Monthly Archives: May 2013

Chill Out (Fish)

John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana. I know this has nothing to do with literature, but I freaking LOVE this song. Oh, for any Tupac fans out there, yes, this is the song he sampled for his diss track, Lil Homies.


Some big changes (Fish)

Image Hey everyone. Fish (or Obi, or Harold–whatever) here with a new entry basically detailing the sweeping changes arriving in the coming weeks. For one, the layout is going to be changed to include more categories for our posts (and to be more aesthetically pleasing). You’ll be seeing more of our original fiction (poems, stories, etc) as well as reviews of books we like and hope you’ll like as well. Another big change is you’ll now know who wrote what when it’s posted. Such as this post here. Finally, as we continue to grow, we’ll be launching a Facebook page, a twitter account and we’ll be adding guest bloggers and more people to write for Ronin. We’ve got big plans for this blog and we’re glad you’re all going to be apart of it. Thank you for hanging in there with us.

My Worst Date Ever – A Tragicomedy

Hey everyone. Tonight I bring you the horrific tragicomedy from my good friend over at Cup of Whimsy. Here, Natasha speaks on a bad date that just seemed to get progressively worse and worse and well, worse. While it was a nightmare for her, it’s comedic gold for us. Seriously, this makes an awesome story. So without further ado, here’s My Worst Date EVER – A Tragicomedy. On a side note, Sri Lanka is next to Africa (I know it’s not, but just read the story, you’ll get what I mean).

Cup of Whimsy

A few years ago, I had a bad date. And not just any bad date; a ridiculously bad date. So, of course, I documented it. I suppose this is the lemonade I made from the giant lemon life handed me. Apologies for the dated material, but I think that while I hated it, you will enjoy my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad date.


January 2011

I was working out at the gym, and was having trouble adjusting the settings on a machine due to my lack of strength and/or coordination. A kindly meathead noted my struggle and gave me a hand. Later, as I was leaving the gym, he followed me out. Apparently he had been calling out to me for quite some time without me realizing, since I had my headphones in with Michael Jackson “hee-heeing” at full blast. When it finally registered that I was being pursued…

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Writer’s Block Sucks (Obi)

I’d kill for an idea right about now. No. Really. I’d KILL for an idea. Who are you looking at?

We’ve all been through it at least once, twice, eleven million times in our writing careers. When it rears its ugly head and waves those grotesque tentacles at you in salutation, you know you’re doomed. Writer’s block is the bane of any writer’s existence and it sucks.

Or does it?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know writer’s block, at least for me, means I’m thinking too hard. I have a nasty habit of getting too wrapped up in my own head and not in the story. As a result, I often can’t think of anything because that annoying inner critic starts chiming in and the bells (my inner critic is a talking llama) are so incessant and loud, it drowns out any potential creativity.

How do I resolve such a predicament?

Well first, I bitch-slap that punk ass llama and then I stop thinking so much–more like at all. I literally turn off and tune out. Miraculously, the words come to me. It’s like leaving oneself open as a conduit for the creative juices to flow onto the page. Whether you’re a visual artist such as a painter or sculptor, a writer, a filmmaker, etc. you’ve been stuck in a rut, and more often than not, letting go and not trying so hard was your saving grace.

A member of my writer’s group also gave me some sage advice, “don’t try so hard.” It is important to put forth great effort, but other times, it’s important to know when to show some restraint. When writer’s block hits, I just turn off the ole brain and let the words flow.

Most of the time, I think of how in over my own head I am with what I’m writing, or that I don’t have a good handle on the plot, characters, setting. Perhaps what I’m writing is too ambitious? Maybe it’s better to write what I know and not try for such lofty goals that obviously are too grand in scale for my wee brain to comprehend. I know I’m not the only writer to think such things, destructive as they are, but they cross my mind more often than I’d care to admit. My scene and structure instructor, Caroline Leavitt once said that if, as a writer, you DON’T feel as though you’re in over your own head, out of your element, or even the slightest bit uncomfortable, you aren’t doing it right. This offers a great deal of solace.

OK, if you’re going to write a novel in 30 days, know now that it will suck until you’ve HEAVILY revised it. Just saying.

A great book that got me out of many a jam is No Plot No Problem, written by Chris Baty, creator of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month–though the word “National” is a bit of a misnomer since EVERYONE around the WORLD has participated at some point). It helped me plow through my first novel, currently in revision.

The point is to NEVER give up. Don’t let writer’s block stump you from achieving literary greatness. I’ve learned to get a hold of it and that bastard ass talking llama.

Later Ronin.

And here we are

I’ve never been good at introducing a poem. So all I’ll say is that ever since I was a kid it’s been my way of releasing the demons and the sadness within.  It heals my pain to try to create something beautiful through the fires of trauma.

Abrahim Appel


And here we are
With all the pain and all the shattered dreams.
And here we are
With an empty night full of shame.

And here we are
As Memories crumple in the flames
And ashes of who we use to be float through the air.

We are lost and groping life
For one heart to love us back to health.

And here we are
Talking to stars
As scars and shadows dance across the sky.


Copyright © 2013 Abrahim Appel