Sunday, April 3, 2011

One sip at a time eventually equals a cupful

What a gorgeous day, 90 degrees, sunny and gusting wind. In four short hours the temperature is expected to drop fifty degrees. That sort of plummet reminds me of stormy writing moods.

We are ecstatic when we write an outstanding piece or receive an acceptance from an editor; our mooods soar and we are on an emotional high for awhile. A rejection can plunge us into despair.

The answer is to get up, not give up. Your determination will determine your success.

I witnessed determination in action at McDonald's today. The cutest two year old, saucer-faced boy with dark hair and bright red cheeks was overheated from heavy play at the park. He stood beside his grandma who was second in line behind a poky dad with three undecided kids. The little guy kept tugging on grandma saying, "I tursty."

She assured him she would get him a cup so he could get a drink. He waited and waited, then he walked over to the soda fountain, reached up and retrieved a teeny paper ketchup cup. Every time someone passed by or came to fill their cup, he handed his "cup" to them and said, "I tursty."

We laughed everytime he suckered someone into filling his mini paper cup with a sip of THEIR favorite soda. By the time Grandma came he had quenched his own thirst. That little tyke was determined, and you should be too.

Write a poem, perhaps about the weather. Don't write poetry, you say? Start by writing a 99 word essay. Faye Adams, Missouri's senior poet laureate, instructed us to do this at the St. Louis Writer's Guild meeting Saturday. You will be amazed at how 99 words can evolve into a poem if you do two things, go back and eliminate the unnecessary words and then put slashes in where you think line breaks should be. It is an amazing technique. It doesn't have to rhyme. In fact, prose poetry is in these days.

All of you out there saying, "I can't write poetry!" start with a sip, like the little guy did, and keep refilling your little cup until you have a fizzing full poem. April is poetry month. Are you up to the challenge? I will share a poem later in the week that I wrote and submitted for Father's Day.

13 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Linda....Oh no, not hail! Hope it misses you. Loved your description of the little fellow. He definitely was determined and he sure got his drinks! Good for him.

You are right about my hot pepper brew----hope it does not sizzle the tulip and daffodil buds. Don't think it will, though. And if those squirrels eat through that, I'll be a monkey's aunt.

Take care and have a great Monday. Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

Ha ha, you made me laugh out loud, Susan.

Sioux said...

What a great connection you made between the kid in McDonalds and the writing process. You're right: start with a thimble-full, and eventually, it'll be overflowing...

Claudia Moser said...

A wonderful story, thank you for sharing it. Lovely boy :)

Odie Langley said...

That was a wonderful story. I wish I could have been there to witness it myself. Thanks for sharing.

Bookie said...

I heard lots of poetry last week. Some I get, some I don't. It amazes me what gets printed sometimes. I do love it being Poetry month...makes people aware of poems.

Terri Tiffany said...

What a sweet story about that little boy. I loved your description of him:)

Linda C. Apple said...

I love this post Linda. Not only do we share a name, we are also "kindred spirits" in our writing! Looking forward to meeting you!

Debora said...

Thanks for your encouragement. When I'm tempted to stop, I'll think about that 'tursty' little guy. Looking forward to your poem. I'm working on one too.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

That's a great idea, writing the essay and turning it into a poem!

That little boy is a problem solver! He didn't whine and complain about how unfair it was...good for him!

Lynn said...

I love that story of the little boy! Wish I could have made it to Faye's workshop!

Tammy said...

What a great exercise. And a smart kid. I'm going to "twy" his approach.

Janet, said...

What a great story, if only we had his determination. I have thought about quitting many times, but I'm still plugging along. Thanks for your info on writing poems, I will give it a try.