I started the day writing.

This is the first day of resuming my writing life since getting home from my sojourn, free writing, walking around with some characters that have taken residence in my head since The Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank. Fortunately they are a family that travels light. Then I had a poem revisit me. It was a single line that I had previously doodled poem around. This time there was a fragment, an underscored word that came out of our last workshop with Clare Shaw in Manchester. Memory can be so selective. Fortunately, in creative writing the dust bunnies of your brain are completely recyclable. My creative writing life is still in Renaissance.

My room got redecorated while I was away. My pictures aren’t back up on the walls so it looks like very blank canvas. I walked down the corridor for the official unveiling to see a sign posted. Novelist’s Room

Writing makes us vulnerable; self-doubt an occupational hazard. To have that faith and support is so precious. Thanks, honey! Not every writer, women writers especially, have that level of good will from their nearest and dearest.

While I was away the daffodils began to bloom in the fairy garden. I spotted the first primrose on the dog’s potty walk early this morning. Lots of lambs have been born, fleece still all pristine. A neighbour has put a donkey in the next field. Our rural life mirrors the sense of renewal I am experiencing in my writing life.

One of our cats, Zymina,must have missed me. She a fairly reserved outdoor girl who has taken up residence at my feet, purring fit to power the national grid for the past three hours. The dog has crept under a corner of the duvet close beside her. She started life known as the unsociable Skitty Kitty. Obe is congenitally deaf and has some attitude issues. These two are bonded. They have no fear. In their individual ways they express love for each other and me. We’ve established our boundaries. We respect how we communicate.

In a way, this cat and dog are great teachers in character development. Also that love casts out fear- of there not being enough love or understanding to go around in the animals’ case. For my writing life: fear of inspiration running dry, obstacles and funks, of what wild exhilaration would happen if it all came together, of not getting published/getting published.

When it all comes alive in my head and I find the words matching the image- that’s love.

Bee Smith has just landed back home in Cavan from a fortnight’s sojourn to the Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank and Manchester. The course was part of the Leonardo da Vinci Life Long Learning Programme funded by the EU and Leargas. The programme was the brain child of Cavan County Council’s Arts Office and Social Inclusion Unit.


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