Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Confession Tuesday

If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for confessions. Share a little of yourself and we promise to do the same. Feel free to post your confessions on your blog and let me know so I can swing by for a visit. Don't forget to visit those sinners doin’ time in The Confessional (see sidebar).


Yesterday, I bought a copy of People magazine. Very out of character for me. I bought it because of this quote from Cate Edwards, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards. The Edwards’ very public break-up has been well documented in recent months.

Cate writes about the life lessons that her mom continually teaches through actions, such as:

“ … how to continue to live on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it.”


That line really resonates with me. Post-divorce, life is about how to live with the poor choices of others, minimize the damage for the people I love, and find joy again. What I hope I am doing, day by day, is teaching my kids how to go on after someone hurts you deeply. It’s not easy and I don’t always make the best choices. But life does go on. At times, it can even be sweet.

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Speaking of sweet, I had a great Fourth of July weekend with the kids. Lots of time spent with friends, making this Independence Day extra special. My son said it was the best holiday ever, which is high praise from a boy counting down the days until Christmas. Fireworks help.

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Monday was an extremely satisfying day working with my manuscript—I completely dismantled it!

I decided to add more recent poems. So right now it’s about 84 pages, which I will cut back as I continue to revise. Hard to explain, but by opening it up, I was able to see the collection in a different light. And for the first time, I can see how my long poem, "Misery Islands," fits into the structure. It was a breakthrough day for m’script # 2.

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I’m almost done with Misery. And, I finished my BP oil spill poem (a pantoum) in time for tonight's writing workshop. Whew! I haven't worked that hard to revise a poem in months. And that is why I am not a formalist.

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This weekend, I’m going on a mini-writer’s retreat. I’ve been pushing myself to have a good working copy of my manuscript so I can work on it this weekend. Looks like I will get there. Woo hoo! More on the retreat to come.

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Are you currently revising a long poem or manuscript? If so, tell me about your process.

6 comments:

Nin Andrews said...

I love your confessions. As beautiful as your writing.

mariegauthier said...

Fireworks are a grand grand thing.

I love what you say about life being about living with the mistakes of others -- we're so used to dwelling on our own choices, it's useful to remember we're not always in control.

I'm working on a full-length MS, but I don't have any idea what I'm doing -- so I'm taking Jeannine's MS workshop. So far, so good...

Marc said...

Revising manuscripts: read yesterday interview w/Robert Anton Wilson about revising his writing under influence of marijuana - he thought that if Hemingway et. al. suicidal alcoholic writers had smoked weed instead of used the bottle, they probably wouldn't have killed themselves.

i confess to being more interested in reading gossip magazines in the dentist's office yesterday than "hard news". this gulf oil spill is too depressing: i used to live in the area" my mother-in-law called yesterday to tell us that the oil has reached lake ponchatrain.

January said...

Thanks Nin! The feeling is mutual.

January said...

Marie, good luck with Jeannine's workshop. Hope it helps give an order to the MS chaos.

January said...

Marc, I can see how revision can make writers lose their minds!

Hard to believe the spill has gone on for as long as it has. I love visiting Louisiana. Makes me sad to hear that the oil has reached Lake Ponchatrain.

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