Do you want to hear my story
Parts are gory
I think you don’t
Listen you won’t
I feel compelled to write it all
Each trip and fall
Won’t you please read
Hear my heart bleed
I write to bring others healing
Share this feeling
Hope is regained
Frank is tending the bar at dVerse Poets Pub today for Meeting the Bar. The form lesson for the day is the Minute Poem. It’s sixty syllables with added line length and rhyme scheme rules. The only rule I didn’t consciously follow is that each line is supposed to be in iambic meter. But then, I tend to break the meter rules with some regularity. Head over and check out some other Minute Poems.
Doubt blows through
a dust-devil of uncertainty
clouding my judgment
It’s hard to recognize
the truth in the storm
To believe the evidence
right in front of my face
One does not become
a contest finalist
if one cannot write
Still self-doubt rages on
I missed the last Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub. But the given word—storm—has been swirling in my mind ever since. So, for Open Link Night, I’m putting off working on my memoir, which is a finalist in the Oregon Christian Writers contest, and writing a stormy Quadrille instead.
Filed under Faith, Life, Poetry
I’m so excited! I entered a poem in the Published Poetry category and my memoir in the Unpublished Memoir category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest this year. The deadline to enter was March 31 and I’ve been on pins and needles ever since I hit the submit button and emailed my manuscripts.
The finalists—three in each category—were announced last Wednesday. I made the finals for both of my submissions! I’m happy the poem made the finals, but I’m super stoked about the memoir.
Writing this memoir is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It still needs some editing and polish, and probably will until the day it’s finally published, but it feels good to have professional editors and writers say my prose, the descriptive language I’ve put so much heart and soul into, is good. And not just good, but good enough to be in the top three.
My focus on the memoir is the main reason I haven’t posted as much here on my blog over the past year and a half. Although if you’ve kept up with my blog you probably already surmised as much based on the poems I’ve written about the struggle of writing one’s own story knowing (or hoping?) that people will actually read it.
The Oregon Christian Writers Conference and the Awards Ceremony are in August, which means I might not be posting much in the next two or three months either, because I’ll be busy polishing that manuscript. I won’t be completely absent, but I’d appreciate it if you’d cut me some slack if a miss a whole week here and there.
Anyway, I just want to thank all those who have encouraged me along my writing journey. I especially want to thank Sarah Thebarge, whose memoir writing coaching class at the OCW Conference last year was fabulous. If you haven’t read her memoir, The Invisible Girls, you really should. But I also want to thank members of my church, my Bible Study Fellowship sisters-in-Christ, my sister Suz and my cousin Noryce who told me to keep writing, and my husband who left me alone to write on many occasions. And, of course, my dear Jesus who made it all possible by His love and grace.
Thirty words seem easy
compared to thirty thousand or more
needed for a memoir
With only thirty
you can just delete
all the ones you really don’t want to share
If my memoir is a monster
Taking on a life of its own
Does that make me Dr. Frankenstein
Madly nurturing what I’ve grown
Or am I more like Dr. Jekyll
Consumed by my Mr. Hyde
A raging egomaniac
Fueled by wanton pride
Maybe it’s Leviathan
The great monster of the sea
Tamed at last by God alone
Just like the sin in me
I wish it were a jigsaw puzzle
Of Bigfoot or old Nessie
With pieces that fit neatly together
Instead of being so messy
In the end it’s just my story
Dying to be told
One page at a time, not in rhyme
Hopefully before I am old
Decided to share this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.
Filed under Faith, Life, Poetry
It occurred to me the other day
that I’m on a roller coaster ride
The Cyclone on Coney Island perhaps
or Goliath at Six Flags
I chug up the hill on encouragements
Your story needs to be told
You are such a good writer
I love your perspective
You are so brave
I reach the top, elated and determined
Ready to conquer all my doubts and fears
Ready to write my memoir
and tell my story to the world
Then comes the drop, racing downhill
at breakneck speed to the bottom
to unconquered doubt and fears
No one cares about your story
You’re no Mary Karr or Maya Angelou
You can’t let people know everything about you
What will your family think?
You must be crazy, just give up now
Then just this morning I realized
if I was on a roller coaster ride
it would be over by now
because they only last about two minutes
Guess I’ll get back in line for another ride
Sharing for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.
Filed under Faith, Life, Poetry
This is a little vignette I wrote in response to a prompt during my memoir class with Sarah Thebarge. (I learned so much from her.) The prompt was to think about the resolution of our story arc and write about what other things were happening “meanwhile.”
Meanwhile, Benton laughed, his infectious smile and unmistakeable dimple brightening every room. He did need me. And I needed him.
He’s my only child, my only living child, and he’s growing every day. We watch Looney Toons together and giggle. He notices, even at two years old, when the animator makes a slight mistake. For two or three frames Elmer Fudd’s hat is the wrong direction; for a fraction of a second Bugs Bunny stands beside a sign with the words lined up differently than the frame before. He sees so much that I do not and opens my eyes to possibilities I never dreamed of.
I decided to share this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today. It’s not really a poem, but some of what I’ve learned at dVerse about concrete language in poetry is incorporated in this little vignette that will likely appear somewhere in my memoir when I finish it.
Filed under Faith, Family, Life
Another poem written during my coaching class with Sarah Thebarge.
My Story – A Quadrille
They stole my innocence, my peace
Left me powerless, without any choice
Pain buried in alcohol, drugs,
Unhealed pain, despair, darkness
never leave, never will
God calls me from exile by His Word
His people who love me
His dream of forgiveness
I should have seen it coming
this sense of feeling blue
Delving into trials of the past
to write a memoir that’s true
I’m doubtful that this venture
is worth the time and pain
Will I survive this process
where no secrets will remain
Or will there be some truths
odd feelings buried deep
that I’ll find I cannot share
but to myself I’ll keep
It’s easy to write stories
of cerulean skies above
What I want to convey at last
is God’s gracious love
The writing is not easy
for it has been said
Where no tears in the writer
the prose is surely dead
The Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today is to write about something blue. I didn’t really have time today, but this poem kept nagging at me, so here it is. I hope to get back to dVerse later to do some reading. Do pop over and see what other poems of the great blue you will find.
Life is a series of choices
Some seem insignificant
but have life-changing impact
Others we agonize over
but are insignificant
in the grand scheme of things
appear to be the only option
We can’t see the consequences to come
or alternatives before us
I’ve spent many long hours
pondering the” what ifs” of choices
that turned out bad.
If only I hadn’t…
then maybe everything would be better.
there is but one choice that truly matters
It is a choice we all face
Do I trust God or do I go it alone?
All is not rainbows and roses
if one chooses to trust
Hardship and regret don’t instantly
Life is still a series of choices
including the choice
to trust God with my mistakes
Including the choice
to share my story
my series of choices
with the world
in the hopes of encouraging another