Time

The days creep by

The weeks jog

The months sprint.

Time is a curious thing

A cruel thing, perhaps.

She’s ruthless

Unforgiving.

You can’t escape her

You have to live with her

But she never stops moving

She never gives you a break.

She doesn’t get tired,

but you do.

She is infinite,

but you’re not.

You’re left in this odd conundrum

Bound and controlled by this intangible thing

Lovesick by the gifts she gives you

Precious gifts

Heartbroken by what she takes from you.

You beg her…

Time,

Please be kind.

And maybe she will be

For a second, for a minute

For a month, for a year

Somehow constant, but also finicky

She’ll go on and on

But she’ll abandon you one day.

She’ll abandon everyone that you love

And somehow…

Somehow that makes you respect her more.

Funny little thing she is, Time.

She’s the master of manipulation.

So highly valued

So easily wasted

She doesn’t care either way

She moves only one direction.

Forward.

 

-Elle

#Poetryfromthenotpoet

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Honey

I called him Honey

‘cause he was so sweet to me.

And you know, honey…

It doesn’t ever go bad.

If you neglect it, mistreat it…

What it does is crystallize.

I think that’s kinda pretty.

The best part though?

If you love on it… warm it up a bit…

Well it goes right on back to the way it used to be.

No harm done.

 

I called him Honey

‘cause he was so sweet to me

But I might have taken my pet name just a bit too literally

See, I neglected him. I mistreated him.

And he got sharp ‘round the edges.

I tried warming him back up

But he was unmalleable. All bones and heavy flesh.

In fact, after some deliberation,

Sweet or not,

I decided he wasn’t so much like honey after all.

… and I sure as hell wasn’t either,

but then again,

I never pretended to be.

 

-Elle

😉

Assure me.

You’ve done everything right

You’ve gone by the book

You’ve played by the rules…

But somehow you feel unfulfilled

It seems like everyone around you is living their best life

And you’re just here

Existing.

Not that that isn’t something to appreciate…

But still.

You fight away dirty words like “unwanted” and “unloved”

Toxic little beasts

They lie to you in the night.

Those words…

They’re liars.

…Right?

 

-Elle

P.S. friends, strangers, lurkers… In case you need reminding… You are so loved.

Knock on Wood

I’m writing again (see post title).

I debated back and forth about whether or not to blog through my experiences writing this second novel of mine. I tried it with my first, but was massively inconsistent. In the end though, I’m not so sure that matters much. What matters is that I did finish that first book. It took a variety of motivators, but I got it done, and I’d very much like to do that again. I’d like to do better though. I’d like to write better, and take my work farther. That first one, it’s all mine. Few eyes have scanned it’s pages. It’s secrets will die with me – something I find oddly romantic, but it’s not what I want for all of my work.

It’s world cup time. I was doing this exact thing four years ago. Starting one of the biggest creative projects of my life. Summer of writing.  Summer of soccer. I haven’t missed a single match. This tournament transcends sports and athleticism for me. It makes feel a bit more connected to the world. There are always surprises… sweet little peeks into other cultures through the lens of a goal celebratory dance, an underdog upsetting a champion, tears of joy, tears of heartbreak… I find it all inspirational. Watch parties with friends and strangers alike. Cheers, flying beers. Good fun. Good fun. I don’t know why, and I’m not questioning it, but something about it all makes me want to contribute… to share. Every human being has something unique to offer up to the universe. Athletes, teachers, travelers, scientists, writers, yogis, mamas, cooks… countless people could put themselves in any of these categories and more, multiple, but their approach, their specific contribution is special and cannot be replicated. I think it’s lovely. I’m also ridiculously sentimental though. 🙂

Anyway this book… my second book. It’s essentially a fetus.  It’s an outline and an opening paragraph. There’s a long way to go, but I’ve been here before. I’m excited to do this again. This makes me happy.

 

-Elle

Dear One

Dear one,

Write me a song.

Make it silly, like us.

Hug me.

Tell me you love me.

Lift me up,  so I can see the pretty things.

Dear one, I don’t mean literally…

See, your words,

They make my legs long,

They make my back strong.

You’re magical, dear one.

Speak to me.

Your voice is healing.

Your voice is invigorating.

Be with me, dear one.

Sass me, then laugh with me.

Kiss me, dance with me, challenge me.

I know you. I trust you.

You’re made for me, and I for you.

Dear one, come find me.

 

-Elle

 

#WriteEveryDay diamonds, trash, or something in between #WriteEveryDay

Feel, Don’t Touch

My truth is hidden in the darkness.

A firecracker encased in blackness

Sparkling, crackling, and emoting

In a sound proof room.

Monsters with no eyes lurk there,

Desperately seeking something they will never find.

They cannot tell day from night

They cannot tell salt from sugar

And yet, I fear them still.

 

Brave adventurers scour the darkness in pursuit of my secrets.

They have much in common with the monsters.

Cannot see.

Cannot hear.

But they can smell…

Rain. Ocean. Tears.

Can almost taste it…

Earth. Water. Salt.

The scents are transformative.

They are also distracting.

 

My truth is hidden in the darkness.

Only one sense can be used to find it.

Dear adventurer,

Close your eyes

Plug your ears

Overwhelm every taste bud

Every scent receptor

Clear your mind, open your heart.

Meld with the blackness. Be silent now.

It’s just there…

You can’t touch it, but you can feel it.

Magnificent. Tragic. Light. Heavy.

Tell me, can you feel it?

Complex. Simple. Fiery. Cool.

Tell me, can you feel me?

 

-Elle

Today’s not-so-secret: I am not a poet. I know nothing about poetry. (can you tell? haha) I don’t even particularly enjoy reading it. What happens is, see… I fill up with words. They fall out. I dump most of them into what wants to a be novel. The scraps… well, they are what they are. I am profoundly emotional (#becausehuman), but it’s not socially acceptable to publicly feel all your feelings. Mostly I think that’s good (there’s enough drama out there already). Hopefully for me, stock piling emotion will result in a pretty piece of written work one day. That, or a melodramatic pile of entertainment. Either or. Either or, my friends. 🙂

Peace to you!

Hey 20’s, our time together is running out

So I might have forgotten that this little blog of mine existed. I’m mildly comforted by the fact that it’s practically a shout into the void for now… no shade to my close family and friend followers or the strangers who may come across this and somehow make my world feel smaller… cozier.

I’m rapidly approaching my 29th birthday and doing a lot of reflecting on my post-college adult life and my future. My goal is to walk a path of authenticity and take control over my own happiness. I pray for the strength and courage to make choices that serve me positively and to commit deeply to all that I cherish and all that brings light to my life and to the lives of those whom I care for. I want to live open, and honestly, and beautifully. I want my happiness to be so evident to my loved ones that if I were to die tomorrow, they could know, with no doubt, that I lived– or at the very least, worked very hard toward– my very best life.

Here’s my slice of #vulnerablepie …
(more…)

Changing Gears

Hello and happy Saturday!

The school year is off to a good start. I’m teaching some pretty cool kids biology, but good teaching means busy weeks. I’ve spent more weekends than I care to admit bumming around my apartment playing the procrastination game with papers that need grading. I’m happy to say that I am currently caught up (well, let’s say 95%) and life is good. I’ve even started planting the seeds for my next novel, which is insane because that means I’m getting to the point where I can imagine finishing my current work in progress (what!?). Also, another word on my students- I’ve told many of them over the last couple of years that I’m writing a book and can I just say how much it warms my hard when I see kids in the hall and they say, “Hey Ms. D! How’s your book coming? I can’t wait to read it!” Just, joy to the world. Little (big) sweeties.

On my last post I shared some last-half-of-the-year goals with you all and I think it’s about time for an update. Below are the goals I set for which my self-imposed deadline has passed:

Complete a second pass through my 6th draft by 8/23 DONE! albeit not by that date

Send draft 6 to CP (Thanks Twitter) and Betas by 8/25 DONE! Again, not on time, but done

Draft a synopsis and query letter by 9/15 Not done, but in progress!

Have a list of at least 50 agents to query by 9/23 (I currently have 13) Not done, and I haven’t even tried, if I’m honest

So far I’ve met none of my goals on time, but that’s been pretty standard since I started this novel writing journey. The bright side is that I am, indeed, accomplishing the goals that I’ve set… just on an extended timeline. I am a bit disappointed in myself for literally spending ZERO time searching for more agents to query. That is a critical part of the process and I need to start devoting more time to it.

Sending my manuscript off to my critique partner and betas felt pretty momentous. It’s the first time people will be reading my book from start to finish, which is an exhilarating combination of scary and exciting. It also felt like a major transition point. I’ve been drafting for years and now I’m getting to the place where I have to seriously consider what comes after I decide I’ve polished my MS to the best of my ability. There is a very different vibe to this side of my journey. So far I’ve been focused on writing the best story I can. Now that I’m about 90% done with that part, I have to start thinking about how I can pitch my story in a way that will hook agents. It’s difficult, but I find the change of gears enjoyable. Summarize my 86,000 word novel in 500 words? Challenge accepted! …I’m currently failing the challenge, but I’ve got faith. I haven’t done much on the query side except play around with the first few sentences. It’s tough, but I’m glad to have a break from drafting and revising my MS.

I’ll check in again when I get feedback from my CP and betas. Hopefully that will set me up for my final draft… or maybe they will tell me my story is crap and I’ll spend another year revising… mysteries of life!

Happy Writing!

-ED

Follow me on Twitter: @ElleDesa_Writes

I’m on Pinterest, too: Planning My 1st Book , Writing Inspiration and Tips

6th Draft Done and Feeling Ambitious!

Hey Folks!

In January I set goals to blog more and get comfy with my then newly-created Twitter account. I’ve been successful with one out of the two. I bet you can guess which one was the fail (Hint: this is my first blog post in five months). Anyway, Twitter has been awesome. It has given me the opportunity to interact with other writers every single day. The “amwriting” hashtag is my happy place. It’s lovely to read little snippets from people working their way through the same general process as me. Likes, retweets, and replies are super encouraging on tough days. I love doling them out as much as I love to receive them. It’s a really supportive environment and a quick and easy way to keep myself accountable. Accountability is actually the reason I started this blog, but it’s a bit easier to disappear from here than it is from Twitter. It’s easy to make excuses about not having time to sit down and write a blog post, but I can’t say the same for 140 characters. Still, I’m keeping this blog around because I do enjoy having a space for the occasional long update… and update time it is!

Since I last posted I’ve written two more drafts of my WIP. I just finished up with draft six last night. I’ve truly come to love that feeling I get at the end of a draft. It still feels like a huge accomplishment, even 2.5 years in.  I was particularly proud of myself because I made a pretty significant plot-tweak that forced me to change quite a bit at the end of my book. I haven’t given it a reread yet, but I can say that I felt very, very positive about the changes I made and the words that I wrote last night. Right now I’m feeling confident and excited about my next steps. Granted, tomorrow could be a completely different story, but I’ve learned to relish in these optimistic moments. They are the perfect time for goal setting and planning. I’ve come to notice that there are two times a year where I’m guaranteed to be feeling hopeful and ambitious: Just before the start of a new year, and just before the start of a new school year. I’m sure many people are familiar with that late December, early January “I can make changes in my life, I can be successful” vibe. Well, I’m a teacher and I get hit with that same vibe right before I go back to work in late July and it usually hangs around through the middle of August (this happened when I was a student as well). I try to take advantage of these time periods because there are surely a couple of rough patches throughout the year that are set on undoing any awesomeness I’d previously achieved.

In the spirit of goal-setting and high ambition, this morning I a made a list of writing-related things I’d like to achieve by early 2017 and some estimated dates by when I’d like to achieve them. Here’s a little sample:

Complete a second pass through my 6th draft by 8/23

Send draft 6 to CP (Thanks Twitter) and Betas by 8/25

Draft a synopsis and query letter by 9/15

Have a list of at least 50 agents to query by 9/23 (I currently have 13)

Begin draft 7 upon receipt of feedback from Betas/CP

Complete draft 7 by 11/25

Polish MS, synopsis, and query letter by 12/30

Send out first batch of queries by 1/8

Guys I THRIVE off of goal setting so I can’t even tell you how happy this list makes me (and it really is a small sample). Of course, the hard part is actually meeting these goals. Things happen and I’m sure life will get in the way of at least a couple of them, but I try not to beat myself up too much about it… so long as I’m really trying (for instance, if I write draft 7 and decide my MS just isn’t ready to query, I won’t see that as a failure). It’s also nice that I have a full week off work in September and November, and two weeks off in December. School breaks are golden writing marathon/catch up weeks for me.

I’m going to take a mini-break from writing for the weekend. My draft needs to rest a bit before I dive back in anyway.  I go back to work on Monday and need to get ready for the coming school year. Hopefully I can also knock a few books off my reading list.

Wishing you all a little mid-year spark of inspiration and ambition!

Happy Writing!

-ED

Follow me on Twitter: @ElleDesa_Writes

I’m on Pinterest, too: Planning My 1st Book , Writing Inspiration and Tips