Monday, February 23, 2015

I Write Poetry

I've been spending some time looking through old college papers and essays recently.  It's amazing to see how far I've come since then, and how different some of my opinions are now.  It's also a little sad that I barely remember writing most of these papers! 

I'm especially interested in the pieces I wrote for my creative writing class.  Apparently I wrote a lot of poetry back then, something I don't think I've done since.  Some of it isn't too bad, and some reminds me why I don't write poetry much anymore. 

Here's a piece that actually isn't too bad.  It was based on a writing prompt we were given:

I write poetry because it is one of the only safe addicting vices.

I write poetry because I don’t have the patience to write a whole novel.

I write poetry because I am free of societal constraints.

I write poetry because emotions are condensed and easily categorized.

I write poetry because I have been forever changed by Louisa May Alcott’s “My Beth” in Little Women.

I write poetry because no one understands the real me.

I write poetry because one day my little words will help another express her emotions.

I write poetry to help others feel and remember.

I write poetry because I always want to remember.

I write poetry because the hurt will eat me up inside if not set free.

I write poetry because it is more permanent than a single tear.

I write poetry because words can span the miles and hearts.

I write poetry because it gives my soldiers something to take their minds off the desert.

I write poetry because I am too shy to speak how much I love you.

I write poetry…just because.

Do you ever go back and look at writings from your younger years? What have been your reactions to them?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reading my Heart

After weeks and weeks of editing, and spending more money on printer ink than I'd care to admit, I've finally gotten to a place where I'm ready to share my book with people for some feedback. 

I won't lie, it's scary.  Really, really scary.  This story has been floating around in my head for years.  And now I'm going to let people read it, to let them into my head, into my heart.  It's intimidating and makes me want to run away and hide under my blankets.  I simultaneously want pages and pages of feedback, and nothing but praise.  It's going to be a learning experience for sure, sharing my heart with the rest of the world.

For now I'm only sharing it with my family, mainly so they can see what I've been working on these past few months.  Thanks to some advice from a friend, I'm taking a little time to really research and think about who else I'll share this with it its beginning stages.

My book is far from perfect, but I think feedback at this stage is important.  I also think I needed to step away from it for a few weeks.  I've been either writing or editing it every day for months now.  A little space will help me bring a fresh perspective when I get back to it.

It's strange, having all this extra time.  Well, that's laughable as I still have a husband, two little girls, and plenty of housework to fill my time.  But at least I'm going to bed before 3:00 am now.  I feel anxious, being away from my story, the characters I've come to think of as friends.  It's a struggle for me to stay away from the computer and not open up my book.  I don't want to fall into the trap of reading just a few lines, making just a few edits.  This break is important, but it doesn't make it any less hard.

So for now I'll just sit here and wait.  Wait for the first bits of feedback, wondering if I really do have what it takes to be a novelist.  Wait to see if other people fall in love with my characters the way I did.  Wait to see if my story conveys the messages and intentions I hope it does.  And I'll spend this time waiting trying to figure out exactly what genre my book belongs in...cause trust me, that's harder than it looks.

When do you share your writing with other people?  Who are the best people to edit it?  Let me know!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Our Boys

They are our fathers and sons,

our lovers and brothers.

They are nameless faces

marching in camouflage,

defending our freedom.

They come from the north and south,

east and west;

all walks of life coming together for one single goal


They leave their wives and families,

jobs and friends

and ship out

to unknown destinations

devoid of take-out pizza and late-night TV.

They carry out missions of honor,

of death and destruction,

hoping only

to come home safe

to the homeland they are defending.

They are our military,

Our soldiers,

Our boys.

And to them we owe our lives.