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Capsized | Writing through the Fog, Emerging from under the Wave

The Uses of Sorrow | Mary Oliver

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me

a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand

that this, too, was a gift.


…And today I felt like I was drowning in this ocean wave of grief and pain and lostness. I felt overwhelmed and raw with too many emotions trying to come out all at once…Then I knew I needed to quiet the ocean of noise in my brain. The only way I know how to do this is to Write! So here I have been writing in this journal on and off all afternoon/night. I don’t think the noise in my brain has died down yet. But it feels cathartic to see my thoughts and feelings in black permanent ink on a white page…-I need my poems to truly expel all this grey emotion. I’ve been purposely staying away from working on my poetry because I don’t want to actually face all these emotions. But I know I’m drowning beneath all my emotions/thoughts…the only way I know to come up and out from under all of this is through my poetry. It is my own life-raft. I need to get back in my life-raft… | excerpted from my journal ~ Greece, September 2016

“From the Sea” [Image by Bojan Jevtić]**

capsize

kapˈsʌɪz/

verb

1.(of a boat) be overturned in the water.

“the craft capsized in heavy seas”

“gale force winds capsized their small craft”

antonyms: right

cause (a boat) to overturn.

“gale-force gusts capsized the dinghies”

Origin
late 18th century: perhaps based on Spanish capuzar ‘sink (a ship) by the head’, from cabo ‘head’ + chapuzar ‘to dive or duck’.


A new country called Grief

I am a traveller in a new country called Grief. For much of last year I was lost in a place-less Fugue. I went through the motions automatically relying on muscle memory rather than being present in the moment. There was no need to be present in the moment, this Fugue state carried me through this isolated country of Grief. I couldn’t concentrate or focus on much else than normal daily surviving requirements. Fiction, my own and others, was no longer an escape or a refuge. For the first month and a half after losing A, I just barely existed. But slowly as I got acclimated to this Grief, I started looking for ways to communicate; to express myself more clearly and to process this emotion that remained nameless in its immensity. Music and Poetry were the two life-rafts that rescued me from this storm-ravaged place.

A New Project

Newton’s law of motion states that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”. Grief capsized me completely but through the twin life-rafts of Music and Poetry I was slowly Emerging: Emerging into a new direction, an altered me. When you sink, the equal and opposite reaction is to finally rise and emerge. I have found a way to breathe again. I have a way to stop drowning in this Grief. 

The only way I was going to emerge from this Fugue state was to truly give in to the terrible emotion. To let it embrace me without fighting it. The only way a drowning swimmer can be rescued is if they don’t fight or struggle but simply relax and let themselves be rescued. In much the same way, I needed to just let this Grief encompass me in her watery depths before I could be rescued. Slowly I started rising up from these depths and as I began to rise, words started rising with me. At first I could not grasp the words so I just let them rise around me. But slowly the words became clearer to me as I immersed myself in others Poetry; poetry by Dylan Thomas, Pablo Neruda, Leonard Cohen and Rupi Kaur, and let Music be the soundtrack to drown out the cacophony that was the silence of this Grief. Slowly I could grasp enough words to form a line then enough words to form a verse then enough words to form a stanza. As I journaled I realised that these were my emotions becoming words becoming poems. Poems that expressed what I could not, did not want to verbalise in conversation. 

What was emerging from my immersion into Poetry, Music, Art and through my journaling was a collection of emotions in words: a collection of poems. Suddenly I could focus again creatively. I had stopped struggling and in my surrender to this emotional drowning I had found a way to rise up and to begin emerging again. So this is what I have been working on for the last few months and will continue to work on for the next few months. A new project. An anthology of poems that could finally name all these unnameable emotions that Grief drowns one in. An anthology that I am calling…

CAPSIZE

Every year for the last five years I have chosen One Word to theme and propel my New Year. Last year my word was ironically RISE. But although most of last year felt like the opposite of Rising, felt closer to drowning, it was the gift of words in the form of Poetry that did have me eventually Rising. 

2016 has forever changed me. I’m carrying a box of loss that is forming a new version of who I am. So for 2017 I have chosen a new theme, a theme of hope. A new word for a different me. A me that is navigating an altered topography of where I am going, who I am now and who I want to be. I am ready for a new dawn.
So this year my Word of The Year is: 

EMERGE

ɪˈməːdʒ/

verb

verb: emerge; 3rd person present: emerges; past tense: emerged; past participle: emerged; gerund or present participle: emerging

1. move out of or away from something and become visible.

“black ravens emerged from the fog”

synonyms: come out, appear, come into view, become visible, make an appearance; turn up, spring up, come up, surface, crop up, pop up; materialize, manifest oneself, arise, proceed, issue, come forth, emanate

2. become apparent or prominent.

synonyms: become known, become apparent, become evident, be revealed, come to light, come out, transpire, come to the fore, enter the picture, unfold, turn out, prove to be the case; 

3. recover from or survive a difficult situation.

Origin

late 16th century (in the sense ‘become known, come to light’): from Latin emergere, from e- (variant of ex- ) ‘out, forth’ + mergere ‘to dip’.  




[**PostScript: The image of “From the Sea” by the Serbian visual artist, Bojan Jevtić, helped inspire my theme for my new W.I.P poetry anthology: Capsize. I found that this particular image was able to vividly portray how this loss, this Grief makes me feel. It was the picture that has inspired my new words.]


Devastation | The Daily Post

My Debut Short Story | Release of Tales for Canterbury

I was very excited to open my inbox yesterday and receive my Author’s Copy of Tales for Canterbury.

Tales for Canterbury (Published Anthology of Short Stories)

Tales for Canterbury is a short story anthology loosely themed around survival, hope and the future. All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal for the efforts in rebuilding Christchurch,New Zealand after the disastrous earthquake in February 2011.
The anthology  is released in May 2011 in electronic and paperback formats.  It features stories by RJ Astruc, Philippa Ballantine, Jesse Bullington, Anna Caro, Cat Connor, Brenda Cooper, Debbie CowensMatt Cowens, Merrilee Faber, AJ Fitzwater, Janis Freegard, Neil Gaiman, Cassie Hart, A.M. Harte, Karen Healey, Leigh K Hunt, Lynne Jamneck, Patty Jansen, Gwyneth Jones, Tim Jones, Kim Koning, Jay Lake, Helen Lowe, Kate Mahony, Tina Makereti, Juliet Marillier, Angel Leigh McCoy, Linda Niccol, Ripley Patton, Simon Petrie, Grant Stone, Jeff Vandermeer, Mary Victoria and Sean Williams.

Orders are now available from Random Static Press.

Along with 33 other authors’ stories, my debut short story – The Ring of Fire – has been published and released in an online e-book format. The anthology will also be released in print format very soon. I am also proud to say my friend and CP – Leigh K Hunt – also debuts her first short story in this anthology.

If you have not already got a copy, I urge you to go to the site and get one. Not only is it an amazing compilation of short stories by very talented authors but you will also be giving towards a great cause. It is a Win-Win on all accounts.

Kim

Ring of Fire – Hope ~ Tales for Canterbury

Table of Contents – Hope | Tales for Canterbury.

Ring of Fire – Hope – Tales for Canterbury

My first short story will be published in the upcoming month in an amazing anthology of short stories called Tales for Canterbury. This is a project that I am proud and honoured to be a part of. Firstly it is a wonderful selection of stories by very talented authors. Secondly it is a project dear to my heart personally as not so long ago I called Christchurch, New Zealand home. So to be able to be part of a project that honours Christchurch and raises funds for the Red Cross is very special to me.

The book has been broken up into 3 parts:

  • Survival
  • Hope
  • Future

Each part has stories that are themed around one of these three parts.

My story, Ring of Fire, is set in the Theme of HOPE.

When I was first invited to submit for this anthology I was only given these 3 key themes and told that the story needed to encapsulate either one of these three or could be a combined theme of all three. I was also told that it needed to be a fantasy-based story.

At first I pondered on these three themes for about a week or two. I realised that these three themes are core themes of the human drama we face in all cultures. I also felt a kinship with these themes as these are the themes in most of my own writings from my poetry to prose to novels. I believe in Survival, Hope and Future. But for me the greatest of these three is HOPE. For without hope it is difficult to survive and without hope it is impossible to conceive a future out of that survival. So I knew that I had chosen a theme that not only was the basis for the other two themes but something I desperately believe makes all the difference in our lives as human beings: HOPE.

Did I have a story in mind? Not immediately. But the story found me. Or rather my MC found me and told me her story. Within a few days I had the story in front of me. I was ready to compile it and submit it through to Tales for Canterbury. This story is unlike any of my other stories but the theme and premise is the same that threads its way through all my stories. The character was a challenge for me as it was a different POV than I am used to writing in. But the story weaved itself out onto the page and before long I knew I had a “quilt” of hope, survival and future in MS form.

This story is set in a dystopian world and centres on one Main Character who against odds is forced to be a Survivor. This MC is similar to my other MCs in that looking at the MC you see a vulnerable character who does not quite fit in with anyone or anything. Two terrible crises brings the inner strength of this character to the light and hope shines through a dark time. The story is told through the voice and perspective of the MC. As this character experiences danger and is thrown into a fight for survival, so you the reader will feel the same fear, doubt, flight/fight response, rallying strength and refusal to give up and in the end pure HOPE: the lifeblood that gives her strength to see a future that is brighter than what has gone before.

It is wonderful when a character is able to capture your heart. I believe this character will capture your heart as mine was captured. I believe in this story and I believe in this MC. But more than that I believe in the underlying message that threads its way through the story. It is not only the strong that survive. Sometimes it is those that seem most vulnerable that shine in sheer strength when their soul is tested by great trials. Sometimes vulnerability and innocence are just masks for a pure and noble spirit. In times of great conflict and drama, these masks fall away and the true spirit of strength shines though. Sometimes all a person/character needs is hope and a reason to fight for survival. Give them both and you have a warrior that is pure and strong in heart.

That is Ring of Fire.

_______~~~_______

What is Tales for Canterbury?

Tales for Canterbury is a short story anthology loosely themed around survival, hope and the future. All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Tales for Canterbury

The anthology will be released in April/May 2011 in electronic and paperback formats.  It features stories by RJ Astruc, Philippa Ballantine, Jesse Bullington, Anna Caro, Cat Connor, Brenda Cooper, Debbie Cowens, Matt Cowens, Merrilee Faber, AJ Fitzwater, Janis Freegard, Neil Gaiman, Cassie Hart, A.M. Harte, Karen Healey, Leigh K. Hunt, Lynne Jamneck, Patty Jansen, Gwyneth Jones, Tim Jones, Kim Koning, Jay Lake, Helen Lowe, Kate Mahony, Tina Makereti, Juliet Marillier, Angel Leigh McCoy, Linda Niccol, Ripley Patton, Simon Petrie, Grant Stone, Jeff Vandermeer, Mary Victoria and Sean Williams.

Pre-orders are now available from Random Static Press.

If you would like to contact us, you can email Cassie at winterchild9@gmail.com

We are so excited to have pre-orders open! Check out our new page Get Your Copy!” or go straight to the source and head over to Random Static.

The print copy is priced at NZ$24.95 (including postage within NZ) and the digital version is a mere NZ$12.00! At those prices, you might as well pick one up for a friend too. ;-)


Tales for Canterbury

This week has been an amazing week in so many ways. It started off with my birthday where I was spoilt by the special people in my life..those that I am privileged to call family and friends. But then the week got even better.

A couple of weeks ago a writer friend connected me with an editor in New Zealand who wanted to put together an anthology of short stories from different authors with the common theme of Survival, Hope and the Future. All proceeds would be donated to the Red Cross for the Christchurch 2011 earthquake appeal. After talking to the editor about what they were looking for, I was invited to submit a short story. I finished the story and submitted it on the 21st of March.

On Monday this week I had the wonderful email that told me they loved my story and with a few edits they wanted to include it in the anthology.

Today my publishing contract arrived which really brought it home to me.

I am very excited, honoured and privileged to be published in this incredible anthology. This anthology is especially dear to my heart as Christchurch was once home to me a few years ago and I have many close friends who still live in Christchurch. So to be able to be part of a project that gives back to the city of Christchurch and helps in some small way to rebuild that courageous city really fills my heart with tremendous joy.

The anthology is called Tales for Canterbury. Below are details of the blog that has been set up by the editors for this anthology as well as a list of all the authors that are contributing. I have also included a link to the pre-order site of the anthology. The anthology will be available in both E-book format and Paperback format. 100% of all proceeds are going to the Red Cross for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. There are going to be well over 2 dozen stories in this anthology by both New Zealand authors and international authors. This is an opportunity for readers everywhere to be able to support the community of Christchurch who have shown such resilience and courage in the face of a huge calamity. Instead of falling down, they have stayed strong determined to rebuild their community and their city.

Tales for Canterbury

List of Authors contributing

Get your copy here

Thank you once again to the editors of Tales for Canterbury for firstly inviting me to submit and finally for the great honour of accepting my submission for contribution.

For Christchurch, a city always dear to my heart – Stand Strong and Stand Tall.

– Kim