100 Word Story — Rings 

Hey all! I know I am behind on the poetry updates. I have been visiting loads of panels at AWP and mixing that with a lot of form-oriented prompt doesn’t really beget too much writing. I am writing/thinking about the prompts, though! I will just have to post them once I am back home. However, I did manage to get my 100 word story written for the week–based off the word “rings”. This is actually a creative non-fiction piece, mostly just a snapshot of some past experiences I used to have on the farm. I hope you enjoy!

“Papa at the Pond” 

I think of bread, a weathered dock. Training fish to come, bribing them with starch, tossed lightly within a pipe hoop on the water. 

“The bread’s a treat.” He wipes crumbs off his overalls—they fall through the planks, alighting like snow for minnows to nip. “The worms are the main course. Then they’re our main course.” 

He smiles, leathered wrinkles. Spits some tobacco into a dixie cup. 

Tearing more pieces from the bag of Sunbeam, they land without sound. Sonar waves span from centers—crash into other echoes. The gaping rings of fish mouths bob up, close down, disappear. 

—————-

As an aside, because I went to a bunch of flash fiction panels today, this was one of those stories where I actually had to shave off 50 words or so to get to what it is now. And that was difficult, but I also found it interesting how it changed the voice of the story as well. I don’t know, I guess I am suggesting you try doing something like that–it helps with revision, but it also helps you understand what voice you are working with, I think, since language is playing such a large role because of the word constraint. Hello run-ons!

Happy writing!

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PAD 2 — Look to the Skies

For today’s Poetry Month prompt, NAPOWRIMO suggested we look to the skies. So I tried to mix in a little bit of travel writing with it. Hopefully it turned out. 

“Belize”

I couldn’t find Orion’s belt when I sat on the beach of South Water Caye.

Instead we slid our toes into sand and looked below for the barracuda and starfish.

We glided only feet above the coral reef and the diverse life that thrived there.

I looked up as we left the island to see an eagle ray leaping in our wake.

I couldn’t see Orion’s belt through the branches of leafy trees

or through the hard rain that fell in the jungle near San Ignacio.

Our eyes darted from ground to bushes, and up tree trunks into the canopy.

Each time they were distracted by patterned insects and vibrant orchids. 

The hoarse heart-groan of howler monkeys in the distance, made us jump

as the five pm sunset settled into the damp earth.

Orion’s belt still was absent when we sat atop a temple at Xunantunich,

imagining the distant bustle of Mayans in the once paved squares.

A multitude of knowledge all but lost in secrecy and overgrowth.

They would have been lighting fires now, perhaps to ward off the jaguars,

to cook, or maybe to gather around to tell their own myths–

explanations for how the world works. Did they ever discuss the Hunter?

I could not see Orion’s belt that May.

In a land where industrial lights were minimal

and the opportunity to observe without technology but with my own senses was the goal.

I wondered if the Archer had stayed home while I, for once, found adventure.

PAD 1 — Negation Poem

April is poetry month and I like doodling out little poems to get my mind working with both form and story, so I thought I would challenge myself again this year. I am taking the prompts off of the NAPOWRIMO website, and I hope y’all enjoy, or start your own challenge! Either way, everyday for the next month, should have some sort of poem on here–it makes up for the other 11 months when I don’t post. 

Today’s prompt was a negation poem, and I listen to too much Sufjan Stevens while rereading old journal entries from days gone by, so here goes!

“This is Not a Relationship”

This is not a relationship.

This is not you baring your soul

airing your hurts,

asking for my acceptance. 

This is not me doing the same.

This is not the waiting game,

where all I can do is trust you implicitly–

take all your words for Truth.

This is not “I am so alone, I can’t take it anymore”.

This isn’t crying one moment and laughing the next,

touching. Always touching.

This is not the right time.

It never is. 

Updates Updates

So I have actually been on something of a writing sabbatical since December. This means I have been neglecting the remaining 80 pages worth of thesis I need to get out by the middle of August this year. However, I think I am starting to come back in to my own, so so slowly–mostly with little exercises here and there.

But I am also hoping to trick myself into generating some work soon, since April is coming up in a couple days and then May. To be more writer specific, Poetry Month and Short Story Month respectively. Granted I will be traveling to Minnesota for a week in April for AWP so writing, ironically may not be feasible, but I would like to try and generate something everyday for the next two months and maybe those will lead to more concrete work for Thesis. 

I also thought I would carry my 100 word story exercise over onto this site and post that weekly. Everything will be in early draft form or some sort of throw-away–like fancy cobwebs as I try to sort my mind out and get it geared for work again. 

I hope you, the internet people, are doing well, achieving goals or at least getting closer to them, and that you are finding, giving and feeling love everywhere you are. 

Cheers for now, 

Erin  

 

Also, I met George Saunders a couple of weeks ago and I am still gushing over the experience. Read him. He is one to emulate in manners and in writing. 

Trust 

My thoughts and feelings are all scrambled. Every time I feel like a spark of my writing creativity has returned it is jeopardized by emotions that fly and tangle in my hair. The trust I have in others for some reason, this year, are connected to my writing, to my own faith in what I have to say. Because I keep losing one, I fail at the other. Even now I do not trust that my words are coming through to the other side, even now I cannot know what is in store. 

Even now I am afraid and I do not know what for. 

100 Words

I started a small writing club with a couple friends where we write 100 word “stories” every other week based off of a word, or phrase. I had chosen heat, and wrote about three different scenarios but only shared one. I wanted to post this one on here to maybe get some feedback, or maybe so I can get a feel of it posted on something other than a piece of paper:

“Heat”

The same breath you used to cool down your soup, I used to warm my hands. We both drew in to bellow the fire, as if to extinguish a candle. Our short breaths, instead, encouraged a flame.

Your absence is the want of breathing, a lack of heat, that no amount of skins or fires can warm.

My bones are icicles as I huddle in this carcass, my last attempt for warmth and surivial. They said a man could survive the north. They said man could conquer the frozen tundra. But without your heat to keep me burning, I don’t see much hope.

To all of the Brandon’s out there (a multi-haiku)

You are the one who
let me go—broke your promises
couldn’t be a man.

Don’t expect me to
open my arms to you
after all the silence.

——————————————

 

I know haikus are generally nature poems, but I’m kind of in a minimalist/haiku state of mind lately, and it’s April–Poetry month. Actually, it almost seems fitting that I write these here, as a reflection or contrast to last years love-related poems.

 

How things change, or rather, how they don’t.