Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Message From Sheila


Hi, everyone.

My name is Mike and I’m a friend of Sheila, the excellent human who owns this blog. She’s asked me to let everyone know she’s without reliable internet access for probably the next couple of days, and won’t be able to respond to the comments her blog has been getting until then. Everything is fine with her–she just doesn’t want anyone to think their comments are being ignored. She appreciates everyone dropping by and will reply to each one as soon as she can.


Mood Music


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Victor Hugo is credited with saying, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

Does music play an important role in your life, in your writing? Let me say, I have very eclectic music tastes. I will listen to almost anything once and will give it a real chance to move me in some way. Music has such an effect on me, though, that there are some songs I cannot listen to if I’m particularly blue because of the state of mind they put me in. They take me back to a time that I can’t bear to think upon without them bringing every full emotion of that moment gushing forth.

I’ve mentioned before I once wrote some lyrics and songs with a co-writer. He had a profound impact on me as a writer, simply because he believed in me. He was a musician looking for someone to write with. We connected on one of those special creative levels you can’t understand unless you experience it, but like so many human failings, inhibiting factors came into play and like a pot of steam, once the water is gone so is the vapor it produces. Such is life.

I did a little experiment with music to see how much it might impact my writing if I surrender to the experience and allow the tempo, mood, and lyrics to engulf me. I noticed when listening to Norah Jones I was in a state of thought that produced a dreamy but sad piece of writing called, “Empty Rainbow.”  However, I found when listening to music and attempting to write fiction that I either go to a place where I fully concentrate on the writing or I can’t concentrate at all and get caught up in the lyrics. To this end, a friend, Mike Schulenberg, who has a wonderful blog of his own, suggested listening to an artist by the name of Solar Fields; in particular, a song called Cocoon Moon. Sans lyrics, the listener is transported away by the music alone, allowing a writer to find their words without the intrusion of a singer’s lyrics. This is helpful when I’m trying to block out distractions around me and focus on a piece of fiction.

In listening to Nine Inch Nails, I wanted to see what might come forth to the pen. I listened to “The Hand that Feeds,” “Terrible Lie,” and “Every Day is Exactly the Same.” The following is what I wrote. After the poem I’ve included the video to “Every Day is Exactly the Same.”

Blind Danger by Sheila Pierson

Blood runs, dark eyes mount an offensive

Hide your sacred, the precious few that remain


The others soil the land with the carnage of their hunger

While you toil over decisions, lingering until a choice is

Made for you


Unfurl the bony hand that wraps itself around your neck,

Careful – the burning rupture of tender flesh may be the



Weep for ones lost to apathy

They are forever trapped in cage of stupidity,

Clearly seeing and refusing to acknowledge

Sweeping desolation over the landscape


The following is the video previously promised called, “Every Day is Exactly the Same” by Nine Inch Nails – Enjoy…

What are your thoughts the subject? How does music affect your writing, if at all? How does it move you? Any particular songs or selections you’d like to suggest or share?

(Musical note image provided by Microsoft ClipArt)

Honey Drips



Honey drips onto the canvas of your watercolor life

Raw, sticky, messy – the more you try to wipe it away

The more spreads across your perfect image


Sweetness now surrounds, attracting the nuisance of flies

They look for places to light, drawn in


You make a fatal flaw, an admission of sorts, accidental of course –

Will they know what you really want?


Honey drips onto your lips in a dream that escapes to

the night’s freedom

Pleasing, needing, hungry – the more you try to forget

The more you remember


Will they all know it’s her you still think of?

One will.



Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Clipart

Empty Rainbow



Restlessness dripping, as from a faucet that won’t shut off

You in your house of loved and unloved ones and me in mine

One day a reason will find its way to explain, won’t it?

Or is this the consequence, never attaining an understanding


Some would say we got off easy

“some” don’t know a damned thing, though


There is an ever-winding path that brings my thoughts

Back to you, against my will

Somewhere a bluesy voice sings a song about a rainbow, and

Finding a dream that comes true

Mine stands in the distance, over where you live;

Color washed away


Innocents die as I cry

Tears of selfish loss

I’ve got an empty rainbow




The Centered Writer


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(I did this today…not)

I haven’t mentioned this to you guys before but I’m taking classes to become a certified yoga instructor. I like yoga because I’m not one for doing hardcore muscle-ripping workouts plus I really enjoy the zen qualities of yoga – the balance it brings to mind, body and spirit.

I’m not sure how yoga will impact my writing, if at all, but I’m hoping it improves my concentration a little. I’m a huge fan of flash fiction and short stories, and I think one reason may be my short attention span when I read. I’m not ADD but I like getting right to the heart of a story, get in and get out. When I do read a longer work I find myself reading it so fast that I do more skimming than anything else. I do, however, have a novel I started writing. It’s in bits and pieces and I’d like to work on it again, but until I improve my concentration for longer works I’m not sure I see myself finishing it. I’ve also gotten addicted to the quick payoff  flash and short fiction works offer. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s what I should be writing if its what I truly enjoy and gravitate to.

A friend of mine recently decided, in his 40s, to try to improve his handwriting. He’s doing so in an effort to do more story writing longhand, legibly. If he can set out to improve a habit, an act, as second nature as his handwriting, then I can give myself a chance to see if yoga improves my ability to concentrate for the sake of finishing my novel. We never know what we’re capable of until we try, right?

In yoga, we practice meditation and so far I’m failing miserably to ’empty my mind.’ If I get 5-10 minutes of quiet time to meditate I’m either going to fall asleep or daydream about a story or character. I’m not one to pass up a good nap or a good daydream.

Do any of you practice yoga or some such similar exercise? Meditate? If so, do you think it helps you with your writing at all? This inquiring mind would love to know…

(Image courtesy of Microsoft ClipArt)

Blue Cocoon


We’re in the same house but different rooms

You’re in a shell, I’m in a blue cocoon

The way the sky looks, sun glaring on the two of us

Illuminates the damage we’ve both done


Hazy thoughts of yesterday still remain

Laughter and once-upons filter through the day

Like water from a creek river-bound, soft rush of sound

We keep flowing down, down, down


We’ll finally get tired of the silent grief

We’ll seek an answer just to get relief

There’s no going back to a place you never been

You can smile and nod your head, but it’s all pretend


I’m breaking free of my blue cocoon

Rolling, tumbling, loose I’ll fly

You can stay or run from your  self-locked room

I’m dancing on this grave of goodbye

The rhythm’s in the loss; you’ll always wonder why


 (Image courtesy of Microsoft Office ClipArt)

What If?


Some of you know that occasionally I’ll write song lyrics. I’ve been sitting on these a little while so I thought I’d share. It’s hard to judge a lyric without hearing the music but the music is stuck in my head (as I’m not a musician).  I will say that I hear something contemporary and upbeat with the words. Songs are strange, they’re not poetry and yet they are. Anyway, have a go at critiquing these.

Female and bird in grunge design

              What If?

Don’t deny the possibility

Let go of your hypocrisy

Let me let you in one more time

We’ll find the dreams that you cannot hide


Walk along our own boardwalk

Drink the sky’s diamonds in the dark

Let go of the still to take a ride

Liquid motion floats us on a silent tide


What if… what if we went for it?

What if…what if you believed?

What if… what if there’s something more, only you and I can see?

What if we took a leap into our fantasies?


Sing the worth of every song

Take your turn even if it’s wrong

Play one for the truth of all mankind

Know you’re destined for this heart of mine


Shh, you don’t have to say it baby

No, no, no, dreams can come true


What if…what if we went for it?

What if…what if you believed?

What if…what if there’s something more, only you and I can see?

What if we took a leap into our fantasies?



Ornamental Wisdom


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This is the freedom of the spirit,

Soaring to reach the unknown when,

In the course of measured responsibility, bands are broken;

Invisible, self-imposed obstacles shattered.

Whisper in my ear the truth of your own desires

They are there, in wait, in want.

Desperation feeds exuberance or solitude,

Could go either way –

Will you take the chance with me?

Will we find ourselves on the cusp of exhilaration, or be

Discovered plunging into a loveless silence?

I’d rather know than not.

(Image courtesy of Microsoft Office ClipArt)

Writer Support: Do I get to wear a cup?


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My fellow bloggers, avid readers, and wordies – I’ve been working on a body of short stories to publish this fall. I’m so excited, but terrified! There are things I have no clue how to do and yet I know somehow I’m going to figure it out. I’ve had great support from some of my writer friends, and many of you have given advice, encouragement and references to help me along the way. And that’s the point of this post.

I’ve been involved in community projects before, I’ve worked as a leader in a church group and participated in work projects that required a group effort but never have I found a more supportive bunch of folks than I have found in the writing community. Never have I felt more proud to be amongst a group of people than my fellow writers. And I’ll admit to something on this point – It took me a while to call myself a ‘writer.’ I knew it in my heart and my head but to say it out loud, to proclaim it publicly has been a big deal for me.

I’ve taken a little scorn over some of my writing and all of it has come from the people I care about the most, but I am the writer I am. I will not apologize for my writing anymore to anyone. I’ve struggled for years with suppressing my writing voice, for fear of what others might think or how some people might react. I’m over it.

I worked with a wonderful woman years ago that wasn’t always fond of the women her son dated and she used to say this to him: “If you can sleep with it, I can walk beside it.” I love this because it doesn’t mean she has to embrace the women in her son’s life but she’ll support her son no matter what. So my twisted writer’s take on this for my family and friends who have ‘difficulty’ with some of my subject matter, I have a suggested motto for you to adopt and say to me: “If you can write it, I can read it.”  Or at the very least, buy my book and pretend you read it.

Scott Morgan over at WriteHook gives the advice to “write for the jugular.” He’s also editing my body of short stories before I publish them and has been very influential in my new-found confidence to be fearless with my writing. In no uncertain terms via his blog, online classes and in general discussion I’ve heard his message loud and clear: Grow a pair!  Many thanks to you Scott.

How about you guys? Do you ever struggle over the material you write? Does anyone give you grief over it? Do you have some new work coming out soon you’d like everyone to know about?  Please share…

For those of you needing protective gear for your new-found set, check out WikiHow

By the way, Scott Morgan has a new book called Tryptic available at

Image: courtesy of Microsoft ClipArt