Grad school exacerbated
. I’ve mentioned that before. And it took away my writing completely for four horrible years. And what’s worse was that I felt it going away. I took some creative writing classes and suddenly had nothing at all to say. Each piece was a struggle, and as I finished the final story, I realized that there simply were no more ideas. None at all.
It wasn’t just a matter of writer’s block. Writer’s block implies a hurdle that one can overcome. There was nothing at all in my way. I was still sitting down regularly, trying every trick I knew, and there was just nothing there.… Read the rest
It’s just an old grain elevator.
But at the right angle, blurry behind the trees, it might be a castle,
the winter-dead trees the entrance to some forbidden forest,
the rusting hulk of a barge the last vestige of a sunken navy
the hidden railroad bridge a lowered drawbridge
whose struts become the scaffolding upon the battlements
above a river that leads to a long forgotten realm,
a place where fantasies are born.
And also nightmares.
I shot these pictures along the Rails to Trails Riverwalk in Columbus, Georgia this past January (2012), and I posted them in early February.… Read the rest
Mom and I used to go to Florida with my grandparents every year. Plane tickets were expensive, and even after Dad came off the road, we got by on his royalties and a little stock dividend money. When we flew, Mummum and Poppa paid. One year, I missed a month of Kindergarten and lost no ground. We came home because Mom was eight months pregnant. My sister was born in a hospital as scheduled. Nothing midair. But Mom says the pilot looked past her as we got on that plane, wordlessly asking the flight attendants “Ready to catch a baby?”
Lance over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog is launching a weekly music meme.… Read the rest
I knew what I wanted.
I’ve been a writer since age ten. Initially, I just wanted a career (yes, I was thinking seriously of my future career then) where I could use the old Remington Rand manual typewriter. I loved the way it felt under my fingers, and I savored the letter-arm’s whack against the paper. Even now when I’m feeling completely empty, I type just to hear the clickity-clack of my keyboard.
My parents supported me. My dad is a musician, so they kind of had to by default. “Write,” they told me. “But have a backup.”
That advice has haunted me, still haunts me.… Read the rest
Writing is a business for me. It is my passion. It is the thing above all other things that I must
do to remain sane. It is the guidepost I use to measure my bipolar, because when the crazy gets too bad, the writing goes away and I have to Do Something Else Pharmaceutical About It. So when I’m not grading, doing other things for my paying job, getting obsessive-compulsive about the state of my house, or being a Mom, I write. Sometimes, often, I throw over those other things to write, because the writing, in addition to being my bipolar barometer, is also my therapy.… Read the rest
Dear Santa Clas [sic].
I hope you enjoy the cookies. I hope the reindeer are doing whell [sic]. How are you doing? My name is Caroline Bradshaw Merriman. How is Mrs. Clas [sic] doing? How are the reindeer doing? Our house has a beautiful Chrismis tree Love Caroline
PS How is Rudolph Doing?
Dear Caroline and Sam,
Ho ho ho! I do believe this is my longest letter from a child. Keep writing. You are very good at it. Your cookies were lovely. I am taking the chocolate one home to Mrs. Claus. I’m sure she is doing well and will love it.… Read the rest