Monthly Archives: May 2015

Is This What Psychosis Feels Like?

A nagging thought has been bothering me for a few days now. Believe it or not, it’s nothing that I find quite serious, although I think it’s weird. I can’t fully explain it, but I’ll try to describe it: imagine sipping on your favorite fruit shake while simultaneously thinking about poisoning it. Or how about, imagine holding a very sharp knife and having the urge of stabbing yourself. I don’t know, I’m not alarmed or anything, but it’s unnerving to constantly think about dying/killing yourself while looking through a manuscript and checking for errors (yep, I work as a copyeditor). Should I go ahead and see a shrink?

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To The Doveglion

I once strove, to write
with commas, the same
way you did, so
eloquently as if
combining salt and pepper to stale
meat – add just enough to
entice. Receive a natural, gustatory
high that would linger for days.

Uplift — like feathers does to a bird. Oh!
I have almost forgotten — wings.
But on some days, when there is
largesse in the shape of crowns
inyour hands, and you sprinkle in
just a little bit too much of salt,
you put in too much taste until it is tasteless.
But nothing a little bit of pepper
could fix.


More Advice For Writing

I’ve often been asked (though I don’t have any idea why some people think I have the authority) about how to differentiate between ‘showing and telling’ when it comes to writing. Now, before I go on, I would like to include the fact that I’ve been working as a copyeditor for a month and a half now, in one of the most reputable publishing houses here in my place (hint: it’s a university press). Also, I have no idea how that even relates to this writing tidbit I’m about to share.

So, ‘showing vs telling’ huh? It’s every budding writer’s worst enemy. And one of the things these younglings — before I forget, May the Fourth be with you! — seem to struggle to understand. But fear no more my friends, for this ‘showing vs telling’ thing is pretty easy to comprehend, because, first of all, that’s basically what it means. ‘Showing’ means showing, and ‘telling’ means telling. When you show, you describe, sometimes, in detail. And when you tell, well, you just tell. Here’s an example of me talking about an old school library:

(Telling):      “The library was old.”
(Showing):  “The paved path leading to the library was missing bricks in places, and I couldn’t shake the feeling of a hundred invisible eyes watching me as I walked by. Once I passed the hardwood doors, I could almost swear my own ears caught the faint echoes of voices that were long gone.”

You have to understand that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. In my case, when I write, I use them both. I tell stuff that I think isn’t really necessary (Her foot hurt, so she went ahead and took an aspirin.) And I show stuff I know will be essential to my story (Her face was like a diamond, with a wide forehead and a delicate chin. Ringlets of what could have been ebony hair fell down to her waist. He could only imagine dark hazel eyes, sensual and imploring as they gazed at him, lifeless like the rest of her. As he stared, he wondered whether those cold, dead lips would feel real, if not close to real, as the statue’s hands.)

Take note, a story that is pure telling will be boring, while a story that is pure showing will be dragging — tiring, even. Right now, I can’t tell you what would work well with your story, or how much of each you should use, but I’m sure you’ll find it out soon. Just keep writing and before you know it, you’ll finally bring balance to the force (your writing. Sorry, I just had to make one last Star Wars related pun.)


Clara’s Song

Clara and the Nutcracker.

The clock strikes
12, and once more,
the room is still. Even the
moon knows that
it is nearly time
to hear the pitter and the patter
of the mouse army
that has come to invade and take
you away from me. But
you should know that
I would never let them,
even if I had had you
for barely a day. For
you hold my heart now. I
have known — since that first
glance, and by the time we danced
around the tree, with your hard–
wood body wrapped in
my hands’ embrace — not even
the evil Mouse King and
his zealous wrath could take you away.

I will follow you, to save you.
Even if it means leaving
behind this world, to enter your
world of eternal snow.