Thursday, December 14, 2017

Summer/Fall Poetry Sampler 2017

These were all penned between July and December of 2017. I wrote a lot less and as a result what I did write was more raw.

*Note on dear former best friend: if you are reading it, it does not refer to you and was written during a social anxiety attack*


i wore your old hoodie,
covered in fingerprints of memories
of stolen laughs in old libraries,
and i cut through miles and pines and storms 
into a stretched out sky 
the color of your smiling eyes
and flavored with chilled infinity.
i stand in peaks touched by sight alone
and silent they hold vigil  
on the centuries, but i
just quietly wish you were here. 


the past bites my view of the future 
{ paper cuts on my retinas
smog on my skyline
chains on my wrists
rocks in my nets }
america says, live dreaming till you wake up dead 
or save sleep for the grave.
i say, give another heart a reason to beat
and keep walking.
all roads go somewhere. 


cement this resolution in the highway of my soul,
won’t look over my shoulder at the red lights i blew 
and the closed exits into goals i won’t hook nor attract,
won’t check my rearview mirror for the dead dreams
i amused my mind with on wide awake nights.
they still look closer than they appear 
but i know that’s just the vhs of memory 
distorted by dust, static, and a handful of the solar flares
i call a tendency toward self-deprecation by means 
of a sickening neon cocktail;
overconfidence with a splash of doubt over rocks 
of cold reality: stars don’t get you wishes, just neck cramps 
from staring too long. 
instead, i’m mapping out the stars in our eyes,
 pulling the top back for mouthfuls of interstate wind 
and i’ll measure my life by heart rate.
you always send it on a run anyways.

american love

he’s ohio cornfields and kentucky mountain blue,
all quiet starlit forests and the loud atlantic too,
with legs to scale the mountains, and hands to catch the sky,
with eyes for appalachia and the tall girl by his side.
she’s pennsylvania chocolate, oklahoma sunset gold, 
with a taste for colorado, the nonstop and the bold, 
with a mind to race the clocks and untangle thoughts of man,
and a smile she unbottles for her sweet ohioan. 
they untie this knot of rivers to the city of steel bright,
to dance above their sorrows, to get lost in the night,
and every autumn sure as day she’ll find her way to him
and every day as sure as fall he’ll twirl her on a whim. 

love cannot be a fire
love cannot be a fire, 
for fire feasts on fuel and dies 
when nothing more can give. 
love must be a forest,
ever growing, ever blossoming,
ever standing strong 
amidst the seasons changing

dear former best friend

dear former best friend
i know the exact way to stroke your hair to make you fall asleep
and the temperature of your tears
i know your brazen soul too well
it nearly pushed me off a bridge.
(ironically the color of your eyes and 
the lake we last took a picture smiling)

now if i saw your unsorry figure
your curves you so proudly carry
sometimes i think i’d break your nose
damage your face
give a permanent mark
like you permanently
my mind
(and laughed) 
and then maybe you'd understand what's happened to me
no one'd look at you the same, either

and while in reality i am the grace that walked on me and i will opt to never
try and chain myself to your approval again
i do not understand the honey-flavored poison under your hypocritical tongue
it wrings tears from my dry eyes on late nights


i know it now no thanks to you but rather thanks to your absence 
and your successor who takes my hand and shows me
you never were what i thought i loved 
how it breaks me 
break break break
how hard is it, i beg you, to say
i was wrong

 i get high on ancient thought

i am a tourist in this life,
just here for the food and experience,
but i know i don’t belong here.
somebody tell me when the train for the next arrives.
i think i’ve seen enough of this rain-gray place. 

haiku vi
love, the only stars
i will ever wish upon
are those in your eyes 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

#PimpMyBio: Bethany Stevenson (YA, Comedic Fantasy)

Hello there!!

Mentors, past mentees, friends, CPs, PitchWars hopefuls, and writers:

My name is Bethany Stevenson and this is my #PimpMyBio:


I hated books until I was nine. 

My sister handed me the Phantom Tollbooth and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Ever since, my imagination expanded outside the typical Narnia. (which I loved to play with my sister, despite never reading it on my own at that point) 

Since then, I've fallen in love with Joel Ross, William Joyce, Shannon Messenger, Ransom Riggs, N.D. Wilson, Leo Tolstoy, Sabaa Tahir, Eoin Colfer, Orson Scott Card (All the Ender Books people, not just the first. I read every. single. one. Bean included) Wade Albert White, Markus Zusak, Michael Ende, and a whole lot more. 

Star Wars didn't help either. When I was almost ten everything was Jedi in my life, or ninjas, or secret agents. After that, I wanted to follow my sister's footsteps and finish writing a book. 

Everything went downhill from there. 

I'm also an aspiring artist! (If you want to know more find me on youtube and Instagram )

I'm a third year PitchWars hopeful, CP, and like you, an author. Don't let my twitter following deceive you; I've only been on about 10 months. Somehow, I've made a LOT of writer connections.

I've been mentored during #NoQS (Nightmare on Query Street) for a YA Dark Fantasy and was one of those #TeenPit kids (who sadly didn't win a PW slot or as a runner up, but my mentor was literally worth the entire contest. If you're her future Mentee for PitchWars, I'm jealous.) 

I'm also the co-host to my sister's bloghop #YayYA, which some of the mentors in PitchWars have participated in before their book deals! Which is totally awesome.
The first round of YayYA was the first time I'd ever put my writing into the "real world. "I was overly nervous. But last year, after I submitted to PW, I HAD to join the community, so I set up a Twitter, and stalked the hashtag. I soon found readers, CPs, and eventually amazing friends. 

I've been a writer my whole life. (I know that's not very long if you know the entry age limit to TeenPit, but I finished my first 100 page novel at age 9 and have completed about 37 full first drafts since. They're not great, but I'm proud of each one)

But this time, I'm not submitting the YA Dark Fantasy I've been writing and revising and throwing into other contest slush piles for a year now. I originally planned to, but something new came along...

So I'm submitting something that is literally it's opposite. 

A YA Comedic Fantasy. 

And I love it. 

Let me introduce you to my new book baby: FIGHTING CLICHÉS...

First, here's my first photoshop job, a wallpaper inspired by the book:

*stops staring* Okay, guess I better tell you what it features:

In a world where adventures are published into novels and where being original is key to being noticed, is a quick-witted girl named Brianna. 
Her parents are famous novel heroes; their adventures, mysteries, and quests have been filling library shelves in the world of Novella for years. And now that Brianna is 15, old enough for an adventure, it's her turn. 
She’s day dreamed of what her adventure might entail. Seafaring-griffon hunts or rescuing lost relics in deserts or anything whimsical is preferable. But she's declared a Chosen One and sent off with a typical mentor wizard, a glowing sword, and a ridiculously annoying comedic-sidekick to fulfill a prophecy by defeating a necromancer in a tower. 
Brianna's dreams are crushed
No Great Author will want to write her into a story once her adventure is complete: cliché tropes don't sell. 
As things start to look like Brianna will be sent to work in a one-shot-fluff fanfiction theater for the rest of her life, she decides to ruin her own story. By leaving the elf parties, losing heir trials, and breaking the hearts of love interests, she takes control of her own adventure, twisting things into the way she wanted them to be. 
If she doesn’t complete the prophecy, the necromancer will kill her. Except, finishing the prophecy as proclaimed might ruin her chances to attract a future writer to publish her novel. 

Here's some more my book features that I know you're gonna want:

If my book were a mash up of other stories/movies it would be: GALAXY QUEST meets MY LADY JANE, with the oddity of THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES and the humor of the YA BROODING HERO. 

It also has references to: Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Star Wars, Star Trek, Cinder, An Ember in the Ashes, Princess Bride, Disney Villains, Lord of the Rings, Ms. Peregrine's, Hans Zimmer, and more... I just forgot

But you, as the reader, (and mentor, right? <3) get to find them all!! 

When I came up with this idea, I literally researched every blog post on avoiding clichés and what to look out for in novels for tropes... and used. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. 

On purpose

(Boy, did Brianna get ticked about that.)

Want to know even MORE?

It features:

  1. Smart-witted girl MC who takes matters into her own hands without kicking everyone's butt all the time. Brianna doesn't need to be heartless or have blood on her hands to be tough. She'll blow a place up though if it really annoys her.
  2. Genre mash-ups. (I mean, Lake Town meets Divergent, people.)
  3. Ninja, elf princess bounty hunter, who loves fashion and friends.
  4. Complex world. The World of Novella contains every genre possible to imagine. 
  5. Light-hearted Fantasy 
  6. Voice. Brianna mixes snark and concern. 
  7. Twists on tropes, as noted.
  8. Subtle retelling hints throughout. Like a castle transformation similar to Beauty and the Beast. 
  9. Dragons and wolves and elves and princesses and mages... I mean, c'mon! 
  10. Girl BFFs working together. 
  11. Unique places and characters. Trust me, Try combining Twilight and Tinkerbell. When you've got a Gandalf type character arguing with an Olaf type character or a redheaded rebel ranger trying to apply into a rip off Hogwarts, it gets crazy. 
  12. Tight families
  13. Teamwork
  14. anti-heroes
  15. pop culture references
  16. The Fourth Wall
  17. Author groups
  18. An ending message for any struggling artistic person.

Brianna struggles with the passion to get out there in the novel world, but she's got to be noticed first, and she has to work hard. This book is almost like the life of an author trying to become published, except, from a character's POV to be in the book. And she's not going to give up on her journey. 

So let's go get them PitchWars people!!

This is me and my story...

 What's yours?

*side note* this is NOT my blog. I'm borrowing my sister's because she's amazing. Thanks Rachel!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Spring 2017 Poetry Sampler

Below you will find another set of poetry, mostly free verse. These were penned between March and June.

haiku iii  (couplet)

rise thou soaring chords
i breathe in love to sing light 
and color’s touch 

sing, wind shine and wide.
i feel bright silence in flight
of mutual gaze 

andrei in the field 

(another short poem in my series of war and peace verses)

to face again one’s insignificance 
in the only field where he failed everyone but himself
in a world where everyone fails him, including himself 

social anxiety- poem of an autobiographical nature vi

i am sorry that
                  i am sorry.
can’t peel this aluminum foil off my heart, my eyes. 
sometimes i want to escape the sunrise in a black deep dive 
hear the silence;
not break another neck. 
i weigh my presence on the scales of toleration,
measure the hypotenuse of the light in their eyes,
wear artificial confidence around my throat, 
whiten my smile with hope and fear. 
initiate, someone, 
for otherwise my anxiety will always initiate as i drag my heels behind 
its giggling grip on the back of my neck on a wild goose chase 
for validation it then destroys me with and poisons my sleep. 
initiate and tell me 
“i want to be here.”
for i live in constant terror that anxiety’s mask over my eyes 
will be the only me you ever know. 


they are
removing my braces tomorrow.
no more teeth corset.
how many unspoken words will they find caught in those wires?


seven forty four.
handfuls of sleepy tulsans blink past glass and the landed plane
at the gathering gray swamp of storms huddling on the horizon,
and all is silence and country music spread thin
over linoleum.
seven forty five.
a door opens
and tumbles out five dozen chattering californians.
culture clashes in the doorframe as over and into 
the midwestern quiet they flood.
the tulsans side eye hurried noise.
wake not the midwest until it so desires.


spring sugars even the earthen corners in pinkened whispered laughter
and lilts across mountainous oceans of newly wakened trees.
it is aprilesque. 
gray diamond rain slicks the skies
and the wind breathes down my throat.
let's unfold our minds in the darkness to a concerto of birdsong 
under two carat stars and pearl strings of falling wishes
in the raw of new grass. i’ll plant blossoms on your heart. 
it is aprilesque
and i living.


veins on my maps and roads on my wrists 
i can see my smile in his eyes 
wind in my lungs and breath in the air 
do you want to run away into tomorrow, today? 
i’ll scatter dandelion fluff and wander the miles 
allotted to me with your name in my heart 


i am a tourist in this life,
just here for the food and experience,
but i know i don’t belong here.
somebody tell me when the train for the next arrives.
for eternity, i do believe?
i think i’ve seen enough of this rain-gray place. 

and then silence fell

and then silence fell
floating floating down on lamplit rain 
the cloudy sky blending with your eyes 
(that i couldn’t look at), 
your jacket
(that i looked at instead).
i still smell that night.


picture frame of small-town lights, travel-worn asphalt,
and a blush-stained sky, 
leaning on the rock of your shoulder i
 cast my net and gather a jar of memories and fireflies.
we breathe in moonlit nostalgia and smile. 
no wish wasted on a falling rock; 
love is to dance and polish this planet in the rough 
with starlight, 
{this ball of bones and coffined memories at quiet peace}
and sew constellations out of the dreams
we whispered 
and blew over dandelions. 
here in newcomerstown, somewhere, ohio, 
in sunsoftened grass, the moon third-wheeling, 
close your atlantic eyes. 
listen to my hurricane heart. 
take my smile in your hands and 
close the door on the waltzing world.