Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Start fresh

Tomorrow begins the second annual The Scintilla Project: a fortnight of storytelling. I'll let you (whoever you are) read about the project on your own. My friend Kim is one of the "founders," and I have a huge amount of respect for her as a writer and as a human being, so when she mentioned it was time for Scintilla again, I got all warm and happy.

I don't know how much time I'll be able to put in to writing and reading, since I'm deep in the throes of thesis ordering and revision (next draft due March 25, final draft due April 29. I have months of work to accomplish in the seven weeks before that final draft is due). Plus critiques of classmates' manuscripts. Plus book responses and discussions on those book responses. Plus other life stuff that must be done because, yeah, life (and love).

This last non-residential semester of my MFA has been challenging in different ways from the other three. I find that the deeper I go into studying the art of poem making (and the art of making a book of poems), the more I question the quality of my work. My work improves. I think. Or maybe the more I think about it, the worse it gets. I don't really know. I am at the point where trying not to think, trying to revise, trying to write new, trying to be kind to myself is ... silly. I'm going to stop trying. I am going to stop thinking about the quality of the work and simply do the work.

We are on Spring Break, but it doesn't feel like a break.

Today, I've been giving most of my time to my work, my poems. I even started drafting one called "Undivorced" while I showered. Amazing that I remembered the lines after I rinsed my hair, dried off, got dressed, responded to my daughter's texts, hunted through the house for a folder of important things related to the college she will attend in the fall, chugged part of a bottle of water, blessed the cat when he sneezed....

That I remembered the lines after all those things and all that time gives me hope that I can make a poem of this, though I'm already questioning whether it's a poem, something I need to stop doing. Whatever it is, it wants me to write it.

So that's what I'll do.

All this blathering on is to say that I'm going to participate in Scintilla for as long as I have the time, for as long as I feel I can do the prompts justice. I hope to meet some new bloggers and reconnect with "old" friends.

I hear a siren. I'm grateful that it's cry grows fainter instead of louder.


  1. I think plenty of people will still be writing the responses into April, and so I would not rush. Your program is more important than anything else right now. And I'm really glad to know you're moving forward with it and that it's making you think/work HARD.

    And thank you for sharing. It means a lot.

  2. Hi ELizabeth, I hope you'll find time to participate to the prompts soon. I like your self-description (slacker poet), it's awesome. Makes me want to read more of you!
    Cheers from France