Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gnawing Ideas

from Wikisource.org

Ideas gnaw like rats on a flour sack. They take their time, but eventually they break through. These ideas become a driving force akin to passion, and they disturb sleep and rest until they are implemented.

I’ve recently been bogged down with a ton of work and then huge life changes that kept me so busy that I literally had no time to write. Now that I’m getting settled into my new routine, my waking and dreaming hours have been screaming at me to get back to my writing.

Just this morning, another idea popped into my head to add to my current paranormal romance novel. Of course, ideas never stop, especially not for me. I seem to have an uncanny talent for having bottomless pits of ideas. What I do when I’m extremely busy is to jot down these ideas so I can use them later. Since this morning’s idea crept into my half-asleep mind, it has prodded me to wake up and to get back to rewriting and editing my novel. So now I’m in search of those previous notes of ideas as well as my new ideas that I want to add to my novel.

from Kaboompics.com via pexel.com

I do have a bad habit to multi-task by having multiple works in progress at the same time. I even have a comedy screenplay in mind, which I’ve been mulling over for some time. Who could have guessed I can write humor? I even shocked myself. One day, the dialogue just played out in my head like a movie-- something between Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. However, for now, I’ll have to put the comedy on hold.

I’ve decided that I should focus my concentration on my nearly completed paranormal manuscript and push it over the finish line. Ideas are meant to be shared and not hidden to rot away. Every great change, every great invention, every amazing movie and every amazing book started with an idea. Ideas sow seeds that can grow into plants to nourish the readers’ minds. Indeed, ideas are powerful motivators and life changers.

from needpix.com

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Poetry Expresses Our Souls

photo by Geralt 

I know it has been awhile since I last posted though I did say I would post more often. Unfortunately, work and life get in the way of blogging at times, especially for teachers during exam time. However, with Spring Break here and Summer Vacation just around the bend, hopefully my blogging will become more consistent. I’ll do my best.

Today, in honor of poetry month, I want to discuss what poetry means to me as well as share a new poem with you. I’ve been writing poetry since high school, and I actually published one in an anthology at a tender age. I was prompted to write more poetry in those years to express the loss of my close friend who passed away so young. So poetry became the vehicle for my emotions with that one tragic event and has accompanied me throughout my life.  After writing more poetry, I moved on to short stories, novels and screenplays. However, poetry is special to me because, unlike other writing, it allows me to express the depth of my soul. All of my thoughts, ideas, emotions, and even bits of my soul go into my poems. Some are positive while others reflect the dark moods that cloud my days. Poetry is like my diary, my counselor, and balm for my soul. Sometimes what I cannot put into words can easily be expressed in poetry. I enjoy painting with words, creating art, using rhyme and other literary devices to bring about the best poem that I can while expressing myself and hopefully sharing some insight with the world. Sometimes I might reflect my life, or sometimes I just enjoy creating stories about other personas. Poetry has literally saved my life many times (or my sanity).

I have many favorite poets like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath and others. Their poems speak to my heart. Poetry is like music that soothes my soul.  

The following poem was written after the death of my aunt; she was like a mother figure for me, so as you can imagine I was depressed and in a funk. Then some words whirled in my mind, as they always do, and I started writing a line. Then the words came out on paper, and I spent the next couple of days editing and rewriting my poem. But at least some of my sadness and stress was released and a work of art was created. Here is “Many Faces”; I hope it will touch your hearts.  Enjoy!

Many Faces

The many faces of Eve
From memory I retrieve.
All the habits and skills
To make life such a thrill.
What a façade…such a lie!
Yet, in this world we cannot cry.
The outside is happy and complete,
While the inside is broken and deplete.
Where’s the help and rescue?
On my own while sinking in blues.
Life’s joke…sink or swim…
Almost on the razor-sharp rim.
Tears are stuck and freezing,
Life laughs back and is teasing.
Yet, the façade is perfect and precise.
Hiding the chaos that at my soul slices.
The smile is statue-like molded,
While at my mistakes I’m scolded.
Perfect happiness is expected
But deep depression is internally reflected.
Who will I pretend to be today
Just to bring others sunshiny rays?
Successful, strong and perfectly living,
Yet drowning in self-doubting chaos while giving
My soul to the world so cruel,
And always retaining the last jewel.
World! You can’t have my best part!
This is the me you can’t have inside my heart.
The fortress is built and you get what you see.
Just take your due and please leave me!
How many faces of Eve are there?
As many as I need to protect my lair.

                                                --Lena Winfrey Hayat

photo from Creative Commons

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Painting with Words

By Ulleo

As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Sometimes it is difficult to express certain feelings, ideas or emotions in words, so many people decide to paint their feelings and ideas. We can learn much from art and see the hidden meanings. However, writers have an important job in communicating ideas and feelings to readers, so how can they successfully do this when some ideas, expressions and feelings are difficult to explain in words? That is the “magic” trick. A great writer uses every tool in his “writing bag”, and the greatest writers are actually able to “paint” using words. Thus, a talented writer could be able to turn “a thousand words into a picture.” Not a literal picture, but it will reflect in the reader’s mind as a successfully explained and “painted” image that will reach the heart and soul of the reader who can finally appreciate such a deep, hidden meaning that has been translated by the writer.

Below I will share my poem that expresses the idea of painting with words. Enjoy!

The Writer’s Canvas

Words drip from my pen like paint from a brush.
Drip, drip, drip…
A word, a verb swirling and mixing--
Adjectives scream from the page!
Nouns flash in vibrant colors.
Staring at an empty page while waiting for words to flow,
Inspiration finally strikes like magic as the pen glides.
Drip, drip, drip…
Many curious questions explore my soul.
The pen furiously races to paint with words before the ink runs out,
Before the memories get lost in a maze of self-doubt.
Lines of words reflect my ideas as the words are imprinted upon hearts.
At last the words are recorded,
And now the painting is ready for display.

                                                  --Lena Winfrey Hayat

By Greyerbaby

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Breaking the Silence

Sometimes in life we run into people who try to control us and make us only speak whenever they wish. Sometimes people try to force us to fit into their tiny boxes they’ve built for us that represents how they view us. Sometimes they practically tie us up and gag us. At times, these are our closest family and friends, so in the beginning we may not realize what diabolic deeds they are doing to us. Then, suddenly one day we awaken to realize the ugly truth. The following is a poem I have written on this subject that I hope will inspire those imprisoned by silence to break free and be silent no more. Live life on your own terms and sing to the world. Celebrate your freedom and embrace your future.

by Comfreak

Breaking the Silence

He silenced her…
He silenced her!
Until she had no voice…
Until she had no opinion…
Until she had no identity…
Until she almost faded from existence.
He silenced her…
He silenced her!

The caged bird…
The caged bird begins to whistle
Until she learns to chirp…
Until she learns to sing…
Until she finds her voice again.
The caged bird now speaks and shouts!
The caged bird.

She wonders, ‘Who am I?’
Looking in the mirror,
Rediscovering herself,
She has changed.
Now she flies freely.
Now she can choose to be whoever she wants.
She has a voice…
She has an opinion…
She has an identity…
She is alive!
She has broken the silence!

                             -- Lena Winfrey Hayat

By Photorech

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Finding Inner Strength

Dear Reader,

Today I have decided to share my poem with you that I wrote a few months ago. I hope the heroine in the story inspires you to face any obstacles in your life and to achieve your goals. Good luck!

The Queen of Pain

Gasping her last breath as she fell to the hard ground,
Screams of agony from within yet not a sound.
Innocence shattered, her sweet soul badly battered.
Yet to her evil enemies it never mattered.
Out of the fiery flames her ashes arise,
The Queen of Pain with dignity stands against lies.
Reborn from the agony and the terrible pain,
No more would she pour out teardrops of raging rain.
She embraced the pain…scarred with heavy dark blood stains.
Awakened, now she has become the Queen of Pain.
Her jealous enemies plotted her fatal fall.
Yet now their fearful backs are up against the wall.
Their poisonous razor-sharp daggers froze her warm heart.
She absorbed their wicked hate and poison so tart.
She turned it with angel’s hands to peace and love.
She let their evil pass out to raise her above,
For she had no time for petty games and lame lies.
She built the fortress around her soul without cries.
With dignity and integrity the pain she wore,
As crowns and jewels that shine brightly from her core.
Standing proudly their foul plots touch her nevermore.
Their voices die as the Queen remains forevermore.

                                                            --Lena Winfrey Hayat

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Second Guessing

Dear Readers,

I know I said I would try to write weekly… well it has been awhile. I got side-tracked again by Life! Seriously, too much work due to the end of the school year, report card time and so forth. So, I was thinking today about what makes authors seem to second guess themselves. I mean… can’t we be satisfied with whatever we write? We scrutinize our text, and we scrutinize ourselves! Some authors could say they torture themselves for perfection. Alas, there is no perfection, so we need to settle for something like amazing?

Anyway, just to get ourselves started on a project and past our procrastination is an accomplishment. Sure we love to write, but sometimes we delay an idea for fear of failure. And sometimes even for fear of success! Sometimes we are afraid that we cannot perfect our characters or perfect our piece of writing. We worry about the big things as well as the small things. Like for example, which point of view to choose? Well, that is a big concern because we want to match the point of view with the type of story as well as to our characters. It can be very important to the voice of the piece we are writing. A small thing could be like whether or not to place a comma at a specific point? Sometimes we agonize a whole day over a piece of punctuation. “To punctuate or not to punctuate.” It could drive a writer mad!

The problem is we get caught up in trying to be perfect, wanting to please not only ourselves but also our readers and even the critics. There is no perfect script nor perfect writer. And we need to realize that there are several ways to get to the same point. I can choose the same characters and the same plot, but use a different point of view or choose different dialogue and still have a good story, even a different story. Every method is correct; there is no wrong way. There are some ways that might be better, and maybe we should experiment a bit with different methods. However, we have to trust the writer’s voice inside to let us get the words out and let us create the story we have in our minds and in our hearts. We have to be concerned with getting the story out rather than worrying all the time about “wonder what they will think?”

We have to be determined to get the story out quickly. We should meditate, concentrate and then let that story flow out like a river. We need to let all the words come out before we begin the editing process.

We must believe in ourselves, in our characters and in our story. When our characters are alive in our hearts and minds, then we can bring them to life. Then, we should be committed to giving these characters their story.

We have to admit that sometimes we are harder on ourselves than any critic.  We are afraid to utter the wrong word or to choose the wrong plot event. We fear to disturb the flow of our story when we should really just let the story choose its own path. We just need to be along for the ride.

So, dear Writers get into that chair and on that keyboard. Write up a storm. Say whatever your heart tells you. Listen to the character’s voice in your head. And just trust yourself to create the best story. You can do it… just believe!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What Happens to Delayed Dreams?

We all have dreams. Not just those at night that may entertain or bother us. I’m talking about dreams for our future or rather what some may call “goals.” Did you ever wonder, what happens to delayed dreams?

Sometimes we get busy in life, and we end up putting off the very dreams that we have wanted since childhood. These are the dreams that make us alive inside our hearts and souls. Sometimes we just go through the motions of life and postpone our dreams while telling ourselves that we will catch our dreams later. But when will later come? Should we continue putting off our dreams, or should we grasp and fight to hold on to them, thus making them a reality?

Poet Langston Hughes advises us in his poem “Dreams” (1)  to “Hold fast to dreams/ For if dreams die/ Life is a broken-winged bird/ That cannot fly.” I agree with this. I have noticed that when I have a dream, a goal or a project that I am excited about that if I keep delaying to start it, then the excitement wanes and that it gets harder and harder to start it. I find every obstacle popping up to delay me, and I allow these things to postpone my dreams. However, this should not be acceptable. Sure, we might need to delay for a day or a week. But what if it becomes months and then years? How long can we hold off our dreams?

Inventors have dreams that lead them to create amazing tools and gadgets that we use to make our lives easier and more interesting. What if they had delayed their dreams? Could you imagine life without a laptop or a smartphone? What about all of the creative scientists who have made great discoveries and found cures for diseases? What if they had delayed their dreams? What would become of our world if all of us, especially our geniuses, doctors, scientists and even our writers delay their dreams?

Dreams keep us alive and give us a purpose in life. This purpose might help us, but it can end up helping others, too. We need to struggle to achieve our goals and not allow them to be delayed or to dry up. Langston Hughes wonders in another poem “Harlem (Dreams Deferred)” (2), “What happens to a dream deferred?/ Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?/ Or fester like a sore.” I believe it truly must dry up like something withering away… almost like a dry, crumbled leaf that turns to dust in the wind. Life without dreams means we are living like zombies. It is a spiritual death. Delaying dreams can only lead to the funeral of one’s creativity. That is a tragedy!

I implore you not to give up your dreams. Don’t even postpone them. Go and grasp them with firm determination. Dreams are great, but they become a reality only when dreams are put into action. So, set your goals down on paper, sketch out a plan and then start working toward your goals.

Good luck in achieving your dreams!

References where you can view the full poems by Langston Hughes: