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February 13, 2017: The Writing Life: Pete’s List

The problem with my being an overly creative sort is that I move quickly, leaping like a spastic ballerina, from one project to the next. I get things done, but not so done that they are always finished. I confess, I leave the finishing work (which mainly takes the form technical details) to Pete. And the more I do, the more he ends up having to do.

Pete seems to take it in stride – he never, ever has said to me “I don’t have the time to help you out,” or “When is this ever going to end?” Rather, he writes my request on his never-ending list.

Today, a case in point. He held the horses for Josh, our farrier, while I finished working on a poem entitled “Noah’s Wife.” I was stuck on the last few lines. It’s a good poem, my best ever. But then I say this about each one I write. Meanwhile, there was Pete, out by the driveway, standing quietly while each horse, in turn, was trimmed and the older two had shoes reset.

I had, a year ago, started to write a fictional account of a book with this title. It involved time travel, was a lot like a Dr. Who episode. I didn’t get far because I got bogged down in the details. It was mire that oozed around my creative self.
I finally abandoned ark.

As I am working on this dispatch Saint Pete is putting together a flier for Carolene Miller, an Alexander Bodywork instructor. She will be coming up in June and I am hoping to drum up some business for her. She will be coming up with the other Outsiders – the list seems to be growing. This task is just the tip of the Centered Riding clinic iceberg. The task of organizing this clinic is going to be a huge job, and there will be a lot of administrative details.

After I finish this dispatch, I’m going to revise my family oral history poems for tonight’s “If Aprons Could Talk” rehearsal. Then I’m going to get the horses out.

Pete is leaving for Juneau tomorrow, on a business trip. I told him not to do the dishes and not to clean the house – I said that I was looking forward to this, and actually I am. This is the least I can do. I have never been one to do the most.

I continue to crank out a poem a day, for the month of February. And I will spend the next six months revising these and other poems and then finding places to publish them. I am thinking that the poems in 13 Ways of Looking at a Goat might make a good e-book. P-e-e-e-e-te! That’s the rallying cry when projects seem to take on a life of their own but not quite.

Poetry? Of what good is it? I mean, writing it does not pay the bills and in this respect is the most frivolous of writing-related occupations. I might venture to add that writing poetry makes me a better writer of more lengthy fiction and nonfiction prose because I ultimately pay more attention to word choice, use of appropriate detail, and voice.

All home-based writing is actually frivolous. If I really believed this I would go and get a real job, one like Pete has.

My life is now like the Joni Mitchell song, the lines going “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. They paved Paradise and they put up a parking lot.”

Now add to Pete’s list. Find the photo to go with this dispatch and post this dispatch.

Next: 45. 2/14/17: The Writing Life: In Pete’s Absence

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