Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thin ice

2400 words yesterday. 200 dozen. I am picturing crates of eggs now. And just as delicate. I don't track words but there you go. Yes I know for someone who doesn't track such things, she comments on it alot. Back story mostly. Their worlds have exploded behind these characters. Setting up. What I did notice, was that it was more outline-y than I would like. I will have to go back and show. But it does get the story out there and that is always of the good. Lather, rinse, repeat. /Buffy reference.

I don't know how much writing I will get done today. I will carry around my notebook just in case. Skating may happen.

What I do need to do is write down words when they occur to me, so they don't get lost to the ether. Not one for the ether farming, remembering. I can't remember if I have always been like this, I suspect yes, but that is what paper is for. Disembowel (last night's word) and ablutional (this morning's) two most recent. Excellent words. I like when words feel as they exit the mouth, particularly the wh sounds. Always have. Especially when I know where they will work. Good writing saves words. Funny that.

Have a great day.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


You know how you know a poetry mag is good? If you are just thumbing through it, and are already blown away. Poetry East is that for me. I can't find a huge number of poetry journals around here but this one is usually available at B&N. I have to say, that every issue I have read has really excellent poetry. There is a certain gentleness that this one has. It doesn't seem to have pretensions and if it does, it doesn't worry about it, or feel the need to argue, but is just comfortable with who it is. Yes, I do anthromorphise everything. And again, superb poetry.

::pads off to read::

Also I realized the other day reading Poetry, that poets and poetry are like Canadians, always trying to figure out who and what they are. Canadians always feel the need to find who they are (in the shadow of the US), and reading the discussions about the need for poetry, its justifications, worth of the poet, those two things linked for me. Poetry, the Canadian to the Prose that is the looming and more financially successful American.

But then again, what do I know.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Time portals

In addition to all of its other attributes, Google is a time portal. I was googling a writer whose name I was trying to remember, who read at the University of Windsor one time, and I found the link to Generations, its undergrad poetry publication. I was published in that in 1982ish. I hoped some kind soul had not put them all online, but hadn't. It is probably better that way.

I think it was Czeslaw Milosz or another eastern European writer. I remember only that the book that writer had out that year he read, won all sorts of awards (which his did). None of his title's ring a bell though, so I am not sure. I didn't have the money to actually purchase the book from which he read, although my roommate did. The holes in the library.

I wish I had kept a list of all of the books I couldn't afford at the time. The list would have been long. Therefore, grateful for the googling.

Have a good one!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


My 7 (almost 8 in two weeks) year old son wrote a poem last night. He asked me if it should rhyme and I told him it didn't have to. We read a few humorous poems from the PFFA and he was quite amused and I think that got him into a poetry writing mood. Then he wrote his poem. I told him to use images to tell what he wanted to. He told me I couldn't post it, darn, but I will post just one simile he used:

like watered silk

He has a way with words. So does my daughter who won a writing contest last year. I could learn a thing or two from them.

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A tiny writerly moment

I have been updating the Seraphim story. Edit tight. Anyway, I was just waiting for the water for my tea to heat (never boil) and I looked out the kitchen window. In a flash, and was indeed that quick, I felt what I think it must feel like to be a writer1. All of the time, not just in bits and snatches between other moments like the spaces between the tea leaves.2 It was a combination of the scent of the tea, the fallen snow outside, my warm sweatshirt and knitted fingerless gloves all felt while contemplating a story so far entitled The World is White. It passed, and I poured the water over the tea leaves and I came down here to capture the moment.

1 I have never felt this before, in a setting situation rather than while typing - hopefully. I do type hopefully.
2 Yes I know I have drained this metaphor dry in both poems and posts, but it is one I really like.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The smell of smeared blue

I was just reminded of Gestetner ink. How it would smell, how we would smell it. We would grab the damp page from our teacher or classmate, our assignment due. But first and foremost we would hold it to our faces and breathe. It was a cloying sweet smell that would rise through our nose and above and beyond. It would soften the best of us. Probably why it lasted so long in the teaching profession. Did other industries even use it? I don't remember. Our teacher would go into the room with the machine that none of us could use. Wearing gloves she would make copies for each of us. Usually during recess time. We always hoped she was running late so when she would bring them fresh to us, have one of us hand out the sheets hoping hoping they would still be damp. I remember them being warm, but that might have just been from her holding them to her chest, her breasts at just the right angle for presentation of the assignment. Then one of us would be selected to hand them out. Quickly. Then we would breathe. I most remember this from grades 4-8 because we were upstairs near the room where the copies were made. Location is everything as they say. Kids today [shakes cane] don't know the joy of this. Photocopies and certainly not PowerPoint's do not have the same allure. Gone with the years, technology removing a most tactile stimulation for kids.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Kubla really can

Just found this essay after rooting around in the Poetry Foundation website. I even commented. We found Nick Bantock's popup book of Kubla Khan many years ago. What was so excellent about this book was that the popup took away some of the ghastliness of the story of Kubla. The dark images really do unfold the story, the wrecked world and the popup both shows that, and make it palatable, because kids like popups. Kids miss themes that they don't know or understand. If they do sense something awry, they question. Parents answer. If kids can ask and verbalize then they are ready for the answer. The demon lover slipped under my son's radar when he was young but huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail totally took him in. This poem worked really well, because the sound, the rhyme worked to fascinate him.

I wonder how the kids would view this book now that they are older. I might have to dig it out.

ETA: All of kid's literature is full of sadism and doom, a very long history, but I am not sure that is so bad if it is handled correctly by the parents. Little red riding hood and other stories are certainly filled with that. Now that my daughter is entering her teenage years, the stories she can find are filled with so much horror, death, anorexia and doom, or whatever other fill in the blank issue of the month could be. I do filter what my kids read, but if it is done well and well written, that buffers them from the horror. Like Kubla I think. I agree about the Giving Tree. I find that more irksome than most kid's stories because the ending has absolutely no joy, doesn't lift life at all. Working through the horror needs to be the starting point, not the ending.

Since The Road

Huh, Blogger changed the margins in the posting box here. Oh well.

Since reading The Road, I have noticed apocolyptic [heh, this word isn't in the Blogger spellcheck] sorts of themes in many movies over Christmas like The Terminator, and asteroids crashing into earth and other doomsday scenarios. Is that a New Years thing? Last night I had a dream about a saran attack on a nearby apartment building, when we were out of town. Stuff always happens off screen in my dreams. It is a thing. Then I was reading the internets this morning, and someone commented about the comet. Sigh.

Between world politics not being in a picnic basket, but other sorts, I can see how this is happening. Heck, maybe a short story will come from it. My mother in law told a story the other day, that I really want to use. It would tie nicely into this theme.

Have a great day. I am going to hit preview now, and see how this will look. Wish me luck! ETA: It was funky, so I reposted. ::tries again::

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back of the store where the lurkers toddle and sway

Getting hit on in the poetry section of B&N today was interesting. Partly due to my cluelessness and partly due to my nano earbuds I did not know what he was saying. I took out an ear bud, and I could then hear the fellow, older, greying and probably retired asking me if I had read a certain book of poetry. He asked me if I read poetry. I nodded. Then he said that he was a friend of Ted Kooser (everyone here claims that friendship! ooooh, I should have told him I got Kooser's valentine). I nodded again, and then he told me how much he loved this certain poet, whose name I won't write here because I don't want that traffic (I know that sounds horrible, but I learned my lesson with the moth and tears), and he suggested I purchase the chapbook. Then he sort of toddled off. Happy guy. I wished him well. Silently of course. I think he was as surprised as I meeting another person in the poetry section. That doesn't happen very often. Too bad the book of poetry was more concerned with centering poems, marbled paper and fancy fonts. Lesson learned: do not go gentle into that good chapbook. Rage a little, or toddle.

I ended up purchasing a biography of Dylan Thomas. Can't remember the author's name and I am too lazy to go upstairs and look. [ETA: I am not completely slothful: Dylan Thomas: A New Life by Andrew Lycett] When I picked up that book, I had a memory flash of another book I wanted to look for, but then it was gone in a whisp. Never did return. I am looking forward to learning more about Thomas. I only know some of his poetry; very little about him.

Have a lovely evening, what is left of it of course!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

drops, of many things really

At some point I will have to sort the links to the left in alphabetical order. But until then, I am going to keep them in the order in which I discover them. A history of sorts.

Woke with two poem bits in my head. That certainly does save me the work of actually trying to think about what to write. I want to call it, oh, I don't know, something referring to political leadership, but that might be too Marilyn-ish. A fractured haiku. First go rounds are evil.

[Poem deleted for extreme woosie-ness]

Did you know that Goethe would tap out his metre for his poems on his lover's back? How wonderful is that?

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Book group went well the other night. Goethe! Who knew? I knew next to nothing really about him, but I will definitely be reading more. His ideas about the role of the muse are captivating!

Another lady read my first poem (Caught), and then I read a few others. How nervous can one person be reading aloud what is normally an isolated effort? I am down here hunkered over the computer, and a happy few in the world see it, whilst I sit and type and feed the words out there. Now a few more in the world have seen. World grows.

I don't know what it is lately, but I have been having so many ideas for stories, and poems too. Glad to know that 2006 is staked, dead and gone, so maybe that has freed me. That year did weigh on me for a few (too many) reasons, so the hope of the new year reborn has begun. Gives me a new lease, rather than the mortgage and heavy price of the old.

I have the beginnings of another story, rather silly, but fun. I hope to work on the Seraphim story some more today, but the day's events might conspire to keep that from happening. We shall see! My ever hopeful chant/rant to the day. We shall see!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


A member of my book group has kindly requested that I bring a few of my own poems tonight to read. This night is poetry night. I have chosen a few recent poems from the Norton to bring, but I have printed out a few of my Napowrimo poems to bring also. Only a few people in real life have ever read anything I have written. As a matter of fact, I just let my mother-in-law, who is visiting, read the poems.

I must be getting braver. I don't know. Oh my.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year.

This newest short story I am writing hasn't been posted any where yet because I am liking it more and more and want to make it better. I think it is getting better. Well, I hope so anyway. Who knew I had a thing for fallen (6 winged) angels? Well, don't answer that, but these two are only getting more interesting as I tighten it. A part of me thinks it is sheer and utter crap, but another part of me is impressed. I want the former to become the latter, therefore the editing. And they both have nice hands.

I am waiting for steak pie to go into the oven, so I am contemplating feathers becoming quills becoming...oooh, a spoiler.

Have a great evening.