Sparked by Words

Posts tagged ‘apology’

Trespass

The soles of my feet, my bared knees and forehead

Bend to the earth as do the strands of my hair

Trailing over my cheeks

 

The one good thing about being brought so low

Is not my humility, proofed by drops of my blood

Pooling in the dirt

 

But that I am left only one direction for movement

May the One Who abides in the High Heavens

Help me to rise

 

If I am unseen, ignored, or even abandoned

Perhaps I will be lifted by atonement of my sins

The flood of my tears

 

Sighted by bugs and spiders in their native land

No others will witness my remorse or their toil

More holy than mine

 

Just a thought 77

 

Painting Africa Landscape courtesy Pixabay

 

 

 

 

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Slippage

 

What slips from my pen is thoughtful, measured

What slips from my mouth – too often damned vile

 

Words scattered like seeds borne on wind

Feathers from the pillow

Oil from the jar

 

The pain in your eyes

The hurt on your face

 

If only I could redact half of what I say

Even then the world would still be too

Full of loathsome remark

 

The counterweight to an evil tongue is not apology

But silence before speaking

 

Here I offer my best effort

Nothing

Please accept my measured words

 

 

Just a thought 75

 

Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Getting it All Wrong to Make It Write, or, Responding Graciously to Awful Critiques

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I must apologize.

About 12 years ago I sat nervously on the hot seat of my first official writing critique session, having balanced on sword points for two weeks while my new-found group of reviewers read the first chapter of my book. Certainly they were about to skewer me because what else would they do to someone who dared enter the heady realm of Writer with no more credentials than a college degree in Creative Writing and years of doing everything but write? I deserved to be skewered, burned over hot coals, and served a la carte with freshly shaved horseradish.

I can’t even remember what those folks said about my first chapter. Can’t remember because though I tried to listen, I heard nothing. I sat through the crits and quaked, tried to smile but grimaced, to breathe evenly but choked. Should have listened better so I’d have something memorable to tell you, but I have nothing to show for that first critique except the edge of the chair imprinted on the backs of my thighs.

Since then I’ve learned a lot about critique groups, mostly by doing nearly everything wrong. I’ve been so arrogant that I actually thought I was qualified to tell someone else how to write. I mean, I’d read, lots. Didn’t that qualify me to tell other novice writers, many more veteran than myself, how to describe a character’s motives without a melodramatic voice, how to show and not tell? I’d read all those writers’ books and articles (now I read writers’ blogs,) dug up my old college notes (at least the ones that hadn’t molded so much they’d become unreadable,) sat back in my sofa and trawled through my memory to unearth the pearls of my college professors’ wisdom – even remembered a few pithy points. Talk about arrogant, cynical, smarmy, and self righteous. I have been way too insensitive to the feelings of others. (more…)