Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Brenda Ueland, bless her old soul, speaks of the necessity of the writer for what she called "moodling." She meant slowing your pace, diddling around, until you find the origin of your inner resources. It's a concept tailor made for me.

My mind catches fire, but not before lots of poking around in the ashes, searching for embers.

I came to this blog three times already, trying to think of something to say. Then moodled around on the computer while listening to music. Dylan's "Not Dark Yet" was playing as I read a status update from Amy Newman, a fine poet I met when she was a visiting writer at BGSU. She wrote of October and how we can't trust its pretty days.

That prompted me to find an October poem, and I stumbled on this one by Frost:

by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.

What is left for me to say, except Frost has said it all, bundled all my perceptions of October and presented them to me as a gift. "Make the day seem to us less brief," he writes. October does remind us there is no forever.

Nothing profound from me here. Just moodling.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What I did today

1. Last night in bed watched a pretty good Hitchcock thriller called Jamaica Inn
2. Went out to eat with Allen today.
3. Cleaned and arranged the front room to be my art studio.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The rest of the evening

1. Cooked a simple supper for Allen and me.
2. Took a very long bath during which time I got all kinds of new ideas for the story I'm currently working on. I had a pencil beside the tub but no notepad, so I wrote the notes inside a book. How confused the next owner of this book will be upon seeing scrawled on the page "About the author."

Rain, rain, rain

Nepenthe-why not eat alone

At window > was the meal so bad at Mex?

eating-Totem pole

in shower-Wash Willy

> Mirror Lake

basin > connect to Ohio River

A very good day

Had a very good day yesterday. I slept in--always a pleasure--and spent the afternoon thinking about and planning a letter to Lauren Carpenter. She was a student in many of my classes at BGSU and now has graduated.

Tomorrow the letter will be sent and it will give me so much pleasure,thinking of it making its way to her new apartment in Columbus, of her getting out of bed or coming home from work and finding it waiting for her in her mailbox.

As soon as she receives it and has a few days to take it in, I'll post it here and also at The Letter Project. I think what is in it might benefit others.

Lauren is fast becoming my muse!

Lauren has also mentioned that she'll be sending me a new letter soon. Since I started The Letter Project, my mailbox has been an exciting place again.

Watching the movie Bright Star, I was experiencing Fanny's excitement at receiving a letter in the mail. To hold an envelope in your hands with your name on it, to pause and wonder what is inside: it is better than Christmas, for we can offer this pleasure many times throughout the year, if only we would take the time.

It's so good to look forward to a real letter. As I once mentioned in a letter to my friend, Beth, letters are "fossils of feeling." This letter is at The Letter Project, too. Speaking of Beth, I wonder what has become of her? I think marital bliss has absorbed her or consumed her. I hope she's happy!

Yesterday, I also combed through my new story and made some changes. I made some decisions about how to proceed. I must teach tomorrow but then I have another long weekend to work on it. I don't know when I've been more happy about the way my writing is going. These stories just feel right. I am folding them into the material from the novel. I think it is--at last--the real story that I want to tell. What a confusing process it has been, finding my way into the river novel. So many times I've thought I had the answer, only to have the narrative bog down after 100 or so pages. I think I have found the power of the narrative now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I did today

1. I slept very late.
2. I had coffee with lots of cream.
3. I stayed in my pajamas all day.
4. We had a simple supper of beans and cornbread.
5. I wrote a letter to a friend.
6. I started a new story.
7. I worked on the novel.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What I did today

1. I slept late.
2. I had coffee with lots of cream.
3. I stepped outside this evening at about 5:30 and saw a large group of buzzards flying south. I've never before seen so many buzzards in the air; there must have been more a hundred. They were moving very slowly. Perhaps they are leaving us now, before the cold weather arrives.
4. I went out to Rudy's and had a Molson.
5. I looked at books at Books-a-Million and didn't buy anything.
6. I went with Allen to see Bright Star at Levis Commons. A triumph of a movie for Jane Campion.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Haiku #245

misty rain that makes no sound
speaks from inside my own bones



About Me

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych



Little Deer

Little Deer



Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back