Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Holly and The Ivy


Christmastime is here... unless you don't celebrate Christmas. But for those who do...

Reflecting on the Lessons and Carols service I heard in church last Sunday, I rewrote the lyrics to the classic Christmas song "The Holly and The Ivy" to bring the Ivy into prominence alongside the Holly--Jesus' life alongside Jesus' death. The lyrics appear under the cut.

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!



The Holly and The Ivy

Friday, November 29, 2013

Maya & Matilda: Mock Orange Style

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt--part of a flyer advertising Mock Orange, the publication in which "For Maya and Matilda" has been published!
Readers may or may not remember the poem "For Maya and Matilda," written in the style of the inestimable Maya Angelou, but I'm happy to announce that it has been published in the debut issue of Mock Orange Magazine, a new literary magazine featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art from girls and women ages 14-25!

This issue can be bought for $6 at CreateSpace here. It will also be available through Amazon.com starting next week.

Like Mock Orange on Facebook here and visit their website here.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Career Goal Report: a pentametric poem in six parts

This, this is just sad. This is the page image for the Occupational Outlook Handbook's article on "How to Become A Writer or Author".  The caption? "Freelance writers may have to manage multiple assignments simultaneously." Gee, is that all?
 As a junior in high school, I get a lot of pressure about what I plan to do with my future. Usually, when the subject of college is brought up, I just pretend to have spontaneously transformed into a cat. However, a "Career Goal Report" was required for Physics class, so I grudgingly did some research about my chosen occupation, the marvelous and wonderful world of creative writing... and turned in this as my report.

Career Goal Report:
a pentametric poem in six parts

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Omniscience: Becca in the Maze

Do you like it? I photoshopped it myself. On the bottom left is Jennifer Lawrence-as-Lilah, my book's main character, and on the upper right is Karen Gillian-as-Becca, the main character of this excerpt.
So, I haven't been writing a lot of new stuff recently, though hopefully that will change as Creative Writing class gets in full gear. Still, I thought you lovely blog-stalkers readers deserved a new morsel of writing, so here's another excerpt from The Omniscience, my currently-being-revised Nanowrimo 2011 novel. More info on the book here.

Longtime blog followers will have already met Lilah, the main protagonist. Now it's time to meet another crucial character--Becca Pond.

Becca in the Maze

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Love Letters (for International Femslash Day)


From http://tiutiubells.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/tumblr_lnbtk5uiao1qzur8to1_500.jpg, with a background added by me. Image depicts one couple I wasn't able to work into this story: Lady Justice and Lady Liberty. Yes, I ship them. They're an amazing couple.
This was actually written shortly after the repeal of DOMA (hip-hip-hooray!), but I waited to post it so it will be in conjunction with International Femslash Day, an internet-wide celebration of lesbian couples in fanfiction and original fiction. I decided to write a piece with six different couples, half of whom are not my characters and the other half who are. Enjoy!

(Somewhat Obvious) Note: This story contains six lesbian couples. If you aren't okay with that, then don't go on the internet for all of today.

Love Letters
(for international femslash day)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Steammonk

Hello, folks! This is Mapping Out A Sky's 42nd post (YAY!) and I thought I would share the graphic novel excerpt I created for Creative Writing class at the end of this school year. So, without further ado, here's Steammonk.

Note: There is only one girl in the story, even though I used two different models. The battle is Guillaume & Monks vs. Girl. No one really knows what goes on during the blackout, either. And the Hindenburg is crashing.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these little images. I stole them off of the Internet and manipulated them so I could get what I wanted, no matter what. MWAHAHAHA! *cough* Seriously, don't sue me. Oh,  title "Steammonk" created by Claire Haldeman, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy birthday, Claire!

Steammonk

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ezekiel

From http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/Columbian_mammoth.JPG/250px-Columbian_mammoth.JPG. It's a Columbian mammoth skeleton.
 So, I just returned from the Juniper Institute for Young Writers summer program, and thus have a ton of new work to show y'all. One such work is one of three poems inspired by a trip to the Amherst College Natural History Museum. Our group's task was to observe the colors of the museum and write about them in a more realized, inventive way.

The first thing I saw there was the bones of a Columbian mammoth, whose real ivory tusks were in a display case to the side.

Hence, this poem.

Ezekiel

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gas Law's Activities

Last Wednesday, my Chem class was doing a lab experiment involving gas laws, but when my teacher handed out the instructions, there was a glaring apostrophe error smack dab in the middle of the title. I groaned and scribbled the apostrophe out with my pen. However, later on, my lab partner Pat speculated that maybe the worksheet was talking about the actual activities of a person named Gas Law. He then proceeded to draw "Gas Law, Private Eye". I then countered with a drawing of "Miss Charlie Boyle," whose "voluptuous volume made the room grow warmer".

You can probably guess where this is headed.

But wait! There's more! In the style of Garrison Keillor's "Guy Noir," I decided to record myself reciting this story and put some snazzy noir music in the background. You can listen to that recording below and read the actual text of the story under the cut.

Character “Gas Law” created by Pat O'Connor; special thanks to Mrs. Martin for the chemistry, Mr. Morisseau for the “Maximum Entropy” name, and whoever misplaced an apostrophe in “Gas Laws Activities”.



Gas Law's Activities

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Omniscience vs. Cleverbot

I'll explain later.
 So, I was lurking about on the internet when I discovered (or rather, rediscovered) a project called Cleverbot, a computer program (even though it insists upon its own humanity) designed to learn from online conversations with humans and apply the knowledge gained there to other conversations, progressively becoming more "human" with each conversation.

And I'm like, "But that's the Omni!" (You all remember that NaNoWriMo novel I'm supposed to be working on.) "It's the Omni, but specified for conversations rather than decisions! What if it was a rudimentary version of the Omni technology? What if the Omni picked up on its signal and engaged it in conversation?"

Cleverbot's lines are totally authentic here. Technically, I only wrote half of this conversation.


OMNISCIENCE TRANSCRIPT:

CLEVERBOT SIGNAL RECEIVED, RESPONDED TO

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hope for the Flowers

From http://wallpaperstock.net/butterfly-light_wallpapers_5363_1280x1024_1.html, courtesy of The Internet.
Because our city, our nation, and all our souls could certainly do with some hope.

Here is a video of me reading my poem "To Sing to a Butterfly" alongside composer Erik Gustafson's prelude of the same name (directly inspired by the poem) as part of a piano rededication service at Old South Church in Boston, my home church and the proudly-proclaimed Church of the Finish Line, just down the street from the site of Monday's explosions. The church is now closed off as part of the crime scene; we are denied access to the beautiful pianos and stained-glass windows lying just beyond the barricade. Every one of us isjust as everyone in and outside of the city isshaken. Sometimes, it feels as if the world is coming to an end.

But there is a quote, a beautiful quote from an anonymous sage who knows that just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly. "Shaken but not forsaken," Old South continues to worship as a community, graciously hosted by the Church of the Covenant a few blocks away. Today we walked together to the boundaries of the crime scene to reclaim our finish line by singing hymns. My life flows on in endless song, above Earth's lamentation. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Guide my feet, hold my hand, wheel with me while I run this race. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...

Just when we think the world is over, defeated by grief and hate and violence, we can be transformed—not returned to the way things were before, but transformed, like butterflies, into something beautiful and profound, something that brings hope to the flowers.

"For this is the truth all nature-singers know:
When you sing to a butterfly,
you sing to yourself as well,
and you know that all things are possible."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC_5S-8s_mc

*listen to more of Erik's gorgeous music at http://erikmusik.net/

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wordles

Sorry for not posting regularly as of late. I've been busy having sleep disorders, 504s, and doctor's appointments. But, as a reward for y'all's patience, here's a word cloud (known as a Wordle) made up of the most frequently-used words on this blog. The bigger the word, the more frequently it is used.



Though, poem, met, like, think, shatter, monster, one, and girl seem to be leading.

As an interesting comparison, here are the wordles for drafts one and two (respectively) of my novel, The Omniscience. Note: the second draft isn't exactly finished; it stops a little less than halfway in. I really should get back to that...


Funny, the first draft appears to have less words than the second. *eyebrow raise*

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Barton Hollow

Oh, look! It's me! You finally get to see my face, dear readers! And what is that blurry orange rectangle that I'm holding? It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...
...asdf'lksdjfas'dflkjads'fkja'sldkfj'!

Ahem. Let me try that again. I'm quite excited, you see. You would think that an author would have a more coherent way to express excitement than that, but apparently I don't. That's not really important, though. What's important is...

I GOT PUBLISHED!

In the Winter 2013 edition of The Marble Collection: Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts, there is a short story on page 14 entitled "Barton Hollow," one of five short stories in the issue. And it is mine.

There are very few words to describe how elated I am at this moment.

Barton Hollow


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Magniloquence


Taken from http://youthvoices.net/sites/default/files/image/10913/apr/selfesteem.png, courtesy of The Internet, as usual. Image apparently depicts all the labeling and pressure put upon young girls in the media that leads to low self-esteem— the very things that the speaker of this poem is attempting to defy in her "magniloquence."
High time for some optimistic poetry, eh?

I don't like to boast. No, really, I don't. That's not just me being modest. I don't like boasting.

That being said, this assignment for Creative Writing Class was deemed a "boast poem," though I prefer to think of it as a "confidence poem." Excuse any arrogance that you may perceive while reading thisit's part of the prompt, I swear. As was the rhyme scheme. And the number of lines. And the Maya Angelou and King Lear allusions, though I was happy to put those in.

Magniloquence
(or, A Boast of Epic Proportions)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Broken Mirrors

Why, yes, that is David Tennant. Playing Hamlet. In Hamlet. The point, however, is in the shattered mirror, which is a major recurring image in this poem. Picture taken from http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nT_bVSnLTFg/TZVinmrNyEI/AAAAAAAAAIQ/SgnDBmP5540/s1600/david+tennant+hamlet+mirror.jpg, courtesy of The Internet.
"Oh, dear. Another dark and depressing poem. Amata, what is going on in your life?"

Well, actually, this one isn't autobiographical. It's another poem from the Bitterblue (AMAZING fantasy book by Kristin Cashore) collection, though I think it's vague enough to stand on its own without too much confusion.

"Oh. Okay. So Bitterblue's the dark and depressed one?"

To over-explain it would be giving away spoilers for the book. (Which by the way, almost everyone should read if they're looking for good fantasy, just like everyone should watch the David Tennant Royal Shakespeare Company Hamlet if they're looking for good Shakespeare—see the image above... *cough*)

So, without further ado...

Broken Mirrors

Sonnet & Villanelle

Picture is taken from http://totheshore.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/quillpeninkwell1.jpg, courtesy of The Internet. (I seriously hope I don't get sued for that phrase sometime in the future.) It depicts a quill pen and ink, evoking Shakespearean sonnets. These poems are not quite the same as those.
Neither of the two poems I'm sharing with you today are exactly what their titles imply.

The first, a "sonnet," happens to be not of love, but of anger and even hate. Also, it is (somewhat mercifully) not directed towards a specific person, as many sonnetsbe they romantic or accusatoryare. The second, a "villanelle," is written not in villanelle format, but in sonnet format. It too has a dark tone, though it is the lack of emotional articulation ability, rather than the presence, that lends it this. (It was written to be spoken in a play by an android incapable of feeling.) Grouping the two poems together is thus naturalboth are melancholy sonnets that do not quite fit the connotations of their forms.

I seriously hope these poems do not upset you all.

Sonnet & Villanelle

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Riddle


Picture taken from http://www.starburstmagazine.com/images/april2012/bitterbluebookreview.jpg, courtesy of The Internet. It depicts Bitterblue, the subject of this poem, which is based upon Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, which the above quote from the Romantic Times is praising.
This poem is from the second of the two poetry collections that I have written for school, and is based upon Kristin Cashore's marvelous book Bitterblue. Everyone, go read Bitterblue! Even if you haven't read the other two books in the series, it stands well on its own! Though, actually, I would suggest reading the other books in the series, mainly because they're amazing books, but also so you can get that feeling of satisfaction when beloved characters from those books end up appearing in this one.

I don't think I need to warn of any spoilers, as this one is just sort of a teaser-type thing for the book. And no, I am not getting paid to endorse this work of literature.  :)

A Riddle
(Stories, Cyphers, Secrets, and Lies)

Friday, January 18, 2013

For Maya and Matilda

From http://loveforliana.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/footprints-snow-love-for-liana.jpg, courtesy of The Internet. 'Tis a very lovely image, methinks, and evocative of certain phrases from this poem.
Poetry fans, you're in luck--the next several posts on this blog will contain a plethora of poetry, as I have recently had to complete two collections of poetry for school. The assignment for this one was to write a poem in the style of another, more famous poet, so I have attempted to imitate the poetic style of the inestimable Maya Angelou.

Another inspiration for this poem was the story of Matilda, Lady of the English. I don't think you have to know her story to understand the poem, but it might help.

For Maya and Matilda