Ring of Fire

In light of the most recent form rejection letter I received, I was going to write a whiney poem with a title along the lines of “Rejection, Dejection (and Form Consolations)”, but decided to spare you all and turn my misery into determination. Though “sparing you” might be overstating it. Query letter hell ain’t no fun place to be and I just got here.

Ring of Fire

Really thought you’d break me
Standing here in a ring of fire
Flames burning into skin
Making me grow brighter

Every scar burnt into me
Stings less with every blow
Makes me stronger inside out
Teaches me what I’m yet to know

I feel the heat choking my breath
But I said I won’t give in
It burns my body, but not my will
The pain brings me closer to the win

I look up at the sky and nothing else
And focus on the stars
Makes the flames hurt somewhat less
Makes me forget the scars

Seems a little fuzzy now
Seems I’m falling away
I close my eyes, and that’s when it happens
Those glorious drops of rain.

© Lily K. Lynn 2012

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That (damn) Query Letter

Major word spew alert. You have been warned.

That (damn) Query Letter

I’m goin’ a little crazy
And everything’s so hazy
There’s no one here to hold my hand
To help me somehow understand

So I come to you, pen, with my writer’s plea
As I bolt to beyond and infinity
With wobbly knees and rose-coloured glasses
I stumble from failure toward all my passes

How is it that I can write a whole book?
Yet I have trouble when it comes to the hook?
Pitching to agents with query letters
Hoping they’ll think my book’s better

The damn letter hasn’t even been written yet
For the past few weeks I’ve grumbled and fret
But I’m doing it today, oh yes I’m doing it now
I’m going to Starbucks and getting this down

Dear Ms Agent, hope you like my style
I hope you move it from the slush pile
I know you get a hundred queries a week
But I hope my one is the one you seek

Publishing credits, I hear you say?
Well, I don’t yet have one this day
I heard my word count spurs heart attacks
And to expect my manuscript sent on back

They say my writing ain’t up to par
And I’ll never make it very far
So don’t expect my book to take flight
But then, how on earth do you explain Twilight?!

Dear Ms Agent, I hope this reaches you well
For this query letter comes from depths of hell
You read a hundred a week and they’re all the same
So I’m just hoping I don’t misspell your name.

© Lily K. Lynn 2012

The Writer

I’ve always felt a little like the odd one out wherever I go. My social awkwardness can be credited in part, but as I grow up, more and more I realise that my choices tend to be outside of the norm. When I tell people I’m a writer, the first thing they say is: “Cool. So which company are you applying for? I know this really good one…” I always have to correct them and explain I’m giving myself this block of time to write and complete a novel I’m going to send out to publishers. For some reason, choosing a creative field to pursue is something a lot of people can’t relate to. They look at you like you’re committing career suicide. Maybe I am, but since I’ve found my dream and my ultimate purpose in life, I’m not about to just abandon it for a desk job.

My parents think I’m nuts. My mum is always telling me to go out more, meet more people, “get a job, so you won’t be such a hermit!” She doesn’t understand that being alone is part of a writer’s job description. We need that time away from the world to get lost in our own worlds so we can write. I sincerely believe she doesn’t take me seriously, although she claims she does. No one really takes me seriously. They all treat this like an artistic phase I’m going through that will soon pass, and that I’ll eventually cave and get a 9-5 job like everyone else. Only I seem to know that that will never happen. Want to know my greatest nightmare? That. Caving. Why would I trade my dream for my nightmare?

Maybe I do have my head in the clouds sometimes. Maybe I dream too big and it should scare me more. Maybe my hopes for success are mere delusions of grandeur. I don’t care because this is who I am. It took me long enough to get here, I’m not about to just turn my back on it because people think I’m setting myself up for disappointment. I know there will be obstacles and many failures to come, but I have full intention of picking myself up again. I’m just going to keep on going, every which way, until I get what I want. I sincerely believe life is that simple if you’re just willing to invest in your dreams. Don’t be afraid of them and don’t let people put you down. The latter is especially difficult at times, such as now. I’ve felt so put down lately. I have to keep reminding myself who I’m doing this for – me or them? This doesn’t just apply to writing either. Sometimes, I feel like people try to tell you what to do in every aspect of your life, as if they are masters at life or something. I just think everyone is different, everyone is constantly learning, so you should just focus on your own life and stop telling others how to live theirs.

Anyway, this is another “word spew” poem (as if all the word spew ^ up there isn’t enough of an indication! Apologies for the rant!). Thank you for reading, as always. Xx

 

The Writer

I can’t possibly be a normal human being
When my greatest satisfaction
Is being left alone to think, to ponder
To wonder and to delight

I see it in their eyes everyday
I hear it in their subtle words
“She must surely be going crazy
Being alone for so long”

Explaining myself is but wasted time
How could they possibly understand
The things that go on
In a writer’s endless mind?

Between my two ears is a different world
A world where magic exists
Prince Charming isn’t a lie
And I construct perfect imperfections

My dreams tell me I can fly
So when I wake each day
I make it so, in my mind
And with my words

I find words are the closest I can get
To touching another’s soul
To move, to heal, to inspire
These are my greatest goals

“Don’t you need to go out and see?”
It’s what they all ask me
They can’t understand that my inspiration
Comes from within

It comes from a white butterfly I see
An imprint on the footpath
A sudden sensation with the breeze
It comes from complete silence, nothing

I am able to feel and to express
Things I have never felt myself
But things others will feel
When they read my words

So then, is it a blessing or a curse?
To script emotion onto paper
To live in my own mind
Rather than outside of it

I think I might miss out on the world
Because I’m too preoccupied with my own
But I don’t care
My world’s better than what’s become of reality

So they tell me I’m a little crazy
I’m a little strange in my ways
They think I might go insane
Behind this locked door

Thus is the curse of a writer
One must pay the price of insanity
To be born with the ability
Of creating great things out of nothing.

© Lily K. Lynn 2011

Perfect

As I now throw myself into re-writing, revising, re-plotting the second draft of my novel in the works, I wonder to myself if it will ever be good enough for me to say ‘yes, this is it, it’s ready to be sent off’. I don’t consider myself an extreme perfectionist, though the more I think about it (and my tendency to be overly pedantic), the more I think many perfectionists may feel this way because, since nothing is ever quite perfect enough, we feel we cannot call ourselves the perfectionist. Ironic huh?

Sometimes I think my so-called perfectionist bug is mere paranoia inherited from my father, or maybe it’s my mother’s tendency to always aim for the very best in all aspects of life, or perhaps it’s my brother’s freak genius I feel I’ll never live up to. Maybe I’ve been environmentally conditioned to strive only for utter perfection. I used to get upset at myself when things weren’t absolutely perfect (or as perfect as I wanted them to be). However, with years of self-training, mind you, I’ve learnt to let loose a little more. I’ve learnt to tell myself “it’s okay, you did your best, this is good enough so let it go” and “stop worrying. Worrying won’t change it”.

Now I find myself writing a book I want to see published. A book I intend for others to read – not just my friends, but strangers I don’t even know. And yes, I feel Miss Perfection creeping up on me once again, telling me it will never be good enough and even if it did get published, it would be met with harsh criticism because you ain’t got nothing on J.K. Rowling! You ain’t got enough life experience! You only got what’s between your two ears, and you really think you can brew up some amazing story with just that? You ain’t got connections! You get the idea… So why the sudden perfection attack? Because I want this really badly, more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. I feel I must succeed, because there isn’t anything else I can be (goodness knows I’ve tried), and that terrifies me. I’ve always thought you get to choose who you become, but lately, it feels as though it chooses you. We are who we are. Xx

Perfect

To be a perfect person
Is to not be flawed
To take each blow with a smile
Make most of each closed door

To never judge another
And practise thankfulness
Even when you know you’re right
You must know forgiveness

You can’t be angry
Nor can you cry
You must never ruin your perfect face
You must never ask this world why

No matter what evil is out there
Fighting to turn your side
You cannot have a moment of weakness
But you also must not hide

That is what perfection is
That is what I strive
It’s always there in my head
These rules I must abide

Then I realised yesterday
I’m slowly falling apart
Wasting moments of my life
Holding together a broken heart

I realise that I got it wrong
Perfection is not all this
It’s accepting the flaws within us
Each mistake, each stolen kiss

It’s understanding weakness
That you’re allowed to cry
Knowing you’re not alone
When you ask this world why

 It’s knowing how to forgive
But also how to learn
Judging people fairly
Giving them their turn

Accepting evil is out there
And sometimes you’re afraid
For a moment you can hide
But the fear will fade

So you see I’m perfect
Just the way I am
And if I could just see this
I’d dare to take your hand

I’d dare to say “I love you”
‘Cause I’m all you want me to be
I’m finally just as perfect
As you are to me.

© Lily K. Lynn 2011

My Story

Unfortunately, this is not about my story in the works (though I am nearing finishing the first draft – hallelujah!). This piece is entirely about who I am as a person, and I suspect, also how other writers may feel. At the risk of my parents reading this, all those times I told them I was “studying in my room” during high school, I was actually writing stories or poetry, or recounting my ‘dear diary’ moments in life….gosh, I hope no one ever finds those diaries. I was one of those teenagers who treated her diary like the only friend who could understand her and I was admittedly quite the angsty teen. I don’t know if I’m the only writer/artist who does this, but I actually enjoy lulling myself into a depressive state, particularly if one of my characters is in a bad place. I feel I need to get there too, and once I am, I can pour out everything I’m feeling onto paper. I think if you’re feeling something so strongly, you should use it, and it makes what you’re writing more real.

I think everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions, but I have always dealt with mine through the written word. I think stories have this incredible power to educate us on the human condition, whether it’s through the written word or film or lyrics of a song or a painting. Often, you read or watch something, and it makes you reflect on your own life. It makes you re-evaluate and sometimes it changes you. Make-believe is the most powerful tool in the universe, because before you even begin to head toward your goals in life, you have an image in your mind of what the result will be, even if it hasn’t happened yet. Plus, you know, it’s fun. Xx

My Story

I see another moment in time
That can be captured in my rhyme
A song, an image in a dream
That once again inspires me

These characters form in my mind
And very soon it seems I find
Another story I must write
Every day and every night

My emotions pour into the words
All the things I’ve ever learnt
I write because I can escape
Into the world that I create

This world where problems can be solved
With the words that it is told
Where fantasy becomes real life
And dreams can reach a whole new height

For words are so beautiful to me
I feel they can capture anything
They teach, they heal, they make you smile
Even if for just awhile

Sometimes the feeling is just so strong
I have to put it in a song
Release the emotion I have inside
Onto the paper which I write

Escape into my fantasy
Where these characters are real to me
Their journey far more interesting
Than the average life I live

But then I must put down my pen
For every story has an end
I’m drawn back to reality
Where life is life just as it seems

I remember what lies ahead of me
I’m scared to death of what it may be
I wish I lived inside a book
No further would I have to look

But life’s an entirely different game
The outcome we can’t always tame
We can write the words but never know
When a change will come and go

I spend my time writing fantasy
Forgetting that the life I lead
Is still here and waiting around
For me to get up off the ground

To face my fear and figure it out
What my life’s story is about
All I hope is I’ll live it well
And finally have my own story to tell.

© Lily K. Lynn

Beautiful Silence

So I’m sitting here staring at my open Word document that contains my novel in the works, watching that vertical line blink repetitively at the end of my last sentence. It’s driving me nuts. I think I’ve re-written the last sentence I wrote about fifty times. It’s still not right, and although I know what needs to be written next, I’m not “feeling it”, if that makes any sense. So what do you do when you hit a roadblock? I don’t know, I try lots of things, but I decided to blog tonight.

This is a short story (story might be overstating it) I wrote last year on a night I had insomnia. I don’t know why this happened to me a lot that year, but it did. So in the early hours of that morning, I found myself spewing thoughts onto paper. I tend to get a lot of random philosophical musings late at night and it doesn’t always make sense when I re-read it in the morning, so be warned.

What do you do when you can’t fall asleep? And to the writers, how do you combat writer’s block? Share your thoughts below. Xx

SHORT PIECE:
Beautiful Silence

Sometimes, when I’m alone, I close my eyes. That’s when I hear it – the unspoken whispers of the universe, my constant yet forgotten breaths, and the silence. The beautiful silence. My eyes are closed and I listen. I try to understand the meaning of significance and how my insignificance fits into the much larger world around me.

I look at people sometimes and wonder about their story. Everyone has a story. I want to sit next to the solemn old man with a walking stick and ask him what his story is. Why does he look so sad? Do the deep, gentle creases in his forehead represent years of wisdom or just one too many years? I’m curious. But I never ask. I’m too afraid. So instead, I choose to listen to the silence and hope that my purpose will become clear to me that way.

Do you ever wonder what you’re doing here? I’m not talking about the meaning of life per se, but I ask that question just as it is. What am I doing here? If I died tomorrow, what would happen? I wonder if I would look down from heaven and feel any remorse about all the things I never did, or just look down with a surprising indifference at everyone left who didn’t die. I wonder if it would just be a bit like ‘so what? I died’. I even wonder if it would feel liberating – not because I’m suicidal, but just because I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about all the little things people have told me I need to worry about as a grown-up. I would look down from heaven, and it would just be like ‘so what?’. I think, maybe, death doesn’t scare me like it does other people. Whether there is a heaven, or whether those who leave us just poof into thin air, I’m not afraid of the day I find out. Until then, life is a perpetual learning experience and often we forget to just pause on the journey and relish, simply, in what is.

Who made up all these rules anyway? You read about all these laws and regulations, or ways that things are done, and I just wonder who decided first it had to be done that way. Sometimes, when I listen to the silence, I feel like we’ve become lost in all the paperwork, and I yearn. I actually yearn to live in the past a million years ago when all that mattered was survival. There was none of what we’ve come to define as responsibility, when really, responsibility should really just be a duty to yourself – a kind of promise, if you will, to feel good about the things you do until the day you discover whether there’s a heaven or not.

So I lie here. I listen and embrace the beautiful silence around me – a silence that includes the sounds of cars, of people, of the cool breeze, of the city, of the world. I listen very carefully and I allow myself to feel every emotion. It burns a hole inside of my heart so very deep that tears rush to the surface of my eyes and I don’t understand why I’m almost crying. Then it begins to spread like a warm fire throughout my entire body and for one whole moment, nothing matters. Nothing matters because I disappear. I become the silence – floating, drifting, surreal. My insignificant body in this gigantic universe I will never wholly understand.

I look forward to the nights, those lonely moments just before you fall asleep. Because I know that when I open my eyes, I’ll remember the silence, but I’ll get up anyway. I’ll follow the rules, I’ll fill out the paperwork, I’ll chase the dreams I’ve been taught to want. Why? I don’t ask why. The answer scares me: because it’s the only way I know how to live.

© Lily K. Lynn 2011

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Dear Reader

Hello and welcome to my new blog! If you were redirected here from my previous blog, I thank you for taking the time to migrate over to this new destination. It’s time for a fresh beginning and while I’m aware several of you who did migrate over from my old blog are fans of my artwork, this blog will focus primarily on my poetry (which I will be re-posting in addition to any new pieces) and writing. This is my passion in life and this is who I want to be. I have a novel in the works, which I will gradually post details of in the future, and which I will send in to publishers upon completing the final draft. This blog is to help me keep on track, as well as to share with you little bits and pieces of my life as it comes together. So for the poetry lovers, I’m happy to walk this new path with you. As for those who primarily followed my artwork, I do want to keep practising my Photoshop skills, so I’m looking to revive the ol’ blog and any artwork will likely be posted there. However, all matters relating to poetry and writing will be permanently moved here and I intend to keep this blog more active. The reason for separating the two is that while artwork is a beloved hobby of mine, writing is something I hope to make a career of and I’d love to throw around ideas with other fellow writers and readers alike.

Well, look at me yap on… I just wanted to give you all the lowdown on the change and say: hope you stick around!

Much love,

Lily