Monday, November 10, 2014

Into and Out Of

Image of the Day:  Chickadees winging into and out of the dogwood tree and the orange leaves stirring.

I am reading The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity by Louise DeSalvo and can't recommend it enough.  I have been, well, had been, feeling very negative about my writing and my writing processes, forgetting that my schedule changes and so my writing time needs to change too.  I actually wrote out a writing schedule--something I had never done before but my days didn't require that.  Or at least I didn't think so. But as she writes, "One of my jobs as a writer is to learn what my rhythms are" (12).  I think I'm still learning that.

You know, I have lots of prompt books and have read Writing Down the Bones before and figured I knew enough about the process of writing.  But this reminded me of some things I knew but also taught me new stuff.  Even though this is mostly geared toward memoir writing I have found some really great ideas in here. 

And I am doing another write a poem every day in November.  Oh and I have finally gotten some acceptances and to some places I love. 

To One Dead
by Maxwell Bodenheim

I walked upon a hill
And the wind, made solemnly drunk with your presence,
Reeled against me.
I stooped to question a flower,
And you floated between my fingers and the petals,
Tying them together.
I severed a leaf from its tree
And a water-drop in the green flagon
Cupped a hunted bit of your smile.
All things about me were steeped in your remembrance
And shivering as they tried to tell me of it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Digging Into

Image of the Day:  The grey tufted tit-mouse digging into the gutters of my house.

Halloween is over and so is the reading at Back Pages Books Thursday night.  I was the first one to read which is always enjoyable but also nerve-wracking.  I was nervous and I think it showed a bit.  But I did get some good reactions from the audience so that was nice.  Then I got to sit back, relax, and enjoy the other writers.  Linda K. Wertheimer read from her interesting book on religious education in public schools. Linda's young son was the true star of the whole show, I should mention. 

Then the poet Stephen Tapscott read from an amazing long poem about Eadweard Muybridge who photographed horses to see if all their feet came off the ground at the same time while galloping.  I was surprised, embarrassed, and very pleased when Stephen quoted a line from one of my poems in his introduction to his poetry. I wish I had had the guts to stay longer afterwards and said thank you and hi to him, but my need to flee after reading in public (and feeling in general overwhelmed) took over.  (If you happen to read this post, Stephen, I'd just like to say how pleased I was that you read that poem in Tinderbox!)

Anna V.Q. Ross read her poetry which I knew was going to be fabulous and heart-wrenching because I had heard her read at Grub Street a long time ago.  I did manage to catch her at the end to say a quick hi.  She read an amazing poem about being shot at while walking with her child in a stroller.

Steven Edwards was the last writer to read and his story was the kind of story I absolutely love and need to find more of: witty, erudite, and funny.  It had elements of past history combined with the conundrum of how humans live and interact amongst each other simultaneously with love and loathing. 

I urge you to find these writers' work and read them. 

Cloud No Bigger than a Man's Hand

It approaches from the sea, too small
for thunder and lightning
but ominous as a closed fist
and what it will bring

nearing us, growing larger,
is completely unknown.
Beware the leaves blowing, beware
the spot on the sun.

All is turned toward it. It rides
the brow of the mind.
Soon, it will shadow one cliff
and a small lifeguard stand.

Beware the leaves blowing, beware
the spot on the sun.
Do your work well. Behold
the work yet to be done.

Dick Allen

Heron Tree

I have so enjoyed working as an editor for the Heron Tree volume 5 edition.  I learned so much from reading submitted poems!  And realized w...