Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project Once upon a time, two poets who’d never met in person began writing verses back and forth over the Internet. Their first project took them some nine months: a 100 verse Hyakuin. Once they’d completed their first oeuvre, they continued their journey together; Sangeetha came up with a fun […]The Keywyrd, or: Creativity forms verses
“How do you know him? My boyfriend, I mean,” I asked Gabe.
“Let’s just say he’s dabbling in something he shouldn’t. He has gone down paths from which there is no return. It’s sad, really. He was doing so well, and then…” Gabe paused and stared at the pavement of the parking lot.
“I don’t follow. He has always been controlling, jealous, and possessive. I’ve known him since I was a sophomore in college. I’ve never known him to be any other way. And how do you know him?”
“Oh, he and I go way back. But never mind that. You see, when his mom died…”
“Wait. Hold on a minute. When his mom died? His mom didn’t die. I’ve met her more than once.”
“When was the last time you were with him? Before you left, I mean?” asked Gabe.
“Two years ago. Just before I left, I spoke with his mom,” I replied.
“Spoke to her or saw her?”
“Spoke to her, and prior to that I saw her…at her house.”
Gabe reached behind him, pulled out his wallet, and flipped through the photos. He stopped at one of them and turned it so I could see it. “Is this her? Is this the woman he said was his mother?” asked Gabe.
“No,” I said. “That’s nothing like the woman I met. I’ve never met the woman in the photo. I peered up at Gabe and took a few steps backward.
“Please. You don’t need to be afraid. I am here to protect you.”
“Then explain to me what this is all about. Now,” I demanded.
(To Be Continued)
Sew by weaving words,
knitting character, plot, and structure within
the fabric of emotions, habits, conflict,
bringing sparkle, glitz, pizzazz,
with words aplenty
of stories told.
A lady on her right stared at her then shot her eyes in the direction of her boyfriend and stared. It was rather odd because the others who claimed they didn’t see him behaved as though they didn’t. Yet this lady stood and focused on him. After a minute, the lady glance back at me and said, “I don’t see anything either.” But how could that be? The lady looked right at him. I studied the lady’s face as she continued to stand in the parking lot. Her grocery bags piled high inside her cart.
“Can I help you?” I asked as I scratched an itch on the back of my neck. Then it happened. I think. Did I see right? Or was I mistaken? I could have sworn the lady now wore a feint smile. “What are you…?” I started to ask as my boyfriend faded. I looked back at the lady. She now wore a full smile, turned away from me, and continued walking.
It was obvious to me my boyfriend wasn’t here. Just a projected image of him. Maybe he caught on to where I was and maybe not. I couldn’t take the chance. I had to move, but where would I go? His abilities would allow him to find me no matter where I went. And what was up with that lady? She lied when she said she hadn’t seen him. Her body language told me as much. I glanced around to locate her. Maybe she knew something, but she was no where in sight.
I felt like a caged animal with the world being my cage. I had no choice but to stand and fight. For now I would go home. I turned in the direction of my car but came up short as I walked full force into someone. I stepped back and looked up into deep blue eyes belonging to a shiny, golden haired man around my age.
“I-I’m sorry. I should watch where I’m going next time. Excuse me, please.” I stepped to my right to move around him. As I did, a hand warmed my shoulder, so I stopped and peered back up at him.
He gave his head a gentle shake, as he smiled down at me. “My name is Gabe.”
The deep melodious tone to his voice struck me without words for a moment. Then I gave my head a quick shake and responded, “I’m Julia. Um. Hi.”
His kind eyes continued focusing on me. A kind of warmth penetrated my heart, and the fear from my experience with my boyfriend earlier subsided.
“It will not always be like this, Julia,” said Gabe.
“How do you know? I just met you.” I glance up at the sky, inhaled, and let it out slow. “You don’t know him.”
“Oh, but I do.”
(To Be Continued)
Write down a number of topics. Then create a list of words and/or phrases under each topic relating to that topic.
Love– flutter, heart warming, constricting breaths, tingling, soft kisses, stab, gentle pulse pounding kiss, sweet thoughts…..
Rain– spattering diamonds, twinkle tapping, splashing, thought disruptor, meditation melder, a guide to dullness, sprouter of Spring…..
Expressions– muddied knowledge, human weeds, life’s tides, stabbing stare/glare, ice eyes, singing smile…..
Growth– as a mustard seed, a newness, knowledge comes knocking, the deepening of a flower’s color, life’s momentum…..
Think about the kind of poem you would like to write. Let’s say you want to write a poem about growth; go to your topic entitled growth and read through the list of words/phrases you came up with. As you do this, ideas will start to flow, and you will begin to think of lines of poetry. AND you will end up using some of the words/phrases from your list in your poem. Also, you don’t have to stick to just one topic. Mix them up by pulling words/phrases from more than one topic to use in your poem. You will be very surprised at how easy it is to think of a poem by using these processes.
Above all else, have fun.
Verse 1: Make something normal seem out of the ordinary.
Verse 2: Make something out of the ordinary seem normal.
This is not as easy as it looks.
I stood in the ethnic foods aisle at the grocery store and stared at the refried beans one shelf below eye level. It was hard to believe they didn’t have what I needed, yet there I stood anyway, as though the brand I wanted would magically appear. I conceded with a heavy exhale then turned to my right and gave a start. I froze mid-step. It was him. My brain told me to turn around, but my body wouldn’t comply. Subconsciously my mouth had dropped open, so I closed it quick. Regaining my senses, I spun and faced away from him. Did he see me? I hoped not.
Not wanting to lure attention to myself, I walked gingerly in the opposite direction. Two other people in the aisle walked toward me and passed. Good, any movement made behind me would take attention off me and on to them. Damn, what was he doing here? I left him in the middle of the night a year ago and moved to Northern Montana. I reached the end of the aisle, glanced back to see if he was still where I had seen him last, and froze again. His cold, dark eyes stabbed me not ten feet away.
I stole one step backwards then another and another, while he moved forward with slow sure steps. I took one more step and crashed into lady rounding the corner.
“Watch what you’re doing,” snarled the woman.
I didn’t care about her. Right now I had to get away from him. I turned and ran toward the front of the store, but steps behind me told me he was close.
(To Be Continued)
“Well,” said Stella, before I throw any ideas out there, are there any rules to using this gemstone?”
“Rules?” asked the man. His brows furrowed, not quite understanding.
“You know. Things like, are there any rules against the types of things one can change? For example, I changed that starfish to a seashell. But what if I wanted to changed something bigger than that, something much much bigger. And do I have control as to what I change said object into? Or is it a random process?”
“Ah ha! No. There are no rules. But…”
“Wonderful!” exclaimed Stella not giving the man time to finish. “Stay right here. I’ll be back in a bit.”
The man started to speak, but Stella ran off before he could get any words out. He faced the water and watched the waves roll over the sandy shore. To no one he said, “Now I know I told her I can’t be more than ten feet away from the gemstone.” He shook his head as he vanished and reappeared in the back seat of her car.
Stella glanced in her rearview mirror and saw the man smiling back at her. She jumped and gasped, jerked her head around to see he was actually there then jerked it forward again. “What are you doing here? How did you…?”
“How soon we forget, miss. I can’t be more then ten…”
She finished his sentence for him. “Yeah, yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”
“Where are you going?” asked the man. “And what are you going to do once you get there?”
“Work. And none of your business.”
“But there is something you should know…”
Again she cut him off. “Look, I don’t need any help. I got this whole change thing. I’ll be just fine,” replied Stella.
“Ok.” The man smiled. Under his breath he said, “But you might be sorry.”
“What was that?” asked Stella.
“Hm? Oh. Nothing.”
Ten minutes later she pulled into the parking lot of the home improvement store she worked at. A few minutes later she was walking down the main aisle and glancing down each side aisle looking for the two nasty ladies she worked with. Just as she was about to walk past aisle ten, they both turned down that aisle at the other end. Stella halted her step, turned down the aisle, and made a b-line straight toward them.
“Ladies,” said Stella with a smile.
Both ladies turned to her and gave her lazy response in return. “Oh, hi. Isn’t it your day off, Stella?”
“Yes. But there is something I wanted to show you. I found it at the beach.”
“Seriously?” asked lady one. “You came all the way over here to show us something? Why couldn’t you have waited until tomorrow when you come to work? It makes no sense.”
Stella was going to enjoy this. Instead of responding to the lady’s comment, she took out the gemstone hanging from the keychain, held it up, and caught the glint of the light.
The man stood ten feet behind her and watched the scene unfold.
The gemstone sparkled and threw out beams of light toward the two ladies. Stella thought of two rags, and the two ladies each changed into a rag. Stella chuckled, picked up each rag, and held it in front of her next to the gemstone. Then something unexpected happened. The gemstone grew to a size much larger than herself and a tint of blue appeared across her vision. The two rags dropped from her hand in the process and landed back on the floor. She turned her attention in all directions and spied the man behind her, but he was huge, much taller now. “What…what happened?”
The man bent down and picked up the keychain. The royal blue gemstone swung this way and that, and inside of it Stella sat in her new environment. “I tried to tell you. But you wouldn’t listen. You can’t change a human. Doing so will suck you into the gemstone and free me. He put it in his pocket. The two rags on the floor changed back into the two ladies. The man bowed before them. “Ladies? You have a good day.” He walked away to begin day one of his new found freedom.
Stella gave the man a blank stare and blinked three times. If she didn’t know any better, she could have sworn she heard him say the gemstone hanging from the keychain is his home. Rather than give him a response, she backed away several steps, turned on her heal, and ran down the beach in the opposite direction. After a good five minutes, her lungs hurt, so she stopped and bent over. Her heart hammered as her adrenaline continued to fuel the rush of blood through here system.
She stood up and intertwined her finger behind her head, hoping that would calm her breathing. Aloud to no one she said, “Damn, I really need to work out more.”
“Yes, you do,” said the man.
Stella gasped and turned to see the same man from before. “How? How did you…? But I…”
“You what? Thought you left me up the beach? Not likely. As I said before, that gemstone you are carrying is my home. You can think of me as a genie in a bottle but not really. I don’t grant wishes.”
“How were you able to follow me?” asked Stella. She didn’t care about the gibberish he was spewing at the moment. She wanted to be rid of him. A breeze picked up momentum and flung her long brown hair across her face. She swiped at it, hitting her nose in the process, which fed her irritation even more so.
“It isn’t important how I followed you.” He paused, then turned and took a couple steps. Shaking a finger at her he said, “You aren’t nice. You should be nice to people.”
“I am nice. You’re frightening me is all. How do you expect one to behave, when you behave as you are right now? Maybe I wouldn’t be as scared if you’d tell me a little about what’s going on. How were you able to follow me so quickly?”
The man nodded and licked his lips. “Ok. That’s fair. As I said before, that gemstone you are holding is my home. I live in it, or let me put it another way. I am cursed to it. I can’t be more than ten feet from it. So, when it moves, I move whether I want to or not. I go with it.”
“How did you get outside of it?” asked Stella.
“When you changed that starfish into a seashell, I was extricated from it. So, thank you. It’s been quite a while since I breathed fresh air. And the more you use the gemstone, the longer I get to stay outside of it.”
“Use it? You mean change things?”
“Yes, among other things,” said the man.
Stella was going to ask him to go into detail but thought better of it. An idea began to form. The corners of her lips turned up as a devious plan took shape. “Change? You say?”
“Yes. Wait.” Now it was the man’s turn to smile. He rubbed his hands together as he said, “What do you have in mind?”
(To Be Continued)
As many of you know from a previous post, I finished my second novel this past July of 2022. Since then I’ve been editing, re-editing, and then editing some more. How many time does one need to read their work before it’s polished? How ever many times it takes. You will know when it’s just right. When you’re done with editing it, give it to another editor who knows what they’re doing. They have those editor’s eyes that will see something you missed that you didn’t think was an issue. Also, give your final draft to a beta reader (or a test reader). Yes, you want to do this. They will give you valuable feedback about your story. Trust me, if there is part of your story that isn’t making sense, your beta reader will spot it.
Before you go beyond the editing YOU are doing, read your story/manuscript backwards. Yes, start with the last page of your story and read each paragraph starting from the last paragraph and working your way backwards. Doing this will allow your brain to focus more on the mechanics of each sentence rather than the story. Think about it. When you are reading a story, the story is flowing through your mind. Your brain is focusing on the story itself and not on the mechanical issues you may have that must be fixed. Therefore, you will end up missing mistakes that need to be fixed. By reading it backwards, the story itself won’t get in the way.