November 17, 2009:

This was a day to think about books more than a day to write them. I did manage another poem, this one about seeing the Leonids early in the morning.

Tag End of the Leonids

5:15 a.m.

In my nightgown, heavy bedsocks,
sweat pants, and jacket—
don’t forget the mittens—
I go out onto the porch and wait.
The air is still, but I am stiller.
The walnut trees’ thrusting fingers
for once do not move
in their arthritic contractions,
but form a nest for the brilliant stars.
I see a bit of movement in the night sky,
a crawl of light, then a sound too loud
for the light wind, the deserted road.
A plane, not a meteor, moves across the dark.
I stifle a sigh, a hope, wait some more.
Then a brilliant fall of light,  not jagged like lightning
but a kind of paint smear down the southeast,
somewhere between ivory and maize,                                                                          silently screams across the sky.
And another.
The world is but dimly lit by these shooting stars
but for this morning it is enough.

Spoke to my agent about several book-related problems and opportunities. Always a pleasure to have these kind of conversations with her.

Then off to my writer’s group, only four of us this time. A new grandbaby, a flu, a book tour, and other stuff all did in the others. But we intrepid few made our way to the wilds of Easthampton (this is only funny to those who know our patch of the Connecticut River Valley!) to eat good food, pass around new books, catch up on news, talk about books, and listen to a fascinating book chapter from one person, a spot-on essay by another. Which is not to say we didn’t have plenty of critiques to offer as well as fulsome praise.

I came home to discover the new handyman had already dealt with the overflowing gutters and would be back to begin painting the mud room inside and out tomorrow morning. Already I adore him!

Then off for dinner with my friend, Professor Naomi Miller of Smith College’s English department. We hadn’t had a good natter in a year. Did a lot of catching up before the entree, talked about dating issues during the entree, and by the end of the meal had discovered a book we wanted to work on together. What could be better!

See–even in a day where I am not actually doing any writing (except for the poem which is part of an exercise, 30 poems in 30 days) I am thinking books, devising book strategies, critiquing mss., coming up with new ideas for books, engaging with the natural world, storing away bits and pieces. It’s what makes me a writer.

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