2014: The Year of Getting Serious Again

Happy-2014-free-wallpaper

First, to Everyone who reads this, Happy Holidays! I wish that all of your wishes come true during the next year and that you live life to its maximum capacity. Always.

This past year has been rewarding and challenging. I graduated with my associates degree, lost one job and got another with the same employer (lost student assistant job at St. Petersburg College when I graduated and got hired back on a few months later as an OPS writing tutor), started new university to go for the bachelors degree, moved into a new apartment  in the downtown area, and gave up my car (it was a piece of shit anyway) for the benefit of walking for exercise.

I was busy writing many essays for my junior year at the University of South Florida, so my creative writing efforts suffered a little. But those essays helped me improve my writing, and I hope all future academic witting will do the same.

For my resolutions in 2014, I don’t have many. I’m keeping it simple and doable.

  1. Continue to improve my health by walking. School and grocery is within walking distance from me now, as well as many other activities and entertainments that the downtown St. Pete area has to offer.
  2. Write new stories. Turn on my creative juices and get them flowing whenever possible. Write for fun, but also write for publications. Poems, too. I want to write some more poetry in 2014.
  3. Submit stories and poetry to major publications and journals. I’ve already started on this one. I’ve submitted my previously unpublished award-winning short story Parker’s Pygmalion to Glimmer Train literary magazine and three unpublished poems to Northwestern U’s Tri-Quarterly journal. I’ve started some fantasy and sci-fi stories that are pretty good so far, I just need to finish them and get them out into some slush piles. I will also continue to try and get some previously published stories reprinted.
  4. Keep my magazine going. My side-project as publisher and editor of the spec-fic ezine The Were-Traveler has taken a toll on my sanity this year. Finding time to read and respond to stories while reading 2-3 books a week for lit classes has been very challenging, but I have no desire to stop doing it now. In fact, I’m even more determined to make it work. I may ask for help along the way, but I’m definitely keeping it going. I nominated 3 stories to Critter’s P&E Readers Poll and wish I could have showered other writers with that kind of love and recognition. I’m still trying to find all those yearly award venues out there, where I can give my authors the cred they deserve. If any of my readers have recommendations, please let me know.
  5. Keep my sanity at school, work, writing, editing, publishing. This is a given. I must maintain a sensible balance to this crazy happening that is my life. Need to breathe a little in between and enjoy other things, too. Relax, take deep breaths, meditate.

That’s it. I’ll probably add goals as I go along through the first part of the year, but this is enough to start with.

I hope all of your goals for the coming year lead to success and happiness.

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Six Degrees of Thankfulness…

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Image courtesy of © mch67 – Fotolia.com

Another Thanksgiving has come and it’s time to evaluate the months gone by and give credit where it’s due.

It’s been a year of triumph and failings…I’m equally grateful for the failings because they’ve helped me to learn and grow.

Here’s my list of thankfulness:

  1. My friends. Especially you, Kathy, who helped me transition in my move from my old decrepit mobile home to my  chic antique apartment closer to school. You not only helped me to move, you provided me with lodgings at your place before the move, when I lost my AC in the trailer and was too hot to study and read material for my classes. Also, my former boss at St. Petersburg College and friend, Jessica, who helped in the move and provided me with a great reference so I could get re-hired at the college in my current position as writing tutor. My friend John, for walking me home from my night classes. Linda, former co-worker, for encouragement and coffee. My online friends, those of you I have not met, you are the best friends in the world for encouraging me. You don’t know what your support means to me. You keep me going.
  2. Chance encounters with friendly strangers. As an introvert (Jungian type INFJ, I just discovered), I don’t find talking to strangers to be that pleasurable, but I find myself doing it more often than you’d think for an introvert. I remarked to a lady at the store while picking up my pre-cooked turkey breast that I was up to my eyeballs in work for school and I could kick myself in the ass sometimes for going back to college at my age. She said “I did it, too. You can do it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep moving forward.” I don’t know who she was, but I needed to hear those words just then. So, thank you, Kind Lady.
  3. My health. Rotten as it is, I’m still alive. And there’s cause to believe it is getting better. I moved downtown not just to get closer to school, but also to get closer to shopping and all the other great things downtown has to offer. Downtown St. Petersburg is a very walkable city. I gave up my car and moved here in order to get into better shape. It’s working. Just two days ago I wore a pair of jeans that would not fit me three months ago. So yes, body, thank you for being patient with the abuse. I promise to do what I can to make it even better.
  4. My education. I know I’ll be paying for it eventually in student loan payments, but I am thankful to be learning more and more each day. I’m thankful to have the open and free use of my mind and imagination. Sadly, we have seen just this past year that there are unfortunately places still on this earth in 2013 where a woman can’t receive an education. As troublesome as America can be sometimes politically, I’m still glad I’m here. I earned my associate’s degree this year and am now working on the bachelor’s. Upward and onward. Keep moving forward. That’s the plan.
  5. Family. I know I don’t see them a lot, but I’m still glad they are there. Soon the Xmas cards will start coming and I’ll be reminded of them. I’m friends with my Aunt Leona on Facebook, so I keep in touch with her rather closer than anyone else. They are on my mind all the time and I miss them, the ones still here and the ones departed. I love and miss them all.
  6. Writing. I haven’t been writing a lot of stories lately, but boy, I’ve been writing academic papers every week. I’ve had to begin to comprise a portfolio for some of my academic work, which I may share with the online world once it’s all set up. I’ve gotten some inspiration from the Muse for some poem and short story ideas,so maybe I’ll try penning one when this  term is over.

I know there are other things I must be thankful for, but it’s going on noon on this chilly Thanksgiving day, and I have essays to write and a meal to cook and enjoy.

I wish all my friends and readers out there a very Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Holidays ahead in December!

About Time…and the lack thereof…

cropped-blue-keyboard-lrg.jpgIt’s been a good long while since I’ve written a blog post. I wanted to maintain regular posts after graduation from SPC, but then life started throwing me lemons and rather than make lemonade, I decided to become even more gloomy and depressed than I had been already. I lost my air conditioning during the hottest part of the summer in my little mobile home. I began my first semester at the University of South Florida by taking two long bus-rides to the St. Petersburg campus and then home again, leaving in the morning to get to an early afternoon class and night when I arrived back home—me being too tired to do much of anything. My old Macbook died before I could transfer over files and documents from it, so I lost a lot of writing I’d done. I managed to have most of my “Quellseek” novel on flash drive, so a major crisis was diverted there. All-in-all, when I should have been celebrating after getting my AA degree, crap started hitting the fan as they say, and I didn’t enjoy either the summer I had off, nor the thrill of starting a new university. School has also been a challenge. I’m either reading or writing (academic papers). I haven’t written a poem or a creative piece, or a blog post—not counting the editorials I do for the issues of The Were-Traveler—in a long time now.

Sorry to contradict you, Stones, but Time has not been On My Side lately.

I put some of my saved cash aside and managed to get into a nice little apartment three blocks from both campus and the local grocery chain store. I have my own little den, where I study and do my academic writing. I got rid of the car that was costing me too much time and money, and moved to walker’s paradise of Downtown St. Petersburg. I’m already losing weight from all the walking I’m doing.

School is still an enormous pressure, but I already feel better…less depressed and more energized and focused.

Even better news is that the Muse has been visiting me with ideas again. I’ve started no new stories or worked on any older stuff (rescued from the flash drive) as yet, but I feel confident that I will soon. I’ve downloaded some images to start doing writing prompts on this blog again, and I will post one very soon.  Also, there may be another cause for celebration here very soon, but I can’t spill the beans on that yet…not until it’s official. I anticipate that news to come within the next week or two.

While the struggle to manage what little time I have for my own pursuits continues, I have been setting new goals with plans for life and writing. They are:

  1. To continue working on “Quellseek: Army of Empaths.” I was lucky that I only lost one chapter when my old computer died. And I remember much about the chapter I lost, so rewriting shouldn’t be too hard. But, I need to DO IT!
  2. Two ideas involving the future of animal intelligence have shaped themselves (sort of) into story plots. One will be called Eros and Mathilda and will focus on two couples: one human, the other chimpanzee. The primate cousins have had their intelligence raised, at a cost. NOTE: this is not Planet of the Apes type story. The other story also involves a primate, but it’s not the focus of the story. This story, untitled as yet, is a futuristic carnival in which the animals are more intelligent than the humans. The primate in question, for example, is a 2nd half of a hurdy-gurdy duo who has just joined an animal performers union. Yeah, it will be just a little bizarre.
  3. Poetry. In one of my upcoming terms, I hope to take a poetry writing class. I would like to improve my skills in writing poetry.
  4. Get my literary short story, Parker’s Pygmalion, up on Smashwords or Amazon. Somewhere. Anywhere.
  5. I need to submit some stuff. Somewhere. Anywhere. I’ve focused the last year on publishing and editing The Were-Traveler. I need to spend the coming year getting my own work back out in the markets. In order to do that, I need to…
  6. Write. WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! Then write some more.
  7. Get through my first term at USF. Survive. After term, go to Sake Bomb and have a sake or two. Or three.

I have other goals, pertaining to my new apartment and new life in the downtown. The ones above are what I need to work on to get the creative juices flowing again.

Look for more posts soon. I will try to avoid long disappearing acts. I promise, I will try.

 

Post It Note Poetry—Final Week

The final week of Post It Note Poetry month came and went and I was unable to put this blog post up until now because I went out of town to a convention with my honor’s society chapter. It was a great convention; our chapter won some awards as a whole, and my short story, Parker’s Pygmalion, took the first place award for Short Story, Fiction.

For the final four days of the Post It Note Poetry event, I wrote three poems. Here they are:

Monday, February 25, 2013

No Clowns

No Clowns

No Clowns

I can not abide a clown,

I do not like a painted frown,

I do not like their scary eyes.

Clowns are what I despise!

I might be a little un-P.C.

But at the circus, you won’t find me!

When I see one, I run and hide.

A clown I can not abide.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

this is no dream

this is no dream

this is no dream

merchant

& politician

counting coins

bought

& borrowed

they have to

wipe away

dirt

& blood…

 

abundance

overflows

the granaries…

& still

the people starve.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

For Rosa

For Rosa

For Rosa

She would not get up.

She would not move.

She grew tired of getting up,

just so someone else could keep her down.

And she grew tired of moving,

in a country that tried

to make time stand still.

 

I ended the poetry challenge with 20 poems written, which is twenty more than I had at the start. Some of them are pretty good, some of them…meh, not so much. The point of the month-long event was to write poetry and to free yourself to write it, even if it was bad.

The following links are for the previous Post It Note Poetry weekly blogs:

Post It Note Poetry—Week 1

Post It Note Poetry—Week 2

Post It Note Poetry—Week 3

Post It Note Poetry—Week 3

We’re coming down to the final week of our Post It Note Poetry challenge. This was a bad week for me, as you’ll see when you read some of the poems. Still, I managed to sling a few words on post-its, and in one case, my Mac’s Sticky App.

Monday, February 18, 2013

joy dance

joy dance

joy dance

who dances

for joy

dances

with joy

and joy

moves through

every step

of the dance.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

archiving heresy

archiving heresy

archiving heresy

if it isn’t alphabetical

it’s considered heretical

—filing.

(after much introspection, it occurred to me that the poem would have worked much better as a solage if the the first two lines had been reversed…hindsight…)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

i cried when i found out stars die

i cried when i found out stars die

i cried when i found out stars die

stars carry in their shine

touches of ephemeral time

for though we see them

there on high

that’s only their souls

only their souls burning

ghosts sparkling on

a funereal will

and testament

to the firmament.

Friday, February 22, 2013–Bad Blood Day

bad blood day

bad blood day

bad blood day

nurses

beat, slap my hands

put on heat packs

drink an ocean of water

all for four

pricks.

(I hate giving blood…it’s always an adventure. You can tell I wasn’t much into poetry that day, or making the whole thing look nice by lightening the post it note. It was a bad day. Blood work and had to study for Spanish exam. Saturday would be no better. I got a lousy D on my exam and had other homework to attend…so no poetry got written or posted on Saturday.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Walking Away

Walking Away

Walking Away

“My feet are on the floor,”

I said,

in response to my lover’s

random complaint.

He shook his head,

as lovers in the wilted afterbirth

of love are wont to do

when finding fault

with their loves.

“Your head is in the clouds,”

he said,

again, as if I didn’t hear it

the first time.

“Yes,” I agreed,

since I knew

it was true.

“But…

my feet are on the floor.”

That one was probably the best poem I wrote all week.

There are only four more days left in the Post It Note Poetry challenge…I hope I can write a few more verses during those days, and I hope wherever you are, you’re enjoying poetry.

Post It Note Poetry—Week 2

This week was a dismal week for me writing Post-It Note poetry.

Muse has been absent, I’ve been in a miserable temperament with being cold and having pain in legs and shoulder. I’m just becoming a crotchety old fart at too young an age!

I did manage to write some short poetry this week, though. And here it is:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Matador of Monday

Matador of Monday

Matador of Monday

charge…

come at me

eyes glaring red

horns lowered

to impale me

and bloody me.

I will face

your fury

head on.

Come on, then,

Beast.

Monday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

wednesday_2_13

Swimming

Swimming

Still waters run deep

and yours will drown me.

For a little while, I’ll be drowned.

But not forever.

I will take a deep breath,

and brave those frigid depths

and dive down,

and sink to the bottom,

to the bottom,

all the way to the bottom.

Then shoot back up spinning,

Spinning, spinning…

Until l break the surface

of your soul,

and make you

drown in me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 – Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Valentine Haiku

A Valentine Haiku

A Valentine Haiku

oh, well of my soul,

dry as dust—it yearns to be

filled with love again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

(on which I suffer from misspelling simple words)

promises and lies

promises and lies

promises and lies

the air is brimming

with leftover promises

floating on the breeze

recycled, regurgitated

over and over again

like all of the other

lies you have told me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Dionysus Bug Photo by Me! :)

The Dionysus Bug
Photo by Me! 🙂

The Dionysus Bug

A cup of gladness—

let us share!

The taste— exquisite,

floral and fair.

A hint of berries;

with notes of lime…

“Oh shut up—

And pass the wine!”

And that’s all for this week. Enjoy poetry…wherever you find it!

Post It Note Poetry – Week 1

Got into this wonderful little meme created by writer friends Adam Byatt and Jodi Cleghorn. The brainchild of Mr. Byatt, the idea is to write poetry: good, bad, weird, funny, any kind of poetry on post it notes throughout February, take interesting photos of them (you don’t have to, though, there are no real “rules,” as I understand it) and post them online to Twitter, Twitpic, Instagram and/or Facebook. For Twitter, Twitpic, and Instagram we are using the hashtag #postitnotepoetry.

After 1 week we now have 42 poets from across the globe writing and posting poetry.

I started on Monday, so I’ve been at it a full week.

Below are my first offerings to the Post It Note poetry gods:

Monday, February 4, 2013

mon-pinp

A Dumpster Diver in the Space-Time Continuum

the old garbage-sifter

filters through

the junk of days gone by,

comes across a crumpled-up photo

of some middle-aged man

in a three-piece suit

sitting on a sofa

with a pretty woman

in a red flowery dress.

he stops.

stares at it

with a moment of something

he can’t quite explain

longing, maybe…or regret.

then he tosses it aside

and continues

his never-ending

search for sustenance

never realizing

that he’d just touched

a moment in time

an image of himself

from happier,

remembered days.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

tues-pinp

poem as myth 

sky, she takes a deep breath…

exhales slowly,

nightfall

becomes an indigo blanket

draped over the horizons;

embracing her sister Gaia,

and holding her

bright

star children,

in her wide, wide arms.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

philosophy of mirrors

philosophy of mirrors

philosophy of mirrors

i only show

the outer view

if i could show

the inner you

i would shatter

into shards

every time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

the cat

the cat

the cat

lying by the fire

odalisque-like,

lean and languid,

stretches…

toes unsheathing

daggers.

yawns…

wide mouth reveals

sharp, white swords.

sighs

and purrs…

contentment.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Going Bukowski

Going Bukowski

Going Bukowski

on the gallows

dangling from the end

of a rope you didn’t knot.

it’s not your rope.

it belongs to

some other son-of-a-bitch.

remember that.

remember that it’s not your rope

stringing you up.

don’t hang yourself

with someone else’s rope.

go Bukowski on the motherfucker.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cantito

Cantito

Cantito

“¿Va a cantar para mí, pajarito?” he asked.

“¿Sólo un cantito?”

“Sí, papá,” she said,

and singing through her tears,

watched him close his eyes

and thought:

“I am like a canary,

come too late.”

Little Song (English translation)

“Will you sing for me, little bird?” he asked.

“Just a little song?”

“Yes, daddy,” she said,

and singing through her tears,

watched him close his eyes

and thought:

“I am like a canary,

come too late.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Soul of a Poem

Soul of a Poem

Soul of a Poem

A poem is a mighty thing.

A poet’s words weighty with wit.

But unless some of the soul is contained therein,

I won’t believe a word of it.

~~~~~~~

Well, that’s my week of Post It Note Poetry writing. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep the pace up of writing a poem a day, what with college classes and all, but I’ll do as much as I can.

I hope you take some time this week to enjoy some poetry, either reading it or writing it. 🙂