Scott Langston

Authoring Adventures

Category: Blog (page 1 of 3)

The regular meanderings of an author’s mind. This author’s. Thoughts and commentary about just about everything, bookended in the context of my writing career. Links to fascinating tidbits I’ve inadvertently stumbled across, reflections on intentional living and a good dose of mindfulness to boot.

This – from 12 November 2005

I received a link to on online diary website I had forgotten I ever joined. It has taken me back to Viet Nam…

Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is beginning to sound  recognisable, although he probably never envisaged the  distortion from the amp or the effects of the whammy bar…. I’’m also getting to grips with a jazzy version of ‘Happy birthday’ for Munch’’s big day in only three weeks’ time.  Two already – …hard to believe.

I’m teaching full time now. So the book is grinding to a  halt. Who am I kidding? It ground …ages ago. It’’s not  really a writer’’s block – -more a writer’’s apathy. This  project is in danger of slipping out of sight and mind. I  just can’’t get to it.

Sometimes I just look at my daughter and I think, ‘’That’’s  it. I’ve  achieved. Anything else I do from here on in is a  bonus.’…’ And it’’s not a bad thought.

Thoughts on this, 12 and a half years later…

  1. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is still on the agenda. Guitar lessons have been revived as I invested in an electric guitar for my mid-life crisis.
  2. The book – The Year of the Monkey – never got back off the ground after a return to full time teaching. Other bits of writing, as this site is testament, do surface from time to time.
  3. Munch is now 14, and I still look at her and think the same thing.

Sunday

Coaxing Sunday morning flames

From a pre-laid fire

Dawn’s feeble rays

Glistening on flowing water

Cascading

Its never-ending journey

Boy and cat doze

Stirrings and purrings

Sofa-greeting the day

 

 

Snowflakes

Snowflakes swirling at lamps

Like Vincent’s stars

Blue black skies

Replete with unimaginable uniqueness

An infinite array of different

Settles on the ground

In homogeneous perfection.

Christmas

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

As another year draws to an end

Shedding my workaday malaise

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

Forward looking or reflecting on yesterdays

Darkness to forfend

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

And another year draws to an end

 

A poem for a goddaughter

This, your first communion,
Gives no assurance of celestial reunion
It’s a yoke you choose to wear
The empty promise of unheard prayer
Its tenants and rituals offer only confusion

I’m feeling tarnished and somewhat complicit
In this indoctrination, this illicit
Eight year old’s promise of servitude
An abuse of childhood, crass and rude
This institution is humanity’s deficit

This s no tool of education
This is simple subjugation
This supplication to the divine
Subjecting the child, a crime
Colluding in foolish fabrication

Perverse, this virgin creed
A cloak for mankind’s greed
Grown of nomadic superstition
Deaf to rational petition
Not a solution, not the one we need

A god who needs your pledge of devotion
And delights in such frivolous commotion
Lifted not a finger nor cried
For all the babies which today have died
He feels not, cares not, lacks emotion

This ritual, this cultural veneer
Superstitious nonsense to mask the fear
Of no purpose beyond that which YOU create
You have no need of divinity to make you great
You life, you can learn to better steer

Trees and trains

Trees are flying, blurring into the past

Metaphorically, literally

The train tracks its clanking route too fast

Trees are flying,  blurring into the past

But the fuel it’s using cannot last

Are we seeing reason, finally?

Trees are flying, blurring into the past

Metaphorically, literally

 

Folkestone, England.  June 2017

Black coffee

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Jump-starting and igniting me

Hard disks and systems reinitialising

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Myself, my present moment recognising

Invigorating and re-booting me

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Jump-starting and inviting me.

Top ten reads?

I was challenged to produce a list of ten ‘must-reads’. With the proviso that I have issues with the concept, here it is. Of course, this would be a different list were I to write it again tomorrow, and this list is restricted to fiction. I may produce a non-fiction version if I’m pressured enough…

Theses are not in order; that would be too challenging.

 

David Mitchell – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Nikos Kazantakis – The Last Temptation

Richard Bach – Illusions

Donna Tartt – The Secret History

Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

Hermann Hesse – The Glass Bead Game

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Terry Pratchett – Small Gods

Oriana Fallaci – A Man

Milan Kundera – The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

 

Of course, now I’m frustrated with what I had to leave out, and I’m sure I’ll wake up at two in the morning with an absolute inclusion which I forgot to include. Such is life.

What would your list look like? Feel free to add it in the comments…

Rondeau

Following the format of the Rondeau – 15 lines, three stanzas, 2 rhymes and 10 syllables per line. Here goes nothing…

 

Cornwall

For the first time it felt like coming home

After so many years on the roam

A seemingly simple trip to Cornwall

A family reunion for us all

It remains the county I’ve always known

 

I’m returning, in some sense fully grown

A sense of oneness I at last condone

Memories plunge in like a waterfall

For the first time

 

Childhood beaches washed with sea-spray cologne

Reminiscences yielding up the throne

Demons fading now once and for all

Acceptance and peace hold me in their thrall

For the first time

 

Saulzais, 17 May, 2017

 

Poetry

Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology  Alan Bennett

I was moved and intrigued, both by the poems themselves and by Bennett’s commentary. I find myself genuinely interested in poetry for the first time in my life and it’s as though a whole new world has opened up. I’ve tried with poetry before, so maybe I’m just a late developer and this arrived at the right time.

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