Where’ve I’ve Been: Writing Weird Fiction.

I finally finished my first short story!

So I’ve been gone a while, but I’ve still been writing. I realized that my default genre is weird fiction. I completed my first short story. It’s gone through my peer review. It’s been read by my alpha readers, and finally most of my beta readers.

I believe that writing, like anything else created in the arts is never a perfect thing. It’s not a complete thing. It’s a living thing, and like all living things, goes through evolution.

Creating a story, for me, is like raising a child. If you’re invested in it, and you care for it, you do your best to prepare it for the Big Bad World as best you can, then you send it out there, and hope you’ve done your best.

This is how I feel about my first child. I feel that it’s ready for submission, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Below is an excerpt from that story.

I hope you like it.

I hope it intrigues you.

And I hope you’ll want to read more. I’m already working on my second child, and I’m still laboring over my first full-blown manuscript.

Here we go:

EXCERPT:

shimmerskimming.
by m. a. moore.

I’m laying on the floor in my bedroom. My smart phone’s beside me. My entire body tingles and aches from being in the same position for so long. I ignore it.

I’ll shift over in awhile. Just have to keep an eye on the notifications light on my phone. Its sleek smooth screen gleams in the dim blue light of the room. I’ve kept the shades drawn and the curtains closed for some time now.

●●●

Everything … blends

I dream of my phone. Gently stroking its edges with my finger. Gently. Tenderly. A lover’s caress. I cradle the phone in my hands, staring at it, staring into that deep black glass. And waiting.

I’m waiting for the Shimmer.

I saw it.

I know I did.

I know it wasn’t my mind playing tricks on me. My mind doesn’t do that. Besides, I was still taking my medication back then, I was still clearheaded – I can still remember that …

My girlfriend got me into it.

Shimmerskimming.

That’s what she called it – my girlfriend, Allie. My … ex … girlfriend – now.

Shimmer.

Remember that app? Came out years ago.

It was just a swish of color, flowing across the screen of your smart phone, from top to bottom, as if down swiped by the finger of your lover.

Like all social media apps, it was a simple idea. A simple, effective idea that unassumingly consumed your whole life before you knew it.

END OF EXCERPT.

Constructive criticism and comments are welcome. Negative ones for the sake of being negative, not so much.

I’ll see you soon.

I need to check my phone. I think I saw a notification …

Little Thoughts on Paper Posts – my Mother’s Facebook.

Every night, almost invariably, my mom will leave me a note on my bathroom counter.

Little things – like thoughts, factoids, ads, that she shares with me.

She’s going to be eighty years old, and she’s becoming forgetful, but she always remembers to write me a little note, a small reminder, for me.

She keeps me updated.

It’s a such a sweet simple act – at times silly, surreal – but it always makes me smile.

Tonight, though, the realization hit me –
these little notes are my mom’s own version of Facebook.

I’m seeing it being created in real life, and in real time.

And, when she is gone, I will have this big collection of little thoughts, and I will be able to hold these paper posts in my hand, and know, that once, her hands touched them, and I will still have that physical connection to her.

Time taken, thought given, to write a note by hand, meant solely for one person.

Who does that these days?

Who still gets notes written by hand, from a loved one?

Why do I feel, somehow, that this is better?

An open love letter to no one.

“People tell me that it’s a crime
To feel too much at any one time
She should have caught me in my prime, she would have stayed with me
Instead of goin’ off to sea and leavin’ me to meditate
Upon that simple twist of fate”

– Simple Twist of Fate, as sung by Jeff Tweedy, lyrics by Bob Dylan

I’m a strong man. I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve been broken a lot. I’ve faced tests and trials, and I’ve come through the other side. I have the scars on my heart and my mind to prove it.

You see, there are a lot of things I can handle, but there are some things that I’m just not strong enough to handle, at least not just yet, anyway.

You were one of those things.

I wasn’t expecting you.

I wasn’t expecting how starshinebright amazing you’d be.

I wasn’t ready to hear the things you told me, the kind, honest, funny things you told me, the sad, heartbreaking things you told me.

I had wanted you for so long.

But I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready to hear that there was a moment when I could have had a chance with you, but I didn’t see it through my depression.

I wasn’t ready to hear that I could have had a chance with you, and I missed it.

I wasn’t ready to hear that you moved on and you gave your heart to someone else.

I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready for the things you remembered, things that really mattered to me.
I wasn’t ready to discover how much we had in common.

I wasn’t ready for your playlist. Your goddamn playlist. Your playlist that was almost exactly like my playlist. Filled with favorite songs from bands no one I knew had ever heard of.

I wasn’t ready for how strong made me feel.

I wasn’t ready for how weak you made me feel.

It was all too much.

Too much too soon.

At a time when my fragile heart had finally finished healing, I simply was not ready.

But that’s the story of my life – bad timing.

I wasn’t ready for you wanting to stay in my life, because I know how this story ends. I’ve lived it too many times. But I listen to my heart. My head, not so much.

And the more I got to know you, the more I realized how astoundingly perfect you were – even though you saw them as imperfections, I saw wonders. And I hoped.

Stupidly, I hoped. Even though I’ve been through this before, I hoped. Maybe this time. Maybe just this once.

Stupid me. Foolish me. Foolish old man.

You decided what you decided.

You wanted what you wanted.

What could I do?

I wasn’t going to push you. I wasn’t going to guilt you. I wasn’t going to try and convince you. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to get mad at you or insult you for your decision.

Those are the actions of a weak person. Those are the actions of a coward. Those are the actions of a person with no self respect.

I’m a grown man.

I’ve been through too much.

I’m a gentleman.

I have character.

I have integrity.

And because of that I live my life with rules. And a gentleman plays by the rules.
And if I compromise those, then I have nothing.

A grown man respects a woman’s decision.

And I’m too damn old and too damn broken to believe in bullshit fairy tale endings, because they don’t exist for me.

What exists for me is solitude – a life alone, and I’m fine with that. I like my life alone. I just don’t want to know about the would haves and could haves.

I should have known better. Next time I will. I hope.

And with the wisdom of old fools who’ve made the mistake of living their lives led by their hearts, I know this:

I will not take the backseat.
I will not hang around, a ghost, insubstantial and thin.
I will not lay at your feet, like a dog, scrambling for whatever crumbs that fall from your table.

I will not do that to myself again.

I know my value, I know my worth.

I’m worth much more than that.

It’s time to stop dreaming foolish dreams.

So I’m writing you this letter – even though I know that you probably won’t read it to tell you two things:

I’m letting you go.

I’m walking away, because your happiness is all that matters to me and if I’m in the way of your happiness then I need to remove myself from the situation, and because my heart has been broken too much, and I need my heart whole for my mom.

And the last thing, the wonderful, terrible last thing that I need you to know:

I love you.

I didn’t think it was going to happen.

I didn’t want it to happen.

I’m sorry. I really am.

I wasn’t ready for this.

I wasn’t expecting this.

But life is filled with unexpected twists of fate, and who, really, can prepare for them.

I love you, goddamn it.

I love you, and I always will.

Goodbye.

Summer’s Here and I Get to Breathe a Breath of Air.

First off – wow and thank you to all of my new followers!!!!

I’m honored.

I’m flattered.

I truly appreciate your support and attention to the strangeness that oozes out of my brain and onto the page!
If I haven’t followed you back, I will soon.

What a long, strange, and densely packed school year it’s been!

And on the first Monday of my summer vacation, I wanted to stick my head out for a breath of air and a hello.

I have quite a few blogs in various states of completion and I’m going to and post content if not once a week, then twice a month.

I hope you’re all as well as well can be.

Love, hope, and balance.

mm.

All That’s Left …

Beauty.

There is always beauty.

That is all that is left.

So many times in my life, I thought I had come to the end of me.

So many times, I thought I had broken myself, into pieces too brittle and infinitesimal, to ever believe that I could put myself back together again.

So many times I thought I had broken those I loved, those who loved me.

So many times I felt the cold hollow cave made of stone and frost and filled with a chill wind that blew eternal in the pit of my stomach, the sum total of all the lies I told, of all the hearts I broke, of all the oaths I abandoned.

So many times.

But that last, that last was worst of all …

Lost to the dark.

Alone, in a ball, in a hole, in a wall, in the deepest darkest crack I could slither in, and crawl.

So many times.

So many times.

Darkness.

And then …

A glimmer …

A glimpse …

I would open my eyes.

Dry, burning, bloodshot, blurry, and red.

And I would look up.

And the height, the height of just where I fell from.

It was so high.

I had fallen so far.

All that trust built.

Smashed to bits with a single action, a cruel word.

But I would get up, like I had all those countless times before and my spine felt so weak and all I felt inside cold wind and hollow.

And I would get up.

My stomach would spasm reflexively from all the ragged crying and my eyes burned.

And I would get on my knees, scarred and pitted from gravel digging in, from years of gravel digging in, digging all the way into my cartilage.

I would wait there, gasping, until that pain was too much, and I would reach out and grasp that first rock again, with cracked hands that split from countless cold December nights when my hands were soaked wet from bleach and piss and mop water and Fabuloso and Murphy’s Oil Soap, from countless nights of cleaning and wiping and scrubbing, and I would begin the slow climb, back up to the top, back up, to the light.

And so I would grab another.

So many falls.

And so many climbs.

So many promises made.

So many promises broken.

So many scars, from within, from without.

Holding the hand of the one whose heart I broke.

What else could I do?

I couldn’t stay down there.

Not when I was needed up here.

Not when, if I couldn’t make us better, if I couldn’t heal us and make us whole, I could at least help you.

Help you get through.

At least I could do that.

So I did.

And those whose hearts I’d hurt, saw that I did my best to heal.

I left, but I did my best to heal.

I left, and I hoped that they had healed.

And to my surprise, they did.

As sure as spring follows winter.

As certain as day follows night.

As raw and red and as certain as the dawn, or a healing wound.

And time would pass, just as sure as spring follows winter.

As certain as sunshine follows rain.

And, with that passing left the pain.

And those who I made cry, I now made laugh.

I repaired what I could, and now, gray-bearded and older, I keep my vigil.

I watch and I care and I protect.

But I stay away.

And I marvel that in the passing, the pain fades away, like shadows melt away at dawn, and with that growing dawn light, in that shining sunlight, only the beauty is left revealed.

And nights, dark and dim they may be, are now just nights, because now I have the knowledge that the sun still shines on the other side of the world.

Nights reveal starlight, and moonshine, and the reflective glimmer of cats’ eyes.

I know this, and I shall never forget – in my depression I have hurt people, and though it was my depression, it was still me.

I know this, and I shall never forget – in my depression I have hurt myself, and though it was my depression, it was still me.

And I know this, and I will never forget – I have managed my depression.

I have named my demon and I have locked it within a faux-gold-covered wooden box.

And I will never open it up.

For I know this – with time and work and the healing-fevered pain of resetting bones, all the bad fades away.

Fades away, but does not dissipate.

It is always an ever-present reminder.

But what comes to the foreground, what comes into focus?

Beauty.

The pain, the dark fades away.

All that’s left is beauty.