Charles Dickens for Dinner, So to Speak

Worked well past midnight again on what I am now calling the “Poetry Project”, or “PP” for short.  In the end, it may turn out exactly so.  Hope not.

Charles Dickens is being quite helpful, albeit demanding and forceful.  I decided to stay healthy for dinner last night and dropped the Pepperoni we had discussed from our pizza, opting for only assorted veggies instead.  I think he was disappointed, mumbling something about wanting a “decently struck meat pie”.  Hard to catch it all thru the accent at times, to be honest.  Dickens was not well pleased with his trip to America in life, so we’ll have to see how this one turns out.  The veggie pizza probably didn’t do much to further relations.

Maybe the poem collaboration will lead to a book in the end– “Charles Dickens and I”, or “Charles Dickens in My Head” or something, like the lady who wrote about she and Julia Child.  Charles doesn’t cook or give out recipes of course, providing lines of poetry instead.  Not sure how long he’s planning to stick around though.  Perhaps a nice roast for the weekend may help.  I don’t feel qualified to attempt a proper meat pie.

Woke up around 5am this morning with a few more lines to jot down.  Two lines yesterday.  A few more today.   Like I said, this one’s going to take a while with other projects going on, too.  Dickens is generally considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian period, so why he has appeared to drive along a poetry project instead of a renowned poet is beside me, although it’s not like he never wrote any poems either.  Regardless, I am very grateful for the help and have found it best not to question who the Muses send.

I keep getting stand alone, disorganized,  independent lines as they pop into my head, and in the end putting them together in a meaningful fashion may be like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle in a hurricane.  Yeah, I’d better order that roast to keep Mr. Dickens around a while longer.  At least until Shakespeare or Robert Frost show up.

In the meantime, here’s a photo of some of London’s East End street kids from Horace Warner, c 1901-02.  He called them “Spitalfields Nippers”.  Great term– “Spitalfield”.   It might fit into it all somehow.  With the lamp.   Or not.   Mr. Dickens liked to work in serial fashion, and I think he is having sport while serializing this poem into my head.

Anyway, wishing everyone a wonderful day!  Off now, I hear Mr. Dickens calling again.  Quite demanding, he is.

By the way– I suppose to be safe, if anyone has a proper recipe for a good meat pie, I’d appreciate your sending it along.  Just in case.

"Spitalfields Nippers" by Horace Warner, c 1901-02,

“Spitalfields Nippers” by Horace Warner, c 1901-02,

Advance Warning on a New Writing Project!

A story character entered my brain a few years ago, and then went to the back and took a Rip Van Winkle nap.  He awoke quite unexpectedly last night right as I was beginning to make dinner, demanding that I start writing about him– right now!  But instead of a little story, he is adamant about being featured in a poem.  Ugh!

I began working on it last night until the wee hours, and have been writing on the new project almost non-stop since I woke up this morning, finishing cold oatmeal while continuing to work away at it.  This one may take a while.

I don’t usually talk about my writing process because I am admittedly only an amateur at it and far from qualified to give advice, but in a nutshell here it is.  Given my old woodcarving and sculpture background, I use the same process starting with a new dictionary, like a block of wood, and then hack and carve at it, removing odd words and everything that isn’t a story.  So poems are even harder, finding and saving rhymes amongst the shreds and slivers.  Boy do the bits and pages fly when I get going!  I only imagine that’s how properly trained writers go about it as well.  Do all the bards search thru shards, burning time to find a rhyme?

Searching for a Rhyme

Searching for a Rhyme

I have to stop now for a while to rest my mallet arm, and then resharpen my tools for more writing work tonight.  I feel like Charles Dickens has taken up residence in my brain along with the story character.  Is there an aspirin for that?

Much too early to go into what it’s about because this is going to take a while and we’re only getting started.  So please be patient as the character, Mr. Dickens and I get things sorted out.  I suppose if Mark Twain pops in for a visit we would have enough folks for a few hands of poker in odd moments.  The next image is a hint.  It involves– a lamp.  Whoa.  Hope I haven’t said too much.

So, trying to be responsible.  Giving advance warning.  Looks like there may be poetry coming down the road.  Might want to take your loved ones to higher ground and seek shelter.

Lamp in the Fog

Lamp in the Fog