Monday, November 15, 2010

Writing is Scary

when what you're writing about
who you're writing about
is so close to your life
so close to the problems you're going through
that it pains you to write
you feel actual, penetrable fear
and sadness
because you don't want to know what happens to your character
because you are the character
and finishing this NaNo novel is not just a task to check off my to-do list
it's not just a fun competition with my self to guiltily fill my time
instead of doing homework or a zillion other things
it's like facing a therapist for an appointment each morning
that you keep trying to push off but you know you need to go
go and release
they always told me to write from my heart
write what you know

this is why i never listened

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lewis Carroll Square Stanza Writing Prompt

It's been a while since I've written or tried to write poetry, so I felt the need to devour some good poems both old and new to get me in the right mood. I never considered myself a poet, or at least not a purposeful one. Poems come to me if they feel like it, otherwise I don't bother them.

Here's one fantastic poem I read in the July/August issue of Poetry magazine.

The Labyrinth
by Robert P. Baird 

Torn turned and tattered
Bowed burned and battered
I took untensed time by the teeth
And bade it bear me banking
Out over the walled welter
                                           cities and the sea
Through the lightsmocked birdpocked cloudcocked sky
To leave me light on a lilting planetesimal.

The stone walls wailed and whimpered
The bold stars paled and dimpled
Godgone time gathered to a grunt
And bore me bled and breaking
On past parted palisades
                                           windrows and the trees
Over a windcloaked nightsoaked starpoked sea
To drop me where? Deep in a decadent’s dream

Wow wow wow wow wow! Can I add one more wow?
The alliteration, the inner rhyme, the whimsical, sensual made-up words, the quiet imagery and unassuming flow of narration-God, how I wish I wrote this poem. Seriously!

As for the Lewis Carroll Square Stanza... I couldn't figure it out for the life at me how that man did it! I mean I could see the pattern, but it wasn't as simple as sticking words in a repeating fashion. I was sitting on the lightrail with my journal and I was scribbling, scribbling away lost in thought of how to tackle this Rubik's cube like poem. But here is my attempt. I'm not sure if it really works and the content was definitely sacrificed to fit the gimmick....

he              stays           with           me         often
stays           for            such           precious  time
with          such         eagerness      so           and 
me            precious        so               i             feel
often           time           and           feel           love

Anyways, the next prompt shall be taken from a cool feature in Writer's Digest Magazine called Reject a Hit. What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite hit books have had to endure? In 300 words or fewer, reject a hit and send it in to with “InkWell: Reject a Hit” in the subject line.

Oh this sounds fun muahahaha.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Making Headlines: Writing Prompt

Well took some time to finally sit down and write this, but I chose these three words for my short story: "trapped " "witches " and "hospital".

I used the CNN headlines: Nigerian kids killed as witches, Trapped miners building shrine, Criminal probe targets hospital where 5 newborns died in fire

So here is my very random, kinda disturbing short short story.

Johnathon woke up in a hospital room and had no idea how he got there. His ears were ringing, his lip felt chapped and his throat was dry. What had put him in this condition? He tried to remember the last thing he remembered before blacking out. And then, the realization hit him and caused to suddenly seize up in his bed and try to find an escape route. Unfortunately, the nurse was already coming in.

"Look at you awake and alert. How are you feeling, dear?" she said.

Johnathon stared at her for a second before mumbling, "Fine, good, perfect so I need to go now thanks."

The nurse tilted her head back and laughed. Her ruby red lipstick made a chill go up Johnathon's spine. Blood, he thought.

A flash of blood was the last thing he remembered seeing. Johnathon had been dabbling with dark magic, things he knew he should have stayed out of but didn't.

The nurse began flipping through charts on the wall and scribbling something down that Johnathon couldn't read. Would she believe him if he told her his story? Did she know how he got here and what he had been doing?
"There haven't been any visitors for you. Do you have any family?" she said, turning around.

"Um no kind of. Where am I?"

"In Central City Hospital. You don't know that? Are you from here?"

Johnathon shook his head. He had taken over an abandoned store in the next town for his magical experiments, away from his nosy family and friends. He couldn't risk anyone finding out and getting suspicious. They didn't understand why Johnathon was so unhappy, so unfulfilled with his life. Discovering dark magic was the perfect way for Johnathon to get what he most desired, something to make him special, respected and obeyed. He thought he could handle it. He could handle AP Chemistry and modern science was only a few steps behind alchemy anyhow.

Boy, was he wrong. What he thought would simply give him greater powers instead gave him very powerful stalkers-a whole coven of witch stalkers, to be precise. He had duped the witches with some shady deals to get some highly sought after spells and ingredients, thinking that they were too stupid to notice. Johnathon was in the game to win, not share. And now they were after him. They didn't care that he was a human. They didn't care that he was only 14.
"How did I get here? Who found me?" he asked, taking a sip of water from the glass on the bedside tray. He tried to sound normal, no hint of fear in his voice.

"Apparently you collapsed in the heat on Birch Avenue. You had no ID, no nothing. No one seemed to know ya, but there were some people around and one lady was nice enough to call 911." 

The nurse smiled and tightened her slick bun.

So no one saw me doing anything. No one saw my stuff. Good. No one saw them? Johnathon thought. Four old tall women with paper-white complexion, hawk-shaped noses, and crows tucked into their hats?
He had to atleast warn the nurse to not let anyone in, no visitors at all. The witches were shapeshifters after all and could disguise themselves to try to get access to him. He couldn't go anywhere on this bed. Johnathon wasn't used to feeling this powerless, being held against his will. He was trapped.

"Listen, this is going to sound crazy, but I really need you to do me a favor," he said. The nurse walked closer, her forehead wrinkling with concern.

"Of course,  I'm here to help you. What is it?"

"No matter what, don't let anyone into my room. No visitors or anything, please. It's extremely important. There may be some person claiming to be my mom or my dad, but don't listen to them. Unless I tell you."
Johnathon held a fixed stare, praying she'd agree.

"Johnathon, I am not sure what you are talking about, but I can assure you we follow the safety guidelines of the hospital protocol. We don't just let anyone in. Visitors have to show their ID and get approval at the front desk, don't worry. You need to take your meds and get some rest, okay? We'll need to contact your parents ASAP though. They must be worried sick!"
Johnathon groaned as the nurse grabbed a paper cup and proceeded to the sink.
She doesn't get it! Why doesn't she get it? She has to understand that they are after me! That's much worse than anything my parents need to know about.

His mind was so frazzled he couldn't remember the complete verses of any protection spells to help him. The witches could be outside this minute. They could be waiting for the nurse to leave and then kill him alone in this room and no one would even notice. 
Suddenly, the sterile, white room began to look even more depressing to Johnathon. This was never how he envisioned things to end. Not at all.


He looked up to see the nurse holding out a cup of water and two red cylinder pills in the palm of her hand.

"Come back down to Earth every once and a while, okay?" she said, grinning.

He reluctantly took the cup and popped the pills in his mouth. Taking a swig of water, Johnathon sat back in his pillow, trying to figure out his next move.

"I mean it, come back to Earth, because that's where mortals belong," her voice suddenly grating and metallic.

Johnathon's heart lurched, as he looked suddenly at the nurse who's grin was growing to the sides of her face.

"Should have known better than to double cross the Hex sisters, boy. Trying to get into where you clearly had no place with such ancient magic. Big mistake."

Johnathon's vision was beginning to cloud. He opened his mouth to yell for help, but the words came out in a slur.

"Hope you like the little concoction I made. It's our special recipe. One of the few you didn't actually steal from us."

The witch put out her hand to brush Johnathon's cheek, giggling at his recoiling from her touch. She waved her finger to pull the shades down on the window, flick the light switch off and then turned to exit the room. 
In Johnathon's last blink, he thought he saw a little beak poke out of the witch's collar.


My next prompt is to compose a square stanza like this awesome one I read by Lewis Carroll. Check this out!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Twitter Writing Prompt: Gandhi Tweets

 pic credit:

Remember the prompt I posted last time:Write the tweets of your dead hero, a dead historical figure, or a long-passed literary great.

I decided to write 5 tweets by.... Gandhi!

- an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. maybe that's why no one sees the dark path we are all going down...
-praying and fasting for pakistan. please send whatever $$ you can. we must all work together to relieve the devastation. does anybody care?
-i'm thinking about switching from glasses to contacts. what do you all think?
- spent a wonderful day picking up trash in the river that i didn't even notice the time. i almost missed today's episode of Oprah.
- this ground zero mosque story deeply saddens me. where is the satya, the truth? why must we fight and turn against our fellow man?

Hmm that was interesting, but actually hard! I didn't want to just simply use quotes by him or be too stereotypical, but I think I did allright.

Here's the next prompt:Log on to a news website, and match up three random words from three article headlines to use in a story of your own.

For example, via CNN this morning, I could have used “billion,” “targeted” and “swans” from the following headlines*:

“Half a billion eggs recalled in 17 states”
“WikiLeaks founder: I was targeted”
“Sell queen's swans, Briton suggests”

Get more great prompts, writing tips and inspiration from the Writer's Digest Blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall Season Writing Opportunities

"Education is hanging around until you've caught on"
-Robert Frost

School just started last week and I'm already hitting myself on the head for my absence of productivity this summer. I was pretty much gone the entire time traveling in Europe and trying to find time to write or any alone time for that matter was extremely difficult. I did get some reflections and lines jotted down here and there, but nothing spectacular. So instead of being pessimistic, I'm looking ahead to the opportunities I have this fall to get my creative juices flowing.

-The Lux Undergraduate Creative Review is accepting submissions until Sept 1st. I sent in a short story last year that wasn't chosen (Lunch is Served) and I'd like to try again this year. Maybe a poem this time?

-Writer's Digest has its Popular Fiction contest and Short Story Contest due around November and December.

-Of course the biggie, NaNo. I actually did a TON of writing because of it last year and I'm psyched to do it again. Granted I haven't finished the story I started from last year but it really pushed me through my writer's block and inner critic and gave me good material that I'll keep for the second draft of the novel. I do have a new story for this year, so I'm working on background info, character sketches and whatnot so I'll be all set for that.

I really want to make an effort to go to more of the NaNo group writing events, because those really help me focus and set aside time. You'd think I could just write wherever and whenever since I have a laptop but I always end up doing something else online. Curse you distracting mind! No wonder writers go on retreats to an empty house somewhere off in the woods. I think if I had a typewriter I could crank out way more than I do now. There's something so sophisticated and pretentious about typewriters that would force me to pay attention to my writing haha. I do have some sweet journals to write in. All I need is the perfect pen....

-And then there's inkpop, which I have sadly neglected for several months. No one is reading my stuff and I haven't been exactly promoting or networking on the site either. It seems really hopeless because I've already asked all my friends on there to read my stuff and they've either picked or just commented on my pieces and that's it. No new people stop by to read so I don't do anything on there. I guess I don't have the major work that I want people to notice so I don't really care? I have a bunch of poems and a few short stories, but I think people care more about reading novels on inkpop. And guess what I haven't written yet? Sigh...

I always thought I would finish a novel sometime even if it was crap but my mind just doesn't want to do it. I'm way more interested in writing short stories, but then all the ideas I come up with are way too big for that length and then the ideas I come with for novels just don't seem deep or complex enough for me to write that much. I just...stop. I'm like stuck in this rut of collecting ideas but then not doing anything with them because I don't know if I should turn it into a novel or a short story... or an epic poem or a haiku or a ballad...

If I was really daring, I'd make myself just do a prompt each day and write until I felt like stopping. Maybe each day I'd write for longer unconsciously? Yeah I think I'm going to do that. Get ready for a barrage of posts every day of crap upon crap on anything and everything. Writer's Digest has good prompts each day on their website so I'm gonna copy and paste them from there. Here's the link so maybe you can write along with me!

Here's today's prompt: Write the tweets of your dead hero, a dead historical figure, or a long-passed literary great.

Friday, July 16, 2010

In a Travelling Mood

"Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations"
-Albert Einstein

So I've left London and am now in Stockholm and the sadness I felt leaving is still with me now. Why does time have to go by so fast? Why is it never enough to satisfy me?

Missing London and my awesome family inspired a rather melodramatic little ditty I wrote while on the balcony of my grandma's apartment here in Sweden in order to escape the unusual suppressive heatwave. I left Arizona for a reason...sighh...

i never knew that longing could hurt
a feeling so real that it can convert
a passionate kiss and triumphant bliss
to convulsions of woe and hysterical fits
sleep interrupted; food has no use
mental strength weakened
until soft and loose
i wish the sun still comforted the same
but all i see is nature's cruel cruel game
absence make the heart grow fonder
but also makes the mind go wander

hmm it's a jumble of emotions in that right there so i'll leave it for you all to mull over.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Graphic Poetry

"I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious."
-Diego Rivera

I found this great site through StumbleUpon (seriously best creation ever!) that combines poetry and art together in a effortless visual manner. The site is

The poet has this written in his bio: "i'm a 29 year old hardcore pinko vegan pacifist metalhead loner blue-oyster-cult-worshipping computer nerd and sometimes revolutionist.  you know, one of those."

After reading several of his poems, I wish I could be one of those too. It really inspired me to try putting my words with pictures and challenging myself to do the three-frame poem that Mr. Pelon uses.

Here's one of my favorites:

Hopefully I won't get in trouble for posting this poem here. All credit is due to the amazingness of Mr. Pelon and I only want to share his awesome work with the world on my humble little blog and encourage you all to check out the rest of his poetry on his site. 

It's  much easier to read the poem straight across as it appears on the Graphic Poetry website, but it shows up weird on here as stacked pictures. Read it left to right though and it will make sense.

Anywho, I'd really like to try this new medium next and see where it takes me. I'll upload my attempts as soon as inspiration hits. Which I hope is sooner or later. Maybe I'll write about the disgusting heat wave I'm forced to endure for the next few days until I leave the country...