Torrent Rising…

 

Torrent Rising

The bass of the speakers

makes my heart change rhythm

and I am old, and uncomfortable

with crowded people

hurting me with their rudeness

and sharp elbows.

So I find a quiet spot

where I can hear the music

de-obnoxious-fied.

I wonder why I’m even here

and I’m answered when

the band starts playing

blued, and blue notes

but it’s only for one song

as crisp lightning shatters the sky.

And then, it’s just you and me

and a handful of young girls

who all want your attention,

and I don’t want to be them,

but I don’t want to leave,

for I, too, still have dreams.

And so I dance up into the sky

with the memory of a song

not played

and the storm makes me beautiful enough

for me.

–Willow Croft

The Storm Within

 

 

Letter to a Literary Muse

Letter to a Literary Muse

Your time is spent nurturing your fans, and I am preoccupied with once and future worlds. I am never in sync, but I see you in each parallel; we touch and go on our way. Constantly inconstant forces in each other’s lives.

But I, unlike you, have never been anytime; born in a thistle maze, kept captive in a briar patch, wandered worlds only in my head, where I dream dreams in Mobius strips: nightmares and fears; misplaced intentions and missed chances; a thousand thousand deaths, countless lost and founds.

This night, I dreamt in Celtic lore, both modern and past, simultaneously; my mind’s eye’s mirror reflection; dark red hair in cascades, hunter-green dress, among glass and metal and life-in-a-pod on a strange new world. There is no prickly nest to trap me; to hide me in thorny safety. I am exposed. Alone.

You. You see me. Not a mirror reflection. No haint from a past world. This is the future. Our future. You gently work a twig from my hair, and hold it for an eternity while our worlds dream themselves together.

 

Inspiration by way of Manman Brigitte

 

Among the tools I draw on for creative inspiration is tarot cards. The skeptic in me doesn’t believe in fortune-telling; instead, I use them for guidance when I’m feeling a little lost or am in transition.

Today I drew the card of Manman Brigitte from the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot. (You can purchase it via that link, if you’re interested in the deck.).

Since the book and deck is copyrighted, I’ll refrain from including detailed descriptions from the tarot deck’s book, but it does allude to her being an advocate of change.

According to the Maman Brigitte entry on Readers & Rootworkers website, she acts as both healer and judge, and is linked with Brigid in Celtic mythology (or St. Brigid, depending on your viewpoint).

Wikipedia has more about her link with Brigid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maman_Brigitte

Justice, retribution, healing, transition–plenty of writerly inspiration to be found in any of these areas. Especially if you, like me, write in one of the speculative fiction genres.

This morning I spent retiring my Facebook page from my social media collection. Because, you know, Facebook, although I also had other reasons for doing so.

I hope you have a productive writing day!

Wee Quiz: Facebook, Yay or Nay?

 

 

Nature’s Army

(Inspired by my own writing prompt I posted on Twitter, et al, today)

This past decade has been quite the journey for me as an unemployed worker  graduate student historian admin assistant temp gas station attendant substitute teacher and eternal job seeker.

It was only in the past year that I really set aside time to dedicate to writing.

What surprised me was how quiet the process was. I’m used to living in a state of chaos. Neither one thing or another. Always fiercely banging against things, trying to prove I could fit in. “Notice me!” my efforts would scream. “I’m a hard worker.” Trying to conform to hold down jobs I hated.

I was a real-life Don Quixote, tilting at society’s windmills.

I wouldn’t say I was clueless about who I was–I just had to ignore it. Hide it away. Because it wasn’t relevant, hireable, marketable, socially acceptable, important, and, therefore, had zero worth to the world. Or so I had been taught to believe, from a very young age.

Like I said, the process of writing is quiet. The development of a writer, or any artist/creative soul, cannot be forced. It has to grow on its own. It was hard to let go. To relax. But then I had expended years of energy and had nothing to show for it.

I had to push my way up from the morass to figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be. I shed growth when it no longer fit. Dropping leaves that had been grafted onto me. (The drive for money being one of them–proof positive I wasn’t a failure.) It was scary to let go. It still is.

I suddenly realized, though, that if I was going to do it, I couldn’t do it inauthentically. Writing is demanding; it won’t let you be what you’re not. You can’t grow against the grain. At the same time, you have to write to write. Write where the topic (and submission guidelines!) takes you.

I stopped trying to be all things. One of the lessons passed down in workshops, articles, blogs was “find your niche.”

This was probably the hardest. I’d never been allowed; subsequently, never allowed myself, to have a niche based on my actual self.

“Who am I,” I asked myself.

The winds started howling from deep within. I shivered a deep bone chill when I realized I had no idea. I had had my existence wiped. I had been reprogrammed.

So, I had to dig deep. Dig through a frightening past, risk getting lost in nebulous dimensions, all to excavate a handful of fractured remembrances.

It’s still going on. Slowly. Quietly. And my self is still fractured. But I’m rebuilding. Even if people still want to classify me by their negative terms.

But here’s some discoveries.

Writer.

Artist.

A sensitive soul.

A creative mind.

Someone who played the violin.

Who likes classical music. Atmospheric music, without words.

Drawn to what’s now classified as speculative: horror, fantasy, science fiction.

I write these things.

The spooky.

The unreal.

The mystic.

A world of make-believe.

The impossibly possible.

So, if you made it this far, what does that have to do with the title of the blog, “Nature’s Army”?

Because I also love nature. Trees. Plants. Insects.

And that’s the stuff of nightmares dreams.

Working its tangled way into my stories.

Building a fictive world where nature has agency.

Where nature wins.

[See my 66-word story (and others!) in Speculative 66’s Issue 20, on April 6th. https://speculative66.weebly.com/ ]

 

Now it’s your turn to “tilt at windmills”. How has writing/creative ventures helped you develop your sense of self?

 

A Lily for the Valley

A Lily for the Valley

Frosted guardians keep watch

yet I still feel alone

winter blue, and

I am tired of angels

angling towards me

handfuls of bait outstretched.

How do I know what’s true,

even here in the empty desert

with no hiding place for cruelty.

Trapped by four walls, I burrow down for winter,

sinking deep in the depths of my splintered-ice mind.

There, I dream of a greening world from long ago,

tangled, wild, warm,

just like you.

 

–Willow Croft 2019

 

(My inspiration came from these Canva-created posts I made and shared via Pinterest and Twitter. Feel free to use them for today’s creative inspiration, and link back if you wish.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/422986590001080493/ or https://twitter.com/WillowCroft16/status/1100425111042174983 )

 

No Disney Mermaids, Here


No Disney Mermaids, Here
No Disney mermaids, here,
in a predawn net of dreams
that won't let me go.
But that's not quite true. 
I hold onto them, too, over reality
because life is the nightmare that's real.
And so I drown, at long last, in tangled water,
choosing the insanity, where
water becomes a hand. 
And I hold onto it, too,
because I'm also scared to drown, 
even in this wonder of dreams.
We're not Disney mermaids; not svelte, with lovely voices, and
it's suddenly fine that we are our real selves.
The ones battered by storms and rocks, that have many scars,
and that we drown together
in this space between worlds. 
Because that is the love we need.
A something real one. A strong one.
But our waking thoughts try to rip us apart.
I feel your hand in mine, still, and I don't
let go, but it's hard to make the tea that will
bring me back to the world I hate.
But it's that world that brings me
your message in a drowning bottle.
And I'm glad I haven't let go.

The Year Begins, Again.

I hope everyone is happy, warm, and safe in their little time pocket of the multiverse!

If you signed up for the newsletter, I look forward to reading and sharing your New Year’s creative thoughts (if any). I’ve scheduled this post in advance, just in case I was able to make it to another realm for New Year’s. Thanks to those who participated.

Congrats to the winner, The Green Stars Project, who wrote a great post about liminal space that’s very fitting for this time of year. Become part of the Green Stars initiative!

The Green Stars Project New Year’s resolution: “My not-so-secret wish is to practice ethical consumerism and to also encourage others to do so. I have a specific plan, and I’ll know that it’s starting to work whenever I see another person writing a Green Stars review! My latest post, which starts with a brief discussion on liminal space, pretty much sums it up. https://greenstarsproject.org/2017/12/29/resolution/Sometimes, perhaps when I’m faltering on my path a little bit, the universe sends me a sign – it usually comes from an animal. That’s kind of where it all started – with my cat and other animals. Baggins the cat is no longer on this plane (or maybe he is back on it in another form) but I think he still guides me.”

 

New Year’s Poem by Willow Croft:

Mechanic

“I think time is broken,”

you tell me, in my sleep.

It’s my 365th attempt to fix things

but our clocks are lives and years apart.

With each tinkering,

more pieces of me 

pile up in the corners,

and I’m running out of places to hide

from monsters under the bed and

in real life.

So I seek my way out of these worlds.

At the harbour, I’ve missed the boat.

At the airport, I’ve missed the last plane out.

At the station, I’ve missed the train.

And my carriage never arrives 

at its destination.

Always a day late and a dollar short

and a hundred years away from you

in the dark and cold

of another new beginning.

© Willow Croft 2017-2018

 

“One Hundred Years” by The Cure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBtBD2WwvGY

 

 

 

 

Friday Wordlings…

 

I lost quite a few things during my last journey, so I’ve been retracing my steps in hopes of collecting them.

Things have just been…things.

Also, I’m afraid I’ve neglected my muse(s) as of late, but I took them on a blissfully simple summer picnic at the beach.*

I’ve been losing everything. It’s all sliding through cracks in the universe. Momentum. Focus. Dates. Stuff somebody just told me the day before. Or five minutes ago. Time goblins at work, maybe. Or I’ve gotten old in the space of a week.

In addition to the goblins that are taking up most of my brain space, I’ve had little wordlings floating around in my head. They seem significant, but that’s the curse of the creative sort. It seems wonderfully magical, or horribly prosaic. Still, I’ll put them away for safekeeping. Just in case the goblins get hungry.

a forest of ferns

endless, seething thunderstorms

ancient worlds with no humans

essence of summer

second chance to be a kid

Jurassic plants

friendly demons

scientific magic

horse guardians

a rainbow’d unkindness of ravens

*Disclaimer: This is complete fiction. I’m nowhere near a beach. Except in dreamworlds. But I’ll send you a map if you bring the picnic. Or surprise me with a new When.†

†also fiction‡

‡But also possibly real in some other dimension.

 

 

 

 

…ships and sealing wax…

 

http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/walrus.html

I dreamt of my muse last night. That’s not unusual, but the nature of their entrance was not typical. Usually, it’s pretty dream-like…like I know it’s not really happening. That they are a fictionalized construct of that person, and the whole experience will end up in a poem.

Viola De Lesseps: I love you, Will, beyond poetry. —Shakespeare in Love

Last night, though? I didn’t even go looking for my muse, or build a dream around them before I went to sleep.

Bam.

With all the force of a shock wave, they were there. Like lightning went all through me. My dreaming mind didn’t quite know what to do…and I’m used to having really vivid, lucid dreams. Imagine if somehow a flesh-and-blood person showed up in your dream, with no dream filters like magic and wishful-thinking scenarios or even surreal situations. And yet there was still magic surrounding my muse in their black-and-white (?) t-shirt and black jeans and looking a bit annoyed with having to punch their way into my dream. Sort of like a psychedelic swirling of rainbow colours behind them.

It was definitely one of the more interesting dream voyages I’ve had. So far, I haven’t found a poem to put that experience in, yet. Because it felt too real. And, yet, still wonderful.

So I wasted time channeled that perplexing dream into creating a new Pinterest board to display some of my sources of inspiration for my poems. Poetic Muse-ings

What sort of things serve as muses in your worlds?

William Shakespeare: My muse, as always, is Aphrodite.
Philip Henslowe: Aphrodite Baggett, who does it behind the Dog and Crumpet?
Shakespeare in Love

 

 

Tuesday Interlude…

 

A bit late, but that’s the loveliness of time travel…or my creative wishful thinking.

I stopped over in this dimension to enjoy a rare social outing with Santa Fe Gamers at Rowley Farmhouse Ales.

Engaging board games, the even rarer lightning spectacle, and a first-time tasting of Zia Piñon Kola.

I carried with me a feeling of serendipity, aka synchronicity, to the board games meet-up. I had an inkling that, somewhere, my ghost muse was gaming as well. Just imagination, says my practical side…