dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Posts tagged ‘red’

Seeing RED

No, I am not angry. In fact, I am extremely excited. RED is complete!

This has been a long process (too long), from conception to publication. Some of the poems for RED were written a couple of years ago with this book in mind. I had to get serious and set aside the time to devote to actually getting it accomplished. Thanks to The Christian Writers Network at Cathedral of Praise in North Charleston, SC for their support and encouragement; to my wife for putting up with a poet; and to the Lord Jesus Christ for not giving up on me, even when I do.

RED is available at CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com.

Thank you bloggers and readers for your comments and views. Now onward to ORANGE.

Preparing RED to be READ 5

This is the part where I just want to be done. To say that the work is complete, send it out there to do what it will, and move on to the next project. But no.

I was not completely satisfied with the graphics. I spent the afternoon getting the resolution right for printing. Re-uploaded the new manuscript with updated pictures. The report back from CreateSpace showed no problem with low resolution graphics. Hurray!

I now await my second proof copy to see how things look this time. I just want it to be done right; the best quality product with the tools I have at hand and my experience with those tools. Just because it’s self-published, just because it’s just poetry, and Christian poetry at that, doesn’t mean it has to be low quality. But because it’s self-published and because it’s Christian I need to give it the best polish possible.

Preparing RED to be READ 4

Received my proof copy yesterday! Living close to the CreateSpace offices is a plus for getting things shipped promptly. (And I pay standard shipping.)

Looking through page by page, most everything seems good. The images aren’t too bad with the low resolution; one or two could be better. I need to remember the 300 dpi lower limit if using pictures next time.

I did find two glaring errors in the table of contents. This is why multiple proofreaders are essential. But this is an easy fix I’ll do this morning and then immediately upload the new file. Within a day or two RED should be available at CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com.

Preparing RED to be READ 3

Doing edit checks on the RED manuscript in CreateSpace this morning. The automatic interior check in CreateSpace found issue with the size of my images (requires at least 300 dpi for quality printing). I thought I had fixed the problem with Paint Shop Pro, but alas it indicates they are still not right. I’m going to have a proof copy printed to see how low quality the images actually appear in print. I wasn’t going for HD, so they may turn out okay.

I was mostly looking at the visual impact in the manuscript: were the paragraphs aligned correctly, did the images track well with the text, any glaring setup issues. I had to make a couple of corrections to one or two pages where the paragraphs/subtitles were not on the right page, but those were quick fixes and the file uploaded again. Just took a few minutes.

Cover design and back cover text are complete, so I should have a printed proof by this time next week.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

RED: Revelation

The final poem.

RED: Revelation

The Most Selfless
desires a help
meet for Him;

so from Spirit lips
a whispered
invitation.

The beautiful accuser,
cartoonishly
depicted in red,

hisses
false alarm
to defy.

Conflicted loyalty
rends the veil
of heaven.

The line is drawn
in the soil
of man.

Love and war
collide
at the cross,

where it is finished
before
it began.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

RED Comment/Critique

I recently received a comment from asherblake, Lion’s Roar Sparow’s Twitter regarding InspiRED Again:

“Awesome. First let me say it mostly reads very smooth, and kept me interested. It was fairly formal and had some old fashioned notes like the first line of the third stanza and the first line of the couplet but it was still lively. I have three suggestions for you. The first line and 2/5 are not so iambic are they? My scansion’s not so good, and I know there is flexibility with iambs, but I thought you might want to start with the third line, revise a bit, but keep the rhyme scheme. (Though I love calling [Charleston] the Holy City and the presence of a park bench.) When you go into the second stanza I had a lot of trouble telling the connection to the first stanza, especially since they share a sentence. I think the speaker may be taking Valentine as an instructor–as to avoid sexual immorality. The lack of context, especially grammatical, leaves this buried. (The transition into the return of Christ also has a buried theme, which is not always bad, but you might consider making the connections between the reading of the Song, Valentine, and the return of Christ, more open.) Thirdly, do you want to say “spliced”? It has kind of a negative connotation? Well, I hope that’s not too much.”

I really appreciate constructive criticism. This shows me the reader cared enough about me and/or the work to comment, to help better the work. I get some of that within the writing group I belong to (shout out to the Christian Writers Network at Cathedral of Praise, North Charleston). I don’t think I can stress how important these people have been to me, not only as a writer, but as a follower of Christ. As a writer you will eventually have someone critique your work, even if you are totally isolated in your writing: a literary agent, an editor/publisher, the reading public. A good writing group gives you a safe and encouraging environment to grow as a writer. Our group has writers of various levels who work in different genres–poetry, inspirational, devotions, sci-fi and novels, we even have a cartoonist/satirist in the group. All these work together to help each other become better writers.

This relates to followers of Christ. Hebrews 10:25 tells us that we shouldn’t refrain from getting together with other believers. I don’t think this just relates to “church”. We need to get together frequently to encourage and uplift one another; to help each other in our walk with the Lord. Sometimes this may entail “constructive criticism”. If there is something in our life that needs to be corrected, wouldn’t you rather have someone who loves you and is concerned with your well-being point it out to you, than to have the world judge you (and you know they will). To have a group of people in various levels of their walk, with different points of view, can help you become a better Christian.

I had not intended to go in this direction with this post (and I seem to be using Hebrews quite frequently), but there it is. I did look at Asher Blake’s critiques. I tweeked a few things he pointed out, left some alone because I liked the way I had it (for now). But I appreciated the input and I hope I have a better poem for it. Here’s the updated version:

Solomon, St. Valentine, and the Coming of Christ

In the Holy City with faith’s fresh start,
on a park bench—alone; with blushing shame
I read Wisdom’s Song sung from sickened heart,
plagued with fever of most vehement flame.

Love’s perfect bliss banned by dark rule’s claim
that young soldiers be more stout if not wed;
yet embraced by stouter priest whose sole aim,
the union of man and wife, cost his head.

This flowered crown’s among many behead
by those lacking, who deem to quench Christ’s fire;
unending flame whose strength shall raise the dead
complete and whole, clothed in holy attire.

And I, one crumb this bread, one drop this wine,
shall ever consummate the feast divine.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

Still More RED Between the Lines

Continuing work on “The Sonnet” is a bit slow, but I have progressed more in the past week than when I first conceived to write this poem. I have a better sense of how to connect the subjects. That helps.

The obvious connections of love and marriage between King Solomon, the priest Valentine, and the return for the Saviour for His bride, the church, do not necessarily make it easy to pull them all together into one poem, one sonnet to be precise.

Occasionally I like to reference the bread and wine in my poems in some way that fits as a remembrence of what Christ did for us. I was thinking I would like to do that with “The Sonnet” as I don’t think that I have in any of the other RED poems. In one of my notes, I have I Corinthians 10:17 referenced for the last two lines. This refers to many believers making up the one bread, the body of Christ as it refers to the Church. But the many are individuals. I am one of those individuals.

Then I began to think about the first time I read the Song of Solomon. The US Navy had transferred me to Charleston, South Carolina. At the time, I was a new follower of Christ. I grew up in a small town in western Michigan with only one church in town. Charleston is often referred to as the Holy City because there is almost a church on every corner. I had no idea where to go.

So on my first Sunday in Charleston I went to The Battery, a park at the tip of the peninsula of Charleston, to sit and read my Bible. Sitting alone on a bench under the shade of the oaks, I opened to the Song of Solomon. I had never read it before, never actually heard any sermons on it. (I grew up in the one Baptist church in town; not that it was never referenced, I just don’t recall it.) And I know I blushed. I was a young sailor. I got the sexual references. And there by myself I blushed.

Thus I decided to start “The Sonnet” with me and try to conclude with the many as one.

Here’s the first stanza so far:

In the Holy City with faith’s fresh start,
on a park bench–alone, with blushing shame
I read Wisdom’s Song sung from sickened heart
plagued with fever of most vehement flame

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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