Right now, right this very minute I am sitting in my classroom listening to Mozart's Concert for Piano and Orchestra Nr. 26. My sophomores are doing some independent review work, and I am thinking about my book. Yes, the book I updated you on just yesterday. I mean I am really happy about what is going on. I think I have a real title and a real construct for the book, and it is simply a matter of finding the right poems to put in the book as they come along. I mean that, too. I am thinking the book will take the better part of a year to write, or actually a little longer. What is different is I am at peace with myself and the book. I am writing again, but I am so far from concerned whether anyone will like the poems or the poems I know I will be writing for the book in the near and distant future, I have this little internal smile that won't stop smiling. I have rarely ever had this feeling when writing. I think I have reached another plateau in my writing life and everything is starting to make sense again.
I think all of my reading has paid off for this new feeling, too. All the while I was blocked, I kept losing more and more of my ability to read new material and make sense of it. I could not read poetry or much criticism without feeling as if I was snow blind. I think I was filling myself up and now I am ready to let out what needs to be let out. I am still in need of writing narrative poems, but I am not afraid of them. I need to tell stories and "show" my home town, but now I have a context and I have started to do just that. For all of you confident writers, yes I am looking at you, you may never quite know what it is to be lost like I was (and still might be again sooner than I would like) but I am actually having fun again, trying to find my best words and put them in the best order. It is a grand feeling.
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I am going to be in Utah for a few days. Of course there is Thanksgiving and all of that, but we are going in early for a funeral. I have been asked to be a pall bearer, and even though I do not like funerals, I feel it is my duty to help out where I can.
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While I am in Utah I hope to do some writing and get some landscape meditation poems which might be used in my book manuscript. The book is a lot simpler than I previously believed, which is probably why I am feeling as positive as I am about the whole thing. The poems I need to write really fall into four categories. There are poems of work, poems of praise, landscape meditations, and narrative poems. Of the four categories, the only one I am really going to need to take my time with are the narratives. I want to have at least three narrative poems for each of the three sections, and it is merely a matter of trying to write a lot of good stories and seeing which ones really begin to shine on their own and re-working them until each is right.
I am enlisting two histories to help me with the first two sections of the book, and I have started to enlist people form Springville who are on Facebook, so I can hear about stories and get some perspective for the past 50-60 years. The rest is going to be from a first person perspective.
One last thought. Usually when I feel this good about a book project, it's because I am almost finished with it. I think part of my energy is because I have almost enough to make a chapbook, and that's what I usually try to write. However, I do not want three chapbooks in one volume. I need this to be a single unit from beginning to end, and who knows? I may be writing the book in three sections, but the final product may require that i refuse division of any kind.