Sunday, April 3, 2011

5 Literary Things I am Thankful For (as of late)

1.) Finding my Hummingway (Hemingway) t-shirt that was packed away in my spring/ summer clothing. This shirt is a Konglish favorite. I bought it while I lived in South Korea. It was the only one in the store front in this tiny clothing boutique that was on the back streets of Suwon. (Is it an intentional mistake? Or just a perfect gem of a sincere mistake?)

2.) Yesterday I went to a writer's workshop put on by Frostburg Center for Creative Writing. The workshop was led by Detroit poet, Joy Gaines-Friedler; she focused on using art as a muse. Her energy and encouragement left me feeling creatively charged. We worked on writing exercises and the entire workshop shared what they had written.

Here is a segment of something I wrote:

Life is a dream for her. She falls asleep in any space: on lilies, busted cobwebs, against a fence. The wood must feel good on her face, and her balance is beautiful. She does not miss her grown-up sister who used to sit on the white plastic teeter-tauter with her. Her arms are dangling towards the ground, one moment in broken stasis.

I want to call her Reba. She lives in the mid-west--life will always be slow for her, might she keep her eyes closed. Her bangs tickle her own face, then her father's face when he lifts her and takes her inside to the sofa. The television is on.

(This came from a picture of a little girl with blonde hair. She was leaning on a board that rested against a fence. In the background, white playground equipment sat rusting.)

3.) Last week I introduced my writing mentor's book of poetry at his book release party. It felt good to introduce Gerry LaFemina to a familar crowd at Main Street Books. His new book, Vanishing Horizon, is his best yet, and I will be writing a review for it in the near future.

4.) The book I am reading right now, "The Year of the Hare" by Arto Paasilinna and my dear friend, Amanda Bena, who reviewed it, suggested it to me, and who has recently reminded me of the magic of going to the library.

5.) Austin Kleon's "How to Steal Like an Artist and Nine Other Things Nobody Told Me." (Thanks Kim Brown, for sharing.) Of my favorite among these: "Be nice. The world is a small town." It's important to think about methods of self-help when creating art-work, and Austin Kleon reminds us not to be alone in our methods of self-help. I like that.

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