Girl In A Rocking Chair.
April 26, 2013

Girl In A Rocking Chair
Curled up tight as a bud,
asleep for the awakening
with dreams of coming to life,
the flickering porch bulb is a siren’s song
into the flame, instead of away.
Its dull glow throws tired circles against
the stone steps, halfway up
and halfway down the climb.
It’s a lovely place to pretend to rest
after tentative promises
life can’t keep
until it does.
I love writing poems, or, what an old (and now deceased) friend dubbed my poEms, because they’re a free-er form of writing for me. Partly it’s because they’re not something competitive, like fiction writing definitely must be, in today’s market.
These little word puzzles of light, as I called them today, make my writing self happy.
Is your writing self happy? My Auntie Em advice for you today is, write what makes you happy.
At the least, write something. It doesn’t have to be great, or even good.
But it’ll be something.
And if you do it often enough, it just may be good.
It just may be great.
Or it just may be for you, and you alone.
As long as the writing makes you happy.
That’s how you know.

Don’t Edit Out The Best Parts.
October 30, 2011

Ever notice how when you’re in editing mode, all of life can be edited?

Dog’s hair grown shaggy and uneven? Trim Edit it. The garden, tree limbs thrown everywhere? Edit it. The horses’ manes twisted into baby dreads by monsoon winds? Brush to edit.

I’ve edited radio commercials in my head that, with a few tweaks, sound even stronger. Same goes for television dialogue, presidential speeches, greeting cards, news articles and even the back of the Finesse shampoo bottle. 

In fiction, though, it’s the flaws and imperfections that make for original characters. I’d go even further and not call them flaws, but quirks — self-marks — that lend characters their unique, flesh and blood personas. 

Sometimes real means holding back  — resisting the urge to edit out the rawness and ruin the writing, even if it isn’t perfect. Perfectionism can masquerade as editing. Even worse, it can erase the best part: your voice.

Through your voice, you, the author, are a character in your stories. You leave your ambiance, your mental footprints behind. Too sterile, too perfect, and all is lost.

There’s a fine line — a tightrope walk — between revision –re-visioning — and nervous tinkering.

Grass need mowing? Edit it. Character imperfect, multi-dimensional, heart raw, hair shaggy?

Resist the urge.