long your entry will be. You tag your entry with 5wordchallenge and whatever other tags you like. Finally, you put the words in bold. This week's challenge: light, smoke, pillow, whipped, chat. In one week the challenge will be passed on to someone who participated in this one, hosted by me.

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Please do not write

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 24, 2007 at 1:00 pm

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

uploaded this image to flickr, click the image to go to the original flickr page

This is what my inner critic tells me all the time.

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Kurt Vonnegut

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Kurt Vonnegut

Eight rules for writing fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

— Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons 1999), 9-10.

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“Ficlets” you ask?

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 13, 2007 at 9:46 pm

A ficlet is a short story that enables you to collaborate with the world.

Once you’ve written and shared your ficlet, any other user can pick up the narrative thread by adding a prequel or sequel. In this manner, you may know where the story begins, but you’ll never guess where (or even if!) it ends.

About Ficlets

Ficlets are shorter than short stories. Well, no, actually, they are short stories, but they’re really short stories. Really short, as in there’s not a maximum word count … there’s actually a maximum character count (1,024). There is also a minimum character count, and the number of that beast is 64.

If you wish, we’ll provide you with inspiration (photos, themes, suggested beginnings and endings, even other ficlets), but you’re completely free to blaze your own trail. Now, here’s where the real fun comes in: Each and every ficlet is modular in that, though you may have written a stand-alone story with a beginning, middle, and ending, your fellow ficleteers may choose to write a prequel or sequel to your story. In this respect, you can think of ficlets as literary Legos.

All ficlets are covered under Creative Commons, which means that if you wrote it, you own it. Period.

To give you an idea of what you can do with 1,024 characters, that is the exact length of this “About Ficlets” description.

Doesn't this sound like an excellent idea my dear Vox writers?


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Chasing the words

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 24, 2007 at 1:44 pm

First 5 word challenge: headphone, thrills, flower, china, mirror (by me)
Second 5 word challenge: flashlight, doldrums, ferocity, wash, recesses (by electric firefly)
Third challenge: pickle, fireplace, audacious, street, surprise (by rpm)
Challenge # 4: soliloquy, manhole, discover, television, optimism (by sooz)
Fifth 5 word challenge: frost, quell, midnight, excavator, carry (by amanda)
Challenge # 6: veranda, remains, cicadas, miracle, righteousness (by mathilde)
Seventh challenge: indefinitely, outsmart, phantom, towel, alienated (by catness)

Perhaps it isn't a bad idea to always link to the entry of the person that hosts the current challenge. Suggested text:

This is how it works: you get 5 words and with these 5 words you have to write an entry. The words might or might not be related. You decide how to combine them, and how long your entry will be. You tag your entry with 5wordchallenge and whatever other tags you like. Finally, you put the words in bold.

This challenge: word 1, word 2, word 3, word 4, word 5

In one week the challenge will be passed on to someone that participated in this one, hosted by link to entry

I also have created a group for this particular writing challenge, in order to make it easier to find other people's entries. If you participate in these challenges, please join the group and post your entries to this group as well. I will try to keep the group description up to date, displaying the latest challenge. That way, it shouldn't be difficult to find.

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READ poster

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 12, 2007 at 10:31 pm

READ poster

Librarian K uploaded this image to flickr,

click the image and follow the link to the original page

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Maryse Condé

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 10, 2007 at 6:42 am

Maryse CondéMaryse CondéMaryse CondéMaryse Condé

Guadeloupean author of epic fiction, best-known for her historical novel Ségou (1984-85). Condé’s novels question stereotypical images of literary characters, colonialism, sex and gender. She has also published children’s books, a booklet about Guadeloupe, book-length essays about francophone women writers and oral literatures in Martinique and Guadeloupe, critical booklets about Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, Antillean fiction, and numerous articles mainly about Caribbean literature and cultural studies.

Maryse Condé (née Boucolon) was born, 11 February 1937, in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. She studied at the université de Paris III, Sorbonne, graduating docteur en lettres in comparative literature in 1976. Her research was on Black stereotypes in West Indian literature (”Stéréotypes du noir dans la littérature antillaise“). Early in her literary career, Condé tried her hand at dramatic writing. (She continued to write for the theater, her latest play, An tan revolisyon , appearing in 1989.) She took to the novel in the mid-seventies, producing Hérémakhonon (1976), followed a few years later by une Saison à Rihata (1981). It was not until her third and major novel, Ségou: Les Murailles de terre (1984), that Condé established her position among notable contemporary writers. Ségou: La Terre en miettes, part II of this great African saga, was published the following year.

More recent novels by Condé have earned her literary prizes: Moi, Tituba, sorcière noire de Salem (1986) was awarded the grand prix de la Femme 1986; la Vie scélérate (1987) received the highly coveted prix de l’Académie française 1988 (bronze medal).

Beside creative writing and erudition, Condé is a woman of wide reading and considerable insight into contemporary social issues which permeate her activities as critic, public lecturer, and teacher. Her criticism, includes monographic studies, anthologies, and articles in West African and Caribbean literatures.

Her public speaking mirrors the social and political consciousness which she expresses with admirable art in her novels. And there were numerous cultural or teaching engagements: at Lycée Charles de Gaulle in Saint Louis, Sénégal; at Radio France internationale and at the BBC, where she was program producer; at various divisions of the université de Paris–Jussieu, Nanterre, and Sorbonne, where she was chargé de cours (1980-1985); at California Institute of Technology; at the University of Virginia; and at the University of California, Berkeley, where she became tenured professor in January 1990. Not surprisingly, Condé has been the recipient of several scholarly fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship at Occidental College, Los Angeles; Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Writer-in-Residence; and J. S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Selection of her works

Hérémakhonon: a story of a young black West Indian woman, Veronica, who is educated in Paris and searches her roots in Africa. In Paris she had a white lover, and in Africa she becomes the mistress of the Minister of Defence, who turns out to be thoroughly corrupt.

Une Saison à Rihata: in Rihata, a small sleepy backwater town in a fictitious African state, a couple and their family struggle to come to terms with each other against a background of political maneuvering and upheaval. Marie-Helene, far from her native home in Guadeloupe, lives unhappily with her African husband, Zek. Their uneasy existence is further disturbed by the arrival of Zek’s brother Madou, now Minister for Rural Development, on an official visit to Rihata. Murky events from the past resurface and send ripples through their lives. This portrait of an African community torn between progress and tradition and subject to the whims of a dictatorship unfolds through a subtle web of personal relationships.

Segu: set in an 18h-century African kingdom, Conde’s novel examines the cultural transformations brought about by the rise of Islam and the slave trade. It is 1797 in the African kingdom of Bambara, and the forces from the East that will drastically alter African civilization–slavery and Islam–are beginning to make themselves felt. The four sons of the noble Traore family demonstrate the various responses to these new elements: one embraces Islam, another makes a fortune as a trader, the third is forced into bondage, and the fourth becomes a Christian.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: at the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba’s love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. Though protected by the spirits, Tituba could not escape the lies and accusations of that hysterical time.

Crossing the Mangrove: this novel-in-translation captures the lush landscape of the Caribbean. An outsider to the island, Francis Sancher, is found dead. His character is pieced together through a rich montage of voices as the villagers each contribute their knowledge of the secretive and mysterious man at his wake.

The Last of the African Kings : when he opposes French colonialism in his native Africa, regal Behanzin is exiled to the far-off island of Martinique. Maryse Condé tells the story of Behanzin’s scattered offspring and their lives in the Caribbean and the United States. She skillfully intertwines themes of exile, lost origins, and hope–with Africa hovering in the background.

Desirada: this novel takes place on the island of Guadeloupe, where Reynalda gives birth to a baby, Marie-Noelle, and then abandons the child. Ten years later, she summons her to France, where she is living with her new husband. Marie-Noelle, however, is permanently scarred by her mother’s lack of interest in her, and spends her life fantasizing about her true father, whose identity she doesn’t know.

The Last of the African Kings Desirada I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem Segu Crossing the Mangrove

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Anaïs Nin

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 8, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Anain NinAnain NinAnain NinAnain Nin

Anaïs was born in Neuilly, just outside Paris. She spent her childhood in various parts of Europe until, when she was eleven, her father, Spanish composer Joaquin Nin, abandoned his family. In the same year, her French-Danish mother, Rosa Culmell, took Anaïs and her two sons to New York. On the boat that brought Anaïs away from Europe and from her father she began to write her journals. In 1923 she married Hugo Guiler, who had studied literature and economics and had acquired a good position in an international bank, allowing them to live comfortably.

The couple moved to Paris in 1924. There they lived in various appartments, among them a beautiful house in Louveciennes, but Anaïs also often had a studio for herself and lived in a houseboat on the Seine for a while. In Paris she and Hugo supported various avant-garde artists, among them Henry Miller with whom Anaïs started an affair and exchanged hundreds of letters. The book A literary passion includes a great number of the letters these two artists exchanged over the years and provide an interesting documentary of their struggle for recognition as writers as well as their relationship.

Anaïs moved back to New York just before the outbreak of World War II. After a turbulent time in New York she divided her life between New York and Los Angeles, between Hugo and Rupert, a much younger lover and friend. From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anaïs later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of novels and a prose poem in surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception.

In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.

Her works (selection)


Cities of the Interior, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ Press 1974
Ladders to Fire, Swallow Press 1995
Children of the Albatross, Denver : Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1959
The Four-Chambered Heart, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1959
Seduction of the Minotaur, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1961
House of Incest, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1958
A Spy in the House of Love, Pocket Books 1994, Mass Market Paperback
Winter of Artifice, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1961
Collages, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1964
Delta of Venus, Pocket Books 1990, Mass Market Paperback
Little Birds, New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich 1979
Under a Glass Bell, Ohio Univ Pr (Trd) 1995
Waste of Timelessness, And Other Early Stories, Chicago: Swallow Press 1994


The Diary of Anais Nin, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World
Volume 1: 1931-1934 (1966)
Volume 2: 1934-1939 (1967)
Volume 3: 1939-1944 (1969)
Volume 4: 1944-1947 (1971)
Volume 5: 1947-1955 (1974)
Volume 6: 1955-1966 (1976)
Volume 7: 1966-1974 (1980)
The Early Diary of Anais Nin, New York: Harcourt Brace
Volume 1: 1914-1920 (1978)
Volume 2: 1920-1923 (1982)
Volume 3: 1923-1927 Journal of a Wife (1984)
Volume 4: 1927-1931 (1985)
Henry and June, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, Harcourt Brace 1990
Incest, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, (1932-1934), Texas Bookman 1992
Fire, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary, (1934-1937), Harcourt Brace 1995
Nearer The Moon, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, (1937-1939), New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company 1996

Henry and June (Penguin Modern Classics) Anais Nin: A Biography The Four Chambered Heart (Peter Owen Modern Classic) A Spy in the House of Love (Penguin Modern Classics) Delta of Venus (Penguin Modern Classics)

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White room – part 5

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 7, 2007 at 9:42 pm

As the train entered the station, I felt my heart beating faster. In a little over an hour I would hopefully feel less tense. I wondered whether I'd still have time to drink an espresso at one of my favourite coffee bars. I decided not to take the risk of running late, even though my mouth was dry, as somehow I was convinced you wouldn't appreciate me being late. I wasn't too sure of the address, just knew I had to take the metro, line 1B, and get off at Aumale. The mysterious address was supposed to be near a park, and somehow that thought was comforting.

I went straight to the metro station, bought a ticket, and waited for the next metro to arrive, which only took about 10 minutes. I had to get off at the 8th stop or so, and by the time I got off, I still had about 30 minutes left. Even though nervous, I did notice the art in the station, a 600 m² photographic composition by Jean-Paul Laenen, who once founded a working group for the rehabilitation of the urban environment, and got selected for the Biennial of Venice.

When I got out of the metro station, I was in front of the park. The sun was shining and a majestic tree caught my eye. It was a Catalpa tree, with delicately scented trumpet shaped frilled edged white flowers having internal purple spots. Rather common in Northern America, this kind of tree was named after the Native American Catawba tribe, which really wasn't just one tribe, but that's a whole different story.The spelling Catalpa is a transcription error on the part of the describing botanist.

Sight of this tree made me feel calm, and I took a moment's time to enjoy the sight, before moving on the address given to me the previous night. Soon I arrived in the Rue du Souvenir. With 5 minutes left on my watch, I looked at the numbers on the doors, getting closer and closer to where I was supposed to be.

(read the other parts)

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For the young who want to

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 5, 2007 at 11:10 am

For the young who want to

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston*
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

*phlogiston: invisible hypothetical matter or `principle' thought to combine with all combustible bodies and be expelled during burning — a concept popular in the 18th century but abandoned once oxygen was discovered.

Original text: © Marge Piercy. Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982): 259-60. PS 3566 I4A6 1982
First publication date: 1980
Publication date note: The Moon Is Always Female (1980): 84.

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