Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Her novella

She's written a novella,
the writer who knows it won't sell

This is her rebellion

The world has broken too many things
smashed souls into pieces
the morality of the human race
lies shattered on the floor
but among the ruins
lies a novella
untarnished by an industry
whose vision has become clouded
by colourful paper bills

she lies there
at the mercy of her author
whose hands refuse to break her
to protect her from a world
that has already broken the writer.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ottawa to Montreal

If a poet looks out at the Candian countryside,
sad for each blade of grass she won't get to hold,
and each leaf she can only hug with her eyes,
as they travel past with no plans to return,
are her feelings less meaningful if she doesn't write them down?

Is it enough for her thoughts to simply exist,
or must they be translated into prose to gain value
so that others might understand
why a tree whose story she will never know,
can comfort her with its branches
and hidden roots,
tethers only the tree can feel
just like the poets heart,
a ball and chain only she can feel,
and no one can find,
unless she hands them a signpost,
like the ones she keeps passing,
on her way to a city she's never been to before

where she may find someone to tell her tale to,
so that she doesn't become a storyless tree,
alone in a forest of many.


Written somewhere on the road between Ottawa and Montreal. That countryside...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A poem

When the world puts a mask on your face,
It works as strong as mace
To hide all the tears
And also all the fears
Hiding underneath
Your angry, hidden teeth
The ones you can't stop baring
To a world that never starts caring
If it never lays eyes
On anything beneath your disguise
The one it's crafted for you
Without ever looking through
The gaps from which you breathe
To see the way you seethe
At the person it claims as its own
Who society has long ago thrown
Over the edge of knowing
Who it is they were growing
Before their roots were ungratefully cut
And their flowers shoved into a rut
So they could never again see
Who they were really meant to be.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last night I dreamt that I was sitting in a circle with my family (outside a grocery store of all places), and explaining meditation to my Aunt. It's something I used to do a few years ago, but for whatever reason subconsciously decided to stop. Anyway, she told me she didn't know how to meditate, and I told her the way I did it was to lay down for about fifteen minutes, and not think about anything except for your breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I felt calmer when I woke up, as if I had actually been meditating.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yes hello. The self-doubt bug has been biting me over and over and over again this past week. I need to find a fly swatter.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Three questions for you

Dear World,

Who are you, and where are you reading my blog from? I have three more questions for you.

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Do you find it difficult to get up in the morning? And if so, what is it that keeps you awake so late at night?


Saturday, October 25, 2014

My writing journey

I'm feeling a little retrospective at the moment. About my writing and how much I've changed over the last few years. When I started university, way back in 2010, I remember coming home one afternoon and feeling more frustrated than I possibly ever had before. It had something to do with feeling like my entire future was planned out for me, with as much room to move as if I was wearing a straight jacket. 

When I think of writing, I think of September 15, 2011 (It was a Thursday afternoon). Once again, there was a sense of frustration, but of a different sort strong enough to justify writing a poem about. That poem was my "Rain" poem, the one which set me off on a path that I can now look back on and remember as a fork in the road. I really liked that little poem. I thought it was well written, and maybe even good enough to be published somewhere. So I put it up on my blog, and kept writing poetry during times when I had no.other.outlet. Come May 2012, I was browsing the internet (no surprise there) and stumbled upon a local magazine calling for submissions for fiction, poetry, and plays. With high hopes I sent them "Rain" and a few other poems. They'd given us a date by which we would know if our work was accepted, and I jotted it down on my calendar. But it was delayed, and the fingers stayed crossed for longer than was first expected. I would be a published writer if I was accepted! An actual, published, writer! You've probably guessed by now that, no, it wasn't accepted. And my hopes came crashing down and for 6 months I didn't send anything to anyone because why on Earth would they want it? 

Further down the track, in November 2012, I was browsing the website "Duotrope", a kind of database for literary magazines which gives you information about their submission guidelines, what kind of writing they publish etc. So I thought, well, why not? I'll send some poetry to a few magazines and if nobody accepts it, that's it, I'll give up on it. Rejection after rejection arrived in my inbox and, like all writers who try and try again, I was pretty downtrodden. So I just about gave up, with a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that one of the magazines, Westward Quarterly, hadn't got back to me yet. I remember the Friday morning in January, 2013 that I checked my email and saw the editor was going to include "Rain" in the Spring edition of the magazine. Needless to say the emotions running through my system were a mix of excitement and bewilderment.

I didn't write too much poetry in the following months. I did a little bit, but not as much as I had before. My attention turned to fiction, and up until I read "Great House" by Nicole Krauss, I had little idea it didn't exclude poetry. But Nicole introduced me to prose, and so I started experimenting with it. In June 2013, I stumbled across an issue of Yen Magazine, advertising a short story competition for which entries were due a few weeks later. I gave it a try and put together a story from different bits of writing I'd done that year. I edited and edited and edited. And sent in the story. And, needless to say, didn't win! I wasn't as crestfallen as I was after my poetry was first rejected. I knew by then, if you try hard enough and send your stuff to enough magazines, eventually, you might just be published. I had my "Rain" poem to attest to that. So in the following months came, you guessed it, a flood of emails along the lines of: "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, the story doesn't fit the needs of the magazine. We wish you luck placing your work elsewhere." Each rejection email chips away at the writers confidence. Bit by bit, each email falls a little harder. But there was one which pulled me up even more than an acceptance could. It was a little note from The New Yorker that said my writing indicated promise and advised me to keep writing and reading. But still, rejection after rejection followed, and you get to point where you think: "Nobody's ever going to publish this." But you keep going, because, quite frankly, you have nothing to lose by a few more people reading your story. They don't even know you! So there's less judgement that way. 

In March 2014, I woke up early one morning dreading work. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, and my eyelids weighed around a thousand kilograms. I reached over to my phone to turn off my alarm and glanced at the "new email" icon at the top of the screen. Weary eyed I checked my inbox and, there was The Deltona Howl Magazine saying "Neither Happy Nor Sad" would find a good home within their pages. Reading that email felt like the part of me that had  been walking through the desert finally made it out, and to use their words: "found a good home." Since then, I've been writing. and writing. and writing. I'm now at the point where I don't go a day without writing, and each time I sit down at my desk, I can't help but think about that day in 2010 when I felt like I had no say in my future. Because now, I just about have no plans. But I have a goal to aim for, which has loosened the straps of that straight jacket. 

Kudos to you if you made it this far. I honestly feel like the only person I wrote this for was me.

Sara xx