11/12/14

Here's to the Kids

I realize I haven't posted in FOREVER.

But here's something I wrote a couple of months ago...  Something that is very dear to me, and even though I'm pretty horrible with poetry, I've decided to share it.



Here’s to the Kids
Copyright Reagan Dyer (2014)

Here’s to the kids who aren’t afraid to live, love, laugh, and breathe.
Here’s to the kids who stand up for what they believe.

Here’s to the kids who fight and die,
Who hurt, who hate, who’re afraid, who cry.

Here’s to the kids who are strong and free,
Who wage a war with bravery.

Here’s to the kids who love adventure,
Who live life to the fullest and never surrender.

Here’s to the kids who smile in the face of danger,
Who love and laugh and embrace the strangers.

Here’s to the kids who hurt inside,
Who stayed home at night and cried and cried.

Who brought bruises and long sleeves to school,
Here’s to the kids who were labeled “uncool”.

Here’s to the kids who embrace the world,
With open arms and hearts and souls.

Here’s to the kids who are loyal to those
Who will someday become this generation’s heroes.

Here’s to the kids who are scared of the race,
But face life with a gritty and determined face,

And who are ready to love, fight, and live,
To hurt, to lose, to cry, to forgive.

Here’s to the kids who set sail for a more distant shore.
Here’s to the kids who tomorrow will be no more.

Here’s to the kids…






11/2/13

Theatre Monologues

For one of my classes this semester [Intro to Theatre] we were given the assignment of choosing a picture [one of the few that our professor sent us] and coming up with a backstory for that character.

Then we were supposed to write a short monologue for that particular person and present it to the class.

This was the picture I chose, and here is the monologue I wrote for my character:


After that day, I picked roses in her memory.  She loved them, you know.  So much.  She loved a lot of things, you could say.  She used to wear this perfume, see, that smelled like—I don’t know, like, sunshine—I guess.  Yeah, like sunshine—and light, and flowers, and her.  I don’t know what it was called.  She never told me.  I never smelled it on any other woman.  Just her.

She loved bright colors, too, and I used to paint her in my brightest shades, all green and pink and blue and yellow in her floral print dresses and cherry lipstick.  That’s another thing; flowers.  She adored flowers.  I made it a point to surprise her whenever I could with a bouquet, just to see her smile.  That smile was like cold water being poured down my back, or breathing in the scent of sun-warm strawberries—exhilarating and sweet and beautiful, all at the same time. 


As I painted her upon my blank canvases in splashes of vibrant color, she slowly painted herself on my heart.


The world wouldn’t miss me the way it misses her…  I miss her.  It should have been me.


Of all the things she loved, though, she liked roses most of all.  I remember that.  So every day since…since then, I’ve gone down Barker to where the wild roses twine through the dilapidated fence.  When they’re in bloom, I pick some for Robbie.

Peach-colored ones.



Not one of the best things I have ever written, I'll grant. But it was a fun assignment.

Cheers.

-RAD

10/5/13

Defiance

I just watched this movie again last night, and it is one of my favorite movies of all time.  Dark, horrific, and full of language, but one of my favorites.

It's also based on a true story.

It's about the Bielski brothers, jews, fighters, leaders.  Hunted.  IMDb summarizes: "Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants."

During the fall of 1941, Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron Bielski escape into the forest, running from those who slaughtered their parents.  Other jews flee there as well, and soon Tuvia takes over, providing a home and food for these refugees.  It becomes a camp of desperate jews, all working together to make a home, a community.

They are trained to fight, even the women.  Moving from place to place, as the Germans discover their whereabouts, they try and succeed and suffer together.


The movie chronicles the Bielski brothers' struggles to provide as more and more jews pour into the forest in search of the fabled Bielski Otriad.  They join forces with Russian freedom fighters, and the group splits up as frictions between the two older brothers (Tuvia and Zus) come to light.

The crux of the movie, for me, is when a German soldier the fighters have captured is brought into the Bielski camp.  Tuvia has stated how they (the jews) are not animals, however they might be hunted like them.  But when the soldier is brought before a group of angry refugees, they start crying obscenities at him, blaming him for everything they have suffered.

One woman starts screaming about her son, how he had blue eyes and was fifteen, and then brings the butt of her rifle down upon the German soldier.  Everyone else starts crying out about their dead brother or sister or parents, all the while hitting the soldier who is now on the ground.

The angry group beats him to death.

And all the while, Tuvia stands there, letting them have their vengeance.  But his face is sad.  

The irony of this scene just strikes me right in the gut.

Defiance is one of the best movies, in my opinion, ever.  It conveys a message, portrays evil and suffering, grim determination and grit, and shows how hope can keep a person alive.  A true, incredible story.


One of my all-time favorite quotes is when Tuvia Bielski says, "If we should die, trying to live, then at least we died like human beings."

Chills all over.


9/12/13

Great Insults


I love a good comeback.  However, I am eternally saddened by the fact that I rarely contain enough wit to make one myself.

I admire people who are able to accomplish this feat.  I don't mean just being plain sarcastic in a rude way, but people who actually possess the mental capabilities to think of clever retorts.

So here is a collection of my favorite insults [that just sounds wrong...]:

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..." -Oscar Wilde.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -Stephen Bishop.

"I've just heard about his illness.  Let's hope it's nothing trivial." -Irvin S. Cobb.

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -Forrest Tucker.

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.  But this wasn't it." -Groucho Marx.

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -Winston Churchill.

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -Mark Twain.

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" -Mark Twain.

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -Oscar Wilde.

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -Billy Wilder.

"He had delusions of adequacy." -Walter Kerr.

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my play; bring a friend, if you have one." -George Bernard Shaw (to Winston Churchill).

RESPONSE:

Winston Churchill: "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second...if there is one."

Brilliance.  Pure brilliance.

-R.D.

9/11/13

Go Teen Writers: How to Kill a Character

For any writers out there struggling with how to kill a character [or which character to kill] check this out!  [New poll, too.]


Go Teen Writers: How to Kill a Character: Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fan...

9/11

What was going through your head that day, twelve years ago?

I was only six.  We didn't have TV, so I didn't see any footage of the event...  The only memory I have of 9/11 was going into my Grandma's office sometime later, and seeing a picture of the American eagle with a tear dripping from its eye: a tribute to the twin towers.


I didn't understand.

I don't know if I could have.

That was one of the greatest tragedies in American history, and one we need to keep fresh in our minds out of honor for those who died, who gave their lives, and who are still living with the trauma.

Also, as some know, Benghazi happened on this same day, exactly one year ago.  Coincidence?


Horrific, tragic, and appalling.

Never forget.

Remember.


9/10/13

Seven Words

This collection of stories that I started out as a kind of challenge [or inspiration, if you'd rather] to myself.  Could I write a story in seven words?

I posted it on my Figment profile HERE.  And some of you have already read it.


It was inspired, in part I think, by Hemingway's brilliant response to a man who bet a drink that he couldn't tell a story in six words.  Hemingway reciprocated with "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."  At least, that's how the story goes.

Haunting.

I chose seven words, however, not six.  Because I'm strange.  I like seven.  And thirteen.  Those two numbers.  So strange...

[I also wrote a few thirteen-word stories, but that is a different matter, and one I will not bring up here.  Oh...I just brought it up?  Please forgive me.]

So here is the collection of stories, thirty-six of them:


1.  “Three…Two…One…Fly!”   And we flew.

2.  Heroes are always getting in the way.

3.  “Want to die then?  Follow me, lads.”

4.  “I’m no messenger.  I’m more important, see?”

5.  What makes one great?  I don’t know.

6.  Her hands were ice.  Her heart, too.

7.  Nothing sucks so much as hungry dragons.

8.  “Don’t drink that.  Want to live, right?”

9.  “You’re stupid!  An idiot would be better!”

10.  Some people just need to shut up.

11.  “You just couldn’t keep quiet, could you?”

12.  “Say goodbye now.  You will thank me.”

13.  I opened the door.  A big mistake.

14.  Nighttime creatures are vicious, cruel, and hungry.

15.  “You think you’re a hero?  Think again.”

16.  Music is hot bread for the soul.

17.  People said that he was a warrior.

18.  “Hell!  This is hell, Jamie!”  “I know…”

19.  I stopped loving her.  Plain and simple.

20.  He said keep it under me hat.

21.  “Don’t know what you’re talking about, Charlie.”

22.  I didn’t even get arrested for it!

23.  He was a fighter.  Bloody good one.

24.  Don’t let the dragons get you down.

25.  “We’re sitting in a blasted swamp, idiot!”

26.  “Bow, boy, before I force you to!”

27.  The whole platoon of men was afraid.

28.  Some people say I just never learned…

29.  They never told me about her.  Never.

30.  They released his body to me today.

31.  I hired on with the wrong crew.

32.  My father taught me many strange things.

33.  I knew how to take a thrashing.

34.  “I can lick you.”  “No you can’t.”

35.  Stars were tangled in her long hair.

36.  “I love you.”  “To the moon, mama?”


So yes...  My seven word stories, which are like an integral part of me now.  If ever I have a quick spark of inspiration I write another one down.  It is an ongoing piece of my being.


[I sound so poetic.  There is no way on earth that I will ever be a good poet.]

Mark Twain once said, "There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

That, I think, embodies what writing truly is.  Bleeding your very soul into your words in the hope that maybe someone will understand you, admire your work, and see all the pain it has cost you.

Cheers.

-R.D.

[New poll, by the way.]