Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brought to you by South Korea

Inspired by my friend Cathy Tenzo, who writes a haiku a day

& has recently begun posting a work of art each day

I give you my latest work of (visual) art, which is not yet titled. It will be, however. As a word girl, calling something untitled #37 or somesuch is anathema to me.

This week I have been happily e-corresponding with a couple marvelous students (plus their equally-marvelous teacher) from South Korea. It is always an honor to have my work chosen for school projects, but there is a sense of unreality when it is from halfway around the globe. Yet it is real, & so easy, in these days of email & blogs.

Here is one of the questions I was asked & my answer:

I love the question about how I am influenced when I am writing poetry. It made me think. There are many ways. Here are a few:

1. I have a great imagination and am never short of ideas. Maybe that's why I write science fiction and fantasy, New ideas just show up on a regular basis, sparked by a new science discovery or putting 2 things together that aren't usually associated or just a word. I read the word "cyclops" in a friend's poem the other day and got the idea of wondering what the mother of the first cyclops thought when her baby was born, and other strange, mythical babies, like a baby centaur and such.

2. Emotions. When I'm upset about something or really joyful, poetry is a place to turn to, to either work through the emotion or revel in it.

3. Simple images of everyday life can strike me--like how it feels to hold a little warm dog on your lap (I have one of my grand-dogs, which belongs to my son and daughter-in-law, on my lap right now) and how that simple relationship is as important as a poem. Or striking, unique images, like the year Montana (where I grew up) had such beautiful sunsets because there was a horrific fire in the United State's first National Park, Yellowstone Park. All the ash and dust in the air made the sunsets spectacular--but when you knew the reason for it, the beauty had a dark side.

4. I just love words. They talk to me and I talk back.

5. Reading the poems of other poets can really speak to my mind and my heart and my soul and come out through my fingers, in a notebook or on a computer.

That's probably more than you wanted, but it was fun for me.

Now, on to the rest of my day.

Blog alternative: (Which, as some of you may not know, is my suggestion for things to do rather than surfing the net or reading blogs. Ridiculous that it comes in a blog, but you can easily skip reading this & make your own list...)

294. Look at a map or a globe. Do you know someone in another country? Send them a note. Or write a note to an imaginary friend in the country of your choice & tell them what your day is like & ask them things you'd like to know about theirs. Email the note to yourself. I wouldn't be surprised if you serendipitously get back the answer to at least one of your questions, by seeing it in a magazine or on television or overhearing a conversation between strangers. Bonus points if you graciously (if it's appropriate) let the strangers know they gave you a gift. Who knows, you may end up with a real friend from another country.