Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Change of Season

Two important things happened this past weekend. I had a birthday, which hit me rather hard, and a friend died of cancer. Along with other things that have been gradually accumulating, I have come to the conclusion that it's time for me to grow up.

One of the things that Jeanne said to me before she died was that she always wanted to try to get some of her poems published, but just never got around to pursuing it. That's understandable. She was a single mother, a schoolteacher, and a very involved member of our church. She took on a lot of responsibility with a perpetually sunny spirit, right until the end. I believe she actually spent more time comforting others about her illness, than we comforted her. She even arranged to have a posthumous email sent to everyone after she died! That was Jeanne.

The tears are welling up, so I'll keep this brief.

I'm shutting down the blog. I just can't resist the constant temptation to post my oh-so-fascinating thoughts, nor respond to others' posts on their blogs. The amount of time that I waste each day is staggering. I have been telling myself - and others are telling me as well - that the book will always be there later. But there may not be a later.

I am extremely grateful to everyone who has befriended me here in the blogosphere and provided feedback on my work. You have made the past few years much richer and more informative (writing-wise) than they could ever have been without you. I will miss you all greatly.

I am still committed to Come In Character, as I made a promise to help keep that blog running. Ginger, Marenya, Faldur et al will still be there, as I have time. And I will still be on Facebook, since that is the only way I can keep in touch with certain friends. I have a Yahoo mail account now as well - Feel free to email me any time.

Best wishes, and thank you,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

National Day on Writing

October 20th is the National Day on Writing.  I just submitted my entry to the gallery for one of the colleges where I teach.  It is a poem I wrote when my son was two years old.

Twenty-Six Months

with your mosquito bites and bruises
and crew cut
Long limbs folded around Big Bird
curled against cheeks
That aren’t as chubby as they used to be

Still you want me to lie down with you
An ally in your fight against sleep
But I am your ally in a different way
Fighting my own war against your charms
As you wriggle and giggle and tell me
that you love me

How I cherish every kiss
Every affectionate butt of your head
Every “Night-night Mosah!”
Until you finally succumb

Will you still like me this much
When you are older?

I doubt it

So for now let me soak in the feeling of your body
Curled against mine
The weight of your cheek
On my cheek
The sweaty warmth of your head
Jammed under my chin

Fighting my own war
Against your charms

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nothing Interesting

Hey, nothing fascinating happening here. It's been a hectic week and I'm tired from staying up late, grading papers.

No writing happening. Very little cooking or cleaning either! But Mom is coming tomorrow  for a short visit, so I'd better get cracking.  She needs a comfortable place to sleep and the office is overflowing with paper and laundry baskets.

So, have a good rest of the week everyone. And congratulations to Laura for winning the contest!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Contest Entry

JJ is running another great contest! I don't know where she comes up with all these great ideas.

This is my entry for the Character/Object Monologue contest at JJ Bennett's blog.

I stood in a forest, the heart of a stout birch tree. Lumberjacks sawed me down. Oh my branches and roots! What a terrific crash I made. I was loaded onto a truck, taken to a mill and formed into sheets of plywood. “Furniture grade,” they called me. I was proud. What would I become?

I was taken to a workshop in New Hampshire, where my sheets were cut Into rectangles and triangles. They used a jigsaw to cut out small openings. I was packaged with a vast quantity of other, smaller pieces, and shipped to a buyer in New Jersey.

A birthday present! But what am I? Nothing but pieces and parts.

She opened the box and spent many early mornings and late nights assembling me. She used nails and glue. She applied a gritty paste over a stencil shaped like mortar lines, which created more rectangles to cover my lovely wood. I wasn’t very happy about that. Then she fastened many flat, thin pieces in rows onto my head, overlapping each one.

She spent hours poring over books to get just the right look. She seemed obsessed with me, and I was pleased. She added little towers to my head, and applied layers and layers of watery paint to “age” me. The inserts for my openings were also carefully painted and fitted. She wouldn’t let the man help her at all.

The first of my chambers was finally decorated. She hand-made all the little pieces of my woodwork, and added lights. It was beautiful! It was even featured in a magazine.

But then she became ill, and couldn’t work on me anymore. She said she couldn’t stand up. She was tired all the time. The couple started buying strange-looking furniture. One piece was like a tall cage. What was it for? It was too high for the dog, and he already had a cage.

Then He was born, and she did nothing but take care of Him for a very long time. I waited patiently. I am still waiting.

I’ve seen all the things that are meant to go inside of me. They are tiny, exquisite, perfect. Some she brought all the way from Germany, just for me. Why won’t she finish me? That boy is in school now, but all she does is sit at the computer, or go away for the whole day to “work”, or walk those dogs, or take the boy to “socker.” When will I be finished? What work could be more important than me?

I am a place for dreams to dwell in. Doesn’t she have any dreams any more?

Perhaps if she had a baby girl…

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Finally Writing Again

At long last, my muse has reawakened from her dreamless slumber.  I want to smack her, but that might make her withdraw again, so I'm making nice.

And now my timer is set for an hour, so instead of blogging I'm going to go revise.

The problem with revising is that I delete as much as I write, so my word count isn't going up.  In fact, each day it goes slightly down!