A Sianian Lay for the Man That Comes of Age


My Father, I seek my kingdom.
Mira’um ki camaë, za!
My Father, I would have joy of days.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.

My son, belike you must become a man.
Mira’um ki camaë, za!
Grit your teeth and earn your land.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.

My Father, my heart is stirred within me.
Mira’um ki camaë, za!
Without her, I cannot bear to be.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.

My son, peril fills your road this day.
Mira’um ki camaë, za!
Your childhood now must fall away.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.

For sad is the woman indeed
Who becomes the mother of one
Because she has married in haste
My hapless, idle son.

My Father, I seek my kingdom.
Mira’um ki camaë, za!
And embrace my duty, else hope grows dim.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.

May the God above see my toiling.
May all men respect my true manhood.
May the God above, my work rewarding
At last grant me all things good.

Mira’um ki camaë, za!
Mikinyai rn na mahn bou calam.
Lamnai ki ichthus hainai.
Lemnak inra sauh keperimii.

Authors and Memory


When I edit lots
My brain gets fried
And I forget things
Like (a) whether or not I had a coffee;
(b) What my name is;
(c) What the time is;
(d) Whether I stopped for that red light or not;
(e) What the name of this student in front of me is,
And (f) why I’m an author.

When I write,
My memory improves.
I remember point (f).

A Youth’s Plea


When the world is untainted,
All our ideals unspoiled,
Our dreams intact,
And the perfection of our experiences
Golden and crimson
In the colours of vivifying autumn:
God, keep us from being harsh
To those who have been hurt,
Who have failed so badly they feel
They cannot get up again.
God, give us imagination
Where we have no understanding.
God, give us compassion.

For there is nothing so horrible
As naivety paired with intolerance.
Naivety can be forgiven.
Intolerance cannot.

Little Kid Logic


“You don’t look right.
You normally wear a skirt.”
This, accompanied by near hyperventilation.

“I haven’t seen you for
Like, fifteen years!”
This, after a ten week break from lessons with you.

“I’m going to quit singing lessons
Because I’m going to audition for the X-factor.”
And this makes sense how?

“I need a music stand.”
The child laboriously props her music up on the stand.
She then proceeds to stare at the music
You’re playing from, which is resting on the piano.

“I practised this song this week.”
But that song wasn’t part of his exam program –
And his exam is in five days.

It’s lunchtime, and you’re just wrapping up the lesson.
The bell rings.
The student decides it’s time for the lesson to end,
So she stands on the music stool and shrieks
“BELL!” in your ear,
Thereby lessening your lifespan by ten years.

Teaching is for survivors.

Rachmaninov’s Piano


An old and new kind of magic
Is the music of Rachmaninov,
A man of pain and purpose,
Who knew the grief of the heart,
And the power of the will.
I will listen and have my fill
Of chords of blood and sunlight,
Of anathemas in the night
Of the cries no one hears
Of the beauty, crystal cold,
Written in tears.

Here was a man who went to Hell
And was retrieved after three years.
Here was a man who –
Perhaps without a thought for God –
Was gifted by His Creator some of heaven’s
Greatest paeans and the prophets’ greatest laments.
Here was man who wrote from the depths of his soul
With dark, navy lines, profound and intense.

The Joy of Classic Books


Sure, I would never write like a classic author – I don’t think I could to save myself. But publishers are not looking for books written like the old classics any more. Nevertheless, I love that retro stuff. It does wonders for my writing.
I never really struggle to say what I want any more. It’s not a struggle to write intense action scenes or difficult dialogues … or, it’s not as much of a struggle as it used to be. I find the words come to me faster, and I can arrange my thoughts quicker.
The old books often demonstrate mastery in areas like character and plot development – two large concepts that are not dealt with as justly today as they were in yesteryears. One only has to look at books like Fifty Shades of Grey to see that plot and character development are slipping in some of our best-sellers.
And writing shouldn’t be about selling. It should be about saying something well – communicating an idea worth thinking about. Many classics did this excellently. Do modern books do as well in this department? I’m not one hundred percent sure.

If you liked another one of my rants about good writing and good books, check out the below link: http://www.writersanctuary.net/blog/classics-are-cool

Thanks for reading!

Present Tense in Novels: A Strange Way to Tell a Story?


What if it wasn’t “once upon a time”? What if it was “once upon now”? Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?

There is a strange new rage for writing in present tense, particularly in YA literature. And yet, is this a clear way to tell a story over a sizeable chunk of time? Or is it all merely awkward?

Explore the confusion on writersanctuary.net: