Saturday, September 9, 2017

Poetry Reading

Another thing to add to my "thought I'd never do it" list, attend a poetry reading.

Yes, I did, finger snapping and all, although most of us used the un-hip clapping appreciation at the First Tuesday Poet's Platform located in The Local Bean coffeehouse in Hudson, NC.
My friend Lucy reading a poem written by one of her clients.
Note the beautiful display behind these two, an extension of My Happy Place Art Gallery co-op where I am considered an artist. Standing beside Lucy is the organizer, Beacon, a guiding light of hope and inspiration through his upbeat and encouraging poetry. < snapping fingers now >

The featured poet for the evening was Alana Dagenhart Sherrill whose opening selection spoke to my childhood and distant memories of attending Easter morning sunrise services at Old Salem, when I too, walked "silently in the cold dark."
I've tried to use terse verse in my writing, doing what poets do to whittle down to the core of the message using images put into exact words. My ramblings could use a dose of terseness on occasion, but then again, this all goes to style and heart and individualism. 
And then there was Olivia Price who injected a little wry humor into the mix. If only I could do that. Hmmm.

If you are in need of an uplifting, then find a comfy spot at a poetry reading. Close your eyes and let the words flow over you and into you. Walk away refueled.

I did.

Catch of the day,

Gretchen


Friday, September 1, 2017

A New Project

Poets borrow all sorts of images from September for their works, from the lengthening of the evenings to the gradual change into fall colors and the nip in the air.

My favorite September image is not quite as poetic, although maybe in its own way, it is most poetic of all since it is one of hope and promise and youth and wisdom gathering. I'm talking the first day of school image. Hey, I'm a former teacher. What do you expect!

The book I published last spring, Back in the Time, featured schools in Madison County, North Carolina. This photograph shows one of them, abandoned in the fifties. Imagine the first day of school here.

Keenersville School
Today is like my first day of school. I'm starting a new project, this one a biography. The person of interest (whom I'm not quite ready to name as yet) attended Flora McDonald College in eastern North Carolina. It's closed now, but the facility is currently a private academy. Imagine the first day of school here, in a hundred year old time warp of a building, complete with dome and rotunda. Kindergarteners surrounded by history. Wow, what I could have done with fourth graders in this atmosphere, daily lessons in a museum. Double wow.

Flora McDonald College
All this summer I looked forward to today. When people asked what I was working on, I said, "Nothing for now, but I'm starting back up September first." They also asked frequently what I do to prepare myself to write a new project. Practical me, I have an answer for that.

I catch up on things I know will lag behind once I start. That's the double edged sword of writing. I know how much sweat and tears are in store for me the next few months. I also know how much delight and joy will come my way once I start the research and uncover the full story. I am fully aware how many hours per day I will find myself spending in front of the computer screen. Life was much simpler when I was a new author not realizing how many hours one project demanded. I dread it, but on the other hand, I can't wait. 

Meanwhile, everyday chores will be neglected. The laundry will pile up until I must, must, must wash. Thank goodness my husband knows how to do laundry. And cook. The dust accumulates, too, but that we can ignore. This summer I tried to plan ahead knowing things would be neglected. Namely the reading...hey, I'm an author. Reading is my life source. The stack of waiting books diminished some, until I went to a consignment shop with a friend and purchased three more. I've been to the beach, the mountains, the local wineries, the covered dish dinners. Fun accomplished, check those off. I turned to pre-catching up on household chores. Sheets changed. Closets sort of in order, at least enough to find what I'm looking for. The sewing on buttons and repairing rips in clothes I saved for the last minute, but those are finished as of yesterday. 

Today I start anew and I'm thrilled to be back in the saddle again. It's been four months. Time to work.

Catch of the day,

Gretchen