poetry

VOID (a poem)

 

VOID
 By Katie George

 

The cosmos haunt my mind like an infinity of twinkling ghosts.

My spirit is plagued by them, as their grace is so binding

It draws its captive in, a vacuum of eclectic energy.

Those stars call out, “Believe in something

Greater than yourself,” and yet I know

My soul is the one to decide.

My soul chooses like

Choice doesn’t

Exist.

Existence, yes,

Happens to be choice.

These stars are God’s wet tears,

I have decided, and yet I cannot tell if

The cosmic drops are the happy kind or sad.

I have just learned to thank those stars for time, as

Still when I—a living creature—blink up at them, I realize

Their burning spectral light shines even when they are dead.

 


an explanation.

I wrote this poem for a creative writing class in late 2016. Though I don’t typically write poetry, I enjoyed writing this one. My professor asked our class to work on a portfolio of poetry, and I was honestly pretty annoyed. My “specialty” (I feel like a total dork writing this out) is the novel, but I understood the point of assignment… And I’m thankful she exposed us to various mediums of writing, though I haven’t written a poem since that class.

For my portfolio, I decided to write five poems that revolved around the five elements. You may be thinking, aren’t there are only four elements? Well, I thought so too. I wrote my poems for earth, water, fire, and wind, and I wasn’t completely satisfied. Something was missing…

A few days later, I discovered there is actually a fifth element inJapanese philosophy (stemming from the Buddhist tradition), and that is void. Void relates to the energy we cannot see. Void is pure energy, and it is beyond what our normal day-to-day experience. Simply put, void is what makes us feel, what makes us create, what makes us thrive.

This poem isn’t a masterpiece. In fact, I didn’t put a lot of thought in it. I just knew I wanted its shape to be like that of an hourglass, and it needed to relate to the cosmos. Through those two requirements, this poem was born.

I hope you enjoy it, but don’t read too far into it. Though I love analyzing poetry and literature, there is something about reading it the first time before ruminating on each aching word.

Until next time,

-K. 🙂

music

5 (unpopular) SONGS TO CHECK OUT

MUSIC.

What do you think of when you hear the word music? Or more importantly… What do you hear?

In March of this year, I was asked to write a paper on my ten favorite songs for a college class. Though I wondered why it would be educationally beneficial to do this, I was able to compose a list of my favorite songs, most of which are pretty unpopular. I’m into songs with deeper meaning, melodies that unleash a river of emotions, and fresh, thoughtful writers.

Since music is KEY to my writing process, I thought it would be interesting to share five songs all of you should check out. I know some of you may not speak English, but maybe you will still enjoy the music itself and could translate the lyrics.

Anyway, here they are!


STRAWBERRY SWING by Coldplay (2008)

This song was released in 2008, two years after my sister was born, and ever since its release, the two of us will play this song and be taken back to a time when she was a little girl, and so was I. This song has great sentimental value for me, and rightfully so, because this song is bittersweet in tone anyway. Interestingly enough, the song begins with a group of clapping sounds that are gradually replaced by drums, and I can see how this relates to the change of a child into adulthood, which is the theme of this song.

There is amazing symbolism within this song that makes it incredible. “Strawberry Swing” refers to the singer and his childhood crush, and the titular strawberry is an adjective for the sweetness of youth and childhood. As an adult, the singer can look back and see how he once thought the world was beautiful, but now he sees it with nostalgic eyes and a desire to remember his childhood with only happiness.

The song reaches a crescendo with the realization, “It’s such a perfect day.” Here he remembers the ultimate brightness of his youth, but there is also an alarm clock-like sound in the background as he has this epiphany. Therefore, it is apparent that we hear is the sudden jolt back to reality for the singer, where his memory is like a dream he must wake up from.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H84ia4pR2PI


THE TRUTH by Carla Morrison (2012)

In high school, I decided to listen to Spanish music (and funnily enough I ended up studying abroad in Argentina), whenever I drove to and from school. In this way, I discovered Carla Morrison, a Mexican-American singer whose main themes include love, family, and pride for her culture. “The Truth” is ironically her only song in English, and it is one I will no doubt include in my wedding someday.

The song is very simplistic, with a consonant chords relying heavily on C major. Carla’s voice is sweet and feminine, and it is perfect against the backdrop of the principal instrument, the ukulele. With each additional chorus, Carla’s voice is layered by harmonized voices, and it is really beautiful, because it showcases her stunning vocals. I think that I love this song because it is relies more on Carla’s melodic voice rather than the combination of five or more instruments. Instead, this song is about Carla and her ukulele, and that leaves more emphasis on the song itself as well.

The beat is 4/4 and very rhythmic as well. It is easy to sway along to the beat and get lost in the beauty of the song, from its romantic lyrics to the sweet thrum of the ukulele. I really appreciate that this song is a lot more calming and simplistic than the others on the list, and it is one that I know I will like forever, even if it is not my favorite song of all time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jAp-CmIB_E


ATTENTION SEEKER by Etiquette (2015)

There are many reasons why this is my favorite song of all time, but I am content to discuss the three major elements that draw me into this one. First, the song’s tempo (or the speed at which a passage of music is played) is slow, casual, and airy. It is lackadaisical, almost as if someone is walking around a park, trying to escape the constant rhythm of the city. There is tempo rubato in the song during its most defining parts, where there is a temporary disregard of the strict speed, and I appreciate this because it is a song of thought, and it almost acts like a string of thoughts in the process.

Furthermore, this song’s melody is one that never grows old to me. Melody can be defined as a sequence of notes that are the principal part of harmonized music, and the melody in this song is incredible. The instruments used are incredible, but it is the melody that really delivers the song. Both the singer’s choice of lyrics and the melody of the music itself are brilliant, and when they are combined—it is magic to my ears.

As a person who loves words, I am drawn to this song because of its lyrical prowess. Lines like “Simple conversation is a land mine field / Tread lightly” are incredibly impressive to me, as I become enraptured by the power of the words in relation to the sweeping sensation of the music itself. For me personally, I appreciate songs with actual meaning, and this one is no exception to this rule.

“Attention Seeker” seeks to examine the condition of the human heart, of a person who wants nothing more than to be recognized by all those around him or her. The singer, on the other hand, promotes an ideology for individualism and freedom of expression, and I love to live by these principles. Add in a steady, calming beat, and there’s my favorite song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-zHI34EOKE


LIFE HAPPENS by Ardyn (2017)

I only discovered this song a few months ago, but it is one that left me completely inspired, and that is a difficult task for a song to do. This, much like “Attention Seeker” is heavily influenced by both the music component and the lyrics of the singer, so that the combination of the melody and the lyrical meaning produce a single masterpiece.

“Life Happens” is bolstered by layers of sound, which includes multiple musical textures. For example, I really love that this song employs homophonic texture, which incorporates harmony and the combination of melody and chordal accompaniment. Furthermore, every time I listen to this song, I hear a different instrument—a different layer—that inspires me further, and makes me appreciate the time and effort dedicated to this song.

The song has a strong melody, where its succession of pitches creates a strong cadence later in the song. The resting pace has a medium tempo combined with a duple meter. However, it is the song’s ornamented melodies that really stir something emotional within me. The first chorus, there is a strong melody, but in each successive chorus, there is more and more, and it is apparent that Ardyn is a proponent for embellishment to the song as it continues on, which mirrors the song’s theme that life is complicated and difficult and has multiple layers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yDDgLKxwyM


JUNGLE by Tash Sultana (2017)

“Jungle” is a song that is inspired by both a powerful rhythm and a powerful melody. The song features glissando, the technique that uses a continuous slide up and down between notes, and this really bolsters the song in my mind.

The song is strong, and bolstered by its use of guitars and strong rhythm and beat, I can see colors like scarlet and electric blue and violet, in order to reflect the sharp, strong personality Tash Sultana uses for her song. I see images of lovers in a forest, and I can see how the song’s title of “Jungle” is exemplified through the layers of the song—but also from the song’s depth and emotion. Tash Sultana combines all three forces—lyrics, instruments, and melody—to produce a song that has true power and a true hold over me as I listen to it. It’s got traditional elements and untraditional elements, and I love that Tash Sultana is willing to take risks in her songs.

The song is one of my favorites, but it’s one that was a great part of my second semester experience in Argentina. I know that this is one of those songs that I will hear and will transport me straight back to Buenos Aires.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZvP7PwUAwM


Therefore, hopefully you will like some of these songs, depending on your taste in music. Also, the definition of “unpopular” can be kind of hard to define, but these songs aren’t ones you will normally hear on the trashy radio stations of today. (Sorry, was that too ruthless?)

Anyway, if you want to share some of your favorite songs with me, I will absolutely give them a listen. 🙂

Until next time,

-K.

q&a

MY FIRST Q & A :)

Though I have been blogging for the past year, I feel like I don’t talk about myself too much. My posts always relate to my books and my year abroad in Argentina, and so I have decided to follow some Youtubers’ footsteps and answer a few questions for you guys…

*On a little side note, I want to clarify that I’m not really one to dwell on myself; I love learning about others more! So this may be a rare post. 🙂 Also, these questions are pretty generic. I may make a more detailed Q & A in the future, depending on how I feel.


RANDOM Q’s:

1. What’s your favorite candle scent?

Cinnamon smells like heaven… So anything related to autumn, probably.

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister?

Emily Blunt seems like a genuinely awesome person, and I’ve loved her ever since The Devil Wears Prada. If she were my sister, John Krasinski would be my brother-in-law, so…

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother?

I love Winston Bishop from New Girl, but he’s a fictional character. Oh well, that counts in my book. 🙂

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

Late twenties. We’ll see when he actually shows up though. (Chico, you can show up anytime, thank you.)

5. Do you know a hoarder?

I actually do… One who has nearly twenty cats and a haunted house full of secrets! This has inspired me to not hoard.

6. Can you do a split?

Not without splitting my leg muscles.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike?

Probably five, but my memory is absolute trash. I love to ride bikes, though.

8. How many oceans have you swum in?

Two: The Pacific and the Atlantic. I love the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida, but the Pacific Coast along California is amazing.

9. How many countries have you been to?

The United States (my home), Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Perú, and Chile. If I learned to count, that would make six. 🙂

I love to travel though, and I really want to visit Australia/New Zealand, Europe, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, and the Middle East. Basically I want to see the whole world!

DSC_0752
Me, Katie George, in Salta, Argentina (October 2017).

10. What would you name your daughter if you had one?

I have always wanted to name one of my daughters Claire Elizabeth. Living in Argentina introduced me to the name Delfina, which means dolphin in Spanish, and I find that name breathtaking!

11. What would you name your son if you had one?

I want to have a lot of children… But for sure I will name two of my sons James and Samuel.

 Credit: Deeply Dapper. While I love studying myths and conspiracy theories, I do not necessarily believe that these monsters/aliens/creepy things actually exist.

12. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?

This may make me sound like a total dork (which I am), but I always watched the Travel Channel and HGTV as a kid (still do). I especially loved travel documentaries on the most haunted locales around the globe and other specials on UFOs and el chupacabra and the Loch Ness Monster and… I could go on.

13. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?

Again, since I have the memory of a fish, I’m not really sure. I know I went as a doctor one year, Cleopatra the next, and Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean another year. Those are the only three I remember.

14. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series?

I just read the first Harry Potter book last Christmas, but I have read and seen the Hunger Games and Twilight books and movies. If I had to choose a series, I’d probably pick Twilight, but I’m not really a fan of any of these. (Sorry to all the fans, hopefully you’ll still like me!)

15. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?

Australian.

16. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?

I speak English and am pretty fluent in Spanish (after a year in Argentina, I don’t know how much more fluent I will become lol). If I had to choose another language, I’d probably pick Afrikaans or something really out there.

17. Do you spell the color as grey or gray?

This is a really dumb question. For a person’s name, I prefer Grey; but for the color, it is gray. At least in American English.

18. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?

Titanic.

19. Have you ever had Indian food?

No, but I’m absolutely game to try!

20. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?

I love anything Tex-Mex, and that includes queso (also known as cheese dip). For those of you are confused, queso is typically a bowl of white, melted cheese that is like heaven to the tongue!

21. Have you ever been to Olive Garden?

Way too many times. While I love their pasta, a friend introduced me to their gnocchi soup, and it is delicious.

22. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?

Supposedly, they would have named me Garrett. I cannot even begin to imagine…

23. If you have a nickname, what is it?

Katie Kay! Some people call me KG, Katarina, Maggot…

24. Who’s your favorite person in the world?

My sister.

25. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs?

I’ve lived in both, and I’d probably pick a rural area close to the suburbs…

26. Can you whistle?

Yes!

27. Do you sleep with a nightlight?

If I am alone, I do…

28. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?

I LOVE dreams… I love analyzing dreams, telling dreams… DREAMS, DREAMS, DREAMS.

But I probably don’t remember them that much, which is unfortunate. Every morning I will ask friends/family about their dreams so that we can dig deep into the psyche.

29. What flavor tea do you enjoy?

Altitude sickness: Coca tea. Bronchitis: Earl Grey. Me without ailments: Diet Coke.

30. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?

Too many… Probably fifteen. This may be a small number or a big number, depending on who you are, but fifteen is too many.

31. What religion will you raise your children to practice?

Christianity, but it will ultimately be their choice.

IMG_4327
A quick stop in Bariloche, Argentina (April 2018). Fun fact: I had bronchitis and mosquito bites all over my face during this time…

WOO.

There you have it. Thirty-one questions. You may hate me now, or you may like me. The choice is yours! Anyway, it was kind of fun to answer some basic questions, even though these were very basic and not too deep.

I hope you guys are having a great start to July, and I will write soon. Comment on this post if you have any further questions or concerns about mi vida.

Until next time,

-K.

travel

MUSINGS FROM THE BALTIMORE AIRPORT

In the past three weeks, I have found myself in seven different states, and I’m about ready to take a long, long nap… While I love traveling, it wears me down, and it’s virtually impossible to work on books when I’m not in one place.

Why have I been traveling so much? Well, I wanted to visit my best friends in Wisconsin, catch a concert in Illinois, and vacation in Washington, D.C. (And I’m not really sure a vacation in D.C. is that good a choice, if we’re being honest.) Throw in Virginia Beach and Annapolis for good measure, and I’m still trying to readjust to being home after a trip way down south…

Anyway, I feel like I am complaining a little, and that is not my intention at all! I love traveling with my entire being. I get some of my best ideas from travel, as I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog in the past, but I also love planting roots and being able to be settled for a little bit too. So, since it’s been a while since my last post, I thought I would update you on some of my summer goals since it’s already mid-June (I can hardly believe this!).


BOOK UPDATE

After finishing a magical realism novel in early May, I was feeling sorta romantic… Which means I am halfway done with a romance trilogy that will be out very shortly! The first book in this series, The Third Wheel, will be out in the next few weeks, because it is just sitting around, collecting virtual dust. I am almost done with the second book, tentatively titled The Wedding Party, which I will finish in the next week or so. I plan on writing the third book shortly after I finish The Wedding Party, so stay tuned for a new romance trilogy on the way! (This trilogy will focus on three Argentine-American sisters!)

I have also begun work on a more serious novel that I labeled on Twitter as my first attempt at a Southern Gothic psychological thriller. A lot of words to say that this will take me a lot longer than a cheesy romance, but I hope to finish that book before the summer ends as well.


THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the future… Which is not typically normal for me. I suppose I have some stress as to what I want my adulthood to look like, and so I am thinking about who I’ll marry, what career I’ll have, and if I’ll ever be published as a writer. Those are just some of the things.

I’m not really sure why this is happening, but I think it’s a good thing to keep an optimistic outlook even when there is stress in life, because there will eventually be a time when everything will have happened, and it’s important to keep a good attitude through the hard times and good.

Therefore, I just wanted to give you guys a little update on this afternoon in the middle of June. I cannot believe the summer’s already passing this quickly, but I will post some more updates soon about my books (and hopefully some other topics as well)!

Until next time,

–K.

updates

SUMMER’S HERE (and reality too)

*I realized that summer does not start until June 21. Please 
excuse my inability to remember which continent I am on LOL.

Now that I am back home in the States, things have shifted a little bit. It’s summer, which means that I’ll be cranking out as many novels as my poor fingers can type…

***MINOR INTERRUPTION: Someone just rang my doorbell, and it turned out to be a neighbor, who literally threw her dog at me. For those of you who do not know, I’ve never had a dog, never really been around dogs, and am kinda scared of them… So that was interesting.***

Anyway, summer is my best time for creative thought. I am finishing my magical realism novel, starting another romance, and have plans for another late summer book. However, as a rising junior in college, I also have to get a job and attempt to book flying lessons. Therefore, I am a bit stressed!

I have been Stateside for all of four days, and I’m already feeling the pressure of my future. Money, location, and the unknown are all weighing on me, but I know that God’s got this. (Cue “God’s Plan” by Drake, thank you.)

***MINOR INTERRUPTION AGAIN: I discovered that I am allergic to horses last summer, when I came to the South from California. Just now I have been sneezing my head off because I held that pup…***

Therefore, I’d like to set some goals for the summer and see if I am able to conquer them!


GOAL #1: BOOK SITCH

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a writer who loves to write. I am almost done with my sixteenth novel (that doesn’t mean all sixteen novels are good, by any means). However, I think this one has some cinematic vibes to it, and I’m not sure if I’ll try to agent it or self-publish. I’m a little tired of trying to find an agent for my books, because I’ve realized it is such a daunting situation. Even if I get agented, will my book ever even get published? Who knows. That is the crisis I’m facing now.

Anyway, my goal is to find an agent, send out my manuscripts to as many people as possible, to gain experience and to get my name out there. If I don’t find an agent, so what? I’m not a writer to make money (although that would be nice). If I don’t find an agent, expect even more releases on Smashwords (which then converts my manuscripts to iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Store, etc.).

Also, I expect to write about two to three novels this summer. I hope I can fulfill that goal. 🙂


GOAL #2: PLANE SITCH

When I was a kid, I always told people, “I want to be a pilot.”

At sixteen, I had my first flying lesson. While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit to that path.

At nineteen (last summer), I bought a pilot book on learning the ropes of flying, and I became obsessed with it in Argentina. For all the classes in which I was learning nothing, my pilot book was able to give me new information, new knowledge, new insight.

At twenty, I hope to be flying.


GOAL #3: MAKE MONEY (BUT MAKE THE MOST OUT OF MY TIME)

Money is valuable, but my parents have instilled the concept in me that money isn’t everything. I want to be able to afford certain luxuries in my future, like travel and a nice car and a Mac computer, but I know that what really matters is time.

I took a personality quiz as a joke once (although I do love personality quizzes, just not the one called “Love Languages” or whatever). I thought it was hilarious that my friends and I were taking this quiz when virtually none of us have ever been in love or are in relationships. But then I remembered that there is more than one type of love, and my special “love language” (or the thing that I enjoy most about my relationships) is quality time. 

I only have two summers left before I graduate college and am expected to be a full-fledged adult. That means time is running out. However, I’ve still got time to pursue my passion (writing, of course), goals (a healthy bank account which will be destroyed by flying lessons), and creating long-lasting relationships.

While I may be freaking out about this “time crunch,” I am reminded that life is not certain at any point in time. Tomorrow, I could die in a car crash, or six months down the road, I could receive a terminal diagnosis. Therefore, I may be “stressed” by the pressures of becoming an adult, but this is actually a good thing.

Time has blessed me with choice.


THEREFORE…

Por lo tanto, I am encouraged after writing this blog post. My troubles are insignificant, but I know I have one life, and I want to make the most of it.

Expect more books from me. Expect more blog posts from me. Expect some complaining and some hard times, but also excitement and new discoveries. That is what I guarantee you!

Thank you for listening to another KG rant.

Until next time,

-K.

DSC_0459
A church in La Pampa (November 2017)