KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

The enduring power of words

The last thing I expected to hear when my twelve-year-old son sidled up to me Saturday afternoon was him, asking casually: “Where’s the Velveteen Rabbit?”

A confession: as a wordaholic, I used books to parent in ways that felt vaguely like I was cheating in the game of motherhood. I was shameless, reading to distract, entertain, surprise and astonish, to soothe, and to brighten long dull patches—to have words in my mouth far more courageous, wise and curative than any I could have come up with on my own. Certainly we went through picture books the boys chose for themselves, of dinosaurs and earth-moving machines, demolition derbies and space adventures. But I also had a private stash secreted away for the times the coin of my abilities was spent long before the day was done. I couldn’t have loved my boys more intensely, and yet there were times I was poured out, squashed flat, by sleep deprivation and the unceasing needs of those very children. Then, the audience needing distraction, calming, and exemplary modeling was not a child, but me. The Velveteen Rabbit was a story for those times, as Margery Williams’ tale of the Rabbit who learns to be Real only after his shiny surface has been loved off suited my stretched-thin mother-self precisely.

Since it was a book I read for myself, I never would have guessed it would the one my son would recall or request. In fact, he said he needed the book for a language arts assignment to bring in a favorite childhood story to read aloud. I have yet to ask his teacher if she knows what a gift she bestowed with this requirement.

He reads on his own now, of course—this proto-man-child who is taller now than I. His choices are great tomes of adventure and mystery. But for the time it took us to read the Velveteen Rabbit together again, it was as if he were again the tiny child he was so long ago. When we were done, he nodded sagely, and said “that’s a good book,” as he lifted it from my hands.

Of course not all of us will necessarily write a classic on the order of Williams’ Rabbit. But I am renewed in my faith in this power words have. Her words, published in 1922, rescued the harried mother I was years ago and have managed to embed themselves into the heart of a boy in spite of his need to be “manly” around his friends. This is a special kind of magic that is far beyond what Williams called in her book “nursery magic,” bursting past any nursery walls she knew, to continue living in ways she could not have possibly imagined.

In the face of this kind of enchantment and power, all I can offer up is gratitude—and a renewed desire to dip into that well, that power, myself.

Passion and Fellowship

We ate cupcakes at our meeting today, heavy delicious cupcakes, each sporting a butter cream hat that doubled its size. Sweet, overwhelming indulgence. We were celebrating the reading of a member’s novel manuscript.

To write a whole novel is an astonishing act of perseverance and passion. That accomplishment deserves oversized cupcakes laden with butter cream and studded with high quality chocolate bits. My goodness! We indulged in reading gorgeous writing about Wyoming, an anti-dote to Annie Proulx’s eccentric wire-flogged people. We licked our fingers and sang praises, brightened by the sugar high. The book was very good.

The happily sated feeling reminded me of the conference of the Kentucky State Poetry Society we attended on Saturday. The upper room in the Kentucky Fudge Company in Harrodsburg was full of sunbeams, people who’d spent the whole day engaged in reading and writing poetry. Whenever two are gathered in the name of poesy, fellowship happens. Love comes down as a scorcher and blazes across the blank page. Something new is made. In communion. In sharing. In getting outside of the lonely mire of self-ness. Hallelujah for the community of passionate poets, for writers who dare to share their nascent forms of future literature, for that courage, for their discoveries, and for those who listen.

I am an introvert, a writer who gets snarly when interrupted, as my family can attest. They knock on the door and quickly pocket their fists to better to keep their fingers intact. Yet I have come to appreciate what the society of writers does for writing. As one poet said on Saturday, she had felt “different” all her life because of her love of language, until she met the poets in Harrodsburg. Others who knew the magic of creating experience out of words recognized her as kin. To that poet, to the society of poets, to kaboom, to all the books in utero, the poems, essays, plays, and stories yet to be published, I raise a cupcake of appreciation and take the biggest bite imaginable.

Comments (1) — Categorized under: Events,Lynn Pruett — Tags:

Spring into a New Writers Notebook

I bought a new writers notebook over the weekend. As I planned my blog post, I realized that I had already written about reading an old notebook as I made way for the new (Nov. 30, 2009).

I observed that my summer/fall writers notebook was full of plans for When the Bough Breaks: production schedules, numbers of copies, notes for who would staff which book fairs at what times. It was all about the business of writing, necessary to be sure, if not exactly the date that invited me to the dance in the first place.

In looking through my winter notebook, I noticed a couple of things. For one, I filled it up faster. It took just four months to write my way to the back cover. However, quantity should never be confused with quality.

Instead, I focused on the nature of those contents. My winter notebook holds more starts, more responses to prompts offered in writing practice, rich notes from two conferences, a few short poems begun during a Saturday seminar, even a sketch of a murex shell that I picked up on the beach at Sanibel.

I complained a lot this winter. The cold was dispiriting; the snow and gray skies oppressed me, turned me inward. I kept repeating that this year, winter got me down. But my notebook bears witness of a fruitful time, a time of productivity, of nurturing seeds that may grow into something larger.

Once again, the evidence of my notebook corrects my misapprehensions and reminds me that I somehow kept pace with the world as it turned toward longer days.

Comments (0) — Categorized under: Jan Isenhour — Tags: , ,

Recording a Season

I seem to write poems every spring and fall.  By now I’ve concluded that the sensory attributes of these seasons are wound into my body.  This is a good time for writing. The earth awakes and promises metaphor galore (sorry).  Examine your back yard or just a tiny patch of it and write down everything you see—or draw something you see. Perhaps you’ll have the beginnings of a poem, story or painting.  May your creativity Spring eternal! -Pam Sexton

Recording a Season

Late March in Kentucky

Clatter of squirrels’ nails

on tree bark pulls me to perform

a busy scramble—

theirs for lost nuts, mine, the usual—

all folly, I know.


listen for the quickening,

catch it, post it.

Buy paper heavy with tooth,

pastels pregnant with landscape;

smooth with fingers

until pigment enters your skin

feel the green,

its velvet resurrection

hear the sky shout

its white, then blue

see worm track, lichen patch

on earth and rock.

Record the slow destruction

of the indestructible—

slow as centuries and as sure.

But the newness,

catch it, post it,

Get it down.

Quick. It’s glory.

Pam Sexton

March 2010

Comments (0) — Categorized under: Pam Sexton,Writing Exercises