Another road astray led me home

“This one’s for you and me
Living out our dreams
We’re all right where we should be
With my arms out wide
I’ve opened my eyes
And now all I want to see
Is a sky full of lighters…”
Bruno Mars

Life can often take us away from the road where we are following our dreams. Sometimes the road we are on is the road we think we should be on, where we think we are following our dreams. Sometimes that road simply leads us astray.

Sometimes you find yourself lost out there, looking around for something familiar but anything familiar you knew has been left behind in a suitcase in that ditch of wildflowers. Nothing feels quite the same. The core of who you are is hollow. Mornings feel like a cold cup of coffee in a Canadian winter and nights feel like a lost hockey game that can’t be saved. That feeling of restless emptiness can last for months, sometimes years.

In the past year, I found myself standing in that ditch beside that old suitcase, with its beat up leather and faded stickers from glory days gone by. That suitcase was what my life had been for the last few years; photos of a love gone cold, a childhood shattered by bare alcoholic hands, that little girl who spent her years screaming in the depths of my soul. But my life as I knew it was changing. My relationship ended. He walked out the door like it never even mattered to him and I guess after everything I ever did for him, it never really did. I lost a friend or two over the ordeal. I had to let them go; backstabbers and gossips during a break up do nothing but fuel the fires of anger and hostility that are already raging. I had to look at my life again and wonder I was really going, where this road to anywhere would take me.

My goal has always been a simple one. I want to be a full-time writer. But for being so simple, it is astounding how years have passed by that I didn’t even see; how everything changed yet stayed the same, and how, the night he left, I found myself right back to where I started: alone, wondering who my friends really were, and asking why people are so damn cruel. I remember when he said I’ll never get anywhere, sent in a cowardly text message because I guess he wasn’t man enough to say it to my face.

I had to take account of what I had built on since my little gypsy life had left the highway. It was a house with its unfinished renovations, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get everything done living on a near-minimum wage job. It was a crowd of fur babies I called my family; three cats and two dogs who stood by me when people I considered close friends decided believing gossip was more important than friendship. It was the friends I did have left, the loyal ones who knew who I was all along and supported me when I needed it. It was my family, as always, my mother and siblings, there when I needed anything.

From there I kept going forward. From there, that suitcase got set on fire and left behind, only the flames leaving embers to remind me anything had existed there at all. And by the time you read this, I’ll be onto the next road, with a new suitcase of notebooks and pens and story ideas, ready to step back into the writing world. The way that relationship and its ending drained me also left me drained of inspiration. I’ve touched my book a few times here and there, just to end up frustrated with where it was going and walking away. But the coffee doesn’t get left cold any more and I can’t walk away from writing the way I thought I might this time.

So instead of posting another poem tonight in a feeble attempt to just keep the blog barely updated, here is a real update. Nothing can ever stop me from writing. Not the man who destroyed my childhood and certainly not a man who is unable to hold a job because he is lazy and likes to break up with me over text messaging. It is time to get back to what I love and chase the dream again. So, my blog has a makeover and I am diving back into “Edge of Glory” with the help of the new man in my life who will be helping me with the songs. Let’s face it, song writing and novel writing come from two totally different worlds. I know how to tackle this book now. So back to it.

“By the time you hear this
I will have already spiralled up
I would never do nothing to let you cowards fuck my world up
If I was you I would duck or get struck by lightening
Fighters keep fighting, hold your lighters up,
Point them skyward…” ~ Eminem

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

 

New poem ~ One Reason

Unfinished rainbow
Broken promises
Love collecting dust like
Lace unworn for years
Hanging in the closet
Eaten away by ghosts
When lovers become strangers
Give me a reason
To believe
Give me a reason
To go on…

Rivers of rain
Tears and scars
Leather and whiskey worn out
Stale and drunk
Hung over and weary
Running like the old gypsy
In this soul
Patchwork and stitches
Ripped at the seams
Give me one reason
To fix it
Give me one reason
To carry on…

Empty skies
Nights of fighting, yelling
Crying and begging
Can’t do this anymore
Ripped denim and rum
Nothing patched, nothing left
Thief of hearts
Sort of captured the soul
Star-lit words and wildflowers
Blown away on tornado gales
Give me one reason
To chase you down
You can’t give me a reason
To try again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

SONY DSC

Poem ~ Awaiting the Storm ~

Dangerous lightening;
whips cracking across the sky,
when whiskey breath bound me a slave,
when storms raged without a sound,
not rattling a board of that house
but it rattled the bed and every bone
in the trembling soul.

Bellowing thunder
hovering over her, a shadow of violence
when his voice was all she could hear,
when that little girl cowered
behind the door, hearing sirens.
Last night it was the cops, tonight it’s
warnings of the tornado about to
blow through that town,
blow it all down
to nothing.

Whisper of rain
washing away tears and whiskey stains,
when soft wishes meant nothing,
when no one was there to save her,
she stood in the rain
hoping it would drown her somehow.
She stood immobilized beneath rotating clouds,
wishing a sweeping funnel
would destroy her first,
no more fists making bruises on her skin
no more vicious words breaking her down
it was over.

Skies poised as still water
as clouds dispersed into wisps
when peace found destruction
when that town was rattled to the core
she finally rested where wildflowers grew
wild and free, a spirit so restlessly content.
It was the storms that broke every bone;
his hands, his words, his hatred
it was the tornado that set her to rest
her pain, her anguish, her agony
leaving nothing but petals on the wind
where once she awaited
the tornado to blow through that town,
blow it all down
to nothing.

 

Desert flowers Lavinia Thompson  2010

Wildflowers
Lavinia Thompson
2010

 

Just another self-publishing experiment… KDP Select

I’ve jumped in. In my latest self-publishing adventure, I have decided to try KDP Select. Everyone has been talking about the program from Amazon. Amazon describes KDP Select this way:

“KDP Select is a new option that features a $6 million annual fund dedicated to independent authors and publishers. If you choose to make a book exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, the book is eligible to be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and you can earn a share of the fund based on how frequently the book is borrowed (click to see how payments are calculated). In addition, by choosing KDP Select, you will have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to offer enrolled books free to readers for up to 5 days every 90 days. Authors and publishers can enroll a single title, their whole catalog or anything in between within KDP Select.” – Amazon.com

I have heard writers talking about how much extra money it has made them, how it paid their rent for a month and so forth. As an author and a self-publisher, I do not believe in exclusivity. I do not think an author should limit their book’s audience to just one website where the ebook format is exclusive to one ereader. That being said, people argue that it’s “only for three months.” Then they tell me you can’t knock it until you try it.

So I’m trying it for myself. And my latest poetry book is the guinea pig. “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged” has been enrolled. I used the book that has the least sales right now so I can compare the difference KDP might make.

I have my five free days already set up. They are:

-       October 5

-       October 19

-       November 2

-       November 16

-       December 7

So we will see how this goes. I don’t have my hopes too terribly high but the program just might surprise me. I’ll let everyone know how it progresses!

“Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged” is 99 cents on Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088XJB56 and $10 in paperback on Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/3961384

Poem ~ Last of the Vagabonds

Late night coffee,
smell permeates the little house.
2 a.m., wide awake
Lover sleeps beside me,
so simply beautiful
and my beloved dog is on the floor.
Dead heat, summer nights
dreaming of the west coast
and things I’ve never seen,
maybe a hippie van
painted with flowers and peace symbols
to take me everywhere…

Silly teenage dream
still sounds good to me.
Guess I never did grow up.
They say dreams die in this town
but I think they died when I left
and came back, everyone I know
moved away and I remain
standing by the four ways past midnight.
Another karaoke night through,
smoking in the parking lot,
contemplating.

A friend said don’t settle for just mediocre;
there’s so much more out there.
He sold a house on Vancouver Island
to be with his kids in Alberta.
With a cold autumn wind starting to sneak in
he says in a year or two he’ll return
to the west coast, nothing here
ever worked out.
I keep saying the same thing.

The stories are all the same,
just molded to a different face.
They come to find something better
and they find maybe dreams
really do die here.
I just don’t know anymore.
Winter approaches,
can’t make up my mind whether to
flee or remain
just like butterflies…
fly away from me…

It’s family, I told him,
keeping me here
when he asked
‘What are you still doing here?’
Words that still echo in my head.
Been asking myself that for years,
if I’m just staying where it’s comfortable.
Can’t seem to face the world out there,
always changing,
rearranging
like wildflowers every spring;
they’re always different
when they return.

Another friend says
he might be gone east this fall
if things don’t work out anymore,
a decade old friendship gone to Hell.
Hugged him, told him to do what he felt best,
standing outside the little pub
smoking, like I’ve done so many nights.
As the last of the vagabonds like me leave
it’s making me think
really think..
What am I still doing here?

And somewhere on the wind
beneath the bright lit city
something whispers
You keep coming back
to things you cannot change…
they’re all ghosts long by now…

 

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Update ~ Productive period of transience ~

It is a period of transience right now, somewhere between an old job and an old life, and venturing off into the unknown to find new opportunities and new goals.

I am taking this time off as a chance to not only release my new poetry book, “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged: Memoirs of a Small Town Girl” which is currently with my editor, but also to go back to Spellbound by Fire and make some improvements. One of my favourite things about self-publishing is the ability to always go back, make changes and improve my books. No book is ever perfect, but having the creative power to continually improve it makes it a lot more fun to publish and experiment with a book. Maybe making a few adjustments will increase sales. Maybe turning it in for another edit will keep readers interested.

 

 

 

Writers often call books their “babies.” I am no different. My books are like my children, as precious as my beloved dog. But like either dog or child, there are always areas of improvement when it comes to development over its lifetime.

 

 

 

 

After all this, I will be getting back to the Spellbound sequel with some new inspirations and new ideas stemming from improvements being made in the first book. It’s a pretty exciting time!

And keep your eyes watching for “Memoirs of a Small Town Girl”, to be released in the next week or so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another reminder: “She Wasn’t Allowed to Giggle” is also available in paperback now, for those of you who missed the announcement! It is $8 on Createspace (https://www.createspace.com/3700964) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Wasnt-Allowed-Giggle-Lavinia-Thompson/dp/1466401613/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1338772484&sr=8-1)

In a few weeks, hubby and I will be off to go fruit picking for the summer. It is a new experience I am looking forward to. The Spellbound sequel will be released this fall following that!

~ Poem ~ Photos Through the Windshield

If life’s story could be told
with photos taken through a windshield;
miles unfolded,
notes and dreams scribbled on maps.
Sometimes seems like I’ve seen it all,
some days I haven’t seen enough.

Mountains vanish into clouds
as if they stretch on into forever,
shades of pink
like wild roses blooming at dusk
over everything.
This highway will take me home tonight
like it always does
when another town is sick of me.

Staring myself down to wonder
what to make of my life.
Counting years when I’ve done nothing,
a list of things I’ve never done,
dreams not followed,
stories incomplete,
photos taken through a windshield
are all I have to show for it.

Jobs quit, friends and favourite places
left behind for a something more
I keep talking about.
Starting to wonder if it’s real
or is it an illusion of life…
something in this life…

Deferred, like piles of unfinished
manuscripts in a tattered box.
Abandoned, plans of what I
always thought I would be.
Dragged, something pulls a
gypsy spirit down the highway.
Weary, watching white lines
and scenery passing by.

I don’t know how to settle.
That’s a truth I face tonight.
Something about headlights
on a night shrouded intersection,
strange motels, coffee to go,
too many highway signs to count and
too many photos taken through a windshield.
I stopped just to stand in one place
so I knew how it felt;
solitude.
I stared into the darkening skyline
without approaching it
wondering
what kind of existence
drives so many miles
and still goes nowhere?

 

Blossoms on the sidewalk
Lavinia Thompson
2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Photos Through the Windshield” will be featured in my upcoming poetry book “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged: Memoirs of a Small Town Girl” to be released in summer 2012.

Memoirs of a Small Town Girl cover art
Cover by Lavinia Thompson
2012
To be released summer 2012

~Poem~ Between Here and There

Restlessness
consumes
a gypsy soul.
One week since being fired;
thought it was the dream job
in the dream small town.
Lately I haven’t been sure
just what the dream is.

Summer of transience;
thinking it’s just what I need.
Set this vagabond heart free
out in the unknown.
Tried settling for a season
but the spirit flees.

There’s a list
hidden in pages
of a book I wrote;
every little thing
I want to do
between here and there.
Free-spirited just like when
at her wedding
I kicked off my high heels
danced barefooted with him…

Summer came and went;
nothing in a fairy tale lasts.
Never really gave up on
finding  something out there
but the more I am in the world
the more I think
maybe it’s not about
how far you can go.

Maybe it’s roots.
Maybe it’s where
everything you have known
still lingers.

Maybe it’s home
that settles a soul after all.

Desert flowers
Lavinia Thompson
2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between Here and There will be featured in my upcoming poetry book, Memoirs of a Small Town Girl, to be released in summer 2012.

Memoirs of a Small Town Girl cover
Lavinia Thompson
to be released summer 2012

Poem ~ Own the Night ~

Restless as a wildflower
ready to bloom.
Sweet, sweet summertime
carry me away
to places never been.
List of things I’ve never done
always getting longer.

Like a wildflower
Ottawa, Ont.
2010
Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Coffee on a spring morning
recalling nights far away
when nothing mattered;
no responsibility,
no commitments,
before we grew up.

Sometimes want to go back
to days of beauty,
glory in our own clueless innocent ways.
I live for those memories
that maybe one day
I’ll live them again.

When summer comes around,
sun sinks down on every day
when in a moment
something more means
something so much more
when owning the night
tugs at gypsy heartstrings
keep on saying ‘someday’
someday I will do everything…

some day
I will live for living again.

Copyright 2012 Lavinia Thompson

Poem to be featured in my upcoming collection “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged: Memoirs of a Small Town Girl” to be released summer 2012.

Fireworks in Ottawa
Canada Day 2010
Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Poem ~ Not a Freak (Holes at my Knees) ~

So what do you do with life
besides dream and dream,
eventually never find a thing?
Screaming “I’ve had enough,
I just want be free from words;
the knives in my back.
From hatred; just love me for who I am.”
Strands and images hang loose from fingers;
things hard to let go of.
Standing on a crowded street
in ripped-up jeans, John Lennon t-shirt,
secondhand leather jacket.
This is who I am.

So you can ridicule me;
I am not a freak.
I will live and die by the freedom
of the gypsy spirit reveling in me,
drifting around the wind
where thrift store junkies,
Goths and vagabonds
are spat on by vicious queens,
stomped on by self-centered-kings.
You will never take my life
no matter the residue of pain,
stains on hands, stains on jeans.
But I will die free as holes at my knees.

When will those girls learn
lipstick cases and brand names
only get you into a false scene?
It’s not all about having every
strand of hair in place
or losing virginity at 15
or spitting vicious words
at the girl in secondhand clothes
from a single parent family.
She is not a freak.
I am through with being told
what kind of girl to be
so keep your stupid beauty magazines;
hip hop, pop rock, your starving models.
I am my own, I am as free
as secondhand clothes, long hair
and old time rock and roll.

I have watched tired eyes lose life;
stood before his coffin in December
knowing how in spite of the way
those kids hurt him he always had a smile.
And yet those years end;
that reflection vanishes to nothing.
Cool becomes immaterial,
becomes a string of memories.
Looking back one day you realize
we were all freaks.
You were just faker than the rest.
I was free all along;whether you can love me or not.

And I will die
free as the holes at my knees.

Copyright 2009 Lavinia Thompson

This poem will be featured in my upcoming poetry book, “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged: Memoirs of a Small Town Girl” to be released in 2012.

Mask of a thousand falsities.
Photo by Lavinia Thompson