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February 11, 2017: The Writing Life: Me and My Shadow

A short while ago I figured out that I’d spent the better part of my life waiting for someone, anyone, who’d achieved success as a writer, to take me aside and then tell me that my creative work was phenomenal, and that they’d move heaven and earth and open doors for me. For some odd reason, this never happened. I became a has-been before I became a has.

I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to kick open my own doors. And so this is what for the past few months I have been doing. I’ve consequently ceased to fret about the fact that I’ve failed in having garnered a large and appreciative audience for my work. Don’t get me wrong – I would still like for this to happen, and as well acquire the acclaim that goes with it. But in the meantime there is the meantime.

I have always been a creative sort. I get this from my mother who passed on these particular genes. She was always working on some art project, and my drive has always been just like hers. In the past few years, I’ve either become cognizant of the fact that being creative comes easily to me or that it has gotten progressively easier.

I’m the sort of individual that Malcolm Gladwell alludes to in his New Yorker essay entitled “Late Bloomers.” I value process

to the degree that I sometimes forget that I must produce a final product.

I’ve been on a creative roll since I started kicking on doors. I am continuing to work on what I dubbed my own personal February challenge, which is to write a poem a day. And in the process I’ve come up with the 14 poems for my friend Betty Pierce and my March 24 reception “13 Ways of Looking at a Goat.” And I’ve written a handful more for next Saturday’s upcoming local presentation called “If Aprons Could Talk.” A dental apron is a trigger for my family-related dental history. And on Sunday I’m going to give a presentation at the Mat-Su Horse Council Symposium, one called “Thinking outside the Round Pen: Embracing Either/Or Contraries.”

I just submitted three goat poems to the Alaska Dispatch Writing Contest, and I will also submit an essay entitled “Compost Happens.” And in the next few days I’ll apply for a Rasmussen grant.

In April I’m going to the east coast for horsey doings and doing a Centered Riding/Centered Writing/Centered Art workshop with Centered Riding instructors Mary Trafford and Susan Harris.

And there is the day-to-day stuff. This morning I wrote a poem entitled “The Patron Saint of Lost Causes.” It’s about losing my glasses. And I went outside and took some photos for this dispatch. I was in the horse pen, attempting to evade my shadow when I realized that I should instead acknowledge its existence and incorporate it into my photos. So the two here are shadow photos. I could even do a whole series of shadow photos.

I understand that change is a constant and that one way or another I will soon be gainfully employed and therefore I won’t have as much time to dabble as I have now. This is a real shame. But it makes the time I do have to do this all that much more valuable.

Next; 43. 2/12/17: The Horse Life: The Wind at my Back

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