Daily Archives: December 12, 2010

In Praise of brevity. Prose mother haikus, coming soon.

I have always thought I could never be a novelist because I don’t have an attention span long enough to write one thing over such a long time, in so many words.  Yet, I have learned things as I’ve worked at this blog.  Writing in this techno age, I have information about my own work here.  I am not particularly adept at the short blog post.  Or maybe adept isn’t the right word.  I just don’t seem to be able to do them.  These blog posts are very consistently about 900-1400 words.  Longer, I think, than is the convention in this form.  You, reading this can’t see, but I can see this as I write on this blog site.  A few shorter and a few longer, but pretty consistently within that range.

I have looked closely at the work of other writers whose work I am moved by and whose writing  and minds, I admire.  I do not want to reduce something so devastating and profound as the death of a child to a word count– but a year or more ago, I studied the work of several women bloggers very closely.  This wasn’t a class or tutorial– I just did it.  I often hold in my mind, the fact that Vicki Forman wrote a beautiful and detailed farewell two and half years ago– to her almost 8-year-old son, Evan, who died– and to her Special Needs Mama column in the online zine– Literary Mama, in a piece called Saying Goodbye.  It is about 630 vivid and heartbreaking words.  I’m at 206 right here.

There are pieces in my mind that I want to write– really so as not to forget.  Whether there is deeper meaning to these things, I do not know.  But at least they will probably be shorter.  My practice at being succinct.  And I think I will tag each of them– mother haiku:______.  For example I want to write a piece about sticks– my daughter’s interest in, collecting of, and keeping sticks.  I want to write about the things I find in her pockets, backpack.  I want to write about — the old plastic vegetables I was aways trying to keep together, but that she liked to put in her purses and play strollers.  The fight against and ultimately the fight to embrace, as a parent– clutter, noise, interruption, speed, motion, and so many things out of the boundaries of a rigid adult world.

I’m right over 400 words here– so I should give this a rest now.  Then I should start writing.  And then stop writing.  Soon.