Writer’s Digest Word Prompt Thursday Poem

The word prompt for Thursday Poetry today at http://www.writersdigest.com, was “On The Road”
Here’s my burnt offering…

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NEXT FOOD 47 MILES

That’s why I stopped
And if I hadn’t
I never would have seen the girl
With hair climbing to Jupiter
And nails that made me think of indelicate things
Like the dangers of toilet procedures
sporting four inch claws
But, damn, this peach pie-
it is sweet hot heaven on my tongue
And I don’t care that this old plate
Has a chip from 1964.
Just drop that thing
On the formica.
I’ll make it disappear.

Life is Run by Barney Stinson

I will never (insert horrible thing here)!

After you’ve been on the planet a while, you realize what an incredibly stupid thing that declaration truly is. On a fairly regular basis, I have acted in direct defiance of my own decree and boldly done the horrible thing, simply because I had changed my mind.

Last year, for example, I crossed my own line and got a tattoo. Oh, it’s not like a giant Popeye across my ass or anything. It’s small and it’s subtle and it means something to me. I had previously made a loud fuss about never, ever getting a permanent mark on my body and then life came along and slapped me upside the head, altering my opinion.

I should back up and say that the tattoo I got last year was not my first. It was the first one I voluntarily acquired. I have three others. They are tiny, woad blue dots that a mildly sadistic radiation tech marked right on the middle of my breastbone and then two, equally located on the same horizontal plane on the sides of my ribcage. I needed them for the techs to align the machine as I underwent treatments for breast cancer. They hurt like a bitch. Especially the one in the center as there isn’t much meat right there and I could feel the needle pressing to my bone. Not fun.

The one I got last year is a small, woad blue V and a smaller circle that sits just below the bottom of the V marking the zero point. I had it placed on my left wrist, just at the pulse point. I was in California attending a workshop and doing research for another book I am working on. The symbol means “NOW” in my Sci-Fi character’s native Arcturian (yes…an ET) language. I got it because every time I’d get in the shower, I would see the blue dots on me that kept reminding me of “then” and I was so damn sick of living in the past and the “close call”.

I had been drawing the little mark on my wrist for months as I was writing. One day, while sitting up on Mount Shasta looking at all that wonder, I glanced down at my wrist and I knew that it was, NOW. I dragged my friend, Trisha, into the Small Town Ink shop on the main drag of the town of Mt. Shasta, and she sat with me while John did his thing. When I got home with my new mark, my grown kids found it fascinating. Some more conservative friends raised a silent eyebrow. I’ve also had some women my age, give me a high five and then ask about placement suggestions for their own little tattoos. Never…ever…now.

A few weeks ago, I was holding the four month old kitten that I had brought home when the daughter said, “Remember when you said you would NEVER get a kitten? And that you would never, ever get a male cat because they spray and take over the Universe?” Yes. Yes I do. Now shut up. The little guy (Yes! A male. You shut up too) is a feral rescue from a rural Michigan farm area and however the miracle occurred, he is a completely adorable, healthy and sweet flame point Siamese mix. It’s been ten years since I’ve had a cat in this house. My former cats moved to Michigan with us from Florida. The last one, Sushi, a rescue from the Hemingway House in Key West and famously six toed, died at the ripe old age of 22. Her best pal, Mouse, another rescue, died a year earlier at the age of 21.

When I bring something home, I don’t screw around with the commitment thing. Hell, we had a 6 year old guinea pig here, which is like 200 years old in human years. Which was another creature I once said I’d never have in a house. I love having a kitten around again, especially when they crawl up to sleep on your shoulder with their face against your cheek. Oh, yes. Lucca is an epic snuggler. Lucca adores Matty, the Great Dane; who is doing very well now that we’ve identified her Addison’s Disease and are treating it.

Life is listening and taking notes when we make “I Will Never” declarations. It listens like Barney Stinson. It responds like Barney Stinson, as well: Challenge Accepted. If you’re going to be stupid enough to make never-ever declarations, at least make them about things that you are already, secretly waffling on. Then, when you cave in and do the horrible thing, which you will, unless you’re a Cylon with a pre-programmed mandate, some child that lives within you can happily gloat for having turned you to the dark side.

Here’s the thing about those kinds of declarations; as important as we thought they were when we originally made them, they slip into the sea of forgetfulness that is our brains and even when THE SITUATION is smack in our faces, we will not remember how adamant we were about our position on said situation. Our stupid brain wants what it wants and it wants it now. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, because we just might override our imagined limitations and prejudices and then we can have a snuggly kitten sleeping on us and a small sign from the heavens that reminds us to be here now.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Never…ever… Hey, these words are delicious!

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Lucca and Matty

Lucca napping

Poetry Day: Waiting for Judgement- Submission

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Submission

There is this terrifying place:
somewhere
between the creation of a thing
and
it’s inevitable arrival
in the real world.

Falling from the sky
stomach in mouth
trying to track your twisting mind towards a water landing,
hoping no sharks wait to greet your soft offering.
Nothing to be done now;
it is out
and delivered
on a silver platter
offered to
Judge&Jury
knee bent
head bowed
waiting
for
word
of
acceptance
or
rejection

Meanwhile-
falling,
stomach in mouth
hurtling down
the timeless distance
while
I
wait…

Create What You Must

I’ve never met a creative person who only had one medium of expression.  Here are some recycled bottles that I painted last year for my home made liqueurs. What will move me this year? I haven’t heard it call to me yet, but I’m listening…

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Toast, Fried, ZiZZZZZZ.

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I’ve typed the words, THE END, onto the last page of The Grove. Well, the end of Book One of The Awakened Trilogy, that is. See? There it is. Just above this blog post. It’s REAL. That, is nearly five years of thinking about it, researching it, toying with the concept and then six months of writing, almost every day. It’s a good feeling to type, the end. I’ve hard edited several times and handed it off to beta readers who I’ve asked to read and rip before I start the extra, super fun process of peddling my soul to the highest bidder.

My brain is now fried, toasted and making that zizzing noise it makes when you are done with one thing and trying to clear the debris of creation to get ready for the next big thing.

For creative sorts, like myself, here is where fantasy slams head-on into reality. This isn’t the Renaissance and families like the Medici’s don’t go around adopting wayward artists anymore; letting them create in a studio they’ve provided just because they love art in all its forms. Now, that would be the ticket, would it not? To have someone love what you do so much, that they sponsor you and take on the pimp role of selling your symbolic flesh and blood to interested parties while you get to stay in your studio and crank stuff out. Imagine that!

There are rooms in houses, basements, garages and attics filled with glorious art, photography, writing, sculpture, pottery and other feats of wonder that no one will ever see because the people who create these things are not marketing/sales/agents/promoters/pushers or pimps. They are creative souls.

We fantasize about waking in a place where all the tools we need are within reach and the day and night stretch out before us, eager to be filled with whatever we haul up from the nothing, to play with and shape and make into our art. Our dream is that one day, there will be a knock on our door. We’ll answer it with paint in our hair or a crazed seventeen hour writing buzz blazing in our eyes and there will be an angel knocking, wanting to bring our things out for the world to see. They’ll tell us they could feel the wave of creation pouring from this place and they just had to come and see what was here.

We do not want to write query letters and spend the last of our money printing and mailing and waiting for some kid, two years out of college, to reject our work because they, personally, don’t like Sci Fi-anything. We don’t want to have to sit down, after writing 105,317 words (The Grove word-count), and force ourselves to write some clever tag line or Book Blurb that becomes the only thing that grabs or bores a potential “customer” into buying or not buying our books.

Self promotion is a lot like doing your own dental work. Sure, I could get a mirror and some drills and shit, but I will probably just make a big, bloody mess because I can’t see what’s inside my own head like an outside observer can.

Hire someone, you say! Just for shits and grins, take a little saunter through the websites that list literary agents and see if you can find someone that WILL read a Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure manuscript. One that has adult language, some sex, some violence and humor and its all wrapped around humans who are changed in order to save the planet from other humans who are wrecking it. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

For every legitimate literary agent, editor and publishing company out there, there are two who have hung a shingle and know as much about book pimping as I do, and probably have the same amount of influence approaching the big dogs with my manuscript.

“You could have just written a Young Adult Romance novel because those sell like hot cakes and it doesn’t require the research or rewrites you did on your last one”, you might say.

Well, I did not. I did not because that is not what was pushing its way out of my head. This book, The Grove, is what was asking to be born, this time. I wrote it because I could not not write it. I have four other projects right behind this one, plus two more books to write in The Awakened Trilogy. Put on the coffee…

So here I am, big ole manuscript in hand, checking the M’s in the phone book for “Medici”, to see if they have any American cousins who might want to adopt me, so I can be their in-house source of wonder.

In the end, I’ll write the fricking blurb and the damn query letters. I’ll do all the things I will have to do to launch this project out into the world. If for no other reason than the fact that it would be epically pathetic to actually be living in Paris Hilton’s pool house.