A Good Writing Week

…In which I really didn’t write much at all. Instead it was harvest time; three poems accepted by PRISM International, one poem accepted for a Planet Earth poetry anthology, and a very positive review of my short fiction collection (four years after its publication!). All of this feels very gratifying after a super-busy spring.

Recently life has felt like a chaotic jumble, and when it comes to getting my own words down on paper, it’s been hit and miss. This is usually when I begin to fret a bit, bemoan my busy-ness, and contemplate running away (as if I don’t always dream of travel—I am a constant flight risk).

But then, I broke the busy-ness down. I expanded my view to what else has gone on, writing-wise alone, in the past six weeks. I’ve gone to book launches for four of my talented colleagues, edited one of those colleagues’ books, read at an open mic, taught a teen writing class, helped plan an upcoming literary festival and co-hosted an evening of readings about food and farming. I’ve even read a couple of fantastic novels (State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett, and Leaving Now, by Arleen Paré). All in all, life is still rich with word-related activity, and in fact, just now, I leafed back through my writing notebook and found that I’ve filled over thirty pages.

Let’s hope there’s a small gem in there somewhere. Besides, I feel poems gathering, and I take comfort in this quote:

“When a poem is gestating in your mind, you can’t go in for an ultrasound.”

D.A. Powell, from the essay “Misadventures in Poetry,” The Writer’s Notebook, Tin House Books


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