Friday, September 4, 2009




Angelica Hart and Zi

In a writing partnership, one must maintain a sense of balance. Some might think of the gymnast’s struggles with that four inch wide beam and others may envision the scales of Libra or Justice. Whereas, we’ve discovered when we team to create that balance it is more a dynamic equilibrium, not always equal but balanced.

Everything is shared, but sometimes it is difficult to draw a line evenly down the center. Do we try? Angelica does. Zi’s a whatever-is-is guy. Do we care? Angelica does. Zi learned as a child there are no real even–stevens. Some days you bite the bear and some days the bear bites you. Other days you just stand alone in the corner bare saying, why me… why all the time me. (That’s another blog) Does partnering work? Yes, in a clumsy and difficult way.

Case in point. Arguing with my sibling about pie, my Grammie came into the room, discerned the problem and handed me the knife to cut the pie. I studied and maneuvered the knife to leave one piece with ample raisins and crust, eyeing it for my taking. Once I finished cutting it, my grandmother turned to my sister and said, "You pick first." She taught even-steven was never even.

An idea might start with one of us, and then the other will infuse various thoughts. That is called The Infuse with Various Thoughts process. Angelica named it. Either could work the first draft of a story and, yet, there have been times we managed to work it together. Ok… the verb work could be exchanged with feud or fuss or argue or will it against the other. Ultimately, the creative accomplishments can be the gems that become fun and play between us. Because law requires that we point out the fun and have met the court ordered directive we are prepared to share more truth. There are those mundane tasks, and sometimes we are simply forced to take turns. Angelica believes in forcing. Zi opts for creative diversion.

Below is a short story whose theme is all about the equality of taking turns.


"You know you have to do it." He shared that look he learned from his mother.

"I can't." She wanted to channel the Paris Hilton spoiled debutante persona.

"But we've agreed on taking turns."

Jillian hunched her shoulders, the tension gathering in her chest radiating to her back, wishing she never proposed such a consistent equal balance in all things. It was originally her idea to make certain they each did their share of chores and responsibilities. "I'll take the next two turns." She tried to negotiate.

"We promised to never do that." Brice handed her the bottle of poison. "I took care of Mandy, now you have to take care of Charlie." He canted his head in that way to say a deal’s a deal.

Sunlight announced itself, streaming into the already bright and cheery kitchen, all contrasting against the stark horror of her words. "It’s murder."

"You're exaggerating.”

“No, it is murder.”

“It's self-defense." He eyed her bandaged hand. "He did that to you, you can't escape that fact. Take your apt revenge."

She stared at the floor, not quite resigned. "Please... I just can't."

He touched her hair, floated his mouth over hers in the most gentle of kisses. They had been together for so long, yet there was always this wonder and awe when they touched. "I'd give in this one time, darling, I would, but I don't have the time, I have a flight to catch.”

As if a staged play, a knock sounded at the door.

Brice glanced over his shoulder. "The shuttle's here." He pulled her against him, squeezed, and gave her a bye-got-to-go kiss. "Be brave."

"You'll never look at me again in the same way."

"Do you think less of me for getting rid of Mandy?"

She shook her head, not speaking and understanding.

"We do what has to be done. Besides, in all truth, it is..."

"I know," she interrupted, "My turn."

Another kiss and he was gone, leaving Jillian alone with the gruesome task. She stared at the bottle of poison, found the skull and crossbones overkill, and nearly laughed aloud at her thought. Taking a deep breath, she ignored any sentimental thought attached to the task ahead. She tried not to remember the fun times with Mandy and Charlie, those times before they betrayed Brice and her, the times when it was all fun and all play. She probably should have never talked Brice into allowing this peculiar couple into their home. In the end, it was her own fault, and now she had to do the right thing, that is right in a very loose connotation of the word. After gathering up the items she needed, she added the poison last, squeezing her eyes shut against a sudden prick of tears.

About to call for Charlie, he surprised her by entering the room.

"Would you like something to eat?" she asked feigning a smile.

He stared and she could see the manic look which had taken hold of him of late.

Knowing she had no choice, Jillian placed the trap on the kitchen floor and waited for the second of their once pet rats, who had escaped and turned feral, to take the poisoned bait.

The end

Balance may be that left out shoe that trips us or the ruler of which we judge. We will leave you with a quote. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote on the point of balance, “Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.” Rats?

Angelica Hart and Zi

Killer Dolls ~ September 2009

Snake Dance ~ February 2010

Champagne Books

1 comment:

  1. Too fun. I've been asked by several in the past years of writing to draft something together, but I don't think I could give up control so easily. I admire you and Angelica greatly for doing this.

    Loved the play between characters.