I am so excited to introduce my guest blogger today, I can hardly contain myself. I found De’s blog when I wrote my tritina poem for the Writer’s Digest blog. De’s poems were knock-your-socks off incredible. I’m picky about poets, having an affinity for Emily Dickinson, Theodore Roethke, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and many others since college. And I’d put De right up there with those heavy-hitters, folks.
Here’s an introduction to a poet you’re going to want to read!
De Jackson wanted to be a PoetPiratePrincess when she grew up, but is (mostly) happily settling into the role of Mom/Freelance Writer. (Some days that slash cuts deeper than others.) When she’s not busy raising a budding Bug Scientist and a Dancer-Singer-Songwriter (10 and 9, and spaced just 16 months apart), she writes advertising copy, runs gleefully with scissors, plays well with poems…and has also penned a couple of children’s books that need a little magic fairy dust to find illustrator and publisher. You can read her poetry at whimsygizmo.wordpress.com
Scribbling in the Margins (of Life)–by De Jackson
Ever feel like the day is specifically designed to make sure you never, ever have any writing time? Like your kids, your family, your day job, your Everest-sized mountains of laundry, your workout schedule, your (insert issue du jour here) are all part of one giant muse-snuffing conspiracy theory? Yup. Me, too.
In addition to all of these…distractions, I’m convinced that my poetic muse is actually a mermaid, and only willingly shows up along the shores of Lake Tahoe or the Pacific Ocean. Since I’m hopelessly landlocked in the middle of Southern Nevada, this is an unfortunate set of circumstances that requires frequent cajoling, pitiful bargaining, and sometimes, ridiculous amounts of caffeine.
So what’s your Whimsy Gizmo? What gets your muse on the move, your creative juices flowing? Is it nature? Reading the amazing creative works of others? Making sure there’s always a notebook in your car, your purse, your pocket? I’ve got a worn moleskine I fondly call “Parking Lot Poems,” filled with tiny pieces doodled in the few minutes before picking up my kids or heading into an appointment.
Maybe for you it’s regularly meeting with a friend who also writes, or who encourages your writing, and holds you accountable to tangible results. I’m blessed to have several supportive friends, as well as an understanding, creative husband who knows that a writing De is a happy De.
For me, the most effective quill nudging comes in two words: prompts and deadlines. I make sure my creative ‘inbox’ is filled with plenty of inspiration via weekly prompts, and write frequently for sites like Poets United, Flashy Fiction,Poetic Asides (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides), Poetic Bloomings, dVerse Poets and The Sunday Whirl, among others. I subscribe, so that these little daily challenges come directly to my email inbox, where they can’t be forgotten or ignored.
When I find a Write-Something-Everyday kind of challenge, I join it (River of Stones, Poem-a-Day,Haiku-a-Day). Anything to place a deadline on writing something, anything. If you’re a fiction writer, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) might be for you. But don’t let that be an excuse to wait until November. I find I’m not only my own worst critic, but as a Pro Crastinator of the highest order, also my own biggest hindrance.
These sites also provide two other things I find I need a great deal of as a writer: encouragement and camaraderie. Writing can be a lonely gig. It’s good to know I’m not the only one sitting here staring at the vast white space in front of me, trying to figure out how to coax some words out to dance.
Find away to put some boogie in your writing step today. Buy a new journal. Call a friend. Find a new blog to follow. I’ve been at this thing somewhat seriously now since spring of 2009, and I’m still learning what works for me. I’m also still unpublished, but I’m writing. Almost every day. Sometimes in big, everything-else-can-wait chunks. Sometimes in those tiny little margins. But always with a bright turquoise pen.
(Take that, you stubborn mermaid of a muse.)
And here are a couple of De’s poems–I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I did:
by de jackson
i am sans serif
i am onion paper
fragile, easily erased
i am words
i am ellipses
work in progress
…most of all, mine.
Don’t you lick that trash can, young man!
(and other things that should go without saying)
by de jackson
Don’t you lick that trash can,
And don’t paint pudding on your sister.
Don’t pour your milk in the toaster.
Hey, I mean business, Mister!
Don’t put lipstick on the dog, Little Miss.
And don’t give a cockroach a great big kiss.
Don’t pee on the petunias
or wash your hands in the loo.
And if you try to “fly” again
I don’t know what I’ll do.
Don’t lick your brother.
Don’t kick your mother.
Don’t jump on the couch.
Don’t call Dad a grouch.
Don’t tape the fridge shut.
Don’t put frosting on your butt.
Don’t climb on the living room drapes.
Don’t use my silk blouses as superman capes.
Don’t sled down the stairs.
Don’t shred teddy bears.
And don’t you DARE
Fill my shampoo bottle with Nair.
And don’t say “She’s touching me!”
One more time,
Or I might pull out my hair.
Don’t take a pair of scissors
and give the cat bangs.
Don’t stuff your mouth with real shark teeth
and pretend that they are fangs.
“We don’t hit, we don’t spit,
we don’t spy, we don’t lie,
and we don’t feed the baby coconut cream pie.”
As moms, we do say all the crazy things
we swear that we won’t.
To which our little hooligan sweetly replies,
“But Mommy, WHY do we don’t?”
As a parent, maybe it is my job
to say things that others daren’t.
But sometimes I just have to ponder…
shouldn’t SOME things be apparent?
get me wrong,
I’m not complaining
I’m just hypothetically, (frenetically) praying
That before each long day as a parent is through…
some things should just go WITHOUT saying.
***What’s your Whimsy Gizmo? Share here what works for you! And let’s give De a huge round of cyber applause for sharing her writing tips and poems!