Yay! I’m joining a blog tour today, My Writing Process. Thank you, Michelle Pond, for inviting me.
Readers, you can find Michelle on her blog, MAPoet. There you will find her poetry and a link to her published collection titled I Keep You With Me. Michelle and I met as founding members of an online community of writers, Wordsmith Studio.
This blog tour is about answering three questions and introducing you to other writers. In addition to Michelle, I’ve chosen three poets and I’ll introduce them a little later in this post.
Now for the questions:
1. What am I working on?
Poetry, of course. I’m gathering my poems to see if it is possible to achieve chronological order. You could say I plan to look at my personal journey through a window called poetry. One day I may have a poetic memoir.
I’m also in the research stage of a commercial project with a dear friend. We are creating a product using her photography and my poetry. Stay tuned.
2. Why do I write what I do?
I’m a person who always reads. I mean always, even at red lights. But after my husband died, I found I could no longer read. My mind was like a sieve. I’d read a few pages and not remember what I’d read. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was going through a metamorphosis.
The first thing I found that spoke to me deeply was Leonard Cohen’s lyrics. I listened to his songs over and over and over. All his lyrics are poetry. Later, I listened to Bob Dylan’s lyrics which are different from Cohen’s, but still poetry. I listened over and over and found I was singing along. Even later, I found I could finally read…poetry. It was food for my soul. I read it morning, noon, and night, even at red lights. Still later, I began to write my poetry on hundreds of scraps of paper, in margins of books, and in notebooks. Poetry was the only thing true enough, raw enough, succinct enough to hold my attention and fill me up. It still does. Poetry is my go-to place for truths, both dark and light, a place for finding wholeness and what’s so.
3. How does my writing process work?
I enjoy writing wordles and prompted poems because they allow me to step away from my usual choice of words and topics. I write these poems immediately upon reading the prompt, which means I write them at my desk. One of the joys of writing prompted poems is the opportunity to connect in virtual communities with poets from all over the world.
First, I write with a pen and paper, just get the idea down. When I type the piece, I edit. I rearrange sentences or change the wording. I don’t struggle or work at writing. If it doesn’t flow, I don’t write it. Since writing isn’t my day job, I refuse to have it be work. I’m not a perfectionist with my poems, and I am gentle with myself when I make errors.
If I write essays or something other than a prompted poem, I like to write outside in nature or at a café. Today, I started writing this piece at a shaded table in a park off Main Street. When the temperature rose to uncomfortable, I moved to a noisy coffee shop for lunch, and continued to write. Often I write in my backyard swing under a huge dogwood, the biggest I’ve ever seen.
As a poet, I don’t write to please others, but I value and enjoy comments made by others on my blog. I also value and enjoy the companionship of a small group of writers that I meet with in person once a month for dinner and sharing our work.
I leave you with introductions to three poets I met while writing wordles for The Sunday Whirl, my favorite wordle site. I wanted to introduce you to poets who live in different countries; and poets who write from their whole selves.
Irene Toh lives on a tropical island. She started blogging her poems in 2009 and has shown no sign of stopping yet. She believes writing to prompts and being part of a virtual poetic community works a kind of potent magic in making poems appear. She writes about fall and plums, spring and lilacs, summer and fishes, winter and bears. Mostly she’s inspired by the moon and the stars. She is co-administrator of We Write Poems (now renamed Red Wolf Poems) and Red Wolf Journal. Irene blogs at Orange Is A Fruit.
Pam Sayers lives in the beautiful city of Puebla, Mexico. She is an English teacher and has been for twelve years. She lives with her two dogs, Flaubert and Shamrock, her cat, Back and a parrot, Chucho. Pamela likes a good book, listening to music, and eating new foods. Mexico has been a great source of inspiration for her writing. She is published online and in print. Pam blogs at wordsandthoughtspjs.
Brenda Warren lives and teaches in the state of Montana in the U.S.A. Although it is summer and school is officially out, Brenda is still busy with workshops. She and her husband have a new love in their life, a Beagle puppy named Berkeley. Brenda is the creator of the wordle site, The Sunday Whirl, and she blogs at Undercaws.