Greetings from Castle Hedgewitch
The world of blogging has changed a lot over the last seven years. I remember how excited I was when I encountered my first poetry prompt site, and how amazed I was at all the other writers out there who read and commented with such enthusiasm on each other's work. It was exhilarating, intoxicating, and inspired a flood of writing and of relationships that otherwise I'm sure would never have occurred. A few of these relationships remain, and are among the most significant ones in my life. Yet blogging feels like it's dying.
When I began 'archiving' my poems here in 2010, I never expected anyone to read what I put on my blog--well, now except for those few friends who still remain, those expectations are unfortunately realized, not just for me, but for many of us. All the fervor and fun seems to have seeped away like the helium from a child's balloon. Lots of people in our never-large community are laying down their pens, closing their blogs, or just dribbling out a poem when they can on Facebook.
I've had all these symptoms of bloggery malaise myself. I've resigned from every prompt site I ever volunteered for. I've closed this blog at least four times, and taken extended breaks many more times than that. And who knows, I may again. But I've found I can't live properly without my poetry.
I can't pinpoint when the camaraderie of writers became instead a burden of obligations, but it did. The muse refuses to dance, and however willing the spirit, the voice becomes quieter and quieter, til now it's damn close to silent.
The saddest part of this is that we have never had times that needed poetry and camaraderie of kindred spirits more. One of my favorite prompts to nudge me out of the unable-to-write doldrums used to be the Friday 55, a flash fiction meme run by a unique human being named Galen Hayes, otherwise known as the G-Man, from his site, Mr. Knowitall, where this simple notice of his passing says all you really need to know about him.
He had a kind and often hilarious word for anyone who participated in any form--so long as it was 55 words, no more, no less. He always felt more like a friend than a 'site administrator,' made you feel that there was a real and human relationship happening, as if you stood face to face with him, he with you, and with all the people linking, and missing a Friday was just...not fun.*
The fact is, everywhere, no one seems to care if you have a kickass weekend or not any more, or feel that there is a relationship between those who come to a meme and peoples' real selves. (I maintain there is, because there are no selves more real than the ones we reveal to each other in our poetry.)
So, purely for myself--and for old times sake, a little--I have decided to begin writing a 55 word piece--no more, no less--each Friday whenever I can, posting it here, and calling it what it was always called--Friday 55.
It won't be the same of course. Many of the 55ers are long gone from my sphere in one way or another, and I am no Galen Hayes and never will be, but I remember him and what he did for me and so many others. Anyone who wants to is invited to join me in the writing, and if you leave a link in the comments--or the 55 itself, or tell me you have one on Facebook, I will be delighted to read it.
I will reprise the gist of this on Friday when I begin this personal journey, but I wanted to get this up so my few but dear readers could digest it ahead of time. Love to all of you, hands across the chaos, and let us all do what we can to keep our love for words and those who work in them alive.
|via Mr. Knowitall|
you may even tempt me to come back, joy.
i concur, and i accept that i fed the monster for a while.
but i could def use a kickass weekend.
and i miss galen.
And I miss you bri--and no one did more to carry the torch. But there comes a time, yes? You are welcome here, always.Delete
Brian, i am happy to see your name pop up, as have emailed you a few times with no reply. Hope you are well, kiddo, and hope your friends in Nepal are safe as well.Delete
I'll be there!ReplyDelete
Yes! just a sidenote--I'm having some computer issues right now, so should nothing further happen this week, it won't be because I've already gotten burned out on this. ;)ReplyDelete
Pen and teeth at the ready, my friend!ReplyDelete
I've felt blogs fading, but I will not be dragged into the fake world of all the other social media's around, so I shall remain here, sporadic at times, but here...ReplyDelete
I loooooved the Friday 55 as well, I still make Galen's Peach Cobbler with fond memories... don't mind if I too will keep it in mind to write 55, just 55, words on a Friday...
I'm so excited to see you, ladies. And you are so welcome here, always.ReplyDelete
The spirit of Galen lives in each of his many fans, including myself. Thank you for this ....ReplyDelete
I agree, and you're very welcome--in all ways, Helen.ReplyDelete
yep, yep, and yep. crystalized it perfectly. thanks, Joy. I'll keep an eye open. ~ReplyDelete
Glad I made sense, M. I'll also keep a weather eye for any signs of life. ;_)ReplyDelete
Awww. I miss G-man too. I haven't heard a peep from my muse in ages - started a new job and she abandoned me. I will try to squeeze out 55 though, for Galen and for you Hedgie. :o)ReplyDelete
I know the feeling, Mary, believe me. That's one of the reasons I'm doing this--how hard can 55 words be? Ha! Anyway, I hope your muse will dance with us.ReplyDelete
Hedge, I think this is a great way to compass toward a center which keeps the poetry alive, when it is needed most. A 55 is succinct, smart and small enough to arrow through that fast-closing center. I usually find my next poem close to the thing that's pushing hardest against the heart. I'm in.ReplyDelete
You know I'm happy to hear it, B. and I agree completely with your analysis. So many times when words seem as distant as Mars, by focusing on something close and specific, we find a voice.Delete
First words in months. Thanks Joy. I hope you have a kick-ass weekend. xx
You are earlier even than me, Mary! I moved your link over to the main Friday post, and thanks so much for playing. I loved this one.Delete
Wonderful, Joy. I so agree that the selves we reveal in our poetry are as real as we get. My poet friendships are among the deepest of my life and i treasure them. I feel a change in the 'sphere as well. But i must keep writing, no matter how i limp along, because i am happiest when i do. I am happy you are offering friday 55 in memory of the G-man. Yay.ReplyDelete
I, the eternal outlier, find structure binding and forced. Happy are many to abandon thoughtful , aometimes researched, pourings for the quick and easy portrayal of what they ate for lunch that day (with pictures). I will always be here.ReplyDelete
I'd love to participate. I added my email here but no prompt came this week so I am going to just have to resort to good old memory.ReplyDelete
A part of my fiction writing died with G Man. I miss him so much every time I see the word 55. I wish he is having a gala time in his afterlifeReplyDelete