For the love of cats … and writing friends …

Hello everyone,

Photo by Theresa Barker.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about connections. When you’re a writer you spend a lot of time alone. At a desk, in front of a computer keyboard or pad-and-pen. Writing. Yes, that’s important. To write you need to time alone, to create scenes or poetry, express yourself, to build a body of work. Just like an artist needs time in the studio to paint, to sculpt, or to create in whatever medium they use. Yes. You need to be able to tolerate solitude.

But.

There is such a creative joy in connecting with other artists or writers! This week I had coffee with a writer friend who told me about her outlining process in her new novel. I had a chat-room conversation with a writer-friend in the UK about using a 5-Act structure for her novel. I exchanged comments on poetry – and on cats – with poet Luanne Castle, and on Chinese food with Asian Australian writer Mabel Kwong, on snowy weather in the Pac. NW with blogger Kim Stirling, and on creativity and the UK’s climate with photographer-extraordinaire Amy Maranto. (And the tea in the photo came from a dear friend from college who lives in Houston, Texas!)

It really helps. When one goes back to one’s own desk to create more art, it really helps to know others are thinking of you and you of them. It’s a whole community that sits at that desk with you. Hah!

Photo by Theresa Barker.

And when all else fails, there’s always the love of cats to see you through. Here is my cat Pickles getting some much-desired attention. Prrr!

A recent “Poem-A-Day” from the Academy of American Poets caught my eye, “Helen Considers Leaving Paris,” by Jeananne Verlee. I wrote my own little riff on it – below.

Lois Lane Considers Leaving Superman

After Jeanann Verlee

After two glasses of presecco
Don’t mistake me, I’ve pondered this before. But today I’m wistful. Two glasses, not one, because he’s out on another rescue mission. Tomorrow: The Talk. Luggage. New apartment (him, not me). More hopes.

While walking the dog
Superman won’t even notice, even if Clark Kent will. I’ll send the dog to doggie day care, take my briefcase to work, file new stories, and slip something to salon.com. What it’s like to live with Superman, no really. A girl’s guide to sleeping with superheroes. That outta get my name on the map. Like the Kardashians – oops! maybe not.

While paying the bills
It was so much easier before. Workplace romances, especially if unrealized, are never at risk. You come into work, you smile over the water cooler or break room coffee, you stay in your own lane and he stays in his. Until. Why’d he have to tip his hand? That first rescue seemed like the scoop of the century. Little did I know.

When Superman comes home at three in the morning – again
Call up White. He’s the publisher, he’ll understand. I need reassignment. I need distance. I need time away. Maybe something overseas. As long as. Clark will take it hard, Superman will hardly notice. Laundry. Clean shirts. A goddamned date night out once in a while. Maybe there’s a book in this. Someday?
.

Take care and good writing,

Theresa

15 thoughts on “For the love of cats … and writing friends …

    1. Yay! Amy, I was curious about how this writing might strike you. I’m looking more closely at a piece I want to post, wanting to convey something of interest, but trying not to leave the reader in a negative place at the end. Thank you!

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    1. Miss Zebra! Thanks for stopping by! I’m sad to hear you’re away from writing groups at the moment. Perhaps it’s just temporary! … and, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the Lois Lane piece. That makes my day! 🙂

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  1. Theresa you have such a beautiful way of expressing yourself and we loved your opening remark relating to “connections”. We are learning so much through connections with others and truly listening to them and wanting to know them. The end result is a relationship that blesses us in so many ways. Don’t cats add to ones life!!!! We bet Pickles could tell some purrrrrfect stories. We enjoyed your “riff” on “Helen Considers Leaving Paris,” by Jeananne Verlee. We liked your version!

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    1. Yes, I have really enjoyed the connection with you, Tom & Audrey. And cats can be so additive, yes. Thank you for telling me you enjoyed my piece on Lois Lane & Superman. Have a great week! 🙂

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    1. Oooh, if you find the superhero poem I’d love to hear what you decide to do with it. I know you may not wish to post it in the blog in case you’ll publish it later, but would be fun to hear your thoughts about it! 🙂

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  2. I wish I had more of the quiet times alone writing as you have and have those awesome moments interacting with fellow writers. Then again, I am an accountant first and a frustrated writer next, and I happen to work in a vibey and diverse internet company with many young people. The chats and interactions are unavoidable so I work from home at least twice a month.

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    1. I love that you are so involved with the world and you still come back to writing! Do not criticize yourself my friend, you are an awesome writer and a lovely individual! 🙂 Keep on with your own creative efforts, we are out here for you!

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      1. Aw, thank you my friend. Thanks so much! It’s a bit of a struggle to get back the writing momentum I have. I’m not giving up though… not yet. 😆 I probably won’t. I know how good it feels to write. My mind also does go wandering a lot still and I would write things down. When the people around me in the world of work upset me, they inspire me to write. As you know I’m that one who writes what I know, what I experience, and what I imagine. For my fiction, I write one exaggerated reality, changed or masked, and from there make up the rest.

        Much love and hugs. 🤗❤😘

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      2. You are intrepid, my friend! that you keep writing in mind when your life is so busy is a tribute to your creativity! – and you always inspire me, my friend. I think of you over there on the other side of the world from me, thinking and creating and caring about your family and friends, and it always makes me smile. 🙂 hugs!

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