Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Poetry Month, i.e. a kick in the pants for writing productivity

We are now in the midst of April, now known to writer's everywhere as National Poetry Month. As the month began, I subscribed to a service of the Academy of American Poets that emails me a poem a day to keep me in the spirit of things. I haven't written a poem this month, because I've been too busy unpacking. (The part of the house we are living in, as of the end of this past weekend, officially has no boxes located in the living room, kitchen, dinette, or bathroom. I consider it a small victory and rewarded myself with my first viewing of The Dark Knight Rises, which I borrowed from my new local library.) However, my poem a day has keep me feeling the holiday poemy spirit. The first poem emailed to me was, in fact, one written by my old Craft and Theory of Poetry professor. The universe has a way of reminding you where you've been and helping you not forget those who have helped to shape you along the way.

I have not poemed. I have, however started making headway on my novel restructuring. I have the entire thing laid out and I'm fitting the pieces back together one time-frame at a time. It's a slow, tedious process, but it's one I'm hoping will reward my labor at the end. I'm impatient to have the thing done and sent off again, but I also want to make sure I do this thing right. Thus, I'm taking my time with it, but it's getting there. Like the tortoise. Slow and plodding but determined to finish the race.

In the meantime, I have managed to finish Cloud Atlas. I immediately gave it to my husband upon finishing, because this book was brilliant. It's one of those rare finds that live up to the hype you hear people spew about it. At the start, I was like "What is this?" but a few chapters in, I got into the meoldy of it, the nested dreams it reveals and their minor but important connections. And then, the message of hope and of humanity, the vision of destruction and carnage, it's fantastical elements all melded together to give such an apt picture of the world as it stands. Admittedly, some of the accents written in bothered me no end, but I coped and slogged through them, and after doing so, I can tell you: read this book. If for no other reason than to get to the last sentence and feel the weight of its full meaning.

I also read Jasper Fforde's first Thursday Next novel, The Eyre Affair. Considering that in the Craftlit Podcast of which I'm a listener, we are currently reading an audiobook of Jane Eyre, I particularly got into The Eyre Affair, being able to remember clearly what scenes from the book were used and changed. Granted, after reading Cloud Atlas, the first Thursday Next novel can only offer so much in comparison, but it was a fun romp. The originality and playfulness of the prose and the way in which Fforde melded (alternate) history and literature was something that I, as an English major with two masters degrees under my belt, couldn't help but appreciate in the fullest. I only wish we lived in a universe that valued literature even a quarter of the amount that it is appreciated by the characters in the universe constructed by Fforde. It was fun but intelligent and I'll continue to read about Thursday and her literary antics.

Good books. Novel Progress. New House. Plus, my husband came home last night with a present for me: the rototiller we need to create my giant vegetable garden in the backyard. I'm thinking positive and hoping that good things continue to make there way into my life, and I am gratefull for the good that has already come.

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