Happy Poetry Friday! To celebrate my inaugural post in this, my new Friday slot, I've included a poem at the end of today's blog post. You'll find a link to today's Poetry Friday round-up there, too.
First, though, I need to talk about our next TeachingAuthors topic. Jill, Jeanne Marie, and April started the year by discussing ways to "get back into the writing groove" after being away from it for awhile. As a follow-up, today I was supposed to talk about the pros and cons of having a writing routine. By "Writing Routine," I mean a specific, preplanned time set aside for writing and/or writing-related tasks, such as research.
I figured this topic would be a no-brainer for me. I thrive on having a regular routine. Last fall, I blogged about my "typical" writing day: how I try to get up around 6-6:30 in the morning and start working as soon after breakfast as possible, without checking email or Facebook. And how, since I have a hard time resisting email, I set a timer and don't allow myself to look at email until I've put in 2-4 hours of work. [By the way, my favorite timer is online, at the Mindfulness Bell site. You can use the site to set a chime that sounds periodically, for example, every 15 minutes (perhaps to remind yourself to blink while staring at the screen), or you can set the chime for a specific time by using the "reminder" option at the bottom of the page.]
As luck would have it, though, I'm currently unable to follow my normal writing routine. Instead, I'm helping my husband care for his 87-year-old father, who is staying with us while he recovers from pneumonia. I'm still setting timers, but now they're to remind me to give Dad one of his meds, or to wake him from a nap so he can get ready for his therapy appointment. I love my father-in-law dearly, and I'm happy to be able to help him this way. Now that he's starting to feel better, I'm hoping to get back into some sort of writing routine again soon. Meanwhile, I've been stealing moments to catch up on some reading, and to participate in the Annual Blog Comment Challenge. The challenge is a great way to discover new blogs, and it's not too late to sign up, if you're interested.
I'm also beginning to realize that poems are something I can write in small snatches of time. Actually, I was inspired by something Dad said the other day to scribble a few lines. Thanks to April's brave example of sharing her poems-in-progress, I'm sharing the following poem with all of you even though it's far from polished. I hope you'll be as kind to me in your comments as you've been to April. :-)
Before sharing my poem, I want to remind you to read Esther's Student Success Story interview with Brenda Ferber. You're sure to be inspired by Brenda's persistence, despite 70 rejections!, to finally sell her wonderful picture book, The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever (Dial). And be sure to enter for a chance to win your own autographed copy.
Okay, I won't put it off any longer. Here's my poem. As I mentioned, it was inspired by my father-in-law, who has been a widower for a little over a year. I had noticed he often stared off into space, and I feared he was beginning to lose his faculties. Then, out of the blue, he explained that he sometimes missed out on parts of the conversation because he was actually deep in reverie.
I miss what you say
because I'm daydreaming,
remembering happy times
Our long bike rides,
camping trips all over the country,
ballroom dancing in matching outfits.
Fifty-seven years of memories.
I miss my wife.
poem ©2013 Carmela Martino. All rights reserved
Got to go now. My chime just went off. Time to get Dad up from his nap. Maybe Mary Ann will talk about the pros/cons of writing routines when she posts on Monday. :-) Meanwhile, you can find some tips on developing your own routine in this post at poetryNprogress.