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To contact me about manuscript editing, talking to your group about writing or self-publishing, my email address is kathyfearing@yahoo.com.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Thoughts of Autumn

I miss Autumn...the smell of fallen leaves, the noise of birds and squirrels racing to prepare for what is now, and perhaps, if animals do, dreading the cold struggle to survive. I miss Autumn...the sun low in the sky, yet warm and friendly, not yet dulled by December. There is a certain mystery, a foreboding of things to come. It is exciting, yet forces a heightened sense of loss: lost flowers and the ease of just being, without having to fight the weather.

Here's a poem. 

Around The Corner
(© 2013 Kathleen E. Fearing)

Twilight leads me out,
away from the familiar,
down an unknown path that twists 
like a wild vine,
out of sight,
lace-thin leaves, starved
by Fall, rustle like crinoline dresses on
excited girls,
a music born of age
and frost,
stirring in me a childlike curiosity,
a murmured invitation,
as the Rabbit to Alice, 
to seek what might be  
just there,
around the corner,
through the nameless
tangled mess,
to the other side
where I cannot see
but, must go.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Stories/New Ideas

The focus of my writing (besides some of my poetry) has always been children. Since the publication of my book of poems about children in war - "Caught in the Crossfire",  https://www.createspace.com/4271484 , I have been thinking of circumstances throughout history where children have been caught up in war. To that end, I have begun putting together ideas for a book about children in the Civil War; specifically, children who, for one reason or another, joined the army to be drummer boys, or those who lied about their age and became soldiers. The subject is fascinating to me. Why would children ten years old run away from home to fight in a war? The circumstances are probably varied and intense, but not as intense as what they found in battle. I hope to present to children the humanness of what it means to leave behind everything one knows to seek the unknown, and also the horror of war. The children who left home for what they thought might be the adventure of their lives were unprepared for the reality that confronted them. I hope, also, to present this in a verse or poetic format. Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Old Stories Are New Again

Several years ago I wrote a series of short stories for young children in the 4-6 year age group (at least that's what I thought at the time). I put them aside in a safe little folder on my computer. And once in awhile I opened the folder and looked at them and closed the folder again. But recently I felt a nudge in my ribs, took another look at the stories, and decided that I could put them all together in one story book for young children. But, instead of one book, I've separated them into two: one (My Story Time) for 4-6 year olds and another (Magical Tales) for 6-8 year olds.

I've heard from different sources that writers should never delete what they've written because they may regret it - they may find a use for it sometime. In my case, I didn't want to get rid of the stories, but I couldn't wrap my brain around how to best use them. One of the stories, "The Night The Winds Came and Mama Sang Her Magic Song", won an award from the Writer's Digest magazine, so I knew I had to do something with that one.

What a great feeling it is to gather together what you've written, present it to children, and watch the smiles on their faces.

In between those two books I'm writing more poems. One is a tribute to the late Seamus Heaney. What does one write about genius? I can only try. But it's always been my belief that I have to be my own writer; I have to be happy with what I write no matter what someone else thinks of it. And I am.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stories That Make You Cry

I've been working on finishing up a story I started a couple of years ago, writing it in different formats (free verse and prose) to see which one works best for the subject matter. I think free verse works best for this story. It's about a girl in her mid teens whose mother has died of cancer. On the night her mother died the girl could not make herself go to the hospital to watch her die. They had been very close and she couldn't bear to watch her mother slip away. But since then she has regretted that she was not with her mother when she died. She now wants to die too so she can go to her mother and apologize and tell her why she was not there. The girl takes her kayak out on a river intending to kill herself, but while there she is caught in a storm, hits her head, and then dreams of seeing her dead grandmother and Celtic characters of fiction (about whom her mother always read stories to her), and they convince her that dying is her choice, but will not solve anything. She also learns exactly how her mother died, and this changes her life.

The thing is, every time I go into the story to edit I find it so emotionally draining that I can only do a small amount before I have to quit. But, this is also how I know it is a good story. The very fact that it causes such strong emotions to well up in me is evidence that the story will probably do the same for readers. It is one test I have that hasn't failed yet. If my story evokes strong emotions in me, then it usually evokes the same from readers.

Now, on to the story that needs more work in that area.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Here's a poem from my newly published book Caught in the Crossfire, Poems of Children in War, Storyteller Productions, copyright 2013 Kathleen E. Fearing, available at Amazon.com.

Mama

…come find me,
come take me home,
I followed the others
to find the big noise,
now its cold and
so dark here,
oh, Mama
please see me,
please touch my hand,
I want to go home now,
is that you coming
over the hill,
is that you Mama?
come take me home,
can you see me here
under the rubble?
don’t cry if
I’m broken and bloody,
Mama,
please find me.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

New book I'm Working on

I'm currently working on a book of poems about children in war. It is not a book for children, although certainly it's appropriate for high school age readers. When it's published (which will be soon, I hope) it will be titled "Caught in the Crossfire, poems of children in war". Here's a poem from the book to give readers a taste.

When

When, one day,
the wreck that is life
has turned,
and war
made small,
soundless,
a bell that won't ring,
when a child's toys are lifted
from the dust
and repaired,
when anger and pride
have been stuffed
down into a bottomless ditch
covered with mud,
forgotten,
then, can she live.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Celebrating Books for Kids

There is no greater gift, I believe, than creating something positive in children's lives. Whether that be books or anything else that helps enhance a child's life, it is worth doing. I encourage everyone to find ways to help make the lives of children better.  Books can create positive role models for children that may influence their whole lives. If this is your calling don't stop writing. There will never be enough good books for children to read. Celebrate the written word. Write for children.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's spring (well, almost) and time to get writing again. Winter seems to stunt my creativity, although I did write some, it seems to be harder when the weather is gray and cold. I've been working on a new book of poems about children and war. I went through a period where the words seemed to just explode from me because of the emotion I felt about children's vulnerability. I felt every word.

Like Ray Bradbury said, "Be certain of this: when honest love speaks, when admiration begins, when excitement rises, when hate curls like smoke, you need never doubt that creativity will stay with you for a lifetime."

I hope the same is true for each and every one of you who want/need to write...whatever the subject.
Here is one of my poems from my book:


A Dream
(2013 by Kathleen E. Fearing. All rights reserved.) 

What are
those cries I hear?
So far away,
soft shadows
caught in another dimension,
yet they persist, like unwelcome
storm clouds, voices adrift
in the night.
I shake my head,
turn aside,
concentrate on the whirring fan,
a book to read,
a chilled glass of wine,
will, perhaps,
make them go away.
But nothing works –
the cries of children
sacrificed to war,
hungry,
terrified,
they stay with me,
until I can no longer ignore them.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thoughts in the Wake of New Life

My time and attention has been taken up by the expectation and then birth of a new grandchild in the family. This makes for fertile material for poetry and stories. My mind wanders to the elementary emotions of my youth, my life. Here's a poem for one of those elementary but strong emotions connected to birth and life in general.

Surf By Night
(Kathleen E. Fearing 2013,
all rights reserved.)

Surf by night
becomes an invisible
seductress
lapping against the
dark, wet sand,
enticing me with its hypnotic,  
whispered warning,
‘Stay back,
humans don’t belong here
anymore.’
And I want
more than life
to follow the whisper
back to the soft,
quiet warmth,
the bed of life’s beginning,
hearing only my mother’s
heartbeat in rhythm
with mine, suspended,
weightless,
untouched.