Monday, February 4, 2013

My Darling Worries

I was dripping from a shower when Fred, Program Director for the Pan-European MFA Creative Writing program@ Cedar Crest College, called to give me the good news. 

It was a Sunday. 
December 2nd. 
11:30 in the morning. 
The sun was out.
I remember this very clearly.

"Would you like to hear what we wrote?" Fred asked. 

So Fred read, 
I stood in towel with wet hair,
listening to what any writer who's honest 
really, truly wants to hear about their work.

This is wonderful non-fiction. We could read this writer all day long, pages and pages of engaging ruminations. The epistolary form of "Tiny Lovely Moments" provides a picket around which the narrator's thoughts can range (this is in reference to Annie Dillard's intro to Modern American Memoirs, in which she says that the memoirist can plant a picket anywhere in time and range around it). Similarly, "Why I Write" uses that phrase as a unifying refrain. These unifying formal means allow the pieces to move expansively and surprisingly. We also appreciate the tension in the narrator not wanting to write, not wanting to address certain subjects, and doing it anyway - her resistance and candor are winning. Ultimately, we appreciate the intelligence and elegance of the writing. A definite admit.

be still my heart.\\

my point?

To shout out to me ? as I begin this mid-life journey as a fresh-faced MFA student in Creative Writing. Shout out because CJ's mom always said, if you don't toot your own horn, nobody will. 

Shout out to my daughter, Jesse who was the one trolling the web for her mom, looking for something that would light my fire. It's lit. 

i love you to the moon and back, jess

She called and said, "Mom, do this. Apply." 

She wasn't interested in hearing excuses, period. 

but but but, I don't know, I don't think I can, maybe another day, I'm too old, it's too late, how will I pay for it, am I good enough, it may rain later,I'm scared, I'm too happy

Yes, honey.
Do this.

Belief in ourselves precedes achievement. Our successes are always within our power if we understand our responsibility for them. We are self-talking every moment; the words we use are our personal choice. 
- Mom's Meditation Book

I said yes
I said I think I can 
more like, I know I can  

My mentor is a gifted writer who lives in Wales/ Gwyneth Lewis. 
Gwyneth is reading my work. 
We are working together. 
I have a mentor after years of solo writing-hood.
We'll "meet" on Friday, via Skype, UK time.

Gwyneth wrote: 

 this is to say: hello and welcome. Dont' worry about anything, this is a good way to get a lot of writing done in an encouraging atmosphere.

What a welcome. 
This writer's dream. 
I'm so happy and still sometimes wake in the night pulling in my usual worries, like favorite stuffed animals, what about Claire, what about Dad, what about work, what about money, what about... love? writing? love + writing

I'm just loving them now: my darling worries.

They've been with me for so long why would I try to push them out of bed. I just don't have to cuddle so close anymore. I can cuddle with the wow, yes, I'm doing this, they like me (god bless you, Sally Fields, Oscar night circa ????) I can cuddle with the intelligence and elegance and candor of my writing. 

I can cuddle with resistance too.

I can cuddle with a definite admit.

what are you cuddling with today?

or who? 



  2. Well, thanks so much, Star-girl! I feel pretty excited myself. Obviously, enough to "toot my own horn"... I get to meet Gwyneth in about a 1/2, 5pm her time in the UK. Woo hoo. So cool.

    Thinking of you always. xo b

  3. YAY!!! GO BETSY GO!!! TOO COOL!!!

    I love: "her resistance and candor are winning."

    and all the rest of it. You deserve it!!!

  4. Wonderful news!! Your courage is inspiring!