“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?”

Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”

Then start again.

from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press
source: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/007.html

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The Shield of Irony

For a while now, I’ve been noticing a growing trend in society towards irony. Sure, it’s often used incorrectly, but it surrounds our every day lives. From the ever increasing population of hipsters, to the current demand for self-reflexive and ironic media such as “The Colbert Report” and “House of Cards”. We have become a generation of cynics. Even advertisements no longer try to woo us in with what we would automatically perceive as ‘lies’ (regardless of whether or not they are); they emphasize their commercial quality and then finish off with a “but hey, buy us anyway” – think, Old Spice commercials or almost any advert that relates to bacon or beer.

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A Muse in the Masters

This one is inspired by a writing prompt from the Daily Post that I was really excited about: “Write a new piece using Nighthawks by Edward Hopper as your inspiration.”  Edward Hopper is by far my favourite painter of all time. Hope you guys enjoy it! I should probably also remind you guys that today marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, so for those of you who have always wanted to write one – NO MORE EXCUSES! Check out the website and register to join. Happy writing!

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Still Water

I’ve heard it said that you can’t ever step in the same river twice, but I never really understood that saying until Brasilia. A city that was tailor made for the future, that would never need to grow or change, and yet somehow defied everything around it. It changed without changing, a constantly different constant, just as you are always you, but you are never the same you that you were 10 minutes ago. I lived in many different countries throughout my life, but somehow I am always drawn back to one city in particular. My river.

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Dance with Dragons

Some of you might be pretty sick of hearing about Game of Thrones at this point. It’s everybody’s new obsession and there probably isn’t anything new about but a) for once this is actually about the books as opposed to the TV series b) I’m going to give it a shot regardless.

The Martin worshipers among you may chastise me for it, but I do have to say, so far the best book in the series has been the first one. It’s almost as if he realized just how much he had hooked us in with the first book, and then dwindled his efforts from there, because you were already committed to finishing the series. Don’t get me wrong, the books are good, somehow Martin managed to balance Tolkien’s complex and thoroughly planned imaginings, with the accessible language and story-telling dominated by Rowling. He is undoubtedly a very good writer, and I still have very much enjoyed the series so far, but the story doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Alright, so I was nominated for this a while back, sorry it’s take so long for me to respond! But thank you SgWhite for the nomination 🙂

**The Rules**:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

2. Put the award logo on your blog.

3. Answer the ten questions they have given you.

4. Nominate ten people.

5. Make up ten new questions for them to answer.

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Still Water

It smelled of rain. He could see the waterfall drumming away at the window, obscuring all reality beyond it. Inside the terminal it was dry and warm, but the smell persisted. The bitter smell of wet concrete, of fresh rubber.  His lids scraped against his swollen red eyes. He held them shut, squeezed them tighter, pressed his fingers over them. But when he opened them once more they stung no less.

Turning his head towards the window he drowned himself in the shower that purveyed it. Lost in the indistinguishable streams of water he imagine he was back at the river, bathing underneath the falls. Shivering in the sunlight. He would could never go back. the river was not the same, the faces of those he had shared those days with had dried and cracked as the lake bed did in summer. Some had sunk into the soil for respite and would never return.

He wondered if it rained in heaven. If the rivers flowed steadily all year, swelling the lakes up with no room for drought. If the water would carry that same chill that would stab through your bones even on the warmest of days. He wondered if he still remembered how to swim. If they would remember.

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Powder Cake

The next morning the powder had reached almost to the top of the barrier on my balcony. I shivered and pulled the blankets over my head, hoping time would stop, the alarm wouldn’t ring and I could stay in bed until it was warm again.

Like death and taxes, so came that obnoxious ringing sounds. Bursting through the fortress of fabric, duck down and cotton that I had built up around my ears. I popped my head out and silenced the alarm.

I’ve always been one of those people that needs plenty of sunlight. I can’t function well in the dark. So naturally the first thing I do when I wake up every morning is open the blinds and look out at the sky. But today there was no sky to find. There was no sun. There was only a mass of powdery white snow that stretched on forever. It had snowed all night long, and now I realized that the snow really had reached the top of my balcony… on the 8th floor of my building.

I shoved my boots and jacket on over my pajamas and went outside to have a look. When I strained my sight I could see the shapes of other buildings, freshly pressed in white powder. A stranger walked by wearing snow shoes while carrying a coffee mug and chattering into his phone. A little snow wasn’t about to bring the city to a halt.

I shrugged and crawled back into bed. I knew it would all be melted by tomorrow. At the very least the snow plow would figure out how to dig through it. But today, just for today, I could go back to bed.