Sunday, November 29, 2009
This advice from the poet Linda Gregg seems applicable for prose writers, too.
She's written this piece, The Art of Finding, as a prose poem. This is how it begins:
I believe that poetry at its best is found rather than written.
Traditionally, and for many people even today, poems have been
admired chiefly for their craftsmanship and musicality, the
handsomeness of language and the abundance of similes, along with
the patterning and rhymes. I respect and enjoy all that, but I would
not have worked so hard and so long at my poetry if it were primarily
the production of well-made objects, just as I would not have sacrificed
so much for love if love were mostly about pleasure.
If you'd like to read the rest follow the link above.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Next year I might be home, my table set with the china my mom gave me, her silver, the crystal from my stepsister, the candlesticks from my grandmother whose name I now claim as my own, and I hope it's not too late to persuade the people who used to share that table to come back. I hope too, there will be new people at the table and that we might even round up a mystery guest or two as we have done many years in the past.
Of course, I'm at the stage of life where my children have dispersed. By next Thanksgiving, it's quite likely, they will be flung across the country in three different states and maybe we won't all be at the same table. I may become a new version of a Thanksgiving pilgrim, traveling from turkey to turkey.
Or maybe not. Maybe my Thanksgiving dinner will be much smaller next year. Two cornish hens instead of a turkey. I really don't know what the future holds.
That's why I'm thankful right now--for this first Thanksgiving in Ragdale, for new friends, for all of the old friends, for family, for all of the people I love.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sometimes it's hard to put a frame around a story. What does a writer leave in or leave out when constructing a short story or a novel? This real life story, I find, is presenting the same challenge.
Maybe I will review the time frame for the judge:
Mr. Ex told me he wanted to leave me and marry someone else on Sunday, July 29, 2007.
By mid-August, he still hadn't filed for divorce though plans for his wedding were going forward, so I filed.
We received the final decree of divorce on July 31, 2008 which worked out well since Mr. Ex got married six weeks later. It was the fact of bifurcation that allowed that decree of divorce to be issued because Mr. Ex and I were nowhere near settling our financial affairs.
And ever since then I have been pushing, pulling, pleading, cajoling for him to give me the half that's mine.
Judge, I invited him to DINNER and brought him a peace offering--a book about WWII that I knew he would like. (April 8, 2009) and we actually AGREED.
But yet there's been no progress with the division of joint assets because Mr. Ex has NOT been at all helpful in providing necessary information. NOT AT ALL.
Really Judge, THIS HAS BEEN DIFFICULT AND I HAVE PURSUED HIM THROUGH TRYING TIMES to no avail. I've called him and emailed him repeatedly trying to pry information out of him. I spent a week correcting the woefully out of date list of assets that he generated. I've had to research and explain to him the finer points of an irrevocable trust. This mess has gone on so long that Mr. Ex and his new wife have had time to conceive and bear a CHILD. The kiddo will be sprouting teeth before we know it and still no division of joint assets.
Judge, I have humbled myself greatly and asked Mr. Ex's older brother to please intervene. I told Mr. Ex I thought we should bring other friends and family members into the discussion (this got me answers to two emails). I have called Mr. Ex as I stood on a bridge weeping while begging for mercy and contemplating jumping. I've bought him a Mont Blanc Pen and asked him to please use it to sign the document that will allow for the division of our joint assets.
Judge, other than my sandwich board idea where I parade up and down in front of his building wearing a message that reads Mr. Ex Unfair to Ex-Wife, I'm out of tricks. So really Judge, I don't know why this case has endured for so long without resolution. Can you call Mr. Ex and ask him? You already have? Ah--you left a voicemail and he hasn't called you back?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
But it upsets me that he doesn't answer my emails. I don't email him often.
It's not hard to answer an email.
So here's what I'm asking. If you read this blog, have a go at answering the 2 emails below. (Just put your responses in the comments section) Maybe it will ease my mind and I'll stop checking my inbox.
My humblest thanks.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed by Petitioner in the matter on August 23, 2007. Respondent filed his response on September 7, 2007.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have softened the hurt with milky tea and roses. With beer in green glass bottles. With airplane gin. With red wine, the oak lingering on a lover’s tongue segueing to the morning’s kisses and espresso. I’ve softened the hurt at my mother’s kitchen table, in the company of Iowa songbirds and in my daughters’ cars on I-80, and the Lincoln Highway. I’ve softened the hurt lying on the floor with dogs, around the Monopoly board, with a handful of Canasta, and breathing in the dark with a grandchild in the crook of my arm. The hurt, the hurt. The hurt of a bed too wide wrestled and lost to dirt trails and ragged steps cut out of mountainsides leading to blinding white chapels high above the Aegean. The hurt lost to ancient stones and bridges spanning dark waters, to blizzard and dessert, to lake and plain. I am a traveler now, and the hurt tried to find me but I'm the one who is finding, finding, finding.