We were being trained. In all sorts of army ways that us musicians needed to learn. We had been joined in a group with the rest of the boys assigned to the 43rd. I had met the others in captain Laurie's company. There were two of each player, instead of the usual three, due to the small size of our group. The other drummer was a young Welshman named Matthew Davies, he was slightly smaller than me and around twelve years old, why they recruited so young I'll never know. The two flag bearers of our company had also joined in the drills we do, one was an Englishman from Bolton, England, named Michael Eaves, who is very friendly, but much older than the rest of us, being in his early twenties. the second bearer was an Irishman named Christopher Collins. I had talked with him often and I knew we would get along, though he is five years my senior, the same age as my Duncan. As for Fifers, we only had one for now, being told that the other would meet us in the harbour for the trip across the ocean. The one we did have was another Englishman, from Cheapside, London, his name was Nicholas Walker. I did not like him much in his sullen and shifty ways, but he kept to himself mostly. I hoped the other fifer would be more of a pleasant sort.
We learned the drills that we were to play with the soldiers, me and Matthew, or Matty as he prefers, learned the drum rhythms for the different orders. Like the order for a charge is a simple drum roll and such. I had learned how to hold the drum sticks properly when playing and when waiting for orders, and then how to rightly put them away when not doing either. These English have customs for everything don't they?
I learned to fight with my cutlass next. Us being in a marksman company, we were to have extensive training in that, being on front lines more than others, as well as perhaps skirmish fighting. I was paired with Matty, Christopher and Nicholas were paired off, and Michael works with the instructor, a thin wiry man named Sergeant Hunter. We quickly improved at the sword work and Matty enjoyed it very much, though he seemed worried about going into a real battle. I was too, but I didn't let them know.
The boys; that being Matty, Chris, and Michael, have come to call me Danny; and whenever Chris sees me and is in a jolly mood gets into humming an old Irish tune called 'the Londonderry Air'. Being about a father who has to send his son, Danny, away to war because the pipes are calling him there or some such sadness. I don't mind though, it reminds me of home and the old bagpiper in the village where I was raised. He always had a beautiful tune to play, nowhere else could you find one of his skill.
I am heading to the training field as these thoughts come to mind, trailing behind Michael and Chris, who are in deep conversation about something. the two of them have become fast friends and have formed a brotherly bond. Together they look out for each other and Matty and I as well, Nicholas has formed his own band with other boys from London and they often prey on the younger boys in the regiment. I have come to find that Michael, even though bei
Joseph Roza (XRIVO Co-founder) and I have many things in common. We both attended the University of Iowa and studied writing with the phenomenal undergraduate program there. We both fell in love with Iowa City, one of the most renowned literary communities in the world, and its ability to inspire someone’s best work. Of course, As compulsive writers, it was difficult not to fall in love with a town with quotations and passages engraved into the sidewalks, murals of literary allusions on the walls of buildings, and readings, lectures or artistic displays happening somewhere every night of the week. Then the academic side, and the workshops: that horrifying, rigorous process through which a panel of your peers and faculty picked through every pore and imperfection of your work to try and help you refine your vision. Anxiety-inducing, yes, but powerful, all because no one ever described anyone's work as "bad". The students were only ever interested in trying to improve themselves and offering whatever small bits of valuable input they could. Nothing, artistically, was off limits. As students, as two people who had a genuine, intense affection for language and writing, it was a wildly exciting place. Then, as students eventually must, we left the creative and academic bubble that college represents for most and entered the real world. Upon leaving, we discovered one other thing we had in common: We missed Iowa City. We were also both mutually terrified by the horror stories we heard from writers about dealing with publishers, stories about lack of creative control, astonishingly low royalties, or even a year of being told they were “interested” in using the work followed by an impersonal, boiler-plate rejection letter. The world for someone with an artistic streak is, as it turns out, not a friendly place. But something wonderful has been happening in the publishing industry over the past few months. Digital distribution methods and social networking tools allow for anyone to market their work and sell it on their own, on their terms, making self-publishing a more feasible method than ever before. The truth is, we don’t need publishers to reach people, and we certainly don’t need them to tell us what merits a chance at a wide base of readers. What the digital age hasn’t offered us yet is an open community site that’s specifically designed to help writers of every form, genre and experience level to connect with readers and build their own creative community. Writing is so often portrayed as a solitary craft, the product of one great intellect sitting alone in a room pounding out genius. In fact, writing is just one side of a conversation, the beginnings of a discussion between writer and reader. So many people are convinced that they can't write, or that they shouldn't, or that their perspective couldn’t possibly offer anything of worth to the world, even if they’ve been writing their whole lives. If they do manage to keep faith in the wo
Seven rings wound with silver,one for each time she’s lost her breath,cling tightly to her knucklesas to not slide off her slender fingers,and to help her strum the beat up woodof a yellow ukulele. Her eyes are laced with some sorrowthat harbors in her bonesas she borrows words from famous singersto inject her poisoned soul. The audience is tense.They look around, unsure, concerned,about their heroine’s stature.They close their eyes to hide her image,and only hear her voiceas they remembered on a vinyl. Not this bitter creature.They like their musicians pumped withfalse excitement and jittering in fake amusement.With pre-played records,with smooth, robotic voices. She looks down at 2:27,down at her strumming fingers andantique brass necklace that tells a storyas she repeats the simple phraseto the cold microphone. She smiles. The audience breathes,a harmony ensues,they open their eyes.Her hair looks lighter in the sun,her voice sounds better off-tune.
10/5/2011Allen, I kiss your saintly wrinkelbrowGrandfather poetSharer of namesakeFor mysake standAs a strong brave pillar of unabashed faggotryPoems that are sexualfreeDom chasers, hope gracersFear erasersAllen, my spiritual fatherSweet and whole and unlovelyWarts and all and founder of loveFinder of beautifulthings in uglythingsWorshipper of foul things as sacredthingsSpinner of anthems that spoke and still speak to my soulAllen, my predecessor, my poetfatherI want to cruise the dingey late night groceries with youMost profane and veiny and wholefacedArt of our degredation, sacred sacred thingsUnpretty, un-easy, un fetteredYou are my spirit spaces, my foreverplacesYou will help me to be wholeNot because you knew or Know meBut because you are or were meAs you were then, as I am nowBecomingUntil death becomingtil final breathBecomingBecomingBecomingbecoming
My Dearest: It has been so long since we've talked; since we've touched; since I've felt the tenderness of your soft lips caressing my own. Your voice was once so euphonious to me. You had always found a way to bring my mind to joy, even during my times of greatest need. I had nothing when you found me. I had not even the clothing on my back, but only a thin gown. My thoughts were then in deep distress; my life was but only a mess. You, my dear; you were the only who could bring a smile to my face, a laughter in my voice, and the love from my heart. You were my everything! You were my everyone... my only one. When I was trash to the rest of the world, you saw something in me. You saw things that I would have never realized on my own. You were my anchor, my crutch; you were the rope that I held on to which pulled my from my gloom, my hole... my grave. Oh how I miss you so, my dear. I miss your tender touch, as when we would kiss your hand would graze my chin, my cheek, the back of my neck. I miss parking the car in an empty lot in the middle of the night just to dance to the song that played in our hearts. I miss holding you closely in my arms, as the night would grow dim you would fall asleep beside me; while i could not sleep because I was so captivated by you. You would wake up and smile just because I had not let you go through the night. I miss gazing into your eyes. I remember telling you on multiple occasions that your eyes were just so beautiful to me, but you would never believe me. Then you would ask with a smile on your face, "How many girls have you used that line on before?" rolling your eyes. I would smile back and tell you that your eyes are the most beautiful eyes I think that I have ever seen in my life. And, darling, that is not a lie. Your eyes are so perfect! They are bright light blue with delicately detailed patterns that make them look like timeless winter crystals. Do you remember? Do you remember how you felt with me? Do you remember the way our kiss would make you feel? Do you remember joyous feeling of being in love? Do you remember the first time we said, "I love you." to each other? Do you remember how I stuck by you no matter how badly things had gotten, within our complicated situation? Do you remember talking to me in the middle of the night and no matter what it was, I was there to help, to listen, to give feedback? I do. I remember all of it. From the night that we met, to the last second I saw you... I remember. And because I remember, I wish I could forget. I wish I could forget how happy I was then so that I can stop mourning how depressed I feel right now. I wish I could forget what it felt like to be loved so that I do not realize my feelings of being unloved; of being trash; of being worthless to the one I once called my lover, my friend, my Aubrey Reed. Signed with all of my love,Me
Welcome to the new and improved XRIVO, writerly friends. Powered by endless supplies of kit-kats and chocolate milk (it’s an obsession), Alex and I have managed to implement these new features to make XRIVO simpler and more intuitive, while working to bring you cleaner, fresher designs. There’s a lot of work going on in the comforts of the XRIVO headquarters, and we’re excited to show you exactly how they work to make your stay at XRIVO relaxing, safe, and simple.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your wonderful feedback. It’s made this process of refining XRIVO’s writer’s tools easier and more fun. For those of you who don’t know already, XRIVO’s been featured in a number of publications in the Illinois-Iowa area. It’s exciting to see the name going around.
Anyways, writers, we kind of want to show off the new XRIVO, and the way we’re going to do that is to give you three simple instructions: Write it, workshop it, share it. Think of XRIVO as that simple tool you use to practice writing. Akin to that journal you always have tucked into your jacket pocket, XRIVO is meant to be that safe place where you can share what you want, when you want, to who you want. The security and safety of our writers’ work is our number 1 concern, which is why XRIVO has a number of elements in place to make sure that your writing stays yours.
Your Copyright Protection
Once you submit work to the site, you will receive an email with a timestamp verifying you own the writing that you just put on XRIVO. Keep track of these emails! This is your copyright protection. Think of it like the easiest way to obtain intellectual property rights over your writing that you can manage. We are constantly optimizing the security of the writing our users submit to the public community, and work to continue to bring you the finest security available. XRIVO isn’t designed to share with a public community only, though, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember, when you’re experiencing that little itch to share something…
Write it down
Free Writing is the most direct method to begin exercising your literary muscles. Think of it exactly like that: free writing. There’s no bars held against you, here. This is your place. Want to keep it as a simple journal entry? Perfect, click ‘Save’ to keep it private. You can access this work from the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the page or by clicking ‘My Works’. Try sharing a couple journal entries with the community sometimes, too. It can be a lot of fun to get honest feedback from the community on something as simple as a journal entry. Just click ‘Publish’ and the work is readily available on the Discover page.
Workshop it with your Peers
The Writing Workshop on XRIVO is tailored to be like the writing classes Alex and I experienced at the University of Iowa. Thorough feedback is what we gave and what we received, and this is exactly what XRIVO’s tools are prepared to give you once you click ‘workshop’. Be sure to
like a wave
end over end over
throat knots and
she/ her/ you know,
nouns and adjectives.
could you believe it
still turns my stomach?
quickens the beat of bitter
and ripens resentment;
it doesn't matter,
Whether you use the XRIVO.com workshop function to revise and get feedback privately or share with the entire community, you’re taking a very necessary, though terrifying step in the creative process. The XRIVO feedback process is modeled off those workshop courses to give you the ability to thoroughly respond to work. Now, through XRIVO, you can get and give line-by-line feedback on any piece. All you have to do is highlight what you’d like to comment on and type away in the “Comment” box. As the author, you can filter what feedback shows up by user to make the comments easier to peruse. All you have to do is run your mouse over the comment to see what they’re commenting on.
But there’s more to getting the most out of sharing your work than just detailed revisions and discerning readers. Sharing your writing can be daunting, yes, but here are some things to keep in mind to help everyone get everything they can out of XRIVO.com. Here’s a simple guide: 4 keys to giving and 4 keys to getting feedback on your written work.
Pretentious note: I didn't copy and paste—I typed every word.