Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sincere Apology of a Writer

Credit: Droakir
Dear family, friends, and the one I passed on the street today,

I am sorry.

I hope you will perceive my apology is sincere, despite the fact that your life now appears on the page, flowing from the pen held in place by the familiar grooves in the fingers of my right hand.

I write myself too, of course.  But of course I do; I am my own (aren't I?).  But are you?  What right do I have to tug at your life, begging it to submit, to lie down on the page before me, to lie still between the thin blue lines, not to flinch though I stretch it here and trim it there?

I am amazed that all of you do not fly at me in rage, shouting, "Give me back my days!  My hours, my minutes, my moments."  If you had known what would become of the smile you gave in exchange for mine last week, would you have bestowed it so freely?  I question myself this way, too.  I am enraged at what appears on the page when it does not come at my bidding, but of its own free will.

And so I hope that you will understand the sincerity of my apology, and see that though it is my hand holding my pen marking my page, it is not I who writes, completely.  Or, what is written by my hand is also written by yours here on this page.  And that I cannot even write this apology without asking your forgiveness.

Yours (if you like, just as you are mine),
a Writer

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Life, experience, cannot truly be expressed in words.
This is the stuff of poetry.

Photo: Parnassus Poetry in Review

I've added a new page!  Perhaps you've already noticed.  If not, check it out by clicking here: Poetry, or by clicking the tab of the same name above.  I've selected what I think are the best poems I've written (so far) to share with you.  I hope you enjoy them!  As always, feel free to let me know what you think - what you like, dislike, find challenging, silly, etc.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Life, One Notebook

One of the things I have never been able to do as a writer is keep a separate "writing journal" - a notebook reserved just for writing ideas, inspirational quotes or notes, observations about life I think might come in handy as writing material someday, etc.  I do have a journal, and I do carry it around with me everywhere in case I want to record some fleeting thought or moment, but I also use this notebook to record prayers, lists, driving directions, and more.  Everything is all jumbled up and unorganized between its pages.

I have tried multiple times to set aside a special writing journal, or ones for certain genres of writing, or for other particular projects I've worked on, but it has never worked.  When I opened a reserved notebook, I would felt stifled by the expectation of writing a particular thing or style.  Another problem was that I didn't want to carry multiple notebooks around everywhere.  I never know when I might want to jot down an idea about one project or another, so I would have to carry all of the notebooks all the time, or carry one where I could jot down all the ideas and later transfer them to their respective notebooks later on - too complicated!  I felt conflicted between wanting to follow the advice of successful writers and wanting to find a way of organizing my thoughts and fostering my creative process that really worked for me.

Notebook collection
A collection of notebooks for keeping track of different kinds of ideas works for some but not for me!
Photo: Dvortygirl 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why Write (Again)?

Artist: Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts
As much as I enjoy writing, I sometimes wonder whether there hasn't been enough ink spilled on enough pages (concrete or virtual).

An admittedly short and inadequate history of the written word:
When writing first emerged, it was a simple method of keeping track of how many  of this or that you had.  Then it was a technique reserved for the most valuable or sacred texts, and something only a few, those with time and/or money, could master.  But later on, as cheaper tools for writing developed and written language  became more standardized, many great authors emerged: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens - the list goes on.  And that, I sometimes think, is the problem.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Eternity in Our Hearts

I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes people human.  What separates us from animals, even ones that make tools and perform complex tasks?

"Wow," you're thinking.  "She must be really cool if she spends her time thinking about deep questions like that."

Your assumption is understandable, but debatable.  To be fair, though, I have to admit that I think about this question so much because it is one of the foundational issues I've been led to explore in my program of study: Communication.  The Comm. program at my school is based on rhetorical theory and argues that people's ability to communicate (use and create language) the way we do is the thing (or at least one of them) that sets our species apart.