I have been a woman lost in words so far this summer and this disjointed, rambling post may reveal as much...
*my students' words: autobiographies--including fascinating stories about childhood experiences in Kenya, Japan, Uganda and, um, New Jersey...metacognitive analyses--every bit as exciting as they sound...novel evaluations--on this book.
*novelists' words: including books already read this summer by these authors to name just a few.
*and of course, occasionally, I've been finding my way into my own.
What it means is that my blogging is quiet--but *life* is anything but. Over at ReadWritePoem this week they offered the challenge of making a poem out of a limited set of words offered here. I decided to play and wrote the haiku above--thinking of the sultry heat of the season and all that it calls up for me.
Tomorrow is the new moon...dark sky, but I am already thinking of my full moon birthday on the 18th and how fitting it feels given the year I've had to celebrate my day and night flooded with light. If my words here are scarce between now and then, it is because I am working, grading, chasing fireflies with the wildies and pouring my heart out into notebook after notebook with an unquenchable thirst for fine black ink.
As an aside, this is the latest article about me, which just ran in one of our local newspapers:
Author offers summer migrations
By Patricia E. Lang
Thursday, June 19, 2008 12:43 PM EDT
Author C. Delia Scarpitti read from her new novel and discussed how motherhood, family and creativity intersect at the Arts Alliance earlier this month.
“As a writer, I strive to create that which will give rise to inquiry and self-exploration in my audience,” said Scarpitti, winner of the Division of the Arts 2008 Emerging Artist Fellowship for excellence in fiction for her novel “Migration Summer.”
Scarpitti’s reading on June 1 was a celebration of the book, which the author said is almost finished after years of work.
About two dozen people came out to her Scarpitti read, including members of two writing groups, the Lunar Poets and an invitational fiction critique group.
Bouquets of flowers were given to Scarpitti and people listened attentively to “Migration Summer,” a story of a family of four who become torn apart by their secrets and silences.
During one particular summer of migration the truth comes out and shatters the individual mental walls that that family members built up to protect their feelings.
Scarpitti is the mother of three children. She said she considers her novel, and her other writings, the ghostly fourth child she is raising.
“I’ve watched my creative self develop as my children have grown up,” she said.
At the Arts Alliance, Scarpitti talked about how her three children believe in her and act as a built-in support system.
Caring for her children and caring about her writing forced her to develop a creative discipline, she said.
“They sped up my evolution as a writer,” she explained. “They deepened my perspective.”
When asked what advice she would give to other writers, Scarpitti said she would encourage them to keep a daily notebook to keep track of all the ideas that come to mind during the day.
The Post, 2008
Seeing myself in the newspaper again--being acknowledged for what feels like *such* an incredible and invisible effort on Migration Summer continues to bolster my creative spirits. But, to you, I will confess the following: I picked up my manuscript from the shelf this past week to give it another read-through as a part of my revision process...and I had to wipe a thick layer of dust from the back cover. Yes, dust! That is how long it has been sitting, quietly waiting for me to pick it up and resume my jagged-edged editing.
Then, in my mailbox, a stack of invitations arrived for The Museum of American Art where an exhibit is about to open with myself and the other fellowship award winners featured until October. The event is next week and they asked me to be "ready to discuss my work's progress of late". I'll have to bite my tongue about the dust, won't I? But the truth is I feel as though I am in a quiet creative space as well. A dreamy space...a visioning space. I am plotting my next moves even if I haven't actually put them into play. Or, maybe this is just my fancy way of stalling. Time will tell.
The creative life sometimes gives us exactly what we need, though, and I cannot help but to think that wake up calls for me to get moving again are finding me everywhere: the article, the exhibit and, finally, a message in my email inbox this morning letting me know that sections of Migration Summer have been accepted for publication in an online magazine as a serial. The indulgent early-summer days of stalling are yielding to an essential time of ripening and fruition. Another day opening now...another opportunity to become a woman lost in the wild thicket of my own words, love and longing for language trailing behind my pen in dark coursing rivers.