A Small Promise

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4.22 A Small Promise

He said come here and hold me
All throughout the night.
I’d love to, Love, but I’m afraid
I promised I would write.

Your kisses make me smile
And your arms are my delight
But I’ve a second rendez-vous
I promised I would write.

For I’m a woman of my word
And words give no respite
I’ll come back to your warm embrace
I promised I would write.

Who knows how long I waited
For the muses to alight?
Cursing that I ever said
I promised I would write.

Your sleepy hands reached for me
In the waning white moonlight
I took your hands and kissed them
I promised I would write.

And I’m a woman of my word
And the words are tucked in tight
So kiss me love for I am here
I promised I would write.

Empty Space / Love and Bouldering

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4.10 Empty Space

The empty space inside my head
Is vast, but ever shrinking
I find I bring my focus back
With patient, conscious thinking

Or else I stare at something bland
And let my hands meander
Perhaps they’ll write a shiny phrase
And my brain will take a gander.

I haven’t looked down at the keys
Which I know sounds most outlandish
Would you be kind enough to look
In case there’s something I accomplished?

****

4.11 Love and Bouldering

If I’m a bucket
You’re a crimp
We make an interesting climb
I’ll take your arms
You’ll need my fingers
We’ll make it up just fine
I’ll hold your feet
You take my toes
While we’re both in our prime
And when we’re up
We’ll trace back down
Let’s chalk it up to time

****

With thanks to a Facebook Ad

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I used my prose way back in May
When I had useful things to say

And then in June I wondered why
My well of words was cracked and dry

I used my prose – such lovely thoughts
I wrote them out, those nimble plots

Those thankless letters left me there
Stuck with August everywhere

I scratched out words one at a time
I seeded prose in autumn rime

Ruminating through the cold
I felt the silence taking hold

I used my words way back in May
In March I had nothing to say

Till suddenly the prose came home
And settled in my finger bones

Perhaps I have new things to say
I only hope to last past May…

——

I saw a Facebook ad that was about a shampoo or something. In my haste to scroll by, my brain simplified the first sentence to “I started using prose in May.” The rest wrote itself very quickly, until the end. I have difficultly telling when my brain wants to end something hopefully for real, or if it’s pretending to ignore a reality that I don’t want to face. Not writing for months, for example, in any format. All my writing has been on ice for what feels like ages.

NaPoWriMo is starting in a week. I hope that gets my creative muscles flexing again.

Walls and Otherwise

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Walls and Otherwise

An edifice of sandstone, smooth and windswept.
One would think it was a cliff face
For all its length and height.
It is imposing.
It suggests impenetrability.
I walk to it, taking in the immense flatness of it.
My fingers press on its sun-warmed surface and am surprised to feel small, red granules roll away under my fingers and fall to my feet.
Hesitantly, I scratch the wall, watch flakes fall
and turn to dust.
I tap, grind, dig, emboldened.
The seemingly solid mass gives way begrudgingly
My hands will hurt tomorrow.
It would be easier to stop, but I’m insatiable.
Finally, a hand pops through the other side
The wall is not thick.
Simply a grand facade.
I reach through and there on the other side I can feel them brushing against my hands.
My words.

NaPoWriMo Strikes…Again!

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It’s that time of the year again – it’s National Poetry Writing Month! And luckily, this year I’ve remembered that I do NaPoWriMo every year.

For the next 30 days, I will endeavor to put up a new poem every day. On days when this gets away from me – either because I’m reclining in the heat of a luxurious bed, or because I’ve been called to the mountaintops – I will post the necessary make-up poems as soon as possible.

So without further fanfare…Shall we write?

<strong>Day 1: A Poor Beginning (A Sonnet)</strong>

I’ll christen paper with this pen of mine
Or click the proper electronic links
I’ll edit out the words which do not rhyme
And iron out mistakes and awkward kinks

For what do I endeavor to unfold?
What hopes of mine do I intend to find?
A writer seeks to leave no truth untold
Even those that lurk within their mind

I pray the words from this my feeble brain
The crude and crumbly edges of this noise
That from my witless rambling you will gain
A speck of strength to speak with your own voice.

I’ll write a month of poems grand and dire
In hopes a better poet gets inspired!

The Process: New Plots

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I’m stalling.

See, I have three good pages. Three engaging pages of prologue that set up a really fun soon to be book. I can feel it, in my periphery as I type.  I’m tweaking my voice, and I like where it’s going.

Except I don’t know where it’s going, really. I have three good pages all done, and snippets of future chapters written and stored for later. But I don’t know what the story is yet. Is it going to be dystopian? Heroic? Is my protagonist secretly immoral? She’s definitely got that edge about her, in the five thousand words I have so far.

I spoke to my new writing buddy Christian, and he showed me a printout he had just done containing dozens of questions to ask a protagonist. He said that asking all the questions ahead of time, or asking a different question each time you sit down to write, might help give a better idea of what the character wants to do when presented with the scene you set. That may be true, but right now my difficulty is not with my new leading lady, nor her script. My issue is with the scenery – the flats haven’t been spiked. The curtains are flying incorrectly. I’m not even sure if there’s supposed to be a table when the show opens or not.

(I’m mixing my metaphors now.)

Times like these, I usually turn to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, a book I feel every writer should own and read on a regular basis. Except I didn’t bring a copy with me to Japan, and while I remember most of the book, I don’t remember her exact advice for not rushing a character or a story. The only passage that is currently lodged in my memory is her analogy that finishing a story is like putting an octopus to bed. Except I haven’t even thought of my conclusion, because I’m stuck two-thirds of the way into the prologue. No, not stuck. This isn’t writer’s block. This is…forgery and spell craft. I’m trying to decide what something will be before I’ve actually formed it in my mind.

I find that freethinking exercises work best at the beginning. I give myself permission to write down every idea that pops into my head, without judgment or editing. Then I look over what I’ve done in, say, ten minutes and see if I’ve managed to come up with any interesting ideas.  It’s a good way to declutter your creative space, as well as find any new leads you might have overlooked. The trickiest part is the permission – your inner editor (if it’s anything like mine) will have an opinion on everything you come up with.

Me: hmm…space pirates?
Inner Editor: That’s stupid. Don’t write that.
Me: I feel pretty strongly about this space pirate idea.
Inner Editor: Like you did about your failed pirate book back in college?
Me: Here’s a glass of mental bourbon. Relax for ten minutes, and drink the mental bourbon while I do this. Then you can tear it apart and remind me of my pile of rejection letters. Deal?
Inner Editor: Deal!
Escapism: Did someone say bourbon?
Me/Inner Editor: NO.

I know that I have to write out something for this prologue to continue. I have three ideas for where I could go, but no idea where each path ultimately leads.

 

Like I said, this post is pure stalling. I guess I’ll stop now, and get back to writing.

Wallowing

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I’m eating goldfish crackers

All the way down to the salty crumbs.

Then I eat the flakes too.

Walk in ineffectual circles,

Listen to ineffectual music.

Recite ineffectual mantras.

Because when you told everyone to leave you be,

That today was your “writing day”

Then suddenly you need people

And you can’t bring yourself to ask for help

Or speak of the hurt

Or untangle your necklaces

The only thing you can do is wallow.

Eat all the crackers,

Avoid the whiskey in the closet,

And hold tight to the main mast

Until the squall passes.

Because deep down you know – I know –

That the storm may not pass entirely,

But it will eventually mellow,

Which will give you the space you need

To breathe, to write, to speak,

And push through to to the next, new sun.