Today is a good Tuesday for a discussion. It’s cold out, I’m at work on spring break…just a perfect day. Wait…that’s not perfect at all! Then again, nothing can really put a damper on my mood today, because today we (I?) are celebrating one year of blogging! Technically, cassadyblog turns one year old on this coming Thursday, March twenty-third, but as discussions are on Tuesdays, it seemed most appropriate to put this “year in review” segment today.
As you may or may not have noticed, I started out writing this blog pretty exclusively as a discussion of my ideas. I’ve talked a decent amount on just about everything—politics, gender, race, global warming…the list goes on. But then things took an interesting turn as I started trying some creative writing here and there. I realized I adored it—specifically, I really liked poetry. It called to me. The rhythm was like a siren calling out to a sailor—beautiful and irresistible.
Likewise, writing short snippets of stories is something I took up after a few attempts at it. I realized that writing short stories was something that let me focus on really getting into the nitty-gritty detail of things—which is something that sonnets and such often are forced to leave a bit more broad. I mean, how does one fit the details of scenery, complexities of dialogue, and development of character into one-hundred forty syllables? It’s pretty hard—I mean, isn’t that why Shakespeare wrote plays too?
Anyways, I wanted to do a couple things with this post. First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for reading. I had a friend recently check out what I had written, and she was kind enough to tell me how much she liked it. I don’t write for people—I do it because I enjoy it. That being said, I can’t pretend like there haven’t been days where I wanted to bail entirely. There are always doubts, misgivings, and fears about a project, but the happiness, the smiles, and the support are all things that have kept me going when I’ve felt like quitting. So thank you.
The second thing I wanted to do with this post was provide a list of my top 5 pieces of work for the past year. I know, based on WordPress statistics, what everyone likes most of my work, but none of you know the works that I have liked the most. With that in mind, here is a list (with links) to my top 5 favorite works from this past year of writing (and of course, I ranked them because who doesn’t love ranking things?):
#5 – Views from the Coop
This is one of a few haikus I wrote, and has been followed by several after it that I’ve enjoyed very much. But somehow, relating chickens to people is something that I have found an everlasting appreciation for, ever since I wrote it.
#4 – Stand Up Citizen
This was the poem that actually sparked my desire to continue writing poetry. It was the third original poem I posted on my blog, but the first born from personal experience and real, current emotions. I can still see myself, on the rooftops of L.A., sitting and waiting in disbelief and anger. In retrospect it’s a little…well, it could be better, and, like my emotions at the time, it’s a little rough around the edges, but I like it just the same.
Similar to Stand Up Citizen, this was one of the first short stories I wrote. After a thought experiment of smiling at everyone I saw, I recognized that the people that smiled back were often people I would never see again, and that moment between us was so meaningful, yet completely intangible. It has been a memorable experience for me in my writing, despite how short it was.
#2 – A Stroke of Red Ink
I have a soft spot for haikus alright?! Though this is a poem made up of several. I think A Stroke of Red Ink is probably the most interesting poem I have written so far. It has aspects of cultural differences with both the language difference in some actual French words, and the abuse of the black girl (and the character’s inability to help her). It has powerful imagery with the lake of red ink swallowing the dreamer, and it has allusions to other aspects of literature—all of which is juxtaposed with a certain irony.
#1 – Camouflage
Do you ever unintentionally make a rhyme, and it sticks with you for…like months? That’s what the last two lines of this poem have been for me. I’ll be standing in the shower, or walking through the halls, and BOOM “why is it that you / Hide behind that suit of red, white, and blue?” hits me like a bullet. I wrote it in December, after the results of the election had finally sunk in, and the hypocrisies of various nationalistic characters began to show their ugly faces. The “I Want You” poster kept popping into my mind, and I decided to write a poem applying that image to our current political climate.
Where would I be without a myriad of honorable mentions? Many of these I think about regularly—things I could have done better, turning points in my life, and so on. I encourage you to check them all out, though if you have read this far, I’m sure there is no need for me to tell you that.
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