writing


Random quote of the day:

“You have to read and write on a daily basis. You have to be utterly vulnerable on the page, and utterly ruthless in revision. To write something good, you have to want it so bad that nothing else matters.”

—Chris Offutt, interviewed by Rob Trucks, Glimmer Train, Issue 5, Summer 1992

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“It has baffled most people who’ve tried to analyze just what takes place in the creative process. Even Freud, who gave up on almost nothing, seemed to have given up on that. It remains mysterious; and it’s probably a good thing that it does. It may be that the mystery is among the things that attract those of us who write.”

—John Hersey, The Paris Review, Summer-Fall 1986, No. 100

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, undated letter to his daughter “Scottie” (Frances Scott Fitzgerald)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The novel remains for me one of the few forms where we can record man’s complexity and the strength and decency of his longings. Where we can describe, step by step, minute by minute, our not altogether unpleasant struggle to put ourselves into a viable and devout relationship to our beloved and mistaken world.”

—John Cheever, National Book Award acceptance speech for The Writer, September 1958

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Making a book is a craft, like making a clock; it needs more than native wit to be an author.”

—Jean de La Bruyère, Characters

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

After hitting the five week mark on the poetry project I think I’m going to stop–because I’ve started working on a story. I’m not going to discuss that because it’s early days yet and in my experience if I talk too much about a story before it’s well-launched it dissipates the energy and I don’t finish it. And by story, I probably mean novel. I can’t seem to conceptualize and stay true to anything less complex.

So the poetry project did what I hoped it would do, got me back to a regular writing practice. It’s still early days on that, too, but I’m hopeful. I also hope to put something up on this blog at least once a week. I have found that all writing, no matter what, begets more writing. The important part is to start (or restart) the regular practice of writing.

So wish me luck. But, of course, what I really need is to just keep doing it, whatever it is.

Random quote of the day:

“Sloth in writers is always a symptom of an acute inner conflict, especially that laziness which renders them incapable of doing the thing which they are most looking forward to.”

—Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

“It’s all lagers and cigars here”
says the ancient postcard,
remembering a time when,
a long-gone long ago.

Lately, the Crone has slipped
me cryptic messages, all lagers
and cigars, remembering when,
whens that never were except in dreams.
I accept them all, those never-whens,
as absolute fact, an internal terrain
as real as terra firma.

Those dreams once meant something
more than fantasy, something realer
than real, a world burgeoning
in silence and sighs, forming on paper
and on screens, going forth into that
other world, the one most folks
mistake for real.

“When shall we two meet again,” she asks,
“over lagers and cigars?”

I have no answer except “soon”
and “someday.”

She laughs at that.
She recognizes the sound of dreams
disappearing into the mist,
like gorillas on the brink of
extinction.

*For the poetry project, phase one go here.

*For a definition of Phase 2, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

Random quote of the day:

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings.”

—Ernest Hemingway on F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Moveable Feast

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

If you’ve been following this project at all, you may remember that it started as a recreation of a classroom experience. After five weeks of only allowing us to do shorter form poetry like haiku and tanka, the teacher allowed us to move on to longer poems: one poem a week, at least 20 lines, any form. So I think I’m going to try that for the next five weeks.

Now, these will be little more than working poems, nothing to set the world afire, and the only reason I am doing this exercise publicly is to force my own hand. The object is to produce something, anything on a regular basis. I have seen some positive things coming from the short poem exercise, so I’m hoping that trend continues.

Since it’s Monday, my week for this phase of the project will go from Monday to Monday. So here’s number one, actually inspired by one of the shorter poems:

***

Who can know the soul of rivers?
I don’t. They turned our rivers to concrete
long before I was born, choking them
and channeling them on their journey
homeward to the sea, floodtide or flow.
We think they are tame, yet they fool us,
routinely eating children and the unwary.

Oceans I have seen and lived beside,
and no one would mistake them for tame.
Yet who can know the soul of such a vast,
primordial giant, changing with every glance,
moving moment by moment, hour by hour,
the protean mother surrounding the world?

Who can know the soul of rivers?
Wild or contained, channeled or flooding,
they flow through us but are hidden,
on their way home to the mother of us all.

***

ETA: Oops. I just realized I only made it to 17 lines above.
ETA #2: I remembered that the teacher was asking for poems to be at least as long as a sonnet and assumed that was 20 lines, but it’s actually 16. So I’m good!

And just for the hell of it, here’s a random box from my found paper one-a-day box folding project:

*For the poetry project, phase one go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

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