For your Monday Viewing Pleasure

I can’t stop watching this


NaNoWriMo Truths

Things NaNoWriMo Taught Me

  • I enjoy meticulously obsessing over the wording of each sentence and phrase.
  • How to write a great quantity of words each day.
  • That when I write in a hurry, I lose track of my plot.
  • How much fun it is to get wrapped up in a story and characters of your own creation.
  • The types of background noise that is acceptable.  I particularly enjoy foreign background music, like this,  this,and this; and of course, the elusive sound of silence.
  • Research is half the battle.
  • Procrastination isn’t as terrible as it is made out to be.
  • I can do amazing things with an hour to myself in the middle of the day.
  • Anne Lamott doesn’t know everything, and though it pains me to admit it, Ian McEwan isn’t perfect either.  A writer is as good as his flaws.
  • I think faster than I can type.
  • Longhand is a great tool too.
  • I enjoy non-fiction writing as much as fiction.
  • The bed is a fine place to peck out some words, but a proper desk and chair, and preferably one without a cushion, is the best place for me to focus for long periods of time.  Add a cup of coffee or tea and I could sit for hours.
  • Getting outside to be among the trees is important for letting creativity loose.  So is proper sleep, though a certain amount of fatigue elicits a certain amount of honesty.
English: Ian McEwan, a british writer, photogr...

English: Ian McEwan, a british writer, photographed during the 2001 Paris book festival. Français : L’écrivain britannique Ian McEwan, photographié au salon du livre de Paris 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poem of the Day

I once could recite this by heart.  Now it is just the last 2 stanzas I can recall. I’m re-learning it, and I’ll perform it for my husband and son on Christmas.

La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

By John Keats

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.


O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
       And the harvest’s done.


I see a lily on thy brow,
       With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
       Fast withereth too.


I met a lady in the meads,
       Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
       And her eyes were wild.


I made a garland for her head,
       And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
       And made sweet moan


I set her on my pacing steed,
       And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
       A faery’s song.


She found me roots of relish sweet,
       And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
       ‘I love thee true’.


She took me to her Elfin grot,
       And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
       With kisses four.


And there she lullèd me asleep,
       And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
       On the cold hill side.


I saw pale kings and princes too,
       Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
       Thee hath in thrall!’


I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
       With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
       On the cold hill’s side.


And this is why I sojourn here,
       Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.

Source: Selected Poems (Penguin Classics, 1988)

My Source

National Novel Writing Month

I did it! Just wanted to share my achievement here. 50,949 totally original, unusual, & mostly incoherent words. I really had to stretch it out towards the end, the last 4,500 words are essentially stream-of-consciousness. Maybe I was channeling my literary heroine, Virginia Woolf (maybe we’re related.)

Favorite Poem of the Moment

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, copyright ® 1973 by Wendell Berry,