Monday, March 31, 2014

National Poetry Month begins TOMORROW

Okay, I know I'm a bit of a blogging slacker. But I have a great excuse this time! And that excuse is SPRING BREAK. Two spring breaks, actually. One week for my kids that are in middle and high school, and one week for my daughter who is a freshman in college.

So yeah. The past two weeks have been spent primarily hanging out with my kids. Especially the college kid. I didn't write much. I didn't clean much. I didn't DO much besides whatever it was that my kids wanted to do.

BUT tomorrow is April 1st. For some, that may mean plotting evil tricks to play on their loved ones. Like putting salt in Dad's coffee or tricking Mom into believing there is mouse poop in the silverware drawer. For me, though, April 1st means the beginning of National Poetry Month! I love April because it gives me an excuse to subject my family to poetry readings, buy a couple new verse novels, write poetic (rhyming or not) blog posts, and generally share my love for the beautiful thing that is POETRY both online and in real life.

My plans for this month:

  • Read at least two new verse novels (from this list, maybe?)
  • Explore a few new forms of poetry
  • Have a poetry party with my family
  • Share excerpts of favorite poems on my blog, twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Write at least four blog posts, verse style
What about you? Any plans for promoting a passion for poetry this April? 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Manuscripts and Kneadable Erasers

The other day, as I was clearing out the area in which I keep all my artsy-craftsy stuff, I discovered an old, neglected kneadable eraser. The eraser was in a sorry state of stiffness, nearly stone-like in its inflexibility. Useless.

Or was it?

Something in me saw potential in the hardened lump I held in my hand. So rather than toss it into the garbage bag, I set to work on it. My warm, practiced hands pulled at it, stretched it out, rolled it on the desk, ripped it into smaller pieces, and put those pieces back together again. When the work was done, and my fingers were sufficiently sore and tenderized, the once useless eraser was as good as new.

That is how a manuscript can be. Sometimes when a story seems useless, what it needs most is to be ripped apart and put back together again. With an eraser, it will still look like a little gray lump. But it'll work. With a story, it may not be recognizable as the same story when I come back to it. But if it works, if it does what it was originally meant to do, then all the tugging and ripping and piecing back together will be more than worth the struggle.