And the Winner Is…

Today I reached and surpassed the 50,000 word challenge set and accepted by Nanowrimo enthusiasts worldwide. There’s a day left and more words to be written to finish the novel, but a draft in hand is worth ten on the backburner. As Author Holly Robinson put it:

You have to write a book before you can revise it, and you have to wade through lots of junk to get to the good stuff.

I invite you and your novel to come win with us next year!

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Poetry Road Trip!

I’m posting this list of Poetry Landmarks as a placeholder. Too bad only one of them is located in one of the nine remaining states to visit in my quest to sleep in all 50 states. Good on you, Massachusetts for having the most poetry landmarks of all the states!

Taken from the National Poetry Almanac, a project of the Academy of American Poets

1. Berkley Poetry Walk, Berkeley, CA
2. City Lights Book Shop, San Francisco, CA
3. Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Carmel, CA
4. Wallace Stevens’s hometown, Hartford, CT
5. Homes of Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, Wallace Stevens, Tennessee Williams, & Shel Silverstein, Key West, FL
6. Sidney Lanier Cottage, Macon, GA
7. Carl Sandberg Cottage, Galesburg, IL
8. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Chicago, IL
9. Langston Hughes’s hometown, Lawrence, KS
10. Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum, Guthrie, KY
11. Emily Dickinson’s home, Amherst, MA
12. The Search for Anne Bradstreet, Essex County, MA
13. Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Cambridge, MA
14. George Edward Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
15. The Longfellow House, Cambridge, MA
16. McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA
17. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s home, Camden, ME
18. Theodore Roethke’s house, Saginaw, MI
19. Robert Hayden’s bus route, Ann Arbor, MI
20. Dixon Bar, Dixon, MT
21. The Frost Place, Franconia, NH
22. Walt Whitman House, Camden, NJ
23. William Carlos Williams’s hometown, Rutherford, NJ
24. George Moses Horton’s home, Chatham County, NC
25. American Poets’ Corner, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York, NY
26. Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY
27. White Horse Tavern, New York, NY
28. Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Dayton, OH
29. James Wright’s hometown, Martins Ferry, OH
30. The California Gulch Trail, La Grande, OR 31. Marianne Moore Collection, Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, PA

Practice Trumps Talent

…One day, I ran into something I did not understand and instead of giving up, I pushed through… That day was a turning point for me. It was the last time I thought that whether or not I was successful depended on my talent or intelligence. It really comes down to hard work people. Ever since then, I have attacked each thing that I do not understand until I understand it. John Noonemaker

Time Off For Behavior

We’re heading to a retreat with church this weekend. The plan is to write longhand and dictate to Day One Journal when I have bathroom breaks and a strong enough signal. The last retreat we attended revealed little appreciation on other’s part that writing could be one’s ministry and a form of thanksgiving to God. I think I should at least manage 750 words each day to keep my streak going and then add my daily words on the My Nanowrimo site.

Be Encouraged

Just checking in to wish all the other Wrimos out there words flowing with purpose and panache! I’ve just tried laying out paperback and eBook versions of what I’ve got so far – to encourage myself that I can reach the 50K words in 30 days goal – on lulu.com & fastpencil.com It makes editing easier, especially on an iPad if you click on the eBook beta format. I also pass along the wise words received in today’s Note From The Universe: Declare and exclaim your intentions and then, git ‘er done!

Fear, My Heart’s No Longer Your Home

Kirk Franklin weaves this sentiment throughout his beautiful psalm, Hello, Fear. It’s a great farewell to one’s past. I heard it yesterday after attending a webinar offered by the Conscious Consortium, a community of people committed to changing business as we know it. Giving myself permission to be who I am and was meant to be, in the company of like-minded travelers, changed my perspective at once. For example, the simplest act of making breakfast was turned into a victory.

I was making a frittata. I had chopped the potatoes, onions, red pepper and put the three eggs through the bullet to make them fluffy. Using a new oil-free fry pan, I was browning one side of the omelette before turning it over. I remembered that I had seen chefs in New Orleans flip their omelettes high into the air and catch them in the same pan over a blazing fire. I had done the same in the past, perhaps with a little less showmanship, but I had succeeded. It’d been years since I been in the kitchen though, and I wasn’t certain I still had it. Hearing the self limitation, I decided to go for it. After all, what did I have to lose? I cleared a space on the counter wiped it off in case it fell I decided I didn’t want to clean up the stove if that were to be and I didn’t want to have to get on my knees if it were to fall on the floor so I flipped it over the dishwasher counter. But flip it I did – and caught it – no fuss, no muss.

I’m beginning to believe that much of life can be just this way. We can give ourselves permission to soar. We can give ourselves permission to know that we know what we know. We can dare to shine privately and in public. So, next challenge: I’m writing a novel this month. What miracles are you up to?