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

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.

Enjoying Nature & Writing

It’s been a while since I’ve updated.  I’ve been rather busy with the end of my 7th year of teaching coming to an official end and some amazing personal things going on in my life.  I’m officially taking some time to recharge the ol’ battery with a trip out to Rockport, Massachusetts.  I can honestly say that the trip is not only needed physically, but it’s been a great thing mentally.

As part of that mental recharge, I’ve been able to get some creative work done between sitting around on the beach, browsing all the little shops, and having some amazing food.  In just one day, I’ve managed to get a lot accomplished while still having a ton of fun.
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New Writing Project – Short Story Collection

Long time no write!  This comes to you during one of the most taxing times in any teacher’s life–the days leading up to spring break.  This semester has been surprisingly very difficult for me, and I’ve felt far too much stress and doubt in my abilities.

So my mind has been pretty absorbed into grading essays, planning lessons, editing yearbook and newspaper pages, and trying to get students interested in just about anything over the last few weeks.  So that’s left my free time and creative life floundering somewhat.

I would say that the release of my chapbook, Chasing Distant Horizons (only $2.49 for the pdf), was somewhat of a success.  If anything, it gave me the confidence to achieve something as grand as self-publishing, if only on a small scale.  Add to that my recent flattering comments on my submission for the Dark Crystal Author Quest, and I’ve found some positivity with regards to my writing.

So I need a new project.  I need something to breath more life under my creative sails.  That’s when I went back to something I spent a very long time on.

As some of you may know, I wrote a complete fantasy novel and have spent a lot of time off and on editing that sucker.  There are still substantial things to be done, and one day I really do hope to see it find the light of day.  That being said, I thought about the editing process and how I haven’t revisited the world in some time.

That’s when the idea hit me.  What if I wrote a series of short stories that fleshed out elements of the world and characters.  The thread that holds all the stories together would ultimately be the world that I’ve crafted in my fantasy novel.

So I’m working on a rough (very rough) draft of a short story, which will be hopefully the first of many.  This story centers around one of the main characters from the novel, a half-elven lazy drunkard by the name of Isac.  In the novel, Isac has little desire to do much else than wallow in his home, waste away at the tavern, and ignore the rest of the world around him.  The story I’m drafting tells how he discovered he has special powers and how he loathes everything about it.

Here’s a small bit of the rough draft.  I hope you enjoy. [Click below to read it.  I don't want to take over people's feed.]

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Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal Author Quest–Made the Top 25!

Today the top five authors were chosen to move on in the Dark Crystal Author Quest.  I wrote a story submission for the contest entitled “The Gathering of the Darkened Wood,” submitted it on New Years Eve, and have been waiting with baited breath for the results ever since.

Well, the results are in, and I just want to say congratulations to the top five authors:  Vinnie Chiappini, Nancy Gray, Greg Coles, J.M. Lee, and Ester Palmer.

Yes, that means that I wasn’t indeed chosen for the top five authors.  That being said, I was chosen as the top 25 submissions!

You can see my name forever immortalized on the finalist list.

Here are the editors’ comments on my submission:  “The writing in this was so beautiful and descriptive; it became so real to me I could see the shadows moving.”

I’m so happy that I was able to submit something for the Dark Crystal Author Quest.  Now it’s on to the next writing adventure!  I’ve got some ideas brewing.  Just knowing that they enjoyed my writing is enough for me. 2014 is shaping up to be an amazing year, and we’re only into March!

And a quote from The Dark Crystal:

Kira:  What’s writing?

Jen:  Words that stay. My master taught me.