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Short Stories... Prose

From Edgar Alan Poe, to Marry Shelley, to Kate Chopin...short stories and selected prose has been around for centuries. Prose lacks the more formal metrical structure of verse that is almost always found in traditional poetry, and short stories may be fully developed in theme, but significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel. However that doesn't mean that they are not amazing in and of themselves, and my guest Prose and Short Story Writers are just that...

 

This Week's Guest...

Short Story Author

Iuri Chang...

   So Iuri, tell us a little bit about yourself, like why do you write?

 

   Well, I love reading.  I never really wrote any stories or poems, because every time I thought about writing, I just felt like I was being a snobby pretentious prick, sitting down at some coffee shop with a fountain pen and an expensive "Hemingway" notepad.  I don't know... it was weird.

   Lol, okay, and are you attending college now?

   Well, I am in Loyola University Chicago now, and since I want to graduate with an English major (and also Econ major... and thinking about math minor), I needed to take some upper level English classes.  I am currently taking Creative writing fiction and creative writing poetry.  I honestly hate the poetry class, but I love my fiction class.

   Hahaha, okay, and where do you see that going?

   We are only supposed to write "serious fiction," so I don't really get to explore as much, but I don't mind writing stories as much anymore. I just started writing this semester, and I've been doing well (according to the grades I got from my two stories).

Totally Kewl, well you can find Iuri on Facebook, and actually check out her writing. We've a little sample here to get ya started. Best of Luck Iuri, and we wish you much success! 

 

 

Fountain pen...

I never fully mastered the art of writing in cursive.  I always tried, but somehow I would always forget one squiggle or added extras.

When did I learn to write in cursive? 

I think it was in fourth grade.  My teacher told us that in high school, everyone had to write in cursives.

What a liar.

I remembered the odd grey colored papers that had thick blue lines with dotted lines that went through the middle of the two blue lines.  We sat on our little desks for hours, just making squiggles that connected to each other.  I didn’t like how they all connected together, crawling on the paper like a snake.

Now that snake was on a bright white poster in front of a bright white building.  The black, thick, and perfect cursive writing made me feel a little uncomfortable.  I stood there in front of the poster for a moment before entering the building.  I didn’t want to be there.  My plain black dress and heels looked a bit awkward under the bright and sunny sky of California.  This weather was too perfect.

I sighed loudly and proceeded to walk into the building.

Not a lot of people were invited to this funeral.  I never understood why some people held big funeral ceremonies. 

When my father died, we had a huge funeral with maybe more than one hundred guests.  I was in middle school at the time, standing near the door in my itchy black dress and my painful black shoes.  I didn’t even know third of the guests but they all seemed to know my dad pretty well.  All of the guests were crying and I thought that was strange because no one really liked my dad.  They embraced me and told me that my father was a great man.  I thought that was the funniest joke I have ever heard in my life because everyone knew that it wasn’t true.

I smirked while remembering how stupid my father’s funeral was, but realized that people were staring at me.  I relaxed my face quickly. 

Maybe I shouldn’t smile at my mother’s funeral.

I guess it still hasn’t clicked; my mother, dead.  Couple days ago, my mother’s lawyer friend, Sheryl, called me and told me that my mother had passed.  She said she would take care of everything for me, and that I just had to fly back for the funeral.

My mother was a very quiet person and her funeral was as quiet as she was.  I was her only family, and only a handful of her friends were invited.  I never liked the idea of open casket funeral, so my mother’s coffin remained closed.  They asked if I wanted to see her before they nailed the lid down, but I said no.  I don’t know why but it just felt weird.  There were no pictures of my mother smiling among the flowers like all the other funerals I’ve seen in movies.  She never enjoyed taking pictures.  I guess she thought she wasn’t photogenic.  Her excuse was, “cameras take your soul from you when it takes your pictures.”  Before I moved out of my mother’s house, I took a couple of my favorite pictures of my mother and hid them because she was going to throw them away.  If it wasn’t for those fancy cursive letters that spelled out my mother’s name, no one would have known that this was my mother’s funeral. 

Still, those printed letters made me feel more distant.  I think it was because I have never seen my mother’s name written in cursive other than my mother’s own writing.  She loved writing in cursive and even used fountain pens.  She had two fountain pens; one from her father and one from my father.  I remember my mother telling me about her first fountain pen.  It was her most treasured item.  I don’t think it was very expensive, but it was a present from her father.  She said he bought it for her when she entered college.  The pen was fat with elaborative decoration carved on it.  It was gold with stains on it from frequent use. 

My mother was great at writing in cursive.  She used to sign her name in cursive, but it was so unique that it was impossible to imitate.  When I was in high school, I tried to fake my mother’s signature to ditch classes, but I always got caught because they always knew it wasn’t my mother’s writing.  I just thought that my cursive was horrible compared to hers, but none of my friends were able to imitate it.  I remembered how her H’s were slanted in a certain way, and how her E’s curled.  She used to mock me when I wrote in cursive.  She laughed at how uneven my writing got as I wrote and said it was cute.  Although she had two fountain pens, she never really used the one my father gave her.  I vaguely remember her mentioning how she lost it.

I sat in the corner during the ceremony and didn’t say a word.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to; I just didn’t know what to say.

Her friends said that she was a strong person. 

Lies.

I guess people don’t talk about flaws during a eulogy.  She was always depending on someone else.  When my father passed away, she was lost.  She stayed home all the time and we just lived off of whatever was left in our savings account.  She couldn’t sleep by herself, so she always came over to my room with her pillow.  Sometimes, I felt as if our roles were reversed.

This funeral home was too big for the number of guests we had.  Every little sound echoed, filling the room with sniffling, coughing, and weeping noises.  Few ladies were quietly sobbing, trying to hold their tears using a handkerchief or napkins.  They all stared at the coffin with their dull, blank eyes.  Sometimes, during the prayers, I could hear the ladies whispering about me.  I guess they didn’t like me for never visiting my mother.  I tried to breathe quietly so no one could hear me.  I held my breath for a while, hoping that people wouldn’t notice my presence, but had to breathe out when someone tapped my shoulder lightly.  Sheryl sat next to me and made a face.  I guess she was trying to smile, but it just looked awful.  She was holding back her tears and kept nodding at me.  I didn’t understand what she was trying to do, so I just nodded back at her, hoping she would leave me alone...

                                                           

 

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