Keep, Save, & Make, part 1

“How to keep, save, & make your life with poems” was my publisher’s tagline, not mine. I would not have thought of it. As I’ve sat with these words for the last three months, since The Joy of Poetry came out, I have come to believe they are … [Read more]

26 June 2016

Found poem from the words of poet Jane Kenyon, at The Writer's Almanac, 23 May 2016, on her birthday.   Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have … [Read more]

19 June 2016

Waiting for the end of the world   We stop on the way to the island to buy food. We know a hurricane   is coming. They say to hole up with beer & Pop Tarts. I brought with me a bottle of Becker. Now I buy … [Read more]

Creating Joy: she’s not here

If you'd like to catch up on the first three parts of the series, they are here, here, and here. This is the last day. The day before I ascended my manuscript into my publisher's hands, I performed a ritual I use when writing something big for the … [Read more]

12 June 2016

She took my final order. Brought me my first martini. Served me my last dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.   She was at least my dad's age, 70, which is why we were there, where we'd dined for, oh, 35 years. "She … [Read more]

Creating Joy: write with pauses

I'm writing about the process of creating The Joy of Poetry. If you're interested, part 1 and part 2 are here. I had that talk with my publisher around the start of Lent 2015. As I sat in the Ash Wednesday service near the school kids, fidgeting … [Read more]

5 June 2016

Oh, to be the dock, the port to which foreign ships visit!   To wake up in the same bed Walk the same dogs Kiss the same man   Let others adventure, then come here. Sit by the bay. Share your stories Have a glass … [Read more]

Creating Joy: get another elephant

Last week I wrote about the origin story of my book, The Joy of Poetry. If all had gone as planned once I got the assignment, I'm sure I'd have more to say about those initial nine months of writing. Instead, as I look back I can see I was grabbing … [Read more]

29 May 2016

There must have always been foxes around the garden homes, rabbits crossing the morning road, ducks playing in storm drain puddles. What else have I not noticed? Snakes? Martians? A medal from the elementary school, sorely … [Read more]

Creating Joy: just another assignment

  Hello, fellow writers! All of you who are process nerds, this series is for you. I'm going to talk about my writing process for The Joy of Poetry. I love to hear how other writers work and am hoping you enjoy the same kind of thing. … [Read more]