It’s the climb

Well, November sure was a blur, wasn’t it? I think this is the first year I’ve failed at NaBloPoMo. Well, the first year I’ve signed up to do it and failed – the college years don’t count. 😉😄

It bothers me to start things and then not finish them, but I think I just needed to focus on other things in November, like catching up on the sleep I haven’t been getting. Not that focusing on my sleep deprivation improved things any. It probably made them worse. On the bright side, I’ve been doing a lot of writing… 🙃

I used to love the holidays, but it seems like the older I get, the harder it is to find that Christmas spirit. This year, for whatever reason, it’s been unusually difficult. Maybe it’s because this whole year has been unusually difficult, maybe it’s because I’m once again in the midst of a writerly crisis of confidence – I don’t know.

I do know that I’ve had “The Christmas Waltz” stuck in my head most of the day and I am super sick of it. Maybe that’ll be the next Christmas song I parody…

My post editor has assured me that the last time I edited this post was at 11:40 p.m. on December 7 (“a date which will live in infamy”), 2020. Clearly, not finishing things I’ve started bothers me less than I want to admit, or I’d have posted this already.

Can I just blame it on 2020? I think I’ll just blame it on 2020.

😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

At any rate, 2021 hasn’t seemed a whole lot better yet, but I’m holding out hope. I mean, things HAVE to get better, right?

Of course they do.

Anyway, I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I finally got around to watching this video of Amanda Gorman reading “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration last week, and it gave me chills. This is the sort of writing I aspire to produce: writing that speaks to people, that says something important about who we are and who we want to be. If you haven’t yet seen this reading, do yourself a favor and check it out.

And now, because it’s my birthday and I have the house to myself, I’m going to go and read more poems (and maybe revise a few of my own). Here’s to accomplishing more goals in 2021!

(c) 2021. All rights reserved.

Magic nostalgia time

I’ve been working on a poem lately about how different this summer was compared to summers past. And as I was pondering exactly what I was trying to get at with my poem, this came to me:

Summer is a magic time, full of nostalgia for the bygone days of my youth. But as summer fades inevitably into fall, I find myself growing wistful, for summer lasts but a short time, and it seems to grow shorter with each passing year.

Covid time has transformed ordinary seasonal longing for carefree summer fun into a yearning of the acutest kind; I crave a true return to normal life, the kind that will not be possible for some time. With fall fading fast into winter and case counts rapidly rising, it’s hard to hang onto hope.

I wish I could cast all my doubts and fears aside as easily as if I were tossing an anchor over the starboard bow; I wish I could pluck hope from the lake as easily as master anglers pull fish from the deep; I wish I could read the world’s future in my cards.

But since I can’t do any of that, I’ll keep writing about it all instead.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Pink

Pink looks better
On fingernails and roses
Than it does on my eyes.

Pink feels better on
Fingers and toesies
Than it does on my lips or my nose.

But pink is the best
In the sky at sunset
When it softens the day into night.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

What a beautiful morning

I got today’s video knocked out a bit earlier than yesterday’s. There was a beautiful sunrise this morning, and I couldn’t help shooting it:

Mornings are so pretty in Iowa. But it would be even more peaceful if the boys didn’t argue about every little thing.

Of course, since I’m me, I decided to add to the challenge by writing a poem to go with each day’s video. Yesterday I wrote a haiku about two of my kitties; today I wrote another one about how nice it would be if my kids did’t spend each morning’s wait for the bus in an argument over something. They argue about everything lately.

I’m excited about the poem aspect of this challenge. I’ve gotten back to work on The Lokana Chronicles, but I don’t want my poetry  to fall to the wayside, and this will be a great opportunity to keep those poetic muscles in shape.

Well, that and the two poetry groups I’ve joined in the last six months. 😄

What about you – have you set any new year’s resolutions?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Thirty days

Thirty days of poetry is a heck of a feat. Thirty days of alphabet poetry is something even more.

I can hear it now, the chorus of people asking, “More what?”

But you know something? I don’t know. It’s just more. More of a pain, more of a triumph. More exciting, more maddening. It’s just more, okay?

I wasn’t sure I’d do it. I wasn’t sure I’d make it. But here I am, thirty days later, with a few more poems under my belt and a sense of accomplishment I haven’t felt in a while. It’s a good feeling.

What about you – what have you been up to these last thirty days? How have the last thirty days changed you?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

I’m too *fill in the blank* for this!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I posted my stressed-out-Mom version of “Jingle Bells,” but it’s true. It’s that time of year again, and just like this time last year, I’m feeling the blues. The holiday stress began in earnest with Thanksgiving and trying to squeeze in trips to family, trips to friends, and trips to the store on Black Friday (not for the deals, but because we actually needed things) without going bonkers. This week I’ve got two Christmas concerts, church for the kids, a basketball game, a house to decorate, family pictures to take, and 20 dozen cookies to bake before Saturday.

It’s gonna be a crazy…

Lambent Dreams: A Review

Lambent Dreams Cover5As promised, my review of Lambent Dreams.  What’s it about?  Poetry.  Plain and simple:

The Poetry of Tallis Steelyard. This appropriately slim volume is the fruit of a unique artistic collaboration, bringing together the writings of one of Port Naain’s most major minor poet with the personal commentary of an esteemed cartographer and traveller, and the guiding notes of an informed poet-critic. You cannot say you have not been warned.

The poetry in this book is endlessly fascinating.  I read the whole volume in the course of a morning, punctuated by short bursts of doing my day job, and I can’t wait to go back and read them over more closely to see if I can find some deeper meaning.  (If, of course, there is any deeper meaning.  Sometimes a poem is just a poem.)

My favorite bit is behind this cut!

Photo 365 #335

When I’m not busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’m still hard at work on The Lokana Chronicles and, as writing has been on my mind quite a lot lately, today’s photo features a progress update:

2015-07-08 13.18.58

Do you leave notes for yourself in the margins of your WIPs?  I do it all the time – if I didn’t, I’d forget everything that crossed my mind while writing. *sigh*

In other news, I’m going to be doing my first book signing next week, and I’m kind of excited about it.  If you’re heading out to the Tama County Fair on Thursday the 16th, stop on over to Smith’s General Store and say hi!  I’ll be there from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., signing books and chatting with anyone who wanders in.  I’m planning a giveaway for those who subscribe to my mailing list (see the link in my sidebar – no spam, I promise!), and I know it’s going to be a ton of fun.

A metric ton, even. 🙂

Also, congratulations to Piper McDermott, the lucky winner of e-book copies of Tuesday Daydreams and A Song for All Seasons!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

I’m a guest!

Today I’m hanging out with the wonderful Jane Dougherty and talking about poetry (in verse form, even).  You can find my post here, so stop by and check it out!  Don’t forget to have a look around the site – Jane’s got some wonderful posts up, including a series of one-sentence stories, a series of poems for National Poetry Month, and information on how and where you can find her books in The Green Woman series!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.