Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Death as Metaphor 3


Poetry is a mode of communication that never grows old because it speaks to individuals at different levels of their personal lives and changing times.
I started writing poetry at a young age. I dove into poetry without knowing specific details about how poetry was made or particular authors or movements. Names have never interested me or specific rhyming schemes or forms. Few names stuck to my head such as the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío, the darker poet Edgar Allen Poe, and the lonely Emily Dickinson, even Leonard Nimoy writes poetry! I still read for pleasure and wait for a poem to speak to me. I always read different poetry without a care as to style or topic. Recently, I have found myself participating in sharing it with others. Poetry has become an important part of my life. I joined a poetry group and began editing my work.

However, through my love for poetry, I have come to realize that poetry is widely used in every continent of the world for various reasons. Now that I'm trying to build my poetry library, I'm familiar with some other poet names such as Sylvia Plath, Carolyn Forché, Dylan Thomas, Pablo Neruda, Jose Luis Borges, and Robert Duncan. Of course, there are many poets I know personally who deserve mention, such as Don Kingfisher Campbell, Christopher Trevilla, and Lalo Kikiriki as well as others whose poetry readings have been inspirational such as G. Murray Thomas, Ron Baca, Jack Bowman, and CalOkie, but my intention is not to write out a list of poets. It would become too extensive a list.
Poetry revolves around reflections of our self and our society. Be aware that poetry can be found online, in journals or magazines, even newspapers, on Christmas, Valentine or Birthday cards, letters, children stories, movies, and books, and there are many locales that invite poets to do readings or poetry slams. It’s a medium to which there is no limit.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Short Stories & Such: Killing Your Best Friend's Wife, Draft 2

I finally figured out how to put the “Followers” on the blog! I hope to keep learning to make this blog worthwhile for you. I just ask for a little patience. My main goal is to write, write, and write! The more I do, the better I hope to get so I can publish my novels.

And to continue with today’s post, here’s a revised version of a short story I wrote a while back. I changed the victim’s name and added a few details that, I think, make the piece read better. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

Harry wasn’t the kind of close friend one lets down. His idea of a good time was playing chess with the boss’s daughter… with frosting in mind. His wife, Cheryl, on the other hand, was innocent as a fawn on green pasture.

But Harry wanted Victor’s help in killing her.

To Harry’s expectation, Victor agreed without hesitation- not because he disliked Cheryl. She’s the only person who knew Harry’s one deep, dark, secret that could ruin his life forever; truths exposing him to committing credit card fraud, hijacking cars, and business computer hacking. They all add up to that particular secret: participating in Cheryl’s best friend’s suicide attempt.

Don’t misunderstand, Victor was surprised. He thought Cheryl should have left Harry a long time ago, except, she always found something good in the guy. She had no clue as to the numerous times Victor had to… dispose of loose ends.

Harry got all of the materials ready for the big day. He had it all figured out, too. Victor was to pick Cheryl up from the airport, since she travelled to visit her mother out of state, and he was to deliver a demise to which she would not return.

When the big day arrived, Victor deliberately took his time to get there. He tried to picture Cheryl’s face when she figured out they would stop at a deserted gasoline station in the middle of nowhere instead of heading to Palmdale.

“Hi, Victor,” she put her bags down and gave Victor a quick hug; little did she know it was a futile attempt to save herself from her fate.

“Hi, Cheryl,” Victor reached down to grab hold of her bags and place them in the trunk of the car. “Sorry your husband couldn’t make it.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She patted his hand, “I’m sure he’s far too busy at the office.”

Throughout the trip, Cheryl did most of the talking, probably due to nervousness. She also had noticed Victor take a wrong turn. At first, she thought he would circle back to the proper road, but he hadn’t. She thought of Harry as she watched the wind blow on the road. Does he think she would snitch about Patty?

Victor pulled into the deserted gas station.

“There seems to be no one around…”

He locked her side of the door and placed black gloves on.

“What are those for?”

Victor cracked his knuckles.

Tears streamed down Cheryl’s eyes as she clutched her mother’s necklace. Victor opened the dashboard and pulled out a small black bag. He took some drops and wet a handkerchief.

Cheryl’s eyes bulged. She turned to open the door.

Victor smothered her face with the handkerchief.

Cheryl struggled to break free, but Victor was too strong for her petite body. She elbowed Victor on his ribs and shrieked. She pounded the window and scratched the door handle. Then, Victor suppressed her until she was motionless.

Victor caressed her face and brushed her fine brown hair.

He drove further towards a cliff. He stepped out of the car and lit a cigarette. He looked at the cliff to the ocean below. He threw the match on the ground. He returned to the car, put it in neutral, and pushed it over the cliff. The car hit the side of the rock and blew up before splashing into the water.

“Won’t Harry be proud?”

 

For the original Writer’s Digest Prompt and post, see the following link (scroll down to Chilo):


(see November 29, 2011)

 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Putting Your Novel Aside Once Complete


The hardest thing a writer can do is set aside their work. It’s like being without coffee for 72 hours! But, hey, the benefits far exceed this ‘cold turkey’ episode.

For one, you gain a whole new perspective on the writing that wasn’t there before. You get to read your writing like… well, a reader and that’s the advantage to setting it aside. You want to see how well your work holds a reader’s attention and interest to keep turning the page.

Two, it’s easier to look at the mistakes. In order to revise and edit your writing, you need to be able to see where you need to cut/paste/reword/etc. etc. etc. (there’s a lot to be done, trust me). It’s like a doctor who needs to do surgery. How can the doctor proceed without cutting the patient open? When the stiches come off (or disappear), the result is far better writing.

Third, you stop making the same changes over and over. If you ever have used an eraser (funny saying this, but it’s true in this present day computer infested world, but I digress….), you will often find yourself writing over the same recently erased spot.  

The question is: how long should a writer set their work aside?

This is the tricky part. Some writers set their work aside for a month before looking at it again. Others set it aside for three months. Still, others wait six months. Maybe it all depends on other projects writers are doing. The important thing is to find what works for you. It’s like diets and everything else in life: it’s got to fit the individual. Have you found what fits your style?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Books I’m Reading 3

Appaloosa
Brimstone
Resolution
and The Blue-Eyed Devil are novels written by Robert B. Parker that follow Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole- two gun hands/lawmen and cowboys. These books are laden with dialogue and minimal description, but it works! You get to learn about the characters and the problems they deal with along the way.

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. MARVEL bought into King’s stories and converted most into a graphic novel collection. Of course, there’s nothing that beats reading the actual series for the full details of the Gunslinger's adventures, but these comics bring the world of Stephen King alive you might have never thought about.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Death as Metaphor 2


Death is representative of different things for poets, poetry, and life events.

I have discovered through my poetry that death is a common metaphor to describe feelings of sadness, anger, loss and desperation. Death is also used literally to describe actual losses of loved ones or one’s own demise. Individuals may cling to death in order to face the future.

Research has produced an interesting array of information to give the topic of death more understanding. Death changes its meaning as it is dependent on its context (take eulogies for an example). In other words, there is also a lot of allusion toward death in poetry for it is a familiar subject that touches individuals in myriad ways.

Take a look at the poets Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, or Shakespeare. They all mention death in a certain way. If you go to the different poetry websites, you will see how the topic of death is portrayed by different poets. Even artists and writers must grapple with death as a metaphor at some point.

So, what does death mean to you?

As you answer this question, you’ll find different metaphors to describe it, which might not be a bad thing. A poem could be brewing, waiting to be written down.