In Love with a Girl

I am in love with a girl,

and she doesn’t even know it.

She is remarkable in every way.

 lovephotoI am in love with a girl,

I love her shape,

her smell,

her laugh.

If I could reach out and touch her,

I would.

I am in love with a girl,

but she is like an endangered species to me.

Something to be enjoyed from a distance.

A look, but do not touch policy.

 I am in love with a girl,

and I have been contemplating

telling her how I feel.

 In love with a girl,

what would she think?

Would she hate me

after the words left my mouth?

Think I was crazy

and just walk away?

Or would she look at me

with those loving eyes,

and tell me that she has loved me

all along?

This is not my normal style of writing, but I played around with line spacing and repetition. I also wrote this as if I were someone else, another assignment that I wasn’t sure how to tackle. I am almost certain that this well end up on my rewrite list, but here it is for now.

Poetry: Creating Line Breaks

Poetry is very unique to the person writing it.  A poem is a part of the writer, and their life experiences often dictate the message that comes through in the words.

Poetry is art on paper.  A creation of expression written in words.  Creativity is seen in the story we tell, the language that we use to tell it and the style or form of writing.

writing-VMost people are familiar with the term stanza. Stanzas refer to the breaks between lines, usually seen by the extra space.  Stanzas can also be created by indenting a line to create emphasis.

Some forms of poetry require writers to use certain spacing and line breaks.  Specific forms can also dictate how many lines are in each stanza and the amount of syllables used.

I prefer writing poetry in free form, but free form doesn’t mean a free for all. Poetry should have some consistency, pattern or rhythm to it.

Of course it can be argued that poetry can have non of that, because poetry can be whatever you want it to be, but I prefer some flow, even on the smallest level.

Typically when I write I choose to use a combination of shorter lines and four to five line stanzas.  Sometimes I like to place a word or two by itself to show emphasis.

One rule of thumb that writers use is the natural breath. Can the line be read in one breath before needing to pause? This can be done by the singular line or even with shorter stanzas.

Line breaks can make all the difference in how a poem is read.  The same words might sound choppy and disconnected if broken in the wrong place.

Carefully considering line breaks and experimenting with different lengths is a good way to see how certain combinations can have a positive impact.

Our poetry class was given an exercise this week to create a poem out of a group of words. The words seem connected in some way, but at times felt so abstract.  We could not add words to the poem or mix up the order, but we could use punctuation and line breaks to create a poem.

I have posted these words in a previous blog post, but here they are again in case you missed them.

backroad leafmold stonewall
chipmunk underbrush grapevine
woodchuck shadblow woodsmoke
cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
sawhorse bucksaw outhouse
wellsweep backdoor flagstone
bulkhead buttermilk candlestick
ragrug firedog brownbread hilltop
outcrop cowbell buttercup
whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork
steeplebush gristmill millstone
cornmeal waterwheel watercress
buckwheat firefly jewelweed
gravestone groundpine windbreak
bedrock weathercock snowfall
starlight cockcrow

Now, here is an example of my rewrite:

BACKROAD

Leafmold, stonewall chipmunk.

Underbrush grapevine-

Woodchuck shadblow…

Words like “Stonewall chipmunk” suddenly stand out, and the reader can picture the creature sitting there as they walk by.  By creating a title I have emphasized where we are “BACKROAD”.

These are all tangible, relate-able images that were created out of a fairly boring list of words. This challenge has also given me new ideas for creating poems out of objects that are around me.

What are some places that you think a poem like this would be suited for?

A Good Story

Last week was full of good writing.  I got to interview and meet some amazing people and best of all, write about it.

While interviewing one of the Sisters of Mercy, I found that we had several connections.  It never ceases to amaze me the connections that we have to total strangers, let alone a nun. By now I should be used to it, but I always find I have the same reaction–Completely surprised.

The Sister had previously lived in Woonsocket, R.I. and I had also lived there for a while too.  She had also recently gone to a ceremony naming a new priest, and it turns out that I went to school with him (really small world!) Then some how we both ended up here in Northern New Hampshire.

I had a wonderful time talking to them about their life and their dedication to the church and community.

I had been interviewing the Sisters to learn more about a woman who had spent half of her life serving in our area. For the past forty years she had been educating and helping those in need. Truly a remarkable story.

My other wonderful moment of the day was being there to photograph a woman as she received the Cane of Wisdom for being the oldest resident of our city; she had just turned 100. Her daughter and grandson were there as she accepted the gift presented by the Mayor.

Stories like these make me happy. I feel connected to the people around me, and I feel like I am able to make a difference with the words that I write.

These are my favorite types of stories to write.

 

How would you rewrite these words?

This was an assignment that I did for class this week. We were given a list of words and asked to rewrite them into a poem, but keeping them in order.

The goal of the assignment was to play around with the words to create meaning, and learn about line breaks and creating a different sound based on the breaks.

Here is the original list of words:

backroad leafmold stonewall
chipmunk underbrush grapevine
woodchuck shadblow woodsmoke
cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
sawhorse bucksaw outhouse
wellsweep backdoor flagstone
bulkhead buttermilk candlestick
ragrug firedog brownbread hilltop
outcrop cowbell buttercup
whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork
steeplebush gristmill millstone
cornmeal waterwheel watercress
buckwheat firefly jewelweed
gravestone groundpine windbreak
bedrock weathercock snowfall
starlight cockcrow

Here is my interpretation of the words:

BACKROAD

Leafmold, stonewall chipmunk.

Underbrush grapevine-

Woodchuck shadblow….

COWBARN

Honeysuckle.

Woodpile.

Sawhorse bucksaw;

OUTHOUSE

Backdoor, flagstone.

Bulkhead

Buttermilk–

Candlestick.

Ragrug ,firedog, brown-bread.

HILLTOP

Cowbell buttercup.

Whetstone,

Thunderstorm

Pitchfork,

Steeplebush.

GRISTMILL

Millstone, cornmeal.

Waterwheel-watercress.

Buckwheat.

Firefly Jewelweed.

GRAVESTONE

Groundpine, windbreak-

bedrock.

Weathercock,

Snowfall

Starlight Cockcrow.

 

Writing: Character Development and how it relates to your story

I had a revelation today while working on a journal entry for class. I was reflecting on a poem that I had written from the point of view of someone else.

In my poem I told a story of a young girl who had just turned 18. Mad at her mother she left home, and began to prostitute herself out.

I tried to create a picture of what this girl was like. I used imagery that I felt would be relate-able, and I hoped that the reader would feel for her situation. I wanted the reader to understand how desperate and lonely she was, but apparently I tried to hard…….. Elmore-Leonard-Writing-Quote-Poster

I could have seen it coming, I hadn’t really laid out the character in enough depth for me to even connect with her.

My biggest flaw was not making her story completely believable, basically my peers just didn’t buy it. I have very little experience with creating characters, but I can see how careful planning is important so that the reader understands how they went from point A to B and C.

I have also learned that sometimes too much information can really detract from your story.  By creating an in-depth back story for my character I actually took away from the main focus of the story.

In a previous post I talked about knowing your goal for each of writing. What is the point that I want to make and what are the key points that I want to highlight.

If I had worked through this step a little more I think I would have realized that I didn’t need such a lengthy back story, and I could have just jumped right in.

Sometimes a strong back story is necessary for connecting the dots, and other times it isn’t. “Know when to hold em’ and when to fold em’.”

The Girl with the Tattoos

VOICE

She smiles and says hello.

Like the song of the morning birds,

it is her voice that I want to hear.

Her voice

is sweet and honest.

Not a hint of artificial ingredients;

She is pure.

SMILE

But it is her smile

that gets me

every time.

Her smile lights up a room

even on the greyest day.

I am certain she must whiten her teeth

For it is far too perfect.

HAIR

Her hair is not ideal;

Black like my morning coffee,

but it fits her.

A bit of edge to break up the routine.

She reminds me Joan Jett

in the earlier days.

TATTOOS

Her skin is scattered with random art,Flower_Glow

Graffiti from different artists.

It paints a picture

of the life that she has lived

wild and reckless

LUST is by far my favorite.

SKIN

How can you not love a woman’s skin

Soft and touchable,

Like walking through the aisles of a clothing store

I want to touch it all.