Good day, all!
As promised, here is the follow-up to yesterday’s author interview: a sampling of Anna Kittrell’s poetry and the entry that surpassed circa 600 entries to take the prize: publication in Writers’ Digest! And, in the pay-it-forward spirit of all the writers I’ve been blessed to know, Anna has already connected me to another writer friend. Thanks, Anna!
To the rest of you, as always I thank you for making this such a fun place to be!
Alone With Me
Alone with ears too wise to hear
And eyes to blind to see
Dear Lord Jesus, please don’t leave
Myself alone with me
In darkness vengeance steals my thoughts
And rolls within my head
I taste the words I long to say
Words better left unsaid
My twisting, turning, twiddling thumbs
Will not be bored for long
Bad habits jump into my hands
Where soon they will grow strong
My feet will run to Trouble’s door
And beg to come inside
Where they will roam forbidden halls
Built up by foolish pride
Lord, please stay beside me now
God hear my humble plea
I’m formed of dust, and just can’t trust
Myself, alone with me
And here is Sanguineous!
I plunged the claw of my hammer between my agent’s startled eyes and twisted the handle. The dust from her shattered face assaulted my lungs, making me cough and wheeze. Figures. Matilda Blakely always got the last word. I yanked my hammer out of the plaster and gave the wall another crack. Matilda would agree that my talent for conjuring up faces in wall texture superseded my talent for conjuring up an original protagonist. I gave the wall a dozen more Lizzie Borden-style whacks.
Matilda couldn’t get enough of me two years ago when my first novel, Vein Girls, debuted on the New York Times Best Sellers list. She had sucked up my glory like the teenaged vampires between the covers sucked up blood. I had even let her talk me into buying this dilapidated 1849 Victorian which once belonged to famed horror writer Vincent Griffin, on the premise that it would generate for me an “eccentric appeal.” But as the angst-ridden coattails of the teen vampire genre wore thin, Matilda’s friendship responded likewise.
“Cruella Deville, Cruella Deville, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will…”
Matilda was calling, demanding chapters instead of puppies. I didn’t answer; I already knew what she was going to say. My deadline for the new book was tomorrow.
I hurled my hammer at the fractured wall like a shot put. It tore completely through and landed on the other side with a thud. My pulse quickened; I thought the wall was peripheral. I tapped along the wall, listening for variations. Suddenly, the taps changed tone. With a surge of adrenaline, I kicked the plaster to pieces, revealing a solid oak door underneath. I opened the door and stepped into the stale, dark space on the other side.
I shined my pocket penlight around the room and spotted my hammer against the far wall. A cobweb-cloaked mahogany desk sat in the middle of the room topped with a heavy, antique-looking typewriter and a stack of papers. I scanned the title page, “Sanguineous, a novel by Vincent Griffin,” was typed in the center. Unbelievable. I had unearthed the secret writing room of Vincent Griffin and uncovered one of his manuscripts. I felt lightheaded, and steadied myself against the desk.
Carefully, I picked up the manuscript and carried it through the door into my living room. I considered my options. On one hand, I had discovered an original manuscript written by a famous novelist. The find was enthralling, but not lucrative. I would be expected to hand it over to a historical museum, smiling all the while. “Oh, your welcome, Mr. Museum Curator, it is the least I can do; after all, a literary masterpiece of this caliper will benefit all of mankind.” I took a sweeping bow, nearly spilling the pages onto the floor.
On the other hand, I would inevitably be dropped from Matilda’s client list if I did not produce-first thing in the morning-a marketable manuscript minus pubescent vampires.
I ran my fingers over the manuscript’s yellow-tinged edge and resolved myself to a night of reading.
Chapter One. The graceful rhythm of Vincent’s words caused my eyelids to droop. By the third paragraph I was drooling on the hardwood.
“Cruella Deville, Cruella Deville…”
My eyelids sprung. It was morning. Matilda was calling for her book. I promised to meet her at Thornbriar’s Bistro in an hour, my manuscript in hand.
Matilda grabbed the manuscript from me in the doorway and fondled it all the way to the table.
“Brilliant! It appears to be typed on a manual typewriter. Where on earth did you find that font? The antiqued paper looks so authentic! I’m picturing an aged leather cover with golden stamped letters. If your story is as exceptional as your concept, we will not only have another best seller, but will also start a trend in antediluvian packaging.”
Matilda caught her breath, then kissed me on both cheeks. “Forgive me, but I must go. I’ll call you.” She breezed out of the bistro clutching the sole copy of a priceless manuscript in her coral tipped fingers.
“Sanguineous, a novel by Vincent Griffin,” I stared at the title page. It was all that was left of the irreplaceable book. Matilda assured me she had “done me a favor” by incinerating that “ridiculous waste of antiqued paper” in her fireplace.
Incidentally, it turns out the word “sanguineous” means “bloodthirsty.” It seems Vincent Griffin penned the very first teenage vampire novel of all time.