Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A little taste of my book. Not at all edited.

I’ve been on a binge, shooting and smoking cocaine for 24 hours straight. People have been in and out of my apartment all night, the stain of their presence is noticeable everywhere I look. The place is a mess, every blanket I own is strewn on the living room floor. The TV is turned on but the volume is all the way down. I can hear Elliot Smith’s melancholy voice wafting on the airwaves from a cd player on the floor. The room is dimly lit, outside the sun is just peaking over the horizon on a beautiful spring morning. The citizens of this country are on their way to work. I on the other hand have no job to speak of, and sit up here in my own little hell most of the day.

My hair is in knots, eyeliner is running down my face, I have blood smeared on my t-shirt and arms. From the holes I have poked into my hands and arms with needles full of coke. I look like I recently committed a gruesome murder. I feel some what panicked and I decide to look around my apartment for an Ambien. I hide them on myself because if I didn’t I would take them even though I didn’t need to. Ambien is a sleeping pill, I take to bring me down from the cocaine. It keeps me from getting that trademark coke crash and help me get some sleep.

After searching for an hour, I finally give up looking for the ambien. I turn my attention to the end table. There sits a baggie of white powder cocaine, and a box of baking soda. A few 1cc syringes are scattered about. There is a spoon and lighter sitting on the end table waiting for me. I pour a good amount of coke into the spoon, fill a syringe with some water, and push the water into the spoon with the coke, using the cap of the syringe, I stir the mixture, and I drop my cotton in the spoon and suck the concoction into my syringe. I tie off my already swollen hand with a shoe lace, and my veins reveal themselves.

Before I start to mutilate my hand with this needle full of coke I hesitate, and think about what I am doing. I really hate this drug, all it does is make me anxious and nervous, and I am anxious and nervous naturally. What I really need is heroin, my drug of choice for the past two years, that is until I got strung out, committed a felony, went to rehab, got kicked out of rehab, and found the local methadone clinic which I am still on. So now I guess, I am a methadone addict, and since methadone is an opiate blocker and heroin is an opiate, I cannot get high off heroin or any other opiates. It would be pointless for me shoot up any kind of opiate. So here I am and I need to get high off something.

It costs sixteen dollars a day for the methadone treatment, which I don’t have right now; I spent it all on this binge , this waste of a binge. So I come to the conclusion that this one hit of coke won’t hurt anything, in fact it might help give me the push I need to figure out how to scrounge the sixteen bucks up. So I start stabbing at my hand and the blood finally blossoms into the syringe, and I push the coke home into my vein.


BMelonsLemonade said...

Methadone is by no means an opiate blocker. Methadone is an opiate. It blocks the effects of heroin because it has a much longer half life than heroin, and it builds up in your system to create a huge wall that heroin cannot penetrate. Suboxone is not soley an opiate blocker. It does have nalterxone in it, which is an opiate blocker, but it also has buprenorphine in it, which is an opiate.

Don't get me wrong, Anna...I really like your writing, and this piece is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it dimishes your credibility when your facts are very wrong. (such as methadone being an opiate blocker...)

BMelonsLemonade said...

Also, Anna...look at your use of verbs in here. You have a lot of passive voice. Try to make the vebs more active, and try to eliminate the use of the verb to be as much as possible. I only notice this because it is one of my biggest issues with my writing, and I know it needs to be fixed to be accepted by publishers. But the imagery and ideas are there...just some polishing is needed...

Anna Grace said...

Thanks bmelonslemonade, unfortunately its been sent off to the publisher. I would desperately like to re write the section. Hopefully if I make a request this can happen as the book doesn't come out till March. I did not research facts. Not a good writer which is why self publishing is the way I went.

Gledwood said...

You can rewrite after submission. Changing one chapter would be fine. I am absolutely sure of that.

Coke, no heroin, Anna that is madness!

Didn't you want to wash the coke with that baking soda? Then you could have saved your swollen hands and just piped it. Loved the crack, me. Not that I never speedballed it. That's when I really fell in love!!

Better shut up about speedballs. Nasty things. Glad I never have to go near one of them again. I remember once, restaurant toilet. Family dinner thing. Brown thing falls on floor. Didn't even remember having it there: a yummy hit of Brown Sugar Heroin, and a big strong one. So straight in my arm (I even remember what vein, R arm, one going elbow along back of arm....) suddenly my head is whooshing like crazy. There was a "bit of coke" on the spoon. This feels like a real good "bit". I came back rabbitting 19 to the dozen. Made a couple of bigtime inappropriate remarks that I still probably haven't been forgiven for. Bad news!

I really like the book. Please more.
But be careful of putting v much online. Publishers want unpublished stuff and putting anything on a blog counts to them as publishing.

You can email me and anyone who asks. Even then I wouldn't email too many people. Not to make you para but you want to establish your own work without putting it in other people's hands who you don't know who might even pretend it's theirs. Be well careful! Sorry if this sounds patronizing/over the top/paranoid-making. I'm not trying to put you on a bad one, it's just what I'd do. That's all

thanks for the message, I'm OK but not too good really. Can't face doing anything. Drs appointment is the day after tomorrow. Thank God it's not too long. Just want to get that over and done with. And I have to do it. Otherwise I'm going to know I have some psychiatric thing, not even know the name of it, have no medication, no support, no backup, nothing I need in case I go off again and I really fucking went off on one pretty bad.

I'm pretty certain it was psych, not any weird drugs. Never had drugs like that before, but have had stuff like that before. Nowhere near as bad, but it's happened before. E.g. last time I tried taking antidepressants, e.g. when I came off heroin cold turkey. Depression I have had years and years of, going back to childhood. Not looking forward to having to explain a really really complicated life history with loads of contradictions and bits that have to be explained or it just sounds like I'm lying and... akh. I always try and be as straight with them as possible.

They ask such fucking stupid questions. I think one wanted to know how many sexual partners. I mean how the hell am I meant to remember that off the top of my head? It's only about 15-20 and if that sounds vague it's bc whenever I try and count, I keep remembering stuff I just don't want to think about. Nothing terrible just lousy fucking events really have had enough of people. Akh. Present company excepted. You're OK


Anna Grace said...

Would you give me an example of the active verbs?

Belle said...

I hope the writing class is helping, because your style is terrible. Books about drug use tend to draw in the reader, but yours falls flat. It's a shame, because by reading this I can tell you have a lot of stories to share.

Gledwood said...

i don't agree, I think it's the middle/end of a scene, obviously, how and why you got here is not described here. that is what would draw the reader in and it's not quoted here

nothing you have written has ever fallen flat on me

BMelonsLemonade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BMelonsLemonade said...

From your text, Anna..,
"people have been in and out of my apartment"...People wandered in and out of my apartment...
"The place is a mess"...The place lies in a shambles...
"The TV is turned on..." The TV drones on in the background...

What you want to do, is look at where you use the verb to be (is, was, and also things live have been...I will often say "I had been waiting..." when it is better to say "I waited.) You want to take the passive verbs and make them more active...give the sentence some action, it helps to move the story along more smoothly. Often times, it will be simple as taking had or has or have out and changing the tense of the second verb, like changing had been waiting into waited. Other times, you want to use a different verb all together like with the examples from your writing. My email is BMelonsLemonade@gmail.com, if you wanted to send me a couple of pages, I could show you some more examples.

And believe me, I did not know this until I went back to college and took some writing classes. I wrote for years(I almost wrote I had written for years...but I caught myself) and I never knew any of this. I learned a lot about writing in school, recently. It is a gift, but it needs to be developed, too. I just finished my book yesterday, actually. It is my memoir of Hurricane Katrina and also my addiction to heroin, as they are both very much entertwined. I am now starting the revision process, and I change almost every third verb in my manuscript, as I go along. When I write, it often just pours out, and then I go back and work on all the things I learned in school, like active voice. Some of writing can be taught, and some of it cannot...you have the piece that cannot be taught, so once you figure out how to polish your work...you will be that much better. Stay in school...it will give you some great opportunities to develop your craft.

BMelonsLemonade said...

Another example, where you might switch subject object order to make the verg more active, from your text...
"the stain of their presence is noticeable everywhere..."
I noticed the stain of their presence everywhere.

Anna Grace said...

Thanks BMelonsLemonade,
You've helped more than class has so far. I'm in a Liturate Class which we read and then write a paper on what we just read. Next semester I'll be takeing a class in Writing. At which time I hope to learn much more. You think you learn from reading, but each author has a diffrent style. I have the book, the Element of a sentence. I should read it.

Thanks for your critizim, I knew I had no talent. Its gratifying to see someone write it. I can't spell either.

Thanks for sticking up for me. Your right the passage is in the middle of a scene. I don't know if what comes before it draws the reader in any though.

Danny said...

love your writing style Anna.

i have to say, this post (the extract from your book) i didn't enjoy just as much as your regular blog posts.

but still think your life story and how you tell it is ace. really fresh original and captivating.

you haven't told me yet if you've read trainspotting? if not you should, you'll get loads of inspiration from it.

i'd also recommend bukowski (know you like him) short stories 'the most beautiful woman in town' and any raymond carver stories. raymond carver i can't recommend highly enough - him and bukowski yeh, so called dirty realists.

Belle said...

I'm not trying to bring you down or validate your self-loathing (which incidentally is just another display of narcissism). I think that you probably have some great stories to tell, and non users like me would be drawn into them because we all have a voyeuristic side and love to see destruction from the outside. However, your writing fails to convey the thrill and emotion that must be involved in living a life on the fringes of society.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Needless to say, I love everything you write. Like Gledwood, nothing ever falls flat for me.

Anna Grace said...

No, I have never read the book Trainspotting, but I have seen the movie. I LOVE the film!

Thanks for your comment.

Anna Grace said...

No offense was taken by your comment. You have hit the nail right on the head, I am a very narcissistic person. Neurotic too. I think I need a live in shrink to fix me.
Thanks for your comment.

Anna Grace said...

Your a darling. Love you. You feed right into my narcissism.

Anna Grace said...

I love Burkouski. Haven't read his short stories. I should charge a quarter for everyone who reads my blog. I get a decent amount of hits everyday. Of course if I started charging people to read my drivel I'd lose a lot of readers. Did you know if you bing I hate my penis and want to cut it off my blog shows up. If you google seattle heroin capitol hill my blog. My name, anna grace young. Google ppfaceannagrace both my myspace blog and this blog, google I hate myface and hate this place. I get most my readers from gledwood and melodylee is damned. How do you charge a quarter for people to read your blog?

Gledwood said...

Been flying around like a blue arse fly this evening. Bloody people. Only doing someone a totally unnecessary, stressful, irritating-bordering on aAARKHH favour that they REALLY NEED SO I CANNOT LET ANYONE DOWN rant rant rant rant rant this is how I feel. Well they did a bloody good job of brining me RIGHT UP AGAIN, thanks a lot fuckers, make someone who is not bipolar (never in a million years!! Bipolar?? Me!!??) rush on free drugs. I reckon some fuckers been spiking me. Somehow. Every day. In me room. No idea how. Got a lovely comment saying "Respect" and then "I hope you don't mind me saying this but you belong in the NUTHOUSE"
akh. do you think they will give me some medication?? What?! Only crappy stuff, I bet.
Bloody nurse I saw before thought it was bipolar. Got people against me on all sides. Basically, to put things frankly, I know that however this sorts itself out it will be to the Worst and Against Me. Sorry if that sounds narcissistic, but that's the reality. Do a single move and you can already see you're borderline checkmate!
I'm still pilling off my head on ecstaasy!!! Haven't taken one for 8 years so they must be STRONG PILLS!! That's all I can say. Or I'm being spiked by someone.
I don't remember where this was going, Anna. I'm sorry I just wanted to shout and somebody to understand. Even if only half of it, a bit of it, no details... y'know

Sorry Anna it's half an hour later and my mind is still addled and jumping all over the shop!!

Prof said...

While I agree with BMelons suggestions on ways to revamp your sentences, I have to clarify that passive voice shouldn't be confused with past tenses (such as past perfect, past pluperfect, etc.) of verbs.

Passive verbs are when the subject of the sentence is not completing the action, but is having the verb done TO it. Example: The book was shut by the reader--that's passive.

The reader shut the book--that's active.

I teach college English so grammar's kind of my thing.

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Hey Anna,
I read this excerpt of your book and LOVE IT!!!!!
I've never met anyone who's written a book. And you're such a sincere honest girl and those qualities come through in your writing.
I like the how you write. You have a a unique and & different writing style, that makes many memoirs seem bland by comparison. TRULY
I like your bold,descriptive language & I think this is another means of connecting with the reader. If a writer comes off as starched and stiff with words, I tend to lose interest.I love the way you describe your directly detail your sex life without romancing it.Does that make sense?
Through your vivid words, I've become very fond of you..gottten to know you, and usually blogs don't reveal a whole lot, but you do.
I told you before I don't always understand your feelings and that only makes it more intriguing.
Don't change something so real and unpretentious into just pretty word with no meaning.
I am so looking forward to reading your book and it is very NICE of you to share this excerpt with your readers.
Sorry again for taking up so much comment space, but I do feel passionately about your writing in your book and your writing in this blog.
You have the gift of uniqueness.
Mark Twain used regional English & slang and was very informal. Look how popular he still is today.
I LOVE the way you express yourself.

the guy in the silk taffeta dress said...

Excuse my spelling in the above comment. I'm just so sleepy.

Danny said...

dunno how you charge people a quarter to read your blog.

i wonder...i have seen blogs with paypal donation buttons on them.

that's very interesting and funny the things you google to find your blog.

i might try that with mine.

hope you didnt mind me saying i didn't like your book extract as much as your regular posts? i agree with the guy in the silk taffeta dress: your posts allow the reader to really know you - there's a genuine and uncomplicated connection made there. with this in mind your book's gonna kick ass as long as you maintain this feeling in it.

keep her lit girl!