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In Memory of Sue Grafton

Summer, 2010- The very first time I read A is for Alibi.

I was scanning the library stacks searching for a summer read. Mystery had never been a genre I was a fan of so my instinct was to find another book. The summary was too good to pass up though: poison, an innocent woman in need of closure, a sharp, savvy female detective. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? From the get go, I was hooked. There weren’t any female characters like Kinsey Millhone in the books I’d read before. The story was full of twists and danger and the language was plain and straight forward.

Since then I read all of the Alphabet series. Though I liked certain letters of the series over others, and would even say that some books were underwhelming, I can’t downplay the importance of Sue Grafton on the literary world and the significance of Kinsey Millhone. Kinsey is a bad-ass from the first page to the last and absolutely relatable. I love her devotion to justice as much as McDonald’s Quarter Pounders. She really is one of my favorite book characters and I thank Grafton for introducing her to the world.

This post is overdue but it isn’t easy to write how much Grafton meant to readers. She left a legacy and I will miss her writing very much. To her family, I would like to say Sue Grafton was a force herself as much as Kinsey. To readers everywhere, go back to the start and relive the cheekiness and strength of a detective that didn’t allow men or bullets to slow her down.

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Comics: Saga

I came across Saga (by Brian K. Vaughan) by accident on Amazon while searching for new books to read. At first I dismissed it as I am not into comics, but the summary was interesting and I decided to give it a shot. Thank goodness I did. Never have I come across a story with such wonderful weirdness. There is a couple on the run from vicious governments; a spider-woman assassin that sexes up an equally morally grey character, and a cat that knows when people are lying.

That’s just the beginning.

The center characters, Alana and Marko, are the ultimate power couple. Fierce in their dedication to each other and their child, they take star-crossed couples to a new level. I especially liked Marko’s story line which has him reconciling his pacifism with the necessity to protect his family.

If the characters aren’t enough to pull in readers, then Fiona Staples’ illustrations will be. Gorgeous, lush and very detailed, the only other comic that comes close in artistry would be the Wicked +the Divine.

If you’re looking for something new to read try Saga. It isn’t for everyone. It truly is a strange and sometimes disgusting, but it’s entertaining and the characters will leaving you rooting for them to survive.

 

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The Laundry Room

It was warm and stuffy in the laundry room, the air ripe with the scent of detergent and fabric softener. Laurie flipped through a book without paying attention. She already regretted putting off laundry until the last-minute. There was a ding. She transferred her clothes from the washer to the dryer and set the dial to forty minutes. The soft clink-clink  from the dryer was the only sound in the room. Laurie looked at the clock over the door and groaned. It was nearing midnight and she had morning classes the next day. Never again, she promised herself. Her attention shifted to the book in her hands.

Clink-clink.

Wind knocked at the tiny window high on the wall above the machines. A storm was brewing. Cold air drifted in through the cracks in the walls dispelling the heat emanating from the dryer. Laurie shivered and hunched into herself to keep warm.

Clink-clink.

Creak!

She looked up from her book. It sounded as if someone were coming down the stairs. Perhaps it was the grad student from 3B. Laurie’s spirits rose. She had been meaning to talk to him again. There was the sound of pacing, then all was quiet once more. Something stirred in her mind, a piece of news from the morning paper: released convict, slew of murders, possible curfew. Laurie shifted uncomfortably. The noise was nothing, she thought. She closed her eyes and waited for the dryer to buzz.

Clink-clink, thump, clink-clink, thump.

The sound of footsteps was unmistakable. Laurie hurried to the door and peeked outside. A single light fell on a figure half obscured by shadow. Whoever it was stood silently on the middle of the staircase.

“Hello?” said Laurie. The person did not answer. Laurie searched for the second light switch. She flicked it on. Above her was a large man with rubbery lips stretched in a grin, a pair of sharp scissors clasped in his left hand.

Laurie felt the air being sucked out of the room. She and the man stared at each other for several seconds, then Laurie jumped back into the laundry room just as the man charged at her. She slammed the door shut, but was unable to bar it as it had no lock. The man launched himself against the door and Laurie screamed. She cast her eyes around for a weapon, but there weren’t any. A sob escaped her as the man yelled gibberish and kicked the door. The impact of the kick sent her flying across the room. She crashed against a line of chairs opposite the door, her left elbow connecting with the concrete floor. Pain jolted through the whole left side.

The man marched inside, his rectangular body blocking the only exit. In the seconds it took for the man to lumber over to her, Laurie contemplated her own demise. The realization she would exist no more froze her to the core. The man bent down and grabbed a fistful of her hair. “Such pretty hair.” His sour breath was the last thing she’d know. There was the squeak of the scissors and Laurie felt her head become lighter. Footsteps fell heavy on the concrete and shook the staircase as the man ran off. Laurie let go of the breath she’d been holding. Her hand went to the back of her head. Nearly all of her hair was gone.

“My hair,” shrieked Laurie. “He took my fucking hair.”

The dryer buzzed.

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One

Waiting by a fire,
dos fire,
waiting on a turn.
Bitter cold to ice cold,
ice low,
bad about the freezer burn.

It’s back again,
low rent,
tired of the stream.
Wishing hard won’t buy us,
hire us,
too bad about the screams.

All I’m tasting
is asphalt kisses.

Going down to park lo,
gold hoes,
making beggars of a queen.
Going down to park hi,
gets high,
rabid pushers on the scene.
Free turn is on the fire,
buy her,
she’s gonna make it for a fiend.

All I’m tasting
is asphalt kisses.

Driving up the west coast,
in wet coats,
screaming static on a train.
Jumping on pyres,
off pirates,
blues cuffing me again.
What die hard!
What brought ya,
What I did wrong.
What I wouldn’t give,
to go back against a wall.
Dropping down 15,
at sixteen,
already winding up a road.
Take me back to brew brown,
this town,
is the death of me.

All I’ve tasted
is asphalt kisses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Direction

I am taking this blog in a new direction. After so long of being directionless, it’s nice to finally decide which path to take. Posts will be of my own fiction and non-fiction essays on subjects I find intriguing.

That’s it. That’s all. Nothing major.

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Here Again

I haven’t written a post in a long while. It most likely has something to do with not having much to write about. Life has settled somewhat and I find myself gravitating back to writing for pleasure. I might post some short stories. Possibly.

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Don’t Deny Who You Are!

Just a message to whomever reads this: don’t deny who you really are. This is more powerful than you know. Denying what you are capable of, what you are interested in, and even who you are will forever leave you to wander the the world restless and dissatisfied. This feeling of dissatisfaction¬†and abject loneliness will kill you from the outside out until you give up on life itself.

If you feel like you cannot achieve a dream, I am here to tell you not to give up! After all, what else is there to life if not to discover thyself?

Unexpected Wanderlust

Seeking adventure and disorientation while examining the world