Cool girl

Cool girl by Viola Day   Such a cool girl, I thought. How one can be adored, invariably noticed by her peers and still have the spatial awareness to notice someone like me leave the room. She wished me well and hoped for my return.   As I tried not to let the door hit me on the way out, a strange thought surfaced, as though a glimpse of five years from now sat me down: she was the type of friend to lecture you on being more confident as she applied lipstick on your lips before telling you to dab them against a Kleenex. Then matter-of-factly,…

When writing subplots and what they’ve taught me.

Subplots are windows of opportunity that help with a story’s progression. When written and handled thoughtfully, they can cater to a story naturally without sounding superfluous. I imagine that a lot of subplots are written merely by accident (you know, when we want to kill someone off or weave in a love triangle). As an art of complex storytelling, subplots have taught me several lessons, besides adding depth to the central story arc and a deeper meaning to a story. They provide freedom for authors to flesh out characters, themes and conflicts. Subplots offer writers a chance to add twists…

Another rant, another page not written

​It’s ​Day 106 of not having written. The other day, after reading, I tried and just grew frustrated. I place​d​ my fingertips on the keys and made a funny expression into the screen where my reflection tried mocking me. I thought, How am I supposed to feel reading something like that and trying to write something like this?! Maybe my source of inspiration has let me down or has reached its expired date. Maybe this one no longer speaks to me. Maybe it’s too close to home​, or I have to live it out further.​ I oscillate between aspiring to…

​The Trouble With Marketing Yourself as a Writer

The trouble with marketing ourselves, as writers, is that it’s awkward. Like trying to use a computer mouse with our left hand. We try to stay true to our convictions: to lead a more intentional life, to make conscious decisions and above all, to live slowly. But it seems as though, at this rate, many of us have sold the best parts of ourselves to consumerism, to trends, the good looking, popularity and prestige. Where do I fall into this mess? Am I floundering? Yes. We want to reach the right readers and to connect with them, but we can’t…

Checking in

I haven’t written anything in weeks.   W  E  E  K  S. Although I’ve been feeling and thinking all the time about everything, nothing gets down on paper and only goes as far as a drafted text message that goes unsent. I’m tired (to put it at best). Sometimes, I’ll stare off in the distance as my son cries and I’ll almost hear the silence. I’ve decided to surrender to the process part of the process. This, right here. This, the feeling, right now. There’s no sense in locking horns. I welcome it peacefully. I’m reassessing. Shifting some things around. Reflecting…

Garden Square on Tenth

Garden Square on Tenth by Viola Day Mr. Cromwell always drew the curtains of his window, where his unit sat right above the Romero’s whose daughter I used to date back in ’93. Some say he was allergic to the sun while others assumed the daylight aggravated his depression. Every time I pedaled my way across his once-dilapidated apartment building in my fixed-speed bicycle, I’d see his shades drawn. I was sure his curtains were stained by the sunlight from being drawn so often. At night, when I’d make my way home, after picking up Mom’s medication from the Pine…

Finn’s Girl, Ruby – The Theme of Self-Love

Finn’s Girl, Ruby explores the theme of self-love. Kaplan, whose favorite movie is True Romance and who has ditched a career as a lawyer to pursue photography, keeps Madison at bay. A tortured artist to describe him in the least, he effortlessly remains an enigma—displaying only that tip of the iceberg—because, like many of us, he feels as though he has barely made it this far in life merely by tailoring himself to others. By shaping ourselves around others, we feel desirable and interesting because, hell, if others were to discover the kind of person we believe or think we are,…

When Sleeping Dogs Lie

When Sleeping Dogs Lie by Viola Day Trailing a few footsteps behind him, I couldn’t help but gaze wistfully at the way he picked up his feet when he walked, the way the sun struck his back and the way he stared down every time he found himself rambling. There was this fog between us, so thick and dense that it almost felt palpable. He was distant and I hated knowing him this way. “What?” he asked after turning around and dexterously walking backward as though he were some Senior sweet talking a Freshman by walking her to class just…

Man on the Red Line

Man on the Red Line by Viola Day I stood there, waiting for the Blue Line, waiting closely enough to the yellow warning strip on the pavement that warns you to stand back unless you preferred a severed foot. (Who’d want that?) Before the Blue Line, came the Red Line. On the Red Line, I saw this man. At the time when both my hands were buried into my pockets, my fingers rolling pocket lint into tiny balls as I bounced my right leg out of impatience, I grew most fascinated by him. He sat, slouched and engrossed in his…

5 Tropes I Enjoy Using in Romantic Fiction

The enemies to lovers, the comic relief and the unsuspecting hero—we are no stranger to these plot elements, character classifications and exhausted themes peppered throughout works of fiction. They’re taken and rehashed only to be told from an author’s imagination, thinking it can play off last season’s argyle sweater with a cashmere scarf. Books are filled with tropes and we devour it anyway. But was it refreshing? Did your stomach churn like butter? Did you weep like an underpaid Applebee’s waitress saddled with student loan debt? How about your nails? Did you chew them off after that hair-raising scare? I…