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"Tales for The Ones in Love"

An international blog about literature, nature and hope. Here I include lyrics by Rui M. and the work of others. From 4th to 24th each month, new contributions sent to blogsnat@gmail.com are evaluated. Periodical Art contests and Critics. Thanks. Arigatou

"Tales for The Ones in Love"

An international blog about literature, nature and hope. Here I include lyrics by Rui M. and the work of others. From 4th to 24th each month, new contributions sent to blogsnat@gmail.com are evaluated. Periodical Art contests and Critics. Thanks. Arigatou

31
Dez23

Happy 2024!! A short story.

talesforlove

Happy new year!

We wish you health, peace, and joy.

Today we leave here a short story by by Gabriel Veiga (Brazil).

“The Dream Home”

After many hours inside a car, Josh, Andrew, Fred and Artie were worried they would spend the
rest of their vacation in the middle of a road. They were trying to find a way to fix their broken
vehicle.
“Oh my God, there is always something happening. We try to come up with new things and stuff
always happens”, said Artie, with a screwdriver in hand.
“Relax a little, Artie. If Josh and Andrew can’t find the problem, we can go to a hotel I found. It is
just a few minutes from here and we can get there on foot”, said Fred, as he showed Artie a
picture of a hotel with a sign reading “Dream Home”.
“So, Andrew and I think it is a problem with the engine. We need more time to fix it”, said Josh
grabbing a funny and colorful drawing of a funny animal that was on the floor.
“I was talking to Artie about a hotel nearby”, said Fred, showing the same picture to the boys.
“It sounds like a good idea”, said Josh, looking at Artie and Andrew.
The boys decided to leave the car and walk to the hotel. Some minutes later, the group had got
themselves a room and they were almost ready to go to bed.
“What will we do tomorrow?” Asked Fred, with a pillow on his face.
“Wait! What? Why is the alarm clock like that?” Asked Andrew, trying to understand why the
display showed 95:90 p.m.
“It must be an electricity problem. Now it is exactly 06:26 a.m.”, said Fred, looking at his cellphone.
After everybody fell asleep, they heard sounds of birds and fish, but they only woke up when a
wood-like voice began to say: “Hey, hey, wake up everybody. Wake up”.
Artie opened his eyes and saw a door walking around the room. Through its now-opened
threshold, He saw a magical flying whale.
“G…Guys I think something is not correct, we must be dreaming”, said Artie.
“Artie, stop with the nonsense. You just woke us up”, said Andrew, rubbing his eyes.
“What? Are you kidding me? There is a walking door and a flying whale!”
“Hello!” Said the door, with a hand out, which was serving a cup of hot chocolate for everyone.
“Wait, what?” the three said at the same time, while looking through the hole the door left
behind.
“I told you guys we are in a dream. So, I think I can…” Artie jumped through the open threshold
and fell onto a fluffy cloud.
“Artie, wait, what are you doing?” asked Fred, looking at Artie from inside the hotel room.
“Come on, guys! This cloud is made out of cotton candy”, said Artie, as he put his mouth on the
cloud and bit a piece of it.
“Okay”, said Josh and Andrew, jumping out of the hotel room and going to the fluffy cloud, which,
after Artie had bitten, got the shape of a big elephant with two big horns and a very large tail.
“So, if we are in a dream, we can control it, because this is all caused by us”, said Artie, focusing on
one cloud and magically transforming it in a plane.
“What? How did you do this, Artie?” asked Josh, making a funny face as he tried moving things.
“Just focus and dream about it”, said Artie, creating a gigantic football field.
“Let’s go”, screamed Josh, creating a flying horse with two big wings, 10-meters-long each.
For many and many hours Andrew, Artie and Josh have flown and imagined several things. That
was when they called for Fred and realized the boy was not with them: Fred was still in the hotel
room. He was alone and was not enjoying dreams like his friends. Instead, he was stuck in a
nightmare.
“What…what should I do?” asked Fred, almost exploding in despair. “Why… just, why? But all of
this will end now”, Fred reassured himself, walking to the door, repeating the words like a mantra.
“It is time to go home”, Fred thought. He jumped and, for some reason, he opened his eyes and
found himself falling off from a skyscraper.
“Wait, what is happening? This… this is the end”, said Fred, holding his legs up against his chest.
Seconds after he said that he realized that the impact hadn’t come, and that was very strange. As
he opened his eyes he saw a shadow which changed into the shape of a monster. He screamed
and ran back to the hotel room. When he got there, he realized that the threshold was surrounded
by wide and horrible teeth, just like a giant mouth. That was when the shadow grabbed him and
said:
“You will never get out of here; remember nobody likes you.”
“No, I am important and I will get where I need to”, said him, after jumping and getting to the
door.
“No, they hate you, you are just there because they needed a car to travel, and you happened to
have one. Face the truth, you are just a puppet for Andrew, Josh and Artie”, teased the shadow.
Fred used his dream powers to break the magical door to pieces. Sadness got over him. He got
hopeless again and started to cry. He felt cold and suddenly his surroundings changed; he was
falling into a red river and going downstream. In his mind, everything made sense: Andrew, Josh
and Artie hated him and everything related to him.
Everything went black. It seemed many hours passed by. Then, Fred heard a voice in the distance:
“Fred, Fred! Please, come back, you can't get lost now. I need to spend more time with you. You
are so incredible, you can do it. I…I know you can do it”, begged Andrew.
Fred could feel somebody hugging him. That was when he thought “why would I listen to the
shadow? It doesn't know anything about me and my friends. They love me. I love them”.
With this thought, he felt ready to go back home and woke up. He saw his friends next to him.
“Fred, are you okay?” Asked Fred, still hugging him.
“Yes, but we need to get out of here”, said Fred.
Fred created a magic cloud. Everybody jumped on it and they all flew to the hole the door left
behind.
“It is time to go home”, said Fred.
They crossed the door and, just as in the end of a bad dream, found themselves in the hotel room.
They went outside and spotted their car in the parking lot. They tried the engine and it roared.
Maybe their dream of a vacation came true. They fastened their seatbelts and hit the road, leaving
behind that crazy dream and celebrating their friendship.

 

 

Enjoy.

30
Jul23

Interview 2023 with Shmavon Azatyan

talesforlove

After the Nature Poetry Contest 2023, the literary magazine Tales for Love takes an interview with the writer Shmavon Azatyan who judged the poetry contest.

Interview by Rui M.

1 How do you judge a poem? Do you use specific criteria?
Poetry judging is probably the most difficult, compared to other art forms, such as fiction, music, sculpture. Of course, poetry has a structure and I can look at that and say, well, something doesn’t sound that convincing. But the structure is so flexible. In a short story, you must have a conflict, but a poem can be 4 lines and … really nothing is a MUST. I use the criterion of logic, first of all - is there any kind of logic in the poem in question? It can be nonsensical, that’s a logic, too. Is there an axis, around which the ideas in the poem develop? Other criteria are – how is that logic developed? Specific? Expressed? Does it excite me? Scare me? Surprise me? How do I feel? So, I look at the expression as well – ideas and feelings. Is there a new way of expressing these in the poem? Use of language in poetry is very important, so that’s yet another criterion. Finally, I look for a revelation, discovery and understanding of something that I may gain from the poem.

2 What is a good poem? If this is a good question to ask. Or what kind of poem should win a contest?
I try not to think of poems as good or bad. Any poem deserves to be read. Of course, this doesn’t mean whatever you write will be a poem. There are unwritten rules, also there are structures for a piece to be considered a poem. A good poem must speak to you, evoke images and tickle your senses. It must have a certain organic interrelation between form and content, sound and idea or feeling, structure and concept. It must say something new, whatever you can think of new means. Originality is subjective and varies from reader to reader. A poem must try to say more with fewer words. Still, there are difficulties in evaluating a poem. I’d use the word successful. There are poems that are hard to understand, very intellectual, political, and, or philosophical. And if you don’t understand a poem, it’s hard to say if it’s a successful piece or not.
Sometimes when it’s a difficult decision, because two or more poems are so equally well-crafted, the judge will have to be subjective and use intuition and idiosyncratic attitude to poetry. That’s why if your poem came so close to being number one or two, then you can easily think your poem could have been number one, if another judge was in charge. If your poem is not lucky to get one of the top ten, you can read those poems that got there and see how your work is different. Thinking of the next contest, keep this difference in mind. It’s possible you notice some weak points in your expression, your use of structure, your tone and handling of the theme.

3 You’re a writer yourself, and you write poems and you have been published. Do you consider the poems you judge as inferior?
No, I don’t think my poems are better than the ones I am judging. I mean, I don’t approach judging this way, that the contestants are still learning to write. Actually, I don’t know them. I understand it’s hard not to look down on these pieces, especially, I come across poems that have nothing in them to interest me as a reader. These are just ideas, jotted down on paper, they don’t have depth and associations, the constituents don’t interact with each other, and the language doesn’t evoke feelings and ideas. There’s truth in it, that when you’re judging a poem, you have this feeling that… you have gone a level higher and this is why you’re judging the poems. But if I allow these thoughts to divert my attention, that will affect my decision. Won’t be fair. So instead, I am learning – yes, I am learning from any poem, and believe it or not, some give me very good ideas about what to write and how to write.

4 How do you evaluate a poem, if you don’t understand it? Does it happen?
Yes. Writing a poem doesn’t mean you also can understand any poem. Some poems are strange to me, but I can’t say they’re not good. It’s me, not the poem. I must, then, judge this particular poem as much as I can understand. When I teach poetry writing, I ask my students to clarify what they mean by this or that phrase; when they answer, their answer doesn’t always make sense, because many times, in their mind, the beginner poets are writing an essay, but on the paper, they’re writing a poem. It takes time and work to learn to express yourself poetically.

5 Are poetry contests useful? What is a poetry contest’s goal?
Yeah, they can be. They are fun, first of all, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. We are not building a building; we are writing poems. But this doesn’t mean that we are not serious about writing poetry. Poetry, like any art, is a way to explore reality, our emotions and feelings, our ideas and perceptions, how we understand the world we live in. It can also be a discovery, when you’re writing about an idea, but then during the process you find out other ideas. Contest is a kind of a standard by which you test your skills. It’s not just sending a poem to a contest, but also reading other poems, also getting feedback sometimes, and most important, you see where your poem is after the results are announced. Now, you should think and decide what you make of where your poem has ended up. If it hasn’t won the first prize, but it came very close, then maybe you work a bit more on this poem and send to another contest or publisher. Or don’t do anything, just send to another contest because you know it’s a success.

6 In any contest, there are very few winners and so many participants who don’t win. What is your message to those who don’t win?

I’d say, don’t take it to your heart – ever. Winning a poetry contest is not a life goal, doesn’t mean you’re a good or bad poet. It can never be a qualification. You can have three different judges; each will give you a different comment. It’s very subjective. If you don’t win, make a point to win by understanding the poem that has won. Try to see what it is in it that earned it the first place. Look at other winners in other contests. Study these poems and you will have an idea why they win. If you want, and you feel comfortable, try write a poem in that spirit, style, and along those conceptual lines. If not, not a big deal, write more, workshop your poem with somebody else, learn from your own writing. And read more poetry. You can’t make winning a contest your goal, if you want to be a good poet. Consider this: there are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people who write poems. How many poetry contests can we count? Whatever their number is, it’s impossible that they reflect the poetry writing demand. You don’t win, but I’m sure there are lots of people who read your work and tell you that’s great, and they really enjoyed it. So, you make them happy, that’s what matters.

 

Other news:

The tragedy in Greece

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/28/greece-fires-arsonists-extreme-weather

 

World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal

With an ecological approach.

https://www.lisboa2023.org/en/the-program

 

Enjoy.

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