Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July: A Month of Deadlines

The Challenge of Writing Without Interruption
The roosters crow before dawn.  They remind me of Elvis Presley impersonators.  Their crown feathers
droop over their sleepy eyes-- Oh, hunka, hunka birding love and I'm up and out of bed.  We bought a new coffeemaker a week ago. It's another Mr. Coffee, but this model makes an exceptional hot cup of coffee and it tastes great. We had grown so accustomed to the silt of the old brew. Truly dull.

Have been working steadily on my novella, but it's slow going, or what I perceive to be slow going.  I 've given myself a page challenge/per day. Some days, the pages come at a clip and other days it's a slow drip of sentences. Thus far, the stories are quite cinematic and I like that very much.  I see the scenes in action and have written them in this way.  I've been thinking about my characters' goals too.  They are an unusual bunch who seem to do the unexpected. It's funny, but I know this story, but have never had the opportunity to tell it the way it should be told.  In many ways I find the whole story very scary, because it's not just a story but layers of a story. 

Besides working on the novella, I have started my July  31X31 poetry challenge.  I can never pull it off in April when my workload is at full tilt. As of today, I have three new poems, and the possibility of a mini project that dropped into my lap while reading the Sunday paper . . .

In June, I received a hand-writ letter from a retired colleague.  It was a wonderful letter, full of humor and good cheer and the daily stuff of living.  I answered his letter and sent him my poetry collection Within Reach, and now we have launched a correspondence.  What a gift this is.  His letters are such a thrill to read. When I received his follow up letter last week-- typed no less on an actually typewriter ( I actually admired the chiseled font and his skill-- two pages without error!), is the tonic most of us are missing. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to hold a letter in your hands and read and reread its message. The gesture to sit down and write a letter is an act that puts out a hand to hold still the hour, the constant swirl of our lives, and make sense of  this living, which is becoming more and more a mystery to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: we all should take a moment and write a letter to those who are in our thoughts.  So it can be someone you see all the time or someone who you haven't thought of in years, but they popped up in a memory.  Most likely, they are thinking of you too.

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