Posted by davidjmobrien
The Winter of Our Discontent?
We sit and watch autumn fall upon us, daily;
The park employees still sweep up leaves,
Now the last grass mowing has past.
Pigeons and ducks tuck into tossed bread,
Filling up for colder times, robins arrive from
Colder climes, while we wonder whether
Gates will weather open all the way to winter:
A thought neither here not there for the
Twittering finches in the turning trees
Above the bench as I write, depressing
Ideas of Christmas devoid of cavalcades,
Parties or people we would gift our presence.
To live with this disease in our midst, we need lifts:
Standing amid pines, or plans to participate,
Smiles and simple hugs: scenes to celebrate.
While robins free to fly away in warmer weather
Pigeons will persist on unswept seeds,
Finches filled with felicity, we will sit inside,
Pining, and chastising ourselves this idiocy;
Sitting watching screens instead of celebrations,
Imbibing wine in place of cherished faces.
Tags: autumn, celebrate, Celebration, celebrations, christmas, christmas holidays, city park, closing parks, cold, Coronavirus, Covid, Covid-19, disease, emigration, emmigrant, fall, family, finches, friends, gates, gifts, grass, home, hugging, hugs, idiocy, immigration, lawn mowing, lawns, leaf blowers, leaves, lockdown, meeting people, migrants, migration, mowing, nations, nature, nature poetry, pandemic, parades, park, park bench, park gates, parks, pigeon, pigeons, pine tree, pine trees, poem, poetry, presents, restrictions, robin, screens, social distancing, trees, Weather, wine, winter, writing
Posted by davidjmobrien
A person wrote a question on a FB writers group the other day, asking what people do to celebrate finishing writing a book.
Most people said start the next one. I concurred. I do also allow myself the luxury of going off the deep end into a new TV series, or season I’m already addicted to.
Or a big novel, like The Count of Monte Cristo last year when I finished the first draft of The Ecology of Lonesomeness.
But it’s only the first draft. And I certainly don’t do anything like buy something to celebrate, or take my wife out to dinner. I don’t take her out to dinner to celebrate her own achievements, and they are much more impressive than mine, so why would I do it to celebrate what’s not an achievement, but more like a milestone on a journey, albeit a very significant milestone?
I do celebrate when the book is published. I splashed out on a bottle of scotch to celebrate Leaving the Pack, and bought myself a cool pen for the publication of Five Days on Ballyboy Beach. Absinthe seemed appropriate for JD Martins’ novella One Night in Madrid. For The Ecology of Lonesomeness another bottle of scotch is on the cards – but a better one, and for The Soul of Adam Short, I’ve no idea. I don’t need much (apart from lots of liquor, it seems).
That’s not the most important part of the process for me, though.
Framing a copy of the cover is special.
But not nearly so rewarding, really, as starting a new outline, a set of frantically scribbled notes as a new story unfolds in my head, complete with all it’s attendant glorious absence of logic.
But the best bit of all? That’s what I just did this week: signing a contract and getting to write the back cover blurb, the dedication and the acknowledgments.
I usually have a rough draft of the blurb written. If I didn’t, I couldn’t send submissions in the first place. But the dedication I get to do from scratch. I never write that until a book has somewhere to go. And I probably never will.
Each of my books, with one exception, is dedicated to someone different. I like to find someone appropriate given the theme of the story. My parents and my family are thus yet to see a dedication. But theirs is coming. I hope.
As for acknowledgments, I delight in writing those, too.
Writing is a lonely business. It has always been for me. I never got much in the way of encouragement from my close family or friends (some, I suspect, are merely putting up with me until I make some money at this game… but don’t tell her I told you so). The people who do lend me a hand, therefore, even when I have had to nearly wrench it off their shoulders in the first place, well deserve their mention.