She fell in love with my words. It was never me, per se, she just wanted to revel in the linguistic passions I created. My words warmed her mind, caressed her soul, exciting her body. Even she didn’t understand the attraction. I, however, found her to be intelligent, sexually appealing and was smitten by her love of my words. I occupied several roles for her; father figure, teacher and lover. It was more than an ego fueled sexcapade for me, she made me feel alive, if only temporarily. Having been alone, she would unfortunately only be a temporary companion, someone I knew there was no future with. She would eventually leave me, they always do. But it would give me fodder to put into words that would blend with my perpetual loneliness. Every time this occurred, I knew how it would end. Me writing down my words, alone.
Re: “Frankly My Dear...” The rough draft Gut Spillage I’m not deleting this time because I finally posted it in the right challenge
AKA: dissecting the layers of a way too personal interpretation of Gone With The Wind.
Gone With The Wind is one of my all time favorite movies.
My husband introduced me to it.
I'd somehow gone 16 years of existence without the sheer pleasure of that film, and for remedying that oversight of God Almighty's I'll always love the bastard.
The thing is, I always knew that I was in madly love with Rhett Butler, from the very first watch.
I am totally his Eugenie; his baby girl.
But the other thing is, his baby girl dies.
It's not Rhett's fault she has to die.
He was doing the best for her that he knew how; spoiling her rotten with far too much love.
Dead, that child.
That living breathing sweet child of his what loved in the purest way anything ever has. Plum dead from too much love. From being forced to die or grow up. It's nobody's fault.
It's nobody's fault.
Okay then I think, through my far too grownup tears, through my hormone drenched, life loving, tock clicking since I was born tears... maybe I can't love him anymore as a daughter, maybe I need a Rhett Buttler of my own.
I earnestly thought that my husband was Rhett. My very own Rhett. How I loved him. How I loved him so much I'd jump off the edge of a world I loved just to be kept in his cage.
But he thought I was Scarlett. That bitch Scarlett. That crazy bint who needed him but wasn't capable of love. That's not me.
He thought all women of a fuckable age were her, and nothing would convince him contrary to his contrariwise nature.
It was a painful revelation; a revelation of more than a decade condensed into the past week; realizing the river ran the other way around...
I was Rhett. He was Scarlett.
Yes what a needy selfish bitch of a man on the inside he was.
(So what I'm Rhett. Why can't I embody the thing I love?)
But... the thing which separates me from being Rhett (apart from other more pleasantly obvious biological distinctions) is that I could never say the line he's born to say, the thing that soul-dead bitch deserves to hear even more than he needs to be kissed, (and he needs to be kissed so badly, often, and by someone who knows how)
That line, that brilliant line that only a true man can say:
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
Yep that's it. right there. the separation. The thing which makes me terminally female and a true man-lover. I could never not give a damn. I could try, I could try, how I want.... but I couldn't. It's not in me to not give a damn. I give so much damn it just comes out at random intervals sometimes: "damn, goddamn. Damn and fucking damn again. I always knew I never knew."
Not unless my inner child died all over again could I ever say that testosterone-drenched wildly-masculine line.
I know now what Rhett didn't; I know now not to spoil the children who love you. Not to teach them to live in a dream, and instead teach them to dream in a life.
So then I realized the truth of it, the character I embody more than any other in that film, the one I can be, and be successfully; I'm Mammy.
I care so much; I give so much damn, that I'd stay a voluntary slave after slavery is abolished.
And it's not quite because I don't know any other way. I'm smart, I can see the other ways clear as bell. It's just that I've realized that it's not in the cards for me to be loved as a woman.
But I can be loved as the rampantly maternal giver that I am. I can be seen there. And that's one heck of a swell consolation.
I don't need my Rhett-shaped silhouette to love me anymore.
All I really really need is that despicably beautiful red petticoat: Recognition from the real Rhetts of the world. I'll be forever grateful for those loving glances from the worlds I can't have.
So, here's that poem I posted before and then deleted because it didn't come close to saying everything I needed to say:
Alternative Endings: Take 3: Confessions of a Born-Again Cuddleslut:
Clark's raising the Gable-stop,
Slipping hands like sable
In between each table-top...
Catching breath when able.
I could hug most anything;
Meld in through the pores;
Licking souls until they sing
When knotted in their cores...
He wants to lose and tries to win;
I've felt his very bones.
I love so hard it must be sin.
I need his stick and stones.
I'm thrilling from his callouses;
That conscience of a man.
I showed him life's sweet chalices.
He gave me all his damn.
Summer Fall Winter Spring
There is a Van Gogh painting of a wheat field with cypresses (1889). A sky full of curvy clouds touch the tips of trees above a golden field. I used to be afraid of my father. Even old and frail now, he is a towering, oppressive figure that dominates whatever space he occupies. In that painting, though it is of beauty, I only see those trees casting their long shadows on the foliage below, and I am reminded of when I was a child with no sun.
I used to hate my mother. Having suffered a great loss at a young age, She feared that at any moment the worst was to come. We were sheltered to the point of severe naivety, and bullied ruthlessly in school for it. It also did not help that we were poor. Everyday they would make fun of my cheap shoes, oversized jeans, and mended backpacks.
I used to want to die. I remember one day I got jumped in the bathroom after school by three big bullies. I was a small kid bleeding on the sticky bathroom floor. My new watch that I was so incredibly proud of was shattered. I got into the car, and the only thing my dad noticed was the watch, and he said that I did not deserve nice things.
I used to love watching samurai movies. We lived in public housing. Our back porch extended out to an undeveloped land. I had a knife. I left as soon as he dropped me off. I knew my mom would notice, and I did not want to explain what happened as she smothered me with her anxiety. I hiked up the road to where there was a secret trail that the homeless used to drink and do drugs. There was a lake. At the edge lilies grew. I sat down on my feet, put the knife in front of me, and took off my shirt. The first stab left a red mark above the navel, but it did not penetrate. The second stab cut a little of the skin, but not by much. I steeled myself, tensed my muscles, and with a loud scream I … could not do it.
I used to want to have kids. Now as an adult I have come to realize that the broken things inside of me will never heal, and I may inflict the same horror on my child. With me will die that cycle, and when this husk finally fails, I hope that it will be used as tinder for a bright and warm fire, instead of emitting that same cold of a forlorn dark I had come to know.
The Artful Pursuit of Writing
OK, we’ve all been there at one time or another as a writer. You work hard – very hard – on a particular piece, and then you edit and fine-tune it time and again, until you finally post it for publication. Once your poem, commentary, short story, or even prelude to a novel has been published, you find yourself repeatedly checking its stats, sure that the masses will love your piece as much as you. As days – and then long weeks - go by, your stats change only minimally, so you try to convince yourself that not everyone has the same refined taste as you do when it comes to writing. Surely, however, the media format you've chosen, in all its glory and knowledge will recognize your work's outstanding attributes and bestow an accolade of recognition. So, you patiently wait, day after day, week after week, until the designated moment finally arrives, all too sure that your piece of work will be cited as a winner. Repeatedly throughout the day, you refresh the homepage until at long last, the list of winners appears. What? Wait a minute and hold the presses. There must be a ginormous mistake because your piece is completely missing from the cited winners. In abject despair and disbelief, you throw yourself on the floor and cry for at least half of an hour, completely and utterly devastated. Sure, there were thousands upon thousands of entries, but everyone you know loved your piece and assured you it would be a winner, so how the world did this happen? How did you not get it right this time? You were so sure you’d written the perfect piece.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? Have you written that perfect piece of prose and submitted it to a challenge, only to not achieve the expected, coveted prize or recognition? Have you been filled with disappointment and had your heart broken - or am I the only one? In all honesty, this scenario has happened to me on more occasions that I care to admit. Did it hurt? Without a doubt. Did it crush my desire to write? Absolutely and emphatically not. Following each and every failure to win, I have responded by picking myself up off the floor, and in true glamorous movie starlet fashion, I have remind myself that there’s always tomorrow and the possibility of more writing attempts. And thus, a new quest has begun thereafter as each day I once again go in search of new challenges with a fervent hope that the next time, I will be able to produce a much better piece - something noble and enduring. Isn’t that what writing - and life - are all about? We must not become too complacent in the rituals of our everyday existence, because in the grand scheme of things, we should always strive for the stars in order to achieve the very best in all upon which we embark.
So, yes, I've had my heart broken and my writing rejected on more than one occasion, but the truth is that these things have taught me much: perseverance, discipline, dedication, and more importantly, a desire for finer writing skills, because with every piece I write, I am able to see improvement. I suppose, theoretically speaking, I could thank the publishers for not selecting my pieces as top winners, but then again, let's not get carried away. In the thread of honesty, I will instead simply thank them instead for helping me achieve improved results each and every day:
Thank you potential publishers for teaching me much in my artful pursuit of writing (despite my often having to nurse a broken heart along the learning curve).
"I am still learning." Michelangelo
We Drink and We Know Things
Have you ever had a cup of coffee you remember years later? Was there flavor, or was it just hot water? I think as a writer, I want to leave burn marks on readers’ tongues. I want them to see my name and think, oh, this cup will have some bite to it.
My inspiration comes from gut feelings. My best writing is usually accompanied by bourbon, never wine. Wine, especially red wine, makes me a special kind of emotional being. Unrecognizable. Someone once said on a writing website, your poetry isn’t profound. You’re just drunk. Not to me, just to the general writing population. I strive to be better than that, but sober, I’m rather stunted.
I take my feelings and put them in a mason jar, like fireflies. I access them and deem them worthy of a poem or not. Sometimes, believe it or not, I decide not to write about them. It’s a hard choice every time, to set them free. But as Hobbes said to Calvin, if we could keep rainbows in museums, we would. I try not to think of myself on that grande a scale. I let the fireflies go, watch them disappear into the dark.
Writing, for me, is inspired by people. I take conversations and weave them into poems. I am fascinated by language, the nuances and inflections. How to produce a good poem with these pieces can be like completing a 1000 word jigsaw puzzle, and honestly, sometimes I’m not patient enough to sit with my thoughts. But people need to be seen. I need to reflect on what people say, and sometimes that happens in a transparent glass.
Writing, basically, defines who I am. Who are you when the coffee gets cold, when the bourbon wears off? No one. Keep writing, keep going. Immortalize those feelings in your own personal mason jar.
You Have to Have a Habit
Inspiration? Nothing inspires me to write. I inspire me to write.
Perhaps more so is the intent on writing. bits and pieces come into play be it from watching someone in the park, out by the lake, watching tv, news coverage, to what's on page twelve of my local newspaper. Hell, it could come from remembering only a portion of a dream.
ideas are everywhere and anywhere. For instance, two days ago there were some violent thunder showers here, An hour later, the sun peeked its way through grey clouds, and all was right again, but it gave me the strangest idea. A what if, if you will. What if the sun was drenched in solar rain clouds and it rained only on the sun for days and days and the sun was getting weaker. And it affects our planet and the people on it? That was what I thought at the time. So, ideas, thoughts, they are random firing pins in your brain.
Next time you are out, say grocery shopping, take notes of how some people spend time gawking over the fresh produce or the meat section, or how people react in the checkout line. Perhaps a laundromat watching people fold their clothes before leaving. both examples could prove to be funny or strangely serious.
Read other authors to get a fresh spin on old ideas. After all, authors read authors. And just about everything on bookshelves in stores has been done and redone. but give it a new twist, a different spin and suddenly it becomes new (again).
In a slump? Walk away, get your mind on something else for a bit then come back to it. we have all had that brain fart but eventually it goes away and then you are back on track.
True story: Mid-eighties, I sat in front of a typewriter, one sheet of paper in the roller and stared at it for almost two hours! Two hours! Insane, I know, but my brain was telling me I had something to write and lo' and behold it finally came to me. Twenty minutes later I was finished and went to bed. It's on here somewhere. (I'm Not Insane but They Won't Set Me Free.)
On a side note, everything I have learned, outside of education, has been trial and error.
And like I have said many times ... Write what you know, research the rest, and if you need help, ask.
Some of you know, but I recently cofounded a small publishing press—Querencia Press
We currently have an open themed call for anthology submissions, as well as always being open for manuscript submissions.
When my last 3 books were published, many of you asked if I could pass work on to my publishers, and I felt bad because that just isn’t how it works. They don’t care to hear about who you know and recommend.
That being said, I am the EIC for a press now, and would love to see work from the people who kickstarted my writing journey end up in print. If you’re interested submissions guidelines can be found here—
We also accept work that has already been published, so you can even send us work that you’ve already posted here on Prose.
As always, much love, <3
I said it once and I'll say it again.
When I do a solitary adventure, I bring along a small sketchpad, a camera, and a notepad.
The common path you take everyday is always different from yesterday. For some reason I find myself being struck by random ideas unexpectedly in places I'm always familiar with and in a new path I take.
Everything becomes an inspiration if you don't expect an idea coming your way. Just enjoy what you see and fell in love to what was in front of you, then everything else will come after.
Emotions reconnects you to everything you see. Along with these drawings and pictures you capture, imprinted itself the feelings, thus yourself is recorded within those. It will somehow become a kind of memoir of your little adventures and ideas.
I got the habit of writing random words few years back.
To outline the concept I'm going to pursue which really helps me pick up more ideas in time and either combine old ideas to newer one, until it develops itself into a world, a universe of it's own.
Inspiration wasn't always there and most of the time absent when we needed it the most.
So I make myself unwind for a bit, enjoy my own company, breathe, then continue along.
Until you find some sparking flames and collect them, keep them close and get yourself engulfed by it.
And when ashes scatters with the wind, you'll find yourself picking up another sparks along the way.
Then the process repeats itself.
Writing About Getting Motivated To Write Again
I love writing, and the world of words in general. I am currently in a slump with actively writing as much as I would like to, but I am trying to break out of it. I'm thankful for this challenge, as reflections can be a great way to see where you've been, where you are, and where you want to go.
Although I currently write as a hobby and not for a career, deadlines are one thing that help. The Bible Journals I write are inspired by Crossroads Church's Anywhere app and community, and they have being doing a Bible Challenge this year where one reward is getting a sticker if you journal at least once a week with the community. The stickers are pretty cool, so I have been diligent with cranking out at least one journal a week to qualify. Getting involved with collaborations also helps as far as deadlines go, as teammates on the collaborations depend on your timing in order to be able to write their own contributions to keep the project on track. The writing challenges on here are also great as far as keeping deadlines, as being too late can take away the opportunity of being able to try your hand at either a challenge topic that you feel passionate about, or a challenge that features a writing style that you don't normally partake in, but would like to try out.
When I need motivation, I will often turn to reading work from writers I enjoy and admire, taking in some great stories from other media (video games and anime tend to be my jams), even some good music can do the trick. Probably the biggest thing for me though is just getting started on writing something, even if I don't want to (and as much as I love writing, most of the time I have to force myself to start). I have found that once I have begun the process and feel less overwhelmed, motivation and excitement for what I want to write then hit, and before I know it the spark has returned.
One more tip I was given that I will pass on is to try to write a little something each day, even if it is just a little bit. I try to write a short gratitude piece each day through my church community, and not only does this keep the writing muscle working, but it also helps me to remember how blessed and lucky I truly am.
Thanks for this challenge, and for helping me to break out of some of my own procrastination. Good luck to you all out there - your contributions to the world of words are needed and appreciated!
Inspiration can come from obvious sources, like stories and characters we love that resonate with us and want to make us create an equally impactful world of our own. But I find this to be more of a motivator than a true source of inspiration. Sometimes it's helpful to revisit the stories you love when you're feeling uninspired to remind you of why you fell in love with your craft. Though in my opinion, the best place to find an idea is in the real world- but filtered through a different lens.
Dreaming in the shower of what you coulda/should/woulda done in a situation? Make it into a story. Looking at the news and thinking "Oh, god...it's the end of the world..."? Well, what would happen if it was? What if [insert historical figure here] was in the modern day? One thought can lead to another thought and then another until you have a brain tickling concept that usually turns out to be a very different beast than the train of thought that inspired it.
Brainstorming is one of the first steps to writing. You write out some ideas and do your best to flesh them out in a tangible way. Daydreaming is the more fluid precursor to brainstorming. The idea isn't on paper, it's just floating about on our brainwaves, cruising along on a current of thought and seeing what happens. We're told for one reason or another not to let our thoughts wander and to force ourselves into linear focus. To follow a 1-2-3 process. To write for X amount of minutes a day. To meet this deadline. To fulfill this word count. Daydreaming is free of all of this, and can often feel counterintuitive and unproductive for that very reason. It's okay to just let your thoughts drift off for a bit. I feel as if a lot of creative people don't give themselves the space to truly ebb and flow.
Admittedly, you can't daydream forever. At some point, you have to allow the seed you've planted to take root and then put in the work to nurture it into a full composition. And the way you choose to nurture that is up to you. Some work best giving their creation constant attention. Others work best by working in bursts and stepping away until they're ready to revisit with fresh eyes. Both are equally valid. A piece taking longer than expected to complete doesn't make you or the work a failure. I personally believe that there are times when trying to complete a piece is so difficult because there's more you have to learn, intellectually or emotionally, to bring it to fruition.