Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes, I'm crazy. But it's part of the job description.

Something to know about me is that I am simply brimming with eccentricities, superstitions, and odd compulsions.  However, I feel like this is not only an accepted part of Jenn the mother, wife, friend, etc., but also a part of what it is to be a writer, period.  I find it amazing that those of us who feel the need to create by way of writing can see our similarities in these far reaching and unconventional ways, no matter our color or creed, and acknowledge that these are the unconventional fibers binding us.  

Personally, I will admit to a preference for writing in purple or blue ink on either college ruled or graph paper before I even contemplate turning on my laptop.  I definitely have a three-ring-binder with folders, y'all.  Holla!  I also have a strong belief in using postcards for bookmarks - - and almost never an actual bookmark.  Don't ask me why, couldn't explain it if you did.  This might just put some of you out there on overload - - but I am a chronic binding breaker. GASP!  I wreck my paperbacks like it is my job.  And these are just a few of my low level reading/writing related "things".  Let's not even get started on the regular day-to-day stuff...I could be here all damned day.

BUT - - when I read things like how Pablo Neruda always wrote in green ink because it was his personal color of hope, or how Nabokov wrote on index cards at a lectern in his socks, or how Flannery O'Connor made sure to turn her desk away from any windows, or how Kent Haruf will remove his glasses, pull a stocking cap down over his eyes, and type the first draft single-spaced on an old manual typewriter - - suddenly I feel like one of the gang.  These are my people.  No judgments.  No questions.  Total understanding that if these oddities are what it takes to churn out such mind-blowing pieces of work, so be it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wordsmithing, part deux.

Please pardon my absence from the blog this past week, I was suffering from some kind of warped flu-like cold thing.  It was awful.  (Though probably not so awful for my husband because I was taking day/nyquil.  Cold meds + Jenn = A hilarious kind of insane.)  At any rate.  I'm back.

So, we've done this before, but I think it's time for another segment on wordsmithing.  If you'll take a stroll down memory lane with me, you'll recall that we've already talked about sestinas and haikus.  Today, I think we'll talk about the acrostic poem.  Basically, this is a poem where the first letter of each word of each line spells out a message of sorts.  Kind of like an acronym.  Acrostic, acronym - - you still with me?  Good.  Let's keep moving.  I like to work on this kind of a poem just get my head in the game.  It really helps me pull out some key phrases that I might use for a completely different poem.  Now, a person could just choose one word to work from -or- you could go for a whole phrase.  I think we'll start slow today and go with the word "Bottom".  I like to try and keep each line related to the word I'm working from, but you don't HAVE to.  There really aren't any rules with writing.  There are no Poetry Police lurking around the corner.  (Word selected from the Random Word Generator found at http://watchout4snakes.com/CreativityTools/RandomWord/RandomWord.aspx.)

Okay, here we go...

Bottom - 

By the grace of all angles in Heaven, you will know one thing before this is over.

Out of the darkest recesses within your fear, no thought is too scary for the two of us.  

Those who love and need you.  Who will cry for you.  Will hold you.  If you want.  If you choose. 

Tell us the time is now.  Tell us you are ready.

On your mark we will get ready.  Be set.  Go where you take us. 

My love for you is unending.  One simple thing to know.  Use it like a shield, a beacon.  Never an anchor.

BAM!  Acrostic poem.  Done and done.