Stumbling through my eyes

La Vase Paille, Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm - The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania
La Vase Paille




That’s what I read, but the sentence I read really said “Istanbul” not “Stumbling.”  What I thought it said sounds like a song by Gilbert O’Sullivan (Stumblin’ thru my eyes/  what a big surprise/ I thought I knew but what I knew I never really knew/Alone Again/ Natur’ly.)



Speaking of Istanbul, my brilliant friend and poet, Lillias Bever is the author of Bellini in Istanbul, from Tupelo Press.  It is a beautiful book!

It was Cezanne’s birthday a few weeks back. It’s Saturday, and once again, I’m rewriting.  The book is not done. The next time I finish the book, finish this revision, I’m keeping quiet.  I spent some of the afternoon listening to Colson Whitehead‘s lecture on How to Write at a Chicago Humanities Festival on the web.  Toni Morrison, with her wonderfully rich voice is also on the site, and it felt good to recognize her voice.

All this stumbling through the mind today.

after done

Ossian's Cave front door at The Hermitage, Sco...
Image via Wikipedia

What does one do after the project is done?  I think you start a new one.  It’s like making a habit of reading books at bedtime.  If you find yourself without, you look woefully at the seed catalogues and magazines, but they just leave your mind more awake.  What you need is a good novel.

My next book of fiction.  I think the way to do it is write in the morning, steadily, until an idea pops out.  Usually, my best ideas come while I’m washing the dishes.  I’ve got an inkling, a young heroine and a mysterious cave.

If I were to cluster “cave” I’d get:

dark                      bats                       riches                    clouds, lack of

paths                              cave magic

wings fluttering              entrance             hidden            mysterious        protagonist

Of course the problem in clustering on a public medium is the degree of self-consciousness that enters the game.  That is why blogging is different from composing a novel.  The latter needs, what? Many many drafts and no one looking.  The former requires instantaneous verve.

birthday papaya

birthday papaya by di
tea, waiting by di
tea, ready by di
Cake! by Diane

From Diane who celebrated recently.

New Beans

Victrola Beans

A new year begins, full of promise, hope and expectation.  Two thousand years and counting, and more before, in this  life.

Recently, I compared my work to speeding along, in a canoe.  Zephyr (?) used to blow gentle winds to help the vessel stay on course, and the Ancient Greeks weren’t foolish to disregard the eyes of the gods above, despite the posturing of Odysseus and most of the protagonists of the tragedies.  So, here I am in my canoe, with lonely oar, traversing through a water of words, but aware there are many who guide me along.  My family, who listened without severe criticism at my drafts, my niece who was clear and focussed in her wants of a good story, and my friends who suggested a deadline and are holding me to it.

Victrola Beans, grinding

The interweb distracts, the new teaching year calls, and then there’s my hair, falling like…


There’s the Grace Paley story, “A Conversation With My Father,” in which the father wants his daughter to write like Chekhov, which I would insert here, but it’s a good New Year’s quest for anyone up for it.  I will print the link for a wonderful hilarious take on The Canterbury Tales my friend Andrew alerted me to:

(you click on directly in “blogroll”)


A Happy New Year To All