Moving my writing blog over to WordPress has given me an opportunity to look at a lot of my old posts and do some deleting, some general clean-up, and some rearranging of ideas. It’s not that I think someone is going to come over and read every old post I ever wrote but I do think there are a lot of posts that are good sources of motivation for writers and poets and a good many “feel good” posts like the Incarcerated Teens Poetry workshops and the popular Of Dogs and Writing series. We also had a grand old time with some writing prompts like the Tuesday Memory Challenge and poetry discussions like the one Laura Salas and I did when we read the book Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen at the same time and took turns hosting the discussions (and poetry exercises) on our blogs. Sadly, that discussion is lost because the comments didn’t move over for Laura and I when we switched to WordPress. I also let you look over my shoulder as I work my way through plot problems in books by writing letters to my characters and then being surprised when they write back to me.
So I’ve decided to re-run some old favorite posts and maybe start up the memory challenges again (which will lead nicely to what I have planned for National Poetry Month.)
Let me know if there’s something you’d like to see me revisit.
Welcome to my new blog home. It was with a very heavy heart that I have finally left LiveJournal where I have been happily blogging and building a water-cooler network of friends for seven years. But the technical issues that LiveJournal continued to have made it more frustrating than fun to blog so it was time to go. On the plus side, I was easily able to move all my old posts over here. Now they are nicely categorized and tagged and will be a much better resource for people to use. On the down side, no comments were able to be imported and that’s rather heart-breaking when I consider some of the wonderful conversations I’ve had with people over the years. I decided I could spend who knows how much time trying to hack the code and have it maybe work or I could just let it go. People can still go back and comment on any old posts here and I’m motivated to write entertaining and helpful posts to get some new conversations up and running.
Some of my popular posts from the past, such as the series Of Dogs and Writing, have been added as menu items at the top.
I’ve gone a long while without blogging. Part of it due to the frustrations with LiveJournal, part of it to do with this shiny new website my blog is a part of now, and part of it is just plain life. And so it goes.
I’ve been working on a lot of art lately and am excited to announce that I am going to be in my first show at the Axis Art Gallery in San Jose. The opening reception is February 29th and exhibit will run through the month of March. Read more details about the show, and if you’re in the San Jose area, I hope you’ll stop by to see the beautiful art our group has created.
I’m putting the finishing touches on another website that will showcase my California native plant garden and talk about our journey to claim a little bit of space for wildlife in the middle of this busy city.
I’m also starting to plan something fun for National Poetry Month. In the past I’ve written a poem a day for the month of April (see the menu for each year’s collection) but this year I’m going to do it with a little interactive twist. Stay tuned for more details.
Old friends and new, I bid you welcome. Poke around the blog and website and since I’ve just moved in, please let me know if something isn’t working the way you expect it to.
I'm working on a podcast series for YouTube. I am having so much fun. It will be part motivation, finding the courage to create, part poetry workshop, and part sharing of some of my poems.
I'm having so much fun.
And I can't figure out if I should do strictly video stuff on YouTube or just audio or a combo of both.
For the last couple of days I’ve been playing around on Google’s new social networking site, Google+ and I have to say, I’m liking it a lot. Right now my favorite features are the instant photo upload from my Android phone and the way you organize everyone into circles. Some people might be in multiple circles, say, friends, family, writers, poets. Some might be in one all their own, like techies. You can choose to send your post out to everyone at once or just select circles. Another plus is that you can also post something and include someone via email.
Hangouts are a cool integrated video chat that worked great for me.
The UI is clean and intuitive. I think you have more privacy controls than on Facebook.
Right now it’s a small population but I think it will keep on growing, especially when Google formally opens the doors. For now, if you have a Google profile set up and you want to come play, send me your Google email address and I can open a door.
Oh, and they also have a vanity url. I grabbed mine right away.
I haven’t written a lot about what I’m doing writing-wise lately. I’ve immersed myself in art because it is soothing my soul which has been troubled by not writing. I have finished some fun art projects like my quote art journal and the art journal for my 15 words or less poems and begun my work on the Sketchbook project where I hope to combine words and art.
But writing. I’ve jumped around a lot lately, which is my normal process. For now my focus is a book of essays about the 14 dogs I’ve had in my life. I have no contract, not even a publisher in mind. I’ve been told by a couple of agents and a couple of publishers that it is going to be a hard to impossible sell. I’ve been told writing books that aren’t teaching an aspect of craft don’t sell unless you’re famous. I’ve been told collections of essays by not-yet-famous people don’t sell.
I’ve been told a lot of things that should discourage me from spending time on this project.
But here’s the thing. Working on this book makes me happy. Seems like a good enough reason to work on it for me.
I just got my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. It’s both exciting and intimidating at the same time. But mostly exciting.
I chose the theme of HOPE and am starting to play around with ideas of how to utilize it in the sketchbook. I may combine poetry and art. Or maybe not. But I’m curious, when you hear the word hope, what do you think? See? Feel?
1. I’m reading Gary Schmidt’s new book, OKAY FOR NOW. In three pages I was completely sucked into the story, rooting for the main character. I would have read it in one sitting except that it was nearly 1am and I knew I should get some sleep.
2. Reading Gary Schmidt’s books makes me excited about writing middle grade and motivates me to get back to work on my two. Of course the flip side to that is if I play the compare game (hey, I know I shouldn’t do it but that doesn’t make it easy to stop.) and I realize how utter brilliant he is which makes me feel utterly ordinary.
3. Reading OKAY FOR NOW, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach very early in the book. That feeling you get when you realize another author has done something kinda sorta not exactly but somewhat similar to something you were going to do in your own book. It’s not like it was a super odd-ball character or unusual happening, the sort of thing that you could peg from book to book. No one else will give it a second thought. But I will at times. Sigh. And then I will remember the teeter totter of brilliance versus ordinary. And then I will just have to knuckle down and find my own brilliance.
4. In 2010 Gary Schmidt spoke at our local SCBWI conference at Asilomar. I was memorized. His talk about working with incarcerated students reminded me of my own work in similar situations. He made me laugh. He made me cry. I wanted him to adopt me. Okay, maybe not adopt me but I wanted to be one of his students. I know he teaches in some distance education programs but I can’t afford to sign on for a long term program. But I could afford some one-on-one time. I wish he would consider taking on a private student. Namely, me. (I have a similar writer crush on Beth Kephart and the same desire to somehow be a student in one of her classes some day.)
5. The first Gary Schmidt book I ever read was The Sin Eater, maybe 10 year ago. I remember being somewhat in awe, that you could write this kind of story, with this kind of emotion and so many layers for middle grade. I felt like it handed me a get-out-of-writing-jail free card and encouraged me to write my kind of books, the not-so-funny, probably going to hurt your heart kind of books.
If you haven’t read any of Gary’s books yet, you owe it to yourself to pick one up. Thanks Gary, for lighting the path.
The mattress on our bed has a mountain running right down the middle of it. I think it’s fairly common when two people share the same mattress for years. You each sink into comfort on your own side of the bed and then, over time, this mountain forms in the middle. We turn the bed on a regular basis but still, there it is. When we bought the bed the salesguy told us it would form a hump in the middle and that was not considered a flaw in the mattress. It just was what it was. Accept that the mountain would one day appear and there wasn’t a darn thing I would be able to do about it.
Most of the time I don’t think much about the mountain unless I’m trying to roll over and it suddenly feels like I am trying to roll myself uphill. A few times I’ve gotten frustrated with it and piled all sorts of heavy objects on top of it, hoping by bedtime that it would have miraculously flattened back down again. Of course that never worked.
This morning I woke up sleeping on an angle, half on the mountain and half rolling down the hill, and I smiled. I’m sure the smile was influenced by my before-bed reading of Patti Digh’s book Creative is a Verb. I thank her for that.
There are always going to be mountains in our lives. I usually throw myself at them with equal parts of anger that I have to climb yet another dang mountain and blind energy to just hurry up and get it over with. Forget about other plans or enjoying the view. There’s a mountain in my way and I need to get past it.
Or do I? As Patti said In my reading last night, "You are always in choice."
Not every mountain needs climbing. Lots of the time you can walk around it. Take another route. Or maybe, just sit at the foot of the mountain and contemplate its place in your life. Embrace the mountain and sometimes they vanish right before your eyes. Gather supplies, make a plan, and go ahead and climb.
But the important thing to remember is you don’t have to climb every mountain. You are always in choice.
1. I opened a file in my working folder that was called one thing but had something else in it instead. It had a rough summary of my story about Max the dog and his boy. Some of it I remembered and some of it took me by surprise. I liked it. I wanted more. I wanted to write more.
2. I got lucky with the newspaper again. Went to put it in the recycling and right on the only page I could see there was another story that tied to the story about Max. This one wasn’t about a dog but about a boy and when I read the entire article I got a couple of plot ideas. I love it when the Universe brings me some serendipitous ideas.
3. I’ve been crunching numbers on and off for a couple of days. I hate it but I love it because with the knowledge of the numbers there is power. I like having power.
4. I’ve always had a big, fat idea file of stories I wanted to write. Now I’m finding that the artsy ideas are piling up so fast that I need a file for them too. I love being surrounded by so many creative ideas.
5. I look around my house and think of all the hard work we put into it last year and it makes me happy, all of it, the colors of the paint, the wood floor, the room swapping, it just feels like "us" like we’ve finally, after fours years, claimed out home. I can sit in my library and write, surrounded by books. I can sit in my office and work on art. Right now all the blinds area all open, the yard is a beautiful green, and so many birds are singing.
Life is good. I’m a lucky girl.
Happy weekend, everyone.
As long as I can remember I have turned to books to learn how to do something new. Eventually I would have to dig in and get my hands dirty with whatever it was but I always, always started with reading a book about it first. So it should come as no surprise that when I came to writing, I did the same thing. Long before I bought my first Writer’s Market I was a member of the Writer’s Digest book club. I didn’t have a lot of money back then but I would scour the flyer for the best combo deal so I could build my writing bookshelf.
When the books came in I would devour them, cover to cover, in no time at all then go back through them again, a second time, mining for nuggets. I was sure that the secret to writing success was in those books. Over the years I added many books to those shelves. When I moved cross-country (and back again) I weeded out lots of other books but not the writing ones. I kept them all. Until now.
Lately I’ve been rereading all the books on my shelves, making sure that they still speak to me and therefore deserve some shelf space. While we have a lot of room for books, it’s not unlimited, most especially the shelves in my office. There are some favorites I know will never grow old for me, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, Take Joy by Jane Yolen and Writing Alone and With Others by Pat Schneider. A few craft books that I return to again and again, but as I go through the shelves, rereading one book a night, I find I am ready to let go of a great many of the books I have carted back and forth across the country.
I used to think those books contained the secret to creating my writing life. That I would read them, learn things, absorb things and then, miraculously, be living the writing life of my dreams. Now, as I reread many of them I find my stack to trade in at Powell’s growing and the number of books staying on my shelves shrinking. Some I’ve outgrown. I’m no longer a brand-new writer with questions about manuscript format and query letters. Some have been displaced by the Internet (which we didn’t have when I first started writing.) And some just don’t speak to me anymore.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have learned a TON of stuff from reading those writing books and I will continue to buy new ones to read and learn from going forward. But all this rereading I’ve been doing has reminded me that reading the book is only part of the solution to building a writing life.
You still have to do the work.
Get the words down on the page. Show up every day and write a lot of crap and then come back and revise a lot of crap and then keep on doing that until the crap turns into a decent story and then, then you let it go. You don’t hold on to it for fear it’s not perfect yet. You do the work. You do your best with the writer you are at that moment in time. And then you send it out to the publishing world and move on to the next project.
It’s easy (at least for me) to get caught up in the stories of other writers on the pages of all these books on my shelves. And I start to second guess and third guess and forth guess my process, my ideas, my every little thing about MY writing life that doesn’t match up to someone else’s writing life. And that’s so wrong.
When we read a book we love or a poem that moves us, we don’t say, well, the author used a process I don’t approve of therefore I can’t allow myself to enjoy the book or the poem. That would be crazy, right?
Along with this award comes a few responsibilities.
1. Thank and link to the person(s) who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to five blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
Now for my seven things. I was going to do them about me but really, I’m not very exciting. So instead I thought I’d do it about some projects that are vying for attention in my writing brain.
I have seven projects of interest. Now the trick is, of course, to pick one, commit and finish it. But it seems I no soon pick and commit that another one is waving a hand and begging for my attention. Then there are the days when none of them are talking to me and I figure I’m just going to give up writing and become one of those statistics that didn’t live up to her potential which means, (according to Celebrity Apprentice) someone who isn’t doing their work. Anyway, here are some thoughts about the seven near work-in-progress projects I have.
1. A young adult verse novel which has me struggling with how to merge the inspiration of the true story, two sisters who never knew the other one existed, with the fictional reality of a book that would be interesting and meaningful to teens. What I love about this is the idea of doing a verse novel for teens and being able to push the envelope farther than I did with Hugging the Rock. What worries me about this is trying to tell a story in two voices and somehow tie it all together.
2. Max. A middle grade prose novel that deals with animal abuse and child abuse. So a dark, dark place to journey. What I love about this is the relationship between the main character and the dog in his life. What worries me about it is that it is so dark that it won’t work for the middle grade audience. And I worry about pulling myself out of the dark places this book will take me.
3. Plant Kid. A middle grade prose novel about a boy’s discovery of native plants and the man who mentors him. Of course I love the native plants and gardening aspect of it but I worry that there’s no plot and that it would be a total snooze fest for this age group.
4. Flyboy. A young adult prose novel about a boy who loves to fly and his search for where he fits into his world. Hmmm…sounds like the story of my life. I have loved Flyboy for 25 years. I am afraid I might have overloved him. Perhaps after finding my father, learning more about my family, maybe I don’t need to write this book anymore. But after having so many years invested in this story and becoming, I hope, a better writer over time, I would like to think I could still write it.
5. An adult memoir based on the poems I wrote last year, for National Poetry Month, about the father I never knew. I love the idea of writing a memoir in verse. I got some wonderful support in the writing of the poems last year. But I have also, in times since, gotten some really harsh feedback on them as a memoir project so I don’t know if I am strong enough to go there again.
6. Essays about dogs and writing. I want to do this, to do something with the essays I wrote in the series of blog posts, "Of Dogs and Writing" but I confess, I queried a few people about it a year or so ago, got some negative feedback, and dropped the ball. I don’t think a traditional publisher would buy this. But I am pondering the idea of self-publishing it through Lulu or CreateSpace or something like that. It’s just hard to convince myself it would be worth the time and effort it would take.
7. Some kind of art and poetry project, perhaps native plant poetry combined with some of my collage work. But again, this would probably have to be self-published. I think it’s wonderful that we have the opportunities to publish our own work when it is the right move for us but I worry, after being involved with the traditional publishing world for so long, if self-publishing would feel odd to me.
Hmm…I was hopeful that writing these out would help me focus but I guess it isn’t going to be that easy.
I’m going to pass the award along to the following people because I would like to know more about them.
Boy, after National Poetry month I seem to have fallen off the blog wagon, again. I had a Friday Five, sort of, in my head. But this morning five seems like four too many so I have just one random thought.
About a month ago I cut my hair. It was long, long enough to sit on. Long enough to make an impact when I walked into a room and I’ll admit, that impact was a big factor in me keeping it long for such a well, long time.
But I cut it. Cut off 13". More than a foot. Cut it so it is a little below my shoulders.
I expected to get a little bit of attention when people saw me for the first time because, to me, it was such a dramatic (almost traumatic) event. In the month since I cut it I can count on one hand the people that noticed it. And they were all in the same room at the same time. After that, nothing.
Now granted, if I were still working in cubicle land I think more people might have noticed but still it surprised me. And heck, if I’m being honest, it hurt for a bit. Then I realized there is an important lesson here for me if I am smart enough to internalize it:
What you think you look like matters less than you think, so quit worrying about it so much.
Food for thought. I think.
Laura Salas and Lisa Bullard have teamed up for a wonderful new offering for writers at all stages of their careers.
Mentors for Rent is an hourly service that gives you the chance to chat via Skype or conference phone call with both Laura and Lisa where they’ll answer your questions about the craft and the business of writing for kids and young adults. They’ll even critique your manuscript on the spot.
I was going to post this on Friday for a Friday five but then it started getting really long. Then I was going to post it on Saturday and didn’t. By Sunday I convinced myself to wait until Monday. That’s the way my thought process has been going these days.
I haven’t been around the blogosphere lately because I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about myself and my writing and my online life and art and a whole bunch of stuff. Not sure that many folks even read this any more because I haven’t been good about interacting and I know that’s what makes you fall off of other people’s radar. Anyway, here are some thoughts around some of the things I’ve been thinking.
1. It’s important to think about the whys behind your doing of things.
I have become (mostly unintentionally) greatly disconnected from the online world. Some of this is a carryover from all the house stuff last year but some of it is me dog-paddling for so long that I just don’t have the energy to keep it up anymore. Hard to keep swimming when you don’t see any land in sight. So lately I’m not Tweeting. I’m not blogging or responding to blogs. I’m trying to keep up on Facebook status updates but that’s about it. In some ways this has been good. Online is noisy and even if the noise is virtual, for me it’s like being at a rock concert 24/7. And I don’t do concerts.
Taking in all that info, trying to remember who to check in with, making the rounds and making the rounds and then, one more time, making the rounds it can drain me. It can also fill me, when there’s the give and take with people but because of my unintentional disconnect, there hasn’t been that give and take. I’ve taken from everyone for too long without giving back so people move on. I understand. It’s the way things work. The trouble is figuring out where to jump back in again because it’s not just the jumping in…it’s the convincing myself to keep going beyond those quiet times while things build back up again. So this has been the subject of much pondering on my part.
I recently bought and watched a CD from Brene Brown called The Hustle For Worthniess which was an extension from one of her books (sorry, I can’t remember which one) but the idea of hustling around, doing things we think will make us worthy of someone’s attention rang a little bit too true for me. So I’ve been wondering, why do I Tweet? Why do I use Facebook? And most importantly, why do I blog? Am I trying to help other people or am I seeking attention for myself? And if I want the attention, is that a bad thing, a hustling for worthiness sort of thing? I’m still trying to figure that one out. What confuses me is that a friend told me recently that I am at my best when I put myself out there with honesty and transparency. That rings true for me but then it is all about me, me, me and I don’t know that I am offering anything else to the world.
2. Not everything you try is going to work, and that’s okay.
I am probably going to retire The Poetry Push I started on Tuesdays. It hasn’t taken off and I know that a big reason for that is because of my own lack of participation in the event and in other online things. I think the result might have been different if I had started it during a peak rather than a valley. I might use the list poem prompts as my project for National Poetry month since that’s coming up next month and I have no idea what I am going to do for that. Two years ago when I participated for the first time I wrote haiku about my native garden. Last year I wrote poems about the father I never knew.This year I have no idea. I thought about trying to write poems about Cassie but I don’t know if I could come up with 30 of them. I thought about doing a different poetry prompt each day, doing the exercise myself and hoping more people would participate. I thought about trying to write about art and what it is adding/doing to my life. But so far nothing seems both right and achievable. Because I really hate failing.
3. Play time is an important gift to give yourself, especially guilt-free play time.
I gave myself the gift of March as an entire month of play. It came about as a result of taking with a friend about working and not working and she said you know, there’s a big difference between not working and beating yourself up about it and feeling guilty and then, instead, giving yourself permission to take time off and then not feeling guilty about not working. She was right so when I went to my Asilomar conference at the end of March I let myself think about which one I was doing and finally decided to give myself a month of guilt-free play. I’ve been taking painting lessons online and doing a lot of art. I’ve been sitting in the garden and doing nothing. I’ve been reading non-fiction. And I’ve been waiting for stories to tell me they want me to pay attention to them. The stories, well they’ve surprised me. I’ve been reading more poetry and feeling, at times, less like writing it. I am being drawn back to some middle grade prose ideas I’ve played with. Then of course I start to second-guess myself about why I feel less like writing poetry when I go back and read what I’ve written and mostly like it. I think some of it has to do with the labels and pressures that are placed on verse novelists. (Not that labels and pressures aren’t places on all writers.) Which goes back to my first point and wondering if it is about chasing worthiness again? I’ll continue to let myself see-saw on story thoughts for the next couple of weeks and see how I feel at the end of March.
4. Doing something with a friend makes it more fun. Plus there’s that accountability factor.
Some of you might have read
5. Learning something new makes you look at everything else in life differently.
I’ve been mostly focused on art this month and really stretching myself to learn a lot of new things about art in a short amount of time. I love the excitement that comes with learning something new. I love the lack of pressure that comes from being a newbie. I love making "mistakes" and just letting go of the mistake as learning experience and not beating myself up.
I dug into my stash of "beautiful blank books" and just started throwing paint on the blank pages. (oh yes, artists suffer from blank page syndrome just like writers do.) I wanted to overcome the idea that the book was too beautiful for me to use and anything I put into it had to be beautiful too. I had a stash of craft paints that have (to me) a horrible chalky texture that I can’t stand to touch, especially after becoming addicting to Golden Fluid Acrylics. So I decided to use them as a first layer in a new art journal. Every time Cassie rang the bell to go outside I’d sit down at the art desk and slap a coat of paint on a couple of pages. After about a week the journal is mostly filled up with color. Some color I like. Some I don’t. It doesn’t matter. It just the first layer and it’s only paint. I can paint over it. I can collage over it. I can even rip the pages out if I really don’t like it. But I no longer have a blank page staring at me. Now I have something to edit. Just like writing. You can’t revise a blank page.
As usual this went on a lot longer than most people want to read but hey, I’m consistent with my gabbiness. Here’s hoping to be around the blogosphere more in the future.
Continuing with my idea to use the Friday Five as a way to look back at my week. . .
1. Loved hosting my weekly CAPS (Creative Action Planning Support) group at my house on Monday. Hubby and I are introverted homebodies so actually USING the house to entertain and enjoying every minute of it, is great progress for me. The Monday session overflowed into an art lesson for a couple of the members and that meant that the house was filled with that much more creative energy. What I love is that ever after people have gone, some of their creative energy remains.
2. I had lunch with a friend, a great Skype chat with my Wednesday Women group, and a nice day at the art studio with friends, all reminding me that connection with other people is very important to me. I’m not super good at it, but I am trying.
3. Hubby and I are doing a pretty good job of maintaining an uncluttered house in the main living space. Every time we do this for a while, I’m amazed at how much it affects my mood.
4. I came up with the idea for a new weekly poetry feature for my blog (to launch next week) and I was able to put together all the pieces to get it up and running ASAP. Considering that I’m often big on ideas and less big on follow-through, this felt good.
5. K, one of the main characters in my WIP, came to life the other night. B is still a bit out of focus but K, as soon as I heard her cry, I knew her. I mean I knew her the kind of way I know I would recognize her walking down the street. I had a feeling she would be the one to come to life first but I hope B isn’t too much farther behind her. This book, being written in two voices (and maybe 3 more to be added) actually has me considering Scrivener for PC. Perhaps when I am ready for the next draft.
I've been dealing with some health stuff this week so it has been an unproductive week which makes the Friday Five a bit more difficult. But I'm going to give it a shot.
1. I am hit and miss with my 2 poems a day. More hit than miss so that's good.
2. I hit Zero In-Box with my emails. This was huge because while all the house stuff was going on and my hard drive was dying I wasn't using my Outlook mail. I just left everything in Gmail which really got to be a pain because I'm addicted to sorting my mail into folders. When I was finally able to download all my old mails and then added them to what had been in Outlook before, well I had 12,000 of them to process. I still have about 100 in my "follow-up" folder but hitting zero felt great!
3. I have confirmed in my head that my office needs to be painted green. It might be a year before I get to it and I have no idea which green because the green I used in the rest of the house reads brown in my office, but just picking the color family felt pretty darn good.
4. Our family lost a childhood friend this week, a young man, only a few years older than my son. He lived across the street from us, the oldest of three sisters and he played big brother to my son through-out his childhood. I remember him best with a skateboard under his arm. My son wrote a moving post about it here.
5.I added a new habit to nightly routine – reading a poem a night and recording what I read. I chose index cards to record the name of the poem, the book it was from, what I liked it about, any favorite parts and how it makes me feel. I haven't read enough poetry and I want to read and try to understand more of it. I keep thinking of some kind of blogging poetry community, something apart from Poetry Friday, where we could discuss poems we read because there is just so much I don't understand. I began with Billy Collins and the second poem of his I read was called Monday and spoke to the vision of the poet who is always looking out the window because there is always something there to see. I loved it until the last two stanzas but then it lost me and I wish I could talk about the poem with someone and understand what I have missed.
If you're looking for the Poetry Friday round-up, please visit A Teaching Life.
I haven’t done a Friday Five for a while and I’ve decided to really try and use it as a way to look back at my week so that at the end of the month/year, I can do a retrospective.
1. After the Dell Tech came out on Tuesday and replaced the hard drive and keyboard and touchpad, my laptop feels like a brand-new computer. I now have the programs I use daily reinstalled and mostly set up properly. There’s still some tweaking to be done. The rest of the programs and the files will come over in bits and pieces. Instead of racing to dump it all on this machine, I’ll go slowly and try and set up a system. This feels right.
2. I’m not doing so well on cultivating my new habits of the observation journal and getting back to my morning pages – so far. I’m not giving up and I’m not beating myself up for what I haven’t done.
3. I did get back to work on SS, the YA verse novel inspired by my father poems of last year. I set the goal of 2 poems a day with the hope of a rough draft by the end of March. (That would be March of this year.)
4. While the house renovations are done I am still struggling to get my office and studio put back into order. I hope to spend time on it this weekend. I realized, once again, that I need to have a clean nest before I can burrow into it. And some things still need to find the right home. I tried putting all my notebooks behind closed doors because that was where there was space. (They’ve always been on a bookshelf before.) I hate them behind closed doors. It’s more effort to get to them and they can be too easily forgotten. So there is some rearranging in my future.
5. I am feeling less full of stress and wish I knew what I could attribute it too so that I could do more of it.
I was looking for a theme of the year and had posted that it was going to be GRATITUDE, which I still think is the one I am most keeping at the forefront. But this weekend it occurred to me that it is also shaping up to be a year of LETTING GO.
I want to let go of so much emotional baggage I’ve been carrying around for years.
I want to let go of expectations.
I want to let go of toxic people in my life.
I want to let go of one-way relationships.
I want to let go all this stupid worry that I am doing "it" (whatever "it" that might be at the time) wrong.
I want to let go of not writing what it is I want to write because someone said that "trend" was over or they were sick of it or they didn’t think it would ever sell.