moodling onward

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s WP Daily Prompt poses the (timely) question:

Think about something that drives you crazy. Now, think about something that makes you happy. Does it change your perspective?

Ever have the feeling that someone ‘out there’ is actually inside your own head? or heart? As in, thinking your thought, feeling your feeling, saying what you had yet to find the words to express?

So it is with today’s prompt. I appear to have dropped off the blogging radar. And not the first time. This drives me crazy, because it was a simple practice I promised myself: to blog three times/week.

Blogging makes me happy, you see. It gives me an opportunity, however briefly in the day, to focus on something that connects me with a larger world. Like the one whose ideas reflect my own. And yours, whose words might move me to tears or action or flight. The point is, they move me.

And so I am reminded again what I tell my writers, and what I witness each time we hold a reading for invited guests. Our sharing is, in Brenda Ueland’s words, ‘a generosity, not a performance.’ Ah, yes! I do not need to present polished pieces. There are no grades. I am doing this for my own satisfaction. Thanks for the reminder.

And, as Brenda Ueland ALSO said: “The imagination needs moodling — long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering. ” That’s where I’ve been. Moodling.


Today’s Daily Post Challenge: Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

See previous post!

Add to it: around midnight Monday, November 4, 2013 our publisher emailed Marybeth and myself: CHECK AMAZON.COM. NOW. At that time HEAR ME, SEE ME was ranked in the 6000’s for all books; and #1 in Political/Social Science – Women’s Studies – Women Writers. [Also #17 in Social Science – Criminology and #47 in Social Science – Gender Studies.]

Now THAT is intense. We are a mighty small operation – two of us. Running a weekly writing group that in four years has impacted over 200 women. Sixty of whose writings appear in the book. Most of that time as volunteers. Lately funded enough to cover expenses and a bit of our time. In Vermont. For women prisoners.

What did I expect? That family and friends would be supportive and excited. What did we get? National exposure. Strangers moved to donate to the program. Folks across the world sharing their awe at the courage of these women. And hopefully still more positive ‘customer reviews’ on Amazon (hint, hint!!) and reviews . . .

This. Is. Intense.

incarcerated women’s writing goes viral

Hear Me_See Me cover FINAL 6.27.13HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write is the collected poetry and prose of Vermont’s incarcerated women co-edited by myself and Marybeth Christie Redmond, and released by Orbis Books in September.

In 2010 we co-founded writing inside VT, a program using writing as a tool for self-exploration and change at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. This is Vermont’s sole women’s prison.

Since last fall, we have lived and breathed the book: first, selecting and compiling four years’ worth of writings, figuring out the most effective sequence; and of course, writing a killer introduction.

Then, after a brief lull while it went to press, we focused on organizing a major launch event for October 3rd. Since then, we have enjoyed a series of public appearances – on VPR, WCAX; and novelist Chris Bohjalian‘s column in the local paper – as well as a torrent of positive calls, texts, emails, Facebook posts and book sales with their attendant glowing reviews.

Today, an Associated Press interview of the writing circle went viral – from California to New England, Illinois to Mississippi. It even ran in The Washington Post and ABC news.

I guess I have to stop waiting for things to settle down so I can get back to my own writing . . .