Wednesday, July 31, 2013

September Portfolio Project: Day Two

As an aspiring writer, I have always loved sharing my creations with friends and family. However, it's when I'm prompted for a sample that I cannot provide. With school just around the corner, I have decided to make myself prepared for such a situation by writing a short story of my own to present. This is one of the first pieces that I will "pour my heart into" as I attempt to draft, edit, and finalize all ten thousand words of it. To make sure that I don't dawdle in the process of this piece, I have decided to post its entirety here as I work on it, as well as show off any other bits of it that I have on hand. Today is the plot and about 450 words. Tomorrow, I'm hoping for another update and some analysis on my work.

Scene 01
I dared myself to close my eyes for the slightest moment, as if in attempt to feel the breeze which had slipped into the halls when I had walked inside. In the hilarity of it all, it was almost fun to pretend that I couldn't hear the sound of the moth's antennae browsing the creases in Terrence's face. Just outside of the sound of my pounding heart, I could barely make out the smallest moan escape Terrence's lips, winding its way into my ears and bouncing off of my skull from the inside. 
"Shh," I said quietly, feeling the soft sh send shivers down my own spine. Terrence's fingers stuck together like glue, bending at the tips in the way that only he was capable of. I could see them quivering. I repeated my note of calm, unable to move my own self. The memories of the horrid moths crawling up my neck, their unmistakeale hissing at one another, but more importantly the feeling of letting go – I knew that all I could do for Terrence was watch and wait my turn. 
"Ashley, we have to go." In her ever-Valerie mocking tone, the trickster who had come to be my best friend poked her head around the corner, unphased by the monster dominating Terrence's entire being. 
"Val," I started, not sure what to do with my words  next, "Val, can't we-" 
"No, Ash," Val said insistently, her tone growing harsher, "We have to get out of here." I stared back at Terrence, watching his pink lips quiveer. 
"Gabriel's here, Terrence," Valerie whispered, "Gabriel's here, we're going to get him out, alright?" Valerie kept silent for a moment, as if she knew how long an echo of her words would last in the increasngly mothed-up mind. "Goodbye, Terrence." 
"Bye," Terrence whispered, using his hand to gesture us out the door, "Ash, you looked beautiful in those jeans. Can't say the same now,  Ash. Everything is brown. It's all brown, Ashley. You've got to help me. It's all brown." Valerie clasped my hand and started to pull me away. 
"Terrence!" I yelled out one last time before the doors slid to a close.As Valerie folded one arm protectively over my gut, I began my unique style of thrashing, that infamous for escaping even the most buff of the street-crawling pedophiles . Valerie was strong, though – stronger than I had recollected – and held me fast. It took one uncontrolled spasm, though, to tear me out of her grasp. I thought about beating my hands on the doors and screaming, but the grave gaze on Valerie's face kept me from running into the corner. Sighing away a tear, I bolted in the opposite direction.  

I wanted to extend a warm thank-you to Oliver, owner of Overville, for the kind words on Sunday's post. Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Winning NaNoWriMo at Third Place Books

brewbooks on Flickr

I'll admit it - sometimes, when I'm alone, I delight in calling myself a writer. It makes me giggle in joy, the visualization of my name on covers lining the "New Arrivals" shelf at the Barnes and Noble or whatever's hot  when it comes to book-buying. Of course, this little dream of mine led to signing up for a creative endeavor that has changed who I am entirely: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Sponsored by the Office of Letters and Light, NaNoWriMo is held thrice a year - one "main" event and two camp-themed sub events. As of yet, I have participated in - and won - three of them, one main and two camps.
In November, I stumbled upon this wonderful book store connected to a mall complete with a food court and RiteAid - Third Place Books on Lake City Way. There in it was a group of writers who all met one another through this program. I soon joined in and was accepted right away. Since then, I've met them every other Sunday for a good time and a lot of writing.
What I love about the TPB on Lake City is the crowd it attracts. On any busy summer Sunday, the farmers' market will be up in the parking lot, locking the writers and other heat-vulnerable beings inside the store. People playing cards, Scrabble, and tabletop RPGs will take the tables around our normal spot while one of the group comes in early to save the spot. Outlets line the walls near delicious-smelling restaurants - there's always something for everyone. Whether it's chicken soup, nachos, sushi, or even frozen yogurt, I've found absolutely bliss in having nights at Third Place. Children often come through for books or get-togethers, and the table occasionally gets to snicker at whichever munchkins have taken over the giant chess set. Every so often, we find a lost sci-fi writer who sits down and talks over their plot until their particular writer group finds them. All in all, I found TPB to be just the right place for me.
Then there was the time that the power went out. It was November 2012 on a very dark and stormy evening. In a flicker, the lights went out. The group of writers, working by screen brightness, didn't notice for at least ten seconds before the strobes above began flashing. After migrating under the awning and writing in the shade, I had to call it quits for the night.
Whether you're a writer, reader, foodie, person-watcher, or anything else of the sort, Third Place Books will prove its worth as a prime hangout spot.

...oh, you wanted a snippet of the novel? Is that why you came?

"“Eli,” Elias opened his eyes to see a lock of Cole's growing hair in his face. Cole pushed it back. “Elias, up.” Elias staggered to sit up, groaning and rubbing the crud from his eyes.
“Wh-what?” Elias mumbled, not excited to be up so early.
“It's Matt,” he whispered, “You've got to see this.” Ollie and Bennett were sitting on their knees around Matthias' mattress. Zinnia stood in the corner, watching. Elias locked eyes with her first. She raised her eyebrows, a dash of yellow reflecting off of her green pupils. Elias turned immediately. Romy sat on her own bed, flipping through a book. It had been hand-bound, just like Jocelyn's.
“Well,” Romy mumbled, writing a note in the book with a lit penlight, “Rumors seem to be true.” Elias stuck his head right over Ollie's and took a long look at Matthias. He was breathing through his mouth, sweat dripping down his forehead. Saya appeared at the entrance to the room, holding a rag soaked in cold water and wrapped around an ice cube. Elias placed it on Matthias' forehead. Matthias' eyes snapped open immediately.
“What?” he stammered, “That-that's cold.” Elias sighed.
“It is, isn't it?” he said regretfully, “It'll bring down your fever.” Matthias nodded a little and stared at the ceiling. A murky gray covered his eyes, almost like a film from Elias' angle. He looked to Romy, waving his hand over his eyes. She nodded, closing her eyes for a moment, then placing her index finger on her lips. Elias nodded. Bennett tapped Elias and mimicked the gesture.
“They were blue,” he said, kneeling closer to Elias, “Like an indigo.” Bennett's voice was raspy and filled with tears and cracks in his tone. Elias nodded and hugged his knees, shifting to sit on his rear. Ollie sat back on a mattress, rubbing his eyes.
“Headache?” Brandt asked, “Me, too.” Saya sat next to Brandt, looking towards him with a rare pang of fear in her gaze. Elias kept a straight face. "
Leap, by Ruby Maxwell (Pages 76/77) 

Sammamish River Trail Biking (South to Wine District)

Hello! Sorry for no post last night (when I should have) - I was too tuckered out from the bike ride yesterday. It's been a long time since I took a trip on the Sammamish River trail.
The Sammamish River trail, named for the iconic Sammamish River (or the Sammamish Slough) is a ten-mile-long paved trail stretching from Bothell to Marymoor park. Equestrian access is available through a softer dirt shoulder on the side, though no motorized vehicles are allowed for use. From my experience, the trail is a very popular place for bicycle training and jogging. With beautiful views of the lake and access to prime fishing spots and the Gold Creek Tennis and Sports Club, the trail is used by many.
I normally start my trips at the Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville and go either north to Bothell or south to the Tourist District. In order to get used to riding my bicycle again, I headed south. It's a shorter ride by quite a bit, though very worth the leisurely twenty-minute ride.
The wine district (or tourist district) is home to wineries and breweries that draw in a lot of tourism and have grown to be Woodinville's greatest assets. I'm not one to take a drink, but I've always loved walking through the Chateau Ste. Michelle and maybe grabbing a bite with friends at the Redhook Brewery. However, all three locations seemed to be closed to the public last night due to concerts and events. I wrapped up at the Columbia Winery and took a small paved decline towards an abandoned railroad along the 202. I walked it for a little while, stepping over blackberry vines and around tall foxgloves.
Overall, the ride there and back was very smooth. Unlike what I remember on my way to Bothell from Wilmot Gateway, the trail was very smooth. It's a long trip for kiddos but a nice way to get a day out started for just about everybody. I suggest you take a look at the Sammamish River Trail - I might be on it again today!

Sammamish River
Sammamish River Trail
Woodinville Wine District
City of Woodinville
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Redhook Brewery
Columbia Winery

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Goalsetting and Other Reminders

Unlike other attempts to start blogs other than those which I currently write now, I'm trying to round myself into a corner when it comes to consistency with posts. Unlike strictly topic-centered blogs, I'm hoping for this one to have a little more leeway for me to expand on my thinking.

Goal: Stop Being a Chicken and Start Posting the Darn Conspiracy

>>>Well, it had to come out, didn't it? While I wore tight, restrictive masks before, I'm hoping to at last get my thoughts on news topics and creative fiction out into the world, as well as a prepared rant or two with the occasional conspiracy. It'll definitely be a change for me, but I'm looking forward to the freedom of post.

Goal: Stop Being a Chicken and Start Promoting Yourself

>>>This is a rather funny weak spot in me. Forever avoiding social media, my past sites have risen past fifty followers through "grassroots" promotion via comments. Heck, the reason I'm even typing this is so that I'll promote. I guess I'll start today or tomorrow, schedule allowing. I'm a procrastinator at times.

Goal: Finish First Draft

>>>Did you know that I've won National Novel Writing Month twice (almost thrice) now? At the time, I'm wedged in between blogs, a summer course, and the first draft of my current novel, Leap. I'll be putting up a little more about it later if I feel like it's worth posting about.

Speaking of goals, the ones I put above (or the first two, at least) are good goals to set for oneself should they start a project or blog of their own. They cover the things many want from their blogs - an outlet for thoughts and writing and a following. I'm hoping that both will happen here, but I know hoping won't be enough. I like to pretend that my viewpoint on things around me is startlingly different than what others in the same field of blogging may see. I guess I'll have to find that out myself.

Goal: Stop Being a Chicken, Ruby. 

P.S. Miscellaneous goals:

Take more photos (and post them!)
Write a post in a coffee shop
Get in the city more often
Ride bike somewhere farther than half a mile away
Charge iThingy (iPod, really, but Thingy fits better)

Monday, July 22, 2013

This Little Blogger Had a Life Once

Believe it or not, I actually did. If you know me, then you're free to ask for pictures. Sure - all evidence of a life has been labeled with years past; I think it was 2011 when I put up a post for the first time. Since then, light has been replaced with coffee. Oxygen comes through my charging cord, and major organs can be found on the lanyard containing my USBs. In all honesty, I should be doing something more productive right now. When it comes to new posts, though, when is a better time to write one than in the between everything else?

I'm Ruby, and I guess this is it. I come from roots of role-playing and fan-fiction, now hoping to expand my blogging and fiction horizons as I document my journey here. Unlike masks worn before, this site in particular is really a slice of me. In this very post, I type bittersweet farewells, the raising of various glasses, and a silent prayer all hidden in the text. (Don't check the coding.) In the posts to come, I have taken little bits of friends' styles. Whether it's the cold shoulder to any expected - and just as much any unexpected - comment trolls, or the playful ponderer who at times goes outside, Raw Ruby is the melting pot of my various works, hopefully thrown together correctly for a wonderful chocolate cake of a blog.

I like to pretend that I'm somewhere nice when I blog - a coffee shop of choice in Pike Place Market, or keeping to myself at the Hendrix Hits London exhibit at the EMP when I get the chance. They've called me a Seattle chick for a reason, and I won't deny my love for the grunge, the rain, and Macklemore. I'll pretend for the time being that I've expanded my platform as who I am now. I hope for a following measured not by number but by appreciation and genuineness.

Cam, Paige, mom and dad - this is for you.