Thursday Thoughts: Drawing a Blank

If you are a witer (of anything) do you ever just have a complete loss for words or ideas? Ever sit with pen in hand stating at that blank piece of paper (Pen? Paper? What are these items you speak of?) wondering what to write about?

I’m doing it right now…well, I was. Now I’m writing about not writing.

I try to write things down when ideas come to me. Usually it’s a line that eventually becomes a poem. Sometimes I forget and that greatly clever poem/story is denied the gift of creation. I’m sure I have been on the cusp of a best seller.

I was walking in the rain one time and the water on my glasses prompted me to write this poem:

Freeze Frame

I snapped my fingers
And stopped the rain in mid-plummet
A million tiny lenses
Magnified the world
I saw
Suffering, perseverance
Kindness, sorrow
Misery, compassion
Tolerance, agony
Pain, sympathy
Unity, divisions
Grief, generosity
Peace, war
Purpose, despair
I blinked, and the rain continued to fall
I continued to walk
And let the world cry
And cry it did

I have to make an effort to remember to remember to write things down because sometimes the best ideas are fleeting and if we don’t grab hold of then right away we risk losing something of worth.

—Leon

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: A Conversation With Author/Poet Nicole Pierman. And for all you non-poetry/non-sci-fi readers, I break out of my comfort zone to showcase a fiction author.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Weekend Wrap-up: Wet, Wet, Wet.

(Note: I wrote this yesterday)

I walked in the rain today. I didn’t care that I got wet. The coolness of each drop as it hit my skin and seeped through the fabric of my clothing was a welcome respite from the weeks of hot, dry weather. Each puddle was like an old friend, not to be avoided, but to be reacquainted with once again (that means my feet got wet).

I sat in the doorway drinking coffee, watching the sky shed it’s tears. I assume it’s tears of joy because it didn’t feel sad. Sometimes the rain has a somber quality. Not today.

The thunder grumbles like that guy you know that always has something to complain about which never comes across as angry, just comical.

You forget how good the rain smells. It freshens up the earth. It beats down the smell of smoke from all the forest fires. If there happens to be a thunderstorm, you can smell the ozone from the lightning (I think that’s what it is). There isn’t any lightning that I can see. Maybe tonight.

It is supposed to rain steady for the next few days, and I’ll probably go for a run and a ride.

The Little Things

Stop. Feel that?
The warmth of the sun
The breeze on your face
Rain, it has its own unique smell
Feels like tiny punches when it lands
Wherever you are
There is beauty and wonder about
Even if seemingly insignificant
A smell, a color, a sight, a feel
There is always something to appreciate
Like cool grass under bare feet


-From Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures
 

-Have a good weekend. I know I will.

-Leon

From my blog this week

Free Book Friday: Author’s Newsletters- Worth the free book? – Well is it?

Weird Wednesday: What was I going to write about? – Memory, I think…

Tuesday Tirade: The Egg. – Who doesn’t like a good egg rant?

Music Monday: The Folly of Youth – I heard a song which reminded me of many years ago.



Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Tuesday Tidbits: On the right track!

It’s been a while since I wrote about reviews. It’s also been a while since I received any. Coincidence? Probably.

I decided to run a promotion with Itsy Bitsy Book Bits (IBBB) for my poetry book after reading some Goodreads forums on marketing sites. They do rely heavily on social media presence, along with their pool of reader/reviewers. I’m not that active on social media, so I’m probably not taking total advantage of the package, but so far, while it hasn’t translated into any sales, I have received more reviews.

The underlying theme of many of the reviews mirrored one of the reasons for publishing my poems as the forward in my book stated:

I hope that my writing and drawing makes you smile, think, wonder, reflect, laugh, and cry (in a good way-we all need to cry sometimes. It’s not as good as laughing but it serves a purpose). If you can relate to something that I have said, and it makes sense to you, or at least you are entertained, then I have accomplished the second thing that I set out to do.

That was my intent and reason, and these are some of the comments:

“Being a beginner with poetry, this was a great book to start with…The personal points of view which are portrayed are easily relatable and resonates with me on a personal level.

“It is certainly on book that will make you stop and think… also injecting humour making me laugh. If you are up for something a little different then Leon’s book is just the thing.”

“I have read books of poems before but Lines by Leon touches on topics that really make you think.” 

“This is an easy to understand… I know you will find something in one of these poems or short stories you will connect with.”

“These speak to me at this time in my life… You will be amazed as I was at how these short works will grab your heart.”

“… there is something that will connect with everyone.”

As you can see, that goal of my decision to publish has been met, and it warms my heart to get such wonderful feedback. Now the next goal is to reach more readers.

  • If you live in Canada or the US, you can get a signed paperback copy of my book, Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose and Pictures directly from me: https://linesbyleon.com/books-and-merch/
  • You can purchase a copy from most major online retailers: Universal Book Link
  • You can tell someone about the book on your social media

Here is a link to the IBBB promo page: https://itsybitsybookbits.com/2021/07/lines-by-leon-poems-prose-and-pictures-by-leon-stevens/

All of your support is appreciated!

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Monday Musings: To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme

Reading over the thirty poems that I wrote in April allowed me to assess my writing style. Verdict: Haphazard.

Admittedly, I don’t read a lot of poetry—more now than before—for various reasons. I have more preferred genre preferences, and I suppose I don’t want to be influenced by the style of others. When I began to write poems, I didn’t set out to write a particular form or have a rhyme scheme in mind. It was all about getting my thoughts down in a way that I thought accurately represented the concept. I let the process dictate the final outcome.

As children, we learn rhyme from nursery rhymes, primer reading books, and word families. It becomes second nature to rhyme, and sometimes it is hard not to.

From the very start, I found that rhyme placement was a way to grab the reader’s mind, and too many often detracted from the imagery or idea that I was trying to convey. So, some of my poems have very few, but when they occur, it’s effective. I guess you could call it fluid form poetry or floating rhyme.

I try not to use an unfamiliar word or words that can’t be immediately understood by the context unless, of course, that important rhyme gives exigence to incorporate the word “reticent” (or taciturn, for that matter).*

Learn the rules so that you can break them or make up the rules as you go along. If they don’t work—change them.

I’m not saying that my writing is unique, but it is mine from my heart and mind. I chose to share these words with the world because they help me put things into perspective, and I hope that they can do the same for others along with providing entertainment in this world we all share.

– Leon

*exigence (n.) – demand, requirement

*reticent (adj.) – discreet, restrained, taciturn   

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

NaPoWriMo: Day 30 (Destinations)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place.

Here it is. The last day of the challenge. I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my daily creations. I hadn’t poetry for a while, since I shifted my focus to my science fiction writing. It was a good incentive to get back to what started my writing journey, and looking back on the last 29 days, I’m happy with what I wrote.

Here From There

No two people
Will arrive at the same place
Given directions and a numbered pace
We line them up
And teach the skills
Then release them with free wills
Learn the basics
So you can make the choice
Everybody has a voice
Start at Reading Road
Make sure you don’t miss Comprehension Boulevard
Turn at Writing Avenue
Left or right it’s yours to choose
You will see Math Street coming up
Spend time at the Basics block
If you miss it
You may get lost
Don’t hesitate to ask for directions
Everybody there 
Is extremely helpful
And each has a different perspective
You can try to climb the hill 
Of  You Can Be Anything You Want To Be
For some it’s better to go around, you’ll see
There is no shame to turn around
And start again a second time round
Sometimes it will be best 
To ignore the GPS
You will find your destination 
Changes as you travel the nation
But when you arrive
Take a look around
This will be the place you’ve found



Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 30

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

NaPoWriMo: Day 29 (Windows)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene.

One more day to come. I think I’m going to miss the routine.

Looking Back

My childhood home disappears 
Behind the climbing tree
My first college dorm fades
Into the brownstone facades
My apartment with the narrow stairs
Slowly hidden by its neighbor  
The rented house seems smaller
Even though I’m not the last to leave
The waving line dwindles
While the music plays 
I must have missed the point
When the mountains yielded to the prairie
I looked away for a moment 
The ocean gone when I return my gaze
I am sometimes filled with envy that
The rear window has seen the last 
Of all my firsts


-Leon

Read the story that was later inspired by this poem: https://linesbyleon.com/2021/06/10/thursday-thoughts-poem-to-story/

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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NaPoWriMo: Day 28 (Questions)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a poem that poses a series of questions.

Up early this morning. Again. To. Much. Pressure.

Purpose

What will I write about today?
The poet pondered
Lying in the meadow away
From distraction
Will it be poignant?
Do I try to shed a little light?
Does it need to give a fright?
How can the words I write
Make a difference in someone’s life?
Will rhyme present itself
At the proper time?
Where will inspiration come?
Or do I sit here deaf and dumb
Until the words…until the words…
Begin to surge
Why do I write anyway?
The poet sat and questioned 
There are not enough words
To answer that
Then
Then as the sun set
And the moon rose
And the sky exploded
In a tumult of emotion
The answer was revealed
Because I can
And the poet’s fate was sealed


Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 28

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

NaPoWriMo: Day 27 (Up early and waiting)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  To be announced

Up early this morning. Was able to pick up some work for the week. It’s been a while so I couldn’t say no. Since the prompt isn’t posted yet, I’ll offer this:

Control

Like clockwork
Until it isn’t
Routines repeat 
Until they don’t
Stay in the groove
Until you jump out

(What’s that? No, it’s not a rut. OK, it’s kinda a rut.)
Don’t change
Until you need to
Expecting the expected
Until the unexpected jars you into accepting that no matter how hard you try
You’re not in complete…

Control

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 27

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

NaPoWriMo: Day 26 (Parody)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content.

Oh, Do a Parody

The parody
Should be easy
Something to make fun of

From lots to choose
How could I lose
Just change around the words

The Rime was way to long
Maybe do a nursery song 
I tried to write about the fog

Switched direction
Asked the question
Where does the sidewalk end

Tried some Poe
But do not know
Enough of this old master

I admit defeat
I can’t compete
With King Weird Al Yankovic 

I misread
I thought it said
Write an ode to a parody

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 26

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

NaPoWriMo: Day 25 (Occasion)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion.

Graduation Day

Can I sit beside you and cheer out loud
Without fear or paranoia
And not be nervous in a crowd

Handshakes replaced by an eyebrow raise
I don’t recognize you
If you don’t wear the same coat

Tired of my recycled breath
And my moist chin
The anti-fog cloth fails every time

Is this separation a trial
Giving wide berth
As if everyone is suspicious

Not missing some social expectations
Did I just purge
Unnecessary friendships

Throw my mask in the air
Like on graduation day
If this is ever over

Lessons learned
Yet are we be prepared the next time
When the world fights back

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 25

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!