Saturday, November 13, 2010

Morning pages, Take Two


Morning Pages as Blog

Well, I didn’t get too far with that. Last entry, May 8th. But the good thing about life is that until we close our eyes for the last time, we can always open them again, and try something once more. Do all writers worry that what they write might be ho-hum drivel? The trouble with morning pages as blog is that they tend to be—and it’s okay—messy, vague, wandering, unedited, or in other words pretty embarrassing if published to the web without spending some time slapping them into shape. But at least it’s a start, and at least it’s writing. It seems like far too many days, I don’t actually write.

There are so many other things to do . . . Sorta like the little boy at Whitesville school who when I was talking to his class about writing, stuck his hand up and asked, “Did you ever think of all the things you could have been doing when you were writing?” So what kept me from it yesterday? Girls Scouts, dear friend Marsha who got me involved . . . and horseback riding, which is not a bad thing to do at all on a glorious, warm sunny day in November when I know there will be months ahead with no riding. Well, at least thanks to Sandy, I have discovered the joy of riding bareback in winter. The insane gallops which Katy and I love so much should be reserved for a saddle and good footing.

I did get an odd and an end done yesterday. Finished Jan de Hartog’s The Little Ark about two children who survive a great flood in Holland in 1953. When I picked it up at Kasey and Kevin Cox’s (From My Shelf Books, Wellsboro, PA) Book Festival used book table a few weeks ago I was thinking he was Meindert DeJong who won the Newbery for The Wheel on the School in 1954 (lovely story about children trying to get storks to roost on the roof of their school). De Hertog’s story is written from the perspective of two children, but the details about the horrific flood with bloated bodies of people and animals are so graphic that I kept wondering if it was at all meant to be a children’s book. I think the only other books I’ve read about Holland are Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (which I now want to read again after reading about it in the essay on classics at the end of Red Badge of Courage which I recently reread as research for my long-simmering Civil War story) and those lovely artbooks about Trolls that came out about 25 years ago. One of my first serious creative writing attempts must have come soon after reading Mary Mapes Dodge. It was a play that took place in Holland. I was in about fourth grade and I’m pretty sure it was about a flood! Oh look, yummy! I have in my hoard of treasured books a 1932 Garden City Publishing edition of Hans Brinker illustrated by N. C. Wyeth and Peter Hurd. Hmmm, who the heck is Peter Hurd? Any relation to Goonight Moon’s Clement Hurd? (Same generation 1904-1984, western artist, b. Carlsbad, NM territory, student on N.C.)

Quick glance at Jan de Hartog (1914-2002) son of a minister, ran away to sea twice, playwrite, novelist, Dutch national treasure, came to America. He clearly needs more investigation! Anyway, the book was exquisite and despite the tough stuff, very funny.

So yesterday, I read, walked, applied to the Empire State Book Festival, prepped for Scout meeting, rode with Carol, put today’s book signing for Moose Power! at the Canacadea Country Store in Alfred up on Facebook, counted $$ from &#@@!* cookie sales, talked to my girls about courage and strength, taught them how to giftwrap a box of cookies (our sales gimmick for our cookie sale at the Independence Grocery Store Sunday 1-3, do come and buy some cookies!), let them groom and ride little old Shady for horse lovers badge, for dinner made crab cakes to go with our garden carrots and Wiz’s fabulous salad and fried green tomatoes, watched John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, relaxed in the hot tub with Wiz and saw four shooting stars--one stunning--and started a new book, Woof, loaned by Ronnie, dog stories, so far delicious. And all the time, a potential rhyme about “The Little Old Man in the Pumphouse” is running through my head. I tried to write it once. Think I can do better, but the troll on my shoulder keeps saying I’m a lousey poet.

So now, with two quick edits, it's 7:40 and there's lots to do today, so I’m going to post this drivel.