It’s been a long while since I kicked myself in the bum and said “Get to work.”
But I’m ready.
My 2018 poetry goal is to complete drafts of at least 3 poems a week.
Not 3 masterpieces. Just 3 drafts.
I’m giving myself permission to write crap if crap is all that comes out.
But if I allow myself to get out of the way and just write, the truth is, there is usually something salvageable there.
One way to get out of my own way and give myself permission to write is to do writing exercises.
Writing exercises have a wonderful way of short circuiting my critical voice, and taking me from “planning mode” into just writing in the moment.
Here’s to all of us writing more and more freely in 2018!
Excited to officially announce the publication of Red Riding Hood’s Real Life: a novel in verse.
Makes a great holiday gift. 😉
If you’d like an autographed (or personally inscribed copy) please email me through the contact form on this website. $20 includes US Priority shipping.
Or, if you’d like both Red Riding Hood and Four Quarters: an homage to T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, $35 gets you both books with US Priority shipping.
Or you can order from Amazon, B&N, or IndieBound
A great new cozy mystery series by VM Burns, and the first book could be yours free! Enter the giveaway on GoodReads (link below).
I’ve been very depressed since November 8th of last year. It’s unusual to be able to pinpoint an actual beginning date to depression, but this time the cause was having my worldview, or at least my view of the country I live in, completely pummeled.
The explosion of racism and bigotry shocked me. It shouldn’t have. People of color have been getting beaten and murdered by the authorities for years. And there has been no justice. No universal outcry from those who live inside acceptably-toned skin.
But somehow, I didn’t think my friends and neighbors and relatives fell into the vile category of bigots and racists, or supporters of bigots and racists. After the election, I leaned so many do. I’m still not sure how to cope with that knowledge.
Racism and bigotry have been something I’ve had to deal with on a personal level my whole life. I’ve been called the n-word and the s-word, followed around by store detectives in department stores, and profiled in airports, being pulled out of line, wanded, and having my bags searched every time I flew anywhere (up until I hit about 47—guess I’ve gotten too old to be that dangerous?).
My entire life, people have asked, “What are you?” It’s a question with an agenda.
I’ve suffered bouts of depression throughout my life—some strictly biological, some related to what’s going on in my life, some related to the state of the world. And when the depression hits hard, it’s almost impossible for me to verbalize why I stop feeling able to go on and why even the most minute tasks—like brushing my teeth—require monumental psychic effort.
With the depression, comes marginal functionality, at best, and a complete inability to function creatively. I have been a nonwriting writer for many months. And you know what Kafka had to say about that: A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.
A lot of people who know me, would never know I am depressed. That’s because I hide it well. I don’t want to burden others with my depression. I don’t want to pass on negative energy. Being an introvert, I shun as much social interaction as I can get away with. But with depression, it’s that much harder.
Things came to a head at the end of this summer, as close to the edge of the abyss as I’ve come in a long time. I thought about ways to end it all, but thankfully, did not get beyond the thoughts.
I have inverse SAD, where exposure to sunshine incites my depression. This was my first summer in Oregon and it was unbearably sunny for weeks on end. People think it’s weird all I want to do all summer is hide inside. But I do it for survival. Part of the problem is, I guess, is I didn’t hide quite enough.
Now, major populations around the world and in our own country are being devastatingly impacted by fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. And the truth is, I feel guilty about wanting to feel better. I feel it’s wrong for me to start feeling better when the suffering for others is only getting worse.
But I do want to feel better. And I am finally taking active steps to do so. I appreciate all those in my life who continue to be supportive and empathetic. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
It was foggy where I was. Such a disappointment, to be in the path of totality and miss the coolest show on earth. And who knows if I’ll still be kicking around on earth when the next total solar eclipse rolls by. My next big wish is to see the Northern Lights.
So excited and grateful to have a poem selected from my book, Four Quarters: an homage to T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, for Verse Daily. You can see the poem here: Manhattan Island, part V — Lana Ayers