I am looking forward to reading all the entries, especially the younger writers who I hope will continue their pursuit of the craft because it will be awesome to see their writing journey into the future.
If my desk was named like an English pub, it would be The Drum and Page. My writing collaborator, Jodi, calls her place, The Dog And Book. Therefore I am renaming my work space like an English pub even though I live in Australia. It simply sounds better. What would your creative space be called?
I digress but this initial tangent leads me to my WORD OF THE YEAR.
Each year I choose a word to help guide and direct me. They are written on a Post It Note and stuck to the wall above my desk. Last year I had two words: “limitless” and “breakthrough.” I found success in these two words in the release of my chapbook, Mount Pleasant, in February, and winning a local writing competition about the middle of the year. I kept writing and drawing, sifting through the what was to see what would be.
This year, the word is RELENTLESS.
It will take a year to explore the nuances of this word and what it means for me. And that will be an awfully grand adventure.
It’s a word to apply to my creative life through writing and drawing, and will have application to the spiritual, emotional/mental, and physical aspects of my life. I don’t know what the final outcome will be at the end of 2022. I may have made no progress other than developing my creative practice. I may have opportunities to explore because I asked about a collaboration, or I put in an application for a writing mentorship, or I submitted work for publication and only received rejections. I don’t know. But I will be relentless in my pursuit of this creative life.
Grace and peace be upon you all from the desk of The Drum and Page.
There’s always a tennis court around the corner, the white lines faded and cracked. The net hangs in a lopsided grin as you walk past. The dog at your heels moves to your other side, putting you between it and the tennis court. You’ve never seen anyone play on it.
As you walk beyond the base line you think you hear the sound of a ball struck. You turn and there’s no one there on court. A tennis ball rolls out of the shadows and into the back corner of the court, resting against the cyclone fencing wire.
It has been a little while since I’ve dropped in here to announce anything but in the background things have been happening.
During June I was participating in the #JARWriteathon where I set out to write a zine combining vignettes and poetry with continuous line drawing.
It is now finished and very soon it will be available for sale.
Here is the blurb:
The Cartographer’s Journal is the fragmented exploration of a man’s life following the death of his grandfather and is the catalyst for examining his life and the moments he remembers. He plots his experiences as way points and erects milestones to understand how memory, distorted and fragmented as it is, constructs an identity although it is not fixed until secured in retrospect.
These random moments of memory are catalogued in our heads, a sequence of unconnected and disconnected events that serve as marker points of who we are. To explore the past is to chart the periphery of maturation as “Here Be Dragons.”
We make our way forward in life by walking backwards.
the batteries in my torch died out early in my teenage years when I tried to illuminate myself so I fell to writing epigraphical epithets in the moonlight with a label maker, affixing them in lines of chapter titles to catalogue myself before others blacked out letters leaving the white space like stars new constellations to navigate the unknown
to erase me is to wipe away the graffiti as though it can make up for the late night tags written under cover of darkness where I wear the smell of spray cans as deodorant and the rattle of the ball bearing the music of our minds
This came about because my daughters had this whiteboard in the lounge room when they were practicing dance and Physie routines. The board was clean and next to it was the whiteboard marker and eraser. I debated getting the black whiteboard marker from my pencil case (I am a teacher after all) but stuck with the purple and wrote this up on the spur of the moment, tapping into the impermanency of the surface and the content of the poem. Tonight the girls are using the white board to play games of Hangman.
As a side note, does anyone else have trouble spelling “graffiti”? I always mix up the number of “f’s” or “t’s” but thankfully I wrote it correctly.
I ate an overripe plum on the afternoon of my father’s funeral eaten a day or two late piercing the skin, tight and purple the soft flesh a mushy pulp first the sweetness chased by the sharp, acid tang digging the stone from the centre with my teeth while the juice dribbled down my fingers, a puddle in my palm
Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.