Wednesday, August 08, 2012


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Boulevard mushrooms, a left-over of last week's stretch of rainy days.

We tried to get to the forest this past weekend, and never quite made it. So these are my imaginary stand-ins for the ones likely emerging in the forest as-we-speak.

In other news, I just finished a small-to-medium project, a personal essay on mothering, about the choice to only have one child.

It was one of the more challenging bits of writing I've undertaken over the last several years. Though I enjoy personal essays generally - and specifically, the ones in Fiona Lam's Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood - I've never really attempted one myself, or at least not a long-form version.

So this scared the bejeesus out of me.

I just wanted this to be...well, right. Smart and funny and thoughtful and comprehensive and true and maybe even a teeny bit original. I'm not sure I got all the way there, but I feel like I haven't embarassed myself, which is sometimes all you can hope for...

The invitation to contribute an essay came when I was beginning to contemplate the form but hadn't gotten up the gumption to write anything. When I'd started to consciously accumulate essay collections, all of which were by female poets who'd turned to the essay.

The most notable of the bunch being Brenda Schmidt's Flight Calls and Alice Major's Intersecting Sets, which I think I've noted here before. Still, it bears repeating. (And effective repetition is one of the tools of the personal essay writer...)

I wrote an essay on the difference between nature poets and naturalists while I was on retreat, which I should probably spiff up and send out. And I was just gifted with Lorri Neilsen Glenn's Threading Light, so all proceeds apace.


Brenda Schmidt said...

Thank you, A!

Looking very forward to reading your essays.

Lovely lovely pic.

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, B!

Shawna Lemay said...

hey A! me too! looking forward.

have you read Alice Walker's essay "One Child of One's Own?" and then her daughter's response to it?

Ariel Gordon said...

No, I'll have to look that one up!