Let’s call today a Saturday Sampler, a little bit of everything, a lot of jumping from project to project and idea to idea, from rest to activity, from social to solitary, from reading to writing to drawing to taking photos, from sun to wind to rain. That was a good thing for me. Although I am incredibly grateful for this time and opportunity (and I am making the most of the concentrated time, believe me), I am getting to the point where I miss my husband and home, especially since tomorrow is our 29th wedding anniversary. It is a testament to him and our relationship that he is okay with me taking this kind of time to do something that is important to me. No words I have are enough to describe how lucky and blessed I am to have him in my life.
[Pause for a deep breath – crying alone in a writing studio would be weird…okay, all better now. Back to our regular post…]
Had a nice lunch today with the two remaining residents, talking art and writing and just generally enjoying conversation, something we all have had very little of this week. But then? Back to work! Today I tried three different things that were on my “I’d like to try this if I had time” list.
First, I read some public domain text from Project Gutenberg (I used a suggestion from Found Poetry Review, a chapter in a 1905 book about pistols that dealt with the rules of dueling) and used some of the phrases to create a strange draft about a porn film director. (Don’t ask me why…can’t answer.) I forget what a wealth of strange and wonderful text is in Project Gutenberg -I need to use it more often.
Second, I took some photographs that I printed and then did contour drawings over. I had remembered doing this in high school with magazine photos, so I thought I would try it with my own. Here is my best attempt:
Third, I did several pages of automatic writing, starting with a word or phrase from my reading and setting a timer for five minutes, not allowing myself to stop writing even if I had to switch gears in the middle of a sentence. It got easier as I went along, and as I went back to read the pages a few hours later, there are some phrases and word combinations that I liked quite a bit that I can now pull into more focused and concentrated drafts. (The bonus? Now I have some fodder for times that I am stuck during the next few days…)
(I also prepared and sent a few more submissions out today. It is so time-consuming that I figure I will get as many as possible done here so that I can use my time when I get home to be writing new work and revising the things I am creating here.)
These experiments were a good lesson. As writers, we can get “set” in our ways, using the same inspirations or processes over and over again or just waiting for inspiration to strike. Actively pursuing language and forcing the writing muscles to work are both time-consuming but ultimately worth it. Now I’m good to go for something golden in my remaining five days.
(Today’s post title from the song “Saturday” by Fall Out Boy.)