Saturday, October 18, 2008

Stepping Out of the Writing Comfort Zone


"Are you ever going to write something different?" This is a question a reader asked recently and it took me by surprise. With my first book being released in 2006, I feel as though I've just dipped my toe in the mystery pool.

"I'd like to write a Young Adult novel one day, but right now all the stories in my head involve a mystery," I responded.

Later, I reflected that I didn't intend to be a mystery writer. In fact, I had lofty plans of becoming a poet. Yes, a poet! (It was easier to be a dreamer in one's twenties, no?) Though I haven't written poetry in a long, long time, I decided to enter a poetry contest. I didn't win, but I came in second and that made me feel great. I wrote this poem after the devastation of September 11th - to try to hold tightly onto the belief that people are basically good. Now, it's reminded me that we never know what we're capable of until we step outside our comfort zones. Here's a copy of the poem.

If you care to share, what other genres did you once write or would like to write?

September Twelfth

Fireflies fade.

The sun burns only

the cheeks of apples.

The marigolds have burst

into seed and flown

beyond the garden.

Now the crepe myrtle flowers

form fists in the trees.

The bristled raspberry of asters

and the stiff clumps

of chrysanthemums fiercely

claim the remaining colors.

Seagulls cry, beaches are

Wrinkled. Lonely.

But wait a moment,

for there is hope

in the swollen curve

of a pumpkin,

the warm, lacquered skin

of acorns,

the feathery hands of wheat.

There is hope in the secret

nooks of pinecones,

the smell of snow gathering,

and the high black sky

freckled with stars,

where our breath hangs

like wet lace,

like wisps of gossamer,

like angel’s wings.