From the shadows of the Muse Online Writers Conference emerges an outstanding poet, Jennifer Ruth Jackson. We were delighted to have these particular poets in our poetry class at the conference. They all displayed enthusiasm and grace in tackling new forms.
Without further ado, here is Jennifer Ruth Jackson:
Who I am
My name is Jennifer Ruth Jackson. I’m a wife, writer, crafter, and murderer of stick figures. I have written poetry most of my life and short fiction is climbing up there. I love horror/fantasy but am not tied to any genre. My work is forthcoming/published in Strange Horizons, Paper Nautilus, Kaleidoscope Magazine, and more. Oh, and I’m disabled.
The Muse Online Writers Conference
I believed, at first, the Poetic Muselings were playing a joke on us conference newbies. A poem based on anagrams. Sure, right, uh huh. Then we’re supposed to describe them in alternating lines. Good one, ladies! Oh, wait, they weren’t joking. Crud.
I wasn’t the most cheerful attendee when the first homework assignment came at us. Usually, I enjoy playing with different poetic forms but this one seemed so, restrictive. I didn’t think I was even going to make it through. But, I did. I found words that worked and tinkered around until it sat fairly well. And then I let everyone share their thoughts on it with me. That is where things really began to shine.
The people who worked with me and for me during that workshop (and entire conference) were the best assets to the whole operation. I received incredible feedback, met people much more talented and insightful than myself, tried new things, and got what everyone has always told me a “great conference is supposed to give”. I even found a new writing partner.
I took multiple workshops (and lurked in others) and was always surprised by how much there was to take in. The offerings were so numerous that I never lacked for something to do. If you attend this year, you are certain to see me there.
My Writing Advice
I can’t tell you anything you haven’t already heard but, if I have to repeat something, it had better be something darn good and something I apply to my own life/craft.
So, here it is: Be true. True to your readers who are looking for the wounds, the passion, the excitement, the connection to something larger than themselves. True to your writing by creating worlds that resonate with you and don’t just chase a trend. And, hardest of all, be true to yourself and every messy, silly, embarrassing, enchanting thing that comes with it.
My mystery kept her up all hours.
While her husband slept oblivious,
she caressed my contours with gentle hands.
Her breath, excited in the darkness,
shot through me like an arrow of misery.
Evils stirred inside me with every touch.
Sick, slimy things that snaked through me
I struggled against the drowning panic,
knowing one day she’d hold the key
and release everything I tried to keep inside.
Realization and dread would finally quell
her innocent curiosity gone awry,
with only hope to comfort her kind.
But I miss the nights of being hers, just the same.
Dark genre sins
dance beneath moon and pen
across a million backs
And regress ink
to smeared, wet syllables
Spinning straw to silk
Spindle golden needle thread
Through patient hands, steady wheel
To become butterfly wings
“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director