Giant Missing Piece

There was no casket. He decided on cremation while he still could. Before the cancer took away his mind and his joy of life.

He had a lot of that way back when – joy of life. His smile was infectious. He could captivate any audience. Laughing and joking or intelligently debating with others, he was never dull. He worked hard even after he retired but never forgot to stop, relax and enjoy the world around him.

His backyard was gorgeous. Flowers and trees and landscape covered every inch of it. Not a grass-blade was seen in that backyard. The grapes where going to be coming into season when summer hit. Someone would have to help Grandma with that when the time came. And the back shed needed a new coat of paint too. My grandma could not do all that on her own.

The preacher was going on. I had stopped listening before he ever started talking. I never even heard the music of that stupid playlist I worked so hard to put together. Those songs had a new meaning now and my eyes were all out of tears already.

Too much hugging. Everyone wanted to know how the family was doing. And they all wanted to share stories of his life. What he had meant to them. What he taught them. How he had helped them through this time or that difficulty. He was an amazing guy. They wanted us to know that and remember that.

I knew. I never needed their stories. I knew how amazing my grandpa was. Hell, I knew better than they knew. I would never need to be reminded of that. I would not need reminders of the better days. Before the cancer gripped him. I would forever remember the man he had always been.

I would remember my best friend. No matter what. Even though the cancer shook him at the end. People told me so many freaking times how the cancer was not him. The cancer had control of him and was changing him. I knew the cancer was not him but he did indeed have cancer and it was indeed a part of him. There was no use trying to deny that. If the cancer had not been a part of him, we would not be at this stupid funeral in the first place.

We would probably be playing cards or some other favorite game we liked to

play. We would be laughing and joking or having one of those debates. Grandma would have made dinner. We would have brought over dessert. I would have been sitting right next to him. We would be sharing silent jokes or scheming. We would be doing the things that best buddies should do.

But instead I was alone. We had pairs when we were all together. Mom had Dad. Grandma had my sister. And now I had no partner. Games would be uneven. There would be a missing body at the dinner table. And there would forever be a hole inside of me.

The service was over now. I wanted to run and get as far from here as possible. But there was still the lunch provided by the church. More unneeded socializing and conversations. I had no desire to stay. Then Grandma took hold of my arm to steady herself. She smiled up at me with a smile that was anything but happy. Her other hand clenched more tissues than normal and she patted my hand with the gentle fist. She wanted to say a thousand things but she couldn’t chance talking now. It didn’t matter. I knew everything already.

I slowed down to match her unsteady pace and we silently promised to stick this thing out until the end.

Silence

The people of my past – who I have since lost –

Stay quiet

They speak no more save for echoes of the past

Nothing new

I cannot ask my grandma, an author,

About words

Nor can I inquire how to save one

from depression

My old friend can never forgive me for

running off

My grandfather will never again share

my journeys

But of these things, I can pretend.

Another poem from my collection. Free verse with meter

Short Snippets

I haven’t been blogging much recently. My excuse is school. Luckily I will only have to deal with this stuff for another month! Woohoo! Which of course means final projects and exams. Bleh.

My summer looks bright and open though and I will be dedicating almost all of my time to writing, editing and all that stuff I actually find fun to do.

Until then though, I think I shall queue up some of my recent poetry I wrote for my creative writing poetry project and maybe some short stories for you. But only the good ones. And maybe the one about bacon because bacon is amazing.

I have been posting some shorter tidbits over on my facebook page so if you want more than I’m giving you here, feel free to check it out. (There should be a like button in the sidebar or possibly at the bottom of the page if you are reading this on a mobile site.)

I’ll start you off with my favorite short piece from the project. A little haiku entitled My Love.

My Love
I really don’t care
About the stars in your eyes
Instead what you see.

Poetry

I love reading poetry and finding all the poetic devices. I listen to slam poets in my spare time and often when I should be doing other stuff.

But ask me to write poems and I’ll kick and whine through the whole process. “This sounds like crap!” “Why do I even need to write a poem about a stupid mad up creature that likes alliteration?” (see blotz poems) “And does she seriously want me to write my own freaking ballad?”

Yes, this was all for a school project. I tend to find poems with structure of syllables most easy to write. Get into the free form or make me find a huge amount of words starting with the same letter and I’m going to fall over and complain like an elementary student who just doesn’t get why she should care that Sally gave Tim ten apples for only seven peaches. Needless to say after writing fourteen poems, I’m a bit burnt out. I really don’t like writing poetry but listening to it is one of the best things in the world. Hopefully the poetry celebration in Wednesday’s class will prove worth the agony of trying to be a poet in the first place.

I’ll leave you with the video that got me into slam poetry in the first place. I think you’ll agree that she’s wonderful to listen to.

Feel free to leave comments with your thoughts on this below.

Take a break

Most writing advice will tell you to write. Whenever you can and whatever you can. Be it a sentence tapped out on your phone during a bathroom break or some thought out stuff over lunch, just get something down for the day.

Usually I’m very supportive of this idea and mindset but to be honest, it can be a bit much. If you have to cram writing time during your not so pleasant breaks that probably means you are running a crazy busy life now. And sometimes on those tiny breaks, you don’t want to think about crapping out a sentence and instead focus on – okay, enough with the toilet humor. Sometimes you just want a break to be a break. In fact you probably need it.

So enjoy your time while you stir your coffee. Enjoy your meal without having to worry about getting smears on your keyboard or notepad. Watch what’s actually going on around you without logging away good characters for future use – you probably do this unconsciously anyway. Take a break from words and the rest of your life when you get a break because it will probably be snatched away too quickly anyway.

Because while, yes, you need to write to be a writer, you need a break if you’re busy. It isn’t healthy to cram your head full of how to articles or pound out words if by the end of the day your head is spinning and you feel like you are going to fall over. Don’t overdose on your writing! But don’t overdose on breaks either. Just find a nice balance. And if that seems too hard, just listen to when your head say “Enough!” Because it probably says that a lot already.

New buttons around the site

I wanted to point out a lot of cool new pages around this site. (I did a bunch of updating over the weekend.)

Over in Resources, you’ll find cool things that I mention through my posts. I only have the online learning places I mentioned recenty over there now but I’ll continue updating that page with books, websites, articles, and just general writing advice that I find helpful.

The blog now has its own page to make room for me to play around with a homepage. The blog will look the same as before, it just has a designated page now. And the homepage, well, I’m not entirely sure what I want that to look like yet. I’m sure I’ll change that up a few times in the upcoming weeks.

The Books page is my shout out to my future self and a visual trophy for me to strive for. Once I start publishing books, you will see the list of them over here.

Who is this Ryn? is my about page. This is the best place for information about your blogger here. Right now it’s fairly simple and doesn’t give you too much information about myself. Why is this? I just hate about pages. I don’t know what I should put on these sorts of pages so I just wrote up something short. If there is something specific you’d like to know about me, please leave me a comment over on that page.

And last and mainly just a place for you to help me out, a page where you can tell me about broken links or bad things around the site. Drop me a line over at Something Isn’t Working and I’ll take care of the issue.

If there is anything else you would like to see from me, drop me a line in the comments section or
email me
!

This has been a public service announcement. Your show will return shortly. 🙂

The Learning Part of Writing

I would always encourage aspiring writers to take some form of formal teaching for writing. Go to some seminars in your area. Join a serious writing group. By serious I mean one that actually helps you with the craft, not one which never laughs. Those aren’t worth while.

One of the best options though is to take some classes at a college – big university or even a community college. But when that option doesn’t really work for you check online! Places like Udemy, Udacity and Iversity offer free online courses that you can take at your own pace. There are also places like MIT, Open Culture and a crap ton of others that allow for more options.

Just get yourself writing and having someone else look at it. Beg for feedback whenever you can – okay, maybe not beg – but let someone tell you what’s actually working and what still needs to be worked on. And then of course they can offer advice for those areas.

One of my favorite school courses this year is my creative writing class. Not only do I have a great little nerd corner in my back corner but we also have a lot of time to look at each other and share feedback. I’ve had two students come up to me specifically for feedback outside of our assigned groups. And by the end of the semester, we’ll have built ourselves a portfolio. I’m really looking forward to this part.

I try not to feel like I’m a foot tall because I need help with my writing still. I doubt I’ll ever feel satisfied in my skills but that’s alright. It’s good to continue to strive for something better. Just learn to be grateful for those who do appreciate your work and give you compliments. Take the compliment with a smile and thank you instead of tearing yourself down with “Oh, it was only this” or blah whatever. You can write well as you continue getting better. That’s the whole point!

Reading Excitement

My plans for reading a stack of books over break didn’t come anywhere close to being a reality. I made a good dent in my friend’s book though and I’m completely hooked! If only I hadn’t come back to my crazy hectic class and work schedule, I might be able to finish it faster.

I did manage to pick up two more books on my adventure. The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams and Star Trek: Myriad Universes Infinity’s Prism since I seem to be a major geek now.

I ended up having to leave some clothes behind for Mom to ship home to me so that I could take all my books home with me. I have my priorities in order for sure!

Despite not reading as much as I wanted for my research, I am still excited to read again. Which excites my writing side that I still take the time out to read. It was also encouraging to see how many people had books or were reading on their ereaders while traveling. Sometimes I feel weighted down by technology and feel like it’s just serving to distract us all away from longer lengths of entertainment. I’m glad to be reminded that this isn’t always the case.

I wish you all great books and a comfortable reading space with lots of hot chocolate and times without responsibilities.

Spring Break Reading List

Spring break reading stack
Spring break reading stack

Today starts what actually feels like my spring break – even though it officially started Friday after my last class. But having to work still doesn’t make it feel like a break. Today though, I am hoping on a plane and flying up to visit my family! As excited as I am to visit my family, I am almost equally excited to not have to drive the 10 hours by myself in a car.

With flying, I get there in a quarter of the time and have time to write and read on the way. I’m hoping to use this break as a time to catch up on at least some of the reading I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time.  Some non-fiction along the lines of psychology. Fiction recommended to me. One from one of my favorite authors ever and one from my fellow writing partners; J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and Karen Lynch’s Relentless, respectively. I’m excited to read them all!

It’s important as a writer to make time to read other books in your genre. Or even just to take time to read in general since that’s most likely what got you into writing in the first place. To be honest, I haven’t read a book since last summer when I binged on Isaac Asimov for a while. School kind of dominates your life when you have a full class load.

Do yourself a favor while you’re too busy to actually read and keep a list of books you want to read. Make special note of those books that people recommend after you tell them what you are currently writing.

But most of all, make sure you do read if you want to write well. I was never big on e-readers and still have some apprehension with them. But it is nice to whip my phone our when I have time in a line to read another section in whatever nonfiction I’m reading. I do still prefer fiction on pages and with a cover. I feel closer to the story that way. Which is why I packed way too many books despite bringing my Kindle as well.

%d bloggers like this: