Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Series Of Beautiful Things

I’m sorry this has taken as long as it has. Unfortunately, I do have a day job that sucks up a lot of my time, as much as I’d like to spend all my time doing this. I’ve got bills to pay and obligations to keep. So thank you for your understanding.

As a general rule, add 24 hours to everything I say.

The standard was really, really high. It’s weird asking a whole bunch of people to write like you and to see how people think you write and having to acknowledge on some level, ‘these are the things I write about, this is how I write.’

There are certain rules that I abide by and if you missed one or two of them then unfortunately I didn’t consider your entry.

Every single entry (except for one or two right in the beginning when I was still making these rules) in I Wrote This For You, has the word “you” somewhere in it.

Every entry title starts with the word ‘The’ although I didn’t hold that against anyone (the winning entry didn’t even have a title).

I obey grammatical rules unless I can bend them to convey a specific meaning. That’s intentional. Unintentional spelling mistakes, bad sentence construction are all things that could’ve disqualified you.

I didn’t mind if people wrote in their own languages and I got entries in three different languages, as long as you included a translation: Meaning > Style.

Now on to what I liked.


What Won.

I've tried to say it a thousand different ways. I've tried twisting the words inside out and doubling them back over onto themselves. I've tried coming up with words in different languages, because maybe they have words for this thing (I couldn't say what it is) that we're missing in this one. I've tried saying the same words over and over again in hopes that this time they'll mean what I want them to mean. I've tried writing it down and spelling it out and stressing each syllable across intercontinental static. I've filled up pages and pages of paper with what I'm trying to say, but never with what I mean to say.

Maybe it annoyed you in the end. Maybe I should just stop.

- Loren Barnes

I liked this. I guess that much is obvious if I picked it but here are my reasons:

It’s well written.

It tells a nice story.

There’s a twist at the end.

It conveys the idea of blurriness without ever using the word “blurry” which appeared in about
80% of the entries.

That’s an important point for me because it’s more important to be than it is to say. What I mean by that, if you want to convey the idea of things being blurry, write about that, don’t come right out and say “things are blurry”.


Close, Close Seconds.

The Betray

I don't think you love someone until you find out they love you, and when people fall in love it's because they are both finding out at the same time, little by little. But it's like the chicken and the egg; someone had to love someone first somehow.

I love you.

- Luke Perine

Also, excellent. Lovely story, insightful, poignant and moving.

I can only try so hard to be who you want me to be until I realize you must want me to be someone else.

- Stephanie Simmons

Short. Sweet. A nice twist at the end. A sense of inner strength.


If I would be true to myself, I would smile more often, because seeing you makes me happy. Being near you makes me wish I could throw away all my inhibitions so that I could start a conversation with you.

- Gillian Camille Abello

I love the idea that it requires you to throw away all your inhibitions just to start a conversation with someone, that’s how brightly they shine in front of you.

When you left, you took my heart with you and this is what you left behind.

- Jenn Porter

Again, short, sweet and it makes you refer back to the picture. This is what you left behind: rain on a window, someone behind it looking out.

And because I can't swim, I hold my breath and let myself sink, waiting for your flood waters to recede. They'll leave a trail of debris in their wake (you always do), but I don't care anymore. I just want to breathe again.

- Lady Gray

Because some people can do that to you, like a flood. I like the scenario created here, this is what it feels like to be left in your wake.

Blurred lines. I have crossed them so I can always hold your hand. I have crossed them so that we face the same direction. I have crossed them because you hate to see me cry.

- Suzanne

Now, this is one my of my favourites. If you don’t know why, write a letter to someone you love, sign it with three X’s at the bottom, cry one single tear onto the page, and then read the previous paragraph again. I don’t know if it was intentional or not but that’s what I took out of it and I have a habit of finding meaning in everything.

There is a hole inside of me, and it screams color. It screams for hours, and it will not stop for even a moment. I am empty. I am clean. I am pure.

- Brittany Kowalsky

This sense of purging your creativity appeals to me because I identify with the idea that if you don’t get something out of you, you’ll explode.

One day the memory of your face will fade into a technicolor swirl, but your voice will still haunt the inside of my ear, and those three words- no matter whispered, said or shouted-will still bring me to my knees every single time.

-Nicholas Lee

Wonderful. Again, you don’t have to say those three words, everyone reading this knows exactly what three words you mean. Readers aren’t lazy, let them do a little bit of work and they’ll thank you for it.

Your breath on my shoulder,
The fog on the window,
A perfect moment with a stranger,
And you are gone, once again.

- Gabii Thompson

An excellent short story told in four lines.

i live in fear of the day i am happily eating dinner with someone new.
and there you'll be.
oblivious to me.
i live in fear of the day i summon up the courage to move on
and there you'll be.
moved on, long before me.

- Cath Jenkin

A stream of thought, a worry, honestly conveyed. It’s hard to be honest and say “Yes, I will regret the fact that you’ve moved on.” But the most powerful things ever written are also the most honest things ever written.

The life in a blur.

It’s you there, in that white coat. You’re everywhere. Everywhere I can see you; in the blur that I’m living. I’m not blinded by love. I’m blinded by you; by your absence; and even more by your presence. It has never been clearer.

La vie en floue.

C'est toi là-bas, dans ce manteau blanc. Tu es partout. Partout où je peux te voir, dans le brouillard dans lequel je vis. L'amour ne m'a pas aveuglée. Je suis aveuglée par toi, par ton absence, et encore plus en ta présence. Ca n'a jamais été aussi clair.

- Marine Leprince

It’s now clear that I am blind. I love this sentiment.

It started in Summer and when Winter came I followed you to the Sun.
We held on to Spring until I dragged the Moon into things.
Now you're there and I'm here and our past is a pack of dogs chasing me out of the present.

- Ivan Ayliffe

Beautiful imagery here. You’re writing, so write, you can go anywhere, do anything, so go there, do those things. Love it.

This is why I deleted everyone’s name before I did the judging, I actually know this person in real life. He once drove a car at a gang of people trying to stab me in the street. True story.

I want to live with you in a treehouse. It will look over a stream and there will be a tire swing. When we're quiet enough, we'll be able to hear leaves crumple together on their branches and flies will buzz as they go from arm to arm. We'll always be barefoot and draw on each other's skin with the tips of our fingers. That's all I want, and I want it all with you.

- Alyce Murphy

This is just a beautiful place and it’s imagined so vividly, I can hear the flies.

The Closest Thing to a Miracle

The way you looked at me. When the heart came out of the robot. Thanking whatever god that exists in heaven, in the rain, in the air, and in you. This very fortunate second that I was able to hold you in my arms, and not just a memory of you. The song on the radio. Your hand on my cheek. Feeling every beat against your chest.

This is the way I will always remember that day, no matter how many times you will always forget it.

- Jessica Josette

This just sounds like something I’d write, I love the description of these moments because all we really ever remember are moments, we never remember weeks or months, just moments, that’s all that matters.

In the past we used to say, "Forgive and forget". Then it happened, and we were flung to the furthest corners of the earth. Now we cannot forgive and will never forget.
Where ever you are: Are you thinking of us the way we think of you?

- shhh

This just appeals to me because I have friends flung to all corners of the globe and I miss them. I’m sure someone else will find another meaning in it but that’s the goal, create something that resonates but has multiple meanings, as my friend Matthew May would say.

And How We Live Now

I know I could line up my excuses for you,
and you could shoot them down one by one
and then you could make other plans
and I could show up late
or miss your call or forget the date.

But you must remember that we're both here now
and this still counts.

- Pascale Tellier

Honesty. I love honesty. I love last-ditch appeals. I love putting everything you have into one last shot.

it's the feeling you get when you wake up in the middle of the night.

palms sweaty, heart heavy, the space next to you empty.

they say a storm's coming, but in reality, it's been here
all along.

- Candice

Vividly described nocturnal wondering. Beautiful.

And I understand the one metre long distance you're measuring between where you're standing and where i'm standing. But I just wanna let you know that I'm ready whenever you are.

- Jacqueline Audrey

Honesty, honesty, honesty. No games, just what you feel. Wonderful.

I honestly and really wish I could go through each and every one of the +/- 300 entries but I am only one man and I can’t.

I sincerely appreciate you taking part of this and it was a wonderful exercise.

Jon and I are talking about doing it again but there aren’t just words in I Wrote This For You, there are also pictures… so camera jockey, photogs and shutter bugs, watch this space.

All my love,


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Second Beginning

Testing. Testing.