Authors, Creative Writing, Fiction, Quotes, Writing

Whatever Wednesday 7

Sound the alarms! It’s Whatever Wednesday! Today we have a short interview with Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite writers.  Check it out, it’s sure to make you chuckle. Stay Focused and Write On!

Creative Writing, Poems, Poetry, Spoken Word, Writing

The Front Lines

  This week has been much better for my writing.  I finished a poem and finished a first draft of a short story and got it typed up. I also sent a poem in for a writing prompt competition.

   The poem below is from my teacher days, which lasted a few years.  I figured I’d share it in honor of teacher appreciation week.  As always, feel free to like, share, and comment.  Stay Focused and Write On!

The Front Lines


I’m on the front lines every day.


I have to dig trenches where

I know it’s important to make a stand,

while letting students sneak past my defenses.

“You can’t win every battle,” 

but I’m told you must win the war

against poor grammar that really only chafes me 

like a too tight chin strap

while others view it as the gangrene limb

that infects others with the stink of unintelligence.


I’m on the front lines every day.


I have to fight flack jacket fire

and the mortar rounds boom

of blame placed too soon

on teachers for not doing their jobs, 

by a Society that’s forgotten its 

duty to their children.


I jump on “your gays”

and F-bomb grenades

before they spread like a plague 

from mouth to ear to mouth,

causing thousand yard stares

in students unaware

of the booby-traps and snares

riddling their routes.


I’m on the front lines every day.


I have to protect my students 

from the shell-shock of taking 

too many tests that only provide

a grainy shot, a moment in time

of this mine field we call 

public education.


I have to get them past

the rat-tat-tat-tat

machine gun blast

of growing up too fast

while  giving them the skills to survive

through the battle field of life.


I’m on the front lines every day!

Creative Writing, Fiction, Poetry, Writing, Writing Excercises


   Last week I talked a bit about procrastination.  This week I’ve managed to get my own procrastination in check for the most part. I did a bit of editing, wrote a piece of flash fiction that I submitted, and tinkered with some poems. With a new wave of snow coming down, I hope I can stay focused.

  I’ll know sometime next week if the flash fiction piece wins the writing prompt competition I entered it into. Either way, I plan on sharing it with you, so look for it next week. In the mean time, I plan on doing some more editing, some new writing, and staying focused enough to keep the procrastination monster at bay. Starting is always the hardest part but once I get going, it’s pretty easy.
I’ll leave you with a few methods I use to getting words down.
#1 Free write: Just sit down and write for 10-15 minutes with no regards to what you’re writing. Think stream of consciousness. See what you have at the end of the time and carve something usable out of it.
#2 Get out of the house:  Go somewhere, anywhere, and do something, anything.  I tend to get inspiration from unlikely places or snippets of a conversation I overhear. There’s no better place to drum up ideas than the real world.
#3 Use a prompt: There’s no limit to the number of prompts out there designed to break writer’s block or end procrastination. Do a quick Google search or pull one out of a writing book if you have one. 

These are three quick ways that help get me motivated again.  I usually wind up with something I can work with later on, but the main thing is they help get the creative juices flowing. So if you find yourself stuck, try one of these. The important thing is to get writing again. Nothing ever gets accomplished by doing nothing. Stay focused and Write On.
Creative Writing, Poems, Poetry, Writing

White Knight

Well, winter arrived in full force this past week or so in Indiana. Stupid snow. I thought we would dodge it this year, but it wasn’t meant to be. Have I mentioned I hate snow.  When it’s cold, like subzero cold, I usually get a severe case of procrastination fever. I just want to bum around the house and hibernate until spring. Which is why this one’s getting posted so late. I’m sure there’s a poem in there somewhere about how much I despise snow. We’ll see, but until that works its way out, a short poem to hold you over. The title could be wintery if you like word play. Stay focused and Write On!

White Knight

I won’t play chess with you anymore 

Your white knight turned out to be a lowly pawn

Your king was daddy’s approval on fleeting wings

And the queen plays tricks with hearts

Creative Writing, Poetry, Spoken Word, Writing

A Valentine’s Poem

Here’s a bonus poem this week to celebrate the holiday that makes men sweat and women cry. Stay focused and write on.

Mixed Buttons

You and me are a mixed bag of buttons baby

Like misshapen
from the friction
of our first encounter
on a dead end country road
with rusty Crayola scissors

Like one size too small
to seal the blackhole created
when hand-me-down globes collide
on off kilter orbits
from the gravity of the human spirit

Like popping off
into the eye of a dignitary
at a fancy schwa-ray
just as he’s about to toast
because we can’t contain our dysfunction

Like unnecessary adornment
on stone washed, button fly 501’s
because there’s not enough room
for more razzle-dazzle
than one hipster can handle

You and me are a mixed bag of buttons baby

Like one shade off
from the perfect hue
to match the double pleated slacks
I wore to school on picture day
in an attempt to impress the ladies

Like frayed strings
barely holding on
to a threadbare jacket
on a second-hand store’s
clearance rack

Like the wrong material,
wooden toggles on a zoot suit
worn only once
then forgotten in a bedroom closet
to get moth eaten

Like barely holding it together
against the strain
of the parts we play
trying to bust free
from our self-imposed restrictions

You and me are a mixed bag of buttons baby
Not quite a perfect match

Books, Creative Writing, Writing

On Writing

This week, I thought I’d go in a slightly different direction by doing a book review. I find it extremely important and beneficial to read as much as possible to help develop my craft. It’s pretty hard to get better at something if you don’t try to learn from people who have had success in whatever area you’re trying to improve. In this case, reading actively what other writers have written on the craft.
A few months ago, I read On Writing by Stephen King. This book is full of insights into King’s writing processes and his journey to success. I couldn’t believe I blew through this book in a few days. I found I couldn’t put it down. King did a great job of mixing in writing advice, with poignant examples from his journey, and sharing his trials and tribulations.
This book constantly surprised me with the wit and charm, sprinkled with great writing advice. It does not read as a how to book, but more as an easy conversation with a long time friend. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning from a master storyteller or if you just want to read a good book. This is definitely a book I’ll return to again. Stay focused and Write On.