When Evangeline left home, she didn’t take a cent of the money she had earned playing piano at concerts.
To make a living she learned to play guitar and sing vocals with various bands at ‘hole in the wall’ clubs in L.A. What little money she had she used for voice lessons, rent, and food. She increasingly wrote and sang her own songs.
At twenty-four, Evangeline auditioned for the popular reality TV show, “The Voice.” From the beginning, her talent blew the judges away and she eventually won first place. She called home and invited her mom to come see her final performance for the show.
When Evangeline sat down in front of the grand piano her hands shook above the piano keys. She hadn’t played a piano in three years beyond practising in private for the finale show. She surprised everyone with her skillful piano playing and successful rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.”
At the end of that night Evangeline hugged her mom. Every ounce of resentment and hate she felt for Ruth in the past had faded. She was also amused when she remembered the priceless expression on her mother’s face, hearing the lyrics to “Sexy Back.”
She was also grateful Ruth had pushed her and provided Evangeline a background as a performer. It gave her an edge as she was now able to pursue her musical talents true to her own choices.
I marvelled at the set of angel lights at the the beginning of each block, with another set of angels at the end, as I joined my friends at a pub.
It seemed right these angels should be here, watching over the revelry. As I later walked a block down in the early morning hours to catch a cab, I recalled my thoughts on angels as child.
Sometimes I had nightmares and I was too afraid to fall asleep. My Mom told me not to worry because God’s angels were always watching over me. Still, I looked to the corners of my room afraid because the corners were the darkest places.
Eventually, I began to imagine angels were there in these corners guarding me as I slept. If I woke up afraid I’d look to the corners of my bedroom ceiling and feel safe. Sometimes I dreamed I could see these celestial beings watching over me.
Going home that night in the cab I gazed at the angels made of lights, four of them guarding a street; I hoped the night ended safely for all.
(Hello! Just noting this piece had a mind of its own and is somewhat longer than the usual 200 words. Cheers!)
“Closing time / One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.” The mellow lines Semisonic floated into Tyrelle’s ears.
It was 2:00 a.m. and his friends, Jordan and Simone, were trying to shut their house party down, arranging places for closest friends to sleep and for others to catch a cab home. Tyrelle nursed his last drink for the night. As per usual, he was upset these days.
His beautiful Cleo should’ve been with him here tonight, ensuring he didn’t feel like such a recluse at his friends’ party. He hadn’t been in the mood for a party but since Cleo had ended things three-months ago, he knew he needed to move on.
More Semisonic lyrics played through from an IPad:”Closing time / Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”
Tyrelle watched as Simone finally locked the front door. She peered at at him and moved to give him a short friendly back rub. “You still miss Cleo, huh?”
“Yeah, everyday. Does it get easier?” Tyrelle asked her.
Simone sighed, “Before Jordan, I was with Blake and I thought he was it. Then he broke my heart and for months after, I didn’t function well.”
“After a while I stopped thinking about Blake as much. I realized I resented the hold he had had on me. Then I chose to become involved in life. I volunteered and I saw more friends and family. Not long after, I met Jordan,” Simone said smiling.
Tyrelle smirked. As if what Simone said could ever be possible for him. Then he remembered the last line in the Semisonic song. About how other things had to end for better and new things to begin. So that’s what he decided to do — to begin anew.
He picked up his phone and blocked Cleo’s number. Tyrelle unfriended and blocked her on every social media. Tomorrow he would start going to a different gym location then Cleo to workout and he would go to a different grocery store by his condo to shop as well. Finally, he grinned, he would get a new haircut.
Time’s clock is forever ticking above death’s throne. The clock’s glass face absorbes the colours of the landscape where death resides. The greyish-green of the stone mass, a floating island, and the pinky-red fire of the sky above and below, reflects on the clock’s face.
The figure of death sits soberly in his throne. The stone carved form a perfect fit for his lanky tall body. Beneath death’s left and right hands, the leering skulls of his first two victims sit. They are from our first two ancestors, people who lived exceptionally long compared to the humans living in modern times. Adam and Eve had tried to evade death, even though they knew he was coming for them. They had been ignorant and had no idea what death actually meant until they breathed their last.
Their souls he’d had to let fly in heaven, gold birds with giant wings exploring their freedom and return to painlessness. He had kept their skulls, though one day he knew he would have to return them. For now, Adam and Eve’s skulls peered eerily out onto whichever soul was before death seated on his throne. Together with the dying person, death watched their last seconds of life tick away. He towered over them in his realm and let their soul sour to heaven or to hell, there was no inbetween except him.
Some souls who stood before him were not afraid. This always amazed death. He was an imposing figure, giant and fearsome, his red hair as consuming flames, and his eyes burning coals. Some humans gazed up at him with what frightened death as wisdom, something they had gained, which few knew, not even him. Their souls flew away and he knew he would never see them again. Other people crumbled before him and he took time to torment them whether they went below or above. He was death after all, a fearsome being.
Yet, he had no control where a soul went. Death had no power to choose or to do as he wanted. He had a job, a task. He was death, he killed; but he was not merely an end. He was also the beginning. What he valued most of all, freeing those souls trapped in decaying bodies or in bodies injured profusely. Death was a contradiction of terms, both good and evil. Souls of faith went above and souls of disbelief went down to hades. Even death was afraid of what lay far beneath him in the abyss.
This picture makes me think of mazes and labyrinths, finding your way through a winding place. I found three good quotes on GoodReads to represent this theme. The movie Labyrinth in no way inspired this, I hate that movie!
1.“ [It] became a world whose rules I lived by, and I understood the moral of mazes: sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you’re farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one . . . That when you seem farthest from your destination is when you suddenly arrive, [it] is a very pat truth in words, but a profound one to find with your feet.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust
2. “ . . .A labyrinth has only one path and you merely have to follow it; it’s a symbol of life or, rather, of life and death; labyrinths twist and turn, but they have a beginning and an end, through darkness into light.” ― Ariana Franklin, The Serpent’s Tale
3. “This maze is laid out such that should you step through the correct path, by its end you will have learned the most extraordinary dance, such that any coronation would be proud to see you at the height of its feast, such that any holy dervish would weep and call you his devotion.”― Catherynne M. Valente, In the Cities of Coin and Spice
It began in an elevator. One of those unexpected moments which occur in life. You were gazing at me and I looked up at you transfixed; there was a sparkle in your blue eyes.
As the elevator went higher, the people emptied out onto their respective floors. Eventually, we were alone.
I felt my breathing quicken and could hear your breath speed up beside me. I listened to you breath, in and out, desire for you rushing through my veins.
There had been a meter between us in the elevator, now you somehow were right beside me. I could smell your cologne: ocean, vanilla, and a note of something sweet.
I felt your eyes peering down at me, inspecting me from head to toe. The mirrors around the elevator reflected my image: Shiny black booties, polk-a-dot hose, a black A-line skirt, and a hot-pink sleeveless blouse. Makeup lightly done, eyes bare except for mascara and black eyeliner, and pink lipstick. My light blond hair was braided, stray hairs framing my face.
You saw me, catching you giving me the once over and you smiled genuinly, daring me to look you over. My eyes discovered your form: tall, and lithely muscled, wearing a navy pin-stripped suit, grey dress shirt, and a grey-blue tie. The tie matched your blue eyes exactly and your face was freshly shaved with a defined jaw; your brown hair curled slightly at your collar.
I blushed, staring at my booties, comparing them to your designer shoes. It felt as if the elevator wasn’t moving at all, or maybe time was standing still.
“You look pretty,” you told me. Your voice deep and a bit husky. “I like your perfume, it’s floral but not overwhelming; it smells delicious.” You gave me a devasting smile and I nearly swooned.
Instead, I gathered my wits and smiled back at you, blushing again.”I like your navy suit,” I stammered. “The blue, blue of the tie and the navy of the suit, it matches your eyes. And your cologne, it smells wonderful.”
I couldn’t believe what I said. I saw you grinning at me from the corner of my eye as I stared shyly down at my boots. It wasn’t normal for me to be so nervous, my heart beat so furiously.
You tipped my chin up to better look me in the eye.
“The elevator.It’s not moving,” I said.
You chuckled, “I made it stop. If only for a moment or two.”
But then, your lips touched mine. Soft and questing at first. Gently, coaxing my month open, until your tongue danced inside. Rubbing and sucking on my tongue, causing me to sigh and fall against you.
I returned your kiss grabbing the lapels of your jacket, kissing you harder, wanting more of you, of your magic taste, your delicious mouth all over my skin. Your arms came around my body, holding me close.
Suddenly, the elevator started moving up again. We both pulled back from each other panting.
“Why did it start again?” I asked.
You gazed at me with your intense blue eyes, still gathering yourself. “I’m not sure. You have to have high-clearance to make the elevator start and stop. I didn’t make the elevator move again. Believe me!”
Before we could say more, a beautiful woman with dark hair, walked into the elevator on the twenty-sixth floor. The woman smiled at as both, not oblivious to what had gone on between us minutes before.
“You have lipstick on your face, darling,” she said to you. Your face went pale and you tried to speak but the woman only laughed at you.”Don’t say a thing, you do this all time. But I’m your wife and I know, you’ll always come back to me.”
Your wife exited at the top most floor and you gave me a longing gaze, whispering: “I’m sorry.” In only a few minutes, you broke my heart.
What is it about elevators? I wondered later. My recent experience with you made me think of many TV shows and movies, where elevators have great symbolic and/or metaphorical value.
Elevators are the place for the beginnings of trysts and romances, as I had hoped today would be. They are the places stopped for people to reveal truths and secrets. They are a place where the everyday manners and values are quickly forgotten. Elevators can even be symbolic of life and death.
Today, I felt cheated. I thought the elevator was our beginning. In reality, I had been caught in the middle of some rotting relationship. You were extremely deceitful and right now, I can’t forgive you for what you did. Your lies have killed my attraction to you.
So much so, on Monday when I see you get in an elevator, I will wait for the next elevator going up to arrive. I know you’ll notice, it’s exactly what I hope.
Welcome to the third edition of my interview series. For this week, I interviewed the creative and talented Marquessa Matthews. Her sexy, romantic, thrilling, and relatable weekly fiction stories, always leave me wanting more! She has excellent taste in music as well. Please check-out her blog Simply Marquessa here.
Please Tell Us About Yourself
My name is Marquessa Matthews and I’m from Montreal, QC, Canada.My day job is as a consultant but in the little free time that I have, you’ll find me elbow deep in dirt in my vegetable garden in the summer, travelling in the spring, and probably shoveling myself out of six- foot snow drift in the winter. As with other writers with whom I’ve exchanged conversation with, I consider myself an introvert and an “observer.” I lovemusic and you’ll always find me listening to something such as talk radio, my favorite tunes, or an audio-book.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I taught myself to read at an early age and I think my love of words led me to want towrite them. I would write little poems and short stories. Being in a French language program in primary school, I was lucky enough to have a great English teacher. She not only took an interest in my writing, but she frequently encouraged me with my writingprojects. I continued to write, on and off, until university. Then, I had to put my pen downto tackle life’s responsibilities.
I started ‘blogging’ as an experiment last year, when I decided it was time to pick my pen up again. I was researching creative writing courses and stumbled on a WordPressWriting 101 Course. I took it as a sign and I registered. I decided to tackle each day’s assignment from a ‘fictional’ perspective and to see if ‘blogging’ and ‘fiction writing’could be blended. Needless to say, the Writing 101 course, reignited my passion for playing with words.
“I decided to tackle each day’s assignment from a ‘fictional’ perspective and to see if ‘blogging’ and ‘fiction writing’ could be blended. Needles to say, the Writing 101 course, reignited my passion for playing with words” – Marquessa Matthews
3. What Does Writing Mean to You? Why Do You Write?
Writing is extremely important to me and without it, I would feel like a fish out of water. Now that I’ve started writing again, I’m not sure how I went so long without writing. I write because I love to spin tales and be a puppet-master to the characters I create. There is also the fact that I’ve had certain ‘characters’ living rent-free in my head for a long time and they need to start paying rent in the form of novels!
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
I find inspiration in the day-to-day happenings of life. For me, inspiration can strike from a conversation I’ve had or overheard, from something I’ve seen, and from a place to which I have traveled – inspiration can come from about anywhere.
Creating a character, having them take on a life of their own and run away in a direction I never planned, motivates me. Jotting down an idea, crafting it, and then developing it into something beyond a flash fiction piecesmotivates me.
Also, the readership that I have acquired inspires me. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the number of ‘follows’ I receive. What I do pay attention, however, is the comments readers leave me. I love it when someone asks for more ‘Ella,’ for instance, or ‘Alejandro.’ I enjoy when readers give their reaction to what a character should have done on some of my #TeaserTuesdays. Also, I have always wanted to have my name on a cover of a book, I’m working on it!
“Creating a character, having them take on a life of their own and run away in a direction I never planned, motivates me.” – Marquessa Matthews
5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Like to Write?
I’m a night owl so I always write at night, after dinner with music in the background. In the evening is when I receive my best ideas and the creative juices flow. On the weekends, I could easily break-out my moleskin notebook, my favorite pen, and write until after midnight, but I limit myself to a nightly one hour ‘write.’ If I’m editing a writing piece, I may give myself an hour and a half.
6. What Are Your most Current Writing projects? Any Hopeful Projects If You Aren’t Working on Any?
I’ve been developing scenes around my characters of Delaney, Tyler and Alejandro and wrote many more scenes with them during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2015. My plan is to fill in the gaps during NaNoWriMo in 2016 so I can create a novella or novel.
The next project I have planned is an ongoing online story beginning in 2017 called We Can’t Be Friends.I’ll be introducing two new characters, Isabella and Peter, who will be totally different than the characters I’m writing about now. For We Can’t Be Friends, I’m going tolet the story develop organically.
I think it will be an excellent way to continue my nightly write when I need a change ofpace from my main work-in-progress (WIP). I’m not technology savvy, but I’m thinking about having interested readers sign-up. Hopefully, I can do short weekly installments which readers will look forward to reading. Depending on how the installments go and the feedback I receive, the project could turn into a short story or a novella. If readers are interested, they can check-out the following link to receive a littlebackstory on Isabella and Peter.
” I’ll be introducing two new characters, Isabelle and Peter, who will be totally different than the characters I’m writing about now. For We Can Be Friends, I’m going to let the story develop organically.” – Marquessa Matthews
7. Have You Published Written Works or Are You Planning to Publish Works of Writing?
Hopefully, 2017 will be my year to become a published author. Who knows what will happen with the We Can’t Be Friends online story!
8. Describe Your Writing Process?
I’m not sure I even have a ‘writing process,’ but I can tell you how I develop my stories. I usually get a spark (an idea) from a lyric or a phrase I’ve heard, or something funny which has happened. I jot the idea down on a Post-It and stick it to my ‘writing wall;’ I leave it there to marinate for a while. Then, when I sit down for my nightly write, I lookat the ‘writing wall’ and write whatever comes to mind or I write the exact opposite of my idea to see what will happen when I do.
If I’m working on a fiction piece, I always write all the dialogue which comes to mind first, and then fill in the gaps when I’m editing. For me, editing usually means readingmy writing aloud a few times, tying up loose ends, and removing inconsistencies.
If I’m writing a non-fiction piece, I decide on the message I want the reader to walk away with, then go back to the beginning and start writing and editing.
9. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading and Styles or Genres?
I’ve always enjoyed women’s fiction with a little romance thrown in for good measure, mainly the kind of fiction which could possibly happen in real life. Being of South American heritage, I’ve always leaned towards books with multicultural flavor. In university, a Caribbean literature courseopened up my eyes to the world of anecdotalgenres and culturally diverse characters. I enjoy novels that provide the perspective ofmore than one character, whether it’s in first or third person. I will always prefer a paperback novel that I can take with me to the beach or pool, but also read on my tablet.
” . . .[W]hen I sit down for my nightly write, I look at the ‘writing wall’ and write whatever comes to mind or I write the exact opposite of my idea to see what will happen when I do.” – Marquessa Matthews
10. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?
I’m no expert but I think that I can make three suggestions:
Develop a Daily Writing Habit(either in minutes or in word count):Fifteen minutes beforegoing to bed or five-hundred words per day. You don’t have to write a masterpiece. Practice the BIC method (butt in chair). Jot down an idea and free-write fora set amount of minutes or words, to your daily goal with no editing. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with in your writing.
Try@NaNoWordSprints: I discovered word sprints last year and they are amazing to help ideas flow. If you can’t join a live sprint, do an old sprint from on theirYouTube channel. Pretend it’s a live sprint and try the method out. I wonNaNoWriMo in 2015 by achieving the fifty-thousand word word count, it was mainly due to word sprints.
Read your work aloud, more than once: You’ll catch all your grammar mistakes and wooden dialogue. Fix your issues before posting.
11. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us You Think is Pertinent to Writing or Yourself?
I would say, prioritizing your writing goals is vital. I recently realized, though I lovejoining in on and participating in various writing and blogging prompts such as #MusicMonday, #WordlessWednesday and #TBT, the time spent working on and preparing for these prompts was time spent away from my work-in-progress. In 2017, I plan on taking a different approach to my blog space, especially by taking a hiatus for NaNoWriMo in November and re-blogging fiction from my archives.
12. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog With Some of Your Favourite Pieces?
One of my favorite fiction pieces so far is “San Juan” because it was the first one I wrote concerning Delaney and Alejandro.
“Woman to Woman,” shines a light on the toxicity of abusive relationships.
A Note From Marquessa:
Since I’ll be taking a hiatus in November for NaNoWriMo, I have scheduled re-posts of a number of my fiction pieces so unfortunately, if readers are searching for a specific post,they won’t find it at the moment (until November 2016).
Thank you Marquessa for agreeing to be interviewed and providing such interesting andhelpful information concerning yourself and your writing. I look forward to reading more of your fiction, especially with Delaney (she’s my favourite) as well as reading your installments about Isabelle and Peter in your new project. Best of luck having your work published and with your writing goals.
If you liked this interview and would like to be interviewed as well about your writing, please reach me through my contact page.
Prompt: Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.
Coldplay, “The Scientist.”
(Please go onto my blog page to see this music video if you can’t see it here.)
I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart. Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me, oh what a rush to the start. – “The Scientist.” Coldplay
If you’ve watched the music video for the song “The Scientist,” by the band Coldplay, you understand in the music video you experience the story of the ‘the scientist’ (Chris Martin’s role) in reverse. Martin the lead singer of Coldplay plays the ‘the scientist’ in the music video and begins the music video lying on a random mattress outside of a residence and he moves backwards throughout the entire day.
We see ‘the scientist’ eventually return to a scene of an accident where his girlfriend was killed. She comes back to life and we are taken back to a point where she is taking off her jacket instead of putting it on, and doing up her seat belt, instead of taking it off. Hence, we know why the girlfriend crashes through the wind shield later — no seat belt.
At the end of the music video, ‘the scientist’ and his girlfriend are a happy couple on a regular day driving. Martin sings, “I’ll take you back to the start,” at the end of each of the choruses and it’s because ‘the start,’ his time with his girlfriend before the car accident was wonderful.’The scientist’ merely wants to be with his girlfriend as before.
The second verse — the quote provided — always seemed Frankensteinish to me. The main character played by Martin alludes to himself being a scientist and is like the mad scientist in Frankenstein “guessing at numbers and figures” and “pulling the puzzles apart” trying to make time go back to a point where his girlfriend is still alive. But unlike a mad scientist, this scientist discovers “questions of science, science and progress, do no speak as loud as [his] heart.”
‘The scientist’ Martin plays, feels his love for his girlfriend and his desire to see his girlfriend is beyond the answers all scientific progress can provide him. He wants for science to help him, to make his girlfriend alive, but science doesn’t have that capability. He wants to hear is his girlfriend “tell [him she] love[s him].” ‘The scientist’ wants memories of his girlfriend to “come back and haunt him.” He wants everything to go back to the way they were before the car accident — at the beginning. It’s why he sings, “oh what a rush to the start,” at the end of this verse.
In his mind ‘the scientist’ wants the past back. He can’t have it back because that’s not how science or reality works. You can’t go back to the past except through your memories. You can only live the present and look forward to the future. Coldplay’s song “The Scientist,” speaks of ‘the scientist’s wish for his memories to be real again, to be the present, to go “back to the start” and be with his beloved. For me, “The Scientist” is a distressing song and has always touched my heart. It makes me sad thinking about ‘the scientist’s’ predicament.
What if you could return to the past and change something, would you, if science provided you with the capability? I think if nothing else, this song tells me that the whole concept of love and emotion is not scientific or not only. There is something about love and our desire to be with our loved ones, which goes beyond science and is a matter of the heart: “The heart has reasons which reason cannot understand,” as the saying goes. Listening to this song tells me even though people believe we as a society are advanced in science, we are not as advanced as we would like to believe. There are emotions and feelings science will never truly be able to explain.
Kyrielle is a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the amount of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.
Some popular rhyming schemes for a Kyrielle are: aabB, ccbB, ddbB, with B being the repeated line, or abaB, cbcB, dbdB.
Mixing up the rhyme scheme is possible for an unusual pattern of: axaZ, bxbZ, cxcZ, dxdZ, etc. with Z being the repeated line.
” How much time until I need to go to work,” you ask your partner as you get ready in the morning. ” What time do I pick my son up from soccer” you ask your sons coach. “How much time do I have?” you ask your doctor after discovering you have cancer in your bones. Time. There is never enough of it yet we seem to be overwhelmed by how much time we have.
” I should be doing something, I feel bored” you say as time ticks by slowly. ” There is such a long time between rounds in play off hockey” your husband says thinking the time off will spoil his teams victory run. “I wish the time would just fly by” an expectant mother feels as she labours for the twenty-forth hour.
However, if I were to think about it I would say we have a great deal more trouble with not having enough time in today’s society as we fill every moment we have with work, gym, and meetings; piano lessons and sports for the kids inbetween school and homework and friends; preparing healthy meals, and keeping your white picket fence house clean and designer looking; all the time we spend on technology googling, answering emails, typing documents, creating presentations, tweeting, face booking and text messaging; there is never enough time to do it all.
Time is something of an interesting term because it will exist long after we and our descendants are gone. What is time? That’s a hard question maybe a philosophy professor or physicist could answer exactly but I don’t think so.
Time is what we live in, what limits us from living to long, what limits are cells from regenerating after 120 years if we make it that far. Time is moments we wish to remember forever, it is memories lost to itself, it has a beginning — a Big Bang from an intelligent designer I believe — but we don’t know of times end. We can’t function without time, it would be impossible.
I guess since we don’t know how much time we have we had best use it well, to help others, and make the world better for a future time. Because we can’t change the past we need to live with passion because every day draws us closer to the end of time as we know it.
At the end of that time I see God and Heaven, a place that is timeless. What you see, you must decide in what time you have.