NotSoWriMo After All

I was so excited about this month; about writing and sharing the good and bad product of the NaPoWriMo challenge with you all. I mean, I’ve been involved in it for the past 3 years, off and on this blog. Unfortunately, I came across a few too many obstacles in no specific order:

  1. I started traveling at the beginning of the month to visit with family and friends–some of whom I had not seen in over two years. So the voyage was necessary, but also wore me out. Especially after factoring in the time I spent actually travelling from place to place throughout SC. And obligatory as it was, my routine has been completely thrown off–and even a week after returning to the farm I am still struggling to hit my stride again.
  2. I’ve also spent the past several weeks searching for a teaching job. This has required a lot of research, and (because I’m me) a lot of OCD spreadsheet-making before I was even ready to begin actually applying/sending out resumes and honing cover letters for specific schools. I’m actually still waiting to begin on the last part, due to procrastination, fear of rejection and a general sense of doubt now that I’m in the thick of it.
  3. Whether it’s because of the job anxiety, or the traveling/major extroversion, or loss of routine, I’ve found myself floating above the abyss that I call depression. I’ve dipped into it momentarily a few times in the past month, but so far, each day I get up and try again. Obviously, I don’t want to abandon myself to it, and I also really don’t have time for it–but the struggle definitely leaves me exhausted and lacking in major focus. Focus, which I need for job applications as much as for writing. And, honestly, I hoped that the writing exercise could jump start the job exercise–since, if I do get a job, most of my creativity will be geared towards teaching instead of my own personal explorations, simply because of time constraints, for the next couple of years.
  4. For the first ten days or so of NaPoWriMo I also didn’t find myself that inspired by the prompts. Perhaps because I was anticipating more form prompts instead of these abstract/idea prompts. Or maybe because the “Curse of the Thesis” still has a hold on me and I’m still trying to move on from that project but haven’t gathered enough space yet to generate enough creativity. Or I have sapped my reserves in trying to craft a various amount of gifts for the people I went to visit (they all received belated christmas/birthday/housewarming/marriage/baby gifts). However, as I’ve gone through the past few days and their prompts, and as I try to resume my walks to regulate my routine and my cognitive function, I’ve seen some options that have sparked an idea, and have had time to think about a prompt and begin to develop something in my mind. So we’ll see if anything can come from it, with only 10 days left of the challenge.

So, that’s some of what’s going on in my headspace and why I have not been able to fulfill my promise to myself and to you, those who do read and enjoy what I put forth. There was actually a previous version of this post, and chances are it was either whinier or at the very least had a less logical voice–having written it last night at 1am, after losing an entire questionnaire I had typed up for a job due to an app crash on my iPad. And then losing a completed blog post after another app crashed on my Ipad. Suffice it to say, I gave up and went to bed to try again today on a more reliable source. And while, today I’m not where I want to be, I am a little bit closer, and I know tomorrow, I’ll be another step ahead. So I hope something creative will come from that, as much as something productive in regards to my other duties at present.

 

Hoping that if you are struggling through something that it gets resolved soon, or that the struggle becomes easier to manage with each day.

 

Cheers, 

Erin

 

 

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Baggage (100 Word)

We are not yet ready to share a suitcase.

I pack too many shirts, and you too much underwear.

You cannot part with your 24 oz  doubt, and that leaves no room for my travel size anxiety.

We can organize, re stack and re fold, but TSA will not allow our combined fear in one bag.

So for now, you’ll check one bag, and I’ll check two : the third for misplaced apprehension and imagined scenarios. We’ll each keep a bag apart as we travel, for our secret and reoccurring pasts.

 

 


*From the prompt: “(Add 3+2 – me and you)”

PAD 22 — Pastoral

Today’s poem is supposed to be pastoral. Mine turned into an epiphany–perhaps poorly worded, maybe not conveying the full extent of my feelings, but it’s an attempt nonetheless. Also, I love the beach a lot. The end. 8 days left of the challenge!

“Amazement”
is the word to use to describe as I pause outside myself
on Hunting Island, the North Beach.
the tide is out farther than my  memory can recall and

it leaves remnants of the ocean in its wake.
children, dogs, older couples comb the sand,
inspecting what was living, what is still alive.

while we should smell death from the baking jellyfish,
the drying sand dollars, the waterlogged crustaceans,
the sea absorbs it, or perhaps it makes the smell new—
mixed with salt, fish and Coppertone.

seagulls alight and peck at hermit crabs.
dolphins and pelicans alike dive at fish along the waves.

humans collect shells,
they cast out lines and nets.
they build castles, dig moats—and watch them wash away.

Life, as we forget to see it,
in all of its cycles:

foul and wondrous,
superfluous and necessary,
impossible and real.

this is its own poetry.

PAD 13 — Riddle Poem

Honestly, I didn’t really adhere to NaPoWriMo’s prompt today. The idea was to write about something without ever explicitly mentioning what it is. So in that sense, I did do it, but in another sense, this went into left field. Regardless, I mentioned a few posts back that planes and travel/movement was a real theme while I was writing these, so this one doesn’t disappoint. I think I could add more onto this poem, but I also struggled with the issue of pushing the point too far. So this is a result–to be returned to at a later date.

“Plane”

Metal bird, how you grow and change.
Rainbow plumes, you are not so endangered
as the Macaws of Belize.
They do not travel beyond their borders,
for fear of poaching, kidnapping, loss of habitat.
They dwindle, grieve.

You nest in cities, feed on fossil fuel and carry us within your metal chest.
So long as humans wander, you will thrive.

PAD 9 — Calligram (Visual Poem)

So, I have more or less mentioned that I am in Minneapolis for the week for the AWP 2015 conference. If I have a moment to breath next week I may comment on that. But because I am in the midwest for the first time really, I went to see at least on of the sites around here, that being the Minnehaha Falls. There is actually a lot more history on it that I want to read up on, but I thought I would attempt to write a poem about the falls and make it look like a waterfall. I don’t know if it necessarily worked, haha, it is harder than it looks. But to prove that I did actually write a poem for Day 9, here it is.

  

 

 

PAD 2 — Look to the Skies

For today’s Poetry Month prompt, NAPOWRIMO suggested we look to the skies. So I tried to mix in a little bit of travel writing with it. Hopefully it turned out. 

“Belize”

I couldn’t find Orion’s belt when I sat on the beach of South Water Caye.

Instead we slid our toes into sand and looked below for the barracuda and starfish.

We glided only feet above the coral reef and the diverse life that thrived there.

I looked up as we left the island to see an eagle ray leaping in our wake.

I couldn’t see Orion’s belt through the branches of leafy trees

or through the hard rain that fell in the jungle near San Ignacio.

Our eyes darted from ground to bushes, and up tree trunks into the canopy.

Each time they were distracted by patterned insects and vibrant orchids. 

The hoarse heart-groan of howler monkeys in the distance, made us jump

as the five pm sunset settled into the damp earth.

Orion’s belt still was absent when we sat atop a temple at Xunantunich,

imagining the distant bustle of Mayans in the once paved squares.

A multitude of knowledge all but lost in secrecy and overgrowth.

They would have been lighting fires now, perhaps to ward off the jaguars,

to cook, or maybe to gather around to tell their own myths–

explanations for how the world works. Did they ever discuss the Hunter?

I could not see Orion’s belt that May.

In a land where industrial lights were minimal

and the opportunity to observe without technology but with my own senses was the goal.

I wondered if the Archer had stayed home while I, for once, found adventure.