my work

I’ve been spiffing up the notebook I present as part of the basics-of-the-novel class I teach for continuing studies at Rice. Certain words, advice, sayings leap off the page to peck at me as I hunch over the computer redoing…..such as these words by poet Mary Oliver. They’re all writing is about….they’re all life is about, actually…..

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird -equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished…………..


5 responses to “my work

  1. Karleen- I love your positivity, your sweetness filter. You focus on light. I can tell your work means a great deal to you. Is it an escape for you as it is for me, the reader?

  2. KK–
    As I read this post, I see that you are in that “neutral zone” between novels, where you rest AND plant seeds for the next creative work. Which ideas will take root first? Which seedlings will grow to fruition?

    It is hard to “wait” when you have been so busy for the last few years writing furiously at your desk and then whisking yourself off to New Mexico to revise and edit. But you know the process… once you spill yourself on the page, you have to retreat and replenish.

    How extraordinary that you use this time to teach at Rice University and share what you know with other writers. You are so generous! While you busy yourself with your students, I am certain that your next novel will continue to formulate in your unconscious and spring forth to “astonish” us all. In the meanwhile, I will gorge myself on these weekly posts of yours that I love so much.

    Your biggest fan,

  3. Just wanted to tell you that I’m half way through “Before Versailles” and I’m taking it as slowly as I can and enjoying each page – I don’t want it to end!

    Much love

  4. It’s nice to know what inspires a writer that I respect. Thanks again for sharing. Hope today brings ever more enlightenment and a smile,
    Fan from the Bluegrass State

  5. Pingback: 9/11 sunday | Karleen Koen — writing life

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