Thursday, March 31, 2005

NaPoWriMo

Check the link to the left for more info. Much fun is to be had in celebration of National Poetry month. Yes, you see, poetry can be enjoyed in its formally allotted one month per year. NaPoWriMo is much like the month long novel writing challenge, but not. A poem a day for the whole of April, and hopefully this won’t become my hole of April. April begins with a Fool and ends with May so I will grow with the month and not stay stuck on the 1st. Ha. I have been working on my first poem. I don't know if that is cheating or not, but alas, I am. I won't do this every time but I did want a Seussian start. That is how the poem feels to me. Cruel perhaps, but remember it is April.

I am looking forward to this. Words have been flowing very easily lately so of course my one worry is that this effort will stop up the flow. I have enjoyed the flow and want it to continue. We shall see. If I start complaining about the lack of flow, please point me back to this entry so I can be reminded that I already warned myself.

So join in if you dare. I have.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

For those of us that don't think April is the cruelest month

st*rnosedmole

Hee, I might do this.

I wonder if I could manage something that wasn’t bunk for a whole month. We shall see.

Personally, I think May is the cruelest month, but who am I to argue with Elliot. I liked The Hollow Men and The Love Song of Prufrock much more than The Wasteland. It was a good beginning. Breeding cruelty, spring does, in my experience anyway.

Prufrock, though, showed us true alienation and loss. The Wasteland, big in title and size, didn’t capture it as well IMO. The personal is always more effective. It also contains one of my favorite lines of poetry: “I am no prophet -- and here's no great matter.” This sums up so much of how I feel about myself some days. It is really brilliant. Simply said, again simply can be most effective, must cutting and most truthful.

This poetry effort might be a fun contest of wills. My will to actually do this and my will to find the words. The battle of the thesaurus vs. my ideas. One begets the other. I am getting too old to remember all of the words I want to use, so thesauruses are very useful I find. “Almost at times, the Fool.” I have no problem with that either. Prophets and Fools are generally the same people anyway.

Thanks for reading and look forward to my poetry. For a whole month! Yes, I know I am scaring you all away with that just when my readership is going up! Marketing is not my strength apparently.

Have a good one and thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I keep going back

Sometimes, when you have read a poem for the 47th time, it becomes transfigured, and all previous meaning that you saw is lost, and a whole other meaning is raised up and offered. I wonder if it is just me seeing that, my eyes alone, or if it was an interior gift that is born of the words?

Probably a little of both, but it is still amazing. This amazement, the real meaning of the word, not just the shock value aspect, but more the wonder aspect, is what makes me reread poetry.

I also have been thinking about what others see in my poetry. I have had comments about it from friends that is very different from my own interpretation. That is beautiful. I want what I write to be a conduit of sorts, to what they see, from what I offer. I want to know about the connections that my poetry makes for them. I think I am greedy in that. I know what other’s poetry does to me and for me so I can only be grateful if a cord is struck for them from what I write.

I keep going back to what a gift this sharing is. I can’t help that interpretation. I keep going back to it…

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Larkin around

Guardian Unlimited Books By genre Larkin around

Ted Kooser, when I heard him speak, lamented that he is always published now. Every single thing he sends anywhere is accepted for publication. He says he doesn’t want his ultimately bad poems published so he has had to stop sending poetry out. Since being Laureate, there is no review process anymore, as every publication wants something of his. Ha. Oh, his page of woe! I would offer my name to him to use, this, a friend’s suggestion.

Larkin, on the other hand, may not have wanted all of his poems published either. Should they be if he denounced them? From a student’s perspective I would think so. Watching the process is interesting and educating. But from a personal point of view, I can see why he wouldn’t want everything out there to be studied and examined. The duds, the tripe, illuminated. I know I don’t want everything I write examined and you don’t want to see it either.

I have another project now. A friend and I are writing … well, we are not sure how it will be, but we are working on it. A clash between reality and fantasy. That may be the best description for what this will eventually be. A painfully real fantasy with snark.

I sent out another poem yesterday. We shall see! My motto on all things I deliver into the virtual hands of strangers. Be gentle is all I ask. I hope that isn’t asking too much. I hope to collect rejection notices to paste on my wall as decoration and as a motivating force. I hear that is done by some. Hopefully my walls will not be papered with them. Again, we shall see. I wonder what Larkin and Kooser’s walls looked like. Hmm.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Life Lifted

A dream sequence this time, tying past to future, fountains to thoughts, isolation and connection. A song I haven’t particularly liked before inspired me, but it became an earworm so I had to use it, and so a line or two of that song developed into the scene. I was inspired by something I didn’t particularly enjoy but there it was.

I have been thinking about inspiration a lot lately. From whence it comes. I love to use the word whence. My love of the wh’s I guess. Anyway, I am finding that the more I write, everything really becomes available for me to harvest. I use that word purposefully also. Yesterday’s steam from the pasta pot was rising into my face, and I could see yellows within. I had never noticed that before but it was truly beautiful. Used it last night. The curling and the gentle tornadic rising, the bubbles’ releasing themselves was beautiful. Ideas spring forth, words become images, and images become words on a page. A giant lovely circle really. A blending if you will, this merging, I find, makes it really difficult to remove yourself from your writing. I read something this morning, from a friend, and what she wrote was really her revealed. I wonder if she realized how much of her resided in that article. Can we ever write what we are not? I don’t know. I am not sure it matters. But I still think art is a gift to ourselves and to others. Maybe that is what makes it art. Some say they know it when they see it, but maybe what they are seeing is the artist. Maybe that revelation, that truth revealed, is what makes it art, what separates it from the chaff, the common and the boorish. Life lifted.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

World building

I may be exceeding my grasp. With every word I write, I see the very long hard road ahead of me with this story. It is getting so large, not in word count, but in world building. As my character’s world expands, and he gets out, I have to incorporate the world, his reaction to it, its reaction to him, other character reactions, other character building; it is really large. I forget what I write while I am in the flow, and am pleasantly surprised during the reread. I still need to find more poetry quotes to incorporate and this is very time consuming. I have built a calendar to keep track of events, as timing is everything. I bought index cards but have yet to use them. Too small. My new white board is coming in very handy though. I like to stay organized.

I plan on having my main character take a trip, and I just got that hook last night. When this plot dump happens, it pleases me so. I also think I will have the second trauma happen upon return from this trip. Trips change everything. I love trips! He will receive news that ties old events to recent events; guilt happens, angst happens, this will get all of the characters in an uproar. I have been waiting for this, as they have been too nice, everyone is getting along. Well no more!! I get to be mean now. Hee. No not really, but the first trauma, well actually the second, will help with dealing with the third. It is all tied together. Reactions. So much fun. The question “Who are you?” is an underlying theme here, and these events will realize that.

Now I just have to write this stuff. I love the imagining of all of this, it is very strong and forceful, but time consuming and thought consuming. I want to do this well, and with every reread, and every new word, I realize I need to go back and fix stuff. The plot has had no major changes, but my writing style, my abilities have, and when I reread the early stuff, I see what I need to change. I don’t know how any writer can actually finish anything; there are always changes that need to be made. I guess at some point, you just have to stop. Well, I am nowhere near that point yet, so changes await! All of this in just three months. I can’t wait to see what it looks like as I near the end.

I am still very excited by this whole process and words are flowing in other areas too. I just can’t stop writing poetry. I keep getting side tracked by that. No woe here!! I will be sending out a few more poems too. What the heck I say! All they can say is no. Oh well. I am still checking my email obsessively. Yes, that is just the way I am.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Iris is blooming

Rereading some of this blog, I have noticed that I have been repeatedly excusing my lack of writing. Well, that may be, but it is moving as time permits. Life happens. Poems keep sidetracking me and make me want to write them.

That said, I haven’t been writing as intensively as I did when this effort first started. But what I have seen developing, is the ability to get bits done, scenes done that are relevant but done in a matter of fact, arrival of the fittest, sort of way. These scenes arrive effortlessly (for now) and flow onto the page and fill it descriptively with what I have imagined. I still don’t know how the big looming hole will be filled, but I have no worries about it. I am not letting myself get worried about this at all. It will come when it does, I have no expectations for it, and this pattern seems to be working. No woe.

The scenes with Iris seem to be happening very naturally. Yesterday morning I did a chunk of her back story. At first, I felt I might have been giving short shrift to this character, her arrival the result of so much main character choice that I felt her story needed to be told too. That is coming along nicely. I didn’t want her only role to be subservient to the main character, his plot and my demands of her. No, that wasn’t enough for her. I read something today that described perfectly my concerns with her character. I am glad I found that.

I wrote several poems today, one better, maybe, and one silly. Have to keep balance in all things. The extremes with which these flourish really do maintain the flow. To deny one when the other is calling out, well, I don’t do denial well. The architecture is lovely there, but it is only a fa├žade, a frontage to real life. Plus, silly is fun.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Hollow Men

I have been thinking in the last 24 hours about passion and art. I think writers write about writing, dancers dance about dancing, painters paint about painting. When a passion leads you with the tools you have, it becomes about the tool. You become the tool. Therefore you can do the thing. When Hamlet held up the skull, it was Shakespeare looking in the feared mirror, looking at death, the end of the art, the end of the man. He was in the grave, knowing that it would come. He was looking at himself looking at him. The reflection of the man by the art. The hollowed skull the remains of the man. But here we are reading the works, reminded by him of the fact of the words. He gave us his words by giving of himself. He gave us himself by giving us his words. Critics often say Shakespeare’s genius was his ability to offer us all of mankind. Womankind too. He captured all of the pains and gains and sorrows and pleasures in his works. All kinds of personalities and people depicted. He did that because he wrote truthfully. When you write with truth, you cannot help but succeed. He was an actor not acting when he was writing. He wrote about acting, plays, but he wasn’t acting when he was a writer. He was writing about his view of the world, his fearful place in it, when he wrote. He used his tools, the stage where he could be, the page where he lived. That comes out in every single thing I have read of his. He feared the world, death, aging, the loss of the gift of it all, but he turned that into “Shakespeare”. I picked up Will in the World again last night. I haven’t dipped into that for a week or so. His family has just lost their fortune, selling off plots of their property piecemeal. What that must have done to their young son. His future, his family’s future unsure. No wonder he had such passion. He had to write. He had to live.

Friday, March 11, 2005

It is.

It is always about the poem.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shaded vistas

I have been thinking about inspiration lately. From whence we receive that gift. I have been inspired lately. Not to write so much, but rather to see the world in the way others see it. I find that deeply enriching and moving. I think that opens the door to places that we wouldn’t otherwise view, that an inspiration in itself. There have been a few instances lately, that I am open to the viewing.

A word, a vista, a turn of phrase. A shade, a twist, a surprise. All of these just open my mind to the possibilities. I worry sometimes that it is stealing a little, not that I use these directly, but I worry that I didn’t imagine them on my own. And then I do!

But there is no rush so great, or almost so great as that connection. I think that is why I am doing this, writing; I love to express that connection. I didn’t feel that need for years, but now I do. I think, maybe, expressing myself with words again, seeing my life through words. A new view. I have taken a step back. Back to that. But actually forward. I used to write a lot but my writing was sidetracked by life. Now I have some time to myself and can write. Again. I didn’t miss it when I wasn’t doing it, but now that I am doing it, experiencing it, I do miss it when I can’t.

Paradoxes untold, and now told.

So far, this time in the morning, it has been a great day. Surprises and twists. I gotta write a poem I think.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Whatever doesn't kill you...

Yes, that is what they all say. I received a receipt email today and it said they would be reviewing submissions for the next few months. I guess that means I can stop hitting refresh on my email account every hour. But at least it was not a rejection notice.

I am (naively) hopeful. That will be the mantra for the coming months. In the meantime, I am working on updating a sonnet I wrote that I like more every time I reread it. I put stuff away to simmer and then pull it out again to read cold hopefully having gelled like a good rich stock. If I still don't mind it, then I work on it some more. That way it seems fresh and reworkable. New ideas spring forth which can only help.

I got several more pages of my story written over the past few days as well. Little scenes, not directly connected to the main plot are bubbling up now too. I am writing these separately, to add in when necessary. Those connectors will happen too. They just feel right.

I found a poem I wrote a while ago, a few months maybe, and I have no memory of writing it. I don't know what the heck that means. I liked it enough. It needs work. I commented then that the center didn't hold. I was right, and I still feel that way. But more to work with, always a good thing.

Thanks for reading as usual. Comments welcome too!!