An evening of Myth and Poetry
February 1, 2017 in Trinidad, CO
So Many Perks
First of all, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am, by nature, a very tactile person. I've spent half a lifetime (not a whole one yet, I hope) making things with my hands, drawing and painting and sewing and building and forming and fixing and… well, you get the idea. So when it came to me that it was time to sit down and type - for hours - I wasn’t sure I could do it.
It wasn’t the actual writing that I found daunting, I’ve loved words and the putting together of words, since I was very young, really I think, since I discovered that words existed. What seemed overwhelming was the lack of physical manipulation of the medium, the intangibility of the result. Could I really sit at a keyboard all day?
A novel of two-hundred-thousand words later, turns out I can. What’s more, I’ve been able to spend long hours with my editor trimming the fat (to the tune of forty-thousand words) out of the bloated manuscript, making the story more clear, more believable, and more streamlined.
In the process, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a mother and two lovely girls, all struggling with the boxes their culture has put them in, getting to know a group of folks that are people -- most of the time, and petting (metaphorically speaking) one huge dog. Fiction writing gives me a chance to know the characters of a story like no other art form, to listen to their concerns, to watch how they relate to each other. I can see life's interweaving in ways I never have before, not even when actually sitting at a loom with a shuttle in my hand.
Poems, on the other hand, are little bites that give me the chance to look at things briefly, microscopically, to touch them lightly, to jot down thoughts for examination later. It gives me the freedom of still having art when the novel has to wait, has to give way to ‘real’ life for a time.
And as far as my tactile leanings, at least writing isn’t as messy as visual art. There aren’t any brushes to clean, no palette to wash, no stains in clothing. It doesn’t require a studio with high ceilings and blank walls, there’s no framing to do after.
Nowadays, I'm happy if you just give me a flat surface, my laptop, and my favorite mug filled with coffee (more cream than coffee, if you please). Then I’m off on the adventure of the day, no fuss, no muss.
©2016 Annette Meserve