Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Friday July 5th 2013
Sewanee Young Writers Conference

by Julia Debski

It was not musical tunes that passed through her head, but rather a melody quite unique to a writer, and to the woman on the bed. The hum of stories, worlds, and dramas rose and sunk in her mind, creating a song unique to herself.

The water shut off and soon she was no longer alone in the room, apart from the company of voices in her head and outside the window.

“Oh River, I wish you would get up. It’s almost noon, and lunch will be served.” Amanda said before dropping the towel and walking the length of the room to the dresser. River turned her head an increment of a degree to watch the goosebumps rise on the other woman’s skin. She continued to stare with a seemingly blank stare as silk slipped and curled over the ribs and thighs, wrapped up from the cold. 

“What do you think? Is this alright?” Amanda spun once, for her dress to twirl around her once. Like the ballerina she once was as a child. River’s lips slipped into a small satisfied smile. She loved that dress. It always quieted the voices gushing in her mind. As if they were as in awe of Amanda as River was. Slowly, River’s eyes drifted back up to the ceiling.

On the other side of the room, gentle clicks of lipsticks and mascaras being opened was heard. River’s dearest character hushed the others before voicing her hope for Amanda to wear her dark red lipstick, the color of over ripe cherries. The one that made her skin look pale and soft, and her green eyes dazzle. That was why this one was her favorite. It was much like River, in a sense.

Preoccupied with a discussion occurring between two creatures in their little world, River did not hear the gentle pat of bare feet approaching. Lips upon hers woke River from the trance. She hadn’t realized her eyes had fallen shut. A lazy smile bloomed on her lips, causing Amanda to pull away, amused. River cracked an eye open, and her breath caught. She raised a finger slowly to hover before her lover’s lips. Asking for permission. Amanda smiled and gave her a small nod. The finger landed on the left corner of her bottom lip, gentle. Careful not to mar the heavy color. Then it ran along the length, before traveling back again along the top one. Faded slightly now, but not noticeable. River returned the finger to her own mouth and rubbed the cherry red traces on her own lips. Then she raised herself slightly to capture Amanda’s lips between her teeth, feeling a different type of goosebumps rise on her skin at the thought of the color staining her teeth. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dead Before Life

July 4th 2013
Sewanee Young Writers Conference

Dead Before Life
by Julia Debski

Day in, day out,

Be good, be great, be the best
Don’t eat, don’t sleep,

Ideas flood by
Drowning the pen and paper
No sleep, it’s for the weak,

Click clack of keys
The children of others being born
Nothing of my own

It was washed away with
The tide
Laugh, cry
Hands shake,

Breath life into something that
Does not yet exist
A stillborn baby 
Presented to the world 4 months too early.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Leave It

July 1st 2013
Sewanee Young Writers Conference

Leave It
by Julia Debski

Alice sits in an armchair, hunched over in a dark room. The black curtains are drawn over the windows, letting no light in. Audience can’t see her face. It’s quiet- no music, no animals, no noise from outside. Then a small clock chimes somewhere in the dark.

Alice Oh shut up with that noise! I heard enough of it already.

Clock continues to chime. Alice turns and throws a glass at the clock. It smashes, and the chiming stops. The audience can now see her face- pale, and set in a frown. Haunted.

Alice  I swear to God, if I have one more interruption...

There is a knock at the door. Alice looks like she is considering throwing something at the door as well.

Alice Don’t come in! That’s what the sign on the door is for- stay out!

Betty (offstage) Oh honestly, you are ridiculous. You open this door this instant. We are going sort you out.

Alice I don’t want to be sorted out, damn it!

Betty picks the lock to Alice’s door and enters.

Alice Oh shit, how’d it open? Doesn’t matter. Get out, out! Leave me alone.

Betty No. You can’t just stay in this room for the rest of eternity, that’s insane. You need to get your life started again. 

Alice I’m perfectly happy in here, really. 

Betty You call living in the dark and isolation being happy? Come on, we both know you are far from happy.

Alice I am happy!

Betty You are not!

Alice So what should I do to become happy?

Betty (hesitant) Well you could...

Alice Spit it out!

Betty You could get a job.

Alice Hell no. Absolutely not. No way.

Betty You need to get your life up and running again, and you need money to do that. To go see movies, go out and eat, buy things. You need a job.

Alice (becoming angry) I don’t want to start my life again. Why should I? I don’t want to do any of those things.

Betty You’ve always been such a pessimist.You can’t live your life out in here. Eventually, the money you have saved for the rent will run out. You will need to step outside this room eventually. Come on, we’ll do it together.

Betty moves forward quickly and grabs Alice’s arm, dragging her out of the arm chair and towards the door. Taken by surprise, Alice doesn’t manage to fight back at first. They struggle for a moment before Alice breaks free.

Alice What the hell? Get off me! Don’t touch me! (pause) How can I make myself clear? I don’t want to go out there, I can’t go out there. How can I go out there and live my life when I can never escape what happened? That town, they don’t want me. I’m dirty to them.

Betty You are not dirty. It wasn’t your fault. Don’t let what happened, and what a few people say affect your life. Otherwise you are letting him win. 

Alice Him. We can’t even say his name. He has won. He took what he wanted and left me behind a building. No matter what, I’m better off here.

Betty Oh dear...

Betty moves forward to hug Alice. Alice quickly steps away, holding her hands in front of her in defense. She trips over something, not being able to see it in the dark.

Alice I don’t want a job. 

Betty Okay, so you don’t want a job. But you have to at least start getting out more.

Alice Why?

Betty Because you are stronger than this. I know you. We’ll do it together, one step at a time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


June 30th 2013
Sewanee Young Writers Conference


A Play

Oliver: It’s brown, because it’s leather. A really old-like fancy leather book. No bigger than my hand when it’s spread out. Like this, see? From the tips of my fingers to the palm. No, no, it wouldn’t be like your hand. Too small. It smells kind of funny as well, cause its so old. It was made a long time ago. Hundreds of years old. That’s why the pages are all yellowed and faded. It’s really important I find it. I need it.

Aunt Celine: Why on earth would you want such an awful little book? It was terribly smelly, I made sure it was one of the first things to go. You really mustn't worry about such petty things as little books, Oliver. It isn’t wise.

Oliver: No, no, NO! You don’t understand, you don’t get it! I need it Aunt Celine! It is very important. You have no idea. None! Oh no, no, no. What did you do with it? Where did it go? I need to know now. Oh god, look now my hair is falling out. That’s how important it is to me, Aunt Celine. My hair is coming out in my hands! Well that’s just disgusting. Oh god, oh no! Where is my book? I need it. Do you understand? Need it. What’s this? Why is my face wet? Are these tears? I’m crying, aren’t I? Oh god, my little leather book. What will I do without it? Nothing, simply nothing! Wanna know why? Huh, do you? Is that blood? My nose is bleeding, Aunt Celine! Look what you’ve done to me. This is why I need my little book. Wanna know why  it’s so important? I’ll tell you if you tell me what’s caught in my throat. What is it, Aunt Celine, it’s blocking my throat. I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! You wanna know why it’s so important?

Monday, July 1, 2013

If My Writing Was A Place

July 1st 2013
Sewanee Young Writers Conference

If my writing was a place...

The sunset highlights the outline of the trees, making it far more dramatic. Creatures not native to this land, this planet emerge and wander. They chatter and meet, discussing through their language barriers. Everywhere I turn is something new and strange and wierd and wonderful. Some animals glow, others have scales, or feathers longer than my arm. The sun is still setting, never quite making it behind the horizon and keeping us, and the forest, from plunging into the night.

 Magic is alive here, walks amongst the trees, dressed in robes and cloaks. It smiles or glares, to each their own. The not-quite shadows shelter things from view, things we know are there yet don't want to see- death, inequality, prejudice, anger, hatred. Walk too close and it will grab you around the ankle and drag you into the shadows. I still sport a handprint scar on my ankle.

The sun will never set, leaving just enough light for life to continue and magic to thrive. Nor will it ever fully rise, never to chase away the shadow things or release the darkness of the forest.