Monthly Archives: November 2014

Quiet

This morning, I walked to the post office to check my mail. Sometimes on “off days,” there’s still something in my post office box. Even though it’s a small town where I live, I was surprised by how quiet things were. Then, one of the reasons I moved here is because of the quiet.

And as these things happen, I’m currently reading, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, by Susan Cain. When my younger niece posted a link to Cain’s TED talk on her Facebook page, I clicked it and watched, and then requested her book from our local library.

Now, I’ve known that I’m an introvert for almost thirty years; and have read I-don’t-know-how-many books about temperaments. And ever since my contemplation of suicide incident, I’ve been consistently reading some sorta self-help book. Of the books I’ve read lately, and of what I remember of all the books I’ve read about introversion and the like, Quiet, has been explaining myself to me, best. Beyond mere therapeutic assurances that my low tolerance of stimuli, my need for quiet and space, and my difficulties in speaking out and speaking extemporaneously are “normal” and “okay,” Cain is showing me why these traits exist, how they’re literally hardwired into me. Further, moreso than I’m remembering from other books, she’s showing why and how these same “troublesome” traits have positive and essential values, i.e. their real, necessary and crucial roles in this extroverted world I’m often struggling to find my place in.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out, Suicide

Something Different

So, it’s been over a month since I returned home from my tenure in Telluride. (I spent seven full days there, specifically to reassess and sort out my life, and even more specifically, my writing life.) I noticed today that I’m back to doing pretty much what I was doing before I left. My writing hasn’t improved because I’m still doing the same old same old.

I’m still squeezing my writing in where I can find a space for it, rather than making it moreso the center of my universe. Often, I finally come to it only after getting home from work, or from having done my running around. It’s something I get to when I have the time. When I can fit it into my day, having gotten the important stuff done.

Folks who saw my Telluride pictures posted on Facebook, and who read my blogposts for that week, are right in thinking I had a good time. But, (and especially if they only saw the pictures), they’re missing how my time there was more centered around my writing than my having fun.

Here’s one example. I missed the Blood Moon, because I was inside my hotel room, writing. I knew it was happening, wanted to see it, had even woke in time to do so, but I never even stepped outside to have a gander. Rather, I stayed with my writing.

But, meanwhile now, back here on the ranch, I’ve not been putting off doing wanted things, in order to stay at the desk writing.

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Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know one of the things that troubles me is the lateness of my age in getting started with writing, compared with that of my contemporaries. Yesterday, when I mentioned to a local I’d not seen in a year or so that I was weary of my hospital job, and was wishing I could find something other and better, she encouraged me with, “You’re still young.” Now, she may not realized my actual age, but what she said does hold a good bit of truth. I do still have time. I am not out of contention. Not yet. Not by a long shot.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out, Staying With the Writing

What To Say, Another Day

Don’t know what to say. Thursdays typically do turn out to be my days to veg, where I kinda mope around the apartment, taking most of the day until I finally get out and check the mail, do my online stuff. I don’t know whether it’s a seventh day, sabbath sort of thing, or whether (maybe still much the same thing) it’s because I go back to work, early the next morning. I do know it seems I’m never able to get enough sleep. Thursdays, however, my body does seem more game to stay in bed, more hesitant to be up and moving about.

Still, I have to get done what I have to get done. Just because my body’s more agreeable to resting and sleeping doesn’t mean I can take the day off. Just because it’s my day off from the paying job doesn’t mean I can take it off completely.

On the plus side, there was snow when I woke this morning. Roughly two inches. It was below zero when I went out to shovel the sidewalk, so it was dry powdery snow. The sun was shining through the cloud cover. There was a brilliance to the early morning. Possibility seemed possible again.

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But it’s five hours later on, and I’ve still not put any words to any page. I’m feeling nearly as dry as the snow. Definitely more socked in by clouds. Doesn’t seem much is possible, here at the writing desk. But just because it’s being an off day doesn’t mean I get to take it off. I still have to get done what I have to get done.

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Filed under Staying With the Writing

Persisting

So, last Tuesday evening, I received an email from my best friend, saying he was in town for a few days, wanted to stay at my place. Even though Wednesday and Thursday are my days off, and I had plans for writing on other things, what other choice did I have, but to say, Yes? So, Jack stayed and I had to figure how to have both him and my writing. As you’d likely figure, Jack won and my writing paid the most for it. Even so, I still was able to make my monthly meeting with another writer who mostly does plays, now. And I was also able to do last week’s blogpost, Thursday, as originally scheduled. All wasn’t lost.

This past Saturday, Peter Anderson came to town to conduct a prose poetry workshop. I’m still fuzzy with regards to what constitutes prose poetry, what separates it from, say, essays and vignettes. And while I’m not all that sure that I did much prose poetry during the workshop’s writing sessions, it was good, fruitful writing, nonetheless.

After the workshop, five of us, including Peter, went out for lunch. Peter has more than two fistfuls of published books, and teaches writing on the college level. Lynda LaRocca has been recognized as one the premier local poets since before I ever moved to Colorado, over twenty years ago. She, too, has been published several times, has won bunches of awards, and regularly conducts her own workshops. Laurie James and Barbara Ford are other longtime poets, with histories and connections that stretch far and long.

I was the odd man out, except, I was neither odd nor out. Because it was only the second time I’d seen Peter, I didn’t have the familiarity and connection with him that the other three did. (Lynda and Laurie are in a performance poetry group with Peter, and two others poets.) And I am somewhat a newcomer to poetry, and especially to the local poetry scene. But, I was never made to feel an outsider, as though I didn’t have an earned seat at the table. I held my own without having to scramble or really try. (If it’s only I who thinks I’m the outsider, who sees me as such, then …?)

Some seven years ago, Susan Tweit told me, “You’re farther along than you think.” I’m still strugglng to catch up.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out