Roll Over and Write



I am taking lessons from my favourite teacher, Judyth Hill.  Look her up.  Buy her books.  Know that she is a wonderful teacher of poetry.  Don’t ask me how she does it, but she’s got it.  One of the techniques she taught us yesterday was this idea of opening your eyes and in the first moment of consciousness writing whatever comes.  People scoff at this …” I have to go pee…..I need my coffee…..I can’t think at that moment.”  One of the most important ideas in this technique is that, yes, you are not ” thinking” in your everyday, logical way.  That’s the soul of poetry though.  To blend the real and the dreamlike state makes a poem and I would say, good fiction too.

Things have to be set up.  You need a clean page in your journal, a pen that writes well, maybe a lamp if you don’t have natural light and a bit of a prompt to set you off.  Ours was the scent of any flower we liked.  I chose daffodil because even though it is not sweet like a rose or jasmine, I love its sappy promise of spring.  We also were given some excerpts from a poet called Mirabai, a 15 th century writer….oh well you can look her up. We had to chose one line, write it on the top of the page and then…off to sleep.  The journal is right on the night table beside you.

Trust me, after a day of writing workshop, I was wiped and fell asleep like a stone thrown down the well.  Early in the still-dark morning a church bell clanged and woke me up.  Roll over and write, I thought.  I did, in spite of not being able to find my glasses ( they were later found in the tangle of the bed-clothes. ) I wrote in large messy letters and I have not even read what I wrote but I know it was something about a garden.

More surprises from Judyth today.  Daffodil kisses…sort of soft and cool and smelling that spring smell…you know… you who read this.




I am ecstatic, thrilled, satisfied……because I gave away my stuff. My stuff, in this case, is my book.  I didn’t know much about Goodreads but somehow I heard about the giveaway program.  It was the simplest thing to put up five signed copies of my book, delivered to the home address of the winners as a prize. I must complement Goodreads on the ease of the whole process.  More important, there was a wonderful thrill in thinking that my book could go out all over the world.

It amazed me that 632  people wanted this book…well, they wanted a free copy of it.  The cynical side of me said that probably some people had an automatic alert set up for free book, that novels would be requested by thousands, not hundreds, that…..oh, shit, why rain on your own parade!

The very day I got the names and addresses of the “lucky winners” I rushed to get special padded envelopes and to mail out the copies.  I enclosed a little note begging them to write a riview on Amazon.  One lives in hopes,  after all.  Four of the five live in the United States and one, a young man of 22 lives in a small city ( 200,000 pop.) in India.  So somebody there, somebody in Alabama and Ohio, will read poems about Montreal and love and water and whatever else, good or bad is in there.

So this is an unexpected surprise that has come out of this adventure.  Thank you everyone who entered.  Thank you whoever reads this.  Readers are the air that fills the lungs of writers.