The idea that I had and wrote about a few posts ago, kept poking at me. I’ve also mentioned that instead of focusing strictly on editing Of Stars and Secrets, that my muse was nudging me to create at the same time. My logical, well-ordered mind was balking at that suggestion, as I’ve always (believed? but not proven?) done one or the other: create or edit. One is right-brained, the other left, and rarely shall the two meet! However, it appears that my presumption is incorrect. I mentioned the “book”, which has since morphed into a “project”, to Eric, the director of the yoga studio and head of the teacher training program, and wondered if he thought the other teacher trainers might be interested in my “collection of poems regarding my transformation through this program”, to which he responded with a resounding YES! He suggested that I bring a copy in for others to view. I then had to confess that some were scratched out on scraps of paper, most not even typed into the computer, etc. I offered to ask my fellow teacher trainers, and if there was an interest, then I’d go about putting a “book” together.
Out of about 35 or so teacher trainers, about 20 are interested, plus the teachers. I was shocked. They were very excited at the prospect of receiving a copy of my “book” for the cost of printing and binding. Arriving home, I discarded the first few ideas of how to go about compiling this “book”. First was to throw out contacting Lil (lillyskyedesign.com), the incredibly talented graphics person who has designed the last two book covers for me. There wasn’t enough time, so I decided they’d have to do with my limited skills in Word. Next, I decided that having it bound at a printers would certainly complicate matters. That would require, in all likelihood, a bar code, and serious set up fees for the presses. Not really cost-effective since I’m trying to keep it under $5. Then there were the poems themselves.
I had a couple written, others were ideas or one line that I had taken from my notes, but certainly not 20 or 30 that were ready for print! My muse to the rescue! Have I mentioned how grateful I am every day that I allow myself the opportunity to partake in the creativity that we are all blessed with, but not enough of us allow to flow? I know I’ve mentioned the words that continue to leak around the door that I thought I had temporarily shut on my ideas (the whole movie screen thing I described in my first blog). It is this language that has found its way onto a multitude of pages. Some are written on the lines, neatly adhering to “the right way” to use a spiral notebook, others are written sideways or diagonally. The one titled “Samskaras” is written in a spiral. (I’ve decided to rewrite it so that it is easily read, then scan it as is. I think it will lose some of its punch if written in traditional lines and stanzas.) The words flow, as they always have, my pen scratching quickly across the paper, sometimes turning the page of the notebook. At Starbucks the other day, I was sitting outside, enjoying the 77 degree weather in Phoenix, and found myself smiling as I was writing.
This, then is joy. It doesn’t come out perfect, but I find myself refraining from editing poems to the extend that I do my novels. Occasionally, a word will come, and I immediately dismiss it. Searching in my lexicon for another, perhaps more concise, meaning. Then there are times when I feel that if I used 5 adjectives in the last stanza, that this one needs 5 as well. Other times, I say, “Phooey,” and leave it the way it is. I’m back on a deadline (I’m beginning to think I might have an addiction to “projects”). But this isn’t just a “book” where I’ve compiled a handful of poems depicting my journey of transformation. Oh, no. My creativity would not be satisfied with a small collection of my musings. Instead, it has blossomed (as many of my ideas have) into a “project”.
At the risk of exposing a few of the contents, I’ll share with you what I’ve done. Some time digging around in Word to develop a cover, and then a back cover, a “Dear Reader” page (as I do with all my books/projects), an acknowledgements page, and a table of contents. I want this to be an experience for those who will receive it. Colored paper instead of plain white (I wanted textured paper, too, but the cost was prohibitive), plastic pocket for their own additions (wanted paper, couldn’t find any), binder clips and paper clips (the ones where the wires are bent into cool shapes like the sun, a dog, a guitar, etc.), and a pen on a rope. I’ve decided to print on only one side, and to place the poems, for the most part, in the center of the page. This leaves room for the readers/users to record their own thoughts. The covers will be laminated and the binding will be the “comb” (I called it “the one with the teeth” when asking an office supply store about their services). A friend has the binding machine, and I was able to locate the “combs”. The whole project should cost under $5. I’m absorbing the cost of the ink and my time. Each will be signed to the recipient, the colors of the pocket and designs of the binder clips and paper clips will be selected for each individual. All will be enclosed in a resealable baggie for ease in carrying until they get a feel for what I’ve included and how they are going to use it.
Due to my excitement over this project, I’ve decided that perhaps more than just the teacher trainers at Yoga Pura might be interested. So, it seems I’ll be purchasing a bar code and ISBN for it, and I’ll even ask Lil to put together another of her fabulous covers, but I don’t want to leave out any of the other pieces. I might change the binding, but the intention will remain: for others to use what I’ve provided as a springboard for their own discoveries and journeys. Perhaps a line or stanza may embody a philosophical point that they wish to use as their intention for one of their classes.
I’m in no way abandoning my novel writing! I’m just reveling in the opportunity to provide something to others in a very different format. Believe me, the story of the ranch with wild horses, the murder of the father who operates a big game reserve, the trilogy of post-industrialization, among others, are all still there, and continue to clamour for attention. But as I work on compiling this “project”, I continue to edit Of Prophecies and Promises (in print in spring 2010) the sequel to Of Stars and Secrets (which I should receive the proof of tomorrow or Tuesday), thus disproving my previous assumption that it is an either-or situation: creativity vs. editing. If you’re interested in getting the pre-publishing price, visit my web site www.myjoyenterprises.com If you haven’t read the poem on the homeless woman, “Absence of Home”, check it out. I also have several other poems and short stories available for your reading pleasure. I do welcome feedback, so click “contact us” and let me know your thoughts! In the meantime, what creative projects have you by the fingertips? Are you following their lead, or are you stubbornly turning away from the creative flow?