Celebrating the launch of ‘Lost in Cooper Park’. The book is reviewing well. Always hard to know how your work will be received. So far so good.
Have a read of my poem ‘His Coriander’, first published in Quadrant magazine September 2020.
Hope you enjoy it.
Flourishing above the planter box, it’s ready for harvesting.
I snip the curling tendrils with their skinny stalks,
hearing the clean snap of stem from dense green foliage.
At the end of a rain-filled night, the earth smells heady.
He took his suitcase, his cello, and his sheet music.
He left the fragrant coriander seeds,
said, Tending a relationship is like keeping a plant alive.
So I’ll take this herb
inside to the kitchen and chop it.
I’ll disperse it piece by piece with my hands,
the longed-for exotic spice of citrus and curry.
I’ll be forever grateful for escape,
from my infatuation
Copyright © 2020 Libby Sommer
When I used to teach classes to beginning writers, it was good. It forced me to think back to the beginning to when I first put pen to paper. The thing is, every time we sit down and face the blank page, it’s the same. Every time we start a new piece of writing, we doubt that we can do it again. A new journey with no map – like setting off towards the horizon alone in a boat and the only thing another person can do to help is to wave from the shore.
So when I used to teach a creative writing class, I had to tell them the story all over again and remember that this is the first time my students are hearing it. I had to start at the very beginning.
First up, there’s the pen on the page. You need this intimate relationship between the pen and the paper to get the flow of words happening. A fountain pen is best because the ink flows quickly. We think faster than we can write. It needs to be a “fat” pen to avoid RSI.
Consider, too, your notebook. It is important. The pen and paper are your basic tools, your equipment, and they need to be with you at all times. Choose a notebook that allows you plenty of space to write big and loose. A plain cheap thick spiral notepad is good.
After that comes the typing up on the computer and printing out a hard copy. It’s a right and left brain thing. You engage the right side of the brain, the creative side when you put pen to paper, then bring in the left side, the analytic side, when you edit the print out as you settle back comfortably with a drink (a cup of tea, even) and read what you’ve written.
Patrick White said that writing is really like shitting; and then, reading the letters of Pushkin a little later, he found Pushkin said exactly the same thing. Writing is something you have to get out of you.
Whether writing a story or writing a blog, start writing, no matter what.
Happy new year to you. May 2021 be a healthier happier year for us all.