“Whisper to me wind the secrets of the river,
Tell me ancient tales sure to make me shiver.
Of long ago days when these woods were young.
When stories were written and recited and sung.”
That passage is only one of many pieces of creative writing that have been relegated to my metaphoric Attic of Unfinished Writing. The place where all my unfinished ideas, stories, poems, etc. go to live, hoping for the day I will rediscover and finish them. The stanza just came to me during a visit to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine, where I was captivated by the endless forest you could see in some spots. The cadence and the rhythm of the lines was something completely different from anything else I had ever written before and it excited me greatly. I put it into my phone, so I wouldn’t forget it, and was anxious to get home and finish it. However when I got home and sat down to work on it, the inspiration was gone and this is the furthest I got with it. It frustrated me to no end to hit such a dead end with something that seemed to start out so naturally. I forget how long I sat looking at those four lines hoping to regain the mindset I was in when those words came to me, but alas, I couldn’t get back into the rhythm. It was like waking up from an awesome dream, wanting to go back to sleep and find yourself back in the same dream, but being unable to. So, after a couple of days of trying to finish it, the fragmented poem was sent packing to the attic.
In trying to think of something to post today, I visited my attic and lost myself in all the nooks and crannies. I poked around in several of the drawers that contain scraps of paper and notes when I came across this. Now that I’ve found it again, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes and who knows maybe now is the time for it to find its completion. I’ll keep you guys in the loop and if I find its ending I will definitely post it here.
At my desk working away and he’s there.
Head on my lap looking up at me
His big brown eyes stare into my soul.
They plead. He whines.
I know what he wants
But a deadline looms large over me.
Ignoring the warming weight on my leg
I try to concentrate.
But the rhythmic thumping of his tail distracts me.
I sigh, get up, grab his leash, and head outside
With him happily dashing ahead of me.
What can I say, I’ve been puppy whipped.
So, what’s your tale, Nightingales? Today I want to discuss the other side of the coin. As much as I find myself loathing the spoken word, that is how much I love the written word. The scope of its power and ability to move us in unexpected ways. From a young age, I have always loved to read. At any given time, I am usually reading several books at the same time. Needless to say the invention of the Kindle has cleared a great deal of space on my bedside table. One thing my family says about my reading habits is that I don’t have one specific genre that interests me. I love fiction, history, science, biographies, nature, and pretty much everything else. I’m a lifelong learner so I crave new information about different subjects. I love getting lost in a good story with characters whose fictitious lives become as real to me as my own. I still remember reading “Little Women” for the first time and weeping when Beth died. A good story shifts a reader’s world and makes them feel unbalanced about their place in it. That is what I want my writing to do, move people, make them feel ways about things that are unexpected and make them question the world. Maybe that is why I put so much pressure on myself to create perfect writing. But that’s a catch-22 in and of itself. There is no such thing as a perfect story to the author. I’m sure Mark Twain would still find things to change in his books and they are deemed classics. Reading for me is a pleasure and a joy whereas writing I find to be a challenge that is addicting. Always chasing the perfect word or phrase to describe something. Or perfecting a segment of dialogue that advances the story in an unforeseen way. When my brain makes the right connections or a spark of inspiration takes my writing in a wholly new direction it is a high like no other. It is why I keep pushing myself forward in my creative endeavors to make people feel something and so I can feel that rush of inspiration. There is simply nothing better in the world like it. Well, maybe one thing…. Until tomorrow, I hope you are all having a creative day where ever you are. <3