May 20-May 31, 2013

Busy, busy, Ms. Yolen. Several strands of busy–meetings, writings, eatings, graduations leading to parties. Whew!

Meetings: my critique group met once, the illustratorss’ group met once (at my house, which meant cleaning up and feeding the multitudes).

Eatings: had dinner with one of the children’s writers/illustrators small group; lunch with Ralph Masiello, tea with the DiTerlizzi crew, dinner with a video crew (more about that in next paragraph)m then son Adam arrived and family dinner ahead of Maddison’s graduation party.

Video crew hired by Open Roads publication, an e-book company producing 10 of my out of print books with additional materials (including said video.) Dinner when the crew (two of them, Kai and Alex) arrived, then one full day and one not quite so full day of shooting which included hours of interview, then hours of pick-up shots such as a gorgeous long shot from the top of Mount Sugarloaf to show a view over the Pioneer Valley where I live, me walking through the Owl Moon woods and up the stone path to my house, me draped over David’s tombstone, and the like.

Writing: LOTS of work. Mostly revisions of poems for GRUMBLES FROM THE TOWN and for a new book possibly called THE TEAPOT GOSSIPS, both with Rebecca Dotlich. New poems (possibly) for adult poetry books, CRONE and MAIDEN. Getting a package of designer spreads for two proposals–ARCH:  A SPAN OF FOOT POEMS and LUNCH BUNCH  poems about how animals eat. I wrote the chapters on Naomi/Ruth and Esther for the book GIRLS’ BIBLE (provisional title) that Barbara Diamond Goldin and I are writing, then revised both of them heavily after getting her feedback. Discussed some neecessary revision and forward motion of the second Seelie Wars book (still untitled) with Adam. Worked on lists of things to discuss with agents when I am in New York.

The rest of the two weeks were down to Maddison’s Baccalaureate, her actual graduation (she is a Cum Laude scholar) and then her party preps. That party and all my own preps for going off to Scotland in the next journal entry. Hard to write in the flurry of such prep since none of it can be put off!

Here’s a new poem (I  have still kept up my one-a-day regime. This one is from May 23:

 

How to Know Things

 

“You know only what your heart allows you to know.” 
–Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning 
)
 
Look sideways, at shadows, sometimes aura
tells more than the center can.
Look backwards where his(story) lies.
Look slantwise where all the truth is told, not once
but many times.
Look at the circuit, never the straight line.
Poems always takes the circuitous path.
Look at the earth rather than the sky.
Birds leave passage in dust not on clouds.
Trust your heart but only after your ears, your eyes
have done the Sherlock thing.
The heart only allows you to know
what it wants, not what is, nor what will be.

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

 

And this one is from May 26:

 

Graduation Day

 

There is nothing gradual about this,

though we have known it was coming,

prepared for years, and yet like death

it surprises us.

We speak in aphorisms

about next steps, life’s openings,

the roads taken and not taken,

but all the while the heart cries silently:

Stop, stay, never leave, only because

we are the ones stopping, staying,

we are the ones who are left.

I do not

remember such drama with my own

parents who drove me to college

and dropped me there without a blink, fleeing

back with their remaining child who had

another four years to go.

I do not

remember such drama with my own

children, as we packed their trunks

with their dreams, our hopes, extra

underwear, a hundred dollar bill neatly

tucked out of sight.

So why this over-

whelming grief, crushing regret

for the grandchild who has already

cut the strings, set the sights, shown us

the little deaths between her living

and our lives.

Oh–that!

 

© 2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

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