31 July 2009

Dork In The Field: A Writer's Love Story

By some turn of the wheels behind the curtains, I ended up arriving home early from work. Early enough that I was able to get dinner made and safely tucked into my gullet, and still had time to do some actual loafing about. Or Scobberlotching, if you prefer. Great! My problem? I didn’t want to stay home. The evening was nice and I had a lot of stuff swirling around in the centrifuge that is my head. Time to head for the lake for some fresh air, evening sun and to work some of the cramps out of my brain.

I now have a “go pack” of sorts, to schlep my writin’ type stuff with me, whenever I get the urge to write al fresco. I still have the backpack I used for some of college years, a spiffy black number I bought on Main Street. I don’t know for certain how I managed to hang on to it for so long, but it now has new life as my tote for notebooks, pens, sketchpad, camera and other stuff I can’t seem to do without on these little trips.

So I made it to the lake, parked the car and hiked a short way over to one of the picnic areas. I found a table tucked away in a quiet corner and set up shop. Open the backpack, spread the stuff out on the table, perch the glasses on top of my head and get to work. It was while sitting there tapping my cheek with the pen and savoring the summer breeze that I realized: I am a dork. Short white socks, a t-shirt tucked in for crying out loud, with a backpack full of notebooks and pens and paper…Don’t believe me? Well, dork that I am, I took pictures. Behold the majesty!

There are potatoes on my shirt. At least The Captain’s had fish.

Sigh. As a saving grace, I was not wearing my goofy, beat-up, green baseball hat. I took comfort in having my version of the Blankie on hand, so as to write.

Be still, my heart! What light, on yonder table breaks…?

Where the rubber hits the mental road

Tool O’ The Trade, GumboGeek-style

Reading about writing about reading about…

As IB says, “This is where the magic happens”

That is what it is all about: that moment when the idea forms on the tip of the brain, like that little drop of nectar on a honeysuckle blossom. The pen caresses the page, the mind opens wide and the thoughts dissolve into words on the page.

Just like that, it’s love…


  1. that's how I felt when i read what you write.........

    it's love............

  2. And very nice potatoes they are, too!

    My gawd - you have a very legible handwriting. Can you teach Beloved and my sons?

    Oh - what Vodka Mom said.

  3. But what a glorious nerd you are! :) Lovely handwriting too. Your writing routine al fresco sounds divine. So glad you had your camera along.

  4. I tell the other half every day I see him to untuck the damned shirt.

    Thank you for sharing your process a little bit. :-) Happy weekend.

  5. There's something magical about letting the words flow straight from fingers to paper, no? I almost always right it out on paper before it hits the screen, I just do better that way. ;)

  6. Great post Irish. Very inspiring. I'm going to pack my bag and head for a lake, river or large puddle right away. I need something to get me going again...this might be just the thing!

  7. Sounds wonderful! I need to get inspired like that...

  8. Oh, this is a love affair I know well. Although it has been a long time since I have used a pen. Know I listen to music and type, like smoke moving from my mind and out my fingers.

  9. I used to fill notebook after notebook, never as legibly as you do. Now I have an electronic notebook and I'm afraid the only time I write by hand is when I'm on a plane or camping. (I leave my laptop behind when camping).

    My husband likes to tuck his t-shirts in, and our kids, age 18 thru 32, shake their heads when he does. They also have opinions about what hats he wears, his socks, his crazy Harley shirts, but he doesn't pay them any mind at all.

  10. "that moment when the idea forms on the tip of the brain, like that little drop of nectar on a honeysuckle blossom. The pen caresses the page, the mind opens wide and the thoughts dissolve into words on the page".

    That's the seduction right there my friend...
    That feeling, the sliding down deeper into your soul feeling...no wonder writers go crazy chasing it.

    Been there, love that, always want to go back

    nectar on the honsuckle..well said..

    Peace - Rene

  11. Yes, it is love and only a writer can understand. When I try to explain it to my husband he just looks at me with a blank stare.

    Now, burn that shirt!

  12. Pilot, eh? I've switched to a Sharpie pen myself. I'm impressed that I can actually read what you've written. I'll need to hire somebody to figure out what I've penned.

    Untuck your damn shirt.

  13. What an inspiring, insightful post, Irish. Your handwriting is nicer than any man's, that I've ever seen. And you are definitely NOT a dork! Have a fun weekend!

  14. Fantastic post Irish and your handwriting puts me to fecking shame!

  15. that's a great potato shirt, now as long as you weren't wearing sandals with those short socks????
    Thanks for commenting on my sons blog(catching the fish) he was so excited to have all those comments!


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...