Tag Archives: writing

Baffled by Creative Development

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Baffled by Creative Development

It is baffling. Baffling is the reality that a writer’s craft develops. I recently, just this morning in fact, scrolled through the previous posts in this most ridiculous of blogs, and found my own craft to have been lacking – severely. Clutter abounds. Euphemisms overwhelm. Colloquial jargon is ghastly. Immature interjections of thought consume the page. It all makes me shudder to think that I was once at that stage in my writing capabilities, but now that I have been at university (again) for the past two months, I have seen a drastic alteration of my craft. Because of this exposer to an education in the art of English language and literature, my words have become more calculated. My style is more refined, disciplined, steady and focused. I was tempted – for the briefest moment – to delete my past, and consider today a new day for expressing my creative talents, but I did not. Why? I want you, most noble reader, to see this development. I want you, most noble reader, to watch me transform. You have been given a glimpse into the progressive nature of one writer’s talent, and I hope that it wizens you to the fact that your own style and perspectives will grow and alter and conform to the urges of your fingers – in time.

I won’t delete my previous posts, however droll and immature they may be, because I want you, just as I have done, to experience the building of a creative foundation. Layers are thin and shaky in the beginning, but they thicken and maintain weight with each new layer of myself I add to the mixer. Likewise will each post I post press layer atop layer atop layer till the most articulate words comprise the surface of my craft.

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Back in the Groove

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Back in the Groove

Dreary days have been absent this summer, but today, the skies are a milky blue-grey. This shade of creativity castes the world in shimmering pale. I love the wet. Because the wasps by my window have settled down for an extended nap till a dry shine will wake them. Until then, the rain drips by their heads silently, persistently. On gloomy days, I most appreciate how the world rotates in an ever-constant state while my perceived reality slows – just enough – to feel as if all things are crawling through an invisible field of molasses. And, everything is green against the backdrop of blue-grey. I have been inspired to write. The surge of creative juices has my fingers itching, but insert my dilemma: boop. I have no clue what to write. Oh sure, I’ve ideas. A frightening story has been gurgling in my belly for some time, but am I willing, in ink, to murder? I have considered completing a short horror piece for Halloween, but to what extend will I allow the gore to overtake me, bathe me? Horror is a magic you must be careful to press into ink. Nightmares too easily leap from the page.

Romance has been tickling the back of my brain lately – too – like a subtle seduction. Love frightens me more than gore, and a true love story is hard to find – even harder to capture on paper. I dislike the production of cheesy love. Not to say that true love can’t be cheesy. If you have an adorkable personality…Go with it. What I am trying to say is that my love story should feel like a travesty of emotions. Perhaps love is nothing but a figment of perception coupled with an onslaught of adrenaline, but I refuse to believe. Taking the scientific stance on love is boring and mature. Since when has love ever FELT like a rush of hormones? Never. At least, that’s not how we put it to words. Love is an overflowing spring of torment that tastes of raspberry and honey to the tongue, smells of lilacs and lavender to the nose, feels like goose bumps on the belly beneath silk sheets.

I’m just going to have to get back into the groove of the consistent writing, I guess. I’ve been negligent, but when reality like lightening strikes you down with responsibility, you must do it and put away pleasures till they are reasonable.

Honestly, writing is not the only thing that I will have to “get back in the groove” to accomplish. After a two year break, I am headed back to university to finish my degree. This step in the supposed “right” direction has me nervous and excited. Transferring my mind and social standing to that was a college student is going to be tough. Exhilarating. Never before have I had such a rush of mixed emotions. I am in love with the notion. I am going to miss my friends. Leaving them for months at a time while I get my life figured out is going to be the hardest aspect of this transition. How does one maintain friendships over such a distance? I have had difficulties maintaining friendship when they are merely on the opposite side of town, but now that five hours distance will separate us, I am not sure how to react. I wish to assume that they are going to forget me. I wish we had taken more photos over the course of the summer, but there is always next summer to accomplish that goal. I have promised myself that if I make good grades, I will treat myself to a camping vacation with my friends. But…we will see how the winds blows a year from now. In a year, much can change. People change. Lives change. Dreams change. I’m not sure I am ready for it. By Friday, I have to be ready to sign my name to fate. I must force myself to take a positive outlook on all of this and channel that outlook in a constructive way for my future. I have goals, true, but I don’t want to leave behind my friends in order to get there. But, growing up – this time – is not going to be fair.

Ink Stains

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Ink Stains

Crisp air takes away my breath this morning as I let my mother’s dogs run free to chase away the startled deer that have wandered harmlessly onto the property. The dogs are harmless themselves only being a miniature poodle and schnauzer. They love the freedom of the mornings when the sleepy sun has yet to wake my little portion of Earth from dutiful slumber. I’m watching him peek at me from the horizon like a child beneath the cozy covers on a Saturday morning. Light is refracted across the entire sky in shades of rainbow – deep violet near the horizon that melts into a stunning bloody orange that mellows with a gray-ish hued greenblue and finally relinquishes itself to the common blue. The Cheshire Cat still hangs indignantly in the sky as if teasing the sun to block him from view. I love the morning. It allows me to think most clearly and see the world, or at least, my skewed perceptions of the world in this brief moment of perfection. Often I like to think on mornings like these what it would be like to wake up facing a great expanse of mountains where the sun must conquer the climb to their majestic peak before smiling upon me. I can see myself rocking in an overly stuffed rocking chair on the porch of a simple cabin with mug of freshly brewed coffee in my hand as I listen to the natural world rise from it temporal hibernation. I’d have pen and notebook resting in my lap likewise waiting for the muse to awake in my soul and take flight with Cardinals and other avian creatures. Such thoughts lead me towards dreaming. If I were to sit in such a rocking chair with that undeniable well of inspiration presented to me from God himself and do nothing but think, I am curious where my thoughts would take me. I know for a fact that I would not be able to sit still for very long because there would arise the unmistakable itch to write down the thoughts that bubble from my soul and seal them into ink. Perhaps I would transform myself via meditation on that gloriously philosophical day into a profound prophetess who transcribes the destinies of my characters like a benevolent goddess.  I would scratch them to life on my parchment…………..Mmmmmm. I feel a poem begin to leak from the tips of my fingers. My keys are slowly being stained…

“Ink Stains” by Rachel Karp

Ink stains
The outer side of her left palm
And the knuckle of her pinkie.
The words she scratches to paper
Are so furiously penned that the black
Has little time to dry.
The stains are just an obvious result.
Crouching with her feet tucked
Beneath her bum,
She perches like a feral cat
Ready to pounce.
Instead of preying upon a bird
Or wandering butterfly, however
She claws her revenge into the written word.
Loose papers litter the floor.
Coffee drips from a spoon
That is haphazardly resting atop
A stack of notebooks.
She chews on her bottom lip in concentration
As though the action will produce
A steady flow of thought.
It works
Because her fingers twitch and twist the ink
To images,
To sentences,
To murmurs of her heart.

And the paper adores this type of attention.
It likes when she finds herself
So absorbed in the task that
She has forgotten to dress.
She herself becomes a naked muse worth penning.
Tangled hair from a night’s stressful,
Dream-filled sleep is brushed continuously
In a flip away from her eyes.
The red hues of it
Shimmer to gold and auburn and back
To a hint of blond
In the shaft of light that cuts her desk in two.
Even the sun enjoys rising to peek in on her
Scribbling away.
The fact that she closes her eyes
For a moment in the evenings,
Let alone an entire night,
Is a surprise unto itself.
For if she had one super power
It would be to never have to sleep.
Infinite energy to write and write and
Pour her soul into the pages of her books.

Here she is again –
Steady ritual.
A fine form of priestess
Who palms her psalms
In a desperate attempt to convert the unwilling.
And conversion is always simple.
A single phrase and she has you in rapture.
In a similar way,
She melts your heart with a smile
When a pause to think brings
Her head to a tilt in your direction.
You rest there upon the bed eyes closed,
Steady breathing.
She would draw you or
Immortalize you in ink.
You shift among the silks and fabric
Falls from your bare thighs.
What a thought!
Without a second glance,
She transforms herself into an Egyptian dream,
Etching your soul in her parchment.
Unknowingly you have become her private muse.

When at last the final word
Soaks and dries upon the paper,
She leans back stretching herself like a cat
Awaking from a trance.
Arms high above her head,
Breasts jutting outward and each leg
Unfurling from their perch one after the other.
Everywhere is a mess
As the reality of the situation
Presenting itself in her studio assaults her.
She curls her lips into a sour pucker
Before swooping her billows of hair
Into a sloppy bun atop her head
Kept in place by glasses
As they are swept from her nose
To rest on her forehead.
With a grunt,
She stands and you roll over onto your back
Stuffing your head so deep into the pillows
That even a vacuum could not wake you.

She lights up her remaining
Quarter of a cigarette, and
Stands observing her space
As though she is some explorer
Happening upon an ancient tomb.
As the medicinal gray smoke fills her lungs and
Travels through the grooves of her brain
Before being set free through the channels of her nose,
She begins to hum and
Push about a Chinese take-out box
With her big right toe.
A story,
Quite brilliant,
Is now forgotten –
The witching hour through –
And rests upon her desk in a pile of unorganized chaos.

The ink sighs
As it dries
And papers yet untouched
Wait patiently for their turn
Because they know,
Better than she knows herself,
That she will be back before the hour is over
Once her cigarette is nothing
But a butt in its tray.
A new fantasy will have bubbled to the surface
Having originated from her soul,
And her fingers will itch.
She will capitulate to the urgings that she will
Never be able to repress.

©2014

 

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

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Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

It’s raining…it’s pouring; my mind won’t let me rest. Isn’t it funny how the weather seems to affect our muse? Right now, I am sitting at my desk letting my eyes wander to the gloomy, somewhat miserable day outside. I’ve never been more grateful in my life for having stomach issues. I could have been at work drudging away the day, but instead, I am home. And I am blessed enough to be able to watch water drip lazily from my roof’s shingles while I munch on a bbq burger. The clouds swirl in miserly protest as their precious store of rain droplets sprinkles to nourish this dying Earth. The scent of rain is too always poetic. Fresh and vital verses bubble upward from between soaked pebbles and trickle towards thirsty greenery. It is a mesmerizing spectacle – the rain. But oh! Here comes the sun. He cuts my desk in two, and though he does not send a rainbow, I will forgive him because he has broken apart the dreary clouds and made them smile, even for the briefest moment. I’m watching his beaming face slip away behind the clouds again who grin mischievously. I feel like they know a secret but are not willing to pass it on. “That’s not very nice,” I say to them as I waggle my finger in womanly scorn for their childish behavior. A grumble of distant thunder is their reply, and oddly, I am satisfied with such a remark because thunder is soothing in its terrific symphony. Wouldn’t you agree? It tumbles about in the sky like a giant wearing two-sizes-too-big, Dutch-style wooden clunkers attempting to jig and jive on the tops of the clouds. Honestly, I wish there were such a thing as cloud giants- all sorts of fantastical creatures. Imagine a world, if you will, where all the stuffs of legend were true and seeing a giant dancing in the clouds was not a frightening experience, but a common one, and their antics would make children smile and cynics roll their eyes…Lovely to think on, even if the thought wisps away as quickly as the clouds themselves alter their shape. They look like layered gray pudding. This image, particularly, amuses me because now I want to buy a very large, magical spoon and scoop up the clouds into a very ample ice-cream bowl, cover them with rainbow sprinkles and perhaps a dash of peanuts and chocolate syrup….Mmmm….I should eat some ice cream. “Rain, rain, don’t go away…I love your company.”

Functioning With an Overly Creative Imagination: Where does your mind go?

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Functioning With an Overly Creative Imagination: Where does your mind go?

Do you ever get the bug to be creative? Just lock up the house and spend the day exerting your creative energies into art. Where would your mind go? Options for creativity are unending. I can’t turn around without having heard of someone doing something innovative or outstanding in some field of art. Digital animations. Graphic sketch. Graffiti. Literature and Eco-Projects. I love to see imaginative people unite and create something spectacular or take a glimpse into an art gallery of an up and coming surrealist. Art never fails to amuse and enlighten individuals in unspeakable ways, unknowable ways.

Personally, art for me is a major de-stressor. Drawing, painting or writing all come with their merits for de-stressed relaxation. Hands down, my favorite is writing. The ability to transport my mind to an alternate existence and create a moment, life or entire world from words is thrilling and draining and exhilarating. Sometimes, a story will pop into my head that gets me so excited to write that I have to do so immediately. I call the feeling “While my juices are flowing”. The surge of adrenalin to my brain washes hormones over the corpus callosum (technical term for the thick cord that connects both lobes of the brain i.e. the left and right to enhance use of the entire muscle) and I feel a jolt of electricity push me toward an oblivion that swirls a molecular cosmos together and builds a story stew. It is then up to me to mold said clay into a work of pottery so intricate that a story immerges through the tugging and manipulation of my hands. Writing is a high incomparable to most artistic outlets for me.

It is a push and pull and weight upon my neck till the final line acts as key to unlock the chain of creativity. It is the joy and frustration and hard work applied to fine-tuning a world till you reach a state of completion that allows for public consumption. Ah, yes. Writing is indeed a thrill.

Unfortunately, this blog post is not only about igniting your fires today for written language oozing a potion of magical ink, but to inform you that I have yet to actually complete a story. Oh sure, I have written little blurbs and some flash fiction that never held some weight. But, a real work of talent? Never. I have begun numerous stories. These worlds and characters float about my head and in digital documents locked away in files. I have yet to find THE story worthy of my breath of life. Do stories to that caliber even exist? Sure. Each author has a story that rocketed their career; their baby; their first. My story sleeps as an unfertilized egg awaiting that overwhelming rush of hormones. Oh how I long to watch it unfold on the screen. Oh how I long to type the final line. Oh. But what do I write? I vacillate between so many genres. I’ll get the spark for horror soon followed by a need for the perfect love story, but then a hilarious science fiction pops into my head. Do I write for children? Do I write for adults? What is MY story?

I can tell you that the only story that keeps circling my head is a faerie tale. I hear the whisper of butterfly wings and adventure, of toads and mermaids and a Spider Queen.

Butterfly Faerie

Butterfly Fairy

Who is this delicate creature

Beneath the folds of my Gardenia petals

Humming gentle lullabies

A butterfly fairy

With wings the color innocence

And hair of blooming summer sunrise

Sing to me

Of the butterflies

Of the world they call their own

A world of bumblebees and cricket maestros

Spider Queens and crawlers in the dark

Sing to me

Of the butterflies

Of the world they call their own

A world of deep sea conversations; Magic rings

Shy boys and crazy Grasshopper Kings