Hard to Get

A damsel in distress she’s not, though nights are all besot with her

Affection widely chased more than even gold, frankincense and myrrh

Aged better than Venetian wine, smoother than a fine liqueur

Treat her as the Queen she is: this maiden we call Literature

 

Sought by many, caught by few, to court her is a Fool’s Errand

Exceptions only granted when one’s dedication’s apparent

Gentle, patient one must be; to nothing she can come second

For absolute commitment is the quality of all legends

 

Everybody’s knocking but the owner just turns out the light

Fight to find a way inside and find the lock is far too tight

I smile as I watch them shout and beg her for one night’s invite

Because this pen unlocks the pad where Writing lays her head at night

 

So intimate we’ve grown to be, forever I’ll be in her debt

For it was I who was distressed, and she who saved me from regret

Sincerely now I thank her for becoming my one true duet

Eternity I’d wait for her: this love who was so hard to get

The Writers Group

There exists a place 

In fabled lore

Where writers race

Both rich and poor 

Some ask for tips

Some say hello

With wine-filled sips

True colors show

Some fight a lot

They bitch and moan

More oft’ than not

They’re sad, alone

And in this land

The fun, I sing

Is throwing sand

And arguing 

Much joy, though sin

The jerks, to mock

And when you win

They always block

That’s when you know

Their points are poop 

Come, join the show

This Writers Group

The Gentleman

Chivalrys dead!

Or so it is said

On this, I ponder quite long

It’s really no chore

Kindly holding your door

Yet you glare, like something is wrong 

It’s fine! Some will sneer

I’ll get it! They’ll jeer

Independent, a woman am I

Your help? I’ve no need

These mouths, he shall feed

Career driven, focused, my guy

Well fine I shall say

As I walk far away

I just thought I would lend you a hand

And one day, when he cheats 

Hope he’s good in the sheets

Cause you won’t get much else from him, ma’am

The Con of Cons

To give a little context, below is a reflection of my experience (as a volunteer) at the first Game of Thrones conference ever held. Working the Con provided a pretty good view of how things went administratively. I daresay the vast majority of the weekend was a massive success, but there was (understandably) a slight hiccup here and there. You know, little stuff that’s an inevitable part of any big event like this.

Without further adieu – fonas chek, everyone!

 

THE CON OF CONS

Alrighty my friends

Just a sec, listen up

The sad end has arrived

So let’s all raise a cup

And bid fond farewell

I hope you all will agree

To meet up next year

For Freefolk, are we

So many great friends

It seems we’ve all made

Which means Con number two

Will put this one to shame

Much more stuff can we plan

Since we all made a mate

Epic fun is in store

So be sure to hydrate

And before I forget

As a Con volunteer

All the suggestions ya’ll made

Will help planning next year

Rest assured, worry not

All the kinks will be gone

This year taught one thing:

How to properly Con

And one other thing

If Valyrian pass, did you claim

Sincere apologies, accept

If you thought it was lame

But fear not, VIPs

For next year you shall see

That the perks you’ll enjoy

Will be worth all its fee

Your photos shall print fast

All in focus – not a glitch

But for real, jokes aside

Working photos…was a bitch

Now let’s all look ahead

At two thousand eighteen

And as friends, all await

Until we next reconvene

 
On a serious note – I can’t describe how grateful I am to have met you guys. This weekend was the most fun I’ve had in quite some time. This was also my first Con, so thank you all for making it such an unforgettable one! Next year can’t get here soon enough!!

Love you guys!

Matt
Oh, and while I’m here: if you’d enjoy more of teh rhymez, here’s a link to one that was my favorite to scribble.

https://howtheworldshouldwork.com/2016/12/16/an-ode-to-the-alphabet/

On the Eve: 11

Gavin Yulesdale, Infantryman of the Queen’s Army

The wind, gently whistling through the trees is but the softest of sounds. Yet tonight, on the eve of this great battle, it is deafening; the only thing that can be heard amidst an army veiled by the silence of anticipation.

The skirmishes always seem to transpire in a way which never changes. The men on the front lines, the most expendable of the group, teethe and wither as the substances our generals have bestowed tighten their grip on those poor, ill-fated bodies. Without fail, they are given the strongest of ales and poppies, as all know that their place in battle is to break our opponents’ lines; but ultimately, to fall.  The smarter among us tend to say ’tis a fool’s errand, but care they do not. On occasion I find myself asking if I should pity them, as their fates are knowingly sealed. Still, there are times that I find myself envying them. Their simplistic views on life are admirable. Give them a flagon of ale and a well-breasted woman and there is little left to fill in their world of concern. Yes, at times I envy the ignorance of simple mindedness. The thought of releasing myself from the chains of my own mind are tempting, indeed.

Yet now I look ahead. I see the fortifications that have been laid and the defenses that await. It is comforting to realize the complexity of battle requires those that are willing to expire for those that are not. This war calls for men who are fully invested in the cause, truly willing to lay themselves down in the name of the greater good. We all need pawns, do we not? I pray that ours fight more passionately than King Jordain’s, as we are greatly outnumbered.

We shall soon hear Queen Jocasta’s bellowing, ominous horns of battle. I must prepare.

Reflecting on the Greats: George RR Martin

I’ve decided to start a new blog series to fill idle time when writers block attacks. I plan to write short entries to pay homage to the authors/writers which I look up to and who have influenced me in one way or another. I’d like to focus mainly on particular attributes of each, highlighting the obvious as well as the subtle in an effort to outline why I think they’ve elevated above their peers.

My first tribute is going to be on an individual we all know (unless you’ve lived under a rock or haven’t turned on a television in the past five years): George RR Martin, acclaimed author and creator of the enormously popular series A Song of Ice and Fire. Better known, of course, as Game of Thrones.

As many know, Martin was a lesser known writer until GoT dominate the headlines. This is the first thing I’d like to note which warrants respect. His dedication and love for the craft allowed him to persevere through countless efforts at making himself known, finally paying off at a level very few can ever dream of. This, I believe, is an attribute so few have, and even fewer maintain throughout life. It is one that certainly warrants respect from anyone who knows how difficult it is to stand out in one of the most competitive fields one can aspire to.

The second thing I want to mention, and one which absolutely boggles my mind if I’m being honest, is the sheer complexity of his stories. I’m not talking complex plot lines here, either. This dude has got to have what I can only imagine is one of the most absurd brainstorming sessions imaginable. I don’t think you need to be a writer to understand and appreciate the level of detail he consistently achieves.

Another thing I’d like to commend for Martin actually has nothing to do with writing. As we all know, any time you rise to the apex of your career, people tend to consider more than just your work. When one garners the world’s attention, the individual is taken into account as often as their creations. Martin’s personality, in my opinion, is an appropriate for someone of his stature. He doesn’t have an overly inflated ego, he’s down to Earth, and he’s maintained a playful demeanor. Case in point – just the other day I saw a picture of him wearing a T-Shirt he had made. On it was a quote: “Be nice to me or Tyrion’s next!” Now come on…that’s pretty funny. These kinds of things make me respect him not only for his creative genius, but for his character as well – which I would argue is just as important.

I’ll stop here for now. The only negative thing I can think of in regard to Martin is the freaking wait for the next installments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware how long these things take to outline, write, and edit – but he’s pushing it in my opinion (and that’s the consensus among his fan-base if you don’t follow him). Its to the point now where its a running joke, in fact. I suppose he’s earned the right to take as much time as he damn well pleases, though, so I digress.

In any case, that’s my general take on someone who will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest writers of our time. I can only aspire to someday obtain a mere fraction of the cultural significance he’s so rightfully earned.

Here’s to you, Mr. Martin. Oh…and please don’t kill Tyrion.

Continuity – The Most Complex Simple Question I’ve Been Asked

So this morning I spoke to a screenwriter about my story. In my quest to eventually have an adaptation created for viewers (since who reads evidently) these conversations, I hope, will happen more frequently in the near future. After today, though, I realize how much that even I don’t know about my own narrative.

This became evident to me after one of the first questions I was asked – “what is your story about?”

Its perhaps the most fundamental, simple question one should ask. Yet, simple as it may be, becomes so complex the more I think about it. What is my book about? When I wrote it, my head was an absolute tornado in the wake of my mom’s passing. I poured my thoughts on existentialism, religion, society, and morality into the manuscript. So many strong, deep convictions exist in me in regard to these topics. But there are more down to Earth themes in the book as well. Take my protagonist, for example. I wanted to tell a story of his progression in regard to his character – how he, over time, slowly transforms from a somewhat shallow, surface-encounter person into a strongly sentimental, sensitive and compassionate human.

Its also a love story. Not in the traditional sense, mind you. I wanted to use the romance arch to illustrate the finite nature of our existence. Throughout the story, there is a sort of impending doom in the near future for the characters. My goal was to use this to create an elevated sense of urgency, leading to them squeezing as much out of life as possible – which I hope explains how quickly Carson and Jennifer fall for each other. The Catalyst, the rock set to end humanity, creates hysteria – but ironically provides a certain degree of liberation at the same time. Emotions become elevated with the knowledge that tomorrow may never come. More importantly, all of the day to day fuss that we get so caught up on completely vanish, as the focus turns to making the most of the time we have.

I wanted to use this “end-of-world” scenario to provide a reason why the characters experience such vast shifts in their priorities and values. After all, how often do people truly think and put time into what really, really matters in life? Aren’t we all guilty of going through the motions more often than not? More importantly: why? Why do so many people so easily lose sight of the things in their lives that are most vital for a purposeful existence?

I can admit that I often overthink things. Its something that has both helped and hindered me throughout life. In hindsight, if that screenwriter were to ask me that very same question right now, my answer would be simple and concise.

Continuity is about having a purpose in life. Its about happiness, love, morality, and meaning. Its about being good.

Nothing more.