THE ARTIST: WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE MUSE

An earlier version of this poem, about the joy and pain of creativity, how much the lack of support for one’s artistic endeavours of whatever kind can hurt, and the monetary vs intrinsic value of art, previously appeared at a personal journal as part of the importance of audience series.

THE ARTIST: What it is to live with the muse

She sculpts, removing the extraneous stone
Revealing the beauty within
It is her greatest passion to find and display every
Curve and line

She meets him at a gallery next to a coffee shop
He’s admiring Van Gough prints
She loves them too
They talk for a while, agree to meet next week

Shes says she’s a sculptor, he wants to see her work
She’s shy at first, reluctant to display her imperfect creations
But she opens the door to her studio
To her soul
Continue reading THE ARTIST: WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE MUSE

The Importance of Audience: The Unwatched Play

The Unwatched Play

Frank lounges in his seat
Disappointed with himself
Feeling unfulfilled
“No auditions?” Joe asks
“No. Not even for an ad this week.”
Joe shakes his head, saddened
But he tries to be encouraging
“You’re still an actor.”
“Yes,” Frank agrees
Because that’s true.
He is still an actor
Regardless of his work
“And you’re good.”
Frank shrugs.
“And you’ve memorised all of Hamlet’s lines.”
Frank nods.
“So what does it matter
If no-one ever sees you perform?
You can recite the whole soliloquy
In the privacy of your own lounge.
Give a moving performance.
That should be enough, right?”
“Right,” Frank agrees
With false brightness
“Like, getting a part in a play
Should be enough, if the show is great
Even if no-one attends.”
Joe sighs.
“That’s bollocks, isn’t it?”
He’s right.
Because what’s the point
Of a performance
That goes unseen?
Or a record that never
Gets airplay?


The importance of audience is a theme I have explored before and will continue to revisit. This particular poem was previously published at a personal journal. The crux of the poem is something writers are told frequently: “You should write for yourself, and it doesn’t matter if no-one reads; if that’s true, then the same ought to apply to all the creative arts.

Words & Phrases (March 2017)

wordsiamge

Something all writers love is words, and we delight in finding the right turn of phrase to express ourselves. As a reader, I also enjoy discovering new words and concepts whether it’s from a published work, an indie short story, a fanfiction, something I heard on a TV show, or a word discovered in a news article. This is a list of some of the things I’ve learnt over the past months.
Continue reading Words & Phrases (March 2017)

Spring Festival: Ostara


Ostara Comments

banner by ~Magickal Graphics~
Ostara is the Spring or Vernal equinox when days and nights are once again equal in length. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. The name Ostara is believed to be derived from Eostre – the Teutonic lunar Goddess (see more on this below). Her chief symbols are the hare, which represents fertility, and the egg, which is a symbol of rebirth.

(In the Southern Hemisphere, it is Mabon that this being celebrated today at the time, with the balance of daylight about to go in the opposite direction, from more daylight to less.)

Ostara is close in symbolism to the Church festival of Easter, but Ostara is fixed at the equinox while Easter is a moveable feast decided by the phases of the moon. The Jewish holiday of Passover also falls during March or April, depending on the moon phases of each year.
Ostara also falls close to St Patrick’s Day amongst other festivals – there’s more detail in this article: Spring Traditions around the World.

Traditionally this day marks the start of Spring, and is a good time for cleaning in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense.

This year, Ostara falls on the 20 March.

Continue reading Spring Festival: Ostara

Prose Poem: unburdening

“I’m scared,” he says “after what happened last time.”
But there was no response.

“I’m scared,” he says, “after what happened last time.”
“Did you see this thing I did?” the man said as if no words had been spoken.

“I’m scared,” he says, “after what happened last time.”
“Yeah, sure, it’ll be fine,” the woman said barely listening.

“I’m scared,” he says, “after what happened last time.”
“What happened last time?” she asks.

And allows him to finally share his fears.

Review: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain is a scientific thriller that is rooted in science while positing a terrifying “what if” scenario. First published in 1969, the book includes some scientific breakthroughs that we have not yet achieved, as well as some dated technology – the paper jam problem, the lack of mobile phones, for example.

The crux of the book is that humankind can be its own worst enemy. The danger comes from an organism brought back to earth from a downed space probe, but twice the actions recommend by the scientists (the major protagonists) almost bring about catastrophe. People’s hubris, biases, oversights, and flaws, are every bit as threatening to humanity as the immediate problems we face. Part of the problem in the novel could be that the scientists are indeed scientists and become focussed on details, where outsiders and artists would look at possibilities.

Told as if reporting on a true event, until this moment highly classified, Crichton’s thriller is still relevant today. His own background and detailed research combined with skilful story-telling, make this a science rich but accessible, enjoyable, and thought provoking read.

Buy from Amazon UK (affiliate link):
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (1995) Paperback

Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers

thedragonsavers

A flash fiction fantasy tale for a series of prompts (see notes at close of fic)

(base banner image by mconnors at Morguefile.com)

Once upon a time there was a fearsome dragon. It had lived peaceably near a village for years, the two separated by a thick forest. The dragon hunted mostly in the woods at night, and slept in the cave at the foot of the mountain range where few people travelled.

Continue reading Flash Fiction: The Dragon Savers

All About Imbolc

Imbolc, also known/celebrated as Imbolg, Oimelc, Candlemas, (St) Brigid’s Day, Groundhog Day, and the Festival of Nut, takes place on or near the 1st/2nd of February and is a festival marking a cross-quarter day in the wheel of the year, heralding the first signs of spring.
Imbolc/Candlemas Comments
Banner by Magickal Graphics

This is a festival particularly associated with Brighid (Brigit, Bride, or Brigid), goddess of healing, smith craft, and poetry. She was Christianised as St Brigid of Kildare.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the time of Lammas/Lughnasadh, which is the first of the harvest holidays.


Brighid of the sunrise, Rising in the morning, Rising with the springtime, Greening all the land Brighid’s Kiss, La Lugh, lyrics here

Imbolc is a festival associated with candles, milk, new beginnings, and poetry. The emphasis is on warmth and light and burgeoning spring, being the halfway point between Yule and the Spring Exquinox.

A few ideas on how to celebrate Imbolc:
Make and drink a milkshake
Buy and plant some spring flowers, such as crocuses and early daffodils
Take a photo of something that signifies approaching spring to you
Write a poem
Clean part or all of your home
Scatter nuts, a sign of prosperity, in a garden
Make a candle – try making ice candles. Bless your candles. Burn a candle and think about what you’re grateful for and what your plans are.

This article gives some background about the history of Imbolc and some of the other festivals taking place at this time.

More about Imbolc, symbolism, and ways to celebrate, under the cut

Continue reading All About Imbolc