Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Your strength is your truth

The events are thus over the Memorial Day weekend: the walleye festival, baton twirlers, Johnson's Island, Marblehead Lighthouse. Graduation party. Company over for ribs. Joy in seeing Miss DWH's son carry his daughter - her granddaughter - on his shoulders, trotting back and forth on a small ridge beyond the pond. He looks a little like a happy Sasquatch. This is the same son who told Miss DWH her strength is her truth. Two girls talking.

Such is Miss DWH's writing habit: a mcquickie over lunch.

Sometimes it seems to Miss DWH that if she answers a question quickly, which she can and does but with less frequency as time passes, the answers generally don't mean anything to her.

She asks: Is she imparting wisdom? Her truth?

She notices when she talks about events, various happenings, this allows her to relieve pressure so she can sift down to the gold nugget thoughts.


Writing is floating in her little rowboat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Search for something meaningful to say

Last night Miss DWH writes on the yellow post-it pad by her bedside: the search for something meaningful to say.

This search is a bit like having the errant important thought that disappears like a dream (see previous post). What happened in the day, what thoughts were important enough to capture in words? Did Miss DWH have an original thought in her grey matter?

How can I know what I think until I see what I say? Miss DWH thinks EM Forster said this. It's one purpose of writing for Miss DWH - she has to write it out to see what's going in the subterranean depths of hers. Too bad it moves so slowly - hard to have a quick comeback when this is your thinking process!

This is not unlike Julie and Julia, where Julie has to cook to make sense of her life.


Yesterday Miss DWH stumbles on a site that says we should write from visions, such as Faulkner did when he saw a little girl sitting in a mud puddle and from this created The Sound and The Fury. But this writing from visions has never worked for her.

Once she told her younger son, then in 8th grade, that her imagination was not her strength.

Mom, he said, your strength is your truth.

Miss DWH writes from feeling, not from mental visions.


Do-gooder department: I want certain others to know I have faith in them like I want someone to have faith in me. I practiced this yesterday. Bravo!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easier to criticize than create

Miss Dwh has a thought buzzing across her mind while driving to work on route 75 this morning. The thought seems important - aha!

But by the time she's in the office the thought has evaporated, like a dream that dissolves upon waking. But it seems important, so she tries to reconstruct it. She thinks about famous first sentences of novels, how it must be to be her mother, at age 76 in good health and having the wisdom to look over the experiences of others with the breadth of her own life, seeing the Farah Fawcet documentary on cancer and thinking that after going through it with a loved one why see this?

Finally she lands on the thought, and it is this: it's easier to criticize than create.

This is true for Miss Dwh, anyway. Easier to criticize than create. She is trying her hand at the more difficult choice.

Monday, May 18, 2009

That night Ms. DWH is admiring the sunset ("the romantics would like it. I like it") Mr. DWH walks up to Ms DWH in the driveway, and grasping her, asks if he's told her today that he's in love with her.

She tells him this still gives her goose bumps.

Goose bumps! He exclaims. He says he hoped to give her shivers, not bumps.


What Miss DWH is not writing about - like, the neighbors

Today Ms DWH is out with Mr DWH, carrying a ladder to front yard to swipe a wasp's next off one peak of the house. They carry the ladder like Laurel and Hardy. When Mr. DWH says "now come towards me" or "walk it up," she thinks she knows what to do but it's clear that's not correct at all. She has no education in ladder scientology.

We are fumbling and struggling with this overblown, outdated, squeaky ladder and to our north a 21 year old neighbor in black tank top and black shorts continued to shoot baskets.

Clunk clunk clunk the top part of the ladder falls down. Ouch. On Miss Dwh's forearm.

The tanky basketball player goes in the house.

We do not get the wasp's nest down, although it's drowned in spray. We weed the beach (really!), watch a baseball game, and deliver tents to a gardener to protect tomato plants from frost. We watch Bull Durham. What I believe, says Kevin Costner's character. A nice soliloquy. We should all have one in our hip pocket.

Julie and Julia

But this blog is about my project - and what progress Miss Dwh makes on her book. Yesterday she began unpacking her books in her room, and she feels like she's taking her place in a hallowed tradition of writers, making sense of the world through words, her currency, being creative, having visions, and knowing she can forge ahead.

Miss Dwh has her title, sense of direction, working on the epigraph and 1st sentence. More on this later. You might think she'd be working on her characters, but no! they will have to show up in the writing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What brings Ms DWH back to herself

Ms Daily Writing Habit is standing in Goodwill, looking at someone else's cast off books--in this case, Black Erotic Fiction , then Anna Quinlen's Black and Blue, Cormack McCarthy's The Road, others too numerous to mention--and then she feels a thaw. She is no longer numb.

This is the release from the numbness she gets, the chill and icing, from being busy! busy! busy!
No time to be quiet and reenergize, to let the cumulus clouds dissipate.

Now she is reconnected. This is what books and writing do for her. It takes a while for her to be herself.

Emily Dickinson said it: "Home is so far from Home." For Ms DWH, home can become so far from home.

Call this, perhaps, a cautionary tale!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

3rd person singular

Miss DWH is changing her journal to 3rd person - well, handwritten journal in 1st person, blog journal in 3rd person. This, the 3rd person, makes her smile, while 1st person seems too confessional, without the push of a story line, and she feels ... embarrassed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My space

The green and white striped bath (see entry below): everyday Miss DWH goes there to put on her makeup. She likes contemplating the everyday actions and habits that she don't especially think about. What do they mean?

The trek started because the mirror in the master bath was so far away she couldn't see herself without her glasses. Besides, the master bath has blue wall paper with an abstract black, yellow and red design that looks like vericose veins.

Now it is a daily ritual, up the steps with coffee in hand and makeup in a small blue soft sided case, bedecked in white fleecy robe and blue flip flops. She stops in her study and stands, energized by some silent ray of creativity.

This is her space.


Last night we trim trees and take the errant brush to a burn pile. The small red leaved trees are like goddesses at each end of the house, their tiny arms held out to embrace us and the house.

We set stakes for our first garden together. In the west the sun sets, the pink reflecting on the west side of our pond. The romantics would like it. I like it.

Then we try out 2 spotlights on the house, in the dark, showcasing our castle, and hidden within, the green bath and my space.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Plumbing the depths

It seems to Miss Daily Writing Habit that she is and has been overwhelmed, unable to write or think clearly about all of the events of the past year. Happy events, to be sure, but so much so fast creates big cumulus clouds in her thoughts.

Her home, and its faint smell of vanilla and cinnamon, fragrance of owners past mingling with the cherry woodwork and plastic dusty ivy; going up the steps each morning to her green and white pin striped bath;

And although she's started Miss DWH she thinks somehow it doesn't plumb her depths, whatever that may be - and doesn't want the daily mechanics of DWH to mechanize, or anesthetize, her creative thoughts.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Looking at how Miss DWH described her project of Lost Letters (below, in yesterday's post), she thinks of the A.S. Byatt novel Possession.

Not sure if that's where she's going, past present past present, but it's an idea.

Miss DWH is moving, cooking, looking at her own "recipe" books, becoming her own master chef.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I will act now, I will act now

The thing about Julie's project is it has a beginning, middle and end. She is specifically mastering a path forged by someone else.

Miss DWH is trying to hold her feet to the fire. Her path is unknown.

She and her husband Hemingway won't be eating any better :-)

Her project is to create Jane Austen's lost letters, many of which her sister Cassandra tossed or cut apart (leaving remnants of publicly acceptable Jane Austen commentary) and have the protagonist find these letters and tell a friend about them. The friend is a writer and documents the journey.

Only the letters are sometimes present, mixed in with other miscellany, and who known how this works, except it strikes Miss DWH as hilarious. She hopes someone else will find it funny, too.

This is the same place in the so called book she was one year ago, when she went to Florida with her now husband, Hemingway.

So the blog project is not about a beginning, middle, and end, but about action.

Miss Daily Writing Habit is taking action.

Entertainment Value

Last night Miss Daily Writing Habit picked up Julie and Julia after her head hit the pillow and before her lids closed.

Julie was making lamb and botching it (mystery meat), but Miss DWH was entertained for a time after a hard, long day at the office, making her own mystery meat.

She looks foward now to immersing herself into that shallow pool again, if only for a short time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lobster Assassin

For those of you who are following Miss Daily Writing Habit's review of Julie and Julia, Julie learns with some trepidation ways to kill a lobster. During one of her efforts, she puts the live lobster in a pot of boiling water, only to find the pot is too small.

She calls her husband to help and flees the scene.

This sounds like something I would do - too small of a pot for the project, I mean, and then fleeing the kitchen - and I also think this will make a hilarious scene for a movie.

Unfortunately, the book has now landed on the coffee table and I'm only 50/50 sure I'll take it up again.

Other thoughts:

Now that Miss Daily Writing Habit has made a commitment to write daily, when she does not accomplish this, she realizes she is not making writing a priority in her life. Slowly slowly the life in her ebbs away, rather like the frog left in the cool water brought to a boil doesn't know he's being clobbered. Back to the boiling pots again.

But today Miss DWH brought her portfolio with the first paragraph of Lost Letters, and she likes it. More on this later, as she holds her feet to the fire. Which probably has a boiling pot on top of it. Something is getting cooked!

Miss DWH's alter ego has developed a new habit in the morning: going to the front of the house to look at the morning mist in the distance, and pattering to the back of the house to look at our pond.