Hi Roxane, thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about but after some thought I figured why not talk about how and why I started blogging.
The reason I started blogging is because I used to belong to a writing group called Author’s Anonymous. What attracted me to the group was the fact that the founder gave us all writing assignments, and we posted them to our blogs so that other we could read, critique and comment on our fellow members stories. It was an amazing group but as we, as writers, spent more and more time with our own writing goals and deadlines we just didn’t have the time to commit to our group.
I am going to share two of my “early works” that I posted while a member of Author’s Anonymous with you today. I hope you enjoy them.
Coaches instructions: If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose and why?
So I was going to skip this assignment to work on the next one (which seems so kick ass, totally fun with a ton of room to maneuver…and that's right up my alley)
This drill seemed a little challenging and I couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race and clearly that’s not what’s she’s asking, but it’s the 1st thing that came to mind and the only thing that stayed there.
Because I sooo do not want to do this assignment I’ve decided to do it twice…two different stories. If you wanna wear daisy dukes you gotta do your squats & lunges there is just no way around it.
My story Colors Part 1 follows:
“What color we’re you?”
The little girl asked me what color I was and the question caught me completely off guard and ushered in a flood of memories that I had tried for ten years to forget.
Once I was alone and had more time to think about her question I realized I could no longer remember my native planet. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to breath relatively clean air or enjoy the warmth of the sun beneath the protective barrier of an ozone layer. That was a long time ago and Earth is no longer there.
This planet was different. The landscape was harsh and colorless, the weather was openly hostile and it was as if the sun was trying to use the cleaning power of fire to rid her 5th planet of disease.
It’s surprising how quickly the human body can adapt and evolve but I guess we can thank Monarch Pharmaceuticals for that because God had nothing to do with this.
Out of the 758,459 of us who had won the lottery to escape the Garden of Eden that God had given man in the form of Planet Earth, only twenty-eight of us were still alive. In this sector there were only two of us but that wouldn’t be the count for long because Eric was dying.
This planet already had a population in the billions and the girl who asked the question was a 3rd generation native and that was why she had asked the question in the 1st place.
In just 10 years I had become known as a settler. I was an immigrant, a relic from the “old country,” with an outdated language, ancient customs, and conservative ways and I am only forty.
Thanks to Monarch Pharms, to deal with the combative environment of the brave new world, I no longer had skin but scales. I was still humanoid in form and so were the natives…sort of.
I guess you can say us settlers were like the Cardassian race from Star Trek; and like the lizards of the deserts of our old planet, our genetic manipulation allowed us to live on this one and it was our genetic manipulation that was also killing us.
You could still see that I had once been beautiful and I think that is why the youth of this planet got themselves “scaled” despite the fact that their shinny chromed skin was more than capable of dealing with the proximity of a sun that never set. Like the young of planet earth, who in emulated African body modification by stretching their ears without fully understanding the culture or significance behind the act. Some things never change.
I closed my eyes and let my memory recall the green rolling hills, red desert sands, and canyons carved from lakes, and deep blue-green seas that had once been my home. In my minds eye I saw the girl and heard her question asked and asked again…
“What color we’re you?”
I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t. Tears breached past my closed reptilian eyes and flowed down my cheeks as I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t…because I didn’t remember what color I had been.
And here is my 2nd attempt. It’s not a short story it’s a poem and I was so incredibly blown away by how this piece turned and the amount of feedback that I got from it I used it as the dedication it to my mom in The Darkness
Colors Part 2:
As you know I did not want to do this drill. It’s still just as challenging as when I wrote the 1st Color and I still couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race.
Well like I promised I gave it another shot.
I am the color of the Red Sands of African a land where my roots were 1st planted.
I am the color of Oxidized Iron, from shackles that bound my predecessors in the storage hold.
I am the color of the green, brown, and white cotton fields and I am the color red from the blood that ran down the fingers that picked them.
I am the blue color of the Civil War Union uniform.
I am the white hot color of rage, I am the iridescent color of tears, I am every color on the spectrum from orange to red in outrage and am the bottomless color of black by the betrayal that the Choctaw people felt when being removed from lands that been held since antiquity.
I am the Silver-Blue color of The Rio Grande that “Los Mojado’s”, the wet ones, risked their lives to cross in order to make a better life for their heirs.
I am the color of fire that burned bras in the 60’s.
I am all the bright colors of the arrogant peacock, because I am the color of my ancestors.
Thank you again, Roxane for inviting me to your blog!
Washington state native and author Crystal Y. Connor, now living in Seattle, has been writing short stories specializing in the urban fantasy/science fiction/horror genres and poetry since before junior high school. Connor’s short story The Ruins earned a runner-up placement in Seattle’s Crypticon 2010 writing contest. Her short story The Monster will be featured in the anthology Strange Tales Of Horror published by NorGus Press.
Connor belongs to both the Black Science Fiction Society and The Seattle Women’s Writing Groups and is an active member of The Critters Workshop. Connor’s current projects, Artificial Light, the sequel to The Darkness, and … And They All Lived Happily Ever After, is an anthology that will be released in 2011.
For more information about Connor and updates on current projects, please visit: http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.c
The Darkness Tour Stops
Friday, January 28 Book Mark Your Thoughts
Monday, January 31 Books and Things
Tuesday, February 1 Notorious Spinks Talks
Wednesday, February 2 Sol Searching
Thursday, February 3 The Honeyed Knot