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I hope everyone is just about thawed out now and enjoying spring. I barely made it through the kids’ Spring Break last week. While we are enjoying warm breezes here, we are also breathing in all the pretty yellow pollen. My head is just about to blow up. Generally, though, I love Spring. It definitely puts some more energy in my writing flow. And April is chock full of fun and treats for writers and readers.
I’ve been seeing lots of chatter on the Twitter about Scriptfrenzy, brought to us by the kind people who plot NaNoWriMo every year. The goal is a 100-page script finished in 30 days, which is undoubtedly harder than it sounds. Kudos to all you wild souls in a frenzy right now 🙂 It has to be a great way to learn the genre. I want to try my hand at a play, but am not starting another project now. I always liked reading plays and scripts, which is sort of odd (maybe? At least for a non-thespian, I think). I remember devouring “Plays” magazines and drama collections when I was in elementary school. Then, of course, I learned about Shakespeare, as well as geniuses like Ibsen and Miller. I even did a thesis paper on Lillian Hellman in my junior year. Maybe I subconsciously wanted to be a playwright, though that was when I was sure I would be a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist by, um, now. Screenplay writing seems to be a whole other beast that I know little about. I did try “writing a movie” with a friend in ninth grade, which was going to star River Phoenix. Sadly, that can never happen, so my Hollywood dreams faded away.
I have been writing some poems for the April Poem-A-Day challenge over at Poetic Asides. April is, of course, Poetry Month. I always thought it was because Shakespeare was born in April, but I could be wrong. Either way, it is a good month to read and write poetry of all types. Apparently there is also a NaPoWriMo which I did not know about, though 2011 is the ninth year. Though I usually write poems only when “inspired,” I sort of like using the prompts Robert Brewer comes up with daily. I have not written all of them, but it has been a nice writing stretch while I ignore the WIP and focus on work. Poems are relatively quick and easy, though they also force us to use other thinking muscles. Personally, poetry has always been my relaxing writing, when I just want to expand on a thought or event, though sometimes I have written in anger or other forms of stress. Sometimes getting the poem out helps relieve that, as I am sure most poets would agree.
One of the prompts was to write about a “type of person” which can mean anyone from a teacher, a nail-biter or a Type-A person. Any interpretation welcome. I am doing some research on hoarders and have had a slight obsession with this type of person for a few years now. Frankly, this is because I fear becoming one of them, as I sit at my desk piled with books, papers and bills in a house cluttered with a wide variety of clothes, toys and books (OK- I may be a book hoarder). I admit to having sentimental attachment to a few inanimate objects, and I am an obsessive recycler/reuser. I actually am related to borderline hoarders (only they call themselves “collectors”) and I have been helping my mother clean through years of collected stuff. So, naturally, hoarding is on my mind these days. I know that I am not *that bad* (yet) but I still get the cold sweats when I see some of those shows. So this was my rough draft poem on the subject:
HOARDER It starts with the little things, of course. Or maybe the big stuff gets you first. Takes up room. Then the smaller pieces add up, Fill in spaces. It’s not like you plan on it, it’s just a fact. A part of life. It makes sense. You never know when you may need the back of a pin, this magazine, or one of those jelly jars. Just the right size. And you would never want anything to go to waste. That would throw you for a loop. You’d never be able to get rid of the image, never erase gnawing, guilty thoughts: plastic floating on glass, choking life, taking over, never ending, leeching, trash. All your fault. At least you know it’s all here, somewhere, safe. You can find it, if you need it. It’s easier this way.
I obviously gave up on NaBloPoMo for the month. I fell asleep early one night reading to my daughter. So, then I decided I deserved a weekend off, and now, it’s Tuesday… But, I am still trying to catch up with the Poem a Day Challenge, so the next week will be a spree. Big family weekend coming up, of course, but I think I can, I think I can…
Monday was my birthday, and the prompt was “Rebirth”. I am a huge fan of irony 😉 Robert Lee Brewer also gave us a quick lesson on the Villanelle form, which was new to me so I took it on. I think that traditionally, the form may be a little more lighthearted than mine is, but what can I say? That’s where I was at…
I was born on this April day
which brings pain for so many
and others mark in their own way.
There are no words that truly say
how it can feel for any
person born on this April day.
I think of people left to pray
for the souls lost in Germany
and others marked the same way.
Think of children who could not play
in Waco, Colorado and many
other places marked in other ways.
Every Spring, I enter the gray,
reflect and then live again. See—
I was born on an April day
that others mark in their own way.
Well, there goes March, calmly and coolly, at least in these parts. Of course, I know it still feels like winter to some. I’ve been following a friend’s updates from Alaska where a volcano blew its load a couple weeks ago and other friends who somehow live through the winters in exotic places like Minnesota and Wisconsin. They all grew up here in southeast Virginia on the coast with me, but have migrated west since high school. I, for one, could not survive a winter north of the Mason-Dixon line. I like snow, and enjoyed the results of the one snowfall we had this year, at the beginning of this month. Driving through the start of it from Pennsylvania with three kids and a broken windshield wiper, however, sucked, to put it bluntly. So, yes, I am ready for April and spring, and though I may be complaining about our nasty, stifling humidity in another month, I am enjoying the sunshine now. It does make it slightly harder to sit at the desk and not stare out the window, but I am also soaking in some inspiration.
In recent years, I have definitely been hibernating more and feel like I am losing some connection with the outdoors, although I know I get more fresh air and sunshine than many folks out there. Yet I recently was diagnosed Vitamin D deficient by my doc, who told me most Americans who live north of Atlanta are considered deficient in the sunshine vitamin. This discovery has filled in a lot of blanks for me since D is linked to energy, moods and even digestion, all of which I have had issues with more since moving back here from Florida in 2002. Like many adults who either work in offices in front of the computer or at home in front of the computer, I need to get out more. So now I am on prescription Vitamin D [NOT covered by insurance btw!] and I am setting a personal goal for myself, to spend time outside every day (~20 mins is recommended). Easier to do these days, aside from the downpour periods we have been having.
I am hoping this will all lead to a recharge on the writing flow, too. I have been trying to focus on work [primarily, as in “finding some”] but I miss the creativity buzz I get when I am on an upswing. It would be nice if the two were combined in my life, which is the ultimate goal. But, as I was reminded the other day by Uppington, this path I am on right now will lead to another eventually. I have been down rockier ways, that is for sure, and really, though it is in many ways less scenic and exciting, I think I am on the right track. Like most things in this wild world it is all connected: improved nutrition leads to better health, leads to better writing leads to work, yada, yada… at least that is the theory I am working with this week.
The Poem-A-Day Challenge starts tomorrow which will be a great creativity exercise. I think it fits with Spring, too [how appropriate that April is National Poetry Month, no matter how “cruel” she may be]. I plan on blogging them, so I hope you like amateur poetry 🙂