Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To The Murdered Child

This poem was written for children that died at the hands of the people who was supposed to save and protect them. The people that were supposed to love them and d care for them but chose to take their lives.

Every child in nearly every land,
All are familiar with the same drill,
That they shouldn't have to be afraid,
And that monsters aren't real.
Creepy demons crawling from the closet
Dead things living under the bed,
Hellish creatures from under the pillow,
Living ghouls underneath their head.
But there was a difference with this child
Who looked death in the face,
Having to face an awful reality,
That this was no ordinary place.
The last moments in terror,
That no child should have to face.
Alas, Evil Triumphed over Good,
While ripped from life's embrace.
Not the voice of a stranger,
Nor the face of an unknown,
A glance in the face of Evil,
Mirrored back to be his own.
These monsters showed no mercy,
With horrifying zeal.
Proved that death was to be its fate.
And the monsters under the bed were real.

By Sonya Dickerson © 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dreaming of Okinawa

When the soldier goes to bed at night,
And he closes his eyes.
He dreams of Okinawa,
And all the men that died.

The bullets flying over head,
With the sand at his feet,
He prayed that God would watch over him,
He had promises to keep.

Many soldiers lost their lives.
On one fateful day.
He found God on the Battlefield.
As she shouldered his rifle to pray.

He locked eyes with one maiden.
Before she leaped to her death.
He tried to forget her and move on,
Soon realizing that he never left.

Marching through her jungles,
Blind to her beautiful land.
But soldiers can't see beauty,
When death is close at hand.

When he thinks of Okinawa,
And her beautiful sandy shore.
He wondered if things were different?
Could he have done more?

To save his fallen comrades.
As they died one by one,
Was it worth all the human cost?
For the battle to be won?

His battle wounds have since healed.
But his heart remains on her shore.
The two will always be one in the same,
Okinawa and he, forever more.

© Sonya Dickerson 2015

I wrote this poem to every US and Allied soldier that fought in the Pacific Theatre. The fighting on this little island was ferocious...as it was on Saipan and Iwo Jima. I hope and pray that this world will find peace and war to be something we did in the past. I pray that our children's children can figure out how to live with each other in a global community without having to shed each other's blood.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Historical Fiction: A Delightful Second Choice

...when done correctly.

First hand written accounts of historical events are something that I treasure greatly. There is nothing better than to get an accurate account of an important historical event. I love history just as much as I love writing. Today I found myself giving my daughter a history lesson about WWII and just how it affected the world today. When people say that history is in the past, I give a little chuckle. I could write a book on how that particular war changed the very face of the world and is the backdrop to the current events that are going on today.

Thanks to the ugly side of the Internet, I've been reading for white supremacists that African history is insignificant until the white man came through. I thoroughly reject that argument and began doing research and found it patently false. I turned to Haiti when I learned of the slave rebellion but there is not many witnesses that recorded the history. It was a gruesome history but history nonetheless.

During my research, I learned of a wonderful book, 'Island Beneath The Sea' by a wonderful author Isabel Allende. I am currently reading this book and I can't put it down. I haven't gotten to the Haitian Revolution and am having a fine time reading about the characters. Even though they are fictional, they seem so real and the story is building to a great climax to when the revolution starts.

I highly recommend the story, especially if you are into that time in history. Of if you happen to subscribe to white supremacist ideology....

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Paladin Without a King: Robert Gould Shaw

To Robert Gould Shaw....

A reluctant Knight in the beginning
It was to be a troubled start,
But his character and youthful wisdom,
Was emblazoned on his heart.
He was given a great challenge.
To persuade those who weren't quite there,
But he remained on the side of Justice,
Equality, Truthful, and Fair.
This reluctant Knight soldiered on,
A paladin without a King.
Loyalty, Honor, and Bravery,
Which the Truth will always bring.
He earned his place in history,
Before being buried amongst his men.
An insult intended to bring dishonor,
Brought him honor time and time again.
He won the hearts and minds of many.
With the respect that these men had won,
This reluctant Knight now forever valiant
To Him and the fallen 54th, "Well done!"
What could have been of these honorable men?
Whose legacy remains unmarred.
He couldn't have had a better company in death,
Nor a better bodyguard.


Why write a poem to a man that died over a hundred and fifty years ago? Many people have watched the movie, "Glory," in which Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman starred in 1989. It was one of the greatest Civil War movies made of all time according to the critics.

This movie was very good and still can't watch it without crying, even though the writers took great liberties with the story, even going as far as creating fictional characters.

The Confederates thought they were insulting this great man when they left him in a mass grave full of Negro soldiers but what better way to die amongst the men that revered and respected him the most?

Rest in Peace Colonel. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Writing With A Chronic Illness

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to think. To have a coherent thought. To be able to form a sentence regardless of the pain that you're feeling. To feel motivated to finish a paragraph. To care enough to check for grammar. To feel desperate to create by smiting that nagging, blinking cursor on the screen.

It's easier to hide under a mountain of pillows, chuck some pills, and stare in a daze. It's easier to stuck in a good novel on my Kindle while my manuscripts suffers silently. My characters are left in suspended animation waiting on resolution to a conflict. Waiting for that inciting incident that's going to take their lives from order to chaos; a simple scientific lesson on entropy.

There are many days that I've sat and watched the cursor blink away at my face....taunting me that I'm not getting anything done. Then there are days that I've looked up and twenty pages have passed...and I'm still writing.

Those days I try to take advantage of because who knows when I'll be able to write again. I try not to think about other writers out there, churning out books, blogs, and articles like nothing. I try not to think of those writers who get up at seven am in the morning and write until lunch time. Or those writers that take their show on the road and have several pages completed daily. What are they doing that I'm not? Do I make excuses for myself because of my illness or do I realize that I have more time on my hands than I've ever had before?

I guess both are true. On days that I don't feel well, then I don't push it. Besides, whatever I do write comes out like crap anyway. I try to keep a pen nearby with my trusty legal pad and jot ideas down. Sometimes I like to "free write". That's when I just type whatever comes to my head. On days that I do feel okay, I try to write something...anything. This is why an outline is the best way to go when writing a book. I've been stuck on my current book so long I don't know what to do anymore. I get as lost as a toddler in a mall. Stuck and not loving it.

So excuses don't help anyone. I'm sure the writers who aren't slackers will tell you that. How else can you get anything done?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brian Griffin From Family Guy Is Dead....Why I Won't Be Tuning In

I never thought I'd care that a cartoon character was killed off but I find myself caring. Why? Because Brian was such a well developed and well liked character. He brought stability and reason to a house full of chaos. Family Guy, like it or not, is a show of  great significance to pop culture.

 It has the younger generation asking those of us who are older about certain references that are made about my generation. Don't believe me? Go to YouTube and Yahoo answers from younger kids questioning the generational references made. Because Seth MacFarlane and I are from the same generation, it starts a dialogue with me and my daughter. It also feels good to remember.

The show also teaches younger viewers about historical events. Events that they sometimes look up on Wikipedia to get more information on. I was amazed at the effect that this thirty minute cartoon had. And last Sunday, it destroyed the very spark  that made this controversial but funny cartoon complete. Just because the writers wanted to "shake things up"? How about letting them move from Quahog? Or giving one of them a chronic illness. No you decided to kill off one of the most important characters that was integral to the show.

So what do I do? I don't know if I ever want to watch another episode again. It's like Thanksgiving dinner after Grandma dies. It's like running across an object in your house when you remember that the person that owned it is no longer living. There is absolutely no reason to watch the show any longer. Pulling the rug from under your audience is no way to shake things up. It's a way to make me turn the television off.

Bring Brian back or you've lost a fan forever.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bad Amazon Reviews: How To Move Past Them And Keep Writing

Your face is literally burning at the screen as you read those horrible words. You can't believe that they didn't see your vision. The reader just didn't comprehend what you were trying to say. They couldn't have read it because if they did, they would have seen the pure genius of your work and rated it accordingly.

Your first thought? It may be to flag the review. Scour Amazon's guidelines to see if any were broken and try to get them to remove it. You may even ask your friends and family members to flag the review and get it removed. Some authors may even be tempted enough to respond with fury in the comments section.

Don't take the bait. It looks unprofessional and it should never be done in any circumstance. How to get over a bad book review? First, decide if the review has any merit. Some reviews are just personal. The reader may not like you for whatever reason. One of my non-fiction reviews focused on one incident that happened in the book that she didn't agree with and decided to write a three paragraph rant on why I should not have called an ambulance when I injured myself. Even though the paramedics told me I did the right thing, she felt otherwise and slammed my book for that reason. Remember, a reader doesn't really need a good reason to give you a poor review. One reviewer gave a writer one star because the writer's name was larger than the title on the cover.

If you are getting bad reviews based on poor grammar, poor sentence structure, typos, poor picture/illustrations, or formatting, you may want to take notice and make some edits. If the reviews are telling you that there are holes in the plot or there are too many characters, then you may want to remember that on your next novel. I can practically hear you screaming, "But I fixed one plot hole in chapter seven when the bad guy jumps out of the ground and....". If your readers didn't get what you were trying to do the first time, then it may be too complicated or you need to restructure your work. You don't want your readers flipping through the pages trying to figure out your technique. They should be getting caught up in your story, not getting caught up searching through their Kindle.

You are not going to make everyone happy so there is no reason to try. Take the good criticism and make your next novel better. Take the bad criticism and throw it out the window. It only takes three or four minutes to tear down something you spent the better part of a year or more trying to create. My personal saying is, "Those that can, do. Those who can't become critics." Write that statement on a piece of paper above your workspace, then keep writing.