A Holiday Bow; A New Year’s Scribblesaurus Rex

“I do not hesitate to maintain that what we are conscious of is constructed out of what we are not conscious of–that our whole knowledge, in fact, is made up of the unknown and incognisable.” ~Sir William Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics

Now the holidays can truly begin. Thank you, world. You’re truly filled with lovely people!

‘Tis the season. Saturnalia or Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus or what you will–as the year draws to a close, the world gives itself to party, to merriment and reflection, wonder and hope of the days to come. It’s an interesting time of the year, to be sure.

After today, I’m probably going to be disappearing until after those holidays. It’s nothing personal, I assure you: to all those that have given your support, be it through likes, engagement, or the mere honor of a read-through, I cannot express enough my gratitude. You are the reason I write (you know, my own sanity and status as a scribblesaurus rex aside). You are the reason I shall continue to write, even when things descend into darkness and the stars dare to hide within.

I will be back after the New Year. And it is a time for which I can join the world in saying I am eager.

This year has had its ups and downs. My heart has swelled to new limits, been tested incontrovertibly through words both written and uttered, and I have grown–grown far from the creature I have spent too long thinking I would always become. Milestone: Depression was battled, and thanks to the help I had always denied, was beaten with a stick into its corner. I came out with another book. And next year, I hope to emerge with a third. I have returned to Michigan. Climbed mountains. Met new friends that have taught me new things about that aspect of life–and, truly, about myself.

I have invested in my own growth, and I sincerely hope you have all taken a moment this year to do the same. Just as I hope you will take these last days of the year to dwell on all that you could still do.

See you soon. Don’t forget my characters and I; we’ll be back before you know it.

(P.S. If you really want to help someone out this year, might I recommend a fellow writer’s efforts to that end? D.A. Adams is currently running a collection from now until the end of the month to aid a family in financial need. And you yourself will get some fine literature out of the arrangement. Even if you can’t give, it’s worth spreading the word. Food for thought!)

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I Name Thee

Sometimes trickle

sometimes flood,

time rolls

in excess

of perdition,

determinant roar

let know

the bounty

still bounds

come rain

or flame.

 

Blood’s key–

ruby interlay of souls

huddling warm

against beating

hearts, pains,

gaining leverage

in hope,

gold lighted

dawn, somewhere

another’s eyes.

 

Lover, I

name thee–

human spirit–

your touch

as everything

between shadows,

drink, feast,

soothing ash

into soil,

emerald blooming

with remembrance.

* Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed my humble contribution to the season, and I wish you all the very best, whether an American celebrating the holiday like myself, or those of you outside the country just going about another day on the march toward a new year.

Absence Addendum

My father and I.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your support in the past week. Your tweets, comments, and e-mails have been a great boon to me in this troubled time. I had hoped this new week would allow me to start out with some better news, but it’s my great sadness to report my latest updates are still on the grayer shade of things.

Over the weekend, my father was kept at the hospital, ostensibly so the antibiotics being pumped into his system could have the time to do what they needed to do. A CAT scan was scheduled for this morning, wherein they could determine whether or not they had done just that. After being bumped to the afternoon (because hospitals can never bring themselves to be timely, mark me), however, the scan revealed that the antibiotics, while making some gains, were far from packing the punch the doctors had been hoping for. They will have to conduct surgery this afternoon after all.

Unless they move it to tomorrow. One never can be sure.

Before you ask, yes, this is the same procedure the doctors had flagged as “too risky” to undergo before. They give a little consolation now in the fact that the antibiotic rounds have made the job a bit easier, as they will have to root around less in their procedure…but even so. Hopefully, I will hear good news this evening. If I do, I’ll undoubtedly update this message about it. If not, I’ll have words for tomorrow.

For now: more waiting. It seems all I ever do any more.

My father and the hounds.

On another note, Fane is doing alright. His wounds are healing, despite the fact that he tore one open again late last week. Animal Control came at last on Saturday – five days after I notified them of the attack (they said it would take 2-3 days). The woman was nice and took down my report, and promised to have a stern talk with the neighbor who owned the other dog. Hopefully she did. I don’t honestly know. Regardless, a vet visit was unnecessary, and my dog appears to be healing alright, so that’s one less worry on my mind at the moment.

My internet presence will still likely be a bit spotty in the week to come – and my apologies for that, but it’s how I deal with these things. I’m one of those that retreat into themselves when the going gets bad. Probably not the healthiest, I know, but it’s my way. But for those of you that ponder it, I will be posting a work for One Shot Wednesday this week, though once again I can make no promises on the comments. Hopefully the surgery will take and some semblance of life’s normalities will resume in short.

I thank you all again for keeping my family in your thoughts, and for the kind words you have provided me over the past week. It means a lot, it really does. I wish you all the best in turn.

UPDATE: As of 10 o’clock, my father has gone to surgery and emerged again, weary but with promising news. The surgery was successful, and in time he should recover. He is to be kept in the hospital for another week for recovery, but time will see him released. From there, it will be another two weeks at home before he can return to work (and probably as long before he can have good, solid food again), but the creeping darkness seems to have subsided, and a brighter path opened. The waiting is over, and much of the week’s past worries should soon subside. Again, I thank you all for your thoughts and kindnesses. It has meant a lot in this time of worry.

Celebration of Langston Hughes & the New One Stop!

So I hope you’ve all heard the news – the indomitable One Stop Poetry, which you have all helped to grow to where it is today, has now moved itself across the virtual pond a touch. We’re off of blogger now and onto our own web site…but fear not; just because we moved doesn’t mean any loss to the quality we are committed to bringing you, or to the wonderful poetry you have all shared with us. One Shot Wednesdays and One Shoot Sundays, as well as our weekly One Stop Forms, Spotlights and Celebrations will go on unimpeded…and hopefully better than ever.

It’s interesting to look back sometimes. Just think, it wasn’t that long ago One Stop was just starting out, One Shot Wednesdays was the new thing on the block, a new meme for the creative to enjoy. We were a water cooler for the creative community.  Now, we’re bringing new content to the block every day of the week, with a staff of eight wonderful people all dedicated to the arts we so love. We’ve come a long way in a short period – hell, thanks to your support, we’re #3 in the official art rankings for the Shorty Awards (and actually #1 by vote totals) and #1 in poetry!

Langston Hughes

Kicking things off today is Pete Marshall with our latest Saturday Celebration…and who better to start off the new site with than Langston Hughes? Here’s a preview:

“Researching Saturday Celebrations often throw out a great surprise and none more so for me this week than that of Langston Hughes. Being from England, it is also exciting for me to learn of poets from overseas and Langston certainly was a good choice.

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born the 1st of February 1902, in  Joplin, Missouri, to parents who were both of mixed race. His mother was a school teacher and came from a politically active family that supported Black Rights. Langston’s grand uncle, John Mercer Langston was the first African American to be elected to the United States Congress. His grandmother was married to Lewis Sheridan Leary, an activist that joined John Brown, and died, during the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. She later married Charles Henry Langston who also was an abolitionist and helped lead the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society.”

For the rest of the article, and more quality One Stop articles, swing by the new One Stop Poetry. You won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget to stop in tomorrow to see my latest interview and photo prompt for One Shoot Sunday…this week I speak with Iquanyin Moon, and iPhoneographer with a modern look into the photography field.  Thanks to all of you that have helped us come this far! Your support is everything.

Warm Welcomes and Happy Birthdays!

Today, amidst the flurry of One Shot Wednesday and all the writings of you fabulous poets out there, I’d like to take a moment to give two very important shout-outs. If you’re looking for my One Shot submission or more poetry of mine, scroll down. This here is for

Claudia! (Image by Claudia)

some friends of mine.

First: I would like you all to swing by Splittergewitter if you get a chance, and give Claudia some very special greetings. This skilled German poet, and a fellow manager at One Stop Poetry, is celebrating her birthday today, and I personally would like to wish her all the best. A new year, and another year of life – cheers to you, Claudia! May you keep up your wonderful writings – and thank you so much for sharing them with us, and for your presence in the community.

Kila! (Photo by Chris G.)

Second: I’d like you all to extend the warm hand of welcome to another friend of mine at Willow’s Glen. A personal friend, Kila’s just recently (yesterday) joined the Blogosphere. A skilled poet, and an avid thinker (and debater, oh lord), I’m very proud to see her sharing some of her work with the outside world now. I think you’ll all be as pleased in reading her stuff as I am. So if you get the chance, go say hello, and welcome her to our humble little corner of the web.

Happy Wednesday everyone! All the best.

Hopes, Memories, and a little Creativity…

Michigan State Capitol Building, by Chris Galford

No Present

Caught himself along the past–

years passed before he ever realized

No Present.

So many are consumed by the past, and what has gone before, they forget to live in the present. As 2011 looms, I hope you reflect, but I also hope you take the time to look around you and enjoy a touch of the now.

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

Image care of Demotivational Posters.

I’d like to thank you all for all the support you’ve shown as readers, and peers…fellow writers and photographers all. That you’ve shared your works and encouraged and supported me in the sharing of my own has been a joy without end. I wasn’t sure how well the whole “young writer hitting the Big Bad Web” angle would go for me…you seem to see everyone everywhere trying it these days, and it certainly seems daunting to try and wade into such a hefty mass–amateurs, experts, and all manner of unseen forces lurking in the background, with the looming horror of plagiarism and creative theft.

And yet, things have gone better than I ever could have imagined. When I first started the Waking Den, I never would have dreamed there was such a vibrant and accepting community out there, just waiting to nurture and support fellow creative types. It has been an honor, yes, an honor, to read your comments on my own work, and to see and to read and pick through yours. There is a lot of talent out there, and it’s always a pleasure to discover new gems.

The One Shot Wednesday Mike

Another thing I never could have anticipated this year: One Stop Poetry. When I first started posting my poetry, and my photography, I thought I would be lucky if anyone swung through. I would have been happy with a couple comments here and there, be they critiques or praise. Yet then Leslie Moon came along, and through her I met the other wonderful founders of One Stop: Adam Dustus, Brian Miller and Pete Marshall. To be a part of that community, of such an up-and-coming site for creativity, was a joy among joys. Suddenly all those fellow poets were in one places, and they were sharing, and reading, and writing…it was the promised land.

When Leslie asked me on-board as a fellow manager, I was not only stunned, but ecstatic. Never in a million years could I have predicted that – and I couldn’t have asked for more. Since then I’ve gotten to work with Gay Cannon and Claudia Schoenfeld as well, two more managers added to the One Stop family. Between them and the founders, it’s a team without equal – and the experience has been both a blessing and a treasure. I get to interview photographers about their passion, see into the minds behind an art that has always fascinated and intrigued me. I get to share something I genuinely enjoy with the world-at-large.

And one can’t put a price on that.

Pure Michigan, by Chris Galford

Joy? I have a lot of it from this year. 2010 was a great year. I graduated, and not only that, I did so while acing every class. I had a great internship with the Lansing City Pulse that showed me first-hand how a real news organization works, and gave me an

See that guy in the fancy hat? That's me. Post-graduation with my father.

opportunity to flex my knowledge of the arts, as well as my photographic eye. I’ve climbed mountains, wandered beaches. I finished my first novel in a trilogy, “The Hollow March,” edited it, and gotten quality reviews back from its first readers. I’ve met new friends, joined a community of fellow writers, established a writer’s group in my own town, and have set about the ground work for hunting down publishers for short stories, poems and that fancy novel of mine. I’ve applied to law school, gotten my letters of recommendation, and now…I’m ready to hit the ground running.

If 2010 was a great year, I plan on making 2011 an amazing year. I hope you all will continue to support me as I do so – I couldn’t have come so far without all your kind words, your critiques, the inspiration of your presence.

And I hope above all that you all will have a wonderful year ahead as well. Here’s to the old year, and to the new – Cheers to all of you!

 

"Foggy Notions of Photography," by Chris Galford

Graduation

Photo Credits: MSU Commencement. Year Unknown.

Graduation is here at last. If you needed an explanation to why the Den’s been a little quiet this week – look no further than that. In a wash of green robes and final papers, my week has been a flurry of continuous movement, continuous demands, and this single Saturday stands as the peak at the end of the long crescendo. After this, I still have a few finals (really, whose idea is it to have final papers AFTER your graduation?) but they are merely the final stepping stones bridging the gap between this life and the next – the entrance to reality.

All next semester will be spent hunting down a job, sending out swarms of short stories, poems, and (hopefully) my novel to contests, publishers, agents, and what have you on the march to creative advancement, and preparing my law school applications. Just have to remember to keep telling myself to breathe in the meantime.

I’d like to take the time to thank you all for all the support and kind words all of you have shown here on my blog over the past year. I never would have thought I’d find such a warm reception to this little creative outlet of mine…and it’s been a kindness, truly. I’ll be back soon enough with more. In the meantime, though…excuse me as I step off into reality. Be back in a bit.