NaPoWriMo Day 19 Poem 1

Ambiguity

By Maia McGehee

“Don’t stress Maia”

Said my wife to herself on a particularly hard day

Meaning she should make it easy for me

“Don’t stress, Maia”

I say to myself on that same day

Meaning to control my anxiety

“Don’t stress ‘Maia’”

I say to my friends when they struggle to say

“Maia” instead of my old name

The English language is full of ambiguity

We can say the same thing

And mean so many different things!

NaPoWriMo Day 10 Poem 1

An Ode To Adjucting

By Maia McGehee

Lessons to write
Lessons to give
Lessons to regret

Emails to read
Emails to send
Emails to mark read

Exams to grade
Paper prompts to write
Discussion posts to read (and grade)

Training to complete
Absence forms to turn in
Pay to get docked

Bills to pay (or avoid paying until another day)
Taxes to file
Taxes to owe (really, though?)

Plagiarized papers to deal with
Missed exams to schedule
Late work to accept (or deny)

Students’ lives to change
Students’ attention to grab (or not)
Students who slip through the cracks (despite your best efforts)

No chance of security
No chance of a living wage
No chance of respect

Fulfillment? Sure, there’s some
But at what cost?

This is the state of education
With no end in sight

It’s our choice, true
But it won’t be long before we’re through

NaPoWriMo Day 8 Poem 1

Day Eight #NaPoWriMo Poem One

By Maia McGehee

What makes me this shape?

Is it my genes?

My diet?

How fit I am?

What makes me this non-ideal shape?

Am I, in fact, non-ideal?

Should this be a deal breaker?

As if, on the deal, I just ended up with a bad hand

Turns out, I’m the shape of a little man

NaPoWriMo Day 4 Poem 1

Day Four #NaPoWriMo2019 Poem One

By Maia McGehee

Alone, she sat, pondering her predicament

How had she come to this?

She commanded an armada of air pirates

Her dark powers of destruction were dreaded from Remila to Dumvar

Now, she was reduced to a restaurant’s recourse for rodents

A cat, a cat that was bonded to the “King of Draknor”

Once a lover, now an ally of convenience

But she’d never forget his negligence

Their daughters deaths, he’d let come to pass

While he plotted away in his keep

But all she could do now was cling to the mast

Or else the fall below would be quite steep

NaPoWriMo Day 2 Poem 1

Day Two #NaPoWriMo2019 Poem One

By Maia McGehee

“Always have a plan,”
Raen Raimes is just that kind of man

Once a leader, now on the run
All in all, he hasn’t been having that much fun

But in order to unite the land
He’ll have to take a stand

With his daughter and son by his side
Raen just might be able to turn the tide

NaPoWriMo Day 1 Poem 2

Day One #NaPoWriMo2019 Poem Two

By Maia McGehee

My hands take whatever they can reach
My feet are swift and sure
There’s no lock or barrier that can stop me
But I have no morals to teach
Neither my brother nor I received much nurture
Still, I’m loyal to my family, that I now see

NaPoWriMo April 2019

I love participating in NaNoWriMo! I have been trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (either one of the camps or the main one in November) every year since 2013. Back in 2013 I started the Meruda Series almost by accident when my wife (then partner) Alex suggested I try to write an autobiography in novel form. What resulted was a fantasy retelling of my youth, from birth to age 8 or so. But in writing that story, I became fascinated with the world building aspect and ended up creating the World of Meruda, which has only grown in depth and complexity since those early days. The 25,000 words that I produced that July formed a strong foundation for my first book in the Meruda Series, Skies of Meruda, which I eventually finished the first draft of back in November 2016. Though almost none of the writing I had produced in 2013 actually ended up in Skies of Meruda, the world building and character development that I’d worked through at that time is still paying off creative dividends to this day, now that I’m in the middle of the first draft of my second book in the series, Storms over Meruda. So, I feel like I owe NaNoWriMo and my wife, Alex, a huge debt of gratitude for starting me on my way to being a creative writer.

Even though I love NaNoWriMo, I wanted to try something different this year. Given my teaching load this semester, I have been struggling to find time to write. The ideas are there, but I haven’t been able to put forth the effort to actually write them down. To help spur my creativity and get me back in the habit of writing, I’m going to try producing a Meruda-themed poem every day of this month for NaPoWriMo. Though by no means a skilled poet, I think making the poems (even if they’re not great works of art themselves) will help me think of my work in progress in a new light. I’m hoping it will also help me get over the fear of sharing my work publicly before I’m ready to actually publish. Perhaps it will also prove interesting to other people, too.

I actually find that working in mediums other than novel writing can greatly enhance the creative process. For example, I have made several games about the World of Meruda–and playing out these games with myself, my wife, and my close friends has assisted me when I’ve felt somewhat blocked. Needing to represent my world and my characters in a variety of restricted systems (as you’d find in a game) has also forced me to commit to the abilities and limits of each of my characters and has actually taught me a lot about the world I’m creating. I highly recommend it to any writers who want to take their world building and ability to develop deep and genuine characters to the next level.

Anyway, as I said, I’m hopeful this process will be useful not only for myself but interesting to others as well. So, please don’t judge the quality of the poems (mine, yours, or anyone else’s) and just sit back and enjoy the ride! It’s all about the process and honing the craft, in my opinion, and I’m excited for the prospect. So far, it has proven to be a lot of fun, too!