Hatching a Novel

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist

When you tell someone you’re a writer, invariably you’re asked what you’re working on right now.

A vague response doesn’t cut it. They want details — lots of them — and many are quick to offer “helpful” suggestions for plot points, characters, settings, whatever.

Continue reading

Debbie by Another Name. . .

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I’m not a fan of my own name.

As a journalist, “Debbie” worked. She was solid, dependable, factual. Printed alongside my last name, “Debbie” made a nice-looking byline.

But as a fiction writer? One who kills off characters and spins imaginary tales?

I think not.

Continue reading

Contented Vagabond

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

Me and Erin are doing okay
We stumbled on this nice little town
With free hot dinners and a bed.
No need to hoard cardboard or shopping carts
No need to fight driving rain and blazing heat
Or sleep with our eyes open for protection.
Yeah, we’re doing just fine.

You know that bicycle I used to ride?
I traded it for Erin a couple months ago.
She was with some other guy, but he wanted to make tracks
And Erin was just an inconvenience. Crazy, huh?
As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the gal for me.
Long silky red hair, eyes the color of honeyed copper.
Eyes you can practically drown in, they’re so full.

When I left, I didn’t know where I was headed.
Figured I’d just ride until I found myself
Or got bored, whichever came first.
Now that Erin is traveling with me, I’m learning responsibility.
We share everything — food, water, bed, laughs.
Whoever says a homeless person doesn’t need a dog
Just doesn’t know anything about me … or Erin.

So me and Erin are doing okay.
It’s not the life you dreamed of for me
But freedom is more important than wearing a suit and tie,
Punching a time clock, running the rat race.
There are places to see, people to talk to
And we only got one shot to do it all in anyway.
At least me and Erin got each other now.

Note: This was inspired — and fictionalized — from something I saw recently.

Chance Encounter

I didn’t ask for it to be over. But then again I didn’t ask for it to begin. For that’s the way it is with life, as some of the most beautiful days come completely by chance. But even the most beautiful days eventually have their sunset.
— Javan

She: I’m busy. Job to do. Focused. When I look up and lock eyes with my past, my heart stops.

Continue reading

Dazzling Golden Beauty

maple

Resplendent in your dress of gold,
Lifting your arms to the birds of the air.
Tall and proud, stunning and bold,
Never a worry, never a care.

Oh maple tree touched by the sun,
Are you aware that one day soon
Your leaves will drop and you’ll be bare?
That snows and bitter winds will come
Bringing silence and quiet as winter’s tune.
Do you know, or do you care?

 

Note: This is written as a Horatian Ode, a poem with meter and rhyme, praising a person, animal, or object. The “object” is a Sugar Maple photographed in late afternoon sunlight.

Do Something

Do something.

I can’t.
I’m only one.
And there’s just
Too much to do.
I can’t erase poverty,
Can’t cure disease,
Can’t bandage the broken,
Can’t take away pain.

Do something.

I’m not sure.
I’m just me.
And there’s so much
I’m unqualified for.
I’m not a doctor,
Not a lawmaker,
Not an evangelist,
Not a researcher or hero.

Do something.

Well, all right,
If You insist.
If You’ll help.
I can hold somebody’s hand,
Dry somebody’s tears,
Listen. Be present.
I can donate to a cause,
I can be an encourager,
I can pray.

Now you’ve got the idea! Do something.

I don’t expect you
To do everything.
Just do something
And trust that I AM
Will handle the rest.
Working together
We can make a difference.
My precious child,
I love you so much!

Writing

Rejection.

We writers

Open our souls

To the whole world

To see and to judge

What we labor to bring forth.

Sometimes it’s spectacular, inspired, or even divine;

Other times, it’s nothing but garbage

Wasting good ink and paper.

Or worse, merely average.

Running in circles

Saying nothing

Important.

Note: This one came to me late at night. If there’s a name for this poetic form (with word count increasing by one on lines 1-7, then decreasing back to one), somebody please let me know!