Category Archives: Poetry
Usually by mid-Week 2 of NaNoWriMo, the WriMos in my immediate vicinity start to peter out for various reasons. Before you join them my dear, lemme share this true-to-life story that will keep you in the saddle.
Don’t worry, it’ll be quick. ;)
I started participating in National Novel Writing Month back in 2012, after a good friend of mine suggested we participate in it together from our respective places on Earth. In 19 days, I managed to hammer out The Black Parade, and I was really proud of the effort. That personal achievement boosted my creative energy and pushed aside the trappings of my ego, providing me the freedom to deliver a manuscript to a local independent publisher.
By the time NaNoWriMo 2013 ramped up, I Blew Up Juarez was in the hands of my editor, getting polished for a February 2014 debut.
For NaNoWriMo 2013, I teamed with my writing partner, Marie, to put together a psycho-terror work. I’ve never written horror before, let alone have an interest in horror films (Human Centipede? Really??) but Marie, a fan and writer of horror, encouraged me to enter that wormhole. When I showed her what I was working on, she shared, “You really can write horror!” Now I know that comes off as Marie stroking my cock, but Marie doesn’t stroke cock unless she really means it, and THAT’S WHAT MAKES HER A GREAT WOMAN. So, happily, I championed Momma’s Boy for my second halo.
This week, Thirteen Press released Night Walkers, a horror anthology featuring authors from around the globe, and Little Miss Stretchy Pants over here is in it!! :D I’m the first short story, which is cool; the opening act now, maybe down the road I’ll be the grand finale! But again, by persevering and completing a NaNoWriMo competition, my work isn’t in the bowels of my notebook backup routine. I’m bonafide!
So hey, buddy, I know you’re feeling like folding the cards and collecting your chips, but please please consider the why of it from the get go: you love to write. You LOVE to write, and you HAVE to write. You’re amongst like-minded and weak-willed artists; lean on us! Who cares about the word count, just get the story out. And then, maybe later down the line, when you’re up to it, you’ll get published, and then NaNoWriMo is no longer a competition…it’s a refresher course. ;)
STICK IT OUT! KEEP ON WRITIN’!!
Why we write…
[Another fun night with fellow writers at the cafe this past Sunday. This was a more ‘intermediate’ session: focusing on poetry ONLY, and having to work within particular formats. Essentially, getting out of the comfort zone, and see where the mind takes you!]
Concept: Using an entry from textsfromlastnight.com, create either a limerick or a four line, AB stanza
Actual text: HIV testing and a light brunch. Sounds like a great way to spend Christmas Eve
I did a limerick!
There once was a girl from Atlanta*
Who looked forward to a visit from Santa
but first she got tested
a full brunch she ingested
then she punched the disease-spreading wanker!
* home of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Now you try it! Feel free to share your work in Comments..
Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!
Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.
Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.
For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?
Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:
Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!
You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!
Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:
Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! :D I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??
[Fun day with Writer’s Block last Sunday! This was an ekphrastic exercise, my favorite timed prompt. Here’s what I produced in the 15 minute time frame.]
Concept: Observe one of the featured paintings on the Community Cafe wall, and write in response.
He bought me this bunny. He bought me this bunny because when we first met at the fountain, he overheard me talking to my best friend Jordie about the movie “Con Air.” Jordie and I thought we were the only Americans at the fountain in Hannover until that afternoon. The three of us kept talking about bunnies in movies. “Best film rabbit ever?” “Donny Darko!” He and I hugged at whim, a random affection imparted to a random man in a not so random city, or as Jordie pointed out, in a very romantic city. “Come on,” Jordie begged like a whiny kid, “give love a try, one more time, for me.”
“For you, or because we’re in Europe?”
“Just fall in love, kiddo.”
He brought the velveteen, blue-gray bunny to the bistro that evening. I’m so glad you called, he said. Where’s Jordie? He asked. When I didn’t answer, he blushed. “I brought you something.” I already saw its black leathery nose peeking out of the top of his bulky cargo pants. I watched as he fished around, knowing what he was going to do before he did it, but psyching myself to not laugh until he did it.
And then he did. And I laughed so hard, so hard… I don’t remember ever laughing that hard before. Or ever since.
That bunny rode on his dashboard during the six months he was away; I, back home in Florida, pretending not hearing from him every second of every minute of every damn day didn’t cause me any heartache. One scary phone call at 4am; he thought he was in trouble. I trembled for him, I cried for him, all the while repeating, “You stay alive, baby. That’s your job, stay alive,” in the steadiest voice I could.
I never knew the beauty of a sunny day until the day he landed at the airfield. Safe, all in one piece, handsome in his tailored suit. It looked like the one we saw across the street from our table, on a headless mannequin behind a shop window. I squinted as sun rays coaxed him down the stairs and into my arms…yes, it is the exact same suit.
In a separate bag, he carefully removed the bunny and placed it in my hands. Coated in motor oil and sand, he kept apologizing for its sorry state. I hugged the dirty, sandy bunny, the talisman that brought my heart home in one piece.
And that’s why, my sweet little girl, this bunny is so old and dirty. It was busy keeping your father’s love for me alive.