I was tagged in the second challenge of James & Oneg’s Summer Writing Challenge Extravaganza: "Tag, You're it!" Look for the link after the poem.
I had intended to bow out of this challenge, but when Babs challenged me to write something for the MEN community, I gave in, because I'm a sucker. I also chose the same format as Babs, because, you know, an acrostic is easy, right? [Insert eye roll.] Unfortunately, submitting to this community means I have to meet the minimum word count, so I'll have to babble.
Obviously, I'm going to fail the challenge, because: 1) I was working when I saw the challenge post, and put off the writing until this morning, and 2) there's no way I'm going to write all of this in 15 minutes. So, I've disqualified myself, and now I can give up. (Yeah, right.) I'll post this failure anyway, just to "keep the ball rolling."
So, I thought about what might be fitting for this community. I was born in the era of "the man's man." (That really is an odd term, don't you think? It doesn't mean what it sounds like it means.) Anyway, I am a man, although I aspire to be something just outside the stereotype. That has its frustrations, especially when I have no desire to be seen as the modern version.
Meanwhile, there's still the issue of word count and I'm only halfway there. Can I tag it as microfiction? Would that matter? I have no idea. So, here I go, babbling some more. That can't be right, though, because I'm a man. I don't babble, I orate, or pronounce, or declare, or something. But I'm not talking, I'm writing, so what do I have to call it now? English is hard!
Oh, Babs, what hast thou wrought? 15 minutes might as well have been 15 seconds. 600 words might as well be 60,000. "Keep writing. Just keep writing..."
Full disclosure: I knew what I was in for with this, but I actually like acrostics, so I led with that. Calling the result a poem might be a stretch, but whatever. (Don't you hate that phrase? I do.) I also knew the 15-minute goal was never going to be achievable.
Part of the problem is that when it comes to writing habits, I'm a "pantser." I don't journal. I rarely make notes and I never outline unless it's required. You'd think that would be an advantage in this case, right? Not so, at least not for me.
My mind goes where it wants to go and most of my stories and poems write themselves on the fly. Although it's more like crawling than flying. Sometimes it's like crawling through mud. Naked. With hidden bear traps. Under razor wire. In the Klondike.
Ok, my mind made that last part up. (See how that works?) I enjoy the writing process. Most of the time.
It feels like I'm getting close to the word count, so it's probably time to think about wrapping this up. After all, I have a whole day of manly stuff ahead of me. And that was part of the thought process that got us here. See what I mean? Yeah, me neither. I'm totes wingin' it out here. (Did I just subtly combine new and archaic expressions?)
When I sat down this morning, I decided to take a shot at voicing the frustration of striving to meet the old-fashioned principles of manhood, without what's been labeled "toxic." What I ended up with probably doesn't quite get there, but I only had 15 minutes and one cup of coffee.
I did make the deadline with the poem, so maybe It's not a total failure. You be the judge.
Anticipate and act
Suck it up and go on
Laugh in the face of danger
Thanks for reading!
Here's Bab's entry, which I really prefer over mine:
Here's that link to the Extravaganza:
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Original narrative & well developed characters
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes