29 January 2009
27 January 2009
25 January 2009
22 January 2009
The following is the poem written and recited by Elizabeth Alexander at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.
All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.
Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.
We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.
I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.
Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.
10 January 2009
The most inconsequential detail can end up having huge dramatic impact, taking the plot in a completely different direction from what you'd considered, or changing the relationship between characters in a subtle but fundamental way. It can keep the story from following much-treaded paths. One detail can change absolutely everything.
08 January 2009
04 January 2009
- Read (at least) two books each month, and keep a better record of what I've read.
- Write (at least) 7500 productive words a month (may be supplemented with editing). At least half of written words each month must be fiction.
- Do a better job of staying "in the know" when it comes to the publishing industry.
- Follow my 2009 business plan to strengthen CSW.
- Experiment with a different genre/writing style each month (calendar forthcoming).