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I was born in Surrey (England), brought up in Galicia (Spain) and currently reside in a small town in the North West of England... I've always enjoyed writing, scribbling away on scraps of paper and daydreaming whilst the world happens around me.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Love, does death mean the end?

About a week ago Chris and I were discussing our #FleshRave story (soon to be somewhere near you, teen chugging chipper and all) when he mentions it's 10 weeks til Halloween and that he has a challenge in mind. The wonderfully eloquent @West1Jess explains the whole thing way better than I ever could here (I'm just proud I know how to do those linky things, they're like magic!) 

And so, without further procrastination, begins my 1st post for 

10 Weeks of Horror (Writing Challenge)

Love, does death mean the end? 

I thought about him all the way through class. Again. I know it’s wrong, to be obsessed with a guy. I get it, but I still can’t help myself. We are finally, after years of “will they, won’t they”, together.

Jessica and Ronnie pass notes over my desk in class, they don't even bother letting me read them any more. I guess I do spend a lot of time with Alex, but this last year has been tough on him. Over lunch they talk about the skiing trip, again. And they ignore all my objections, just like I'm not there.

Alex and I were in a car accident, nearly a year ago now. He was badly injured, internal bleeding, the works. I was lucky to escape with a few minor injuries, a sprained ankle, whiplash… I soon bounced back. Alex’s body is still making its slow recovery from the impact. Though at least the hospital let him go home to recover, they said that environment would be better for him, “familiar surroundings”. Skiing is not an option for him, and I don't know that I could bring myself to leave him behind. I worry about him, he hasn't spoken to anyone else since the accident.

His family let me go over every day, which is a blessing. After seeing him in hospital hooked up to all those machines it was a relief to see him at home. To realise that he would live, he would be fine. Sitting through class is like getting needles stuck in my eyeballs, I just want to be with him, not listening to Mr Garibaldy lecture us on the merits of the Richter versus the Mercalli scale. I stare out the window and wait for the sun to roll away the hours.

Finally, I can leave. I never go straight home now. Alex always waits looking out the window, like a pale ghost behind the white nets. His blue eyes are bloodshot all the time these days, circled by dark skin, full of worry.
‘Don’t worry so much!’ I say from the door, pulling a smile from the corners of his mouth.
‘You’re late.’ He replies without turning. ‘What kept you? Not bored of me already are you?’ There’s humour in his voice, but I always worry that he means it when he speaks like this.
‘Never!’ I shout with mock horror. ‘Well,’ I walk up to his wheelchair, ‘maybe a little, sometimes. Can you blame a girl for wanting to do something outside every once in a while?’ I kiss his cheek, it’s cold, he’s been sat with the window open. ‘Alex, close that up will you? It’s freezing in here!’
From downstairs a voice calls ‘Honey? Do you need something?’
‘Your mom worries too, see? We’re fine Mrs Martin! Tell her we’re fine,’ I give him the look, and he rolls his eyes at me.
‘I’m fine mom, just thinking of going out for a bit, that ok?’ Alex calls down.
‘Really?’ I’m surprised, he NEVER wants to go outside these days.
‘It’s about time, I guess.’
‘That’s fantastic!’ I beam at him. ‘I’ll get your coat!’
‘No need,’ Alex rolls his chair over to the bed and picks up his coat. I hadn’t even noticed it was there, he must have had this planned before I got there.
I help him get onto the stair lift. His mom insisted they have it fitted so that he could keep his upstairs room. Chances are he may walk again, the chair isn’t a certainty, but she wanted his life to be as much like it was before as possible.
‘I won’t be out long,’ Alex tells his mom.
‘It’s not that cold out, I promise we’ll wrap up,’ I tell her from the doorway. She smiles at us sadly.
‘Just be careful,’ she sighs.
‘Sure,’ we reply as one.
Once we’re outside my mood lifts, but Alex’s seems to fall even further.
‘Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?’ I ask him as we set off.
‘Not yet,’ he replies ominously.
‘Ok,’ I nod.
We walk on in silence. He’s never this serious. Sarcastic, dark, but never serious.
‘How was class today?’ he asks suddenly.
‘Erm, it was ok, I guess. Dull, Mr Garibaldy banged on about earthquakes. I wasn’t paying too much attention really.’
‘Who did you eat lunch with?’
‘Alex?’
‘Yes?’
‘Where are we going?’ I don’t recognise this part of the neighbourhood.
‘Don’t worry about that, just tell me, who did you sit with at lunch?’
‘Jessica and Ronnie, same as usual. They’re still trying to convince me to go skiing next month.’
‘You told them you don’t wanna go?’
‘I don’t want to leave you,’ he winces when I say this. ‘Have you asked your mom when you can come back to school?’
‘Yeh, she says when I’m ready. Thing is, I’m just not ready yet.’
‘Cause of the chair?’ I haven’t asked before, I don’t know how much it really bothers him for others to see him like this, I just know he doesn’t mind me seeing him.
‘The looks of pity. That’s what bothers me. Like how my mum sighs when she thinks I’m out of earshot.’
‘I don’t think that’s pity, she just worries, you were hurt real bad in the accident.’
‘It’s not that.’ He sighs and stops.
Looking around I realise where he’s brought me. The cemetery.
‘Why here?’ my voice betrays my nerves. ‘What are we doing here? Alex?’
‘I just…’ he hesitates, then stares past me. ‘I just need you to see something.’
He goes into the cemetery ahead of me, unwillingly I follow, a good few steps behind. By the time I catch up with him he’s stopped by a gravestone.
‘Alex?’
‘You need to see this,’ he says in a deadpan voice.
‘Alex, please, just stop messing around. I hate this place.’
‘You need to see it.’
I step closer, my whole body turning to ice, and then I see it.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
Amanda Remington
But that can’t be. That can’t possibly be right, because that’s my name. That’s my name.
‘I need you to see this, Alex. She’s dead. You can’t keep talking to someone who isn’t here. You need to move on. You need to see this, Alex.’ Alex is talking to himself, looking at the grave. At my grave.
After a long while Alex turns and leaves. No amount of pleading makes him stop, but I know he can hear me, he flinches as I cry out his name. My mind can’t understand what just happened and Alex won’t reply. I try to follow, my feet won’t move. He rolls off into the distance, and I can’t see him any more. And I’m stuck, dead and alone.


My Writing Process Blog Tour - Karina Lawrence


Thanks for the nomination Chris (check out his way better blog post here about his awesomely long list of WIP that rivals my own, and his writing process: he gets things finished! Sigh. He's the better half of our writing partnership, I'm the dawdling toddler that gets easily distracted by - ooh shiny!)

Here goes nothing!



So, I have been nominated for a writing process blog tour, which is ironic, if you know how good I am at being a professional procrastinator.Depending on which way the wind blows I can call myself anything from a lazy writer, to an ambitious writer, or merely a daydreamer...

What am I working on?

Currently? A more apt question would be what am I not working on. I have ongoing projects that I started 10 years ago, they're what I call slow burners... I burn time online whilst waiting for them to get finished. I write a weird mix of genres, depending on mood.

In dark moods I work on my horror movie script, working title Top of the World - I'm aiming for it to be a classic B Movie Horror, shower scene included.

I also work on my longest project a fantasy horror novel, Whispers of the Night. It's a story that lives in a dark world with Accursed beings and an ongoing war. I've tried to quit the story a few times, but the characters have lived inside my head for over 10 years, they're not budging. I know the beginning, and I know the end, it's just about how they get there (much like everything in life)

When I'm feeling overly emotional I write dark and twisty poetry (oh the horror), which I then mostly publish on this blog, though lately I've been compiling some stuff for possible future publication... if I ever get around to that.

If I'm feeling in a particularly happy mood (I promise I do sometimes) I've been working on an Adventure Comedy Fantasy novel called The Accidental Quest, it's inspired by my love of all things Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I'm about 20k+ into it, and it was my aim to get it out the door by the end of this year, but I guess plans change. Thankfully I have a multitude of other projects to ignore instead... I kid, of course.

If that doesn't seem like enough I have an offbeat romance script on the go, a YA paranormal trilogy that involves gargoyles, a vampire detective novel (more dark and gory than Twilight, I promise) and a pirate novel, which I wrote a short story for last Halloween but never posted on the blog (cannot believe that was nearly a year ago now). SO instead I will be posting the story this year as part of the #10weeksofhorror challenge!

Asides from the above I've got a few side projects with Chris on comics and #FleshRave and the #10weeksofhorror challenge, so I guess I keep pretty busy procrastinating, or some of the above might actually be finished!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't think you should try to be different from others in the genre. Better, yep; a standout, you bet! But maybe not different. I have a degree in English Writing with a focus on Creative Writing (yes, I paid money to do a degree that you don't need to have to be a professional writer, it's depressing) BUT one of the things they taught us was that you need to know what genre you're writing for, what audience, and not to alienate them. It's all very well thinking that writing a romance with pirate teens that all die of gangrene at the end is hilarious, only it won't get you anywhere if there's no one to read it... It's the only time I think of money when I imagine myself as a professional writer.

Why do I write what I write?

Passion. Mostly. When I was 7 I started writing short stories. I was competitive from a young age, and creating the best stories was my goal. Once a girl in my class started a short story with one word "LlovĂ­a" which translates to "It was raining" (less epic of a start in English) and our teacher could not stop raving about her. That was 20 years ago, and to this day it lights a fire in the pit of my stomach. I had never felt such a compulsion to win at anything else in life, still haven't. My aim after that was to write better.

Fastforward to age 14 and my home life was in pieces: divorce, disowning (disownment?), moving countries (twice) and into a city (from a small village) oh and step-parents. It was tough, and I hid in my writing. That year I met my favourite teacher, Mar. She became the first person to tell me that my writing mattered, that I had a future in writing, if I wanted it, and that I should never stop.

After that I joined an arts college, and all my lessons were art related: writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, graphic design... It was the perfect world for me, I had found my home. Then life cleared its throat and I had to move countries (again) and leave that life behind. So my art college turned into a sixth form, and my dreams of an arts degree from Barcelona University became an English Degree from Lancaster University in the UK...

So I guess that's why I write. Because a part of me still wants to get away, and for me writing is probably the only way to make that happen.

How does my writing process work?

Ah the process!

There are two ways I write a story.

I have an idea whilst daydreaming, write bits of it down in notebooks, post-its, my phone (thanks technology) and eventually that makes its way into a folder. From the folder all the scraps get ordered into some form of chronology and typed up. The first draft is the most difficult for me, because I'm a perfectionist, and hate seeing a rough first draft. So drafting becomes a slow process, I am currently trying my best to get out of the habit of doing this, it's tough. I'll let you know how the rest of the process works when I finish an actual full length novel, or script, and edit it without crying. The process currently involves crying, a red pen, loud music and twitter... any advice???

The second way is I have an idea and type it out furiously. This works best with poetry, short stories, flash fiction, etc. I don't plot these and rarely spend much time on them at all. My head is constantly writing something, I guess in a way I'm lucky I can put my fingers to the keys and they'll type something up. Though the quality of this "stuff" is yet to be judged... 

So there you are, I managed it! I wrote a whole post and didn't get sidetracked once (if any of you believe that I'll eat my hat (that's a lie I'm not wearing a hat)) 

Now, time for nominations... 

Well, I nominate Michael Woods (for thinking he'd got away with it, and because I know it'll make Chris laugh) 

I nominate Rachael because her mind is fascinating and I selfishly wanna know more! 

And finally  Roger Jackson and Alex Alvarado because their #FP  are some of the best I've read.

Also I'm not proofreading this thing, ha!