⋆ katie ⋆

United States

she/her ⋆ infp ⋆ enneagram 3w4 ⋆ ravenclaw ⋆ type a
[ femme & actress & activist ]

Published Work

A Fictional Landscape

Though They Do Not Breathe, They Do Not Die

The graves sing songs of longing.

Winter air hangs among the bitter southern plantation house, biting the fingers and earlobes of its sole resident. She was not alone only five days ago, but now, the thirteen-year-old is left to mourn in silence.

The fireplace is empty. The grey and ash-ridden wind howls and arrives in gusts to dirty the creaking wood floors of the parlor. There are no embers left to blow around the tearoom, as the fire has been out for nearly a week and will not be lit again until Katherine's father comes home. 

Outside, the trees cast shadows over the fresh graves (not that there was much sun for the leaves to block out, anyhow). One big, one small. One of the graves is only a pitiful three feet long, for Katherine's little brother. The first one to go. And the other one, it is taller than Katherine, and houses her mother. 

Katherine dug both graves herself.
...

“Take Off Your Shoes, This is My House”

'love is a great beautifier', louisa may alcott

love is a great beautifier.

i float above the world, transcendent.
even as a god, i am horribly dependent
on anything aphrodisiac, for i seek something to mend
the heart that's been battered and broken and bent
even when it has never been out of the cage i've locked it in.

what a colorful place the world would become,
to allow myself to love, to feel instead of sitting in the numbness
i've learned to find comfort in. i shouldn't love emptiness, i should love
something.
someone.
but even when they come
i push them away, i scare them till they run
and i wonder why i've never fallen
when i never let myself near the edge of a cliff.

some see the world through goggles that turn the world
kaleidoscopic.
i break those goggles before even trying them on.
seeing the world in color is a teen-drama trope i've grown tired of,
and while all my friends see hope...

Inventory

bianca's backpack

bianca's backpack

  1. her video camera, in case she needs to capture something.
  2. her journal-- an old spiral-bound one with a cover that is barely intact-- and one pen, always buried in the bottom of her bag. she doesn't write things down; that's her friend's job.
  3. pads. self-explanatory.
  4. her aunt's old woven bracelet, which she has attached to the zipper pull and uses as a keychain.
  5. a flannel she stole from the school lost-and-found during december when she forgot her jacket and was freezing half to death during biology
  6. deodorant.
  7. chewing gum (always a fruity flavor. mint gum is disgusting.)
  8. her 21-year-old ID that is totally real because she's definitely not 17 years old
  9. an old crunched-up plastic water bottle that she forgot to throw away
  10. some old graphic buttons without the backs, so if she reaches into the front pocket the wrong way, she will accidentally, and every time without fail, impale herself with a small needle.

Cli-Fi

the hellish blood red sky

The skies were an ungodly shade of red, as if Satan himself had risen from Hell just to declare his presence. It wasn't a kind declaration, either, but rather, one rooted in sobbing children and clouds that blazed with the color of vengeance and the smell of ash.

The only official plan of action for anyone was one word: Run. The atmosphere slowly closed in on everyone inside it, threatening to swallow us up with the flames that were simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. They could be felt, and the sky was on fire, but nobody could see a flame on the ground for miles. Still, the sky blackened with soot. It was a horrible waste of acrylics, that sky. Those colors could have made a lovely sunrise, but instead, we smeared our shit onto a canvas and expected it to turn into something pretty.

Why are we surprised as we watch everything burn? Have we not done this to ourselves?...

That Sort of Person

(some of) the characters of my plays, described in one line.

the last sunrise of august 1973
kari: a bohemian soul who would rather die an explosive death than live a boring life.
julia: a codependent homebody who sees the appeal in a simple life without any unplanned escapades.

the burning room test (work in progress)
marcus: a scientist who measures his self-worth by his success on the development of his AI, victoria, to the point of neglecting his own daughter.
victoria: an AI with a mastery of imitation for human behavior, but with a fatal flaw: she has no compassion whatsoever.
katie: marcus's daughter, a preteen with a rapidly declining self-image that she attempts to repair by bonding with victoria, who she sees as a sister figure.

sammie doesn't play cards with us anymore (work in progress)
penelope: if pastel pink were a 14 year old girl, but with a touch of morbidity and a little more than a touch of withdrawal from the real world.
tanner: uses anger and...

Playwriting Competition 2020

Unfinished Tattoos and the Fine Game of Nil.

Cast of Characters
DESI: a 20-something woman still adapting to city life. She wears a tattoo of some small cursive text and an outline of a flower on her arm.
ALICE: a 14-year-old girl, very introverted and bright in a unique way. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alice sees the world through a different lens.


(Tuesday morning. A bus stop on a subdued city street. Sounds of rain. Puddles line the sidewalk. Though traffic can be heard distantly, the city is oddly quiet.)

(DESI, a woman in her 20s, sits on the bench, waiting for the bus. She scrolls through her phone.)

(ALICE, a 14-year-old girl on the autism spectrum, clambers onstage. She carries a large backpack and wears thick noise-canceling ear protectors. She sits down on the other end of the bench and begins scribbling in a notebook.)

DESI
Hey.

(ALICE looks up at DESI like she’d broken some unspoken rule before turning her focus back to...

YOU in threes

only little pieces

Three quirks or idiosyncrasies.
    the age of my soul, and the odd and usually off-kilter wisdom i can provide in the right circumstances.
    the way my head tilts when i sing, every time, and i never notice until someone points it out.
    the joy i get from being alone, but the horrible loneliness that always arrives in tandem.

Three communities to which you belong (these can be unusual).
    lgbt, as much as i wish it weren't true (not out of hatred for the community, but out of inability to accept myself).
    mentally ill, though i refuse to let it define me. none of the things on this list define me. i am a whole person and this is only a collection of little pieces of my puzzle; this is a mere 748 words of my novel and i am nowhere near done.
    performing artists, the people who usually...

A Fictional Landscape

Though They Do Not Breathe, They Do Not Die

The graves sing songs of longing.

Winter is among the bitter southern plantation house, biting the fingers and earlobes of the sole resident. She was not alone only five days ago, but now, the thirteen-year-old is left to mourn in silence.

The fireplace is empty. The grey and ash-ridden wind howls and arrives in gusts to dirty the creaking wood floors of the parlor. There are no embers left to blow around the tearoom, as the fire has been out for nearly a week and will not be lit again until Katherine's father comes home. 

Outside, the trees cast shadows over the fresh graves (not that there was much sun for the leaves to block out, anyhow). One big, one small. One of the graves is only a pitiful three feet long, for Katherine's little brother. The first one to go. And the other one, it is taller than Katherine, and houses her mother. 

Katherine dug both graves herself.

The...

Writing Goals 2020

becoming something worthwhile

writing-related goal: I hope to write another one act play this year.

craft-related goal: I hope to be able to correctly format a screenplay (and, if all goes well, finish my first short film script).

Your View

ten opinions for today

one.
sexuality should be something children are raised to understand, and the exploration of one's developing body should not be seen as 'dirty' or 'immoral'.

two. 
it is perfectly acceptable for someone with an lgbt identity to not want to associate with the community, and they should not be ridiculed for not wanting to publicize their identity.

three.
the invention of so many bogus lgbt identities only promotes young people getting more lost in their attempts to find themselves, and pressuring eleven and twelve and thirteen-year-olds to label themselves and define who they are is playing with fire. there is no reason for a unique label to exist for every single potential combination of feelings (we have names, isn't that enough?). you love who you love.

four.
in a perfect world, there would be no pride parades, no gay rights movement, no wedding cake debate, no rainbow flags. in a perfect world, there would be no labels or differentiation between...

One Home

underground

we dig for poison

we great many people,
sitting above the ground,
drills searching for the antidote for life
the antidote for life that was created from life,
life long before humans.

a cure for life

we can power our ships and cars and planes
by tapping into the lives
of our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren

the cure for life is death

we dig for death

the antidote for life-
death-
created from death,
and when we burn it
we seal our fate
the way the fossil fuels
should have remained sealed into the ground

we dig for poison.

we dig for poison and await the day it finally overtakes us.

 

Microphone

quiet on the set

'quiet on the set'
would be the first words you'd hear.

everyone drops into stillness-
worms on their fishhooks.
he who doesn't move
will surface unscathed-

and in that silence, everyone shifts
even through sound, 
one can hear the way the breathing changes
and the energy renews itself,
a sunrise
(or sunset- the difference cannot be heard, only seen).

though we shiver,
we are actually burning up,
or we may be feigning heat
when we truly are quite cold.

but none of that can be heard, nor seen
only felt by the pretender.

and then the clapperboard makes its noise
and the crew settles,
and we wait for the word that brings us to life once again.

we are a phoenix, 
we are reincarnated,
we are frankenstein's monster.
we are gone now, yes,
but we will return
and we will lead a new life.

"action".

and the pretending begins,
but nothing sounds contrived.
we say we are pretenders, we say we...

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Desolate

The flutter of her lashes marked the first time she had opened her eyes in twenty years.

She was locked in her body, a coma, where she was forced to listen to the devils in her mind, singing their tunes. She was only given an occasional oxygen treatment; the world did not have the resources for a constant supply.

She gasped for air as she awoke, now twenty years older. The window which usually framed paintings of nature was now bleak, grey with rubble.

She ran from her hospital room, crying for someone. Anyone.

No one was left.

I’m From

I’m from music only heard by those with closed eyes.
I’m from words that can’t be pieced together,
because trying to make a poem out of me
is like trying to make art 
out of shards of glass:
doable, but dangerous.

I’m from shelves of books never to be read;
I’m from minds filled with stories never to be told,
I’m from so much.

I’m from the San Francisco streets,
flags waving above the Castro.

I’m from the cheers, and screams,
and laughter at a baseball game,
and I’m from rally caps
and “I hope he hits a home run”.

I’m from messy closets,
and full closets,
and hiding in closets.

I’m from salmon with lemon cooking in a cast iron skillet,
and I’m from staying up till it’s way too late
drinking tea,
and sometimes crying.

I’m from a full medicine cabinet,
and I’m from hard-to-swallow pills,
and I’m from the sinking feeling that results from
one missed dose.
...

On Courage

the day i decided i was strange

i decided i was strange
sometime in december of 2012
i remember it was a week or so before christmas
when i got my ipad,
sat in my room, 
alone.
and went online.

“how to not be gay?”

on the day i decided i was strange,
i also decided i wouldn’t be strange.
i began online conversion therapy,
treating my thoughts like
beasts that had to be tamed,
doors that had to be closed,
desires that had to be curbed.

youtube videos twice a day
every day
to make me normal.

i decided i was strange
sometime in may of 2018.
i remember it was the night of the first show
of my musical
and i remember the way my heart felt as though it would consume my entire chest
like an untamed beast
with desire to kill.

i sat down in a silent living room
(silent as death, and for a moment
i felt as though i’d seen hell...

Fantasy Writing Competition 2019

January 01, 2042

I am trapped in a prison called January 01.

Corinne lifted her pen from the paper, exhaling slowly, trying desperately to stay calm. She shook her head at the words on her page as she gritted her teeth, though she heard her mother’s voice reminding her not to do such a thing.

They want to exterminate Traveler blood, so anyone who travels through January 01, 2042 is trapped in a timeloop. We are born this way. They are scared of us causing a ripple in spacetime by simply existing. They are scared of us, so they want to kill us all.

She scribbled one more word- Cowards.- on her page before dropping her pen and throwing her paper underneath her bed as she rolled onto her back.

Corrie, at only thirteen, seemed to be the youngest there, but if she twisted her story, she became one of the most powerful.

“When are you from?” became a common icebreaker amongst...

Fantasy Writing Competition 2019

January 01, 2042

I am trapped in a prison called January 01.

Corinne lifted her pen from the paper, exhaling slowly, desperate to stay calm. She shook her head at the words on her page as she gritted her teeth, though she heard her mother’s voice reminding her not to do such a thing.

They want to exterminate Traveler blood, so anyone who travels through January 01, 2042 is trapped in a timeloop. They are scared of us causing a ripple in spacetime. They are scared of us, so they want to kill us all.

She scribbled one more word- Cowards.- on her page before dropping her pen and throwing her paper underneath her bed as she rolled onto her back.

Corrie, at only thirteen, seemed to be the youngest there, but if she twisted her story, she became one of the most powerful.

“When are you from?” became a common icebreaker amongst the Travelers, mostly because the band of peculiars had...

Fantasy Writing Competition 2019

January 01, 2042

I am trapped in a prison called January 01.

Corinne lifted her pen from the paper, exhaling slowly, desperate to stay calm. She shook her head at the words on her page as she gritted her teeth, though she heard her mother’s voice reminding her not to do such a thing.

They want to exterminate Traveler blood, so anyone who travels through January 01, 2042 is trapped now trapped here. They are scared of us causing a ripple in spacetime. They are scared of us, so they want to kill us all.

She scribbled one more word- Cowards.- on her page before dropping her pen and throwing her paper underneath her bed as she rolled onto her back.

Corrie, at only thirteen, seemed to be the youngest there, but if she twisted her story, she became one of the most powerful.

“When are you from?” became a common icebreaker amongst the Travelers, mostly because the band of peculiars had...

sunrise

sunrise creeps across the windowsill.
the trees bask in the warmth of the light.
the dewdrops tremble
in their aftershocks.

night does not seem so far away.

and yet,
the song of morning plays on
as the water shakes
and drips away.

temporarily gone,
but ever present.

historian

i create
poetic configurations of moments so mundane
yet so extraordinary

all i am is a historian
who uses a different way of writing

pages half blank
no artifacts
only memories that even Prose himself could not reiterate

i write in a way that everyone can understand
because what i write isn’t only for me

the half blank pages strewn across my desk are for everyone to understand.

it would be selfish of me to write them in a language
that only i could speak.

i love you boldly

i love you that way
the way the world tells me i shouldn’t
because love is too bold
to choke back.

don’t hinder your desires
for a society that tells you
you’re not allowed to crave
the most beautiful thing
this world can offer.

the honeymoon phase

i shouldn’t want you
but the way the sun makes your eyes sparkle

i shouldn’t think about you
but the way you look at me
begs me to think about you

i shouldn’t want you
you’ve torn me apart,
you’ve made me feel worthless,
you’ve made me feel terrified
for a multitude of reasons

but you’ve also ignited something inside me
something i can’t ignore
or push away

because it’s something
i want
so badly

the sunlight in your eyes has blinded me to all your flaws.

rubble at your feet

there’s something about you.
i can’t tell if you’re leading me on
or if you want me
or if you even know me
at all

but seeing you
ignites a fire in me
a fire i would do anything
to feed.

and here i am,
letting my walls crumble before you
and here you are,
complaining about the rubble.

we aren't meant to make art

we aren’t meant to make art.

our human bodies in whole
were not created with the purpose of
being treated as expendable items
when in fact, we know
we are anything but expendable.

humans were not created
with the intent of crying at fabricated emotions
bruising with fabricated pigments
creating a life
and a past
you can only conjure in your mind’s eye,
never dream of
or truly experience.

we are not meant to make art.

the vulnerability of the human mind
was not created with the purpose of
abusing it,
tricking the mind into believing
we are experiencing grief
or joy
or love
so that we can convince others that those experiences
are real.

the subtle differences in the eyes
of each person
was not meant to be used as an advantage
to those of us
with expressive ones.
eyes were not meant to convey false emotions.

emotions were not meant to be imitated.
the real, raw beauty of...

waterfalls

this generation is tired of watching.

we’ve watched enough, i think.
we’ve witnessed enough chaos
to form an opinion
and we’ve formed enough opinions
to finally untape our mouths
and speak.

from our leaders,
we’ve only witnessed waterfalls
running off their lips.
they flow too fast;
the babbling only sometimes
sounds like words.

fire has warmed our stomach
since we were children.
now it crawls into our throat
and our tongue is a flame,
and we itch to speak.

our words will light the way
for the next generation,
and the last generation
will pitch their words
on top of ours
in a futile attempt to extinguish us.

water doesn’t always extinguish a fire.

we stumble in the dark, now,
but once we hear the familiar running
of waterfalls,
we part our lips.

Dear World (a slam poem)

Dear World:
I am rebelling against you.
Not all of you, just the parts of you and the people of you that have somehow decided that I am not allowed to exist as I am without punishment.
My rebellion began when I was eight years old. I never formally planned out a revolution or created badges or uniforms. The uniform of my eight-year-old rebellion was a pair of hot pink plaid shorts and hair that only reached my chin, clipped back with a plain black barrette.
The badge of my eight-year-old rebellion was a smile with teeth as crooked as the rocks on the side of a mountain, a mountain I had yet to even consider climbing, a mountain which I still have yet to know if I will ever reach the top of.


Dear World:
This rebellion is graciously accepting new members. There is no contract to sign or uniform to purchase or badge to wear. The only prerequisite...

Smog. Smoke. Soot.

smoke: a poem

the air is heavy,
so heavy it feels as though it falls down into my stomach instead of my lungs.

it's stuffy in here,
despite the soft hazy light coming from behind the clouds
that reminds me that i'm under the watch of Mother Nature herself,
and yet i feel constrained
and i heave
and my chest is rising and falling but i doubt there is any air moving in or out.

smokestacks tower above me,
and more smoke fills the air than i can breathe
(though i'd take it all into my lungs if i could-
no one deserves this fate).

the blackness of the soot
that pollutes Earth
darkens my insides
and suddenly,
i am as polluted as She is.

Open Prompt

Margaret Patterson was a Lighthouse

Margaret Patterson was a lighthouse.

She was named Margaret, but nicknamed Peggy by her mother. After Peggy’s Point lighthouse, her mother always told her, a beautiful Canadian lighthouse that Margaret’s mother had seen countless times. Somehow, Margaret had never seen it closer than a photograph.

Her mother reminded her countless times that she was named after that lighthouse. Maybe that was why the lighthouse kept showing up in her dreams. But Margaret didn’t want to conform, so on her tenth birthday, she proudly walked up to her mother and declared that she wanted to change her nickname.

Margaret, on that birthday, became Maggie.

Maggie’s mother wanted to name her after something beautiful, something meaningful. But maybe, even though Margaret was now Maggie… she would always be the lighthouse.

For as long as she could remember, Maggie wore a camera on a strap around her neck, the fabric fraying and ripping at the seams. She was always oddly disconnected, living her...

Open Prompt

Margaret Patterson was a Lighthouse

Margaret Patterson was a lighthouse.

She was named Margaret, but nicknamed Peggy by her mother. After Peggy’s Point lighthouse, her mother always told her, a beautiful Canadian lighthouse that Margaret’s mother had seen countless times. Somehow, Margaret had never seen it closer than a photograph.

Her mother reminded her countless times that she was named after that lighthouse. Maybe that was why the lighthouse kept showing up in her dreams. But Margaret didn’t want to conform, so on her tenth birthday, she proudly walked up to her mother and declared that she wanted to change her nickname.

Margaret, on that birthday, became Maggie.

Maggie’s mother wanted to name her after something beautiful, something meaningful. But maybe, even though Margaret was now Maggie… she would always be the lighthouse.

For as long as she could remember, Maggie wore a camera on a strap around her neck, the fabric fraying and ripping at the seams. She was always oddly disconnected, living her...

until then: open letters to my younger self

Dear Gracie,
You’re eight years old right now. You just got diagnosed with your anxiety disorders, and though you can’t fully comprehend that right now, please know that it means you aren’t alone. This world is bigger than you, and scarier than you are, and it is going to hurt you, and that’s alright. Pain is a part of life.
    I remember the way your heart would fall into that spot at the bottom of your stomach when you got scared. You’re not going to stop being scared anytime soon, but you certainly will learn how to deal with the fear in a better way.
    You are beautiful just the way you are. Stay youthful, and don’t get too caught up in trying to be perfect. You’ll never be perfect, but you’ve always been good enough.


Dear Gracie,
    You’re nine years old right now. You’re currently curled up in a ball on your bed, hugging your stuffed...

Returning

Destinations

Home is no place she could ever remember.

As a foster child who was in and out of more homes, schools, and families than she would have liked, the girl was at a near-total loss of hope. She was eighteen, left on her own, and told to figure herself out because she was an adult and no longer a problem of the system.

She wanted to run away. She'd always wanted to run away, but the girl was a coward who never could find the courage. She had her sights set on New York, bustling like nothing she'd ever seen before, but somehow quiet. Everyone there seemed to be trapped in their own thoughts. It was freer than anything she'd ever known or imagined. She craved it, deep down in her bones, with indescribable desperation.

She booked a bus ticket for a trip of nine hours, a trip on a Greyhound that promised her freedom. She didn't know if this...

Trees Only Echo Silence: A Short Play (PDF)

Hello! I apologize that the script cannot be typed as a part of the document itself (I used a software called Celtx to write the script). Regardless, I'll link it. 

CRITIQUES ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED AND GREATLY APPRECIATED!! (I am putting on a staged reading of this play in about a week!)

Thank you!!

http://tinyurl.com/treesonlyechosilence

until then: open letters to my younger self

Dear Gracie,
You’re eight years old right now. You just got diagnosed with your anxiety disorders, and though you can’t fully comprehend that right now, please know that it means you aren’t alone. This world is bigger than you, and scarier than you are, and it is going to hurt you, and that’s alright. Pain is a part of life.
    I remember the way your heart would fall into that spot at the bottom of your stomach when you got scared. You’re not going to stop being scared anytime soon, but you certainly will learn how to deal with the fear in a better way.
    You are beautiful just the way you are. Stay youthful, and don’t get too caught up in trying to be perfect. You’ll never be perfect, but you’ve always been good enough.

Dear Gracie,
    You’re nine years old right now. You’re currently curled up in a ball on your bed, hugging your stuffed...

Open Prompt

Margaret Patterson was a Lighthouse

Margaret Patterson was a lighthouse.

She was named Margaret, but nicknamed Peggy by her mother. After Peggy’s Point lighthouse, her mother always told her, a beautiful Canadian lighthouse that Margaret’s mother had seen countless times, but somehow, Margaret had never seen closer than a photograph.

Her mother reminded her countless times that she was named after that lighthouse. Maybe that was why the lighthouse kept showing up in her dreams. But Margaret didn’t want to conform, so on her tenth birthday, she proudly walked up to her mother and declared that she wanted to change her nickname.

Margaret, on that birthday, became Maggie. Her mother was destroyed.
Maggie’s mother wanted to name her after something beautiful, something meaningful. But maybe, even though Margaret was now Maggie… she would always be the lighthouse.

All her life, Maggie wore a camera on a strap around her neck, the fabric fraying and ripping at the seams. She was always oddly disconnected, living her...