Strong Writing Made Easier

A fine article on the art of writing, which concerns small issues that can transform our prose into troublesome. Re-blogged from https://verysherryterry.wordpress.com/

The War on Words Every time I take part in a discussion about using certain words, or not using them, I always imagine at least one person having a moment. The conversation turns into a heated deba…

Source: Strong Writing Made Easier

Clarity

I visited you today.

Wind moaned through the oaks while leaves blew through the markers. Clouds scuttled in the sky like oversized gray-toned crabs. The grass the men planted didn’t cover the red earth and I knelt to pick up a quartz stone at the foot of your plot.

No stone for you. Soon, I’m sure.

We grew up in the 60’s. Hide and seek and homemade ice cream. What a combination as families gathered to sit on the cinder-block wall that brought together my house and your grandparents’ house. We licked spoons. Vanilla. Banana. Strawberry. Chocolate. Laughed. Listened to stories with nostalgia’s comforting ring. Then we’d run away. Find somewhere to wait while the next kid searched.

Your life was like that. You couldn’t find yourself through the black curtain of addiction.

Sorry. I left out what came before that, which is more of what made us friends.

Hide and seek gave way to placing pennies on the railroad track to be picked up and admired after being squashed flat and shiny. The hikes through the woods led to fishing at the lake that led to bicycles downtown that led to dirt bikes on narrow paths.

Didn’t you break your collarbone that one time?

I do recall my bicycle spill at your house. Who’d have thought two boards placed on a red wagon on its side would spread when the front wheel hit them at speed? Or that a bike and a boy could flip so many times before landing? Or, for the most part, that dirt tastes like dirt? How nothing—except the bike—got broken I’ll never know. You took me in so your mom could check me out. If I didn’t thank you then …

We talked about all that. We tried to stay strong. Did you see?

As we neared our late teenage years I regret how we grew apart, though I doubt it would have made a difference. You were searching. I wish you had found it somewhere else.

I stopped by your parents’ house the day before. Thought if I were going to cry I’d do it then and get it out. I couldn’t because your dear sister held onto me for maybe five minutes. Said they had been talking about our boyhood escapades. She loved you. Loves you. We all do/did. Wanted so much more for you.

I think it likely she left the miniature cross at your site.

The next day they asked me to walk in with them. Said I was family. To simply say I was touched beyond compare does not compare.

I sat with them on the front row. Listened to the minister. The sadness hung over it all.

Regret.

Again, wishes for more than fifty-four years of life for you.

Once more I’m getting ahead of myself.

In line I waited. For my turn to say words that couldn’t convey the weight of grief upon hearts. That weight fell fully when I hugged your dad.

Later, outside, we stood around your casket. It was cold. The coats were many. The smiles of remembrance.

———————

The quartz rock sits on a book where I can see it. It’s stained red. So many wanted your life clean and perfect. Life’s not like that, is it? You came and you lived and you did the best you could. You got to see your grandson. I think I got enough of a look at him to see that your red hair crowns him. Your daughter looks like you. I’d never met her.

When I see your family we hug. When that happens I’m hurt and comforted. The grief clings, the want for more, the want for your happiness.

I like to think that’s the case now. How do Heavenly drums sound? Are the sticks pure gold or ethereal wonders of rhythm? Do you get to play with your rock idols who went before you? It’s a cool consideration, anyway.

The quartz is ice warm in my hand. Within its many imperfections is fleeting clarity. Glassy and glowing when held to lamplight.

Possibly, that’s how we all are. We wished clarity for you but addiction clouded it over. Clouds. Wind. Sun and rain. We fare the best we can. We love, create, tear asunder. Do it all over again and hope.

See you soon.

Possibilities?

I attended a Facebook launch party held by Filles Vertes, a new publishing house, last night. It was great fun. They had prizes I could use. One was a fifty-page critique of a work, along with a few similar prizes. Well, I managed to snag a fifty-page critique, and I’m extremely happy about it. I’ve been wanting professional eyes on my MS, and now I have that opportunity.

They also had a pitch session, and, drum roll please, they want me to submit not one, but two of my novels!

Do I have to say how cool this is?

Now to work, writing a query for and sprucing up the first 25 pages of one of those manuscripts. Got to get them in ASAP and see what happens.

#STRINGSNSOULS

Have you ever considered playing a musical instrument? Consider no more and do it. It is one of the most creative as well as personally enlightening things you can do. And when you advance to the point of playing with others … well, lets just say there is nothing like it in this world. When you do it’s like you are connected in an invisible soul-bond, ending only as the song fades, picking back up with the notes of the next song.

The 5 string banjo was my first love, followed by the resonator guitar and the guitar, and though learning them and playing by myself was a fine thing, that was no comparison to when I advanced enough to begin making music with others.

Do you play, or have you considered playing? If so, which instrument do you play, and if not, which instrument interests you?

I Certainly Hope So.

We must live within them from time to time. Clouded mist and gray skies. But then emerges blue-sky dreams filled with hope. Hope tugs our hearts and souls on ghost threads tangible as steel and delicate as ether. Strong as any weapon while fragile as love’s fading kiss. How strong are your hopes? And how weak? And do you hope at all? I certainly hope so.

And so should you.

In Fiery Splendor

sunset over the Albemarle sound

As the budding rose is to the rising sun

drawing forth in fiery splendor

so are we

As the smile of a child is to the parent’s heart

bringing forth love in all its mysterious ways

so are we

As the gull is to wave tops

endlessly seeking above crests foamy and golden at sunrise

so are we

As the oak leaf is to emerald grandeur

awaiting the final downward drift with gust and gale

so are we

As we each seek our path, yearning above all else to

lock hope away in our hearts

instead

set it free

Allow hope to bloom, to laugh, to soar

and

at the end

you will pass forth with joy and thanksgiving

filled to everlasting

All The While Settling Onto Beauty

A flickering fluttering triangle of wing and body

Colors blurring, wind carrying aloft

During the seeking

Her goal, her sole existence is to feed for growing

To lay eggs for living

To continue the cycle endlessly

Of newness

Caterpillar

Chrysalis

Oh, what life to live

Flying on current’s edge

Constantly in hazard’s way

All the while settling onto

Beauty

Of leaf and petal

Of scent and color

Kissed with dewdrops left by

The Morning.

 

Happy 100!

According to my bell in the upper right hand corner, I have reached 100 followers.

First, I’d like to say thank you. I am humbled by you taking your time to check in on what I might be doing on WordPress.

Second, I’d like to say it’s nice to meet you. When I first came to WordPress, I had no idea there were so many talented people here. If it weren’t for you, this site would not exist.

Thanks again, and best to everyone.

J.