32 Years (poem rough draft)

I recently turned 32 years,
an age at once young and old.
Enough time to look back upon
and celebrate and mourn days gone by,
yet search amongst an indefinite time ahead—
a number of days, months, years
set in place by whatever future to be.

Within the span of 32 years
(11,680 days—give or take a few leap days),
I have lived and loved, loved and lost,
lost love, lived loss, loved lost, lived love;
I have seen far too many sunrises with a frown
and far too few sunsets with a sense of accomplishment;
I have heard the cries of many I love
and feel the warm streaks on my own face
from the loss of those that mattered most;
I have worked until my body and brain ached;
I have thought things and done things
that I will forever regret
and some I will always cherish.

Whether 32 years from now I’m enjoying my days on Earth
or plotted beneath the busy feet of those living,
I know I will have loved more, lost more,
made more mistakes, shaped more lives,
and lived the life meant for me to its fullest.

Projects, Planning, and Surviving Burn Out

It’s been quite some time since my last post.  My apologies for neglecting my blog, folks.  As I’m sure all teachers end up saying each year, this year has been even busier than any other year.  Since I have a moment to breathe, I figured I’d talk education and writing for a little bit.

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Creative Progress

Things have been going well here creatively over the last few weeks.  If only I could gather the mental strength to do the same in preparation of my 8th year of teaching high school and second year of college.

I’m currently drafting the third episode of what should hopefully be a 10-12 episode series for my upcoming podcast, Shadowvane.  If you want more information on the project or to be kept up to date, please visit Shadowvane.net and follow @Shadowvanecast on Twitter.

The goal is to have at least four or five episodes completed and edited by the middle of August.  From there, we’ll be starting the process of holding casting for the various roles.  As it stands right now, there are three recurring major characters in this story as well as several smaller parts.  We will be searching for reliable voice actors to send us high quality recordings throughout the next several months.  We cannot offer anything in the way of compensation since the project is free to the public, but if things go well, it can serve as a valuable production to add to any resume.

More information on the upcoming casting will be available later this month.

Aside from that, it’s that time of year when teachers all around the world are gearing up to go back to the profession that they have put their hearts and souls into.  Whether you are a novice or a long-time teacher, I offer nothing but encouragement.  Let’s make this the best year yet for our profession and our students.

And now I leave you all with a bit of wisdom:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Lonely Diver (poem rough draft)

Another poem written while on vacation in Rockport, MA.

Walking along the rocky shores of Back Beach,
a solitary diver decked in full diving gear
makes her way toward the open ocean.
From so far away, it’s hard to tell
whether it is a woman or a man
braving the cold morning waters.
What matters most is that they are alone,
and they are far braver than me.
My view of the sea suits me just fine:
sitting on a patio of a small beach cottage,
keyboard and a glass of Diet Pepsi at my fingers.
I’m content to sit and watch her deliberate movements,
and I wonder what her name is
or what she hopes to find in those depths.
Solitude is only solitude if you ignore your companion,
the companion all around us—Nature.
I see my good friend in the form of two butterflies
circling around one another over a patch of yellow flowers.
I observe my companion the seagull
swooping past the watery explorer in black.
She finds her friend amongst the cool morning waves,
the mysteries hidden beneath its silvery surface.
Afraid of those mysteries, I sit at a distance
and try to discover my own.

Chasing Distant Horizons now available on Amazon

It’s a big day!  My chapbook, Chasing Distant Horizons, is now available on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store!

To celebrate this day, I’ve lowered the price of the book to $1.99 on Amazon as well as on Gumroad.com.  I’ll provide links for both below.  I do get more money when you buy it at Gumroad, but if you are one of those “One-Click” on your iPad sort of people, you now have the option for some good poetry!

Go check it out and tell your friends!

Buy Chasing Distant Horizons for Kindle on Amazon

Buy Chasing Distant Horizons PDF on Gumroad.com

And as usual, I leave you with a quote:

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau

Shadowvane

The Beginnings of Shadowvane

For those of you who don’t know (or care about wrestling), I’ve been featured as a guest and eventually co-host of The Rundown Wrestling Podcast for the last year.  If you like wrestling, crude humor, and/or talking raccoons, this may be the podcast for you.

My experience as a part of this podcast and my love for the written word and other podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale and Sayer has sparked an interest to create my very own storytelling podcast.  After a lot of writing, reflection, and conversation with others, I have decided to give it a go.

Thus, The Shadowvane Podcast is currently in the works.  Think of it as an episodic radio drama that focuses on creating horror and suspense stories told from the voices of the actual characters.  Unlike Night Vale or Sayer, the stories will be limited to a certain number of episodes.  After each run, there will be a short break, and then we will release a whole new story for your enjoyment.

The first set of episodes are currently being written and edited.  Once they are at a point where we’re ready to begin production, I will be holding an open casting for anyone wishing to be a part of the storytelling.  There will be more on that later.

The logo above was recently created by Ray Williams III, who also provided the artwork for my recent chapbook, Chasing Distant Horizons.

Feel free to bookmark the Podcast’s webpage and check back later as we come closer to bringing it to fruition.  You can also follow the podcast on Twitter (@ShadowvaneCast).

Perhaps a darker quote to close this out:

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” -Edgar Allan Poe

 

Arriving Home (poem rough draft)

Growing up in a Midwestern town,
I’ve become accustomed to those endless
fields of corn, fields of wheat,
fields of unending aspirations for something new.
The journey from Midwest to Atlantic
seems so arduous a task
that I’ve only made it twice these past thirty-one years.
Unlike the first time, the drive seems interminable,
and with more stops along the way,
the coast and its beauty feel so very far away.
But then I make it.
We make it.
The endless waves stretch beyond sight and imagination,
dotted with bits of confused land
and the occasional yellow-sailed boat.
I sit and watch and listen and become one with my surroundings.
I have finally arrived home.

Written after arriving in Rockport, MA on July 1st, 2014.