Oct 17

math (with audio)

i get home from school 3:45 at the earliest, 
leave around 8:30. 
that's 16 hours and 45 minutes away from school. 
assuming that i sleep from 11:30 to 7--
then subtract an hour for insomnia--
that's only 10 hours and 15 minutes awake and at home
and 7 in school. 
still more time away from school
than in it; 
but three hours and fifteen minutes, 
that's not a big difference, 
and that's not even counting extracurriculars. 
add those on, 
and i'll bet the two would be about equal. 
it's not like that's really a very big deal, 
i might not like school, 
but i do like learning, 
and i'm not about to complain. 
but it makes me wonder, 
when i consider that 
when you're asked to picture a teenager, 
you either thing 
drugs and scandal and stuff
or else you think 
and i'm anything but a raucous party girl, 
but i wonder--
Audio download:
Oct 16

writing to be somewhere else (incomplete)

We didn't have to come here. Dirty, crowded with people down on their luck, the constant whir of the vending machine undermining any attempt at conversation, most people would have left in search of a place with more edible food. And usable bathrooms. But yet here I was, again. For the third time this week. The waitress was giving me a stink-eye, probably because I kept conveniently becoming busy whenever she came and tried to ask for my order, and she'd probably figured out by now I wasn't actually going to order anything. I ignored her as best as I could. 
The door opened, a blast of cold air coming with it, and a haggard-faced woman came in, shepherding her two small children. They went and sat at a table by the large window, overlooking the parking lot. It had snowed yesterday, but rained this morning, and the pristine whiteness, which had already been sullied by city life, was rapidly turning to slush. 
Oct 11

symbolic ostriching

when my head is stuck deep in the cavern of art i feel safe. 
with music in my ears 
and imaginary people living their lives in front of my faces. 
then i quit ostriching
and pull my head out into the sun
and suddenly life seems bleak. 
i can think i'm feeling all right, 
music spiraling through the air and blocking out anything that might hurt,
then the music stops 
and i remember. 
i'm miserable. 
and i love art, 
but i don't want to live my life
like a symbolic ostrich
who can't bear having her head out of the sand.
Oct 10
poem, audio 4 comments challenge: Fear


(Editor's note: This is one of the featured pieces in this month's The Voice. Check out the other content: http://thevoice.youngwritersproject.org)

i think a lot about fear
and about death, 
and i've come to the conclusion
that i'm not afraid of death. 
after all, death is nothing. 
and there's no point being afraid of nothing, 
since you can't exactly do anything about it, 
can you? 
as much as i dislike the idea
of sliding away into oblivion 
and never thinking again, 
that's not the bit that frightens me. 
what frightens me, 
what really frightens me, 
is growing old. 
not arthritis and needing hip replacements, 
although that's sure to be unpleasant, 
and not even just slowly losing my mind. 
Audio download:
Oct 09

lifford act 3

next 10 pages, approximately 


The library is large, old, mildewing.

Scarlett follows Samuel through the shelves.

Hey, that man back there—

Samuel pulls a book off the shelves and deposits in her arms. It’s heavier than it looks. Scarlett winces.

Was he talking about an honest-to-goodness ghost?

They’re rarely honest and there’s not much goodness about it.

He drops another book, then another, into her arms.

But, a real ghost?

Of course.

Another book added to the pile.

That’s what you lot do? Track down evil ghosts?

On occasion.

Another book. Scarlett’s struggling to see over the pile by now.

Is it dangerous?

Parts of it.
Oct 05

lifford act 2

more of the thing i put up like a week ago. act 2, about the next 10 pages. 


Scarlett goes tentatively up to the door. She knocks.

There’s a pause. The door is opened, but not by Howard: by SAMUEL ASHBURNHAM, in his 30s, British, who looks just as surprised by Scarlett as she is by him.

Is there a new doorman?

I’m sorry? Oh, Howard. He’s ... off somewhere. Come in.

Scarlett tentatively follows him.


Orla is behind the desk again. Davison is leaning on the side of it. They both perk up when Scarlett comes in.

Oh, she’s here! Thanks, Samuel.

Scarlett frowns. She looks around.

Um, sorry if this is a rude question, but ... how many of you are there? How many people work here?
Oct 02

what on earth happened to productivity?

i keep clicking on the write button
and then staring at this blank screen for a few minutes
waiting for my braingears
to click into action. 
they never do. 
maybe because i'm not having writeable experiences, 
or ... something like that
but then i just wonder
whether this campaign of mine
use your time better, 
get your work done, 
be less stressed 

is even doing me any good
because i don't want to prioritize schoolwork
over my writing
but it seems like doing the inverse
just makes me more stressed
and god knows i don't need any more stress
than what i create in my head for myself already.
i've got this cold, 
scraped-out feeling in my head
and my eyelids feel all droopy--
only one more block left
til the end of the day
Sep 30

'nother screenplay i've been working on

this is kind of like a tv pilot type thing in my head. it might be terrible, but it's a thing i've been working on for a while so i wanted some feedback. this is approximately the first act (4-act structure). also, a friend helped me come up with the idea, so it's not one hundred percent my brainage. the writing is mine, though. 
also, the lady thing is based off an irish ghost story i found on the internet. i can't remember from where now but it is not my original idea and i don't mean to steal credit. 



A BANKER sits at his desk. Across from him is a very nervous SCARLETT MONAHAN, mid-to-late 20s, frazzled.

Well, I’m sorry I can’t help you more but you just aren’t qualified to work here.

Scarlett bites her lip.

Maybe if you went in for a degree?

Scarlett gets up to go.

Sep 24

rock cycle

i discreetly wrote this in science class, constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was prowling around, ready to pounce on me for being off-task, which is why it's so short. if anyone was wondering. 

weathering doesn't happen quckly, 
you can't wear a mountain down to a speck in a day. 
it takes a long long time, 
centuries of raindrops streaking the surface, 
centuries of gusty winds whipping at a raw nose, 
hours and hours of awkward stares
of plaguing thoughts
i'm wrong, i'm stupid, 
i am being judged

people talk about flames going out
but a flame is snuffed in seconds. 
and it takes ages to wear a person down. 
so i say, 
i'm a mountain. 
buffetted by wind
someone else's tears washing away my face. 
making a brave last stand
that's slowly making me
disappear into

into specks of
specks of