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Five years…really, Jules?

December 2, 2016
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Five years since I’ve blogged in here? I am one lazy writer.

I have so many things to say, but I can’t speak them. My soul drips off my fingertips like honey, but sticks in the back of my throat.

I’ve been dormant for the most part, except for the fall of 2014. I enrolled in the Creative Writing class at the college here, mostly to force myself to write, partly to polish the rust off my skills, and hopefully to learn a thing or two. More of the technical nuts and bolts, if you will.

It was a great class. I did learn a lot. The instructor is a great writer and an awesome teacher, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I was in his class. Well, except for the angst ridden-lice picking monkey-starstruck lovers brigade who made it their mission to disrupt class as much as possible. Their fearless (and witless) leader had a definite huge chip on her shoulder, and despised the instructor in particular (which begs the question – why sign up for the class to begin with? It’s not a required course…) so in her campaign to wreak holy jihad upon him, the rest of us endured a fair amount of aggravation as well. I seriously was ready to jerk a knot in her head by the end of the class, and finally did tell her to shut up one evening towards the end. Amazingly enough, she did. I’m kinda surprised I didn’t awaken one morning soon after that to find a bloody horse’s head in the bed with me. But then again, such things as that would require effort on her part, and a disengagement from the left hip of her boyfriend, so I was fairly safe after all.

It was a productive time. I crafted a number of short stories. Some winners, some that needed to be burned before they were ever turned in, but that’s how the story always goes. I polished up four stories for inclusion in the college’s yearly magazine, three were chosen. The home run hitter of the three was, unbeknownst to me, submitted to a national competition called the Gold Circle Awards at Columbia University in the City of New York. I was chosen for third place in my division. Pretty impressive for a national contest. I was shocked, humbled, and elated. I was also asked to enter the annual poetry contest at the college, submitted a couple of poems, and won first place with one in my division. More shock and awe. I tried to start a writer’s group, but it never got off the ground. People have these things they keep referring to as “lives”…I vaguely remember having one of those, long ago…

What have I done since then? Almost absolutely nothing. Nothing that I’ve finished or polished, for sure. Little blobs of grey matter on a page now and again that I never made further love to. But I have the jones again. It’s like an itch that won’t leave me alone. If you write, or do anything else creative, you know what I’m talking about. I’m still enamored with poetry, though writing it comes far more difficult to me than regurgitating a short story or CNF out of my head. Ah, but to finally craft that perfect villanelle a la Dylan Thomas, a Pantoum, a Shakespearean sonnet…I aspire to something like that.

I did, however, drag out a poem I started on last winter, tinker with it a bit, and post it on the poetry blog for safekeeping and further revision/composition. I think I might have done more damage to it than I did enhancement. It’s pretty rough. Okay. It’s pretty bad.

Still…I wrote this week. A bad day writing is better than a good day of anything else. And what did Uncle Ernie always say? “The first draft of anything is shit” – so maybe it isn’t a total loss…

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