Throwback Thursday: Poetry’s Darkness and Light

The weird truth about me that may or may not be genetic: I cannot hear meter. I cannot hear stressed syllables. Neither can my dad. Inherited? I don’t know, but I do know that all I can write is blank verse (or is it free verse? I’m forever confusing the two.)

Here’s a stab I took at poetry in my late teens or early twenties:

Torn and weathered
Through the desert storms
’Til he was as rough and scaled
Like a carpenter’s hand.
But he was not as tough outside
As he was deep within.

‘Twas a moonless Friday,
A dull and dreary Friday,
When he buried her
In a deep, deep grave
And it was as dull without
As it was within.

Dust raked the desert,
Biting into his weary eyes;
The wolves howled
And the mountains cried.
But he was unmoved,
For he killed her on Friday

Somethin’ about money,
A baby, a house–
Too much to take as he
Loaded his Luger . . .
Too much without,
Not enough within.

Nice and cozy, no? …Not. That was a darker time for me, and my writing sure reflected that. But I wouldn’t want to send you off with dark feelings, so here’s a fun, fluffy limerick for the road:

Frickety, nickety pickle
Bread for just two nickels
It’s dry and sweet,
A tasty treat,
But going down it tickles!

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Throwback Thursday: The Forgotten Novel

So…

I just remembered that I have an unfinished fantasy novel sitting in my virtual sock drawer. I pulled it up, and behold!: the word count was over 104,000 (remember: unfinished.) I used to be a lot wordier with my projects when I was in my teens.

I wrote a big hunk of One Was Let to Slip Away in my mid-teens. Man, has my style changed since then.

If you would be so kind, read the following paragraph and tell me what author you think I was reading at the time of writing this:

“And if I made claim to boy on yonder bed, and spoke truth of him and yet his might, what would you do unto me?  Had I stored myself away in a rabbit’s hole and covered myself with the cloaks of the ancient earth, as you have, would I then be called wise?  You look upon me and see Iswei, the Wanderer, the Young-Hearted, the Wood King, the Last Fair of Men; yet I am a trinket to you—a mere mirror of the world’s youth.  And indeed, mine days do not surpass yours, and the light in my eyes is yet waxing; but not even an elf can know in full certainty if the stream he is about to partake of is pure or poisoned.  In likeness, you know not my thoughts and my dealings with the half-creature; so I beg fervently: do not hinder me and do not interrupt my grieving.”

Weird, right?

We Don’t Need No Education–Or Do We?

To be honest, I really hated school. I hated the sameness, the predictability. I knew that I was going to argue with my teacher over math (every. single. day.) I knew that I’d flunk the science quiz no matter how hard I studied. And I knew that I would be all too relieved when it was all over with.

But the problem was: I didn’t believe there would be life after school. A part of me thought I’d just die, or the world would end or something. I couldn’t see beyond. I couldn’t see the prizes, what education gives you:

– A mind that questions, thinks for itself

– A diploma, which can open many doors that wouldn’t open otherwise

– A lot of stories to tell the future generations

– A sense of accomplishment

– A head full of knowledge (hopefully!)

(I must confess: I enjoyed drama club in high school, which led me to…)

After high school, I took some college courses at my local community college: fencing (well, I did that my senior year of HS), introduction to theatre, and introduction to stagecraft. I thought I might have a future in dramaturgy or something else theatre-y.

What did I learn?:

– A lot of personal things about one of my profs that I really did’t want to know

– That I wasn’t really cut out for theatre

– That I could get passing grades with my writing

For the final project in intro to theatre, our assignment was to write a play. The teacher nominated the play that I wrote to be entered into the school’s playwright competition, where it was performed and made it to the final round against five other plays. I didn’t place, but my point is: You’re good at something. You have a passion for something. And school can help you find that, whether you’re going to be a rocket scientist or a writer.

I maybe wouldn’t have found my passion if I hadn’t had high school drama club, and I would definitely not have been allowed in drama club if I’d quit school.

College isn’t for everyone. But if you’re in school right now (high school teens, I’m looking at you), please see this thing through. You will be so proud of yourself that you stayed the course, that you did it. I know that I am.

Foil Dinners (Recipe)

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to make a huge mess, here’s a recipe that I have memorized that is quick and easy and, most importantly, DELICIOUS!

Foil dinners:

Ingredients:

1 pound ground hamburger

Four medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed clean

1 small onion

Baby carrots, halved or quartered, long-ways

Salt and pepper

Four sheet of aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Equally divide the hamburger into four patties and place one patty on each sheet of foil. Cut each potato into thin slices and place on top of each patty. Chop onion into rings and put them and carrots on top of potatoes. Salt and pepper ’til you’re happy, then fold up the foil. Place on a baking sheet and cook for forty-five minutes.

Serves four very satisfied customers. Excellent with honey mustard and/or barbecue sauce (especially Bob Evan’s Wild Fire Sauce!)

I’d serve these with a fruit and a chocolate pudding cake (for dessert.) YUM!