Sunday, August 28, 2016

Coming Soon! A New Haiku Collection With Art By Lorelei Seetan

Lorelei Seetan is a teacher, artist, and designer, I met in virtual worlds.  I first saw her photographs displayed in a small online gallery on her virtual land.  I loved it and later proposed that we team up to create a book to be published in virtual worlds as well as the solid one in which we all live and breathe.  Lorelei agreed and we spent much of the summer collaborating.  Here are two haiku and the work of art with inspired them.  Look for the book early this Fall from Babble Publishing.  

Art b y Lorelei Seetan; Poetry by Stephanie Mesler
Both are (c) 2016 to Lorelei Seetan and Stephanie Mesler

Waiting For You

shimmering water
stirred by the warm breeze touching
my cheek before you

Waiting For You (Redux)

secluded table,
red roses, bleached linen and
breathless hot yearning


Sunday, July 3, 2016

FREE Tango Poetry for Subscribers!

This is your chance to receive three new poems inspired by the tango paintings of Fernando Botero.  I have long been a fan of the Colombian artist's paintings and sculpture.  Recently I was inspired to poesize three of his tango paintings. I am pleased with these poems and would love to share them with my readers. All you need to do to be one of those lucky readers is subscribe to my email list.  
If you are already subscribed to StephanieMeslerWrites@gmail.com, you'll get these poems automatically.  Otherwise, you will need to send email to StephanieMeslerWrites@gmail.com and put "subscribe" in the header.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Spring Break: Very Short Fiction by Stephanie Mesler

Spring Break

By Stephanie Mesler (aka Freda Frostbite)

Created At A Fiction To Go Workshop,6/14/2016





He'd just fucking walked across the water and all those sons of bitches could think of was asking him to do it again.  C'mon Jess, one more time!  If you did it once, you can do it again!  Mikey missed the whole thing-- he was out gettin' beer for all your new pals.  Do it again so he can see!

Jess couldn't even bring himself to look at his friends.  What a bunch of colossal assholes they were.  The smartest of 'em was too dumb to come in outa the rain.  Had they any idea how exhausted he was from being their personal circus act?  First it was, Hey, jess, can you brew up some more fire water in that still of yours?  Then it was, Yo, Jessie man, what're we gonna eat tonight?  and where can we find some women, man?  Can ya conjure us up some of those pros we saw downtown? While you're at it, make 'em hot enough they won't care what we smell like.

I don't smell, shouted one of 'em to the others.  

Yeah, ya do, said another.  
Then they started tossin’ each other into the water while Jess stood back and watched.  

Fools, he thought to himself wishing he'd never agreed to spend spring break with this crew of idiots from Kappa Delta Dipshit.

He'd gotten into a boat to get away from their constant blathering, but they'd all followed him aboard and he'd ended up trapped in a 12-foot skiff with 13 of the stinkinest asswhipes to ever come outa any woman's womb.  Jesus Christ, couldn't they let him have 10 minutes to himself?  Ten minutes when he dudn't have to listen to all their damned yammering.  He'd gotten so fed up he stepped off the deck of the boat and suited up with the water jet.  Jess had never used one before but he'd seen it done.  He cranked that sucker up and headed... well, truthfully, he hadn't known where he was headed.  He just wanted outa the boat and away from those jabbering jackasses.  It took every bit of strength and energy he could muster to stay aloft, above a stream of water aimed pretty much up his ass.  Somehow he'd managed to keep atop the thing and not drown himself in the Banana River.  He'd ridden that spout of water toward shore where he jumped off and collapsed in an exhausted heap in the sand.  

He enjoyed a few minutes of quiet -- he'd hoped for more -- before his "friends" managed to stop rowing against each other and floated ashore right next to him.  Jess didn't even look up as they whooped and hollered about his daring feat of balance in motion.  He laid down at the edge of the water and started to cover himself with wet sand.  He didn't plan to bury himself alive but he'd take whatever quiet he could get.  He closed his eyes and waited for the tide to come in.  

Spring Break is © 2016 Stephanie Mesler

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pollyanna Shitcakes: A New Rant by Stephanie Mesler


Pollyanna Shitcakes is written in the aftermath of the shootings at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and during the crapstorm that is this cycle's presidential primary season.  A friend lamented to me about people telling her to "keep a positive attitude" in the face of terrifying and infuriating national events that threaten to affect her own family.  Feeling some rage of my own, directed not so much at current events and their perpetrators, but at those who believe it is their right to decide how we should each face our own worst nightmares.  I reached deep down inside myself and got in touch with my own inner demons.  I kissed my own rage square on the lips and Pollyanna Shitcakes was born.  

I share with you a link to a sound recording of the rant.  It is a lousy recording and I apologize for that, but, where rants are concerned, any recording is better than none. I will also warn you that this poem is NOT for those of tender ears and tender sensibilities.  If rage does not reverberate well with you, don't listen and don't read the poem below.  

SERIOUSLY -- 
If you read on after this warning, I don't want to receive any whiny notes about trigger warnings or my bad attitude.  
You have been warned.

Pollyanna Shitcakes

by Stephanie Mesler

So you don’t like my attitude, eh?  
You say depression wastes energy and anger is a useless emotion. 
You say I should smile more,
be grateful for more,
count my blessings more.
You look me in the eye and spout new age drivel about the law of attraction.  
You hear fairies singing the song of your people;
I hear horse shit come to life, 
a blame game you don’t even know you’re playing.  
I hear you say God has a plan or The Universe never gives us more than we can handle 
and I wanna kick your creepy, smiling face and bury you in molten piles of pollyanna shitcakes.  
You and your positive attitude 
make. 
me. 
sick.  
When has a positive outlook ever gotten one damned thing accomplished?  
You can sit around and throw positive energy at the world -
hell, you can drop humongous good vibe buggers across the globe - 
and not one damned thing will change.  
It takes some rage, 
some hot, frightening fury to 
get. 
shit. 
done.  

Tarpeia,
Jesus, 
Joan of Arc, 
Crazy Horse, 
John Brown, 
Osceola, 
Jandamarra, 
Táhirih, 
Harriet Tubman, 
Julia Ward Howe, 
James Rapier, 
Susan B. Anthony,  
Louise Weiss, 
Sandino, 
David Knout and Abraham Polonski, 
Schindler, 
Ghandi, 
Rosa Parks, 
Cesar Chavez, 
Martin Luther King Jr., 
Malcolm X,
Tommie Smith and John Carlos,  
Abbie Hoffman, 
Pete Seeger, 
Chris Williamson, 
Joan Baez, 
Nelson Mandela, 
Cliff Arneson, 
Brenda Howard, 
Betty Friedan, 
Lek Wolinska, 
George Carlin,
Barbara Jordan,
Tank Man, 
Barney Frank, 
Bernie Sanders, 
Craig Watkins, 
Cynthia McKinney, 
Farhana Khera --
They were all angry.  

Not just angry, they were fed up to their eyeballs with platitudes.  
Every one of them said, fuck this shit, and got to work.  
They wrote their stories and told their tales; 
they sang songs and beat drums;
they led marches and stopped trains and faced down armies; 
they won elections and rewrote laws;  
they pissed off presidents and kings and faced hordes who hated them for demanding change.  
It was not their sunny dispositions that kept them going when the going got tough.  
It wasn’t faith in Human Nature 
or God 
or The Tooth Fairy 
that kept them fighting for what was right.  
It was ferocious wrath that held them up day in and day out when the fuckers tried to keep them down.  
So don’t tell me to change my outlook.  
You can kiss my ass.  
Go ahead and sit over there with the throng of cheerful Koolaid addicts;
I’m going to stomp my feet and raise my fists;
I’m going to shout until the walls reverberate with my fury.
I will goddam, for sure, be heard and, in the shouting, I will 
change. 
the. 
world.

Friday, June 10, 2016

It's Out and It's FREE For Theater Companies...

I am very pleased to announce that my play, Mothers' Days, is now available from Babble Publishing and can be found on Amazon and other booksellers online.  The play is a comedy in two acts.  Each scene is a stand-alone one-act that could be performed on its own.  Cast and set requirements are very minimal, so Mothers' Days will be an accessible production for all theater companies, no matter their size or budget.  Performance rights are available by contacting the drama desk at Babble Publishing.  

Mothers' Days is also available FREE for review by theater companies, local professional, and educational.  Send email to the drama desk at Babble Publishing.


Friday, June 3, 2016

SOON: Look What's Coming Soon From Stephanie Mesler


This is almost unreadable because it is a snip of the digital galley CreateSpace sent me to approve (or not) early this morning.  Should have this play on the market and available for purchase in a couple of weeks.  More info will follow.  For now, just do a happy dance for me, please.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Subscribe To Read Stephanie Mesler's Latest Story, The Light

The Light is about endings and beginnings.  I wrote it in a Fiction In A Flash workshop while dressed as my avatar, Freda Frostbite, on The Great Canadian Grid.  The story, which was written in fewer than 45 minutes, is one of my favorite recent pieces.  If you would like to read it, SUBSCRIBE.  Send email to StephanieMeslerWrites@gmail.com; put "subscribe" in the header; I'll send you the story.  It's that easy to get free fiction.  So what are you waiting for, eh?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Writer's Diary: It's Been A Long Month This Week

StephanieMeslerWrites Profile PhotoThere have been some unexpected developments with Ermengarde and her new novel. These developments arose as a result of recent beta-readings of the work-in-progress (WIP) and of actually tracking my word count. As it turns out, the story I thought would grow up to be a 100,000 word fantasy novel is really the first two and a half books in a fantasy series. While I thought I have been writing pieces and parts (that's how I work, in pieces and parts), it looks like what I have actually written thus far is about 30,000 words in the first book of a series, 45,000 in the second book, and a smattering for a third. I have always envisioned Ermengarde having her own series, but, well, it may be a much more complex and detailed series than I counted on.

This development hasn't sent me clear back to the drawing board, but I have spent most of the last week reassigning pieces and parts to the novels of which they will actually be part. I have also re-outlined the first novel, now that I know it will conclude considerably sooner in our heroine's life than I expected. One result of all this re-organization is, I think, a much more compelling and readable, story. Another result may be that the book may not be released before year's end. And the change that may leave you scratching your heads: The book is now titled, Ermengarde The Expansive and The Rhinolope Rebellion. Tomorrow, Sunday being the start of my work week, I will be back to actual writing, this time with a much clearer notion of where I am headed. My goal is to complete the first draft by mid-June when I will be forced to set Ermengarde aside for two months, so that I can focus on a top-secret project being written by my alter-ego, Freda Frostbite. What can I say? Freda makes a better living than I do, so her projects come first.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the floorplan of the castle in which Ermengarde grew up. It is called The Monarch's Seat and is located in The Great City, capital city of Obifobus, Ermengarde's realm. The floor plan is not yet complete. I add to it as I write about specific places in the castle. I'll post updates here as the castle changes and grows.

The Monarch's Seat: You may need to enlarge using the slide bar at top right of the image. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Poof: A New Poem by Stephanie Mesler

Poof

By Stephanie Mesler

A wise woman once said, fuck it all
and slammed a door behind her.
Then, she passed through another
and another
and said fuck all this, too,
stepped out onto a wide blooming plain,
kicked off her shoes and walked away.
Grass stained her soles and wind mussed her hair.
Sun beat down on her back and sweat washed her brow.
She stripped off clothing, one garment at a time,
starting with the silk chemise,
ending with panties that defied her natural curves.
She did this at her leisure, keenly aware that no one saw;
that no one cared.
Standing knee deep in daisies,
she fluttered on light feet, buzzing in circles, arms outstretched,
breasts alive at the caress of the breeze.
She danced spirals across a meadow to the foot of a hill
and saw the sun rose higher above it so she followed.
She climbed the slope taking long strides,
away from the meadow and the doors which no longer trapped her;
She strode toward the sun,
found it waiting just over the hill’s crest.
In its noon, she raised her palms and reached for heat.
It came in waves and lifted her up
and up
and up
Until she was looking back down at what she had abandoned.
One last time she said fuck it all and then she was gone.

Poof is copyright © 2016 Stephanie Mesler

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Writer's Diary: Getting Ermengarde and Company to Stay True

Ermengarde CoverLet me start by thanking all of you for your comments regarding earlier posts. If you are one who has contacted me about getting the ebook, Ermengarde The Expansive, free, here's how: Just send an email to StephanieMeslerWrites@gmail.com and put "subscribe" in the header. That will get you signed up for StephanieMeslerWrites, which will guarantee you get first dibs on special offers and the inside scoop on my writing and publication news. Recently, a handful of subscribers got to name dragon whelps that will appear in my next novel. Previously, subscribers have received copies of new poems and free books.  They've also had several opportunities to help create plot and character points.  Before too long, I'll turn to this group of subscribers to find beta readers for the next book.

Speaking of Ermengarde, I am hard at work on the next book, this one a full-length novel, Ermengarde The Expansive and The Year of Long Light. In this new book, Ermengarde will become a wife, a queen, and a mother. She'll cavort with dragons and rhinolope. She will travel across The Twelve Realms to save her realm, Obifobus, from the calamity of an extended effulgence, a long light. I am enjoying writing this story though I have to admit I was writing in circles for a few weeks while I tried to get a firmer handle on specific plot points and character development. Now, I am satisfied with the story structure as planned in a finally completed outline (which we all know will be changed a dozen times or more as I write the tale), and I am happy to report I've finally ironed out some bumps in character development which have plagued this project for several months. Finally, my characters have returned to being their true selves and this writer finds them believable as well as compelling.

I hope you will take a moment to subscribe to Stephanie Mesler Writes. Send an email to StephanieMeslerWrites@gmail.com and put "subscribe" in the header.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

In God's Own Image: A New Poem By Stephanie Mesler

In God's Own Image

By Stephanie Mesler


Sometimes I watch him sleeping
beside me in a bed from which he
has taken all the covers.
I steal them back when he wakes up to pee.
Listening through the bathroom door
to the bursting dam,
I silently cry to his male god, WHY?
Why did You make man
in the image of one who
forgets to put the seat down?
Sure, it made sense to put the
peeing parts on the outside
for easy access and proper hygiene,
not to mention the ease with which a man
can be rendered unable to procreate,
his penis being right out there in front
where the doctor can snip (or burn)
without even administering a general.
So maybe the real question is why did You not
make woman in Your image too?
Why gift us with gentle beauty
(some of us anyway)
and playful wit (some of us anyway)
and the dubious gift for making more humans
just like the ones You made in the garden --
and cursed --
all great gifts, don’t get me wrong.
But, seriously, why give us all that great stuff
only to saddle us down with peeing parts
that make us inconvenient companions for road trips?
No practical man wants to take us to the Astrodome,
not that we want to go there (damn few of us, anyway).
And, then on top of the peeing, there’s the bleeding.
Tell me, God, what were You thinking
the day you came up with woman’s reproductive parts?
It’s not so much that babies --
and blood --
and pee --
all come from pretty much the same general region;
it’s that the important parts are all on the inside,
hidden by something that looks like a hairy, puffy taco
(unless we shave, and I sincerely wish we wouldn’t, but that is another poem).
What made You think of Woman and decide
let’s make this baby-making business as inconvenient as possible?
Let’s make it so she’ll spend decades of her absurdly short life span pregnant --
or nursing--
or both.
And let’s make it painful,
really painful.
Let’s make her give birth by passing a 10-pound bowling ball through her vagina.
She’ll pay for being born female every time she gives birth.
But she will pay more for not giving birth;
Let’s make that painful too.
Cramps, and headaches, cravings and bloating.
Make sure she suffers from all of those when she is not pregnant.
Make her suffer.
And let’s make it messy.
No, not just messy,
let’s make it truly disgusting NOT to be pregnant --
or nursing --
or both.
And then, just to drive the point home, let’s give her monthly mood swings.
Yes, mood swings!
Just the thing to make her trade in monthly agony for a lifetime commitment to
children.
And let’s make her really LOVE children,
no matter what sort of little bastards they are.
And not just her own children,
Make her gaga faced over every baby she meets,
so she’ll actually want to make babies of her own.
Yeah, God, why’d You decide to pick on Eve?
She who had enough sense to eat when she was hungry,
enough brainpower to know that the only good gate is an open gate --
She should be venerated and credited with the salvation of her species.
Why’d You want her to suffer for her wisdom?
What kind of misogynistic shit is that, God? Huh?
Was it Adam? Did that mealy-mouthed little coward come whining to You
when Eve was more interested in serpentine smarts than his genital-less self.
Did You do what men always do, take his side?
Was it bros befo hos, God? Was it dicks befo chicks?
I lie in bed listening to the man I love.
I hear him fart so loud it wakes the dog, sleeping at my feet.
I pray he won’t open the door, not until the vapors dissipate.
But he doesn’t smell his own wind and he’s not really awake,
so he opens the door and stumbles back to bed,
and I throw the blanket over my face,
and the dog’s, a gas mask.
And then my lover snores.
The dog and I give it up.
The day begins with the sudden realization that it was not Eve that gave You pause.
It was Adam; he came first.
You looked at him and knew You had to build a better human.

In God's Own Image is © 2016 Stephanie Mesler

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Drip: A New Poem By Stephanie Mesler

Building a new website is hard work and it will take a while to get this one up to the standard to which I built my others.  This is partly due to me not being a technophile.  I really have a steep learning curve with regard to setting up www.StephanieMeslerWrites.com and turning it into a useful vehicle for my written works.  I hope you all will tell me when there are things I could improve here (and when there are things I am doing well).

My intent is to use StephanieMeslerWrites as a place for showcasing, exploring, and sharing my work.  I also hope it comes to be a venue for getting closer to my readers.  If you enjoy and benefit from what you find here, please tell others.  Forging new friendships is the surest way for an indie author, such as myself, to build her audience.  In gratitude for your continued support and friendship, I'd like to share a recent poem with you.  I have to admit it's not the prettiest ditty I've ever written.  It is, in fact, sort of yucky.  Frankly, I've had a nasty bug for a couple of weeks and the poem reflects the yuckiness of recent reality mixed with a fair amount of character-driven fiction.


Drip

By Stephanie Mesler


Tissues litter the floor at my side of the bed;
I stay there, careful not to spread my girth into my lover’s territory,
even though he sleeps on the couch to avoid
the plague..drip, drip, dripping…
oozing out of me, like so much bay bottom slime.
Green tells me it's contagious.
The hack tells everyone I pass on the sidewalk
plodding my miserable way from home to fluorescent office in a dingy city
on the eleventh floor of a drab edifice filled with worker ants and drones.
I look down on asphalt dotted with moving specks of color.
Umbrellas protect hair from rain;
Shoes are destroyed by rivulets of grey that drip, drip, drip
forming oceans too wide to be avoided.
Rain forms in clouds above, pure in the heights,
passes through smog.
Gruel splatters onto the world and runs grungy downriver and out to sea.
The clock ticks, never striking the hour,
eternally on its way to the end of day…
or days.. whichever comes first,
neither coming fast enough,
And now there are tissues filling the basket beneath my desk.
My cube mate has moved to the lobby, determined not to be stricken by
disease that drip, drip, drips from me like filthy oil from an untended motor.
She wishes I’d stayed home but knows it was not possible,
knows she will also come to work when it is her turn to drip.
No one intentionally wastes a sick day on being sick.
We horde them for yellow days when the streets are clean and the river runs clear.
Five o’clock aboard the train, tissues in the pockets of my shabbiest raincoat,
I smell of menthol and medicine. I sweat,
malady drip, drip, dripping from my ashen face.
Kick wet shoes against the wall and wrap myself in terry cloth.
He will make supper which I will eat at a distance to protect him from contagion.
I will wash my own dishes and place them where he will know they are condemned.
In bed, I will watch grim dramas, paying no attention, so that they elide into non-memory.
The pile of tissues will grow as I drip, drip, drip to sleep.

Drip is copyright © 2016 Stephanie Mesler.