Friday, November 13, 2015

With Paris

What happened? and what will happen next?

Paris feels like home to me in ways that actual home does not. I like the self that I am when I have been there--perceptive, understated, witty, responsive.

And why attack the locals, the people who are simply living? How could this improve anything?

We are filled with horror when we are not numb.

Our time is so fleeting, so brief. No need to shorten anyone's. Paradise is only here.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

You need this word, part 2. Also many cool shoes.

The next needed word comes from someone, also in Doug Powell's workshop, who apparently had not been paying attention to the sound or sight of words in his many years, and who pronounced a word to be "sartori." But, it is a good new word, s a r t o r i, useful for the many of us who fret over dressing properly for some--for any--social situation, from going to the market to, oh, attending a writing conference. I define it as the state of bliss, the state of freedom from desire, induced by knowing that you have chosen precisely the right clothing for the situation.

Also, has anyone else ever noticed that, however oddly or idiosyncratically writers may dress, they always have *really* cool shoes?

Monday, November 2, 2015

You need this word, part 1

At last summer's Napa Valley Writers Conference, I had the grace to choose Doug Powell's workshop. Doug always presents wrapped in flannel and knitted vests, with a tractor cap jammed down on his skull. He may run cold, but his seminar was hot. I still cannot encompass how marvelously he got back to the roots of writing. One of his exercises was to write one-word poems. Go ahead. You think about what makes a poem, and how to pack that into one evocative word. Another was to create a new word, a word that we need but that does not exist in English. I am still sorting these out.

I propose a new word:  t o n e d e f t . It means the opposite of "tone-deaf;" that is, the quality of using precisely the right word, or words, for the situation and the task. For instance, "D.A. Powell is tonedeft."