Real, Live Poet

A new friend asked me yesterday about my writing process, whether I wait for inspiration or make a determined effort to face the blank page or screen. My answer was that I live as a poet. A poet’s job is 24/7 and encompasses all of experience, all of life. I read frequently and keep notebooks to capture thoughts. I also write at my desk on the computer. I am most comfortable on the computer writing in a Word document.

A writer writes. I don’t wait for inspiration but am attuned to it and if it rises, I capture words as quickly as I can. I face the blank page or screen and set aside time to write every day in some sense. There are dry spells, to be sure, but often I accept them as evidence of the way I am expending my energy in other areas of my life. I don’t blame myself for not doing it–I just find my balance again and follow words where they lead.

I am what I am and that being a poet, I have trained myself to “see” and “say” in poetic ways. An ordinary act such as washing dishes, or catching a glimpse of the sun rising when I take my daughter to school at 6:45 in the morning can be transformed into a writing lesson and a poem.  There is magic (imagination) and always there is mystery because the act of writing brings us deeper into the self. For me the ‘exaltation of the ordinary’ is how I approach my life and often my art. Moment by moment life feeds us material for poems, or any creative art.

SCORPIO horoscope for 10/26/12: “Creative energy fills you up today, and that could mean that you’re ready for a big challenge that’s on the way. Even if you don’t feel ready, you are sure to find good answers.”

For the past several months, I have been occupied with work related to the publication of Eating the Heart First (Press 53, 2012) and its promotion. I have been laying the groundwork for events and readings that are book-related.  The plans have been set for the rest of the year and I am turning again to writing creatively since energy has been freed up. I have been working so hard and it is rewarding work, but I am ready to shift. I am buoyed by a renewing creative energy.

I am especially excited that I will be presenting a workshop tomorrow at Cite des Arts in Lafayette, LA through the new “Acadiana Wordlab” literary drafting project, founded and directed by Jonathan Penton of Unlikely Stories, online at  The workshop will be from 2-4 pm on Saturday, October 27th at Cite des Arts on Vine St. in Lafayette.  I expect it will be fun and inspiring, non-judgmental and encouraging.

Please join us if you can.