Friday, January 15, 2010

Drafting and a Change of Routine



34ยบ and high, thin clouds dissolving

This has been the first full week back to school with classes in session, and Wednesday my writing time left me disappointed. Today, I knew I needed to get some words on paper to keep to my draft a week goal, and I realized that I needed to change my routine. I'm following so many blogs now, that reading them on Wednesday (after missing on Tuesday b/c of class) took up too much of my concentration, I think. So, I changed it up and ignored Google Reader this morning (having missed Thursday b/c of classes as well). For those of you who like my links, I may post something more later today or on Saturday, but I feel a need to shift priorities of time.

So, I started reading from some books on my desk and then a line emerged, followed by another. I set the book aside (Cloisters by Kristin Bock), and turned in earnest to my journal. I drafted out a dozen lines there and then when things began coalescing, I turned to the computer and printer. Dear Reader, let me admit that the first attempt today was an ugly mess of forced lines. I grew disgusted. I picked up Bock's book again, one I admire for its concision and its leaps. After reading a handful of poems...aha!...I saw what needed to happen and went back to my draft. I know believe it is something with some sticking power.

The title is "What Beaufort's Distant Daughters Know about the Wind." I've long wanted to write about Beaufort's wind scale, and if you are familiar with my work, you know that wind is an important player. The forces that converged were these...the past week has seen two disasters: one international (Haiti) and one personal (a sad event for a friend). My heart has been heavy, not to be overly sentimental, and the lines that first emerged today were an expression of that heaviness and involved the wind, and then I remembered the Beaufort scale and started drawing on some of the language there as well. Only time will tell if the draft will survive, but I go now, back to reading with a slight lessening to the heaviness within.

4 comments:

mariegauthier said...

Oh, the Beaufort scale is practically poetry in itself, what a great idea! It's interesting, following your posts on drafts, looking forward to the someday I'll see the finished poems in print.

I adore Cloisters, so glad to see you mention it here!

And I have also cut back on my blog-time (am actually overdue updating my own this week!). Suffering some withdrawal symptoms & a general sense of loss. Moderation!

Sandy Longhorn said...

M., yes, the language of the scale has always impressed me, and I'm hopeful that this draft will thrive!

Glad to know you're a fellow Bock fan as well.

Anne said...

I had never even heard of the Beaufort Wind Force Scale--- thanks for introducing me to it.

Also, it helped clarify part of one of my favorite britcoms. One of the character Mrs Bale's hobbies is listening to the shipping forecast, and her "running gag" is to report the conditions at random during the show. Anyway, some of her reports come from the Beaufort Scale which is part of the shipping forecast regularly reported on BBC Radio 4.

Of course, "choppy in the channel" is her most frequent use of the forecast results. She does not, sadly, enter a scene to report "waves breaking crests forming spendrift."

Sandy Longhorn said...

A., Thanks for reminding me to link to the scale for those unfamiliar!