Tag Archive | writing

That Weird Writer Friend

I am that weird writer friend, the one who sends out cards (and will even to people they don’t know!). Recently, I leveled up my game.

In my defense., I’d been thinking about it for a minute or two. And I did message her before doing it. Essentially, I created a character to write a letter… to a character that entrances and bedevils my sister from another mother. If you’d like to see what they’re up to, Rie posted about it on her blog which you can find here:

If you’d like to learn more about Jo and her companions, you can find them on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to name a few (I originally had links but spaced and lost them! Oh no! Look up Rie Sheridan Rose, you’ll thank me? She has lots of different types of stories, including Jo’s escapades. Want poetry? She writes it. Horror? Yup. Fantasy? She has you covered!)

If I had a nickle for every card I wrote, it’d be a lot of Nickles! This one was different– Ive written poems in cards, or short short stories for kids. But creating a character to write to another character was a new one for me. Not sure what made me do it, bit I’m glad I did.

And extra happy that I have writer friends who roll with it!

En Bloc: Magazine Review

Hello! Welcome back, my lovelies! It’s Magazine Monday… a day early LOL

I really enjoy literary magazines—although the price can be off putting, getting the right one can feel like you’ve found a magical unicorn. When I go to Barnes & Noble, I generally only buy my magazines there. I mostly read on my Nook. Once upon a time, the selection at any given B&N would be relatively the same. Not so this last time. I don’t know if they are selling out, or if the different stores carry different magazines. Also, sometimes the publish date seems like it was a long time ago, but with the ramifications of Covid across so many industries, I’m willing to hold my piece on this.  However, this is an interesting conundrum: I have one near my work and one closer to my home.  If they carry differing magazines, I need to figure out when the ones I like come in at each one. If they are the same and just selling out quick, well. That makes life So. Much. Easier.

I am not going to subscribe. I don’t like reading magazines on my Nook, and the US Post Office has dropped the ball. When Covid hit, I subscribed to 2 magazines. One of them I didn’t get 3 issues of. And  it’s bi-monthly! So half the issues! Yes, they sent them out to me, but really? Once things started opening up… I want to go and browse.

Today I want to talk to you about one of those browsing finds. This is from the Momcation trip to B&N. I found a little imported Literary Zine called En Bloc. It is imported from the UK, and so is one of the ones in the US that has a little bit of a hefty price tag.

The cover is eye catching and fun, a mustachioed popsicle sticking out its tongue. I am happy to say that the insides are also eye catching. The Letter from the Editor(Samuel Leach) has a large chunk of it that has a line drawn through it, and then he begins. Again. Kind of like the last bit of life has been for us.  This magazine has photography, an interview with Bill Plympton, poetry and of course the fiction that I loved. Both the for the enjoyment of reading the story, and for the techniques.

Because I write too. It’s always awesome to find writer’s excelling at telling stories in a different way. “Baby Brownie” by Ian Cowmeadow tells the story both in the past and future. It is handled really well, with the reader (me) never getting lost, and still engrossed in the story and not just geeking out over the writing. “Elanor’s Party” by Dave Gerow is one of the few stories I’ve read in Second Person perspective that really does grab you into the story and not let go.

The issue I found at B&N was the first issue. The second issue looks like it is out, based on their website (link below). I can’t wait to find it in the store.

The stories caught my eye, kept me interested. As I am a fickle, picky reader this is a great feeling! While I did read every story (I skipped most in other magazines—which will remain nameless), however there were 2 that stayed with me.

Overall verdict, not only will I buy again, it is the sort of magazine I want to share with my friends so we can talk about the stories.

En Bloc

https://enbloc.co.uk/shop/

Momcation

I haven’t been by myself in a house for an extended amount of time in… Years. I always have my son (15) or my dad (95) around or coming back. It’s wonderful. I love my family. But….

I used to love living by myself too. I’ve always kept myself occupied– readings writing, television. I’m not one that gets bored and stays bored. The quiet is a friend of mine- it allows a moment of reflection, a deep sigh.

Thanks to Caltrans and my Best friend I just had that. A glorious Sunday through Thursday morning where I stayed in a house all by my lonesome. Caltrans closed the freeway that I need to get to work. (Not a work vacation, alas). My BF is travelling, and offered her house. I have to tell you….

It. Was. Glorious.

I wrote and sent out cards. I didn’t cook ANYTHING. Frozen all the way. And after work, I went to the real happiest place on earth, Barnes and Noble, and bought many wonderful magazines. One was brand new to me, called Oh, Reader and I read every single article in it. Which has inspired me– to do magazine reviews. Share what I’m loving. Maybe a few book reviews in there too.

The fact is that I miss blogging. I miss sharing the things I love, and boy do I love books and magazines!

I love my family. Of course I do.

But I missed myself, and didn’t even realize what had been missing in my life was ME.

Poem A Day

Is not going well
I’m sorry to say

The pen dried up
The paper burned
in an imaginary fire
My chisel for the tablet
Cracked in half

Or maybe

My imagination failed
I didn’t get the memo
The kid ate my poem
(The dog turned up it’s nose)

Or maybe

New habits take time
A little grace extended
To self is rare indeed
And it’s time to

Begin again

January 2021

So January was a good one for the writing. Maybe — Maybe not.

I have a story being held for consideration (fingers crossed and good vibes). Which in terms of goals means that I am actually submitting my work.

My writing sister from another mother (hi Rie!) Challenged me to a poem a day for the year. I am missing few days, but I have been doing it. Which is funny because I don’t identify as a poet but….

But when I was pigtails young, I did. I wrote a little chapbook for the school book project. At some point I stopped– lack of confidence, one too many insults? No clue. But I did, and now I am flexing those creaking poetry muscles and it feels good.

And then the cards! I did another batch on cards for the retirement home, which is still on lockdown. 70 this time. I was only able to do it because my bff Linda came over and we cracked them off. AT the beginning of the pandemic lots of people did lots of things for those that were shut in. We need to remember them. So I did– we did.

Happy New Year-ish

So i have made lots of goals for 2021. Not resolutions, just a nod to things I want to do differently. I started most of them in December, at the very end. I just couldn’t wait.

One thing I’m trying to do is submit my work, my writing more. I enjoy writing, and I have several stories that need homes. I wrote 4 or 5 last year and while not a huge amount– it is still an accomplishment I am proud of. I’ve sent 2 stories out, hopefully to find a home.

I’ve started journalling creatively for 10 minutes before going to bed. It helps with story generation, and also working things out. A fire kitten may be making an appearance in a story soon.

One of my dear friends, my sister from another mother, challenged me to a poem a day writing challenge for the year. I don’t consider myself a poet, but it doesnt say anything about GOOD poetry LOL.

I bought an undated planner and am using it to tey and work out a story I am working on. The story has a lot going on and will probably be longer than most of my writing. I tend to do short and sweet, this needs room to breathe.

So that’s what I’m getting into for 2021. How about you? Any wild crazy plans? Or slow and steady wins the race?

Flash Fiction excersize

From the Rose Metal Guide to Flash Fiction… i took a class that uses this book.

Thought you might get a giggle out of this. I enjoyed writing them.

Describe a favorite place, encyclopedia style, but lie.

San Francisco has always leaned a little to the left. They can not help it, as they are on the left coast. This makes them susceptible to rocking and rolling, which can be seen in the way the streets rise and fall, always drifting to the left where the Bay is.

San Francisco is known for the Bay and its cable cars. The two perform an intricate dance, an admirable work of wonder. The tracks & lines are laid carefully and precisely so that when the cable cars make their loop, the end up going under the Bay into the Bay Area Repeating Train tunnel to loop around and start their route over again. Visitors often forget to jump off the old-fashioned trolley cars, going under the bay for a view that is beyond compare. Sharks are often caught peeking at these out of reach snacks.

Lumbar street is the spine of the city. Unfortunately, it is a crooked, cobbled street that the cable cars cannot access except at its cross streets. Tourists must trundle up and down its steep incline on the power of their own two feet. Those who have tried to ride down on bicycle or skate board have found themselves at the bottom of the bay after a wild ride, facing off with hungry, hungry sharks.

Write a second version, as a blog, Instagram Post, travelogue, etc.

2nd version different narrator

So, like, I went to San Francisco to see Lumbar Street. More specifically, I wanted to ride down it. They told me there were gnarly wipeouts, but come on! How hard could it be? #Adventure! Especially if I used a long board and rode it down… while sitting on the board. I mean, like, they SAY it leans to the left…and you’ll end up in the bay… but you have to be there. You don’t get it till you get it. #hungryhungrysharks

I went down Lumbar Street towards the bay like a bat out of hell. I even got air! #SweetMoves. I was wearing heavy leather gloves along with all the safety gear #helmetssavelives. I had thought, like, I could use my hands to slow myself down before launching myself into the Bay. Unfortunately, #IamaKlutz. I started to take my arms down from around my knees, the board wobbled and hit a rock, launching me into the air, over the barrier and into the Bay.

Thank you to the Aquarium on the Pier for starting #vegansharks #peoplearefriendsnotfood. Thank you for also calling #caltrans to come fish me out. I am really sorry about the dented BART car #sosorry. And thank you to SF General for the #topnotch care that like, really really touched my heart. And thanks for the tee-shirt #Isurvivedbeingsharkbait

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

Christmas

Its a little early, but I love me some Christmas, especially when I am a little down. 2020… well, its been a year. I wrote this for a group I’m in.

Way back when…

Santa loves me… he always brings me the bestest Christmas Stocking (that’s a lie.. I know it’s Mom—I believe in the magic of being Santa but not one person.. I have known since I was tiny, when Christmas was on a Sunday and Miss Teacher brought in a birthday cake and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus).

Mom’s stockings rocked. They were…. They were LOVE. She knew me, she got me. It was a mix of silly and sublime, books and toys and hair pretties… even as I grew older. The stockings were designed for each person, thought and care put into each one. And a grand design—what would occupy us until everyone was up on Christmas morning so we could do the family thing.

One year, as a teeney bopper, I thoroughly ruined my own Christmas. I love hints, but I never want to actually know what I’m getting. Why? Because one year all I wanted were some gherkin (????) Boots. Thunk low heeled ankle boot, totally 80’s. She would not tell me, not a clue nothing. Then I told her “I hope you got the x style and not y, because you know I hate y.” she responded with “Of course I bought you x!….. oohhhhhh….. you……!” I got them early. I also got my stocking early—10 or 11pm, she said “Don’t open till Christmas!” I was a good girl—I toed the line. I stayed up watching “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and opened up the stocking at 12:01 am. I loved it. That satisfaction lasted mee until…. I woke up in the morning with no excitement. No expectation. I already had the present I wanted and the stocking. I never did it again.

Too few years passed, I stayed at home while going to college…

And then she died.

I was 24, still at home, going to school. But Dad stepped up, stepped out and made me a stocking so amazeballs that I cried. I didn’t think I would get one. He loved me. He got me. I can still remember the porcelain doll peeking out of the top of the stocking, the Meatloaf CD tucked inside, they Tylenol with the gift card addressed to Daddys little headache. Oh my gosh, the TAGS that man created!

But then Dad remarried and she had her own grown children and grandkids as a priority. I was still at home until I graduated, but… I left soon after. The last time I went home for Christmas ,, her daughter got diamond earrings in her stocking and I got perfume that was someone elses favorite. That I was allergic to. That shit show ended when her daughter told me, in my mothers kitchen, that I was the redheaded stepchild.

I didn’t celebrate on Christmas morning with my Dad until I moved back in with him. And the stocking and christmas love was back. Because its not about the money, its about someone who gets you. Who turns up and shows their love. A well thought out Dollar store stocking means more than diamond earrings. Because it was never about the earrings— I cant wear them. I don’t wear much jewelry, although I love necklaces and hang them on my wall.

On Mothers day, a few years ago, my son found my dad on the ground unable to use his legs. Massive stroke. He recovered, but his driving and shopping days were over. I bought every damn present under the tree, and in the stockings. It took all the… wow, the anticipation, out of Christmas.

The next year, I signed up for the Santa Exchange in the Chatting group. I finally had something under the tree that I didn’t know what it was. I put that Priority Mail box under the tree and it drove my family nuts. I didn’t shake, didn’t peek, nothing. I kept it until it was the last gift to be opened. My delight in the presents was… it was wonderful.

Since then, I keep the tradition of keeping that gift for last. I broke down in Walmart one year, just sobbing “I want my mommy”. My best friend stayed with me in the candle aisle until the storm passed and she asked me what was going on. So I dumped it all on her—and it amazed me that someone who had a close knit family, whose parents were still alive, felt the same way. For the past 2 years, we take our boys to Walmart and they have whatever we can budget and I take her kid shopping and she takes mine. (I’M SORRY 20202 IS MY FAULT BECAUSE I WANTED AND GOT A SUITCASE FOR OUR TRAVELLING WWAAAHHHHH!!!!!!) However, my kid gets me. And she reigns him in to a certain extent. Just like I do with hers.

Still, that Chatting gift stays under the tree until everything else is opened. Everyone wants to know what’s in that box.

I want to make the anticipation last…..

Widow’s Walk

(I wrote this in response to a class assignment. It is inspired by a picture by Rob Gonsalves and the journey of a dear friend. )

Widows walk. They walk along the balcony, pacing out the nights. One step after another, chained to a mast that never comes into view. No skips, no hops for the balcony is dangerous. Weeping into the ocean doesn’t count if you are alone.

Widows walk alone, friends and family woefully out of step. They bear the isolation alone, watching the clouds skittle across the night sky, longing, wistfully, for a glimpse of the one who left them behind. They walk, they pace, they shiver and moan. Even among the crows, they are alone.

Widows walk alone into… . They carve out a path made of stone yet soft as sand. Night becomes day becomes night and still they walk their lonely halls of grief. Typhoons, monsoons, tsunamis break over them. The trick, the widows say, is to let them break. Let them rain down on you, absorb the fury and power of nature into yourself because otherwise it will burn you alive. The clouds on the horizon are puffy and white… or are they a sail in the wind… or will they change as they start to come in. Widows walk alone into…

The unknown. Once you are half of a hole (it’s wrong but it fits and oh how that hurts!) how do you become whole while only half of you is there? Once, you were whole all on your own. You didn’t choose to walk this walk, you didn’t ask for this you didn’t want this–never this– game of life that tossed the rules out on you– why did the rook take the queen– you didn’t know you didn’t want you didn’t mean in when you said you only wanted a minute alone youdidntyoudidntyoudidntyoudidnt

But still. Here we are.

Somber as a post.

Knowing.

Widows
Walk
Alone

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

#becausewecan: 82 Cards

A lot of things are going on in the world right now, and what we need is inspiration. The docotrs and scientists need inspiration to find a way to navigate us out of this mess. And we need inspiration to help us remain human and connected in a world of social distancing.

Some things happened the weekend of March 20th that inspired me. Some people inspired me. The first was Jennifer Pastiloff. If you dont follow her on Facebook or Instagram, you should. In the face of losing her livlihood, she decided to hang on by asking “How may I serve?” She did one of her classes online for a donation… to help feed others. To buy diapers, food. To help. She could have set it up and done her confrences that way– Zoomed her way into a paycheck. I still think she should consider it. But at this time, when we needed help, we needed to remember that you can always find 5 beautiful things right here and now… she gave me that reminder. That hope.

The other person that inspired me was Jon Bon Jovi. He did a video of the start of the song and asked that the people watching help write the rest. I don’t remember the name of the song, but i do remember thinking that he has already made an anthem for these crazy days. Because We Can. And also Army of One.

Those who know me know that Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack to my life. At one point I toyed with writing a monologe set to their music. Is it any wonder that when I was looking for inspiration and comfort and the “Hell yes we can do this!” I turned to them, to the band that I grew up beside?

So.

How many have seen the meme about writing cards to seniors in rehab care facilities? On Monday night i got a wild hair and called the one Dad had been in here locally.  They have 82 people there. Writing cards is my super power. I dont just sign my name, I write. 

And then God laughed. I wrote Tuesday. I came home from work Wednesday and crashed (essential employee). I wrote Thursday. Ended up on the phoen a lot Friday, still wrote thouh. I wrote on my breaks. I wrote on my lunch. I wrote on Saturday and on Sunday morning. And at some point, your brain goes to sleep and magic happens and you’re just creating.

I delivered 82 cards on Sunday. All the cards opened with “To My Special Friend” and ended with the note that they are special and they are loved. I signed only with my first name. No phone number, no return address. Because while it would be great to know if the right card got to the right person… I am fighting my need for positive reinforcement.

I did it because I am an #Armyofone, and #becausewecan.

And also because Jen Pastiloff asked “How May I Serve?”