Chapbook-Fruit of the Dead Inspiration and Extract

Hello everyone! Guess what news I have for you today? My first chapbook is here! This is my first published book!

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All the Gods have a plan for the young Goddess Persephone and her love life; however, she only wishes to pick flowers.

About the chapbook:

A chapbook is a small paper book filled with less then 40 poems that maintain the same theme. My chapbook is the story of Persephone and Hades, and how everyone has a plan for Persephone’s love life when all she cares for is to pick flowers. This is a coming of age story of Persephone from maiden to Queen. I did change some of the story to put more of a feminist edge to the tale; however, I still maintain important details.

There is many different elements that went into the writing of this chapbook. I have always wanted to write an Epic because of my love for Greek mythology and the Iliad and Odyssey. My Sophomore year of college at Mt. Sac I took a mythology class with the now head of the English department Professor Whalen. She introduced me to the story of Persephone, and when first encountering this story I felt that it was a tragedy.

Professor Whalen assigned extra credit which was a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu. I was so excited to finally visit a museum with something I was interested in. I was someone who found museums boring.

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My dad took a trip out with me, and there was a bust of Persephone’s head and to my surprise she was smiling. I also heard a retelling of Persephone’s attempt to escape the underworld. I asked Professor Whalen about this and she said that Persephone was able to obtain her own Kingdom and it was not necessarily a tragedy, and she was interested in the different interpretation of her escape.

In the Getty Villa garden is a pomegranate tree that is there for the story of the Persephone. The Pomegranate plays a pivotal role in her journey. The pomegranate fruit ,like the moon, is interpreted as an feminine symbol due to cutting open one the  inside is similar to an ovary.

What finally forced me to sit down and write Persephone’s story was a workshop at the DA gallery where artist and writers work together to inspire each other’s work. My partner and I chose Persephone’s and Hades’ story. Two years later my friend Thomas R. Thomas inquiring people about publishing a chapbook at this years Writers Day Weekend, and I presented him the story I wrote for the workshop.

This story might not be as long as a typical epic; however, I still would like people to think of it as short Epic because it is a journey of a girl becoming a woman.

The interesting thing about this story is how it was produced in three different stages of my life. Written when I was in an emotionally crazy relationship, sent to the publisher when I was single, and is now available when I am in a new relationship.

 

 

Here is a short extract from the chapbook:

Prologue

New flowers are born

When Spring time blooms.

Birds will sing

Mocking people who try to sleep.

The air smells of pollen making

Some happy, and some sneeze.

 

Summer arrives, and

Days grow long and hot.

Maidens, shed their clothes like molting feathers.

Boys’ eyes wander to parts of

Girls’ bodies they have never seen

Before. The youths come together,

And make quick decisions that affect the

Rest of their lives.

 

Autumn comes around, and

The leaves change colors,

Falling to the ground as

The sun sets sooner.

People must forget about the euphoria

Of summer and harvest their food,

Since the season of death will

Arrive soon.

 

The arms of trees become bare,

And anything reminding one of

Warmth withers away with the plants

In winter.

People are forced to have holiday cheer,

And required to see family

They had reasons to not speak to that year.

 

The story of why the seasons change

Is one that concerns a kidnapped maiden,

A Goddess believing she is fairer

Than the rest, and a custody battle full

Of incest.

 

Lord of the Dead

Hades—

 

Silly mortals die

When the fates cut

Their fragile threads.

 

Down into the earth they plunge

Across the river Styx.

They enter my kingdom

Floating before my throne.

The beings are only

Shades of the mortal that

Once was.

So hollow and boring

There is no need to talk.

 

I roll my eyes, and wave

Them along to which section

Of the underworld they belong.

 

Gardens for the dead are

As boring as those who live in them.

Only the garden of eternal suffering

Can hold any interest.

However, watching

Mortals’ souls suffer,

Is boring and the screams

Will give even me, the earth shaker,

A headache.

 

Alone in the dark,

I sit here bored, stroking

Cerberus’s three heads.

 

With no wars,

Being Lord of the Dead is

Tedious. The days of battle

Were quite pleasurable.

I snuck up on warriors, and

Gave them a quick death. Now my

Invisible helmet sits on a mantle

Rusting.

 

My brother has to claim

“This will be a time of peace.”

I should have stayed a prisoner

In my father’s stomach. There

I had the company of

My sisters, while darkness

Surrounded us.

 

Zeus rescued my sisters and me.

After we won the Titan’s war he granted

The underground kingdom as a gift to me,

To rule the dead.

 

Who can be king when no

Conflicts arises between one’s subjects?

The dead do not fight, steal, nor even talk.

They just float here and moan like chirping

Birds, an annoying noise that forces

Me to believe my mighty brother

Only placed me down here so

He is not concerned

With the annoying dead.

 

A volcano rumbles, and Cerberus

Whines. The volcano’s eruption

Causes cracks of daylight to

Glare in my kingdom.

 

Fixing those holes will

Give me something to do.

I wonder how much the

Surface has altered

Since that war has ended.

 

A war that concerned a

Single beautiful woman.

What a silly mortal that once prince

Is. Why would he grow so

Obsessed with his love for one woman?

 

Up to the blinding surface I go,

Thinking:

Being Lord of the dead

Is boring, with no battles

And bloodshed.

 

 

 

Want a copy?

The cost is only $5.00 when contacting me

or $7.00 when contacting:

http://www.arroyosecopress.org

or

https://www.facebook.com/arroyosecopress/?pnref=story

 

Acknowledgements:

I would like to thank my parents for always encouraging me to write. My mom for teaching me how important imagination is, and my dad for always reminding me when he has not seen me write for a while. My best friend, Elisa, who always told me I would have a book published some day. Thomas R. Thomas and Arroyo Seco Press for actually making my dreams come true. Professor Whalen for introducing me to the story of Persephone and being a kindred spirit with me when it comes to mythology. To Carly for starting this project with me. To my two mentors: John Brantingham who always encourages his students to write, and Carole Avila who always fed me at school and edits for me. Finally, to my boyfriend, Nick, our love might just be starting but you are always my biggest inspiration in life.

-Francesca

 

 

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Wickey Weekly Writing Prompt: Ode to Halloween

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Hello everyone! I know I said that I would be posting these prompts on Wednesdays. Well, I had a midterm to write, and no time to write a poem. Sorry about that.

This weeks prompt is an Ode to Halloween.  

What is an Ode? An ode is a lyrical poem that celebrates a person, place, thing or a concept/idea. Many odes are written in four lines; however, there is no stanza or line limit. Many Ode’s are written to celebrate love.

Odes were commonly used by the English romantic movement. However, I want people to remember that a Romantic writer does not necessarily translate into romance. They love to celebrate nature and innocents.

So today we will be writing irregular odes so no one has to worry about rhyming, but still try to keep it lyrical.

Today we celebrate Halloween!

 

Ode to Halloween

The witches at east end,

The zombies roaming the streets,

The demons the sneak in corners,

While the Black cats wake up from their sleep,

Today I am gory, cute, scary, or green.

Today we celebrate the sprites that come to sing.

Today I am not her but rather the true me.

While, life bustles under the full moon gleam.

Today I am singing

That the candy is free.     

1st Weekly Writing Prompt- Five Senses and Food

 

Hello everyone! My current blog post is taking a while to write; therefore, I decided that excellent way to have weekly posts is to organize weekly writing prompts for not only myself to write but for everyone to join in. These post will probably not be posted on Saturdays but instead on Wednesdays. I am posting this one today because I am attending an open mic tonight, and thought maybe some people might want to write down a quick poem before they attend tonight.

Today’s prompt is write a Poem or Flash Fiction about your favorite food using the five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, and hear. Using the five senses is a perfect way to help practice the creative writing rule “show not tell” for those who feel they do not have enough practice with discerption. The only rule is avoid using “ly” words and use the sense to help describe your favorite food.

Please write your poems in the comments. Please use constructive criticism if you want to critique someone’s writing.

Here is my poem.

 

“French Fries”

 

The smell of salt tickles the hairs in my nose,

They sizzle with bubbles that pop on their golden skin

As the waitress sets them on the table. The long tiny

Rectangles make my lips dampen.

As I pick up one of these golden beauties, the grease

Almost makes it slip out of my fingers. The salt crystals

Remain on my fingertips as I bring it to my mouth,

Feeling the warmth on my lips. The little bumps on my tongue

Sing as I chew on the:

Salt, starch, saturated fat, grease, and gluten

Of the once proud plant buried under the earth.

My legs clench together, and a moan

Escapes my lips.

 

I open my eyes to see my boyfriend’s eyebrow

Is raised at the sound he

Knows all too well that escaped my mouth.

“We are in public.” He says to me.

“Doesn’t stop you scratching yourself in public,”

And I reach for another fire.

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Please post your poems.

Thoughts on Pokémon Sun and Moon Demo

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With Pokémon’s newest generation of games coming out in one month, today people received a tease of the game with the new demo release. Here is what I liked and disliked about the demo.

*spoilers ahead if you have not played the demo yet*

 

What I enjoyed:

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  1. The Alola region is beautiful!

They put so much work into the design of this region, and it looks more like a tropical paradise then Hoenn. This makes sense because Alola is based on Hawaii;  however, Hoenn is my favorite region, and I know a lot of people complain that there is too much water, but I always loved Hoenn’s beach front views and tropical oceans, and now we will have more of this in the new generation of games.

The characters are also no longer tiny versions of themselves when they walk in the world. That was one of my biggest issues with generation VI. We finally received a three dimensional world, but our characters were still in a somewhat chibi form unless it was a certain cut scene or we were battling.

  1. Your mom seems a little too happy.

I know this seems like this might be a bad thing, but considering how unhappy your parents’ marriage was in Alpha Saphire and Omega Ruby, and how miserable your mom was because she wanted to spend time with her husband and her child was away on an adventure, it is nice to see how happy and easy going your mom is in this game. Maybe it is because Professor Kukui never has his shirt on. These professors seem to only become more attractive with every generation.

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  1. You can now view stat changes during a battle.

We know how Pokémon battle mechanics work in the games. Your opponents Pokémon uses a move that affects your stats like Growl or Tail Whip, and sometimes you just forget which one is lowered until you attack and your speed is slower . Well no fear! The demo lets you click on a Pokémon and see what stats were lowered or were raised. Also, so far from what I have seen the battle system has not changed too much aside from Z moves; however, this is only the demo.

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  1. Pikachu on your hat

This is a short one, but there is a brief scene where Professor Kukui’s Pikachu is on your hat. It is just adorable.

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  1. The Rock Dog

Go ahead say that Pokémon is running out of ideas and this just looks like a regular dog, but this rock dog is an adorable puppy. He is perfect for your humid adventure in Alola. Finally we get a puppy Pokémon with flappy ears. I think the reason why I like him so much is he looks like my very first dog, Happy.

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  1. Camera Feature

This is a nice homage to one of Pokémon’s popular 64 games Pokémon Snap, and it looks like a Rotom has possessed your camera. Though so far it seems like you cannot zoom, this is still a fun feature to add. We will see how they develop it in the full game.

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  1. No more HMs?

Looks like this time around you will be riding Pokémon who help you overcome obstacles instead of wasting move slots! That is awesome and what us fans have been asking for! We might not get your Pokémon partner following you around such as in Yellow or Heart Gold and Soul Silver, but I will accept no more HMs for not having a Pokémon follow me around.

 

Now here is a list of things I did not like:

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  1. You can only play as a Boy

No matter your gender in the demo you can only play as Sun, this generation’s male character. I understand this is an homage to generation I. In the first generation you could only play as the male character, Red. However, even as a child this bothered me because I believed only boys could become Pokémon masters. Now I know this is not true, but I wish I could have played as a girl in the demo and completely integrated myself into the Pokémon world as Moon.

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  1. Yungoos

I know every generation has to have their signature small mammal Pokémon, but come on Yungoos is just ugly. I do not plan on catching one.

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  1. It’s all Just a tease

After you play the demo you just feel like it is a giant tease and you just want more. I know that is what demos are, but I just want to explore this beautiful region and collect more Pokémon! November 18th cannot come sooner.

Play the Sun and Moon Demo? Tell me your thoughts.

#Repealthe19th is not Something to Ignore

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Art by Sarah Rodriguez find more of her artwork at:

https://www.tumblr.com/login?redirect_to=%2Fblog%2Fsarah-the-artistes-artblog

http://sarah-the-artistes-artblog.tumblr.com/

http://theartofsarahrodriguez.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SarahRodriguezsArt/?__mref=message_bubble

 

A recent poll shows that Trump could win if only men voted in the upcoming election. This has sparked a flame with certain Trump supporters concerning women’s ability to vote. I am aware the commotion for this hashtag has died down a little. However, we should not treat this as something just passing by in the media. Certain people believe it is okay to take away someone’s right to choose the leader of our country. After having heated discussions with certain people, I have realize the senseless arguments supporters use to attempt to quiet those who have issues with this hashtag. Do not be silent, be strong and stand up for your right to vote.

 

Here is a link to the article about the pole:

 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-trump-backers-tweet-repealthe19th-1476299001-htmlstory.html

 

  1. Only a small amount of Trump supporters want to repeal the 19th amendment.

*Disclaimer I do not know the actual percentage of supporters who want to repeal the 19th amendment*

This argument is not civil towards women. There is a small percentage of people who believe it is okay for women to lose their right to vote and teach their children this pre- 1920’s mentality. They will instill in their sons that it is acceptable to treat women with disrespect and claim women do not need a voice, and teach their daughters that they are not allowed to speak up for what they believe in. This is disrespectful to not only women, but the women who fought hard for Women’s Suffrage.

 

  1. They have no power.

The great thing about America is we have freedom of speech (such as how I am presenting my views about this hashtag.) This gives us power to our words and in beliefs, but to quote Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility.” These Trump supporters are allowed to have a voice about their sexist opinion even if we disagree with their beliefs, and like mentioned before these people will teach their children that it is okay to take away a woman’s voice, and slowly that lesson will spread like an infection. These people might not have the power to actually appeal the 19th amendment; however, they do have the power to teach their children to respect others and see that everyone is equal no matter race, gender, or sexual orientation. Their voice gives them the power to spread hate and keep the country as divided labels and not one human race.

 

  1. Nobody is talking about it anyway it is just the media trying to put Trump in a Harsh Light

First, Trump can do this without the media’s aid, and yes I will admit media can mess with someone’s image. However, one needs to take a look at Trump’s track record: how he treats women, what he said about his daughter, and how many times he has been bankrupt. He does not need the media to screw up his image. He is achieving this on his own.

Second, no one is talking about it? Dose one not understand what a top trending hashtag means? It means that so many people are typing this hashtag on twitter that it is in the top twenty conversation. What is the definition of a conversation? Oh right two or more people talking to one another. Here is a picture of what people ae saying in their tweets. Mind you this is only a sectioned off picture of certain tweets. I am aware that there are people speaking against the hashtag.

 

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Picture of tweets from this article:

http://www.oregonlive.com/trending/2016/10/donald_trump_supporters_tweet_repeal_the_19th_amendment.html

Some of these women do not understand that taking away their right to vote removes their chance to vote for Trump; therefore, their vote does not go towards their electoral college for their state. I am not saying vote for Trump. I am saying this is hypocrisy at its finest.

  1. Just ignore it.

I will nor not should any women ever ignore the fact that someone wants to take their rights away. How would a man like it if we revoked their right to vote? Men never needed to write an amendment for themselves in order to vote because they already obtained the right to vote from the birth of our country. Go ahead call me a fem-nazi, but a common misconception about feminism is we women must rise above men and become the superior gender. No, that is idiotic. Feminism is about equality: the right for both genders to vote, the right for both genders to have equal pay, the right for women to obtain any job they wish, the right to not be sexually harassed or assaulted because we might be dressed a certain way or we are walking alone at night. Ignoring something like this is accepting that sexism will always exists in our country and there is no room for change. Let us not accept this 1920s mind set these backwards individuals are trending.

Please on November 8th show your right to vote whether male or female to pick your candidate. Do not ever let someone try to take your right to vote away no matter your gender.

Please have an open discussion in the comments, but please show respect. Calling someone an idiot does not further prove your argument.

 

Media’s Misrepresentation of Pokémon Go

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

 

Recently many adults over the age of forty have been complaining about the new Pokémon Go app. This is due to media’s presentation of the game in the news. In passing at my job I heard someone say, “Pokémon is stupid! When they are killing each other, and falling off of cliffs.” I personally could not help feel annoyed because I knew this person only felt this way because of recent news stories, and no one is killing one another over the app.

This negativity towards the popular app is because adults over the age of forty receive their information regarding the game through media. The way media is presenting the app is damaging the Pokémon community as a whole. Let me make one thing clear, I am not stating that all adults over forty are ignorant about the app. I see many people this age walking their children around so they can play the game. This article is only meant to inform people who are misunderstanding the fun experience that is bringing so many people together because of how the media portrays Pokémon Go.

There are two major misconception the media displays about Pokémon Go players: that people who play this game (which includes myself) are criminals who are robbing one another or we are idiots who do not pay attention to our surroundings.

First let me tell you my background with the Pokémon franchise. I have been playing Pokémon since the game came to America in 1998. My dad bought me a pink Gameboy and Pokémon Blue, and I fell in love with the world of the role playing game. I love animals, but my dad was strict about me having pets; therefore, this was the perfect proxy for me to have animals in my life. I love this franchise and it hurts me when people who are simply misinformed are talking crap about something they do not understand. The Pokémon community, despite being extremely competitive, is a wonderful one to be a part of. People within the community are those who often felt like outcast most of their lives and can come together with people who share a common interest. A great majority of my friends play Pokémon, and those who are not up-to-date with the current generation of the games have started to play Pokémon Go; therefore, Pokémon in my life has now come full circle, and I finally have something in common with all of my friends. However, enough about me. Let us talk about the negative misrepresentation that is being presented in Pokémon Go through media.

The first negative misconception media exploits to the public is that people who play Pokémon Go are all criminals robbing one another. News reporters are really running this river dry. This stems from the phrase “it takes one person to ruin it for us all.” There are two news stories that parade us players as “criminals”. The reason why I say two is because these are the only stories that have any truth behind them.

The first story is a big one that came out of Missouri. Four people used the game to rob teenagers. Yes, this is true, and yes it is sad that people are misusing a game so many people love in order to commit crime. However, these are only four people out of the millions who play this game. So within the game there is an item called lure modules, and if a player places these modules in a Pokéstop more Pokémon will appear for us players to catch. These four criminals took advantage of a feature in the game and robbed players. However, because of these four people everyone now is a criminal who plays Pokémon Go. The finger should not be pointed at us or the app, but the four horrible people who thought breaking the law was a great idea . My mom asked me the other day “did people create this app to rob people?” I informed her that the game is meant to bring people together, so we are now able to catch Pokémon in the real world and not meant for us to harm one another.  Being able to catch Pokémon in the real world is a dream that many Pokémon fans have fantasized about for two decades. The articles do not mention if the four criminals have a past history of crime or whether they are regular Pokémon players; therefore, I can only speculate that these four people where only seeing an opportunity and took advantage of a game feature. If the app did not exists these four teenagers would have found another way to rob people since it was already on their mind. Please do not judge an app that is played by millions of people just based off of what four people have done.

The second news story that puts Pokémon Go in a negative light takes place in Southern California. Two people were jumped at 2:00 am because they were playing Pokémon Go. This story is misrepresented in media. They are blaming the game for the jumping, but not the people themselves. Let us put this story in perspective. Two people were out at 2:00am. They were jumped by people who were probably seeking to rob someone, and they just so happened to be playing Pokémon Go. These people who jumped the two players were looking for trouble, and are the reason why it makes so many of us Pokémon Go players nervous to explore the world. Should the players have been out at two in the morning? Maybe not, or maybe we should live in a world where people do not have to fear for their lives just because they are walking around late at night. Stop blaming the victims and turn the finger to the people committing the crime.

However, we do not live in a perfect world, therefore, I am a strong believer in the Pokémon Go buddy system. Always have a buddy with you when you play Pokémon Go, and go to PokéStops where you know many people are gathered so there will be no trouble. My boyfriend is my Pokémon Go buddy, and by his house there are three Pokéstops that are right next to each other where one can have access to all three of them. A large number of people gather in this area because this is the perfect place to put lures in the app and catch Pokémon. On average there are always about twenty people there. Twice my boyfriend and I sat there catching Pokémon for a couple of hours, and too our not surprise nothing bad happened to us. Pokémon Go players have no intention of hurting one another. We only want to catch Pokémon and battle each other at Gyms. The media is only pushing the negative light towards this app because maybe they want to distract you from something else, but that is another article for a different day.

The second issue with Pokémon Go the media likes to poke fun at is that players are idiots who are not aware of their surroundings. I will admit that some players do not pay attention to their surroundings, but the app does warn you of this before it loads the game and tells you to be aware of what is around you. This is once again not the app’s fault, but the peoples’ fault.  This is the same as people who are: jaywalking, cut in front of you in line, cut you off while driving, text and walk, or cross a crosswalk when the light is red. However, no news articles are written about them. The fact that they are playing Pokémon Go everyone wants to point the finger at the app. Once again point your finger at the real problem, people.

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Despite all the negativity in the media about Pokémon Go, I finally saw one positive news story about Pokémon Go, and to my surprise this story had my friend and fellow Mt. Sac alumni featured in it. She wrote a blog about how her autistic son is learning social skills through Pokémon Go and this is bringing her family together. This is simply amazing and shows what the true meaning of Pokémon Go. Pokémon has and always will be about bringing people together in a happy healthy environment where they can be with one another and make new friends and learn new things. I am so happy my friend’s son is learning social skills through something I love. This is something positive the world needs to see instead of the negativity that takes up the media air waves.

I hope I have helped enlighten you that Pokémon Go is not the problem, but the few individuals who are ruining the app for the rest of us. Maybe people should be happy that us millennials are finally getting out of the house and meeting new people like our parents always wanted us to do.

If you would like more information about the app Pokémon Go and how it functions, you can request that I write a blog about the app and about the Pokémon franchise in general.            maxresdefault.jpg

here is a link to my friend’s blog who inspired me to write this article.

www.collegesuccessformoms.com