How To Win Over Your True Love

valentine's day tips

Flowers? No.

Chocolates? Cliche.

A store bought card? Pack your bags.

The one thing that will “Wow” and “Wooo” your loved one on Valentine’s day– better yet, any day when an overt demonstration of affection is not expected–does not require talent, or even money. It just requires the heart.

Memories are funny things. Our brains choose to remember some things while forgetting others. I always remember my dad writing cheesy poems for my mom. I didn’t understand why back then, but do now.

Writing a poem–no matter how cheesy, corny, or un-rhyming it is–is a sure fire way to your companion’s heart. It shows them you spent your most precious capital on them–time. It takes great effort to put down how you feel on paper, and trust me, it doesn’t matter how poetic or pedestrian it may come across, the fact that you even wrote it down in the first place will pay huge dividends in your relationship for years to come.

So pull out that pen and immortalize how much they mean to you by putting it on paper.

p.s. You want to really make their heart melt? Be sure to include references to first dates, inside jokes, etc. That’s money right there.

*********************

My Valentine’s Day poem for my wife:

There’s a love that speaks deep–
Speaks deep from home,
A home with four chambers
That to some is unknown,
But not to two lovers
Whose paths crossed one day
While searching for “The One”
A few thousand miles away.

When God wants two people
To find one another
To be a husband and wife,
A father and mother,
He plants in those chambers
A seed that will grow,
That will last them through lifetimes,
Through the highs and the lows,
And as it’s roots dig in deeper,
They will ne’er go amiss,
And each morning’s greeting…

Will be true love’s first kiss.

 

Valentine's Day Poem poetry

Chocolates sweeten any poem.


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

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Why God, Why? (A poem for the heavy heart) | Writing Exercise

Why God

Writing exercise: Wax philosophical.

My friend’s nephew was mugged by four men in the Philippines. They brutally beat him in the head with a hammer. He died from his injuries a few days later. He was only 21.

Life is full of unanswered questions. Today’s writing exercise is to create dissonance and resolution. Those terms are typically used in music composition, and it’s what gives those musical moments we love so much such power.

It’s about creating tension then providing relief. But in this exercise, I wanted to take it further than writing a who-done-it then revealing who-did-it.

I love asking questions that take the mind deeper. The entertainment is the sugar, the underlying questions are the medicine.

So, get philosophical. Take a current event that seems “answerless”–whether personal, or in the news–and immerse yourself in that question (the dissonance), but then rise to the surface with a possible a way out, or a little hope (the resolution).

Good luck, and happy writing!

Why God, Why?

Why God, why? Is a question we ask often
As we look upon the innocent draped in their coffin.
When disaster strikes, why doesn’t He stop it?
If he created the world, why sit back and drop it?

When he sees us crestfallen, why doesn’t He care?
If he sees what is coming, why does He stand there
Just watching us suffer as we clean up the rubble
Of the storms in our lives that give us all trouble?

Why God, why? is the phrase we all ask
To this God who’s in hiding unwilling to unmask
His purpose behind what is making us sad.
If he’s the Great God of Good, then why is there bad?

Why are the answers always unsatisfying
Amid all the disease, all the heartbreaks, the lying?
Well, maybe that question is not our biggest problem
As we sift through life’s puzzles finding some way to solve them.

Maybe, if we stop asking in the Spirit of accusation
And instead ask “Why God?” in the form of supplication,
Then the heavens might open to this God you once knew
And answer your “Why God” as he weeps there with you.

 


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

The Shame of the Fallen | A Writing Exercise

The Journey by David Shauf

Writing exercise: One syllable prompt

For today’s writing exercise, I used a prompt that challenged me to write using only words with one syllable. Challenge accepted.

1. Poem

Step by each step they climbed.
With wings of faith they flew.
High did they fly
‘Til their face touched the sky
And found peace with those friends they once knew.

2. Story – The Shame of the Fallen

George stepped down from his place on the stand. With a twinge of regret lodged in his throat, he did not speak as they all watched him pass by.

What will he say?” they thought. “What will he do?

As he found the door at the back of the room, he paused, looked back, and with a tear in his eye and shame on his brow, he said,

“Don’t lose your faith. I will not be back. Another will take my place to keep you on track.”

Then he was gone.

The hush was thick in the air of that room, and no one saw or heard from their priest again.


Now it’s your turn. Write something using only one syllable words and post it, or a link to it, in the comments.


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

As the Storm Rages On

Storm hope

There is hope.
There is always hope.

The Night–always darkest before the Dawn.
The Day–always clearer after the Storm.
The Music–always louder at concert’s end.
Then it’s over and Quiet sets in.

There is not always Light at the end of every tunnel.
Some simply dead end.
But that doesn’t mean you stay there,
Huddle down and cry there.
Just turn around and walk back to the Light again.

We choose the way we point our feet,
T’ward destiny or despair.
And as long as we walk destiny’s path–forward–
Hope will always be there.

But in the meantime…

On what ground will you stand as the Storm rages on?
What have you built for It’s hail to fall upon?
While in the darkest of Night
Do not put down your Light,
For as you turn t’ward the east–there she is!

The Dawn.

dawn hope Continue reading

In the Grasp Of the Scythe

Poem about death

Today’s writing exercise: Writing what comes.

Reading all the news reports about the deadly terror attacks in Paris, my heart was heavy and my fingers twitchy. Twitchy to empty myself of the weight in my head and swelling in my chest. Not sure if what came out makes sense; there is no specific rhyming pattern or meter, but it was what my heart wanted to say. Continue reading

The Curse of The Redlined

Writing exercise: Rhyming 

How does a joke turn into something amazing? This is how:

My songwriting buddy, Chris, came down for a visit over the holiday. One morning, we busted out two songs in an hour and a half! He emailed me this morning asking me to send him one of the verses we had rewritten.

As good friends do, we joke with one another over email, but my joke turned into something different.

After two decades of writing songs, my mind tends to think in verse when I create. (Evidenced by the nearly 15,000 word novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, written entirely in verse. Read the first 28 pages for yourself here.)

I used to have a “purist” attitude about my writing. I believed the only resource that a writer should have at their disposal is their mind. It wasn’t until I read an interview with my favorite composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, that my eyes were opened.

He admitted to using a rhyming dictionary.

GASP!

Continue reading

It’s Okay To Look Back

Don’t look back,” they say.

Forget about the past,” they say.

But are we not–today–a collection of yesterdays?

Do we not see, in today’s mirror, the reflection of yesterday’s choices?

How can we forget when our looking glass forces us to remember?

But how dare they say “Don’t look back.” How dare they say “Forget the past.”

Those who forget the failures of the past are doomed to repeat them…

…and those who forget the victories of their past are doomed to never see them again.

If we lose the echos of our past, do we not lose the color of today? Do those reverberations not flavor the choices that dictate our unwritten futures?

Our history is our school master. We can fear it and fail, or learn and triumph. We can drown in our past, or be liberated by its teaching.

Regret is good. It proves you have a conscience. Shame is a blessing. It inspires change. But how can we change if we forget the choices that brought shame and regret?

And how can we be motivated to do good if we forget the good we’ve done?

candle lights on river

Every day is another chance to start over.

Every day is a chance for a new choice or the same choice.

Every day we can change our reflection or keep it the same.

Every day gives us a reason to celebrate as every day begins a new year, and every night is a new year’s eve.

So it’s okay to look back. It’s okay to remember…

…as long as we see who we were that it may guide us to who we’ll become.

Happy New Year.

J R Young signature


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungRead the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free by visiting Nottingswood.com. Available now in print, or pre-order the eBook for a discount on iBooks, Nook, or Kobo.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads, follow him on Facebook here, and read his interview with Smashwords here.