Poem: Whole

Do not let her cry alone,

do not sing the blues

do not call names

in anger that consumes.

She walks with your hate and her fear

no energy left to battle on.

Wish it would stop but knows it won’t

not till her numbered days come.

All her jumbled feelings muddle

all the doubt and worthless bouts.

Do not let her cry alone, no.

For she may never come out whole.

She may never come at all.

(A poem that may not be much, but with it is the truth that you never know the demons one battles alone, so be kind, be wise, and most of all, ask that important question ‘Are you okay?’ It’s not mental health week but here’s to caring anyway.)

Writing: Fear/Regret stopping you from calling yourself a writer?

  

I loved this quote when I came across it on Pinterest trying to find pins to put on my ‘Rule of Thirds’ ChickLit concept board. Yes, I’m attempting to Pinterest. Can’t say I have tried it before, though I was signed up with it more than a year ago. Never really saw how I could use it to drum up interest for my book(s). But, ever since I came away from a day seminar at the Sydney Writer’s Festival last month, I may have been inspired to try it in a way I never thought about. Use it to create a page/board (still learning it’s lingo here) for the book/story in mind, helping create the look/feel of the novel. So, for the last week, I’ve been searching pins for weddings, love, romance, mother-daughter etc. and still going. Don’t know if it’s been at all successful but can’t hurt to try. 
What was the point of telling you all that? Well, as writers, and truly anyone who has a job that gets them or their product in front of strangers, go through this regardless of the career path you choose. We are held back by fear. Our potential squashed ruthlessly by the little devil that sits on our shoulders, and whispers ‘it’s not good enough’. Let’s give it a flick off our shoulders. Time to free them shoulders!
I believe regret is a painful thing to go through in life, but I’ve also realized personally that fear is the only thing that usually causes one to have regrets in the first place. 
If you fear about what people will think, then try and divert that fear to but what if they like it. You can’t please every one. This is not Pleasantville. 
I’m going to try and not fear too much about too much from now on, or at least attempt. After all, I’ve come so far from being that tiny girl who questioned whether I could even wield enough command to handle directing film cast and crew as short as 12 months ago. And now, I have made at least 4 short films, have 3 others in the works and a major feature in the planning. And most of all, those lovely folks who gave me and my tiny stories a go are eager to work with me again as I am eager to work with them too. What was holding me back all those years after finishing my study? Fear. What was I doing every single day till that fateful day after Valentine’s Day last year? Regret. Regret not having enough guts to go ‘hell, I’m gonna try before I die’. That was pretty much what gave me a final push, whether I was willing to let go of a dream and regret it all my life, or whether I was gonna give it a try. I voted for try, and try I did. Firstly, I released my debut novel despite fear of criticism. Then, wrote my first short film and took it by its horns. 
It is my deepest belief that one is not a writer until someone else gives you that title. Before this, I used to say I want to be a writer. Nowadays, I say I am a freelance writer and filmmaker. It feels bloody good to be able to say that. 
I may not be known yet, I may not have the whole skill set yet, but I am learning, I am trying, and most of all, I am happy. So, do yourself a favor. If I can give you one advice then it is this: truly try before you give up on a dream, you never know the strength that lies in you till you hit that fork in the road and you must choose. Choose wisely and give it all you got. 

All my best to you. 

Writing: The challenges of becoming a ‘Writer’

I read the ‘Writer’s Manifesto’ on my Facebook feed today and had to share it with you. It has everything to do with what I’m talking about today, if not more.

The challenges of becoming a ‘Writer’
It’s an elusive club filled with so many members we aspire to be like. But how do we get in, and what’s playing the big bad guy in our lives that keeps making us push against the door when it says pull?

The answer to that question? I have no freaking idea. I’m one of those staring into the club through the glass door wondering how to get in. But, I have a theory. A string of thoughts rather that may have been thought by you already, about why it is that becoming a writer is harder than thinking about become a surgeon? (Which I have thought about once very briefly.) Not hard in the sense that we have to study such a complex and thorough subject for years but because at least in deciding you want to be a surgeon, or an engineer, or teacher etc (many more profession), the plan is laid out. You go through the set plan, through a University, you graduate, and you are ready for the workplace. Soon you get hired as a junior staff and then you’re in the club of your choice.

Writing. There is simply no clear plan for us to follow. Yeah, sure, we can go to university and get a degree in creative writing, but then we have to show them our work before we even get a chance to grovel for work experience.
But that’s a problem for later on. The initial problem we face is ourselves. Are we doing all we can to get qualified for this club? Are we going about it the right way? After all submitting our works we think are grand is still not going to get it picked up by a publishing house.

Firstly, we gotta write! We have to write, and not things that have already been written. Yes, pretty much every story has already been told but we have to find a way to make it new, spruce it up etc. The indicator of this is that when we are excited by the story itself, not about writing it because their must be someone out there who would want to read it. Are we EXCITED? If yes, we must go ahead and write that darn thing. If we are not, the. We must stop! Immediately. Take time, walk away and find another story that inspires us regardless of how long you already spent on one story.

Secondly, write it with dedication. We must make a promise to ourselves and give ourselves a deadline. Finish that thing first and worry about the mistakes later. If we are not good at editing (I certainly am not) that’s what other professional editors are for. Just get the story on the page, make it pulse, and then read it front to back. Yes, we must read our own work!

If we survive this process, better yet if the Story survives this, then send it to be proofread.

Sometimes, we are our own obstacles. We harbor doubts and fears that hold us back. Such was my case. I held onto a finished book for years because I feared people’s reaction to it. What if they thought it was a stupid story? What if they think I write like a child? What if? What if? So many of them. Eventually I started doubting whether I truly wanted to be an author? Was I ready to be studied and questioned by people?

The answer was not in these questions. The answer was in whether this was something I really wanted. And yes, it was. Is it for you?

Nowadays, I battle other things, like study, filmmaking, freelance work, job hunt amongst preparing the next book for release as well as writing various scripts and working on the third novel etc, all vying for my time. It’s no wonder writing is a struggle, unless you could do it full time (and what a blessing that would be). But that’s a long way away yet. Long way indeed.
The other massive challenge, one I struggle to comprehend and execute well enough is marketing. It’s a beast that’s completely frightening and fluid. My next challenge is to understand this beast in amongst all this chaos and questioning.

My target, as an author is to release my next book by late August, all done up and ready, trailing on the footsteps of any marketing strategies I might tackle. Just very nervous and wondering a whole lot of what if questions once again.

If you are trying to be a writer or are already one, you will understand this struggle. One piece of advise I can give if I may is to keep trying. Keep trying because regretting giving up ones dream later on will be a torture in itself and not worth it.

You work, then keep working but don’t let that take your writing from you. I had reached a point in life where I had made peace with the fact that my writing may only be just for me, but it still gave me joy. So I carried on. I’m still carrying on, hoping one day others will call me a writer/author and not just myself.

I think I may print out a large sheet of the manifesto and hang it on the wall my bed faces. Just something to set the mind on track every morning. So here is to stop making excuses, to stop feeding fear, but to strive for it and hope for the best… As scary and exciting as it is.

Poem: Ego 

Eager little birdies

stronger than their wings

aim as high as the fiery sky

unbeknownst the dive deep.

Sugary treats, as sugary can be

can no longer hide the bitter deed

as long as life lived

there can be no sanctuary of peace.

So goes the past, the present and indeed

the future you and I shall claim to see

while no ounce of honesty lies 

in the powers of flawed psyche. 

Tempted creed, long gone the days 

no innocence shall find ye

nor amongst the thorns and brambles

nor amongst the petals, no, no such thing.


Eager little birdies

with ill equipped wings.

Poem: A thought that remains.

I just heard somewhere about white ribbon day coming up here in Australia. White ribbon day is to raise awareness of violence against women, and on this occasion, I’ve written a short piece of poetry (instead of working on my UNI assignment). It’s about the depression some might go through, and suicide prevention in worst cases. I hadn’t intended the subject to be dark. Just went with the words.

Please enjoy, and spare a thought for those who might be going through this battle and many more on their own.

Here is:

A Thought that remains.

Might have been tomorrow
or the next day
the sun would have risen the same way
warm, caring and bright
as the burning of a flame.
What’s become, oh great one
you dear one,
for today, the light leaves the sky
as if for the last time.
Why have the smiles smudged
stained as if by pain, red and raw,
where are the stars that twinkle in those eyes
might they have run off
at some ugly sight?
What’s become of you, once alive
with unbound life
where every day, even in hail
you stood, with a smile.
Might have been tomorrow babe,
the set sun would rise,
might have been tomorrow,
all would have been all right…

… where is the life gone? The life once full of joy?
Under some greens, awful, beautiful greens.

Pray, oh heartless one, what of me right here,
waiting for footsteps gone, gone somewhere…

… not a thought of world remained, I bet,
with that last moment of goodbye.

Forgotten, and left behind to search stranger face for like smile.

Poem: Vibe

Send it out
like the thing it is
a thought, a feeling
a dream
formless like the wind
cold, warm, quite or loud
slipping, sliding, floating
like a Gypsy king
dancing beneath the moonless sky
for he sees the beauty
in unbound freedom
the desire strong
to leave a legacy.
Like a Gypsy.
Vibe like a Gypsy
live, laugh, love
the dream that you live.
The intangible ordinaries
within the tangible melodies.

Poem: Price of Memories

Let the mind sleep
the days long and gruelling
beneath the age old oak tree
shadowed, hidden
a requiem for dreams
those long forgotten past
of silken touch and rose lips
the soft whisper of one’s life
from beyond
the veil of shredded promise
lifelong to be
for better or worse.
Let the mind sleep this once
recall the lost voice, the lost laugh
those few words patched up
against the beaten wall
a face upon it smiles
as flake by flake it falls
those memories, lost.
Maybe one day, maybe one moment
a glimpse of it returns
and that day shall be heaven on Earth.

Poem: Crossing off Dreams

She stared at the hard face
anger clearly bursting through the flood gates.
Was it her? The fault entirely hers?
Alone in the fight she must stay?
When had the choir stopped signing?
Or the drums, they laid still beneath hands trembling?
The words all a blur upon the ageing pages?
When had the sound drowned out as if by a wave,
leaving a weight upon the merriment?

She stared at the hard face
glinting accusation beyond the silver realm.
When had she let the shackles clamp
heavy and dragging upon the uneven ground?
When had her dreams drowned
crushed by days’ wear, on heavy hearts that pound
from dawn till dusk dreaming dreams
caught in a cycle of responsibilities that frown
upon freedom given to clowns,
those chasing dreams no matter how extreme
just to feel the blood pumping once again,
to be human again, born
beneath starry skies, a garden of dreams.

She stared at the hard face
willing for a chance to dream,
and the guts to go forth on a journey.
So she stepped, out onto the stage
and sang – to her heart’s content
ticking off dreams from a very long list.

One. Two. Three…

Poem: How does a man measure his life

How does a man measure his life?
By the days he lived as a rogue
and travelled thus forth to explore
the world shrinking and expanding
through each door, each land, each and own.
The cuisines tasted and wine swirled
beneath baking Sun or cool of moon
by the vineyard did he roam
watching fair maidens dance and giggle
or make love to her upon feathered downs
or ran as gayly down to the stream
and under the gaze of birds and bees
did they let the water surround
as the young ones fell
time and again into the throws of love
young, unspoilt by decorums and preferences of
family and friends and society.
How does a man measure his life?
To some it was naught but selfish frolics
amending broken hearts here,
and down the road leaving more behind?
How does a man do such thing?
Put a price on his memories?
The laughters had and the tears hidden
in that search for a lifetime of happiness.
As he rides that rusty old bike
down a straight country road
basking in golden light
with nothing more than the breeze as his own
and he’d breathe it all in,
the feeling
one with the wind
one with the world.
His.

Unseen

If I slip through the tapestry of life
quietly like air, unseen, unfelt, simply diffuse
will you notice something missing
something uneasy in the threads you behold,
will my name come to your lips
feel the need to seek
beyond mere thoughts
that which was me once before.