Friday, June 19, 2015

Awful Alvin

I wrote a long-ish poem for children, AWFUL ALVIN, a few years ago, with thoughts of using it as the text for a picture book. In fact, the poem was developed from a home-made picture book I drew up to amuse my nephews when they were little (a very long time ago). Although I created a folder full of sketches for the idea, I could never quite get the project to come together for me.

And that is because the poem is not really suitable for a picture book for little ones. It is too sophisticated, too complex. That is true of much of the poetry I have written aimed at a younger audience. This does not mean that children would not enjoy the work, just that my presentation concept was wrong.

So, I am now working on an anthology to be named (probably) AWFUL ALVIN AND OTHER PECULIAR POEMS. It is not a picture book but it is pretty profusely illustrated, with pen and ink drawings. This means black and white illustrations, not color; if nothing else, I save a lot on the printing costs.

The pictures will be relatively small, as well. No full page spreads as in a picture book. Speaking of which, I do have a couple pieces I still think suitable for presenting in that form somewhere down the line. Future projects!

But I jumped right into this project after finishing COAST OF SPEARS and getting it into print. Oh, I dawdled a couple weeks, worked a little on some other ideas, but then I began to obsessively (manically?) create my illustrations. Twenty-eight drawings in five days.

Right now, I am designing and assembling the book. Expect it out sooner rather than later. Perhaps August First would be a good official release date. As I mentioned, some of the poems are a bit sophisticated, complex both in language and structure (and sometimes in ideas). Kids need that, don't they? Everything can't be made simple.

I just hope the adults who might be called upon to read them to their little ones are up to the task.

Here's a mock-up of a possible cover. That is the one facet of a book project that remains open up to the very last moment, so don't be surprised to see changes. But do expect to see ALVIN offered by Arachis Press very soon!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Waiting, a poem


Today's flavor is as bland
as what was served yesterday.

The crowd oohs and aahs over the change,
opening their empty wallets.

Would there be any point
in waiting for tomorrow?

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Another piece that is sort of in the shape of a sijo.

The Woman Who Made Me a Poet ~ a poem

The Woman Who Made Me a Poet

Unaware, the woman
who made me a poet
goes about her days

in a house full of dogs.
Different dogs, now,
than those that crowded us

on the couch and I
do not know their names.
Not that it matters. I have

words now, sleeping at
my side, fetching memories
I toss upon the green

lawns of years ago.
And the woman who made
me a poet does not

know these games; she does
not know these words that found
their way to my door,

tails wagging, begging to be
taken in. She does
not know they speak of her.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Although I have not been in 'poet mode' recently, the phrase that became the title to this piece came to me this morning and I had to write this. An all-at-once poem, not one crafted over a period of time, and therefor rather simple in structure (roughly accentual) and concept.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Coast of Spears Video

I put together a simple 'slide-show' style video trailer for the new COAST OF SPEARS novel. The novel, a 'fantasy adventure,' is available now in print and ebook at Arachis Press, rolling out elsewhere over the next couple months (which is why the 'official' release date is July 1 -- I should have a release party then, shouldn't I?).

The music here is a shortened version of some backing tracks I put together for one of my songs, 'Tribal Music,' that I shall probably get around to finishing someday. The conga is, of course, a loop.