Monday, October 26, 2009

Up close and personal with corn

Iowa is big on corn. Have I mentioned this already?

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Dane Family farm Fall Harvest dinner, which was a bit like the front runner for Thanksgiving. Everything served up had been grown on the farm from the turkeys, to the sweet potatoes and corn, and the apples and pumpkins that were made into pies. Even the ice-cream was made on the property. About 100 people packed into their barn, sitting at long tables, decorated with carved pumpkins.

We saw wild mice (more wildlife!!!) scurrying as the tractor towed us on a hayride around the edge of the cornfields. I suppose it's a bit like tourists seeing sheep for the first time in New Zealand. It's exciting, right? Well, we were a bit like that about the corn, even though it seemed like we'd found the stunted corn variety.

By the way, I finished my poem for the CityDance Ensemble. I struggled with it but now that I have started writing poetry again, I'll probably never stop. And I'm making progress with my manuscript for teens. Originally it was going to be about a 13 year old boy, but he's aged in the making. I decided I wanted him to be a couple of years older, so the story has subtly changed as well, and will need to be longer. Occasionally I get angry when I struggle to make myself write, but I've been listening to comments by other writers and have given myself some freedom to experiment. Maxine Case said she doesn't always write her chapters in sequence. She works on whatever she wants to write at the time. Osman Conteh says he doesn't get too bothered if he doesn't feel like writing. He knows the voice will come back and he has faith. Siobhan Ni Shithigh says she knows the fully-formed poem already exists and it's just about her finding it and giving it a voice.

These words of wisdom and faith have been very reassuring to me in this part of my writing journey.

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