Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Odds and Ends

Longhand is the only way I can write poetry.  Longhand feels more organic to me than typing does, I feel more connected to the words. I hate pencils, but if there is nothing else around I’ll use one. Otherwise, any decent ball point will do if it slides across the paper smoothly. A roller ball is fun because it is wet, sloppy, and smudgy.

Whether with pen or pencil, I cross out all mistakes, never erase, and when I’m thinking, I draw a box around the crossed out words and fill them in really dark. Sometimes if I have to think for a long time, I tear the page from coloring in too much.

I have tons of notebooks to write in. However, my preferred practice is to grab some paper that is going to be thrown out anyway–like a bill stub, an opened envelope, or a computer printout–and write on the empty side. I usually keep pretty good track but over time I’ve lost a couple of poems, one of them I mourn as my best. I think about it a lot but I don’t know if I can write that one again.

When I do write in a notebook,  I never start at the beginning and work my way to the end. Rather, I randomly open the book to a blank page, trying to stay a few pages away from another entry, mostly because those pages are wrinkly and the ink from my boxes show through the back, and sometimes it leaves a mark on the facing page. I rarely use the same notebook twice in a row.

When I was younger, my favorite topics to write about were romantic love, social causes, and the occult, in that order. Nowadays, the aspect of the occult I believe in the most is intuition. I want to live by it but I don’t want to be a fool. We need to be aware of social causes but I’m too self-centered these days to want to write about them.

As for love, that’s for another post. When I get to it, that’s going to be a hard topic for me to talk about.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2010.

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Comments on: "Odds and Ends" (15)

  1. I love the intimacy– emotional and spiritual– of your posts… “I do myself, but who are my lovers?” That’s quotable… And this one, about writing, is beautifully revealing. Are you sending your pieces anywhere? xxj

    • Thank you, Jenne’, I’m glad the post translated the way I intended it to. As a writer, you know it doesn’t get much more personal than this. Thank you for your encouragement. I’m just letting it fly right now, haven’t given much thought about how, where, and what to submit.

  2. For years, and I do mean years everything I wrote I wrote longhand. Bic medium point black pen on either college lined wire notebook, or yellow legal tablet. (a lot of that old writing got ruined in my recent basement flood, oh well, if I wrote it once I can write it again better) To this day, if I am starting a new major project I go out and buy a college lined wire notebook, even if I never put a thing in it because now I type everything. I have many blank tablets. I have more tablets with scribbled notes (always in black pen) My husband and parents know that if they need paper, not to tear from my tablets. It is literally the only thing I’m selfish with. I’ll give you the last dollar in my pocket and not think about it, not expect you to pay me back, and forget I ever gave it to you moments after its gone. Don’t ask for a sheet of paper.

    Oddly enough someone asked me why I had this little fetish recently. Finally, after years of doing it I could tell them why, “If you have a blank piece of paper, if you have an empty tablet…you have possiblity infront of you. You have the canvas to create a game, a story, jot down your thoughts, entertain yourself and others for hours. Blank paper is power and possiblity. For me it is one step closer to God to have that creative blank canvas.”

    Now you see me Sweepy, and your writing made me have to say it. Writing is kind of sexual, each person has their own kinks and fetishes.

    As always…Love you!

    • I love it! Thank you so much for sharing that, Lisa. I really am sorry that some of your older stuff was destroyed. Even though years may go by without looking at them, our writings are a piece of us not easily discarded.

  3. I hate to date myself, but back before computers I used to write in longhand in notebooks. I still have all of them, even works that I hope no one will ever read. But, like children who have grown up and left the nest, I can’t bring myself to dispose of them.

    • Are you kidding? It’s only been in the last 10 years or so that I have been able to write prose while typing and it was not an easy transition. I can’t bear to throw my notebooks out (and more than a few paper scraps), either. I’m so glad you stopped by; don’t be a stranger!

  4. I can relate to that but abandoned longhand long ago. There is definitely a different feel to writing by hand. And I still do write that way sometimes, it’s just that it’s never anything I keep. I’m so addicted to the power of cutting and psting. One quirk I’ll give you is that I won’t use a thesaurus while I’m writing. I love the feel of a pen though, and I’m always picking up new pens, because I like the feeling of the act of writing. But for it to see the light of day, it is always done on my computer.

    • Lol! On the one hand you acquired a new habit of writing on the computer but kept the old habit of buying pens. :-0 Thank you for sharing that, Brent.

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve given you the Sunshine Award 🙂

    http://firesidemoments.blogspot.com/2010/03/sunshine-award.html

    • That is so sweet of you, Anahid. Thank you! I’m going to display it and bestow it to others as soon as I can get organized enough!

  6. I like longhand too when it comes to poetry, but lately all my prose writing has been straight from my noggin onto the keypad, something I swore I would never do. Oh my foolish youth!
    I’ve got an award for you over on my blog today! – G

    • Yes, I’ve using the computer for prose for a while, although it took some getting used to at first. Thank you so much for the award, you’re very kind!

  7. I guess I am more a computer person. Am typing everything I write. Sometimes I feel I shiould rather write them on a piece of paper but then I am also too lazy to search for one… Not sure there is any at my place.

  8. I write poetry wherever and on whatever. In notebooks, on newspapers, blackboards, on my mobile phone, typed into whatever application on the computer in a moment of sudden thought, whatever surface isn’t going to get me in trouble for graffiti (and occasionally, some that have).

    I love knowing the process of other poets 🙂

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