Saturday, March 30, 2013

Writing A Meaningful Poem - Guest Post from Jessica Harman

Writing A Meaningful Poem
Jessica Harman

The most difficult thing about writing a poem is putting down the first word. Once you have the first word, you can riff off of it, finding things that relate tangentially to it in some way. So how do you get the first word? Sometimes it’s helpful to read a book before writing, and that will give me ideas when I think, “Why didn’t the writer write about this in this way?” In other words, in the way I would have written it.

Other times, to get my first word, I look around me. I often write in the morning. As a consequence, I have a lot of poems that originally began, “I have a cup of coffee on my desk….” But the beginnings get chopped off in the editing process. But that’s the easy part. That’s where the true creativity and polishing happen. We’re not talking about that now, though it is also a good topic.

What we’re talking about now is dredging up the raw material. The first draft. The first words of the first draft that set the tone and base of the first stanzas, and then the rest of the work. There is a theory I find useful, which poet Donald Hall outlines in his book on craft, “Breakfast Served Anytime, All Day,” and that is that all poems revolve around a room of silence. An empty room. There is something true that needs to go unsaid, in other words, and this unspoken thing—this unspeakability—is the empty room. The empty room has a deep truth to it. This truth need not even have words. It can be a feeling. A gravitational silence, a mood, a metaphysics that has yet to be discovered. When you write—when I write, too—I know it is really happening when I feel that center of silence, and my words turning around it. So how do you get that feeling while writing? It’s a question of picking up the vibration in the air, for me. A matter of being attuned to myself and the world. A sort of sixth sense. You want to tremble with ghosts, yours and History’s.

But once you have this magic silent center in place—which is difficult because it’s always shifting—you need stuff to write about, objects to place in your poem, concrete imagery (as they call it in creative writing programs). The problem with the silent room is that it is just that: silent, empty. But poems are made of words, sounds, breath. You need to have your crap, your mud, your coffee mug’s tactility in there. The kitchen sink’s gleam and ping as you throw silverware in might work well, too. You need stuff in your poem.

Getting “things” into your poems is easier than finding the magic center of the meaningful unspoken silence of the universe—and the good news is that it also helps to practice. Also, listening to music helps with the flow of thoughts, and words that make the thoughts, and you can always steal a word here and there from the random stream of lyrics being sung into your ear, if carefully chosen and woven into the fabric of your own work. It’s not plagiarism if it’s just a word—complete phrases need crediting. But the best source of finding concrete imagery for your own work is your own experience—your memories, your hopes, and simply looking at what’s around you.

I once had an exercise in an undergraduate workshop to write a poem using things in this room. That didn’t work out well for me except as practice, but it was good practice. There were cardboard boxes, perfume bottles, coffee mugs (again), chairs—and the trick was to get the emotion into them (on top of it all, this professor had banned the use of the word “heart,” “love,” and “soul,” saying we would automatically fail the course if we used any of them—they were overly used, so we should try to be original). I think my poem went something like this,

You are my cardboard box, my bubble pack
After midnight while the star’s light
Light years away still reaches the dirty window on Earth,
And illuminates the subtle ether of the things on my floor,
And then there you are, bubble pack
Left from unwrapping the coffee machine,
So delectable I want to pop every bubble of you.

The professor said, “Who is the ‘you’ in this poem? It is unclear.” She was right.

You want clarity in a poem. You want it to be unmistakable, what you mean.

All in all, writing poetry is difficult, but if you are writing it and you feel like you’re flying as you try to sense the music of the universe while also getting a good deal of tactile imagery in there, you’re off to a good start.

Jessica Harman is an author living in the Boston area. She has published poems in “Bellevue Literary Review,” “Spillway,” “Arion,” “Nimrod,” and “Stand.” Her full-length collection of poems, “Dream Catcher,” is forthcoming from Aldrich Press in April 2013.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Growing Up With a Story to Tell - Guest Post from Chris McKittrick

Growing Up With a Story to Tell
Chris McKittrick

With age comes a different perspective and, more importantly, a different relationship to fiction – especially with what you write.  I remember thinking The Great Gatsby was dull when I read it when I was in ninth grade.  Rereading it a few years later made me realize it was my favorite novel.  In my defense, I wasn’t ready for it yet, much like I wasn’t ready for Montauk when I began writing it.

Montauk, my short novel (the word "novella" sounds to me like I'm trying to find a grander label for my work) has been several years in the making, and it was started at a point in my life where I was moderately worried that I would end up living an unfulfilling life similar to the protagonist.  In its initial stages, I was more or less creating a roadmap for how I didn't want my life to go, as the main character was (at the time) a few years older than I was and (I think) more prone to making poor decisions.  But the story didn’t read true, because I was writing about situations that I wasn’t ready to write about yet.  Heck, despite the title and the setting, I hadn’t even been to Montauk (the furthest eastern point on Long Island) for years.

I put Montauk away and focused my energies on other projects, including several short stories (one of which, “The Coney Island Cowboy” brought me to a location that plays a key role in Montauk) and critical and analytical essays for scholarly publications.  I would take a look at Montauk every few months, writing a page here and there when an idea came to me.  Still, it wasn’t until I was older than the protagonist that I fully understood the essential theme I was trying to get at all along.  I was finally able to define the character by what he wants to accomplish and what he doesn’t know about himself because I understood myself better.  In other words, I discovered something that I had that my character did not.

Part of that also came with finding my own voice.  While in college I took a screenwriting course and many of my classmates were attempting to write mafia/crime screenplays that ended up sounding like unintentional parodies of Scorsese and Tarantino films.  For a while, that’s what I felt about Montauk: like I was aping some of my favorite “undefined search” novels like Catcher in the Rye and The Moviegoer, stories about characters who are searching for something but aren’t quite sure what that might be.  It wasn’t until I was older and had undergone similar experiences to the protagonist (or, alternately, witnessed friends undergo such experiences) that I began to understand how to polish and finish the story.  I also looked at the way young people carried themselves after growing up with much of their lives in the reality show/”everyone gets a trophy era,” and how that has affected the entitlement issues that I feel so many people under thirty have these days.  For added inspiration, I spent much of the time doing the finishing touches during visits to the beach.  It is, after all, a good beach read.

I’m still surprised by those who have read and enjoyed Montauk or its various bits and pieces because I was only writing the kind of story I enjoy reading.  With that I wrapped up a lot of the history of suburbia, something that has fascinated me considering that the suburban residential style is still in its relative infancy.  I don’t think we’ve quite figured out the suburbs yet, and I think Long Island (arguably the test zone for suburban living with developments like Levittown) is the best of example of that.  For a long time the American Dream was buying a house in the suburbs where you had a big enough yard for privacy and a safe enough street so that your kids could ride their bikes on it.  Now I’m not so sure.

I hope you will enjoy Montauk and that my short novel ends up having some meaning to you.  It’s aimed at exploring the emotions between being mildly annoyed with something and wanting to jump off a building.  Since I imagine we all feel somewhere between those extremes throughout the day (and most of us find alcohol a very helpful coping mechanism) Montauk is a story that you’ll probably find very agreeable with.  If you like it and ever run in to me, I’ll be happy to buy you a drink for your support – but don’t expect it will turn into a weekend bender on the East End.  Like I said, I’m pretty sure I am somewhat better at making decisions than my main characters.

(For more information about Chris and his writing, check out his Amazon author page at .  Follow him on Twitter @ChrisMcKit)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Author Insides - Natalie Bell

Natalie Bell, a Southern California native, spends days working for a marketing firm, and nights typing away on her computer, working on her creative writing. She currently lives in Maryland with her amazingly-patient fiancé and endless array of house guests.

Her new adult novel, DON’T ASK, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s Books.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never really had an "aha!" moment when it came to writing. It’s always something I’ve enjoyed doing, and so I started to do it more and more. And so, honestly, I think I was a writer before I even considered if I wanted to be one.

Why do you write?
I believe Lord Byron actually said it best, "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." Writing is calming to me. It’s an escape. It’s a way of working through different ideas. And perhaps most of all, it’s fun. I feel better when I can write, so I do.

What was the impetus for Don’t Ask?
My own quarter-life crisis. After graduating college, I spent over half of a year looking for a job, not unlike many of my former classmates. I had just gone through a bad break up, had a lot of free time, and was a little lost about where I was headed—or at least wanted to be headed—in life. Since writing has always helped me get through things, I decided I would put the free time to good use and take everything my friends and I were going through, and try to make a story out of it.

Are there any autobiographical moments in Don’t Ask?
Yes and no. Many of the characters were originally inspired by people I have known throughout my life, and as such I did find that they would sometimes try to steal conversations I’d had in the past to suit their own purposes. Sadly (or perhaps happily) my life isn’t quite as interesting as the lives in Don’t Ask, so events have been tweaked, stolen from stories I’ve heard my friends tell, or, for the most part, completely fabricated in the name of telling an interesting story.

Why do you think so many post-college grads are experiencing quarter-life crises these days?
That’s a bit of a hard question, since I can only speak for myself and other friends I’ve talked to who have gone through them, but honestly I think it comes from how different it is to be a twenty-something now than it was even just a few decades ago. We all grew up either being told that once you were out of college you were an adult or at least gathering that from what we saw around us. You went to college, you got a job, you got married, and poof, congratulations twenty-something, you’re an adult.

That isn’t how things are anymore—people are staying in school longer, not being able to find a job when they get out, not getting married until much later—but that doesn’t mean society’s (or even our own) views have changed. Moving back in with your parent’s after graduation? Only losers do that. Not on your way to be married? Come on now, your parents were already married two years by your age. What’s wrong with you?

Some crises might come from something entirely different, but I think the bulk is we’re comparing ourselves to the ideas we have about being an adult, ones we got from watching movies or from our parents or wherever else, and realizing we’re failing. Whether or not we should feel like that, it’s more than enough to send you into a crisis.

Is being a writer anything like you imagined it would be?
I don’t think I ever spent much time imagining what being a writer was like before I started writing. I sort of fell into it, and so it’s been a learning experience more than anything else. Perhaps that’s made it easier in some ways, there have been no expectations to live up to, just some floundering while trying to work everything out.

What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters. I’ve always been drawn to stories where the characters drive the story more than the plot. Stories need to have some sense of reality to them and characters provide that. It doesn’t matter how wild or weird the setting or plot is in a story, as long as you can connect to the characters as real people, it’s a good book.

What's your favorite genre to read?
It depends on my mood. For the most part I find myself reading literary fiction, chick lit, fantasy, or historical fiction. I’ll read just about anything, though, if it catches my fancy.

Who is your favorite author or poet?
I have to admit I have a soft spot for Philippa Gregory. She is one of the few authors I know who can make me read a 500-page book in one sitting.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?
Most of my stories either come from "What if…?"s or from finding an interesting character I want to write about. Either way, I tend to have either a vague premise or a character before any sort of plot or setting. I’d say about half the time something comes from them.

What does your family think of your writing?
I’m very lucky in that my entire family has always been very supportive of my writing. My mother is perhaps one of my most vocal promoters, always trying to get her friends to read things I have written, and my fiancĂ© is amazingly understanding when he ends up waiting an extra ten minutes for me because I’m in the middle of writing a scene and won’t stop. I have had nothing but support from everyone in my family, and am very grateful for it.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Oh, nothing else is going on right now? Where did that notepad go? I tend to write whenever I get a chance, so it can be anything from writing for ten minutes while waiting for a friend to get coffee or an entire afternoon when I’m home alone and have nothing else that needs to be done for once.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?
I have the odd habit of subconsciously acting out my dialogue when I’m really into a scene. I have gotten some very strange looks from people sitting in a room with me while I’m writing a scene with two characters fighting. My mother has assured me my face looks rather comical at times.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Becoming too emotionally invested in the characters. As my writing tends to be character-driven, at some points what happens in a story is determined by how the characters react rather than what I personally would have happen. That means, even if I’m attached to a character, if they’d make a bad decision in a certain situation, they’re going to make that bad decision. It can be a little taxing when you really care about a character, but still have to let all of this bad stuff happen to them. I’ve more than once gotten myself into a bad mood because of it.

What are your current projects?
As always, I am scribbling down ideas whenever they come to me, but for the moment I don’t know if any of them will end up being short stories, novellas, novels, or a few scribbled lines on a piece of paper. I’ll just have to wait and see what sort of stories are there.

What are you planning for future projects?
Whatever comes to me. I’m always writing, so I’m sure there will be something, it’s just always a surprise what.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write like you’re never going to let anyone read your writing. At least in my experience, your best writing comes out when you aren’t worried about what your best friend or mother is going to think while reading it. You can always cut it back when editing, or just actually never show it to anyone, the important part is getting it down in the first place.

Where else can we find your work?
My short stories can be found in various literary magazines and anthologies, under various pen names.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Only Sibling - Guest Post from Rodney Nelson

My Only Sibling
Rodney Nelson

She and her husband lived at one of our old homesteads for thirty-eight years. It was on the Red River prairie of North Dakota. He worked as an administrator in the schools of nearby Fargo and became well known as a potter. She was a master gardener and a weaver and played Scrabble at tournament level. She did higher math for fun.

In summer 2011 she drank herself to death. I do not mean “it was like” or “what it amounted to was” she drank herself to death. My sister did it knowingly and with calm deliberation. She told me. I told her that I respected her choice but did not like it.

In 2005 she had drunk herself close to it but came back with my overassertive help. Her recovery stunned the doctors. “You should be good for quite a few more years now,” they said, “but if you drink, you die.” Advanced cirrhosis.

By 2011 her husband of over four decades was in decline. She knew that her life on the farm would soon be over. The farm was everything. “I do not want to go where you can’t smoke and drink,” she said to me (or garden, she might have added). She chose to die.

I write a lot of poetry and knew I would not have to “sit down and figure out” how and what to write about her dying. It showed up in the new poems willy-nilly, as did the death and what came after. In not even four months, her husband died as well. Both were younger than I. The farm stood vacant.

My choice had been not to intervene this time. How could I have made her want to live? (I did try but not as I had done in 2005.) The pain of it was mine; also, I had written myself into a dilemma.

It would have been wrong not to write the poems. Would it be right to publish them? Would I violate the privacy of a very private woman in doing so? She and her husband were gone, true enough. But their memory endured in the minds of many.

They were not the only dead I had to consider. Our maternal great-grandparents Sigvart and Oline Gundersen (later Gunderson) had bought the farm from the original homesteader in the 1890s and sold it to our other maternal great-grandparents, Johannes and Sabina Jansson (later Johnson), who willed it to their daughter Signa (later Signe). Our grandparents Ole and Signe left it to Eva Nelson, our mother, who followed Grandma Signe’s wish in asking my sister and her husband to live there.

The farm was not only the setting of a recent quiet tragedy, it carried tradition. Others had lived and worked and died on it. This was what decided me to collect the poems and send them out. My book would be a memorial. It would not disgrace, even name, anyone. My sibling and I had spent childhood summers there, many, and the book would take me back to them, too—not that it would be a collection of reminiscences.

The accepting publisher and I agreed on the title In Wait, and it is coming out in late November 2012. Cover illustration and a drawing of the poet are by local artist Trygve Olson, who knew and knows everyone in the story. Readers interested in ordering can visit the publisher’s site:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Literary Exertions - Guest Post from Gary Beck

Literary Exertions
Gary Beck
Although I was an accomplished dramatist, I found myself learning a new craft. Novel writing was reinventing the wheel, since I was the consumate loner, always working by myself. My work as a writer encompasses mulitple disciplines; poetry, drama, short fiction, essays and novels. Until recently, I had wide acceptance by publishers of everything but novels. I was also fortunate to build relations with some exceptional editors and fellow poets. Then, within a short time, two novels were accepted. My first novel, Acts of Defiance, set in the 1950s and 60s, is a tale of two very different boys, one rich, one poor, who become close friends. They go from mischievous youth to opposite sides on the Vietnam war, one an objector, the other a marine. Despite different beliefs they continue their friendship and get involved in social and political issues that lead them to confront authority. The story encompasses coming of age, sex, various adventures that result in their challenging the system. Much of this book reflects the extremes of the sixties and it was an anguish and delight as it unfolded.
My second novel sprang from my pen with almost rapturous flow. I wrote daily without monitoring the output and when I stopped one day to look at a massive pile of manuscript, it was 1400 pages. It took a while for stubborn me to accept that no one would publish it, then I turned it into a trilogy, revised and wrote transitions so they stood on their own. I ended up with three books, each over 150,000 words, that no one would touch. My next novel, “Extreme Change”, recently released as an ebook by Cogwheel Press, print to follow, is about a college couple at Southern Michigan State falling in love, marrying, moving to Detroit, where they have two children, then are driven out by urban blight. They come to New York City and at first they flourish, then a dispute with their landlord leads to an arsonist burning them out and they get trapped in the homeless system. They face a terrifying struggle to survive and preserve their family, and finally, with the help of new found friends, escape the system and get ready to rebuild their lives. The book is rich in the emotional lives of the characters as they face domestic and dangerous situations.
I am, by nature, a storyteller, at a time when serious literature is concerned with brilliant writing, rather than the emotional lives of characters, deeply immersed in the passions of their times. It is always my intention to enrich the reader, not impress them with my cleverness.
Extreme change at Amazon:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Author Insides - Annalisa Crawford

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall, with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. After winning several competitions with her short stories, she’s made a move into longer length work. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. Annalisa blogs at Wake up, eat, write, sleep —

Her novella, Cat and the Dreamer, is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t actually remember a time when I didn’t have a collection of notebooks that I’d scribble in and hide from my parents. When I was about 15 or 16, my dad bought me a subscription to Writing Magazine which listed places I could submit my work, as well as articles on how to write. And away I went!

Why do you write?

I honestly don’t know what I do instead. When I was young, I’d have vivid day dreams about my family, imagining them in perilous situations to understand how I’d feel. They regularly got kidnapped, moved to Africa without me, sent me off to boarding school. In my four year old mind, I was convinced the things I thought would come true, so I wrote them down instead and subjected fictional people to these horrors.

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?

I still have a vision of sitting in a coffee shop with my muse, or sitting in the fields near me house and staring out over the river. The closest I’ve come to this idyll is sitting in a beautiful old library frantically trying to get the blurb for Cat and the Dreamer right.

What do you think makes a good story?

I want the characters to develop, and to understand something more about themselves by the end of the story. I love stories where you can’t work out where the author is going to take the story.

What's your favorite genre to read?

I think I’d have to say Literary. I know that term means a lot of different things, but for me it means the author is free to write genre – romance, crime, thriller etc – but without the chains and formula of writing in the genre. When I read crime, sometimes, I’m not bothered if the villain gets away. In thriller, I don’t need the ending to be all sewn up.

Who is your favorite author or poet?

Margaret Atwood. She embodies what I’ve said above. She’s written softened versions of so many genres, and her readers never know what kind of book will come next. She definitely influenced my love of short stories.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?

Because I generally write short stories, and fear a full-length, 90,000 word novel is beyond me, I like to look in bookshops for short books. Snake by Kate Jennings was a great find – a novella, but the writing is so rich and full, you feel like you’ve read a novel by the end. She’s a poet, and that shows through in her prose.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?

Ooh, that’s difficult to answer. I read a lot of Enid Blyton when I was younger, maybe I’ve been influenced by her. I remember reading a story about two children who wanted to stay up later than their parents because they thought something amazing happened. Nothing happened apart from the kids were scared, and never wanted to stay up late again. I was always happy to go to bed.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

The news, snippets of conversation, my own day-dreams which are still very vivid. My mantra is ‘What if…?’ so I take an idea and just run through so many possibilities. Usually, a scene appears fully-formed and the rest just falls into place.

What does your family think of your writing?

My husband has been very supportive. He’s always known me as someone who writes, so it’s been a natural part of our lives. I’ve already mentioned the Writing Magazine my dad bought for me, so he’s probably the person who I should really thank for getting me started.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I wish I had a schedule. I’m an all or nothing writer. When the ideas are flowing I’ll be working until midnight, waking up to jot down ideas overnight, and back on my lap-top with my first cup of tea in the morning. When I’m finished, I’m completely empty and need time to recharge my imagination – that’s when I’ve got time for walks with my kids, day-trips, lunch with friends and housework.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?

Apart from constant cups of tea, I write my first drafts with a beautiful fountain pen that I received for my 21st birthday. I’m convinced the words I write with that pen are of a higher quality than the words I write with other pens.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Probably knowing when to stop editing, but that’s getting easier. I used to edit purely to add words, to unearth that elusive novel-length book, but I now write the story I want to tell, and not worry about the length.

What are your current projects?

I’ve got a trilogy of novellas that I’m just polishing. There are set in the same town, and some of the characters flow from one to the next, but they are stand alone. And one of them features my favourite ever characters.

What are you planning for future projects?

I’ve got a first draft for a novel, but the direction of that could go a number of ways. I’m also considering looking back at some older projects, but that’s a long way off.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Apart from the obvious, read – which is too obvious to mention, these days – be interested in people. Look at how they connect and react to each other. I love sitting in coffee shops and just watching people – I try to figure out their stories, which gives me ideas. You can tell a lot about what’s going on without hearing a word.

Where else can we find your work?

For the past few years, I’ve been hooked on competitions. I came third in the Words with Jam competition last Christmas with a story called Omelette

My earlier stories were in magazines that are sadly defunct now.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Metaphysical Questions Are Sometimes Answered By Writing Poetry - Guest Post from Cooper Sy

Metaphysical Questions Are Sometimes Answered By Writing Poetry
Cooper Sy

The poem, “Coyote” began as a description of a dream and explanation of a
drawing sent via email to a friend.

               "The coyote passed through a doorway
in last night’s dream.  Tail and teeth
sharp with ragged edges. I knew by
comparison my skin was too soft,
legs too short, heart too weak
to fight the beast.”

“Strong,” my friend replied, “finish it.”
Encouraged, I worked about a month before deciding I had a satisfactory draft. A day or two later the completed version and all previous incarnations of the poem were lost in a bizarre and costly accident.
I packed my computer inside a briefcase strapping it with a bungee cord, as always, around the rear rack of my bike. Riding at a steady clip in early morning city traffic the bungee snapped and the briefcase slid almost silently to the ground. I jumped off the bike, stood in the middle of traffic and waved my arms like a mad woman trying to stop the inevitable.  The front, middle and back magnum wheels of a Los Angeles bus rolled over the briefcase crushing the computer’s metal casing and turning the chips of a motherboard and hard drive into particles of sand.
The only use for my three months old 13” MacBook Pro, may be as a curio for the technology archivists at the Smithsonian, or an Apple ad agency encouraging the world to save the contents of their hard drives to ‘Cloud' religiously.
The drawing of the coyote without the words of the poem, ironically, was saved on a flash drive and uploaded to the desk top of my new computer. No, I’m not rich. In order to get replacement funds from my renter’s insurance I tried reading and re-reading my policy as if I was the company’s claim’s adjuster. Passing the credibility check of this individual gave me two choices: to say the device was stolen, or to have my doctor write a letter stating that the accident caused a post traumatic stress reaction and any further interrogation beyond the original statement and physical evidence would seriously compromise my mental health. I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to determine if I used any of these strategies to actually collect the funds needed to purchase a new 13” MacBook Pro.
I placed the drawing of the coyote into a separate folder, nevertheless the image triggered an onslaught of metaphysical questions placing in sharp relief what survived the accident and what was lost. I realized writing a new draft was the continuation of a battle still raging between the beast and myself.
The last two paragraphs of “Coyote” seem more personal and visceral; perhaps the result of having the time to recognize what was there for me in a dream.
The coyote passed through a doorway in last night’s dream
tail and teeth razor sharp with ragged edges.  My skin too
soft, legs too short, heart too weak to fight the beast.
I woke up panting, joints aching, frantically looking for
an escape.
There’s no mercy in the eye of a hungry beast.
No gratitude for not pulling the trigger, no
second chance for letting a threat to life
and limb find a way into the dream of
its next victim.
From what world does stalking seek its prey?
Disguised with long claws burrowing into
sleep, while I am forced awake by cold,
shrill hawking penetrating private
spaces like an unsolicited, unsettling

Current Projects and Publications

My current projects¾ completing a novel, “San Pedro Stories: the Novel” a documentary film, combining poetry and interviews, “Privileged Chicks,” now in post-production. A few clips from the film have recently been published.

I have also joined the Los Angeles based writer’s workshop, “Writers at Work” headed by poet and novelist, Terry Wolverton.

In August of 2012 I completed a screenplay I was hired to write, “Heaven and Back.”

Poetry and short stories have recently been accepted or recently published in: “Ray’s Railroad Review, “ Fall 2012, “Petrichor Review,“‪ Winter, 2012, “Steel Toe Review,” “Wilderness House Review,” and “Montreal Review,” Fall 2012, “Love Notes” (Anthology) February, 2012.

Websites and Blog