Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The day's on fire! (literally and figuratively!)

A few months ago, Claire Crowther and I decided we'd take a week to write, enclosing ourselves in her and her husband's flat in Somerset (without said husband, lovely though he is). When I  submitted the leave form for work, I could hardly believe I was taking a week off solely for my writing--for years I've combined my visits home with writing rather than going to writers' retreats, but since my father's illness and death (that is, since February '07), it's been harder to set aside the time to do so given increased family responsibilities. 

So this is that week. Claire and I arrived in Somerset on Sunday night, made dinner, and talked about our plans. We'd decided to introduce one another to a poet who was important to us; we'd write from first thing in the morning till lunch, then get out for a while, then come back for dinner and to work; we'd comment on one another's poems; we'd read some of the books we'd been wanting to read; we'd get started on some reviews. 

And we've had three heat-ridden, exhausting, vegetarian (with the understanding that I'm not--yet--vegetarian), exciting, tremendous days.

We both came with different goals. I wanted to settle into work on my second book, Divining for Starters; Claire had many poems she wanted to revise; we both had reviews we hoped to start and finish for TLS. Because of mutual determination and reinforcement, we've both been successful. I read and took notes on Jennifer Moxley's Imagination Verses and reread Linda Gregg's Too Bright to See and have begun reading--and loving--Luke Kennard's latest, The Migraine Hotel; I drafted three poems on the first day, two poems each day since, pushing myself to experiment with form and style; and I'm well into my review for TLS, which I expect to finish by week's end. But the least measurable element has been the best--a steady stream of conversation about poetry, romantic relationships, family, and more poetry. I've never had a better friend.


  1. Sounds like bliss. It's rare to have the right person, right time and right place come together all at once. I'm sure the results were something special.

  2. Good for you Carrie, this sounds like an awesome week, I'm very envious - I've started stealing 2 hours away from home every morning at Starbucks with my laptop, I get some odd looks... but you really do have to create time to write, don't you? No wonder it's called creative writing...