Revised: An Empty Love Letter

I just revised this poem. I revised it because after reading it with fresh eyes I realized that it needed something else, it needed a facelift, a poetic facelift.

I am going to try and practice what I learned at The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of CreativeWriting.

I was fortunate enough to attend this program a few weeks ago and I learned so much.

I came home with a new found enthusiasm to work on my poetry and short stories. So this is my first revision of an old post.

via An Empty Love Letter

Writing Update

Five days until I head off to Martha’s Vineyard for a week of creative writing. I am nervous and excited. I have never done anything like this but I know that it will be worth the experience. Lately, writing has been challenging and I am looking forward to breaking through this writer’s block.

I think this week away will help me focus on my craft. I look forward to breaking through this writer’s block!

I am still a little short of my goal check out my most recent update below:

Delia’s Creative Writing Dream

 

Write—For Me

I set out to write a new collection of poetry and I am thinking about words more than I have in the past.

The most difficult thing about writing is trying to find new words that mean the same thing while creating a different version of what I already wrote without repeating myself.

Can you follow that?

Some days, I can’t because it is exhausting.

I think about the words I  use when I write.  I listen to the way they sound and explore the feelings which I am trying to express.

If the words don’t invoke any feeling then I know I’m doing it wrong.

This intricacy of language is what makes writing so difficult.

One word can alter everything that you are trying to express as a writer.

I have been trying to push my writing in a different direction and— as I write— I discovered that it doesn’t work. I was frustrating myself with every word because it did not sound right.

Then, BOOM! It hit me…

Through trial and error…

I have my own style and I should use what works for me and build my toolbox from this foundation.

I attended critiques sessions for poetry and for fiction, and I received positive feedback and constructive criticism that helped me. As I work on revisions I recall the the feedback that I receive. Some of the commentaries I received were geared around the musicality and lyrical quality of my word choice. My short story received positive feedback about the intentional wordplay I created was examined.   The woman who critiqued me wasn’t sure if it was intentional wordplay and I was proud when she called out to it because it was intentional.

These pieces came naturally, they flowed from my fingertips with ease and poetic prose. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel.

Not everyone likes rhyming, most people don’t like poetry, and wordplay can get lost in the mix but I shouldn’t allow that to change my style.

I have an awkward inner poet that rises up from time to time ready to create a beautiful word-vine.

I love writing. I love poetry. I love a good story. I revel in telling stories and creating a thunderous voice that booms from the pages making you feel the power of prose.  A voice that can move you to tears—as a writer making people cry is so rewarding! Think about it! To muster up that kind of emotion in another being through language now that’s powerful!

So why should I try to please everyone else with my writing?

Writing makes me happy so I should enjoy what I write.

If I am genuine then I am sure to reach an audience that will appreciate what I have created as a writer and that is all I want, even if it is an audience of one.

Releasing Writing Fears

I like writing but I am hesitant about sharing. Self-doubt, apprehension, and fear continuously rear their putrid heads over and over again.  The self-doubt and apprehension lead me to write. In part, I believe that this is an oxymoron because the fear and apprehension should make me run from the craft.

The exploration of my language leaves me at a loss sometimes. I am lost in my thoughts and words— constantly. I am lost in observation and I am lost in the wonderment of exploration. I can explore the darkest thoughts of my mind and create something truly unique or I can create a poem that embraces every romantic idea I have ever come across and yet somehow, I feel it’s never good enough.

It’s not good enough so it’s not worth sharing.

I have so many creations, characters, and plots that are begging for exposure.

They haunt my thoughts daily.

They chase me down dark damp dreary desolate corridors.

They rush to the forefront seeking the spotlight in the world. They long to enter the minds of others and leave behind an impression of existence.

And, then, there is me.

I stand in the way of everything. I place myself between the world and my words.

Is this intentional sabotage or uncertainty? It may be both.

So I have decided to make myself uncomfortable!   I am trying to share more, I am seeking exposure, albeit, baby steps but nonetheless steps in the WRITE direction.

The first thing I did was enter a poetry contest. This forced me to create and compile a collection of my poetry. A total of 51 poems which explore my love of poetry by exploring the concepts of identity, love, sex, fear, torment, nature, and any other experience of the human existence I could muster up from the left and right hemispheres of my brain.

I am also going to continue my novel, a multi-cultural contemporary romance novel sprinkled with history. The book explores the harsh realities of love, loss, grief, trauma, history and there is the possibility of happiness (this is still to be determined).

And—for my last trick there are these short stories I have been working on. Sorted little tales I take the most pleasure in writing.

I am exploring the world of writing, my world of writing. I am going to take the time and cultivate my craft and figure out what I will do with it in the next few months.

I invite you to share your writing fears, inhibitions or apprehensions. Expose them, explore them then release them.

Puerto Rico

I am writing today from within. I write from the roots of my being. I am an American, a Puerto Rican. I am the daughter of an island born on the mainland of a country in turmoil over identity. Today, I see inaction on behalf of other American citizens, on inhabitants of an island in despair.  Americans absent from inclusion, they live on an island bombarded by the waters of grief and we are all hurting. Our island is in trouble and we are stranded on the mainland, hopeless, fearful, and desperate.

La isla del encanto, la isla de mi niñez, drowned by a storm— is surfacing for air.

And I see all of us crying out for our people.

I see humanity emerging from the depths of tragedy.

We cry out with memories of a coqui singing, the sounds of parrandas bellowing through the night, el cuatro is the backdrop of my childhood, with trio music cascading through my memories.

I still smell el calor de la lluvia que cae en el verano and I hear my grandmother saying to me, “se caso la bruja, lluvia con sol.”  I can’t translate culture. I can’t turn this refrán into something that makes sense in English. Sometimes, I can’t make sense of myself in America, because I am  Puerto Rican. The earmarks of our culture lose meaning when we try to translate them.

We try to translate our being, our identity. We try to be American- but we don’t have to try because we are Americans with a dash of sazón.

Our culture is a mixture of history told over the sounds of an island’s melody for decades.

We are American. We are part of this country too; we are the people of a nation that ignores us.

We fight in wars, we work in your business, we are doctors, nurses, teachers, representatives, we even hold a position in the Supreme Court, we are Grammy award winners, Tony award winners, actors, actresses, sports players, musicians, rappers, poets, writers, executives, secretaries, your neighbors, and friends.

It saddens me that the tragedy which has fallen upon the birthplace of my ancestry has devastated the Motherland. But I want you to remember “Esta raza siempre es brava/ Aunque sople el temporal” (Residente, Hijos Del Cañaveral).

Don’t lose sight of the solidarity that has forged from this tragedy. Make an effort to help. Bring attention to the plight of our island; bring attention to the people of the island. Don’t sit down and remain silent, write letters make phone calls, donate money for relief efforts (Donating items is not always the best solution unless you know what is exactly needed. Avoid waste).

Find out where the relief efforts are, change the conversation of the nation unite with others and make CHANGE happen.

Music Mondays: Changes

Change starts with you! Remember your history as a warning, learn from the lessons of the past. Changes start with people like us-it is up to us to make things all right.

 

 

Dear Lady Liberty

Dear Lady Liberty,

As you stand in the harbor watching over our nation, I imagine the tears falling down your face. I imagine your heart has been broken by the problems we have created. I imagine that as you are standing in the harbor you are watching how we systematically kill your children.  Today, you are the figure of a mother burying her children.

We will destroy the liberty and freedom we fought to create over the years. Marches occurred to fight for our rights, but overnight we seemed to forget the power “We the people” have. We continue to marginalize groups of people because they are different.

We have forgotten our past and ignored our history. We have tried to erase it. We have ignored the wound and now it is infected, and I apologize. Lady Liberty. I apologize for not taking care of your children or valuing the idea of freedom and liberty.

I apologize for the lack of effort to promote unity.

I am sorry.

I will apologize to you when the rest of the nation is in turmoil. I apologize while everyone else ignores that movements and moments start at home.

I have hope that we learn how to respect our differences. I hope that we will not forget our past. I hope, that we learn how to improve our future. I hope that as a nation, we figure out how to move forward together.

I hope that as the turmoil subsides we learn that we all must be part of the solution. Sitting by is no longer an option. I hope that we learn that small actions matter just as much and large ones.  I hope that we realize that change starts and ends with our efforts We have to stand up and move forward together.

We cannot forget the harsh truth of our past.  The hurt and pain we have faced as a nation. We cannot forget how you, Lady Liberty, witnessed what we have become as a nation. How we have built ourselves up by oppression. You watch how we beat down on others just to build up this American identity—an American identity which spans beyond the white skin or brown skin or yellow skin or tan skin, that any one of us possess. Our history is ugly, but our future can be great.

Our present should not be a movement to rewind the clock.

Lady Liberty, I extend my hand to offer you hope. All is not lost, but these are trying times.

I hope that I will leave a better nation for my children, for your children and all children.

I hope that we take back the power that we have been given as citizens and exercise our rights.

I hope that we understand.

Love,
Hopeful America

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2017 All rights reserved.

Music Mondays: Residente’s Rap

Residente is one of my favorite rappers.

If you don’t understand Spanish, then you may not understand my fascination with this artist, but regardless I am going to share. My children listen to everything I listen to because they are always with me. Usually, my oldest daughter does not like my music choices but when she listened to Immigrants for the first time and heard Residente’s part she stated, “I feel bad for people who can’t understand Spanish because he killed it.” In other words she thought it was good.

Renee Perez, better known as Residente, has won a Nobel Peace Summit Award.  He has a  Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in computer animation. He makes references in his raps from Don Quixote to injustice. Residente is a part of a group named Calle 13, they have won approximately 24 Grammy awards. He provides lyrically rich content mixed with a real understanding of social justice. Then, switches it up to create an up tempo raunchy hit.

He’s an advocate of educaition and social justice and I just love him! Super Fan Girl and I don’t care!

About the Music:

The first one is an 8 minute dis track for a rapper named Tempo who wanted to battle over a comment Residente made about the genre of Reaggeaton being stale. Unfortunaltey, Tempo cant compare! Round two happened and Residente made a follow-up distrack, 11-minutes that just showed his superiority in the genre, once again.

Immigrants from Hamilton’s mixtape. “Sin pasaporte americano porque la mitadad de gringolandia es terreno Mexicano.” Loosely translated: “Without a passport because half of America was Mexican territory.”

El Aguante talks about all the thing we put up with as a people and society.

“aguantamos el que vende balas y el que la dispara
aguantamos la muerte de Lennon, la de Víctor Jara
aguantamos muchas guerras, la de Vietnam, la Guerra Fría
la Guerra de los Cien Años, la Guerra de los Seis Días”

We put up with those who sell the guns and those who pull the trigger
We put up with Lennon’s death and Victor Jara’s too
We put up with wars, Vietnam, the Cold War, the 100 years War, the Six-Day War.

Enjoy!

The Poet & Writer

I want to be a poet, so I say “I am a poet.” I want to be a writer, so I say “I am a writer.” I have these tales in my head I write them down. I have these poems I place in this dumping ground. They’re rough draft versions that need much work.

Editing- that’s what they need.

Editing, the dreaded daunting task of correcting my own work. In this exercise, I stab my piece and make it bleed. Slashing the prose of my mind, I become the killer—my very own horror movie. Holding a knife I cut through the surface of ideas, what a bloody mess! I begin stitching together the remains- I’m creating Frankenstein.

I have blood on my hands.

I must massacre all my hard work.

The blood, sweat, tears and hand cramps didn’t create an impeccable first draft. I do not want to hack away any piece of them, of the story or the lines of poems. I am, emotionally invested in the purpose of my prose.

Weaving together intricacies, creating new identities, giving life to the characters you read. Even made up people have feelings too!

I know that what I have is a draft. I know that I must continue to create.

I know that I must learn to walk away.

Breathe and take a break.

To write and create!

Let’s Share: What Stephen King Taught Me

K.D. Dowdall states: “I was a competent mimic.” Why does this particular line speak to me? Well, because it encomapsses everything that any artist needs in order to perfect their craft. The reason is because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For writers if you do not know how to imitate the style of those authors you love then you can’t write. You will not be able to take your reader on a journey and loose them within the creations of life you penned and you’ll loose them to the world in the first line.

I heard this at the writers conference critique, “The begining should be a promise to your reader.” That stuck with me, it is a powerful concept to think that as a writer I promise to guide my reader on a journey.

If you can’t keep that promise then how can you write?

 

 

 

Pen & Paper

Stephan King

Stephen King wrote a seminal work on fantasy fiction writing—a memoir of the craft on writing by the same name: Stephen King: A memoir of the Craft – On Writing.

When I decided to write fantasy fiction, instead of just dreaming about it, I decided the best place to start would be with Stephen King. Who better to learn from but a master fiction writer?  So, I purchased his book in the year 2005, read it several times, high-lighted tantalizing concepts, tabbed with sticky writable tabs until I had outlined the entire book.  I soon learned that reading about writing, tabbing every conceivable point of interest does not necessarily create a master fiction writer or even a mediocre fiction writer.

So, I stopped reading books on writing and just started reading books I loved: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Edgar Allen Poe, Harry Potter, Hans Christian Anderson, and so many others.  I…

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