Showing posts from November, 2012

Midnight Muse

Night is a blue velvet drape outside my bedroom window. Between the clicks of the baseboard heater the muse comes tapping. Long golden tresses flow over her shoulders. She is dressed in pale blue and green chiffon. Her slender hands pull me from dreams and needed sleep, luring me with poetic lines and dramatic scenes with irresistible characters.

I toss and turn, knowing it's hopeless to try and go back to sleep. Now the muse begins to hum, melodious tones spill from her mouth filling the room with the siren's song that calls me to my desk.

In that vaporous alley between midnight and dawn poems rise like mist over the ocean. My pen glides across the page as the muse whispers in my ear. Her hand braces my elbow nudging me to keep writing. All thoughts of sleep vanish in the verses and I keep writing until sunlight glints in the window behind me, chasing away the dark night shadows that spawn poetry and stories. As the shadows fade the muse disappears leaving me to continue the…

Writing Retreat

On a clear and crisp November weekend three members of my writers' group Tapestries venture out to the south fork of Long Island for our twice a year retreat. Staying at Sea Crest Resort in Amagansett we find the time to write and the support of other writers.

As the sun rises in the east I brew a pot of coffee, have breakfast, then go for a walk along the beach. The sand is soft beneath my sneakers. The waves roll softly into the shoreline and the seagulls' cries greet me. As I walk, characters appear in my mind, new plot lines unroll like the waves, and as questions are answered others arise. These will be raised to my fellow writers later today when we have our brainstorming session.

Back in our suite, I shower and get dressed, then settle at the kitchen table, notebook open, purple pen in hand poised above the blank page and begin to write. The time and silence in which to write is a rare gift for a writer, especially the three of us who all have full time jobs and familie…


In four days I will be driving out to Amagansett to attend a weekend retreat with two women from my writers' group. It will be a welcome getaway after a late season hurricane and an early snowstorm. Thankfully the resort we stay at, Sea Crest, has power, heat and minimal storm damage so they are open for business. Open to welcome us into a little suite with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living room and dining area.

We will take our pens, notebooks, and laptops and write away. In between meals and snacks we will create characters, weave plot lines, amp up suspense and tension, and hopefully make significant progress with our novels. We will also spend time brainstorming so we can give each other ideas for plot lines and character development. Writing is a solitary sport but sometimes three heads create more of a story!

So you may wonder why I called this post writing confusion. It's an old tale for me. I've been beating my head against the plot wall of my novel …


I enter poetry and find my self. The images and metaphors beat with my heart, the rhythms float on my breath, and the lessons in the verses are my life blood. I found poetry as a child hearing and reading nursery rhymes and soon began to write my own poems. As a more independent reader I discovered the humor of Ogden Nash and the world of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Child's Garden of Verses." In poetry I found my own private Camelot, a place of perfection. Inside the silence and solitude of writing poetry I record my world and learn about my own heart. I discovered Mary Oliver's astute descriptions of nature and Billy Collins' persepective on the everyday world. I ventured into the mystical realm of Rumi and Hafiz.

I travel away and into prose--fiction and essay, novels and memoirs, but always return to the land of poetry. I read it, write it, study it and read about writing it. It is my heart and soul and herein I will always abide.