Writing Wednesday : 4-20-2016


Thanks for joining me again for another Writing Wednesday!

I was texting with an old friend from High School this past Sunday, where he was sharing some of his personal essay writing with me. As I was reading some of his memories (with some of them, I was included in) I started to think about one of my projects that I have just sitting on my desk. And when I say sitting, I mean I can't get rid of the cobwebs soon enough -- they just keep popping up again. 

One of my projects that I'd like to get started on is actually a collection of personal essays! 
(You have Shane Dawson to thank for that with his own) 
Have you read this? 

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Anyway, my intentions was to either create either. . . 
  1. 1) A Fictionalized version of my HS Life
  2. 2) A Collection of Real Life Essays
And This Is What Resulted: 


In however I actually end up creating this novel, whether it's fictionalized nonfiction, or personal essays, I really want to incorporate music. Much like "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist," where the novel has an actual playlist published inside the book, I would want mine to have the same. . . 
Just rather than music that makes me think of the characters, use music that was IN my life, during THOSE moments! 


I'm still working on this, but this is the next project I'd really love to tackle full-time. 
Do you want to read a few excerpts? Great! I hoped you'd say YES! 

***

The Dunk Tank 

My clothes were wet and I was mad. More than mad – pissed off. I couldn’t believe he had picked me up and slammed me into the water tank in front of all those people at the graduation party. It hadn't even been my party! I had begged him and his friends, Chris and Chandler not to do it, but Jace ignored me as he did often and before I knew it, I was choking back freezing cold water. 

I was soaked. In my anger, I made him drive me to my house so I could get new clothes. 
What I wanted to do more than anything in that moment though, despite my anger, was to kiss him again. We had kissed – once, that winter. That snowy and cold January when he had eased so easily into my lap and teased me with his gentle laugh. His kiss had been everything I had ever dreamed of as he leaned over me, brushing his lips against mine. 
I was that stupid 8th grade girl, who pinned over the boy across the cafeteria room. 
If I wanted my life to be clichéd, I certainly had succeeded.
“You don’t have to be mad at me,” He said with a sigh as he glanced over to me. 
“Well, I am.” I murmured softly, crossing my arms against my chest. “My mom and dad are going to kill me.”
“It’s just water.” He retorted, shaking his head. "You're parents are not going to kill you."
He was certainly right – at least about that. Jace knew my parents wouldn't give a crap that I had gotten wet, but I wanted him to feel bad. Did he feel bad? What was he thinking as I sat next to him? Did he think of me as much as I did him – even more so now, with the ticking clock of graduation just around the corner? 
I could feel my eyes burning with tears at the thought of the ending coming so quickly, but I couldn’t cry in front of him. I couldn’t let him see just how much I felt for him; how much I truly loved him. I had known my feelings the night he had kissed me and the night he went into my Dad’s darkened workshop and pulled me close into a tight hug. I had nearly pressed my lips against his again; I had longed to with everything inside of me. Everything about men and desire was confusing, but with him, everything felt natural, normal. I dreaded the day we’d part, because I knew I’d never see him again, and I knew it would break my heart.
“I don’t want to break your heart,” He had whispered to me once, and I had believed him.



“Marshmallow!”

I was a new student as a first grader. I suppose for most parents this would be the prime time to move your child into a new school if you had to; a new start and young enough to still make friends in a new place. I had gone to a private school for Kindergarten, and had been around the same children for the daycare program they offered before and after school. I already had my friends – JoJo, Renee and Caitlyn. We shared our dolls, listened to Disney cassettes and talked about horror stories of eating watermelon seeds and hearing about people who had watermelons growing inside of them. Needless to say, I always tried to avoid eating any type of watermelon seeds. I was traumatized!
It was hard to leave JoJo behind, who was my best friend for – almost my whole life (all 5 years of it!)
It was hard to leave our Nicely Avenue home, though; I did enjoy how big our new home was! There was a big back yard that I could run out on and pretend to be Belle singing “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere…” There was enough room for my Barbie house and my car-mat rug and . . . there were neighborhood kids that I was hopeful I’d make friends with.
Going to a new school was scarier. There were a lot of people that looked extremely unhappy – like the cafeteria ladies. I’m not sure if it was that they had to deal with us or if they didn’t enjoy being in the kitchen all day, but they mostly were grumpy and didn’t smile, even when I tried to. All the kids in my class knew each other from Kindergarten and had already been told from a few of my classmates that there wasn’t room for me.
The first day of first grade, during my first recess, I met my first elementary crush. I know, that’s a lot of “firsts” and I’m sure it’s surprising to know I even remember it, but I do. I sat on the swing-set, humming softly to myself, wishing for my Mommy and Daddy to come and get me soon when a boy sat down in the other swing next to me.          
                  “You’re new!” He said to me and I nodded, extending my legs as I tried to swing a bit higher; maybe I’d see my house from there!
                  “Yes. I’m Chantal. What’s your name?”
                  “L-U-C-A-S.” He spelled with a grin. I felt like I was solving a math problem and when I did that in my head, the numbers never lined up, and I really ended up with just a mindful of jumbled numbers. In this case, I had no idea what he was trying to spell. L what?
                  “What’s your name?” I tried again, slowing down my swing.
                  “L-U-C-A-S” The boy said again.
                  “I know what you said, but what is that? Don’t spell your name! Say it!”
                  “L-U-C-A-S!” He said again and laughed. I could feel myself getting frustrated; my mind full of jumbled letters and nothing was making sense, but he was cute and I didn’t want to never talk to him again. The Teacher’s blew their whistles to call us in, and we all had to get into our class lines and be taken to “Special.” “Special” was the most fun part of the day, where we’d go to different places: library, gym, art class or music class. Each place was fun in a different way! We all loved to be read to by our Librarian and get little goodies with our wooden nickels, or play BOMBER in gym. We all used to just talk about the fish purse our art teacher would carry around; (honestly, I always hated the way she said my name wrong and drew on our art projects when something looked wrong to her). And then there was music class with Mr. Hank. Music class became my favorite special of all with his cheesy “Mr. Wolly” jokes and his “Name that Disney song in 1 minute or less” game that I ALWAYS won!
There was a special day in my first grade experience that I met one of L-U-C-A-S’s friends and for some reason, I began to call him Marshmallow. Now, I know what you’re thinking; what a horrible bully! I wasn’t calling him a Marshmallow because I thought he was fat. No, I was hardly one to ever call someone fat; I was a chubby girl myself. For some reason, calling him “Marshmallow” became a game.  I would chase him around the recess yard shouting “Marshmallow! Marshmallow!” And I was always trying to catch him. This went on for days and days – heck, months and months! Every day we’d go out to recess and I’d take one look at him and he’d go dashing out in front of me and I’d be close behind shouting “Marshmallow! Marshmallow!” I can’t say anything in my defense other than that I was a strange child and I never denied that.
 It was a fateful day, months later that I finally caught him and pretended to eat him, only for him to pretend to eat out of my stomach and run away again. The whole routine began again for a little bit until he told me one day that he didn’t want to run anymore and was going to go play kick-ball with the other kids.  (Back at my old school, I was a kick-ball queen; I just never told anyone that.) Now that I look back, it was sort of a morbid, weird game but it allowed me to get acquainted with my classmates in new (probably crazy) way.  For a moment, I wasn’t a “new kid” – I was “the crazy girl who shouts Marshmallows at recess.” The boys thought I was cool enough to tell weird stories to, like “Blueberry Hill” and showed me tricks like “Open the diaper” with their hands. One kid insisted that banging his apple against the table made applesauce and always had me do that for him at lunch time. I guess it was nice to be liked – even if it wasn’t the same as my old school.
I did finally learn what the boy’s name was: Lucas
Clearly that’s what those letters spelled all jumbled together! 






                                   The Time-Travel Calculator

I used to be a time traveler, traveling through major disasters! You name it, I probably time-traveled there! My best friend, Daan and I would  experience the disasters of Mount Vesuvius and its pouring hot lava, Titanic and the rising icy waters, and many natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis and floods.
Daan and I met in second grade, after he helped me chase down my new best friend, Holly on the playground. It was in this odd bonding moment that a life-long friendship came to be. After a short “Keychain club” that resulted in a lot of silly child-fights with other classmates, Daan introduced me to “time travel.”  He drew a very special calculator on a piece of paper, equipping us with numbers to type in any date we wanted. There were all sorts of buttons that allowed us to travel where we wanted, when we wanted and how. We had a +, -, ÷, and × just in case we ever needed to calculate the estimate of our survival rates. (That’s seriously important when you’re racing from water on the already sinking Titanic! It’s important to know if you’ll be among the lucky survivors!)
“Where are we going today?” Daan asked as we climbed up onto monkey bars dome and adjusted ourselves as we hovered over the paper calculator in his hand. I brushed my bangs out of my face, already feeling the heat radiating from the sun and the mulch from under us.
                  “How about 1912.” 1912 meant Titanic. Titanic meant some nice cold water, and that meant that I’d be Rose and I’d be running with my imaginary boyfriend (not that I ever admitted that to anyone!) It didn’t take much to entertain me. (We’re also talking about the ultimate queen of entertaining myself:  Barbies, paper dolls, little people – I could spend hours just playing by myself.)
                  Daan shook his head and squinted against the sun.
“Nah, I don’t wanna go to 1912. How about a volcano!” I shrugged again and gestured down to the magical calculator in his hand.
                  “Let’s do it!”
Daan pressed against the paper buttons, putting in numbers and symbols that all meant different things. We could erase time and re-do the whole scenario again if one of us was killed. He would put in our information and then finally hit the “Enter” button. We had .3 seconds to fall through one of the monkey bars holes – for I had .3 seconds to pretend to fall through one since I was too afraid of heights, and then we were suddenly surrounded by falling ash and a pile of molten lava chasing us! Daan and I grinned at each other and dashed towards the slides and other sets of playground equipment, hoping to out-run the imaginary lava that was surely going to kill us!



*** 
((This is an example of my 'fictionalized nonfiction')) 


Liam was wearing a hat, and a sweatshirt. (Which, later, I learned that this was Liams favorite apparel: A sweatshirt.) Tony, a classmate, was sitting across from him, studying the checkers board a little too diligently. I brought over two cups of free banana-chocolate chais (One of my personal specialties) and studied the board myself for a moment. If you move right there,I gestured towards the board and glanced at Liam. Youll get a double jump.Tony looked up at me with a horrified look.
            You cant do that!
            She just did.Liam grinned and laughed, taking his black piece and jumping over Tonys two red pieces. I could tell that Liam was winning by the large pile of red pieces near his hand. I was completely impressed and grinned back at him.            Youre pretty good at checkers, huh?
Liam tugged at the strings of his sweatshirt nervously, his face turning a soft pink in his cheeks and he shrugged, nonchalantly. Which, more than likely meant yesin some sort of way.            Hes whipping my ass.Tony interjected, sitting back in his chair. I might have taken a small amount of pleasure in this knowledge.            Doesnt take much. I murmur under my breath and give a small wave. Tony and I had  had a rocky past in the year that we had been in college. He had slipped into my room through an I-M Message, and seduced me with the promise of a TV show, which turned into laying together in my single bed, and then his lips had found mine. Needless to say, his lips seemed to find mine often, and when he wanted some sort of intimacy. One night, as he walked me back to my dorm hall, I questioned him about his intentions.            I just want to know what were doing.I tried to explain. Thank God we hadnt had sex to complicate the situation. I guess I could be glad to say I wasnt stupid enough. Granted, the nights that I ventured to Tonys roommate-less dorm-room, things could and sometimes did get heated between the two of us, but it was almost as if our clothes acted as boundaries; boundaries that were not to be crossed.            Were friends.He simply said and shoved his hands into his black pants pockets. Tony always wore this jacket, which slowly started to unravel at the elbows from the uses. I wanted to tell him how stupid he looked, but I was the one walking with him. How stupid was I pinning for someone who was only using me?            But were more than that. You and I. .            Kiss. Thats it.He said, giving me a look; a look that meant that I needed to stop arguing with him. Whatever we experienced behind closed doors was not to be spoken about in the dim lights of the street lamps that guided us back to our own Dorm Halls. If there was anything that anyone should know about me, it was that I didnt just give up, for arguments sake or not.            So well never date?
            Youre too close to your family. That kinda weirds me out. He said with a shrug. I bit my lip and crinkled my eyebrows. My family? I did have a close relationship with my younger sister, Megan, who had been blessed with a name that didnt consist of nicknames, and I did love and care about my mother and father, who had given me the opportunity to go to school. But what did my family have to do with my relationships with other people?            Im sorry that it weirds you out.I said simply and decided that it was a lost cause of a conversation, and I wasnt going to waste my time anymore. Needless to say, when Tony texted me to come over later in the week, I didnt go. I felt it was more important to remind him my familys relationship with me hadnt changed. A few weeks later, Tony had met an Angela who was blond and perfect for his stingy personality. Liam, who had been a roommate with Tony at one point in his college career had told me about walking in on them once; I was glad it hadnt been me he had walked in on. But thats getting ahead of myself. Here was Tony, before Angela, playing checkers with a person who would come to mean everything to me.           Well, I better get back to work. It was nice meeting you?I kinda waited to see if Tonys friend would tell me his name and he nodded.                        Liam. Im Liam.
            Charlie.  My real name is Christina, but I go by Charlie.I almost held out my hand to him but knew how dumb I probably looked, so instead I slipped my hands into the blue apron that Hanksmade us wear and slowly started to back away. I was a little regretful that I couldnt stay and chat. While I had the freedom to do homework and socialize, I also had a job to do. While some nights were low key and easy, there were other nights that were torturous with football games, ice-cream sundaes and sometimes, just-not-so-great Jazz music. The worst night of my life was the night Hanksdecided to show a marathon of SawMovies. If I had one more customer ask for a milk-shake while arms, legs, eye-balls and skin were being peeled and pulled off, I thought I would die. I was glad to escape the noise of death from the movie and smacking lips of the audience as they sucked down their icy milk. I cant say Ive ever looked at a milkshake the same way.            Liam was standing at the bar about an hour later, leaning his arms on the counter as he chose a soda from the soda fountain.                           So whats your major?Liam asked, trying to make conversation. Of course. The typical college-getting-to-know-you questions. Major. Dorm Hall. Roommate, and more importantly, Why Grand-Lakes? I grabbed one of the cups and started to pull the tab of the Mountain Dew,which I would also learn, to be his favorite.            If I tell you, I might have to kill you.I said with a small smirk and he grinned.            Im a Film Major. He interjected. I glanced back at him, as I finished pouring the Mountain Dew from the soda fountain and gestured to his Grand-Lakesbeanie hat.            You gave yourself away.
            Are you trying to say that wearing a beanie makes me a Film Major?
            Possibly. This time, playful smirks were on both of our faces.            Im an English Major. I like to think Im throwing thousands of dollars away to have the excuse to read books for four years. And then when Im done and graduated, perhaps Ill have enough books to build myself a house out in the wilderness, and live off the land.
            That sounds like an intense plan.
            It is. Its outrageously intense.I said, passing the Mountain Dew over to him. He went to hand me a dollar but I shook my head. Its on the house. Consider it a gesture of friendship.
            You can just pass out free drinks?
            To friends. Just once in a while.            So were  friends then?He asked with a smile, and I shrugged, nodding.            Sure. You never know where itll take us.
That night, Liam and I spoke about our majors, our friends back at home, the people we left behind. We talked about his family. We talked about my family. We talked about books, movies, music. It seemed that it was no sooner than five minutes later, I was off of work and we were both walking towards Harrison Hall.
            So which floor do you live on?He asked, gesturing towards the small building in front of us.            Third floor, you? I asked as I glanced up to look at him. Liam was tall, much taller than me. He was six foot something, to my five foot three something. He had broad shoulders and a round face that was boy-ish, yet handsome. He wore glasses and seemed to fidget a lot with his hands, either tugging at the strings of his sweatshirt, or playing with the zipper, but I liked it. I liked the way he walked and talked, and I really liked his laugh. When he laughed, I couldnt help myself from smiling, just from the sound.            First floor. He replied. We started up the steps to the Dorm and I paused, grinning at him.
            You know, if you ever want to watch movies, Im always game.
            Yeah? Cool. Id love a friend to watch movies with. Be warned though, Im not joking when I say Im a Horror Film Buff.
            That is one genre Ive never attempted. Horror films werent exactly a big thing in my house.
My parents hated horror films. Johnny Depps Edward Scissorhandwas considered a horror film to my Mom. I tried to keep my tastes pretty similar to theirs. A good romantic comedy, or historical romance, or some sort of action-packed, Ill-Be-Backfilm, all depending on what my parents were in the mood for. Horror filled with Halloween Nights, Blood and Guts, and Paranormal things werent exactly the movies we watched together as a family. One Halloween night I had told my mom I was attempting Halloween 2and she made a sound like, “… Really Charlie? I was never able to finish it; I got to some part where a woman was running down a Hospital hallway, and the scary guy kept appearing and freaked me out. I became way too jumpy at every sound in the empty house, and gave up.            Liam told me about how his horror-film fascination began. He had grown up with two parents who had been very absent in his life. While they were too busy doing their choice of drug at the time, little Liam found entertainment in nightly horror movies. He would sneak out to the living room when his parents were in their room and hed turn on the TV, and watch the forbidden horror films.Michael Myers and I have a strong bond after the first time I saw my first Halloween movie. It scared me and yet thrilled me.He said with a laugh as we walked underneath the overhead lamps, keeping parts of the sidewalk lit up.            I felt for him as he told me this. I felt bad for him. I felt like I wanted to help him, to make him happy, in some sort of way. I wanted to show him that not all humans were as bad as his parents had been. I wanted to show him girls werent as immature as his ex-girlfriend had been, breaking up with him over a debate on Evolution.
            Thats so stupid!I had shouted, shaking my head, lifting my chin to the night sky. Who does that?
            She did,he said with a laugh and shrugged. Its okay though. Its over and Im here now.Indeed he was. When we found ourselves in the Smithsonian Hall, and near the elevators, Liam sighed and gestured back towards a group of doors.            Well, Im over here.He started to play with the zipper on his sweatshirt again and I caught myself laughing softly.       
            And Im here... or up there, I guess.I said, gesturing towards the elevator.  We should hang out again.Liam grinned and nodded.           
            We should.
            Do you like to swim?I asked, trying to find an excuse, a reason to hang out with him, and soon. Liam gave me a curious look and nodded, chuckling. Fish and Line. Fish and Line.            Yeah, I enjoy a swim or two.
            I know that the Gym just opened up open swim hours. I know its the middle of winter, but…”
            Well, where Im from, we have Polar Dives. I think I can handle an indoor pool in February.He gave me a wink and grinned. I determined from that moment that I liked his grins. They were nice and friendly and in a strange way, comforting. I liked Liam and I liked his sense of humor.            Do you wanna try out our swimming skills tomorrow?He asked, walking backwards towards his door as he continued to watch me; a small, playful smirk on his lips. I grinned back and nodded.            Yeah, Id love that.
            Great! Ill text you!  He pulled his phone, wiggling it in-between his fingers. I grinned and nodded, suddenly glad that I had taken the time as we left the coffee shop to put my number there. It felt like the start of a great friendship. He slipped inside of his room with a See you tomorrow, Charlie, as I slipped inside the dinging elevator and pressed the number 3, taking me up to the third floor.


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I'd love to know what you think of it! 
Leave me some comments! :) And if you'd like the Playlist, let me know! I'll make a post about it! 


Thanks for tuning in for another Writing Wednesday! 

COPYRIGHT: (All Written Works and Personal Photos Belong to Me. Chantal Gadoury©2016)

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