dear sylvia

i finally got around to writing the first post in what i intend to be a series of letters to authors/ icons that i love. and i even threw in a photo i took at the bottom (i probably should have snagged something pretty from wehearit, but somehow, i felt this post should be all me.)

(p.s. imissyouguys&willtrytonavigatemywaypastthemoldofthisblogandseeifican'tlivenitupa little.)

phew, what a mouthful!



dear sylvia:

i want to tell you so many things.

yesterday, i realized i would be done reading your journals tomorrow or this week or the next. finishing is like coming to the end of a long, beautiful journey. i’ve traversed across the pages of your words and your thoughts and your frustrations and your life for a few months now.

i’m not sure though, if i’m ready to end this journey.
you see, i’ve done something with your journals that i’ve never do with books.

i’ve savored.

i read slowly, each word forming gradually in my mind. i thought about each word you penned; the way you put these words together; and i realized what you were doing. you were making sure your writings didn’t just hold a surface beauty; similes or metaphors that punctuated the page but quickly were forgotten. instead, your words were held up, strengthened, fortified-- by your sense of rhythm and the music of your language.

and that is why i took my time—am taking my time—reading your journals.

i bought your journals in a humid summer day in a bookshop thousands of miles away from my home, plucked it from shelves of slim chapbooks and fat poetry collections. i’d already treasured the bell jar; lines like:

“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell”
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am,”
have seemed particularly lovely; have meant something to me.

i thought the bell jar was a good book, but not mind-blowing.
i’d read your poetry, and loved it, loved it to bits. everything about it: your confessional style, your evocative imagery, your uncanny ability to make me physically feel your words.
i didn’t know what to expect from your journals.
i was underestimating you, ms. plath.

right now i am thinking of my strange habit of wanting to read you in the skies. on airplanes. your words have a other-worldly, incandescent feel to them, so i guess it makes sense.

but then i realize i read you under the soft shallows of the evening light as well. the pages yellow under my fingertips and the outlines of your words underneath.

“I am beating all my wings," is one of my favorite lines.

but before i go too long without really saying anything, i wanted to thank you. i turn one page and i read a line of yours and i feel something, i feel like i’m reading greatness. i mean it. your words make me feel like there’s something undeniably beautiful in the world that i should be looking for. your sudden-surges of brilliance—these particular, melodic lines—the ones that spring out every once in a while, that take me by surprise again and again—thank you for them.

i recently read ariel. i still feel mesmerized, somewhat disoriented, from the power of your words, in such a compact form. i feel like i’ve read something life-changing.

right, now, i have four words singing in my bones. they were all that i could think of when i stared out into the river.



the madness that is NaNoWriMo

So, this is my first year trying out a little thing called NaNoWriMo. (read: the craziest month of your life up to date.) Basically. this entails beginning and finishing a 50,000 word novel within the space of November 1-30. Yeah, pure craziness.

It's only the second day and already my life has become a slave to NaNo. I don't normally think of myself of a competitive person, but right now, I can't bear the thought of losing this thing. Of hanging my head down and saying on Nov 30, "Yeah, I only got 30,000 words in." And seeing the word counts of my NaNo buddies (yeesh, one of the insane ones already hit 10k!) is making me step up my writing game, too.

Can I even begin to explain the change brought upon me by NaNo? Who needs Physics lectures when you can think about racing home and churning out 1k of your latest chapter? Who needs to eat when you can subsist on your words forming on the screen in front of you? Who needs anything in November but the insanity of NaNo? (uhh, okay, I definitely need Thanksgiving. But everything else? Socializing? Free Time? Sooooo overrated.)

Unfortunately, the thing I've noticed about myself as a writer is that if I'm writing one type of thing, I have little to no urge to write any other type of thing. It kind of goes like this:

1) do a lot of blogging, but not a lot of creative writing
2) do a lot of creative writing, but not a lot of blogging
a. Write a lot of poetry, but no prose
b. Write a lot of short stories, but no novel.
c. Write nothing but a novel.

Right now I'm right smack-dab at 2c. I think I'm going to pull out the big guns for blogging though; I have an idea for a series of posts that I'm excited about, so we'll see how that goes.

For the moment, though, I'm practically sweating out words. Pulling a plot out of thin air. Punching in words every chance I get.

It's a bit like being caught up in a tornado. A word tornado.

So, any of you participating in NaNo? Or can you, as a past participant, sympathize?
AND HEY, it's only Nov 2nd so you can still JOIN USSSS and not be too far behind!