Today’s Flash Fiction – Day 1

I said I was going to do flash fiction challenges every day for a year, then never wrote one. That ends tonight.

It’s after midnight, so I am going to be posting today’s flash fiction snippet. I decided to use a list of creative writing prompts from ThinkWritten.com.

First theme is Outside the Window.

 The rain was falling steadily when I saw something in the corner of my eye. I thought I saw a figure standing in the confines of my mirror until I realized its long, pallid fingers were pressed against the glass window pane. I turned my head to scream, but the glass was now missing from its frame. What was once outside the window was now in, and it was devouring me completely, clammy fingers like spider legs over my mouth to muffle the last sounds I would ever make: hollow, garbled screams.

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Book Covers

I am now making super cheap book covers in hopes to get some extra cash. I’m sick to death of being broke all the time.

Below are some examples:

Available Book Cover #1

Available Book Cover #2

Available Book Cover #3

Available Book Cover #4

I also have a post on deviantart about my prices here:

http://forum.deviantart.com/jobs/services/2247130/

Obligatory Angry Election Post

(Posted this originally on Facebook.)
I’m going to be deactivating my Facebook for awhile. I am sick to death, refuse to have people belittle MY opinion while fiercely defending the opposition. No one has to conform to my view of the world, but this goes deeper for me.
 
Last night, I felt our country go back fifty years. So much can go wrong in a Trump presidency and while I am no Hillary fan and feel like our Democracy failed us with these two candidates, I also fear something I have never felt during an election before: fear.
 
Everyone patting themselves on the back for voting Trump do not seem to understand everything he stands for.
 
Speaking for my community (LGBT), I have already seen so many people on Facebook today that have said “Just when has Trump said anything negative about gay people?” Then when presented with anything that has ACTUAL QUOTES FROM TRUMP, they immediately dismiss it as ‘unreliable’.
 
I cannot do this. I always thought I would be one of those people that could just sit back and say, maybe he’ll be gone in four years. But the problem is that I feel like four years under him is too long. My community has made great strides toward equality, and Trump’s VP pick is vehemently Anti-LGBT. He believes in conversion therapy. He wants to overturn marriage equality in the states. Just google it and see for yourselves.
 
I cannot even bring myself to talk to some of the people I love dearly today because I know they voted Trump. I feel terrible about it, but they voted for a man that is against my community, brags about sexually assaulting women, and is a terrible person in general. I cannot bring myself to have conversations with people I love because I feel like they voted against MY COMMUNITY’S struggle for equality, they voted FOR misogyny, and they voted fear into the households of people that under our constitution have freedom of religion and fear into the households of LEGAL immigrants.
 
This is a slap in the face to me by people that I respect, and therein lies the problem. How can someone truly be a friend to me as a woman in a lesbian marriage, yet vote for someone as repugnant as Trump? How can anyone look me in the eye or talk to me, claim to be a straight ally or a supporter of women’s rights yet vote for that horrible person?
 
The honest answer is people are disillusioned. Those that are more socially progressive will pat themselves on the back because they are a straight ally or for women’s rights. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Claim to support their female, Muslim, immigrant, LGBT friends, but vote against their best interests. It breaks my fucking heart into a million tiny pieces.
 
Some of you will look at this as a shot at you, to which I say, this is not about you or anyone specific. It is for those people that smile and nod when you ask for their support yet vote someone into office that means the absolute worst for that group’s rights as both friends and American citizens.
 
So there is what I have to say. I have no interest in turning this into a debate, so while you may say what you like, I will not be responding. The moment he got voted into office was the moment I realized that I may not have as many friends as I once thought I did.

Inktober Favorites

So last month, I participated in my first Inktober, where the month of October is used, much like NaNoWriMo for writers, for artists. It is about drawing every day and making art every day. It is intense, but I managed to pull it off.

My art isn’t amazing by far, but I do feel like I’ve improved quite a bit.

Below are my top five favorites from the challenge.

MALILA


Malila is a mermaid character belonging to my wife. She is darker skinned with silver eyes, kind of funny and quirky, and pretty.

malila

NALEDI


Naledi belongs to a friend that plays the online MUD The Land of Karchan with my wife and I. She’s a real sweetheart and I did this as a request for her.

nalediinktober

 

CORPSE BRIDE


I love Tim Burton, and even though I did Sally last month as well, I think my Corpse Bride came out even better.

corpsebride-copy

AMALTHEA


The Last Unicorn is one of my favorite movies ever, and I do so little fan art of any of my nerddoms that I thought drawing her would be fun.

I was very unhappy with the initial sketch, so I did a lot of tinkering in Photoshop to get her proportions right. I love the color palette, and even though this wasn’t one of my best from the month, I feel proud to have drawn something from one of my favorite movies/books ever.

amalthea2

ANAISSA


Anaissa is a character that I do not know or interact with, but she was a request from deviantart. She’s messy and I apparently forgot the henna tattoos on her face and body, but given how fast I drew, inked, and colored this intricate design, I’m really proud of the outcome.

anaissa

 

So there you have it, my favorites from last month.

Also of note, I plan on taking a variation of the 100 themes challenge and applying it to a daily flash fiction challenge. Anywhere from 100-500 words. Some days, you may get this only instead of a real post of substance. Other days, it may be a complimentary post.

Take care!

N.N. Bell

I Remember

I remember the first time my mom smacked me.

I remember the first time she lashed out at me in verbal anger.

I remember all of those years, even up to now, how my mother is angry and bitter when not in control, and how 99% of the time that she is upset with me, it is because I either will not let her treat me poorly any longer, or I will not let her boss me around.

I am going to be 31 at the end of this month. I am an adult.

With that said, it is clear that my mother has never been perfect. No one is. We are not flawless and infallible creatures. We have emotions, and some of us, like my mother and I, actually deal with mental illnesses that make it more difficult for us to function.

Every time she lashes out at me, if I don’t cry, I just try to keep in mind that she is struggling with her own demons as I struggle with mine. She self-medicated for years and gets overwhelmed, I get overwhelmed and try to push through it. I focus on trying to be the best person I can be even with what I’ve been given. It is not easy dealing with a toxic person, but sometimes it is just as hard not to become one yourself due to exposure.

I’m almost completely convinced that my mother tried to commit suicide tonight. My grandpa called from her house, and she was talking in the background in incomplete thoughts. She was yelling at him. She was belligerent. She screamed so loudly at him to hang up the phone that he did.

I could hear the slurring. My wife could also tell that something was very, very wrong.

I told my grandpa before he hung up that if he didn’t call the paramedics, then I would. I kept true to that promise even as he caved to her demands and hung up on me.

The paramedics arrived. They called me back twice saying that she refused to go to the hospital with them, but that they knew something wasn’t right. They told me how to get her involuntarily committed. I chewed on that for a few hours before tracking down her psychiatrist’s number to explain to her what was going on.

I struggle with mental illness myself, but her psychiatrist actually yelled at me for waiting to contact someone. She was rude. It hurt my feelings and I clammed up, barely able to speak. I suffer with borderline personality disorder, so it does not take much to get me to fall to pieces. She suggested that I call my local police station to get a ride to a magistrate since my wife was at work and couldn’t take me.

The deputy on the phone was not pleasant either, not at first. He mocked me when I said I had difficulties talking on the phone sometimes. I had even told him I have bad anxiety, but people don’t seem to understand the severity of mental illness sometimes. When he asked me why I waited so long after the paramedics left to call, I told him that I was disabled due to mental illnesses, and that I felt like my mom would try to have me committed out of spite for the small inconvenience of having people make sure she is okay throughout the night.  Maybe not the last half of that sentence, but definitely the part about her being spiteful.

He went to check on her, said she was awake, agreeable, and even thanked him for coming by to check on her. That was a relief to me! Then I got her barely legible text messages that basically told me to fuck off if she does anything, and that she would be doing what I did to her tonight to me sometime soon.  Basically, my fears are manifesting. She wants to have me committed out of spite, I want to have her committed out of love and concern for her well being.

My mother has always been spiteful, but this is playing with my life and hers. I’m trying to save her. She said to me “I took more than I told them” when I talked to her on the phone. She also said the next time I call 911, it will be too late. That last sentence she repeated three times over the course of the 10 minute conversation we had.

She is so blinded by anger that she can’t see that what I am doing is coming from a place of love, not anger. Because of her threats, I am going to need to go down to the magistrate’s office tomorrow and get Jess appointed as my power of attorney so that my mom cannot have me forcibly committed on a whim and for a bogus reason.

If my mom sends anyone over to my house in the morning, I have her texts that she sent me threatening to do this, the tale I just told you, and the fact that she filed a false report on me. Unlike how she was all garbled and out of it tonight, I will be speaking clearly and with focus. Yes, I am on disability for my difficult mental illnesses, but that does not make me stupid. If I have to get her in trouble to make her see the error of her ways, I will. I cannot handle people being spiteful to me, but it is heartbreaking that someone would try to spite me when I am trying to save their life because I love them.

Sometimes I think I understand people, then things like this happen that are twisted and misshaped and ugly, and I realize that I don’t even understand the people closest to me. I am a naive optimist.

Here’s hoping that there are no awkward conversations with police officers or paramedics tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this blows over and that she straightens up and gets a clear head. My optimism is minimal, but I’m going to stoke the fire and try to wait it out.

Goodnight everyone. Hug your loved ones. Sometimes you don’t realize how much they need it.

Slim review of Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn

It took me…about a year…to finish this book. I almost stopped reading it entirely but I like to finish any book I start.

I am giving this book a two, but let me explain a couple of things.

1. This book was extremely well written.
2. The plot was interesting and unique to anything I’ve read before.
3. This damn book makes you root for the cheating husband.

I’m not going to get into spoilers or any thing of that nature, but I will say that if this book was mediocre writing, I would not have finished it. The author can clearly write her butt off. My problem was most of the characters. With the exception of Nick’s sister Go, I wound up hating every character in the book at least once, and most multiple times.
The characters, though well written, are just super crappy people. I don’t expect every book I read to have a happy ending or for everything to be roses and daisies, but the ending of this book put a bad taste in my mouth that I will not soon recover from.

So, in the short of it, unique and well written with characters I’d very much like to set on fire.

Getting to know me – Nettie Edition

I totally stole this idea from my buddy Edward Lorn.

1. Are you named after anyone?

My full name is Nettie Neal Bell. My first name comes from my great grandmother on my father’s side, and my middle name comes from my maternal grandmother. I use to joke to people that I had two names, neither of which were mine, lol.

2. When was the last time you cried?

I had someone that I’ve known since I was 13-14 call me racist for wanting to build an Asian-inspired area in a game I am admin for. That was months ago and I still have not recovered from the pain of that conversation.

I was raised that all people are equal, and to have someone twist my intentions and bark at me and call me racist? It just proves that they never knew me. I talked to my psychiatrist about this person’s line of thought and he basically said, “How Aryan of her”. Just FYI, my doctor is Asian.

3. Do you have kids?

Not yet. My wife and I want some, but monetarily we’re fucked at the moment, lol.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

This is an interesting question. For one, I have low self esteem, but for another, I know I am a loyal, honest friend. I’ve done some pretty big things for my friends in the past. I gave my bestie my car when hers died, for example. I try to put my best foot forward, but no one is perfect. I know that I am a good friend, so I think I could get along with someone like myself.

Wow. I actually had something nice to say about myself. This is a rarity. 😉


5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Sarcasm and snark are my secret weapons. It’s kind of funny, because some people do not know that side of me, but the people that really know me? They hear all kinds of snits and snark come from me. They’re just too busy laughing to snitch. 😉 I often make my wife laugh until she cries when I become sassy, lol.

6. Will you ever bungee-jump?

There was a point in time where I would consider this, but not now. For one, I am obese. For another, I have bad ankles that would likely snap. I’m also pretty sure that my back is effed up, so bungee jumping would probably exacerbate my existing physical ailments. No thanks. I’ll watch everyone else do it though!

7. What’s your favorite cereal?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Corn Pops, or Cookie Crisp. I can’t choose.

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their aura. If someone puts off bad vibes right from the start, I’m less inclined to get to know them. Sometimes you meet someone and you just know you won’t click or they creep you out. Other people, you meet and they put off chill/good vibes. I’m one of those people that if I am uncomfortable around someone (stranger or new acquaintance or old acquaintance), I usually listen to my gut and avoid. I’ve been called snotty in the past for this, but my intuition has never lead me astray.

9. What is your eye colour?

I have really blue eyes. They are like a sky blue. In some pictures, they appear more cobalt blue, but most of the time my pictures reflect how blue my eyes are. It’s kind of weird too, because my grandparents have green eyes, my parents have brown eyes…and I have blue. Also, my parents are both darker skinned due to Cherokee blood, but I came out looking like my Irish grandmother (maternal) and German grandfather (paternal). I am the milk man’s. 😉

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

Tough. I like both, but my preference is for anything horror-themed. If I’m in a bad mood or upset, my wife will put on a horror flick and it instantly lifts my mood. When I tell this to people, they always ask, “How can a scary, gory, or creepy movie make you feel better?” I always answer with, “Because the people in those movies have it worse than me. I can’t be upset with my life when Ricardo is getting his leg chopped off with a machete.” (Totally made that last part up. Not a real movie. 😉 )

11. Favorite smells?

This answer may be longer than I intend for it to be.

I love the smell of broken willow branches and magnolia flowers.

I love the scent of sandlewood and peppermint.

I love the scent of a new book, and it is made better if coffee is nearby.


12. Summer or winter?

Winter. I HATE THE HEAT. My favorite time of year is actually the autumn, but that wasn’t a choice, so winter. I’d rather be cold than hot any day of the week.

I’m one of those bitter people that when people gripe and post memes about how they are ready for summer and winter sucks, I just kind of growl at my computer, lol! Being hot and sweaty is the bane of my existence. I’d rather bundle up and be toasty than dying of heat with the fan on. No joke.


13. Computer or television?

Always computer. I’ve never been a huge fan of television, honestly. I love certain shows, but I wait for them to come out on DVD and then marathon that way. I hate commercials and adds, and I don’t like being spoon fed news from biased sources. Online, I can do my own research about issues I am worried about, and I’ve also got a ton of hobbies that are all centered around the computer. It keeps my mind busy!

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

I went to my bestie’s wedding in Missouri a few years ago. I’m a nervous traveler, so it was very hard for me to go. I sucked it up and went though.

15. Do you have any special talents?

I sing and I write. I was actually voted Most Talented in High School.

16. Where were you born?

Winston-Salem, NC.

17. What are your hobbies?

I read, I write, I marathon shows with my wife, and the biggest hobby? I roleplay and admin on a game called The Land of Karchan. I do a lot of programming there and have a LOT of characters. This game nurtured my love of writing at a young age, so now I am trying to give back by doing things for other players.

18. Do you have any pets?

Yes. Two dogs. We have our Boston Terrier Theodore, who is three and a half. Then we have Draco, who we adopted from the shelter the day before Thanksgiving last year. He’s an Australian Shepard mix, and both pups are amazing.

19. Favorite movie?

This is a tie. I have two favorite movies, both of which are completely different from the other. I know almost every word to The Last Unicorn, based on the book by Peter S. Beagle. My other favorite movie is The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I have eclectic tastes, lol.

20. Do you have any siblings?

I have a step brother, but we aren’t really close. I also have three half siblings sired by my father that I have never met. I never met my biological father because my mom kicked his abusive ass out of the house when I was a baby. He went home to Alabama and I remained in North Carolina with my mom.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

― John Lennon