I would like to write every day. That is what writers do, isn’t it? I do write every day, but it gets saved and stored and that’s the end of it. That kind of behavior must stop, if I am going to become a paid writer. I’ve been sick. They say when you are experiencing something that you should write a description of it in case one of your characters goes through that same situation. Do you want to hear about my illness? I remember writing about having the flu and Dennis Rogers used that letter in his letters and leftovers column one Friday. I said at the time that I had memories of putting the blanket over my head and yelling, “Mommie’s got germs! Mommies got germs!” to frighten my children away. For I was sure I was lying on the bed dying and they needed to go elsewhere. During this illness, my old dog, who was sick herself a couple weeks ago, decided I was really sick. I’d lie down on the bed for I could not bear to sit up. Her eyes staring at me was the last thing I’d see before I drifted off to sleep and the first thing I’d see when I woke up. She stood guard over me. She followed me to the bathroom, the kitchen . . . wherever I wandered in the house, she was right at my heels. She really freaked out when I had chills one night. She hopped in her basket, then out, then in . . . she went to the bedroom door as if to go get help and then ran back to me so I wasn’t alone. I believe I may be getting better. I certainly hope so. She is lying in my doorway now, still keeping guard, but not quite as closely.
The easiest thing to write for me is poetry. Sometimes when I talk my words rhyme and I’m not even trying to rhyme them. I find it extremely easy to put ideas into very small chunks of words.
The hardest thing for me to do is to get rich selling poetry. Many places don’t buy it and those who do don’t usually pay well.
I have a set of poems about animals and pets that I’d like to publish – perhaps as a chapbook.
I have other poems also.
My poems all tell little stories.
I have another book of poems I’d like to publish and those poems are children’s rhymes. When I teach, I use many nursery rhymes and other types of rhyming poetry to help children see connections and rhymes and to have fun with the English language.
My poems rhyme and have rhythm, for I know no other way to write one. My first published poem was something I wrote many years ago to a man who I thought was my friend, who turned out to be a terrible husband, and who now is fondly referred to as my “ex”. That one was published the same year “Laments of an Old Cat” appeared in Cats Magazine. (Laments also appeared in “The Morris Report”.) Laments of an Old Cat was a very long poem and filled one column of the poetry page from top to bottom. It began like this:
“Just what this old cat Very much wants to know Is when will the baby Be big enough to go?”
I had a two year old at the time that poem was written, and I’d watched him try to make friends with my old cat, who had no interest in a rambunctious little boy. The poem practically wrote itself as I watched him make overtures to her and saw her flee quickly from his presence every time he appeared.
Does anyone still buy books of poetry?
I am spending spare time looking through the Writers Market and underlining possible publishers. I make a highlighted mark at the top of the pages I’m marking to help me find them better when I look back for identified publishers.
This morning I read about having a website and how I should link any blogs to it.
This stuff is new – some of it – to me, and I find when I tell anyone my hopes and dreams of being a writer that many of them share the same idea. At the current time I am an educator. and several of my peers are interested in writing books or a children’s book series.
My ideas are not that narrowed (or focused?). I find that many topics interest me and as I go through the Writers Market I see places that would possibly be interested if I wrote an article on something I have high interest in.
This new life is coming. I may be switching positions at work in the near future. I’ve heard rumors but have not been told yet. I planned to quit work and focus solely on writing in mid June, but now I wonder if I want to consider returning to the new position if it does indeed materialize? That would still give me a few weeks to work full-time on writing during the summer and see how it goes.
I know it takes time to get paid for things you sell, so as I continue to work my day job, I continue to try to make money writing as well.
Ode to Blackie
I came in wearing my Dr. Seuss hat,
You barked and said “I don’t like that!”
I sat down and put you in my lap,
You silly, silly dog.
That put the hat right next to you,
You bit your tongue and out it flew
You did not know just what to do,
My attention you did hog.
I put the hat down on the floor,
You jumped down and ran straight to the door,
You’ve never wanted to run before,
But you began to jog,
I grabbed the leash right from it’s hook,
Said the hat was just something from a book,
You gave it still one long last look,
And hopped out just like a frog.
So out the door that March we went,
I said “hide the hat” somewhere different,
I think you did not like its scent,
It made you act agog.
It’s put up now, I know not where,
It’s something I no longer wear,
It was something you just could not bear,
You silly, silly dog.
by Constance Barr Corbett
February 1, 2014
Not my best work. Written after the blog just now was posted. Blackie likes it.
My old dog has been and is very sick. I’ve been snowed in for almost a week. I finally got her to the vet Thursday. We don’t know if she will make it or not. We’re hoping for the best and every day she seems stronger. Her name is Blackie and here is a picture of her.
She brings me joy, as you can see. My writing life is still ahead of me. I tried to figure out a way to go part-time now in my job, but I just don’t see being able to do it at this time. Like the planets lining up, the pieces of my life must also be aligned. Things seem to work out better when there’s a plan, and it is more or less followed. Going off the path is fun for awhile, like being out of work this week because of the weather. But I’m still putting the ducks in a row. I’ve spent part of this time off trying to organize how I will write and how I will sell and to whom I will sell. The Writers Market is a thick book and is filled with possibilities. I just don’t have time to peruse them while I am employed in another field full-time. It’s coming. My free time is coming and if it’s anything like this past week (other than having a very sick dog), it is going to be incredible to live the life of a full-time writer. It’s hard to concentrate when your best friend is ill. It’s been nice having this time off, and I’m glad I had it to spend with Blackie. She’s my first priority. She’s probably my biggest fan. She’s my best friend.