I'm going to keep it 100
but you've got to be willing
to jump into the way-back machine.
You need to see your gnarly roots
teased upside down like a baobab tree
digging upwards into the ozone.
Was there wisdom there?
As if! You don't remember
pants that were supposed
to parachute you safely
towards that righteous future.
Re-branded slackers landed in flannels
at that first taste of reality,
quickly swapping out radical for tubular
irrigation for boxed lawns
in front of those ticky-tacky
houses that generations before disdained
so you could yell
at ancient eyed children
to get off of it.
Oh bae can't you see
these words were totes never about you
until you decided they were.
Song Choice: Kids from Bye Bye Birdie
This poem was created for the prompt offered at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Dorogoy Droogs, Come Clockwork the Orange, where Bjorn challenges us to work in some slang into our poems.
Notes from the Real World: Nothing makes me roll my eyes faster than complaints about the kids today. I'll admit, I have to stifle a chuckle sometimes when I see a young adult sporting a mustache Dick Dastardly would admire, but since I spent my teen years gleefully seeking out clothing that looked like highlighters threw up all over them, I have no room to talk. Every generation has their own way of dressing, speaking, and being. And the generations that came before them will ever clutch their pearls and forget their own wild (and oftentimes silly) youth.
Also I will be editing one page to make it a “Books Read” page and another for “Teas Tasted”. Because it’s important to make time for the sweet little pleasures. And also because I can. So there.
Song Choice: Music of the Night performed by Andre Rieu
Notes from the Real World: Even when I was a kid I've been drawn to the changing of the seasons. Being more of a warm weather person, you might think it'd be funny that I'd love the winter solstice, but I've always felt a little lift in my heart, knowing the longest night was behind me, and ahead of me was a new year. This year, I had the distinct delight of being part of a solstice gathering with a group of friends, and by the time the evening concluded I felt a lightening of my spirit that I hadn't felt in a long while.
reminds tired muscles
boundaries can be pushed
Song Choice: I'll Make a Man Out of You performed by Jackie Chan
I like tea and yoga, but I don’t do yoga.
A couple of months ago, I injured myself in a friendly game of sportsball* during an exercise class at work (I may have been taking out my ire over political events on unsuspecting coworkers). This was completely preventable had I bothered to warm up and then stretch, instead of jumping in like I was possessed by the ghost of Boudica. No more sportsball, no more aerobics or Zumba for me for at least a few weeks. Unable to face the risk of going mad from lack of activity, I grudgingly turned to a yoga DVD my husband had bought years ago.
Funny thing, I forgot how much I really enjoyed yoga. I think I stopped doing it because of misguided ideas about what it meant to challenge myself. But after a few weeks of doing it, and feeling a lot of improvement in my hip and in my overall body strength and flexibility, I realized it'd be really dumb of me move forward with any exercise plan that didn't include yoga, especially if it means I could get better at the other physical stuff I'm doing. I don't limit myself to just matcha tea, so why should I limit the types of physical activity I do?
I've been giving a lot of thought to what comes next for me in terms of writing. I am coming out of what feels like an editing marathon, so a little down time is in order. But just like I don't like being physically inactive, I don't think could stay away from writing completely. Firstly, I can't, as Magaly has made sure I'm blogging regularly on Wednesdays. But even more than that, I forgot that sharing bits of the real world is both fun and qualifies as a disciplined writing practice. While it may take a couple more weeks for me to settle on The Next Big Goal (and let's be real, even when I pick something, I'll still need to take time to work out a good plan or writing outline) I'm kind of enjoying this. With all due respect to Moby, if you like something, why not do it, especially if it in no way impedes you (or might even help) in doing other things you love? It seems kind of silly not to.
*Sportsball - What I call pretty much any game played with a ball. I'm really not much of an athlete, I just like to run around fast.
Striding up to the glass doors, I arrive at the threshold of the wardrobe. Which worlds shall I explore? After filling my backpack with adventures, I am ready to return. The forest feels like an old friend as I march home.
Song Choice: Theme song from Indiana Jones
Let me just say that yes, there will be announcements and a giveaway by the end of this post but let’s talk music for a moment. Oftentimes when I’m working on a story, songs will come into my head because they fit a particular character, theme or scene. I’ll take the time to write them down because sometimes it’s helpful to listen to them again, just before diving in to do edits, to get me back in the mood of the story. So here are some of the songs that kept my fingers dancing on the keyboard while working on The Trouble with Wanting, and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales:
2. At Stacy’s blog, I discussed how a lot of us can feel like we are when we strike off on unknown paths like a hero in a fairy tale.
3. Gina at Daydream Believer understood that sometimes if we need to take bits of our lives and reshape them/ look at them in a different way to find the magic meant for us.
4. And at Debra’s I talk about , where the protagonist goes on a journey and realizes she doesn’t have to be the side character in her own story.
The Enduring Allure of Fairy Tales
It is my great delight to announce the debut of my long awaited
One of those new characters, Izzy, knows all too well of the pain book nerds suffer while we're waiting for our next dose of literary magic. She's even willing to do something contrary to her nature to get her fix. While we all aren't book nerds, many of us do have things we are quite serious about (sports, TV shows, comics, etc.). People who are serious about their passions have been known to do some very strange things to support them. What was the oddest thing you have done (or have considered doing) in the name of your passion?
Tell me about it in the comments section, you'll be enrolled in the first give-away I'm running.
For a bonus entry, share this post on the social media platform of your choice (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and please make sure to use the hashtag #NotQuiteFaerieTales. The contest closes on midnight EST November 25th, and I'll announce the winner on the 26th.
If you are not a regular reader of my blog, if you haven’t liked my Facebook page, or we aren’t friends on Instagram, please make sure you add your email to the comment. I need to be able to contact you if you win. If I have no way to contact the winner, a new name will be drawn.
This contest is open worldwide, except where prohibited by law. Canadian friends I will have to ask you to include the next letter in the sequence, A, B, __ in your response in order to enter.
I'll also be doing more giveaways as I make the rounds at the virtual homes of several blogger friends. I hope you'll follow me on my virtual author tour.
November 19th - Poets United - Blog of the Week: Rommy Driks
There will be a wrap up post here again on November 26th, along with a final, fancier giveaway.
Good luck everyone, I hope you enjoy the tales and tea!
The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Song Choice: The Greatest Show - from The Greatest Showman
She smiled her third and last smile of the day, one more beautiful and terrible than the ones that came before.
Song Choice: Voices Carry covered by Sky Ferreira
This short fiction was created for Beautiful Freaks Fest 2 and is an expansion on a poem I wrote earlier, Uncomfortable.
In the meantime, here's a small poem I created to get people in the mood. Just click on the link to enjoy or read the full piece undereath the link.
expectant that all will go on
as it's done before.
Dinner is time for all
the knives, forks and spoons
to pleasingly line up.
She rips hair from her head,
weaves them to make a fine thread.
A sliver of bone salvaged
from when it first was shattered
makes a serviceable needle.
She sews flesh to unsightly flesh,
restraining her squirming viscera.
A tug of the needle and it's done.
She is free to carry the food,
while everyone waits.
It was a small misstep
that caused her to drop
the pretense of gracefulness,
as the seams finally give.
Blood blends with the gravy
though intestines are less inconspicuous.
He turns away,
covers his mouth with a serviette.
"Why did you do that? Darling,
you've made me so uncomfortable."
Song Choice: Originally I thought Killing in the Name cover by Brass Against featuring Sophia Urista. but only because this song has been giving me life during the last week. No, the best song for this poem is Voices Carry by Til Tuesday. I'm only leaving the first song link up because it's an awesome cover and everyone should hear it.
This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads Tuesday Platform
Wind blown seed misses
the earth which cradled deep roots.
This new soil is strange
to me. These flowers are odd,
but I recognize their scent.
Song Choices: Kyrie by Mr. Mister and Philadelphia Freedom covered by Tina and Ike Turner
Today's poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' Tuesday Platform.
This poem is from the point of view of Yuuki, a character I have enjoyed writing about for years. The events of this poem take place after this short story, though the full story of what happens to Yuuki next will be covered in my upcoming short story collection, The Trouble With Wanting and Other Not Quite Faery Tales, which will drop in Fall 2018.
though no one but me can see it.
It's the same moon that hung
over the place I was born
grown gaunt with homesickness.
Or maybe I've just seen myself
reflected in the moon
as darkness inches across it,
engulfing it so nothing of its past remains.
The most familiar things look wrong
under a moonless sky. I recognize nothing
that looks like home.
I embrace my darkness,
but I do not let it consume me
for I have the brightness of the stars in my soul.
I let them point the way,
if not towards home,
towards a future where I shine steady
as souls wax and wane around me.
Song Choice: Away by Priscilla Hernandez
This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poets United Poetry Pantry 421.
Perhaps you've noticed the tags this week too. I didn't plan on Rina having a large role in the Yuuki stories, but when I wrote a bit of flash fiction from the point of view of Ana's favorite aunt, people seemed to really like it and wanted to know more about her. This poem is written from the point of view of a much younger Rina, and I promise to expand on that tale very soon. 😉
how I felt about you.
They will expect me to keep my promises,
but I know they will keep my secret.
Don't expect me
to drip sugar from my mouth,
begging you to change who you are.
You would not be you
without your frustrating idealism,
rushing off to do battle
while forgetting there are holes in your armor.
I don't want you not to be you.
But I will never be anything but myself.
I am not demure.
I do nothing half-way.
That includes standing by you,
using all my power to shield
the vulnerable parts you overlooked
and keep safe all the things you love,
while I keep true to the words
that, for now, I will only speak to the stones.
Song Choice: America's Sweetheart by Elle King
This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poets United, Poetry Pantry 420. If you are a longtime reader of the blog you may have had a flash of recognition at some of the tags. This is a poem from the point of view of Cordelia, a character I have written about on this blog before.
Sparkles didn't spring
from my first steps.
But I learned,
even when you didn't expect me to,
especially when you didn't want me to.
I ground up your leftover gems,
and pressed the remains
to create my own rebirth stone.
It glitters from the center
of the reclaimed crown
I earned- though you tried your worst
to keep it from me.
Song Choice: Work, Bitch by Britany Spears
This poem is linked up to the Tuesday Platform on Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poetry Pantry 419 at Poets United.
see how the angel's trumpets have unfurled
to announce that you are coming home.
Oh my sweet one, my ever young one, oh-
I have my reddest cap ready
to see you safely home.
Drink up the magic, little one,
along with your milk and blood,
until you are big enough to tip your sword
with the monkshood growing on the hill.
Oh my cherished one, my loved one, oh -
Mamma has raised many seedlings
and she'll lose none of them to any
who threaten her home.
Song Choice: Not the Villain by SJ Tucker
This poem is linked up to the Tuesday Platform in Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poets United, Poetry Pantry 418.
by the power of the words
I firmly edit.
an already timid tongue,
seeking the right words.
An uncareful word
banishes without mercy
despite my wishes.
Unspoken words bind
tender thoughts that do not dare
to reveal themselves.
Befriended words build
stories that touch other's True
and soothe my sore soul.
Song Choice: Brave by Sarah Bareilles
This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform and Poets United Poetry Pantry 417.
before I learned some dreams come with a cost.
I've watched a tender heart
mutilate everything she was
on the assumption her love could cross any barrier.
Still, I reach for you,
until I remember a promise made
over the dissolving remains of a life.
What would it be like
to bring you into my world?
I've seen you looking, enchanted,
just as I was enchanted with a place that is not my own.
Would that look stay
when I tell you everything?
Would you accept all of it,
not expecting me to cut away the core of myself?
I've seen the way you smile,
and for a moment let myself dream
of nights spent hiding nothing,
loving hard enough to dissolve barriers instead of hearts.
But some dreams come with a cost
and I don't know if I can pay for this one.
Song Choice: Rewrite the Stars, from the musical The Greatest Showman
This poem is linked up to the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poets United, Poetry Pantry #416.
in well-woven words
Song Choice: Girl Into Devil (I Belong to Me) by S.J. Tucker
This poem has been linked up to the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poets United Poetry Pantry 415.
A hard world demands
me to break. I refuse to.
Saved by strange magic
in my paperback heroes,
I claim my wings and fly.
Song Choice: Itooshii Hito No Tame Ni
Da' Notes: This poem was created as a response to an idea Magaly Guerrero put forth in a recent blog post, Trinkets and Armor: What's Your Passion? Drawing inspiration from a wise old woman, she asked us to share the things that we're passionate about or that soothe/ help when things feel a bit bleak. Reading of course was one of my first, and remains among my dearest comforts. If it were simply about reading, I might have gone with a poem about Anne of Greene Gables (I probably will write an Anne themed thing someday). But there is also something magical about writing too, about being the force creating the world around you. And so to convey that in aspect, I decided to play around with inspiration from one of my favorite anime/manga series, Fushigi Yuugi, where the heroine, Miaka, literally goes inside the world of a book, and her choices drive the way the story turns out. This piece is also linked up to The Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads.
your worth is more
than puerile clucks in discontented winds.
Song Choice: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
I was late to the party for Marian's Fussy Little Forms: Tetractys, but I thought it was such a fun form that I wanted to give it a shot for today's Tuesday Platform at the Toads.
The sunlight reveals
wrinkles concealed by stubble.
A little silver
doesn't faze me. Any time spent
loving you is a treasure.
Song Choice: Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland. I had to go with the video featuring clips from one of my and my husband's favorite cartoons, Kim Possible.
This tanka prose piece is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform. I wrote it especially in honor of my 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday.
Don't tell them they are not giants.
Every corgi knows that's a lie.
Is there any other type of dog
that serve as steeds for fairy courtiers,
or as companions to queens?
Don't tell them you know
all about stubbornness.
A river is easier to divert
than a corgi on a mission.
It doesn't matter
if it's a mission to outrun the fastest squirrel
or claim the best napping spot.
Don't talk to me
about corgi fur tumbleweeds,
sonic barks for breakfast in the morning,
operatic whines for pizza crust at dinner,
thundering paws up and down stairs,
and the jingling of tags following you
as you head towards the bathroom.
I'll take them all
over the sad stillness
of a too quiet room
in need of a spirit
with the heart of a mountain
housed in a small ball of fur.
No song this time. Just a cute video featuring corgis.
This poem was created for the prompt given at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Must Love Dogs. I was the proud mom of a sweet corgi named Faye, who went over the rainbow bridge several years ago, and am currently the proud mom of a corgi named Kitsune (Kit for short). They are different from each other in a lot of ways, but there were some strong similarities I drew from to create this piece.
New hope crushed by old
resentments that did not die.
Failure defines me
only if I do not rise
one last time for tomorrow.
Song Choice: Hurt by Johnny Cash
This tanka prose poem was created by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: If You Meet The Hero On The Road... where we were asked to write about a hero. I chose to base this tanka prose around Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies. This piece will also be linked to Poets United: Poetry Pantry 404.
again. My brokenness is
all I bring. My heart
is perfect enough you say,
finding the gold in each crack.
Song Choice: Everything by Alanis Morissette
This poem is linked up with Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform.
Song Choice: Valley Forge from The Hamilton Mixtape
This poem was created for the prompt given at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: 13 is Poetry. It is also linked to Poets United, Poetry Pantry 399. I used the following 13 words from the original quote:
The quote given:
“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield
This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform. Following the prompt I was inspired by the phrase, "The Pride of Mount Vernon" from the play Hamilton (the phrase actually appears in a different song, Right Hand Man). I always loved the strong bond of friendship and mentorship between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton depicted in the play. It would have been all too easy for the elder Washington to be dismissive of young Hamilton, but he helped Hamilton hone the best part of himself, to the benefit of the country.
Song Choice: Don't Rain On My Parade, Glee Version
This poem was created by a prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Transformations. It is also linked to Poets United, Poetry Pantry 398. I was super intrigued by the idea behind it and toyed with a bunch of different directions to go, before I gave into my nerd side and played with a popular TV trope, the Genki Girl (follow the link for a good explanation). Although I really love the energy of my song choice (and the perfection of matching that particular performance to this piece) I feel like I need to give props to the Genki Girl I had in mind while writing this, Sailor Moon.
Song Choice: Love Reign O'er Me by The Who
This poem was created for the prompt given at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Fireblossom Fridays Poetic Imagery. It is also linked to the Friday 55 at Verse Escape and Poets United Poetry Pantry #397.
Unfriendly soil chokes
leaves curious for their own
suppressed flowers. Hurt
flees at loving caresses
when blooms believe in their worth.
Song Choice: Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae
This poem was inspired by the song/ video mentioned above and is linked to The Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads and Poetry Pantry 394 at Poets United.