Essays, Misc, Stories

Stuck? Try Writing Poetry

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any new writing. There is a reason for that: busy, busy, busy relaunching my first book under my own name, busy revising the sequel so it might be ready in the new year, and well, Life keeps happening. And another thing: being in this writing group of mine has really done a number on me. 

Being primarily a genre writer it was a stretch for me to jump into a group that consisted mostly of lit-fic writers. But I wanted the challenge; I wanted to see what I could glean from the experience. It has been great, and I have learned a lot. But it has also been confusing. “Rules” that have been drilled into my head in all my learning over the years and which apply generally to genre fiction (“No head popping”, “cut out ‘to be’ verbs as much as you can”, “show don’t tell”, “pacing is key”, “make sure you hook your reader in the first chapters” amongst others) seem to be thrown out the window in favour of the story–at least that’s my take. I’m also being exposed to different types of writing I’ve not come into much contact with before (creative non-fiction, for example). So, when it comes to thinking of writing a story, suddenly I’m bombarded with a slew of  questions before I even begin: why am I writing this? Is there some larger application or meaning to this and how can that best be shown? Can I even figure out how to blend the old and the new into a comprehensive story?

From www.blogging4jobs.com
From http://www.blogging4jobs.com

None of this is bad. It’s just taking time to figure it all out and turn it into a language (voice) I can use. That’s why that ‘silly’ writing experience last week was so important to me: it reminded me why I write. I write because I like it, not because I feel I have something to prove. Since then, the stress has diminished.

Today, I wrote two poems. I don’t consider myself a poet but when Life Happens, as it has in drastic fashion over the last few weeks, I find poetry helps unblock me. They might not be great but at least creative expression is flowing. Oh, and I usually write poetry by hand. This is a tactic I usually hate, since I think faster than I write, but for poetry I find refreshing. I’ve heard it said that handwriting uses a different part of the brain and forces the brain to slow its thinking. Perhaps this is what contributes to that ‘unblocking’ alluded to before. Anyway, since this is a writing blog here’s the second of the two poems written today. Enjoy, or not. I told you, I’m not a poet 🙂

Compulsion

 

Goodbye
is holding a palmful of water,
watching crystal rivulets trickle back into
the pool from whence they
Came.

Goodbye
is standing on a mountaintop,
listening for an echo only to find
it’s been dispersed
by trailing winds.

Goodbye
is me
standing,
waiting;
while your shadow,
my essence,
passes me by.

The pieces of us
Are scattered on the floor.
I pick them up
Put each one in their designated
place.
Only they fall.
Some things
just aren’t meant
to stay together.

I dig, shovel and stack
grains of sand.
Destined to ruin
no binder
no glue, my constructions
always collapse.

Our castle I will build,
this habit I will tend.
And this goodbye,
petty and ridiculous
as a house built of sand
will remain
unfinished.

Copyright@ 2014 Dyane Forde

From completehealthcircle.com
From completehealthcircle.com
Essays, Misc, Stories

I’m Writing Again and Loving Every Second of it

I’ve been quiet for some time, huh? No, no, I’m not trying to play hide and seek with you all, but as you’ve seen from some of my last posts, I’m taking time to reconsider writing and it’s place in my life, which means I’ve sort of gone back to basics. I love writing–that’s a given–but things started to go awry when the focus became producing a product not something creative that burns in my soul. So, I’m writing something now that is entirely new for me in terms of subject, story length and style. Best part is, I’m not thinking at all about what I’m going to do with it next. Eh, what’s that called again? Oh, yeah, I think it’s called writing for the love of writing and to heck with everything else. 😀

So I’ve enclosed a sample below, for fun. It’s the opening of episode 1. Real quick, it’s the story about an adolescent boy who is bullied at school but in the evenings finds solace in the gaming Virtual Reality world. Well… he finds solace for a while, but when you mix gaming, VR and the control of elemental forces you know that won’t last for long. Anyhoo, I’m five episodes in. And for those who know anything about anime, the concepts and visuals and scale (which come later in the story) are inspired by things like .Hack, Chaos/Head, PsychoPass, etc. Let me know what you think!

 

The Cloud-Gatherer’s Tears

Image by Jupiterimages
Image by Jupiterimages

When the devil’s got you good by the neck, what do you do when you’re too scared to scream? Or when he’s beats you down so hard that just thinking of moving sends shock waves of pain through every part of your body?

All the brave words you came up with, the ones meant to build you up and tear him down, if even a little, shrivel up like scraps of burnt paper; the motes dissolve into thin air just like the veneer of your courage. Panic slams into your gut like a fist until you’re sputtering and coughing up bile and spit like a man half-drowned.

What do you do when the devil’s stares turns your soul to dust?

Nothing.

You just stuff it all down, pack the hurt and the hate and the questions about justice good and tight so nothing gets by the seams. And then you wait it out.

Bullies are strong. But every storm eventually blows over.

They picked me out on the first day of school. I was the new guy, fresh off the truck as they say, the one huddled up tight against the lockers never knowing where to put my hands. Pockets? Let them hang? How do the other kids stand? Or do they lean, like this?

I pictured school as a sort of African game-land, where fluorescent lights buzzed from above like cold suns laying bare the lay of the land. I was the gazelle who never knew which line to stand in; who got lost on his way to every class. Lured by the smell of fear, the devil-lions swarmed. Pink tongues flicked, swiping salivating maws.

The lions made me bleed. And bleed and bleed until there was none left to give.

Adults say you’re supposed to get help. They preach that it’s bad to hit back. I’ve seen kids who dared to stand up for themselves get expelled for fighting. I think grown-ups have forgotten what the real world of kids is like. They think we’re nice. Innocent.

We aren’t.

Well, at least some of us aren’t. But grown-ups can’t seem to tell the difference. 

Copyright@ 2014 by Dyane Forde

Stories

Shadow in the Sun

The box weighs in my arms and the corners bite into my skin. Spying the appointed place, the one I chose between the flower bed and the maple tree, I begin the slow procession of one.

The grass is soft beneath my bare feet. The flowers are fragrant and the sun shines down, kissing everything it graces with golden rays. Everything, that is, except me. A shadow hangs over my head.

I hug the box to my chest, ignoring the pain in my arms. Thinking of Cesar pushes a sob from my lips, and finally, I let the tears flow.

At the place, I set the box down. From the flower bed beside me, I pull a rusted spade and start to hack at the ground. I barely scratch the surface; it has not rained for days.

Cesar used to slink through these flowers, breaking the stalks and tramping the blossoms into the ground. I would shout, ‘Cesar! Stop that or else–!’ and every time I said those words, I was reminded of days long past. Days when the front door slammed to admit a line of chattering teens, and then, young adults. Days when at six o’clock sharp, he would come home and we’d sit at the table, all four of us, to dinner. Now I only use the side and back doors, and the dining room table is cluttered with stuff I don’t need but collect anyway.

Then one rainy night, Cesar came to the back door. I took him in and cleaned him up. He sat on my lap when I watched TV, kept my feet warm while I drank my tea, and purred when I rubbed his belly. And in return, when he destroyed my garden, he let me holler after him as I used to do with my own children. He let me feed him scraps from the kitchen table. And he slept next to me in bed, warming the place where a different sort of body used to lie.

The hole is dug. I set the box gently inside and then cover it up.

‘He was only a cat,’ whispers the wind in my ears.

I gently pat the earth and smooth away the lumps. I set a rose on the freshly turned dirt and sit back on my heels to take in the sun. Then I stand and take a breath before turning to face the empty house.

Just a cat?

No. Cesar was so much more than only that.

cat

Copyright@ 2013 by Dyane Forde

(415 words)

Stories

The Wanderer-Poem

So last night I wrote about staring the Poetry Nemesis in the face and wrestling it to the ground. Well, the result was only so-so. But I did it! Today, I had the chance to rework it after getting some great help and direction (and yes, support) from a fellow writer (Hi, Genius!). Which means I feel a little less awkward in presenting my first poem in roughly 10 years. 🙂
The Wanderer
Beyond the Blue Horizon
there is nothing, only the
Void.
A landscape bare
where shifting winds
tear at the
Lost and the Lonely.
Swaddled in the
oppressive haze,
these stolen souls
wander.
Blinded.
Rendered deaf.
Soon to be pulled
under.
There is where you will find
me.
Savoured,
swallowed whole.
Buried alive and left to rot
in this filthy, acidic
hole.
Blue sky, untouchable.
I am brought so low.
So far beneath the surface.
Slowly
growing old.
I am gone.
I ran away from you.
There is no going back
this, I accept.
Only
I am still going.
Drifting miles apart from the
me I once knew.
D. Forde