August 29-September 11, 2013:

A busy busy busy bunch of days.

Along with the writing, I had visitors (hi, Kathy!), dinners at friends’ houses (hi, Christine and Toby! hi Debby and Bob!), lunch with the head of STanza, St Andrews Poetry Festival (hi, Eleanor!) as well as tea and natter with my poetry editor in Strathkinness (hi, JPP!). I had a gorgeous afternoon tea at Rufflets (hi, Janie!). I also had three wonderful days up in Aberdeenshire going to open studios (hi, Mike and Susan!) as well as a long trip up further north with mine hosts to see Helen Denerly’s glorious sculpture show. Plus I have been doing a small course/workshop on ceramics decoration (hi, Joss!) though I am rubbish at it. And today been prepping for a big birthday party luncheon I am giving for the other (first) Christine tomorrow. Plus I’ve been doing early packing and packing up since on Sunday I’m awa’ first to friends near Edinburgh (thanks Debby for driving! hi, Elizabeth and Steven!) before taking a plane on Monday morning home. Well, two planes actually. And then two trains.

But what about this writing thing, I hear you ask. Well, that, too. Lots of poems. Like this one, which my subscribers seemed to like a lot:

 

Prayer for a Friend

Be granite like the hills,

letting rain and wind buffet you

but standing straight into the storm.

 

Be porous like the clouds,

letting birds wing through you,

nourishing rain fall from your eyes.

 

Be arrow-straight like the pine trees,

green hands raised in exaltation

into blue skies, grey skies, night.

 

Be bright like the moon, shining

even when clouds overtake you,

even when the dark side shows.

 

Be gentle like the wren, tit, dove

on your own nest, in your own season,

with your own counsel.

 

Be giving like the moss,

couching feet that would tread,

holding them up instead.

 

Be in the world and of it,

Not below it or above it.

 

–for Terri

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

 

And fifteen other poems for the subscribers as well. Also Adam and I have been scribbling back and forth furiously and (we think) have only four more chapters to finish book two of The Seelie Wars Trilogy which, for now, is called The Professor of Odds. I have put together the extra poems from which editor

JPP will chose 5-7 for each of three sections (Maiden, Mother, Crone) of a book to be called Triad. I have done private editing for a friend on four of his picture books, an easy reader, and the proposal for a middle grade book. Did some work on Book 1 of the graphic novel trilogy Stone Cold am doing with Adam. Titivated the ballet picture book The Day I Became A Swan and sent it to my agent. Had a picture book rejected, and it’s on to the next for that one. Wrote the first two (replacement) chapters for House of Candy and rewrote the other two to become chapters three and four, and feel the opening works much better now. (I hate long flashbacks in children’s books.)

So there you have it. Life, a bit of liberty and touring, and writing as the pursuit of my happiness.

Home to Massachusetts in five days. I have been dreaming of being there, dreading getting there. Nothing new about that.

 

 

 

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