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On your mark…get set…write!

One year ago this month, I launched my memoir, “As a Result” when a gathering of close friends and family met at our local Tutto Gelato Cafe for my first official book presentation. I’m still so grateful recalling the support and excitement. Following a journey of late nights, countless revisions and prayers in the parking lot before for each meeting with my editor, the work came to fruition. Prayers like, “Lord, help me accept each correction as a gift. Help me not be too hard on myself. Help me accept the wisdom coming from this team of professionals, even if I don’t quite understand…” Writers on the cusp of publication have to humble themselves–or be humbled. My original manuscript needed HELP!

I began sending out my writing to complete strangers in 2004. From those critiques, I graduated to joining writing groups and submitting countless short stories, poetry and essays for publication. It’s true, the old cliche’ about getting your foot in the door. Small victories led to more and all were a huge boost for this new writer.

Here’s a short list of publications I’ve enjoyed before my memoir ever launched:

3rd grade limerick contest: 1st prize.

There was an old lady from Wheeling.

While playing cards, she loved dealing.

If you didn’t let her deal, how loud she would squeal!

That’s why the lady from Wheeling is dealing.

 

The next contest I won was when WVWriters sent out an email about a poetry contest. Anyone could participate. You were required to follow a unique poetry pattern after a Sir Walter Raleigh composition, which could be read horizontally or vertically. Here was our sample:

 

Her face, her tongue, her wit,

So fair, so sweet, so sharp,

First bent, then drew, now hit

Mine eye, mine ear, my heart.

 

Our daughter Caroline’s mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya, inspired me. She and her team, 410 Bridge, helped build fresh water wells for the villagers. My poem won Grand Prize in the Greater Greenbrier Valley Poetry Contest.

 

Nairobi’s Hope

One day, two tribes share dreams

With strength, with sweat, with tears

Hands dig, form wells, forge streams

Heads high, tote water, cast fears.

 

If you enjoy word puzzles, you might enjoy composing a horizontal/vertical poem.

I look back on the wisdom I gained from taking courses with The Institute of Children’s Literature; Creative Nonfiction at Point Park University; and finding a place for my work in such publications as Heartwood Literary, Morgantown Living and Outside Bozeman Magazines; The Sun Herald and Dominion Post newspapers; Dining Stories (short stories) and Voices From the Attic (poetry) anthologies.

One year after my book launch, I am still composing poetry on a regular basis. Most of my poems are narratives, and in prose form or everyday language. This latest one is a meditative one.

 

Rewards along the Cheat Lake Trail

 

I walk and listen.

Notebook in hand,

I observe the slightest

                           breeze

as it kisses the side of my face.

Sand pebbles crunch beneath my boots

on the trail packed tight

by former hikers.

Waterfall trickles down

Cheat Lake’s hillside.

Water meets water

in a mysterious assembly.

The lake, a pool of pewter gray

reflects today’s mood and thick clouds.

Thin trunks of trees in shades of silver birch

and brown maple

                      lean

against the banks.

One with brown husks the size of walnuts

filled with milkweed cotton;

some covered in iridescent green moss.

More felled by storms.

Some hold seed pods ready to

  BURST

and be carried off

by the first big gust of wind.

Clouds, heavy in places, mask the gray sky.

A dome of uncertainty,

there’s no opening for the sun.

Lake flow coaxes paper-thin leaves,

once green, now golden brown and cracked coral,

to the water’s edge.

Their chlorophyll

attracts the fish.

Other leaves spread out like a quilt

Granny would have sewn from remnants.

A burnt umber reward

floats with the current,

soft and steady.

It’s got no place else to go.

2 Comments

  1. Robby Myrick on October 17, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you Sarah, for always inspiring and motivating us!

    • Sarah Robinson on October 17, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      You’re welcome, as always! Iron sharpens iron in the writing world, too. Keep writing!

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