Friday, May 25, 2007

My Magnetic Poetry

A few years back I got a Magnetic Poetry book at an office Christmas party. Every year we do a Chinese gift exchange which if you haven't done it is a lot of fun. All the gifts are placed in a pile and each person is given a number. When your number is up (so to speak) you can either choose a gift or take one from someone before you if you like their gift better. The higher your number, the more likely you are to keep your gift. Some gifts change hands many times. This year for instance I really wanted a beautiful little basket someone had brought back from Africa. The poor little basket went back and forth between me and another woman. I'm happy to say I ended up with it and it is now proudly diplayed in my living room along with a wooden bottle opener carved in the shape of an alligator.

Anyway, back to the poetry. I didn't actually get the book during the gift exchange but I talked the guy who won it into exchanging it for my bottle of wine. I'm sure some people would rather have kept the wine but the writer in me couldn't resist another creative outlet. So, here are few poems I found in an old notebook that I think are kinda cool.

#1 Poem #1
The sound of glass cracking
slices through liquid
As you shower love in me
on a wild red summer morning

#2 Poem #2
I like when books grow
from my skin
and blossom like
full song to the wind

#3 Poem #3
Tell me about how these people
see you and what secret
only I can pronounce

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blog Challenged

I'd like to make some aesthetic changes to my blog but I'll be doggoned if I can figure out how. I don't know html very well so I'll have to do some research. The thing is I had to do this with the last blog I had. You'd think I would have written down. Now I have start all over. Oh, well.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

All About Eve

I realized today that I rarely think of her; hardly ever invoke her image in my mind. I can see her now though. Dark, smooth skin and fine features, her hair so soft and light you could see her scalp through it. We were like night and day. Compared to her petite frame I looked like an Amazon. Hard to believe we were mother and daughter.

I remember at her funeral, we (my ex and my oldest son) were cracking jokes at the grave site because it was Halloween. A lot of good material there for smart alecks like us. I should be ashamed to admit it but I’m not. After years of suffering the deterioration of Alzheimer’s, the person we’d buried was no longer my mother. I considered the end of her suffering to be cause for celebration.

Not for my father, of course. He’d just lost his partner of over 40 years. My dad amazed me with how tenderly he cared for mom. He demonstrated a level of caring and compassion I mistakenly thought was beyond him. But even he got impatient at times and who could blame him? Getting mom to eat took a good chunk of the day, she wouldn't open her mouth. At one point she wouldn’t go down any steps, shrinking away with large, fearful eyes as if she were looking down the slopes of Mount Everest. I found I could barely stand being with her more than a half hour let alone live with her. That was where my shame lay. After all the care and concern my mother invested in me and my well-being over the years I couldn’t cope with her when she needed me most.

In my youth, we constantly butted heads; my tomboy ways forever clashing with her desire to transform me into a “young lady.” For her part, my mother was ultra-feminine and always well dressed. Dad was quite disappointed that after she died I couldn’t take any of her clothes or shoes which were much too small for me. He had to send them home to Antigua. They could use them more than I could anyway.

Mom was highly ambitious and believed in keeping up with the Joneses and surpassing them whenever possible. I resented her comparisons of me with other girls she admired—especially Diane who lived a few blocks away from us in Brooklyn. Diane’s smug, holier-than-thou mother, Mrs. Brown, had been my Girl Scout leader and an acquaintance of my mom. It was bad enough being told how inadequate I was in every way next to Diane, but on top of that she always had the coolest toys including Barbie with all the trimmings. To this day I’ve never owned a Barbie. (No wonder I came out the way I did.) I got the last laugh, though, when Miss Pure as the Driven Snow got knocked up before I ever knew where the point of entry was.

Seeing Mom in my mind’s eye I also recall she was always busy. I’m sure that was the result of the West Indian work ethic. Virtually all the West Indians I know, including my ex and his family, are hard working folks. Think of the white tornado in the old Mr. Clean ads and that would be my mom. If she wasn’t cleaning, cooking, ironing, washing or sewing she was tending her prize-worthy garden (now wild and overgrown since her death). In fact the entire house fell into disrepair after mom died. It was thanks to her that the house was a home and Dad didn’t walk around in a holey t-shirt and slippers everywhere. (I once thought of moving to Richmond to live with my dad, you know, to help out. Thank you Lord for not letting me make that mistake!)
To be continued...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Writing About Mom

Yesterday afternoon on the way home out of nowhere I started to think about my mom whom I haven't thought about since...since... Anyway, my thoughts turned into this essay that I started writing on the bus this morning. So far it's about 3 1/2 pages and I'm not finished yet. I plan to post it here as a Mother's Day tribute. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Have You Ever...?

Have you ever looked at a manscript you just knew was ready for submission only to realize that it still needs work? That happened to me today with a story recently returned to me (After about 7 months. I was beginning to think they either didn't get it or were seriously considering publishing it. Wrong on both counts) . I began tweaking it here and there but I believe it may need more than that. It's definitely weak in some spots. Like Winnie the Pooh says, "Oh, bother!"

I shouldn't be surprised though. It took two years (on and off) to finally get Has Anybody Lost A Glove? up to snuff. It was well worth the effort as evidenced by the fact that it was published. Still it's difficult to accept that something you thought was finished, isn't. Like Glove, I'm hoping to find that angle that'll make the story come alive. Then the birds will fly and the angels will sing and I'll know for certain that I have another winner on my hands. Yeah!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I Wrote Last Night

This may not be exciting to you (especially since it was only about half a page) but for me it's huge!!! It is amazing the things I'll do to keep from putting my BIC (Butt-in-Chair) to write. I cooked dinner, watched TV (hey, it was Inside the Actor's Studio!), played online Family Feud with my son (great game BTW) until finally...FINALLY I sat down to write. It was a bit painful. As that famous quote goes, I was sweating blood but I got some words down--the beginnings of a new PB. Hopefully, this is the start (or should I say re-start) of a beautiful friendship.

Also, thanks to Miss Vicki for her comment. I don't know how you found little ole' me but I'm glad you did and I'm glad I inspired you to put your own BIC. For those who need that extra push I offer the following link from Margot Finke's May Musings column on procrastination:

Peace and blessings <*{{{><

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I Got A New Attitude!!!

A new writing attitude that is. And a new blog look. I've been idle long enough. It's time to put another book on the shelves, and I'm just the woman to do it. So stay tuned as I blog about my continuing writing adventures.

My current state of affairs is I just got a rejection for one of my pb's. I'm looking forward to sending it someplace where it'll be appreciated for the masterpiece it is. Also, working on two other stories that are closest to being in publishing shape. One of my problems is I have so many stories and ideas that I get bogged down and end up not writing anything. So that's something I need to work on while I work on the next Newbery winner. (If you don't believe in yourself who will, right?)

Ciao for now!