The Seal

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For class we were asked to deconstruct this poem. I felt like it was a little too serious (though beautiful) so I put all of the words into an alphabetical list generator and started from scratch using the words (I also stole a few letters from unused words to make a word or two). Here is what I came up with:

We sent the seal heavenly tunes,
But when he listens, he finds-

Affliction
Despair
Shadow
Weight

In short, ’twas anything but…

I Just Want to be Maurice Sendak

I have been given an unconventional project this week that is causing me more than a little heartburn. For anyone who is in my Digital Composition class, you might be thinking that I am concerned about our plagiarism assignment. Actually, it is something a bit more intimidating…my husband has asked me to write him a children’s book.

“So what’s the big deal?” you may ask.

Well in no particular order, here is a list of issues:

1) This book is supposed to be finished by my husband’s birthday…which gives me exactly13 days to write and edit it. Talk about pressure!

2) My husband intends to publish it. He is an artist and has been trying to get me to write a children’s book for him to illustrate for years. I think he fancies us as some sort of Stan and Jan Berenstain, which might be a bit of a stretch.

3) It has been my dream to write a children’s book since I was a child (well either that or to write for Reader’s Digest). Now I am aware that when most people think of children’s literature, things like Go Dog Go come to mind. This is of course a great beginner book, but not exactly the most imaginative writing. If I were just setting out to write another Go Dog Go, my task would be simple. But of course, I want to write a truly timeless piece of children’s literature. Something a little more like Chicken Soup With Rice or Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

And last, but not least:

4) I am the worst kind of perfectionist. It could take me a whole month to write a poem, let alone a simple children’s book. In some ways this blog has been incredibly therapeutic and helped me work through my perfectionistic tendencies – but writing for any public audience is revealing and a bit like jumping into the deep end of the pool when you are a horrible swimmer (which I am).

Despite all of these reasons, I am grateful that I have such a wonderful and supportive husband. He challenges me to step outside of who I think I am capable of being every time I turn around and I want to write this book for him. Actually, I want to write this book for me more than I even want to write it for him.

So now, how do I go about accomplishing this incredible task? Well, I am thinking of approaching it in poem form because it somehow seems less daunting for a first book (though of course it’s late and I could quite possibly be sleep deprived). I’m honestly not sure where I am going with it yet, but I would love any and all suggestions anyone may have. If I manage to get it done sometime in the next millennium I will try to post an excerpt or two, and maybe a picture to go along with it.

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Nature Calling

This week in my literature class we have been reading poetry, and I have been focusing particularly on William Wordsworth. His poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” has had a profound effect on me this week. For anyone who has never read this poem, you can read it here.

The heart of the poem is that nature is good for the soul. I discovered this meaning as I was sitting on the couch staring at a glowing IPad screen trying to write a blog post about it. Talk about irony.

It occurred to me that I haven’t spent much time outside in the last few weeks. Instead I have been holed up waiting for winter to end and staring at a glowing screen while working on school work. I am realizing what a toll this has taken on my soul. I have been cranky and tired and frankly, bored. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving school, but sometimes I feel like I am tied to my IPad in a way that is a little unhealthy – especially last week during midterms.

I finally decided that I didn’t care if it was cold, I was still going to bundle up the kids and go run around in the backyard. Of course, the fresh air and exercise was just as good for them as it was for me. I felt energized the entire day and decided that even if it’s pouring rain, I am still going to at least go sit on my back porch once every day. I know it’s silly that it took a poem by a long dead poet to shake me out of my funk, but it did. So do yourself a favor, stop reading this blog post and go outside! It will do you a world of good.

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