16 September, 2009

Savvy Verse & Wit

bookish-me-2Guest Post #2 is from Serena M. Agusto-Cox of Savvy Verse & Wit whose blog I am visiting today.

Savvy Verse & Wit began as a book review site and has transformed itself into a hub of poetry, poets, and helping readers discover contemporary poets through interviews and guest posts. I’ve been writing ever since I was a little girl at my nana’s typewriter on her kitchen table. I still remember my first short story, ‘The Big Apple,’ about a young woman who graduates college and becomes a journalist in New York City. While I haven’t written too many short stories, I do have about three novels in progress, and at least 30 poems from the recent poem-a-day challenge in April.

Writing is like breathing; I can’t stop myself and I wouldn’t want to. I’ve noticed through the years that inspiration can come from a number sources, including the news, photographs, other poems, fiction, scenery, music, etc.

Photography is another passion of mine that started at young age, thanks to my nana. She gave me my first 110 mm camera when I was in middle school, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve honed my skills with the gracious help of friends from my former part-time employer and local camera shop. I’ve learned about perspective, lighting, and different film types, and this knowledge has helped me compose better photos and inspire my writing.

Poems will often start with an image when I close my eyes or stare off into space or out a window. In some cases, I’ve been jolted from my bed in the wee hours by lines that run over and over in my head, and they just won’t let me sleep until I write them down. A notebook and a pen by the bed are the best tools I can have in these moments, though there are sometimes when a notebook simply will not suffice.

One Saturday morning, I work up really early and my husband stumbled out of the bedroom a half hour later to find me typing furiously at my laptop in the dining room. Picture a man, half-asleep, his hair tousled, staring squinty eyed at his wife and scratching his head. I told him that these characters would not let me sleep without telling their story. He simply laughed, put on a pot of coffee, and went back to bed. Writing can be like that, all consuming.

I’ve also noticed in the last couple of years that reading can be that way as well. I read a book and review it on my blog, only to quickly pick up the next in line. But there are some books that I just don’t want to end, and I will read them ever-so-slowly to make them last. All of these activities are connected; imagination grabs hold and takes each of us on a journey—some we love and some we wish had happened differently. It doesn’t matter to me where the journey takes me or whether it ends the way I want it to, so long as the characters are satisfied or evolved by the journey’s end.

7 Responses to “Savvy Verse & Wit”

  1. Anna says:

    Serena, I remember that story that visited you in a dream. I’m still waiting for you to finish it!

  2. Dorte H says:

    I also write (am currently trying to find a publisher for two crime manuscripts) so I find it extremely encouraging to read about other writers´ writing process :D

    I also leave my warm bed once in a while if a story really wants to come out. It is impossible to sleep until you have written down at least some kind of rough draft.

  3. Pam R. says:

    Great post. I used to write a lot when I was younger and then school, work, kids got in the way and I don’t do it any more. Reading your post makes me realize how important it is for me to pick it up again, if only for myself and a way to work through my own feelings and thoughts about things. Thank you.

  4. softdrink says:

    I love that writing is a journey for Serena…and such a fluid one, too.

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments.

  6. lisamm says:

    Hi Ru and Serena! I enjoyed getting to know you better through this post. It’s so interesting how an obsession such as writing can take over your thoughts and interrupt your sleep!

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The Books:

The Books:

On Sal Mal Lane

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war.

A Disobedient Girl

A Disobedient Girl is a compelling map of womanhood, its desires and loyalties, set against the backdrop of beautiful, politically turbulent, Sri Lanka.


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