Sunday, September 11, 2011

Original Poetry


When the wind moves through our trees, that's when they tell me
to think of Africa.

there's something different—
it's a soul drummed into withered slabs of ex-crop;
footprints of cattle, birds in every aching joint.
you were Wilberforce's song, across this ocean, but even I can't taste
you—perhaps you'll pluck my eyes in
and leave me for your buzzards, the lightheaded
spiral and buzz of insect wings, and famine like pain in the back
of my skull. the dizzying sear of salt-etched soil and bison birthing; I'll never lose sight
of the fragrant brush of long grass, but here in my history I am little more than trees. trees and
damp sky, but I still think on your thunderstorms

and the way your heels would strike the ground like rain, your screaming in the lashing wind

And the pounding of your souls in the dust
to sting my sight of you, the kind to cloud my
lungs and cake my nostrils, aye

A shroud of sun-tossed dust
and your harsh breathing
and Africa
and the way you ran with
your eyes at the mountains

Copyright 2011 J Coate

"Girl in the War"

Paul said to Peter, "You gotta rock yourself a little harder.
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire."
"But I got a girl in the war, Paul, her eyes are like champagne.
They sparkle, bubble over, and in the morning all you got is rain..."

-Josh Ritter

I think my general rule of thumb is to do more research for each individual story than what may even show in the final product. Leading up to my writing this last night, I had tabs open on my browser on everything to bus schedules to CTA military discounts, what's on a dog tag, tattoo logistics, etc. Tends to make the computer run all wonky slow after a bit, but I guess that's the price I pay for trying to be a perfectionist. :P

Casey Rockford's shown up on this blog before, she's one my very oldest characters and I feel bad for making her cry, but this was not a good day for her.

Anyhow, I'm entering this in a contest, the prompt was to create something inspired by a poem or song lyrics. Josh Ritter's "Girl in the War" is amazing and powerful and beautiful and I thought it fit.

This work is copyright 2011 J Coate and can not in any way be used without my expressed, written permission.

"Girl in the War" song and lyrics are copyright to Mr. Josh Ritter.

Regular and Thoughtful Updates? Pssh, eat me.

The following journal update is brought to you by sleep deprivation and corn chips--hmm, that's possibly not right (but not unduly entirely inaccurate). I think it's probably time for a change or summat though?

I've noticed some peculiar trend with internet sites that I've posted on (deviantArt, livejournal, fb, whatever)... I tend to introduce myself to all and sundry fairly seriously, if not formally, so going through archives reveals regressively more pretentious entries--fact being, after a few months I get tired of pretending to be pretentious and instead let comments and entries get increasingly (dumb) (stoopid) casual.

So really, I'm just sayin', if you weren't aware of it already, I'm a big pile of ridiculous who stabbed m'self in the eye with mascara when the VA earthquake did get around to rolling her way. And then I caught crap for going right back to makeup but sheesh! Clearly it was an earthquake the instant the rumble started, I already went and stood in the doorway for like, two seconds, before I got bored and went back to business (okay, maybe there was a little swearing involved, but c'mon.).

Okay, yes. I've got the earthquake thing out of the way, yes indeed I was there and no, it wasn't too exciting after all. Five bonkzillion people were a-callin' me afterwards, but I'd gone to the bookstore with friend Natalie (Wife Of Corey The Man Of God) and would've been all "Guuurl, I'm looking at BOOKS" but our phones didn't work so there you go. But I've posted about it, so since it's on the internet it's official: it happened to me, too. I reckon the same might happen with Irene.

(Re: Hurricane: Stay safe, kids! If any of you duckies live on the east coast, be good darlings and wear your rainboots and DON'T DRIVE THROUGH THE BIG PUDDLES OKAY.)


I realize that I've unintentionally started a weird thing with updates here, I mean weirder than what I said above. I only tend to update when I've got exciting news because these makes me look like more of an exciting person than I really am. I assure that I'm really rather unproductive, a lot less happens in my life than it looks like (which might be a little sad, aha). Anyhow... book!

That woodcarving book I talked about a couple journals ago ([link])? I HAVE AN ADVANCE COPY AND IT IS GORGEOUS AND YOU SHOULD BUY IT. Seriously! It looks so pretty! If nothing else, go look at the pretty, glossy pictures of Jim's hands doing the step-by-steps, it looks way cool and makes my text look unimportant. The ultimate release date looks to be the 24th(?) of Sept., I might therefore be yoinked away by the Boss Lady for a book-signing.

Okay. I'm clearly demented tonight, sooo... I-Imma stop typing soon, 'kay? I'll try and do stuff at some point so I can update with more interesting things. Also, I refuse to apologize for my chronic fear of answering/replying to anything--or did I just do that? Dang.


Today's been quite the day!

And when I say a day, I mean a day. Seriously, there are days and then there are days, and I haven't had a day like today in many a day! But you know what they say, tomorrow is another day... so does that leave me right back where I started? :P

Well, it's been an interesting week. For one, I have a new job now! I'll be an assistant to a wonderful portrait/event photographer local to my area. She takes gorgeous pictures, guys! Boy oh boy, will I be eyeballing her and her work as I'm being a gopher-slave. I'll be hauling equipment and fetching and holding lights and wrangling children etc etc, but still. It's awesome. Just... awesome. Imma learn so much, yus I will.

I met Josh Ritter last night! He was super awesome and signed his book for me. He was actually rather excited when I told him how much his music meant to me as a writer, it was really fun and totally awesome. Friend Natalie (Wife of Corey The Man of God) also talked, got pictures taken with, etc. He signed her journal telling her she was "scrumptious". Oh heavens. That man... is just amazing. We got three hugs each. It was glorious.

(And on the way back we did not get nearly as lost as we did on the way to, which is good, because when D.C. was a bitch in the daytime I did not want to see what it could do to us at midnight. When the great iPod search proved fruitless in the end, except for the banana taking up its space in the cupholder, we talked about deserts and continued to discuss Airbender. This is my kind of night.)

Also, waiting in the booksigning line at the store (Politics and Prose, if anyone is curious) I bought the Brother-Creature a birthday present, being a mug with historical mustaches emblazoned thereon. This is exciting because he will be home from his missions work to receive it... six months go by fast! We're going to pick him up at the airport tonight. I'm sure he'll be very tanned, skinnier from all the walking and prayer-walks, and pretty considerably hairy. His girlfriend has been relentlessly cleaning her house. How strange it is.

Has anyone done a long-distance thing with family/friends/significant other before? I don't mean just for university unless you're across the country or something, I mean something like this where you do not see them (except through the very infrequent skype) from six months or longer... the person starts to feel more abstract, if that makes any sense. I don't particularly like that. My siblings and I, my immediate family and surrounding circles are rather close. I'm wondering, partly out of curiosity and partly because he might feel Called to Africa or something next, what happens after six months? Do you this image you hold combined with the voice you hear every so often on the phone become something you just ease into, and it eventually does feel more comfortable in the space where Brother/Sister/Parent/Friend/Lover/ect used to be? I'm pondering distance these days, it's very fascinating in a physical sense, but the possibilities are ever more endless when you account for spiritual, emotional, and mental distances as well. It'd be interesting to hear some outside thoughts on it.

But yes. Clearly, I should write a poem on it, I think there's actually some good lines in there! Amidst the babble, that is. ^^; I beg yo' pardon. In the meantime, I should drink some tea and relax, I got very little sleep last night and I don't think I'll be getting much tonight, either. Brother-creature's gonna be four hours off and wanting to tell stories. Good gracious. XD

And, in closing, I want to write a story about decompression sickness.


Oh, hey, wow. There's, like... a journal here.

Well, hey everyone, I guess it's been long enough that I should stick something here so that this space doesn't look so sad and empty. I've got a few updates worth mentioning, so I figure it's worth posting something.

Firstly, I've gone and actually made an attempt at organizing this place--witness the sparkling new tags and gadgets and marvel their tidiness. Such tidiness. You must marvel. Go ahead, I'll wait.

I've been keeping busy in the long interim with a bit of writing, lots of ideas and some poetry. Lots of jewelry's been in the works as well. A few of my prayer beads are now for sale at local Christian Shoppe, and I've got a couple of commissions in the works.

More on the writing front, the non-fiction book that I wrote this past summer for master carver Jim Calder, "So You Thought You Couldn't Cut It: A Beginner's Guide to Woodcarving" is now in the long, slow process of drudging its way through publication. The publisher and I are anticipating an early summer release, which will be good for all those parents of young'uns who are trying desperately to find something for their young lads (and lasses) to do. If you happen to know one of those or just want to pick up carving yourself, you can order the thing here:

Shameless self-promotion aside, I am also (slowly) working on collecting and writing poetry pieces for my envisioned collection, currently under the working title of "Tapwater Tides". Sporadic updates will ensue, I am sure, as work on that front progresses. I am also very tentatively about to dip a toe back into the novel-writing front. Very likely a fly-or-die situation, but I'm holding onto hope for now.

Final thoughts! My very lovely friend Kestry and I are also embarking on a co-authored novel-writing adventure! With cryptids and crazies and awesomeness included! Haha, it's currently under the working title "Mark of the Hunted", though I think it could more accurately be called "Grumpy Monsters and Demented Detectives Are Slowly Driving Casey Insane". :P

And you can find characters from this project here, in this little test blurb that I whipped up:">

Is this a suitable length for a journal entry? I think it's a suitable length for a journal entry. Take care, folks.