Writer’s Update

Meanwhile, writing (besides this blog) is still happening. Found a way to advance the second novel without being paralyzed by impossible word counts. Two hundred fifty words into the manuscript each day. Achievable, right? The weekly 2400-word goal I naively set last year was too hard, took away the fun in the process.

But turns out, I can’t even perfect the scaled down goal. The first time I missed two days in a row, I compensated by writing 750 words the following day. Now, I skipped two days in a row again and I don’t feel like “punishing” myself. So I’m blogging instead. Fitness wisdom advises against starving oneself or doing a brutal workout post food binge. Sorry for the pragmatic metaphor but it rings true. Inspiration and guilt don’t work hand-in-hand. I’m contemplating a rule for discipline’s sake though, just to keep the project from being neglected. How about don’t skip the second novel for three straight days (like workout, haha)?

Besides, I want to make time for writing poetry.

When I read poems, I sort of understand parts, but not the whole thing. Which is frustrating for me, someone who likes to get things. But maybe that is its beauty, that a poet expresses freely while the readers take what they can without the burden of concrete meanings. Maybe. I have no idea what I’m talking about, but there’s my two cents. (Boyfriend dislikes this expression, thinks I should say, “that’s my five-hundred bucks. No clue how he came up with the figure.)

But the point is I want to write poetry. I’ve written a few poems and I don’t know how “good” they are (at the moment, I have no desire to know–I just want to write what comes). Below is a poem I wrote about my late father for a workshop I attended years ago. If you knew him well, you would know his children didn’t have easy lives. Heck, you only need to meet him once. He wore his pain loud. When he died, I’m not sure whether I mourned him or the loss of hope for him to evolve into someone easier to love.

Sword Fight
by Leah Ranada

We looked evenly matched.
Same gaze, same armoured jaw, same
stride leaving shoes

I couldn’t see where your shadow end on the walls.           

You wielded a thunder, 
blade blistered the dark. 
In the silence that followed there were lesser-known sorrows.

Frail flourishes caught in the glint of the distant 
your fingers.

I lunged.

Your voice in the air, a ribbon of your trickster’s fire.                     
Leaving all in awe. 

I faded. 

Swords at sides, we watched the embers
pale into dull ash.
As the light in your eyes. 

In the darkness that followed there were lesser-known fears.
Each brandish parried by vast spaces not there before.

I couldn’t see the walls where your shadow once loomed.     
Only fallen rocks, swirling dust.           

Far, far away
loomed the fiery dusk 
catching the sword in your hand.

But you were long fallen by then.


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