The preparation is done, the centering of mind and heart by prayer, Bible study, or walking through nature and listening.
I sit down at my brown wooden desk in a dark room. The desk lamp lights only the paper. Everything else is back in the shadows. When I begin to write, my hand moves into the light.
The work of our hands is part of creation, because God’s work continues to be done in the world through human hands. Writers put words together and create sentences and stories, bringing the unspoken into the light and giving it form.
In the shadows I wait, listening until I see an image, hear an echo, or feel a presence. Then I wait for words to come that will root this into my time and place.
As words come, I write them down. When they stop, I set … Read More »
This past year I wrote a book. I worked hundreds of hours. I wrote at least 14,000 words and cut 7,500 of them. On weekday afternoons I worked while I listened to a babysitter play with my kids on the other side of the house. I spent Saturday mornings curled up on the couch in my pajamas sculpting sentences while my husband and kids were off at playgrounds and the zoo and the beach making memories without me.
I did it because it mattered. Getting those words down on the screen and then moving them and cutting them and blessing them—that holy work of telling a good story—was the work I’ve always longed to do. I gave myself to it, even though it meant sacrificing time with my family.
Sometimes I’m still not sure whether or not those sacrifices were worth … Read More »
Recently I was asked to visit a senior English class at the school where I teach World Religions. I was excited to be entering into conversation with students not just as their familiar teacher but as a ‘real poet.’ But as I was telling students about the writing life, when I was singing the usual song about how hard it is to write, and how I have to drag myself to do it sometimes, a student I knew quite well looked at me half in annoyance and half in genuine curiosity. He asked, “Then why do you do it?”
My brain sputtered. No one had asked me that, that directly, in a long time. I could have gotten dramatic and said because I have no other choice! It must come from my soul or surely I will perish! Instead I said … Read More »
My previous post launched my ongoing series about faith, writing, and what I keep calling (perhaps not very poetically, ironically enough) “the language of place”—specifically, my place, my native state, my home. California.
Well, I realized I might not have quite as good of a hold on my own idea as one would hope when, after I finished “explaining” my topic to someone recently, he said, “So it’s about slang?”
Nah, dude. Not exactly.
But OK then, what is it about? The truth is, not completely knowing is part of why I write. The act of writing is an act of exploration, as is (in my experience) the act of having faith. Not to mention the act of living day to day on the shaky ground and in the smog-laced atmosphere of the Golden State.
Commenting on my last post, in which I … Read More »
yesterday, CT’s site ran a fine review of MAKING MANIFEST, which was released digitally this week in a revised edition. check out the review here and tell everyone you know about it!
in SAN FRANCISCO? know someone who is?
come spend the weekend writing, making friends, and seeing things differently!
tell everyone you know!
near SACRAMENTO on september 19 & 20? come out and join the party!
If you have been exposed to adolescents at all in the past year and half, then you are sure to be familiar with the popular twitter hashtag: #YOLO. For those who are unfamiliar with the acronym, it means “You Only Live Once” and has become the “Carpe Diem” anthem for the current generation.
#YOLO soared to popularity in late 2011 with the release of the rapper Drake’s song “The Motto” which boasts the lyrics, “You only live once / that’s the motto…YOLO.” Teens started using the hashtag on twitter and other social media sites not to encourage one another to “live life to the fullest” in an old-school Carpe Diem sense, but rather to justify impulsive decisions. For example, you might see this on your twitter feed: “Haha I got soooo wasted last night. Oh well #YOLO.” Or this: “Man I … Read More »
[ in this post, dirk devries discusses his feelings about being pulled between two muses—poetry and photography. ]
I live with divided passion. I am in love with both word and image. I am both poet and photographer.
It isn’t always an easy relationship. I question my ability to do justice to either. Would I be an outstanding photographer if I channeled all my creative energy toward image? Would my poetry take off if the time spent in photo-making were reserved for writing? Both require constant practice as well as attentive soul-time.
The truth is, I will likely never advance as far as I might with either as long as I continue to devote time to both. But I am okay with this; it’s a compromise I accept, because I find, in the merging of the two, that I create something uniquely … Read More »
in these interviews, dave harrity fleshes out his vision for his book “making manifest: on faith, creativity, and the kingdom at hand”
making manifest interviews (parts 1 + 2 + 3)