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Esther has read 11 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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Esther Spurrill Jones. Powered by Blogger.
27 January 2012
Like Red Tights, this is another imitation, this time of the poem/song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.




Middle Earth Hallelujah

I heard there was a Ring of gold
That Frodo bore and no Man could hold,
But you don't really care for stories, do you?
It goes like this, with Elf and Man,
Dwarf and Hobbit with a plan--
And ancient Wizard praying Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Your will was strong, but you couldn't stand -
You slipped the Ring upon your hand;
Its beauty in the firelight overthrew you.
He leapt upon you, teeth and claws;
He took your finger in his jaws
And as he fell, you breathed a hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

I did my best - I almost turned;
It wasn't by my will it burned.
I've told the truth; I didn't come to fool you.
And now, because it ended right,
I'll stand beneath the starry light
With nothing on my lips but hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

-Esther Spurrill Jones
24 January 2012
When I broke up with my first boyfriend, I wrote a lot of poetry about the situation, one of which I posted on a previous day: Role of a Lifetime. The following is another such piece.

To the Girlfriend of My Ex

Does he tell you I'm a snob?
Does he say I led him on?
Have I become a shadow in the night?

Does he cry upon your shoulder?
Does he make you pity him?
Have you become the crutch on which he leans?

Do you think you are in love?
Do you want to marry him?
Do you think your feelings could be right?

Are you starting to feel trapped?
Do you think he's a mistake?
And when he speaks, you wonder what he means...
23 January 2012
Although I prefer fantasy, sometimes I write a story that is more true to life. The following is based on an experience I had one summer at a camp I where I volunteered.

The Three Amigos... and Me

"Hey, guys, I have an idea," Sara proclaimed.

"What is it?" Tyler asked.

We were walking up the hill from the barn toward the dining hall for lunch. Sara, Tyler, and Lucy were, as usual, several steps ahead of me since I found it difficult to keep up.

"You know how the Three Amigos do that little dance?" Sara continued.

"Yeah!" Lucy and Tyler chorused. The three of them proceeded to demonstrate the dance, which consisted of a series of simple movements reminiscent of the Macarena, ending with a forward thrust of the hips.

I watched, bemused. Just after the four of us had been assigned to work in the barn three weeks ago, the three of them had discovered a mutual love of the Three Amigos. They were constantly singing the theme song and discussing things the three heroes had done. I was confused; I'd never heard of the Amigos before this summer, and I was still unsure who or what they were.

Giggling, Sara said, "Let's do that in front of everybody at lunch."

"Yes, let's!" Lucy agreed.

Tyler was a little less enthusiastic. "I don't think Dan would appreciate the hip thrust at the end," he warned.

Tyler was the most mature of the three amigos, a fact which surprised me. I was rather sexist, and therefore expected females to outdo males-especially when it came to maturity.

"Let's change it," Tyler suggested. "Instead of a hip thrust, let's pretend to draw a couple of six-guns." He mimed a quick draw with both hands, pointing his invisible guns at the air before him.

"Great idea," Lucy said.

"Yes, I like it," Sara agreed.

We continued up the hill while the amigos practiced their adapted dance. Their joy would have been infectious if it hadn't been so exclusive. There were only three amigos.

Like the Three Musketeers, the Three Amigos stuck together. Unlike the Three Musketeers, the Three Amigos had no room for a fourth member. While D'Artagnan was accepted by the Musketeers, I would never be an amigo.

Tears stung my eyes as I trudged behind my co-workers. I could accept that they would never be my friends, but there was more: I often found myself doing their work as well as my own.

Yesterday evening while I was unsaddling horses, I realized that Lucy, Sara, and Tyler were sitting on the haystack, talking. Unsure if they were aware that I was doing their work, I openly carried a saddle past them. They didn't react.

I had stripped almost half the horses in the barn when Monica, the Horsemanship Coordinator, arrived. Seeing her approach, the amigos quickly began to untack horses. I was so angry I could hardly breathe. "God, help me," I whispered through my tears.

Monica believed the industrious act, and the amigos continued on their merry way. Judging from their behaviour today, they felt no remorse. However, it was hard for me to be angry with them-impossible, in fact. It just wasn't in me to hold a grudge.

"Ready, guys?" Sara stood just outside of the dining hall, a questioning look on her face.

"We're ready!" Lucy and Tyler chorused.

The three amigos entered the building, singing their silly theme song. Pausing where everyone could see them, they performed their dance with a flourish. Laughter and applause rewarded them. I clapped along with the others, and then followed the amigos to the washrooms to clean away the barn dirt.

In the bathroom, Lucy said, "Esther, that was great the way you handled Dandy today. When she started bucking, I thought it was all over."

"It was scary," I admitted. "I really thought I was going to fall off."

"You did good," Sara assured me.

I shook my head in confusion. I could not understand these people I worked with. They could be so nice, yet they were often cruel. They were so talented with horses, yet they were often clueless when it came to other people's feelings.

As I had been sexist, I had also been Christocentric. I had expected Christians to be kind and caring-all the time.

Three days ago, while we were preparing to take a group of kids on a trail ride, we had been in the arena with the horses tied up along the fence. The three amigos were sitting on top of the fence when the kids arrived. I greeted the young riders, and directed them to stand next to their horses. I then began to help them mount.

"We should help," I heard Tyler say.

"Nah," Lucy replied. "Esther's got it under control."

I helped twenty campers to mount. It was exhausting.

Lucy slid off the fence nonchalantly. "Okay, kids," she called, "let's ride!" She picked out the best staff horse for herself and led the group out onto the trails.

"You can ride drag on this one," Sara told me. "Take Murphy."

Gee, thanks, I thought. Murphy was the ugliest horse in the barn and the most uncomfortable to ride. I loved horses, but I hated riding Murphy. With a sigh, I mounted and submitted to Murphy's bouncing and jostling. That was a trail ride I would love to forget.

"Hey, Esther! Sara!" Lucy called as she left the washrooms. "Let's eat!"

I followed the other girls out to the eating area. As I approached the table where my cabin was seated, I realized that there were no empty chairs. The counselor's boyfriend was sitting in my seat.

"Hi, Esther!" Nickie, my senior counselor said. "I invited Luke to sit with me today. I hope you don't mind."

"No, I don't mind," I lied. I loved sitting with the kids at meals; it wasn't as if I had any time to spend with them otherwise.

As I walked across the room, I wondered, Why wasn't Luke sitting with his cabin? Then I saw that Luke's assistant was supervising their campers, a job that wasn't his responsibility since he wasn't the senior counselor. He looked exhausted and stressed from his busy morning teaching archery. The eleven campers currently besieging him with demands for more pizza buns and Kool-Aid were adding to his mental condition. He didn't have time for luxuries like lunch dates.

I found an empty seat at a staff table. I was getting sick and tired of the "fun" of summer camp. I couldn't wait to go home.
17 January 2012
I've been always been fascinated with that scene in Return of the Jedi where the Emperor is trying to convince Luke to kill Vader. He's trying to be tempting, and he just comes off creepy and pathetic. If Luke was going to kill somebody there, it should be him, not Vader. And this idea was born.

The History of Darth Quisling




After Luke's final battle with Darth Vader, he stood over the fallen Sith Lord. He had just cut off Vader's sword hand, sending hand and saber plummeting out of sight. The Emperor approached, praising the young Jedi and encouraging him to finish his father. Enraged, but suddenly realizing who it really was that he hated, Luke spun and threw his lightsaber at the Sith Master. Palpatine had no time to react. Luke's saber passed through his decaying body, leaving a smoking hole in his chest. As he stood stunned, Luke leapt at him, snatching his saber from the air as it returned to him, and slashed the Emperor's head from his shoulders. The lifeless body of the most powerful man in the universe fell helplessly to the floor.

Luke stood over the body, a strange joy coursing through him. He had liked killing this old man. Horrified at himself, Luke deactivated his lightsaber and stared in shock at the body. He didn't hear Vader approach, didn't know his father stood watching him until Vader spoke: "Luke?"

The young man raised his head and stared at his father. "You're free," he whispered.

But Vader shook his head. "No," he said, almost sadly. "And neither are you."

Luke and Vader escaped the Death Star just before it exploded. Vader set course for Coruscant. Luke was very quiet. He was unsure why he went with Vader. He did not seem to be a prisoner of the Sith Lord; in fact, Vader didn't order Luke to come with him and they traveled together companionably. Luke followed his father willingly and Vader didn't seem surprised.

Upon their arrival at Coruscant, Vader took charge of everything. With amazing skill, he stepped into the void left by Palpatine and gathered the reins of power into his hands (first, he had another robotic hand made to replace the one he had lost). Throughout all of this, Luke was by his father's side.

As soon as he had cemented power for himself, Vader declared himself Emperor. Then he began to train his son in the Dark Side of the Force. Luke wondered why he had ever feared the Dark Side; it was not like Yoda and Obi-Wan had said: he was only accepting a part of himself that he had long denied. He was finally complete. He was Darth Quisling.
13 January 2012
Another fanfic I wrote based off of my favourite line that was in the movies but not in the books.



Weakness

You're the weak one. You've never known love or friendship. And I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for you.


The Dark wizard paced up and down the long room, his followers standing back against the ornate walls watching him. He could feel their fear, fear of him, but he ignored them. How dare the boy? How dare he feel sorry for him? It was ridiculous that the child he had orphaned would pity him. As if he were a pitiable figure! He was the greatest wizard alive, and he would soon prove it to all, muggle and wizard alike.


But how had the boy fought him off? No, it couldn't have been the boy; it had to have been a trick. It must have been Dumbledore. The old man was smarter than he looked; he always had been. There was no way a mere child could have forced the Dark Lord out of his head and caused such pain to the invader. At the memory of the agony that possession of the boy had caused him, Voldemort paused and flung out his wand hand at random, casting the cruciatus curse on one of his Death Eaters, inconsiderate of which one he struck. Momentarily distracted from his fury, he watched the masked man convulse in pain.


Call me weak, will you, Harry Potter? He fumed silently. I'll show you. Everything you've been through up until now will seem like a stroll through your puerile Honeydukes compared to what's coming. You will lose everything. And perhaps now was the time to get rid of a certain meddlesome headmaster as well. Voldemort smiled at his followers. Who needed friendship with such devoted slaves? "Lucius," the cold high voice said, "you have a son, don't you? A son who attends Hogwarts?"

Their skin is a different colour
They're not human
Their god is not like ours
They're not human
Their bodies are so much smaller
They're not human
We just have more power
They're not human
(And we are?)
12 January 2012
I woke up one morning with this scene in my head, and I just had to write it down. It feels like part of a much longer work, and someday I may write more, but as of now this is all I wrote.

Betrayal

Zankar's face was like a mask of death. He strode through the streets of the city, his long black robes billowing around him in the wind of his passing, and those who saw him were afraid. Most looked away, unwilling to meet his empty eyes, but some were caught in his dark gaze and stared after him, helpless to look elsewhere until he was out of sight. He had always been a strange individual, the King's Wizard, but since his wife had taken ill, he had become almost a hermit, spending hours a day in the Library searching for a curative for her malady.
Today, however, his destination was not the Library, but the Palace. The guards at the gates nodded to him as he passed, hardly noticing that he did not acknowledge them, that he stared straight ahead as if he saw nothing around him. They were used to the Wizard visiting the King.
The guards at the doors to the Council Chambers, however, did try to stop him. King Derrik had asked that no one interrupt the meeting with the Council today, so they stepped forward and were about to inform Zankar of this when the Wizard lifted his hand and the doors to the Chamber were thrown open. The guards, with only a second of hesitation, crossed their halberds, blocking the entrance. Another gesture from the Wizard, and they were flung apart and away from the door to crash against the walls on either side of the corridor. Not pausing to see them fall, Zankar entered the Chamber.
Derrik had risen from his chair when the doors opened. Now, seeing his friend and advisor enter so precipitously, he was momentarily speechless. In that moment, the Wizard passed through the doors and approached the table around which the King and his Councillors were seated. Coming to a halt, Zankar raised his right hand, palm up, before himself, almost as if he were offering or asking for something. The King opened his mouth to speak, to greet his Wizard and ask why he had burst into the meeting unannounced and in so ill-mannerly a fashion, but before Derrik could utter a word, Zankar closed his hand into a fist, and the King found himself unable to speak.
King Derrik gasped and clutched at his left arm with his right hand as he fell heavily back into his chair. He groaned as from a great pain. The Councillors watched in horror as their King's face turned grey, his whole body suddenly drenched with sweat. Those closest to him rushed toward Derrik, and those closer to the door turned on Zankar, reaching for the ceremonial daggers they wore in their belts. The Wizard lifted his left hand, palm forward, and all in the room but the King and Wizard were stopped instantly, in mid step, the expressions of shock, anger, outrage, and confusion frozen on their faces.
The guards from outside the door had now picked themselves up and returned to the Chamber door. Seeing that the Wizard was attacking the King and Councillors, they lowered their halberds and charged him. Zankar flicked the fingers of his left hand toward them without turning around. At once, they were as unable to move as were the Councillors. All watched in horror as the King's breathing became more and more laboured. Derrik's eyes never left Zankar's, and his lips moved as he tried to speak. Finally, he managed to whisper, “Why?” The Wizard did not respond, his gaze pitiless as he watched his King struggle to breathe. After what seemed an age to those watching helplessly, Derrik's gasps slowed, then stopped, and the King slumped in his chair, his unseeing eyes staring blankly at the Wizard who had been his friend.
Zankar turned and left the room. As soon as he was out of sight, those held motionless were free. As the Councillors rushed to check on the King, the guards raced after his killer. But no one ever saw the Wizard Zankar again.
11 January 2012
Date A Girl Who Reads
I love this piece; it's one of those things I wish I'd written.

"Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book."


And while she sometimes might ignore you in favour of her current read, understand that it's nothing personal; she's in the middle of a very intense passage, and she'll return to you once the characters have sorted out their problems and she finds "a good place to stop."
A girl who reads is a girl who knows how to love with all her heart and soul. She believes in true love and happy endings. She will love you forever.
10 January 2012
I really love the poetic form sonnet, which consists of 14 lines and can be written in stanzas or all together as I have done here. The following is a Shakespearean or English Sonnet of what I imagine King David's feelings were after his rebellious son Absalom was killed while trying to wrest the throne from his father.I'm not sure why I used King James English for this - it just sounded right.
2 Samuel 18:33

David's Lament

My son, my son! Would I had died for thee!
If only I had saved thee from thy pain!
God, if You would, return him and take me--
My life without him is a life in vain.
My son! Why didst thou do this awful thing?
Didst thou not know my love for thee, my son,
Or was it more important to be king?
Now, though thou hast lost and I have won,
I feel that I have lost, and so I weep.
In ashes and sackcloth I clothe myself,
(My sins I sowed, this pain I now do reap)
I tear my hair, I disregard my wealth.
My son, I wish that I had died instead;
If only it was I who'd lost his head...
09 January 2012
I also write fanfiction. Here's an example of something set in the Harry Potter universe:

Never Look Back



Molly Weasley was on her knees scrubbing at the carpet in the living room. In the kitchen, on the stove, a pot of soup was bubbling madly. As it began to boil over, she sat up and pointed her wand at it, lowering the heat enough to stop the imminent mess. Impatiently pushing her hair out of her face, she bent over the spot once more.


"Molly?" a voice behind her said quietly.


She jumped, and put her hand over her heart. "Oh, Arthur, you scared me!"


He knelt beside her and put a hand on her arm. "What are you doing, dear?"


She leaned forward and began scrubbing again. "It's so hard to get blood out of a carpet! I never should have let it dry." Her voice broke.


"Molly." Arthur caught her hand, and turned her to face him. Tears were streaming down her face.


"Oh, Arthur, I'm so scared for them! Why did I let George go like that? And he's probably not the only one that will be hurt, and what will I do if – if –" She broke off with a choked sob. "What if –"


"Sshhh." Arthur pulled her into his arms, and gently rubbed her back as she wept into his shoulder. "George was proud to help Harry, Molly."


"I know, I know. And I would never want Harry hurt, either!" Molly pulled back slightly, and looked up into her husband's eyes. "I wish this stupid war would end! I want all my babies safe."


Arthur wiped the tears from her face with his fingertips. "We all have to do what we can to stop him, dear. For Harry and our boys, that means they'll be in danger, and there's nothing we can do about it."


"I just wish –" Molly cut herself off and straightened her shoulders. "No. No point in wishing. You're right, of course, Arthur. We must do what we can do, and stop worrying at what we can't do anything about." She smiled tremulously at him. "Never look back," she whispered.


Arthur took her hand, and helped her to her feet, and they stood for a moment, wrapped in each others' arms.
08 January 2012
I wrote this just after breaking up with my first boyfriend, who dreamed of someday being a film director.

Role of a Lifetime


You picked me, 'cause you liked my looks,
To be the leading lady in the movie of your life.
You were the director, and you wanted me to be your perfect star.
There was no audition that I knew of, so I thought you wanted me for me;
But I'm not an actress
And I couldn't play the part.
06 January 2012
In university, I learned of a form of writing called "imitation," where you take the work of another writer and create your own piece in the same style. We had an assignment to do this ourselves using one of the books we were reading in the class. If you're interested, you can find mine here.
05 January 2012
I wrote this a long time ago as a response to the trite stuff that people forward through email to each other. Today, it could be talking about the cheesy things people share all over Facebook.



When it Happens to You

And what about when it's not all roses?
(and what about the thorns?)
What do you do when they won't play fair?
(and your friend's got a knife at your back?)
Will your greeting-card words give you hope when it's you
who feels that the night is forever?
What will you do?
When it happens to you?
04 January 2012
Written 27 December 2011

He closes the fridge and stares at the picture stuck to the door with a magnetic banana, the milk carton in his hand forgotten. A ten-year-old girl with brown pigtails grins at him from the small photo. Her skinny freckled arms tightly encircle a longsuffering golden retriever's throat; her unselfconscious smile is framed by shiny braces; her clear blue eyes sparkle with joy and life. Swallowing against the sudden lump in his throat, he reaches out and strokes the glossy print and his eyes burn. For a moment, he tries to hold back the tears -- something from his childhood whispers "big boys don't cry" -- but he is a man now, and besides there is no one around to see the tears that slide silently down his cheeks.