Song Write 1

Guideline: Listen to music and limit self to only writing in a way that relates to the song. So, to get full effect you have to know the songs. It is also timed. Must finish current sentence/topic when song ends.

Wake me up – Avicii
In terms of anxiety

In a pit within your ideas that clouds every movement and judgment
You can almost see the light, but here in this darkness you cannot escape your awful reality
The reality of your fear: the loss, the disappointed glares, every word they could say will never hurt as much as the ones you’ve already engraved upon your soul
You’ll never know that you are lost until the storm subsides
Those faces begin to clear and you can finally see
How it was only just the beginning

Hey Brother – Avicii
In terms of depression

I stopped believing a long time ago, though there are some things that I believe in other than myself
I’ve never had a home, but my bed will endlessly encompass me
The escape of escapes; if only the sky would fall and smother me here too
But it never does
And I could easily give it all for you
But I would never give anything for myself
When everyone outweighs you, self-sacrifice becomes the obvious choice

Levels – Avicii
In terms of desire

We danced in the fountains and throughout every depressive episode my past never went before my eyes, but there, in that stream, my future passed in front of me when you blocked the sun for an instant. I was hoping for so much more and now that I am here, with more than I ever bargained for, I can’t help but start to fear that everything I wanted might just be to near for me to be able to keep you

Thornside – Matt Brouwer
In terms of escape

I kept telling myself that I needed to learn something from all this. I would learn to heal her. I would fix this. I would be the magic glue that they needed, because I can do what He can’t. But this isn’t that story. There isn’t a break in the clouds as long as I’m here on this page, but I’ll tell you when I see that new day in a different chapter. This thorn will never set me free as long as I continue to let it dig under my bones, sucking my marrow dry.

Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo
In terms of betrayal

The roof will never cave in unless we find ourselves in an earthquake, but I swear I prayed for it to when I saw you leave for her. The tragedy I was looking for is always right in front of me, thankfully, it is predominantly the fault of those around me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a say in these things.
You only meant well, and I knew this from the start, but I always wished there was more than good intent. Later on you would see that I deserved so much more than intentions, but I’m still standing on a ledge with an unchecked parachute. It’s brand new and hasn’t been tested even once. I’m feeling rather dumb for trusting it.

Runaway – Ed Sheeran
In terms of home

Home has never been a place I could find, but as I walked out that door there was no surprise. I was no adult nor could I sign any leases, but I needed to run. I never needed to say a thing. He’d know how every word would have fallen and how it would only leave him with more disdain for her sour words and sore heart. Every intention left aches and pains, but they all knew I wouldn’t be back for long. A temporary stay before packing and taking to the road: another trip around the world in a literal sense this time instead of all that metaphorical bullshit.
I love him from the skin to my bones. But I’m looking for something away from him this time.

Drunk – Ed Sheeran

I can believe that the truth will never make you stronger. It is predominantly pain not worth mentioning. I miss your warmth in the cold summer nights when I forget to keep my warmer blankets by my side.
When I drank the entire night away I almost hoped you would appear in my waking dreams, but instead I scratched my wrists until I saw red and wished I could empirically measure the love you held for her against what I feel reaching across the land from the west coast.
Cans collected along the floor of my bedroom, with the music playing in my head causing my body’s submission to a rhythm instead of a knife… and left alone my legs were made to feel like lead for the rest of the week… I’ll never let go of the rhythm if it means seeing you before God’s return.

Dashboard – Modest Mouse

Nowhere is the place that I am always searching for, but it really couldn’t be any worse than this. The radio is only a little distracting when placed within a burning car. I would ignore the burns and the splintering windshield, drumming and swaying and moving to each and every note that I felt within my very soul. I could never let go of the drums, but when anyone appeared I found that I forgot every piece and when they stared I began to break, break, break… Couldn’t keep the drums or the beat or the scene and as each and every piece of me disappeared into the background I recalled how I had placed all my hopes in this one last thing… one last thing that maybe I could do I could feel I could accomplish with everything in my soul because everything in my soul could only ever be shown with how these songs made me feel….. .. how I saw them play out in my mind.

Little Bird – Ed Sheeran

With a broken leg you can still fly as a bird. Well, aren’t you a fool?
Would you stay? And I can’t. I thought it would be simple. I’d always feel that way, but I now know that something in me is broken… I’ve always known this. Broken against my heart… the morning dew will never feel my feet willingly, as the sunrise holds my attention as much as a dream.
It’s late love. Go back to sleep.
Regret. Diving in too soon.
I’ll owe it all to you.
I was so certain within your presence… but maybe I’m just in love when you wake me up… because with each passing week I’m falling into something of a normal pattern of obsession with this or that while the memories of you fall to the wayside…

Wake me up – Ed Sheeran

Maybe I’m just in love when you wake me up. If we got tattoos instead of wedding rings, would I feel as though this is more permanent? Would the commitment suddenly become realistic? I’ll never know… I’ll never know what you see in this basket case that is me, but with every word I write I hope that I’ll see some new books someday… I never really asked for a fairytale ending, but there you were, a knight carrying me to the hospital, staying up with me all night, blowing off finals and scholarships and the world’s definition of success…. Why couldn’t it be that I just breathe to feel you against me… but you still have a train to catch and a week states away……

Maybe I fell in love when you woke me up.

Failure’s Motivation

Maybe it was just after midnight or maybe it was nearly sunrise. I wasn’t sure. I was only sure that the air was thin against my bones. It wasn’t a normal summer night with mosquitoes buzzing and a distant coyote’s howl. No, it was quiet. There was no one around to hear me fall.
And fall I would.
There wasn’t any slippery ground or moss-covered foliage to prolong my way… no… there was only my own uneasiness and poor self-esteem. But that battle was much larger than many would think. Against my vivid imagination Hope raged. The quickly approaching ground consumed. Each fall landed with my spine upon a sharp rock, a barbed stick within my abdomen, or the earth shifting and crumbling until my body would find a resting place at this dark valley’s end.
It isn’t like I ever asked to think like this. Just with every single turn I see another branch cracking, the mother bear stirring, and every plausible path disappearing. Have you ever spent a night with only your nightmares? Could you spend an entire day this way and still climb those trees? See those heights? Brave those dams? I wonder if you could.
But I don’t really care.
I care a little more about this: Could you brave those dams if your mind was begging you to jump? Or climb those trees if your soul only wished for you to fall to your death–even before you glimpsed the sky? Or could you see those heights when building tops and cliff ledges only meant convenient places to die?
I wish this weren’t so… but I’m beginning to recognize that, though I may not always desire this, I will always see it. With every cliff, tree, and building top there is a fall and for every pleasant dream there is a lurking evil.

Do you ever feel like your whispers of sweet-anythings only fall on deaf ears? Or as though her feet wanted to remain steadfastly placed upon the ground? And swaying to and fro goes anywhere but forward, so how could those steps bring her home? But the music called as though my heart would continue on. Every note reminds me of each drive that I gave away the wheel on. I drifted away, knowing I would wake up. Knowing I would be beside you, enshrined with a smile that would always tell me of what I would miss.

What I would miss…

The Ups

That moment when you get out of a valley of depression and you see the light of day again and you are just like “I’M BACK!!!!”

And you feel like Tobey Maguire.

Yeah! Spidey’s back! I just did laundry for the first time in like a month or two. And dusted the cobwebs off my bedroom walls.

In analyzing this more, I realize that freewriting is really what got me out of that funk. I just had so much jumbled in my head that I could not properly put down a single sentence. So I put down some letters. Then words (mostly “turd” and any other curse or complaint scampering around my head). Then I found some interesting words that I don’t use very often, like unabashedly, and started using those unabashedly. Then I was off and walking. I’m no runner with my words… maybe someday. Let me tell you though. There was this one moment that I can pinpoint where I saw the other side and got myself to stop getting down on myself for not saying the right thing, not doing enough, and turning in late assignments. It was when I wrote this:

It is nothing to be ashamed of. It would be something to be ashamed of if I would not get back up and try again. If I would let it defeat me. If I would not seek help. If I would not recognize it as a legitimate problem and consume my prescribed dose of medicine everyday.
I recall going to the hospital. The day I woke up with my planned death. The despair of my changing life: the loss I felt made me inadequate. Psalms on repeat. The complete inability to understand… to communicate… to study… to do.
But I did. I did get back up. I did go to the hospital. I did get help. I am not a failure. I have yet to fail. I am only turning in a few assignments late. Just a few. I will still succeed. I will still shine. And, most importantly, I will still write.
Ugh. I hate depression. And I hate winter.

And that was it. A piece of a journal I would normally forget existed within hours I am posting here, because… I’m not sure why. I suppose it is because it is meaningful to me and I want to share it. Most days I spend beating myself up for one thing or another. I won’t accept compliments. I cannot recognize my accomplishments. I will not even dare to hope on a dream. But… I have to remind myself of that simple fact: I have yet to fail. We all have yet to fail until we stop getting back up.

Conversations With The Naive

Madeline — Click to see more by Little Blue Bird Photography

In my creative writing class, we had this assignment due a week and one day ago:

Create an opening scene for a movie (no more than 12 pages). What is the conflict for your intended movie? What is at risk? What has happened in moments prior to the action that begins your story? There should be at least two primary characters but no more than three. In the scene, what do each of these characters desire?


Create a short script (no more than 12 pages) that surrounds a single event, in which at least two primary characters (but no more than three) should have significant interaction. Consider the relationship between the two characters. Incorporate the techniques learned about dialogue and character, particularly subtext.

This was my first attempt at a script and I really enjoyed it. I took various pieces of reality from my life, dramatized them, and added some extra imagined flare to create a short script that I guess surrounds a single event. It doesn’t work as an opening scene as it closes nicely, so I suppose I followed the second prompt. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

You can download the script in the nice “official” layout here: Conversations With The Naive

Or read it in the incorrect format below:


Written By:

Katherine M. Zellmer



Sound of a child crying echoes through the hall. KONSTANTINE, a girl, in twenties, with long, blonde hair sits up on the couch and looks towards the sound.

Konstantine walks to the sound and opens the door.


MADELINE, a few months before her third birthday, is sitting in her bed, pink toys strewn about, crying.

KONSTANTINE (with concern): You okay, Madeline?

MADELINE (looking up from her hands): KAY, me wants to play wit da baby mouse.

KONSTANTINE: He’s asleep right now. Did you have a scary dream?

MADELINE: (climbing off of bed) Oh. (confused) No, me has no dreams.

KONSTANTINE (kneeling to Madeline’s level): Wanna go in the living room and wait for MIMI to get up?

Madeline nods.


Konstantine relaxes back on the couch where she was. Madeline stands beside the couch.

MADELINE: Why is da baby mouse sleeping?

KONSTANTINE: He’s nocturnal. (observes Madeline’s confused look) … Umm… He sleeps during the day and is up at night.

MADELINE (after consideration): Baby mouse likes da moon, me likes da sun.

KONSTANTINE (smiling ecstatically): That’s right, Madeline! You are so smart.

Madeline smiles. The two play for a little bit, Konstantine tickling Madeline and playfully throwing her onto the couch.

MADELINE: Kay, are you staying wit me all today?

KONSTANTINE (tiredly): Yes, I am staying here again. (considering) Do you want to watch TV?

MADELINE: Yes! Akyudees!

KONSTANTINE (confused): What? I couldn’t understand you.

MADELINE: Da black monster and red monster and blue monster.

KONSTANTINE (as she turns on the TV): Monsters? What monsters?

MADELINE: Black and red and blue.

KONSTANTINE: Where are the monsters? Are they in your room?

MADELINE (flustered): No monsters in mine room. DADDY keeps monsters away wit gun.

KONSTANTINE (covering her face as she laughs): That’s right. DADDY protects you, MIMI, and Baby JUDE. (pause) Madeline, what do the monsters do?

MADELINE: Blue one makes everything blue. Black one big.

KONSTANTINE: Can he turn you blue? Can he turn the house blue?

MADELINE: No. Red monster turns blue. Mines green house stays green.

KONSTANTINE (sifting through children’s shows and movies on Netflix): I’m really not sure what you are talking about.

MADELINE (turns away from Konstantine to view TV): Dere!! AKYUDEES!

Konstantine follows Madeline’s excited eyes and finds that “Hercules” has just appeared on the screen.


Konstantine starts the movie.

Konstantine looks up to see her sister, KIERSTEN, enter the room. Kiersten’s hair is disheveled and she dons a warm-looking argyle bathrobe.

MADELINE: MIMI! Me is watching Akyudees!

KIERSTEN (falling into the recliner and smiling, exhausted): I see that.

KONSTANTINE: How many times did Jude wake up last night?

KIERSTEN: I have no idea.

KONSTANTINE: I guess mother nature was kicking in cause I think I woke up whenever he cried.

KIERSTEN: Sorry, dude.

KONSTANTINE: No worries.

KIERSTEN (concerned): How are you doing today?

Konstantine lifts her left arm to display scabbed, but still tender, cuts along her wrists.

KONSTANTINE (apathetic): I guess it was a bad night…

Konstantine replaces her wrist onto the couch.

KONSTANTINE (smiles slightly): Not feeling suicidal though!

KIERSTEN (concerned, to slightly irritated, back to concerned): You should’ve come and woken me up… I’m here to talk to! … Love you, sis. Chill here however long you need to.

A baby’s cry can be heard down the hall.

KIERSTEN: … though I don’t know how relaxing this is.

Kiersten walks down the hall and disappears into another room. Konstantine notices as Pain and Panic appear on the TV.

MADELINE: Look, Kay! Da blue monster and da red monster.


Kiersten returns with baby Jude in one hand and a spoon and baby food in the other. She places him in Madeline’s old pink baby exerciser.

KONSTANTINE: Madeline said some of the cutest things before you came in here! She is so smart!

Konstantine recounts the recent events to Kiersten.

KIERSTEN: We only watched Hercules for the first time yesterday. I am impressed that she remembered that about the titans! Cause the ice one turns everything to ice, but it is blue.

KONSTANTINE: Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. I haven’t seen this movie in forever. (considering) Reminds me of being a kid… before responsibilities and before shit mattered.

At the swear word, Kiersten looks to Madeline’s back that is absorbed into another world and back at Konstantine with slight irritation.

KONSTANTINE: Anyway… I’m really thankful for you letting me stay here.

KIERSTEN: No problem, dude.

KONSTANTINE: Like, seriously, Madeline has helped me a ton. Just seeing how bright she is and how when things are explained to her just right, she just lights up… (gesturing aimlessly) This all… gives me hope.

Konstantine closes her eyes for a moment.


A drained Konstantine frantically cleans the kitchen counters. The timer on the oven sounds and she rushes to grab the food.

KONSTANTINE (hitting the top of her hand on inside of the oven): Shit!

She repositions her ovenmit and pulls out delicious looking lasagna, enough for at least four people. After placing the lasagna atop the stove, she continues cleaning.

KONSTANTINE: Dammit, if I would have just woken up from my nap when my alarm went off I wouldn’t have been so rushed and stressed! Doesn’t help anything!

She finishes cleaning and sits on a bar stool in the corner of the kitchen. The deadbolt of the apartment door turns.

KONSTANTINE (strained smile): Hey, honey! Welcome home! How was work?

DILAN: (carelessly throws keys on counter as he enters kitchen): Sucked. It was a long, exhausting day. Whadya make? What’s all this lasagna?

KONSTANTINE: Oh, it’s for us and JOHN and MARK.

DILAN (turning towards Konstantine): They are coming over next Friday, not today. God, you’re fucking stupid. I’ve told you every damn day this week, and you still mess it up and now we are going to waste all this fucking food and it’s all your damn fault. Stupid bitch.

KONSTANTINE (standing and backing away): I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I must have just forgotten.

Dilan approaches Konstantine as the scene fades.


MADELINE: Kay, kay, did you have a dream?

Konstantine stirs and opens her eyes to see Madeline in front of her, Hercules still playing in the back.

KONSTANTINE: Yeah, somethin’ like that.

MADELINE: Was it a scary dream?

Konstantine looks into Madeline’s beautiful blue eyes and considers her messy light brown hair that curls cutely at the ends.

Konstantine sees Jude excitedly pound his hands on the edge of the exerciser as he impatiently waits for Kiersten to feed him another spoonful.

KONSTANTINE (genuinely smiling at Madeline): No, it wasn’t anything that can scare me anymore.

                   FADE OUT.


My Past Few Weeks

Oh Em Gee homework!
Why the turd now, depression!
Slightly dehydrated=constipation!
I completely missed you, homework!
Cyber Monday=fun with credit cards!
Have to find you, sanity!
Christmas bonus=loans’ interest.
Depression subsiding!
Recollection of missed assignments
Despair emerging
Desperate typing consumes weekends
Weekdays spent walking in cold
Scrubbing toilets and tubs
Missing Sugar Gliders,
Nieces and nephews
Caught up!
But still have looming tests
Late Christmas gifts
An unspoken “thank you”
And inferred “I love you”
On the tip of my tongue
Old friends diminish
Into the ice that is layered
Upon roads around the house
That I moved into yesterday

Above the Waves

A storm rose again, wishing to consume me. I looked to quell it with alcohol and water, with knives and blood, with books and prayer. All of them were hurtful and helpful; there is never only one answer.

It was two weeks ago yesterday when I felt the waves rise and my heart sink. The current looked to control me and the white froth of the ocean’s top suffocated my throat as the undertow gripped and stretched from my toes to my feet to my calves. This has happened before; in the midst of Japanese classes and circuitry studies, I found myself broken down. These two weeks were inescapable. I slept the majority of them. Begged God to get me through each day. I would wake and stare across the dark of my room; it’s three am. There is a weight on me. I cannot move. I thank God for it as it insures that my life remains intact this day.

Today, I awoke with a growing peace. I could almost smile. It is a blessing to feel this way: I praise God for it. I cannot doubt that His hand was at work here. His hand through the prayers of others and smiles of family and invitations from friends. The little things that show that people care.

No matter what this ocean of depression tries to tell me, I am loved. And I will rise above these waves, even into the skies, finding my wings with friends and family, and I will fly beyond the limit. I will not even aim for the moon. I will shoot for and hit Saturn, aiming farther then most, flying higher than all, and breaking through to a world unknown.

I will live. And I will live to the fullest.

Why We Breathe

Our brain stems tell us to
With a tick tock rhythm
Only interrupted by shock
Or maybe the salt of tears
Dried on his cheeks
As he disappears six feet under
The green earth with shovels
Of dirt being poured over
His final resting place

His cerebellum stopped
Tick, step, miss, there was no tock
The cold winter air pierced
My lungs with icicles
As the air in my cupped hands
Turned to a fog that seeped
Through the cracks of my fingers
And stretched thin in the atmosphere
Surrounding the graveyard

White roses and daisies
At the foot of his marker
Made of stone and stained
With the shadow of a pine
Distracted my heavy eyes
Laden with smeared mascara
The white petals stole
The attention of my hope
But as I stood, with the heel
Of my boot within the fresh
Dirt of his grave, I read
Upon his stone the words we knew,
“Only one in six billion, he breathed
Every breath for the few he loved
And for the few who loved him.”

One Missing Rung: A Narrative

I take a deep breath, tasting the sleeping morning glories climbing my porch and the city pollution. Turning the deadbolt to the backdoor, I enter my apartment in silence. As I walk across the living room, I hear my boyfriend’s voice and guitar seeping inside from the front porch. Opening the front door, I sit on the bean bag to the right of where he is relaxing. He turns to me and smiles; I warily half smile in return, and he looks at my seemingly depressed response with concern.
“How was work?”
“Boring. Didn’t sell anything.” Pause. The trepidation I feel is inevitably within his mind as well. I take another deep breath, looking up to the sky while considering where my next words will take me. I will not regret what I say nor do I regret every step that has led me to this point, for that would be to regret the person I am today.
“I need to talk to you,” I say monotonously as I look through his glasses.
“About what?” Max replies, with a concerned look as he tilts his head slightly to his left.
“I’m breaking up with you.” His concerned look turns to surprise then settles on mostly understanding.
“I know that we planned on waiting to see how it would pan out once I moved to Michigan, but after last night—this obviously is not going to work out.” We had spent the previous night drinking screwdrivers, Malibu Coconut Rum and Mike’s Hard Lemonade with our best friend, roommate, and Max’s ex-girlfriend: Dawn. Max and I started our relationship while she was studying abroad. Upon her return, it was evident that he still held onto his infatuation for her, and, upon being intoxicated, his obsession was even more evident as he followed her around like a little lost puppy while I strained to stay calm and maintain my relationship with both my best friend and boyfriend. Though I wish that this love would work, the stress it places on my heart and other relationships is not healthy nor is it conducive to personal growth. With another rung down as I climb this ladder called life, I can only continue upward and onward.
“I have something I need to talk to you about too.” Max pauses; I can tell that he is searching for the words to say. “I woke up this morning and felt like I had dreamed about kissing Dawn… Then she asked me if I remembered us making out… So, since we both vaguely recall the same event, I reckon that we made-out last night.” You have to be kidding me. I trusted him; I trusted her. Now, I am standing on the porch, looking down on Max, and calmly reiterating to him the pain of the betrayal that he knows he has committed. As neutral as my temperament is, I cannot help but want to punch him. With bitterness in my voice, I tell him to stand. He refuses, stating that any actions out of anger will not make me feel any better, but I convince him that it will calm me down and that he deserves it, so he begins to get up. In this moment, I recall the end of my relationship with Doug: how his hands would push me against the wall at my shoulders; how I would prolong every visit to the bathroom—my escape—where I hid with my arms holding my knees; how he convinced me that I deserved every ache in my stomach from the sting of his words and palms of his hands; and how, most importantly, he showed me what it meant to love.
Love is Work. It is a constant effort to attempt to understand from their perspective and a constant push and pull to work to balance the love given with the love received. It is to be selfless, but strong. It is to recognize your own flaws and receive criticism, but also objectively give criticism where it is due. With Doug, I only loved. His refusal to love, along with his endless insecurities, led to the unbalance that doomed our relationship: with him, my ladder of life was falling, but with each step I took towards the sun I found my footing to be more stable.
There had been a perfect balance with Max, for a time, but I had felt this instability before: the slipping as I try to hold on as he lets go. Now that I am standing face to face with Max, I only observe remorse and honesty as a piece of the porch light shimmers off of his moistened eyes. As I approach him, he stands firm, readying himself for what he believes he deserves.
I hug him.
“I love you. I’ll need a better reason than that to punch you.” I back away and we smile at each other, recognizing that our friendship of three years will remain intact after our short attempt in the game of love.
“We had a great relationship,” he says, with strain on the “had.”
“We still do!” I say with a smile on my lips.
“Yeah, that’s true. In fact, our friendship is even stronger.” The tension between us has diminished. Within minutes, we find ourselves eating dinner in front of the television once more: me sitting in the big brown recliner in the corner of the living room and him lounging across the futon. We choose a movie and are brought into another world. By the credits, we are on new paths, each pursuing our own goals and planning new places to go. The time we have spent together is irreplaceable, but it is coming to an end as our ladders’ paths begin to diverge.
Every moment makes up one rung in this long ladder of life, so if we took out any of the rungs of our past, we would never be able to continue our journey upward. The extent to which I feel and love and work to understand those around me would be a few rungs lower if not for those three years I spent being dehumanized with Doug. Without my relationship with him, I would not be able to recognize warranted anger and healthily release it through understanding the value of the people in my life. To regret or to wish that a word or an action could be changed would be to regret who we have become. Not only are there too many paradoxical issues to work around with changing the past, but there is also the simple issue that nothing can be learned in life without a lesson. To take away any lesson would only gain ignorance, and, no, that is not bliss. That is naivety. There is a large, insatiable difference.