The Letter Project

April 24, 2012

Special Delivery (253)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 6:53 pm
Tags: , ,

10 April 2012

 Dear Whitney,

 Thanks on my thesis! I can’t wait to read it at Prout. After attending readings for years, it’s my turn. And it will be my first reading of my work (other than a poem here or there at open mics).

 Late May sounds like a great plan. I hope you have fun in San Diego! Go to the San Diego Museum of Art if you have a chance. My favorite piece there is “Young Girl Holding a Plate of Fish” by Charles Hawthorne. I’m not a big fan of portraits unless they are done very well. I’m usually drawn to landscapes, particularly the colorful ones.

 I’m so jealous you’ll get to go to the Winchester Mystery House! It would be great for you since you wrote about it.

 I like that you don’t want to do research before seeing “Titanic.” I did something similar with “Wicked” when I first saw it. My senior year of high school we performed an arrangement of the songs and since my sister is a big fan of the soundtrack, I was familiar with the music. I started reading the book and got halfway through it before I put it down. I saw it twice: in NYC in 2007 and in Columbus in 2010. I still enjoy the music, but the book is still on my to-read list, especially since my sister bought me a hardcover combination with the second book.

 I’m out of town this week for a copy editing conference in New Orleans, but we can go April 21 or April 28. I am all for “Wicked.” I’m glad you’ve heard of “In the Good Old Summertime” and “Kiss Me Kate.” If you like those, then you should check out “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” One of my favorite musicals is “Hello, Dolly.” I actually was in the pit for the performance of it at my high school (violin 2 for the win!). And it’s funny that by the time I got the music out of my head, “Wall-E” opened with it that summer. Some of my favorite songs are “It Only Takes A Moment” and “Put On Your Sunday Clothes.”

 You are more than welcome to borrow my copies of Mike’s, Lawrence’s, and Matt’s books. “Cataclysm Baby” arrived in the mail today.

 Detachment certainly lends itself to good poetry. If I stop thinking about it, good poetry usually happens. I love difficult prompts because then I’m not focused on what the piece means until after I’ve written it and then I’m not nervous about it not being good enough while I write it. Theodore Roethke’s prompt has so many requirements that I’m more focused on them. Mike also gave a prompt for short fiction. It has helped me write some pieces I didn’t know I had in me.

 I’m glad your poem got accepted for publication! It is so exciting to share your work with others. There are some poems of mine that don’t need editing, mostly my short poems. I learn a lot from the poems I have to revise though. It’s like I’m having a conversation with poetry, trying to understand it and engage with it in a way I can’t just by reading.

 The weather is always in turmoil, it seems. Hopefully the weather is pleasant in New Orleans. I wish to be a bird just to have the experience of flight. Maybe I’ll write a poem about that and send it as mail art next time.

 Rejection is motivation to continue trying. It’s interesting that we both have similar experiences with advanced teams in school when we grew up in different parts of the state.

 I have also changed my handwriting, both intentional and not. When I came to college I took notes faster because the professors lectured so much more than my teachers in high school. And since I am a copious note taker to begin with, my tidy handwriting began its gradual descent into a scrawl. Sometimes I can’t read it myself.

I didn’t really think about my handwriting (besides noticing that I make my “k” backwards for no reason—I go down and then loop out before touching the down stroke and finishing at the bottom) till my friend Mary introduced me to fountain pens. Now I want to write everything by hand! (Except this letter is typed because my hand is pretty stiff—I’ve been overworking myself). And on The Letter Project on March 7, 2012, Mary England made a list of ways to be creative. Number 13 was to “Try to change your handwriting for the length of an entire letter.” I tried it with my novel since I’m rewriting it by hand in a sketchbook. It was a fascinating exercise and has prompted me to continue to play with how I write the letters themselves. So I will have to demonstrate my changing handwriting.

 When I write I use abbreviations/shorthand so I can write more before aggravating my hand injury (which I’ve done this past weekend). Some of them depend on context, like “comm” (community, communication, communicate, etc.) and “cult” (culture, cultural). And others like “b/c,” “&,” and “org” (organized), are some of the standards I’ve seen in other people’s shorthands.

 I’m glad you love the magnet, and I’m awfully glad you actually received it. I didn’t realize the envelope was so flimsy.  I love the tags and the quotes! This summer I’m getting a corkboard to hang above my desk. Your quotes will be up there so I can look at them and meditate when I’m stuck.

 It will be nice to have more time to bake and cook this summer. I’ve started a list of dishes I want to make. We should have a dinner party sometime. The tags are a great way to give my creations away.

 I do find that I buy a lot of books! It’s a pattern where I won’t buy any for a while and then I’ll buy several, as if to make up for not buying some. I’m trying to diminish my library by selling and giving them away. I’ve found that it is hard to part with some of them. Hopefully I can determine which books I truly need, like poetry and short story collections, versus books I have a high affection for and want to keep and maybe reread (if I can find the time). In the process of moving I hope to do a better job of separating them.

 Otherwise my purchases are baking supplies and misc. art supplies. I got a new batch of tempura paint and sketch paper. I’m going to work on sketching this summer and try to draw realistically.

 I have several collections: movies, books, yes, but also yarn, paper (bright colored computer paper, construction, sketch paper, and in bound form), miniature figurines from the Disney movies, my art museum (artwork from my friends—beginning to add some of my own). I’m trying to rid myself of hoarding tendencies, so I do hold onto things that make sense to me, like ripped hosiery to use for stuffing animals and leftovers from art projects to use for another one.

 Funny story about my signature. When I worked at Lowe’s, one of my supervisors said my signature was too legible and could be easily forged. He said I should practice scribbling it so it’s not easily duplicated. I’ve tried, but the most I’ve changed in my signature is how I do my capitalize “S” because I don’t like how it looked when I learned as a kid. Otherwise it has also gotten sloppier since I’ve been in college.

 Thanks for making my day brighter with your letters. 🙂



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