Our revelry was short lived that day. Bright and early on Monday morning the fleet we travelled with had cornered a lone pirate ship. Whether the ship was sailing blindly through the early morning hours or simply did not see the four British man-o-wars was a mystery, but sure enough, the lookouts spotted him sailing in our direction. The HMS Falcon and Spirit were slightly ahead of the pirates and so cut off their escape to the west and north. While the Countess of Scarborough, our escort ship, swung around and cut off the southern escape. Now only the Chelsea stood in the way. The pirates headed straight for us, we who were the smallest in the fleet.
Jim had already shown us how to beat to quarters and the five of us stood on the quarterdeck with Captain Anderson while the rest of our company headed to the tops with their weapons. Michael and Chris were sent up as well to do the reloading of rifles for the men, since there was really no need for flag bearers on one of His Majesty's ships.
I watched the ship crawl closer and closer, men scurried over the decks in total chaos, then, not two ship-lengths away it turned to the starboard and gave us a broadside. The crack of cannons was deafening, but we were still facing straight at them and so escaped serious injury. One or two cannon balls ripped through the foresail and the rest plummeted harmlessly into the water behind us. We were now only one ship-length from the pirates and I could see their individual faces. Captain Anderson ordered the helmsman to turn to starboard as well and told the men to prepare for our reply. Six cannons on either side lined the main deck of the Chelsea, 18-pounders, and six on the lower deck as well. Twelve guns on the port side now faced the enemy.
"port guns! Broadside them! Fire!" shouted the Captain. The kickback was tremendous and the ship rolled backwards farther than ever. Splinters flew from the pirates ship , three neat holes appeared in the side, one near the water line, and another three raked across the main deck. Screams of pain rose from the enemy. Our momentum brought us within fifty feet of the pirates, and it seemed as though they had been subdued, until one particularly large man stood up and aimed a fat musket at the quarterdeck.
"Blunderbuss!" Captain Anderson yelled and ducked the head of his first mate and his own. I tackled Jim and Matty just as the shot barked out and over our heads. Alex and Nicholas made it down themselves just in time as well. I noticed the first mate, Thomas Merry, had dropped a pistol. Reaching over I picked it up and swung my arm over the rail, the hammer cocked back and I aimed at the foolish pirate who stayed standing to reload the grapeshot into his gun. I pulled the trigger and the unfortunate man fell with the lead in his shoulder.
When I ducked back down the First Mate was staring at me and smiling. "Practising in your off hours, lad?"
"I was aiming for his head, Sir." I lied and tossed the pistol back. Jim looked at me and whispered a stunned thank you and I ruffled his hair and pulled him and Matty to their feet.
"Prepare to broadside again!&qu
What if the whole world filled up with water? If God just decided to dump an extra ocean on the world since in the beginning he never actually got to say, “let there be water.” Amid the 8th sea all the fish would gurgle and smile and look at each other and concur, “Yes, this is good.” The whole world would suddenly be waterlogged and sunken, even the cities — the skyscrapers would barely poke out of the surface like the tops of mom’s wine bottles that poke out of their hiding spots. If the whole world filled up with water, used car lots and elementary schools would sit like the pebbles in the bottom of the largest fish tank ever, and parade balloons would float up like seaweed, undulating and dancing with bubbles, reaching up toward the sun to get a lil’ photosynthesis. When it rained, it wouldn’t matter because at the bottom of the new ocean, no one would feel the drops and no one would get caught in the rain and no one would ever have to hold big black umbrellas at funerals. If the whole world filled up with water, the whole surface of the earth would glitter under the sun, like the time mom was passed out on the couch and grandma tried to get rid of me by sending me next door for a cup of sugar and I spilled the whole cup in the dirt and it sparkled. Our backyard looked like it was full of diamonds until it rained four and a half days later. I stole dad’s old umbrella from the closet where mom entombs everything that reminds us of him and I stood in dad’s slippers and watched the whole world get washed away by the rain. The bottoms of my pants got wet, but I still stood out in the rain and thought that if the whole world filled up with water, everyone’s pants would get wet and no one would care.
I’d been tormented for years by a horrible demon. It devoured my soul and filled me with lies of worthlessness and self-hate. I believed everyone had a chance in life but me. At Sunrise I was born, by noon, I’d been given away, and before the sun set, I’d be forgotten. I’ve been told I must have known what was coming because I refused to be born, I came days after I was due and even when they forced the labor, I refused to turn head first or allow them to turn me. Therefore, I was snatched from the wound through the belly and presented to the world against the will of the woman I’d been living in and my own. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for the woman, but she seemed to let me go easily, I never even sampled her bosom for milk; she had no nurturing to give which was something that would haunt me for many years to come. We are born with blessings and curses and though we often get the two confused, life volunteers to teach us the difference. _________________________________________________________________ _________________ This is a story, a story about a girl who learned to separate her blessings from curses and learned to love herself when she thought there was nothing left to love, journey with her.
It turned out Boston was not as happy as we that the ships had landed on its shores. As we marched through the cobblestone streets up the hills and through the town, the people come out and stare. At first I am filled with a bit of pride as I beat away on my drum next to Matty and in front of Alex, Nicholas, Chris and Michael. In front of us rides Captain Laurie, who acquired a horse the moment he stepped off the dock, while Lieutenant Hull and his sergeants had to walk next to their squads. The inhabitants of Boston did stare, but I soon realized it was not in awe, it was in hatred. We marched through their lines, through their angry calls of “you're not wanted here!” and “go back where you came from bloody Lobster-backs!”. All the way to the town hall, where the 43rd was assembling as one regiment. There the men were receiving their billeting, homes they would be staying in for the duration set down by the army. And the people of Boston could say nothing against it. It still being under British rule and all. No wonder they hated us. I suddenly felt very self-conscious and walked stiffly in the line. Matty tucked his drum sticks into their slot on his cross-belt and I did the same. Captain Laurie dismounted and called Lieutenant Hull over to him. Us being close to the front, we could hear them converse.“Hull, you get the men lined up for billeting.” said the captain.“Yes, Sir, and where shall I find you, should I need you, Sir?” asked the good Lieutenant, I already had more faith in the younger officer than the Captain. “I'm off to join the Colonel at Major Spendlove's home to discuss the situation.” He said briskly and marched off. “Alright, gentlemen, get in line for your quartering assignments.” Said the slightly miffed Lieutenant, and we joined the line behind the last company. Six men were put together in a house and it just so happened that Michael, Chris, Alex, Nicholas, Matty and I all came to the same group. How lucky! Well, maybe not the part with Nicholas, but hey, at least we had our flag-bearers to protect us.“you boys will be staying with the local Silversmith. Here's his address.” said the man behind the desk, obviously incredibly bored. Michael took the paper and nodded to him.We turned from the table and headed down the street again. My legs were still recovering from the sea voyage and going downhill was harder than going up. Matty seemed to have the same trouble and stumbled once or twice, but by the time we reached the north square area we had recovered some. “Right, lads, we're looking for house number nineteen,” said Chris, who had taken the paper away from Michael. “so it should be right around-”“There?” I said; pointing to a neat, three storey house not twenty feet in front of us. Above the door was a sign that had a silver cup and cutlery painted on with the word 'Silversmith' underneath. Chris nodded and gave me a smack on the shoulder. “I'll take care o' this.” Nicholas marched up to the house and banged on the door. There was a pause as we st
I was just foolin' around with my writing last night when this exercise started happening on its own. It turned into an interesting examination of sentence-building and micro-level structure development, the things that constitute what people usually call, "Your voice." It may not make for the best reading, but I think there might be something cool to learn from this one. This probably came out of my undying affection for the well-wrought long sentence, something I picked up from one of my central creative inspirations, James Agee. The problem with long, flowing sentences is that, the longer they get, however lyrical, the harder it gets to make sure the reader won't get lost and forget the point that got the sentence moving. A good long sentence develops with momentum, building on its theme to a logical conclusion, a point that both rhythmically and thematically satisfies both the writer and the reader. That's nice and all, but how do you get there? Even Agee would get so hung up on his language that you'd have no idea what he was talking about, by the end. The premise of the exercise is simple, but kinda tricky to explain. You start with a 3 to 4 word sentence ("I want to leave", in my case). From there, you elaborate on that sentence with a single thought (say, "I want to leave and head somewhere") so that it's still a complete sentence, but a different, more elaborative one. Then you elaborate again with another thought, turning it into a different, longer, complete sentence. You do that until you have at least eight distinct sentences, all branching from the original. I don't think that serves quite as well as an example. So here's what I got: I want to leave. I want to leave and head somewhere. I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something. I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something without demands or expectations. I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something without demands or expectations, not some weak supposition. I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something without demands or expectations, not some weak supposition, no more broken concepts. I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something without demands or expectations, not some weak supposition, no more broken concepts but wild and unselfish.I want to leave and head somewhere I could love something without demands or expectations, not some weak supposition, no more broken concepts but wild and unselfish, built on the backbone and the tensile sinews of a stronger strain of mankind. The middle parts get a little weird and underdeveloped, but by the time you hit the last sentence, chances are you'll get a long sentence to be proud of. It may seem repetitive, but by constantly reminding yourself what the opening idea was, everything that followed will innately start referencing back to the original concept, allowing yo
and it's like a
laundry-list of acquaintances,
name-marked and chilled condiments;
squeeze-filled "hello!" embraces
or a clumsy slumberkiss.
impartial sandman relations and
impact to sway an axis;
care without condition,
unbiased opinions or
a scar-free appendage.
siblings. childhood friends.
a domesticated orca,
a drink void of caution,
a late night walk without keys in hand or
a beach in which to submerge my toes and
those scenarios premiering in dreamland;
a well-paid career [or
at least equal to that of a man's].
life without currencysocietyand
without the mundane, routine progression
of green, grey, gone;
singular sentiment, automated sleep,
parents capable of satiety and
a world lacking dishes and trash-taking.
winter white and frigid,
an early completion;
someone to wait on me
without an inevitable aberration.
the assuagement of afterlife, the
divine intervention of hands
the quiet murmur of ideals and desires within
the ear of some orphic entity
presumed to care.
a kiss clean of guilt,
solicitous reassurance, and
a sigh at the stars in the arms of a
it's like you:
something I can never have.
Whether you use the XRIVO.com workshop function to revise and get feedback privately or share with the entire community, you’re taking a very necessary, though terrifying step in the creative process. The XRIVO feedback process is modeled off those workshop courses to give you the ability to thoroughly respond to work. Now, through XRIVO, you can get and give line-by-line feedback on any piece. All you have to do is highlight what you’d like to comment on and type away in the “Comment” box. As the author, you can filter what feedback shows up by user to make the comments easier to peruse. All you have to do is run your mouse over the comment to see what they’re commenting on.
But there’s more to getting the most out of sharing your work than just detailed revisions and discerning readers. Sharing your writing can be daunting, yes, but here are some things to keep in mind to help everyone get everything they can out of XRIVO.com. Here’s a simple guide: 4 keys to giving and 4 keys to getting feedback on your written work.
This piece is a collaboration between myself and the XRIVO Writing Interns. Each of them were given the same introductory paragraphs and told to creatively interpret them. They could do whatever they wanted, whether it was to completely rewrite the paragraphs or simply continue with the story. Each of them have a different focus when it comes to writing - from poetry to journalism - and they interpreted the initial paragraphs with that skill-set in mind. The result is a rather fun collaboration of the different directions a single story can take when multiple perspectives are brought in.
Circular rugs fraying
at the edges, underfoot and
disappearing, ground into smaller and
smaller fibers, the unwashed
flags of exasperated sighs and
prayers gone unanswered tucked underneath the corners
of aging sofas, turned to hide the stains under lounges and dark
bare witness to endless soles and the dry
dust of experience fall off our heels.
Our keepers, timely graces,
last line before the ground we fall to,
rug then wood then dead and dirt
and the strands intertwining in August
and wilting apart by December,
and the place you laid down at midnight
and told her all about freedom
and said something quoted from Tolstoy
and broke yourself and your misery
and your worn, microbial being,
You who forgot what it was to be everywhere,
you who wove away from teh middle in fine, concentric
circling 'round everything,
everything under your feet.
This is a poem about my grandma who passed away a few years ago, i usually write a lot about her.