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

A Peek inside Some Old Journals

When we moved back to the farm, I promised myself that writing would once again become the fulcrum of my life. I set to work on crafting the 3 books at hand. As 2011 wound down and the two years I’d spent writing and editing started to a slow trickle, I began to look around for the journals I had packed away in an attic. The next writing project might lie in there. Or at least the last three decades of my life, the part of my life that represented the 30 years I spent determined to write.

When I was 28, I swore that whatever else happened to me, I was determined to live like a writer, as if what I wrote mattered. Faithful to the journals, even when they were read without my permission, I kept writing, feeling, moving, living, trying to record the truths and the fictions, trying when I caught myself asleep to wake myself up, recording my dreams, observing my endless to do lists. A life. 30 years of a life.

I went to the attic where I had tucked away all those journals that I had written since I was 9 years old. And I brought them downstairs. I replaced the research books I’d used for the last 2 years with these journals and I have begun pulling them down to find out where I was as a writer as all those years ago.
September 23, 1980
The thing that holds me back, prevents me from even beginning a new story, is the fear that I don’t understand it {my life} enough, that there is some storehouse or arsenal of secret longings, dreams, hopes or fears hidden inside, so much there, but that I am so afraid of it, of what it might do if I understood it, that I would then have to hide myself from my Self.

November 7, 1990
View one’s life as a text awaiting translation. See it as some ancient tablet that has shattered and when found it be pieced together, along with the lacunae and errata; that is, the gaps in the text need to be filled in intuitively, and the mistakes made by scribes during the transcription recorded and supplemented with intuitive impressions on the true meaning.

October 15, 1995
If your desire is to be a true artist, know that this is a private matter which can be proven only to yourself through your efforts to become one.

 

I am reading and making notes. At the beginning of the year,
this year 2012 when the world is predicted to end (hmmm), I am busy trying to
figure out where I have been. It’s the least I can do to prepare myself for the
day of reckoning, whenever that comes.

 

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Word Snacks for the New Year

After the seasonal food-and-time-off debauch, I’m grateful for the turning of the year, though it’s slow going these past few days.  To ease back into regular work,  my practice is to turn to poems of the new year.  This morning it’s these lines:

“     … Gentle and just pleasure
It is, being human, to have won from space
This unchill, habitable interior
Which mirrors quietly the light
Of the snow, and the new year.”

“New Year’s Poem” by Margaret Avison.

Margaret Avison was a Canadian poet I had the good fortune to actually meet years ago.  She died in 2007 after leaving a valuable legacy to those to closely observe small moments.  Often, her poetry demands much of me as a reader so I take her words in small sips, remembering a comment made by Joseph Zezulka, an English professor at the University of Western Ontario and friend of Avison, who famously said: “Her poems were not snacks, they were full meals.”  Stuffed full of too many holidays, my writing self needs Avison, along with everything else, in tidbits at the moment.  But how necessary is the return  to words and work.

Not sure my digestion could handle a full word meal just yet,  I am also grateful to Lexington poet Sherry Chandler and one of her first blog posts of the year where she mentions “small stones” as a way to write our way into January.

There, she links to  The January Mindful Writing Challenge: A River of Stones,” a call to write a daily “small stone” during the month of January.

What are “small stones”?  The site says: “A small stone is a short piece of writing (prose or poetry) that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment. …The process of finding small stones is as important as the finished product – searching for them will encourage you to keep your eyes (and ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind) open.”  This sounds like a good way to enter back into the work after a time away.  In a testimonial, one of the people who adopted the discipline of small stones says:

“…Several times I’ve had the thought that I absolutely don’t have the time or mental space or energy to stop and notice something outside my driven daily preoccupations, to compose even this tiny ‘small stone’ of words. But I keep finding that it doesn’t eat up time or mental space; on the contrary, time stops and new space is created.”

Here’s to each of us finding ways to create new space in this our new year—the best way there is, through our words.  Even beginning with sips or snacks, we’ll soon be back to those satisfying, full meals.  And as we get our creative momentum back, those words  really will build slowly, helping us create the new year.  What an image it is:  to conjure up that whole river of words our regular work will become.