Prepping for OctPoWriMo

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Another poetry writing month is just around the corner, and I’ve been prepping my brain for various verses. I’ve been busy taking photographs and sketching pictures (somehow amidst the trials and tribulations of moving) and trying to choose themes that might make the task of writing a poem each day a little easier. A little planning might go a long way.

Of course, as writers know, inspiration strikes when it damn well feels like it. We can’t always reach out and snatch the elusive muses from mid-air. Like butterflies, the muses drift about on unpredictable wings and winds, dodging attempts to capture them. The slightest disturbance in the atmosphere sends them skittering away. As I look around on my country drive to work, I have a dozen possible titles for poems, but not much yet to back them up.

My summer has been filled with many activities other than writing. Returning to my favorite pastime will be a refreshing change. We spent ample time at the pool on hot afternoons. We took weekend road trips to Colorado Springs and Wichita. We packed our belongings for the long process of moving short range. There was little time between for a decent sit and scribble.

During the packing process, I rediscovered a few old stories printed on paper – how that seems like nearly ancient technology now! I kept them filed away for future reference. The computer disks – the old 3 1/4 inch floppies our children wouldn’t recognize – are long gone, nor do we have a single machine capable of retrieving the data. When I have a chance this autumn, I’m going to rewrite these stories and plan a new volume of short stories for publication.

Among my packed journals and notes are also dozens of poems, some written for class assignments, some for my own entertainment, most of them decades old, even back to grade school. My new home office will be littered with yellowed pages. I am looking to these for inspiration for new poetry experiments. I saw the world through different eyes then, less adulterated by the realities of life, more captivated by the subtle intricacies of personal relationships than I tend to be now that I’ve reached the 40-year mark. Re-reading these will remind me of lost memories and long forgotten faces.

My new home offers more quiet and reflective places: a large back yard where birds, butterflies, and bees congregate around the rose bushes, rocks where small snakes and lizards sun themselves, peaceful shade over a swing, and a lot less traffic noise. There is a walking path and fishing pond nearby, as well, offering mindful getaways. A short car ride takes me to the lake, where I’ve already spotted a bald eagle soaring over the treetops and green and great blue herons stalking along the shorelines. All of these are conducive to snagging wisps of creativity.

Here’s to another October!

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