Monday, January 25, 2016

Books I’m Reading 20

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box by JonArno Lawson is a collection of children’s poetry. Lawson’s poetry merits on the nonsensical, lyrical, rhyme, and just plain fun. If you like Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, this is a book for you.

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav is a collection of poetry. Most of the poems are short, but they make you think and they have deep feelings. A good read.

The Complete Artist’s Manual: The Definite Guide to Painting and Drawing by Simon Jennings is a great resource for materials, tools, paint, tips, and more in regards to painting and drawing. The main thing is to paint what interests you so the work expresses those emotions.

Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon is a novel part of the Dark-Hunter’s series the author created, which deals with vampires and magic combined with Greek mythology.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Art 8: the lonely Giant

This is a life drawing of a male model with a ponytail. It took 30 minutes to do and I feel it needs more shading and lighting for it to stand out. I do think it’s a good interpretation of what I saw and from far, I get a sense of loneliness mixed with strength. I called it the Giant.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Writing Workshop 15: The Red Umbrella

During the MT. SAC Writer’s Weekend Fiction Workshop led by Paul Tayyar, we were given a picture prompt of a man holding a red umbrella and being swept up. Tayyar wanted us to use the image as a springboard to our story. The following is a draft of what I came up with.

The Red Umbrella

Landon stood there, staring at the cedar wood door with the flower wreath hung over it. He thought of the things he told his wife and wished to take back, but it was too late. She wasn’t going to hear his side of the story, only the remarks made by nosy girlfriends claiming they saw him with another woman. Yes. He held the woman’s arm. Not as a couple. As a long-time acquaintance.
When the rain stopped, Landon’s wife tossed out a red umbrella, shouting that it belonged to him. Nothing else belonged to him. It was true. He had married her five years ago. She came from a wealthy family and had moved in to Rancho Robles. Though, he owned nothing, she found something in him worth loving.
Loosening his tie, Landon dragged his feet to the umbrella, sprawled on the wet ground like a beating heart from the sobbing clouds.
At least he still had his job at the firm. He picked up the umbrella and shook the droplets off. Turning it over, he opened the umbrella, and a strong gust of wind almost blew it out of his hands.
Like a leaf floating up, his body and the stresses of his life disappeared. He held firmly to the one thing he could as he joined the gray ashen clouds in the sky.

You can try a similar exercise by choosing postcards, magazines, books, or online images as a prompt to write a short story or more... You never know what you're going to get!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Death as Metaphor 21: Two Poems Jumping in the Death Pool

I want to say I’ve been fortunate most of my work delves into the topic of death, but as I’ve shared in previous posts about the use of metaphors, not everything actually deals with death.

I also wondered why I gravitated toward this topic since High School and I discovered metaphors abound to create images that portray the feeling in the poems I write without me being conscious of it until I am through with my first draft, capturing particular words on paper or recycling them to suit my needs.

Being drawn to such themes of death doesn’t mean I prefer themes related to them or that the macabre strikes me as delectable points of view. To use the metaphor of death is to completely immerse in providing a picture of what I’m trying to communicate.

For example, the poem “California” is a personal reaction to the bad economy, being unemployed, and being alone. Poems show who we are just like a mirror reflects your image. This is how death is used as a metaphor in poetry. It is the materialization of our being that symbolizes distinctive feelings from the poet and reader alike.

Take a look at the poem here:


You have killed me

You the abomination
of my lifeless body

You have slaughtered my ambitions and
kept the souls at bay

You have scattered my remains
to the four corners of the sea
whose current would not withstand

You have cremated my amputated limbs
and crushed my soul
so the four winds blow
my ashes to nevermore

You abomination

You have killed me

Are you satisfied?

*This poem was first published on the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Issue 52

and speaking of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, check out the latest addition in the Fall 2015 Issue 68 where baby makes…” as it jumps right in the pool of death as metaphor theme at