Love Eternal: Flash Fiction

I sat on the hill and watched the interplay. Young lovers thought the priests couldn’t see them, whispered sweet nothings that followed them into the ground. Hands clasped them together and all the rest fell away. Love was a gesture, no different from the motions I made to keep back the crowd as the others picked through their bones and pieced their story back together.

(Care of New York Daily News)

(Inspired by news of the 14th century skeletons uncovered in England this week by University archaeologists, their hands still clasped across 700+ years. It will be fascinating to see what people can find of the pair, the stories they’ll come up with, even if some will find it a bit morbid.)

 

May Means Binary Explosions

Don’t mind the O

it’s just the last stop before the crow

spring-topped shower in all its finery

coded delicately for its binary

debut, in the showers and flowers

rising up like sandy towers

no blood where they lay,

just another seedling for the play

of petals on the fettered den

the nightly contrition of the zen

tools trailblazing incisions

into springtime’s timeless revisions—

they’d say we’re all within a trance

if our bulbous natures didn’t love to dance.

Inspiration

“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time…the wait is simply too long.” ~Leonard S. Bernstein

I write in mountains. Don't you?

Inspiration is the great provider to us lowly writers. Prometheus, if you will. The problem is that inspiration is never a constant. While months and years may go in its passionate embrace, there will be those days–inevitable and infuriating–where inspiration withdraws into the shadows, to leave us cold and alone.

The question this leaves us to face is thus: do we press on without it, or wait for its return?

Some people wait. Personally, I’ve always found it silly. Growth happens regardless of whether or not you’re “in the zone,” and I daresay that if you find yourself, in that lonely forward push, stumbling through the writing, that as frustrating as it may be, it’s good for you. Failure reminds us we’re human. It also pushes us more forcefully toward self-improvement, in a way that success–or the appearance of success–never could.

Writing, as any skill, must be honed through constant practice. If we start taking large swathes of time off simply because we don’t “quite feel it,” we have the temptation to get lazy, and the writing itself could suffer. Do you want sloppy prose to be what you greet inspiration’s return with? Seems like a terrible welcome to me. Besides, there is the fact that inspiration could actually be summoned by your writing, rather than needing your writing to be summoned by inspiration. Immersing yourself in the world, in the characters, in the poem, what have you, could draw back inspiration as quickly as anything.

The other side of this, of course, is that if you don’t get a part just right, if you press through the numb of non-inspiration and end with a few thousand words that don’t quite capture the personality you know it needs, you’re not doing yourself justice. That is the beauty of writing: editing is a key part of the process. If you’re not going back and re-reading yourself anyway, you’re doing it wrong. When inspiration comes knocking again, return to any points you were concerned about, look over it with that newly stirred creative eye, and adjust accordingly. It’s not hard.

And don’t tell me “the moment is lost” if you must go back and do that. How many edits do you make at the end of a product your creative spirit told you was gold in the first place? Your editor?

Just write. Outline. Create something. Writing is not a one shot game. It’s many layers of writing and rewriting, editing and editing again. Breathe. Everything will be okay.

Solstice Tanka

I wanted something suitably nature-oriented for this special One Shot Wednesday – since the party begins on Tuesday, after all, and this Tuesday is the summer solstice, the longest and (hopefully) most beautiful of days. My inspiration seemed cut off by grey clouds this morning, sadly, but with the afternoon there seems to have come a break in the haze of summer, treating my muse to blue skies and colored fields. In that same vein, I tried to step outside my usual, and go for a touch of tanka.

Hope the weather’s treating you all as kindly. May it be a fertile day for creativity!

Mother dances green

Before Father’s skyward kiss.

Sweet husband Golden

Pirouetting long shadows

Across her blossom billows.

And here’s a bit of greenery to put a little summer slant into your day…cheers!

Image property of: Chris Galford.

Death of a Muse

Tender touches

twilight now

when you would walk through moon beams

silver youth, in my mind,

your long-tossed hair that fleeting glimpse

unworthy hands would never know.

A dream-wrought kiss

for all sensation’s cheer—

a note to set the pen to dance

beneath your light.

What is your name?

Reality, but a longing and a life

no bearing on the yearning—

the dreamer’s supple realm.

A thousand ships would sail for you,

in mind, while your eyes turned—

it wasn’t till the flesh took my hand,

crowned in cruel identity

cast me out to sea

that all those ships were set to burning.

* My latest contribution to One Shot Poetry Wednesday. This piece was essentially the second part to the post I made yesterday, on muses and their very real, physical departure, in the form of people. Yesterday I gave other people’s thoughts on muses, but today I put forth my own thoughts on the muse’s withdrawal. For those with a physical embodiment to their own creative drive…

The Writer’s Muse

Gustave Moreau's, Hesiod and the Muse (1891)

This week, I’ve been dwelling a lot on the concept of the muse, particularly owing to the fact that a person I once took to be the physical embodiment of my own muse recently dropped out of my life  in any meaningful manner.

Necessities, in life, I suppose…but it does hurt to see such dramatic shifts in relations with others. To watch yourself drift entirely out of someone else’s life. Particularly when the creative in you recoils from the blow, in such horror…

This week’s quotes, thusly, are based on the concept of the muse, as shall my submission for One Shot Wednesday tomorrow. Enjoy.

“Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse, And every conqueror creates a muse.
~Edmund Waller

“O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.
~William Shakespeare

“A muse can be a mirror: a reflection of the artist’s desires, anxieties, dreams and needs.
~Vince Aletti