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 4- Day 4
Essay: I am rereading the book The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg. Meditation (Sitting) Chapter also
And Not a Novel A Memoir in Pieces Jenny Erpenbeck : Pressure Cooker
Short Story: Escapism: https://www.matchbooklitmag.com/margariti
In the essay/chapter NG writes about the darkness, that moment when you try to understand something, and we don’t have an answer. Her illustration is about a joke that was told to her.
This place of darkness, unknown, the place where there is nothing to hold onto is the “goal” of sitting she says. Your breath is your anchor. She also uses the phrase “allow it to be” which sparkles for me off the page. She is referring to allow things she doesn’t like (her neighbor’s barking dogs) so that she may have peace with something she cannot control.
The Pressure Cooker essay is a memoir piece. This book it is from [link above] is a collection of flash memoir pieces. It has started out in East Germany which I have family ties to so that is of interest to me anyway.
The story ESCAPISM ILLUSTRATES the idea that flash is about one moment. One subtle shift or reflection. There is a repeated element of the name, Harriet Houdini repeated at the beginning of almost every paragraph. Sometimes repreated elements take me out of a story.
Today the readings bring the idea of repeated elements in stories to me. It also makes me think about what I choose to allow. Sometimes I have to sit with the idea of the unknown in a story. What I mean is, I dont know what is oging to happen yet. It is a space if I allow will come to me. Sometimes it is in the shower, sometimes on a run or just a random time.
I also will read aloud my drafts today to hear how it sounds after I read the flash aloud right before it.
I am working under the idea that good words in with the challenge means good words out when I write.
Kathy Fish also is hosting her reunion this weekend so I am thrilled to have new prompts from her. Kathy has a great newsletter and she is working on a book which I will preorder as soon as I am able!
I would love to know your thoughts about these pieces or writing in general! Feel free to leave a comment or question.