Spring is here. The birds are singing, the snow has melted, and flowers are poking up through the dirt, both where they are expected and where they are not. At the beginning of winter term, I wrote a blog post on freewriting with a focus on my notebook as an agent of the writing process. I’d like to come back to this general topic, but from a slightly different perspective: spring.
Let’s start with “April showers”, the kind of storm with towering clouds, crashing thunder, flashing lightning, and bucket loads of water pouring down from the sky. These are the ones I love to go running through barefoot when the air is warm and the thunder is more of a distant rumble. Spill drafts are the rainstorms of the writing world. Words come pouring onto the page and turn everything into a mess. Muddy puddles dare you to take the plunge and jump through them, exploring their potential to become something new.
Some of these puddles dry up, leaving nothing behind but a memory of fresh mud between the toes, but others soak into the ground to nourish the tulip and daffodil bulbs buried just below the surface. The bulbs start to sprout and grow, poking up from everywhere. Some where you intended to plant them, and others where they have magically appeared thanks to the squirrels. Similarly, ideas don’t always sprout from where you expect them to. Some grow wild and untended until they are too large and colourful to ignore. Similarly, some ideas flow forth and dry up, never to expand beyond the pages of the notebook they were drafted in, while others produce an entire garden of poems, stories, and other works of art.
As a celebration of spring, I’d like to share a couple of my “May flowers” that resulted from the “April showers” of my free writing over the course of this term.