Sunday, February 8, 2015

Devotion (poem) by Leanne Dyck



Six years ago a friend was planning a Valentine's concert. And she told me, "Leanne, I want you to participate. I want you to read something you've written."

Flattered, I wrote a short story that I thought would be suitable and shared it with my friend. 

She said, "Not good enough." Because friends can say that. "Not good enough. It's not romantic. I want you to write a romantic poem. It's Valentines."

"But I don't write romance," I told her.

"Aren't you married?"

"Happily."

"Well, what's the problem then?"

"But I'm not a poe--" The look she gave me convinced me not to finish that sentence. Instead I went home, clicked my pen and started to write. But everything I wrote was crap. I needed help. A search engine directed me to this page about Elizabeth Barrett Browning's How Do I Love Thee. I learnt that, inspired by her love for her husband, she wrote that poem and an entire book. Well, I figured, if her husband got a book my husband deserves at least a poem. Twenty minutes later I finished writing. I called my friend and read her my poem.

Devotion

She'd never been in love before
She feared it would never come
She feared she would spend her life alone -- heart withered and deformed
No eye would fill with the sight of her
No heart would beat for her alone

But then, but then he had found her
He -- the sight of him makes her yearn
He comes to her and her pulse races
His velvet voice stirs her blood
He draws her close and they are alone in the universe
The love for which she has sought
For which she feared would never come
Is born, breathes, and engulfs them

Silence.

"It's just the first draft," I explained. "I can improve it."

She used the same tone loan sharks and bank robbers use. "Don't you change a word," she told me.


Lessons learned:  
-It's good to stretch your writing muscles by trying your hand at a new genre -- even one that intimidates you.
-When stuck, look to a master for help.
-Seek inspiration from someone you love.


Sharing my author journey...

Last week, I climbed a steep hill and slid down into a bed of 

daffodils. Or at least that's what it felt like. I was presented with an opportunity. Capitalizing on this opportunity meant digging in and working hard. Editing -- lots and lots of editing. That was the steep climb part.
Some writers don't like to self-edit. I love it, because it teaches me to write better and to know what this better writing looks like. 

During the latter part of last week, I worked on my WIP. And I found that as I worked a type of magic began to happen. The perfect word seemed to fall out of the sky onto the page. The plot drove on, without me. I was merely the secretary -- taking dictation, as I was captivated by the story. That was the bed of daffodils part.

And next week? Who knows what that holds...?