There used to be a project – it may still exist – of leaving a book in a public place along with a note to pass it along and post where it was found. I’ve never done that but what a cool idea. Something kinda similar happened to me this week.
My friend Fred landed in Amsterdam for a holiday and while popping around the city he went into a coffee house and saw a stack of books. There, buried underneath Birds of Europe and Funshopping Amsterdam was the book I wrote about San Diego. He snapped this shot and texted it over to me. What are the odds that my San Diego book would end up in an Amsterdam coffee house where my good San Diego friend found it?
In the last few weeks I signed up to take two poetry seminars. Both were cancelled for lack of interest. A novel-writing course at the same venue was so popular they had to add a second session. Which lead me to wonder whether anyone gives a rip about poetry.
Poets know how to pack a punch is so few lines it makes me shake my head in wonder. I still am amazed at the power of four tiny lines in one of Emily Dickinson’s poems:
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, anytime to him
Short, punchy, pithy, an homage to nature.
Or how about Mary Oliver’s Sleeping in the Forest?
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
Can you read that and not be in awe of “arranging her dark skirts”, or “white fire of the stars”?
We prose writers have so much to learn from the poets. And I’m disappointed that both of my classes were cancelled.
But . . . .I decided to go looking for a poetic form I didn’t know . . . and found the cinquain:
Line one has two syllables.
Line two has four syllables.
Line three has six syllables.
Line four has eight syllables.
Line five has two syllables.
I’m going to see what I can create all on my own. Join me?
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The book isn’t just about making a living writing; it’s more about the many, many things you can do to create an online income – – with the goal of leaving the employment world and entering a career of your own making and your own creation. Seriously, I read inspiration stuff all the time – and if this book doesn’t inspire you to at least THINK about other ways of generating income, then I’m not sure what would.
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Did you catch my interview on The Creative Penn Podcast?
Joanna Penn, most-excellent thriller writer and podcaster, interviewed me on TheCreativePenn Podcast, on the topic of Visual Writing. Joanna and I share a love of using images to inspire our writing and this was the topic of the podcast.