I Set for Myself A Task That Proved Too Challenging

Last blog post I wrote, I said I was going to write a reimagined Love Story, based on some of my forebears whom I never knew; I only knew of them. I worked on it, worked it around, until I realized I was really working it over. I said “Uncle,” and decided I just could not do what their story wanted me to do, at least not right now. All I can say is, I will use my notes and excerpts for a poem or to include in some longer work of fiction, or as the short story I had originally envisioned.

Apologies for overpromising and underdelivering, but look for the “How come” in my next post.

Wash your hands, wait your turn, give people room, and, please, WEAR A DAMN MASK.

A Love Story Reimagined: Part I

Like many of you, I’m having difficulty coming to terms with the new normal of necessary widespread social distancing in light of COVID19. I was going to write about that today, as there are a couple directions I could go. I could share how it reminds me of being on bed rest when I was expecting my daughter, and the lessons I learned then. I could write about how a certified hermit like me feels about everyone else suddenly appropriating the space I occupy (literally and figuratively), but while I was out walking earlier, another idea captured me, so maybe next time.

As I wandered in my neighborhood, appreciating the blooms of the Judas trees and how the temperature of the gusting breeze is just perfect today, I found myself thinking about weddings. Full disclosure: I was listening to an audible book in which the narrator is anticipating her own upcoming wedding. It’s early in the book, but all signs point to the soon-to-be-articulated fact, no doubt, that the narrator’s fiancé is not the love of her life. My mind began to wander and I thought of unlikely pairings, traditional weddings, non-traditional wedding attire, until suddenly I found myself thinking of a great aunt whom I never met (or maybe I did once when I was a child) and her husband. I’ve always thought of their marriage as a storybook romance, but I have nothing to base that on, other than it was such an unexpected and unlikely coupling, given their backgrounds. Continue reading “A Love Story Reimagined: Part I”

Begin doing …

I just saw a quote from Walt Disney on a friend’s Facebook page: The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

So much wisdom is so simple.  Simple, but not easy.  My last post here was over 2 months ago!  That sounds so much longer than it seems to me; so much has happened in those 2 months, that chunk of past time is like a blur.  The “doing” part of my life has had very little to “do” with writing, and more to do with being a parent helping a daughter prepare for college.  Her departure is now just a little over a week away.

Not surprisingly, my focus has begun to shift back to writing, to the “plan” for achieving “the goals” I have set for myself.  Certainly, step 1 is to “begin doing.”

To that end, I am considering launching a new site, and it’s an endeavor that has been over ten years in the making.  Let me explain how a new site might help me (and you) begin doing …

I happen to live in an area that is rife with writers.  These writers are not only talented, but are generous with their time, their insights, and their knowledge.  As one of these talented writers once said to me, “None of us do this work alone.”  When I first realized what a wealth of talent and resources existed around me, I began to explore the idea of what I labeled a “Writers’ Energy Exchange.”

In my mind’s eye, it was a physical location where writers could meet informally to work and to assist one another.  Most of us have trusted groups to which we belong, and to whom we can take drafts of poems or whatever we are writing and get some good feedback.  My two poetry groups have been essential for me in my work.  However, I have always thought it would be great to have that kind of feedback on a more spontaneous basis.  “Workshopping” someone else’s stuff is such a two-way street:  when I am given the opportunity to review someone else’s work, even in draft form, invariably I am inspired to work harder and better.

Continue reading “Begin doing …”

Okay. So if poetry (or MY poetry) isn’t your thing…

Maybe you want to check out some fiction at A Writer’s Pages Annex …  Here’s a sample:

Mickey eventually grabbed my strap again and whispered, “Come on.” But I didn’t want to go with him – I knew he was going in – and yet I was so fascinated I couldn’t not go. He pulled my satchel from my shoulder and laid it in the grass by the road. His great criminal mind must have instinctively known that a book satchel would make us appear suspicious, as though we didn’t belong – which we didn’t – as though we had just taken a detour after school to intrude here – which we had. He grabbed me by the wrist and forged ahead. Somehow I knew I was someplace that neither Rose nor Mama would approve of me being, but the knowledge that such a place was so close to my normal routes in life intrigued me all the more (I only later realized that it wasn’t the place that was to be avoided, but the event).

Knowing and Taming The Enemies

One of the most frustrating things for a writer is not writing.  In my case, I sometimes sit down at my desk or in one of my favorite chairs with good intentions, but the phone rings or I remember the clothes in the dryer or I decide to check out The Weather Channel … in other words, nothing happens.   Why not?

For me, the reasons vary, and it depends on what I am trying to write.

I somehow ritually rid myself of the fear of putting down a terrible poem.  In my world, I no longer write terrible poems – they are “drafts.”  My friend Scott Douglass once said to me, “I have yet to meet the perfect poem.”  Scott meets a great many poems, not only as a poet himself, but also as an editor and publisher, so I found his statement to be quite comforting.  I still do. Continue reading “Knowing and Taming The Enemies”