NaPoWriMo 2014: Days 11, 12, 17, and 18

Love Poem of a Pawn and Glasses

She felt

so small, insignificant.

He could see right through her,

she was a pawn in the face

of his face. But she loved

his clarity, clean boundaries,

well-sculpted edges and curves, chiseled

to godlike. And she? Well, she

had a figure that caught his eye,

that called for examination. She, overjoyed

that she could have caught

his attention,

smiled

like the queen that she could be

if she really wanted to.

Black/White

To a poet

or a writer

or an artist,

black and white

is anything but;

not

boring, it’ a skeleton,

the foundation

of all existence. Invertebrates

don’t exist

in creative reality

because they’re too squishy, they don’t

survive

the prodding

of lit critics.

And don’t say that creative reality

doesn’t exist

because it does,

thanks to creative liberties.

Air-bird Written Thoughts

All thoughts

gushing,

rushing,

released

through a pinpoint ballpoint

pressure point

release point.

It’s not legible

and I probably won’t be able

to read it

in six million years, but

it’s out there. Pent up thoughts

of days,

maybe weeks,

even months,

half a year

of poetry solitary

confinement, no contact

with another member

of the poet race.

Be free, thoughts! Spread

to the corners of the world, show

just what my thoughts are,

just what you are. Be

like the wind-bird air flyer-thoughts

of culture, spreading viral video

across the globe

and even to the parts of the world

that don’t have internet,

Imagination

is our internet.

Writing Not-writing

I wish that I could write

but for writer’s block;

that terrible region

of thought

with no exit,

no freedom, no

known way out.

But if I’m writing a poem

about writer’s block

does that mean

that I still have it? Or no?

Gah!

My sanity flees!

Yet…

how can I have written

any words

if I’m blocked? Freedom!

Un-blockage

of the block

turns it into a circle-shape (ha!),

rainbow bubbles that float

on the peaceful winds

of imagination.

There is a lot of imagination going on in all four of those poems above. That’s probably because I’ve finally hit back into that niche where my good and original-type of poetry comes from. I’m sorry if you have no idea what I’m talking about; you must feel quite lost! Some poets out there might get it, and they would understand what a lucid place it is. It’s exciting! Words come onto the page free and happy like butterflies made of shattered shafts of sunshine! *cue rainbow happy squee music* This is another moment when I really recommend a morning paper exercise (See here or here for a better description of it). So many of my un-blocking poems are like it that few are fit for anything.

Let’s return to the first poem. To better explain it, I’ll grant you your prompt of the day: write a love poem about two completely random, inanimate objects, anywhere in the room you’re in–or outside of it. If you’ve got a few Story Cubes, those would work really well, because you don’t want to unconsciously look for the best pair. For example, you could do a foot and the moon, an eye and an arrow, a face and a mask, or a bridge and a star (examples that I rolled with the cubes). They shouldn’t have anything to do with each other–like a queen and a king from a chessboard. A shoe and a sock. Salt and pepper shakers. They are way to similar for this prompt! Try a shoe and a pepper shaker, or a salt shaker and a sock instead. Go with more a DVD and a curtain tie. A teapot aaaaaaaaaaaaaand…a tennis racket. Seriously, I could do this all day. When I wrote my poem, the glasses were faced well away from the pawn, which gave me the impression that maybe the pawn was in love with the glasses because the glasses didn’t seem to care about her. And don’t ask me why the pawn’s a she–maybe because they turn into queens if you get them to the other side of the board? Who knows! Pick and fly with it. ;

 

Unwritten Pages: A Writer’s (Or Artist’s) Bane

Unwritten Page

Sweet white the color

of milk, nourishing and refreshing.

Such a lovely sight, such a clean, clear feeling!

Of a pioneer where anything

can happen.

Swimming in white,

clean, bright,

daunting with its harsh unconquerability,

the heavy toil,

endless space to fill

and fill

and fill

until there are no more words

left. Striking out alone,

to journey into the blankness,

with a sword of a thesaurus to guide you, the pure flame

of creativity to light

your way. Where shall you go?

Wherever shall you wander? Yes, conquer!

The vast, empty page, fill it with words

so that it might be populated and its feral ferocity quenched,

expansion of the west-word frontier.

Keep moving,

keep going,

and find the words as you uncover them,

find the way that they sound and feel and look

in the mind, on the mind,

as you push your way

to written.

 

Whether it’s taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) or just plain old writing, part of the challenge is that blank page, be it electronic or physical. It’s like an ocean as I stare at it, knowing that I have to cross it and somehow fill it up with a bunch of really awesome words that sound amazing, but of course, I never know how. Two things might happen; I might touch my fingers to the keyboard or pencil to paper and find the words explode from my hands, just like they should; or a few might tease free before stopping, unable to be forced out any more. In the end, it’s that satisfaction of seeing what I’ve written–all 50,000 words or all 30 poems or an entire, complete novel– that is the goal, the knowledge that when it’s all over, there will be something that comes of it, something that I couldn’t possibly conceive of when I first started.

Part of the success is the deadline, which pins you to the wall, stares you in the wall, and screams, “FINISH THE THING.” Without a deadline, you can keep picking at loose threads and staring off into space for as long as you want. (Of course, artists and writers are also some of the best procrastinators in the world: “I’ve got a whole month to do this project, who am I kidding…I’ve got three weeks, that’s plenty of time…Hmm, yeah, two weeks, I should get started now…Uh oh, I’ve only got a week left, better work harder–oh sweet writing gods, only three days! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!“)

That’s the point where you realized that all you’ve written is just absolutely cow patties and you can’t use it at all, it doesn’t work, nobody’ll like it, and everything blows really, really hard. It’s also then that you realize that creativity, no matter how often I’ve likened it to the white, sticky stuff, is not like glue that can be squeezed from a bottle (except that it clogs up). It doesn’t hold things together, really, although paradoxically, sanity. If you try to squeeze, the bottle explodes and you’re covered in creative juices, which need to flow and not explode like a fifth-grade science experiment (No, I didn’t get to do one that really exploded, although I wish I had). You start to appreciate the work that writers and novelists have to go through on a nearly daily basis, and that they’re really actually crazy to be able to do such a thing.

And then you realize that–of course–you’re crazy too. ;D

–Aidyl

NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 11

Blank Page

I. White.

Pure blank white, with a

faint blue cast

or a slight tinge

of yellow.

Blank slate,

the purity of possibility,

the smell of new notebook

and new paper

or recycled paper, it doesn’t matter.

A million ways I could

use this page,

a thousand different tales

or different interchangeable words,

oh the excitement of an uncharted frontier!

Plot lines as of yet unfathomed,

the uncharted waters of story,

and the dim unimagined characters.

Everything

and nothing

is here.

II. Nothing.

Characters’ breath cut off in their lungs,

lives left unlived,

problems left unsolved,

questions remain unanswered.

Worse than a bad ending,

here, the infinity of possibility

shatters your mind as you try to conceive

the  everything

and nothing that can be,

is,

the infinite amount

of irritating plot-twists

until you cannot possibly stand

to read the book again.

III. Devastating blankness,

so much to be said and yet unsaid,

perfect image of how,

perfect movie of how,

playing behind your eyes

but you just can’t seem

to put it to words.

You try but get so far as

only three or four words

before you trail off and stare

with a smile on your face that has

everything

and nothing

to do with the annoyance.

It’s the story.

It’s the irritation,

the frustration

of not being able to communicate

just what you’re seeing,

like a Frenchman staring at

an Indonesia native.

IV. Blank,

crisp like snow,

fresh and clean and innocent,

empty and exciting

but cold and a bother.

But a blank page? What does a writer love more

than the freedom to express

exactly what’s on their mind?

Even if using it is now impossible

it’s the comfort of knowing

that if you must, you can.

Blank page, the exhilaration connected

doesn’t matter whether

you have an idea to chronograph

or not because it’ll be

a blank

page.

Blank, white pages seem to be both the bane of me and the joy. I love the sight of a fresh notebook, just waiting to be filled. (A full one is sad because there’s no more room, but happy because it’s got so much of my writing inside) But when I’m working for words, like in National Novel Writing Month were I have to put something down, it’s suddenly a barrier, a cruelly smiling shapeless face that I can see without seeing. “It’s the comfort of knowing/that if you must, you can.” Well, as I said, forced writing makes it feel like “if you can, you must.” Like a stubborn hog, sort of. With free rein, your mind will ramble over hill and dale until you dig in with your heels or gaze around in bewilderment when your fingers slow, wondering how you got there. And the absolute second you pull just a little on the lead to make your writing move, it lies down and refuses to move. No. I won’t, just because you want me to.

Irritating, hmm?

Today’s poetry challenge: when you sit down to do something you feel you have to do, do you find yourself staring at a blank screen, page, canvas, or block of marble? What is that like to you? Or, how do you feel starting a project? When you finish a project? I’d love to hear it!

–Aidyl

Exercise The Write Side Of Your Brain

These writing exercises are meant to help you fight writer’s block and make it a thing of yesterday. They are based mostly on the same concept, but each focuses on a different thing. Begin each with a clean piece of lined paper or a new page or new document on your computer, and a sharp pencil if you’re using paper.

Morning Paper

You can do this any time, but always before you write. Say, “Go,” and begin. Write whatever comes into mind, and don’t stop for more than a minute, even if you just end up writing “This is so boring, since I have nothing to write. I wish I had an idea but I don’t…” for about five minutes or until your hand gets tired. I actually did this today, and it was really fun. A diary or journal could be a great place to put this!

Word Poop

This is really, really fun, and it does the same thing as morning paper, but you must keep writing for a longer period of time, only stopping for about thirty seconds. Just sit there until a word or thought comes into your head, write that word down, put a comma after it, and continue forever. If you like a certain subject, stay there for a while, but keep writing the word, repeating if you go to the same spot. This is like falling asleep, and you can see where your mind goes.

Word Stomp

Now, this exercise is a great tool for poets, helping to get your brain set for detailed poetry. Pick a word, any word. Tell someone to give you a random but not silly word. Then make a list of all the words you can think of that are synonyms of the first word. If you’d like, write “mild” or “sharp” next to the gentle and harsh words. You can take as long as you’d like to think up a word. And if you want a little bit more fun, look as the last word you write, and see what you think of. Like in word poop, write the first word, then keep writing synonyms for that.

Still Life

This is one of the things I do whenever I try to write poetry, but it’s an important skill when you want to make a moment in your story more imposing. Pick any event, but make sure it’s a little event, such as a drop of water, a falling leaf, a rolling stone, a wave…. Then write a paragraph about this event, using as much description as possible and as many adjectives and adverbs as you can cram into a sentence, but don’t use more than five similes. Metaphors are fine, but don’t use more than ten! Make a poem, if you’d like, or just write a paragraph, or even try to write an entire page about a bubble!

Okay, sure, they’re just four exercises, but they really help, especially word poop. On my brother’s blog, he’s working on writing posts that are basically morning paper, but a little bit more extreme in the sense that he can only correct the sentence that he’s working on at the moment. Go ahead, try one, or heck, do them all, and see how it affects you!

~Lydia

N.P.W.M. 18 and 19

Knitting

Begins as a knot of

yarn, then

by the miraculous weaving dance

of the needles,

it becomes a sweater.

Inspired by knitting, of course.

The Cat

Orange.

Meow.

Pounce on a grass-stalk.

now you see him,

then he disappears into the

decorative grasses.

Yongi boingy niongie, I just felt like saying that. Whew, I’ve never written so much every day! Well, at least it will help me destroy any dams built by writer’s block, and perhaps it will be a good squeeze to make the hardened glue of writer’s block pop away and unleash the wet glue of creative juices.

Heh heh heh, what do you think of that metaphor?

~Aidyl

N.P.W.M. Day 10

Whew, posting each day helps me keep track of what the date is! 🙂

The Coffee Shop

A cool morning.

A crowded Starbucks.

Long lines.

The sound of whirring machines.

Names called,

Drinks drunk,

Warmth within everything.

 

Coffee shops are great places to warm up, which is why there are always people there. On the weekdays, they’re full of people having meetings and grabbing coffee to prep for the workday. I like to write in Starbucks. It’s a good atmosphere, and gets me away from the hubbub and distractions of home. I can often get inspiration from the world outside the window. I’ve gotten ideas for many of my stories in Starbucks.

I’m running out of creative juices! Comment and give me a suggestion for a poem, be it a Chinese fortune cookie, a sentence from your favorite story, or whatever. First comment is the one I write about the next day, and I’ll dedicate it!

~Aidyl

 

“Heaven, I’m in Heaven…”

*Caution: the following post contains very mild language that may not be suitable for younger viewers. I advise you read it before showing it to your siblings under ten*

Hello. Yes, the title of this post is taken from the song “Dancing Cheek-to-Cheek,” by Irving Berlin. And I hope your New Years was heavenly. Speaking of heaven…

You probably have heard of dog heaven, haven’t you? Cat heaven, bird heaven, fish heaven. Lawyer heaven, accountant heaven, dentist heaven…there’s heaven for everybody. You probably know what kind of heavens each person would want. But what about the writer? What would be ‘writer heaven’? Go on, make a guess. Go on. Take a minute.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick (on an unrelated subject, it’s interesting that a blood-sucking insect goes by the name of ‘tick’), tick, tick, tick…

Got your answer? Shoot me (not literally). (“I suppose it would be a river of ideas that all get turned into stories that get published…”) Well, as I’ve said in “Writer’s Bock–A Description, And How To Cope“, ideas are the easy part, but it’s really hard to get them onto paper. So…a river of ideas wouldn’t be the bet. If they all are turned into stories, that won’t be good, either. As I also said in “Writer’s Block–A Description, And How To Cope“, some ideas just don’t get to be stories. Maybe you should read that post and get what I’m pointing at.

All this concluded, what is a writer’s ultimate heaven? As you probably know (“I do?”), each person’s idea of heaven is different. As a writer, I think my best bet would be…an utterly good laptop. I use a laptop, yes, but I also like the feel of good old fashioned paper and pencil. Paper doesn’t lose files, but I can’t easily change what I’ve written. A laptop also saves paper, my eco friends.

But why a good laptop? Why not a used one? Well, until a few days ago, I was using a crappy, seven-or-more-year-old laptop that was held together with ducktape. Literally. To top this off, the u key was missing, so I had to push that little round thing every time I typed u, and the key that had \ and | on it was missing too. Sunday it showed me two ‘blue screens of death’, and froze five times. I got to use my dad’s not-very-old Gateway laptop. It is sleek, streamlined, and most importantly, types without pausing every tenth word. Again, I think a writer’s heaven is her tools, be it a laptop, clipboard, or the back of last month’s gas bill and a piece of ‘violet purple’ crayon.

That’s all, and see you all tomorrow!

~Aidyl

Note: Sorry about the late post. Once again, I was busy all day. And don’t visit bright and early tomorrow, either; I have an appointment at 9:00 AM, and I might not get to write until in the afternoon. Sorry, but I hope you’ll come back!