Day 11

Oct. 11th, 2012 03:28 pm
megwrites: Grace Park. Because yeah, she IS that awesome. (grace park)
Day 11: Write a list poem.

You Should Say Thank You To:

1. Every other good driver on the road next to you, if you have a car or don't
2. Garbage collectors and anyone that keeps sewers operating and efficient
3. Your mom if she had a choice and kept you
3b. Your mom twice if she didn't
3c. Any caretakers or parents three times if they were good
3d. Your child self four times if they weren't, because you survived hell
4. The writer of your favorite book
5. The writer of your least favorite book: that hate probably taught you something
6. People at the post office who don't lose things
7. Your favorite teacher in your least favorite subject
8. The cool wind in summer, the warm sun in winter
9. Any dog that doesn't bite
10. Any cat that doesn't run away from you
11. Any wild animal that does
12. The people who pick produce and make things in factories and get too little, thank them with money and your careful attention to what they say and hygienic voting practices to keep more scum from growing in government than is already there
13. Trees and flowers, then bees and spiders
14. Your heart, physically and emotionally. Without both, you'd be lost.

megwrites: A vertical stack of books, spines facing out leaning against a horizontal stack of books. (many books)
Day 10: Pick a one-line song lyric to serve as an epigraph to your poem. Then, write the poem to accompany it. The poem need not be directly related to the song.

"If you was a dog you would want to bite me"
- Nikki Lynette
"Crash & Burn"
Roses N' Guns 2: The Badder Assed mixtape

They say we are not the same, body -
you and I, they say that I am
an uncertain floating mass inside you
that you are merely my circumscription
They say that I have you, not the other way around
But I'm not so sure

I hate you at moments, body.
You off-kilter thing that feels so heavy
that I wish to be like water
and fall to the lowest level, to lay on the ground
'til gravity gives me a break
You have spikes in the brainpan on occasion
You have a hand somewhere I can't see
wringing my spine like a washcloth past dry

I love you at moments, body
I love the secret depth of your cunt
and how it sometimes, cometimes blossoms
and firecrackers light me up from head to toe
I love that you've taken hard hits
I love that you knot our scars up
and refuse to hide them into thin whiteness
You curl them up, bumpy as a topographic map
and say "here it is".

I love you and I hate you, body
I've wanted to cut you to shreds, have tried
I've wanted to take you burning down to nothing with me, have tried
And every once and a while
In the depths of warm water
or in a flash of silvery mirror reflections
I have smiled at you and loved you
Forgive me and love me back, body
Because we're all we've got until we tap out, until the whistle blows for good

megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
Day 9: Quickly jot down four verbs, four adjectives, and four nouns. Write a poem utilizing all 12 words.




It's not exactly that you run
But you can fly, numbed and sinking
away to another room
rather than break out into a punch
and send your fist soaring through
nothing but too cold air and flower petals

I had plans to be savvy on the occasion
To be the comforting one, not the comforted
I planned it with the assumption
One can ever be seasoned at these things
Like a soldier
That you can eat delicious crackers
- made delicious by grief hunger, grief weariness -
in the coffee break room
You can break up mourning
between jokes that keep things light

That you won't cry out the breaking of your heart
won't wobble on feet made more of clay than stone
When you see the silk pillow and the roses and pictures as his garland
And know you have to leave him alone in the dark 'til tomorrow
When you watch six men bear him to the ground
Six men you love, six men you may seen born away someday, too

You know the truth: death has a right hand of mercy
and a left hand of cruelty and it will
strike you with both equally, whether the sky is blue or gray that day

megwrites: Grace Park. Because yeah, she IS that awesome. (grace park)
Day 8: Write a Cinquain on a topic of your choice (1st line = 2 syllables, 2nd line = 4 syllables, 3rd line = 6 syllables, 4th line = 8 syllables, 5th (final line) = 2 syllables).

I have
written poems
for almost nearly all
my feelings. Still I can't keep up
with them.

megwrites: A moon rising above a darkened landscape in front of a starry night sky. (moonrise)
Day 7: Take a short walk outdoors in your surrounding environment. When you find an object you identify with, write a poem using the image as a metaphor for yourself or your life.

Of no great notice but
shade offering against summer's rage
and firm against all but the sternest winds

At least the local dogs seem fond.

True, there are more spectacular trees.
The oak down the block is 70 ft high if it's an inch.
It turns on the first day of October, perfectly pitched red

Then there's us, still green all too late in the season
unblooming come April, when all others
snow down pink and white petals to delight the world

Outmatched, outwitted, outdone.

But - we are here. We are close.
And we are doing the best with what
ungenerous nature gave to us.

megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
Day 6: Write a poem of any length incorporating every word from your latest FB status update in any order.

Memory is just this:
something weirdly true, true in how the smallest moments
become jewels lodged in your mind
about how they sparkle with colors like
peppy childhood-sun yellow, bewildering burial day sky blue
and they think back old music, crystalline and stretched out as taffy
like Johnny Cash's "The Devil's Right Hand" looping over
and over, and whether the moment is serious, not funny, even though
it may be an obsidian moment, it's rather true
that it is life's way, and even then there is pleasure, it's fun to listen
and replay those tapes, to listen and remember a dog hanging
out the back window when the windows are down in the car,
ears are flapping, tongue is hanging out the side of a toothy mouth
happy as a pig in poop flavored poop, down a dusty gravel road
on a too hot Tuesday in a car with no air conditioning
That is a jewel, too. That is the brain's treasure.

megwrites: Beast, from Beauty & The Beast looking coiffed and unhappy. (WTF?)
Day 5: Write a three-line poem about lemons without using the following words: lemon, yellow, round, fruit, citrus, tart, juicy, peel, and sour.

"To A Sun Colored Oblong Lump of Vegetative Matter That I Don't Like"

Why the hell are you always in ice tea and diet coke?
You don't belong there. We use you to make things smell clean,
for crissakes. What? Did all the limes in the world evaporate?

Day 4 poem!

Oct. 4th, 2012 02:03 pm
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (reading girl)
Day 4: Write a haiku (a three line poem where the first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables). Haikus are often about nature, but yours can be about anything.


Demon at the door
a glass bottle full of brown
this is temptation

megwrites: A moon rising above a darkened landscape in front of a starry night sky. (moonrise)
For an explanation of what the heck I'm doing and why the donate button is there, go to the link.

Now onward for Day 3 of the 30 Day Poetry Challenge, posted RIGHT on time this time.

Day 3: Find the nearest book (of any kind). Turn to page 8. Use the first ten full words on the page in a poem. You may use them in any order, anywhere in the poem.

Sentence: "In the second it takes you to read this sentence" from "Wired for Story" by Lisa Cron

It takes time to realize that
the larger the pain the more
it will only ever ebb slowly
away like a bathtub overfill
with old pipes that
seem to stop at impasses periodically
and may not restart
leaving the cold mirk there,
leaving the cold sweat still coming
down your skin in drops that roll
disgusting reminders, the finger
of agony itself ghosting
down your spine.
Even with a foretold ending,
the sentence becomes interminable
You believe like the gospel you read
in that you don't believe at all
'til you see that this isn't all of eternity
This is the nature of the long and chronic
of small blossomed seconds or two in
which you can flow forward, in which
the throb, the ache, the burn receeds and you
are this whole thing, not a slow sludge
towards a relative improvement
if it exists, you think, you hope
second over and the truth is, that you
would not be afraid to let the clock stop here, forever
'til you see that old water line
And onward you slurp and sludge and drain
to the never there finish line called "better"

megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
Day 2: Who was the last person you texted? Write a five-line poem to that person.

"To My Husband Man"

Back broken: you shouldered my load
Heart broken: you held me while they welded me back together
As light and strong as the titanium you chose for our wedding rings
Happy other half, I love you, thank you
For every big and little thing

megwrites: A picture of a colorful spiral galaxy in space. (galaxy)
In which Meg takes the 30 day poetry challenge this October and sees how many people are still following her by All Hallow's Eve!

Also, I'll be posting the donate/tip jar button at the bottom of each poem, because well, I could use the funds right now and if anyone likes the poem and wants to put in a buck or two, it would really help. Especially since my dog (as seen here) has had visit the vet more than normal lately and right now I'm undergoing physical therapy for a back that is not doing so hot and there are lots of medical bills. Being sick is expensive, y'all.

And also, feedback is really appreciated because I love that, too and as a writer, I love constructive criticism. And I don't argue with them!

Don't feel obligated or anything. I'm just letting you know the situation here at Castle Von Meganstein.

So, with no further ado, Day 1 (belately posted) of the challenge:

Day One: Write a poem where each line starts with a letter from your first name (an Acrostic). It can be about anything, but it should not be about you or your name.

Mountainous rises, then hills, then the flats of gold waving in the wind
Easterly sunrise over over fields of white tailed deer that breathe mist into the morning
Green, verdantly unbound in short spring and almighty, endless summer
Autumnally vermillion, ripe, crisp until the quite white-gray of winter comes
Nothing will ever taste so good as the water from your own well, nowhere else is home

The Challenge list behind the cut for any who are curious )

megwrites: A vertical stack of books, spines facing out leaning against a horizontal stack of books. (many books)
So, I'm collecting the books that are listed in the #ThoroughlyGoodBooksbyPoC hashtag on twitter, because well, I myself want to keep up with such a list and others might, too.

Caveat: I haven't read all of these books, and I'm taking it on good faith that the authors identify themselves as PoC or are not White-Western authors, and that they are thoroughly good. However, no book is ever thoroughly perfect, especially when it comes to intersections. Discussion of what's good (or bad or problematic) about these titles is more than welcome in comments.

Also, if I spell or get someone's name wrong (or in the wrong order, though I've tried to double check so that it doesn't happen), please correct me! I want to make sure I accurately name these authors not only because it's respectful, but so that readers can find them and their books quicker! This list is accurate as of 13:00EST in the U.S. I'll keep updating it as long as Twitter does.

ETA 1: List updated! Accurate and complete (to my knowledge) as of 17:00EST in the U.S. First round of errors corrected as well. Please let me know if there are any more, and as always, feel free to add on with books and authors that meet the criteria.

That said, onto the list, which is in two sections. The first is authors and books recommended. The second is short story authors that are being recommended. Where just an author has been recommended in the book section, I've put "all titles". If you want to add a specific one, feel free to leave a comment.

The #ThoroughlyGoodBooksbyPoC Hash Tag List o' Books and Authors. )

Short Story PoC authors in the hash tag )
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
1. Writer Nalo Hopkinson talks about being a writer with a non-verbal learning disability. But really, this is about her telling us why it's a learning ability, and why her brain is a good brain to have for a writer. If you've ever read her work, you'll know she has a fantastic brain for a writer, or for anyone! I recommend watching it ASAP. It's amazing.

2. Claudia Kishi, my Asian-American female role model of the 90's - Not just a nostalgic look back at a series of books that were awesome, and kind of important because hey, it was about girls. Lots of girls. And things girls do and not making them look frivolous or silly. This is why books like this matter. In case anyone wonders why having characters that are LIKE YOU matter, especially to young girls and young women of color. Warning: image heavy.

3. If the Internet wrote your summer reading. Yeah, yeah, it's collegehumor. I'm not their biggest fan either, but this article actually is somewhat funny. Also, anything that strips away the mystique and elevated status we give to Old Dead White Western Dude Literature is good by me.

4. How to Fold Fitted Sheets. Image heavy, but definitely will help you solve that fitted sheet problem if you have one. Or: yes, thank you! I, too, have always wanted to do this.

5. magic vs science, the fucking singularity, and anti-intellectualism by RequiresHate. Amazing post about some issues with U.S./Western white-dominated SF/F and how it's actually quite anti-intellectual.

6. Duty of Care by Justine Larbalestier. I have some strong and not happy feelings about this post, especially when it comes to this quote:

To be totally honest I mostly write for the teenager I was and the adult I am. I write stories that interest and engage me. That those stories fall into the publishing niche that is YA is a happy accident. And that some teenagers find them entertaining/useful/inspiring/whatever is an even happier accident.

I am sorry that we YA writers are not portraying the kind of world you think is suitable for your teenagers. But I have a solution. Why not write your own books?

I don't have an organized response to this, but I do have some basic gut reactions. Reactions beneath the cut to spare those who don't really care. )

Like I said, I don't have an organized response to this and I'm still feeling out why that rankles. But there it is. Thoughts, internet?
megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
1. Hello f-list. I am alive and all. Right now, if anyone wanted to be sort of writing buddies, I'd really love that. What I mean by writing buddies is that it would be nice if I could send some sample pages from a few things I'm working on to some people and ask "is this crap? does anything work?" and maybe toss around some ideas in my head and have someone poke holes or tell me if I'm doing the same thing EVERY writer in the genre has done since 1975 or something. Especially those who read this genre and are willing to be really brutally honest.

I am OF COURSE willing to reciprocate fully, and even willing to read long or full drafts of short stories, novellas, novels, etc. Seriously.

I'm sort of looking to establish a relationship of "we can pick apart each other's stuff and be friends and maybe even be friends outside of writing". If that makes sense and doesn't sound terribly pathetic.

I know I had beta readers for other novels, but I feel bad calling on them again. Especially since they read an entire book to help me out. That's a lot of pages.

So, drop a message, comment, anything.

2. Mental health is adjusting still since I'm on Lexapro now. It's not been long enough to know if this is The One or not. Also: I may need to talk to mental health person about maybe an ongoing anti-anxiety med rather than just an anti-depressant. For reasons.

3. Re: my last post (which was like two weeks ago). I have no issue with fanfic becoming original fic. I just have issue when the fic in question isn't the good stuff. I come from fandom, and I can tell you that fandom has some really lovely literature to offer. Especially since fandom can be where fans really take their source material and twist it into lots of unexpected shapes and fill in the giant holes and talk about the issues with the original material.

If we had to do a Twilight-based fic-to-original novel, why couldn't be one of the ones where we make Bella the vampire who stalks high school loner Edward or one of the ones where we queer the fuck out of everything and see how it works when they're not all white folks. Or where the writer doesn't utterly fail when it comes to the Quileute people (a whole novel about the Quileute people, even!)

Anyway, we'll talk no more about it, unless anyone feels a driving need to.

4. Anyone have links on how fountain pen converters work or what they are and when/if you need them? I still want to get a fountain pen (maybe I'll ask for one for X-mas this year) but I'd like to know more. Though, I will say my $3.50 little disposable Varsity pen has done okayish. It skips sometimes and if you have the wrong kind of paper it feathers like a shedding goose, but otherwise, not bad.

4. SEE HOW GOOD I AM AT MATH! This is probably why the teller jobs I applied for aren't calling me back. Also, if you ever want to apply to be a bank teller, set aside like FIFTEEN HOURS IN YOUR DAY and get a really good calculator. I did that last week and that shit was like a freaking math test where you have not only do math real good, but try to sell people financial services. In retrospect, it's probably mutually beneficial that I didn't get a callback.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Seeing another Twilight search/replace fic get a seven figure deal from a big name U.S. publishing house suddenly just made me feel proud of what I've written and of my own novel (City of the Hand)


Because I haven't made a lot of money off of it. Medical bills still loom, as does rent and all the other costs of living - but hey. Every tiny little bit is a gift a wonderful gift and I treasure it. I'm not complaining, because it's still more than zero, and it's still something.

It's still work I did that people out there loved enough to say "here's some money, precious money, that you can have because of this tale you told me". It's basically just a text file. It doesn't even have cover art, though I'd love to have something to show what the main character looks like.

It sure isn't the perfect book. Maybe the plot slows in the middle or the characters read flat or there's a load of cliches or the antagonist comes off as shallow and unbelievable or the ending's predictable.

Maybe all those things.

But I didn't search and fucking replace the names of anyone else's characters. I didn't window dress someone else's story and say that I did this great thing. I had influences, I had things I drew on, authors who inspired me with their works, certainly. Nothing is ever 100% original. I'm sure you can see bits and pieces of them in there, but I didn't play Ken-and-Barbie with their characters and repackage them to sell to the world.

I did my best. I reached for new things (or new-to-me things) and I put it out there for others to have. For free, even. Because I don't think there should be a sign on literature that says "you must be this wealthy to ride the ride".

I probably won't make seven figures (or hell, three). Probably won't get suddenly famous for this. Or the next book or short story. I'm okay with that. I'm not owed fame and riches just because I showed up, privileged as hell in a society that skews the field in my favor in so many ways.

I just know that I'm proud to say that I didn't have to rename any damn thing in my novel because it was already copyrighted to someone else's name.
megwrites: A picture of a colorful spiral galaxy in space. (galaxy)
Did I say July 1st? I mean almost August 1st.

You waited patiently, so here it is. The entirety of The City of the Hand as an e-book, free for download in PDF, Mobi, and EPub formats.

Instructions for Download

1. Right click on the file with the format that you want

2. Select "Save Link As"

3. Select the "Save" button

4. Enjoy!

1. City of the Hand (PDF) - Complete Novel

2. City of the Hand (MOBI) - Complete Novel

3. City of the Hand (EPUB) - Complete Novel

Let me know if anyone needs this in a different format, if the formatting is wonky on your e-reader, or if you have any other questions or concerns.

And for those who want to put into the tip jar (which would be really welcome right now thanks to some medical bills), you can do so:

Also, signal boosting and telling any friends or fellow readers who might enjoy this book about it and where to download it is very welcome. Feel free to share this widely.

As always it's under a Creative Commons licence so you're free not only to share it with everyone you know, but derivative and transformative works (fan art and fanfic, for example) are welcome (hell - loved!) with credit given to the original source.

Thank you to my spouse person, who has been with me this entire time. All those who have encouraged me. The brave souls who read my first drafts (and who get thanked in the acknowledgments), everyone who's signal boosted, donated, or just cheered me on, and to everyone who's read whether I know it or not. You're awesome.
megwrites: A moon rising above a darkened landscape in front of a starry night sky. (moonrise)
Mental health and frustration levels mean that I'm giving up on redoing my layout. Luckily, I just found another one that I can live with for a while.

New layout thanks to [community profile] pastries as seen here. Color modifications made by me.

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