Litterae - Issue II v2
Edited by Mandy Moore
Litterae - 1
Pg. 4 Phantasm Carnival By Owen Rodriguez
Pg. 6 Black Gold ‘89 By Justice Whitaker
Pg. 14 In Spite of Himself By Judy Weaver
Pg. 20 Conditional By Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson
Pg. 21 Donny H. By Jason Bertucci
Pg. 25 The Square By Jason Bertucci
Pg. 28 Cheetah Mom By Mandy Moore
Cover art by qthomasbower
Litterae - 2
Index By Page
Hello readers! Raw beauty, what does it mean to you? To me raw beauty is what this country was when the first settlers arrived. Raw beauty is the unpolished diamond, the wonderfully flawed rough draft. Raw beauty is the soul of an artist. So in celebration of the raw beauty of the United States this issue is left in its most raw state. No editing has been done to the pieces you are about to read. Artists were not informed of this to prevent anyone from polishing their work. It is my belief that each piece still shines beautifully because each is true to the artistâ€™s original idea and it is in that original idea that the most beauty is found. So read on and please feel free to send me feedback. Thanks and as always enjoy!
Mandy Moore Editor Litterae Magazine
P.S. This is the second version of this issue due to Mr. Wellington choosing to remove his poetry from our magazine.
Disclaimer: Views within Litterae are not necessarily those of Litterae staff or its affiliates.
Phantasm Carnival By Owen Rodriguez
The ride’s move in every direction and sorts them out in a generic collection.
Note: Mr. Rodriguez’s piece was due to be published last month but was
And their overly maudlin parents watch their young grow up in a
absentmindedly overlooked when
manifested life of decoy, then send
compiling Issue I. We cannot apologize
them off one by one too deploy.
enough for this oversight and hope you all enjoy his work.
The festivities start to chant louder and look more amusing:
The lights exploded with crimson
Once the children find out what
colors that sparked the sky,
they are losing.
As peculiar children of all ages
And in their heads they can still
gathered from worldwide.
hear the bittersweet sound of their
The tents reached higher than the
heavens its self.
Calling out to them from the
And clowns with painted on faces
carnival, they once loved so much.
held balloons like animated
But its now only memory of a common
Music played in tune, dancing and singing, in all the months of June.
The kids grow old into adults and teens, some turn into kings and
Kid’s teeth rotting from the candy they eat, while laughing with marvelous joys. Their mind decomposing, rough but sleek, from the games they play and the life long prizes they’ll keep.
Litterae - 4
queens, while others just grow old, never knowing what the carnival really means. The residue from the party streamers seem to now look and fade like distant dreamers.
The carnival tents, that was once fun has all its strings coming undone, Revealing the thin lie that lies beneath them all.
They leave the carnival empty handed and their mind left stranded. Remembering all the things they done holding on to the cheap prizes they have won. And now all that remains in the month of June are lifeless kids and exit sign that reads
â€œSee you soonâ€?.
Litterae - 5
Black Gold â€˜89 By Justice Whitaker Excerpt from GrayScale: A Memoir in Black and White.
He donned his 14kt gold-plated hoop earring for the first time. His black denim jacket and caramel complexion stood out against the pithy, underdeveloped bodies of his 4th grade peers. It was the 80's. He looked tough as leather; yet, from the surface to the core he was as soft as the child-sized earlobe that the hoop had been pushed through. By Justice Whitaker
Where the gold had actually come from I will never know, and he had never considered. Undoubtedly the hoop was sold as one unit of thousands to the Longâ€™s Drugstore and Pharmacy that offered the piercing services of a gum snapping and
Litterae - 6
artificially caring high school
way through the tales of U.S.
student for $14.99. The gold
history, the unit had switched
plating was surely done in China
over to the new nation and
by sweatshop workers who had
eventually would lead to a
never considered such body
grazing mention of the slave
adornments beyond ancient myths
trade as the teachers prepped
of dynasties and valor: terms of
students for civil war
which their lives seemed
simulations and boring
permanently deprived. Where the
documentaries on laser discs
factory got its raw material is
with fanatical re-enactors.
unknown, but to conclude that it
The topic of slavery, Africans,
came from the same continent as
and really anything to do with
the boy’s enslaved ancestors
historical or contemporary black
would be no stretch of the
culture fell heavily upon the
imagination. This is the
boy, and he was expected to add
circular irony of infinite
insight and perspective in the
connections that made his
classroom. Once he was pulled
elementary experience both
aside by student teacher and
quaint and massively traumatic
warned about his failure to
in the same breath. There he
participate in an activity where
stood, December 5th, the day
students were asked to write
after his birthday—lookin’
from the perspective of a slave.
tough. "This is something that should Earlier that week as the 4th
be important to you, it’s YOUR
grade curriculum had wound its
history. You're a great student, Litterae - 7
but if you continue this type of
place named Niger, who's capital
behavior, itâ€™s going to damage
was Niamey, and then down into
your participation points," she
Dakar which was a place his
parents had gone together before they had kids, and which also
The whole time period in history
reminded him of the cologne his
began to be uncomfortable, and
older brother wore, Dakar Noir.
everyday after science he would
Noir, he knew, meant black.
begin to feel his ears get hot as if too many eyes were fixed
The class finally caught up to
upon him, challenging his sheer
him when the teacher told them
existence in the classroom. He
all to turn to page 988, a high
would distract himself by
number which he quickly
flipping to the back of the
recognized as the map pages.
history book, Into the West,
Flipping there, he saw a map of
with the overly lit studio shot
Africa with an inset of the
of a 19th century covered wagon
globe, both tagged with the
on its front, and sifting
graffiti of transatlantic slave
through the maps of the world.
trade routes that crisscrossed
He was unfamiliar to the concept
and wove deeper and darker in
of "backpacking," but he
some places like lashing scars
fantasized about taking boats
on the backs of the slaves that
down the Nile to Cairo and
had travelled them: his fatherâ€™s
catching a caravan of camels or
forefathers. The mumbles and
land rovers across the Sahara to
laughter over the names of the
Timbuktu, which was next to a
African nations that had been
Litterae - 8
formally recognized only in the
angry when people say it...?”
last 20 to 30 years began to
The boy, thoroughly lacking a
irritate him, the irritation was
response, turned and walked off
exacerbated by the one other
the playground unconsciously
half breed student in the class
duped by ignorance.
who, although they were friends, was sitting in his chair
That night the boy, seated at
repeating "nigger, nigger,
dinner with his bi-racial
nigger" as if to aggravate the
family, brought up the question
boy further. When the boy
that his parents must have been
attempted to quiet him, the
anticipating since they had
friend pointed to the nation
birthed their two sons as kings
labeled "Niger" and said, "It’s
in paradox, or at least a
just a country in Africa...."
After class the boy and his
“Why is there a country in
mulatto friend, who had started
Africa named Nigger?” This set
to refer to the two of them as
off a series of actions around
zebras for their half-back half-
the house, his father reached
white blood mixture, were
towards the bookshelf, out came
walking out the classroom when
dictionaries and an atlas to
the friend, who was raised to be
correct the linguistic and
either impervious to, or unaware
geographic errors, while his
of, race, questioned: “If
mother stood aimlessly
there's a country named
unprepared for the racial
"Nigger," why do you get so
dialogue with her black son, Litterae - 9
although she had brought the
of them, Raymond Horatio, a fat
eldest up to age 16 already.
Jewish boy who's family had
That elder brother brought
undoubtedly suffered its share
emotion and pragmatism with one
of marginalization, called the
pointed statement: “If anyone
boy’s name. As he turned around,
calls you a nigger, punch him in
Raymond asked "Were your parents
the face!” This inadvertently
slaves?" A muted and broken
jolted mom into the
"Shutup!" spurted from the boy’s
conversation. "I don't want you
lips as the arrow nearly hit his
getting into any fights.... Did
heart. Raymond laughed.
someone call you that at
"Whatever, nigger..." The
laughter continued. The boy reached the end of the walkway
The next day the science lesson
and took one step onto the
caused an involuntary anxiety to
grass. About face; stand at
grip the boy, anticipating the
attention. As Raymond closed the
forthcoming history lesson, and
four-step gap, still laughing
another hour of looking at
with his friends at his display
pictures of slaves on ships and
of bigotry, the boy balled his
auction blocks brought about the
type of nausea that comes not from stomach sickness, but from
With adrenaline pumping through
fatigue. When the class broke
his veins, the boy’s body began
for afternoon recess the boy and
taking blood from his brain,
his ‘Zebra’ friend walked in
causing everything in his vision
front of a few other boys. One
to seem as if highlighted by a
Litterae - 10
backlight. Subsequently, there
Landing upon the Jewish boy and
was a trail of shiny glittery
rolling down the grassy hill
soul power that followed behind
with him, the boy asserted
his fist as it bolted through
himself on top and began to
the air and planted contact on
pummel the Jewish boy whose
the fragile cheekbone of the
great grandparents may have even
Horatio boy like a comet with
been ancestors of the boy’s
enough power to extinguish the
mother. The caramel knuckles
dinosaurs. Glass jaw Raymond was
were white- tipped like snow
spun around, and stumbled
cones at the movie theater, and
backwards down the sloped knoll.
with each crushing blow they
The boy pounced like a panther;
reddened and eventually began
clad in his black denim jacket,
shredding the pale flesh of his
today with jeans to match, he
opponent. Left, right, in a
looked like an affiliate of Huey
military cadence inherited from
Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, and
his grandfather’s time at
fought just as viciously for a
Tuskegee, transmitted from his
similar egalitarian definition
fathers time in ‘Nam, now the
of humanity. Although the
left blows hitting low, cracking
Panthers before him had created
Raymond’s winter chapped lips
a calculated movement, he acted
and striking Raymond’s throat,
upon the same visceral impulse
the right hitting high and now
that each of them, and every
forming a bulb over Raymond’s
other black man in this nation,
left eye that would later seal
has felt at one point or another
in their lives. Litterae - 11
The boy’s supersonic comet soul
rage the child foreshadowed the
power had blocked out the
signing of peace treaties
screams and yells of the now-
between both the Crips & the
formed crowd, the whistle
Bloods and Palestine & Israel.
blowing from the teacher
His world was simultaneously
trotting across the yard, the
spinning at a heightened speed
muffled moans from Raymond and
as well as standing perfectly
the war cries and victory
still. Then it faded to black.
screams the boy had channeled from tribal forefathers and his
At some point in the five days
native bloodlines. This is for
of freedom he was awarded from
Geronimo, and this is for
the suffocating institution of
Soujourner; this is for Nat
education, he noticed the golden
Turner, and this one’s for MLK
hoop was missing from his ear.
and Malcolm, this one’s for
It had not been pulled out, but
Hector Pieterson and one for
rather in his unfamiliarity with
Emmett Till—the spirits each
its design he had never secured
took a shot as if the
the clasp properly, and in the
meaningless revenge would cool
tumble it must have fallen out.
the centuries of anger that
He chose not to replace the hoop
burns in the souls of black
with the solid black onyx stud
folks. The blows freed the caged
that had been used to pierce his
bird, and Mumia, who had been
ear. There was something in him
locked up since the year the boy
that felt as if he had grown far
was born: free - if not for more
beyond any manhood or toughness
than a split second…. Amidst his
that would come from that
Litterae - 12
jewelry. He no longer felt the need to wear his blackness or the stolen gold, on his sleeve; somehow, he had internalized his struggle, and with it, a piece of his identity. Today, the ear is still scarred from where the hole closed before it had finally healed, but the wounds left unknowingly by the schoolyard boys have long since been shifted into positive selfhealing energy, the pain has evolved into a dedicated selfexpression in support of the movement towards an active educated populace, in hopes that future generations will not have to tussle in the school-yard to define their blackness.
Litterae - 13
In Spite of Himself By Judy Weaver
to the monastery, where second sons often ended up. There was no way he wanted to go there,
"Oh come on, Ian!" Leander
even if Friar David was nice and
shouted over the din of the
all. He wanted to be a knight,
hammers hitting the anvils. He
wear armor like his father and
and his older brother Ian were
if lucky, have his own war horse
near the stables at the Duke's
that went charging into battle.
castle. Fostering children out to others was a common practice
"We need to get up to the
among the nobility of that era,
fields," Ian reminded him and
and it was Le's turn to join his
began walking away. He was the
brother Ian at the castle. For
first born of the Cross
the summer at least, the Cross
brothers, and he knew already
brothers would be together until
the responsibilities that lay
Ian left for Hogwarts at the end
before him. One day he'd take
his father's place as Earl, and he wanted to make sure he was
Le didn't want to be here, he
ready. He thought Le was a
wanted to be home where his
slacker - he should have been
parents were. Why he had to come
fostered out two years ago and
here he didn't understand.
come here at age six like he
Couldn't his father teach him
had. Didn't Le understand the
just as well how to be a knight
honor it was to be fostered to
of the realm? Though it was a
the Duke of Sussex? The Duke
sight better than being sent off
didn't accept too many children,
Litterae - 14
especially of lower nobility and
With one last exasperated sigh,
never two from the same family.
Ian stormed off and left his
Their being wizards like the
little brother to his own
Duke's own family was the
devices. Maybe Le would learn
reason, but it was still an
what responsibility was when Sir
Danvers showed up and dragged him off by the ear to the
Le was already making him late
lesson. Or worse yet, get sent
for training, and that never
home to their parents'
boded well. The knight that was
humiliation. That thought almost
teaching the lessons didn't
had him stopping in his tracks
suffer fools gladly, and
and turning to grab Leander's
besides, Ian wanted to learn.
ear on his own volition. But Ian
His wooden practice sword was
wasn't his brother's keeper,
firmly tucked in its scabbard and there were shields there to
and what would Le do when he was
use. Today's lesson was on how
on his own here? Best to learn
to block, and it had sounded
the hard lesson of obedience
exciting to the eleven year old.
now, and he stomped off.
Soon he would be at Hogwarts and his magical training would
With his brother gone, Leander
start, but he was going to be a
looked around with a lack of
lord of his own castle one day.
interest. Stables were stables
He needed to learn how to defend
to him, and shoeing horses no
different here than it was at home. Everything he needed to Litterae - 15
learn to be a knight he could
Ian ventured forth.
learn from his father, and his jaw set mutinously as he entered
A shuffle in the hay near him
the stables and climbed up a
had Leander shrinking as far
pile of bales to hide. Maybe if
down as he could in his hiding
he did his worst, he'd be sent
spot. If it was that evil
home. That thought comforted him
knight, he wanted no part of the
slightly, even though he knew
man. His face was covered in one
his father wouldn't like it.
long scar that twisted his face into an evil looking smirk that
Le dug into the straw and built
never changed. It was scary to
himself a comfortable seat to
his eight year old self... what
sit in and watch from. The serfs
had the man done to get that?
were a busy lot, and he followed each one as they bustled about
"Boy?" A lilting voice called
in their chores. Their castle
out to him and Leander sighed.
didn't have serfs, but freemen.
He hadn't hid as well as he
He couldn't understand what made
thought and sat up straighter
the Duke so special anyhow. So
and groaned. He'd seen her at a
he had a higher title, it didn't
distance when his father had
make him any better than his own
dropped him off, and he
father. Well.... in the eyes of
recognized the Duke's only child
the court it did. He hated that
and daughter from that. She'd
place also, even though he was
snitch and tell, and his father
still young enough to left in
would be humiliated. "Why are
his parents' room while they and
you hiding here?" she asked in
Litterae - 16
disbelief. He could tell by the
to keep them busy? He snorted
look in her eyes she hadn't
and rolled his eyes before
expected him here, but what was
rubbing the dirt even further
she doing there also?
into his pores.
"Tis none of your concern,"
"Leander Cross," Le answered
Leander retorted and shifted in
finally, the manners his mother
his place, digging deeper into
had so patiently taught him all
the hay. Girls were ickle with
but forgotten at the moment. He
their pretty dresses and airs
knew he was being rude, and if
that always made them better
the Duke found out - which he
than they were. As a duke's
suspected he would if the girl
daughter, she was probably full
snitched - he'd be mucking the
of ickles anyhow.
stables he was now hiding in instead of learning how to be a
"Your face is all dirty," she
knight. Or worse sent home and
told him with a laugh and
then sent of to the monastery.
clambered through the hay until
Whoever thought up those itchy,
she was next to him and plopped
brown robes has to be crazy
down in a flurry of skirts. "I'm
Gillian, who are you?" she asked him and tucked her skirts around
"Ian's brother?" Gillian asked
her. Le couldn't believe it -
him with a note of surprise in
was the girl crazy? They didn't
her voice. Leander nodded his
belong in the stables - didn't
head and wondered why that
they have girl things to learn
mattered. Or did it mean Ian Litterae - 17
liked hanging out with girls? "I thought - I mean - Ian said that
Their commotion drew a crowd,
there was practice today," Her
and Leander tried to stand but
eyes rounded in confusion, and
kept slipping and covering them
looked to where a far off set of
both in return with more of the
trees were. Where Ian and the
smelly muck. He knew, just knew
other were near and he was
he was in trouble when a voice
supposed to be and he shuffled
behind them said their names.
in the hay more. It itched
Sitting there, finally stilled
through his clothes and his hose
by the duke's voice, Le turned
and he brushed at his legs with
his head and stared into the
eyes of the very angry man.
That was Le's mistake as the
Oh yes, Leander knew that he was
straw shifted with his movements
going to become very acquainted
and slowly the pile they were
with the stables now. If he ever
sitting on slid down the sides
learned to be a knight, it would
and dumped them to the muck
be to spite the Duke.
below with the girl screaming all the way down. They landed with a plop into something that made Le gag and Gillian scream again. This time his name and the words 'I hate you' as he felt her hands slap at his face in frustration. Litterae - 18
By Justice Whitaker
Conditional Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson
When I see someone with whom I trusted my body, once or often, it remembers him. The patterns he bit into my chest redden again, bruises blossom on my back, and all of me hums with the touch of his hands— a fist knotted in my hair, a palm heavy on my thigh —resting in mine while we slept. As we share drinks or make room for one another between tourists and businessmen on the sidewalk, I wonder if his scalp stings where my lips left hushed noises, blood wells where my fingernails caught, or his hands remember where I am soft. And, if they’d forgotten, If they’d like to learn again
Litterae - 20
Donny H. by Jason Bertucci
racism in general, As far as the racism, let's just say he didn't like my black
He owned a door factory the name of the business was 'A Door Factory'. While not being a very inventive moniker I have to admit, it made sense. That's what he did - he was a wood worker, a door maker, a son, brother, father, grandfather and a husband If you got to know him well enough you would also call him an alcoholic and a harry misogynist.
friends. Where the liquor was concerned he had a penchant for the good old Cuervo Gold just the Gold - this was before they put out all that fancy shit they have now. One would also assume correctly that he had tried his fare share of Acapulco Gold.. and most likely at the same time as the Cuervo. I doubt he'd ever been to Mexico though - he just wouldn't fit in.
He had the type of forearms that used to work in construction a mustache that wouldn't conform to the times and he would sometimes smoke flavored tobacco out of pipes, he treasured his large collection of tobacco pipes.
His strange life happenings took place in a very small area an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles, the kind of place millionaires would send their kids to go to school so they didn't have to rough it in
While the transformation of lumber
the big city.
was his thing he was also fond of tequila and
He was a real red blooded American alright.
Litterae - 21
There was an old Woody parked in
that he would drink his tequila and
the garage that never moved,
try to think of a different
a couple of vintage Playboy pinball
machines that nobody touched and without asking you knew that he
So I lived in the sweaty loft,
was into The Beach Boys and Dick
right upstairs of this hot, humid
I almost forgot to mention his
there was a tiny corner for a small
shiny red Corvette that he would
bed, enough room for a couch, small
drive on the weekends.
table and a television.
Among other 'cool guy stuff' there
The bathroom was tiled like a 50's
was a pool and a pigeon coop in the
diner and when you walked in the
I could never figure out why the
the billiards table was obviously
pigeon coop was cool?
the main feature.
but for some sick reason he loved
We all know heat rises and air
those damned pigeons.
conditioning was non existent there were only three windows
You'd have to be blind to miss the
making it quite hot almost all the
huge barn/workshop towards the rear
of the lot. The barn was his hideout and
I had to park somewhere in the
workplace, his excuse to get away
crowded driveway or on the street
from it all
and walk around the side of his
He must have had 2 of any tool or
sawhorses, clamps and other devices
mechanical piece of equipment that
just to to get to my room, which
you could name.
was up a deformed staircase.
I imagined while he was puttering
I got very good at avoiding him and
around, making random saw noises
shooting 9 ball as well.
Litterae - 22
This grew to be a lively event and
began to become a little game of
Things got weirder when his
daughter and I broke up,
we would both pretend to
we were off and on again for a
acknowledge each other
and throw out a fake smile every now and then.
Now this house was located directly
I don't think he liked my lifestyle
behind a high school,
and I couldn't understand his.
in fact the only one in maybe 20 miles or so. so eventually some of the girls
Maybe now I should mention that I
would start walking from school up
was dating his daughter
to my scorching loft.
this made things much more
I was out of school and had a full
complicated as one could imagine.
time job at an upscale hotel.
She had her own room in the main
The tips were substantial and I was
doing well for myself.
and I was sweating my ass off up in
So now imagine, other, younger
that old loft.
girls 'making the walk'
So either I would sneak down into
past the open barn of wood madness
her room at night
and up the rickety stairs.
or she would have to 'make the
This did not go over well at all
walk' past the barn
while Donny was knee deep in
He told the wife, she told the
tequila and sawdust.
daughter - it was a nightmare.
I don't think he liked the
I would have the girls on the phone
situation but his wife suggested it
trying to get them to wait,
wait until he would stop his
seemed like she was wearing the
drinking and construction and close
Litterae - 23
the barn door. When the barn door was closed the side entrance was free game. One day I timed it wrong or they just wouldn't wait, I can't remember two gorgeous girls, both younger than his daughter came walking past the barn, through the side entrance and up the stairs. It wouldn't have been so bad if their skirts were a lot longer and in hindsight their tops could have been a little looser too. I'm sure his bloodshot eyes were popping out of his head I almost wish I could have heard some of the things he was muttering underneath his pungent breath.
This was the last straw - I was to move out rapidly. I found solace in a nearby apartment and never looked back although his daughter would still come by every once in a while. Oh the strange days with Donny H.
Litterae - 24
The Square by Jason Bertucci
popular, coastal southern California town right in the middle of lower State Street but tucked away just enough.
The slackers looked at each other Just enough so nobody could stare in disbelief for too long tourists and locals when the smoke was all gone and the alike would walk by, appalled and wine bottle, frightened like their pretty little tipped over - dropped out it's last city had been invaded,taken over or leak. infested by pirates and marauders. The air was getting dry and people We knew just enough to be dangerous started getting itchy, things sinister and menacing were the street folk were feeling always practical. twisted and hungry riddles mumbled by geniuses and The city officials would come burnouts ruled the nights. around daily trying to weed out the weak and They would all gather at the square deficient, to reveal the day's goods if someone had a chance to see them and perfect their schemes to coming overrun the government. he or she would signal the enemies Some days it was a happy place, approach. with shiny smiles all around The old, former military man in the others - merely a cold hard place wheelchair would hide the goods to lay your head, 'The Blessed' as he was called and you'd be lucky to have a would carry a bible at all times. blanket. He had a long flowing beard and always wore his dirty white robe It was right off the main drag of a 'Who would frisk a Christian
Litterae - 25
veteran in a wheelchair?'
The beach was a careful fifteen
they actually tried a couple times
minute walk away
- but on the right days.
where there would be drum circles
getting harassed was just a routine
on the weekends
a standard part of the day after a
naked children, devil sticks and
people spinning fire.
like brushing your teeth or taking
The improvisational dancing looked
more like twirling to me
But neither of these were a very
so picture lots of people twirling
the ocean and restaurant bathrooms
It was akin to the Hell's Angels
were the shower
but without the motorcycles
and I never saw a toothbrush in
and the bikers might have been
better dancers, who knows? Anyway, no one cared and no one
Us loungers all pitched in to
support the collective good. It was like communism in a 75 by 75
A code of ethics was unspoken yet
foot concrete alleyway
the hard benches made it a
there were times to step on toes
tolerable place for loitering
and times to take a step back.
but it was far from comfortable.
'Tree' and 'Zob' could only
I image in Laos or any other
panhandle for so long
their songs and antics grew
they use a comparable blend of the
so everybody took turns trying to
and I'll bet their version isn't
hustle up some capital -
whichever way they could, specialties varied greatly.
Litterae - 26
There were of course good days and
but history tends to repeat itself.
on the good days drugs of choice could be purchased so you could say all the booze, heroin, speed marijuana and psychedelics were basically free. Just as free as the women.
I can only compare it to something like the Ringling Bros. outfit It was a carnival of sorts and everyone was along for the ride none of the dirty hippies were in any hurry to 'go home'. Some had never met their parents or been to a dentist others were probably sons or daughters of dentists and lawyers Although, if they kept living in this manner they would definitely need both at some point. When I think about the things I thought I used to know I gaze around with a pervading smile and a prominent glow. I'd like to think I've 'grown up'
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Cheetah Mom By Mandy Moore
rub them from my eyes. Staining my favorite dress, more spots. These remind me of my son’s first
I don’t have stripes. Who has the time for stripes. I have spots, messy Cheetah spots. Spots I have time for. Spots are everywhere in my life. I am a Cheetah mom full of spots. My daughter’s shirt has spots on it. We were too busy to use a bib and she spit her mashed carrots all over it. My little green hooptie has spots on it from bird poop, dried dirty raindrops and my son’s fingerprints where he had to put his hand on the car while I put his sister into her
experience with food when he decided his peas should go back out instead of down. Who can afford a new dress in three years? Spots and I have become close friends. I don’t have time for the flesh and blood type. Stripes are the enemy. Marring the beauty of my marriage license, spots. Spots from the teardrops that fell caused by the stripes of the creased paper and signature lines on my divorce decree. These stripes I have time for. These stripes I have to have time for.
seat. Constantly I am surrounded by spots. Stripes have no place in my life. Stripes are too neat, too precise. Stripes take too much time. Spots are more my speed. There are spots in my yard where patches of grass have yellowed and withered because no one had time to take care of it. Spots cloud my vision daily when I’m too tired to
I saw plenty of stripes on the day that I signed those papers; the day that those first spots showed up on my marriage license. Stripes lined her pinstripe pantsuit. Stripes made his bifocals glaring obvious. Stripes creased the judge’s full black robe. Everywhere I looked there were stripes. I don't have time for stripes.
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I am a Cheetah mom. Other
moment and less time worrying about
mothers can be tiger moms. Other
the future. Spots and stripes will
mothers can have their stripes but
eventually mingle. Stripes will
I will keep my spots. Spots are
become less fearsome. For now, at
mine to keep forever.
least, my spots are here to stay.
Spots dapple the newspaper that has set out in the Sunday
Once, however, I too was a Tiger mom. Once I had time for stripes.
morning rain a little too long; because who has time for fetching the newspaper when there are spotted kids to keep. Spots stain the dining room table after I share a home cooked meal with my children. Spots even open, magically and unexpectedly, in lines when I am wrangling two rambunctious kids. I embrace spots now. My spots are my battle wounds. With time they will heal but they will never completely disappear. My spots are my link to the real world. Each spot is a new memory, a different mishap, a little more time spent in the
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Writing Tips â€“ Volume II Tips on Writing Well
Index Cards and 15 Steps Method July is the second month in the year for a world-wide program designed specifically for individuals to write a 50k word novel in a month. Three of these events are held throughout the year with the most popular still being in November. Sounds crazy right? Well it is completely achievable. Every year I use a method of outlining derived from something called the 13 step method. It is a very simple way of ensuring that you will have the number of words or pages that you want by the end of your story, instead of scrambling to eliminate or fabricate words. Now, in order to outline using this method you first need to have fifteen index cards on hand. On each index card you should put a chapter title. After each title you will write a one line chapter synopsis. These are your chapters. On the back of each card you will write 15 events that need to occur within the chapter. These are your scenes. Next, take your word count and divide it by the number of chapters (15), this is the number of words you need for each chapter. Once complete divide the chapter number by 15 once more and you have the number of words you need for each scene.
Good luck, have fun and as always keep writing!
If you want to appear in our next issue check out the Submissions tab at litteraemag.webs.com!
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The featured author for the July Issue of Litterae is Owen Rodriguez! Check out his poem "Phantasm Carnival" on page 4. As always we are ac...
Published on Jul 1, 2014
The featured author for the July Issue of Litterae is Owen Rodriguez! Check out his poem "Phantasm Carnival" on page 4. As always we are ac...