Wednesday, March 21, 2018

#WorldPoetryDay - Battle Fatigue (or why I no longer teach in a high school)

BATTLE FATIGUE
©2005 Debbie McGowan

God loves a trier,
But I tire of healing cerebral hamstrings
Torn by leaping without training over hurdles
That simply were not there yesterday.

Of backs chewed through to fronts,
Remains spat in the sawdust with disgust
And downtrodden through the years
Into a pithy pile of organisational waste.

Of promises that never saw the light of day…
Of honoured guests who outstayed their welcome upon their invited arrival…
Of great oak trees that were grafted on the graft of
Another lowly acorn’s shoot…
Of spine-blunted daggers drooling with the blood of comrades
While they feast on the sinewy shavings
Of lost ambitions,
Spanish moss draped in avenues leading to nowhere…

Of paper and pens and boxes to fill,
Of statistical accusations,
Of schemes.

Of pretty girls, words, rooms, hours to kill,
Of breeding germs feeding on failing thoughts,
Of careers perused on the crest of a doubt,
Of axes unground and festering dreams,
Of wishing to change yet remaining the same,
Of breaking down bridges when boats are alight,
Of caressing the hook while consuming the bait.

And all the same seeing no light in the past,
And all the while wishing I’d fail the test,
And all the time hoping I’ll choose not to stick,
When one look at the cards shows I hold the wrong pack.


More of my poetry (and other writing) here: http://debbiemcgowan.co.uk/?n1=read

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - No Filter: What if? - #lgbtqia

It’s been a funny old week so far. I have so much uni work to do, and I’m…not doing any of it. But I now have four stories on the go, including this one, which I haven’t written any more of since this time last week. :/ It’ll come to me, I’m sure.

On the plus side, I’ve done quite a bit of work on Tabula Rasa, which is currently 78k, but it wasn’t quite going where I hoped. I think I’ve pulled it back on track. I also ‘accidentally’ made a start on the story after Goth of Christmas Past, all because of a comment about ‘mansplaining’.  Lastly (but not leastly), I’ve written the first few pages of a story for an anthology call, although whether I can write to the remit is another matter, as I’m not good at shorties (as in, I can’t keep to the word limit). I’m giving it my best shot, though—I’ve been mulling the idea for quite some time! That story is tentatively titled Oh No She Didn’t!

So, on to the WIPpet…

Brief story info:
No Filter is a crossover novella of the Hiding Behind The Couch and Checking Him Out series(es), featuring Libby (and others) from HBTC, and Matty (and others) from CHO.

This week’s snippet comes a few paragraphs after last week’s, where Noah had finished proofreading Matty’s email to Libby (whom they met in Hiding Out).

WIPpet maths for 14th March:
14 paragraphs. Simples. :)

And the WIPpet Snippet:
“What if Libby gets the email and feels like she’s got to meet up? I don’t want that. I don’t want her to agree because she thinks she has to.”

“She won’t be like that,” Noah said certainly.

“You don’t know.”

“All right, put it this way. I mixed her up with Lauren because they’re kind of similar. What would Lauren do in this situation?”

“She’d delete the message. No, wait…she’d leave it in her inbox. Seriously, Noo, you’d have to see it. There is so much email in there, it’s unbelievable. No wonder she could never find the stuff on assignments. I even offered to set up folders for her, same as I’ve got. She got the right hump.” Matty smiled at the mental image of Lauren turning the screen away from him like she’d always done because he was ‘sticking his nose in where it wasn’t wanted’ again. He was going to miss that now they weren’t studying together. He was going to miss her. Apart from her tantrums. He wouldn’t miss those.

A light thud of something landing in the bin across the room brought him out of his thoughts, and the smell of orange drifted into his nostrils. Noah was making good headway with his fruity feast. “I need chocolate. Go buy me some? Please?”

Noah sighed but was already on his way to the door. “What sort?”

“Any—oh! What was your point about Libby and Lauren?”

“I reckon Libby will be really happy to hear from you.”

“And if she’s not?”

“Matty…just send it already.”

“But—”

“No choccy…”

Matty scrabbled to unlock his phone screen and clicked send before he could change his mind. “There!” He grinned victoriously. “Mars bar, please. Make it a big one.”

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404


Thanks for reading
Deb x

Thursday, March 08, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - No Filter: Who's Libby? - #lgbtqia

Quickly flying in to post this (a day late). I’m mid-assignment, mid-editing, mid-grading, mid-everything except writing No Filter, but I’m still snipping from it today.

Brief story info:
No Filter is a crossover novella of the Hiding Behind The Couch and Checking Him Out series(es), featuring Libby (and others) from HBTC, and Matty (and others) from CHO.

This week’s snippet comes a few paragraphs after last week’s, where Matty had typed an email to Libby (whom he met in Hiding Out) and is waiting for Noah (his other half) to proofread it before he sends it.

WIPpet maths for 8th March:
8 question marks. I know, it’s pants, but my brain refuses to cooperate further.

And the WIPpet Snippet:
“Yeah, it’s [Matty’s email] OK,” Noah said, nodding and still looking at the screen. “Who’s Libby?”

Matty stopped mid-stretch, with his left foot behind his head. “You’re kidding me.”

Noah peered up through his eyebrows. “Nope. Oh, wait, is she the girl who…came to…that show back…whenever?”

Matty unhooked his foot and let it drop heavily to the floor. He marched over to the bed and snatched his phone back. “You ain’t actually got a clue, have you?”

For what it was worth, Noah grimaced guiltily. “No, sorry.”

“D’you remember my Starlight dance?”

The grimace flipped into a grin. “Yep. Not exactly gonna forget it, am I?”

“Oh, yeah? Well, while you’re all ‘I’m so special he created a dance for me’, can you remember how you found out?”

“Lauren told me.”

“Nope!”

“She did,” Noah argued. “In the interval. I was outside, looking for you, and…” His words trailed off. “Lauren didn’t tell me.”

“Nope.”

“I was sure…it was…” Noah rubbed his hair—or the black hair-shaped shadow—with his palm. It made a sound like a tiny saw. He looked totally bamboozled. “Jeez. Where the hell was my head at?”

“Up your arse,” Matty said, matter-of-fact, even though thinking back to their ‘break’ could still knock him sideways.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404


Thanks for reading
Deb x

Thursday, March 01, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - No Filter: Second Thoughts - #lgbtqia

It’s so cold here! Well, for England, at least. It’s been snowing and everything! Brrr.

Anyway, there’s my very British opening. :D I haven’t had much time for anything beyond editing for the past couple of weeks, but I did get a bit more writing done on No Filter, which is what I’m snipping from today.

Brief story info:
No Filter is a crossover novella of the Hiding Behind The Couch and Checking Him Out series(es), featuring Libby (and others) from HBTC, and Matty (and others) from CHO.

This week’s snippet continues from last week’s, where Matty had typed an email to Libby (whom he met in Hiding Out) and is waiting for Noah (his other half) to proofread it before he sends it.

WIPpet maths for 28th February:
2 paragraphs for this last day of the second month (not very complex, I know).

And the WIPpet Snippet:
They’d done the whole ‘don’t be a stranger’ thing and made promises to write or call, and Matty had thought about doing it lots of times, but between thinking it and getting to his laptop, he’d forget or decide it had been too long. He had Libby’s mobile number—he could’ve texted or called when it came into his head—but what if she had a boyfriend and he saw her phone? Then he’d ask ‘Who’s this Matty, then?’ and Libby would be put on the spot. It was too awkward, too risky.

So, here he was, a year and a half later: email typed, ready to send, and he wished he’d just hit the button and sent it, because he was starting to have doubts. What if she didn’t remember him? She’d turned his life around, no exaggeration, but that was something he’d learned the hard way as a kid—that someone could be mega important to him while he meant next to nothing to them. Some people had trouble dealing with that, but not Matty, because he also knew that when it was the right people, he mattered as much to them as they did to him, and the love was like new paint, covering up all the horrible stuff.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404


Thanks for reading
Deb x