Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hold My Hand to Your Heart

This year for Father's Day, Michael won't be home since he's deployed. After looking at Pinterest for Father's Day ideas, I came across this post that talks about sending your child's hand print with a poem to the deployed parent. I really liked this idea, and my daughter loves to make hand prints, so I got out some paint and colored her hand green (she loves paint too). Then I made her hand print on card stock. I wrote my own poem and put it on the back of her hand print. Once everything was dry, I just laminated it and put it in an envelope with another painting she did for her daddy for Father's Day. We made this project early so we'd have time to mail it out and get it to him by Father's Day.






















Hold My Hand to Your Heart
By Candace Shultz

For just a little while
We have to live apart.
So whenever you miss me,
Just hold my hand to your heart.
Imagine that we're hugging.
Imagine that I say,
“Daddy, I love you.
Have a good day!”


Lilia's painting

On actual Father's Day, I took a bunch of pictures of my daughter and made a collage. I know her Daddy loves it. We did a few other crafts too to celebrate Father's Day. 

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wishing You Were Home

On Friday, May 23, Cassandra Miller prompted the Facebook poetry group No Direction Home to write a poem that involves the word moon, whether the poem is about the moon or the word just appears briefly in the poem. I wrote the following poem in response to that prompt.

Wishing You Were Home
By Candace Shultz

I look out my window and gaze at the moon.
An ache in my heart, your picture in my hand,
I think about you in that land of sand.
Are you looking at the same bright stars?
Are you thinking about me as I think of you?
Do you miss my kisses, hugs so tight,
Making love under mask of night?
Do you look at my picture
And wish that you were here?
Because I sure do wish that you were near.

I look down at your picture
And gaze into your blue-gray eyes,
Trying my best not to cry.
I trace my finger across your lips,
Counting down the days until our next kiss.
And though I know we'll be okay,
I still wish we could skip to the day
You'll step off of the plane and into my sight.
Our eyes will meet. Our hearts will race.
We'll finally come face to face.
A hug and a kiss. No longer alone.
A thank you to God that you're finally home.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Farewell

Today is the final day of National Poetry Month. I followed NaPoWriMo's prompt of writing a farewell poem, which seems appropriate for a final poem. This poem concludes 30 poems in 30 days, though I'm sure I'll be writing more poetry (and short stories) in the near future.

Farewell 
By Candace Shultz

The date is set.
Soon you'll go.
What we'll do without you,
I don't know.
My heart is aching.
I don't want the time to pass.
I just wish our days with you
Would forever last.

But the weeks move quickly,
The day is near
When you'll board that plane
And disappear
For months on end
While we stay here
Praying for your quick return,
Wishing you were near.

Who will kiss our daughter goodnight?
Hold her close, read her a book?
Who will swing her high in the air?
Without you, there will be no proper cook.
I will do it, but it's not the same.
There will be no one to cuddle with me at night.
No boots to trip over or uniform to hang.
No one to make our bed just right.

Who will I talk to when I'm sad and alone?
You always make my world feel brighter.
I'm not ready to say goodbye.
Hold me longer. Hold me a little tighter.
Just know that when you're gone from home,
Two people love you: your daughter and your wife.
And when you finally return to us,
We'll be waiting, happy with you in our life.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If I Were a Pony

Today is Day 29 of National Poetry Month. My poem is inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show that my daughter and I both like to watch. My daughter's second birthday is coming up next month, and the theme is My Little Pony, so I have ponies and cutie marks on the brain.

If I Were a Pony
By Candace Shultz

If I were a pony, I wonder who I'd be.
A fashionista like Rarity?
No. I can't sew clothes or mend any tears.
A party thrower like Pinkie Pie?
No. I don't want to plan parties, bashes, or fairs.
An animal lover like Fluttershy?
I love cats and dogs, but I'd be scared of a bear.
And I couldn't be like Rainbow Dash flying through the air.
If I were to run or fly, I'd just crash, I bet.
Could I work on a farm just like Apple Jack?
Getting dirty on a farm? That you can forget.
Could I be like Twilight Sparkle, reading stack
After stack of books, studying all the time?
I love to read, but her magic is just not for me.
No, not one of these ponies could I mime.
After all, a pony I am not meant to be.

But if I were a pony, this is what I'd do:
I'd join the Cutie Crusaders, be one of their crew.
I'd write them each a story about an inner gift:
A carpenter, a singer, and a scooter rider.
Sometimes I think those fillies just aren't too swift.
So when they read my stories while drinking apple cider,
Maybe, like me, they'd understand their spark,
And then we could all earn a cutie mark.
I wonder what my mark would be?
Pencil? Paper? Typewriter? Scroll?
I think I already know what I would see.
Fountain pen? Blog page? I'm on a roll.
No. On my flank I'd see a book.
I love to read. I love to write.
Knowing my talents is all it took.
Day after day, night after night,
I like to create a story, poem, or tale.
I might not write for the Foal Free Press,
But I am surely an author without fail.
In this I certainly feel blessed.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blackout Poetry - River of Darkness

Today is Day 28 of National Poetry Month. My sister Cassandra prompted me and our fellow poets in No Direction Home, a Facebook group of poets and writers, to write a blackout poem based off of page 74 in George R. R. Martin's book A Game of Thrones. You can find my sister's blackout poem on her blog. Here is a copy of the original page before I wrote my blackout poem:



And here is my blackout poem:


This is how I imagine my poem would look written out:

River of Darkness
By Candace Shultz

The stars came out.
Silver bells rang softly.
It was full dark
at a place beside a small stream.

She felt as fragile as glass,
as weak as water.
Helpless and trembling,
she began to cry.

He towered over her,
a river of darkness,
unmoving,
silent.

The night air was chilly.

She was afraid.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Asleep

I decided to write a haiku for Day 27 of National Poetry Month. There's only 3 more days to go!

Asleep
By Candace Shultz

My eyes are closing
of their own accord. Your voice
is fading and I'm...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Way to My Heart

Today is Day 26 of National Poetry Month. Only four more days to go! Based on NaPoWriMo's prompt for today, I wrote a curtal sonnet. It's a shortened form of the sonnet, having 10 1/2 lines (the 1/2 line is the last line) instead of the usual 14 lines. The rhyme scheme is abcabc for the first stanza of 6 lines and then dbcdc for the last stanza of 4 1/2 lines. I found this type of poetry challenging, but fun. 

The Way to My Heart
By Candace Shultz

Forget the roses and the flower pots
unless you want to see the flowers die,
the petals falling one by one, the dirt
so dry, the leaves so brown for want of lots
of water days after we say goodbye.
I'm just not good with flowers. Don't be hurt.

I'm telling you to get me chocolates:
Muddie Buddies, Hershey Almonds, or pie.
A Hershey Kiss? You'll see a smile. I'll flirt
with you all day. But a Cadbury gets 
you a dessert.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Mom's Goodbye


Today is Day 25 of National Poetry Month.

A Mom's Goodbye
By Candace Shultz

A son left home to go to college,
Waving to his mom goodbye.
Saddened, she let him go,
Knowing that he needed to fly,
And as she watched him drive away
She willed herself not to cry.

Then she walked into her home
And waited by the door,
Hoping that he forgot a book,
A picture, clothes from his drawer.
But she knew that he wouldn't be back,
So she let herself sink to the floor.

Yet, as she looked out the door
To her freshly mowed front yard,
She knew that her son would be okay
And that goodbyes were always hard.
So she stood up and closed the door,
Sending a silent prayer to the Lord.

Then she looked up at her wall
And saw a picture of her son.
She touched his face, then continued down the hall,
Stopping to gaze at each picture, one by one,
Watching as her baby grew up to be a man,
Realizing a new chapter in both their lives had begun. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brick by Brick

Today is Day 24 of National Poetry Month! I decided to follow NaPoWriMo's prompt for today: write a poem about walls, stones, bricks, etc. I decided to use bricks and walls figuratively in my poem.  

Brick by Brick
By Candace Shultz

Brick by brick,
I build a wall
around my crumbling heart.

Brick by brick,
I build it up tall
so you can't tear it apart.

Brick by brick,
I build this wall
Until you can't ever get in.

The stones you throw
may chip the brick,
but they'll never pierce my skin.

Then years from now,
when my heart has healed,
I will tear the wall down.

The bricks will tumble,
one by one.
A new person will be found.

Until then,
brick by brick,
I continue to build the wall.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Until My Dying Day

Today is Day 23 of National Poetry Month. I dedicate today's poem to my husband. 

Until My Dying Day
By Candace Shultz

Thank you for your morning kisses
And the kisses before you leave.
Thank you for all the cuddles
And the hugs that I receive.

Thank you for cooking all the meals,
For tasty popcorn too.
Thank you for making the bed
Because I rarely do.

Thank you for working hard
Each and every day,
For the house and food and luxuries
Supported by your pay. 

Thank you for encouraging me
To be a better writer.
Your words of praise and appreciation
Make my dreams burn brighter.

Thank you for your optimism
Even in times of stress.
When I want to cry, you make me laugh.
You make me feel blessed.

Thank you for the precious gift
Of our darling daughter Lily,
For loving her and teaching her
And for being silly. 

Thank you for being you.
There's nothing I would change.
I love you for who you are
Even though you're strange.

And when we get old and gray
I know what I will say:
I love you now and forever
Until my dying day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Nursery Rhymes

Today is Day 22 of National Poetry Month, and I'm writing more nursery rhymes! NaPoWriMo's prompt for today is to write a nursery rhyme or a poem for children. My daughter is my inspiration for today's poems. The rhythm and rhyming for my first poem is based on Little Miss Muffet (I do like that nursery rhyme.) whereas my second poem follows the rhythm and rhyming scheme of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.


Little Miss Lily
By Candace Shultz

Little Miss Lily
Was feeling quite silly,
So she got out her color green.
She colored her ball.
Then she colored the wall
Until no white could even be seen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Marshmallows, Marshmallows
By Candace Shultz

Marshmallows, marshmallows
In a cup!
Marshmallows, marshmallows,
Eat them up!
Marshmallows, marshmallows,
I see a peep!
Marshmallows, marshmallows,
Cheep, cheep, cheep!

Marshmallows, marshmallows,
Sweet and yummy!
Marshmallows, marshmallows
In my tummy!
Marshmallows, marshmallows,
I love so much!
Marshmallows, marshmallows,
Mine! Don't touch!




Monday, April 21, 2014

Listen to the Wind

Today is Day 21 of National Poetry Month. I wrote a concrete poem, which took me longer to format than to actually write it. Anyway, I'm sharing the concrete poem as well as the way I wrote it originally. 


Listen to the Wind
By Candace Shultz

Listen
Listen to
Listen to the wind.
It's calling your name.
Shh...
Can you hear it?
Run.
Run like the wind
and never look back.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Today is Day 20 of National Poetry Month. Happy Easter! 

It's bedtime for me. I got home an hour and a half ago from Cadbury World and Sealife Centre, and I'm super tired. However, I still wanted to keep up with writing a poem a day this month. I wrote a tanka for today's poem. A tanka has 5 lines with the syllables for each line following a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern.


Cadbury World seemed
so fitting for an Easter
day trip. However,
in retrospect, I'd rather
stay home with my family.


Note: I edited this post. I originally wrote an Easter tanka, but after getting some sleep I didn't really like the way my poem turned out, so I rewrote it entirely. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. God bless. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

Today is Day 19 of National Poetry Month. I decided to write a nonet poem in which there are 9 lines with 9 syllables in the first line, 8 syllables in the second line, 7 syllables in the third, and so on until the last line that only has one syllable. 


Easter Egg Hunt
By Candace Shultz

I wrapped my arms around her until
the man said, "Go!" Then she ran and
grabbed an egg. Turning, twisting,
and bumping into kids,
she grabbed three more. Then
she opened them, 
but they were
empty
eggs.


I based today's poem on the Easter egg hunt that my daughter and I attended today. For the 0-3 year old children, there was nothing in the Easter eggs (except a few had paper in them to exchange for prizes). They did have a couple of small baskets with chocolates and candy at a nearby table, so that made up for the empty eggs. I think I was more disappointed than my daughter about her empty Easter eggs. She was distracted by the Easter Bunny.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Child's Hug

Today is Day 18 of National Poetry Month, and today's poem was inspired by NaPoWriMo's prompt to write a ruba'i (four-line stanza with an AABA rhyme scheme). I went a little further and wrote a rubaiyat (a ruba'i with multiple stanzas).

A Child's Hug
By Candace Shultz

My toddler said she wished to play
With kids she heard outside that day.
She never met these kids before,
But in the house she would not stay.

I told her that she could not go
With older kids I did not know.
She hurled herself upon the ground.
A horrid tantrum she did throw.

And by the time the whining stopped
The kids were gone, the sun had dropped.
My nerves were frayed, my anger high.
If not for love, I would have popped.

But then she asked me for a hug,
I picked her up from off the rug;
She wrapped her arms around my neck
And hugged me tight, warm and snug.

My daughter whispered in my ear,
"I love you, Mama." I filled with cheer.
The anger gone, I held her close,
"I love you too, my daughter dear."


Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Was Sleeping

Day 17 of National Poetry Month


I Was Sleeping
By Candace Shultz

To my dear husband,
if you don't stop bothering
me, I will pinch you.


It's past 11 pm here. I fell asleep on the couch, so my husband woke me up to either write my poem or go upstairs to bed. Sometimes if he wakes me up from a nap I get quite contrary and grumpy until I'm fully awake. So I dedicate today's poem to him. (No husbands were harmed in the making of this poem. I didn't pinch him.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Poems That Lie

I Always Lie
By Candace Shultz

I am drawing a picture.
The sky is green.
The grass is blue.
Up is down
And down is sideways.
The earth is square.
Mountains are flat.
The sun is cold.
Antarctica is hot.
My drawing has spiders in it.


Today is Day 16 of National Poetry Month, and I followed NaPoWriMo's prompt (who in turn got this prompt from Daisy Fried): write a ten-line poem where every line is a lie. I actually wrote two poems for this exercise. After writing my first poem, the last line inspired me to write the second poem.


I Love Spiders
By Candace Shultz

I love spiders.
I adore their beady eyes 
and their eight hairy legs.
I delight in them 
creeping about my house.
Spiders are my friends.
I'm happy with their webs 
clinging to my windows
and the corners of each room.
I get excited when they drop 
down with their spider silk, 
floating in front of my face.
I really enjoy their company.
I secretly hope they crawl 
all over me in my sleep.
I'd never squish them 
or throw them out the door.
I truly love spiders.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teardrop

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSw_5IuWgeO9r6Qm3aM5eekeYGPvWk9zzCg9rLqVClQ-2xoKpv2
Today is Day 15 of National Poetry Month, and I decided to write a concrete poem. I hope you enjoy it. 

Teardrop
By Candace Shultz


A
single
 tear drops
from her lash
onto her cheek and
trails down to her chin,
pausing for just a moment,
before falling onto the dry
dirt. It splashes and soaks
into the ground, leaving no
trace, until the day a tiny
blue flower grows
in its place.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Questions from a Toddler

Today is Day 14 of National Poetry Month, and I followed the prompt from NaPoWriMo; write a poem where every line is a question except for the last one. I decided to write a short and lighthearted one about my daughter (she's turning 2 in May!).  

Questions from a Toddler
By Candace Shultz

Milk?
Snack?
Show?
What's this?
Ponies?
Potty?
Tablet?
Cat?
What's this?
Sticker?
Diaper?
Color?
What's this?
Bubbles?
Walk?
Shoes?
Help?
Outside?
What's this?
Juice?
Thank you!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Alone Without You

Day 13 of National Poetry Month

Alone Without You
By Candace Shultz

There are days that I'm alone,
I look for you and wonder 
where you are.

So far away, like worlds apart,
even though the internet
keeps us together. 

When you're gone for too long
I start to worry. Are you okay?
I wait to hear from you.

And when you do message me back,
I sigh with relief as my heart
beats again.

I count down the days until your return,
wishing that time would speed up
so I can be in your arms again.

At night I cannot sleep because
the bed is empty and cold
without you.

I sit at home and miss you so.
Where did you go?
I'm alone.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

It's Time for Haiku

Day 12 of National Poetry Month

It's Time for Haiku
By Candace Shultz

It is 10 o'clock
at night and I still don't know
what I want to write.

My cold hands are poised
over the keyboard, waiting 
for thoughts to emerge.

I stare at the screen
as the cursor blinks on the
white page. I blink too.

It is 10:15
and I am still struggling
with all of my words.

I think about my
daughter's excitement over
the Easter Bunny.

I think about the
birds landing in my backyard
to eat the spiders.

It's 10:25.
I'm looking at a picture
of Bengal tigers.

I listen to my 
husband crunch on chips as he
plays a game on Steam.

I still taste the sour
cream and onion flavor from
my bag of Lay's chips

It is 10:30
and I am finished writing 
poetry tonight.



Friday, April 11, 2014

A Bird's Gift

Day 11 of National Poetry Month

A Bird's Gift
By Candace Shultz

A little blue bird
Lands on the brown fence
In my backyard. 
It rests for just a moment,
Then flies away,
Leaving a white stain in my grass.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Grumbles of a Hungry Woman

I wasn't feeling very inspired today, but I was feeling hungry. So for Day 10 of National Poetry Month I wrote about how frustrated I am by my diet.

The Grumbles of a Hungry Woman
By Candace Shultz

I want to eat a lot today
Instead of feeling hungry all day.
1200 calories isn't enough.
A prolonged diet is too tough.
I don't want to exercise anymore.
It just makes my body very sore.
Checking my weight makes me mad.
Weeks without progress make me sad.
These last ten pounds are clinging tight.
I'm ready to give up the fight.
I don't want to hop, hop, hop.
I just want to stop, stop stop!
And eat some chocolate.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Read a Book

It's Day 9 of National Poetry Month.


Read a Book
By Candace Shultz

Read a book, I say to you,
If you have nothing to do.
You say you are bored,
Yet those books are ignored.
A book will take you somewhere new.

You can climb a mountain or dive down deep
Or comfort the lady who doth weep.
You can battle trolls, giants, and ogres
Or visit Rome and wear some togas.
Soon you'll never want to sleep.

You'll find magic, romance, vampires too
And other creatures with skin that's blue.
You can learn to knit or fly a plane
Or find some help to keep you sane.
You can read a story or one that's true.

You can learn about history
Or pick up a new mystery.
Read about the nature of birds.
Read anything with words.
How about The Old Man and the Sea?

So when you say that you are bored,
Please don't leave those books ignored.
Expand your mind. Have some fun.
Read a book out in the sun.
And soon those books will be adored.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Am Not Fine

I followed NaPoWriMo's prompt for Day 8 of National Poetry Month: rewriting a famous poem with my own spin. I chose Langston Hughes' poem Life is Fine.


I Am Not Fine
By Candace Shultz

I went down to the basement,
I sat down on the floor.
I tried to see but couldn't
Because someone shut the door.

I stood up and I hollered.
I stumbled towards the stairs.
If I hadn't known where a flashlight was
I'd still be unawares.

It was Dark in that basement! It was dark!

I climbed to the kitchen
Ten stairs above the basement.
I opened the door to see
The ghost of my mean old aunt.

I turned around and hollered!
I ran back down the stairs!
If I hadn't opened the door
I'd still be unawares.

But she's so scary! She's so scary!

So since I'm still here sitting,
I guess I will just starve.
I could've run outside,
But I didn't have the nerve.

Because no one will hear me holler
And my life has gone awry,
My aunt will surely make me
Stay here until I die.

Let me out! Out from here! Let me out!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blackout Poetry - Hurry

I joined another swap at swap-bot that involved writing blackout poetry. The theme for this poem is ENERGY. And since it is National Poetry Month, I decided to use it for today's post.

I based my blackout poem on L. Frank Baum's book The Wizard of OZ, more specifically page 88.



My poem is titled "Hurry."



This is how I imagine the poem would look if I'd written it out.


Hurry
By Candace Shultz

"Hurry," he said.

She forgot 

where

she was

and fell fast asleep.

He was troubled.
He bounded forward
as fast as he could
and picked up the dog,
then made for the sand.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nursery Rhymes

My husband told me to write a nursery rhyme, so I attempted two. I based my rhyming scheme and rhythm on nursery rhymes like Little Miss Muffet and Jack and Jill.


Daisy the Lion
By Candace Shultz

Daisy the lion
Just wouldn't stop crying.
She stubbed her pinky toe.
A mouse scurried by,
Bravely gave comfort a try,
And wrapped her paw in a bow. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lily the Child
By Candace Shultz

Lily the child
Went very wild
And ran around the room.
Her mom calmed her down
With a fierce frown
Until Lily yelled, "Vroom vroom!"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Sound of Water

I attempted to write a "golden shovel" poem based on the Day 5 prompt at NaPoWriMo. You can find out more information about this type of poetry at the NaPoWriMo website. My poem was inspired by "Old Pond," a famous haiku poem written by Matsuo Basho. The last word of each line in my poem is a word from Basho's poem. 


haiku poem about nature
I found this image and translation at this link




The Sound of Water
By Candace Shultz

I see my daughter splash in the
puddle and remember the old
days when I splashed in a pond;
So I ask her if she wants to go to a
pond, and she says, "Can we see a frog
that might be a prince?" We arrive, and she jumps
like the frog, landing in -
side the water. At least she didn't kiss the
frog and imagine the sound
of a hungry snake in fields of
poppy flowers. She's happier in the water. 

Let the Day Begin

Day 4 of National Poetry Month


Let the Day Begin
By Candace Shultz

Every morning when I wake
I have just a few breaths to take
before I hear your crying voice,
giving me no other choice
but to get out of bed to pee
and then go to your room to see
your PJs off and diaper down,
"Mama, up" your only sound.

I clean you up and get you dressed.
Then I hold you to my chest.
I breathe the scent of your baby skin,
just pausing a moment to take it all in,
until you squirm and demand to eat,
so I set you back on your feet.

Throughout the day I cook and clean.
I flick off boogers from my jeans.
I wipe you down from head to toe.
Where all the dirt comes from, I don't know.
We play with blocks and puzzles and dolls.
I try to prevent you from taking falls.
We dance, we sing, we jump, we spin.
Then I take the garbage to the bin.
I read to you a hundred times,
Dr. Seuss with all his rhymes.

When you whine or throw a fit,
I still love you. I'll never quit.
But I want to get some rest,
to calm down, and to be my best.
Perfection I will never attain,
but I need to fill your brain
with knowledge, love, morals too.
What's a mom supposed to do?

At the end of the day, I tuck you in.
I give you kisses with a grin.
I turn out your light and say goodnight
while you talk until I'm out of sight.
And though I'm tired, I still try to clean.
I think about my little queen.
Did I do right by her today?
Did we get enough time to play?
Was I nice or was I mean?
Did I let her watch too much screen?
I pray to be a good mom for her.
I hope to be the best for my daughter.

And when I finally go to bed,
I close my eyes and rest my head.
I fall asleep in my husband's arms
only to wake to the next morning's alarms.
Then I hear a little voice say "Mama."
I go to your room and see no pajamas.
I clean you up and get you dressed.
Then I hold you tight to my chest. 
I pause a moment to breathe you in.
Then I let the day begin.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Charm to Put Your Baby to Sleep

For today's poem I followed the prompt from NaPoWriMo (If you are interested in writing poetry or in participating with National Poetry Month, you should check out the NaPoWriMo website.) - I wrote a rhyming poem in the form of a charm. 


A Charm to Put Your Baby to Sleep
By Candace Shultz

Jammies with some kitties,
Milk from many cities,
A book you've never read,
And a stuffed animal for the bed -
A hug and kiss will do,
With some pleading thrown in too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Pill is My Salvation

A Pill is My Salvation
By Candace Shultz

It stings.
It hurts.
It makes me want to cry.

It burns.
I blink.
My tears fall off the brink.

I rub my eyes,
heave a sigh,
and then I get a drink.

A pill is my salvation.





My allergies are bothering me a lot today.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April - National Poetry Month 2014

It's April, and that means it's National Poetry Month! Last April I shared a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month. I'd like to do that again this year.

Here is my first poem of the month:

Gnomes or Holmes
By Candace Shultz

Hooray, I say!
Let's end the day
with a poem I've written for you.
Hurrah or pshaw,
whether fun or blah blah,
the choice is up to you.
Let's write some poems
about gnomes or Holmes.
Who cares? Just as long as you do. 

March - A Month of Madness

I have been so busy lately that I haven't posted anything recently. Let me tell you what I've been working on.

I'm super excited to announce that I'm self publishing my first children's book. It's called Copycat Baby, and it's about a baby who acts like a cat. Right now it's in the proof stage, but I hope to have it published by the end of May. 

I also prepared some of my poems to be published in a poetry anthology. I'll tell you more about the anthology when it's closer to being published.

I mentioned Lilia's story about friendship a few months ago. My sister and I put it aside for a little while to concentrate on publishing some of our other stories, but I'm working on it again, so hopefully you'll be hearing more about that story soon.

I've begun a new poetry project inspired by a prompt from my poetry group No Direction Home: I have to choose a song and write different lyrics to it while keeping the same title. I've chosen On My Own from Les Miserables.

In addition to writing, I've also been editing again. I've been working on Cassandra Miller's stories and poetry. She's also self publishing some of her work. 

If that's not enough to keep a person busy, I'm also learning how to drive. I got my provisional license and am searching for a driving instructor. I hope to start lessons soon. In the meantime, I've been studying to prepare for the theory test.

March has been a busy and exciting month. April will be just as busy, especially since it's National Poetry Month. I will be sharing new poetry with you! Look for new posts soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Am Afraid to Drive

I entered another writing swap at swap-bot. This one required me to find a writing prompt or two and create something for my partner to read. I found a poetry prompt at Poets&Writers about insecurities that inspired me to write a poem.

Here is the prompt:

Insecurity
posted 8.6.13

Writing poetry is an act of empowerment. Sit quietly at your desk. Think about what you’re most insecure about in life: being a good parent, making enough money, not being able to love fully. Write a poem about how you plan to overcome that insecurity.


Here is the poem I wrote:


I Am Afraid to Drive
By Candace Shultz

I am afraid to drive.
My heart beats faster at just the thought.
So long have I walked, so long have I ridden,
But I just have not driven.
I stay at home and worry.
How do I get to the store?
How do I make new friends?
How do I take care of my child?
How do I survive if I do not drive?
I must get over my fears and take the wheel.
I must take a deep breath and just take the test.
And I must always remember I am not alone.
Others have gone before me.
More will go behind me.
My husband will sit beside me,
And my daughter will drive me on.


I'm 27 years old, and though I had a learner's permit at 17, I didn't get enough time behind the wheel to actually learn how to drive. For the next ten years, circumstances just didn't require me to have a license. Now I really do need one so that I can be independent and able to take care of my 20-month-old daughter. Simple things like doctor appointments and grocery shopping become very difficult when you can't drive. My husband has been wonderful and supportive in driving me where I need to go, but he can't always be there for me. So it's time for me to get over my fears and learn how to drive. The next hurdle is trying not to get lost on the road.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

One Word Wednesday - February 26

I did one post at oneword.com since last Wednesday.

February 20, 2014 - compensate

“To compensate for your loss, I have been instructed to apologize and offer my services.” The tall, burly man extended his hand towards the petite brunette.

She glared at him and said, “What exactly are your services?”


I Stand Alone

I wrote a very short story based on prompt 216 from the website Creative Writing Prompts.

I Stand Alone
By Candace Shultz

I am alone except for the ants at my feet.

I once had a huge family with lots of brothers and sisters. I had lots of friends too. We used to dig into the dirt together. We bathed in the sunlight every day. We watched the birds and listened to them sing. We welcomed them as they nested in our arms. Squirrels chattered. Bugs crawled everywhere. Even the monkeys had fun swinging from our limbs. I remember all the noises, all the creatures, all my friends and family.

Then they came. They carried loud, sharp weapons that dug into our skin. We bled, but they did not stop. Our leaves shook as we wept, yet they did not stop. They did not hear our plea. And we fell one by one. The birds no longer returned to our arms. The squirrels ran away. The monkeys skittered to a more peaceful place, but the bugs stayed. They stayed for me.

The harsh sun beats down on my rough skin. No longer do my sisters and brothers entwine their arms with mine and rest in the shade. No longer do my friends bury their feet in the ground. No longer does my mom rest her hand against my cheek. All around me the ground is torn, an empty graveyard, a reminder of what I’ve lost.

I am alone except for the ants at my feet.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bean

My cat Bean died almost two years ago, and I've been wanting to write a poem to her memory for a while. I miss her very much.

Bean
By Candace Shultz

I brought you home in a cardboard box,
A little gray kitten with white paw socks.
Your soft kitty meows melted my heart,
And I fell in love with you right from the start.
You slept on my pillow almost squishing my head.
You bit my toes at the bottom of the bed.
You ate popcorn right from my hand,
And you licked tuna straight from the can.
No matter where you lounged in the house,
You’d come running as quiet as a mouse
As soon as you heard me shake your snacks.
Then you’d do a couple acts:
Begging with those big kitty eyes,
Standing to reach your yummy prize.
You always greeted me at the door
And made me chase you to the basement floor.
I loved to cuddle next to your soft gray fur
And listen to your gentle purr.
Though I disliked your sandpaper kiss,
Forever you will be the one I always miss. 

Bean at approximately one month



Bean at 5 years - a couple of weeks before she died

Thursday, February 20, 2014

One Word Wednesday - February 19

Here are my oneword posts since last Wednesday:

February 13, 2014 - Defined

You cannot define me, though you will try.

Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Wife
Mother
Woman

These are all roles I play, but they do not define me. I cannot be defined because I am too complex as each of you are complex. Too many things in my life have made me into the person I am today, too many to place me in a neat, little box. I am forever outside the box.

February 16, 2014 - Demonstrate

Please demonstrate your powers. You say you can fly, but I don’t believe you. I don’t know anyone who can fly. No one in my family can. None of my friends fly. How can you fly? Go on, little birdie, spread your wings and fly.

February 17, 2014 - trifle

Sometimes I might think that a rock is trifle, but to my daughter it’s of the utmost importance. She loves to play with them and examine them and throw them down to see what they do whereas I usually ignore them and walk right over them. The little things we take for granted are amazing to children. Everything is new to them. We just need to take a closer look at the small things and imagine them through the eyes of a child.

February 18, 2014 - talon

Its talons ripping at my clothes, the ferocious bird cawed and beat its wings towards my face. I tried to cover my face with my hands, but its beak tore at my skin. I cried out.

February 19, 2014 - striped

He tiptoed down the stairs in his striped pajamas. He had heard a noise from his room. His mom thought he was sleeping, but he was just too excited, so when he heard the noise he decided to investigate. He silently poked his head over the stair railing to see who was in the living room, but when he saw his mom his mouth dropped open and his eyes opened wide. She was putting presents under the tree, a cookie popped in her mouth. That cookie was for Santa! What was she doing?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Word Wednesday - February 12

Here are my oneword.com posts since last Wednesday.

February 6, 2014 - orphans

So many orphans, she thought as she stood outside the cafeteria door. I wish I could take them all home with me. Then she spotted a little brown-haired girl standing in the line reaching for an apple. Something about her seemed familiar: the shape of her face, the color of her eyes. Could this be her friend’s baby grown into a young girl?

February 7, 2014 - third

I’m on my third dream. Dancing didn't work out. I have two left feet, so my Mama says, and Bobby’s still limping from our last dance. Singing was a catastrophe. I think the neighbors moved because of me. So now I’m going to try acting. Yeah, that one sounds good, never mind that Mama says I should go into accounting. Who wants to crunch numbers all day long? I want to be famous!

February 12, 2014 - disappear

Sometimes I wish I could disappear into the vast world of words. No screaming. No crying. No worries. Just my head in a book.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Blackout Poem Inspired by Clockwork Angel

I signed up for a writing swap at swap-bot.com to do a blackout poem. I chose page 225 from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Here's my poem:


I imagine my poem would look like this if I wrote it out:


She was worthless,
Yet he loved her.
She was better with him,
And more vulnerable.
The way he would look at her
was beautiful:
He could see through the disguise.

I didn't come up with a title for it yet.


Here's the original page:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Word Wednesday - January 29

Oneword.com posts:

January 24, 2014 - taffy

She slowly walked through the aisles, looking for a souvenir for her mother-in-law. What would she want from the zoo? Then her eyes settled on a bright yellow box filled with taffy. Aha! That’s perfect!

January 25, 2014 - plausible

It’s plausible that he sneaked out of the house because his parents were being horrible, but more than likely he just had a bad attitude and his loving parents said he couldn’t go to a party with his friends

January 26, 2014 - apprehend

“You cannot apprehend the depth of my sorrow and pain at the loss of my child. You say you are sorry, but I don’t want your apologies. It should have been you, not my Sarah, who died in that car crash. How could you? How? Why?” Elizabeth crumpled to the ground, her hands covering her tear-drenched face.

January 27, 2014 - doubled

She doubled the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe.

“I want chocolate, and I’m going to have it, dammit!” She glared at her husband who just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

“Stupid diet,” she muttered to herself and continued to stir the chocolate chips into her cookie dough.

January 28, 2014 - unplanned

It was unplanned. We were just walking and chatting about nothing in particular. Then we had lunch at a nearby diner, coffee afterwards at my place. We sat on the couch together, and he leaned towards me. Then I heard a knock on the door: my sister was frantic. She was pregnant. It was unplanned.

January 29, 2014 - clasp

Chelsea clasped the locket to her chest. “Thank you. I will cherish it forever,” she said to her grandmother.

Her grandmother smiled. “I know you will.” She then closed her eyes and said, “I’m feeling tired, dear.”

“Yes, Grandma. I’ll let you rest.” Chelsea kissed her grandmother’s forehead and left the room. Then as she stood outside the bedroom door, she opened the locket.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Word Wednesday - January 22

These are my posts from oneword.com since last Wednesday.


January 16, 2014 - biblical

Biblical: bible, God, the Word. I want to be a good Christian.


January 17, 2014 - firearm

He pulled his firearm and aimed it at the man running towards him.

“Stop or I’ll shoot!” he yelled.


January 21, 2014 - beaming

She beamed at him, her young face radiant with love. Nothing could ruin her mood, she thought.


January 22, 2014 - native

I spoke in my native tongue in a land where no one understood me and I understood no one. I carried on conversations with myself, hoping that I wouldn't go crazy with the loneliness I felt.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One Word Wednesday - January 15

These are my posts from oneword.com from this week (Wednesday to Wednesday).

January 9, 2014 - wheelchair

I actually didn't write about wheelchair at oneword. I tried to write about a depressed man contemplating the life he had only a week ago while he stared down at the air where his legs used to be as he sat in a wheelchair. But I got stuck on the wording and then got distracted by other things, so I forgot to do this entry.

January 10, 2014 - bourbon

He picked up his glass of bourbon and took a swig before placing it down on the desk with a thunk. Then he sat down in his chair and rested his head in his hand, his elbow on the desk. A moment later, with a sigh, he lifted his head and reached for the phone.

January 15, 2014 - harm

No harm came to him. She just peeked in the window, maybe opened it a little. Maybe she even sneaked in and hid in his closet, watched him undress and go to bed. She never touched him. She just smelled his clothes in the darkness and waited for him to fall asleep. Then she left quietly, the only sign of her existence in the disappearance of the shirt he’d dropped on the ground.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One Word Wednesday - January 8

I've decided to participate at oneword.com again. Whenever I have time or just feel like writing, I'm going to post my entries from oneword.com.

January 7, 2014 - Tracking

He's tracking me. I don't know how, but I know he is. I threw away my cell phone. I've turned off my tablet. I've ditched my car, and now I'm taking the bus. But I just know he's watching me. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up. I can feel them. I'm scared.

January 8, 2014 - Freezer

I open the freezer. It’s empty. Where did all the food go? Just two days ago the freezer was full. So I check the fridge. It’s empty too. I look around me. The entire kitchen is empty. No pots or pans or dishes or food anywhere. Where am I? Am I in the right house? I’m hungry.

Thirty Days of Gratitude

By Candace Shultz

To books,
Puzzles,
Movies,
Anime,
TV,
I give thanks.

To pen and paper,
Computers and keyboards,
Blogs and email,
Facebook,
My readers,
I give thanks.

To our military,
Our president,
Our country,
Kind strangers,
Freedom,
I give thanks.

To my teachers,
My mentors,
My schools,
My grants and scholarships,
Even my loans,
I give thanks.

To receptionists,
Technicians,
Nurses,
Doctors,
Modern medicine,
I give thanks.

To my husband,
My daughter,
My mom,
My family and friends,
I give thanks.

To God:
Thank You above all. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lilia's Story About Friendship - a work in progress

My sister and I are working on a story together for my daughter Lilia. It doesn't have a title yet, mostly because it's a work in progress. It's about a lonely tiger cub named Lilia who meets a monkey named Lulu, and they instantly become friends. I'm excited to write this story with my sister because it brings back memories of writing with her as a child. Plus, I haven't written anything in a while, so I'm just happy to be writing again. Last night I didn't want to go to bed because I had ideas running through my mind and I wanted to write them all down. So I'm hoping this is a good sign for the year 2014: a good time to write some new stories!