Poetry I cannot force,
it comes and then it goes.
Like a river at its source,
it ebbs and then it flows.
Words, you see, are only that,
and rhyme and rhythm, too.
Poetry’s not pit-a-pat,
but here in me and you.
–in the sun and in the rain,
the things that quiet tears;
in the love and in the pain–
experience of years.
Then the poet, what is she?
She’s nothing like a muse.
Rather, she’s a puppet, see,
and words her only use.
So poetry, my fickle friend,
I wonder what’s in store?
Will you stay until the end,
or show me to the door? .. For an audio recording of this poem, click here:
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”
– Charles Bukowski
Note: The first stanza of this poem came to me in a moment of frustration when I was trying very, very hard to write another poem on a very different subject–and getting nowhere. Since that time, it has taken me FOREVER to finish this. Fickle is right!
One hour and eleven minutes. That’s how much time I have to get this post written before midnight. That’s how much time separates me from posting once every three days and once every four.
What’s the big deal?some people might say. Blogging just seems like a lot of work.
Well, yes . . . Yes, it is . . . and yet it’s not. It is because there’spressure to post regularly and to write well. As a writer, I hope to continue building my blog and that, someday, writing Shift will lead me to bigger and better things . . . It’s not, on the other hand, because writing is what I LOVE and interacting with readers makes all the effort I put into my blog worthwhile. (You, dear readers, mean everything to me.) Continue reading →
One of my first views in Florida, not far from the Tampa Airport.
It’s been funny, these past few weeks, not writing regularly on my blog. I feel like such a bad blogger. A good blogger — one seriously committed to her readers and to growing her blog — would have written posts ahead of time and scheduled them to appear at regular intervals during her absence. But not me. Those of you who know me well know that that’s not how I operate. I’m spur of the moment, genuine as can be, or not at all.
And so here we are: Two posts in . . . how many days?
I’ve missed my blog — and you. Writing is such a huge part of my life. And yet . . .
What kind of blogger reads while waiting for her ride at the airport instead of blogging on her iPhone? A bad one!
It’s been good to live away from my blog for a few days, too. Good to think without writing, to ponder without sharing. Not that I’ve been thinking deeply or found many profound things to say. This trip has been crazy — visiting New Orleans, participating in my good friend’s wedding, taking long walks on the beach (beneath the stars, of course), catching up with old friends . . . I’ve even extended my trip to this next Sunday so that I can visit Chattanooga. I can’t wait to revisit my old stomping grounds . . .
But with so much activity, there hasn’t been time for deep thoughts and great writing. It’s been good, and yet . . .
I can’t wait to get home so I can catch up with all of you! :)
My mind has been going a million miles an hour in a hundred different directions lately, and it’s making writing difficult. I’ve been working on a new poem (which I love) for the past several days, but I’m having a hard time finishing it. What am I trying to say? It’s a question I haven’t been able to answer . . . Continue reading →
And another thing . . . Why would anyone want to go into a field where half of the people you work with are jerks?
As many of you know, I am currently freelancing for a couple of papers in my area. It started out with an article last November. I’d recently moved home from Hong Kong and was trying to break into writing in print. I contacted the editor of my local paper and asked him if he’d be interested in a feature on a WWII/Korean war vet of my acquaintance for Veteran’s Day. Much to my delight, he said yes. Continue reading →
Because of the weird way in which my local paper works (it’s a tiny paper), content I write often appears online before it appears in the printed edition. This can be both good and bad. It is good when I am eager to see what the editor has done with my work—usually he changes very little, of which I am proud. It is bad, however, when I have made a mistake and someone catches it, but, alas, it is too late to make changes before the article goes to print.
It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. Perhaps you might think I’ve not been disciplined enough, not been writing enough. And, while it may be true that I am not always disciplined, it would be inaccurate to say that I haven’t been writing. I have been writing. A lot. Just not for this blog!
You see, I’ve been working on graduate school applications. I spent all day today touching up my Personal History Statement and Statement of Purpose for U.C. Berkeley‘s Graduate School of Journalism . . . Honestly, I hesitate to tell you that. Berkeley is incredibly competitive; I’ve already applied once and failed to get in. But that was before Asia, before I really knew what I was doing . . . Ha. Does anyone ever really know what they’re doing?
I’m rambling. My point is, I might not get in, but at least I can say I tried. I am also going to apply for creative nonfiction writing programs around the country. Creative nonfiction is what I love to write, anyway.
But, for those of you who don’t know me very well, I thought you might find (part of) my Personal History Statement interesting. It is the most concise statement of have of what has brought me to this point—the point of being the author of a crazy blog called “Shift.”