Calling to my words

15534501982_a64b4863c0_mLack of inspiration
words form
with hesitation
just beneath
the surface
longing
to spill
upon a page

Fighting
out of hiding
surely they will
come

Another thought
another try
another moment
passing by

Set them free
or let them be
I hear their silent
plea, it echos
too from me

I’ve no choice
they are my voice
It’s not my will
that keeps them
silently within
hidden from
my pen

I long
to feel them
flow
coursing through
my veins
releasing all
my pain
as they soak
into the page
as blackened
drops of rain

Long have they
been quelled
locked away
without a key
just out of reach

Slowly they will come
slowly you will see
soon the words
will soar
and again
I will be
me

Crystal R. Cook

Questions for female writers – What’s your experience?

I was asked a few questions this morning I would like to pose to my fellow, female writers . . . 

8838_question-markAs a woman, do you feel your voice in print is sometimes held to a different standard than your male counterparts?

Do you ever feel the need to censure yourself or fear your opinions may not be well received because you are a woman?

Have you ever shared something anonymously because you thought it would be           misconstrued or not taken seriously because it came from a female perspective?

  ~ My (short) answers ~ 

As a woman, do you feel your voice in print is sometimes held to a different standard than your male counterparts?

Sometimes. I’ve seen many female writers dismissed, not taken seriously, or berated for work that would likely not have been questioned if it had been written by a man. Has it happened to me? Sure enough has. Yeah, I know . . . it happens to men too. Sort of, but it’s different. Not long ago, I wrote, “I may have peed a little the first time I watched this.” I was called out for not being ladylike. Who knew saying peed would be the thing to rile folks up! I was once told women should write about parenting and men should write about politics after an article, factual, mind you, I wrote about some government nonsense. Granted, these days, just about anything can rub a reader the wrong way, regardless of gender.

Do you ever feel the need to censure yourself or fear your opinions may not be well received because you are a woman? 

Again, sometimes. I’ve written things, good things, I’ve shoved to the back of my share with the world file simply because I had trepidation about the drama that could ensue, BUT, when the right time and the right venue comes my way, I will publish them. I may bide my time with certain things, but censure myself? Nope. Never have, never will.

 Have you ever shared something anonymously because you thought it would be misconstrued or not taken seriously because it came from a female perspective?   

Nope. If I share it, my name will be on it. Like I said, I may wait to put things out there, but I own every word I write.

image

I’m curious to hear your perspective?

Would you advertise your children?

2239adf6bc3cca1adee032a5605d71ec (1)

I was in the neighborhood, your neighborhood, right behind you at the stop light near the grocery store. I notice you have those cute little stick figure family stickers on the back window, names and everything. I love that. Adorable. Mom and Dad, Allison, Justin, Kirby the dog, and Oreo the cat. I’ve been thinking about getting some of those.

Light’s green, looks like you’re heading to the store, me too. I see you’re the proud parent of a Super Citizen at the elementary school a block back. I know right where that is.

Wow, what a coincidence, there’s a parking spot open right next to you.

Go ahead, get the kiddos out, I can wait. Beautiful family. Your kids are simply precious. Little Allison and Justin who go to the school right down the road. I guess I don’t really need anything at the store after all, maybe I’ll see you around though.

Oh, hi again. What a coincidence seeing you here, at school, picking up little Allison and Justin. They’ve been waiting out front here for five minutes already. Well, I’ve got things to do, maybe I’ll see you around sometime. I’ll see the kids at least. I know their names and where they go to school, I bet they’d love someone to keep them company while they wait for you to pick them up. We could talk about Kirby and Oreo, I wonder if you’ve talked to them about strangers.

I’m not really a stranger though, now am I? I mean, if anything happened to Kirby or Oreo or your white minivan got sideswiped near the store and you needed the kids picked up, I could help. I would just say, “Kirby was real sick and had to go to the vet and mom wanted me to pick you guys up and take you there.” Or I could tell them there was an accident and you needed me to bring them to you. They would be upset and want to get there quickly, don’t you think?

I suppose if I wait and watch a little longer I could probably learn your name, dad’s too. Maybe I’ll just ask the kids after school while I’m waiting to pick up my daughter. I don’t have a daughter, but they don’t know that. Kids are great, they make friends so quickly. I would be a great friend.

I’ll wait, I just saw David leave for home, he’s a walker. I only know his name because it’s written right there on the outside of his backpack. Convenient, right? Maybe tomorrow I’ll introduce myself to Allison and Justin . . .

Parents – Do yourselves, and your children a favor, please don’t advertise them. Don’t tell strangers their names by sticking them on your back window, find another way to show how proud you are of them without telling everyone where they go to school. Don’t write their names on their backpacks, if you must, write it on the inside.

Make sure they wait inside the school gates for you to pick them up. Yeah, it takes time to park and walk up there to get them, but at least you’re the one getting them, right? Have a password, someone may know their names, your names, the names of your pets, but there is no way they can know your secret family password. Make sure your kids know not to go anywhere with anyone unless they say the magic word.

If your kids have cell phones, make sure their contacts, and yours, are entered as proper names. Not mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc.. Let’s just imagine for a moment someone who shouldn’t have one of those phones has it. Your daughter’s phone, for instance. They scroll through the contacts, they see MOM, they send off a text letting you know she’ll be staying late at school, you ask when you should pick her up, they say, in about an hour.

Now, daughter is waiting after school, but you’re not the one who shows up.

This might sound crazy, but that’s the thing, crazy things happen. Our world has changed, the bad guys have changed, and we have to think about crazy things sometimes to make sure they can never happen.

Let’s think about those cell phones again, what if hubby’s phone gets swiped? You don’t know that. Maybe whoever has it has his wallet too. You get a text from HUBBY saying he forgot the ATM password. Why would you question him? If you have him listed in your contacts as HUBBY or you’re in his as THE WIFE, this scenario kind of makes scary, easy sense.

I don’t think we need to tiptoe around in fear, but I do think we should be cautious. We need to be proactive and take precautions so we don’t have to be afraid . . .

Crystal R. Cook

Heed my warning . . . Tis a cautionary tale I have to tell.

Giuseppe Mentessi, Despairing Woman 1901

Giuseppe Mentessi, Despairing Woman 1901

Oh misery. Oh woe. Of woe and misery I speak.

Ne’er a more wretched creature than I could be made to endure such a beautiful morn as this. Tis this truly the light? Come at last to dispel the darkness of this long and enervated night. Alas! This loathsome, beautifully vexatious blaze dost pierce my eyes as penance for enterprises I indulged throughout the night.

I beseech thee night, come back. Come back and cast upon me again your shadows, dispel this light which illuminates my gloom with ray upon ray of golden glare upon my solecism, upon my sin. Let it leave me till the morrow – let me linger still beneath your shroud. Let tarry the sun, and the birds of song, let them tarry too, for I, wretched beast I have become, am weary.

I must make haste to close up my windows and draw the shades, and beneath cascade of curtain, dispel this morn mine eyes cannot yet be made behold, and sleep, sleep until this melancholy and madness takes leave of me. Sleep, sleep. Sleep until the morrow.

Twas mine own folly. Twas mine own lamentable vice which left me in this state. I own my misfortune, indeed, it twas I, welcomed it with open arms, unconcerned with repercussion of my action. If blame be assigned, I bear sole burden of it. If my machinations be damned, so damn them. I knew better, and better I chose not.

Throughout the longsome night, the bells tolled with each hour, beseeching me to quit my obsession and heed them, I did not, holding fast to my indefatigable resolve, if not quickening it, to ignore my sensibilities and feed the hunger I could not seem to sate.

It began in innocent effort to abate a tedium birthed by the boredom of a restlessness I found myself unable to quell. I chanced upon a singular activity to pass the time I’d begun to despise and despair of, then grew from that accursed remedy, a desire, a rapacious longing, increased with each passing hour, to indulge this delight regardless of all rational inclinations to abdicate myself from the thing I discerned to be draining me of thought and vitality and constitution, accounting for my fearsome countenance as I pen these words to the page before me.

Oh, dearest stranger, and oh, thine most especial of friends, lend your sensibilities to these words I’ve imparted, lest ye arrive at a fate such as mine, make no vigil of a Netflix original . . .

Crystal R. Cook

Mr. Qwiet Muse – How to support your blogger, Beyond Your Blog

blogger support groß

Blogging is time-consuming. I didn’t know that until I started mine last year. My husband was super supportive when I brought up the idea – he had no idea how time-consuming it would be either. I’m not even one of those super bloggers, you know, the ones with fantastic layouts, the wonderfully organized, the themed, the consistently written, the interactive . . . yeah, I’m not one of those. Maybe one of these days.

Thankfully, my darling, dear, sweet, understanding husband deals with the life of being a * blog widower * quite well when I am lost in Cyberland. I hope he knows how much it means to me and that I’m not trying to be neglectful on nights he nukes a frozen burrito for dinner so I can finish that last sentence (or two, or three, etc.).

I salute those who stand behind their blogger loves.

I was honored to be included in this fun, Beyond Your Blog piece, How your significant other can support your writing, featuring nine amazing bloggers (and me) who share a bit about the ones who support them as they blog, I wonder how many of them are forced to eat microwavable dinners, if they still get home cooked meals, don’t tell my husband!

196130_1003659805315_899_n (1)Anyway, click the link, read the wonderful things to read, keep going – I talk about Mr. Qwiet Muse, my rock, in the number ten spot . . .

Beyond Your Blog

When the ink dries

Author calls us Inklings sometimes. He has other names for us as well. He calls us words, Ideas, and sometimes Characters. We prefer Inklings.

Author uses Pen to put us on Page. It makes Page happy when he does, Page says it isn’t alive until we come to visit, and we aren’t alive until we reach Page.

Pen is dying. Author has been using Keyboard, but Words that come from Keyboard are just words. The Words, like us, he puts on Page can breathe, at least that’s what Page says. Page tells us when Author uses Pen, the Words sink in so Page can bring them to life, like it did with us.

We are fading.

Page says we’ll disappear when Pen’s Ink is gone. We’ve learned a lot from Author, we don’t want to lose him. We don’t want him to lose us. We have to make Author stop us from fading. We have to make Author keep us from disappearing. Pen needs Ink.

Author once wrote on Page that he bleeds Ink. We need Ink. Author is Ink.

Sometimes Author forgets Pen is dying and tries to put us on Page with it. He likes to wet the tip of Pen with his tongue when Ink stops flowing. Next time, we will be waiting. We must get Ink for Pen.

Author picked up Pen today to make more Words on page, but he just scratched Page with Pen because Ink is almost gone now, we are waiting in the last drop for Author to bring us close enough to get the Blood Ink. Author brought pen to his tongue like he always does, and we left Pen.

spilled-inkWe just needed Ink. We were fading. We meant no harm. When we leave Pen and soak into Page it feels like magic, Ink flows slowly and we glide onto Page, but when we soaked ourselves into Author, the Ink gushed and rushed and spilled and poured. It began to drown Page and Pen shattered on the floor. Author laid his head in Ink and gave his life to Page as Page was suffocating in Author’s Blood Ink. We meant no harm.

Ink is drying. Pen is broken. Page is dripping with Ink and we are no longer Words. Without Author we are just dried Ink and we are dying. We meant no harm . . . We meant no har –.

Crystal R. Cook