Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Receipts for Life Spent

Receipts for Life Spent
By Emily J. Lawrence

Someone ate bacon and eggs
for breakfast. For lunch. For
dinner. I don't know. But
someone had bacon and eggs.
With a coffee and three refills.

My alarm clock rouses me
at 5:15. I have nowhere to go
but I need to feed my plant.
I tell it I'm alone. You're supposed
to talk to plants. I tell it I'm alone.

I keep all my receipts in a drawer.
They tell me I'm alive. The hair
cut I got a week ago. My hot
water bill. I have my paycheck
stubs. It proves I lived those days
I don't remember. Those boring days.

My office goes out for drinks. I'm
not invited, but I have work to do. I'll
be here until eleven. A new apartment
complex will be build with unsafe materials.
I'll be here until eleven thirty, in green
iridescent lights, like windows on my computer
screen, blocking out figures and numbers.

McDonald's at midnight tastes the same:
like grease. I toss my waded paper at
the outside trash can. It bounces off the rim
to the ground. I leave it there. I walk up
the sidewalk, shivering at the sound of
barking dogs in dark yards.

I think I'll quit my job. There's no
reason to work this late. I only
work to buy food and it's never
that good. I put the Daisy Market
receipt in my drawer, a memento
of Cornflakes, milk, and bananas.

This world has to be a mistake. Or
at least something went horribly wrong.
Now that it's a piece of trash, would
God to bend and pick it up?
I wouldn't. I won't waste my time.

A scrap of something blows along
the ground. It blows under my shoe and
I step on it. It's a piece of paper, I pick
it up. A Denny's receipt. Someone had bacon
and eggs. And coffee with three refills.
And they lived today. I put it my drawer;
I am not alone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Syntactical Qualities of Strong Writing

This is a list of characteristic to which strong writers adhere. I'm reading them for homework (Writing Poetry by Michelle Boisseau, Robert Wallace, and Randall Mann) in my Poetry class and thought they would be helpful to other writers.

1. Place main ideas in main clauses and subordinate ideas in subordinate clauses.

2. Use parallel structures for parallel ideas.

3. Put modifiers next to the nous they modify

4. Use active voice. ("The dog bit the boy" vs. "The boy was bitten by the dog.")

5. Vary sentence structure.

6. Set the most significant part of a sentence at the end.

7. Use unusual syntax only when appropriate to meaning.

8. Break any rule that makes you sound ludicrous.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Quiet Girl

I'm taking a Poetry class right now and am tasting words for their flavors not only as building blocks for a story and it's like my mind is being revived. I should not have lost the love of words in my attempt to write stories for poetry is part of prose.

Quiet Girl Sewn in a Blanket

By Emily Lawrence

Quiet girl. Quiet girl. Quiet girl.

Quiet girl. Quiet girl.

Forgotten voice. Forgotten voice.

Written voice.

Blanket white. Blanket white.

Rose petal blanket. Chick fluff blanket.

Waiting girl. Hiding girl.

Sewn up girl in a blanket.

Bread steam blanket.

Will anyone ever come for me?

Quiet girl. Quiet girl.

Sleep-drunk eyes. Hidden mouth.

Quiet girl.

Writes a poem to say her words.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Today marks the beginning of Goodtheme, a cross between a book club and a writing workshop. I've been wanting to start something like this for 2-3 years. When I returned from my church's mission trip two weeks ago and went to morning church the next day, I sat in the pew scribbling on the back of the bulletin.

What I wrote were the preliminaries to the literary club that met tonight. I had no idea those who showed up would. I'm so glad they did!

Really, it's such a great set-up. We all know and love each other. It's safe and a great opportunity for fellowship. Which reminds me, I should take refreshments next time.

I'm very excited about this! And, another member told me the same thing as we were leaving.

Dear God, please use this as a chance to bring us closer to You and Your truth.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

To a Dear Love...

I wrote this the other night. I thank God for letting me write my first poem in a long time through worshiping Him.

What words have not been spoken to You?
What have You not heard?
What offering could be offered
As a new addition to your trove?
One not like any other ever made
Uniquely pieced together
Beyond faulty place or craftsmanship
A mark of ink on an ordinary whiteness,
Is there anything so complex
So extraordinary
A word never tasted
A compliment never shared.
Could I be that burnt offering?
A fragrance on an alter
Is my design, a relationship with the Father
Like a song in a court, like alleigiance
Before a flag
No other praise as I am, made individual
By the One deserving praise has
Ever been offered to Your feet
Until I now lay me down.

This is my something to say for today. Nothing we can say or give to God is trully unique because we are sorry craftsmen compared to Him. But, we ourselves are beautiful works of God - the God Who is able to create with perfect plan and purpose. Therefore, we should lay ourselves down as sacrifices to a worthy creator.

Good day and God bless.

Friday, April 17, 2009

3rd, I'm like the Lion of Oz!

My short story, The Panda who had Lice, won 3rd place in my college's Genesis Fiction Contest! Looking through my post labels, I see I've never talked about this story before. I was sure that I had... tell me if this sounds familiar:

Anko Chiba was voted to be the Carrier for her class because the girls were jealous of her beautiful hair. The Carrier is a student that must bear the collective lice for her classmates. One day she come to class with her hair hacked short. This is also the day that Yamashita Hiro, a depressed little boy, transfers to the school from America. After his first day, the class has already targeted him to be the next Carrier.

I'm so happy that I won 3rd place! On the 28th the English Department is going to honor the winner at a sort brunch/ceremony.

Honestly, I knew that the story's writing was a little weak. I'm afraid it might have won from the merit of its concept. I'm not completely sure how to feel about that. Maybe I'm doubting for no reason, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's in your hand?

Today in chapel, I took my pen out to write down the name of the songs we were singing. (It's All for You" and "God of Justice.") I didn't have any paper, so I kept my pen in my hand. It just feels natural that way. It fits in my hand somehow.
The speaker came up and asked up what was in our hands. My pen. He said some of us had cellphones. Some had homework out. Some were holding hands with their "boo." Everyone laughed. Then he said, "... by the end of my message I want you to know that what you have in your hand is precious."
Wow, I thought. Precious. Then he went on to about how what we had was important to God because He would use it in His power.
I got so happy! I thought, it's true then, I'm meant to write. It meant so much to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opening couple paragraph of my newest story

Most kids run away to the circus, but my daddy drove me there.
He hits me hard in the eye with his right hook. Then in the gut. I flop around in the air like a rag doll. I let my brown puke splash where it may. I keep trying to ground my feet, but Boomer is fast. He keeps punching my cheeks and I wonder if he likes the way they feel, the way they mash under his paws real soft and cold. I always picture my spit flying out my mouth slow motion. It’s my mouth moves most when the kangaroo beats me.
My daddy had raised Boomer from a joey to be a boxer with the intent to sell him to a circus. He found one: THE Amazing Augusta Alcott All-something Circus. That was the way I first heard it. Daddy talks to the ringleader, Ms. Gussy, while I unload Boomer. I get him in the room-sized cage. He fights back hard today. But I can fight hard, too. I’ve won a few times against him. But he fights back hard today.
I can’t see out my left eye and I feel my nose clot up. I throw up my arms around my face. A few blows thump my head down then me down. His long dirty foot kicks me and I slide to a stop in the dirt on the metal floor. I lick the blood off my teeth before I black out. When I wake up, my daddy has left Boomer to the circus. And left me too.

This is the beginning few paragraphs of my newest story. It's about a girl between 9 and 10 whose dad has sold a boxing kangaroo to a circus and thrown her in as a bonus. Her name's Beneficence "Benny" O'Kelly. She becomes an "animal wrestler" for an all-child circus, where she also wrestles hardship and poverty.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Writing Pet Peeve

Author vs. Title
I hate when the author's name is in bigger font than the title. Most of Stephen King's books are this way and it happens on romance novels, too. It makes you wonder what the authors think of themselves and their writing.
This is especially irritating when the title is a character's name. For anyone who doesn't know the author, it too easy to mix them up. I've spent a lot of energy trying to figure it out. (Which is kind of pathetic.)

Thank you for reading my rant, ^^

Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm not as upset as one might think I'd be. The experience was important for me and I actually enjoyed it. This enjoyment confims yet again that this is what I want to do with my life.

What I'm talking about is the story I submitted to Glimmertrain's New Writer's contest. I got the rejection today. I was proud of my work and this rejection doesn't make me any less proud of it. It is one of my best.

Now, I'm going to research and find another magazine to which to send it. Because of the Christian elements, I really should find a Christian magazine. A Christian audience would appreciate it more.

I wish they would have accepted it. Wouldn't it have been great to run and tell my mom and tell my writing professor? I say this with a strange emotion - like soda pop all shaken up. It's happy and sad and adventurous all at once. Like I was a wrestler that faced a wrestling match and found that I like it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Writing Promt 2 - The Ugly Jacket

I'm going to give you the first few sentences.

Her jacket was ugly - and I'm sorry it was ugly. And, I'm sure she'd be sorry that it was distracting me from her class. But, the fact remains: it was ugly.

*I apologize for my very conversational tone; but, you can change that by rewriting the prompt, of course.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A dedication to a piece...

My writing professor sent out an email about a creative writing contest coming in March. I haven't been ablet to think much about writing now that I'm in two - count 'em - two! literature classes, with a grand total of 12 novels to read this semester. To give you an example of what's expected of me in these classes: I have to read eighty pages of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and at least 30 of Saving Grace by Lee Smith today. We'll begin discussing Tess on Monday next week and S.G. on Tuesday.

I'm at my wit's end with Tess. I'm enjoying the story, but not all the reading. Although right now I'm rather ticked off at Angel.

I want to make this post a vow that I will finish my latest story "Itching Ears" by the March deadline:
I, Emily J. Lawrence, do solemnly swear to become a superhuman writer and finish my short story, "Itching Ears," to submit it in the contest while at the same time not faulting in the reading assignments of my two literature classes.

Wish me luck, wish me brains, wish me comforting chemicals (all the root beer I can drink.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Writer's Pet Peeves I

As writers are some of the most eccentric people on the planet, I thought it would be fun to share some of my pet peeves about writing.

1. Titles of writing.
I can't stand one word titles. They annoy me. It seems that it's becoming a fad to have a one words title - it's supposed to be dramatic or forceful. I hate it.
I have to come up with at least a two-word title when I write. And if I absolutely have to have one word (whatever that means) it should have at least 2-3 syllables.

Does this make sense? No. Does it irritate me anyway? Yes.

I think all writers are born with Lingua Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If I consider something to be understood, I don't say it. And I never repeat myself. Those are skills I've learned because I'm a writer. That's also why I'm a terrible teacher.

Another pet peeve I have doesn't have to do with writing per se, but with language.

2. I hate when I say something to someone and they say, "maybe." It makes my bones shake. They don't realize it, but it's rather rude.

3. "Very hilarious." ... "Pretty delicious." What do these mean? Either something the best or it's not. It can't be "very" the best or "kind of" the best. The best is the best.

Agh! So irritating.
Tune in for more pet peeves and please respond with some of your own language pet peeves.