Friday, April 18, 2008

FOLLOWING THE PATH





Spring fever has fallen in over me with the fierce intensity I always forget...each year, this season--or summer quick on its heels--finds me at a loss for my own words, wild and craving green like sugar gritting in my teeth. I'm going to be taking a little break from this blog as I have many times before. Feel free to drop me an email/letter to check in while I'm "away". I can also be found over at Literary Mama, where I am going to be editing two debut columns starting in May...and continuing to take on all of those fabulous "Faces of Motherhood" submissions. Also, I am *loving* my online scrapbook and will keep sharing bits and pieces there.

It feels like time to take a nice long break...the other night, my mind was racing and I decided to take a drive over the winding backroads nearby. My windows were flung wide and instead of music, I listened to the wind coursing in and my own pounding heartbeat. Slow down, slow down, slow down, I kept telling myself, but the intellectual logic just wasn't touching the emotional process. I aimed the car over the low road between the woods and the creek and suddenly, I could hear the first frogs groaning and speaking to one another in determined staccato rhythms. My headlights shot ahead of me on the curve and there they were--hundreds of them, making the dangerous journey from the treeline to the water over the pavement. I braked hard, tires skidding slightly on the wet asphalt after days of rain. Slow down, slow down, slow down they said to me and I travelled the rest of the way at a creeping pace, slowly edging left and right to avoid them on the empty stretch of road.

Slow down, slow down, slow down...I am taking this gentle advice.

The following is an excerpt from the recent publication we "state fellows" were featured in (along with a small snippet of my book). Another piece should be appearing soon in our local paper about writing, motherhood, and me. I am going to be "on display" at a museum in our state capital as part of a writers' studio with the other grant winners and I cannot wait to see it. {The exhibit will run from June-October.} Also, I am teaching some creative writing workshops as well as part of the community aspect of my fellowship. Book Two (tentatively titled The Glass Saint Journals) is well underway now...and I am revising Migration Summer (still)--which reminds me of the quote, " A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places." Can the same be said of the novel? It is a rich and fertile time for my creativity--mirroring the unfolding season all around me and I intend to get back outside and drink it in...slowly, very slowly.


from Artline News
Adjunct English instructor C. Delia Scarpitti teaches a wide range of courses, including writing and critical reading and thinking. She also evaluates portfolios for reading and writing students. Her professional writing experience is equally varied. She has served as an editor for the online Literary Mama Magazine and Natural Family Magazine and has reviewed books and consumer products for Natural Family Online. Her essays, fiction and poetry have been published in literary journals and magazines, mostly online. An eclectic reader, Scarpitti began her literary career as a poet, but over the course of a year during which she attended a series of writing workshops in New Mexico, her skill as a fiction writer blossomed. She is working to finish a novel that germinated during that inspirational year.

"Anais Nin said, “We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and once in retrospection.” With this simple yet profound declaration, she opened up the world of words for me when I was just an adolescent girl with a notebook and a pen. My work since has been an ongoing effort to feed myself through my experiences and to share these writings to nourish others. I have written essays to speak to my interests in the often jagged-edged territory dividing creativity and motherhood, my journey through post-partum depression, and how the maternal and political intersect for all of us. Over the past year, as I have moved deeply into the novel process, I find once again that the fragmented segments of family reveal our subterranean personal and collective breaks. I believe that my background as a poet has only enriched my fiction process. Unlike the contract between a writer and the reader in most prose, where sentences march politely one after another, poetry allows for wild leaps, for experimental magic, for divergent ideas to all bleed together in just one compact phrase. That transcendent magic of poetry is one I seek to carry over into the fiction genre. Just as a poem insists that we slow down and bring mindful attention to each line, so, too, can fiction writing at its best. This is what I endeavor to do in my writing." — C.D.S.

C. Delia Scarpitti will read from her work and talk about the writing process at 2p.m., June 1 at the NAA
C. Delia Scarpitti
Emerging Professional, Fiction
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Prologue:
Iris

The summer has been dominated by storm clouds—vast gray oceans obscuring the sun and the casual Caribbean blue. The typical rings of cirrus clouds circle the sky and then are gone. Birds in silhouette no longer blur for me…each feather is as distinctive as a fingerprint. Silver phoebes alight from our jacaranda trees beside the vibrant macaws with their scarlet throats. Christian and I spend whole days sprawled beneath the trees. When the winds kick up with afternoon storms, bell shaped flowers the color of bruises rain down from the branches, catching in the golden threads of our hair. The storms come on and I retreat to my makeshift studio on the covered porch to paint, sketch, or daydream—lost in the melodic conversations of the painted buntings with their fiery plumes and nervous wings. If the mail comes, I hungrily tear through it looking for my mother’s neat printing or Lily’s looping script. On rare days, the illegible handwriting of my father confidently coats the envelope, full of odd notes he forgot to jot in the letter, grocery lists, and coffee stains. I hardly ever cry over mail anymore, unless Lanny sends a drawing along. My eyes water then and I wander into town, rain or no, for a café con leche and a smile from Señora. Lily’s letter came just a day before she would, reading, “Don’t try to stop me, by the time this arrives I’ll already be on my way. You can’t hide out forever…you can’t outrun death, Iris. Or me.” So Eden unravels around the edges.

Excerpt from the novel, Migration Summer
by C. Delia Scarpitti
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Link

11 Comments:

Blogger kristen said...

big love my friend. how evocative that image of you driving and the frogs...reminds me of a haunting film, magnolia and its soundtrack.

it's time for a trip north to the big city don't you think? xoxo

4:11 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

i hope your break from this world finds you full in that world as spring pulls us into the summer buzz of beauty, i'll be thinking of you here and there, much love and thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of you and your writing. wish i could come and hear you read and hug you warm. xo

5:34 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

The soft croaking of frogs is a sound that comforts and makes me smile everytime. I wanted to be right there in the car with you hearing them sing.

I hope this blog-break gives you a chance to catch your breath and come back full of fire and inspiration.

Be well. xoxo

12:28 AM  
Blogger pink sky said...

just coming back from a refreshing break...hope yours fills the well in all the good ways. much love. xo

2:41 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

kristen: i will be in touch about that big city visit...

daisies: thank you--i'll be thinking of you too...

deirdre: thanks so much for your kind words...keep listening for the singing!

pink sky: sorry we missed one another...

Love to each of you,
D.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

you have so many exciting things happening...wow...wish i could take a creative writing class from you...that would rock!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

michelle: oh, if only we could take care of that pesky stretch of land spanning from your Texas to my East Coast, we'd be in business. You'd be a dream "student" of course, but I'd only let you in the class if you promised to teach me everything you know about your brilliant photography. ;)
Love,
D.

8:25 PM  
Blogger [a} said...

I love the excerpt from your novel~it flows so well.

6:44 PM  
Blogger pink sky said...

because of your support before, you are invited to be a part of the new wishstudio! come be inspired at wishstudio blogzine dot blogspot dot com

4:48 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

[a}: thank you for the kind words about the novel excerpt...

pink sky: i am so happy for your new wish studio zine...best of luck with it.

Love,
D.

3:29 PM  
Blogger January said...

Good luck on all the wonderful things happening with your writing. You are an inspiration.

10:45 PM  

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