Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #407: Big Event

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Under the Floridian Sun

They wore their special glasses,
when it was twilight at noonday.
There was a cessation of sorts—
of everything that made the news these days:
outrage at inanimate objects of long dead souls
rather than living oppressors,
wars and rumors of wars,
and the 24-hour propaganda cycle
that spun from both sides
as the world spun out of control.
It was during this natural phenomenon
that the shades of Orwell’s 1984
lifted.

Their eyes were watching God today.

For all that was seen was this crossover
in the visible heavens.

And while everyone else was looking up,
they were looking at each other,
not blinded by that which was extremely bright
and incredibly far away;
they were not eclipsed by the seeming merging
of two superpowers.
For he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen,
only because,
he’d first been
the most beautiful thing she’d ever heard.

The hour of the eclipse
was a time of calm
in diverse spaces—
like dots on a map—
bringing with it a new awareness
and a coming together of souls
that looked beyond
what was around them,
to what was above them.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-407

#Micropoetry Monday: Faith & Spirituality

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He preached to the masses
of their filthy rags of righteousness,
but it was when he preached the “Happy Texts”
that his people saw less the ugliness of man,
& more the beauty of the Divine.

They were not found in Salt Lake,
nor in the Church of Scientology.
They were not found in buildings,
nor in any book or prophet.
To know Him
was to know His Words–
words that had been translated
so many times,
that the person who sought Him
tried to make sense of what was left.

God was everywhere,
whether or not we chose to
drink Him in.
His DNA infiltrated our cells—
He had taken His image,
& made copies—
worth more than original
Picassos—
every one of which He paid
the highest price for;
though some would sell themselves
to the lowest bidder.

I’ve lived a thousand deaths such as these,
but the only two that will matter in the end,
will be the one that separates me from this earth,
& the one that reunites me with the God
whose work behind the scenes of my life
I recognize as per His direction.

When they eradicated all of the mental defects,
they eradicated the physical.
When they had done that,
they eradicated the ugly,
but in place of beauty,
there was only coldness,
& no one left to save
or be saved.

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”
(Isaiah 53:2)

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

I’d had a “coming-out party” at 16, but nothing had come of it. I was 18, uncertain, & still living at home.

David had kept me close, Mother, in some ways, closer. There would come a time when I wondered who had betrayed who first.

Life before the Church had been like a storybook. I had been Princess Katerina, who had the love of the great King David of Maxwell Manor.

David could be found doing dishes in a shirt & tie, albeit with the sleeves rolled up & tie draped over his shoulder. He was, as always, a gentleman.

Mother’s eyes had that intense look of concentration, reading more of that Mormon literature.

“I wonder when we’re the happiest.” “I don’t know,” he said, “but,” & he nodded in Mother’s direction, “I think this is your mother’s time.”

A glass door had separated us from the other side of Heaven, for beyond it had been two dark angels, catalysts for change, beckoning us.

They taught that sexual sin was second only to murder, for our bodies were not our own, as “ye were bought with a price.”

Nonpareils & popcorn, the Hayley Mills’ version of “The Parent Trap,” and two virginal brothers was my 13-year-old sister’s ideal night out.

Mother believed once she & David married and became good church-going folks, we would all be respected as a family.

For Writers: Time Wasted vs. Time Invested

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Finding the time to write requires figuring out, over time, what is a good investment of your time and what is not.  Here is what I have found:

  1. Trying to write for a publication or contest because it either pays well or the entry is free when you have no interest in the topic, theme, or publication itself, will take more time than writing two pieces you are passionate about for a publication you read.  For example, there was a national women’s magazine on which the short story topic was, “What is the bravest thing you have ever done?”  When I saw the previous years’ winning entries–serving in Afghanistan and other equally courageous things–I thought, well, I got my wisdom teeth pulled without being put under.  Pass.
  2. Don’t write for LinkedIn on a regular basis unless you write boring, “businessy” articles/listicles as passionless as cooking without love, implementing lingo like analytics, logistics, and statistics (okay, sometimes stats can be sexy),  I don’t write articles for LinkedIn, but if something I’ve written is appropriate for the platform, I’ll post it on LinkedIn Pulse.  Whatever you do, don’t post part of the article, and then require people to click on your blog link to read the rest.
  3. Keep virtual clutter to a minimum.  Delete bookmarks you will never use, e-mails you will never read again, etc.
  4. Don’t have more than one account on any social networking site.  I tried to have both an author Twitter account and a fictional character Twitter account.  A lot of time was spent signing in and out, and sometimes, I’d get the two crossed.  I had the character account for a year-and-a-half, and have been repurposing the tweets for my Fiction Fridays series, just as the micropoetry I used to write for Twitter daily ended up becoming my Micropoetry Monday series, so you could say my stint on Twitter helped me become a regular blogger (versus a sporadic one).
  5. Keep track of what you write.  I have a master list of pieces I’ve written (with keywords for easy look-up), and where I have submitted each.  I’ve written so much poetry, I’ve had to divide it up into “anthologies.”  (Submittable is good for keeping track, but not every publication uses it.)
  6. Plan for writing contests a year in advance.  That way you never miss a deadline and you’re always submitting quality work.
  7. Have a submission schedule for the publications you write for on a regular basis. You don’t want to overload a publication with submissions, because they might think you’re just using the “kitchen-sink theory” (throwing everything at them and seeing what they’ll take).  For example, the fifteenth of every month, I submit a poem to a certain publication I adore–one I’ve been published in before.
  8. Twitter is a colossal waste of time, though I still have all my blog posts auto-post, adding the hashtags separately.  There are too many expectations of reciprocity–you need true fans, not just those who follow to get a follow back.  You need readers who aren’t also writers.
  9. Be selective with what television programs you watch.  I only watch a couple a week, and maybe a couple of movies.  Every once in awhile, I’ll binge-watch a television show, but time watching TV is time not writing.  Don’t watch something because you’re bored; write something, for writing is doing.
  10. Read.  You need to read everyday (not just blog posts, even like this one), but the kind of slow reading that draws you in).  I’ve gotten into reading pieces on The Saturday Evening Post’s website.  I’m enjoying what I’m reading, and at the same time, getting a better idea of what they go for.

#Micropoetry Monday: The Writer’s Life

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Subject & Verb had a disagreement,
for Dynamic Verb believed it was superior
to Static Subject,
until Verb realized that without a vessel,
his work could not be done.

Colon was feeling plugged up,
Comma, overused.
They walked into a bar,
where they ran into a few Grammar Nazis,
joining their party.
That night, they conceived the Semicolon,
who kept them merry with her many winks.

Haiku was reflective–
a woman of few syllables,
a mindful minimalist,
a practitioner of Zentangle;
Limerick was a jolly sort–
the intellectual equivalent
of Knock-Knock jokes–
& was full of puns & fun.
Between the 2,
they coexisted,
realizing even though they were
from different cultures,
they were both still poetry.

She grew up on Mother Goose,
coming of age with Dylan Thomas.
She still saw the worth in the former,
for it fostered her love of poetry–
a love that would lead her to the latter.

He was a 52-story anthology,
she, a full-length novella.
Each had something to offer the reader:
he, short-term gratification,
& she, total immersion.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

Autumn in the Deep South wasn’t a celebration of the changing seasons–a riot of color–but a requiem of the dying summer played in grayscale.

The eve of the New Millennium was the era of “Jesus freaks,” of WWJD bracelets, & “True Love Waits” rings, & the dawn of the prosperity gospel.

Caitlin saw the elders like a box of chocolates—they looked uniform, nestled in their suits, but inside, they were unique & wonderfully made.

Though Caitlin collected her crushes like Barbie dolls, the thought of ever sharing her husband was like sharing her soda with her friends.

I said a little prayer to God this time, praying that my Mormon soldier wouldn’t forget me when he left this place.

Maxwell Manor was David’s estate. We had always been guests there, & I wondered if it would become our home now & inheritance later.

Knowing that suicide wasn’t the unpardonable sin she had grown up believing it to be would soon free Mother, as it would Patrick.

David could do Patrick’s temple work next year, finally releasing his spirit to marry another woman. The power had been his all along.

Mother & David became celibate in the shadow of committing themselves to the Church, as the sun of a spiritual new dawn shined upon them.