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All posts for the month September, 2011

Dark Shadow

Published September 30, 2011 by Iniysa

Today was a busy day in the deli. A crowed of people stood at the counter waiting for food or service. It was 1:25 PM, and  the entire store went suddenly dark, like a dark shadow passed though from the right side of the store to the left. It was very quick, my entire crew and I stopped what we were doing.

“Did anyone else see that?” Sandy, our lead; asked. We all nodded, “Good, because I thought I was going blind.”

We then began to talk about what we thought it was before we turned to the customers to ask what they thought. That’s when we found out that no one else seen it. Our customers were looking at us like we were insane.

So what was the dark shadow? What do you think?

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What’s in a Name?

Published September 24, 2011 by Iniysa

Naming the characters in my Senkrad novels has been one of the toughest things so far in writing. How do I find that perfect name? It has to not only fit, but describe the people I am creating. (Because you don’t describe your characters, they describe themselves, as they take on lives of their own; they have no problem telling you the name you chose is wrong.)

I started my naming adventure with a baby book. Simple, to the point, here is thousands of names, where the name is from and what it means in that culture. Great, helpful unless you’re my characters.  As my story grows, personality’s change; what was once the perfect name is now completely wrong. Do I keep them to the end, then change them risking calling them the wrong name later, because it’s the name I’ve been writing for years and years? Do I randomly choose a name off my Facebook page and forget it? Or do I keep the names I have because that’s the names I will remember. (And I am horrible at remembering names, ask my best friend!)

Names are very important, they are what everyone will remember, even if they never read your book. If I say Edward Cullen to you or Harry Potter (to name two extremely popular characters.) even if you have never touched Twilight or The Sorcerer’s Stone, you know.

So how do you choose your names? Do you keep them or change them?

The Sounds of Writing

Published September 21, 2011 by Iniysa

What do you listen to when you write? Most will say music, which is my preference; however as I was sitting at the restaurant I prefer to write at I got to wondering what it was about this restaurant that made my muse so active that other places didn’t.

Atmosphere is a big one I suppose, Denny’s and Taco Bell’s A/C are kept at artic levels and I feel strange walking around in 112°F heat with a heavy jacket over my arm. But I think sound is the key.

I have two favorite writing restaurants, the local hole in the wall pizza place (Paul’s Pizza) where there is only one booth with an outlet and no wifi. And Bullritos where every booth has outlet and free wifi.

Both restaurants are friendly, the staff knows my name, what I order and where ill be sitting. And the sound beyond the music is of people talking and laughing. The staff having warm conversations with the public and themselves. I hear lite, happy sounds and I focus in on my keyboard, letting the words flow.

Taco Bells is to quite. If they have music at all I can’t hear it, and the staff mainly talk to each other in Spanish. I get little to no writing done there, even bundled up in my heavy jacket.

Denny’s on the other hand has in general a hectic noise. People coming in for meetings, on a deadline, or stressing over homework. The staff is yelling at each other for one reason or another, and again I find myself having trouble letting my creative juices flow.

I’ve tried dozens of other restaurants around town, but the sounds are wrong, not inviting. The sounds of staff wanting me to leave so that they don’t have to refill my glass anymore.

On nice days I’ve tried to write at the park. The atmosphere is almost perfect, the only time there is any real stress is when I have to 7get up for any reason, I can’t just ask someone I know to watch my things; I have to stop, close and drag everything with me, turn  hope my spot will still be there when I return.

The sounds are completely different then restaurants. Unless you turn on the music yourself, it’s mostly very quite. You can here the wind passing gently through the leaves of the trees. Children laughing in the distance, but mostly the sound of feet hitting the pavement, scooters rolling past and bicycle tires going by. Occasionally you will here people talking as they walk or sit near you. I often find myself very distracted here, there is so much visually and for someplace so quite there is a lot of sudden noise.

So where is your favorite place to write away from home? What noises make it your spot?

Are Gift Cards Personal?

Published September 13, 2011 by Iniysa

My mom messaged me asking what I wanted for my birthday. She became upset when I said gift cards to places like iTunes, Kindle and Half Price Books. Gift cards to the movie theater would be well used as well. Or better yet get me internet for my apartment!

She stated her usual about gifts cards not being personal and I told her gift cards could be very personal! A. They’re not going to reclutter my apt. B. I can get exactly what I want, and not have to worry about return policies. C.  As long as it’s to a place I ask for they will make me VERY happy. D. If you really need to personalize something, make it the card you put the gift card in!

Thank you for reading today’s very short rant. This rant is brought to you by parents, birthdays (and inevitably Christmas), clutter, and the uncanny fear of becoming one of those hoarders I see on TV.

Fire!

Published September 5, 2011 by Iniysa

I had a very short shift scheduled. Two hours starting at 9 PM, do the cafe’s inventory then head home to bed. It’d been a busy day so I was looking forward to eleven so that I could go home and sleep. The inventory went smoothly, Edwin and I are a good team and can get the three to four-hour job of counting everything done in an hour and a half and it’s never takes me longer then half an hour to calculate everything so that it makes since to our boss when she goes to put it in the system. It was when I was calculating my numbers that we first smelled it. Burning plastic? It was a horrible smell. But our store has a lot of ovens so on occasion things will get left on something that is hot and melt. We didn’t think anything of it beyond normal curiosity.

As we were leaving to clock out Edwin and I began to realize that the smell was coming from my department. Since the deli was closed, everyone but me gone I got my first inkling of worry. Without a word, we turned into the deli and began to search for the cause of the smell. Nothing hot was on, but the smell was so strong our eyes were watering. After a long search we gave up and headed toward the time clock once again. We walked past the cheese wall (a long cold wall in the deli we display our cheeses on) only to find that the smell was somehow even more overpowering.

Now it’s not uncommon to see steam come off the cold wall, however this time we had a feeling that what was wisping out was not steam. We quickly began to pull the cheese out from that area trying to find the source. Then there it was. An outlet set in wall to plug lights into was on longer white and perfectly round, it was instead black, melted and unrecognizable. The power has been going out a lot lately, sending power surges around the store. It had already fried two computers. We figured that it had done the same to this outlet. Quickly we grabbed the ASM Angie and thus began one of the longest nights ever.

To make a very LONG story short, no one we talked to on the phone thought it was serious, convinced it could wait until morning. That is until the spark, the fire that shot out of the wall and the yellowish orange light that suddenly appeared behind the wall. Still want us to wait until morning to call anyone in? We stopped listening to the people on the phone right about then. Angie pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the customers, most of which thought was just a drill until the fire truck appeared. Turns out one of the customers is a fire fighter who radioed in our location immediately.

The next hour was spent with the night crew as we pulled the food off the entire wall while Angie continued to try to get a hold of people. Thankfully Sally with the key to get into the breaker room picked up her phone and rushed over. The fire was out, a bunch of wires were cut, and a mini disaster looked to have hit the deli by 2am. By now my boss is here and a big boss has arrived and no one could find the key to turn off the fire alarm. It’s not till three am that one of the thousands of keys we checked lets us silent it. By now even with the alarm off we are having to yell because even after the ringing in our heads stopped it still sounded like every one was talking from a great distance.

Finally the election arrived. He had already worked over 80 hours and you could tell he was no longer really there. On top of that he was getting sick and had this horrible barking cough that he never covered his mouth for. He cursed the damage the fire fighters did to the wiring and panels before doing his job and turning the power back on to the area. He tells us everything looks and sounds good before leaving. My boss then declares that this is a holiday (Labor Day) and that the wall must be put back together by six AM, so I sit in the office and watch the temperature computer waiting for the wall to stop throwing warnings. It doesn’t. Finally I stumbled over there only to find the wall is way to quiet. I curse. The fans have stopped working. Boss is on the phone with the electric company yelling about them coming back now and of course the wall sounded fine, it was silent. He came back, fixed the fans and now we had to wait for the walls temp to drop from 75°F to below 40.

Sally, my boss and I decide now would be a great time for a lunch break so we clock out for lunch and stop by Walgreens for a Red Bull then head out to Denny’s where Sally and I laughed and took pictures of my poor boss who fell asleep in the corner.

I spent the rest of the morning putting the case wall back together.Clocking out at 9am exactly 12 hours after I had clocked in and over 25 hours since I had woken up. I told my boss as I was walking out that I’m calling in for my 10 am shift. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

 

The Tale of the Black Forest Pig

Published September 4, 2011 by Iniysa

Before beginning my little tale, I should first tell you the story around the tale so that it makes since. I work in a deli. (Yes the vegetarian slices meat and cheese all day to pay the rent and all my other bills.)

One of our meat products is the Black Forest Ham. Now I have no clue how that particular meat got its name, just that it’s smoked and well liked. Often however, I am asked about it and it takes everything in me, not to spin a tale. I can’t do that to a customer, unfortunately; so instead I did it to a co-worker.

I have worked with this co-worker for years, she used to work full-time in the cafe with me before she transferred out. I transferred to Deli and over time she began to work wherever she was needed in the store, which of late has been with me once again. She was helping me re-fill the case when we got to the Black Forest Ham and I grinned up at her seeing my opportunity.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if I told the next customer who asks me about this ham that…” And so my short story began.

 

The Tale of the Black Forest Pigs

By: Lauren Freeman

In a far away country there is a forest that is so thick, it’s always as dark as night there. It’s called the Black Forest and is filled with many superstitions and dangerous beliefs. The animals that live in the forest are all either dark dwelling creatures like bats or more often animals that wandered in at some point and adapted. One such animal was a group of large, wild pigs. As time went by, the pigs offspring began to be able to see in the dark the same as we are able to see in the light. Now. over the course of many, many years the forest is now over run by these animals.

It wasn’t until foreigners who don’t take a lot of stock in silly superstitions and beliefs decided to put on night vision goggles and go explore this deep forest filled with these strange large swine’s who eyes glowed an almost goldish green color. At first the hunters were scared, was their stock in those superstitions? Were these creatures evil demons? The three men gathered their courage and decided to move forward. One particularly brave man decided he was going to hunt one of the pigs, and although these pigs had become fast they were no match for the hunters bullets.

Sitting by the fire, watching their catch roast, they began to realize that all of the creatures of the forest were staying far away from them now. The hunter who had killed the pig stated it was because they were afraid of him now, he had obviously proven hat they were the deadliest in the food chain here. Another man, who had a more scientific mind however realized that it was probably because of the bright fire. Even to him, who had only been in the Black Forest for a day, had trouble looking at the fire, as the light hurt his eyes.

When the pig was done cooking, the now ravenous hunters began to devour the poor animal quickly finding that the taste of this pig was the best they had ever had. Was it just this one pig? They hunted another one the next day and found it tasted much the same.

“Maybe it’s how they live?” One hunter stated, in between bites.

“Or what ever it eats.” The scientist of the group mumbled, trying to figure out if he had seen what the pigs had been eating. It didn’t matter. Before long the large Black Forest was known for it’s succulent pork, the pigs of which were bought and sold all over they world. And that is where Black Forest Ham comes from.

The End

 

I looked up, finished now with the case only to see my co-worker standing there with her mouth open, eyes wide.

“Really? I didn’t know that!” I rolled my eyes and laughed.

“It’s not true, I just made all that up. I said wouldn’t it be funny if I told customers that.” I laughed.

“It’s not real? I thought it was real!” She groaned and walked away. I began to laugh hysterically (I hadn’t slept the night before so I was quite loopy by 9:00PM) then the power went out. I took that as a sight that I should just close down and go home, so I did.

Write It Again – With Meaning!

Published September 1, 2011 by Iniysa

How is it, that I have started writing the first chapter of my Senkrad novel again? I know it will need to be revised, but unlike several other chapters, this one was done, I liked it! Furthermore, in the new chapter one, I wrote the whole thing in first person. Do you know how insane that is, how it will mean I will now have to re-write everything else into first person if I keep it?

But what if first person is the way this series is supposed to be told? What if this is the change I really needed? The thought of having to completely re-write the entire thing into first person is overwhelming. I can give more feeling, more depth to my characters from this point of view but…

So how do I get up the will to do this? I love to write, with everything in me. The hard part is going back, re-writing, editing, changing things I have spent hours agonizing over typing, deleting and typing again. A complete re-write though…

I’ll completely re-write the first three or four chapters, see where it takes me.