I love April. It’s my birthday month and (as far as we can tell) Shakespeare’s birthday, too. It’s also National Poetry Month!


See full illustration below!

I’ve actually had more poems published than fiction, believe it or not, but I haven’t written much poetry since undergrad. Scratch that—I don’t think I’ve written any poetry since undergrad; I’ve been focusing on fiction and comics. I wrote this in 2008, when my now-husband was training at Quantico. Or was it 2009, when he was stationed in North Carolina? (Sheesh, it’s been a long time. This is definitely a throwback!)

“Missing” was originally published in Inkstone and later in The Cedarville Review. This year, Magali Mebsout illustrated it, and I’m excited to share both works with you here.

Click to enlarge. Plain text below.


Like the poem or the illustration?

Click to tweet: It’s #NationalPoetryMonth! Read “Missing” by @larathelark, illustrated by @MagaliMebsout.


by Lara Willard

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards 
colored rags and throws away food.
—Austin O’Malley 

i’d like to tie
kites to my belt loops
dive off the nicollet
and be carried through partly cloudy skies.
i would hurdle chicago, the piedmont
mountains, free-fall into your backyard.

i’m losing you.
memories thin like brushed hair.
decay comes quickly.

you’ve faded into
souvenirs in a suitcase, patches
torn from a favorite blanket:

naked feet on irish pebbles
and rolling over in the wild grass.
submerging into cold pacific water
lips on mouths of glass soda bottles
fingers turning pages of isaac asimov.

i want to see you and sew things together
but the sky is blue and barren
and the kites on the rooftop are limply
scattered like confetti, thrown
and forgotten.

Read "Missing," a poem by Lara Willard, illustrated by Megali Mebsout #NationalPoetryMonth #Poetry

My Favorite Things Blog Tour


I participated in the Meet my Main Character Blog Tour and introduced you all to Robin last summer. This winter, I’m participating in the Favorite Things Blog Tour, led by Kylie Betzner. Please see her posts to view the other participants in the tour.

For this blog tour, each writer shares the favorite character, scene, and quote from one of his or her novels. I’ll be sharing from WORLD SONG, the literary fantasy I’ll be querying into 2015.


Robin, Gareth, and Isolde Evans are old enough to know their music won’t get them anywhere.

Except it does. Now they’re in some alternate reality bordering on twelfth-century Wales, armed with only a cello, viola, and violin.

Back in Minnesota, Robin had a sidekick name, but he was a hero. (A professional one. The kind that does weekend birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.) In 1176, he’s finally got a chance to use his tactical skills on the field. If he can get his siblings safely back to 2009, he’ll prove he’s worthy of his rented cape.

But Isolde gets mistaken for a noble, and she’s carted off to be the next queen of wherever-they-are. And if her identity is revealed, she’ll be executed as an impostor. Robin vows to save his little sister from almost certain death or marriage.

favorite character

Robin is twenty-five, Gareth is twenty-one, and Isolde is seventeen. When I started writing WORLD SONG, Gareth was my favorite character. He was the comic relief, and man, did I love him for it.

Then I kept writing. And my characters who started out as ideas and personality types became more like people, like beautifully flawed human beings.

I like easy, and Gareth is an easy character to write. He’s likable, he’s fun. Gareth started out being basically the male version of me. A snarky geek who uses humor as a cover. Same taste in music and extracurriculars. But he’s grown into his own person. Underneath the goofball exterior, Gareth is more compassionate than I’ll ever be. And though Robin would hate to admit it, Gareth is definitely the wisest of the three.

As I kept writing, I learned more about Robin and Isolde, and I grew to love them for all their issues. Robin and Isolde have been deeply affected by their father’s disappearance when they were kids, and it shows. Neither of them ever learned how to cope in a healthy way. WORLD SONG is about these two, and it’s told from both of their POVs.

I think Isolde is my favorite character of the moment. She’s like Tom in 500 Days of Summer. She kind of loses it a few times, but I never stop rooting for her. Though her story is only half of WORLD SONG, she is the one who grows the most. (Robin, he takes a while longer.)


favorite scene

My favorite scene is probably Isolde’s bath scene, but it’s full of spoilers, so here’s a short one that’s mostly dialogue. It features Gareth and Faye, the nineteen-year-old widow who takes the Evanses in once they land in the middle ages. I don’t want to give away where they are, or how they got there, so I’ll just plop you into the middle of the scene:

“You know, it is awful dark down here,” Gareth said, attempting to be charming. “Might . . . I don’t know . . . run into something accidentally.”

Faye felt a slight breeze. “Gareth, stop waving your hands about like an idiot.”

“But I can’t see anything. I’m trying to feel around for something.”

“Feel around for what? A wall? Or my skirts?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Whoops!” Gareth stumbled over something unseen, and caught his fall . . . on Faye, pulling her down with him. Again. “Oh dear, I’m sorry.”

“Touch me again,” she said, shoving him out of her lap, “and I’ll remove your fingers.”

“Accident. Seriously, won’t happen again.”

“No, it will not happen again.”

Never again, thought Gareth. Unless—“Unless . . . you ask me to,” he said.


“You know, ask me to . . . to touch you.” Gareth stuck a hand into his hair. “In a desperate situation—”


“If you had somehow caught on fire, for example, and needed help. Needed someone to pat you down. Extinguish the flames.”

“Extinguish your own flame,” said Faye. “There will be no patting.”

“Right. Understood.” He blew the air out of his cheeks. “Okay then. How are we going to get out of here?”

favorite quote

It’s hard to find one quote I can pull out of context, but here’s a favorite:

“Yes, the stakes are high. I’m not saying you should tell him the truth. I’m saying vulnerability is a prerequisite in love.”