Here are Aneta Cruz’ 24 exclusive hours to shout out to all of you! Get going, Aneta!
Someone once asked me to write about the joys of writing. In response to that, my jaw dropped, my eyeballs popped out of my head and fell on the floor. “The joys of writing?” I asked no one in particular since I was home alone—a very rare occasion. Then I collected my eyeballs off the tile and wrote: I HATE WRITING!
I hate sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time, letting my ass grow larger and larger as it sculpts itself into the mold of the chair. I hate that my eyes hurt from the white blank page that gets slowly filled with words which seem to be sneering at me because they know they will eventually be deleted. “You’re wasting your time,” they seem to spell when I’m nearly cross-eyed and all I see are black shadows stretching across the Mount Everest my page has become. I hate not being able to sleep because all I can think of is that damn dialogue that needs to be re-written first thing in the morning. I hate my migraines that come precisely at the moment in which the Muses have decided to dance around in my head, but my head refused to join the fun. I hate saying good bye to my characters and leaving them in the world in which my presence is no longer needed because the words The End have made me an outcast.
Then I take a deep breath.
And I smile.
I love imagineering. I love building a world out of nothingness, one word at a time. I love describing sceneries that cause me to stare in awe with my inner eye. I love being surprised by the sudden turns in the story that make me say, “How come I didn’t think of that?—Oh,wait, I just did!” I love creating characters who will tie everlasting bonds with their readers. I love bursting out in laughter when I depict their antics. I love that my eyes water when my body can no longer contain the sorrow my characters feel. I love that they feel. I love telling their story, and I love sharing it with the world. And when I re-read my story and my eyes linger on the words The End, I realize
I LOVE HAVING WRITTEN.
Always falling head over heels for men who have nothing to offer her, and running from those who do, Kara realizes that her quest to find Mr. Right is harder than expected. As if her “mostly ludicrous” dating escapades weren’t enough to deal with, her unusual combination of friends—one gay, one a virgin, one dating a married man, and one always telling her to “give it up on the first date in order to start a flourishing relationship”—isn’t of much help in matters of the heart either. Perhaps a kiss in the middle of the Charles Bridge could finally bring her happiness. But wait! That’s just an old myth, isn’t it?
Dr. Josef Stein was trained as a man of science and rationality, but after a tragic experience, he believes that there is something within—or even without—the human body science cannot explain. And Stein would do anything to witness it! When his patients begin seeing a ghost, and a woman suspected of killing her child even accuses this spirit of the crime, Stein takes it upon himself to investigate. Unexpectedly, evidence of a supernatural phenomenon starts to mount. The good doctor’s quest to see is ignited with fervor. He thinks he is on the verge of uncovering the veracity of a thousand-year-old myth when his research gets interrupted by the Gestapo. Stein turns to his colleagues and friends for help, but they begin to suspect that the doctor’s determination may have unhinged his mind. Has Stein, after years of treating the crazy, gone mad himself?
The Mysterious Mandolin is a tale of two stepsisters whose love for one another must overcome death, wickedness of dark magic, and bullying. This fairy tale juxtaposes the light and the dark side of characters and settings, while it examines the lengths to which people would go in order to achieve what they most desire.
ANETA CRUZ holds a BA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. She is the winner of the 2011 Desert Literary Society Fiction Award. Her poetry and prose appear in numerous magazines and journals, such as the GNU, Badlands, The Alchemy Forum, Mused, etc. She divides her time between the Czech Republic and Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and Poe—the cutest ugly dog in the world.