all pieces of writing I produced during my creative writing course, through the first semester of 2023

this class was one of the best things I did so far in my english undergrad course. the professor was one of the best people i've ever meet in university and we all students just sticked to her like little worms for the rest of the year (and hopefully the rest of the course as well!).
the community we built during the semester was really amazing, as we exchanged feedbacks, criticisms and praises as well. i've never written so much in my entire life, and i'm very proud of various pieces i'm sharing here, so hope you enjoy reading as much as i enjoyed writing them! :)

its all organized in chronological order: from the the closing piece we produced to tie up our thoughts on the experience, to the very first thing i wrote on the first day of class.

also, this page is still under construction! I need to type the majority of the pieces, since I wrote it all by hand on a notebook for the feelings and vibes of pencil and paper (its amazing and I recommend it!)

final piece - cover letter for the final portfolio, the importance of writing

I always loved the act of writing. Ever since I started reading books about fantastic worlds and complex characters someone created from scratch, I had this desire to do it as well, to be a part of this peak of wonder present in real life. I tried to write a story a couple of times, and in the end would never be satisfied with the result. I could write about my boring days in my diary, but that wasn’t enough for me. I felt a kind of hunger, like I knew I had the capacity to put ideas on the paper, but didn’t have any of these to do it. I couldn’t think of anything worth writing, and this drove me a little crazy through my childhood and teenage years.

Therefore, this course was a little beacon of light shining upon my hopeless desires. It was a little delusional, but I hoped this semester would bring me the key to finally being able to write something worth sharing. And, as cliche as it sounds, at the end I found out that I didn’t need a key at all. I don’t need to have some genius idea to put my urge for writing to good use; I can write about absolutely everything, as long as it feels right to me.

And the journey to this realization turned out to be the best course of my semester. Throughout all of the classes, readings, discussions, sessions of writing practices in and out of the classroom and especially through all of the things I wrote about, the truth of my relationship with writing unraveled itself right in front of me; and a big part of that can be exemplified by the two revised assignments (#2 and #3) and the three writing samples (prompts #15, #26 and #1) I chose to present in this portfolio.

I chose the second and third assignments because they were the ones I’m most proud of, at the end of the course. The idea for the flash fiction piece sparkled from the writing workshop offered to us in class by the writer Avital Gad-Cykman, and after many revisions, feedbacks and more alterations, the final product is something that I’m even considering trying a little expansion, as I fell in love with the mood I created, the story as a whole and the potential other people saw on it. And I chose to present the poem assignment as well because the whole process surprised me, as I’m going to talk about more in detail in a moment.

As for the writing samples, the first piece (prompt #15) was very fun to write, as I found out throughout this course I’m very fond of the second person point of view. The initial idea of this practice came from a horror book I read last year; this is basically about the house in the book. The writing came very easily to me, as the vocabulary, flow and feeling I was trying to emulate were already a constant presence in my head for a while. It allowed me to try and create this tension through a form of horror space, as I was hoping to, throughout the short piece, convey the same dread I felt reading that book.

The second one of the writing practices (prompt #26) made me realize something about myself. I was a person that always was too careful with my books, and nowadays the more beaten up, loved and used they seem the more I adored them; I talk about this development extensively in this piece. It also allowed me to look back on this very specific aspect of my life and kind of talk to myself in the second person, as if I was writing a letter to my younger self. It was a very cool exercise of remembrance.

The third and last of the writing samples in this portfolio was the first writing practice of the semester (prompt #1). It built an anticipation for the rest of the course, for I loved to just shut everything down for ten minutes and write without thinking too much; I’ve never done that before. It is also one of the few writing practices I wrote in the first person point of view, since it is very personal to me, and I even decided to read it aloud to the class. Because of that, it was a day of exposure to me and I felt very vulnerable, but safe at the same time. It showed me what I could do in this class, to write and to show it to others without a fear of judgment; the whole exercise made clear what the environment was allowing me to do. This piece ignited something within me – as this course as a whole did too – and I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but I’m grateful for it nonetheless.

Besides that, the three big assignments of the course were also a special part of the journey. When going through the personal essay aspects, for example, it finally sinked in that I was in fact allowed to write about my own experiences and make them my own, instead of impersonalize it all the time and pretend I’m just making stuff up. The first assignment, because of that, was one of the most difficult activities of the semester, as I’m not very good at expressing myself to others freely. It was very challenging, and fulfilling as well. The second one on the other side was the most easy and fun I had on the course; fiction is something very fluid for me, when I know where to go with the story. As soon as I outlined what I wanted, the whole piece flowed with ease. And ultimately about the third assignment, I was always the person who dreaded poetry and having to interpret or write it in any form or shape. I was a little afraid of this final part of the course, but the poetry assignment surprised me. Through writing practices and some other imageries and metaphors that popped in my head randomly in the last month, I was able to develop a piece that I’m quite proud of, and this fact alone is able to shock me to my very core, as I never in my life would have imagined I would write a single poem that I could show other people with pride.

And showing my work to other people was another very important aspect of this course. Knowing I could ask for feedback without a fear of judgment lifted a heavy weight from my back, as I’m kind of protective of what I write and express through my pieces; I am always a bit afraid of what anyone would think, and this course helped me get over that, even if it was just a little. The feedback itself, of course, was always very helpful and an intrinsic part of the process of revising and editing. Understanding what other people were getting from my text was always helpful in turning and modifying things to get the final piece closer to the place I wanted it to be.

Furthermore, this constant need to express myself in English in words written or spoken was great for my writing and speaking skills in general. I feel much more comfortable in the language now, having practiced like never before in this semester.

To me, then, it’s clear the importance of the writing practices we did in class, and outside of it too. When the professor would start the countdown of ten minutes – to write fluidly without a second thought or glance –, the whole class seemed to always fall into an enchanted silence where my imagination was able to show up without any limitation. Maybe it was a sense of the whole group doing the same thing at the same time, but my memory always seemed to become more vivid, the sensations, sights and smells returning with enough details for me to write ten or twenty pages, if not for the limitation of my handwriting’s speed. When grabbing the pencil something unlocked in my mind and I was able to simply write, vomiting words on the paper, carelessly scrambling sentence after sentence, even nonsense sometimes.

But it’s not just rambling about my day like the diary of the child I once was, but to use the tool of words on the paper as a way to work through absolutely everything. Because I can’t talk. So I write. I don’t know the motives or the meanings, but I have an extreme difficulty talking about myself, about how I’m doing, how I’m feeling, what I want. So, when through this course I discovered that my hand through a pen is way more eloquent than my brain through my mouth, things started to change. It’s good to be able to understand myself better, to say the least. Some aspects of my life are clearer to me nowadays because of it. Doors in my mind are finished and closed, but others opened, and I didn’t even know they existed. It is a little frightening sometimes, these many new doors in my head, but I think I’ll manage it.

So I could say I write to understand myself, in ways that it’s impossible to otherwise. I also write because I think maybe I’m good at it, with all honesty. And it’s been a long time since I’ve done something I’m proud of, something I want to show other people.

And as I write to dive into myself, I also write to escape. I write to materialize things, even if there are only words to do it. To externalize and to pretend that it's not about me, because after all even this has its value on writing. It’s not me; it’s what I’m creating, it’s the big thing I’m always working on that doesn’t even exist yet. It’s not what I’ve been through or how all of that made me who I am, but what I’m capable of in spite of it. What will I do? How far can I go? What more can I grasp? How much further? How much?

assignment #3 (a poem) - Timecrawler

It is because I swallowed a flower when I was little
and the seeds found soil everywhere
taking roots on every inch of my earth inside

in my elbows and knees I can feel
the leaves bending towards the sun
and my heart wrapped by petals
that trap the goodbyes inside

but they escape and they run
they crawl through my bones
rushing in my veins
as the blood gets drained
vibrating and making me tremble

they crawl through my brain as I remember
the house I won’t see again
the hands I won’t touch again
the words I’ll never be able to speak

so through time I crawl
again to the garden
trying to reach and to grab
something, anything back

as my knees are ripped open
the leaves escape the bones
scratching the skin
kissing the dying grass
the petals of the flower knotted
even more tightly around it all

the space is diminishing
my blood turns to green
the goodbyes rotting
as the heart gets purple with the pressure
just like the shaking bellflower inside

just like everything everywhere trembling
everywhere everything vibrating
with so much force it screams
but people are deaf
only the world can hear the noise

the hills and the sky are listening
the trees mirror it when the wind is strong enough

assignment #3's first draft - another poem, untitled

“You sit in the truck, take the food bag”, she said.
They say goodbye to everyone
on the sidewalk, facing the front gate.
I don’t hug anyone, she told me
to enter the truck, to hold the snacks.
The gate is open, I can see the door
and the kitchen, my bedroom’s window,
my childhood through
the glassy dirty windshield,
the garden, the flowers dying.
I don’t say goodbye to anyone, nobody
taught me how to do it.
Mom and dad enter the truck,
he starts the engine.
All I get to do is wave
as we leave.
I feel the truck heavy, a little
too close to the ground.
How much of the weight is the furniture,
how much it is the unsaid goodbyes I’m hiding
beneath my feet,
side by side with the snacks to eat
them all, swallowed, digging
six feet deep through my ground
for me to carry
buried forever among the others.

prompt #34 - goodbye

My home was never my home, really. I don't think it would be hard to say goodbye to that. I feel ready to leave, I want to leave. But I don't know about saying goodbye to my friends. There's a part of me that is always waiting for things to end, that thinks that nothing is meant to last in my life. My eight year old friendships might disagree with that, but I feel it nonetheless.

Really, I'm used to never being able to say goodbye to things properly. Friendships ended, homes and entire lives were left behind, and I couldn't do anything to get closure. I'm sure that if I'd be to leave this planet to never come back, something would get on the way of my goodbyes. I would leave without my last hugs, my last kisses, my last stories and conversations. Even the things I'm ready to say goodbye to; I would not get it. I'ts my curse. My burden to carry, the things not said gathering my chest and crowding my heart until it fogs my brain.

prompt #33 - a change day

We've been packing boxes and dismantling furniture for some days now. My father is disassembling the wardrobe and I'm think which toys I want to keep, while my mother neatly folds our clothes. Tomorrow my brother will take the very first bus with some of his packages, and a couple of hours later me, mom and dad will finish everything, put all things we want to keep pn the truck and enter it, going away likes its nothing.

I awake from my light sleep with a kiss on the cheek from my brother. He's already going away. We'll see him tomorrow, in another life.

It's a long trip through the three stage we're crossing, so we pack some snacks and drinks. I'm at the seat of the truck holding the food bag, while mom and dad hug and say goodbye to our family and neighbours. It's almost a little crowd at the front gate, the entrance to my house, my bedroom, my childhood. It's not mine anymore. None of it. Leaving it all behind should not be that easy.

prompt #32 - scents and smells

The concrete is hot, burning from hours of direct sunlight. It feels like its going to shine bright all day, but I see some clouds gathering in that corner over the south hill. It's coming. It's only a matter of time. After some hours, indeed, the sky begins to change colors, the wind gets colder. I feel a drop of rain in my shoulder. I see another one in the concrete. I smile, I now know for certain. At any minute. The rain continues, getting faster, heavier. And finally, the scent of the hot concrete being cooled by the rain ascends, gloriously.

prompt #31 - routine

I enter the line for dinner, everyday with the same two friends. We keep chatting the whole way, with our cards in hand to pass the turnstile. I get a plate, I serve two or tree spoons of rice, if I'm that hungry. I pick only a knife, I'm not using this small forks anymore. I serve the beans, then the potatoes, I skip the meat as always. I'm not picky when it comes to salad, I get them all. I pick a spoon, we seat, we eat.

prompt #30 - an animal that scares you

There is a dead spider on the steps to the front door. My mother killed it two days ago, and the corpse is only lying there for a couple of days now, its legs crouched and twisted as stays in eternal immobility, surrounded by the cloud of venom that killed it.

prompt #29 - another point of view of a fairy tale

The ticking noise is so, so annoying. Every day I wake up and I think "today is my limit. I can't take it anymore." And its absolutely not about the fact that I've been turned into a clock, or that all my friends are alive and walking objects in this dead castle, or that the rose has only one more petal left to fall which at any given moment can kill me inside of this gears and mechanisms, gone forever. What really, really gets to me its the ticking noise. I really can't take it anymore.

And I'm reallytrying to take what I can get out of this situation, but its very hard. A melancholy permanently looms every room here lika a giant cloud, and only Lumiére seems to manage this "being an object" thing with minimum enjoyment. But its very minimal. Sometimes he accompanies me, and we get very sad together.

Today is another one of these days, so we are being sad at the grand set of stairs. I'm in the third step and he is in the first, and we just stare at the front door in silence as the night falls through the windows. But then, suddenly, there is banging at the door. No one answers, of course, so probably the person just gave up after a minute or two. But the doors open then, and a lady comes in.

prompt #28 - voices you love

One voice is soft and low, talking to me like he is cradling my heart in his hands everytime we meet. He raises the volume when excited, but the remains comforting, cloudy and warm like the weather right before a burst of summer rain.

The other voice can be hear from miles away. When she speaks, even if it does not make any senes, everyone in the room will turn and pay attention. Her voice is firm, assertive, sharp and direct. She doesn't like to be told that, though. And sometimes she softens her tone on purpose, when she wants to speak of something more serious. She then speaks in a soft and low volume, like it's always a secret, like she's unlocking something within her, just for you to hear. I can always tell if she is talking serious or not; it scares me how it feels like I can actually read her mind sometimes.

And the last voice is quiet, so minimal that sometimes I can't understand very well what she is saying. Her tone is powerfull, though. She has it under control, and speaks quietly only when she wants to. It can be heard through her voice that she always means what she says. Her voice is like a stone, standing still in the middle of a river and giving you shelter so you don't drown in the current. It's raw and earnest, only sometimes scratching you with some edge whe she tells you a truth you don't want to hear, but you need to. And maybe that's just because I know her so well, but I can feel her emotions waving through her voice, as she speaks. I always know when she is about to cry.

prompt #27 - a loud noise

I saw a video on tiktok yesterday. A girl was at a concert, a festival,, and almost no one knew the lyrics to the song Hozier was singing. She then screamed, and sang with him. He then pulled the microphone away from his face and smiled big and bright directly to her camera. and above all that she sang so well. After some musics he walked in her direction and sang back to her, looking into her eyes.

I'm always self-aware when I'm at a concert. I want to scream every song I know, but other people might find it annoying. One time I was so crazy singing that at the end of the song on friend of mine looked at me and said "you're very... energetic, aren't you?" I felt so unconfortable, to this day I don't know what he meant with it.

So, I sing every time I'm alone listening to music. I don't have the courage to do so when other people are around. People scream so much at concerts, but they don't sing very loud. Some people don't sing at all. How do they bottle up all of that emotion? I can't manage that, to just stand there and do nothing. So I scream.

assignment #2 (flash-fiction) - you are not supposed to be here.

The sun is shining bright outside, the daisies in the backyard basking on it. We are visiting grandpa and grandma and I am the last person sitting at the table after lunch, looking at the sunlight through the window. My mom says I should go outside, read my book in the dollhouse while she finishes the dishes. There is nothing better for me to do anyway, so I try that. I grab my book, exit the kitchen, then the main house. I walk across the backyard to the three tiny steps and look up at the little white door. I hesitate. My brother is playing soccer by the side of the house, and I sit on the dollhouse’s porch trying to gather some courage, to enter and stay inside for a while. I can’t. I stand up and kick the ball my brother is playing with, and we end up just passing it to each other for a couple of times. I don’t want to go back near the white threshold.

My grandpa made this dollhouse and put it in his backyard a few years ago, his most amazing gift for me. He has always been so talented it's actually scary sometimes, the things he can give life through only pieces of wood. Some years ago, I used to think he had some kind of magic in him, so that everything he made seemed to carry some traces of it. Especially the dollhouse. It looks like a tiny version of his big one, the walls painted the color of tangerines and the threshold and windows so white it almost blinds me when the sun reflects on it.

Some time ago grandpa also made me a tiny wooden horse. And one night I heard it, I could swear I even saw it move across my bookshelf. I love his hand-made gifts, really, but there’s really something that happens to the things he makes out of wood. Something wrong. I don’t know what it is but I know it’s there, and the dollhouse is no different. It’s his most beloved and cherished creation, and it's the one I’m most nervous about. I simply can not stay inside of it, since the day he finished building it.

The sun finished his journey through the sky and I couldn’t enter the dollhouse, so while seeing the moon ascending I decide to go back there, after dinner, determined. There’s a little couch with a blanket on it, so I can stay for a while without getting cold. I see the yellow lamp on the porch as I force myself to enter, but if I light it up my dad will see it and I know he will not let me stay here. So, I decide to stay in the dark. I have to get over this, I tell myself. It’s ridiculous how scared I am of a dollhouse that hardly fits me anymore. This is the fear of a little girl, a fear I should’ve grown out of already. I can handle this, I have to.

By laying on the couch I’m facing the big house through the window, so I can see my brother going to the bathroom in his pajamas, my dad on the couch of the living room watching TV. If I’m lucky enough, no one will notice I’m gone for at least half an hour.

I used to think grandpa was a wizard when I was little, or a sorcerer. Now, it feels more like he is cursed. And I feel that he knows that I know something’s wrong. I never told him, but I know he gets upset about it, about how I never wanted to play inside of the amazing dollhouse he made me and how now I’m growing up and definitely will never want to, anyways. He can always sense it all, somehow. He always knew when I was about to cry when I was baby, my dad says.

My eyes are wandering through the backyard, I’m trying to distract myself. My blood suddenly runs cold, as I see grandpa standing at the front door of the main house, looking directly at me. I don’t know why, but seeing him rush in my direction makes me immediately stand up and run to get out of the house.

I’m sorry, I’m saying, over and over again as we meet in the middle of the backyard.

You are not supposed to be here, he’s saying, sounding desperate, his hands on my shoulders.He’s always so calm, so I’m confused. I’m not supposed to be here, I know, but he is frantic and nervously inspecting me. He looks like he’s just seen a ghost.

Grandpa nearly drags me back to the big house, puts me in my mom’s bed like a package and tells me not to move. I really try to do as he said, but the window is open like an invitation and I can’t help but get up to look. I think he got out of the main house. When I stand on my tiptoes to look outside the window I see him entering the small dollhouse, crouching graciously despite his age. The window of the little house is pitch black and I can’t see anything inside. There’s a growing silence.

The more I stare at that dark window across the backyard the more nervous I get. I was doing quite alright there on my own, but he is acting so strange. I’m grasping the windowsill so tight my knuckles are white. Something must be wrong. I can’t hear anything. When I let it go, my hands are shaking. I should do something.

I exit the room, I get out of the house. I realize I’m terrified, but I keep walking towards the doll house. I run up the three porch steps, and I freeze at the front door.

Grandpa is staring at the wall, back to the entrance, still as a statue. I make sure to loudly step inside, so he can know I came in. Maybe he’ll just be mad that I disobeyed him and he will tell me to go back. He turns to face me with a terrified expression instead. I’ve never seen him like this.

So you came back, a voice says.

His mouth did not move, though.

Grandpa? What are you doing here? I ask. What is this?

I heard so much about you, the voice responds.

I search my grandpa’s eyes. He’s just staring at me now, eyes wide open. His mouth is definitely not moving. It’s not him.

Are you waiting to see? The voice asks.

See what?

What will happen.

I did not ask this out loud. The voice responded anyway.

What are you doing here? I ask again.

I’m waiting.

Waiting for what? Who are you? You are not supposed to be here. I’m repeating my grandpa’s words. He is looking at me, still. Watching me.

This is MY doll house, I say, pointing to the ground.

YOU are not supposed to be here, the voice responds. At night, this is MY house.

Grandpa tells me to get out, but he doesn’t move. I know it’s him talking now, his mouth is moving, it’s his voice. But I can’t leave. He’ll be alone with this voice if I do. I knew something was wrong with this house, I knew it. I can still feel myself shaking, but I can’t leave him alone with this, whatever it is. Something settles inside of me. Above all else, I want to know. I have to know.

So, while still looking into my grandpa’s eyes, I ask again. What are you?

There’s a humming. The entire house trembles.

Interesting. It says. I swear I see the shadows in the corners begin to move, somehow.

We hear my mom calling. She must have realized I’m not in the house. My name being screamed seems to snap my grandpa back into motion and he grabs me by the hand and crosses the front door with only three steps, dragging me. We get out of the house.

I can still feel the humming trying to reach me as we run.

assingment #2 main inspiration - a memory from a photograph
assignment #1 (personal essay) - Hurricane


I am seated, waiting for the school band to go up on the little stage, at the auditorium. The space is almost claustrophobic, with its three grand steps for the uncomfortable chairs and an elevation at the end, an excuse for a stage, really. My back hurts and the fabric of my chair is especially ragged, so only my will can keep me here at the moment. I’ve always wanted to be part of a school band, but there was nothing of the sort in my other schools. So, now that me and my family moved states and this new school has a super cool fanfare, a band and a group dance, I want to at least see it. So I am waiting for it.

I don’t even remember how it was like to see all of that for the first time. What I do remember is that after this day I knew that it was only a matter of time until I convinced my parents. My dad again would call me a hurricane, searching for any classes for free and taking it all without hesitation. I did some dance classes, gymnastics, ballet, and tried judo as well. The problem with all of that was always the money, so when I told mom that I would have everything borrowed from the school, the rest sorted itself out. I was in.

So, the first day in the band was straight out scary. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t know which instrument I wanted to learn, didn’t even know the names of most of them. Looking back, I don’t even know exactly why I wanted to enter the school band so much. It could’ve been just a gut feeling, that this would be Something in my life. Something important.


One of those days I was alone at home, planned to open Tiktok for just five minutes and ended up sobbing for half an hour on the couch, just by watching videos of one of my favorite composers performing with an orchestra in New York. He came up with some of my absolute favorite soundtracks, and just with some poorly recorded thirty second videos I was able to catch a little glimpse of what would’ve felt like to be there, to see him conducting this gigantic orchestra with such a smile on his face as the violins swinged and the cellos vibrated and the flutes and clarinets sended the notes like arrows through the air and the basses and trumpets shouted them with the force of a hurricane. Imagining how it would feel like, to see and to listen to all of this happen in front of me, but also how it would feel to be part of all of that at the other side. How it would have felt if I was up there, playing again. And I just cried for half an hour.

I don’t know if I can describe the feeling, I don’t even know if I can still remember it properly. I just miss it too much, so much it’s unbearable sometimes. Like Hell itself rising through the earth.


When I was twelve years old I decided that I was going to learn how to play piano. I pestered and annoyed my dad for months on end until he finally gave up, and bought me a keyboard for my 13th birthday. I was on the moon with it all. Every single day I would arrive from school, eat something very fast and then go straight to my room to practice.

I don’t know what I would practice, though. I didn’t know a single thing worth practicing. I had found some magazines for learning a while back at a second hand bookstore, but they couldn’t help me. They were of the intermediate level. Until this very day I’m a beginner.


The rehearsals were the best part of the school band, by far. We all would spend the afternoon having specific lectures about our instruments and then wait one another out for the meeting after, with the whole band. Meanwhile, our conductor would beg us to behave as we ran across the empty corridors, entered rooms we weren’t supposed to enter and just generally made noise for the chaos of it all. Until 5pm, of course, when everyone would gather for the general rehearsal. And then, all the things we studied throughout the day would come together in that classroom, and it was the most amazing thing in the world. To play a little part, a harmony or a melody, and see everyone do the same as all of those notes melted and danced together to form a music so deeply intricated within itself. I was mesmerized every single time.

So, of course, this whole school band thing ended up curling itself too close around my heart. I began to wonder, to imagine the possibilities. What if I came to spend the rest of my life doing this? It made me so happy. Playing one intricate part in a whole so tightly knotted together that I would never be able to escape it. Maybe I didn’t want to escape. Staying there forever seemed very good to me at the time.

Sometimes, I can still feel the pull of the knot.


My music taste evolved so much from when I first started listening to music as a kid. From the artists I would discover to the ones my friends would recommend to me, what I was listening to lately, who I was planning on going through the discography, the albums I didn’t like. Music very fast became an important part of my early life and then stayed planted in place, the revolutions of my taste a strange and long process, with quick and profound obsessions, rabbit holes, spirals and endless discoveries.

From the outside, though, I was just with earphones all of the time, so nobody did really noticed the hurricanes.


I’ve always been afraid of decisions. Especially the big ones, that have the power to change the course of one’s life. The last one of those that I had to make took me an entire year, literally. I’m so, so scared of ruining my own life. So, sometimes when Youtube recommends a video of an orchestra and I hesitantly intently watch it, I very much feel like I already ruined It.

I hate the fact that I didn’t make it. I went outside of this magical world of being a musician for a little bit, just for a gasp of air, and never managed to come back. I had to choose another path and the What If loop stuck in my head is going to be like a haunting in my old house of memories, I’m sure. For the rest of my life one more ghost of some other hope persecuting me.


They say don’t turn your hobbies into careers, do not come to hate the little things that bring you happiness. I used to think nothing of this, until I took a class on the history of cinema and realized I just really like to watch movies, and don’t really want to professionally be involved in the industry, study cinema theory and spend my life inside this bubble.

And I don’t necessarily have to remove it from my life, either. Little things can still play little parts in my life’s music, melodies and harmonies to bring me little pieces of enjoyment and happiness even if they are not my final destiny, the culmination of all my very important and maybe bad-made choices.

So today I was trying to study, but distracted myself with the music I was listening to. The crescent violins of this song always get to me in a special way, and I am once more sweeped away from the reading to make a little trip for a few minutes through the orchestra.

I tried really hard to stop feeling bad about all of this for the past few years, and I think I managed it quite alright. I’ve made my big life decision, I’m happy with it and my plan is to stick to it.

But the key thing it took me all this time to completely wrap my head around is that there is no decision, really. Even if forever a beginner at so many of them, I will keep going on all those little paths, and one does not in any way exclude another. I will always be a musician and always love the things I once fiercely loved and will always make my little detours and pick and drag and blow the connections and the passions of my life one flying past another and through each other.

I can not escape my nature, after all. I will always be the hurricane.

prompt #26 - expand one line from any previous writing piece

(expanded from "but you could see that the front cover was wrinkled, the pages yellow, and someone clearly spiled a full cup of water on some of the pages. The poor thing is a wreck." from assignment #1's discarded draft)

You used to buy all the books from fancy bookstores, for the tall bookshelves, the immaculate look of the copies and their smell of new. You cherished them like babies, reading only at home to not beat them up inside of a backpack and being very careful when opening them, to not get even close to a cracked spine.

But that was when you were a kid, and your parents were so happy that you turned into an avid reader that they would buy all the new books you could ask for without feeling guilty for the money they were spending with it. With time, however, you started to buy your books from second hand bookstores, only because they were cheap. You kind of hated that they were already used before, owned by some stranger who didn’t even have the proper care with it. A book deserves more respect than that, you would think. More love. You loathed the people who would write on them, mark passages or scribble some opinion or annotation like they had the right to taint the pages like that. “Don’t interfere with my reading”, you would think to yourself. “I don’t care about your opinions.”

Thank god you grew out of that. You will, at least. It started small, with you not wanting to lose a passage you liked and ended up putting a sticker on it to remember. Some of your books started to have three or four post-its, and then they began to grow in quantity until you could pass your fingers through them sticking out of the side of the book to make a loud and irritating noise. You began to see videos of people who annotated their books with colorful markers and post-its with references and comments, and the idea began to grow on you in silence, with animosity.

Now you write and scribble the pages without any hesitation, marking passages and dialogues and descriptions and reflections and absolutely everything you want to. You’ll always leave your mark now, your journey with books tainting the pages just as you used to hate. But they are only yours, so I think that, at the end of the day, there’s not much of a problem with all of that.

assignment #1's discarded draft - my first favorite book
prompt #25 - a picture from your phone - what do you see?

I was at the two year birthday party of my little cousin. We sang happy birthday through a video call with his family from Rio, and his mother distributed the cake after that. I ate it all like I was starving, and then started to mindlessly scroll twitter. I knew my dad would be mad at me for not participating in the conversation, but I didn’t care too much at the time.

And then you sent me a picture of an orange. The orange you know is my favorite. But the best part was that it had a sticker on it, with my nickname. Not the nickname you use, but one of my nicknames nonetheless.

I could see the floor of your kitchen, the cabinets beneath the sink and the trash bin. But aside from that what I could see the most was your hand, holding the orange. The nail polish peeling as always, and your little dot tattoos on each finger only visible on your thumb. I could recognize your hands everywhere. They are very special to me, the way they move, the way they hold things, or gesture as you talk, unable to stay still. The way that they hold my hand sometimes, even if you already have other pairs to hold. I think I already told you how soft they are, how they feel like little clouds. Yours and mine are so different. My hands are always dry, the long fingers with fingertips parched like a desert.

I wish I could have eaten that orange with you. Taste the same bittersweet sensation at the same place and time, like that poem about friendship that always appears to me on the internet. It had my name on it, for god’s sake. I was meant to share that orange with you.

But then, as my little cousin approached me with a smile, I had to look awayy from my phone, and 0,was snapped back from the moment. His shirt was orange, though, so I remember.

prompt #24 - and what don't you see?
prompt #23 - surrondings and associations
prompt #22 - write about who you are
prompt #21 - a memory of a sound
prompt #20 - what i didn't hear
prompt #19 - listening
prompt #18 - what sounds are happening right now?
prompt #17 - a scene in your life
prompt #16 - a memory of a house
prompt #15 - stairs

(this one is heavily inspired by house of leaves, a book by mark z. danielewski)

There is a spiral staircase inside the house on Ash Tree Lane. One would think it’s a normal set of stair, inside of a completely common house. You would use it, step after step echoing as you go down to the basement, a totally normal layout for a house. But no. It is nothing like that. To get to the spiral staircase you need to enter a corridor. A man who used to live there called it the Five and a Half Minute Hallway, because that was the time it took to him to reach the end, the first time he tried to cross it.

Through this hallway you will probably stumble upon some doors and bifurcations. Do not enter any of them. Just keep walking, always in the same direction. Walk straight ahead, or at least do your best. I would not blame you for getting lost, it’s very hard to maintain your sense of direction intact after entering that place. This place.

Then, after some minutes if you’re lucky or some hours if you’re not, you will arrive at the cathedral. It’s colossal, maybe even bigger than a cathedral, but there’s not much I can do about the name. It is what it is, already decided. But the point here is that you need to look for the wall. It’s the only way to navigate the place, the black floor and ceiling so high it’s impossible to see it. And yet still so dark, that the darkness swallows you, and not even the more powerful and impressive lantern in the world could help see anything in this place. Even if you bottle the sun and bring it down here with you, it wouldn’t be enough. The sunlight would not see past your fingers hugging the bottle.

So going through the nearest wall, if you’re able to find it, it’s possible to walk to the right for a while, and again, if you’re lucky and the house decides that you can find your destiny, after some minutes you will sense a change on the ground beneath your feet and suddenly you’re descending the spiral staircase. Stop for a moment when it happens. Think very carefully about if you really want to go down this spiral. There is no going back from there.

prompt #14 - The Bus by Frida Khalo: where are they going?

When seated on the bus at the end of the day, I like to observe the people in front of me. Even if the wind is violently blowing through the windows there is a kind of stillness in the scene, with everyon so bone tired they just look like a forest of statues. Except for the boy, of course. He’s energetic, looking at the window from the big open green ladscape to the outlines of the fumming city, eyes full of wonder. His mother at the side seems to be sleeping, but the baby shaped budle in her arms tells me maybe she is just resting, silently watching over her child at the way to the doctor. I hear the baby coughing not long after thinking that, and the man on the left side gives the mother a side eye before turning back and returning his gaze to me. I don’t like him. He’s looking at me the same way he was looking at the young woman on his left, like he owned us. She pretends not to see it and just tries to push through her anxiety, with the consoling thought that her fianceé will be waiting at the bustop. Her scarf then suddently is ripped from her neck, the cold wind wanting to be felt without protection. She would’ve lost it forever if it wasn’t for the lady near the door, who desperately grabbed the scarf before it could fly out the window. She bumped her basket against the wall with the sudden movement, and the noise of the food inside while it was turning over itself made me flinch and lament for her, all of the care with preparing the meal going out the window, instead of the scarf.

prompt #13 - expand on one of the character's perspective on the bus

The bus is late. My little sister is crying again, and I’m worried. Mom said we need to get her to the doctor, and I hate going to the doctor. But she needs to go, so I guess I can be brave for her.

Mom is acting weird, tapping her feet and rocking my sister back and forth with too much energy. She is always so calm and collected, but now I can feel the anxiety leaking from her and streaming down on me like a rain as the coughing starts again. The sun almost blinds me when I try to look up at them, so I can only imagine her concerned furrowing brows as I tilt my head towards the sky.

And the bus finally arrives. We hop on it quickly and the motorist greets us with a smile, but my mom is busy trying not to bump my sister on something, so she doesn’t see it. I smiled back at him, hoping it would be enough greeting for the two of us.

There’s two seats by the window, between two men, one with overalls on the left and another one with a fancy hat on his head and a little bag in his hands on the right. I stumble on the way there, but somehow even with the little bundle in her arms my mom is still able to catch me before I hit the floor. We sit, and the man on the left gives my little sister a warm smile when he sees her. I want to see her too, so I stand on my feet in the seat and, reaching for my mom’s shoulder, I take a peek at her little face. She must be so tired. Mom seems even more exhausted than her, I think when she looks at me.

She pokes me in the shoulder, then smiles and points at the window behind us. There is a pretty green landscape passing us by, as the bus enters the city. The trees form a line between the grass and the concrete, like they were planted there to wait for something, for a long, long time. They are waiting, still. I’m hoping we don’t have to wait that long, after we get to the doctor. My little sister needs to get better soon, so she can return to her very long naps in peace.

prompt #12 - write about the night
prompt #11 - what do your hands do?

They are knitting a cardigan, crocheting a blanket, embroideirying a piece of cross stitch. They decorate themselves with rings, they write my scrumbled thoughts on the paper, and they type them too, when it’s to much to hold a pencil for it. They do the dishes, chop carrots and potatoes for a soup, they cook every sunday for my parents. They procrastinate with me, scrolling tiktok or a one shot story for hours on end. Holding all of my things when I have no pockets, they keep me steady when I’m standing on the bus too, all at the same time. They are very well trained, especially to not reach for anyone’s hand. But sometimes they do it anyway. They can not help it.

prompt #10 - morning, nouns and adjectives

darkness, curtains, faint music, irritating alarm, sheets, pillow, stuffed owl, cellphone, irritating alarm again, movement, pressed face, another little/short nap, irritating alarm, warm bed, cold floor, flip-flops, toothbrush, bathroom, sink, hand towell, bedroom again, wardrobe, clothes, purple skirt, grey t-shirt, old shoes, keys, backpack, earphones, phone charger, rings, necklace, earings, stairs, kitchen, salt, living room, sofa, father, door, keys, backyard, gate, locker, street, sun on the hills, earphones again, music, footsteps, bustop, people, conversation, bus, card, turnstile, seat.

prompt #9 - what do you carry?

Carrying so much, my back just hurts all the time now. Spending all day away from home, I need to have everything with me. All the time. One of my best friends always borrows my phone charger, or my pencils and text markers. She doesn’t have the same habit as me, always complaining about something she forgot at home. She sorts through my backpack, looking for post its to use on the book she’s reading for her class the next day. But maybe, there somethings I don’t want her to see. Like a cheap notebook I started carrying around some weeks ago. It’s empty, for the thing I’m wanting to use it for, anyway. Only the first pages were used, for some of my research notes from when I was still at the history undergrad course studying about the Alexandria’s Lighthouse, one of the seven words of the ancient world. It’s a time capsule of sorts, and I want to use the rest of it as a writing practice journal, and the mere thought of having to go through the effort of explaining all of this to her makes me dread the moment she will eventually find the notebook, and jokingly poke me about it.

prompt #8 - I am too afraid to tell you, second version

They were at his favorite restaurant, again. It was their sixth date, if being precise about it, but none of them were counting that kind of stuff anymore at this point.

She was eating sushi while he talked about his mom’s business, how he would help her with the finances on the weekends and sometimes even answer some emails in her name. His plate was still untouched, the smell of spilled soy sauce hovering over the table from the incident 10 minutes ago when he was gesturing so wide and frantically while talking he hit the waiter with his arm. The insistent apologizing and his awkward but charming smile were cute though.

She was doing just that, besides eating. Just watching as he speaks, and listening too, of course, but she would like very much to just be able to look at him. He was not exactly handsome in a standard way, but more of the kind who had a charm, an aura that would encapsulate everyone in the room and hypnotize who wasn’t prepared or used to it. To him. She liked not being prepared, even after months of going on dates, the two of them. Since their first meeting, bumping into each other at the almost closed library on a friday night, she was craving more and more that feeling of being all of a sudden engulfed by his presence. So, she was looking and attentively listening, and hadn't said a single word in the last 20 minutes.

And he was loving having this space to talk, she would think. But, sometimes at the end of a sentence, or even in the middle of it, he would stop talking. He would make a pause for a little bit too long, looking at her with those big brown eyes of his. She knew what that was. So, she would just smile and nod, gesturing for him to continue while carefully picking up another piece of sushi, using the sticks with the delicacy and stability of a surgeon, not letting even the tiniest grain of rice drop from her tight grip. Her hands are steady.

So, taking just what he could get, he would just sigh and give her a patient smile, soft at the edges. He looked down at his own plate, full of food still needing to be eaten and not a single word still needing to be spoken. He was waiting for her. For her to finish her sushi, to order something else, anything really. It didn’t need to be her whole life story. He just wanted to hear her voice.

But she didn’t knew that, at the time. She didn’t knew where he was going to take all of this, where he wanted them to go. She was just hoping that, wherever this place was, she would be able to meet him there just on time.

prompt #7 - I am too afraid to tell you, first version

I am too afraid to tell you about a lot of things. My mind keeps racing, but I stutter and can’t open my mouth. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. In fact I really do, I want to. But it seems that there’s a cage in my chest, and every little thing about me is a frightened animal, hissing and growling at anyone who gets too close to the heart. It takes a lot of time, to acclimate. To make all of those hostile creatures to calm down and stop trying to bite you, to start to get close to you. And, when it finally comes close enough and lets you touch its head and pets its nose, the cage opens just a little, and then I can tell you. I will still be afraid to tell you, cause now this creature is yours too, yours to handle. You can run away if you want, but this will always be out in the open now, and if you really want to turn your back and try to get away with it, it will haunt you.

There’s a song about this, now that I’m thinking too much about it. I can recommend it to you, but as every little thing I already told you about, It’s cursed, because it belongs to me. It’s haunted, just like me, just like my animals, and it will come after you.

prompt #6 - a scar

The scar on my ring finger caughts my attention from time to time. I was home alone doing the dishes when a mug slipped from my soapy hands and it was already broken when I tried to caught it. My ring finger clashed with the shattered porcelain and a gash instantly opened. With my other hand I tried to clean the soap out of the cut, and the first thing I saw then was the white flesh, staring back at me out in the open. I was mesmerized by it, but the spell was broken by the blood, starting to come out. It was slow at first, the flow of the red river, but the more time I stood there paralyzed the more the flood would pour out of me, the soap and water turning pink on the sink below.

And there’s this thing about me. When I get hurt or very nervous, I sometimes start to laugh. It’s just a reaction, I know, from shock or something, but it is weird. So, while my hand was getting so covered in blood it started to drip I had a burst of laughter, and only after some minutes I finally had the basic idea that I should’ve been calling someone. I clearly was bleeding too much, and my mind decided to just laugh about it.

prompt #5 - things burning hot
prompt #4 - things with bitter taste
prompt #3 - annoying sounds
prompt #2 - first memories of writing and reading

My hand is very firm while the teacher stands by the chalkboard drawing beautiful letters, as I try to copy her. My hand is so firm that the paper is folding over in some places, and my middle finger is hurting from the position I hold my pencil with. I’m trying very hard to follow the dotted lines on my notebook and my tongue sticks out of my mouth in concentration, something my mother would call my attention for if she was here to see it. When the teacher passes by my little table where me and my friend are trying so very hard to draw the letter H like the examples on the chalkboard, she says we’re doing great. I was happy with that. I think, but not so much as I was when I would please please ask my mom if she would please read the little Red Riding Hood story for me just one more time before I go to bed and she would sigh and do it, or when my aunt would make funny voices while reading Alladin to me. My happiness was found in those moments when someone would make the time to read for me while I couldn’t do it myself.

But then suddenly I could read, and then my happiness passed by to the moments where everyone would leave me alone and I was able to read for eight hours straight, taking the book to the kitchen to eat with me and to the bathroom to sit with me there. I still eat with a book beside me from time to time, and my mom at the dinner table would just sigh and call my attention for when my tongue exits my mouth just a little as I concentrate.

prompt #1 - I remember

I remember my dad and I used to play a game when I was little. We could be on the street waiting for my mom to get out of the grocery store or in the car going somewhere, and he would see a car pass us by and ask me what was the name of it’s model, the brand, if it was a sedan or anything among those lines. There was never a prize, just the satisfaction that I was able to memorize all of these car brands and types just to entertain my dad when we were bored out of our minds.

Nowadays, however, I can’t name car models anymore. Some generic one pass us by on a road trip and when my dad asks me the name, I can’t remember. I go around and read the name on the back of the car, and it still feels like I failed on a test, or worse, it feels like I cheated. And he knows. He isn’t even looking at me, problably on the backseat while my mom is sleeping on the passenger seat. He’s just driving, but he would look at me through the rear view mirror and I would just see his eyes. And I know, and he knows that I know that he knows, and we all know, even my mom, even though she’s still sleeping.

In some way or another we three know that we forgot how to do this, how to entertain each other, how to say things and really mean it, how to memorize car models.

I look him in the eyes through the rear view mirror and there’s silence, and I know.