Hello Dear Friends. I’ve had many thoughts these past few days, both while shuffling through my regular routine and also enjoying changing that routine to fit in some extra craft time. I think I said it before.. that this #1000WordsOfSummer challenge isn’t really about the word count for me. It’s mostly about that change in routine. Shifting my life slightly to the left in order to fit in something I claim is vitally important to me–my writing. Also, I primarily write poetry so using fewer words is the name of the game.
This “new” routine includes focusing on writing (or some aspect of the craft) first thing after everyone has left for the work day (around 8 AM). It has worked out so far mostly because about a week ago I sprained my big toe. I’m pretty sure it was sprained and the good doctor said that it was, based on his inspection of my foot. It truly looked ghastly for a few days–purple and swollen and probably looked worse than it felt.
I listened to the doctor’s recommendation and tried to follow the “RICE” approach to speed the recovery. I know what you are thinking (but I really don’t). Isn’t rice what you do when you accidentally drop your phone into the toilet or something. Quickly, find a bag of rice and stick it in to suck out all the moisture. “For god’s sake, don’t turn it on. You’ll fry the whole thing!!”
No, not that rice thing, the other one: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The “Rest” part is absolutely essential, and I don’t think I could have done any other thing, because I basically could not walk. That means treadmill time was out and no elliptical. Hence the ease of utilizing my first morning hours on writing instead.
The ice, compression, and elevation I did a few times, but it was kind of a pain (pun intended) and didn’t seem worth the effort. Word to the wise, nobody eat that bag of frozen broccoli that has been thawed and re-frozen about 4 times in the past week. I even used it the day I had a headache that would just not let go all damn day. I think that was day 3 of the writing challenge and I kind of used it as an excuse why I was not productive at any attempt to write or revise (except, of course, my blog post that day).
The day after that was day 4 (June 7 for those at home keeping score). On that day I revised a couple of poems to the point I was satisfied with the outcome. One I wrote earlier this year sometime and the other was very recent–birthed sometime last week. The former is trash and probably will never see the light of day but the latter holds promise. I might revisit again soon as I prepare my entry for this year’s Rattle Poetry Prize.
I’ve been donating to Rattle since 2020 and will be extending my already lifetime subscription by another year. It’s true. That first year I was submitting everywhere like crazy and had all the confidence in the world I would win this kind of contest. I was also naive about where to submit my work and made some mistakes. But that’s a whole other blog post I should write at some future juncture.
In any case, I was pleased with that second poem I worked on a few days ago and it was enough to make me feel satisfied with what I had accomplished on day 4.
Day 5 was yesterday and I wrote another new poem… HUZZAH! I actually toiled a little bit through the first draft of it but once I got going, I felt I was onto something and kept at it. And I did something I rarely do. I wrote it and then immediately began to revise and shape it– experimenting with different forms.
The whole bit. Evaluating all the adjectives and adverbs, looking for more interesting nouns and verbs, extracting the abstractions, and replacing them with concrete visuals. I even got to the point where I was working on the punctuation, which remains my arch-nemesis in the process. I was pleased with my use of time and the outcome and it really left me feeling free for the rest of the day, to just do whatever else needed to be done. It was a good feeling.
Today is Day 6 and I’m planning to head over to my friend Tacheny’s house. She’s committed to having her house be a literary hub at least one day a week and invited a few writer friends over to flex their creative muscles. I’m into it.
She’s promoting it as a brunch and will be serving muffins and mimosas and I decided to be all domestic and made an egg casserole. I’m not sure how much time we will have for writing with all the eating and drinking. Also, I’m not sure if mimosas are a good pairing with trying to write as I have not had much success with that in the past, but maybe just one would be OK.
Anyway, so that’s my plan for the day and aside from that, I don’t have any specific goals with the actual writing. Maybe I’ll write a new poem. Maybe I’ll work on revisions. For sure I’ve already hit my “word count” with this blog so if I do nothing else, it will all be just fine.
Thanks for Reading,
PS. I just checked and did NOT hit the daily word count with this post so I’m typing this sentence to bridge the gap. And to make it worth your while… a spoiler for another post coming soon. The “truth is stranger than fiction” post. As I said at the top of this post, I’m having lots of thoughts while in this elevated creative state lately and have a desire to document some of that. And it all starts, with a turkey.