Oh, Is That What That Was

I jumped up from the table
And ran into the woods.
You watched me go and sighed,
Then turned back to your food.

You know I get like this
When I’m chasing after faeries.
I’ll explain when I get back
Why—no—which spirit grabbed me.


I think we can all agree that bolting from the picnic table to capture this shot before I lost that light (it lasted another four minutes) was the right thing to do. My husband, after many years of my nonsense, just assumes I have my reasons and waits to see the photo/words/interpretive dance I’ve come up with. Sometimes it doesn’t pan out, and I just sit back down and we pretend nothing has happened.

Advertisements

Toddler Camp

img_8836

I will not sleep
I will not eat
I will not put
Shoes on my feet

I will not go
I will not bike
I will not walk
On your dumb hike

I will scream
I will pitch a fuss
Why did you think
This was fun for us?

I’ll wander off
I will eat dirt
Just to spite you
I will get hurt

I will make you
Despair and yell
This outdoor paradise
Is toddler hell


I’ve had several occasions this week to be very glad that my kids are past the toddler stage. I can send them to the playground and assume that they will be in reasonably the same, if dirtier, condition when I retrieve them. Our camp neighbors are not having the same experience. There, but for a few years, go I. Godspeed, camp neighbors.

It’s Not For Lack of a Pen

I’m looking at pajamas online
Though I don’t need any.
It’s because I’m sleep-deprived
They’ll get my pretty pennies.

I buy pens and notebooks
When I don’t have time to write.
Beautiful jars of spices arrive
For take-out every night.

Whatever I’ve no time to do–
That’s where I shop and spend.
I don’t even have time to pee?
I’ll go and buy Depends.


That’s not even all my pens in that brand. It really is ridiculous. I long for more time to create, and the reality is always going to be that life will intrude. Still–I fit enough in around the edges to make progress. And, like the traveler who buys a seashell when she can’t get to the beach, I’ll stockpile pens and pajamas until my kids are more interested in where I can take them than what I will play with them.

Ps. I don’t think WordPress actually published yesterday’s poem, Knot for Me, on the WordPress Reader. Either that, or no one who’s following me thought enough of it to even read it, which seems doubtful. I didn’t miss a day. That is very important for me to clarify. For some reason.

I’d Like to Thank My Editor, Without Whom This Would Be Amateurish Crap

IMG_8634 (2)

“Have you thought about this?”
Well, no. If I had,
I’d have written it that way
Instead of writing it bad.

In fact, if I’d had a thought,
I’d have done that first,
Instead of the total rewrite
With which I am cursed.

“And what about this ending?”
I guess I’m not attached.
Though it’s in the title,
That too can be scratched.

I’ll write a new ending,
And it will be better.
But I’ll mourn for the old—
Every beloved rejected letter.

“It just doesn’t work.”
I know…I mean, I knew,
But knowing is different
Than hearing it from you.

I’ll start it all over,
Or better, it’s shelved.
Thank god for my editor
Who saves me from myself.


I have two editors, one for my YA fantasy books and one for my horror stories. Both provide me with something I can’t provide myself—objectivity. They also do something that your friends and relatives are reluctant to do. They’ll tell you when something is bad. I have been told (twice, at least) that my endings need to be redone on short stories. I am sometimes heavy-handed and clumsy with The Point. I very rarely make a technical or continuity error, but I WANT TO KNOW when I have. Knowing where the errors are allows me to fix them.

I’m poking a little fun at the language they use, but I enjoy conversations with my editors, even when their suggestions feel enormous and make me grumpy. Occasionally, I decide not to apply a specific criticism for artistic reasons, but the vast majority of the time—the editor is right. Now, if you’ll excuse me while I redo the ending that ruined my latest short story.

Ps. I know that the fourth line is grammatically incorrect. No letters please. You know who you are.

Pps. That’s a version of the first chapter of my fantasy novel, The Tiny Giant. If you want to read the final version, you can get it in paperback or on Kindle here. If you want a signed copy, you can get it from my online store here.

Go Suspend Yourself

fairy

Some like their entertainment
Containing only verified facts.
They quibble and they parse
When they should just relax.

I don’t like mistakes,
But bend truth with intention?
Your factual faux-pas
Is not even worth a mention.

So when the cat starts barking
And the dog climbs a tree,
It’s up to us to acknowledge
Your artistic liberty.


We watched “The Greatest Showman” last night, and man, does that not follow P.T. Barnum’s actual life. You know what? I DO NOT CARE. It’s a fabulous musical and I think captures a spirit he would have liked. A+, will wear the soundtrack out.

I like to be swept away. I like to believe in dragons and castaways and space full of life. I don’t like mistakes that take me out of the story (errors about finance and accounting do that every time), but if you need the main character to have purple skin and meet Robert Frost–you get down with your bad self. If someone does not have the imagination to follow you, well, they weren’t your audience, were they?

PS. The more perceptive among you may have spotted the subtle Photoshopping I did on that picture of my daughter. If you were fooled, well, I salute your receptiveness to the magic in the world.

Back to the F*%#re

IMG_7859

I mean…dam, Marty.

Hey kids! Let’s watch a show–
A movie your dad and I both know.
It’s kid-friendly time-traveling fun,
With a quantum-modified DeLorean!

Imagine my delighted surprise
At the potty-mouth on that McFly.
More education than we bargained for
With that god-damned f$#% capacitor.


I am the last person to get after someone for their language, unless I physically made that person. I firmly believe that there are no bad words, just inappropriate times to use them, but when you’re this many (holds up five fingers), every time is the inappropriate time.

We did not remember the extent or the creativity of the swearing in Back to the Future. Have my kids heard some of it? Sure. Usually not in a sanctioned venue that Mom is encouraging them to be a part of. I told myself afterward that it’s better that they hear it at home. Wait. What? Shit, that isn’t right, is it?

The Mic May Not Be On, But I Don’t Let That Stop Me

IMG_8485

“Are you talking to me?” you asked.
Oh…um…I guess I am talking to me.
There was an argument to finish up
So I did it in soliloquy.

Then some inner dialogue
Needed desperately to be outer,
And when I reached a conclusion,
I presented it in the shower.

I asked me some interview questions
For my someday late night debut,
So…I’ve talked to myself all day–
I have nothing to say to you.


Sure, it’s not weird if you talk to your co-workers, but if I talk to mine (the candle, the dog, my chair, the pens), I’m “socially maladjusted.” I know I’m not alone in this. Well, technically, I am alone, but I mean you probably do this too, just not with anyone. Creatives have a lot going on in the brain and if you don’t open the valve a little, it explodes.

PS. That great poster in the background is available here for a mere $5: Dumb Runner Obstacles Poster