Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Year in Ink

San Diego Writers, Ink, serves as a hub of the literary community, promotes literature, provides artistic development for writers at all levels, and facilitates artistic collaboration. 

A Year in Ink, an anthology published each year by the San Diego Writers, Ink, represents a sampling of the community's most brilliant work.

Judy Reeves, editor of Volume 10, writes, "The collection begins with Penny Wilkes's poem, "Becoming Marco Polo," which, for me, illustrates our approach in beginning any new work. Each one a dare, an exploration, an adventure, which is what I hope this collection will be for you as you read through it."

Becoming Marco Polo

Outside her childhood bedroom,
a jacaranda tree rubbed the porch railing
in squeals that lead curiosity like a piper.
She sneaked out the window to climb it.

Thighs squeezed the bark; arms in hug.
She needed to touch the V formed by branches
near the ground. If only she could reach it,
then swing to the grass where adventures waited.

Night warbling continued from the tree. Muggins,
the cat, dug claws in the wood and scampered
the highway at will. Her tail spiraled in the breeze.
Finch chitters rose from limbs. Even they

flew in and out of branches or captured ants
on this Silk Road. A hummingbird made its nest
higher than her reach. When her father called,
she looked out the window, stuck in the middle.

Again she tried, clutched with her fingers
to find security in the roughness. Blood mingled
with gray bark in failed attempts to settle into the V.
Courage grew in welts on arms and legs.

In spring, an explosion of lavender blossoms
flew a fragrance of musk into the air. She took a breath
and tried once more. One shoe felt the wedge.
Another stretch and both feet arrived.

She balanced and looked upward into an applause
of leaves. She jumped from the V
to explore the world and back before dinner.

Copies available: Call 619-696-0363

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Nature Journal - Using All the Senses

 “Frog calls and the sound of intermittent splashings drew me to cross the brook on stepping stones that seemed to have been set out for my passage.  A short push through tall, thick growth brought me to an opening at the edge of a pool where the lowering sun cast an otherworldly light across dark water.  It glimmered in dragonfly wings and sporadic silver-beaded sprays tossed up by leaping frogs.  Sweet songs from unseen birds drifted on the still air.  Everything was new to me, every sight, sound, and smell a new experience. “  David Carroll from Self-Portrait with Turtles

Begin your Nature Journal on location.  Let the subtlety of your landscape soak in.  

Choose several locations: a park bench, a rock ledge at the beach, a forest or any location where you can sit for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. 

Capture what the landscape sounds like. 

Touch and smell provide a visceral jolt to writing.  

Find out the names of plants, animals and natural forms you observe.  

Free write and let the words direct you.  

Many questions will surface:  Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is my responsibility to nature?  

You will discover how nature teaches rhythms and reverence for change from the migrations of animals to the blossoms of spring.

Try these warm ups:
l. Listen for the sounds of the familiar in your garden: water running, a bird song, dog barks, and wind in trees. What sounds do you identify with home?
2.  Imagine the scent of an orange grove in blossom or a peach tree in the sun. What scents move around you?  What will the sound of rain add? Can you combine the senses in your writing?
3.  Gail Brandeis encourages writers to describe eating a blackberry recklessly. Bring a fruit or vegetable to eat during your journal keeping.  Can you add taste to your writing?
4.  Give flavor and texture to your writing with visual imagery that moves away from the ordinary. Barry Lopez uses raucous purple, coy yellow, prosaic blue, belligerent red. 
5.   Consider the mental senses: pain, fear, love, play, humor, psychic capacity, reason, time and intuition. Can you translate these with concrete descriptions?

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Quest for Inspiration

Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr, Nobel prize-winners, presented many counterintuitive theories. Once while Pauli presented his ideas about a radical new hypothesis, Bohr came out of the audience to the stage and interrupted his colleague. 

Bohr said, "We all agree that your theory is crazy. What divides us is whether it has a chance to be correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough."

Consider your ideas and possibilities. Could they be crazy enough to be true?  Go on an unpredictable quest to free trapped vitality.  

Try an experiment to awaken sluggish magic.

Look into nature for nurture. Try combining  creative ideas to develop music, literature, and another art form.

Synthesize and coordinate all aspects of life you do the best. 

Express yourself with a flourish.

Notice with renewed awareness areas of life you take for granted.



      inspiration through