friday roundup: the voice of an atmosphere, waves of revision, and the architecture I recall

solstice at Stonehenge, wikimedia

solstice at Stonehenge, wikimedia

Friday again, and it’s officially summer. Last night, on the longest night (longest day — of course I meant day! It’s so embarrassing to be wrong on the Internet! #scatterbrained) of the year, I told Husband I was going to the pharmacy – and I had every intention of going to the pharmacy – but then I went to the bookstore. There is about one one-hundredth of a percent of me that’s a rebel. This one one-hundredth of a percent of me occasionally has blue streaks put in her hair, and last night wanted to be untraceable for at least a few minutes. I wanted, for a short time, no one to know where I was. When I was in my 20s, living in New York City by myself for a summer, nobody knew where I was most of the time. I used to think, I could die, and no one would know for days or even weeks. Since 2001, someone has almost always known exactly where I am. I have to say, it was a delicious 20 minutes in the bookstore – a woman cut loose from the map. That woman browsed, bought a book, then went to the pharmacy, then – happily – home.

That woman is now at the pool for her offspring’s swim practice, and is ready for the roundup:

the voice of an atmosphere  A friend posted this article on Facebook this week, and I found it fascinating. We all know that Comic Sans is, well, comic, but now we know more about why. In brief the article describes studies that indicate that the fonts we use can influence a reader’s impressions of our work and intelligence. I love that we live in a world where typeface matters and where people study why and how. And remember, Reader, friends don’t let friends use Comic Sans.

waves of revision  I’ve written before about revising in waves but this week, I made preparations to try a new way into revision. I’ve grouped the stack o’ poems in stout little piles of 5 to 7 poems that, taken together, could be a(n admittedly loose) thread of language and/or imagery. This is different from the process of creating mini-manuscripts for submissions – groups of poems that play well together, while also showing range. Instead, I grouped the poems according to tone, diction, syntax, and/or shared imagery. I’m hoping that the working on the poems together will give them the opportunity to inform one another according to the elements of craft, rather than elements of meaning. I’ll keep you posted about how this goes and what I learn.

the architecture I recall  And speaking of language and imagery and being cut loose from the map and other topographical concerns, here is a poem I’ve been reading and re-reading this week in Malinda Markham’s Ninety-five Nights of Listening. The word I think of as I read this poem is “dislocation.” Listen, Reader, to the language she uses and the quiet but charged atmosphere she creates.

And now, I bid you farewell for today. I’ll be away from the blog for most of the next several days, but stay tuned for more updates on summer writing and reading, and hopefully a few author interviews, too. Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “friday roundup: the voice of an atmosphere, waves of revision, and the architecture I recall

  1. The reason I turn off my cell phone: untraceable, briefly.

    Independent. You know, there were emergencies before there were cell phones, and somehow most of us managed. Cell phones just make everything seem like an emergency.

    I spent many a year reading and writing while sitting out piano lessons and etc. when my kids were younger. It taught me to think and write and to be creative in short bursts.

    • Untraceable, briefly. I love that phrase.

      And yes, here’s to reading and writing in short bursts. My short bursts happen at the ballet studio, swim practice, and this year, lots of doctor’s office waiting rooms!

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