The Circus Tent II, by Timmy on flickr
The world, it’s been said and oft-repeated, is a stage.
I too am one such a player – a masked pretender cued by the reflection my audience mirrors back to me.
But I am also a writer – one who has further played the role of poet, at one time or other. I have characterized my own self, as well as my personal stage where the show goes on.
Today is my birthday.
At around 2:00am this morning, I turned officially 35 years old, thus entering, as someone at work (helpfully!) pointed out, whole new age demographic on surveys.
In my mind, though, it actually happened about six months ago, back in June.
I always make the point of pre-aging myself. This is both to smooth the transition from one year to the next and to prevent subsequently mis-aging my myself, similar to how people often continue to write the old year for months after New Year’s.
Today is also the day I’m supposed to have the draft of my novel-in-progress completed.
That, on the other hand, didn’t happen.
I’ve already decided to forgive myself for that. It was a self-imposed deadline in any case, so the only person I’m really letting down is myself. But I refuse to feel let down.
In writing, as in all aspects of life, one only gets out of it what s/he’s put in. I can honestly say I’ve put a lot of effort and heart into my WIP, and have worked away on it, if not speedily, than with dogged consistency. I’ve been no slouch, so if it’s going to take me longer than I thought to get ‘er done, well, such is life.
The only truly downside is that I’d originally planned to share my novel’s opening on my birthday.
I’ve always fancied myself something of a poet.
This may be more than a little presumptuous on my part: I’ve never formally studied poetry; I’ve never taken courses in it beyond what was covered in my grade 11 creative writing class.
(Admittedly, the class in grade 11 was the only in-class instruction I’ve ever had in prose as well. However, I did spend from about 2001 to 2004 reading every creative writing how-to book I could get my hands on, which, to me, likewise counts as a prose education.)
Yet, everything I learned about poetry during that grade 11 writing class just seemed to resonate with me: poetic meter; unexpected metaphors, similes and rhymes; beginnings, middles, endings, and points of view, just like in prose; denotation; connotation; the sound of the words vs. their literal meaning.
All these lessons have also come to be parlayed into the prose of my novel-in-progress, to which I’m always keen to lend a poetic edge.