Tuesday, March 27, 2007


"Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough."
--Sir J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan--

Words seem to skitter away when I sit here to blog lately. I am dreaming my big dreams, wishing my countless wishes, and taking it one step further--putting my work where my ideas are. This is what is usually missing for me...the work part. I have always thought of my creativity as arriving in wisps and winds and I would craft elaborate rituals around what my muse needed. Then, if unsatisfied--she wouldn't show and I'd pack my notebooks away to daydream out the window, saying, "Well...perhaps tomorrow. These things cannot be forced after all." Only, guess what? They can.

I forced forsythia into bloom once--slicing the stems with a horizontal slash and dropping them unceremoniously into a clear glass vase full of tap water. "Grow where your planted," I thought...not coddling the branches or offering them plant food or any kind of distilled filtered perfection. There they sat in a sunny windowsill one unusually bitter March, half-noticed, until the day when yellow flowers accumulated on the limbs faster than the drifts of snow outside. Day by day, incrementally--they were making unseen progress and readying themselves for an unlikely explosion of blossoms. It wasn't magical...it was timing and proper conditions. This is how my pages have been stacking up lately. I wish I could tell you that I traveled to some smoky occult shop where a crone handed me a silk caftan and said I should wear this while slicing apples horizontally with my right hand to expose their seed constellations, and then urged me to write in mystical crimson ink to reveal the words with my left. Instead, I start off each week writing a to-do list of scenes that need editing and any places where new writing has to be done to bridge to the later sections of manuscript. When I am bored from revising tiny snippets of words, I move into the new writing and my wild pinwheeling thoughts. No smoke, no mirrors...a list? How tedious! Daily writing whether the creative gods show up or not? Boring! But, to me it is gentle...it is sane...it has been cutting away the drama of the writing process, and I am beginning to see the tender flowering.
I've recently had sick-child days and computer breakdowns...house repairs and gardens to resurrect...taxes to get done and a crazy neighbor to avoid. I heard a disappointing fellowship "no" even though I'd been invited to apply for it. Then, an editor at a (rather large) publishing house expressed interest in my work after reading all of the seventy-five pages I gave him in one "delighted" session (his words)...but of course, he cannot do anything until it's agented--which currently it is not. So it is one step forward and two steps back again and again...my daily routine and my little list keep me afloat when I worry that I'm adrift.
So I may be wishing hard, but I am writing even harder.


Blogger bee said...


writing is all that you really need. i'm learning that, slowly but surely. i think i wait too often for the muse myself, but who wants that much uncertainty?

i think it's great that you are present in your life as well as your art.

2:01 PM  
Blogger angela said...

here's to days filled with timing and proper conditions.
wishing you and yours well :)

3:18 PM  
Anonymous acumamakiki said...

What a delicious post my friend. I think it's always like that isn't it? Forward and back, forward and back. I think it's the showing up and having a list that makes it all count, truly.

5:41 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

you have reminded me of something that i needed reminded of ~ i wait for the muse too often and when she doesn't show, i wander off ...

i need more structure and purpose in my art ~ i knew that once and continually forget. i love how we always have to relearn the lessons that we once knew :) thank you for this post, this beautiful reminder ...

i am so happy to hear your focus and discipline as you craft your beauty ... you make me smile ...

6:06 PM  
Blogger melba said...

you inspire me so...

11:04 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

I'm such a believer in lists and their ability to keep me focused. It's good to hear that writing regularly is producing such magical fruit, muse or not. And I'm glad Petunia is feeling better.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Becoming Amethyst said...

wishing hard but writing harder ~ what an amazing motto that is!!! i have a beautiful forsythia in full bloom at the back of our garden that creeps up each year, now it is something else in my life that reminds me of you :-)

Love to you and yours (I hope Petunia is feeling much better)

Letter your way soon x x x x x

3:06 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You write so beautifully it reads like poetry! Do you have a book I can purchase?

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kimberley McGill said...

I am still struggling to keep the pen moving, my last post just feels scrambled and badly written - you inspire me to continue.

2:27 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Your writing inspires me so much, dear Delia. Like you, I'm trying to turn the ideas into actual work on a daily basis and I've been doing better - except from now until April 20th, we are quite literally beseiged by guests from the US. Sigh. I keep telling myself after they go, things will calm down and these slightly frantic feelings will evaporate. As you said one step forward, two steps back seems to be the order of the day. In any event, I'm sure the agent is out there for you and all will fall into place. Your writing is so beautiful and lyrical, I'm convinced your book MUST be published and find wider readership! xo

5:30 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You have received "The Thinking Blogger" Award :)

6:14 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I love the way you comparead writing to your planting. The image worked so well. This makes me want to create writing lists.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such an inspiring post.
Thanks for the reminder to give my muse a nudge.
I can certainly identify with all the things that "get in the way" of writing.
Brightest blessings to you!

9:39 AM  
Blogger tracey said...

Delighted indeed. That is wonderful news. I hope it inspires you to work on and enjoy the process...and um, find an agent?

2:20 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

wonderful, wonderful post!

5:35 PM  

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