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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

The Writing Life

This morning I have spent no less than two hours setting up an account on Tumblr and yet here I am writing on this wordpress blog. I have many questions, especially about the use of my time developing a presence on social media, my writing time. Time that does not come easily. Time earned. The dog has been following me around the house because he caught sight of leaves falling during a rain shower. Frightened.  He is good company while I navigate social media and contemplate it’s importance. I’m thinking about Twitter too. And the linking of all. Meanwhile, I’m reading Patti Smith, Gary Snyder, David Budbill. Where is my coffee shop? My wilderness? Our daily rhythm. New poems on the left side of my desk. Revisions marked in pen. My book which I submitted 30 times, in a folder to my right next to the stack of reference books. What do people want to know? My friend, Lila Henry and I wrote haiku on postcards and for a year mailed them to each other. In the season of 1998-1999. They are housed in a notebook on the table behind my desk. A minute ago I wrote her an email asking permission to print them on the Tumblr Blog. I had thought they would make a nice book but now I’m thinking social media. I’ll enjoy rereading and printing them. I asked her if she might like to start up again. Haiku always a passion.  A link between us. Which leads me to communication. I’m an expert at inventing ways to connect. My inventions and intentions not always working. Also on the table behind me is a shared journal between myself and two other poets. For several years we mailed it back and forth after making an entry of poems, drawings, quotes. But there it sits, stopped for over two years. In the kitchen in a basket on the floor is another shared journal. Red Leather. My husband and began entries before we married. The last entry, 6 months ago. I collect stationary from France. Notecards. My address book is worn and frayed. Some of the people listed are no longer with us. Correspondance. Letter writing. Among my books on my desk, Distant Neighbors. Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry. Today in the Times, Vera and Vladimir. Write a note. Send a card. Follow on Tumblr and Twitter. “Like” and “post” on Facebook. Instagram. Dropbox. Snapchat. Podcasts. Call on the phone.  Write a poem. This minute.

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