Sunday, February 25, 2007

Keep a notebook everywhere!

Keep a notebook everywhere you sit, read, think, sleep ... EVERYWHERE! I keep blank journals all over my house: in table drawers, next to my bed, on every desk available, in my coat pocket, in my purse, even in the glove compartment of my car! You never know when inspiration is going to hit. Even if it's just an idea for a title or a persistent image, you need to get it down on paper, especially if those precious diamonds filter into your mind just before sleep. The other night I was too tired to start a new poem for my NH Seacoast collection that I'm working on, but as I was drifting to sleep, the title appeared in my head along with the first two lines. I genuinely wanted to sleep after running around after my 3-year-old and 10-month-old boys, but I dragged myself out of bed, pulled out my Alice in Wonderland themed notebook and one of about 10 pens in my night table. I switched the light on in the bathroom, so I could scribble a few words down while leaning next to the sink. I shut the door, so I wouldn't wake up my husband with the light, and squinted my eyes against the glare. The next day I deciphered my late night handwriting and started work on the new poem. Today, I did my edits and it's almost finished. Had I not listened to my dreamy state mind, I would have lost the train of thought. Perhaps it would have become a different poem entirely from the one intended by my muses. Who knows? I only know that I would have been kicking myself while staring at a blank page, if hadn't listened attentively to the poem calling out to me.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Inspirational Writing Quote of the Day

Well, this is my spur of the moment inspirational quote for today. I may scatter these postings here and there. I should have chosen the title "Occasional Writing Quote on a Random Saturday Because I Feel Like It".

I am a new fan of New England writer May Sarton who wrote many journals and collections of poetry as well as novels. In this quote she captures the philosophy that there is a teacher in every poem we write.

"This is where poetry is so mysterious, the work more mature than the writer of it, always the messenger of growth. So perhaps we write toward what we will become from where we are."

~May Sarton
from Journal of a Solitude

What do you wear to a book signing?

It's like planning for a prom, only without the meringue-like poofy dress. Hair up or down? Will glasses instead of contacts make you look and feel more intelligent? These are the superficial questions that I find myself asking the "inner girl" in me, as I prepare for my first two book signings coming up this Spring/Summer. As the mom of two little boys under the age of 3 1/2 yrs., my no nonsense uniform of jeans/black khakis and a fleece pull-over (with sweet potato and drool stains, compliments of my 9 month-old) probably isn't the best look for a book event. On a serious note, it is the writing and how my future readers will identify with the ideas expressed that matters to me most. Oh, but what will my hair look like, when I read one of the poems? Just kidding. I have the perfect excuse to go shopping for "grown up" clothes if I can get some time to myself.

Getting started on the next writing venture weighs more heavily on my mind than fashion after completing a project. I already have several other collections of poems in the works. Depending on what subject or genre inspires me that particular day, I open up a new blank journal to match that inspiration and begin to open new worlds with words. Each story holds a mystery for me. It is only when I reach the last line, that I fully understand the message that I am being taught.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Procrastination and the Clock

Instead of procrastinating writing, I am delaying bedtime in much the same fashion that my 3 year old will whine to me saying, "But I'm not tired. I will not go to bed". This line is of course straight out of his favorite book and British children's series "Charlie and Lola". I am looking at the clock, as I fiddle with the new template and background color for this blog, and notice that the later it gets, the less inclined I am to go to bed. I have typed in and edited a poem for one of my new ekphrastic poetry collections, and I am feeling productive. So, I think, "I am not tired, and I will not go to bed". This of course is a foolish and misguided choice, as either one or both of my little sons will be waking me up tonight, so I'd better toddle off to bed myself. I will take my leave. I will awaken to write another day! CMRN