Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday without Gwen - pondering poetry and fiction

      Every year at this time, my writing pal, Gwen, goes to the Tatamagouche Centre and facilitates a writers' retreat. And here I sit bereaved. No, not really, as usually something is happening in my life too - this year it is packing and organizing to have all my stuff in two places. How will I support my writing life as we live like vagabonds for a month or two? I will take my computer, of course, and there is wifi where we are going. I shall select some books of the writerly sort to keep to hand, but not too many - maybe two. Everything else will be in storage. I shall email my latest iteration of my wip to myself and to Gwen. All my totems, my lucky thingies, my reminders to wake up and write, will be packed lovingly away and put in the vast container until we are back in the house up the hill.
     When I woke up this morning I was thinking of the poetry I've been doing. I continue although I said I was going to write sixty for my sixty years. I'm not adding one a day but I've been inspired a few times to write one and put it on fb. This morning I think I'm ready to think about polishing some of them and start the process of sending them out into the world. That seems like a much more wieldly project than, for instance, finishing my last revision of The Rock Walker and getting it out. True is already in the world and though I could send it out to a few new places the lack of a return address for such a big thing alarms me. Poetry seems do-able.
     Seventeen years ago I was in the habit of sending out poetry. I got a few published but not many. I think my poetry has become much better. Poetry is odd for me and I don't know how others see this, if others move from one sort of writing to another. I don't care if people like my poetry or not. Hmmmm...that sounds wrong. I do like it when I hear back from people that a poem has touched them, amused them, enraged them, but fundamentally I don't suffer in the same way over my poetry writing as I do my novel writing. I don't doubt myself. If I like a poem, I simply like it and if others don't, I don't fret.
      With novel writing I can fall into a pit of despair by times and think it is all nonsense and no good, but I never feel that way about my poetry. I'm that way about my photography too. It is very satisfying and so I look forward to this next bit of time when I focus on that. There were a few linked poems in the sixty I wrote recently - ones that refer to 'a mother' that I'm excited to work on. Also, I wrote one that no one paid much attention to, more of a short story about a young mother contemplating straying from her marriage, that I am inspired to pursue.
      I miss Gwen today but I will work anyway. My friend Val is coming out to help me with some packing. Maybe we can focus on this office and make it nice and spartan for the next couple of weeks to come. How about you? What is your plan? How is life dealing with you and your plan?

4 comments:

Liza said...

Got a blog post done, so the day is already successful. I have 40 more pages to re-read on my WIP that I hope to get to after work. That's it. No grand plan, just life.

Jan Morrison said...

That sounds like a good plan. I just had what some might consider a rather huge hitch in my plan for today - I found out that any poem I've put on fb is considered already published. So I guess I might take all of them and do up my own chapbook and then just start on new poems that I don't share.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I really hope you do put your poetry together into a book. It's absolutely luminous. It really is.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Margot - I've already got a plan! My pal Kathy Kaulbach who is a swell designer and has birthed many books, says she can help me.