Today’s Poem: Pablo Neruda – Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in
Itself the light of hidden flowers;
Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
Risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

That this: where I does not exist, nor you,
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Quote for the day

Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words – the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered.
– J. Michael Straczynski

Quote for the day

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

– Barbara Kingsolver

Writing Prompt: Beautiful Beasts

I just got back from feeding my friend’s cats while she’s away. I’ve always loved cats. Have you noticed how some people gravitate towards dogs and others prefer cats? I love that they’re sleek, soft, smart and independent. I like that they purr when they’re happy and that they can sleep anywhere. They’re hunters, whether they’re lions or house pets. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours (though I’ve always preferred black). They have unique personalities. When you look at their eyes in the light, they sparkle and look a little sinister.

Most people have a favourite animal. Choose one. Describe not only it’s outward appearance, describe it’s natural habitat and how it fits in. Describe the animal’s personality as you see it. Whether it’s a chinchila, a giraffe or a platypus, all animals have something unique about them. Put in as much detail as possible about what you see in them.

Have fun.

Writing Prompt: Beautiful Beasts

Quote for the day

Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.

– Paul Valery

Writing Prompt: The Muse

Art means different things to different people. Some people love sculpture, others painting, pottery, architecture or drawing. Modern art is lost on me, but I love the intricacies of impressionism. I love that as a species, throughout our entire history, we’ve made things with our hands, the products of our imaginations. There are stories in everything we see.

Now, if I had to name my favourite works, I’ve have to say the works of Paul Delaroche, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John William Waterhouse, Johannes Vermeer and Jean Leon Gerome are up there. They tend to fall more into the realm of pre-Raphaelite and Romanticism, but they just hit me where it counts.

There is something about the colour and detail and the stories behind their subjects that fascinate me. My favourite Rossetti is “Persephone”, my Waterhouse is “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” and my favourite Delaroche is “La Jeune Martyre”.

Try this, pick your favourite work of art and describe it. What it looks like, shape, colour, and what it is you love about it.

Here’s one of mine:


Writing Prompt: The Muse

Quote for the day

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like the violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. – Gustave Flaubert

Writing Prompt: Magical Creatures

Although it is not the genre I usually gravitate towards, I’ve always been a fan of fantasy. Whether it’s the horror of Dracula or the adventures of Frodo Baggins, I have a place in my heart for things and characters created from our imaginations that break all the rules of what we accept as reality.

I like the ideas of witches and werewolves, of unicorns and fawns. I wonder what it is about these things that fascinate us as rational human beings.

Have a bit of fun with this one.

Here is the scene: There is a clearing in the woods on the night of an October full moon. There is a campfire raging into the night sky and drawn by the light, four creatures approach from different directions and meet at the fire.  There is caution and tension when they all clap eyes on each other. They are: a vampire, a unicorn, a troll and a witch.

What where they each doing there and what happens for one night when they all meet?

Have fun.

Writing Prompt: Magical Creatures

Quote for the day

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.

– Brenda Ueland

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