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From Strangling My Muse’s Visual Inspiration Photo Prompt #20: http://stranglingmymuse.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/visual-inspiration%e2%80%94photo-prompt-20/

The Collage

Her eyes drifted from image to image.  Everything had been trimmed perfectly and was now ready to assemble – her dream board, her treasure map, a collage of her fondest wishes.  She felt awkward with the paste and her hands felt overly large.  But she carefully positioned each element in its own unspoken spot, working patiently until the image was fully assembled.  Done, she sighed.  She stared deep into the vision of the lake and closed her eyes, her breath coming in a full, lush rhythm.  She looked back down and noticed that the moonlight seemed to pool a little brighter.  Were those two people in the lake before, she wondered.  Then she felt the roughness of the boards under her toes and she smiled a smile that was reflected off the mountains, her breath crystallizing in the frozen, moonstruck air.

Due to a few influencing factors, I seem to be writing more poetry lately.  As readers know, I’ve been doing the Weekly Wednesday Poem here for about a year – that being a post every Wednesday in which I select a poem that I like from an author (9 times out of 10 who isn’t me) and share it with the blogosphere.  I’ve enjoyed doing that, and I expect I’ll continue doing so.  It helps me learn about poets with whom I was previously unfamiliar, and, more importantly, inspires me to write my own poetry.

Back in my teens, poetry was my big form of self-expression. I would write pages and pages and pages of poetry almost every night.  I still have those notebooks and look back at them only rarely.  Once I hit college, I started journaling and writing poetry about equally.  But once I was out of college, the muse fled.  I still journaled, but I almost never wrote poetry.  After a number of years, I stopped journaling.  I guess there wasn’t much going on in my life other than work, and I certainly didn’t want to write about that. 

Since the divorce, I have found myself writing more poetry.  I’ve posted some of it here, and some of it elsewhere.  With the wonderful Thursday Poet’s Rally, I have gotten lots of encouraging feedback on my work.  So, since my characters in the novel are stilling lolling around on a beach, awaiting rescue, I’ve been thinking of putting together a chapbook.

A chapbook is basically a booklet of 24 or 36 poems that you can submit to contests, literary magazines, etc.  It has a “story” to it, meaning the poems carry the reader through a series of feelings or events, though that story does not need to be known specifically to anyone but the author.  It’s the author’s guide for building a cohesive collection.  That makes sense to me – it would be odd to have a serio-comic poem about fish, followed by a poem about heartbreak.  See what I mean?

Chapbooks were a common vehicle for poets and authors in the previous centuries.  They are inexpensive to produce, can be self-published and are an easy way to promote your work – you can afford to give them away or sell them very at a very reasonable price.  For me, as I say, I’m interested in submitting them somewhere (anywhere).

It’s interesting to me how the muse has come and gone, come and gone.  I think I wrote my first poem when I was in first grade.  I missed the muse during her long sleep.  Now, especially sometimes when I am drifting off to sleep, especially if I am not alone (which is oh-so-very-rare), lines or entire verses just come flowing in like sparkling seafoam across the rocks and waters of the Bubbly Pool, lovely and unstoppable.

I am happy she is back.

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