Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Effective prayer

... probably needs to be heartfelt.

A friend just shared this on facebook:
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith) ~
"Here are the two best prayers I know:
'Help me, help me, help me' and 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Writer's Journal (exercise): I've Had a Gutful

What a great Aussie expression. But I’m not in the mood for writing about things I’ve had a gutful of today. The sun is shining after all those weeks of rain, and the trees were shining as we drove from Mur'bah, washed clean. Tiny swallows darted and swooped across the road, and my mind turned to haiku. I’ll knock up a few more later and post them on the new facebook Haiku on Friday page.

I have had pretty much of a gutful of the rain, I guess, like most people all over the country (except in WA where they're deep in drought). I want to write about sunshine and shining trees and swallows. But I want to make it into a haiku, not just a pretty, descriptive little three-line poem. I need some kind of Zen moment in there somewhere, somehow.

Now that I’ve done my 30 poems for November, and selected the ones for the chapbook, and edited them, and worked out a sequence, I feel very strange. Not writing a poem every day is weird. Yet I don’t think it’s a good practice all the time — churning ‘em out like that. We need revision too, time to tweak and polish, and get them as good as they can be. If I don't win the chapbook competition, which I would be surprised to do, I’ll look at putting some of the other poems back in.

Writer's Journal (exercise): Spooky

Pale hands she had, long-fingered. I used to love the way they twined around my neck and stroked my hair. I used to watch for ages while she played the piano, those long white fingers moving gracefully over the keys. I found them mesmerising. It never seemed to matter that she was so silent, so self-contained.

I didn’t question how we came to be together, living in the great house, with its wintry landscape beyond the drawn curtains. We so rarely looked out. The trees surrounding the house were grey and gnarly; they looked somewhat threatening. We preferred to shut them out.

It was in the evenings that HE came. Loud footsteps always signalled his approach, so we had time to start shuddering a little, then try to master it so that when he entered we appeared cool, detached, statue-like. He never said much, though his few words were said in such a booming voice that they resonate with me still.

He liked her pale, long-fingered hands too. I watched him watching them as she played. Eventually he would stop her by closing one of his own great, dark fists over her hand and pressing down commandingly. She would flutter to a stop, turn and look up at him, into his eyes. I always wanted to yell to her not to meet his gaze, but of course I never uttered a sound, and of course she did turn and look, as he bent his head to stare back at her.

She grew paler as he held her fast with his eyes, and her frame would begin to get hazy around the edges, as if she was turning into mist. Or was that only because of my increasing faintness?

I never saw what happened next. I would lose consciousness and come to many hours later, alone. I spent my days alone until dusk fell. You could tell that the darkness had begun outside, as it deepened beyond the curtains. Then I would turn, and she would be there, sitting at the piano.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lucky Me

He came into the bathroom, looking for something. I was having a shower. (We don't bother with a shower curtain.) He looked me up and down with a warm smile, his eyes alight, and said, 'You are a beautiful woman.'

This is a very nice thing for any woman to hear from her beloved, in any circumstances. When she is 70 years old, overweight, and stark naked under a bright light, that makes it very special indeed!