Because reading fees suck.
So, I’m on a writing spree in a beach hotel.
I come home Friday after happy hour, all happy and whatnot, only to find out that the electric company cut me off. I was two days late. TWO DAYS. And I didn’t have an old balance or anything; I had paid my last bill in full less than a month ago. I paid immediately. But, in a flex of the ‘we-are-machine-and-you-are-weak-and-helpless-pitiful-mortal-workerbee’ muscle, they don’t reconnect on weekends.
My thought process went something like this:
Brain:!@&#$^&@^! Ok, think. Too late to sort out tonight so just deal with it. Tomorrow you’re booked anyway … stay out really late? Go to Mom’s? Stay with a friend?
Muse: It’s off season. And you need to finish Seas anyway. Full moon. SUPERMOON. You are much overdue for some night beach moonbathing.
Brain: Indian Rocks.
View from my WIP is something like this:
My bff used to manage a condo out here, and she was able to use it when it wasn’t booked. We used to get to stay at the beach house free for weeks. Then the bubble burst, and now we have to pay for the view. A night here and there isn’t the same. I’ve really missed this strip. I love IRB.
This definitely falls under the blessings in disguise category. I’ve been working on an ocean themed collection for a few years. I don’t mean I’ve only been doing that. I do a pass, leave it for a while, come back, do another pass, leave it for a while. That sorta thing. I’ve holed up for days on end with laptop or notebook while Netflixing every ocean-related doc I could find, and then not touched it again for months. It’s pretty close to done, but I have always wanted to hole up in a beach hotel and just work on it with the sound of the waves. I don’t think I could have considered the collection done if I hadn’t done this. It’s as if I wanted to give the ocean a chance to offer input.
I walked down the beach last night and found a perfect circle in the sand. Sat down for a while under the supermoon. Got some equilibrium back. Oh, and about 5 more poems, including one creepy snippet that might actually be a story. Not sure yet.
Sometimes writing isn’t about following the writing rules. Sometimes it goes far deeper than that. At least for me.
There is a secret language spoken here
The voice of the mother whispers in wind and waves
Now I just need to convince the Arabs running this place to let me check out late. Assuming the elevator doesn’t kill me. (It looks and smells like it was made in 1972.) I guess after I head home I’ll take a leisurely lunch in one of the cute little seaside cafes, go check on the kitty just in case she got through the ten million water dishes I left her, then probably take the laptop to Starbucks or B&N for a few hours. I prefer writing in solitude but whatever. I guess I’ll be coffee shop writer girl for a day. I have one rough night to get through, and my power will be back on tomorrow.
Note of grr: Some idiots were out there with flashlights despite the fact that there are signs EVERYWHERE about it being turtle hatching season and to keep the shoreline dark.
I’m on a bit of a steampunk kick lately. I blame this poem, one of my nanopowrimo pieces, for it. Or, possibly the awesome steampunky clothes I saw at the Ren Faire. Or possibly the fact that I recently reread an old favorite, Paula Volsky’s Illusion, which I think arguably just might qualify as the first steampunk novel ever. (I am an avid rereader – whole other post)
I’ve been noticing something unique about the steampunk movement lately. It seems to be moving as quickly, if not more so, in the fashion, art and design worlds as it is in literature. Actually, I think it’s kind of been hijacked. I have to admit, when I see or hear the term steampunk, the first thing I think of is clothes. And jewelry. Then the brain goes to stories.
Steampunk is visual. And vague. Take a Victorian setting, add some clocks and airships or gears, some boots or whatnot, throw in a mechanical bird or two and voila! Steampunk awesomeness. (I don’t mean this as a bad thing, just sayin …. that would be my description of steampunk)
Case in point. I am working on a steampunk/postapoc/fantasy novel. I also have been toying with a full-on steampunk novella idea …. though knowing me, it would stretch into a novel probably. Also thinking of doing some steampunk poetry, or even better, a steampunk poetry collection. So I start googling. Come to find out, there are not very many markets looking for steampunk. I was pretty underwhelmed. I’m not saying there are none, just that I expected more. Lots more.
So, I checked Amazon. There were a good amount of books, but half of them were how-to guides for jewelry or whatnot. Didn’t find a whole lot of steampunk anthos either. Only one steampunk poetry collection.
I did, however, manage to find all sorts of steampunk items and art. And jewelry. I could tag pages and pages of awesome jewelry. Sigh.
Badass steampunk necklace # 1 (want)
Badass steampunk necklace # 2 (want)
Steampunk Owl (want)
Steampunk boots (want)
Steampunk coffee grinder (want)
Steampunk Barbie (Xmas gift idea)
Steampunk crow (love it!)
Steampunk corsets (want. want. want)
Steampunk bird/plague mask thing. Storyworthy.
Steampunk bird (love it)
Steampunk wedding cake
Steampunk butterfly 🙂
Steampunk art … lots of that.
My personal fave
Steampunk computer. Or, possibly a time travel device
Steampunk typewriter. Ok, really it’s just flat out Victorian. But calling it steampunk makes it cooler, right?
Steampunk hat box (Which, alas, would probably not fit the hat. Make that a steampunk jewelry box)
And last but not least, a steampunk Mona Lisa. Steampunk is official now.
What’s a girl to do?
A) Write anyway
E) Create a steampunk Pinterest Board?
G) All of the above …
Prompt 28 wants color.
Purple is the shadowed glade
the cast of twilight
Purple is the darkest thing
that black cannot hold
purple is the moon I know
in fragmented dreams
the color of my birth
Purple thoughts scrawled in red and blue
But the violets blaze against the grass
brighter than flame
And in the gloaming
In the fields of the Elysium
They speak only in lavender
And dream in black
I missed number 25. There was a prompt, but I’m just going to use another haiku cheat card. I watched Room 237 the other day. Interesting. I sort of think one can find conspiracy theory and riddles in anything if you look hard enough, but it was interesting to see some of the nuances and hidden tidbits that may (or may not) be buried in the Shining. So, a Shining haiku.
Dark truth shining blood
In the Overlook’s hallways
Ghosts behind the snow
This prompt was to take on a long poem and re-edit it, basically. You cross out words and make a new poem out of it. I decided to take on the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest poem known to man, because I find Sumeria fascinating and because I’m dorky enough to think editing a poem that predates paper is a good way to spend a Monday night. I’m expecting formatting problems, but I am grateful that, unlike the original author, I don’t have to chisel this into stone!
He has seen everything.
experienced all things,
Anu granted all.
(the time) before the Flood.
pushing himself to exhaustion
He carved on stone
built the wall of Uruk-Haven
the wall of sacred Eanna gleams like copper
the threshold stone dates from ancient times
Go to the residence of Ishtar
Go up on the wall of Uruk
did not the Seven Sages themselves lay out its plans?
Find the copper tablet box
open its lock of bronze
undo its secret
the lapis lazuli tablet
Gilgamesh went through every hardship
he is the hero, born of Uruk, the goring wild bull
Offspring of Lugalbanda
he opened the mountain passes
dug wells on the mountain
crossed the ocean to the rising sun
he reached Utanapishtim, the Faraway,
restored the cities the Flood had destroyed
The Great Goddess Aruru
prepared his form …
… beautiful, handsomest of men,
There is no rival who can raise his weapon against him.
Is Gilgamesh the shepherd of Uruk-Haven,
is he the shepherd. …
the gods implored
the gods called out to Aruru:
create a zikru
Aruru pinched off some clay
threw it into the wilderness
born of Silence
He knew neither people nor settled living,
but wore a garment like Sumukan
He ate grasses with the gazelles
and jostled at the watering hole with the animals
A notorious trapper came face-to-face with him opposite the watering hole.
he came face-to-face with him
opposite the watering hole
trapper’s face went stark with fear
He was rigid with fear
his heart pounded and his face drained of color.
The trapper addressed his father saying:”
“Father, a certain fellow has come from the mountains.
He is the mightiest in the land,
his strength is as mighty as the meteorite(?) of Anu!
He continually goes over the mountains,
He filled in the pits that I had dug,
wrenched out my traps
released wild animals.
He does not let me make my rounds in the wilderness!”
The trapper’s father spoke:
There is no one stronger
he is as strong as the meteorite of Anu.
Go to Uruk,
tell Gilgamesh of this Man of Might.
He will give you the harlot Shamhat,
take her with you.
The woman will overcome the fellow (?)
as if she were strong.
When he sees her he will draw near to her,
The trapper went off to Uruk,
made the journey
bringing the harlot
Then he, Enkidu, offspring of the mountains,
who eats grasses with the gazelles,
came to drink at the watering hole with the animals,
with the wild beasts he slaked his thirst with water.
Then Shamhat saw him
“That is he, Shamhat!
Do not be restrained–take his energy!
When he sees you he will draw near to you.
Spread out your robe
Shamhat was not restrained,
but took his energy.
She spread out her robe and he lay upon her,
His lust groaned over her;
for six days and seven nights
until he was sated
But when he turned to his animals,
the gazelles darted off,
the wild animals distanced themselves from his body.
Enkidu was diminished,
But his understanding had broadened.
he sat at the harlot’s feet,
gazing into her face,
The harlot said to Enkidu:
“You are beautiful,” Enkidu, you are become like a god.
Why do you gallop around the wilderness with the wild beasts?
Come, let me bring you into Uruk-Haven,
to the Holy Temple, the residence of Anu and Ishtar,
the place of Gilgamesh, who is wise to perfection,
but who struts his power over the people like a wild bull.”
What she kept saying found favor with him.
Becoming aware of himself, he sought a friend.
Enkidu spoke to the harlot:
“Come, Shamhat, take me away with you
to the sacred Holy Temple of Anu and Ishtar,
the place of Gilgamesh, wise to perfection,
but who struts his power over the people like a wild bull.
I will challenge him …
Let me shout out in Uruk: I am the mighty one!’
Lead me in
I will change the order of things;
where the people show off in skirted finery
where every day is a festival
where lyre and drum play continually
where harlots stand about prettily
you who do not know how to live
Enkidu, it is your wrong thoughts you must change!
It is Gilgamesh whom Shamhat loves,
and Anu, Enlil, and La have enlarged his mind.”
Even before you came from the mountain
Gilgamesh in Uruk had dreams about you.
Stars of the sky appeared,
and some kind of meteorite of Anu fell next to me.
I tried to lift it
but it was too mighty for me
I tried to turn it over
but I could not budge it.
The Land of Uruk was standing around it
the whole land had assembled
the Men clustered about it
I laid it down at your feet
Today’s prompt was an anagram. They provided linkage to a nifty anagram generator, which I might use for character names. I like playing with language. I like the rhythms of names and the connotations held in syllables, the meanings we don’t know we know. When I write a character, the character is never ‘real’ until he or she has the correct name. Sometimes they are nice enough to appear with the name, and in those cases it is more like meeting someone than creating them. I’ve found that, more often than not, looking up meanings for names adds depth to the character. I definitely fit the definition of my given name to a T.
was the name of the fallen thane
the cry of the hawk
the cry of the raven
the battle cry that echoed through a misty, bloodsoaked dawn
the harrowing passage
the ringing of steel
the hour that bled
until the valley was silent again
Only six days left!
We honored her once
We respected her limits
Appreciated her gifts
But in this age
There is only one planet
There is no sense to such carelessness
As creature after creature winds into extinction
Is it any wonder the world has gone mad?
We will never know peace until the balance is restored
Or until her rage takes us all
Today’s Nano prompt is to do a one-liner Chinese fortune cookie style. Yay for an easy day. This is getting onerous. I guess that’s the challenge, the point of it – to write when you don’t feel like it.
I would like to dedicate today’s poem to a friend who once thought his fortune was telling him to Learn Chinese. Literally. Still makes me laugh. Sabs, if you’re out there .. this one’s for you.
He who brews laughter, makes the world happier.
Prompt 20 wants us to use five words from a long list. I ended up with a steampunk poem and a story seed. This happens sometimes when I write poetry when I’m in fiction mode. I end up with something that’s more story than poem. And sometimes the reverse happens.
The copper owl went quiet when her generator failed
She was tucked into a trunk when her gears stopped moving
Left behind for her weight, despite the coos and the smiles she had given
Despite her loyalty
None of the heirophants noticed her death
They had already left
They had already fled
Far upwind, their airships floated
Above the revolution
Above the smog
They could not bring themselves to admit that they had caused this thing
But they left their estates behind as the city burned
Made a fabulous trend of the whole affair as the city churned
They squandered their coin in a floating castle
Spending gold like lives and lives like gold
They lived in luxury amidst the clouds
Having managed to elevate themselves above the unsavory turmoil below
smoked clove cigarettes
while their gardens turned to dust
They sat cast in velvet and lace and ate soft cheese
As the owl began to rust
They played parlor games and held a masked ball
Laughed at the cowbird outside their windows
They ate truffles while the paupers starved
And as they floated off into the night
They spoke of the miracles they had seen that summer
In the wondrous greenhouse of Doctor Dunderhead
They recalled the cyclops (he sang of fallen suns)
Willowy plants with the faces of pale girls
Vials with mercurial elixirs
Far below this gilded splendor
The urchins ate seaweed soup in the gutter
Pretended not to hear the artillery
As cannons broke the city walls
They salted their meat
Knowing they would soon be short
Gunsmoke curled up over the turrets
But did not quite reach the ego of the fleeing airship
Twice, the owl tried to revive
Twice, she fell into darkness
The city grew pale and thin
The city grew rage in the shadows
The owl, once loved, then left behind
Began to rust
Became a ghost