Shattering the Looking Glass

Another piece I did in 2005, still haunting to read to this day. With all this emotion, I wonder why it took me so long to wake up.

SHATTERING THE LOOKING GLASS

Artwork from high school. So, old.

Artwork from high school. So, old.

One swipe takes away the moisture clinging to it. It is the gateway to your soul, the very essence that makes you be. You watch it fade over time, the vivid colors that splash your world. Harmony and balance start to lean toward discord, stretched out on a breakable thread.

Your will is spayed and thin, reaching out to save what you hold dear to yourself only to see it slip easily through your fingers. What once was in the light is now settled in the shadow, dark and hollow. The shoes you wear are not your own but it is way you must live your life. Your own have become uncomfortable, their delicate laces and vibrant patterns a farce now. The path they lead you on no longer exists in your dreams, but dust in the wind along with the other ideals you held dear.

The irresistible urge to hurt as you have been hurt is a storm inside you. The first step on that path was easy but it did nothing but validate your bitter existence. The shred of dignity you still possessed refused to put the last nail in, to free yourself from the burden that weighs your soul down. No apologies for the intense pain you have endured and little regret. The mistake that is being human will be the only thing to fill your empty shell. True happiness will always come with a price but the payment is too high now. The candle will burn out if the shame that is your life is heightened.

You wipe the moisture again, staring at a person you no longer recognize. First death then a rebirth of something you never wanted to be. A shadow in the background is that which never trusted your eternal commitment but demanded it in return. Your cheeks match the Looking Glass, dripping with moisture, and it recounts your long journey from the beginning so you can make your final decision. You can no more look away than deny it.

Clutching at the times your soul soared with joyous rapture only to spiral down into despair. The fragile gossamer wings breaking against the winds but you stay above the clouds. The wisps of velvety softness call to you to give in, to rest your head and be at peace for once in your inner core but you resist. The loss you would have outweighs the reward.

Love will either bind you or blind you, either way your soul will ache. No wound cuts deeper than that from one you love deeply. True devotion knows no compromise, does not expect understanding of a belief that was shattered and is no more. Anything can be destroyed with great ease but the rebuilding is not so simple. Words do not heal the broken heart. One must step fully forward without regret and without that which destroyed the song of the down fallen soul. Selfishness will crush selflessness into dust in the wind.

What is it you see through the looking glass? One on the outside looking in. Shatter the existence of what was no more. Let your soul intermingle with the shards. As they mend the broken life, you can finally gaze into the looking glass and be at peace with yourself. Shatter the looking glass find the path long denied to you.

Old Wounds

wpid-20150816_170603.jpg

My mum’s cat Leonardo.

I wrote this back in 2004. Except for fixed spelling errors, it’s the same. The piece represents a dark period in my life. One that hopefully will come full circle soon and but a blip in my history. I wasn’t strong enough to do what needed to be done then but boy have I become stronger. Never let anyone lessen your self-worth. EVER.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

It hurt. The pain was unfathomable. Her heart lurched to her throat and threatened to straggle her beyond death. How could this happen? How could something so innocent shatter her hopes and dreams? She felt like the tide was raping her against the rocks.

For so long she had sit quietly, locked in a tower, her wings never spread out to fly with freedom. A closely guarded secret, kept by jealousy. Despair slowly crept in her veins. Her life was but a shadow, a glimmer of something if she was needed. Spread thin until she was transparent. A whisper in the wind she walked, doing what she thought was expected of her but always falling short.

Internal scars etched in her memory. Words flailed her flesh. Inadequate, uncaring. A failure. Bleeding without seeing red, she collapses to the floor. Her strength leaves and her life passes her by. It was all a dream. Reality is much crueler and continues to bear down on her even as she hugs the floor.

If she could blink past the tears maybe she would get a brief glimpse of hope but no. Hope has fled her and only despair caresses her wounded heart. Her wings are ripped from her body and she is told to fly. The door that barred her existence to the outside world dissolves before her eyes. Freedom but with a price for nothing has changed but the weather.

She holds her shattered life in her hands but the wind carries it away from her and darkness decends. With nothing to stem the flow, she wilts and whithers away but death will not claim her. Who will save this tortured soul? Even in the unending silence, there is laughter. Mocking and cruel. No one but yourself. No one but yourself.

Standing up she holds a small sliver of a dagger, the only thing left of her will. She staggers forward, her soul leeching out from the ever growing wound. Striking out at the one who placed the taint on her, her will rakes and the soul of another commingles with her own upon the ground. The swirling pattern bursts into being, two souls so close but never touching. Two souls who know each other but one of the windows is shattered.

With arrogance on a high pedestal, will the truth ever heal the eyes? Bond the two as one again? No. Deceit still walks hand in hand with one, its claw digging deep. The lesson left untaught. The heart will always be true to you but it also will betray. Tempation is near. Will you rebuke it?

 

Authors Behaving Badly: Give it to Me Free!

I’ve been fortunate to get my manuscripts picked up by publishers. Not that I don’t want to dabble in self-publishing. I just don’t have the money to invest and you really have to be careful with claiming a loss too often or your writing career becomes a hobby.

What I do realize if I should self-publish that I will pay an editor and if I don’t do the cover art myself, I will pay to get a cover made. I fancy myself a part-time artist and have working knowledge of a few graphics programs. Plus there’s the whole Wacom tablet that makes working on a computer so much smoother, especially when I’m left handed yet use the mouse righty.

rumpledbetweenthesheets1lSomebody insanely talented made the cover art I’m featuring in this post. If I was to hire someone to do my cover, I’d save my dough to have her do it. Seriously amazing work. She got to do something I never had the money to do–go to art school to really perfect her technique. I’m still a jack of all trades and probably will always be. I love bouncing from one task to the next. And rambling. Lots of rambling. *cough* I want to finish something just to get her to do my cover.

So now imagine, if you will, you’ve spent countless hours and funds to not only go to school for your craft but decided this was going to be your bread and butter in the world. Just like it’s a writer’s dream to make a living on their work, so goes for an artist and even editors.

So what is that worth to you?

Free is a great promo tool if you’re starting out, I suppose. Yet I’m not really sure on the return on investment. How does tossing your work out like candy net you the funds to pay for the next cover or editing? I can see a short story or two on a blog but a whole novel on your first shot?┬áIf you’re the artist, are you going to give the impression your all for pro bono work? Editors could give the illusion that for a few dollars they’ll spend countless hours for peanuts.

I’m here to say doing this is total bullshit. You got to pay the piper in more ways than one. Cutting corners or thinking yourself above doing the right thing is going to have you go into a potential shark tank in a string bikini–on your period.

Don’t have the perception that offering a free copy of your book is equal to what a cover art does is insane. If I’m getting that email, I’m thinking if they wanted free cover art, they didn’t pay an editor as well. Yikes. Who wants to read that hot mess? Please, just get over yourself in thinking what you do is worth something for free.

I’ve done artwork twice for money or the equivalent. One was a book cover art and she paid me with something I agreed on. It wasn’t green money but for me, it was gold. The other was beer logos for my brother in law. He paid me hard cash for it and paid well. If my family values my work, then a complete stranger should pony up too. I’ve tried doing free work and it’s just not worth it. The time sink alone was taking away from interests that actually make me money so, yeah, no more.

So, my rambling point to all of this is stop asking for free shit. If you don’t want to pay for it, there are plenty of free programs out there but bear in mind you have to pay for photo stock–just like a professional. Steal someone’s stuff and you’re going to be in a world of hurt like nothing else. It’ll make passing cover art for 150-300 dollars each seem like the biggest mistake of your life.

Pay your dues means more than the countless hours at the keyboard. Fucking learn it.