Bad Tone | Quick Piece Breakdown

Bad Tone

On my laptop, I have a virtual sticky note filled with writing prompts from my friends and random encounters. This piece was inspired by my daily commute to school. Since I live in an apartment that’s owned by the University, I have to take a bus. There’s never really a dull moment on the bus because everyone I see definitely has a story to tell. One day, someone whistling pretty badly, so I tied in my other experiences with this one pretty unique one and wrote a story.

This piece starts off with someone stuck between two people, typical people you would see on a college campus. At a first glance, the girl sitting next to the narrator appears to be judgemental and scrutinizing, dragging her friend along with the fun. Why would she deliberately do such a thing if she wasn’t brought up that way or if she picked it up from somewhere. Maybe she is also insecure about herself so she would drag others down with her and since her friend “approves” of it, it’s okay. Maybe she doesn’t know how to show that she cares about the poor girl in the pictures, so she belittles her. Maybe she’s trying to win the approval of her “friend”. From just a little observation, five more stories appear. On the other hand, the guy appears to be not wanting to deal with anything by not interacting with much around him. Yet, he could be going through a lot so he doesn’t feel very stable at the moment. Maybe he’s just naturally like that and he’s simply being himself. Maybe he has a test coming up so he’s a little nervous, but at the same time, trying to calm himself down. These two minor characters, play a large role by telling how the narrator sees people and their life in general.

Then, a new element is introduced to the piece – the bad tone. It’s the implement change and difference in this routine world, the bus ride. The narrator tries to identify it without drawing attention to themselves, but the tone can’t be found. Everyone else on the bus doesn’t really pay much attention to it because they’re wrapped up in their own world. In the end, the narrator feels like they’re being singled out and I kind of leave you thinking who the real outlier or if there really was an actual outlier to the scene.

Essentially this piece was about judgement and fitting in as well as what it means to be yourself. There are also the tones of being in your twenties and being still unsure of who you are or what you’ve become. It’s all a work in progress and it can feel evasive even though we’re all going through it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this piece!

Alice

Bad Tone | Quick Piece

Impatiently I sat next to a girl scrolling through her Instagram feed and liking none of the posts. She looked up to her friend and turned her phone around to her friend. Her friend scoffed and remarked, “Her skirt is so high up. What a whore.” She laughed and continued scrolling. On my left was a guy who stared aimlessly out the window. Every couple of seconds he would sigh and shift around. My leg remained flush against his, but there was no room for me to move away. Annoyed I sat next to them, half immersed in their lives and not wanting to wonder what they were up to. Helpless I sat next to them not giving up my pride to judge them. I was better than that. The bus lurched and turned, pushing me up to the girl I didn’t want to be and siding up next to the guy I would reject. When it was almost the last stop, silence fell. The girl was impatiently staring out the window, already getting ready to bolt out the door once the bus stopped. The guy pulled out his phone and texted his friend. I think he’s late to class, but he doesn’t seem too worried, but his feet tapped to a motionless song. Out of the blue, a single tone drifted through the bus. It wasn’t a text tone or a too loud laughter. It was an attempt at whistling. It shakily soared around the stressed and disassociating students and squeezing into their headsets. For a moment, the guy stopped texting and the girl paused. Something was off and their keen noses wanted to seek out the outlier, but their pride and lack of effort gave in. I stared at the ground and tried to move along with the tune, but nothing was identified. I lifted my head to identify the source, but it surrounded me. For once in these fifteen minutes, I glanced at my invisible companions for a scoff or a search. I wanted a validation that I wasn’t standing out. I looked hard at everyone for a pursed lip or swaying motions. I would imagine that only they would be enjoying their little melody. My invisible companions resumed their stillness, only moving whatever is necessary while I was driven insane by the weaving rising and falling tone that resembled nothing. The tone remained anonymous as I stepped off the bus and I quickly walked ahead, erasing the tone out of my mind and hoping no one caught sight of me, identifying me as an outlier for my efforts.

President | Journey to Kendo

Hello everyone,

I thought I would give you all an update on how the kendo club is doing since I haven’t officially written a separate post about it. The last time we talked, I believe I had just gotten into armor and I was reveling in how great it was to finally be up to par with the advanced member. Not only am I an advanced member this year, I’m also an officer. I’m the president of my kendo club and I have to do a lot of administrative work and the coach/assistant coach are training me in becoming a coach. It was also a little harder for me because I was supposed to receive instruction, but I seem to be left on my own.

At the beginning of the semester, I was focused on bringing in more beginners. At the beginning, we had a decent number, but as commitments shifted, we are left with 4 dedicated beginners and I’m proud of them each step of the way. In October, we participated in a tournament and we were in a team with Harvard. One of our teammates from Harvard actually won her match, but she was the only one. From there, I started training more to improve my performance. My good friend and assistant coach sparred with me more and emphasizing increasing speed and yelling louder. Now I actually scare people 😉

With regards to coaching, ever since two weeks ago, we started increasing the intensity. We added more cardio and calisthenics and then for the actual kendo part, we brought it back to the basic strikes and making sure that we’re able to perform the strikes when we’re tired just as well as when we aren’t tired. In the end, we spar. My coach is a little tougher on me because if I’m going to be a coach, then I’m going to have to be able to take the strikes harder than usual because the beginners don’t have much control on their strength. Personally, I learn more from sparring because I can see where all my bad habits are going and how they’re hurting my matches.

As for the beginners, most of them are guys and I’m pretty good with them. One of them calls me their fearless leader for some reason. I guess I’ll take it even though I don’t feel like it some of the times. Even though they don’t go out with us, I’m still able to joke around with them and I guess it’ll be that way for a while.

There’s a tournament in Cleveland that we may attend, so if we do, I’ll keep you posted!

Alice

Lights & Cold Shadows | Quick Piece Breakdown

Lights

Cold Shadows

Hello everyone,
I hope you enjoyed this piece! As you may have noticed, my post scheduling have been off, so I’m going to post two breakdowns today in order to catch up.

Lights:

This piece has been in the making for a long time. It’s never been physically written out because it’s just been a little piece in my mind. When I was in third grade and I started writing, I always gravitated towards writing about people with superpowers because I’ve always wanted to have superpowers. They never turned out as I pictured them so I would always be a little wary in writing them. Finally, I managed to write something out – something not too extravagant, but just enough to fit into the genre.

There are two characters, Ruby and Evan who are both siblings. They have the ability to have colored lights stream from their fingertips and the lights although appearing quite beautiful can also cause harm. It’s inferred in the piece that training is necessary to master the ability because Ruby was having difficulties in really properly displaying her ability. On the other hand, Evan has done well, but of course he avoids causing harm onto his sister. Their lights are different colors with Ruby’s as gold and Evan as silver. They can change with the amount of power that’s put into them, but their colors remain true to who they are. At the end of the story, I inferred that their entire family are given this ability when Evan says, “The Gould family never disappoints.” There also could’ve been a wide background based on how close the siblings are and I might even decide to continue this story.

In my pieces, I try to incorporate something the reader can take away, but this one doesn’t really have one except maybe determination and sibling-love.

Cold Shadows

This piece is a personal depiction of what going through depression feels like for me. I’ve come to the understanding that everyone who experiences depression has similar feelings, but there are different aspects such as how they deal with it and how they let it affect them.

This piece circulates around the character, Liz. Most of the piece is shrouded around her mindset as an insight on what goes inside someone who’s depressed. People are open and warm to her, but she ends up feeling foreign around them even though her intention isn’t about turning them away. These feelings are out of her control. She even pushes herself to talk to people, but she feels like her thoughts are betraying what she’s showing to her friend, so she leaves. Everything becomes sensory as she walks down the street and unlocks the door, yet the same time her emotions are dull. She breaks down when she gets home and feels like everything is collapsing on her hence my imagery with the suffocating pillow and blankets. Her roommate quickly comes over and starts comforting her. Take note that she doesn’t say that everything is going to be okay and that her depression will go away.

The last couple of statements of the piece is told in the perspective of her roommate. I realize that it’s probably confusing with the ambiguous “her”. Her roommate takes care of her and waits on Liz to see if she needs anything. The last sentence, ” Peacefully she slept, for a short moment, she was warm again.” This was meant to be a little insight about Liz and that she was feeling better again.

I hope you enjoyed these two stories being that their titles are complete opposites and in a way, the subject matter is opposite. Anyways, I hope to maintain consistency in my posts!

Alice

PS. I’m thinking of giving my blog a new look including a new address and a new theme. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Cold Shadows | Quick Piece

The chatter was too loud and it shook her brain. “Hey Liz, how are you?” someone asked as they passed by her. Their warm grip on her arm burned her skin. She quickly pulled on a smile and struck a pose. “I’m great!” she lied. She walked through more groups of friends, their smiles feeling too sweet and she backed away. What was she even doing here if all she wanted to do was absorb the night sky? Everyone seemed to be the light while she was merely a shadow. “Liz! I haven’t seen you in such a long time!” her friend called out as she wandered around. She smiled and found her face hurting. Her chest felt so full, but she didn’t dare say a word. “Hey, Alex! How have you been?” she said her voice sounding foreign. She glanced into her friend’s warm brown eyes and tried to listen to whatever she was telling her about, but she couldn’t care less. After the empty conversation, she sauntered away and walked down the street to her house. Her footsteps felt like they were digging into the pavement. Each house she passed by reverberated of warmth and her shadows shoved her away. They don’t need you even though your heart aches for a source of warmth. She unlocked her door and waited upon the satisfactory click and dragged herself up the stairs. An overwhelming amount of weight fell from her chest through her tears. “What am I crying? Where did this weight come from? What’s the matter with me?” she sobbed into her pillow, her damp tears threatening to drown her lungs. Her roommate burst into the room and engulfed her in a warm hug. “Hey Liz, it’s okay. Just cry it out, let it all out and breathe. I’m here for you; don’t worry.” she whispered. Gently she coaxed her out of the fetal position into a sitting position until her tears ran slowly and the shaking became quivering. Quietly she pulled the once suffocating blankets around her and brushed the hair out of her face. Slowly she closed the door, leaving a crack so she would know that she’s sitting right outside if she ever needed anything. Peacefully she slept, for a short moment, she was warm again.

Beautiful Humans | Quick Piece Breakdown

Beautiful Humans

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re week has been going well!

This piece is dedicated to my good friend because we’ve had plenty of good conversations like this. If you see this, then I hope this didn’t embarrass you!

Anyways, this piece was a lot of fun to write because I was drawing from what had actually happened. It’s essentially a simple dialogue between two good friends and the narrator, makes keen observations on their friend. In one way, it’s just viewpoint on a dialogue between two friends and in another way, it could be a small representation of the idea that despite all our differences, we can be pretty unique and beautiful.

There isn’t much to break down about this piece except when the other character discusses what it’s like to be a beautiful human. Because everyone’s going through difficult times, the way we’re able to persevere and egg ourselves on. It’s just how we manage to push ourselves through the difficulties that make us interesting. If you’ve ever engaged with someone and they started opening up about themselves. They’ll start talking about a time that really hurt them and shifted how they viewed life. It seems like all you can do at the moment is offer your sympathy because it had already happened. Just the fact of offering your symphony is enough for the person because it validates that what they felt was real even if it was hurtful. You just look at them while they’re present as they talk about their pain and you can’t help but think that they were pretty brave and strong for pushing through the difficulties.

“We walk down the street with our steps in unison and our breaths catching the cold in fogginess. Your laughter cracks the chill and I find my own laughter mirroring yours.”

Not only is this statement a depiction of the cold weather outside, but it’s also shows that the two characters understand each other even though their experiences of difficulties were different. They recognize that it was difficult, but they also recognize that they broke free.

I hope you enjoyed this quick piece breakdown!

Alice