I’m thrilled today to be able to share with you the cover (designed by the fabulous Farah Evers Designs) of my upcoming novel, Time Being, the second book of my Synchronicity series (Out of Time, Book One; Strange Path, A Synchronicity Story). Time Being continues the adventures of Kaelyn and Jack from Out of Time and brings back Hunter Drake from “Strange Path”. I hope you’ll join me on the journey June 21st:
Tag Archives: writing
Please keep in mind that these poems are written very much off-the-cuff, usually when I sit down at the computer to update this blog. So they’re very rough. Some of them aren’t very good. Some of them I’m not sure about. Maybe some of them will speak to some of you, maybe others won’t appeal to anyone. It’s a fun thing to try, though, writing a poem a day. I highly recommend it.
By Michelle Garren Flye
When the moon turned pink,
The flowers bloomed and you said you loved me.
But there’s no such thing as a pink moon
And that makes love extraordinary.
Moonlight doesn’t change colors.
Nature is what makes the flowers bloom.
Everyone knows the moon is green
…Except when it’s blue.
It’s my favorite month. National Poetry Month. I try to read a poem or two a day during National Poetry Month. It’s not very hard, so this year, I’m challenging myself to something a little tougher.
Write a poem a day.
Post it here.
Yeah, I know, not smart to post raw stuff, but I’m determined and not many people read this anyway. So today I dug deep, and here you go:
End of Daffodil Season
By Michelle Garren Flye
Thick, yellow air.
Tall stems sway
No more buds
The other day as conservatives chanted “USA!” and “Lock her up!” as if they were interchangeable sentiments, I found myself in a very dark place wishing very bad things to happen to all of them. I pulled myself out of that place as best I could by writing this:
Jesus walked into Planned Parenthood. He paused at the desk. The receptionist, tired and counting the minutes until she could get out of the tiny, antiseptic-smelling room with its buzz of computers mixing with the sniffles and throat-clearings of the waiting room, looked up, her expression guarded out of habit. “Can I help you?”
“No.” Jesus smiled at her and she thought about the scent of dandelions. She’d loved dandelions when she was a child. She remembered the clump of golden dandelions she’d spotted by the bus stop that morning. Tonight, when she left, she would stop and smell them. Maybe she’d pick one and take it on the bus with her. The thought made her happy because dandelions smelled like hope and she very seldom felt hope anymore.
Jesus reached through the small opening in the glass window—the one she used to pass clipboards back and forth to patients—and touched her hand. “I’m just looking for a friend,” He said before turning to the waiting room.
Jesus found her in the waiting room. It was late, and she was the last one there. A middle-aged woman holding her purse on her lap and staring into the distance as if she could imagine herself somewhere else for some other purpose. Jesus sat next to her and took her hand. “She’s all right.”
As if she had come back from somewhere very far away, the woman looked at Him. She heaved a breath, raspy, sounding like she hadn’t breathed in a long time. “Is she?”
Jesus thought of the woman’s daughter undergoing a procedure in one of the back rooms that would take away the baby conceived in an ill-timed relationship. He thought of the frightened boy who’d refused to take responsibility, whose parents had taken him away instead of facing what had happened. He knew the young girl had agonized about it. He’d heard her prayers. He’d heard her father’s anger, felt the words fall like blows on the girl’s heart. If you have an abortion don’t ever come back to my house.
But in the end, full of fear instead of hope, she’d gone to the clinic. And her mother had taken her, in spite of her own convictions, too worried about losing her daughter to obey her husband. Both of them had spent the past few hours imploring Him for forgiveness.
“My husband says it’s an unforgivable sin. That she’ll be locked out of heaven forever.” The woman’s voice quavered, imploring a contradiction.
Jesus stood, and the woman’s eyes filled with wonder. For a moment, when He smiled at her, she heard again her daughter’s bell-like laughter tinkling through spring air while she ran and played in the golden sunshine. Jesus bent and kissed her forehead. “There is no sin I will not forgive if I am asked in time.”
He left the clinic and paused outside. He saw the man standing on the other side of the road. He was a man who prayed daily, almost hourly, but Jesus could no longer hear him, though from this distance He could see the man’s lips moving. Jesus knew what He’d said to the woman in the waiting room was true. But He wondered—if this man ever asked His pardon—would He hear the prayer?
His heart heavy, He walked away from the clinic as the man entered it. He heard the explosion, and as those He passed turned to see what had happened, He spotted a clump of dandelions growing between the cracks of the sidewalk.
Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.–E.B. White
I don’t think I’m over-generalizing by saying most English-speaking (and some non-English) writers have been influenced in one way or another by E.B. White. I was reminded of this over the past couple of weeks as I prepared a booktalk on White for my daughter’s third grade class. But mostly I was reminded of one thing: White’s book Charlotte’s Web was the book I read and decided to be a writer.
I was about seven, I think, when I got pneumonia and was in the hospital for a week, then home recuperating for another week. I wasn’t truly old enough to understand that it was serious, but my classmates made me get well cards and one of my extended cousins brought me a copy of Charlotte’s Web as a get well gift. His mother probably made him, and I doubt I ever thanked him properly, so he probably never knew that book became my most treasured possession.
I was a voracious reader (still am), and I read that book over and over and over again. The writing was…luscious. Like nothing I’d ever read before. Every writer knows the quote from Charlotte’s Web:
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”
How I wanted that quote to apply to me! I could be a true friend. Could I be a good writer? Could I use my words and talent to influence the world for good, as Charlotte had? In my innocence, I truly believed so. It wasn’t until I got much older that I realized how difficult the two could be to fit together. Maybe this quote, also from Mr. White, might explain why:
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
And there’s the rub. If you want your writing to mean something, if you see a need in the world and you try to address it with your writing—somebody’s not going to like it. Writing is a solitary profession that, like a single pebble thrown into a lake, causes ripples wherever it lands. The water may not like being rippled, and it may not understand why you threw the pebble in the first place, but it ripples, nonetheless. It’s something all writers deal with to some degree or other.
However, in the course of preparing my booktalk, I came across a new, and very hopeful, E.B. White quote that I have now pinned up next to my desk.
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world. I guess you can find that in there, if you dig around.”
Maybe one day, I’ll be as good a writer or at least as true a friend as Charlotte. I’ll keep working on it.
I’ve spent a day recovering from National Novel Writing Month and I’m happy to report that I did it. I wrote 50,000 words in my third novel of the Synchronicity trilogy and I won. What did I win? Well, this:
Which is really just a fancy way of saying I can feel huge accomplishment in the fact that I spent a month writing and not procrastinating. Because, as we all (especially my high school chemistry teacher) know: Procrastination is the thief of time. Especially for writers.
Every time I do this to myself, I think I’ll come out of November knowing what’s so magical about National Novel Writing Month. If you survive it and actually manage to stick with it and hit the goal, you feel like you should know something more than what you did when you started. You should be privy to some spectacular secret that J.K. Rowling and Stephen King knew and chose not to tell you.
There’s no secret. There’s not even any real magic.
The purpose of National Novel Writing Month is to serve as a reminder of what J.K. Rowling and Stephen King actually did tell us. Writing is fricking hard work. And the only way to accomplish anything is to stick the hell with it. Every single day. Pounding the keys and writing and rewriting and beating your head against your desk if that’s what it takes to loosen the words up. Writing sucks. Writing is like flying. Writing is the ultimate in time-sucking, frustrating, awe-inspiring (for you if nobody else), wasteful, necessary vocation in the world.
And there you have it. It’s a vocation. A job. It’s work. And that’s what the secret is. If what you write is worth it to you, you’ve got to write it. Even if nobody else ever reads it and you drive yourself nuts getting it out of your head and onto paper.
Because anything worth having is never, ever easy.
Please read this.
I’m a freaking romance writer, why the hell am I getting involved in politics?
Because the prospect of President Donald Trump terrifies me on a personal level, and I’m going to try to explain that.
And it’s not the so-called “salty language”/”locker room talk”, although for the record that locker room talk described actions that NO ONE should be okay with. I fear a Donald Trump presidency because I don’t think he has the emotional maturity to be president, and he will end up being an authoritarian at best. A dictator, more likely.
Think about it. He’s displayed all the signs. He is vindictive. He has shown himself to possess bullying tendencies. He calls people names and threatens them if they don’t do what he wants. He’s publicly threatened Hillary Clinton at least three times that we know of. He bans media outlets that don’t say what he wants them to say, calling them “unfair”. He threatens lawsuits for almost anything. He’s shown a total disregard for and lack of knowledge of the Constitution and international laws on several occasions.
If Donald Trump is elected president, I won’t agree with him. He doesn’t believe in the equality of races and sexes. He doesn’t believe in climate change, and I am very sure that if we have a president who denies climate change in the face of all scientific proof for four years, we’ll do uncontrollable damage to the environment.
If he is elected president and follows through on the promise to force his Attorney General to appoint ANOTHER special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and spend billions more of our tax dollars on ANOTHER investigation of our tax dollars, I will have to protest that, because it will put our entire system in jeopardy.
I will write every word I can to protest what he does that I feel is wrong. I will watch every move he makes as president, and I will fight every way I know how to try to make our nation a decent place for my children to live.
And there’s the rub. I will fight using the only real weapon I have. The written word. And we well know that Donald Trump does not believe in Freedom of the Press. In other authoritarian regimes, writers who fight the government end up in jail or dead. Their families are threatened or just disappear. Sometimes they flee their country.
If Donald Trump is elected president, writers are going to have to be as brave as soldiers. Journalists are going to have to make a commitment to fighting, right here on our own home turf. We’ll have to fight for what we believe is right, no matter the consequences. Because our nation will be at stake.
Which is why I beg you, if you believe in truth and freedom and justice, don’t vote for Donald Trump. I’d rather you vote for Gary Johnson. Write in Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. Jeb Bush was my pick for Republican nominee, honestly. Vote for him. I don’t fear any of those politicians. I don’t respect or agree with many of them, either, but I don’t fear them. Because I believe I could disagree with them and still go home at night and feel safe.