Where has Phillip been? WRITING

If you’ve been following my blog closely (and I assume you have been consumed with it for months now) then you probably noticed I dropped off the face of the Earth in the last few weeks.

Good news! I’m back! And I have news!

I just this week completed the first draft of my first novel, tentatively called That Time the World Almost Melted: An Earth-based space comedy. If you hate that title, well there’s plenty more to hate beyond that. And that’s where you come in: I need volunteers to help me out by beta reading this tome before I even think about publishing it.

What are you getting into?

  • As the subtitle implies, it’s a sci-fi comedy. The main characters are human, but aliens pop up and adventure ensues. (Silly, pointless adventure.)
  • It’s a relatively short novel (53,000 words, a bit longer than “novella”)
  • I’ll provide a questionnaire in addition to the manuscript so you can give me your full, unvarnished opinions.

What’s in it for you?

  • You will be thanked in the acknowledgments of my book
  • You will get a copy of the book
  • You will be remembered fondly by me and probably my mother
  • You will have the life-long pride of having helped shaped one of the seminal novels of the 21st century (assuming you help me and also do this for Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Book description

Jake Whitman wasn’t having a great day. Work was stressful, his girlfriend just broke up with him, and the local brewery was really stretching with its latest punny beer names. No matter how bad, he was not expecting to find an alien in the back seat of his car. Now he’s on the road with federal agents, news media, and who knows what else chasing him. The very fate of the world could be on his shoulders … or at the very least tough dinner decisions.


Drop me a line if you want to volunteer!

phillipkscott [at] gmail [dot] com


One man’s art

The match lights.

The newspaper sparks immediately —
the flame matching the intensity 
of the ink passionately spread through
a dozen stories — and dissolves into ash.

The infant flame crawls onto twigs.

I stand mesmerized by this transmutation:
words once poured over by anxious writers
now spilled into a fire as kindling, sweat 
burning into memories I’ve already forgotten.

The winds shift.

I rearrange the sticks to assist their demise,
wondering how many revisions — how many 
editors’ notes — were born before the news 
fanned out to a half awake audience.

The flames leap from twigs to logs.

I stare transfixed at the graceful movement
of the blaze (so gorgeous as it spasms
on this log, then another) effortlessly 
transforming timber into trifling confetti.

I find it poetic. 

My stomach screams an idea, an ephemeral epiphany 
I must immediately share for art’s sake,
enthusiastically published on pulp
and eventually catalyst for another fire.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #69: Kindle and Ragtag Daily Prompt: Scream.


Reflections upon death

Is that really my face, framed
by white hair like a cabin
standing alone in the too-early
winter snow, lazily gazing
back at me in the old mirror?
My grandmother’s old mirror, lined
with old photos of people now dead,
frozen in black and white eternity
where they face no end nor
remember any beginning.

Pictures remain, moments,
faces without context, smiling forever
in the face of fewer people
remembering them,
a majority of their moments forgotten
hours at a time. Every minute spent alone
was one
that dissolved into nothing.
No one shares, no one reflects.
They may as well never happen
for all the universe
cares.

———

We do death all wrong. Tombstones
list our birth and death dates, ignoring
what’s in the – , distilling a life –
vaporizing
all those moments before condensing
existence into a name and two dates.

Obituaries summarize
a life
in a few sentences – the view
from 50,000 feet where angels
are introduced to the new meet –
before painstakingly listing all those left
behind. We choose to focus
on the living
while burying the lede. The living find time
to move on.

———

When I die, god forbid, I want them to show
pictures of me in my youth. Not some wrinkled, 
white-haired, bloated version I will
have grown to be (god willing) even if I myself have long
forgotten what it was to be young,
vibrant, alive. Iron out the creases and
gloss over the pot marks
of a life, if not well-lived, at least survived.

Is this now? And if we get an afterwards
what words will follow after? If time is not a
straight line
have we already seen what follows and
does it match what came before? In the
end does it matter if I won’t notice?

Will others?

And do I think too much of death?
Do I waste much time
on that which comes to each
in time
though I rush not into
that particular adventure?

And is it ironic that the less time we have
the more we waste thinking
about something we can’t do
anything about. Is that irony?
It’s something I won’t waste time

thinking about.

———

This mirror, my grandmother’s old mirror,
awaits one more picture,
another face,
wherever it now goes, whenever we choose,
and I, red eyes puffy and moist,
think that I have one less Christmas
present to buy.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019


The sailor

The day fades to amber.
A sailor scampers toward shore,
fearful of being lost on the billowy blanket
where warmth in wet ripples
soothes an otherwise fierce soul,
longing to be three
sails to the wind.

But pause, the sailor.
She called to him from behind,
crying calm waters whose
deep bold blue blended with the sky,
shades of blue amid specks of red
cascading beyond
his imagination.

Or maybe he merely wanted
to touch the sky
and turning upside-down,
adrift among the waves
and the clouds, stretched his sails
once again.
The night grows black.


(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott

Written with the following prompts in mind:
The Word of the Day Challenge – “Lost”
The Putting My Feet in the Dirt August writing prompts : “bold and billowy”


Metaphor (or worse)

The perfect metaphor
authorizes its signal, a whimsical
harmony sung in four parts
blended to elation, one message
in many voices. Insight
can delight from any perspective,

though I may strain
in falsetto
for a note just out of
reach – or
out of time.

When can a defeated shout
reside, a revelation weighed
down by a poet’s talent, or,
worse, fancy? We are both
best equipped and worst

suited to edit
ourselves
in a fervor just out of
control – or
out of time.


(c) 2019 by Phillip Knight Scott


Beacon

We saw the beacon, if such
things exist, standing defiantly to
the horizon, offensively colorful
as the sun gophers, marking
another day.

Morning has a way of seeping
into those dark spaces we, reluctant to
reveal ourselves, place in the shadows,
tucked away in rabbit holes
tumbling away.

And still we aim higher, above
the lighthouse, above even the horizon,
as we, inspired by the beacon
beckoning through it all, aspire –
ourselves – to rise.


(c) 2019 Phillip Scott

Written in response to the Pic and Word Challenge over at Pixtowords.com. This was fun! Check out more: https://pixtowords.com/2019/07/28/beacons-pic-and-a-word-198/

Photo credit: Patrick Jennings