Description Exercise

I was working on an exercise for focusing on describing things in detail. I tend to focus on either the action, or the deeper themes when I just write haphazardly. So I was working on my description. Here you go.


The sun shown brightly between the slats in the blinds. I much prefer a completely dark room to sleep in, but the doctor said that I needed some ‘natural light’ during my recovery. Looking out the window, the weather actually seemed pleasant. I don’t usually care much about the outdoors, but some weather just warms your soul.

I opened the blinds, and then the window. The cool breeze rushed in to ruffle my hair and caress my face. It perfectly complemented the feeling of the sun full on my head and neck. The sun might warm the face, but it’s the breeze that touches the soul. It is the breeze that blows sweetly into the depths in each of us… I should stop right there.

I tend to overthink basically everything. I create a large amounts of stress for myself. Sometimes that starts with ascribing special qualities to everyday occurrences. My therapist specifically instructed me to get out of my own head. While I’m recovering, I’m allowed to write. I am only allowed to describe what I see.

I am in my room at home. The walls here are a pale green. It was supposed to be the pale green that reflects into the sky from tropical water during the golden hours just after sunrise and just before sunset. In the right sunshine it kind of looks that way. When lit with incandescent light or when it’s cloudy outside, it tend to look more like the inside of a mental institute. The blinds are imitation wood. I could afford custom blinds. You wouldn’t know that they are imitation at first glance. They hold the rich browns and blacks of coffee and chocolate. They really make the room feel warm and rich.

I haven’t gotten around to replacing the ceiling fan. It sort of ruins the illusion of a tropical getaway. Cheap, white blades on a brushed silver body let just about anyone know that the fan was installed when the house was built. When I wake up in morning, I stare at that fan as it swirls lazily. It reminds me every morning that I haven’t finished personalizing this house. At least the furniture doesn’t look cheap.

I spent good money at an overpriced furniture store to get just the right bedroom set. The wood matches the fake wood on the blinds rather well. It has a little more red in it though. The real wood has a less pronounced grain that the imitation blinds, but the deep reds swirled with the sweet browns just sing on richness. The styling is very masculine. It’s sort of a cross between colonial and mission style furnishings. Everything is very squared of and angular, but there is a flow between the wood grain and the smooth edges that ties the pieces together. The headboard on the king bed echoes the dresser and chest of drawers in a way that seems less like they match and more like they are long-time friends that share characteristics.

The blankets on the bed are another beautiful find. The sheets were ordered in a custom color from a website I found. The shade of green on the sheets is a perfect compliment to the banana leaf pattern that is so expertly dyed into them. I topped it all off with a rich chocolate comforter. I decided to eschew the use of any throw pillows. I didn’t want this room to look like it was designed by a woman, for use by a man.

My bedside table is where the illusion begins to breakdown again. This set didn’t have any tables that went with it. I found some that suit it well enough, but it’s clear that they don’t share the same soul as the larger pieces. Their contents are even less appealing. My lamp is another brushed metal monstrosity. It’s supposed to evoke a retro-futuristic feeling, like it was built in the 1960’s to imagine what it would look like today. Then of course there isn’t a clock radio in the world that looks like it belongs in the tropics. Black plastic with red eyes glaring the time into room. I hate it as much as I’ve hated anything in my short 28 years.

This room is to be my home  for the next few months while I recover from my psychotic break. The doctors think that being in a comfortable environment that I designed myself might be more soothing than being stuck in a hospital. I tend to agree with them. Until I see that tropical green on the walls turn sickly and institutional as the clouds begin to cross the sun.



Blinds (Photo credit: spweber)

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I wanna be an Astronaut!

I saw this over at Word Painting Without a Brush

Creative Writing Exercise = You are an astronaut. Describe your perfect day.

My alarm gently vibrated me awake. It’s so hard to wake up on your own in the preternatural darkness of space.

I gently slid out of my bunk. The covers stayed messy. I cackled maniacally inside my own head. I always knew making my bed was a waste of time, and being in zero gravity only serves to make me more correct.

I dressed myself slowly and deliberately. The lack of urgency in zero gravity is astounding. Hurrying was never something I was very good at. I had absolutely no motivation to hurry when everything was drifting by as if we were all suspended in still water.

I gently navigated my way the the mess hall. Time to heat up a bag of coffee. I have to admit, for as different and difficult as somethings could be in space, the fancy cooking gadgets were exceptionally refreshing.

I took my bag of warm coffee and floated to the common space. It was like a scene from a science fiction movie in there. The seats were clean and smooth and the space was open. The most striking feature was the window that took up the entire wall of the vessel.


space (Photo credit: Sweetie187)

I opened the shades and peered out into the darkness. Inky blackness greeted me. It was like staring through a doorway into madness. I smiled broadly.

There has never been anything that compared to floating around in zero gravity, slurping coffee and staring into that space that drive men insane. That insanity always felt more like home to me than anywhere else. It’s a shame there’s no place here on earth that compares.

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It’s spelled just like escape. Es cop ay…

Books, movies, stories, and video games all transport us somewhere. We all have certain ones we enjoy, and we all enjoy certain types. Our reasons are different and they are the same. Escape.

Whether it’s escape from the sadness and frustration of the everyday, or whether it’s just the only place you can be yourself. We all like to escape sometimes.

I feel out of place almost everywhere. There’s a lot of different reasons, but the important part is that I’m always  just a little off. Stories of all type let me have a place to be.

Sometimes I just get involved in those people’s world. Sometimes that’s enough. Other times I want to be involved and play a part in the story. That’s when I like to play games.

Never do I feel as at home as I do when reading a fantasy story. One of the great epics like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The world is so alive and vibrant and I can’t help but be spellbound. That’s where I feel at home. When I’m spellbound by the tales of wonder and bravery.

Tolkien's Cover Designs for the First Edition ...

Tolkien’s Cover Designs for the First Edition of The Lord of the Rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not scared to admit that I wish I were as strong as they are. I wish I were as upright and brave. I wish I were as steadfast, honorable and daring.

Most days I’m just a person. Moving through this modern world trying to keep from failing. People are built to push and strive, not avoid consequences. It’s a sad reality that these days, there are no great quests. Just trips to the coffee shop and saving money for a retirement that may never come.

One day I hope to have a real adventure. Maybe it will be when I’m Eleventy-One. Maybe it will be tomorrow. All I can do is wake up, get ready for the day, and open my door to the world.

The Man Inside the Head

Have you ever seen a man that lives inside a head?

It’s very strange. Most people live in a house or other sort of shelter. This man lives inside a head!

Where there would be a brain, he lives right in there! It’s bigger on the inside you know, a head is. There’s room for a whole lot of rooms.

The human mind is capable of many things, but one wouldn’t think it could house a whole human being!

I’ve seen this man walk right out of his head-home and just move through the world as if there were nothing odd about his living arrangement. It was quite shocking.

The really surprising thing, is that it isn’t just any head that he lives in. He lives inside his own head. Can you imagine?

It’s strange enough to live inside a human head, but to live inside your own head is quite extraordinary. It’s a bit Escher-like, isn’t it?

Escher Sphere

Escher Sphere (Photo credit: LostBob Photos)


Ever the soft wind blows,

Touching the quiet soul among the best of us.

Never shall we forget the dignity of him.

Always will his fire burn bright, 

Casting a stark shadow out behind him.

I shall not move him while he rests.

He has earned this rest and more,

Stronger than all of us.

Celebrate with me his soul,

All that he is.

Ever remember who he was,

Through his fire incomprehensible.











fire (Photo credit: matthewvenn)



Do you know what terror is?

Mind-numbing, soul-gripping terror?

That single moment when all of existence seems to freeze and crystallize.

Things seem to be happening but time is still.

Your breath catches in your throat, and you can feel your pulse pounding loud and hard and fast.

It’s in your ears, your hands, and your gut, just pumping away.

Your eyes widen and your mouth hangs open in a silent scream.

That single moment of pure, uncut, unadulterated terror.

It’s followed by he shadow of terror.

In an effort to avoid that feeling you jump at every twitch and sound.

Sights and sounds constantly threaten you with the possibility that they might be full of that terror you felt once before.

Things are never quite the same.












Scream (Photo credit: anguila40)


I saw it as soon as I stepped out the door. It was flitting and glowing like a living thing. I was intrigued, as always.

I walked toward the light. I knew what it was. I knew what it would feel like. I craved it.

As I stood over the little monster, the heat oozed across my upper body. It made the cold beer in my hand feel colder.

It always amazed me when someone raised their own little creature. They would build it a cage, and then nurse it to life.

It would start low and quiet. More smell and breeze that living heat. You have to be careful with it. It like to be fed.

After you get it living and moving it grows on it’s own. It will keep growing as long as you keep feeding it. It would overwhelm it’s enclosure if you let it.

I stared at it as it wriggled. It moved and hissed. It cracked and pooped and spit. It wanted more to eat, but it hadn’t finished what we’d given it.

I knew what would happen tonight. We would raise it and feed it, treat it like a family pet. We would watch it dance in it’s cage for our amusement. We would be careful not to feed it too much. Then we would let it die, or we would kill it.

Next week we’ll do the same thing. I can’t wait.


Campfire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I heard it begin. I was sitting in the office and I heard the tell-tale pit pat on the windows. It started slowly, it always does. Tap tap tap tap. It was as if it was giving me time to finish whatever I was

Storm Clouds in OKC 6/17/2006

Storm Clouds in OKC 6/17/2006 (Photo credit: Paul L McCord Jr)

doing so I could watch.

Just as I stopped typing, the clouds burst. It was a roar from inside. It was also the best sound in the world.

I hurried out the door to stand on the porch. I leaned on the railing to just watch for a bit. The pavement darkened quickly and the rivulets began to run downhill. Everything began to get glossy.

I stared across the road. I watched the fat, wet drops race by and explode on the asphalt. I listened as all the other sounds of the world were washed away, and there was only the hiss and swish of the rain.

I saw a quick flash, and heard the thunder grumble in the distance. I like the grumbles, but I always hope for a crack or a boom. The storm is always just as exciting as I need it to be.

After all my standing and watching it was time. I stood up, and took my socks off. I stepped off the porch into the pouring water from above.

It felt like it always does when I walk in the rain:  Clarity

The Killing Jar: Part 5

As Elena left the dining room, Johnathan followed her.

“Elena! Wait!” He caught her elbow and turned her to face him, “I wanted to talk a minute before you went home.” Johnathan looked down at his feet and then back at Elena. She was looking into his eyes expectantly. “I just- Well I wanted to say…” He struggled, then met her gaze, “I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this afternoon. I missed your company more than I realized. I just wanted you to know, before you left for the night.” He exhaled.

Elena smiled, “I’m glad, because well,” She looked down, and the smiled up at him, “I missed you too. Do you want to know a secret though?” She dropped her voice, and he leaned in. She grabbed his hands, “I’m staying here this summer.”

Johnathan stepped back, shocked, “Here?! In this house,” He fought to keep his voice down, “Where I’m staying?”

She blushed, “I’m staying in a different part of the house, but yes, I’m staying here.”

“I suppose we’ll be seeing a lot of one another then,” Johnathan smiled.

“Yes, I suppose we will. Goodnight Johnny,” She pulled away slowly and walked up the stairs. Johnathan stared at her as she left. It took him much longer to get to sleep that evening.

The next day went much the same. A small specimen showed up in the morning, the work was done by lunch, and Elena and Johnathan spent the entire afternoon together.

Every day after that went the same as those before. The two grew close, and even shared a kiss from time to time. Their closeness was undeniable.

At some point, Edward stopped joining them for dinner. Every day, it was the two of them, just the two of them, all day.

One day, as Elena and Johnathan enjoyed a picnic lunch on the lawn, He looked into her eyes, “You know, I believe I’ve fallen in love with you E.”

“I know. You’ve been in love with me since we were children,” Elena teased.

“You know, I believe you’re right,” Johnathan smiled and kissed her deeply. “Would you maybe like to come see my room after we finish our picnic?”

“I believe I’m finished right now,” Elena breathed.

They left for the conservatory from his room in the morning.

The day passed in a haze. Neither Johnathan or Elena did much aside from gaze at one another. Their love had blossomed.

That evening, Elena took a book she’d been meaning to read from the library and retreated to her room with a kiss and a whisper of love for Johnathan. He had trouble sleeping again that night. In the morning, Elena did not attend breakfast.

Johnathan thought that she must have stayed up late reading. After breakfast, he headed to the library missing her. Elena wasn’t in the there either. As he looked among the bookcases, Johnathan began to get more concerned. He couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t have come straight here. Johnathan decided to check the conservatory before heading to Elena’s room.

As he entered the conservatory, Johnathan felt his stomach knot up. Laying on the floor of the Killing Jar was Elena. The chemical system was running. She wasn’t moving.

Johnathan raced to the Killing Jar and threw open the door. He didn’t notice the odor as he moved to Elena’s side.

“Elena,” He pleaded, “E, please wake up. E?” The door closed and latched behind him. “Elena? ELENA!” Johnathan began to shout, “WAKE UP! E! YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP!” She wasn’t breathing.

Johnathan began to notice the faint chemical odor in the Killing Jar. As he looked up, he noticed the sealed door.

“What in the HELL is going on?!?!”

“You’ll find you won’t be able to wake her,” Edward said from the doorway, “She’s been in there a sufficient amount of time.”

“You Bastard! What is this?!” Johnathan began to cry.

“You see, among my collections, I felt I was missing something,” Edward began as he approached the Killing Jar, “It was something that had been eating at me. It was like a puzzle I couldn’t solve. I was missing something in my galleries, something simple, but I couldn’t quite discern what.” Edward was grinning broadly now, “Just a few months ago, it came to me as if  on a bolt of lightning!”

Johnathan was cradling Elena, sobbing now.

“It wasn’t one thing that was missing, it was two things. Humans! Male and Female to be precise,” Edward’s eyes were glowing and he was grinning maniacally, “No other collection in the world, of any size had Humans in it. I am going to be the only one! It’s a shame I’m losing a nephew, but I’m gaining so much more.”

“Why did you put here in here by herself?” Johnathan sobbed, “You could have at least let us be together.”

“But my dear boy, if you were in there together, you wouldn’t have found her like you did. That’s an integral part to all of this.”

“But why? What purpose does this serve?”

Edward was at the Jar now, watching the couple with the glimmer in his eye, “Oh, it’s nothing to do with the collection,” He smiled “This part is just for me,” Edward smiled and waited to add them to his collection.

The Killing Jar: Part 4

Elena had grown into a beautiful young woman. Her bright green eyes were the color of warm summer grass, and her long hair was every color from sandy brown to golden oak to rich coppery red depending on how the sun hit it. She had her slim glasses on, and her long wavy hair pulled up in a pony tail as she furrowed her brow intently at the book she was reading.

“G-good morning, Elena,” Johnathan stumbled, “I’ve been looking forward to working with you since Uncle Edward said you’d be here too,” He finished sheepishly.

Elena looked up, startled, “Johnathan!” She shrieked, “I didn’t know it was you I’d be working with!” She jumped up and raced towards him.

As she embraced him warmly, Johnathan realized that Elena was more shapely than he’d recalled. The color rose in his face. As he reluctantly let go of the embrace, Johnathan noticed that Elena had not released him yet. Her hair smelled of coconut.

As she backed away, Elena studied him. “Well you certainly grew, Johnny,” she smiled warmly, “Especially in the shoulders, and arms…” She trailed off. “Anyway! While it’s wonderful to see you, our catching up will have to wait until lunch. We’ve got work to do!” She bounced back to the desk. “It says here it’s a fruit bat today. Let’s get in there and get to it.” She gathered her notes and started toward the door.

Johnathan followed after her. “You’re really interested in this work?” he asked, “I never thought this would be of interest to you.”

“You know, when Edward mentioned it, I thought it might be good experience, and look good on a resume,” she mused, “But after I began to look at some of the preliminary notes, I found that I was actually curious to see the outcome of the work”

“Well then we have something in common,” Johnathan smiled.

Elena stopped short, and turned around quickly. “Yes. We do,” she was nearly touching him. “But now, to work!” She bounced across the hall.

Johnathan looked around at the many chemicals in the conservatory, “I’m not entirely sure what’s the best way to start this,” he said, studying the names on the bottles.

“There are some notes here indicating that this has had success with mammalian specimens before,” Elena said, pointing to the first bottle. “Why don’t you start there?”

“Let’s get to it then,” Johnathan began to work.

The work continued mostly in silence, except for the occasional chatter about what to do next. At 10, a gentleman entered through the back door carrying a cage with a small bat in it. The bat was flying around weakly, trying to escape.

Johnathan opened the door on the side of the Jar and the man stepped inside. He knelt down and fiddled with the cage, then stood up and retreated quickly. The bat lay on the floor of the Jar. Johnathan closed and latched the door. The bat began to stir. Johnathan activated the chemical vapor unit. Nothing changed.

“I think we just have to wait now,” Elena said, after a minute, “Shouldn’t take all day since the bat is so small.”

“How will we know?” Johnathan asked.

“I think we just watch it’s respiration,” Elena said.

The pair sat there for a few minutes, watching the bat move around.

“So should I not talk to you while you’re observing?” Johnathan wondered, “I was just curious, because I really would like to do this work for Uncle well. I don’t want to cause any problems.”

“We can talk,” Elena replied, watching the bat, “I only really need to make specific notes if something out of the ordinary happens during this time. If I miss it while carrying on a conversation then it likely isn’t noteworthy.” She smiled coyly and met his eye, “So long as I don’t get distracted.”

“I was just- I didn’t want to-” He sputtered, “I just meant I didn’t know what your notes needed to encompass. I wouldn’t want to make your work more difficult.”

“Relax Johnny, I was only teasing you!” She laughed.

Elena and Johnathan chatted and caught up on what they had missed of each other’s lives over the past four years. Shortly before lunch, the bat stopped moving on the floor of the Jar.

“Is it…” Johnathan approached the Jar.

“It looks like it,” Elena said, “Shut off the chemicals and let it clear out a few minutes, then you’ll have to confirm with the stethoscope.

Johnathan checked the bat a few minutes later. “I think it’s finished.”

“Well, then our work is done today,” Elena said, “Just let me go file these notes and we’ll go eat lunch. Then we have the afternoon off.”

At lunch, Elena and Johnathan began to get more comfortable with one another. They spent the afternoon wandering around the grounds talking. They talked about the last four years, they talked about the future, and they talked about all the time that they used to spend together. By the time they were headed back to the house for dinner, it was as if they had never spent any time apart. Dinner was a different story.

“How did the first day go?” Edward asked brusquely, “Any problems?”

“Everything went just fine Uncle,” Johnathan answered.

“And how do the two of you work together? Edward asked, the glimmer creeping back into his eyes.

Both Elena and Johnathan blushed. “Things are fine Uncle,” Johnathan said.

“I think it’s going to be a good summer,” Elena said, staring at her plate. Johnathan’s butterflies reappeared.

“Excellent,” Edward leered, “Most excellent.” They finished the meal in silence.