A couple weeks ago I had a discussion with a fan/friend. He asked an interesting question: “Which is harder to write, poetry or fiction?” My answer was automatic.
Poetry is easier (for me) to create. It’s only a matter of pulling what’s inside of me out. It’s searching the darkest parts of my soul, where fear and hope and pain dwell and exposing it to the light. The hard part of being a poet is releasing it to the world. When I allow a poem to be read, I’m allowing someone to see me completely exposed. And while I’ve known immense joy, it’s the darkness inside that needs to be purged. Each poem given out for public consumption is open to ridicule, to criticism, but it’s not just my words- it’s the scars inside. It. Is. Hard.
Trapped In Yesterday
Trapped now I’m locked in yesterday
Please don’t think it’s you why I turn a way
I can’t stand the way it makes me feel
To know that this could become real
You can’t expect me not to flee
When you hold such power over me
The last to get this close left me to learn
The searing pain of love forever burns
I don’t want to go though that again
And nothing you say can make this fear end
I wonder if you understand
Why I shiver when you touch my hand
Why I can’t go but neither can I stay
The answers you’ll find in my yesterday.
*Excerpted poem from About A Girl: A Poetry Compilation
Fiction is harder to create. Characters have to be built from scratch, they have to be made real from pen and pad. Worlds have to be created. Supporting characters must have their place, feel like real people, and yet, remain on the side lines to allow the protagonist to complete their journey. It’s a lot of work. On the other hand, passing it off to be published might be scary, but it’s not the same soul-crushing fear. Readers can agree, or disagree, with the choices you characters make. They can love, or hate the content. At the end of the day, though, it’s not you under the piercing gaze of readers who will no doubt catch every mistake.
Excerpt from Kiss of Death, Immortal Hearts Book 2
“Time to feed the human,” Beau announced, carrying over two cups of coffee.
He handed me one of the heavy black mugs and I took a sip, testing the flavor. The robust flavor of the coffee hit me first, full-bodied and slightly bitter. Then, the sweet, creamy mix that was tailored to my taste buds. I was impressed he remembered I preferred brown sugar in my coffee. The gesture warmed my heart, as it never failed to do.
“So,” I said as I cut into my eggs. “What’s on the agenda for today?” The yolk spilled out, but the whites remained firm and intact. Cooking the perfect over-medium egg was not an easy feat, especially for one who didn’t eat. I’d been working at it for years and my success rate was spotty at best.
“Well, I have to be at the club today; somebody has to oversee business there. Valerie and Adam are going to be here in a little while to take you to your place and get some of your things.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t need an escort, Beau.”
“Maybe not, but it’s already set up regardless.”
“You do realize I didn’t sign up for this just to be stuck with a babysitter, right?” I hid my annoyance by nibbling on a strip of crispy bacon.
“You’re one of mine, Leah. I won’t allow you to blindly walk into danger.”
My pulse quickened, but I wouldn’t let him charm me into abandoning my position. “And I won’t be able to do what you want me to do if I’m constantly being guarded by vampires. It’s counterproductive, really.”
“Let’s just agree to take this a day at a time. This is new for both of us.” His tone hinted at something left unsaid, but I decided to leave it be. Breakfast was my favorite meal and I had no intention of ruining another meal over this assignment.
Both poetry and fiction are beautiful and terrifying in their own ways. I could no more give up one than the other. Each offers a reward of it’s own it’s own to my soul, but they are so vastly different from inception to publication.