it’s funny how my music…needs change. Sometimes I will have months of silence, and then there is now where I have a soundtrack threading through my days. Out on the bike or walking it is all disco and trance. At home, working, I have a Phillip Glass station built on Pandora that plays just about everything in that vein.
Yet, as I get to the point each night where I go visit the city, its like the music walks me there and then hands me my lunch and gives me a quick peck on the cheek and off I go – without any music.
Perhaps because the first Act is takes place where there is nothing but rolling waves. Not even a wind blows enough to be noticed. Who knows.
As I pick my way through this new poem I occasionally google around to try and find samples and inspiration. But, not much has been done with this form since before the 19th century. There was a brief resurgence in the 60s with verse plays, but they were more rooted in human drama as the vehicle. Of course, googling “dramatic poets” and going back a few pages I found some hilarious anecdotes about poets and their personal dramas.
One of the things I go over in my workshops (just about all of them) is the use of writer’s groups. I always recommend that people find 2 or 3 to be a part of, online and off. That way you get a more rounded critique. It can be too easy to only stick with people who either like your work well enough or are familiar enough with the intent that you lose that bit of challenge that comes when approaching a new audience. Now, writing groups are much different from cheerleading groups. Cheerleading groups are very necessary to the writer, these are the groups where you could post a grocery list and hear back how fabulous and insightful you are. We need that kind of unqualified and unconditional positive feedback on occasion to keep going. Sometimes, depending on what is going on in your life and writing, that occasion may last for months. But it is a good thing.
Writing groups should be able to challenge your writing within the framework that you are creating it in, not according to a framework defined by the group. This new poem I am working on I had to shop around for a novel writing group because of its length and complexity. While the form is unfamiliar to most of them, the narrative path is not.
Then I have my peer group online I have been harassing all week with it.
but that is what we do for each other.
I think it is harder to do online because posting writing invites people who are unknown to comment and critique. Part of the critique process is based in trust. Which is why “critique” is different from criticism from say a writing or art critic. They write op-ed pieces about the work. What happens mostly on line is that, comments that are really opinions are posted. Critiques usually are generated via email between people who have developed a online relationship through their writing or who have sought out comment from someone for whom (rightly or wrongly) they have a perception of trust for their criticism.
I had to write an article today about helping a 5 year old build a tepee out of a paper bag for a school project. I had this…momentary jealousy, because when I was in grade school and in the area that I grew up in, when we hit that section of history we had to build wigwams which practically required an engineering degree to make.
Every one I have talked to this week has been in this funny but okay state of confusion, being behind and slightly confused.
Must be the rain.
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