Unsold Poems at The Wordsmith’s Forge

Check out Ysabetwordsmith’s list of unsold poetry from her August Poetry Fishbowl. You’ve got poems ranging from sex/gender studies, to monsters that aren’t so monsterous, to super villains who are heroic in their own struggles. Awesome author writing interesting poems like you’ve never seen before! 

Published in: on August 31, 2017 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Fantasy Art & Photography – Diversity?

Scouring the internet for fantasy writing inspiration today and despite spending more that 3+ hours looking at phenomenal photography it really struck me that there was nooooo diversity of any kind in this medium. I was looking for someone with a darker skin tone, and hoping for kind of an elemental feel or animal familiar vibe and there was just nada to be found. Pinterest and Google searches were both a complete bust no matter how many varied search terms I came up with.

I even tried a different angle, plus sized fantasy photography, and at least there I found this incredible mermaid photo shoot (link attached below) despite an overall lack of material. No big girls allowed again.

I was naively surprised by this.


Photo credit: Jess Summers. Here is a link to her great article on the making of this mermaid!

Been gone awhile & can’t find the way back home

I want to be more than I am,
and I struggle every way that I can.
But despair wins again,
and depression sets back in.
Try to remember these feelings are just
clouds across the sky of my reality.
But they don’t stop pouring rain
long enough for the sun to shine and nourish me.

So writing is the first thing to go when I get overwhelmed by life again. The long gaps in my blogging are the archaeology of my depression. If I’m posting new stuff then I’m doing mighty fine, and I’m enjoying a moment of rest in a good mental place. But as soon as I hit that rocky ground filled with despair and the morass that is zero self-worth, the writing stops happening. The ideas don’t stop, the desire pulses there so hotly it’s another form of agony, but the ability to sit myself down and pour those ideas out onto the keyboard locks up tight. It’s like lockjaw sets in and I starve for the very thing I’m not feeding myself. 

Then I write a mega angsty post about it and feel like a drama queen. 

Or, being just a little gentler on myself, maybe the angsty post serves the same purpose as sweeping the circle clear; you have to cleanse the negative energy somehow and reclaim your sacred ground. 


Published in: on August 10, 2017 at 7:38 pm  Comments (4)  
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Diminishing Tension

This was inspired by That One Cat’s prompt and fills the “Ace Hero/Heroine Doesn’t Want The Guy” square in my March/April Play-It-Again Bingo. This is 671 words and is about what someone might need instead of sex as their reward for being an everyday hero.

Diminishing Tension

The music throbbed through the club and vibrated the tacky wooden floorboards under Peter’s feet. The lights strobed in time to the electric beat, and he could feel bass thumping in his chest in time to the elevated rate of his heart.

Several other guys from his fire station always accompanied him to this club after an intense call. The adrenaline kept them all wired for several hours after each fire was resolved, and despite the exhaustion grasping for their knees, each needed his own way to wind down the night before sleep had any hope of catching hold of them. He knew that the reward most of his coworkers were here for had little to do with the electronic dance music blasting their ears. For some it was the anesthetizing effect of the many beers they poured down their throats, and for several others it had everything to do with the beautiful bodies writhing together on the dance floor, any one of which would be happy to give a hero his due in the parking lot, or all night long in either participant’s apartment. But for Peter he was here exclusively for that heavy pulsing bass, so closely mimicking the racing tempo of his own pulse, keeping him up in that headspace he felt during the fire; clear, focused, and controlled. The music is what brought him to this club, and music is what would send him onwards to the next stop once his buddies had each met their needs for the night and headed out.

After he’d seen that everyone else had headed out, Peter would be ready for a change of pace, would finally be prepared to step things down one level closer to his baseline and eventually start winding his way towards sleep. The next place was a grungy dive bar, lighting dim and private, and nearly deserted this late into the night. It boasted a truly great jukebox he could load full of quarters. He selected all of his favorite rock songs, the ones he knew sung to his decreased level of intensity. He was ready for lyrics now, able to start imagining something that wasn’t just the heat of the fire, the tar and resin in the fire’s smoke clogging his lungs, the remembered grit that had made its way against his skin even through all of the protective gear, the stickiness of sweat caused by heavy exertion and extreme temperatures. There were still a few ladies, now so close to closing time, looking to offer him comfort and hoping to find some of their own. Peter politely refused, smoothly deflecting their advances. He’d never felt awkward saying no, rather he’d felt decidedly wretched the few ill-advised times he’d muttered yes. Nursing just one beer, his first and only for the night, he’d rest here in an out of the way booth, getting up only to reload the jukebox as needed, until the bar tender gently ushered everyone towards home.

Making sure the barflys made it safely to their cars, and saying goodnight to the few friendly regulars, Peter would make his short drive home in anticipatory silence. Softly closing his front door, and twisting over the deadbolt, Peter would immediately make his way to the beautifully restored record player that held pride of place in his apartment and he’d carefully place the needle down on one of many treasured blues records. This final step on his journey was done in reverence. He was finally met with the feelings of pure safety and security that meant he was home, alone with just the music, and his thoughts cleared of everything hot and impatient. Now he felt his mind and body relax and loosen, releasing everything that tonight’s fire had caused to stress and harden, giving way to the waves of sound with which he had surrounded his evening. Now 3 a.m. and Peter wallowed in bed as the scratch of the needle and the mournful blues danced him carefully the last few steps into slumber.

Published in: on April 17, 2017 at 7:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Spring Ephemerals 2017 & Garden Adventures

I took a walk around my apartment community after working on the garden this weekend, and some of the Spring Ephemeral flowers were up a bit early! My apartment community was built on an old farmstead, and in the border between the community and the other apartments next door is a narrow strip of old fencerow. Its only 10 – 20 feet across in most places, but it still whispers woodland to itself and is home to many Michigan wildflowers and several interesting feral plants that have continued growing long since the humans who planted them stopped tending them. These feral plants include: 2 apple trees, a pear tree, a sweet cherry tree, strawberry patches, black raspberries, raspberries, and various flowers such as: lily of the valley, daffodils, tulips, poppies, tiger lilies, periwinkle, and many more.

Here are some of the early bloomers I saw this weekend:


A surprising carpet of Blood Wort blooming in the underbrush. At the very bottom of the picture you can see the distinctive leaves of Trout Lilies, but there weren’t any flowers yet.


Blood Wort closeup


Spring Beauty was also carpeting the area.


Spring Beauty closeup


Vinca Minor in bloom – better known as Periwinkle!


The Cherry Tree is in bud!


Found this vine that had grown over a tree stump and looked creepily alive!


I have lived in my current apartment for 6 years, and I planted these daffodils right away. This is the FIRST YEAR they’ve ever bloomed!! YAY!

Relabeled Chemistry Experiments

This was inspired by an Anonymous prompter and fills the “demisexual” square in my March/April Play-It-Again Bingo. This is 461 words and is just an example of the ways I imagine people might learn such things about themselves.

Mildly sexual language/imagery.

Relabeled Chemistry Experiments

I’m waiting for her at the park, my fingers idly peeling up the rim of my cardboard coffee cup. I’d nervously drank the full 20 oz before she could arrive after her last class, and now I was left fidgeting and staring at the steaming cup across from me that I’d grabbed for her.

We’d been meeting at the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays all semester once we’d chosen each other as lab partners, but recently I’d begun to look forward to our study sessions more than Chem 120 really warranted. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I had a sneaking suspicion I was attracted to her. This had me majorly freaked out. I’d been identifying as asexual since I’d encountered the term in middle school & everyone around me seemed to simultaneously lose their mind over boys, or girls, or boys and girl. I’d made it through puberty & over the other side without so much as a twinge of lust brought on by jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, geeks, or any other available demographic in my suburban school’s hallways. I’d experimented alone in the sanctuary of my own bedroom, and I’m sure I’ve reached orgasm, which felt nice enough, but wasn’t something I found myself craving regularly, and certainly not with an audience.

But now I’ve spent twelve weeks in concentrated proximity to one of the most intelligent girls I’ve had the pleasure to meet and attraction is the only thing I’ve come up with that explains everything this feeling encompasses. It started with her scent. I’d liked it right away, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, as I indulged in a long bubble bath and most of a Chocolove Sea Salt & Almond chocolate bar “Me Date,” that I’d remembered her smell nostalgically and found my heart rate rising and my fingers wandering down between my thighs. In that moment I realized I didn’t enjoy the smell in a I’d wear that way but apparently, given the intensity of my ensuing climax, in a more I’d like to be rubbing against her while she’s wearing it kind of way. And since then I’ve sweated through several sleepless nights with busy fingers remembering precisely the way she places her palm against my wrist to gain my attention while we work, and reliving the breath stealing sight of her deep lower back as her shirt rides up when she stretches across the park’s picnic table to grab another notebook to pour over as we study.

I tally up all of this evidence as I wipe damp clammy palms down my denim covered hips and wait impatiently for the moment she spots me at our usual park table and her smile lights up her face and my Allison-specific libido.

Published in: on March 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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March/April Play-It-Again Bingo

February was brutal, with a week long out of town work assignment, and then March came in like the proverbial Lion, with a week lost to the mega stomach bug o’ doom. First thing that went out the window with all of that on my shoulders? All of my good writing intentions!

So I’m going to ease back in to writing with the rest of March and all of April working towards a blackout of my own personal 3X3 bingo card made up of the February Valentines Bingo prompts people have already requested, and more writing in worlds I’ve already started stories within that I’m interested in revisiting again!

Please feel free to claim spaces from the Bingo Card below if you wish to give me more prompts or direction on any particular theme or “world”.

“Someone To Care” – Zakiya Love I Told You So Villain Slowly Falls in Love with Hero/Heroine
Ace Hero/Heroine Doesn’t Want The Guy Demisexual “C. Herish” – Body Worship
Fantasy Centaur Body Worship “Morning” – Terrie & Marv Victorian Era Cross Dressing

The Best of All Dances

This was inspired by a prompt from Stardreamer and fills the “Dancing” square in my 2-1-17 card for the Valentines Bingo challenge. This piece is 297 words and complete.

The Best of All Dances

One. Two. Three.

The band plays in three-four time; the music bright and the lighting dim. The ballroom surrounds us but we cling to each other. You follow the movement of the music and I faithfully follow your lead. This is how our love begins.

I. Love. You.

My dress is winter white; the train a whisper across along the aisle. I step to the music we chose together for this moment. Forgoing Mendelssohn in favor of Strauss. I watch as tears of joy streak your cheeks. This is how our marriage begins.

Two. Blue. Booties.

We wanted to wait until they arrived, to enjoy the surprise. Whether we would all dance together to the Pink Lady or to Blue Danube, I wasn’t concerned. Just as long as they’re healthy was what you’d been saying since I told you the news. This is how our son was born.

To. Bed. Angry.

We forgot to keep dancing. The Minute and The Second were retired to make room for all of the minutes and seconds you spent at work and we both spent stressed. I thought we’d grown apart. This is how our separation was born.

I. Miss. Us.

Our son was dancing in the Nutcracker and we are forced into close proximity for the first time in several months. I tightly grasp your hand as we each cry proud parent’s tears. Yours are shed as we hold each other once again late into the darkest night. This is how our estrangement ends.

Three. Two. One.

They play Chopin and Talsur in our memory. We’re to be laid down side by side at the end of the ceremony. We’ve danced through life and death together; this time I’d led, and faithfully you followed. This is how our Waltz ends.

Published in: on February 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Call For Prompts – Ysabetwordsmith’s Poetry Fishbowl

Ysabetwordsmith’s monthly Poetry Fishbowl is now open and this month’s theme is “nonsexual intimacies.”  They’ve written a whole series of posts about nonsexual intimacies, divided into sections, if you need some ideas.

Go Feed the Bard!

Published in: on February 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Less is More

This was inspired by a prompt from Sara and fills the “The Friendzone Is My Safe Place” and “Gossip” squares in my 2-1-17 card for the Valentines Bingo challenge. This piece is 384 words and I’m wishing my character luck with his frustrating neighbor!

Content notice: foul language.

Less is More

“Stop taking flowers out of my garden to woo people who don’t even treat you right,” yelled Jake Ellis from 334-C. I’d stopped by his stoop to pick a few of the irises that grew there in abundance and that I knew Jake himself used as gifts for girls he dated.

“Uhm…what?” I fumblingly replied, completely taken aback by his abrupt appearance. I wasn’t expecting him to bully open his sliding glass door and hop out onto his patio just a few feet from me as I stopped to pick a few blooms on my way to Maddie’s place.

“Don’t take that bitch anymore of my flowers man! She’s not giving you any, so I don’t think you should be going out of your way for her anymore. Pick ‘em for someone who isn’t going to stick you straight into the friendzone.” Jake looked livid and motioned with his hands for me to throw the flowers down.

“Wha…how would you know about whether or not I’m getting any anything?” I demand.

“Dan told me he asked her out about a week ago and she said she’d like that. So he asked what about you and freakin’ Maddie tells him you’re just good friends. That’s girl for friendzoned and you deserve more bro, you’ve been workin’ on that for months now!” Jake sounded sincerely outraged on my behalf. His fingers flew into air quotes around nearly every other phrase.

I took a long step back and a deep breath in, bracing myself to explain yet again what was and wasn’t happening with me and Maddie Shelley. I’d already suffered through this conversation with my mother, my best friend Eric, my next best friend Jon and his current girlfriend, my interfaith pastor, and now, apparently, I’d get the utter joy of attempting to explain everything once more to womanizing Jake Jones from 334-C on his patio stoop while he stood there in just his Budweiser boxers and judged my life.

Friendship with Maddie was more rewarding and less stress than all of my prior girlfriends combined and if I just didn’t count the asshats who were more worried about whether or not my penis had made her acquaintance yet than whether or not I might be genuinely happy then things felt perfect just as they were.

Published in: on February 6, 2017 at 8:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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