RoadWriter

Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Six Questions for . . . the Poetic Muselings . . . Magdalena Ball, and more

Six Questions For . . .

We’re being interviewed on Jim Harrington’s blog, “Six Questions For . . .” on March 1, 2012. Jim’s guest include publishers, editors, and others in the field of writing. His goal, to paraphrase from his blog, is to:

. . . provide authors with specific information about what editors are looking for in the submissions they receive, offer editors a venue for advertising their publications and getting the word out about what, in their opinion, constitutes ‘good writing.’

We’re delighted to share ideas about what we look for, and our approach — and to be in such great company. Please read Jim’s interview and let us know what you think.

. . . Magdalena Ball . . .

will be our guest on Weds., March 14, 2012. Our interview, starting from a focus on poetry and creativity, will be quite different from the  others on her blog tour. Her recent book, Black Cow, has rave reviews.

Visit her site to learn more, including the prizes she’s offering.  “The draw is open to anyone who comments, re-tweets (please use #blackcow – it’s not mandatory, but will help me find the tweets!), or updates their status with info about anything to do with the visits.”  Magdalena Ball  http://magdalenaball.com/wordpress/

. . . and More:

Thank you for responses to my question last week about markets or guidance for our 14-year old poet. Please take a look at the post, and send your ideas. Thanks!  Mentoring and being Mentored

thank you!

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Mentoring and being Mentored

This week, I am mentoring a very talented 14-year old poet, and supporting one of our Poetic Museling mentors. Interesting to be of service up and down this ladder.

First of all, congratulations to MAGDALENA BALL for Black Cow, her recently released novel. Reviews praise its depth, craftily written prose, the core subject so many of us face — is success as we’ve defined it destroying us, our families, and lives? Sometimes, desperation is the greatest motivator to force us to take the unmapped turn-off to something else. But is that other road the answer, or the path to a worse problem?

I’m anxious to read this book for several reasons:  Maggie is one of our incredible mentors, who helped make Lifelines real. Not only did she teach the chapbook workshop that brought us together to continue writing, and edited our work, but she’s an accomplished and marvelous poet. And a voracious, eclectic reader — a woman after my own heart — who’s Compulsive Reader website is a treasure of possibilities.

And Maggie is one of the most sincerely caring, compassionate people I’ve met, if only online. I value her advice, talent, and willingness to share and nurture others, and her friendship. I hope someday to have the chance to get to Australia and give her a big hug.

Here are some links to follow for more info:

Magdalena Ball –  Book Musing
Magdalena Ball – Black Cow
AMAZON (discounted!)  |   BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY (free worldwide shipping!) |   BEWRITE BOOKS
Join the book tour (for fun, prizes, and a lot of info)!
Black Cow Discussion Questions and book club visits

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The other end of the spectrum is equally exciting.  I almost  never am far away from my other poetry passion, as editor of the Apollo’s Lyre poetry column. I receive poems from all over the world; from those diving into the submission pool for the first time, as well as those with pages-long credentials. All ages, forms, subjects. Some are “perfect” as they are, some need tweaking; often the most widely-published poets are the most open to editing, but not always. I plan a series of posts about the process, and publishing, from my editor view.

Recently, a young lady with an intriguing voice, nicely constructed poems, and subjects that tap into the universal, sent me her work. Unfortunately, Apollo’s Lyre contains some adult-themed subjects or words, articles, flash fiction, and poetry, as well as sillier, lighter items. We are not an appropriate venue for her work.

However, I want to help “C.” find a good place to sub her poems — I think she’s very talented, and hope some day I can publish her, and also say that I read her early work and gave her the encouragement to keep writing, exploring, and putting herself out for the world to see.

With her permission, and that of her mother, I’m contacting fellow poets, poetry publishers, and my contacts in general to ask:  Where could a 14-year old poet send her work?

If any of you have ideas I can share with “C.”, please let me know. Be part of this mentoring process — there’s plenty of room here!

Thank you —

Michele


Musical Chairs: On Writing Groups

Last time on Mary’s Expression, I posted about a famous writing group, The Inklings. Since then, Anne has written about how to find your own creative tribe. Today, I’m going to share my own experiences with writing groups.

English: Playing musical chairs at the Our Com...

Image via Wikipedia

Finding a good writing group is hard. Joining a new group is like musical chairs. You’re circling, getting a feel of the music, the routine, when suddenly it stops and you have to find your bearings. If you find a space, you have a moment to see who’s around you, how you fit in with the group. But just as you get comfy, the music changes and things get shook up. And the group always seems to be shrinking. No matter how many new people come in, there’s always a good portion who just can’t find a seat, don’t quite fit in. I’ve been on both ends of this.

And what’s a good fit at one point in your life or career may not work for you later. So you have to learn not to blame yourself or the other members if a group simply isn’t working out. Sometimes it’s best just to move on. You can’t always predict who you’ll finally click with.

The first group I was really a part of was Writing.com. It’s not a true writer’s group per se, more of a community. There are plenty of other members to share your work with and get comments from. But it’s huge. The number of members is currently approaching one million. This makes it very hard to get noticed. To get the most out of it, you have to put the work in. Review other members, participate in contests and forums. There are specialized groups formed by members, some for discussion, or games, or critique. I think Writing.com’s best strength is getting feedback on shorter works, poetry or short stories. Downsides to sharing a novel on Writing.com:

  • A free membership is limited portfolio space, so it would be better to upgrade
  • Formatting isn’t as easy as copy and paste. Even the formatting codes are site-specific, not standard HTML, so it takes a lot of effort to get your chapter/book presentable
  • The first chapter trap. With such a variety of members, it’s easy to get a lot of comments on your first couple chapters. Almost impossible to get feedback past chapter three unless you find a dedicated writing buddy or group. (Really, this is a drawback of most online groups.)

I’m still a member of Writing.com, but I don’t put the time into it that I used to. As I focused more on novels, I started looking elsewhere.

I’ve tried a few other online writing groups. Dreaming In Ink is one of the better. They are very strict on getting in regular critiques. This isn’t a bad thing, and has kept the group strong, but when circumstances came that I was no longer able to keep up, I moved on. Who knows, I may go back someday. They have a great system going for them.

For poetry, I was very lucky to be in at the start of this group, The Poetic Muselings.

Last year I started my own fantasy group, Society for Arcane Gibberish Authors (SAGA). We’re still fledgling, and open to new members. So if you write fantasy, and want a more casual group, check out SAGA.

One thing I’ve learned over the years, is that an online group has different dynamics and strengths than a local group. Online groups are great for the line edits, the nitty-gritty stuff. It’s super easy to mark up text and share with someone. But in-person groups are good for those moments you simply need to talk over a plot point, or brainstorm. I definitely recommend a local group or writing buddy. Even if you don’t critique each other’s work, talking with other writers is priceless.

When it comes to local groups, I’ve had a rough road. The challenge is finding people with the same skill and dedication. With my first group, only two of us wanted to write as a career, for the others it was a hobby. Since the dedication wasn’t there, the group eventually fell apart. With my current group, we’re struggling with scheduling so more people can come, and getting more members.

A game of the non-competitive version in one o...

Image via Wikipedia

So whatever route you go, online or in person, there will be challenges and downfalls. Sometimes you have to hold your spot in musical chairs, and sometimes you have to give it up. And sometimes you have to hold on to each other and do your best not to fall off.

Do you have a good writing group? How long have you been together? If not, I wish you the best in finding one! 

 

Next time on Mary’s Expression (March 5): Freeing creativity.

Make Visible: Find Your Tribe

It is so important as creatives that we find a group of people that we feel comfortable with.  They share our values, our interest in creating and inspire and challenge us. Or maybe we just like to hang around with them, have fun and do fun things with them.  Groups offer us a chance to make friends, learn and share.  All this applies to both online and offline groups.

Online Groups:

Where do you start?

Tribe                                        many interests

Yahoo Groups                          many interests

Google Groups             many interests

Image representing Tribe as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

CoachCreativeSpace                all creative interests

Writer’s Digest Community       writers

Wet Canvas                             visual artists

For Tribe, Yahoo and Google groups there’s a box to put in your interest (keyword), a list of groups will come up that you may want to join.

Offline Groups:

Where do you start?

This depends on the size of your community.  You may be able to find groups through Meetup.com, your local newspaper, Weekly, or posted at your library or grocery store.  These groups may be related to interests, like writing, activities, like yoga, or church or self-help groups.

What next?

Join the group, post an introduction or go to the first meeting and introduce yourself, be friendly, become involved, participate.

It’s that simple.

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Capture the Moment in Poetry — Kristen

Whether you’re a poet or an artist, there are some ways to keep an image fresh in your mind. This works wonders, when the focus is in nature, landscape or people. To catch the essence is to capture the moment with memory, notes and/or photography.

1. Memory–If you have a good or an excellent photographic memory, you can remember how it feels when you see the image. Let it trickle down in your mind–the colors, the senses, the portrait. When you’ve found the muse, stare at it outside in person, or through the window. (During winter, do it inside and via the windows.) Close your eyes, count to ten, and open them.

If you dabble in both poetry and art, go for it. Paint /draw the image first–it doesn’t matter, if it’s in crayons, colored pencils or chalk, or with paint. While it dries, write from your heart. Use good descriptions. Use your senses and let it rip! Feel free to free write, before you polish it in edits for a final draft.

2. Notes–If you’re not good in art or don’t have a good reliable memory, you can use an alternate method. Bring a notebook or notepad with pencils or pens, or a portable tape recorder/digital voice recorder. If you have a laptop, bring that along too.

Scribble down your first thoughts and feelings, the symbolism, the imagery in short-hand or long-hand writing. With a DVR, speak your mind and record it. With your laptop, you can do both, especially if you have a speaking component in your WP document, and then can save it in memory. Keep your notes in a folder or in a WP document with an external disk drive. If you lose track of thought, you can always refresh your memory and revisit/replay your notes at any time.

3. Photography–Lastly, you can do what I did a few years ago. I’ve captured it in film. If you have any kind of camera–whether digital or not–or a camcorder, you can utilize it to really envision the images of people, places and things. (I’ve used my photos of sunrises, sunsets and city lights.)

Use up the entire film cartridge with different muses, get it developed, download it on a CD-Rom (even for your laptop or desktop computer), and save it for your digital photo album. Keep the duplicates and negatives for a regular photo album for a back-up source in safe-keeping. Like with written or tape-recorded notes, you can always go back to your photos at any time.

There you have it! Whether by memory, note-taking, and/or photography, you can capture the essence of fantastic poetry twofold… or threefold. Start with one and try another.  Try all three! You’ll be amazed on how affective it works.

(posted by Michele for Kristen)

When a Poem Just Doesn't Work

I wrote two poems that were very dear to me, but unfortunately never quite hit their mark with my critique buddies, neither the Poetic Musings nor my in-town group.

Almost every poem I shared with my critique groups has been improved by the act of putting it out there, reading it aloud to my local group, and understanding how my marvelously eclectic poetic friends interpreted my words and my intentions.

Each of these poems were different in structure and organization. They were about two friends of mine, very different people, who meant and still mean a great deal to me. I received guidance, comments, reworking suggestions, but no matter what I did, they never came to life. The richness and intensity of emotions, the imagery, and the story remained elusive.

I’m going to give you some background, then share portions of one of these poems, what I was trying to get across when I wrote it. I’d like your input and ideas about how to make it closer to its heart.

The first poem is titled “My Laurel Burch Bag“. It’s the story about how friendship grew out of an incident at a silent auction fundraiser for a shelter for battered women and children. “J” and I bid against each other several times for this marvelous bag, which Laurel had donated to the cause. I won.

Every time we saw each other, we joked about that Laurel Burch bag. That was in the early 1980s, and I still use it to carry anything that will fit. It’s traveled on trains, boats, airplanes, in cars and for 10 years in our motorhome as we traveled all around the US And Canada.

Every time I load my goodies into the bag, I think of “J”. For couple of years, on my infrequent trips to the Bay Area, I met “J” for lunch. She was in the midst of caring for her sister, who was in late stages of breast cancer. I always made it a point to get together with “J” when I came to town.

Our lunches often consisted of a lot of wine, mostly drunk by “J”, since I was driving; we had a couple of favorite locations where we were known and welcomed.

Sometimes we talked about how awful and unfair the situation was, the pain of watching, the feelings of impotence at how little we could do to change anything. Other times we giggled our way through crazy assortments of appetizers and desserts, reminiscing about some of the wacky things we’d done together.

I didn’t realize until several years later just how much my visits and off-the-wall sense of humor helped “J” cope with the reality she went back to face when we were done.

I haven’t been back in almost 4 years, but I intend to contact “J” when we are there later this year. I know we’ll pick back up somewhere along that lengthening thread of friendship that doesn’t unravel even if we haven’t seen each other nor spoken much during this time.

All of this I want to load into my Laurel Burch bag. Perhaps it is too much to try to carry in one poem, no matter how I pack it in, take it all out, reorganize, and repack it. But I keep trying.

Now I would like your help to see if there is a way to make it all fit, to fill my Laurel Burch bag with these memories and love. Here are two working versions.

Thank you.

My Laurel Burch Bag, Ver. 1,

A thought of “J” tangles
me and my Laurel Burch bag,
lavender-and-animals
tote filled with shoes, papers,
dirty underwear,
and Writers Conference memories.

Over twenty years ago
we became friends, “J” and I,
supported the ERA
(which failed)
and a battered women’s shelter,
(which succeeded).

We tried, in our own way
to make a difference.
We did, sometimes,
for a while.

When her sister was dying
I’d take her to lunch,
let her escape,
each time I came to town.

We’d retell stories
unrelated to the day’s sorrow
— like fighting over who’d get
the Laurel Birch bag
at that fundraiser.

I didn’t realize
how important this was
’til she thanked me
a dozen years later
for being there

memories woven strong
with fiber of friendship
in my Laurel Burch bag.


My Laurel Burch Bag, Ver. 2

Alive and aging memories
of friendship stashed
in my Laurel Burch bag

I lug them carelessly,
fill precious space
with shoes, papers,
dirty underwear

Image spins my head
I’m sipping cabernet,
drinking in rich refractions
with each shift of hand

Drift into Don Quixote’s gap
with my friend “J”,
when we believed
it was possible
to make a difference

Laurel Burch bag
reminder of those days
its soul protection for our hearts
respite when we’d meet
and mourn Joan’s sister
not yet dead, but dying

Poetic forms: Cento

National Poetry Month Display @ Forest Hills

National Poetry Month Display @ Forest Hills (Photo credit: mySAPL)

Poetic forms: the cento

A cento is like a rag rug, it’s composed of bits and pieces from other things. In the case of the rug, it’s pieces of old fabric. For the cento, it’s made of verses or passages from other poems, songs, articles, stories, or whatever by other authors.

The first cento I ever wrote was a haiku sequence, and perhaps because I’m a musician, I composed it using verses from old songs: Clementine, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jingle Bells, Good King Wencheslas, and the old Tennessee Ernie Ford song, “Sixteen Tons,” which is one of my favorites. The haiku sequence was the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count of the Japanese haiku, rather than the freer form (seventeen syllables or less) used in so many modern American haiku. Choosing the 5-7-5 syllable count made it easy to select the songs.

Go tell Aunt Rhody, A Haiku Sequence

Twelve drummers drumming
When the snow was round about
Now the ground is white

Nine ladies dancing
Excavating for a mine
Dashing through the snow

Ten lords a leaping
When the snow lay round about
making spirits bright

Dashing through the snow
A partridge in a pear tree
Make the Yule-tide gay

If the Fates allow
When a poor man came in sight
Let your heart be light

And the store boss said
When a poor man came in sight
jingle all the way!

Here’s one I wrote  using lines from songs about the sea.

Sailor’s Song

A hundred years ago, three thousand miles away
A Yankee ship came down the river
With the tinkers and tailors and soldiers and all

Bound to the westward where the stormy winds blow
When this bold pirate
Fought them up and down

Fire in the cabin, fire in the hold
For to fight the foreign foe
Captain Hull broke his heart and died

He fought like a hero till he died
And fifty-five more lay bleeding in gore
Then the signal was sent for the grand ship to anchor.

They dug his grave with a silver spade

Here’s where they came from:
lines from songs on website
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/index.html

A Hundred Years Ago, “A Hundred years ago”
Three Thousand Miles, “Three Thousand Miles Away”
Blow, Boys, Blow, “A Yankee Ship Came Down the River”
Blow the Man Down, “With the tinkers and tailors and soldiers and all”

The Dreadnought, “..bound to the westward where the stormy winds blow”
The Bold Princess Royal, ” .. when this bold pirate”
Admiral Benbow, ” ..fought them up and down”

Fire Down Below, ” Fire in the cabin, fire in the hold,”
Johnny Todd, “For to fight the foreign foe”
Captain Hull, “Captain Hull”
Boney Was A Warrior “broke his heart and died”

Bold Nelson’s Praise, “He fought like a hero till he died”
John Paul Jones, “and fifty-five more lay bleeding in gore”
Spanish Ladies, “Then the signal was sent for the grand ship to anchor”

Storm Along, “They Dug His Grave with a silver spade”

And how, you might ask, did I pick these lines?

After I decided I wanted to write a cento using lines from songs about the sea, I searched for a website, and found the one above. I started down the list of songs, picking lines that looked like they might fit. Then I rearranged them. Then I rearranged them again. Then I passed the result past my poetry critique group, removed two lines that didn’t fit, and rearranged the poem into three line stanzas instead of quatrains. And there it was.

Here’s a link to a cento by poet John Asbury:

http://dougkirshen.com/dong/

Try it — it’s loads of fun.

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Inklings and Writing Groups

English: THe Pub Eagle and Child in Oxford, wh...

Did you know that some famous fantasy writers were part of a writing group? The Inklings was a group of literary enthusiasts who encouraged writing fantasy. The four most prominent members were C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. Other frequent members included Tolkien’s son Christopher, C.S. Lewis’ older brother Warren, Roger Lancelyn Green, Adam Fox, Hugo Dyson, Robert Havard, J.A.W. Barnett, Lord David Cecil, and Nevill Coghill. Warren Lewis described the group as “…neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections.”

Who are these people?

English: Round sign at the Eagle and Child Pub...
  • C.S. Lewis is most known for the Narnia Chronicles.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien  is known for the epic Lord of the Rings.
  • Charles Williams wrote a total of seven novels, including “War in Heaven” and “All Hallow’s Eve”.
  • Owen Barfield mainly wrote philosophy, on topics such as the evolution of human consciousness. He did, however, write one fairy tale: “The Silver Trumpet.”

The Inklings usually met at Lewis’ college rooms or at the Eagle and Child pub (popularly called the Bird and Baby) in Oxford England. Meetings took place on Thursday evenings. They would read and talk about each other’s works in progress, discuss fantasy and philosophy, and enjoy the company of friends. The pub meetings were more for fun; they wouldn’t read manuscripts, but sometimes read bad poetry to see how long they could last before laughing.

The group started in 1933 and met regularly for the next 15 years. Everyone benefited. Tolkien continued to work on Lord of the Rings at the encouragement of C.S. Lewis. Each writer improved their work from suggestions by other members. Their discussions led to essays, lectures, and other works in the attempt to legitimize fantasy and fairy tales as more than children’s stories, to be seen as liable literary pieces.

What does this mean for me?

Writers can find similar benefits in today’s writing groups, whether you join an existing one or create your own, online or in person. Friendships can be made when you find someone with similar interests. Sharing work will improve your writing and critiquing skills. Or perhaps you only want to discuss literature. The Inklings showed that a writers group doesn’t have to always be serious, or have any sort of leadership. All it takes is a group of people with something in common. Next time I’ll talk about my own experiences with writing groups, and how you can find your own.

A fun, related bit of trivia:

Lord of the Rings Online is an online multiplayer game based on Tolkien’s Middle Earth. While my husband and I were playing, we came across an interesting quest chain from a hobbit named Ronald Dwale. At one point you have to fetch his lost paper. The sheet of paper starts out: “In a hole there once lived a boar. No, wait, that’s not right.” The second ‘R’ in J.R.R. stands for Ronald, and his story “The Hobbit” happens to start very similarly to this paper: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

The final part of the quest chain is Missing the Meeting. If you own the game, I encourage you to go experience the quest yourself, but the basics is that Ronald Dwale is unable to attend the next meeting of his writing society. You have to deliver his message to The Bird and Baby Inn. “With the return of my lost paper, I really should get started on my new book, but I haven’t an inkling how I should reach my friends in time to tell them of my absence.”

When you visit the Bird and Baby Inn, you see the following “Inklings” in the back room:

Jack Lewisdon ((C.S. “Jack” Lewis))
Carlo Williams ((Charles Williams))
Owen Farfield ((Owen Barfield))

So if you ever happen upon this quest in game, enjoy the developers tribute to the Inklings.

(Originally written for a Writing.com Fantasy Newsletter)

Next time on Mary’s Expression (Feb 20): Delving deeper into writing groups.

Make Visible: Capture Your Ideas

This post was inspired by Michele’s wonderful post:  Never Forget Your Dreams.

If you capture your ideas you’ll actually have more of them.  For one thing, you will have a record of the ideas you do have! This applies to writing, art and even things like organizing your garage.  I use a Scanner Daybook (from Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose) for my craft, organization, school, and other ideas.  Some pages below:

100 Dreams

Click on photo to enlarge.

For writing ideas I have a small notebook in my purse, but any piece of scratch paper will do.  Then I transfer the writing ideas to 4 x 6 notecards that I keep in a “recipe” box.  I also keep notes on my computer desktop using Stickies (a computerized version of yellow sticky notes).  Other methods of capturing your ideas include leaving pens and notepads around the house, using voice-activated software for computer, voice recorders or saving notes on your phone or blackberry.

Why capture your ideas?  Not only will you have a record of ideas that you can refer to later for inspiration or planning;  you will free your brain up from trying to remember them.  This leaves you space to use your imagination and bring your ideas to fruition in the form of a story, artwork or clean garage.  🙂

Embroidery Ideas
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Never Forget Your Dreams

Several years ago, I found Refuse to Choose, by Barbara Sher, author of WishCraft and other amazing books. This one was directed at “scanners”- those of us who have so many projects and so many ideas that we can’t figure out what to do first and often end up paralyzed into inaction. I come back to this book repeatedly for inspiration and validation that I’m not really crazy.

A major tool in this book is a “Scanner Journal”, a place to track all of the wild things that go on in my head and that I really really want to do, or at least explore a bit. I’m sharing excerpts of my journal in this post. This photo, from my favorite T-Shirt, sums it up, and is on the cover of mine.

I’ve been fascinated for years by the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial project, near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The carving of the mountain has been going on for over 50 years, with no federal or public funds involved. We’ve been there twice and I carry around a piece of mountain* to remind myself to never forget my dreams. (The project and my connection are a story for another time and place.)

While I’m recuperating from hand surgery and limited to typing with one finger on my left hand, I’m learning to communicate with my Dragon voice recognition program. So far, Dragon listens somewhat better on the Mac than it ever did on my PC. But to work this way is a stretch – I usually handwrite my poetry and notes for articles, novel ideas and whatever else is kicking around in my head. I’m not used to writing aloud, but maybe this will create interesting new synaptic brain links.

Mary’s post about the Bliss Box really started me thinking about all those ideas I’d shelved during the past year and half since my car accident and assorted other distractions. Several items in the opening shot of this post live conceptually in my Bliss Box, which once held tea; I bought it because I wanted the box, and gave away most of the contents.

Scanners are not only permitted but actually encouraged to follow their wild tangents, capturing them in a semi-organized fashion in their Scanner Journal. Here’s a sample page, plus perhaps the wisest statements I ever came up with and which is posted all over my house:

I looked through my Scanner Journal to see how my dreams are faring –  what I’ve forgotten or at least misplaced, who’s still nagging me (yes, they are real life critters to me), and the ones that dance with joy because they’re getting attention.

I was surprised:

Our poetry anthology is out there in the universe. We adopted a wonderful dog. My office and workspace are even better than I imagined when I created them in my head. I began practicing tai chi on a fairly regular basis and participated on stage with my class in a martial arts program.

A NaNo novel I pitched was well received at a writers conference before my car accident, etc., pulled me away. Perhaps this is the most fragile of my projects: a novel that’s a cross between Catch 22 and Terms of Endearment, which an important person wants to see. And I haven’t done anything with it.

But it’s all the poetry that’s clamoring to be put on paper with purple fountain pen ink that shouts the loudest. My latest answer to dealing with all of these critters who must  be fed is what I call my Red Bag of Courage:  a large zipped binder with sections for portions of several projects. Sometimes you’ve just gotta hand-write a note instead of typing onto the iPad. After I can carry it . . it will include new poetry I’ve written, blog ideas, etc. I’m inspired again.

If you look back at the opening photo here’s where you’ll find:

~Ganesch, to keep me on track. When I’m following my right path, Ganesch removes obstacles in my way. When I’m not heading where I should, he throws boulders and icky things on the road to get my attention.

~A monkey I need to watch diligently to keep him off my back.

~A slinky to remind me there are many ways of getting from Point A to Point B, and to have fun while I’m doing it.

~My rock from of the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial. Korczak gave this answer to the question of how one goes about carving an image out of a mountain: “Study and observe, then remove what is not the horse.”

~A zebra, because I think zebras are cool, and I like to color them brightly when I have the chance.

~The open book and everything on it are all reverse images created in Picasa when I was playing around today. That’s why the paper is black, and the monkey is white.

Sometimes I just have to create my own reality. Enjoy creating yours.

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