Friday, April 10, 2015

An Abecedarian Poem - #NaPoWriMo

Alphabet Soup

A better catharsis defines eternity
facetiae gutting homogeny
iconic jibes kicked lengthwise
Man needs obfuscation,
precious quantum rents torn
under vascular wedges,
xenogenous yawning zanyism

© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Visual Poem - #NaPoWriMo

The Stone Bridge

The wooded glade
holds a secret
buried under
the old stone bridge

Evil deeds
and murdered bones,
deep beneath
the old stone bridge

Names whisper
in the darkness
from underneath
the old stone bridge

© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved

Also posted on Kintsugi Poets Society

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Poem for Easter

Daily Bread

Provide us
with sustenance and grace
and concede us strength on misfortune
Remit the light to direct the path from shadow,
bestow our hope in obscurity
and share prosperity,
faith and love

From Colours of Poetry
© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's and Nursery Rhymes

Today in honour of National Poetry Month and April Fool's, I'm posting an excerpt from my book Reflections of Poetry, a macabre bit of verse I call...

Zombies in the Nursery

Little Miss Muffet
sat on her tuffet,
eating some tasty brain.

She happily munched,
her rotten teeth crunched
on matter that used to be Jane.

You may scream, Ewww,
oh how could you skew
such a highly loved rhyme?

Well, you should beware
there’s trouble in air
and there’s no longer time.

For poor Miss Muffet,
perched on her tuffet
has joined with the zombie rank

When she’s done with her eating
she’ll be lurching and greeting
the humans with a stare so blank.

So, run while you can,
flee the bleak end of man,
as we’re hunted and eaten in pain.
Time for the Undead Nursery Reign.

From Reflections of Poetry
© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Poem for St. Patrick's Day

Irish Sunrise

The gold light of a rising sun
shimmers on the high green hill
where three aged yew trees grow,
above a long-forgotten grave.

Shimmers on the high green hill,
just glimpses of the ancient Sidhe
that haunt the lush emerald clover.

Where three aged yew trees grow,
branches spreading toward the light,
roots extending deep within the soil.

Above a long-forgotten grave,
a rainbow kisses the sapphire sky
and the lonely north wind wails.

© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spotlight on Mechanized Masterpieces II

Today I'm featuring the soon-to-be-released anthology, Mechanized Masterpieces II, and one of it's authors, J. Aurel Guay. Plus there's a great Rafflecopter contest, so read on and enjoy...

Now Featuring

J. Aurel Guay writes fantasy and science fiction with an emphasis on strong plots and meaningful themes. Having played at writing fiction since grade school, he revived his passion in reaction to his day work in biomedical science. “The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells,” published in Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology is his first published work. His current work in progress Jagerund is a novel expanding on the previous short story.

Q/A with Justin; Character Casting and Favorite Things

1.   Please share how you came up with the concept for your story:
This idea goes way, way back. It has taken so many forms since inception. First, it was a mystical archeology adventure (think Indiana Jones), then a sci-fi treasure hunt, then a steampunk journey around the world, before finally finding roots in the inspiration provided by Edgar Rice Boroughs. Fortunately, I made notes when playing around with the first incarnation that dates it back 10 years ago...

2.   Please name some of your other published works:
My previously published work is also a short story. THE DEATH OF DR. MARCUS WELLS was published by Xchyler Publishing in its paranormal anthology SHADES AND SHADOWS, October of 2013. That short story, full of Victorian werewolves and mystery, spawned a larger tale that is still in progress and I hope to be my first published novel.

3.   What is your preferred writing genre?
I meddle mostly in the fantasy and sci-fi categories. I find it hard to restrict myself to anyone subgenre though. In my writings, you will find magic rationalized my science, and science that reflects ancient lore. This tendency toward mixing things together is one of the reasons I have come to love steampunk. The delicate blending of old and new lends naturally to my tendencies to color outside the box.

As an interesting side note, I have something of a knack for writing paranormal that verges on horror, despite the fact that this is one of my least favorite genres to read...

4.   And preferred reading genre?
I really enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi as much as I do writing them. Any book with a unique twist on magic or technology will grab my attention. The one thing I’m not a fan of is horror. I’m an empathic person, and there’s already enough fear and hurt in the world, I avoid adding more into my mind at all costs!

5.   What are your top 3 favorite books?
Tough call. Can I list everything written by C. S. Lewis? No? how about the all seven books of CHRONICLES OF NARNIA SERIES? Still no? OK then, just THE SILVER CHAIR, and I’m throwing in THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS too.

Outside of C. S. Lewis, I’d have to say that I am a big HARRY POTTER fan, and of course I absolutely love ‘A PRINCESS OF MARS’ by Edgar Rice Boroughs.

6.   Do you have any particular writing habits?
Yeah, my habit is not writing enough... Everyone’s life is crazy, so I won’t claim to have it crazier than anyone else. I just struggle to find time when I am awake and not occupied by something else. Most of my writing sessions happen on lunch breaks in between bites. 
7.   Do you have a playlist that you created while writing your story?
I often do have play lists for my stories, but for this one I can’t say that I did. If I were to pick a song, I think I’d have to go with Linkin Parks ‘WHAT I’VE DONE’. It has a bit to do with accepting oneself and becoming something new, plus being already associated with certain other giant robots can only help. ;)

8.   Panster or plotter?
Oh gosh, I plot, do I ever plot. I plot and plot and plot some more, then I outline. I often plot when I should be writing. I plot in my sleep, then outline the book, then outline each chapter, then each scene, then outline each paragraph... OK, maybe I’m not that bad, but I certainly do plot, and feel like a boat adrift on the sea when I try to pants things.

9.   Advice for writers?
The only resource I would point you toward is Chuck Wendig, so long as they are not at work, and there are not small children around... Chuck would tell them to stop bothering him and go write something good, or even bad, so long as they wrote.

That’s the bottom line. If you want to be a good writer, then write! That is the most important thing. The next most important is learning to critique yourself and others. But, when self-critiquing, be sure to put the project aside for as long as you can manage first to look at it with fresh eyes. Otherwise, it will be too close to you and see only what you think you wrote, which will be awesome, instead of what you actually wrote, which will probably be lousy. Lastly, be humble. You are not King, Tolkien, or Martin (yet). Take criticism, with a stiff upper lip. Try what suggestions even if they sound dumb. You might be surprised, and if not, there is always the backspace button.

10.        What's up next for you?
I’m still working on the full telling of my short story THE DEATH OF DR. MARCUS WELLS, tentatively titled JAGERUND. This story will take you from the very beginnings of why there were so many werewolf attacks, through the events of the short story, and eventually sweeping your favorite main characters up in a bigger plot of intrigue that will place the fate of Great Britain in their hands!

I also want to keep up with my goal of publishing one short story per year, so keep your eyes out for that in 2016.

1. Character Casting: Who would you cast for your main characters and why?

For Elizabeth Carter, I think I might cast Amy Adams. She's got the hair, and could pull off the explosive tantrums while still looking cute.

For James Brooks... James is tall, but not too distinctive in build. Many actors could portray him. Maybe Keanu Reeves, he's good at looking confused and clueless...

2. Author Favorite Things:
- Quote - If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research - Albert Einstein

- TV show - The Office

- Comic book character - Historically I was always a Spiderman kind of guy. But I lean more the Wolverine direction lately.

- Movie - One favorite movie?? I'll give you my top pick in the obscure category: Mimic (1997)

- Book - The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

- Candy bar - Butterfinger

- Junk food - Nachos

- Place you visited - the Ice Caves on Allegash Lake, Maine

- Restaurant - There's a great Japanese Hibachi place near home called Fuji's

- Island - Myst (didn't say it couldn't be a fictitious island from a 90's game!)

You can find Mechanized Masterpieces II on Amazon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Two Poems for Robert Burns Day

Love in the Highlands

The sunset o’er the Highland grass,
wildling heather and deep morass,
leads the soft step of my pure lass.
Onward to her sweet dear,
where he awaits in sailor brass
and my heart sheds a tear.

The Piper

The sweet song of the pipes will ring,
down the low road I am walking
my ending step and final spring.
Death hailed with a cold hand,
the closing touch its fate did bring.
Last farewell, my highland.

Copyright © 2013 by A. F. Stewart

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