I love Twitter. I love the links and the blog posts, the comments on poems and current issues of lit magazines. I even secretly love the shoddy book jackets posted in desperate attempts to garner attention for supernatural-erotic-vampire-werewolf-futuristic-thrillers-with-too-many-typos-and-grammar-errors books (one even had a typo in the cover’s subhead, which for some reason both cheered and irritated me).
There’s also tons of information on publishing and literary magazine deadlines, blog post deadlines, contest deadlines, chapbook deadlines and ….
Well, you get the picture.
So when I came across a link for He Said to Me, I was intrigued. I thought, who said what? And why?
When I visited the site and read that it promoted “conversations that make us write,” I suddenly remembered a conversation of my own, one that I had tried to push out of my mind for years, and it all came back, the initial excitement followed by frustration followed by shame followed by anger and steely-shouldered determination.
So I sat down and wrote a post for He Said to Me, and the result was therapeutic in the best possible way. Not only did I have the opportunity to rehash old stuff, but the filter of years offered me the safety to sit back, ponder and see the situation for what it was: Mainly, that it stank, at least from my perspective.
When I finished, I felt victorious, the way I often feel after a long and hard run. Because I had persevered! I had finished my book, against all odds! I was more than a negative reflection through someone else’s critical eyes!
You can read all about my “conquest” here.
The point of this isn’t oh-I-wrote-about-a-poet-who-put-me-down-and-it-then-I-succeeded-more-than-he-did. (Okay, maybe it’s partly about that, maybe there’s a wee bit of gloating.)
Mostly, it’s about the power of words and how writing about something that pains you can also help liberate you. I’m not saying that writing will magically transform your life, because it won’t. But digging down and seeing kernels of truth or shining smudges in an otherwise dismissal situation can bring new perspectives that can cause you to regard your past with a more favorable or knowledgeable light.
Finally, Alaska pictures, this time of eagles because, you know, Twitter, the little birdie. And eagles are Alaska’s little birdie. Plus, I adore them. Oh, to be able to lift my wings! To soar!