Archive for April 12th, 2007

By Judith Ford

1. Writing makes me feel whole.
2. Writing wakes me up.
3. I write to find out what I’m really feeling.
4. I write to tell the truth without caveats.
5. Writing is a reliable companion.
6. Writing creates structure in the midst of emptiness.
7. When I write I am nobody but myself.
8. When I write I take up all the available space.
9. Writing is one of the few things I, all by myself, own.
10. When I was a young woman and very alone, writing literally saved my life.
11. When I was 10 and wrote my first short stories, it got me a lot of attention.
12. I like saying to myself, “I am a writer.”
13. Writing always has new things to teach me.
14. I write because I made a commitment to finish this damn book and it isn’t done yet.
15. I write because of people like Tennessee Williams, Annie Dillard, Russell Banks, Louise Gluck and Michael Ondaatje. To name but a few.
16. I write because I have always loved words.
17. I write because I am reasonably adept at it and the competence feels good, like using a trained muscle.
18. I write so that I can say more of what I want to say than anyone I know would ever be willing to listen to.
19. I write because if I didn’t I think my head might blow up from all the stuff that rises up and blows around in there.
20. I write because every now and then words pop into my head and I think, yes, that is exactly right, and I don’t want to forget.
21. I write to bear witness to life. Mine, other people’s, birds and dogs and the ugly wolf spider that showed up inside the seatbelt pad in my car.
22. I write because I always wanted to be a dancer, singer, actor, poet. And now that I’m almost 60, writing is the one I still have time to get really good at.
23. I can’t imagine not writing.
24. I write because really I have always had way too much performance anxiety to act or sing or dance. Writing happens in solitude; the audience comes later and by then, I can stand it.
25. I write because I have found I really enjoy being with other writers. You are my kind.

About writing, Judith says: I have been writing close to forever. Since I was in grade school and wrote fantasy stories about my Giant Flemish rabbit, Dynamite.

As I write this I am alone in a cabin on the Lake Michigan shore, with my dog, Pericles. This is what it takes for me to dive as deep as I need to work on my book, Fever of Unknown Origin. It is supposed to be springtime but today the wind is icy and hard pellets of snow sweep across the beach. All of this, plus the 5000 tunes on my ipod and the fire in the fireplace help me be still enough, help me be strong enough, to work and rework the 600+ pages of manuscript that I’ve brought with me.

The book is a memoir, with multiple story lines – about my own experience with a near-fatal illness, my mother’s stroke and eventual death, my father’s death by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – interwoven with anecdotes of family history. It’s a book about coping, about building structures and having them torn down, going on anyway, surrendering sometimes to the undertow, fighting back, waking up, going back to sleep even after multiple vows never to miss another second of eyes-wide-open life.

Lake Michigan shoreline with Pericles, April 9th, 2007, photo submitted by author

 Lake Michigan Shoreline With Pericles, April 9th, 2007, photo © 2007 by Judith Ford. All rights reserved. 

related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – 25 REASONS I WRITE

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shoes through screen longshot, photo by QuoinMonkey, February, 2007, all rights reserved      boots outside zendo, photo by QuoinMonkey, February 2007, all rights reserved            

Outside the Zendo, Taos, New Mexico, February, 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Topsiders, clogs, sandals, flip-flops, hushpuppies, horseshoes, stilettos, penny loafers, Oxfords, Jellys, mules, platforms, Mary Janes.

Keds, Buster Browns, Doc Martens, Manolo Blahnik, Sorels, Bongos, Wellingtons, Nikes, Keens, Minnetonka Moccasins, Chuck Taylor Converse, Timberland, New Balance, Dansko, Merrells, Reeboks, Adidas, Skechers, Land’s End, Redwings, or PF Flyers.

I want to hear about your favorite shoes. Doesn’t matter how old you were when you wore them or if you still own them. What decade was it? Who made them? What did they look like? Where did they take you?

Details, give me details. Sewn, molded, leather, rubber, suede, rivets, slip-on, snaps, ties, buckles. Corns, bunions, blisters, sweat, cold, ice, leaks, freezing rain.

If you need inspiration go to About Shoes on ShoeInfoNet and read about the Patron Saints of Shoemakers or delve into A History of Your Shoes (after you get to the site, go into: About Shoes, Shoe History on the left sidebar).

Or plug in your old Cassette, 8-Track, or CD loaded with shoe songs: “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra, “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins or Elvis Presley, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon, or “Clementine” (an American folk song).

When did you learn to tie your shoes? Name the first pair that let you tie the knot. Tell me about your Ruby Slippers.

What is it about that pair of shoes?

shadow and light, if the shoe fits, photo by QuoinMonkey, February 2007, all rights reserved

 -Shadow and Light, If the Shoe Fits, Taos, February 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

-posted on red Ravine,  April 12, 2007

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