Claudsy’s Blog: Back in the Groove

 

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I know I’ve been absent for a while. Meena Rose has covered our pages with her marvelous poetry all month, doing her usual exceptional work, for which I applaud her. I thought I’d hop in today, just to feel like I was contributing something during the month, and to give a short update on things happening in Claudsy’s World.

For those who aren’t old enough to know what “the groove” really means, this is my definition of “the groove.”

“The groove” is when production is up and satisfying, the world looks bright and promising, and it’s all-systems-go. Surely you all know what that last expression means. After all, NASA still operates, even though we don’t see much about it on the tele anymore.

Most of us in the writing sphere, either pro or emerging, dip our toes in the challenge pool at least every other month or so. Some of us have a death wish and pick up as many challenges every month as our 24-hr. days can fit—like me. I know. I lost any semblance of sense regarding writing challenges a couple of years back.

And while I do my weekly poetry prompts, I’ve been concentrating on fiction this round. The screenwriting frenzy, to be exact. It’s a whole new mindset and writing type, which built-in challenges of its own.

What I’ve noticed in the past three weeks, though, is that how I look at the world around me is different, because of this challenge.

How? Writing a screenplay requires the writer to refer only to the present. Everything is in present tense. Every action, movement, consideration, expression lives only in that one instant of time. There has neither past nor future when setting up a scene. Time has references only through dialogue. One can’t hint at character motivations, can’t linger on speech patterns, etc. Those don’t exist for the writer when doing a script. Only the immediate instant of action is real.

When I set up scenes now for this tale I’m converting from short story to feature length script, I must dissect every intent, action, and minute detail. The intent must remain inside me to be drawn out in dialogue. Details must have immediate import or a greater import for later use in the story to get any mention at all.

Unless a color, size, shape, ethnic background, or whatever is critical to the visual story, it doesn’t make it onto paper. That bit of mindset is the most difficult change of all.

You might ask what difference this new writing process makes to my daily life. I can say this. The entire process clicked for me on Tuesday, along with those critical details that are driving my story—details I hadn’t known before.

Today, when friends stopped by for a visit, I took note of myself and how I was watching the friend I was talking with. I faced the dining room window. The squirrel outside kept scurrying up and down the tree, burying peanuts thrown over the balcony rail one floor up.

While I saw that activity, I followed my friend’s and my conversation, noted his expressions, how often he made particular gestures and when, and the shift of topics within our dialogue.

I was the viewer taking notes. For the first time in what seems like forever, I was living only in the moment. All details glowed with their own kind of energy. I’d finally made it back to that essence of being. It was glorious.

If April’s screenwriting challenge does nothing else for me, it accomplished what no other technique and mindset has–liberated my experience of the world in a new way. And that’s my take-away.

I hope all of you can have as gratifying take-away this month and every month. Have a terrific April.

A bientot,

Claudsy

#30x30Poetry: Day 13 – Forgetfulness

A Rose In Bloom
Photo Credit: Meena Rose
A Rose In Bloom Photo Credit: Meena Rose

Over at 30×30 Poetry, today is all about forgetfulness. So much so, I almost forgot to respond to the prompt.

Of Things Remembered

By: Meena Rose

Try as I might to live
Life by Covey’s four quadrants
Or Allen’s GTD, things tumble
And fall and collect right
There between my wall and the bed.

Try as I might to lead
A more mindful life, present
And in the moment, my mind travels
Away from the moment chasing after
A butterfly – did I just miss something?

Try as I might to reflect
And grow deeper and chart
My soul path, my journals
Are incomplete and the data points
Are skewed – how could I forget life is good?

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#PoeticAsides: Day 13 – Nevermore

Over at Poetic Asides, today’s prompt is to write about an animal. For extra credit, we could write a sestina. I am just feeling crazy enough to pull it off. The sestina has six stanzas, all six lines long, with a final three-line envoy.

A, B, C, D, E, F represent the end words of the 6 lines of the first stanza.

Stanza One: A, B, C, D, E, F
Stanza Two: F, A, E, B, D, C
Stanza Three: C, F, D, A, B, E
Stanza Four: E, C, B, F, A, D
Stanza Five: D, E, A, C, F, B
Stanza Six: B, D, F, E, C, A

Envoi: uses two end-words per line (with three lines total) with one word appearing in the middle of the line and the other word still being utilized as an end word.

Ravens

Ravens (Photo credit: Douglas Brown)

When Tomorrow Comes

By: Meena Rose

Brilliantly black and royally plumed;
Your gaze, intent and defiant;
The ask, the dare, the invite,
Is made crystal clear;
I take a deep breath and leap
Into bottomless onyx eyes.

The world within, a feast for eyes;
No longer human, I am plumed;
A shawl of wings, I take the leap
And soar, bewildered first then defiant;
My identity is no longer clear;
Kindred Raven, thank you for the invite.

I caw and mind laugh, the invite
Demands surrender and fearless eyes;
This much has become clear;
To be among the plumed,
Shed you anchors, break the shackles – defiant;
The grandest spiritual leap.

Filled with joy, transformed by the leap;
I extend you an invite
To explore the other side, defiant
And proud, come see it with your eyes
Winged friends so colorfully plumed;
That is not real is not very clear.

Look upon the pond, so pristine, so clear;
Watch all the others surrender and leap;
With each an escort royally plumed;
Have to go, sky tango, just got the invite;
Don’t look at me with those can’t believe it eyes;
Fine, call me defiant.

Oh, so now who is defiant?
It has become very clear,
Your very real eyes
Will never take a chance and leap;
Kindred Raven’s open invite;
Still brilliantly black and royally plumed.

Emotionally defiant, the grandest leap,
Spiritually clear, the open invite,
Fearless eyes, royally plumed.

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#NaPoWriMo: Day 13 – Kennings Abound

NaPoWriMo 2014 img1

Over at NaPoWriMo.net, we are being called on to write a poem which uses at least one kenning. Kennings were metaphorical phrases developed in Nordic sagas. At their simplest, they generally consist of two nouns joined together, which imaginatively describe or name a third thing. The phrase “whale road,” for example, could be used instead of “sea” or “ocean,” and “sky candle” could be used for “sun.”

Flame-Farewelled

By: Meena Rose

Questing for Freyja’s tears,
He came home too late;
His dad, breaker of rings,
Lay stricken with the curse.

Arwin’s rage had brought on
The curse – feeding blood swans
To eagles beneath sky candle’s
Light – Lord of the gallows

Himself decreed all winged
Life sacred by bane of wood
And slaughter dew; Grímnir’s
Lip-streams thus carried the decree.

Accursed or not, he reasoned
With Freyja upon return of her tears;
Let Arwin’s life be the punishment,
Spare the tribe – an honorable goodbye.

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#30x30Poetry: Day 12 – Where The Sidewalk Ends

Over at 30×30 Poetry, the prompt today calls for “where the sidewalk ends”.

Fun In Leaves Photo Credit: Meena Rose

Fun In Leaves
Photo Credit: Meena Rose

Sidewalk Of Life

By: Meena Rose

Once upon a time, I
Was eager to break
Free of the hand holding
Me – till the end of
The sidewalk, you said.

I ran with glee without
A thought about you;
All too soon, the freedom
Screeched to a halt and
I waited for you to start anew.

Now, hands break free from
Mine and I look on and sigh;
Time has flown so fluidly by;
Hatchlings fly as mothers cry
Where the sidewalk ends.

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#PoeticAsides: Day 12 – Of Cities and Odes

English: Natural Totem Pole Dead tree in Yorks...

English: Natural Totem Pole Dead tree in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over at Poetic Asides, we are being asked to write a city poem. I will admit to being at a loss as to which city to serenade and what. I have too many loves in that regard.

Questing For Identity

By: Meena Rose

Would that I carved wood,
Or sculpted bronze,
Or chiseled stone;
If I could, I would

Display and exhibit
The city that is me;
My totem of identity,
My grounding anchor albeit

Expansive and liberating,
Illustrating dreams,
Reflecting hopes,
Defining and encapsulating;

A rose, a tiger,
An eagle and horse;
A dragon, a bear,
A whale and spider;

Each a district supporting
The whole lending color
And character to
Muted gray-scale living.

Come on in, stop on by;
Stories to buy, poetry to sell;
The currency’s karma,
Dear passerby.

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#NaPoWriMo: Day 12 – Replacement Poetry

NaPoWriMo 2014 img 3

Over at NaPoWriMo.net today, the prompt calls for replacement poetry. We are to pick a common noun for a physical thing and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google the tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Next, we are to replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem.

OK. OK. So I twisted the instructions a wee bit. I decided to reach for my trusty book “How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants” by David Rees.

  • Tangible noun: pencil(s)
  • Intangible noun: love
Pencil

Pencil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Sharpen Love: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise

By: Meena Rose

Gone are the days of haphazardly
sharpening love with all the finesse
of a floundering Philistine.

I now have the tools I need
to bring my love sharpening
to the next level.

Gasps of awe and astonishment
have followed my love
wherever it went.

From the wood carving huts
Of the Pakuhaji to ritzy Paris,
I now spend my days traveling

And imparting whatever knowledge
and wisdom I can to the ignorant love
sharpeners of the world.

Thank you Mr. Rees for making me
But why did you leave out
How to sharpen love in the dark?

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