Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Creative Writing - An Update

April being Poetry Month, the creative writing class I'm taking at the university, participated in a poetry slam last week. In preparation our professor showed us a film (video tape, DVD, whatever you want to call it) showing people at poetry slams reciting their poems. It was all very impressive.

Our guest poet was Thom the World Poet also known as Thom Moon 10. Originally from Australia, he travels all over the world reciting his poems and handing out chap books of them for free. If you go to his web-site and email him he will send you a daily poem as he writes at least one a day. He is quite entertaining, humorous and madly in love with poetry. At the beginning of the evening he handed out plastic eggs filled with rice so we could provide rhythm and "applaud" the performers.

Here's a little "poem" about it.

Easter eggs filled with rice
- shaken, not stirred -
applause for the spoken word

Not considering myself a poet and unable to "do" poetry off the top of my head, plus the fact that I didn't have a poem to memorize and recite, I did the next best thing. I hauled out my dusty guitar case and sang an original song.

I did practice for several weeks before the night of the performance. I had to toughen up my finger tips, I have no calluses left! I haven't played or sung in front of any kind of audience in at least 10 years, so it was quite the deal.

I didn't do too badly, considering how rusty I am, and got an enthusiastic round of applause plus a peace sign flashed at me from a long-haired male student.

All of the above is a lead-in to this: One of the reasons I decided to take the class was to stretch my boundaries. This I am doing. What I have discovered, what I didn't realize, is that I have been basically treading water when it comes to my writing. I've been in a comfortable place and have been on cruise control.

But a writer and her writing needs to be fed. I don't know where I'm going. In fact, I don't have any kind of goal in sight. What I know is that I'm beginning to swim slowly in an outward moving spiral. I'm in no hurry. It's not the goal that's important, it's the leisurely swim. Right now the waters are warm and calm and welcoming. No doubt I will encounter stormy seas, but I intend to ride the waves, laughing (or crying) all the way.


  1. I think we should set ourselves goals -- it helps to keep us motivated and organized. And yes, we should all swim with the sharks occasionally too, instead of sawing away at the tried and true.

    Good for you, getting up in front of others and performing! I love the idea of a long-haired boy flashing you a peace sign -- how funny!

  2. Great post. It sounds like you did a great job with your song too. I liked the part about being in a comfortable place in your writing. I guess it's always helpful to explore new areas. :)

  3. I love watching poetry slams - think it would be fun to do too. Maybe one day . . .

  4. Mary, I found if I get too specific with goals I feel very guilty if I don't accomplishment them. So I keep my goals very fluid and more general than specific. That said, I do have a goal, well a few actually, and moving out of my comfort zone is one of them. Thanks for becoming a follower.

    Rena, We (I) can get so used to seeing/experiencing things in a certain way that we (I) can become kind of jaded. I didn't realize I was stuck in rut, I thought I was doing quite well (and I was.) The point is I could be doing a lot better by doing things just a bit differently than I've been doing them.

    This was my first poetry slam Kim. College kids, gotta love 'em. The subject matter is old as time and full of anxst, yet fresh and new and alive.

  5. Thanks for sharing the experience. Sounds like your song was well received!
    Swimming in an outward moving spiral sounds nice - I often feel like I'm struggling to swim against the current.

  6. Good for you girl!!! This class sounds so awesome. I hope I can do something like this someday.

    I love reading about this class!


  7. What wonderful fun!

    It's all about growth and enhanced technique...I'm sure the class is developing both for you! Go, girl!

  8. Adrienne, I know what you mean about feeling like you're struggling against the current. In cases like that, particularly if we get tired, we have to remember to find a cove somewhere to rest.

    Thanks Christy! This class has been an interesting challenge.

    Erva, actually it's more about breaking old habits than enhancing technique. breaking old habits, techniques are enhanced.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!