Category Archives: Poetry

Writing Misc.

I’ve read a few books lately that have broken some “rules.” They’ve mixed first-person and third between chapters. They’ve included pieces of a “destroyed” diary in italics, so the reader would know what was going on when the first-person protag didn’t. They’ve told stories in the present tense, first-person, and then stuck in an epilogue from another character. On and on. Yet, I enjoyed these novels. Just shows to go ya!

*

I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not sure how to describe my “ailment.” I’ve written a boatload of bloggery lately, a bit of it fictional, some poetry for Twitter, etc. I still feel that all my previously outlined story and novel ideas have potential… but I can’t work on them, given my lifestyle.

One, I’m no longer capable of getting up at 5am and writing for a few hours before work. Just can’t do it. Maybe once a week, but not consistently like I did 10 years ago.

Two, I’m not capable of writing fiction for 3-4 hours at night after work. Or even two. I’m tired. I can fling off a blog poast and some texts, but my eyeballs rebel at doing solid screen work.

Three, I’m too OCD to let my cleaning and chores mount up on weekends to write. I need to get stuff done. And I enjoy seeing movies, hanging with friends, and, most of all, spending time with family when I can. I’m not going to give up that stuff to pound out chapters of a book only a dozen people at best will ever read. Not motivated.

But that’s not the same as writer’s block. If I had the time ~ if I were retired, forex ~ I’d be cranking out those stories like I did years ago when I had more energy. They are still in my head. Dunno how long they’ll stay there. That’s a different issue.

*

Conversation with my daughter…

Me: I don’t feel safe putting my documents in the cloud.

Sharon: Why not?

Me: Because I’ve already shared a photo folder with people, so they might be able to see all of them.

Sharon: You’ve sent emails to people. Can they read all your other ones?

Me: Good point.

Sharon: Now I know how Mark Zuckerberg felt in front of Congress.

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No Sinning Here

Today I read that one of the seven deadly blogging sins was jabbering on too much about oneself without giving something to the reader, so before I indulge in more navel-glazery tonight I will give back. Yes indeed. Here is a lovely link to my books you can buy. Now, please don’t say I never gave anything to my blogfans!

Okay then.

The otter day I commented somewhere (can’t remember where) that I’m a chatty introvert. I meant to talk more about this because it’s interesting to me, since it’s about myself, and honestly what could be more interesting than meeee?

I enjoy my own company and am happy in solitude ~ reading, writing, organizing stuff, watching a movie, chilling with the cat, etc. I’m fine going the whole weekend without talking to another person as long as I know my kids are okay. My office is quiet too, and I like that; I don’t chat much with people usually nor do I go to lunch with anyone. I think I’m probably more of a loner than the average introvert. My friends call themselves introverts too, but they seem to need much more social time than I do.

However! Speaking of friends, and being social generally, when I’m with people, I’m on. I talk. I talk a lot. I’m an open book. I’m warm and friendly, not shy, not quiet, not reserved at all. You really can’t shut me up, basically. I’ve even done open-mic stand-up comedy!

But after a few hours or so, my energy level will sink like a phone battery with a million apps open. I’ll become noticeably drained to the point that peeps might comment on it. My head feels too heavy for my neck… it’s overloaded with all the peopleness in the room. So much sensory input. Eventually I can’t process one bit more. Must escape!

I recharge again by being alone.

Regarding Writer’s Block

Jenga

Dusty commented about WB in my last poast. It’s true that I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to write the things I believe I “should” write, such as the next short story in my epic collection of long connected stories, or even finish one of Anna’s hot romances I’ve left in limbo. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write anything ~ in fact, I’ve been blogging a ton (have actually deleted several ridiculously verbose and pointlessly rambling poasts in the last several weeks before I hit publish), emailing a bunch, and tweeting a twitload. I have even poemed a bit. It’s just the fiction I’m not into any longer and thus have given it up.*

Fiction writing feels like regression. Maybe that’s a lazy copout, but it’s how I feel right now. Writing fiction was an escape from bad times in my life, and my life is no longer bad. I don’t need an escape into a fantasy world of make-believe characters I focus on instead of my own situation. Unlike poetry, which stimulates my love for language, wordplay, and brief, intense emotional exploration, writing fiction feels hollow and fake. (This doesn’t apply to fiction reading at all, which I still love. Or movies dur!)

Writing about real events, however ~ slightly enhanced for entertainment value ~ such as the “dating stories,” is still a lot of fun for me. I was going to write about my trip to the wilds of Los Angeles last Tuesday, the crazy Bentley who tailgated me (a freaking Bentley!), the trippy sidewalks, my adorable granddaughter (I’m a grandmother now, if you didn’t know), etc., but there wasn’t any outstandingly funny moment to regale y’all with, and I’m all about the regaling.

[Just had to delete some amusing nonsense about regal and regaling because the words aren’t related. Dictionaries are our friends! But eccentric comes from outside the circle of normal, which was the WOTD yesterday, and since I can’t sleep in this heat even with a Valium and it’s now tomorrow, that word is definitely appropriate.]

Now, at this point you may be wondering if this poast isn’t one of those ridic rambles that should go into the trash heap… no! First, this is an experiment to see if it’s easier to blog from my old Kindle, since it’s larger than my phone and has a more finger-friendly keyboard. Second, it allows open tabs to be visible at the top, like a puter, which is helpful for switching back and forth when looking stuff up while blogging. Third, it’s difficult to create links when blogging by phone (have not tried the WordPress app) ~ basically have to write them down on a piece of paper and type them in again like a cavewoman. But on my Kindle I can copy and paste like a normal person. However, there is one issue: my bitmojis! I only have access to media already uploaded to WP, no new bitmojis or photos on my phone, since this thing isn’t connected to my phone. Of course, I could save this as a draft and then reopen it on my phone, where all my pics are. But that is not exactly an efficient, streamlined operation, is it now?

I put the previously used Jenga blocks up top, meh. Other solutions were: (1) use a previous bitmoji that didn’t really go with this poast; (2) use an ugly stock WP photo of blocks; or (3) begin some complicated process of installing an app on my phone that will give my Kindle access to photos, but it is 3am and I don’t wannu.

There is a rumor going around I might be getting a Mac, which will render all this angsting obsolete, but in the meantime… the blog abides.

*One of my friends said he learned in a yoga class recently that stress damages the brain and is potentially one of the leading causes of dementia. So, this just proves I’m on the right track giving up stressful things like dating, Facebook, fiction writing, etc. If only I could give up driving, that would be AWESOME!

Oh, now I have to stick on all the tags that will allegedly attract zillions of readers to this poast. Bwahahaha!

My Independence Day

6C5D23B2-DBFE-4E92-B6F2-142DE077EFE5

I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional pome, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can haz a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.

Freedom!

Moonwatch

pegasus_moon

Sanctimonious moon–
Why so judgmental?
I know where you’ve been;
I know who you’ve seen.
Leave me to the poverty
Of stars, already dead,
Burned out like my heart.
Slide under the lace
Canopy of clouds,
Safe swath of lingerie.
Don’t frown your face
At me tonight–
I’m in no mood for a scolding
By an obtuse hunk of rock
Who didn’t have the sense
To stay married to the earth.
Oh ho! Didn’t think I knew
About that, did you?
Shock. Go now, leave me
To my nightmare,
My galloping dream of doom,
Urging me past the milestones
Along the racetrack to ruin.

~*~

Thank you prompters! 🙂

Meow Movie

I’m not obsessed with my cat. Seriously! I was just about to start writing a pome using today’s prompt words, something about my broken heart and trees in a storm or some effing thing yada, but then I saw I had a Google alert and scampered over there to check it out. They had made me a movie. But not just any movie ~ they took all the photos of Gatsby and collaged them together with music and meows and it is The Best Thing Ever.

LOOK AT THIS. IS IT NOT THE BEST MOST ADORABLE WONDERFUL MOVIE THAT EVER WAS?!?! I was so sad today and now I am floating. ❤ ❤

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bRxYf34g1rogJfbn6

(Click to follow the link and then again to biggify and play.)

Okay, maybe I’m a little obsessed with him. But he is my soulkitty. ^..^

Mysticat

My kitty is quite sleek and physical,
His spirit is playful and quizzical;
Yet at times he turns strange and mystical,
Staring at ghosties invisible,
Leaping like a lion invincible,
Then cuddling like a baby angelical.

IMG_1708

RIP Donald Hall, American Poet

Donald Hall, whose poetry was introduced to me in a fabulous CSUN contemporary lit course, passed away yesterday at the age of 89 in Wilmot, New Hampshire. When I read of his death today, I vaguely recalled that the first poem I read from him was about death, and when I checked my tattered old lit book, it turned out that this memory was correct: “My Son, My Executioner.” Many of the other poetry selections in this book from DH are about death also, but he had a happy life, or at least one can infer such from his bio, with a long marriage to his college sweetheart and a successful career.

This is the ending from one of my favorite Donald Hall poems, “The Black-Faced Sheep“:

At South Danbury Church twelve of us sit—
cousins and aunts, sons—
where the great-grandfathers of the forty-acre farms
filled every pew.
I look out the window at summer places,
at Boston lawyers’ houses
with swimming pools cunningly added to cowsheds,
and we read an old poem aloud, about Israel’s sheep,
old lumps of wool, and we read

that the rich farmer, though he names his farm for himself,
takes nothing into his grave;
that even if people praise us, because we are successful,
we will go under the ground
to meet our ancestors collected there in the darkness;
that we are all of us sheep, and death is our shepherd,
and we die as the animals die.

 

Ascending

Snake

Anticipation is a cold snake
Coiled on a damp rock,
Waiting for the sun.

Anticipation is that moment
Right before your kiss,
When the world spins in slomo…
Our breathing suspended,
Two souls connecting.

Anticipation is the hiss
Of butter in the pan,
The scent of onion in the air,
The meal that you missed,
The text that wasn’t there.

Anticipation is the jagged line
Between bliss and despair,
Hugging the cliff
As the Devil and the deep
Blue sea became one.
Jump, they said,
And I fell.

Anticipation is a broken snake,
Red-eyed, uncurled,
Boiling with rage,
Ascending from Hell.

Light Paulas

Light

They’re out there somewhere…
Not a hoax
I catch glimpses of their lives
Floating through mine
Via misdirected emails:
The other Paula Lights.

One of them has DISH TV–
That might be nice,
All those channels.
I could watch anything
And everything!
Well, I do have trouble with choice:
This is known.

Another one, married,
Bought homeowners insurance;
They seem like a solid couple,
Smart financial planning.
I was like that once,
With a house and a husband,
Doing all the things
I was supposed to do.

Sad day–
One of the Paulas has a tribute page
Posted for a deceased relative.
The confirmation came to me.
(Please do not reply.)
I probably should have done
Something like that
For my parents.

One shops at Wal*Mart
And I get her alerts,
No way to unsubscribe.
She bought a granite-topped cart,
Which looks pretty cool.
I had a cart once,
In that house with the husband.
They’re convenient, at times:
Carts and husbands.

Fun! One of them just visited
Margaritaville Casino
In Bossier City (Bossier!),
Louisiana.
The casino asked me
If I enjoyed my stay–
I’m sure I did.

These other Paula Lights
Are in the Midwest,
Where I once lived too
Among the blizzards and ‘nadoes.
For all I know,
They’re the same person,
Or maybe they’re reflections of me,
The OP,
Living my parallel life.

~*~