Flash Fiction: After the Convenience Store



Sometimes you run without knowing why.

At least, that’s what I said while being interrogated. Hours must have passed already since I ran from the convenience store, smoked that final I-plan-to-quit cigarette, threw my bloodstained t-shirt in a random dumpster, and counted the cash that was now being called “evidence.”  The thing is, I’d stopped running a few times in between there and here.


Word count: 64

Fiction | Broken Heel


Image from About.com

Leila twisted her right ankle again.  Her right arm still hurt, too.  Plus, she was out of breath. On the ground lay the right heel of the knock-off Jimmy Choo’s she had only bought the day before. I need it, she thought.  She had already lost one customer for the day, and going home was not an option.


Word count: 58

NaNoWriMo | 5 Things Not to Do Until You Write “The End”


Oh no…It’s that time of year again: National Novel Writing Month a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.  Like splashing cold water on your face, the start of November wakes you up to the realization that only by writing can you complete a novel. After all, writers write, right?

To help you on your NaNoWriMo journey, here are 5 rules to avoid failure:

  • Write.  You must write.  After all, NaNoWriMo is not about quality, it is about quantity.  60,000 words must be written by the end of November. You have 30 29 days, start calculating


  • Reread. Grab your favourite novel and begin dissecting it. Ask yourself (repeatedly): Why do I love this novel? Aim to find 10 reasons. Take those reasons and apply them to your own work.  Try to get your hands on a copy of Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose (it’s, also, available for Kindle). 


  • Silence. Shut up your inner blabbermouth.  Do not speak about NaNoWriMo, writing and, most definitely, what you are writing to anyone unless you have a very good reason. Why? I’ve learned from personal experience, that speaking about your story only serves to take the energy away from writing it. I think most people like having something that is uniquely theirs.  When you share your story with many others, the story stops being wholly yours because you have opened it up to the input/influence of others.  Treat your story like a rare gem, even if you know that it isn’t and it’s just a rip-off of your favourite novel–still, it’s yours. 


  • Fast-Foward.  Never reread or edit what you’ve written. Once you’ve hit 60,000 words, or better yet, once you’ve written The End, you can reread and edit to your heart’s content.  For this month, simply write.  I recommend not to use programs like MS Word, which act like the grammar and spell-check police. Instead try a program like ZenWriter (free trial download).


  • Enjoy. Hey, it’s only writing.  You chose to participate in NaNoWriMo. You chose to write a novel. No one is forcing you to do it.  Every time you pick up that pen or pencil, type on your computer or typewriter, it is an act of choice and self-empowerment. Enjoy it, revel in the fact that the world that you create when you write is completely under your control. Reality can be harsh, let fiction be your healing.

So, Happy  NaNoWriMo & Happy Writing, Everyone!

Writers’ Cafe at Meccanismo in Piazza Trilussa (Rome)

Image found via GIS and modified with Gimp. Click to visit event's page on FB.

Image found via GIS and modified with Gimp. Click to visit event’s page on FB.

I’ve decided to begin a writers’ social in the early evenings on Thursdays.  Ideally, it will become a space for writers (any genre) of all levels to share their thoughts about writing and their personal work, provide support and inspiration for each other.

Hopefully, we can make this into a community. 🙂

If you are in Rome, hope to see you on Thursday at Meccanismo in Piazza Trilussa!


Wanting To Share Your Work With An Audience?

Don’t Forget: Jahan Genet’s

Suddenly Every Wednesday at Bar Garbo in Trastevere!



What I write…

Found on Tumblr (File name: tumblr_lxk4ytehyo1qzuyz3o1_500.png)

A relatively quiet Sunday.  All the shops are closed, except the fruit stand and the pizzeria around the corner.  I took a break from writing, and actually took the time to sort through some writing.  I decided to post some work that I had done over the course of the past academic year.

I decided to do this partly because a friend asked me to email her a copy of a short story that I had written, and partly because of something my mother said to me a few days ago, i.e. “It doesn’t make sense to keep all of this to yourself.  You have to share it.”  She was, at the time, referring to my poetry.  I think, however, that the same goes for my other writing.As I prepare for NaNoWriMo, I have come to recognise that although I have always written, I never really considered myself capable of writing stories.

Yes, some years ago, I sat down at began writing a novel, to which I hope to return once I have some more distance from it and have become a better writer.  Even as a child, I started stories, but rarely did I find their endings.  Perhaps it was simply that I did not want to imagine an end to my stories then, or perhaps I did not know how to end them.

It was different with poetry.  I would write, then rewrite, then rewrite.  All of that with the effort of finding the end, finding the meaning of all that wanted to say.  In poetry I sought answers to the questions that plagued me.

It is with tremendous thanks to my professors, authors Carlos Dews and Elizabeth Geoghegan, in creative writing that I have gained the confidence that I can find my endings to my stories.  I hope as I go along that I will make them proud of the foundation that they helped me to build.

So, please, review my stories and personal essays to be found under the Writing section of this blog.

Short Stories

Personal Essays

Facing your character(s)…

No, this is not a post about confronting yourself, owning up to your issues, etc…although this is a topic that I have been known to address.  And it is one to which I shall undoubtedly return.  Today’s post, however, is about an interesting site called Need a Face for that Character?

I tend towards being a very visual person.  Thus, even when I am writing, my mind sees first images that capture the essence of my mental and emotional states or thoughts.  As such, I find it easier to have a visual of a face or place to help prompt me in my writing.  I am an avid user of Google Images, and I must say that it has proved helpful.  The Tumblr site Need a Face for that Character?, however, is a wonderful tool when searching for interesting/unique faces to represent characters.

The site is fairly straight-forward to use, allowing for users to search the database using keywords.  I am a fan of simply heading straight to the Archives page as it gives an overall visual of all the available faces.

Well, it’s a rather short post today.  I hope, however, that you will find it useful for those of you who are either preparing for NaNoWriMo, or already writing stories, or even roleplaying (I think this was the initial intention for the site ;)).

Until Next Time!



A moment for reflection…

I am an enormous fan of the novel Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden as well as of the film.  I would recommend both novel and film to anyone.  Of course, I would suggest reading the novel first, because it is truly amazing.  The film, however, presents such lovely visual imagery that it may serve a purpose for those who read the novel after.

In particular, I enjoyed the following scene.  More importantly, however, is the quote below.  In my opinion, it reflects the process of emotionally shutting down, i.e. of isolating oneself from the world around. That is that we can sometimes create distance between ourselves and others, an emotional and psychological wall, in an effort to self-protect.  We expose only the parts of ourselves that we feel are acceptable to the world around us and hide away who we truly are.

“The heart dies, a slow death,

shedding each hope like leaves…

… until one day there are

none. No hopes. Nothing remains.

She paints her face to hide her

face. Her eyes like deep water.

It is not for Geisha to

want. It is not for Geisha to feel.

Geisha is an artist

of the floating world.

She dances. She sings. She entertains you,whatever

you want. The rest is shadows. The rest is secret.”

(from Memoirs of a Geisha)



Until next time!