Posted in Writers I Like, Writing

“Broken Doll” by M Robinson

The writerly genius aka Monte Robinson allowed me to share his poem “Broken Doll”

 

BROKEN DOLL

 

Who dropped you?
Heart shattered
Psyche fractured
Pieces held together by a combustible combination of hope and fear
Let me in
Emotional blockade creates distance vaster than sea
I ask again
Who broke you?

Broken doll
Hairline fracture leads to gaping hole
Area where a heart once was
Now fully exposed
No love goes in but fear outpours
Impervious to love
Guarded by cinder block doors
I still ponder
Who hurt you?

Damaged beauty
Can do nothing but wonder
Need to know the one responsible for keeping us asunder
Confidence down
Esteem at a minimum
Beautiful outside, inside a conundrum
Who damaged you?

Shattered pieces
Scattered to and fro
Reassembly a possibility? I may never know
Invest myself
Aware I may never scale the wall
Dedicated to gathering pieces
Broken doll

—-MEGR, Jun 9, 2013

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Other works by Monte featured on the Whatevertheyaint blog:

Storm’s Reply

Givers Vs Takers

Incomplete

Posted in Writers I Like, Writing

Freestyle w/the Writerly Genius

Came here empty-handed,
no tricks up my sleeve
left this thing open-ended,
was led to believe
love needs no amendment,
happiness achieved
through love and commitment
now i need a sick leave
or some rose-colored glasses,
a quiet reprieve
an inch of patience,
some make-believe
Came wide open,
heart grieved but pure
Gave you all that was broken,
I deemed you sure
of love, no amendments
‘cuz happiness is achieved
through love and commitment
and trust and deeds

sms/whatevertheyaint

lines 5 & 6 added by aka WG
5-2014

Posted in Writers I Like, Your Turn

Bring On the Words Winners: Will Neill

SECOND PLACE WINNER

51 Hill View Street

A short story by Will Neill

Just like it says on the post mark, my house-51, sits top of the Hill, and yes I do get a good view of the valley. Bin livin’ here oh, must be nigh on 60 years give or take a month or so. Me and Gracie we moved in here new just after the war. Summer of 1946 to be exact. Boy were we excited, new home and a baby on the way. The big ash tree that’s just at the side of the house, the one that blocks out the sun each afternoon was no more than a sapling back then. You can’t miss it once you turn in from Hill Avenue; that big ole boy sits high above the hill’s crest, poke’ n skyward.

Billy Dawson built these houses. Decent man–didn’t deserve to get murdered collectin’ the payroll for his men.  We were the first to get a mortgage from that old skinflint Barney Hightower at the First National bank of Massachusetts; thought we couldn’t afford the deposit see’n as how I was just out of the Marines. Five hundred and sixty dollars was a heck of a lot of money in 1946. Barney was shot an killed along side Billy Dawson when they robbed the bank three weeks after we’d bin to visit him. Some say he got his head blown clean off by a twelve bore. Musta bin true–his widaw Bell and his two sons Tom and Clancy kept the lid on the coffin ‘fore he was buried up in Claymount. I can still see that fat son of a bitch just sittin’ there in his imitation brown leather swivel chair sweatin’ and smokin’ a big fat stoggy while statin’ how things were tough in the world of finance. I sure wiped the smile offa his face when I slammed down my $560.00. He never said much after that, just drew up them papers quiet like.

Can’t say I liked the fella some myself, but Gracie wouldn’t hear me speak ill a the dead, and they didn’t catch those bank robbers either, not that I’ve heard anyhows.  Others say it was an inside job that had gone wrong.  Word was ole Hightower was a gambler–owed a lot a money to Jack Shipton the casino boss who runs the ‘Double Dealer’ over on main street.  Fond of black jack was the word.  Not so lucky at it neither they say–that big guy Shipton, put you in mind of that base-ball player Babe Ruth.  Rumor was he collected what was owed with a base ball bat, called it ‘Darlin’ too, just like the Babe did.  I remember once I was lookin’ out my living room window–the one that’s at the side of the house next to the tree–now I was just standin’ there, suppin’ on a cup of coffee ‘fore I headed off to my evening shift up at the factory, when I see a big ole blue Cadillac pullin’ up  just outside a my neighbor’s house. An guess who was a drivin’? Yup, Jack the ‘Snake’ Shipton.  Now, I thought it wise just to step back a tard into the shadows casin’ he looked my direction. Gracie, she was sleepin’ upstairs with little Kate who had just turned a year that month; so I was being real quiet.

I watched him lift ‘Darlin’ outta the trunk ‘fore he looked the Hill up an down. Next I see him rappin’ on Bobby Deslow’s door like he was a mail man delerverin’ a package.  Soon as Bobby walked out, Jack took the legs from under him with a single side swipe. Poor Bobby go down on his knees; then, in the glow of his own porch light, I saw Shipton crack his head open like a ripe water melon. I heard the echo at the back of my yard. Cool as you like , Jack, he just sauntered back to his car leavin’ Bobby twitchin’ on his drive.
His wife Mary, she kept his casket closed likewise. Never had kids them two. Cryin shame if you ask me. Six months later, the bank foreclosed on their property. Mary went a bit do-wally after that; she spent the next five years up at the sanatorium.

Jessie Metcalf lived across street from me. We met in town one Saturday morning just outside Farnboroughs drug store. “Fine day Bill,” she said pullin’ me into the doorway.
“You heard the news?”
I removed my hat outta manners. “No Ma’am,” I replied, perplexed. She rarely spoke to me, mostly preferring to gossip with Gracie.

“‘You mean you haven’t heard about Mary Deslow?”

“No ma’am I can’t say that I have.”

Jessie, she move in closer, and god help me her breath, it stink like pig shit.

“Gone and hanged herself. Poor woman.”

Now Jessie Metcalf, she look like Betty Davis.  Same sort a eye’s and thin face.  But she dress like an old bag woman, wouldn’t think she be the richest lady on Hillview.  Worth thousands I heard.

“Yes’um Bill, up there at the Sanatorium. She   her done wrapped her bed sheet round her neck and swung from her own door handle.”

I shook my head and said a silent prayer, but I thought god works in mysterious ways. I believe it was him just balancing the books. By the time I’d reached home I was sure the whole town woulda known about Mary Deslow.  Jessie woulda seen to that.

Do you remember me talkin’ about Tom and Clancy Hightower? Turns out, ten years later, after Mary killed herself, them two boy’s musta heard about old Jessie Metcalf’s fortune and went lookin’ for it one October evening .  I recall that time cause we were havin’ one hell of a thunder storm. That night, at about ten thirty, in the cover of the thunder, Tom and Clancy broke into Jessie’s house. Power line’s were down so it was black as coal.  Jessie must a heard them comin’ up the stairs. In between the thunder and the lightin’ flashes, using her son’s service pistol, she put two rounds into Clancy’s chest and one into Tom’s back as he was runnin’ out the front door.

Johnny Metcalf served in the 29th infantry Division. Got shot to pieces on Omaha beach; they found him still holdin’ his gun. Never fired a single shot. Poor bastard. Some of his friends brought it home as a keep sake for his mother. I’s pretty sure them was the same bullets he loaded that mornin’ ‘fore he got into the landin’ craft. Jessie was never the same after that; she left and went to live with her sister down in Copertino, California. Willed all her money to her niece Susan who loaned some of it to a collage friend a hers, a fella named Steve Jobs in 1976, somthin’ to do with apples I heard. Just goes to show people must like apples. She ended up a multi-millionaire .

Every so often I kinda think that’s maybe why they never caught them bank robbers.

Yes sir I’s seen it all over the years from upon this Hill. One time Gracie, Kate, and I was up in Texas the day that J F. Kennedy was shot. We was takin’ pictures with Kate’s new camera of the cavalcade when he was hit. Poor man. Never did get that camera back from the F.B.I. Kate took some of a guy with a rifle just behind the wall at the grassy knowl where we was standin’. We was sure it was him, but it turns out it was that fella ‘Lee Harvey Oswald’ up at the book depository.

Kate did well for herself, left college and took up journalism. Got a good job, too, wit the local newspaper. She wrote a piece about the Vietnam War, next thing she knows, some big shot passin’ through town up and read it. Give her a job on Time’s Magazine. He liked it that much. Sent her out there spring of 72′ to cover the withdrawl of troops. The army brought her home in a box that Easter; she got caught up in the 17th parallel when the Viet Cong invaded again. I surely miss my little girl.

Time magazine felt really bad about what happened to Kate; they offered me an Gracie a week-long stay at the Watergate Hotel around June that year. Nice enough place, don’t get me wrong–but we left after a couple of days. The bell hop told us some guys broke in at the office building next door. They must a stole somethin’ real important. Police were every where, makin’ one hell of a racket, so we checked out early.

Me? Well, I worked up in the shoe factory until I was 65. Gracie died that autumn, took a stroke. God I loved that woman! She used to say I was her Clarke Gable. Dunno about that, but she sure looked like Vivian Leigh when we first met. Hard to believe she’s bin gone twenty years. Never thought I’d live this long, no sir. Toni Moreli was the brother of Mary Deslow, he used to own the factory up until I retired; sold it off to two guys for a hefty sum I found out. Toni always liked to brag he was pals with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but I think their names were Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. Wanted to extend their company that made tennis shoes. They even gave them shoes a name, ‘Nicky’ or somethin’ fool like that. Don’t figure they’ll catch on if you’re askin’ me. Then there was the darnest thing, when them builders, Billy Dawson’s two boys, were renovating the factory for new machine room, they only gone and found a skeleton buried in one a the walls they was knockin’ down. The local paper said it was the strangest thing, it had a cracked skull and, now get this,a base-ball bat was found stickin’ outta it’s rear end.

I suppose I’d better open this letter I just got this mornin’, ‘fore I started strollin’ down memory road. Well, they sure got my name right:
To
Mr. William Willows
51 Hillview Street
Worchester County
Massachusetts

Looks like it’s from the Government, let me see now.
Dear Mr Willows, please find within our compulsory purchase order to commandeer your home in order to make way for the construction of a new highway due to be built next year. The four lane road will run directly through your area making it necessary to demolish all the homes on Hillview Street.
Taking into account your age, and knowing you have no living relatives we have reserved a room at the Mellow Place retirement home. We trust you will consider this offer, you have three months to comply.
Signed Virgil Hightower

‘Oh my!’

Mellow Place Retirement Home, sounds quite a nice place, ifin’ you say it quick enough, but somehow I don’t think it’s for me. Strange how things work out. Must be God just balancing the books again I reckon. Time I was with Gracie anyhows. Bin thinkin’ about her a lot lately.

Better go clean that pistol of mine I kept since I landed on Sword beach back in 44′. Lord knows I wouldn’t want it to go off accidental like.

Will Neill 2013

You can also find Will here

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Despite trying to keep up with several characters, I found this story very engaging. I feel as if I’m on the narrator’s front porch sipping lemonade, listening to him ramble and reminisce as the sun goes down on The Hill.   Kudos to Mr. Neill!

Posted in Writers I Like

Local Writers: M Robinson’s “Storm’s Reply”

I am the storm.
Can you feel me?
Drenching your world,
Moistening your reality.

My love is the raindrops.
Coming down for days.
Flooding your perception.
Unconscious in the haze.

I am the storm
Can you feel me?
Drenching your world,
Moistening your reality.

My love is the raindrops.
Shower your very soul.
No need to run for cover.
You can’t evade my hold.

I am the storm.
I know you feel me.
Drenching your world,
Moistening your reality.

My love is the raindrops.
Deserving of all you get.
Storm clouds encompass you.
I’ll leave you soaking wet.

 

m.e.g.r 2010

Posted in Writers I Like, Writing

Writers I Like: Ike L Obidike

It is truly an honor to introduce Ike and interview him for this blog.  He is the author of Shifting Sands and mentor to yours truly.

Here is what Ike had to say on the process of writing, honing one’s craft, and the art of storytelling:

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 How would you describe your writing style and in what genre would you place your work? Would you say that you are more of a literary or contemporary writer?

I like to capture the details of encounters through beautiful prose and natural dialogue interspersed with sublime humour. Since I will abandon a book whose writing is not exciting within the first three pages, I try to capture that which I seek in other people’s books.

I write in the contemporary genre for now but I see myself settling into writing thrillers.

What inspires you? How do you generate ideas for your stories?

My inspiration is natural; I am a born storyteller. I like stories that turn conventional wisdom or assumptions on their head. So, I look for ordinary stories and garnish them to intrigue and to challenge the reader. Stories that will make the reader reassess long-held opinions and prejudice. I hear a lot of stories from people daily and easily choose which one to expand on and build a book around.

 Tell us about your novel, Shifting Sands. What challenges, if any, did you face while writing the novel?

Shifting Sands is a story about an immigrant, Uche, who faced opposition from his family when he declared his intention to marry his foreign girlfriend, Thembi. Through betrayal, threats, and death, Uche and Thembi’s love was challenged almost beyond their endurance limit. You will love the book if you love African culture and their practices.

I started writing Shifting Sands when an attendant in a literary fair made a snide remark about unpublished writers. I wanted to prove to her that I could write a novel if I wanted to.

The challenges I faced were multi-faceted. I had to learn the craft as I was writing. So, I kept rewriting scenes as I learnt better techniques and ended up rewriting almost the whole manuscript too many times, which caused delays before its publication.

What would you say drives a successful story–characters, plot, or both? Please explain.

Both–because a good plot is needed to support strong characters. A writer must have a good plot first and populate the book with memorable and well fleshed-out characters. Without a good plot, your book will just be a display of good writing but devoid of a memorable story.

What project (s) are you currently working on?

I am writing a second novel, Not Of My Blood. Like my debut novel, this one will highlight the virtue of love and sacrifice. It is a contemporary fiction with some elements of crime and intrigue. I’ve left it now for six months after writing two chapters but will resume work on it by end of the month.

Any advice for newcomers just entering the world of fiction writing?

Take time to learn the “craft” of fiction writing so that you master your own style. Read good books, especially the ‘masters’ of your genre and take notes. Learn as you read, pausing to appreciate any technicality you noticed and needed to learn.

Make friends of writers, even poor ones in order to exchange ideas. There’s always something to learn from everyone.

Trust your ability and always challenge your ability by putting out your work to be critiqued in book clubs and websites.

Interview by Shonte’ S

Posted in Writers I Like

Writers I Like: Trina Lynne

I met Miss Trina Lynne last year, via her blog Ambitious  Endeavors.  She’s a powerful poet, writer, and promoter of other artists. (Check out  her fan page on FB which goes by the same name.)

I had the pleasure of interviewing her this past week, and here is what she had to say:

 

What has been the most challenging aspect of writing? The most challenging aspect of writing is trying to figure out your voice. Everyone always has a perspective on what you should write and the amount of time it should take you to write. Honestly, others don’t know what a writer’s process is, and if you have no established voice, you can get lost in the slush pile. 

 

Do you have a particular genre in which you write? If not, in which genre do you feel most comfortable? Just like with most things in life, I’m very eclectic. I love most genres and try to fiddle around with whatever may come to mind. I would have to say I am most comfortable with poetry. It allows me to express my thoughts and feelings in a way that other genres do not permit. 

 

How do you balance the scales between everyday li

 fe and creative endeavors? Do you have a set schedule for each? If so, please explain. Keeping a schedule is important. Sadly for me, it can be a pain trying to stick to it. Early mornings and late evenings are usually set aside for work only, with my every day life falling in between those hours. Sometimes, however, I get a sudden idea or inspiration and I find myself writing during ‘family time’. I have tons of support, so most times, I’m forgiven for sneaking in work when I’m supposed to be taking a break. 

 

How long have you been writing? Did it begin as a hobby or did you always know that you’d want to write on a professional level? For most people one morphs into the other. If this is the case who motivated you in pursuing your writing goals? Truthfully, I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. I was that annoying kid in class who wrote two pages instead of two paragraphs about what I did over the weekend. As I grew up, I knew in my mind and heart that I wanted to be a writer but didn’t think I could accomplish writing as a career. Once I got over that hurdle, it was a match made in heaven and has been for almost 4 years. My motivations came from all those books in the library that lined the shelves with millions of words and thousands of ideas. All those authors inspired me to want to share my voice with the world. 

 

Any advice for beginners? What I would say to writers just starting out is don’t feel pressured. Never think that you have to categorize yourself as an author or a poet or a journalist. Never feel that you have to fall into a particular realm of writing to be acknowledged. Write what YOU want to write. Write what makes YOU happy. Write things that YOU can be proud of because if you do, nothing else matters.

 

(In one word) Writing is liberating.

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~TrinaLynne
If the sky is the limit, why are you still on the ground
http://trinalynne.com 

http://cheerstomom.blogspot.com

http://imeanreallydude.blogspot.com