Potions, Anyone?

Daily Prompt: Back to School

July 26, 2013

If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MASTERY.

Oh, umm, do wizarding subjects count? Because mine would totally be potions. Stoppered and bottled magic is something we’ve all heard of and vividly pictured at some or other point in our childhood/adulthood, from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to Harry Potter Also, I kind of always liked Chem Lab. ^_^

Course Requirements:

Textbook: Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger

Materials:

  • 1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
  • 1 set of glass or crystal phials
  • 1 brass scales

Care to join me anyone? What would your favorite subject be?

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In Retrospect

Daily Prompt: From the Collection of the Artist

July 24, 2013

It’s the year 2113. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2013. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us RETROSPCTIVE.

Looking back on things

Isn’t always black or white;

No pun intended,

Although it does fit right.

We revisit time

Through  photographs and memories

And relive a revised version of life

With an increase or decrease

Always. It’s never the same:

Either we had everything

The world had to offer

Or we had zero, nil, nothing.

Sepia, in our heads

Can become vivid HD

And the finest-hued memory

House a black and white zombie;

In retrospect, it wasn’t

The end of the world, we say

But only when we have forgotten

How it felt, live, that day.

In retrospect, it was

The happiest time in my life.

No it wasn’t – you just don’t feel, now,

All that pain and strife,

Which was the most that you’d known

Back in those days

And felt as bad as the new limits

Seem to nowadays.

I say “seem”

Because even this is relative. See,

In retrospect,

This won’t be worst you will see.

But I’m not pessimistic:

No, Sir, not me –

I believe what you’ve lost

Is nothing to what you shall see.

Retrospective, Merriam-Webster says,

Can mean looking back on past situations

Or just as easily: an artist’s best work

(Over time) showed in exhibitions.

What does it mean to me?

I think it means this:

Never trust your  altered view of the past –

Alternatives exist.

Emotion. Filterless Transcription.

Friday, July 12, 2013

One of our editors was recently lucky enough to slowly roast on a bouncy, mechanical floor thisclose to nearly 900 other Portlanders for a reading (of the third chapter of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane) and subsequent Q&A by Neil Gaiman.  One of the questions asked of him was, “Can you tell us your writing process in three words?”  He replied, “Glare.  Drink tea.”

This weekend, we’re asking for you to sum up your own process with just three little words.  Give us dry wit, pathos or otherwise.  And remember, we like your blood on the page.  Put it there.

Emotion. Filterless transcription.

A Symphony in a Breath

Your Daily Theme  [Figment]

for June 18
 
It’s Only Natural
 
Get inspired by nature, and build a poem or story around something from the natural world. It could be something as majestic as a mountain, or as simple as an acorn you found in your backyard.

Stepping out

Of self-imposed quarantine

Something seemed

A little bit different.

The air was like frigid water

Thrown in my face.

It tasted like mint strips

Melting on my tongue.

It smelled like grass,

Freshly mown and alive

With the crystal-clear water

It was fed.

It felt like every cell in my body

Went from flaccid to

Kool-Aid refreshed turgid

In the time than it took

For me to draw a breath

Like water from a well

Or a painting

With ice blue, lime green

Lavender and yellow.

So there is something you can’t get

On the internet

After all.

 

Link to my original piece on Figment:

http://figment.com/books/658938-A-Symphony-in-a-Breath

 

Catharsis

Today’s Author Prompt:

She sang a song I’d never heard, and yet it felt so familiar.

White-hot frustration made me want

To throw things, to shatter glass,

To rip apart paper,

To rip apart myself.

Not knowing

What is in store for you

Is infinitely worse than

Dealing with what has happened.

So I picked up my hands,

Itching to hurt,

Itching for hurt,

And let them feel around,

Like feelers on a fish from the deep

Or maybe the blind.

They found my guitar.

And she sang a song I’d never heard, and yet it felt so familiar.

http://todaysauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/write-now-prompt-for-june-14-2013/

 

On Goals and Garbling

Daily Prompt: Goals

When you started your blog, did you set any goals? Have you achieved them? Have they changed at all?
I started my blog on WordPress just 3 days ago. My goal is to start writing more and develop as a writer, and maybe get some external input and encouragement along the way.
I began blogging as a sort of bet with my friends. We all plan on writing blogs for a certain period of time. At the end of it, we’ll present each of the others with a list of around thirty different blogs, from which they have to guess which one ours is – that was the idea. So far, still sticking with it, but three days isn’t a lot. Who knows what might happen between now and then?
But, to be honest, even that’s not the truth – the bet might’ve been the final impetus to actually make it happen, but my actual goal as such was not a goal – it was my need to be heard.
I like talking, always have. I like it even better when I have an audience. It’s cathartic to talk your heart out to someone, and it’s nice being able to talk to people who will and can judge you solely on the basis of your thoughts, beliefs and expression.
So my blogging goals are basically still the same. To be able to think, write and be heard. But then, isn’t that everyone’s?

Walking in Beauty

I like trying my hand at http://figment.com/ ‘s Daily Themes from time to time. They give you a prompt, which you’re supposed to reply to in 100 words. This is my first take at poetry on Figment.

Your Daily Theme for 5/21/2013

What You Want

Characters are motivated by things that they want. These can be physical or emotional, tangible or intangible. Take five minutes and list things you want (“wealth, a passing grade in chemistry, to learn things quickly, to be admired by everyone I meet, to beat the next level of Candy Crush…”), then pick one of those desires. Write a brief scene or poem about a person who has that thing. How is he different from you? What does she want?

“She walks in beauty” was never more true

She walks with the confidence beauty doth imbue

People such as her with.

She stands tall and proud and

Looks every woman and man

In the eye. She can

Instill utter insecurity

Or speak her mind with impunity,

She is always forgiven.

One aspect makes life

Far easier in compare;

Things and people

From attraction cannot forbear.

Confidence leads to things

Such as success in travails;

Growing wings

That take her to new heights,

Lead her past crags

To peaks undiscovered

Or maybe unreachable.

Not to her,

But to me

For I walk not in beauty.

Link to my poem on Figment:

http://figment.com/books/642958-Walking-in-Beauty

Why the Internet is Like Magic

Whether you’re in school, in college, working, or retired, I’m betting the debate has been brought to you in one form or the other: is the internet a boon or a bane? Is the internet distracting us from what’s important in life (typical points being family, friends, relationships, etc.) or is it helping us grow and learn more about the world and helping us stay more in touch with each other? Or, if both, then which effect affects us more? Even, is it worth staying in touch with several people across the world at the cost of the person who’s standing there right in front of you? In general I think, personally, that the internet is like magic. Just like Hagrid warns Harry about magic, and how not all wizards are good, I think that no item or invention is inherently good or evil – it depends on the use we choose to put them to. That said, I believe that people love blame-shifting; makes us feel better. “It’s not my fault – the mug just slipped….”, or “I would have been able to find it if I had a better organizer”, or even, “It’s not my fault – the test was just way too hard!” We’ve always loved blaming something  or someone else for our own lapses in focus or responsibility. As the saying goes, a poor workman always blames his tools. How is the internet any different? We had loners and unsociable people before the advent of the internet too, just as we had loafers and discourteous people who ignored people around them for something or someone else. It just so happens that, today, almost all our ways and means of enjoyment or killing time are linked in some way to the internet, so we’ve found a good blanket term to substitute for “laziness” and use as a scapegoat for our own lack of etiquette or priorities. A friend and I share a certain belief regarding the importance of various forms of communication, and the priority that you give people using each of them, that can be expressed like this: someone you’re texting/chatting online with <someone you’re talking on the phone with < someone you’re talking face-to-face with (which should be pretty self-evident, but doesn’t seem to be as important to people as they claim) I think everyone is aware of what their priorities are or should be, and yet chooses to disregard it. We all, as a people, see our guilt reflected in that of those who put the internet above their human connections and relationships, and, to ease our own consciences, blame their lapses on the internet. So anyway, I like to compare the internet to magic – it helps us  stay in touch and learn more and do just about everything with less effort. But, like magic, it can have both positive and negative effects. At the end of the day, it’s the bond we’ve shared with those around us which’ll make our lives worth living, which will make us want to get up in the morning. Nothing should ever get in the way of that – least of all a set of cables, a circuitboard and binary code. And now, I should get off the internet and go spend some time with family. See, Ma? Writing prompts are good for me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/distractions/

To New Beginnings

The title of my blog, “Wind and Laughter”, is what makes me feel most alive – what makes me me. So I went looking for the perfect place to write an alive-y post, and landed up sitting at my dining table – right smack dab in the middle of the house. (and then wondered for a moment whether that has a deeper meaning, that I feel alive only in the middle of things. Seems highly likely.) Anyway, I wanted this über-happy first post to sort of set this really happy keynote for my blog. So, cliché as it may seem, I settled for writing about beginnings.

I love to write, but, for several years now, I’ve settled for just knowing the fact that I can write. Never really found an outlet. So one day, I was just talking about writing with a friend (who also writes), and we made a sort of pact – each of us would write a blog for atleast the next semester, and, at the end, we would give each friend about 30 different blogs from which to pick out our own. So, me being typically me, I opened an account on tumblr, figment and wordpress…in the space of about a week. Started using the other two actually, then got sidetracked reblogging stuff. Yeah….so anyway, then I decided wordpress was where I’d actually write write, so now here I am. The actual beginning. Of this chapter at least.

Lemony Snicket’s “The Bad Beginning” keeps running through my head relentlessly as I write this (some things just demand to be written down), so I will, to use the phrase, pen one of his quotes down.

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” 
― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

As I write this, I’m smiling to think how much I’ve changed as a person – almost ten years ago,  I opened a diary my best friend at the time had given me with another of Lemony Snicket’s quotes: “The sad truth is that the truth is sad.” Although maybe I give myself too much credit – time and circumstances are probably to thank for soothing old wounds. And for being kind enough to give me enough good to make me see life with bright eyes again.

I want to feel alive again. I want to feel in control and in charge of my life. I want to be happy and help happiness multiply, as overstated an aim as that may be. But I will try. So here’s to new beginnings and happiness. And to life.