April, National Poetry Month

“Heaven deliver us, what’s a poet? Something that can’t go to bed without making a song about it.” ― Dorothy L. Sayers

Today begins National Poetry Month, no fooling!  It was started by the Academy of American Poets to help increase awareness of poetry in our very prosaic existence.  Here is a link to thirty ways to celebrate poetry.

Another way to celebrate (if you like celebrations with lots of agony (no, not 50 shades of agony)) is to try writing a poem a day for the month of April.  If you’re interested have a peek here: http://www.napowrimo.net/

And if you write a poem a day anyway, just because you are that creative and disciplined, you probably aren’t wasting time reading something like this; and by the way, I sort of hate you.  Well, not really, not hate – I guess it’s more like envy.  And that’s still not good, I know, but I”m working on it.

I’m going to do the NaPoWriMo poem a day challenge on another blog I have that’s not on WordPress.  I’m feeling a bit panicked, because I haven’t been writing ahead with a week or two worth of poems on in reserve.  In fact I haven’t even written today’s #1 poem yet. *gulp*  But I will in a few minutes.  If you’re interested you can have a peek here: http://writinginthebachs.blogspot.com/

And just because I can’t really talk about National Poetry Month without having a poem in the post I’ll include one that I wrote awhile back and still sort of like:

Treasure

Fingers reach
to pick
coral, shells, stones and bones
littered across memory’s beach.
Sands collects
water disburses
air feeds fire.
We stir the cauldron and reflect.
Bury your treasure deep –
golden moments silvery seconds
no matter the lock
they will not keep.

Why I Haven’t Blogged Yet

So this morning I made my “To Do” List.  It’s Saturday, so I get to stay in my pj’s in my favorite chair with Otis (my little dog, who is convinced he’s human).  From here I will:

  • -Read/edit manuscript
  • -Write blog post
  • -Read other Blogger 101 blogs
  • -Check email
  •  -Pay bills
  • -Drink coffee (well, this isn’t exactly on the list, but…you know)

So I start out with my coffee and my Otis and a manuscript from a friend who asked me to read and give feedback. When I start reading I feel immediately guilty/envious, because I should have hundreds of pages of my novel written, but no.  So, I mentally flog myself for a few minutes, then begin reading and scribbling comments till Hubby wakes up.  Then we talk for a bit, he goes to work (poor him) and I get more coffee and start my computer. I’m about to begin writing that blog post, but first I have to turn on yahoo chat, just to see if my friend from China made it back yet (she was visiting me in DC last week).  And I’ll quickly check my email and facebook.

I’m only going to check facebook for important messages, but of course I get sucked into reading posts, finding that my chakra is third eye, and the dog I am most like is a bulldog. And of course I have to watch the video of “Pilates for wine drinkers”, because I drink wine and do Pilates. And my friend from China is back, and she’s online, so I have to say hello and see how her trip was.  Then, noting (thanks to my fb feed) its Anais Nin’s birthday, I look up some of her poetry. Wow, she’s amazing.

But, back to the blog.  Oh – the little star in the corner is orange!  Some activity! So, look at that, comment back to that person.  Then see something interesting in their list of blogs they follow, and check it out. And it’s a travel blog, talking about Airbnb, so I spend half an hour looking at places in Sedona and Santa Fe for the trip I want to take, someday.

Now, on the third cup of coffee, I’d better go to the bathroom! (Ok, maybe that doesn’t deserve an exclamation point, but I digress.)  So, once in the bathroom I look in the mirror and think to myself, “Self, you should shower.” So I do.  And then I moisturize, ‘cause I’m not getting any younger. And then I look at the floor, and hmmm… it’s a small bathroom so it doesn’t take long at all to wash up the floor.  And I might as well clean the rest of the bathroom while I’m at it.

Ok, so that’s done.  And now it’s after 10:00.  I really should get dressed, even though it’s the weekend – just in case anyone comes over; though no one ever comes over. But if I don’t get dressed this will be the one day someone comes over. And then Otis needs to go out. And I really should take him for a walk.  So I do.

But now – now I will sit down and write.  And here I am at the kitchen table with my laptop, but I look over and see the counter hasn’t been wiped off. That just takes a second, so I quickly do it.  And then I go through the mail sitting there.  And there is a receipt that should go in the tax folder. I have to do that now, or it will get lost. Ok, and I’ll just put the coffee cups in the dishwasher and start it. And I’ll wipe the sink, and maybe just sweep up the floor, there always seems to be a bit of dog hair and a few crumbs.

And it just sort of keeps going like this.  Which is why I have nothing written for my blog today, but next week when I’m having friends over for dinner with the house a mess,  and the food half prepared, I’ll have a brilliant post for you!

Letting the Neighbors Inspire Me

Like everyone I’ve been reading blogs.  There are quite a few that I found interesting, funny, depressing, serious, whack-a-doodle, exciting, pompous, and any number of other adjectives.  One that particularly interested me was by Miss Understood (gotta love that name).  See the link to her post below.  She writes haiku, but this particular post, “Smelt thoughts. Forge prose.” is about the process of writing (she focused on “therapeutic” writing) and how it can shape and define our thoughts and opinions.  She talked about different types of writing, and how much effort, editing and polishing we put into different pieces and how they serve different purposes.  She also discussed the differences of blogging vs. journaling privately.

This made me think.  Ouch. Ok, just kidding, sort of.  I went off on a bit of a tangent from the post I read, but that’s not a bad thing.  So here are a few of my thoughts on writing:

First off, I’m lazy and have a short attention span.  So if I’m writing for an audience, I think maybe they are too, and I try to keep my posts shortish.  I also tend to use humor or sarcasm because, 1. that’s my personality, 2. I think it’s an effective way to get a point across, 3. there is enough deadly serious stuff out there already, 4. when I take myself too seriously I think I sound like a pompous ass, 5. it’s more fun.

Next, when I start writing about something it forces me to think more deeply about the subject, and organize my thoughts.  I think back in the day, when public figures wrote essays about current events it informed both the reader and the writer.  And it worries me that today our politicians deal, not essays, but sound bites. Ten seconds and 140 characters are simply not enough.  And this is coming from me, the lazy one with the short attention span!

Finally, writing is a way of going deeper or farther or both.  And you can choose which you prefer to read and to write. How cool is that?

Thanks to Miss Understood for getting me thinking about this with her post:

https://keepkaryn.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/smelt-thoughts-forge-prose/

Reflections

Well, today’s Blogging 101 assignment is to create a post for our ideal reader (but no pressure).  So, if you happen to be my ideal reader, you will think this little bit up here is terribly witty, and the poem below is moving or brilliant or any number of other positive adjectives. I’m not fussy.  And you would also work in the field of publishing, and want to pay me to publish this, along with some of my other work, in a real book (as opposed to a make-believe one).  Because even though all of us writer-types like to blog, we really want our words in real, paper and ink books. So, here that poem:

Vivian Maier Self Portrait

Self portrait by Vivian Maier

Generally when one tries to tinker
with eternity
it does not end well.
The stoutest knots
come undone,
and ends once again
flap loose.
But still there is this
hope
for a sense of
grand purpose,
or at least a
reason to get up each morning,
to brush one’s teeth,
to wash,
to put on one’s  shoes,
and so on.
And in the meantime
one goes on,
for there are children to be fed
and dishes to be washed
and bills to be paid,
despite the
receding hallway filled
with an overflow of empty boxes
and failed attempts.
And sometimes,
amid the clutter and minutia,
without realizing it,
we get the lighting
and the composition right,
and just sometimes in our wake
we leave something
beautiful.

“Who I Am and Why I’m Here”

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”  ― E.B. White

I’m not often successful at either of these, but that’s my idea of a perfect day.

I have a thing for words.  I’ve always wanted to write The Great American Novel but my attention span doesn’t seem to last longer than a single page, so mostly I write poetry.  I’m funny; but my writing is often not (though, sometimes it’s funny when I don’t mean it to be, but I digress).  I adore language and word-play, though the only languages I know are English, Sarcasm and a smattering of Double-Speak.   I have a thing for the words of others too, so I will occasionally post quotes that strike my fancy.

They (Who are the infamous “they” anyway?) say a picture is worth a thousand words, so it’s not surprising that I have a thing for pictures too.  I am fortunate to live in a lovely, somewhat isolated area, and also have the opportunity to travel now and again.  Thanks to this and a household with pets I have no shortage of photo ops.   My camera is cheap and simple, the kind that fits in my pocket so it’s (almost) always there when I want it.  I do hope to learn more about photography though, and maybe even move up to a real, grown-up camera eventually.

A painting is a picture too (well, that’s an awkward transition) and recently I have been trying my hand at that, and some other artsy-fartsy stuff too.  (In this context artsy-fartsy is defined as painting, drawing, pottery, glass work, batik and jewelry making.)  I’ll have some of those processes and results posted here as well.

So, in my blog you will find poetry, humor, quotations, photography and some other art work as well

Now, just fyi, here are 10 totally random and mostly pointless things about me: (not in order of importance)

-I can quack like a duck.

-I collect quotes, just because.

-I am working on becoming more confident.

-Doctor Who is my hero, and I have an almost-life-sized TARDIS in my sun room.

-I’m a nerd, but not good enough with computers to be a geek (I don’t suppose this comes as much of a surprise after reading the previous random thing).

-I really try not to take life too seriously.

-I think everything sounds better when said with an English (or other GB) accent.

-I am left handed.  Very left handed.

-Sometimes I am overwhelmed by words.

-Occasionally I stop and wonder, “What would a normal person do in this situation.”

I’d love some companions to exchange words with, so I hope you join me for some laughs, pics and thoughts, from a slightly skewed view.