Keeping Sanity | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re having a good summer so far!

Keeping Sanity

I live in a city of 8 million people and I see many different kind of people, behaviors, and customs every single day. There’s never a dull moment and since I’m also trying to “make it” as a writer, it’s a wonderful place to get a lot of content. That’s definitely one of the reasons I really wanted to live in the city post-grad. Since I rely on public transportation as my preferred method of travel, I get to experience the city’s movement first hand including the homeless people sleeping on the benches and steps of the train stations. I really wish I could help them in a more impacting way that is more than giving them my pocket change. I actually wrote a post about this conundrum.

There have been two instances where I’ve encountered people, presumably homeless, who were talking to themselves and having good natured conversations. It was always their laughter that catches me off guard. First of all, their situation doesn’t seem very ideal, so how could they laugh so loud? Secondly, how do they keep doing what they do despite eliciting looks? When I notice them, I don’t really question their sanity or situation, it doesn’t actually bother me. I find myself talking to myself a lot because it helps me organize my thoughts. What difference does it make?

Keeping Sanity is a story about a man (I don’t state that he’s homeless, but my imagery makes it clear) who is having a conversation with himself and he’s pretty happy. He becomes more self conscious when the public makes indirect comments that are still clear of what they think about him. I tried to paint the child as innocent as possible because she doesn’t know any better, but it’s her mother who shouldn’t done a better job in being more open-minded. Along comes a businesswoman who’s encountered a slight crisis and is muttering her frustrations to herself, causing the man to be a little self-conscious only to have the woman remind him that it’s perfectly normal because life is tough.

I really wanted this story to have a strong emphasis on humanity and the power it has. It certainly has the power to bring people down. Think about the impacts it can have if you utilize that power to bring people up even those stuck in less than ideal circumstances.

I hope you enjoyed my story & thanks for reading!

Alice

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A Cold Night in June | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

It’s been quite a while since I last caught up with you! As you may know, I recently graduated from college and from there, I moved to New York City where I’ve been relaxing and getting tons of writing material before I start work in the Bronx! I’m pretty excited to be living in the city and so far, it’s pretty great. I’m loving all the food!

Now, onto the story!

I wrote this story as a submission to the Duolingo Stories contest. If you don’t know what Duolingo is, Duolingo is a website where you can practice learning a language. They’re very keen on drilling you and making sure you have a good basis within the language. You can start from the beginning and work your way up! I believe my story submission (if chosen), will be translated to help people learning languages learn how to read in their language. The requirements of this story was that it be under 250 words and exciting, so naturally, I gravitated towards fantasy.

This story is about the narrator who saves his city from an unknown danger that turns out to be a child who didn’t know how to control their powers. It also turns out that the narrator has 7-foot wings, which I decided to add because I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be able to fly. Think about how fast you would arrive to places! And I wanted the narrator to not be restricted by anything.

It’s a simple story that has a quick resolution, but I find it pretty comforting. Whenever I’m stuck in a situation, I always envision myself with superpowers like being able to fly, teleport, or even become invisible and for some reason, I feel a little better afterwards. It’s almost like I have to protect my secret stash of superpowers. Regardless, I hope you have that quick thing that helps you jump back to it again.

Thanks for reading!

Alice

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Magnolia | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I’m writing this outside, so whoever sent the sun to me – thanks! 😉

Magnolia

This week, I was pretty lost about what to write because of recent events that happened at my University. I’m planning on writing a post about it! The events rang in my head, but I didn’t want to write a piece that circulated around those blaring issues. I wanted to write a piece about hope rising from a place of trouble. I also bought a new hand lotion that said it smelled like magnolias and it smelled wonderful! I’m basically saying that this piece was born out of many inspirations.

This piece is full of “what if”s, a place of uncertainty. What if the narrator never went out drinking with her so-called friends, how would she felt? What if her best friend was no good and wasn’t able to help the narrator? What if the narrator didn’t get caught up in the mess that it seems like she trapped herself in? The narrator is in all of these “what if” scenarios. Everything that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong, but somehow she stops herself from continuing making it worse for herself.

It starts with the narrator reminiscing about a time that was safe, lying with her mom and feeling her mom’s trouble and wondering how she could help. And then, the narrator finds herself in her her place of trouble. I reveal that the narrator has a problem with drinking impulsively after being lured out by her “friends”. There are quotes around “friends” because they aren’t who the narrator would call her friends and that is shown in contrast with her interaction with her best friend.

The narrator is stuck and she’s so ashamed that she couldn’t find herself going out to meet her best friend. She tries to reason with her best friend and put up an entire façade about how she’s feeling, but her best friend sees right through her lies and gets right to work in helping her friend get back together again. And that’s the biggest contrast – between the apparent broken relationship the narrator has with her mother, her “friends” who took her out drinking despite knowing her impulsive behavior and how the narrator treats herself with belittling remarks and expectations that are way too high. Her best friend grounds her and brings her a little glimpse of hope and without even saying “everything is going to be okay”, she shows it.

I didn’t realize it, but magnolia is a flower that is traditionally linked with femininity. Women have an unspoken bond with each other even if there is a slight conflict between them. We have each other’s back. And this rule can definitely apply to the rest of humanity especially with ongoing conflicts just like what had happened at my university. We need the hope, the unspoken hope to reassure us and remind us that not everything is dark and painful and we can regain our steps again.

Thanks for reading my piece & I hope you liked it!

Alice

Good-Night | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re having a good week so far!

Good-Night

Did you notice that 2 out of the 3 quick pieces I’ve written this month are sleep based? Maybe it’s because I’ve written these stories when I’m about to go to bed or because I’ve realigned my sleep schedule and it feels great! But have you ever realized how much time you spend on your bed? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping and you definitely do other things in bed like watch movies and read books, so it makes sense that most of my stories revolve around sleep. 😉

This story is basically about a woman who wakes up from a nightmare and went out to look for the “murderer”, but her boyfriend noticed and reassured her before going back to bed. It’s a simple, sweet story and I like to think that love doesn’t always have to be sloppy kisses, sobbing tears and sex. It can be simple acts of understanding and cherishing your significant other’s time. It’s actually simpler than you think!

Thanks for reading my short piece! I hope you enjoyed it!

Alice

Liar | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

Fun fact: it snowed this week. I’m not happy and I don’t want to talk about it. How’s your “spring” going?

Liar

This piece was based on a personal rut I’ve been having. It’s probably because I’ll be graduating in almost a month, don’t have security on a job yet and I’m getting overloaded with projects when all I want to do is lounge all day.While I didn’t stay inside all day and build a false world around myself, I have spent long hours doing everything besides my homework.

I really wanted this piece to have a comforting tone mixed with an indifferent tone. It’s actually a pretty sad story since the narrator just didn’t try to make the situation better for themselves. I suppose you could call a mass creation of writing progress, but based on the last line, the narrator was trying to hang on to the better times when they weren’t alone. Strangely enough, the narrator doesn’t have any fear for what will become of them. It’s more so how long they’re able to keep it up. The narrator is lying to themselves by creating this façade and that is the worse way to treat yourself.

If you’re ever feeling monotonous, here are some things you can do to cure monotony!

  • Buy some cake that you’ve always wanted to try and eat it by yourself
  • Dance spontaneously to songs you can’t stand
  • Put on mismatched socks and flaunt them
  • Scrub the nastiest corners of your house
  • Go on a walk in the park and name every bug, plant and bird you come across

I hope you enjoyed Liar! Thanks for reading!

Alice

Sweet Dreams | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope you have the courage to rise again!

Sweet Dreams

Have you ever really looked at a convenience store and felt like you’re on a different planet? They always feel like a portal that is always full with snacks just screaming at you to buy something. I’ve loved and hated the allure of it, but it just seems like such a universal thing. Honestly, I really wanted to write about a moment that we have either experienced or have a strong desire to experience. This piece is full of nostalgia and has a dream-like state, hence the title, sweet dreams. Everyone comes into the convenience store for different reasons, but leaves with the same intention, fulfilling those guilty pleasures.

Lately in my writing class, we’ve been studying style specifically sentence syntax and left and right branches. I’m totally not a linguistics major, but I’m a slight nerd for all things words. I just find it so interesting and complex at the same time. You can do so much with these 26 letters! In this piece, I tried really hard to make it flow and added a bit of my sass into the piece, so I can really call it my own and not have it feel so textbook.

Basically, a simple story with innocent intentions and I really want sweets right now!

Thanks for reading!

Alice

Strong Breeze | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well. Brace yourself, allergies are on its way!

Strong Breeze

I wrote this piece as an homage to my childhood days where I would spend the entire recess swinging on the swings with my friends to try to get as high as we could. Those were the blissful days even though we didn’t realize it then. You know on a swing set there are differing lengths for the swings? My friend and I would choose the lowest ones to do our “soaring adventures” because we justified it as having more chain to swing on. I still stand by that. Also, there were always too many people on the higher swings.

In this piece, this was actually a similar conversation that my friend and I had. Granted, we were only 7 when we had this conversation and that was what I remembered, but those were pretty memorable times. The reasoning behind the elemental powers was because my friend and I were obsessed with a show called, Naruto. If for some reasons we weren’t on the swings dreaming of scenarios, we would be sprinting Naruto style pretending we were ninjas on a special mission. On the swings that day, I genuinely feel that I was controlling the wind and I remembered feeling so happy. Sometimes I like to whisper to the wind to see if I still have the power and sometimes I do. 😉

On a more serious note, I wanted this piece to be a revisit and exploration of the pure, childhood days. We could run as fast as we could without any worry and our imaginations would take us beyond Earth. We let ourselves drown too quickly when any type of stress comes our way. What if we just let go every once in a while and drop all the stress and societal pressures? Why do we have to try so hard all the time?

When I was little, all I wanted to do was grow up because that’s when people would start taking me seriously. Honey, it isn’t about age when people take you seriously. It’s about how you hold yourself. If you’re going to be regretful of the past and hopeful for the future, where’s that going to take you? So combining that with the blissful past, let’s live in the moment and embrace what the past shaped us to be so that we can be ready as ever for the impending future.

Thanks for reading & I hope you enjoyed.

Alice