Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I've been working on a novel for over a year now, and it would be a miracle if I finished before the end of this year...
One thing I overlooked was my characters.
An example of what the slums might look like from Green Success (Above Image)
Often the writer focuses on the event and they forget about the character, the personality and their motives, confusing them as options...
I believe they are necessary for a story to be engulfing. The best example I could possible come up with would be the anime, School Rumble... It has the perfect balance of Event and Character building, that it feels like I seriously am hanging out with these characters.
<--- Tenam Skamato: Besides Harima, Tenma is an essential character, without her, Harima wouldn't have motivation to write his manga, and thus there would be no plot...
Harima is writing a manga for Tenma, this story line is much more interesting than Harima writing a manga because he wants fame.
However you chose to write, don't forget you characters are just as important as the actual plot. Halo just wouldn't be Halo without Master Chief...
Without good characters, the reader has no reason to care for the story, if the reader is not interested, the story is no good....
Take your time, and remember, nothing is set in stone... Haste makes Waste...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
[Images provided and created by who else?]
The most important thing to a story writer is the inspiration....
Whether you're inspired by creation or imaginary things, it's all good!
Take a look at this picture, now what do you see, are you seeing what I'm seeing?
Right now as I gaze at this photo, the first thing that came to mind was how a village of tiny people could be living among the jungle of leaves. (Sound pretty lame right?)
And that's the problem, too many people think of an idea, (it might be great) But often they discourage themselves thinking their ideas are stupid. It might be tough to tackle, but you must be able to defeat your self discouragement, look it straight in the face and slap it!
Now what do you see? Are you imagining how high awesome you can snowboard from tree top to tree top? Or were you thinking about the lake on the other side of the hill? Or were you imagining the moon just inches away from the tree tops as people climb and grab hold of the moon?
This is not art, it is an accident! I shook the camera and this is what popped up... Don't expect your accidents to accidentally be good.... because that would be modern abstract art, and what does everybody know about abstract art? (Crapola!)
Don't be afraid to pinch at someone else's plate! They won't notice!
This is Zelda, I like to pick... well pick isn't the word I like to use!
I like to harvest new ideas off the existing ones form Zelda Games. The more I play Zelda, the bigger the tumor of an idea becomes, and soon it becomes big enough to break off. And that's where a new idea comes from...
It's not Stealing, it's "Borrowing"! And consciously or not, everybody does it!
These are my math Notes, and guess what? I actually had fun!
Yes, I had fun during math class, surprised? I was!
Once again, my love for homes, houses, mansions and villages is reflected in my drawings. And that's also where I got the idea for the slums from Green Success:
The Slums is a town where every building is made of cardboard and the residents are dirt poor...
the idea first hatched while I was playing Halo 3 Forge, after stacking random boxes and crates, it started looking like a maze, with tall buildings... and I thought, how cool would this be if it were real... and then the idea was formed! :)
And finally, sometimes you need to sit down and hand draw something that's been on your mind for a while...
The week I drew this picture, I had seen bright lights in the sky near my house, all on the radio they were talking about UFO's and so I was thinking about it for a while, then i decided what it would be like if some girl were taken away by the aliens every night....
but not in the horrific way most would imagine, but in a calm, happy, peaceful way...
So that's where this drawing came about...
but enough about me, I hope this blog, a little different from past blogs, really gives you an idea of what I'm trying to tell you!
Also when you're not driving, look out the window and imagine a skateboarder skating on all the cars and objects as they pass bye.... It's actually quite fun!
- Andrew Taraba
If you liked those pictures, see better ones here:
Saturday, August 28, 2010
In deed, I don't...
And if I'm not happy with it... even if others are... I wouldn't want to keep it....
I've been very busy...
Re-writing Green Success.... I have had many versions of this story written, starting from my Freshman year in Highschool, I just did one draft all the way through and now as I begin to judge my own work and criticize it, I realize all I had created was a mere skeleton..,.
as I re-wrote it, I became less satisfied with it... especially when comparing it to anime series... as my goal was to be as good as any anime series...
Sadly the only chapters I was happy with, was the first and second...
I am re-writing every chapter past that, keeping the same plot, but re-telling the story...
There;s no telling when I'll finish, but I hope I don't quit!
as of now, I've been posting, re-posting and deleting my postings of Green Success online, because of my satisfactory rate... and while I'm sure, not much are affected by it, I do want to point out that I am indeed affected by this, and I hate writing crappy stories as much as I hate reading them...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
and also, one thing that makes these specific chapters so boring... THERE'S NO CONFLICT!!!
I loved chapter 2 so much because there was a problem they had to overcome... watching the first episodes of: Soul Eater, Negima, Air, Clannad, Cowboy Bebop, and countless other anime... I've studied them all, and so far, all of them have one thing in common.... a main conflict...
I've reviewed chapters 3 - 5 of Green SUccess, and so far, it's just pure story telling and hinting... with little conflict and really no main conflict...
So that's my goal.. re write these, telling the same story in a more interesting way!
Of course this will probably ruin my copyright as in this is not a minor change...
but who cares, my mom is the one who's in charge of copyright stuff... she's the one who got me the copyright in the first place... saying If I don't publish a novel before I reach 18 or before I graduate college, I'm moving out!
Every logical person knows it's actually better to be a loser living with their parents than a "cool guy" living alone, paying bills and things... most people know it's best to live with your parents as long as possible...
but once I get enough money.. I"m out of there!!!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
When people say they like an anime or a manga, usually it was because it appealed to them... Some people liked Naruto because they think Ninjas are cool...
why do they think Ninjas are cool, many reasons, but the most common is appeal... somewhere in their heart they wished, even for a minute moment, that they could be a ninja, or that the ninjas from Naruto were real...
I'm sure everyone has at least day dreamed or wished for a second that they could spend a day with their favorite anime character or something similar to that... when I was a kid I wished the world was more like a Zelda game, adventure at ever corner, and NO SCHOOL!
... even as we get older we still have those thoughts sometimes, when I watch School Rumble, often I wish real school was like that... School Rumble has appealed to me....
but now as a writer, my writings and stories must appeal to other people too... Which is a pretty hard thing...
so how can I get my writings to appeal to other people?
Well (keep in mind these things are simply my own theories...) the first thing to do is to see who your target is... do you want adults to like your stories or do you want anime fans?
Most popular anime like Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, are called "Main Stream" ...
Mainstream is something that appeals to the majority... you wouldn't call a screamo gothic emo anime, main stream, because a happy go lucky girl probably wouldn't want to watch it, it probably wouldn't appeal to her...
however Naruto is considered mainstream because in this time period Ninjas are considered "cool"... lots of people like Ninjas... so it makes sense that this appeals to people...
Twilight is mainstream because vampires are the "big thing" today... that doesn't mean everybody likes it, it just means the majority of people will...
The down side to mainstream is it has to be dumbed down for the majority of people to enjoy, it has to cling on to a gimmick, such as ninjas and vampires, and usually a "mainstream" anime or novel will never be that great, on a critical point of view, mainstream things just aren't that great...
Death Note obviously isn't mainstream, because there a millions of people who hate it... Death isn't appealing to happy happy smile all the time kids... if you look at the Death Note fan base, the majority is made up of emo, goth teenagers... I'm sure the creators would have wanted it to appeal to as many people as possible, but when you write on such "extreme" subjects, you're bound to have haters.... but I personally think Death Note is 10X better than Naruto or Bleach...
Anyways when I was writing Green Success (that title embarrasses me) I definately wanted it to appeal to everyone passable... but now I realize I want to add some edge to it, make it a little more epic and maybe even make it a more serious story... as well, I also wanted it to be considered a "Christian" story, as leading people to Christ is my main goal... so right off the bat, there goes a LOT of appeal... I would be very surprised if my novel ever went mainstream... Well honestly, I'd be surprised if I even sold over 100 copies.... I have to understand who I'm trying to appeal if I want it to appeal...
...When you write a story about blood and vampires, expect it to appeal to vampire fans... expect it to be hated by everyone else...
So I could go on and on about this, but I'll keep this short by using a specific example... Green Success, the story I know the best...
Some of the main "gimmicks" of Green Success I used to try to get some appeal:
Teens who are treated equally to adults
houses made of cardboard
No Parental influence, (parents don't care what the kids do) <--- I like that one!
Characters with high respect by the entire town
Cute Girl who loves you no matter what
Dreams of becoming a Manga artist
Poor Run down Church, but a strong fellowship
Family (Family of people who aren't actually related but still stick together and call themselves a family)
I hope at least one of these things appealed to you... but in order to get someone to fall in love with Green Success, I think it would take more than just one thing to appeal...
So I say, think about your stories, what "gimmicks" have you used and who you want it to appeal to...
I say Gimmick, because in all honesty I purposely chose those things because I knew they would be interesting and appealing things for people to read about...
I guess I could have added Vampires to Green Success. but I wouldn't stoop that low... :P
So think about your stories when you write, if it doesn't even appeal to you, then it probably won't appeal to others...
Just remember these are just my personal theories and ideas... I may be wrong...
..I put little fireballs in my posts because I want it to appeal to lots of people... because most people cant stand looking at a huge blob of words... They like pictures! So do I!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am a Zelda fanatic, I've been constantly playing their games since I knew about them... Majoras MAsk is my biggest influence for Green Success....
Anyway, I want to talk about a common problem that many writers make, I've been able to observe these problems since I recently joined Wattpad...
The problem? Random Major Events....
Although it sounds silly, this is a big problem that affects the interest level of the book and the direction the reader will be thinking about as they explore the world you have created/written for them...
Usually the first time you write a story, you just write the first thing that comes to mind, which is good, it allows creativity to be at it's peak... but i wouldn't recoment keeping it that way...
Part of enjoying a story is trying to figure out what's going to happen next, often during brain boggling movies and anime, you spend most of your time comprehending and predicting things, subconsciously or consciously... even when playing RPG's like Zelda it's always fun to guess what the boss will be, and usually in most Zelda games the final boss is a bigger version of any minor enemies you meet in the cave...
In Ocorina of Time, the first boss is a giant spider, and throughout the cave you see many massive spider webs... your first thought might not be "The final boss is a giant spider" but it will at least peak the players interest, and in story telling INTEREST is the most important factor... even if you have the greatest ending in the world, if the reader isn't interested they may never get to the end...
Although Random Major events may be interesting sometimes it's usually not good all the time...
HINTING AT EVENTS
RPG: In Zelda games usually you will come across a door with a silver lock on it, instantly you know you need a Small Key... I will call this Specific Hinting... Because the player knows exactly what they need to do/obtain...
In story telling you can specifically hint, even by using the same example, the character is stuck at a locked door, you are hinting he either needs a key or something to break down the door...
If you want a character to die, better to hint towards his death than to have it pop up randomly... In Death Note we know Light Yagami's Father's Death was suprising but when you observe the stpry closely, you realize it was being hinted at... The biggest hint being how Light Yagami's dad halves his life span even though he's already old... And how he hesitates to write Mello's name down and how both the viewer and the characters see the bomb switch in Mello's hand... It was hinted at, it builds drama, and best of all it doesn't seem like the writer pulled Yagami's Death out of the blue...
NON-Specific Hinting... While seeing a high wall in Zelda, I though I was going to get some sort of flying item... that high wall was always there, it's not like I am just exposed to that wall right before I get the item, but I saw it as I went along, which built my interest... Eventually all I needed was my horse to jump over the wall, I was wrong, but I was interested... It wasn't specifically hinted but it was still INTERESTING!
In my story Green Success, the first thing you read is Long having a Day Dream... it has nothing to do with the rest of the chapter, but it is hinting at something, it will be significant later in the story...
In Chapter 3 when Long says "Another Child must Suffer for the Mistake of a Parent" ... it has a significance in the conversation, but his statement isn't explained right there... It will eventually be explained, but along the way I will keep hinting at Long and his Parents until I finally reveal the event... the Even will seem much more dramatic and significant if it is being hinted at...
Hinting is part of twining the parts of the story together, and it will make the story much more thought out and intricate... A true Masterpiece.... Hint, hint, hint... and the next time you watch an anime, watch out for the hints, because there will be a lot!
CLANNAD: in Clannad, the final scene where Nagisa almost gives up on stage, it is hinted at, since we know she is very shy... She gives up because she feels she is a burden on her parents... the story of her burden was mentioned several times before the characters actually go to the flash back of the story... The Drama club had been in CLANNAD since the first episode, so one thinking hard enough could conclude that the Drama club has some importance in the story... In the end we know for sure, the ending was hinted at so many times, yet it still seemed surprising, and those Tear Jerking moments are made more sad since they were being hinted at...
Remember hinting is not the same as revealing... and if you don't hint to the interesting parts of your story, your story will not be interesting at all... a hint can be as simple as a name mentioned...
In Chapter 4 of Green Success, Long and Andrew's past are hinted at many times, and the goal is not to spoil their past, but to prepare the reader and interest the reader for when I do reveal their past... Throughout Green Success I hint at Mark's past with gang members, but I have not revealed anything major yet... Yet...
But I'm sure I didn't do a good job making this Blog very interesting!
Friday, August 13, 2010
A story that's connected, well thought out and most of all, isn't just a straight forward system of events, is an amazing story...
When I play an RPG I am always stunned at how well thought out it is... Particularly the Zelda Franchise... Some things are only open to you if you have the right items, yet you are exposed to these things even if you don't have the item or aren't as far in the game yet...
In story logic, the reader/viewer is exposed to things they may not fully understand, such as in Gears of War the Locust and their origin aren't explained right off the bat, yet you are still throuwn right into the action and the fact you don't know everything about it, make the story interesting because you will have so many questions about it like "What are krill?" "Who's the Locust Queen?" Of course once you find out, it's just like getting the item in an RPG, it makes more sense, but it isn't necessary to know...
Every watch a movie a second time and realize it's not as entertaining as it was the first time? Most people think it's because it's their first time seeing it, they don't know what's going to happen, and so on... but I believe that's only part of the reason... If you watched a movie you already know everything about then it's obviously not as entertaining, however if you expose the reader to information about the movie or story, you explain things too much then it feels like a repeat, it stops feeling fresh and new and things start to get old...
In an RPG you are always going back and fourth, even though you have returned to the dungeon or area again you never do the same thing again, usually you have a new item such as the Hoock SHot, which allows you to reach places and areas you weren't able to do the last time you were there, maybe you got some Fire Arrows that allow you to melt the ice that you couldn't have done before... you might have seen the ice cube and wondered what it's for, and once you get the arrows if you still have remembered, you realize you can melt the ice... ...
In a story you can mention a setting briefly or a character briefly without going into complete detail... for example you can mention John is a gun dealer but that doesn't particularly have anything to do with the story... but come time the characters actually need the guns, the smart viewers will remember John was a gun dealer, while the dummer viewers/readers will watch as the characters look for the guns before they remember John was the gun dealer...
Now for some genius story twisting, the previous example was very general while my next example is a story that twists and twines back and fourth well... as you read, just ask yourself...
"Because this is happening, what will be the result? And why is the result important?"
There was a small village, the huts were closely packed together... People were laying on the ground, their eyes half opened... Some of them turned on their backs while others stared at the sky...
"The town hasn't had food for days." A muscular man said behind a rock, "But my love for her will never starve!" He continued to carve on the rock with his drawing stone.
"Guys! We need to leave now! There's a giant monster headed this way!"
"What do we do?" Everyone in town looked up.
"We need to evacuate right now!"
"I"m starving, we'll do it after lunch..."
"There is no lunch you idiot!"
The people started to panic. They made a crowd in the middle of the tiny town...
"Huh? What's all the commotion about?" The guy behind the rocks looked to see everyone in a crowd. His cheeks grew pink, "The girls must be talking about me!" He walked over...
"Hey what's Mike doing here? I though we banned him after eating our last food supply!" The crowd turned around.
"Everyone please listen! Our weapons are no use! Our arrows and spears are too weak! Our only choice is to evacuate!"
"Hey what's that?" Someone pointed to Mikes Carving stone.
"What this?" Mike replied holding the stone, "I just found this weird carving stone in the mountains, why?"
The town rushed over and there was a huge commotion...
..."Finally! with these new spears and arrows we're sure to beat the monster!"
"Good, because I like my house where it is!"
[I don't feel like describing the fight scene, too late at night, point is they won]
"mmm! Delicious! That monster sure made a good meal!"
"You're telling me!"
Mike sat alone behind the rocks... "Eat up my love, I don't care if I'm exiled from this town, as long as you're happy I will be too!"
"Ahh!" Mike jumped.
A lovely lady stood next to him.
"Uhh, what do you want?" His cheeks were pink.
"You looked lonely back here and if it wasn't for you we wouldn't have gotten a meal, so here!" She offered him the meal and they ate together...
I lazily wrote that, but, hopefully you saw how things twined together there in the story...
The town is hungry, the monster was a menace, the solver the monster problem and at the same time resolved the food problem...
It was apparent throughout the story what weapons they should use...
Mike used the carving stone because he had been exiled to the mountain...
He didn't get food because he had been exiled, but he got food from his love...
It is very simple, yes, but imagine something like this on a full scale book, and you got yourself an amazing story... something that will blow peoples minds...
Basically a plot that intertwines and is less straight forward is awesome... and I"m sorry for the lame example, but it's late and I'm sleepy!
I didn't cover everything I wanted to talk about, on how to make an awesome plot... but my last words for this "lesson" ... When creating a story, the best reference for plots, are plots.... just make sure their good ones! you don't want to be a copy cat, but creativity by definition is taking an already existing idea and adding to it, changing it and or personalizing it you way...
Good luck making epic plots and God bless...
Monday, July 26, 2010
(c) Copyright 2010 Andrew Taraba All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, montanization or reproduction is punishable by law. Copyright provided via Legal Zoom. Remove this after final publication.
"Imagination is so much different from reality, yet it's impact on reality is far greater than we could ever imagine...."
The morning sun shined on the trees. Glowing comets of dew dripped to the dirt. A light air made the leaves shiver in the trees.
An old man woke up and smelled the fresh air, a tear came to his eye. He sat up against what looked like wall made of cardboard. "Not again!” He searched around the area, under the newspaper and behind the dumpster. Footsteps from behind, he turned around, "Sir? Have you seen my house? I'm sure I left it on top of me last night!" The man lifted an eyebrow then continued walking...
"I hate sleeping on the ground!" Long said rubbing his back. "A stuffed animal would make sleeping much more comfortable!"
Mark turned around, his smile turned into a more serious shape, "You gotta help me man! I need to raise enough money to pay the fine or my dad's going to jail!"
"Yet another child must pay for the mistake of a parent..."
"Oh nothing--" Long stopped as Luke showed up.
"Uh, Mark there's something I need to tell you." Luke said.
"He found out about Mark's dad?" Long asked himself. "I don't recall telling him about it."Luke opened his mouth and took a deep breath, "I'm sorry Mark. I should have told you earlier..."
Mark looked around, Long held his breath and Andrew shrugged, he looked back at Luke.
"Uh... This guy right here... is Matt!" Luke said as a boy with black hair, ragged shirt and tattered pants walked from behind. "He's the guy that plays guitar!"
Long almost fell out of his seat. Luke pushed Andrew over and Matt sat down.
"So this is Matt huh?" Mark smiled. "Hey Matt, by any chance, did your band play out in the streets last night?"
"Huh? No, why?"
"Well on my way back from the grocery store, I saw this band playing really nice music. When I looked over to see how much money was in the guitar case I jumped at the sheer sight!"
"What! How much money did they get?" Matt leaned closer.
Mark leaned a little closer and whispered, "Nothing!" He started cracking up. Matt looked down. "Welcome to our table!" Mark grinned.
"Hey my name's Long, Nice to meet you!"
"Oh thanks!" Matt said. "Nice table you got here, so that's Mark and uh, who's that guy?" Matt pointed over to Andrew who was eating alone at the edge of the table.
"Don't mind him..." Mark said, "His name's Andrew, he just follows us because he has no friends... I heard he’s a level zero!"
Matt started laughing, “A zero?”
“By the way Long’s a level three!” Luke said, “two more levels and he gets to go to the upper town schools!”
“I’ve been trying my best!” Long replied, “I just wana leave this damn town.”
“And I’m still a level one...” Matt laughed.
“Me too!” Mark said.
“If I ever make it, I’ll be sure to let you guys move in... They have huge houses up there! Could probably fit two or three families...”
“Well you better study more!” Luke spoke.
“I’m not your slave!”
"Oh! Guys I saw something weird on my way over here! Some guy walked behind a tree and another guy was waiting, and he handed the other guy a bag and that guy gave the other guy money!"
"Could you be any more confusing?" Mark laughed, "What was it?"
"I don't know it looked green! I'm going to find out!" Luke said.
"Yeah I saw it too." Matt added. "It looked like maybe forty or fifty bucks!"
"No not that green stuff!" Mark shouted, "The other green stuff!"
"I don't know... but I though you'd at least be a little interested in the fact that some kid has forty or fifty bucks!"
"Maybe that kid was the rich kid!" Mark snapped his finger.
"You really think so?" Luke replied.
"You guys heard about the rich kid too? I guess the rumor's gotten everywhere by now!" Matt laughed.
"We need to get some of that Green Stuff!" Mark shouted.
"We'll find it, sell it and split the money between us!" Luke added.
"Wait, you guys need to give me the money for now..." Mark tilted his head downward.
Luke and Matt started to laugh.
Long jumped in, "No he's serious."
"Selfish huh?" Luke laughed. "Sure you can have all the money!"
"Wait..." Mark made a sad face, "You don't understand."
"Yeah, we'll do all the work for you!" Matt and Luke laughed.
Mark hit his fist on the table, "Yesterday my dad got caught stealing from the market and now we have to pay a huge fine!"
Luke stopped, Long paused and Matt sat still. Long made eye movements with Luke and elbowed him. Luke hesitated, "Don't worry Mark... I'll find out what the Green Stuff is... For your dad..." Lunch ended with a ring and everyone went to their classes. "You didn't tell me that was Mark's dad!" Luke puled his hair.
"Just get to class." Long said, "We'll worry about it later..."
"What! This is serious!"
"Get out of here!" Long kicked Luke far to the door of his next class.
The classroom had trash in it. Long watched the paint peel. "Hey buddy you want to see something funny?" He whispered to the boy sitting next to him.
"See if I put my foot right here!" Long said putting his foot at the edge of the boy's desk. "And I give a little push!" He pushed the corner and the entire desk crumpled down.
"No! Why'd you do that!" The boy yelled in a panic, "I need to study! You jerk!"
Everyone in class looked at them, "These darn desks always falling apart!" Long announced, before turning back to the boy and whispering, "Oh crap! You need to study? I'm so sorry!" Long helped the boy as quick as possible. He reset the legs and desktop and everything was back to wobbly position again. "There you go! Good as new!" Long said with a thumbs up. "Now go on and study!"
The boy grumpily got back to studying. Long sighed, "That was a close one!"
The instant the tests were passed out, the boy immediately flooded it with answers. "Hey stop laughing!" He whispered to Long.
"Sorry!" Long said covering his mouth. Crawling up the boy's shoulder was a curious eye, and every word the boy wrote down, so did Long. “Level four? Here I come!”
After school Luke spoke with Long. "Why didn't you tell me!" Luke started jumping around. "What are we going to do?"
"Calm down man!" Long started thinking to him self, "Now listen, all we have to do is find the rich kid, ask him for money and help Mark's dad! Then Mark will still be friends and everything will be okay!"
"Yeah, like we'll ever find the rich kid!" Luke said.
"We got close didn't we? What about your bonus? Give it to Mark!" Long replied.
"What? no way! How about I find out about the Green St--" Luke and Long got quiet... Mark stepped to the front of the school followed by Andrew.
"Don't follow me!" Mark shooed Andrew away.
"I have to go to work now." Luke said as he walked off.
"See ya!" Mark smiled and waved at Luke.
Luke shyly waved back, "I'll try to find out about that Green Stuff!" and he started walking faster.
"We need to find that rich kid!" Mark said.
"What should we do?" Long replied.
"We trap him, mug him and be friends with him!" Mark smiled.
"Good idea!" Long laughed.
"Hey wait up!"
Long and Mark both turned around.
Matt ran up to them, "It was nice meeting you guys today! Interesting lunch table, uh, I'll see you tomorrow... And I hope things get better for you Mark!"
"I hope so too!" Mark replied.
"Well I better get home..." Matt ran the opposite direction.
Long and Mark started walking home again. They passed the mountains and mountains of trash. As they walked an old man stopped them, "Do you think you can help me build a new house?"
"Go back to the slums!" Mark shouted, "Before the gang finds you!"
Long looked at Mark, "Gang?"
A small group of dark clothed boys approached them. “So this is the legendary Mark, the Gold Dragon!” One of the boy’s stepped up, “They say you only lost one fight...” He grinned, “That is... Until the market incident!” They all started laughing.
Mark’s fists began to shake. Long spoke, “Do you know these guys?”
“Not in the good way...” Mark replied.
“The Green Gang is growing, Mark, soon they’ll beat us and then... Just like your mother...”
Mark grinned, “They say you can never get bored in this town!” He clapped his fists together. “Watch an learn, Long! This is how you clean the streets!” He charged at them with fists held high....
Andrew pulled out a long, shining sword. "So no more training swords I see?" A young girl spoke.
"Nope!" Andrew replied, and their swords clashed. The sound of metal and sparks echoed as they fought.
"You fight well!" She replied, "Maybe someday the student will be able to surpass the teacher!"
"That day is today!" And Andrew swung his sword and the clash of metal dinged throughout the air. His sword snapped like a broken pencil, metal glistened in the air.
"Hahaha! You think that puny sword can beat mine?" The other persons sword lifted above Andrew's head and she swung it...
Andrew opened his eyes, he saw his hands gripped around a broken tree branch.
"Oh, I must have been day dreaming again..." He said hitting himself in the head. He dropped the stick and continued climbing up the stairs. At the top of a stair case trees were shaking in the wind. Gaps of light shined through and off the reflections of leaves. A smile crossed his face as he watched a cat stretch its paws across the grass. It layed flat in the sun bleached flower bed and relaxed, "That looks comfy!" He smiled looking down at his raggedy pants and old shoes.
"You stupid shit!" A voice called out.
Andrew's shining smile turned into a frown.
"You left the door unlocked again!" A fat man yelled, "I’ll take this house back if you keep it up!”
Andrew covered the scar on his right hand and walked passed the man.
"In this town everyone will try to steal from us higher ups!"
Andrew turned the golden knob. He ran inside the giant house and slammed the majestic door behind him.
The fat man looked through the door's oval, stained window and saw Andrew running up the stairs. "What a cry baby..." He turned around and stared at the trees, the sun set and the cat. "That kid’s so ungrateful... He doesn't even call me uncle anymore..." Andrew’s uncle marched down the stairs.
The moon shined brightly above the slums. “Thief!” Someone called out. The weak old man closed the lid and smiled, "No one's going to take my house!" He cuddled closely inside a mesh of newspaper, and held up a knife, before slowly drifting to sleep in his torn up cardboard box.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
(c) Copyright 2010 Andrew Taraba All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, montanization or reproduction is punishable by law. Copyright provided via Legal Zoom. Remove this after final publication.
"why do we sometimes ask questions when we already know the answer?"
The sky was tinted light orange. A loud ring scared the creature off. It took flight from among the trash, leaving a trail of feathers behind. From all directions, people swarmed the school yard, and flooded the streets.
There was a huge commotion in the streets, Long tried to get a closer look. A puddle of blood and two men were fighting in the crowded street.
"You still owe me!" The taller man said. "Give me your ring!"
"It's the last thing I have from my wife!" A foot raised in the air and the tall man kicked the other across the face. They both began punching each other. Before long the a police stormed and the crowd died down. Long resumed his walk home.
He paced through a pillow of trash, instantly he felt his hand almost rip off. "Follow me!" Long was being pulled by the tall, yellow haired, long haired, red jacket wearing, Mark. He glanced back, the police were swarming the streets and talking to people on the sidewalks. "Let's get out of here!" Mark shouted. When they landed at Mark's house they stopped.
"What's happening?" Long sat down on a cardboard box in front of Mark's tiny house.
Mark panted, "That man.... Ever since my dad lost his job... we've been stealing food from the market... I guess they finally caught him..."
"What's going to happen?"
"They'll probably try to fine us, or at least take our valuables..." Mark smiled, "Right now this jacket's the nicest thing I got..."
"I want to help." Long replied.
"Then leave... I don't want you to get caught with me... I've handled things like this before.""Are you sure?" Long asked.
Mark looked around, the meow of a cat frightened him, "Hurry!"
Long started to run, he peeked back and watched Mark step in his sheet metal and cardboard covered house.
Under the pink clouds lay a neighborhood that looked identical to Mark's, trash strewn about, flat roofed houses covered top to bottom in wood and sheet metal. stepping on the dieing grass, Long trotted over to an old, cracked, wooden door. He stepped inside an even older, broken down house. "What the?" Long stepped over a trail of ants as he walked in his bedroom. He picked the sleeping cat off his chair and pushed him out the hole in the wall. Long sat down at his desk and rested. Starting to fall asleep, Long fell asleep.
The hands on the clock moved drastically, the sound of a slamming door woke Long. The squeaky knob turned and the old hinges screeched as Luke entered the room. He dived in the bed and sunk in the blankets shortly interrupted by Long's voice, "So how was the first day of work?"
Luke closed his eyes, and curled up in a ball. "You know I think I really like it! This one guy came to the story and I caught him stealing food! Well I guess since the store is right next to the slum town anything can happen... The boss gave me a bonus! Isn't that awesome!" Luke smiled waving money in the air.
Long's jaw dropped. He clenched his fists. "Yeah... that's awesome..."
“He gave me five bucks!" And Luke left the room.
"Don't tell your mother what I did, Mark!"
"She's dead dad..." Mark and his dad were sitting in their tiny house. "It's getting hot, dad, do you want me to open the vent?"
Mark pushed a piece of cardboard. Behind, was a hole in the wall and the cool air was sucked in. Mark turned around and so did his dad when from the front door came several knocks. "Mark go to the grocery store, I'll take care of things."
"Got it!" Mark crawled out the hole and his dad prepared to answer the front door.
"Make sure you get some good food! Don't get caught!"
Mark laughed, "Don't worry I'm an expert! Sushi?"
"They have that?"
Long's head was dripping wet, he turned off the hose and walked back to his over sized box of a house. A fresh, chilled breeze blew and dry leaves whisked across the tiny, weed infested back yard. The full moon shone brightly in the night sky. Everything was peaceful, everything was calm. Long could hear the slight sound of festivities off in the distance. "The moon festival?" He asked him self, he walked inside his room.
The moonlight peeked through the window. Luke was snoring loudly. Long walked beside Luke and whispered, "Don't get too comfortable, Tomorrow I get the bed!" Then Long unfolded a blanket, squished a spider and finally bent down and stretched out on the cold, tough surface of the floor. He closed his eyes, opened them again and stared up at the dark moon lit ceiling. He started daydreaming and his eyes closed. "I wonder what the rich kid's mansion is like..." He started thinking of mansions and beautiful houses and a smile crossed face... And before he knew it, he was fast asleep...
Why am I posting this? Because I can, because it's copyrighted and because this is probably the most attention and publicity it will ever get... honestly... So enjoy! (The indents are messed up... I tried to fix it but Blogger reverts them to default margins)
(c) Copyright 2010 Andrew Taraba. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, montanization or reproduction is punishable by law. Copyright provided via Legal Zoom. Remove this after final publication.
If one's voice is not heard, has a word ever been spoken?
- Beginning to an End
The sun filtered through the window. His left hand thumbed at his lip while his right played with the warm, sun bleached carpet. As he stared outside, glistening waters and beautiful scenery appeared. The sand was hot and bright in the mid-day sun and the palm tree cast a deep inviting shadow that cooled the sand to ice. There were people playing and laughing. The boy smiled brightly as he stood up and looked at the shady tree...
He forced open his eyes and the trees faded away, the warmth settled down, and he was now staring at a lonely patio and a filthy, crumbling brick wall... He held tightly to one of the fibers he had pulled from the carpet. Slowly, he loosened his grip and let it slip from his fingers. It splashed into an ocean of carpet and sunk deep between the fibers. An image of a bright, glistening ocean appeared before the carpet but the boy tried to hold back. He looked up and clenched his fists till his fingernails dug in. He spoke quietly him self, "I can't do this any more! It's time to grow up, it's time to live in the real world!" and this young boy's name was Long...
6 years later....
"Look at this place, it's covered in trash!"
"Tell me something I don't know..."
Long was sitting at a lunch table on a school campus that was covered in trash.
"Hey Andrew scoot over will you?"
"Huh? Oh sorry..." a boy with long hair moved over and let a yellow haired guy sit down.
"Uh... Hey Andrew, could you scoot over one more time?" Another smiling boy asked.
Andrew scooted over again, he was now sitting the farthest away.
"Hey Mark, hear about what happened last night?" Long asked the yellow haired boy. "At the slum town a man spent the day stacking boxes until he made a tower. During the moon festival he gathered everyone around for his show, then he climbed to the top. He looked around at all the people watching him and then he dived off. He died and the festival continued without him..."Mark put his hand against his face, "Do you have any good news?" He sighed.
"Well yesterday my little brother Luke finally got hired!"
"Are you serious! My dad couldn't even get hired!" Mark turned to the second boy who had asked Andrew to scoot over.
"I heard no one cleaned the body yet." Luke said.
Mark sighed, "Where's the good news?"
"I heard there's a shortage of food in the slums." Long said.
"Let's just talk about something else..."
Luke took a deep breath, "Even I was surprised when I first found out the store could actually afford to hire me."
"It's because that store has beer!" Mark started laughing, "The rich and poor people will always have one thing in common, a love for beer!""We'll be saving up our money! When get enough we can finally leave this trash ridden toilet, worthless giant piece of annoying shi--"
"Okay we get it!" Mark started laughing, "I feel the same way about this horrible town..."
"Hey! Where's Matt?" Luke asked.
"Who's Matt?" Mark pushed a blade of golden hair back between his eyes.
"You don't remember Matt? The guy who has a guitar?"
"I don't recall..." Mark looked around the table and at Andrew who was isolated from the conversation. "I'm kind of sick of having more guys sitting at this table, does anyone know girls who would sit with us?"
“Whoa! Look at those cute girls!” Luke’s face shines with happiness!
“Wait Luke!” Mark tried to stop him.
“So how about we go for a walk?” Luke’s eyes were bigger than his mouth.
“Uh?” The two girls slowly backed away before they took off running.
“Great your ugly face scared them off!” Mark brushed his long, gold hair in the wind, “Next time let me do the talking!” Mark gazed out upon a crowd of girls talking and laughing. "What do you suppose their talking so happily about? What is there to be happy about?"
"Maybe their talking about the rich kid!" Luke added.
"The rich kid?" Mark replied.
"Yeah, they say he wears ripped up clothes and torn up shoes but his secret is that he lives in the Land Lord Mansions! And best of all he goes here! To this school!""I heard about him too!" Long said, "They say he has more money than everyone in this town combined!"
“Well that’s not much...” Mark added.
“As much mountains of cash as we have mountains of trash!” Luke replied.
"Now that’s a lot of money!” Mark jumped, “I'd sure like to meet this kid. Maybe then we could actually afford clothes without holes!" His red jacket glittered with tears and holes."Then we can have less cardboard on the walls and more wood!" Luke replied. "Why do you think he keeps it a secret?"
"Because then people would beat him up and ask for money! I would!" Mark laughed.
Long replied, "I was thinking we should---"The lunch bell rang, the commotion of the crowd grew, and the passing hustle and bustle filled the air. Long turned around, "I..." He stopped as he noticed the only friend left at the table was Mark... "I had an idea...." Long said looking down.
Mark smiled as he got up, "I want to meet this rich kid!" And they both left the table.
The bombastic eyes of Andrew stared, he was still sitting at the table and he started looking around him. For the first time he spoke, "What just happened? Was I day dreaming again?" He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, the surrounding crowd shrunk until all that remained were mountains and mountains of trash. Andrew sat at the table alone, the entire campus was quiet. "This place... I already know what to do..." The orange sky looked down on him while he walked around school and picked up bits of trash."Hey you! Get to class!" A man grabbed Andrew's hand but he jumped out of his clutch. Andrew flew to the ground and grabbed tightly to his right hand. Running from the back of his middle finger down to his wrist was an "S" shape scar. "Uhh..." The man hesitated, "Did I hurt you?" The scar was on both sides of his hand.
Andrew held tightly to his hand with one eye opened, "Don't worry about it." He stood up."You need to get back to class... Why were you out here?"
"Oh don't mind me, I'll get back to class." Andrew walked off clutching his right hand. The old man bent down and picked up the piece of trash Andrew had left, he tossed it back into one of the many mountains of trash...