Amherst Writing Workshop 1

From the Amherst Writing Workshop I participated in in 2019. Originally published on my old blog on July 3, 2019.

What matters, then…

What matters, then

is the words on the paper.

The ink from the pen.

The white spaces between the dark lines.

What matters is the meaning.

The good. The bad.

The unconsciousness calling out to be heard.

What matters, then is the sound

of your own voice

reading the words inside your head.

The ambiguity of the ideas

that spring forth.

What matters then, is the idea.

The thought.

The feeling.

The words imbued in yourself.

In your knowing of life

and God and the Universe.

You move through the spaces

of the world like words

on a page

Ink in the pen

flowing out of the tip to mark

the worldpage and let it know

you were here.

Your breath stirs the winds of change

when you speak of injustice, of hope, of fear

or love

Your feet move like planets

around a sun, a path that consists of

light and dark

hope and heartbreak

Hate and regret

Like a fish out of water

you gasp for air

for validation

for company to ease the loneliness

What matters, then is that

are not alone

Your loneliness is of your own making

You can validate yourself

No one can do that for you

Just breathe

What matters, then is that heartbreak

is just as important as hope

Hate is just as important as love

injustice is as important as justice

There can be no light without dark

What matters, then is everything.



I don’t know how to take compliments.

They burn my hands like dry ice

Cold and blistered skin peeling off

As I stare at the offending words across my palms

Thank you is supposed to be the salve

But the words die before they can crawl past my teeth
Creative Commons License
Compliments by Idgie Stark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Happy Friday! WIP Update

So, I didn’t win NaNoWriMo, but to be fair that is a pretty tough challenge. Especially if you are coming out of the gate from finishing an MFA and having to write your novel thesis like a bat out of hell.

That novel will never see the light of day. I needed to write it, but the farther I am away from it, the more I realize that it was meant to be only what it was and not published.

Enter the new WIP. Science fiction about people in space. I thought I would share a line or two of the 20k I have done (I have written more, but some of it I am not sure were to put and some if it is for another book in the series this should be so…anyway).

It’s a letter from my MC’s dad to her after his death.

My dearest Jewel.

How I have loved to watch you grow into the bright young woman you are. Your mother would have been so proud of you and all you have accomplished. You have her grace, you know? She always said you got your smarts from me, but you have her grace. She was a free spirit as well. She seemed as if she would float on the surface of the world, much like you do.

Do you remember the ship you wanted to build when you were a little girl? You said you wanted to live in space and always had the most wonderful ideas of how to get there. I never wanted to hold you back and so let your mind run with all the wonderful ideas. I remember working long into the nigh with you on your ship design. Your mother would often scold me to make you go to bed. I knew better. You could never sleep if you had an idea in your head. You called it Lotus after the flowers the Buddhist monks had in their temple on the Daikini. The ones that grew in the mud.

Well, my dearest treasure, I have started it for you. It took some work to get some of the algorithms right, but I think I may have worked it out how the engine will work with the solar sails. The skeleton of the thing is done, she just needs a little clothing and a crew smart enough to keep her disciplined.

I am afraid that I will not be able to see you finish it. I wanted to present you with what I had done on your birthday, but the physicians seem to think I do not have that long. So, I have no choice but to write this letter to you and give you my blessing. Your design is brilliant and I have no doubt that she will take you far. 

Go sparkle and shine among the stars, my Jewel. 

My love, always