I admit it. I like how being a writer feels. For example, somehow, my world seems vast, as if my writing provides me with a ticket to…well, to anywhere. I’ve access to the world: the darks of Africa, the peaks of the Andes, the deeps of seas, and the heights of clouds. That’s a good feeling. I can go anywhere. And perhaps more importantly, since I visit these places, I gain experience. My mind is sharper and wiser for it. Now, I don’t mean a literal ticket nor do I mean literal journeys. Nevertheless, I still feel boundless. I’ve been everywhere and will be everywhere. Ironically, I’m rarely more than 25 miles from home.
Writers, am I making any sense? Let me know.
Several weeks ago, I discussed one of the reasons why I write – I wonder. I sit and let my mind wander. It takes me all over the world. It takes me to imaginary lands. It ushers me through time. Sadly, it can’t bless me with extra time. As of late, I’ve had no extra time…none. That’s one of the reasons why the word “Hammer” appears in the subtitle of this blog. Writing is hard work. Sometimes, finding the time to write is even harder work. Still, I was able to write this poem. It’s from my developing manuscript The Journals of Lt. Kendal Everly: Poems of the American Civil War.
Some men – their blood is thick.
When their skin rips, their blood
doesn’t run like the blood of other men
It seeps: honey, syrup. It seeps.
Sweat can’t thin it. It doesn’t trickle.
It smears. Like a swab of paint,
it smears across a man’s skin.
Crimson paint. The color of barns
and rose petals and apples.
Like honey, it seeps. Other men,
their blood spits from their wounds,
streams across a quilt of air,
splatters the ground:
spilt wine, sweet, sweet wine.
But some men: their blood is thick.
Posted in American Civil War, Battle, Blood, History, Lt. Kendal Everly, Manuscript Development, Poem, Poetry, Writing
Tagged Blood, Civil War, Hammer, Time, Writing
It’s Sunday morning. My family and I are usually getting ready for church. It’s my job to get my son (8) dressed in churchy clothes. I also comb his hair. It’s my wife’s job to critique my work. Do his clothes match? Does his hair look good? It’s a system, a good system, a routine that I enjoy; however, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, our church, Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park, NJ, is powerless. Electricity is presently a rare and valued commodity in Northern New Jersey. Sadly, this morning’s church service has been cancelled. Lord willing, we’ll be back in church next week.
It’s 8am. My son is wearing a Snoopy t-shirt and a pair of jeans with a hole in the right knee. And his hair, it’s still disheveled. (So is mine.) Obviously, I’ve a bit more time than I usually have on a Sunday morning, time to think a bit, time to wonder.
That’s why I write. That’s why I’m a poet. Well, it’s one reason, anyway. I wonder. As much as I can, I sit still and wonder.
In my next post, I’ll explore this “wondering” a bit more. I’ll wonder why I wonder.
Posted in Poetry, S. Thomas Summers, Words, Writing, Writing Inspirations, Writing Process
Tagged Church, Jacksonville Chapel, Lincoln Park, NJ, S. Thomas Summers, Snoopy, Writing
Fellow Anaphora Literary Press author Aline Soules recently posted the following passage on her blog.
It’s time to reflect, as fall creeps in, about crossroads. I periodically reach a set and wonder which direction to take. Work is good, but too all-consuming at the moment. I’m house hunting, too. Despite having a nice condo, I’m out in suburbia and would rather be closer to the bay and its cultural opportunities. I think I’m just tired of driving back and forth. I usually get restless in spring, but this year, it’s hit me in fall. Who can explain it? The weather is lovely (no snow, as in Sault Ste. Marie earlier this month–brrr!), my condo is pleasant, my work is fulfilling–yet I’m restless. I feel selfish, as so many others are far less well off than I, but I can’t still that restless feeling. Just have to wait and see what happens.
I’m drawn to Soules statement regarding suburbia and the cultural opportunities of a more populated area. I live in the Northwest corner of New Jersey, Vernon, New Jersey. The photo posted above is just a mile or so away from my home. I could post more: farms, silos, cows, bears, deer, etc. I’m surrounded by “the Sticks.”
Ironically, Vernon is not far from Manhattan, a cultural opportunity Mecca: poetry, art, music, etc. try, I loathe the city. I need the country, the trees, the quiet, the wind. All of these things inspire me to write. The city…it inspires me to get back to the county – and get back quick.
Guess I’m just a county bumpkin.
I like old maps, real old maps. You’ve seen them – in museums and dusty text books. The maps decorated with giant sea creatures swallowing sailing ships. The maps explorers used before the world was really explored. Unlike modern maps, old maps represent best guesses rather than actual places. And those sea creatures, those terrible leviathans – the map makers and the map users believed they actually existed. Be careful, sail straight, know the stars, follow the “map” or else…behemoths get hungry.
What adventure! What wonderful adventure! Where can we adventure like that now? I follow a map, an incredible map. My maps are called stories and I’m a story maker. I pick up my pen and sail away. Maybe I’ll get lost, maybe I’ll uncover treasure, maybe a great, terrible monster will set upon me…maybe I’ll be lucky and experience all of it.
I’m a story maker. And I like maps.
Posted in A Poet's Life, S. Thomas Summers, Writing
Tagged Cartography, Early world maps, Google, Google Map Maker, Google Maps, List of cartographers, Map, Old maps, sea monsters, Shopping, Writing
About ten days ago, I posted an explanation as to why I feel writing is a sweaty process, metaphorically. A writer needs to swing a hammer. It’s work, hard work, but a hammer also grants the one who wields it power; therefore, writing grants the writer poewer. Obviously, that power is the power to create – not just words, but entire worlds, worlds that look to the writer for beginnings and ends, worlds that look to me. Arrognat? Maybe a bit, but one feels a bit arrogant while swinging a hammer.
- John Henry, Bard – Why the Hammer? (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)
Posted in The Hammer, Writing
Tagged Art, Arts, Business, Business Services, Communications, Hammer, Thor, United States, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing and Editing
This blog’s tag line is Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer. Obviously, ink is a useful resource to possess when writing, but a hammer? Of course, I’m referring to a metaphorical hammer. I thought it might me interesting to explore that metaphor. Therefore, let’s explore. Here’s the first reason why I feel writing is metaphorically tantamount to swinging a hammer.
1. Writing – it’s damn hard work, dangerous work. It makes you sweat and grimace. It can kill you, for I have died (metaphorically) many times. Yet, it’s an obsession, sometimes healthy, sometimes not.
I believe the these lines from the John Henry folk song are applicable.
John Henry said to his captain,
“Oh Captain – a man ain’t nothin but a man,
Just before I die with the hammer in my hand,
Lawd, Lawd, I’ll die with the hammer in my hand.”
More hammer explorations will be discussed in future posts.