or, enter your birth date.*
Collection: Performing Daily Wondrous Hummingbirds
Performing Daily Wondrous Hummingbirds!
All you need to set the stage is a plastic feeder filled with red–dyed sugar water to bring the endless caravan of performers right to your window or patio. They have a seemingly endless variety of brightly colorful costumes—some with spangles that catch and reflect the sunlight. They are mainly air dancers performing their repertoire of dives and loops and amazing midair maneuvers no other birds can pull off, stopping and starting, hovering like helicopters, flying upside down and backwards. But they can also be comedians and con men, tricking other bigger hummers to get at the
How to Write a First Draft Without PerfectionismMaybe you’ve heard that first drafts are supposed to suck, but what does that really mean? What does a sucky first draft look like? How do you allow yourself to suck? Why would you even want to allow yourself to write something that sucks in the first place?
Because otherwise, you’ll most likely be crippled by the writer’s arch nemesis: perfectionism.
Did you just cringe? We all experience it when we sit down to write, arrange everything just so, type a sentence or two (or a bit more if you’re lucky), and then it strikes—your inner editor. It smacks you across the face and demands that you fix that grammar mistake right now.
Or worse, you’ve written multiple chapters of your epic novel when you suddenly get a great idea for a new direction to take the story that will make it so much better! But you can’t just keep writing as if you’d written in that awesome new idea from the beginning. No, your inner editor screams at
How To Raise A BorderlineDon’t recognize your child’s needs,
or at the very least see them as
secondary to your own.
Ignore your child’s tears;
tell them to buck up.
tell them if they don’t stop crying
you’ll give them something to cry about.
That outta teach ’em.
Weigh them down with adult demands.
Expect them to cook dinner
at nine years old
because you’ll be home late.
Force them to grow up too fast,
or don’t allow them to grow up at all
because in a child’s dependent role
is where you can control them.
Don’t be consistent,
Change your values like you change your sex partners.
Swear off drinking one day only to get a DUI the next.
And when you discipline
do so arbitrarily and explosively;
base it on your feelings rather than your child’s actions.
When they spill their drink on the floor
and look to you for a reaction,
don’t tell them, “It’s alright, honey, it was just an accident.”
Yell at th
HungerExploring you is a study
I walk the steps of your spine
& when I reach either end
anything could be waiting.
You exist in too many forms
for one body to hold
& I want them all.
I stick myself to your flesh
& the constant bones,
I want to possess everything—
the marrow of you
the violin bow of your clavicle
What already possesses me.
I am greedy & want to eat
every piece of you—
I want you to devour me
& leave me picked clean.
You’ve caught me like
a stray animal—
I am wild & an affront
I am tamed & pliant.
I am my own switching poles
& my mind complements
your cyclical shifts.
Splay your hands under
the corners of my ribs—
underneath the cells are
all crying out for you.
Put your fingers in my
mouth & feel the
heartbeat of my hunger.
Need is the ugliest word
but everything I am
grappling to you
& trying to claw inside.
I need to know
your changes don’t enlist
FallowWhen I was a little girl, we lived in a house with a nectarine tree. My father tended to it faithfully, watering it and pruning away the dead wood and the branches that would grow too heavy with time, sealing the trimmed edges with care. Each spring, it bore a can-can line of frilly, fragrant petticoat blossoms, cast away wantonly beneath the carnal attentions of buzzing cyprian bees. Each summer, it groaned beneath the weight of fruit, ripening in heavy round golden bellies, basking in the honeyed California sunlight, serene and assured in its fecundity. For a glorious few weeks, we would eat nectarines all day long, in as many creative applications as we could think of, canning the excess for a taste of summer in the fallow months to come.
One spring, the tree dropped every one of its leaves, instead flowering in a veritable nova of blooms… somehow, it sensed the end of its long, slow life, and in one last tremendous effort, it sank all of its energies into posterity, producing
Character vs. Narcissism in StorytellingThere is something unique about stories today, and in ways they are stronger and weaker than ever.
In Poetics, Aristotle emphasized the importance of plot above anything, and character was considered secondary.
"For the plot ought to be so constructed that even without the aid of the eye he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity with what takes place. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is the less artistic method and dependent on extraneous aids."
More often today, people are concerned about the reverse. Characters are what come above everything. We draw pictures of our characters, fill out questions about our characters, interview them, role play with them, but when asked, "So, are you going to make a story?" the response is more often than not, "Well, I didn't make it yet."
In a way, this attitude is refreshing. How many people can't get through a well respected book because they can't relate to it? Many books are worthy of respect for what the
The Difference Between Snakes and RopesLast night there was a woman
where my girl was and she said to me,
“This. That’s what he did.”
A woman isn’t born vulnerable, but
vulnerability is a part of personhood
and being self-aware of insecurities
is more vividly human than vibrancy;
more sexy than secrecy.
I’d compose her movement to music
or pen it on paper, proffer it as poetry
and profess confessions as love
but I’d rather be on standby—
even as passerby—
because I ache and I ache
all the time now, for her.
For her I am sore and unstomachable
and nurse wounds that aren’t mine.
For her, I worry.
I worry and I tighten knots,
practice my box, bow tie, square, slip,
and double coin knots and remember
that the method to madness is comfort;
being complacent with sanity
makes for insanity
and being complacent with a lover
is to take them for granted.
I tighten the same knot
and expect the same result,
wind the bight around again,
again, and again. And bite.
I knot, bight;
FFM Day 20- Hero“You put a hand on that ladder, you’re dead,” Miles growled.
Major Miles blocked the ladder to the bunker’s sole hatchway, her hand on the pistol at her hip. She was confident, unthreatened. She stared at Lee, her expression impassive.
Lee looked around the bunker, rubbing his eyes. It was bleak, more fit for storing crates than human beings. It was unusually quiet; all eyes latched onto Miles and Lee. Over thirty soldiers huddled in the dark, breathing piped-in air and drinking recycled fluids.
The shelter’s air was a churning olfactory assault; the scents of human waste combined with sweat and sickness.
“We’ve been here long enough,” he insisted. “We need air, light, supplies-”
Miles shrugged. “We’ll make it. We have what we need.”
Lee laughed. “Oh, really? We have medicine? We have antibiotics, a sterile surgery?”
The petite woman shook her head. Her ponytail swished across her neck, wick
Last Call for Tanner LeeTanner left the hospital feeling strangely empty. He had expected agony. From the moment he had heard the Code Blue declared over the intercom and been forced out of Leah’s room (Room 318; he would never forget that number, or the feel of the sheets beneath his hands), he had known his life was coming to an end. They did not give up, and he gave them credit for that, but there is only so much time and effort a doctor can put into saving someone who is determined to die, and twelve hours later, Tanner and the bag of Leah’s effects sat in the back of a cab, on their way home. He would have to plan a funeral. Of course she had no life insurance; she had only been eighteen, a grinning college freshman home for her first Christmas break.
He sat at home that night and called her cell phone, letting it ring out at the foot of her bed for the sake of hearing her voice in the recording.
Hey, it’s Leah. I can’t come to the phone right now, probably because I’m h
On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for AdultsMy dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be
your affectionate Godfather,
– Dedication of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Some time ago I wrote an open letter on the supposed unsuitability of fairytales for children, criticizing the notion that children should be sheltered from fairytales. Another view, even more prevalent, is that fairytales are an exclusively children's literature, the rightful
or, enter your birth date.*
Ben — fool
Angler — crook, thief
Mate — friend
Split — leave, escape
Rat — inform [the police], to squeal on
Fuzz — police
[to] jack on — to leave someone alon, to be rude or unhelpful or generally selfish
Heave — steal
Mong — idiot, someone especially incompetent
Bell end — an insult, along the lines of ‘dickhead’
Gamon — lie
Amber nectar — beer
Rag — to be hard on someone, firm, almost nasty to
Greenhorn — a junior, fresh from training, inexperienced
REMF — Rear Echelon Mother F-er, referring to behind the front line troops, i.e. equipment support roles etc
Also included as per the challenge: the theme of realism, a flash back and a flash forward, the inclusion of a fossil, broken watch, hourglass, an old lady's wrinkled face and tree rings as well as a total word count of 1000. Phew!
I've been a writer for as long as I can remember, with never a long time passing from having written one story to when another plot idea would occur to me! I've published a lot on websites such as deviantART, but nothing more formally than that, unfortunately!
I like to help others with their writing as well, and I offer a beta service for those who want a second pair of eyes to help them with anything from typos to character and plot developments over their story as a whole. I really enjoy the process of editing - reading and understanding a story, its meaning, characters and journey, whilst still remaining a step back from being completely immersed, is something I find very curious!
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