Cabin Fever

Winter of ’15

Sunday, December 08, 2019

These gloomy days are perfect for taking a laptop to the public library and there working out some ideas. Or to Starbucks for the same reason. Today, I’ve been cancelled from my part-time job and will go to hang out at one of those places. That’s one way to combat an onset of cabin fever, common malady this time of year.

Anyway it’s warmed up a bit, and at least, that’ll hold for several more days. But rains are predicted for later this week. Soon afterwards, we’ll also get new snow. Now’s the time to take advantage of easy traveling on the roads before they might become challenging. I’ll probably try to hunker in at Starbucks, it’s nearby and (unlike the Library) with mega caffeine.

I’m deciding on what to work on while out there and among loudspeaker music and folks chatting. I could try to write a poem, or make a sketch of some of the Starbucks environment. Hmm, would I need to be highly-focused, concentrating? Wonder if it would bother me to have passerbys glancing at my work-in-progress? Maybe, I’ll x-out an idea of drawing.

Despite all my talking and blogging, I tend to be a rather private person. My creative efforts, including this daily blog, suffer through lots of jacking-up before they go on display.

Consider a poem I’ve tried to write, my first attempt at poetry. Like most of my creative writing, an idea and a draft come quickly. Usually, the draft gets punched-up until it seems as smoothly readable as possible, and then I’m satisfied. Originally, in creating my first poem, that’s what I did–rewrite and smooth–and finally did accomplish something.

That is, it seemed so before I read Mary Oliver’s “how-to-write-poetry” book. Oliver is a world-class poet who writes beautifully. Although educated, talented, a master of her craft, she writes that each of her poems cycles through some 50-60 revisions before it satisfies and becomes a finished work. Her words made me pause and then re-examine my “satisfying draft”. Uh oh, not so good.

Like a diligent student, I’ve taken Oliver’s perspective to heart. Now I’m doing repeated revising, rethinking, restructuring, and etc., etc. It’s been happening for many days, and many times, I’ve declared, “There, I’ve got it!”. After that, I remove myself for a day or two, only to find that a new reading reveals just another awkward attempt. Anyway now, there’s no stopping me–for I’m involved, and determined to speak from my inner mind (and if possible, through my right brain).

Dear Friends: The header photo reminds of times with a need to escape confinement. Diana

2 thoughts on “Cabin Fever

  1. Poetry to me is daunting. I’ve very timidly tried haiku, though the subtleties escape me. Maybe not so subtle: limericks. That is next on my effort list. Others in my writing group may explore along with me, or so I hope. Will you share your poetry work in progress? Hope so!


  2. I’m afraid to show my feeble efforts, for as you note, there are many technical factors to understand and if at all possible incorporate. But so far the baby steps have promise as long as I keep working on the poems. If I can make work the syllable rhythms, that would encourage me to put a poem out there. Thanks for your comments, Kat, and may we both keep learning and creating!

    Liked by 1 person

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