My poetry is far more accepted than my stories. I’m a natural poet, and a natural oral storyteller, but writing them down is more complicated. The entire process takes me out of my comfort zone, and because of that I suppose, I love it as much as I do.
With that said, I’ll be returning to poetry very soon. It’s my first love as I’ve mentioned before, and the project in front of me is a poetry book that I wrote when I was nineteen years old, and in a very depressed and vulnerable state. The work is very close to my soul, and because of that, it’s taking me a long time to complete it.
When I work on something that I really love (which is practically everything I work on) I need to take long pauses in between the work. I become overwhelmed and find that I can’t work from such an emotionally intense place. I need to be calm, and somewhat detached. That’s one of the reasons I step away so often. I suspect though, that another reason is that I’m afraid of the soul work involved in the writing of a particular story or project. I can’t speak for all writers, but for me writing is really an exploration of who I am. There are entire galaxies inside of us humans, just waiting to be discovered. I’m no different.
Some writers write about what they observe outside of themselves. I write about what I observe inside of me. Not everything I write is autobiographical of course, but I do find myself often in my stories, hidden somewhere in a dark corner, or an extra in a busy plaza while my main characters are ogling each other. Somehow, somewhere, I’m there.
When I wrote Elysium I added stories that had a lot to say about me. I grieved over the loss of my pet, I grieved over the loss of my grandmother Esther even though she’s been dead over ten years, I grieved at how human and powerless I really am in the face of all that I’ve lost. That whole book was about loss in one form or another. Some days, I can’t believe I went ahead and published it.
That’s how I write. In a love scene between two people who are tired of wrestling with themselves, and just want to give in; a wolf howls in the distance. I’m the tiredness of the characters, and I’m the lonely wolf howling her heart out. Not everything I write is sad. At least I like to think that it isn’t. But because I have endured a lot of loss in my life, especially early on- that does come up in my stories. Sometimes I can write for days and not feel a thing, but at some point, as I dig; I hit a nerve. When I do, I need to step away, I need to hide myself in the routine of everyday life, sometimes I want to avoid coming back to resolve whatever I left on the page. But I have to come back. Even if it takes me a whole month and a half. I will always come back.
My inner world is a lot richer than my outer world. But I would never survive the immensity and brutality of my inner life without the surface world, and vice versa. Writing is the bridge between those two worlds. It joins me to the trillions of thoughts and emotions that exist beneath the surface. Perhaps that’s why I love writing stories as well, in the struggle to make raw thought into something that works on a page, I discover a great deal about myself in the process.
Poetry is storytelling for me as well, but just in a different form, and it works through me in a way that stories don’t. I love it all. Truly.
As far as what I’m working on right now; Azure Letters is still being serialized on Chanillo, please come and check it out if you can. The novel does have more subscribers which makes me really excited, but I know that I work slowly so most folks are just waiting for it to be at least halfway done before they check it out.
One of my poems was accepted for an anthology, which makes me really happy. But I’ll talk more about that at a later date.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out any of my work, and would like to- my latest short story on the goddess Persephone is just a click away.