Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project Placement and a Blogiversary

The river's dam is gorged with flying carp.  I follow the dirty downtown walk way.  I carry a notebook and black ink pen.  It looks like rain.


It's summer on Sioux Court.  I'm grown and dating.  My boyfriend walks next to me.  I point to the house my father built before I was born and sold when I was 7.  It's gone from red to green.  I wave to Stell.  She doesn't know who I am.


The railroad bridge is black against a gray sky.  The slightest pink edges the eastern horizon.


A sparse treeline divides the corn field from the soy.  We find a knotty oak.  We climb rotting slats nailed to the trunk and sit closer than we should.

Places are as important as people.

This is Penny Jar, the blog I started one year ago today with the hope of finding the story inside the life.  I'm realizing that the stories I want to write and have been writing as of late are not memoir.  Oh, they do as most fiction does and careen in and out of reality like so many drunken sailors on shore leave, but they certainly can't fess up to their actions (like so many drunken sailors on shore leave).

That being said, I'm not ready to leave Penny Jar behind.  The examination of past events can be fascinating.  The examination of past places can be even more so, which is what brings me to the slices I have laid out so far.


You cannot hold a place, it holds you.

Often where you are is insignificant to an event or moment.  Later it may come back to you or you to it.  I'd like to experiment with short meditations on places, similar to the writing exercises from Old Friend from Far Away.

I don't know where they will end up, but it will be some place with a story to tell.

What are some places that call out to you?



  1. Summer moon on leaves.
    My eyes search the starry sky.

  2. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! What a lovely post. When I write, place and setting and landscape always come first, before characters or plot or anything else.

    I'm eager to read your experimentations on place. (and I love the drunken sailor analogy!)

    ~ Lisa

  3. Mercy, That brings me back to so many times and places. I need to step outside.

    Lisa, Thank you! I'm interested in your writing technique. I don't see story that way, I figure plot first--maybe because I find it the hardest? But it makes so much sense, because if I can't visualize the setting, place, landscape I can't write the story.

  4. Victoria, I'm thinking Illinois cornfields, the aurora borealis...fireflies in the ditch...

    or swimming in the Russian River under a full moon, dodging sturgeon, the pale cliffs on the far side of the river, a fearless, muscled boy who insists on swimming solo across the water, diving off without you....

    I'm with you on the blog pull...I even set up a shell of a wordpress site I thought I'd switch over too, but I can't quite abandon Feral Mom yet. More going on, I guess, and from it, other hatchlings. I'm starting not to know what to call the entries, but that's ok too. Glad to see you still occupying Penny Jar.

  5. Tania,

    Those images brought to mind a slew of memories. How fun it would be to write continuous blog posts based off comments. Maybe it would be too similar to round-robin story writing, I don't know.

    I'm glad you still have Feral Mom. It's such an excellent blog. But I also would like to move if time and inspiration would allow.