Poem #11: “Mortality”

I Will Be King is up to about 30,000 words, and I should get some more done on it this weekend. There’s no guarantee, since the NCAA tournament is going on, though….

Here’s this week’s poem:


The chill kiss
of death whispers
in the faint gasp
of the newborn’s
first breath,
then lingers in
the background
for a lifetime,

© 2017, all rights reserved.

Poem #10: “Eeny Meeny…”

I finally got some writing done this week! Most of it are first drafts of potential scenes, but I reworked the prologue a few times and have it in good shape. I Will Be King (IWBK) is up to about 24,000 words (if I keep all the scenes I’ve written) and the general plot outline is in good shape. The tricky part is going to be paralleling the events in IWBK with the major events that take place in Aftermath. I’ve already run into a snag with that, since I keep wanting to make things happen too soon in IWBK. It takes time for news to travel from Hellsbreath to Tyrag , and the delay will have an impact on when specific things happens in IWBK. As a result, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to start the novel. The prologue helped (it picks up where Angst left off), but I’m still undecided about when the first section will begin. I’ll also have some challenges integrating the different character threads together so that the encounters between them are chronologically consistent. I’m used to that, though; several of my books have independent threads converging in that way. 😉

My poetry count is up to 27 for the year, so I’m only about halfway to where I intended to be at this time (it’s been 10 weeks, and my goal is 5 poems a week, so I should be up to 50 by now). I’m not worried, though, since I’ve been writing fiction, instead. Still, it’s time to post another poem, one which might irritate a few of you.

Eeny Meeny…*

I prayed
like never before,
begging God
to save my children—
to save me
from the twisted winds
that were so strong,
so violent, that they
shredded my house
into confetti.

And God listened.
God heard.

Next door,
my neighbor
who sits in the pew
beside me every Sunday
and bleats out the hymns
with love trembling
in her voice, prayed for
her children with equal fervor,
offering up her own life for theirs
as she begged for a miracle
that never came.

What sin
has she been hiding?
What dark stain
had fallen upon her
undeserving children?
She seemed so pious,
so sincere, but God
knew better.

Didn’t He?

*”Eeny Meeny…” was inspired by an interview in a Nova episode “Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornados.”

© 2017, all rights reserved.

Poem #9: “Tomorrrow…”

Okay, I’m finally feeling better (or, at least, back to about the usual level of sinus problems that I experience this time of year), and I wrote a scene for I Will Be King on Tuesday and plan to do some more writing today. I’m not sure what I’ll do, yet, but I need to get something done. Last month was a complete bust on writing, since I was ill for more than half of it and had grading sandwiched around the illness. I’ll have midterm grades reported next week, and there’s not a lot I need to do for my classes before then. The week after is Spring break, and aside from getting my taxes done, I should have a lot of time for writing that week. It will also be about the time I start walking again, and that might help me get back into my writing routine. (I’m reluctant to walk right now, since this is the time of year my allergies act up [fluctuating between freezing and thawing], and I don’t want to have another sinus infection like the last one.)

It’s taking me awhile to get used to the new keyboard, but I’m getting there. I might go back to my writing roots by doing some scenes by hand until I’m used to the arrow keys, backspace, and delete buttons. They are placed differently on this keyboard than my old computer’s, and I keep hitting the number lock, shift key, the zero on the number keypad, the alt key (instead of ctrl key), and missing the up and down arrows altogether (they are half-sized keys below the shift key). I still have to look for the delete key to avoid hitting other keys that I don’t want to hit by mistake. All of these are problems, since I use the backspace, delete, and arrows extensively when I write a first draft, and it’s slowing me down A LOT. At least with a handwritten first draft, I can just cross things off, write in the margins, number inserts and write them on another page, draw arrows, etc., and then when I type it, I can make the revisions without needing to use those keys near as much. I know this sounds like I’m whining (and I am, in part), but there is an important reason for why this is a significant obstacle: the more time I spend looking for keys, making mistakes, etc. the more it slows me up and distracts me from my writing and the more difficult it is to get into the flow of writing and (more importantly) to maintain that flow. When I wrote the scene I mentioned, I kept losing my train of thought instead of running with it because I had to keep looking for the keys to move the cursor around and delete words. That’s why I might write by hand for awhile, even though I need to get comfortable using this keyboard.

My poem [old maple] has been published by Whispers…, and the print version of 2016: A Year of Poetry is available through CreateSpace today (for $7.99) and through Amazon early next week. That should bring you up to date on my writing situation for now. Hopefully, my health will continue to improve and I’ll have something more positive to report next week. In the meantime, “Tomorrow…” is an apt poem to post, since it could be a metaphor for my writing at the moment. However, for those of you who know me well, you’ll realize it isn’t a metaphor at all….


The sink is full
of dirty dishes.

One clean plate
sits in the cupboard.

One more day to

© 2017, all rights reserved.

Poem #8: “Engrams”

I haven’t done any writing on my novels over the past few weeks. The bronchial infection took a lot out of me, and what energy I’ve had has been spent grading for my online course. I’m through the worst of the illness, but I still feel a little run down and my sinuses are in seepage mode (the really slow, nauseating drain that lingers at the end of a sinus infection). I’m accustomed to that and should be able to work around it. However, my students have an assignment due today that will take time to grade, and that will have priority. I also need to create the midterm for my face to face course, and that might take a couple of hours (or longer; I’m still not used to this new computer, and it does things that I don’t like). I’ve only written one or two poems since my last update on them, so I’ve fallen behind on my 5 poems a week schedule. I’m not too worried about it, though; I tend to write poetry in bunches, and a good spree will put me back on track. In the meantime, here’s one of the short ones I’ve written this year:


If I could choose
the memories to
forget, would I choose
to remember you?

© 2017, all rights reserved.

Still Derailed

My sinuses are clearing up, but I found out yesterday that I also have a bronchial infection. I’ve never had one of them before, and the OTC medications I take for my recurrent sinus problems don’t seem to have done much to alleviate it. I’m hoping the antibiotics that were prescribed for me yesterday will, and they should be fairly fast-acting (it is a 5-day regimen). At least I feel better today than yesterday, and that’s a positive sign.

Brief Non-Update

I had intended to get some writing done this week, but a sinus infection derailed my plans. I’ve done no writing (and very little thinking) since my last update. Hopefully, I will continue to improve and will get some writing done this week.