April is a Good Month for Writing

For example, today I’ve already written four poems and two blog posts, including my Young Adult Catholics one (this is my third blog post, and I think I’ll write a four before I turn in for the night). I did finish my novel last week, with much trepidation, but the response from my writers group helped me put my mind at ease. I’m going to take a little break from that novel now, which will feel weird as I continue to blog here. That novel and this blog feel inextricably linked, since I started them both at the same time — November 2008, my first month as a full-time freelancer.

Although I’m too late to officially jump on the National Poetry Writing Month bandwagon, I think I might pick up and try to write poems for the rest of the month. It seems a waste to let NaPoWriMo go by without me when I’m in love, since that’s what always shakes the poems loose from within me. Tonight I taught a poetry class at the library, and I wrote four poems while the students were also writing. So that means I’m only nine behind for the month of April! Here are a couple of them:

From a writing exercise in which you were allowed to use the name of an emotion as the title of your poem, but were NOT allowed to use that word (or synonyms for it) in the body of the poem, even as you described it.

Nervous

My stomach insists
I’ve swallowed a thousand crazy fish
A smile tugs at my lips
Laughter or nausea crawls up my throat,
A volcano about to explode.
Fingers trembling as they
Reach for the water glass.

Deep breaths—one, two, three—
Straight back,
Head high,
Smile and open my mouth
Never revealing the lie.

That was about my recent speaking engagement at my alma mater’s English banquet, by the way, where they loved me. 😉

And this one is my pantoum. Ah, how I love pantoums.

If this is the land of my heritage,
Why am I just passing through?
A house made sturdy with my father’s hands
And the books on the shelf make it home.

Why am I just passing through,
One small stop on the way to forever?
And the books on the shelf make it home
But books in boxes make me rootless.

One small step on the way to forever
Is the stop that changes your life.
But books in boxes make me rootless
And I’m so tired of always looking for home.

Is the stop that changes your life
The one that can make you stay?
And I’m so tired of always looking for home
So please let me make it here.

The one that should make you stay—
Why am I just passing through?
So please let me make it here
If this is the land of my heritage.

Congratulations to me — this is my first non-angry pantoum. I’m branching out!

2 Responses to “April is a Good Month for Writing”

  1. spoonbridge

    Congratulations on your novel! Do you have any future plans for it? I’m kind of in a similar place; last week I also finished my Master’s paper (bar a few stylistic edits) and it does feel a bit… strange to have completed something you have been pretty much working on non stop for the last six months. What next? Also, I really like your pantoum; it really speaks to an emotion I think a lot of people I know are experiencing right now. I need to learn more about poetry.

    Reply
    • Lacey Louwagie

      Congrats on your thesis, too! My next step on my novel will be another revision, and then I hope to submit it to Delacorte Press’s Young Adult Novel Contest in December. I’ll also work on submitting it to other agents/publishers. Since this is a young adult novel and shorter than most of what I’ve written, the thought of revising it till it’s at a “submittable” level isn’t totally daunting to me.

      I need to learn more about poetry, too! I feel like I really just muddle through when I do actually sit down to write it. I’m much better at “poetic” prose.

      Reply

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