There will be a brief intermission

Last writing class on Tuesday and we were given an entire hour to write which was a little scary. She gave us 3 writing ideas:

1. Can go back over your other in-class writings and underline passages or words or images you like and then try somehow to weave them together.

2. Reflect on writing itself. List some of the assumptions you have or have had about what it means to be a "real" writer. Then focus on one or two of those and examine where that assumptions stems from and decide if it still rings true.

3. Choose an image and write about it (she put down a huge stack of cards for us to browse through).

I liked #3 the best and found 5 that I liked. All were in black and white and four of the five featured animals. They were:

*A man and a woman getting married and kissing on top of a flagpole ("Flagpole Wedding," by Allan Grant, from Life magazine, 1946, see above).

*A huge fat black crow cradled in someone's outstretched hand. The quote on the card read "Seems like yesterday that I put myself in your hands." It reminded me of Jodie, in part because she wants to get a crow tattoo.

*Man and woman on a farm with the man teaching this collie mutt to jump through a hoop. The photo is the dog in mid-jump. The woman leans on the porch door with her arms crossed watching and the man wears overalls. It's a photo by Ramon Muxter called "Uncle Thurman."

*Three cats of various sizes perched on the windowsill of a falling down barn ("Indian Corn," by B.A. King).

*A German Shepherd and her three pups facing away from the camera to gaze at two clotheslines of paintings hanging in Rittenhouse Square.

I tried to reference all of the images in my free-write. I haven't reread the piece yet, but I don't think I'm going to like it because it's one of those "country" pieces, similar to the other freewrite I typed up; I'm writing about a time and a place that I don't really understand and so it sounds cliched and fake and too cute or precious. I had to sort of force it. I like the first line though:

"She was a darling, daring girl whose first word was always 'yes.'" (Like the girl in the "Flagpole Wedding" picture). Maybe I'll type up the rest later, but it isn't very good.

In other news, if you want to buy the May/June edition of Poets & Writer's you may perhaps find that I'm in it with a pic under the section called "Recent Award Winners." This is for the Katherine Anne Porter prize. The next issue will be out soon, so better run out and grab it while there's still time and I will sign it for you in blood (yours, not mine).