I got an invite to Google Plus today. I am really hoping to be able to rid myself of facebook, or, at least, the use of facebook.
I can still invite—when they reopen invitations—so if you want an invitation, post your email and I’ll do what I can.
If you want to check out my profile, you can find it here: http://gplus.to/pickmybran
Google Plus currently does not offer custom urls, so I am using the third party http://gplus.to
Sorry about the blurriness! For our twelfth Classroom Pictures, I have a “portrait” of my student Shiho. We were covering family trees.
よる の かわ
yoru no kawa
夜 の 川
This was my first attempt at writing a haiku in Japanese. Please let me know what you think.
A Heron Waits For Lunch
swim around thin legs, standing
in a rice paddy
My answer was Japan, but now I am here.
I have been to Italy and Canada.
There are many places I would like to visit. I’m not sure I can pick a “most”, but I can give a top five.
Biked twelve miles today. Next up, Tour de France? Nah. I think I’d rather just have a cup of coffee and speak in a French accent.
Resting for now, then writing until bed.
I can’t tell you what it’s about, so I’ll post a poem instead.
But first, a confession: I have a bad habit of starting stories and not finishing. I have more than a few 1/3 or 1/2 written plays and short stories littering various notebooks.
Currently, I am living abroad in Japan. I am away from home—for the first time—, away from my fiancée, and free from many of the distractions that plagued me in America. Of course, Japan brings many new distractions, but since I don’t have to work two jobs just to break even at the end of the month, and, since my one job has less hours worked than my previous jobs required, I have a lot more free time, even with consistent distractions.
I am using this time for many things. Primarily, it is to bolster my teaching ability. However, it is, in many ways, also to prove myself—to prove that I am capable, I am able to handle life on my own, able to survive.
Today marks the end of my 8th month here. I have learned many things and I have improved in many ways. I am much better at time-management, fulfilling tasks, and cleaning up immediately after I make a mess. I have learned some Japanese and learned how to cook some Japanese food. I am growing.
I think I am becoming a better writer.
When I was at my thesis review for my master’s degree (I wrote a poetic thesis), I was asked if in 10 years I would still think of what I had written as good and be proud of what I had written.
I stated that I would certainly be proud, but, like any author, I would view my earlier work as immature. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of Richard Wright, who, as a middle-aged man, viewed Uncle Tom’s Children as underdeveloped writing. Personally, I think it is on of his best works—many critics, however, would disagree.
I am growing as a writer and finding my voice.
There are two things that I have struggled with when it comes to writing: my voice and discipline.
I can hear the voice of Mrs. Nelson, my fifth grade teacher spouting off the benefits of self-discipline. How I wish I could slap my fifth grade self around and get me on track! Alas, time machines have not been invented and if they are invented in my lifetime, I know that I will never have the chance to use one, since I have no memory of being visited by an abusive version of myself, when I was in fifth grade.
I guess the point to my post is, how do you find your voice? What do you do? Often, when I’m writing poetry, I imagine Garrison Keillor reading it on The Writer’s Almanac. I think, how would this sound in Keillor’s voice. I think that I’m a poor orator, but lately, I’ve been working on that. I’ll let you know how it goes. I just don’t feel like I’m good enough to orate even my own poetry.
Sorry for the ramblings. I don’t have a new poem today, so here is something from my thesis.
Aged southern men
sit, sagacious and stolid,
in rocking chairs—
mint juleps in hand.
“It’s hotter than the hinges
they think; and
who could know better?
They’ve seen the gates of hell,
and hurdled, and hurdled, through
armed with rifles and bayonets,
to tear and split
flesh and dreams.
towards hell and fire
for some agenda
There’s not much left,
They watch cars and bicycles;
the arid august sun
Perched, pensive on porches,
like pigeons in the square,
cooing of remnants
forgotten by their youngers.
They dry up,
with every cool, glistening drop
slithering down their glasses,
by the cruel Alabama heat.