Each day in June I will follow Ray Bradbury’s MFA schedule of reading a poem, a short story, and an essay with the intention of revising a story already in my drive.
I will share my reflections along the way.
I welcome your comments and insights as well! I also welcome any recommendations you would like to share with me.
June 3 – Day 3
Poem: Cure for It All
Essay: I am rereading the book The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg. Why Silence? chapter today.
Short Story: The Witch Who Walked the Shore
The poem was one I learned about when Sarah Selecky shared it at a Centered Community monthly call. It couples nicely with the silence chapter in the Goldberg book. I have trouble with silence personally. I always feel I should be inputting something but I am working on it.
A line I love from this poem is:
until you stop needing
to be different.
I also center on the word ALLOW in the poem.
Yesterday I wrote in silence and just noticed the wave of the air conditioner. It was a lovely feeling.
Silence is a subtext. I enjoy silence sometimes but love input more. It is another perspective. NG proposes a silent experiment – to go through your day in silence. Nodding when you to but not speaking. I find this idea intriguing. I do believe communication has a high percentage of nonverbal cues.
I have to ask myself the question: what is my relationship to silence?
There is a lot of punishment feelings around silence – the silent treatment or being ignored to be hurtful.
NG’s beautiful last line of this essay: “Silence can be the door to listening, which is one of the great cornerstones to writing – and also to eventual peace and reconciliation within you and in this world.”
Listening is important to writing – to develop characters and to listen to reader’s feedback. I always like to know how a piece of writing lands for a reader. It helps me bridge the gap between what I intended to say and what is received.
I believe I am going to use NG’s influence for my last lines of pieces. I have an interesting story I am working on today about food and an unusually eating plan formulated from my main character.
The story is the winner of the Janus Literacy contest. It is a heartbreaking story about the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we love in the name of protection and how many times it comes back to bite us anyway.
Today the readings bring the idea of large ideas that are conveyed in short amounts of text.
I am working under the idea that good words in with the challenge means good words out when I write.
I would love to know your thoughts about these pieces or writing in general! Feel free to leave a comment or question.