So, for the first month of 2011, I was doing a fairly good job at accomplishing my writer's goals. Then I went to the AWP convention, and it all fell apart. I came away from that convention with a lot of inspiration, but in the 2 weeks since I've been back, I've felt almost too frazzled and pulled in too many directions to follow those inspirations to fruition.
A complicated way of saying that I haven't written a poem since January 28. I've spent the last few days feeling a bit agonized and desperate about that fact.
I tried to console myself by thinking about the other writing projects that have come my way this week, and some of them will result in money! Of course I've been distracted. But this morning, as I was making my coffee-cocoa-concoction, I told myself firmly, "You will write a poem between now and next Saturday."
And then, the magic of the blogosphere opened itself to me. I read this part of Sandy Longhorn's post on her Friday drafting process: "As I was drifting off to sleep I thought I might try for another fairy tale and suddenly had an image of a girl and a bunch of maps. There it was: "Fairy Tale for Girls who Gather Maps." I leaned over and grabbed my cell phone to email myself the title so I wouldn't forget. I was too tired to get up and write it down."
And then, suddenly, inspiration came to me! I thought of my own recent misadventures with maps and came up with this title: "Fairy Tale for Girls Who Rely on Mapquest."
I used the experience of Thursday night, as well as an earlier experience in September. We were driving up to meet my parents at a resort, a resort where we'd been several times, and I thought I knew where I was going, so I didn't take very good directional notes. To make things worse, I used a sheet of paper where I'd been doodling a poem and compiling a grocery list. My spouse, who tried to make sense of my notes, who was being the navigator as I drove, flung the paper away in disgust: "It says to make a right somewhere but with no street name and something about beer and bread, and manicures for the homeless and singing in the transsexual choir."
Clearly, Mapquest doesn't think in such lyrical images.
My spouse gets very irritated in these situations, and so he was not amused. I was so very proud of myself on Thursday because I actually printed out the directions, only to discover that the printer had cut off the end of the directions. All these ideas swirled in my brain, and it was the title of Sandy's poem that made them gel into a poem.
Hurrah! I wrote a poem this morning! May you all have inspired week-ends, whether you're inspired to explore your city or to explore a book or to explore a relationship or to write/paint/cook/collage/_______ (fill in the blank with your own favorite creative exercise).
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