"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creative Writing, Brief Update

3 Poems and a Brief Blog Update

Hey all. Appreciate the kind comments and e-mails. I'm always encouraged by stories of people finding work, taking their first steps, and finding success in the world of freelance writing. I'm currently working on a blog post on how to find private clients as a freelance writer, since that is a topic that is getting a lot of interest from readers. This is taking a little bit longer than I expected, thanks in part to several real world projects that popped up as well.

So until I get the next post wrapped up, I thought I'd answer the second request that comes up a lot, and share some of my creative writing.

For those of you who are new to the blog and have no interest whatsoever in creative writing, feel free to check out early and try the following posts:

50 Things Every Beginning Freelance Writer Should Know

Why I'm Not Ashamed to Be a Freelance Writer

The Truth About Freelance Writing

Demand Studios Review

Constant-Content Review

For the rest of you, the following are three poems I wrote while living in Alaska, one of which was published, one which won a contest/award, and one which would have been published had the journal not folded two weeks before publication. Such is life :) Hope ya'll like it, and be gentle. Poetry is my fourth creative writing skill behind fiction, creative non-fiction, and screenplays. Also if the formatting gets screwed up - blame Blogger and Microsoft Works for not playing nicely.

Arctic chills in spring,
familiar fragrance, burning meth
lazing thru loose floor boards
and shoddy dry wall.
Sit on empty red milk crate
grading freshman papers
Gut-wrenchingly bad.
The poets are in hiding, and
future leaders have lost all sense of soul.
Muffled mattress squeaks,
inevitable result of meth perfume,
Harbinger of sad quiet sex
once distracting, now ignorable
like a drip, drip, dripping faucet.
Until one very early morning red and blue lights
cascaded thru open shades
and splashed our walls.
We laid awake and trembled
like deer who just missed the headlights.
They took them away,
one in a bag.

New neighbors came.
Summer brought back familiar smells
and not-so-quiet mating,
snorting like animals,
Summer papers were a little better.

Remembering when I was astray, the warthog,
burning spoons and shooting syringes,
Tap, Tap, Tapping the Mainline Florida,
and, oh God, how I loved to touch you . . .
until you rode off one Tuesday
on back a Harley to somewhere;
left me to finish the degree I started
and forgot about half way through.

I moved out of state, two thousand miles to teach,
but never enough for a better apartment
with a river view like we talked about;
but what would an adjunct do with money anyway—
and what’s the point of a river
with no one to share?


Cabin’s cold even in summer
Alaska's like that,
but the shiver indistinguishable from a shudder
and not due to forty degree nights.

Marshall bought bread at
Wal-Mart, evil empire of commerce,
but prayers sanctify
organic whole oats
or refined wheat flour
into the twisted flesh of
a broken Savior and
grape juice in blue plastic
Dixie cups transforms into royal
blood prepared for cannabilistic ingestion.

Prayers drip off heavy lips
like the tears bursting from
closed eye lids too light to hold back
the deluge behind the levy.

Bless us. Forgive us. Help us.
Word torrents rush out and
old tongues mix with new,
older than Aramaic,
harder to translate,
always ends with Abba.

You want a whole piece? I asked,
surprised when he didn’t tear it in halves.
I have a lot of sin to cover, he replies,
and knows I do, too.

Naked body cannibalized
piece by piece,
by greedy ravenous teeth,
thanks given,
spontaneous prayer bursts forth
from sanctified vessels;
the cabin walls can not
contain it.

We erupt and do not care
who hears.
Bullied into silence long enough,
but not in our temple.

The blood is sweet and
gushes down eager throats,
but some remains on the bottom,
speckled, you can never quite
get it all, and not all can ever
quite get it and therein lies the
problem and maybe the solution.

North of Noah's Flood

Technically Fairbanks, Alaska,
is a desert, my professor says,
and I’m not sure he is right,
but there is so little rain,
and they say come in, but this
isn't even drizzle, it's mist, and
even then it only comes twice
a summer.

Then there was 2006,
and it was different.
On Monday I spread my arms
and yelled joyfully at the sky as
it drenched me and
every other Midwesterner
dancing in the rain and even the
Alaskans thought we were crazy,
these people who didn't know to come in,
and danced like wild pagans
praising an indigenous Christ-like God
and the rain is home.

That was the only good rain in three years;
but then the skies poured again,
and Thursday twice more.
Lightning made buildings shake
and I wonder about cabins with tin roofs as the
skies won't stop dumping,
coming in sheets and flash flooding
in ways even Iowan farmers
would fret at,
wind blowing weighted trees sideways,
Trees gyrating wildly,
already bent near breaking
from many winters snow,
cabin's tin roof poor shield
from lightning and logs.

Wind howls and man,
I have never seen this here—
no one has—
and man oh man are those trees
making me squirm.

We've never seen a storm like this,
and some wonder aloud
if the world is ending.
Maybe it is.
Us crazy bastards,
not even we dance in this.
The desert becoming
an ocean,
and us without an ark.


  1. Thank you for sharing! Personally, "Communion" is my favorite. Anyone who can fit Wal Mart into religious imagery gets two thumbs up from me. Awesome.

  2. Hi Prudence,

    Glad you liked them. "Communion" is the one that would have been published, but the journal folded the month before. I enjoy them all, although "Graduated" is probably my personal favorite of the three, except the ending bugs me because I'd like a better ending but I can't quite work out what should go there. Thanks for sharing!