Monday, January 21, 2008

Writing Monday Plus an Interview

It's Monday again, which means The Writer will talk about writing. But first, she wants to tell everybody about her interview in The Edge of the Forest. It's a really good interview.

Am I in it?

Yes. There's a picture of me and one of you.

I see it! I look so debonaire!

Don't forget the camera adds 10 pounds. Now, today's writing topic is journaling. The Writer was never a good journaler. The diary she kept as a kid is incredibly boring ("Got up. Went to school.") In grad school she often wrote journals for certain classes, so she began keeping journals regularly. She has several. One is a general work journal. She does her whining here. Also talks to herself about her career in general, her schedule, what she wants to do next. She even records her dreams.

She also keeps separate journals for major projects. Right now she has three different book journals going. She can't work on these books every day, but the journals help her stay in touch with the book and record her thoughts before they disappear. When she is deeper into a project, she also writes letters to the main character. Gradually the letters take the place of the journal.

The best thing about journals, she says, is that they are portable. You may not feel like lugging a laptop around, but you can always slip a notebook in your purse or pocket. When you go back home, you can transfer those entries into the appropriate journals. Journaling is a great habit to get into.

This poem is from The Writer's friend Connie. Thanks, Connie!

What's In My Journal by William Stafford, from Crossing Unmarked Snow

Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
Things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can't find them. Someone's terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.

Okay, enough about that stuff. Be sure to read all about me in that interview. Who is that strange cat in the picture of The Writer?

Maybe your replacement?


Little Willow said...

What a great piece in the Forest!

ellsworth said...

The Writer and I are very proud to be in that great journal!