81º ~ cloud cover 80%, 40% chance of rain from t-storms, yesterday's rain due to t-storm = 10 minutes, we take what we can get
Yesterday was not a good day. I was hit by the sluggish, couch potato bug pretty hard. I was also hit by the "oh crap, summer is almost over and I wasted it" bug. Most teachers are familiar with this one. I know I didn't "waste" anything. I just always start the summer break with lofty goals about what I'm going to accomplish. It turns out, I don't do well without a schedule. This realization has been creeping up on me for the last few summers. Now, I report back in two weeks but have a lot of prep work to do on classes in that time. (I'm teaching Comp I online for the first time.)
I think I was also a bit down because I hadn't written a new draft in a while. In this case, I was the agent of my own melancholy. I know the solution: butt in chair. I simply couldn't do it yesterday. Today, now, today is a different story.
I wasn't even really thinking about drafting. I was just waking up at the desk, going through my emails and reading blogs. Then, Lou-Lou came to help me. Her version of helping is to sit where I need the keyboard to be. She also likes to be sure to hold down one of my arms by curling up on it. In the past, I was pretty good about shaking her off; however, we've been feeling bad because she no longer has Libby as a playmate, so she's lonely. Also, after one cat dying, I'm wanting to give Lou-Lou all the love I can.
So, as I sat there, stymied by my helper, I realized that I had my right hand free and my journal was in reach. No excuses now.
As I flipped open the journal, I came across this note "have all the girls meet in the afterlife." It looks like I wrote this note in April. Suddenly, the lines were pouring out of me. I've called the draft "After" and made it the final poem in the chapbook. While I didn't consciously set out to write a "final poem" for the book, I now see that it helps close the manuscript. So by writing through the poem, I also learned something about the manuscript as a whole. That's a first for me. The poem begins:
In the ever-after, the air sweet
with cut grasses, the girls arrived:
|image from creativecommons.org|
It's a bit of a list poem and contains some of the key images from the tales, and it is the most lyric of all the poems in the book. I found that I loved the fluidity of being back in the lyric poem. When I'm writing a narrative it seems that the draft takes a lot longer and there are more questions to address during revision (not that I don't spend a lot of time on revision when working in the lyric form). Having to marry story and imagery/sound is just really hard for me.
I'm not saying my days of writing the nursery tales are over, but it was a joy to move in a new way today.
By the way, one of my all-time favorite smells is the smell of fresh-cut grass or new-mown hay. It's bizarre, but cracked watermelon rind smells the same way to me. All luscious and alive.