Volume XI, Issue 34
August 24, 2022
I just sat down to
unwind after a long, full day, and realized that's Wednesday. I mean, I knew it was Wednesday, but I forgot that it's Word-Zine day. (In my defense, there's been a lot to take care of since I arrived home from Chautauqua Saturday evening.)
Several zine features are in the making, but there's legwork involved, and I'm too tired for that at the
moment. So, I'm going with a poem I've been thinking of since my 11-hour drive from Chautauqua back to Charlotte: William Matthews's "Iowa City to Boulder," with these words that always make me smile "I say I hate long-distance//drives but I love them." Because, even with an 1-79 closure near Pittsburgh that cost me an extra hour, I love this drive I've taken every summer of my life since 1978 (well, except for 2020), because Chautauqua is almost next-door to Erie, Pennsylvania, where I grew up,
and that's where my parents and sister were. It's a beautiful drive through the mountains much of the way, past the Meadows of Dan, which Richard and I used to tell our son Dan were his meadows. (Dan grew up to scoff a bit at people who think the drive from Charlotte to Chapel Hill was long, and once told me that he realized that we, meaning our family, are "road warriors." 😄)
Maybe you, too, love long-distance drives, or maybe you hate them. Maybe you've never made one. Nonetheless, you've probably taken some kind of drive worth writing about. So scroll on down and do that when you have a few minutes, taking in "Iowa City to Boulder" on your way down.
Love and light,
Iowa City to Boulder
I take most of the drive by night.
It's cool and in the dark my lapsed
inspection can't be seen.
I sing and make myself promises.
By dawn on the high plains
I'm driving tired and cagey.
on the mileposts, like candle flames,
flare their wings for balance
in the blasts of truck wakes.
The dust of not
drifts in my mouth, and five or six
miles slur by uncounted.
I say I hate long-distance
drives but I love them.
The flat light stains the foothills
pale and I speed up the canyon
to sleep until the little lull
the insects take at dusk before
they say their names
all night in the loud field.
from The Writer's Almanac, May 13, 2013
COASTAL WRITING RETREAT
Renew yourself and reconnect with your own creativity, whether you are a practicing writer, closet writer, or as-yet-to-pick-up-the-pen writer! The techniques and prompts we’ll use will spur your imagination, and can be used to
create nonfiction, fiction, and/or poetry—the choice is yours.
The Coastal Writing Retreat includes writing sessions at a spacious, private location one mile from the Inn, two nights’ lodging, two breakfasts and Saturday lunch.
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WHERE: The Sunset Inn, 9 North Shore Dr., Sunset Beach, NC 2846
WHEN: Friday, November 11th – Sunday, November 13th,
COST: $528 (hotel tax and Saturday dinner at a local restaurant not included)
TO REGISTER: Contact the Sunset Inn at 888.575.1001 or 910.575.1000 (if
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*Also, please let the Inn know when you call if you are interested in staying Sunday night at half price. The Inn will hold your reservation with a credit card.
More WordPlay opportunities here.
WordPlay Now! Writing Prompt
This is WordPlay—so why not revel in the power and potential of one good word after another? This week, it's "drive."
PROMPT: Write about a drive you, or anyone else,
real or fictional, has taken.
It's fun to play with prompts in community with fellow writers, and to be able to share the results when you're done. You can find out about WordPlay classes, workshops, and retreats
MAUREEN RYAN GRIFFIN, an award-winning poetry and nonfiction writer, is the author of Spinning Words into Gold, a Hands-On Guide to the Craft of Writing, a grief workbook entitled I Will Never Forget You, and three
collections of poetry, Ten Thousand Cicadas Can't Be Wrong, This Scatter of Blossoms and When the Leaves Are in the Water.
She believes, as author Julia Cameron says, "We are meant to midwife dreams for one another." Maureen also believes that serious "word work" requires serious WordPlay, as play is how we humans best
learn—and perform. What she loves best is witnessing all the other dreams that come true for her clients along the way. Language, when used with intentionality and focus, is, after all, serious fuel for joy. Here's to yours!