Routine

I have allowed myself to get into the routine of not having a routine. This happens. Life happens. Starting Monday, even in the midst of March Madness, the following WILL happen:

1. Exercise. I have written down a list of classes at the local YMCA that I will attend next week. I have been exercising, but not with others and I miss and need the social time with other girlfriends. I will attend one class every day next week.

2. Writing. This week I will work on finalizing a submission for a first book award that I am pursuing. I will research markets for the book proposal on worship resources and query. I will read at least one book of poetry from a new author this week, and get started on next month’s bookclub title.

3. I will somehow manage to make it through the impending snowstorm that is headed our way this weekend. It’s March, people! I am certain that my foul mood and laziness has something to do with the need for sunshine, shorts, running outside, and all things Spring.

Maybe if I write this all down in simple, declarative sentences I will intimidate myself into accomplishment instead of watching basketball 24/7. Don’t bet on me, friends. 🙂

 

 

Lack of….

I am thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Musings of the most undisciplined person on earth!”

Today, I started an essay that I plan to submit on the topic of gun control of all subjects. The challenge of this particular journal is that essays must be 750 words or less. For three years once weekly I churned out columns for the local newspaper and I developed the skill of almost thinking in a 500-word count. Give me any topic..go ahead to don’t be shy…and I can extemporaneously crank out 500 words on the subject. Since this journal is attempting to achieve a quality above filling blank space, I suppose I will have to work harder on this piece. The question is when? When am I planning to work harder?

We are taking a long weekend for Big 12 basketball so I won’t work on writing again until Monday. I am soaking up lots of solitude and sun rays today.

I have set my sights on another poetry contest with a deadline of April 1st and have written some poems this week which might work toward that goal. We’ll see…I am giving the poems some time and space so that I can re-evaluate with clarity. Editing one’s poetry is sort of like finding flaws in your own children. Even their pimples and scars you find adorable. Sometimes I make changes to the strengths of my poems while I worship the weaknesses, just like a good mother would.

I am packing lightly for our weekend. One pair of jeans, a supply of  KU Jayhawks shirts, my Kindle, fitness clothes, toiletries, p.j.’s.

In honor of basketball and my weekend I urge readers to find the poem “The Touch” by Judson Mitcham.

I hope to find a link to this poem to make the search easier.

“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” That can certainly apply to the publishing of poetry as well.

Rhythm

Balance, order, rhythm and harmony are much more difficult to achieve than intensity.

There is a subtle difference between tapping into the rhythms of life, biologically and spiritually, and setting an external schedule that one must adhere to. The life of the writer must involve both. For example, if I wait for my internal sense of timing to tell me to do the laundry it will never get done. My inner rhythm NEVER tells me that!  Conversely, if I only follow an externally-imposed to-do list, I will soon feel depleted and poetry in my life will never happen.

I don’t make daily to-do lists anymore. I keep a running  list of tasks that need to get completed and I try to tackle one or two of those each day. I do a number of “jobs” on a daily  basis that don’t require a written reminder. I know I will grocery shop every day. I know I will retrieve my son from school and make myself available to hear about his day. I know I will eat every day and cook most days. I will get some form of exercise. I do household chores every day.

The rest of my day must tap into that inner flow of being. This is where writing happens. It may feel lazy at first, but the writer must ask herself, do I want to accomplish perfectly-made beds today or a piece of original writing? Household order is essential to me, but it must serve as a means to the end, not as an end in itself.

Write on!

North Country Farms

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.“
Thomas Merton

In my life, no two days are exactly alike. Usually I can arise when I like and take on the day in the manner that suits me. That, however, is surely not the same as saying there is no rhythm to my fine life. I thrive on rhythm. I surely know children do and I think most adults crave it in some fashion also.
 
The farm has an ebb and flow that needs tending to — every week we plant  trays of seeds, every two weeks we plant baby starts out in the field, every Tuesday we harvest for our community, every Wednesday we hoe and weed all the gardens.
 
Each morning I make the rounds of the farm, feeding the cats, ducks, chickens and rabbits. It is a slow and…

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On a Rejection Role!

I am proud of my writing work ethic lately, and a bit bemused to discover that even though I have been devoting four to six hours each day to writing, editing and reading, my house is still clean and my family has not starved. I have just been “Keeping it simple, stupid.” Instead of homemade tomato basil soup, last night we had grilled cheese and tomato soup from a can with a red label. Secretly I believe my son actually likes soup from a can better!

This morning I organized several poems into a manuscript sample and constructed a book proposal which I just zapped to a publisher via the world wide web. These poems are litanies intended for use in corporate worship. I am encouraged to find several major publishers who are currently accepting book proposals in the category of ministry resources.

Keeping my fingers crossed and my heart open. Perhaps poetry, like everything else, is a game of percentages. You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take.