Tag Archives: poetry

Trifextra 33-word challenge: Loft, Tether, Crown

Mercy Lost


Damned souls’ scalded tongues wail:

“Merfy… loft…”

Far from home.

She rips her tether from its iron spike

And ties it round her head

A slave’s crown

To keep hair from her eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is my entry for the Trifextra flash fiction challenge.

“This weekend we’re asking for 30 of your own words plus the three following words for a total of 33 words: Tether Loft Crown”

The challenge closes at 5pm Pacific on Sunday, at which time anyone can vote for their favorite 3 pieces for 14 hours. Winners will be announced on Friday. (This week’s challenge is community judged.)


Deadlines vs Mosaics – Deconstructing Construction

Autumn is nigh.  The night gets longer, the air gets colder, and the rains come.  The weather and landscape whirl like falling leaves into their last dance.  Harvest time.  Reaping time.

Your brain has been hard at work the past few years.  You’ve got poems, you’ve got short-story ideas.  You have novels to start, novels to continue, and novels to edit.  How do you manage?  How do you know which crops to store for winter, and which ones to toss in a pot for dinner tonight?

There are two methods I can think of: deadlines, and mosaics.

The deadline is simple.  “I will finish ___ by __date.”  Throw it up on a calendar, and work steadily toward it from now until then.  Do it, done.  Check.

The second is mosaic method.  This is working on things out of order.  With a number of stories vying for attention at once, you may want to try obliging them.  Spend some time on a scene from your next book, even if you’re not there yet.  If you saw something that reminded you of other worlds, write out a brief sketch.  If you’re thinking about a short story idea, it might be difficult to devote your attention to editing.  Let your intuition guide you wherever it will.  Work on what really interests you now, in this moment.  If you’re sad, write sadness.  If you’re pissed, write violence.  The last chapters will come when they’re ready.

Juggling multiple projects may be intimidating, but it’s also rewarding.  Don’t feel like you need to bottle up your ideas, and most importantly: never, EVER stop.  Figure out which method works for you, then keep going.

“Life isn’t divided into genres.  It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel.  You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky

–Alan Moore

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  

–Lewis Carroll

How to use a Stockpile of Bad Experiences

Break-ups, failures, amputations,
Deaths, societal frustrations,
Thefts, rejections and the rest I cannot name…
Do they penetrate your stories
So the mishaps turn to glories
And fictitious rivals shoulder all the blame?
Can you mold and frame and paint them
Or through martyrdom ensaint them
So a shining light irradiates the shame?
Maybe anger serves to motivate
A new hero to co-create
A sense of closure in a no-win game.
Still you chew on bitter flavor
‘Til there’s nothing left to savor
Does it strengthen you, or shear something away?

Patience, it’s not all that bad
There is humor to be had
Learn your lesson, yes; but then return to play.
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
– Carl Jung
From childhood’s hours I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from common spring
– Edgar Alan Poe