Writing Lately

On the fitness front, yesterday I had an excellent 5k run at the gym. After three months, running is finally starting to feel natural. And my thighs and lungs have noticed.

A former colleague has self-published a post-apocalyptic zombie serial. If that toots your horn, the first book is available this week for free download on a variety of platforms. Writers gotta help out other writers, yo.

That said, focusing on my writing and throwing it out there to be published is another aspect of the self I am/self I want to become deficit I mentioned yesterday. Blogging is a step to writing more freely, more regularly. But I haven’t touched my creative writing for a while, and that’s where my writing could really use the practice. As an editor, I’m surrounded by other people’s words every day, and though they typically deal with the relatively dry topic of high school mathematics, there are still opportunities for creativity there. For the past three years, I have been gently coaxing flavor out of these 1,000+ page textbooks, quietly enlivening the problem scenarios to give students a bit more variety, a slightly spiced math education. It is no substitute for my own free reign of creative writing, but every small bit of exposure to words is another opportunity to amp up the skill set. Some days, I am reminded of John Ashbery’s “The Instruction Manual,” which begins:

As I sit looking out of a window of the building
I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.
I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace,   
And envy them—they are so far away from me!
Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule.   
And, as my way is, I begin to dream, resting my elbows on the desk and leaning out of the window a little,
Of dim Guadalajara! City of rose-colored flowers!

And so it is that every poet, author, creative type dreams about the world beyond when they’re meant to be doing something else. Whether it is the internal, created world or a freely existing world depends on the writer. Usually it’s the former, that richly imagined wonderland where anything is possible. But for me it’s a bit of both—travel fans the writing flames.

Speaking of which, in a week I will be cruising the Caribbean with my parents. They leave today for their first cruise, then are piggybacking it with a second for which I’ll be joining them. Heat, ocean, sand: bring it! This spring has been arriving slowly; we are supposed to get snow today. I am hoping this jaunt satisfies the travel bug for a while and, at least temporarily, quiets the dreaming.

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