Tag Archive | chapter

Total Eclipse: A Memoir Chapter

This piece directly follows Warding Off Eclipses with Sex and Music, which chronicles what I thought of as my alt rock music heyday at fourteen.

totaleclipseimagesI was seventeen. Everything had changed. Love Phones went off the air. A country station bought X107. Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys took over all the other radio stations. Even Randyand the neighbors weren’t into music anymore, like music has a switch for some that can be shut off. I wondered if my switch—that feeling I got from music that was like a direct line to the moon and my deeper self—was one of those circular switches for dining room lights, slowly being dimmed.

It was the night of the Battle of the Bands in my high school gym, the one school event that made me feel like I wasn’t an alien. I needed this evening so badly to help crank my light back up.

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Warding Off Eclipses with Sex and Music: A Memoir Chapter

My Binder Cover

My Binder Cover

I was fourteen. I was an alternative rock goddess. I’d found Nirvana. I was in love with a dead man.

I sat with my brother Randy, my neighbors and my friend Lissa from blind camp in the very back of the backyard on pink plastic chairs. “So, which would you rather do?” said Ryan from across the street, turning to me. We were playing Questions. “Have sex with Kurt Cobain for one hour, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam for ten hours, or the guy from Silverchair for twenty hours?”

I was a loyal girl. “Kurt,” I answered without a thought. “Okay, Lissa. If you were going out with a guy and he wanted to 69, would you do it?”

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~~~

Hahaha, so, it only continues from there. This chapter was published in Shark Reef a few years ago and so is also available through the Published page on the site, but I know sometimes those things can be hard to find so I thought I’d bring it out for this week’s writing sample. Fair warning: it’s not a particularly easy read. Still though, I once was reading a passage from this piece at an Open Mic type deal and was laughing so hard I was crying and could barely read and almost peed my pants.

As always, for more writing samples, you can always check out the Samples page. There’s also a section for Published and Early Work (most of this latter section is downright mortifying, but you know, oh well).

~Emilia J

Josie – Sunshower Chapter Four

To start this book from the beginning, click here.

josie4images“Josie, talk to me. What’s going on?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. Ray Ann and I were unpacking in our room, after a late lunch and a morning in the control room. I took a shirt from my bag, folded it and then placed it in the open drawer in front of me.

“Don’t you think you were a little cruel to Arden before?”

“You heard that?”

“Yeah. I could be mistaken, but I think the guy was trying to be nice to you.”

“Well, I don’t want to be nice to him.”

“Why? Is there something he did that you haven’t told me about?”

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Constant Eclipse: A Memoir Chapter

chrys_boweryclub1bI was scared that Mom or Dad would kill me in my sleep. Dad was an FBI agent and he had a gun that he sometimes kept in the house. I thought even he was afraid of Mom, who screamed all the time, got hysterically mad and spanked me when I was little. It was her I listened for as I laid in bed in my thin yellow nightgown, reading Nancy Drew by the light of my night-light, while I tried not to think about getting murdered.

My parents’ bedroom door opened and I heard Mom’s sharp footsteps in the hallway. They sounded mad. I waited curled on my side with the book under the covers and screamed No, Mom, No! inside my head. If either of them came for me tonight, I’d jump out the window. I didn’t care that my room was upstairs. I’d jump anyway, land mangled on the driveway and run across our yard as fast as I could. I’d pound on our next-door neighbor’s door. If she answered, I’d tell her my parents were chasing me and beg her to protect me. If she didn’t believe me, I’d run faster and pound harder at the next house and go through the neighborhood with wild desperation until I found someone who would keep me safe. It might not last. My parents might follow me, shoot into the distance or use the authorities to take me back, but that was like the second story window and the driveway; if I wanted to survive, I’d have to think about it later.

The bathroom door opened and Mom went in. I kept freezing. She finally stalked back to her room and I breathed. The quiet lasted a few full chapters.

I got up and went to my window. It faced the driveway and our front yard with its giant tree. The moon was out, maybe full, I couldn’t tell. It was big and white and round and it cast shadows through the branches onto the grass. I had a huge feeling of dark and mysterious magic in my chest. If I could touch it, it would be like touching my soul. It would make me huge too, and magic. I stood watching the moon, the tree, and the shadows until I was finally tired.

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~~~

Yeah, it’s just a little dark, I know. This is what I was invited to read at “The Best Memoirists Pageant Ever” at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC in 2007.  So the picture is from that event. Fun times.

Fun fact: I was kinda freaking about reading this piece out loud and so a good friend had me read parts to her beforehand, and from the first sentence we were laughing our asses off. It’s not really funny, it just somehow struck us that way. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. And that’s okay.

Check out the Samples Page, as well as Published and Early Work, to read more of my writing!

~Emilia J

Summer of Dreams – Prologue

summerofdreamsindexNote: This was written when I was sixteen. Cringe cringe wince.

“You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth.”

When I look back on this summer I get this heartsick feeling, this desire to make sure that I’ll always remember it all. There’s no way I could let it become another half-forgotten memory swirling around my head with the millions of others. Writing this brings smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. No matter what, though, I’ll record all of it. I couldn’t bear to let all the events, memories and dreams just fade away.

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Josie – Sunshower Chapter Three

To start this book from the beginning, click here.

springtime-on-derius6The day to leave Earth had finally arrived! I awoke earlier than I had set the alarm for. I was bursting with excitement and energy. I could barely contain myself, but I knew I had to be quiet so that I didn’t wake my mother or Allan.

I had written them both notes. The one for my mother was short and to the point. I told her where I was going, with whom I was going, and when I thought I’d return. I told her not to worry about me. In Allan’s note I wrote about how I was going to far-off exotic lands on an adventure to meet some aliens. I apologized for not being able to take him along and promised to tell him all about my exciting venture as soon as I returned. His letter was longer.

I tiptoed out of my room and softly made my way to their rooms, leaving the appropriate note at the door to each. I then returned to my room to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I had packed more clothes than I could possibly need, but never thought to discard anything. I had always overpacked when I’d gone to see my Aunt Hilda or to visit colleges, the only trips I’d ever taken. I threw my journal in the bag too, so I could record my adventures, and keep it from prying eyes at the same time. I had also brought along all the essentials-a hairbrush, deodorant, perfume, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and a set of towels. I wanted to be able to look nice in case I met any sexy aliens, or if Arden ever changed his mind. The latter was the preferable possibility, but also more unlikely.

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Affinity for Darkness – Epilogue

New-Amazing-Gifts-Star-Sky-Master-Night-Light-Projector-Lamp-lights-Decor-Room-and-House-1powerThe funerals for Andrea Jennings, Don Krenshaw, Justin Ryan, Jill Oberlin, Karl Muffen and Eve Clemens were held the Sunday after they were supposed to return home from a trip to Justin’s cabin in upstate New York. Andrea’s parents had returned only one day earlier to hear the terrible news of the fire in the cabin, and the tragic death of their daughter.

There were many attendants to the sad event. It had been so terrible. A fire had started in the cabin and Justin Ryan had called the police. By the time they got there, there was not much left of the cabin, and fire was spreading. They had been able to put out the fire, but no survivors could be found. Police had no idea how the fire had started.

Among the attendants was Miss Carol Bennett, a local English teacher. She was crying, she had had almost all of those kids in her classes. They were great students. They had wonderful imaginations. She was so sad to hear of their tragic end.

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