Improvised Reeds

Improvised Reeds

It was my mother who taught me to cradle a

Blade of grass between my thumbs

Cuticles aligned and haunches pressed together

Creating the reed chamber


The first time she fashioned this magic

We sat by our hickory tree

The rock-hard nuts would sound off on any car

Parked too close to the cinderblock wall


My mother and I shared a penchant for silence

When we were among the fall leaves and branches

She plucked a broad grass from between us, blowing

Setting it loudly aquiver, shrill as a clarinet


Startling miraculous sound!

Please, yes! Show me how it’s done

It was then my mother taught me

The pleasant nature of patient curiosity.


Archy and Don Marquis

On the tail of yesterday’s entry, I continued to dig deeper into the lives of Archy, Mehitabel, and Don Marquis.  I downloaded a book of poetry written by D.M. –  for free!  The poetry is quite good, especially when you keep in mind the era from which it was written.


Here for your enjoyment is Sam Waterston reading a delightful poem by Don Marquis, regarding an assignment that Archy (the typing cockroach) was covering.  ~TH~

Write On And On And On

Paper.  Pen.  Idea.

We’ve all done it, thrown ourselves full throttle into a new interest, hobby or business venture.  Many folks even dive in financially, buying up all the fancy and “necessary” tools of the trade before the work has begun.  Then, 30 days later, poof.  The muse has exited, the shine is off, and we’re left with only a mirror reminding us that we failed.  What a dreadful way to treat ourselves!

Homemade Cat Toy

Homemade Cat Toy

One of the reasons that I refuse to stop writing (aside from the fact that I adore the process) is that the tools are always at my disposal.  Paper.  Pen.  Idea.  From there you can move into critiquing, editing, proofreading, heck even crumpling it up into a fun cat toy and tossing it in the trash when puss is through playing with it.

I suppose the roughest part of being a writer is the fact that you have to be somewhat introspective.  It’s a difficult thing to look at yourself objectively and then expect to grow something original out of those observations.  Yet many wonderful authors will tell you that those very insecurities may propel you into your next story!  We can rely on the fact that every person on the planet has insecurities, which means that you really do have a relatable story to tell.

Stein On WritingStop beating yourself up.  There are some great blogs and websites to help you push that stone up the mountain.  There are wonderful prompts and writing exercises to help you prime the creative pump.  Write a poem even though you’re not a poet.  Journal.  Go to the library and check out this wonderful book.

And if you really have to, go buy yourself a new pen and some new paper.  Then drain that ink and fill those pages!  ~TH~

Ten minutes, no problem, right?

I often wonder about Edison’s attitude as he worked on the filiment for the incandescant lamp. I realize that he had a small team of apprentices and that he worked on multiple projects simultaneously. I’m thinking specifically of the “getting down to it” aspect of his work (and mine). Was he discouraged at times? Sometimes I am. Often I feel like I’m riding an untamed bronco toward each goal in my life. Up/down, start/stop, back/forth, and finally… hit the ground hard. Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying, I’m not complaining. But we all know the old saw about the road to hell… it’s paved with good intentions. Countless times I have started (and restarted, and re-restarted) my daily timed writings. This last time I thought I had a manageble goal; 10 minutes. 10 measly minutes per day. Now looking at my journal, the last entry was… 32 days ago. HUH?? Oh yeah, a lot of things happen during the course of a day, more than can be counted in the human mind. Am I disappointed? A little… Am I upset? Not at all… Hey, I’m an old hand on this particular bronco. Sooner or later this ride is going to smooth out. So, I guess there really is something to this idea of locking yourself in the room for two-plus hours each day and working on it. That’s what Edison did, and now I can see the keyboard as I type this. Thanks Thomas!!

What’s the point?

As my own life unfurls behind me I am getting more comfortable with the idea of doing things that may seem pointless.  Maybe they even are (like my addiction to Sudoku puzzles).  Hopefully my (and your) writing won’t be pointless.  Here’s a cool article on the subject.