I've been having all kinds of writing fun this week and finding all sorts of inspiration--and it's only Tuesday! Some highlights:
--I listened to Terry Gross interview Penelope Lively on NPR's Fresh Air's Monday show. What a treat! She has an interesting insight about her practice of keeping a journal:
"I've kept a diary for, oh, goodness, about 30 years now. And it's really a working diary, and I sort of jot down what I've been doing, and also particularly, what I'd been thinking, in case this is going to help with something I might want to write later on, or in case I particularly have written when I've been traveling, in case at some point I'm going to set a story in Australia and I want some details about this.
But I find that whenever I go back to the diary to look for something specific and go to a specific time and place, what I read that I wrote down in the diary, I can't remember. I don't remember that. It's there in the diary, but I've got no memory of it, whereas, various other memories come swimming up, that have found their way into the diary. So, rather strangely, the diarist seems to have decided what was significant and put it down. But memory decides otherwise, and has preserved a whole different set of memories, and I'd love to know why that is - answers on a postcard, please."
--When asked if she'd want to be young again: "I was asked by a magazine the other day to contribute a piece in which people had been asked to say what they thought the ideal age to be was. And I was interested: Quite a few people did say youth, but not very many, actually. And I opted for 55, the sort of tranquil shores of middle age, where all the stresses and strains of youth and aspirations are gone. You haven't yet got to the sort of rockier shores of old age." As I am only 48, I like her answer!
--I wrote an unexpected poem this morning. I read this poem by Luisa Igloria on Dave Bonta's blog: in Igloria's poem, the Buddha looks for a therapist. I was struck by these lines:
"What? You don’t think this is a plausible story? You think
the Buddha has no need to work out issues, or even that
he has any issues? This is partly the problem— all
the press he’s ever gotten has him just about perfected."
I sat with my purple legal pad, thinking I'd write a poem about Ash Wednesday and train journeys and mist on stones--but then came a poem about Jesus looking for a therapist! I found myself incorporating the last words of Jesus on the cross--should I revise, I want to remember to do more with that.
--Tomorrow, perhaps I shall write a poem about Jesus going to yoga class. Jesus in corpse pose--I can have fun with that!
--Yesterday I returned to my short stories. I'm creating a manuscript to take to my high school friend with stage IV cancer. I will take the stories that link most readily together and see how long the manuscript is right now. It has occurred to me that I'm actually in the process of creating 2 or 3 collections of linked stories.
--I was working on the story where one character tells his son he wants to go to Graceland, and a pilgrimage occurs. I had forgotten many of the details of that story. Yesterday, I found myself laughing out loud at parts and being thrilled at other parts.
--I can't remember how the following workplace scene came up, but we had a good time imagining the kind of musical we might create if we mixed Waiting for Godot and West Side Story to explore the modern workplace. Hilarity ensued, along with some lame song writing.
--The workplace schedule for today and tomorrow includes lots and lots of meetings which I expect could provide much inspiration for such a musical, should I choose to explore these ideas further.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
3 months ago