Thursday, December 17, 2009

[Poem]: Untitled 013

This just happened to keep me up tonight. It's completely unfinished but a definite start to something. I'm hoping to submit some poetry to the literary magazine at my University, so I figure I should get some material under my belt.


Maker-Breaker stands before me
in ever-looping segments of visage;
tossing, weaving, setting aside
the thousand pieces of tidal waves,
that disinclined to create themselves,
lay in rapture upon the stones

making amends, or rectifying the
courses, pathways, crossroads and trails
in which they once believed they did right.

And in the drowning and sputtering
of undaunted casualness, a body lies
its tendrils of sodden jade mane
entangling in the eddies that tumble
at the basin beneath my weathered feet

which knowing no journey to consume
lull themselves into the chant, hymn, descant
of the Breaker who calls for me to jump as well.

[Poem]: Window

Found this while searching through some scraps from my poetry workshop a couple years back. Completely forgot about it and still love it. It needs work.


He only wants to escape
from the espresso cane of a woman
who, though blinded by age and wisdom
is a fighter, and a Believer
for a cause only sightless eyes can see.

If he could
he would sneak through the postern
of their ancient apartment building
like a bear through a waste can
sifting to find anything that was hidden
behind the oppressive bricks.

He could meander through the streets
with nothing to mar the sight
of the sea gray sky as the clouds
dip and curve and move and bend
beneath the sphere of the earth.

For when he gets there he finds
there is nothing, but ambivalent sky
and something like a bitter taste in the air
that swallows his tongue whole
with no creed nor care nor soft graze
and only chokes for the sake of the touch.

and so together, in searching they both
find the end and the mean and the path
through a window on the seventh floor
of the building where everything began.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore


Once in awhile, I'll post a little something about the books I've been reading recently. This isn't a reviewers blog, but I think as far as writing goes, it helps to see the kind of books that writers read that give them inspiration.

Just today I finished Fire by Kristin Cashore. I've actually had this book for a while and started it back when, but lots of stuff prevented me from finishing it. I finally did and can I say how much a breath of fresh air Cashore is.

I've been finding it rather difficult to find Young Adult novels that don't feel forced, or ones that I can see their bones. I've been trying to decide if I should stop reading YA altogether, but then I'll find a Holly Black or a Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Stephenie Meyer, etc and my faith will be reassured! What I love about Cashore's books is that she isn't afraid to let you see the emotions and the politics and she ties all of these together. What I also like is that she shows you the real parts of characters and their flaws. Perhaps that is what I feel is missing in a lot of YA, that the characters never make really big, emotional mistakes. Consequences are never really big and there are never bad consequences to the things they do. Somehow things always turn out okay. Cashore has more respect for her writing to not let this happen, and it changes her characters. They go through life just as we do.

I found myself getting lost sometimes in the battle talk and politics of Fire, but that's mostly me as I do really enjoy the technical aspects of fantasy novels, but I personally get bored/lost after awhile. That is probably the only "bad" thing I could say about the book. I love that this book straddles that line of "YA". Really, what makes anything young adult fiction? Sometimes I wish that there were more YA novels that had more serious topics in them as this one did. Those are the ones that I look out for and nab if I can. I have a stack of about 40+ books to read and Ill tell you now that probably 20 of them I'm not going to like because good lord YA authors, but some more depth and consequences in your books. That's what makes them so amazing. And please don't make me migrate to the adult section. Bleh.

Monday, November 30, 2009

To hide your identity or to get stalked on the Internets

As a lot of writers/artists/musicians/artsy-fartsy people may already know, these is creepy times. I guess for writers etc it's always been creepy times, but there have been things that have protected them from the creepies. I am most definitely talking about pen names.

I won't give you a history lesson on pen names (even though I have the inching to), but I do find them fascinating in the sense that I find names fascinating (because names are words, and words are cool). I think the most beneficial use of a pen name these days are the protection it gives an author. There is just something about having your full, real name out in the world that is just very vulnerable. I'm not a big fan of the vulnerable.

Then again, opposite this, there is something about claiming your work as yours that I also like. When I use my real name to sign a piece of work, it's mine. Mine. Nobody else gets to have it.

So, will I, do I have a pen name? Yes and no. I do have a pen name that I thought long and hard about that I've been using on FictionPress mostly because at the time I didn't want to use my real name and get mauled. My pen name: Maria T. Allen. For some reason I think long names are pretty and it took off of my full name that I use having that middle initial. The name is a conglomerate of some family names etc. I like it, it's shiny.

Would I use my pen name if I got published? I don't know. I think Terri M. Moore looks really nice and I like it. However, for protection I would go with something else if I had to. I wonder how many of the author out there are using their real names? I know Stephenie Meyer is a pen name, but I think only in the last name and spelling. Stephen King wrote under a couple, etc. Who knows what other authors are really using their real names. It's a world of mystery to me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Writing Sample: Eyes on Fire Sequel

This small snippet is actually from the sequel of my first novel (Eyes on Fire) which has yet to be written since EoF isn't even completed. The plot isn't important so much as the emotion. This portion was written during a rather bad night, however the emotion seemed to create this really vivid, tangible scene in my mind. I call this one of my "fits" because I grabbed the computer, wrote this down and then my fingers just stopped.


The blackened sky glared down upon me, boring holes into the dying auburn of my eyes. I hadn’t seen him for weeks, months even. The emptiness was beginning to feel tangible. On nights like these, when the stars traveled close enough in the blanket of sky so that it felt as if all I needed to touch them was to swipe my hand through the air, were the most unreal to me.

If I concentrated hard enough, I could feel the moist line of searing cold dirt beneath my back. A sharp rock cut a swath across my shoulder blade that I had ignored for over an hour. The air stank with the mold and decay of the fallen autumn leaves, as each breath I took became impregnated with the feeling of being below ground. My body was weightless. I had long become the sky and the darkness had consumed me.

I lay on the underbrush for hours trying to become nothing and something all at once. I let my heavy body sink into the harsh ground. My bones were solid as rock, my skin silky, slick moss over a river of swirling, oozing blood like river water. I had a theory that if I became the black that had become our connection, perhaps it would swallow me and lead me to him.

The drowning never came.

My nightly escapades into the engulfing darkness of the Michaux forest only succeeded in leading me to my euphoria of a stiff drink, or four, until I had achieved the vertigo that I craved atop the Downy-scented cotton sheets of my bedroom. Isaac was gone, my connection with him severed. At least, that was what he was leading me to believe. I felt the barrier he had placed between us like endless miles of hot, molten desert of which I could never see the end of. If I ventured forth into it, as I did most nights while trying to find him, I would quickly become lost, disoriented, and banished to the place I had started from by morning. Isaac didn’t want to be found; that much was obvious.

Things you never knew about me, part 1

Have I ever told anyone how much I absolutely adore the Thesaurus?

Besides copies of the Twilight Saga, (which I will openly admit I collect. I'll embarrass myself with that obsession later) the Thesaurus is the one published book that I have more copies of than most sane people. I have at least 6 printed versions, spanning about 50 years of publications as well as an electronic copy on my iPod Touch. That application alone is the sole reason I didn't trade it to my mother for an 80gb classic (because lord knows my music obsession is second only to my book obsession). I carry a copy with me in my bag and I technically have one in my purse if you count my iPod.

I'm not quite sure where this love/obsession came from. I blame it on the weird occurrence that happened when I went to college of getting stuck on words. Sometimes I lose words in my head. I'll know what it is I want to say, but I just can not think of the word. Hence why the Thesaurus is magical. The right word can make or break language, I think. For example, if I'm really pissed off, and I mean shaking with rage (great word, btw) sometimes the word "angry" just doesn't convey it. So, you pop open the magic book and look up "angry". Like a gift from the Heavens, you're given a plethora of more suitable options. "Convulsed" is a good one, or perhaps "incensed". Some people might not have a CLUE what you you're implying, but you and your best friend Thesaurus will know, and that's all that matters.

I will never turn down a copy of the Thesaurus. Heck, I'm itching to buy the newest copy right now. Pocket sized ones are magic.

In the Beginning

There was a blog. (As I'm sure you've already learned)

You see, this one time a young woman, who had just graduated from College, had a life altering summer. In an effort to create something productive out of the lovely black hole that ensued, she decided to start a blog, chronicling her efforts at the one thing that she never lost, writing.

The Blood and to speak
Within this blog you'll find an array of things such as sections of my actual projects, things that inspire me, insights on my process, and anything else about my writing that fancies me. Hopefully, this blog will follow me as I attempt to start my second novel and go back and do some writing on my first. You might find some insights on my reading life as well, as I have a pile of 50+ books that need reading and I am very far behind.

The Name, The Name
For the curious. The origins of the name of this blog "Last Exit in Ohio" comes from a sign I saw while driving back from college a couple of years ago. The sign literally said and was the "last exit in ohio" and there was something infinitely poetic about that. I always aspired to give that name to my imaginary band (cause doesn't that sound like a GREAT name for a band?), however, I think naming a writing blog after it is just as honorable.