Bits and Pieces of Living

At least October’s poetry writing month is over so I don’t have to feel guilt about not writing much. We are now into the big novel writing month, which I don’t participate in, having NO clue how to write a novel. I’m still spending more time revising, organizing, and submitting than I am writing anything original.

I’m also reading several new-to-me poems a day. I’m reading at least one novel, two memoirs, and one children’s book right now.

And I’m getting my morning pages done by bedtime.

But I also am juggling work-work, home-work, and cat-work, as well as trying to fit in the other bits and pieces of The Artist’s Way.

And I cannot stop my hit or miss exercising, which mainly consists of stationery cycling, some stretches, and a few weights.

It sounds like a lot, and it is, so can I keep it up? Through the holidays? HAHAHAHA.

All this and worries about what recipe to use for gluten free stuffing.

I almost forget the most exciting thing. I discovered Christopher Buckley’s poetry. I guess there is a political person with that name, but this is Christopher Buckley the poet. Here’s a sample.

Getting There

Time to give up
grieving my mother’s loss,
faulting my father and
his Neolithic moral certitude
about every detail
on the evening news,
his general absence
hanging like the gray
sheets on the line.
Never mind how
mismatched in the heart,
I should be grateful
they were there at all,
for that moment
that childhood stretched
like fog, the beach empty
and unmarked.
It comes to little now
who I forgive, mourn,
or thank. The dust shifts
and we are barely
suspended in the light.
I know this little thing:
there’s a boy somewhere
in a station where
the trains still run,
wearing scuffed brown shoes,
gray overcoat, and cap;
someone has neatly parted
and combed his hair.
He is waiting
to be taken by the hand
and told where we are going,
to hear we are headed home—
though I can see nothing
beyond the smoke
and midnight haze
at the far end
of the platform,
where I am not
even sure of the stars.
Poetry (May 2012)
I do love how this poem speaks to the importance of our childhood experiences of family and place.
For the week ahead: Go get ’em, Tiger! (Haha, does that date me or what?) And, no, dear Tiger is not involved in that expression. Tiger says hi from her outdoor playpen.


Filed under #amrevising, Family history, Memoir, Poetry, Reading, Submissions, Writing, Writing Talk

49 responses to “Bits and Pieces of Living

  1. I have a kitty who loves to go outside, or would love to go outside. None of mine are allowed outside. I’m too afraid they will run off. But Sylvie lounges by the window dreaming about being outside. You’ve given me a good idea with the playpen outside. I may have to try something like that and see if she likes it. Thanks for the idea, Tiger! Love the poem. I will have to check out his other work. Have a good week, Luanne! See you around:)

    • So, here’s my thing with the cats. Pear Blossom and Tiger get to go out in the playpen. They are the oldest and are not interested in being loose outdoors. The others don’t get to because they were easily converted to indoor only and if they get a taste of the outdoors again it could make them a little unpredictable around the door when people go in and out. That happened when a pet sitter decided to put Kana out on a leash years ago and it happened again when Sloopy Anne actually got out by accident. Now she is not that trustworthy near a door. She had too much fun going from treetop to treetop, taunting me. She has no idea about the coyotes and the bobcat and the birds of prey.
      Thank you, Cheryl. You have a good week, too!

      • Ooh! You are so right! I guess I shouldn’t even try that since Sylvie already runs for the door when it’s opened. I just know how she feels because I could not handle being inside all the time. Sometimes I feel bad because I took her from the wild outdoors that she obviously loves and craves so much. What is that quote from The Little Prince? Something like you become responsible forever for what you have tamed.
        And I feel that so strongly.

        • It’s a real dilemma, but I agree that we are responsible for them and that they don’t always understand all the dangers. I am a member of a couple of Facebook cat groups, and the amount of cats hit by cars, attacked by predators, and poisoned is staggering. I’d rather my guys live long contented lives inside than meeting a horrific fate at age four. Also, we are very physically close, so I don’t want my kitties bringing nasty stuff into my bed, couch, arms–dead animals, even regurgitated, worms, etc. I am sorry for being so disgusting, but the reality is I want the cats in my family to be civilized, which is why Perry, quite the little Huckleberry Finn to begin with, had to be tamed ;).

  2. Oh for a smidgeon of your discipline!

  3. Good luck with all your work and projects. I’ve seen on Twitter that some people are doing a November poetry thing, similar to the novel writing one.
    I like the poem, too. 🙂

    • Haha, gee, thanks for that info, Merril! NOT! That would be too much to add to my plate right now and with Mom coming, too. Are you going to do the November one? Or would you consider that you do it year round?!!!! Yeah, I am really digging his poetry. Now I need to see if his books are at the library in ebook format.

  4. You’ll get it all done, Luanne…don’t stress. Tiger looks nice and cozy!

  5. Love the poem. For me it reaffirms that parents aren’t perfect but they are what we have. My cats would not tolerate that confinement but the again they are prissy things with a mind of their own (and a screened porch!). Your schedule sounds exhausting to me!

    • That’s how I read the poem, too. I love the lines “Never mind how / mismatched in the heart.” It reminds me of so many couples although not really my own parents.
      Haha, I won’t keep up this schedule all the time!

  6. I will tackle The Artist’s Way in 2020. I solemnly swear. You really do amaze with your plans and ambitions and successes.

    • WOW! I love this!!! I’m thrilled for you. OK, is that January or December 2020? Just checking . . . .
      Thanks, Susanne. Keeping going for me is a matter of having ADHD. I have a variant where you can hyper focus so as long as I go into hyperfocus mode, I’m good. But I have to make lists and follow them every single day except on vacation or family is here for holidays. When I don’t follow my lists, I am super unfocused and bouncing off walls. 🙂

  7. I got tired just reading about everything you’re doing and mean to do 😉 A couple of our cats we used to take out in the back yard on a leash and harness: Joshua because then he could spray the bushes and not our furniture to his heart’s content; and Mikey just because he loved to lie in the sun. Fortunately our three have adapted well to indoor life and don’t try to get out … at least not in a long time 😉 Have a good week, Luanne!

    • Oh, Joshua. Sigh.
      Yes, ours have adapted very well to being indoors. I have only recently been taking out the two old ones a little bit for fresh air because they are old, it won’t get them “started” to wanting to go out, and I want them to have a little stimulation in their lives because they don’t find enough themselves indoors. The gardener isn’t real in favor of it as he thinks the air has too many particulates (it does) and will make them get respiratory issues. :/
      You have a great one, Marie!

  8. I gave up on gluten-free stuffing. I was the only one who craved it anyway, and anything else slathered in gravy!

    I’m featuring your dear “Kin Types” on my blog on Wednesday!

    • Everybody here wants the stuffing!!! They will allow it to be gluten-free, but they demand stuffing!
      Oh, Joy, that is so sweet of you! I can’t wait to read your post!!!! Thank you so much!

  9. I relate to your busy schedule! And I love the poem too. We see life as so linear, but I wonder sometimes if it’s not just a mosaic of timeless moments like these he presents in his poem.

  10. You do sound very busy, but hopefully it will all lead to a very productive autumn and winter!

  11. We raised two feral kitties that never went outside after they were discovered. They would not go near the door. The big world was too exciting for them. We have always had cayotes around so no need to tempt them with a nice cat morsel.

  12. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone took our hands and told us where we’re going?
    Very cool poem.

  13. That was good–continue it through the holidays! I wish!

  14. Thanks for sharing the thoughtful poem. Seems like you’re managing to squeeze it all in, somehow. Good for you!

  15. That poem was goooooood. I liked it for the same reason you did.
    Also, it’s only November 4, you don’t have to dread it yet 😉

  16. I would love to drink a book. But thanks for the poem. It slaked my thirst for the time being. 🙂

    I admire that you, a person so busy with so many non-writing tasks, can get so much writing done.

    Go get ’em, Tiger!

  17. Another cat lover!! 💕

    The line in your post “And I’m getting my morning pages done by bedtime” pretty well said it all!

  18. That’s how I feel every morning! A sense of urgency that I have so much to do and so little time to do it all. My morning pages are often one page. I’m learning to let go of things that won’t stop the world from turning. Do what you can but give yourself time to breathe. I could not do those writing challenges any month before Christmas. Maybe February would work. I might try that month to start on my memoir. 😉

  19. Cool place, Tiger. I don’t have my own bedroom. My human just uses the stuffing recipe that comes with the butterball turkey (very tasty by the way) and substitutes the cornbread with gluten-free cornbread Aldi’s sells good cornbread mixes that are gluten-free. I did sneak some once, and it was good. But the turkey is better.

    • Haha, of course! We don’t have Aldi’s. I looked at the grocery store. No gluten free stuffing mix. Maybe Whole Foods or Sprouts. If I make my own it will be expensive. All that GF bread!

  20. I am new to your blog, but I so enjoyed reading this. I absolutely loved the poem. It is inspiring to hear how you juggle so many things at once! We are entering that very busy time of the year, so every bit of inspiration is a good thing!

    • Oh, I’m so glad that you love the poem! I am finding a good one to post this coming Monday :). Sometimes I take on too much and don’t allow enough rest time!!! But then I am gearing up for the holidays, too, and want to get stuff done ahead of time. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  21. What a wonderful outdoor playpen; I have never seen one before! I love hearing about your activities, and I get inspired. 🙂

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