The Boy From The Future

When the teacher asked him to introduce himself before the group, he said: “I am Andrew and I come from the future”. The mockery did not wait, nor the torrent of nicknames that flooded over him. “Hey, galactic kid, where did you park your ship?” They asked. “I don’t need one,” he replied. “And… how are we doing in the future?,” they insisted. “You all are losers,” he replied. Every day afterschool, the mother of Andrew accompanied him to the grocery store but this time, prey to a migraine, she sent him alone with three dollars for a milk carton. The schoolmates, who continually harassed him, took advantage of his solitude to approach him. “Take this, boy of the future!” one shouted and hit him with a stone. The other five repeated until they saw Andrew fall and hit his skull on the sidewalk. The shadows of that joint crime pursued them that afternoon, and another, and many more … it changed their future.

 
Alejandra Meza Fourzán ©

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Poetry: As tart as green apples

As tart as green apples
That is the taste you left on my mouth.
I remember the butterflies that flied out from your pen
And the happy hunt that I used to make of them.
Now, there are only worms with no colors nor wings.
You made me chase my dreams
Those that you hurt with your sharp darts.
There are not enough walls to build between we both,
There are not enough goodbyes to tear us apart,
For your words sound like a rotten symphony
That my ears can not stand any longer.
It took me some time but I finally realized
That you are the sorcerer of the empty poems,
The prince of the purple prose,
The golden king of the reign of tart.

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán ©

Poetry: Be still

Be still, my child, under the winds of life,
Be strong by staying close to your soul.
Do not let the storm of sorrow ravish your heart.
Be still, my brave one,
While holding on to the pieces of memories
That you have about me.
Be still, my boy,
Do not let the despair change you
Because I will stay still as well,
Even if you can not see me.

Whenever this wind stops blowing
I will comfort you with my maternal love.
Be still, my son,
For when this war is over
We will be closer and wiser
And we will rise as birds.
A spring will come
And renew whatever needs to be renewed
Then, the best of us would have grown
That even the trees will envy us.

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán ©

Poetry: Glowing creatures

We are the intruders of life,
Two white swans carving a new trail in the water
As a knife which slides into the flesh.
Those swans are you and me:
Two souls glowing in the dimness,
Hanging on to each other in the darkest times,
For your faith shines over me,
And your bravery pushes me forward to the next boundary.

Sometimes, it feels like we are so lonely,
Lost in an obscure world,
But even so here we stand, embracing the mists,
Bringing our love close to its edge with no maps, nor lanterns,
Like truthful creatures willing to discern how
The beginning is to be rewritten.

 
Alejandra Meza Fourzán ©

#NanoHop Welcome

Hello, my new friends through #NanoHop. I’m so glad to know you. Raimey Gallant has made a wonderful (and exhausting) job in getting us together, hasn’t she?

In the further days, I’ll be knocking doors in your blogs in an effort to be participative in this new community. Meanwhile, let me introduce myself: I’m a Mexican poetess and fiction writer settled in Colorado. I’ve been actively blogging and writing for the past year.

My NaNoWriMo project was my first novel which I intend to edit on the next months: “The broken guidelines”, that tells the lessons with which life instructs siblings Thomas, Victoria and Miguel Santodomingo, right after the funeral of their mother.

portada-las-pautas-rotas

Once on a while, I’ll share (and ask for) some writing tips, poems and short stories with you. You may find me in Twitter, also.

“Yes, it’s hard to write. But it’s harder not to.” -Carl Clinton Van Doren

Have a happy writing!

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán

#NaNoWriMo Mission Accomplished/Reto cumplido

I did it! 50,000 words in less than a month. What a journey! I feel mentally exhausted. I dream about my book, I dream about my characters, and all I think during the day hours is about the plot.
The experience is as wonderful as its results:
1. I wrote the novel that was haunting my soul for 20 years!
2. I stretched my strength until its very edge.
3. I proved myself that I’m capable of facing big writing challenges.
Would I make it again? I don’t know. Too soon to tell, but of one thing I’m sure: NaNoWriMo is worth your effort.

nanowrimo-winner

¡Lo logré! 50.000 palabras en menos de un mes. ¡Vaya jornada! Me siento mentalmente agotada. Sueño con mi libro, sueño con mis personajes y todo lo que pienso durante el día es sobre la trama.
La experiencia ha sido tan maravillosa como sus resultados:
1. ¡Escribí la novela que atormentó mi alma durante 20 años!
2. Llevé mis fuerzas hasta su límite.
3. Me demostré que soy capaz de enfrentar grandes desafíos literarios.
¿Lo haría de nuevo? No sé. Es demasiado pronto para afirmarlo, pero de una cosa estoy segura: NaNoWriMo vale la pena.

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán

#NaNoWriMo Day 20/Día 20

Day 20

I mixed the exact ingredients, the cake came out on time from the oven … it was time to decorate it. What if I spoil my cake? Total panic: I had already written 40,000 words, that is 2/3 of my novel and I only had to write the climax and the ending. Fortunately, a friend of mine, a story writer and expert novelist came to my aid, and I survived. In short, here is what I learned:
1. Ask for help. Do not be afraid to do so.
2. Write a poem or a short story to clear your mind of your novel.
3. I said “clear” not “disengage” yourself from your novel.
4. Indulge yourself with an extra slice of lemon pie.
5. Do not give up. We’ve come too far!
P.S. How did I come up with this crazy idea of writing a novel?

Placeholder Image

Día 20

Mezclé los ingredientes exactos, el pastel salió en su punto del horno… era hora de adornarlo. ¿Y si echo a perder mi pastel?. Pánico total: Ya había escrito 40,000 palabras, es decir 2/3 partes de mi novela, y solo me restaba escribir el clímax y el final. Por fortuna, vino en mi ayuda un amigo mío, cuentista y novelista experto, y sobreviví. En resumen, esto es lo que aprendí:
1. Pide ayuda. No temas hacerlo.
2. Escribe un poema o un relato corto para despejar tu mente de tu novela.
3. Dije “despejarte” no “desentenderte” de tu novela.
4. Consiéntente con una rebanada extra de tarta de limón.
5. No te rindas. ¡Hemos llegado muy lejos!
P.D. ¿Cómo fue que se me ocurrió esta loca idea de escribir una novela?

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán

#NaNoWriMo Day 11/Día 11

I used to run until a meniscal wear sent me to the operating room. What does this have to do with my participation in NaNoWriMo? A lot. If I did sign up for the challenge of writing a novel of 50.000 words in 30 days, and in only 11 I have written a total of 22.338 words is because my creativity it is in good shape. Is it possible to run 5 miles per day? Yes, I did it in my athlete’s days, but I remember that it took me months to get at that mark. The same thing happens to those who decide to enlist in the NaNoWriMo challenge.

In the coming weeks, will come out my first book with 38 short stories. It took me 12 months to write it down and it contains 31.000 words. Other 15.000 will not see the light and other 18.000 are part of a collection of several texts which I also wrote during that year. In summary: I wrote 64.000 words of which 31.000 will be published after hard editing work.

If I continue with my average, I will complete the NaNoWriMo challenge and on November 30th I will have in my hands a 60.900 words draft similar to a patient who will arrive in my emergency room needing plastic surgery. First, I shall restrain bleeding, later, I will fix for it a Greek-style nose, as is recommended by the expert writers who I have been reading during these ten days.

Today ─Day 11─, I am as excited as exhausted: the plot of this novel has spent 20 years hanging around my head and I’m working under a rigorous plan of 27 chapters already outlined. Even so, on Day 8 I suffered a panic attack from which only the embrace of my husband -my patron, my alpha reader, my best friend- saved me.

To conclude:

1. If you have never written but you have thrown yourself into this challenge, do not worry, write as much as you can. The brain is a muscle that can be exercised as much as the legs.
2. If you do not have a plan, stop now and write it down, otherwise creative attrition will annihilate your dream.
3. If in spite of everything, you are the ones who (like me) want to see your novel on the paper, congratulations. See you on the 30th in the emergency room to start editing it.

* * *

Solía correr hasta que un desgaste en los meniscos me mandó de visita al quirófano. ¿Qué tiene que ver esto con mi participación en el NaNoWriMo? Mucho. Si he podido inscribirme en este reto de escribir una novela de 50,000 palabras en 30 días, y en tan solo 11 he escrito un total de 22,338 palabras se lo debo a que mi creatividad está en forma. ¿Es posible correr 5 millas al día? Sí, yo lo hacía en mis épocas de atleta, pero recuerdo que me tomó meses acondicionar mi cuerpo para conseguirlo. Creo que algo similar ocurre con quienes decidimos enlistarnos en el reto NaNoWriMo.

En las próximas semanas, saldrá a la luz mi primer libro con 38 relatos cortos. Me tomó 12 meses escribirlo y contiene 31,000 palabras. Otras 15,000 no verán la luz y otras 18,000 forman parte de una colección de textos varios que escribí asimismo durante ese año. En resumen: Escribí 64,000 palabras de las cuales 31,000 serán publicadas tras de un arduo trabajo de edición.

De continuar con mi promedio, concluiré el reto NaNoWriMo y el 30 de noviembre tendré en mis manos un borrador de 60,900 palabras parecido a un paciente que arribará a mi sala de emergencias requiriéndome cirugía plástica. En primer lugar, habré de contenerle las hemorragias, luego le practicaré la cirugía que le dejará la nariz al estilo griego, según me recomiendan los escritores expertos a quienes he leído durante estos diez días.

Hoy ─Día 11─, me encuentro tan emocionada como exhausta: el argumento de esta novela lleva 20 años rondando mi cabeza y cuento con un riguroso plan de 27 capítulos ya delineado. Aun así, el Día 8 sufrí un ataque de pánico del que solo el abrazo de mi esposo (mi mecenas, mi lector cero, mi mejor amigo) pudo salvarme.

Concluyo:

1. Si nunca has escrito pero te lanzaste a este reto, no te preocupes, escribe cuanto puedas. El cerebro es un músculo que puede ejercitarse tanto como las piernas.
2. Si no tienes un plan, detente ahora y redáctalo, de lo contrario el desgaste creativo aniquilará tu sueño.
3. Si a pesar de todo, eres de los que (como yo) quieren ver su novela escrita, te felicito. Nos vemos el día 30 en la sala de emergencias para comenzar a editarla.

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán

#NaNoWriMo2016 Day 4/ Día 4

Day 4 conclusions:
7,800 words so far! This is an amazing experience. What have I learned so far?
1. It’s important to stay focused.
2. Stick to the plan.
3. Keep the story’s facts as simple as you can.
4. Don’t cheat yourself.
This is a life changing experience, I can feel that already.

maquina-de-escribir-colores

Conclusiones del Día 4:
¡7,800 palabras escritas hasta este momento! Esta es una experiencia increíble. ¿Qué he aprendido?
1. Es importante mantener la concentración.
2. Apégate al plan inicial.
3. Manten los hechos de la historia tan simples como sea posible.
4. No hagas trampa.
Esta es una experiencia que cambia la vida y ya puedo sentir el cambio.

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán

 

Poems and short stories

“Train ride”

To be born is like being on a train ride.
You can hear the music of the train cars rattling from side to side,
carrying an old farewell song as the speed crashes into the wind.
Everything is going as fast as the blood through the veins.
I want to be reborn inside this metal womb,
inside the tunnel heading towards which seems like a deep uterus.

The greatest miracles are brought from the dark:
the diamond inside the wall of a mine,
the falcon inside its egg,
the idea inside the mind of a brilliant man,
or a verse in a poetess’ heart.

Everything is beautiful in the dark,
in a woman’s womb,
in the very fathomless universe.
Everything rests in a calmed silence,
until the joy of living comes into the world
-and with it- a scream, a shout, a word.

Edited by Ida Chou and Francelia Belton @FranceliaBelton

* * *

“Doves”

My words are like doves of silver
that tear the curtain of the paper and take the flight they own.
I sculpt them with my pencil, I paint them with the ink of pain
and I launch them to the world from the dovecote of my soul.

My words are hollow pigeons.
Clothed in a plumage of syllables and silences,
they flow through the breeze between us
and tell you what I do not dare write.

My words are doves into the air
without nest or peace
crossing the path marked by the accents
and the sentences in which my soul leaks along with them.

My words are birds of fire
burning and leaving a stream of ash.

My words are broken doves,
are sore pigeons.
My words are doves,
only doves abandoned to the wind.

* * *

“Biscuit”

Biscuit and I arrived at Elkmont, Alabama, in 2010. He was a five year old golden retriever, and always playful as a puppy. And then there was me, a twenty-two year old man who had no idea what to do with his life. There, in Elkmont, my grandfather waited for me, as did the rest of its inhabitants (all four hundred-and-seventy of them to be accurate) who occupied the one-hundred and seventy-two homes that conformed the whole of the residential area.

Believe me, there was a world of difference between Atlanta, the city where I was born and raised, and Elkmont. The men and women were, and still are to this date, employees of the two unique factories which are responsible for this small town’s economic prosperity, which is to say, no small task. First, the manufacturer of French electrical parts- then there was ours, the goat cheese factory. I inherited the responsibility of managing our family business when my mother, father, and grandmother died in a tragic car accident. Thereafter, my grandfather and I remained as the only members of the McCoy family.

Before that fateful accident, I was an important athlete in my field: the 100 meter dash. My extraordinary aptitude to fly instead of trotting bought me an entrance ticket to college and almost led me to become part of the Olympic team. In January, 2008 the International Olympic Committee made the call for the eliminatory phase at the “Centennial Olympic Stadium.” My parents were so proud they invited my grandmother to the event. They were so excited they drove to Elkmont to pick my grandmother, but when they were heading back to Atlanta… tragedy struck.

A feeling of guilt took hold of my soul for many years. Would they be alive today if I had never participated in that match? I questioned myself repeatedly while getting drunk and stumbling from one bar to another. Two years passed by in a drunken stupor, I barely managed to complete my degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering.

One fine day, my neighbor, who frequently dragged me from the hallway into my apartment after I returned drunk with grief, appeared on my doorstep with Biscuit in his arms.

“I’m leaving Atlanta, my friend. I’m joining the Army, so I’m leaving my dog with you. He’s called ‘Biscuit.’ You know, my friend? I think you should go to Alabama and see how things are going with that old man of yours,” he suggested.

My grandfather! I had almost forgotten about him. Without a clear picture of what I wanted to do with my life and a puppy sitting on my car’s back seat, I packed my few belongings and drove to Elkmont.

Grandpa thanked Heaven for my timely arrival: his widowhood had weighed on his shoulders like a heavy bag. His pace was slower and slower, and his ability to handle the cheese factory had decreased due to affliction and age. Immediately, I assumed the management of the factory and in a few months, not only had I understood, but improved the business’s operation as well.

Every day, Biscuit ran behind my car from the neighborhood to the factory, then returned home to look after my grandfather. His legs became stronger and his golden fur turned soft to the touch as he matured. Thanks to his agility and beauty, my dog became a regular local of Elkmont. He was liked by everyone, except Rose, our neighbor.

“That dog keeps getting in my geraniums,” she continuously complains.

I installed new wooden posts to bolster the fence which divided our properties, but Biscuit managed to escape and got into her garden anyway. Then I placed a welded wire mesh across the length of the fence, but that dog made it out again.

In 2012, the County celebrated the first annual “Elkmont Half Marathon,” a local event that, in as little as a couple of years, succeeded in capturing the attention of thousands of runners. The whole population usually participates in it and joins the ranks of the organizers and the coordinators. For the McCoy’s, the race meant an increase in the sales of our goat cheese. I, personally, used to feel envious. I love athleticism, but since the accident happened, I never practiced in the race. I didn’t even care about being in shape.

January 28, 2016, day of the competition. I had left home earlier, leaving my grandfather asleep on his huge sofa with Biscuit at his feet, but, as usual, my dog sneaked out and went into Rose’s garden again. Around noon, the old lady knocked on my front door.

“Mr. McCoy, your grandson’s dog escaped over an hour ago. I saw him running after the marathonists when they passed by the sidewalk, and now I’m watching on TV that it’s still following the runners,” said Rose.

Unable to believe what he heard, my grandfather switched on the TV set and called me. He told me what was happening and I turned on the TV in the store’s kitchen. To my surprise, there it was- Biscuit, my dog, running beside the first competitors.

I rushed to the place where the finish line was, hundreds of people were waiting for their relatives and friends with eagerness and joy. As soon as Biscuit showed up, he threw himself into my arms and licked my face, the marathoners and spectators stared at us. The paramedics immediately rehydrated him and examined his pulse. They also bandaged his raw paws, and suggested that I take extra care of him for the next seven days.

I arrived home with Biscuit in arms. Grandpa, astonished at his feat, received him with a caresses of his soft coat. Even Rose helped us with Biscuit, maybe because she was just as amazed as the rest of us. During the next few days, I thought about my treatment towards my dog. I recalled the many times I had refused to play with him, perhaps because I did not have time for it, or perhaps because of my deep-rooted bitterness, and I wondered what it was that drove him to run after those competitors.

All sorts of comments about my dog passed by word of mouth between the inhabitants of Elkmont, whom at first thought that the animal was accompanying one of the runners. A few say that he stopped to sniff a dead rabbit; others, to scamper some cows; the fact is that my dog was consistent and finished the race in one hour and thirty-five minutes, reaching the finish line in eighth place.

Two weeks after the event, the organizers of the race knocked on our door. They explained to us that the unexpected initiative of Biscuit had brought international attention to the race, to the point that they had begun to receive donations for the production of next marathon. Before departing, they gave Biscuit a shiny gold medal.

Does it require physical training to race a half marathon? Apparently not, as my dog Biscuit proved. However, I am not as outstanding as him, and I will have to prepare myself. I’ll go back to my old habits, because I want to be an athlete again. Next January, I will proudly run in the Elkmont Half Marathon with Biscuit by my side.

Translator-editor: Chris Gargiulo

* * *

“Who Are You?”

Now that the mask has fallen down,
now with your feet back on the ground,
did you leave all your past behind
or is it blowing out your mind?

Now that our dreams look all too old,
where did it go, your rush for gold?
Tell me, isn’t it funny to realise
that you were wrong about your size?…

And, who are you?
Who really are you?
What are you, really?

Who?

 

Alejandra Meza Fourzán ©