Sep 18, 2014


Hello readers,

I have been asked by my friend Amy Miller to participate in something called “My Writing Process Blog Tour,” or as I will now refer to it, MWPBT, because that rolls off the tongue. MWPBT has been making its way around the blogging world for some time now.  It’s a slo-mo relay race of blogger after blogger navel-gazing, writing about it, and handing off the navel-gazing baton to the next blogger. I am supposed to answer four questions about my (finger quotes) writing process. My last post was on July 21; what kind of process could I possibly have?  But Amy has faith in me and I have faith in Amy. She, unlike yours truly, has fully formed thoughts in her brain, and her blog has actual serious writing. 

Here I go with the four questions.

What am I working on? Many of you don’t know that besides the blog, I write poetry. And I must say that if this blog was all I ever wrote, that would be a sad state of affairs. (See above: last post July 21.)  I have a poetry manuscript that has been going door to door on the publication circuit, trying its darnedest to look cute and forlorn and like it needs a good home. So far about thirty publishers (who looked like such nice people!) held it at arm’s length like it had fleas and tossed it out the door. Two or three said it had nice eyes and one declared it a finalist, so I try to have hope, but I am starting to think that origami may be a better use of the paper. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Oh, I’ve got this one! This is easy: because I’m me! Picture a toddler on top of a picnic table, hands on hips.  No one else has my sense of humor, makes the same spelling and usage mistakes over and over again, has the same take on this odd, wonderful, wacky, pathetic world we live in. Blog or poetry, it’s all me, all the time.  Me, me, me.  Me.

Why do I write what I do and how does my writing process work?  (Did you see what I did there…rolled two questions into one?) In the blog, I write what I do because I’m pissed off. Like today, I am out of town with my husband, staying in a bed and breakfast.  The photos on the web looked so lovely.  The rooms were spacious and modern and well lit, the beds huge.  Well, I’d like to stay at that bed and breakfast, because our room is small and dark and the faucet in the tub drips.  And did you know that queen size beds are only sixty inches wide? I obviously did not, because my husband and I are now sharing what is only enough room for me and a newt and he’s much bigger than a newt.

At home we have a bed the size of Kansas, big enough for me to sleep on my stomach with my knee sticking out in his direction and there is still room for the body pillow I must have.  Do you hear me?  I need it! I can’t sleep without it, despite the fact that I abandon it as soon as I fall asleep. And the fact that it’s the equivalent of a third human in the bed doesn’t matter at all because we’re talking Kansas.  There’s room for everyone.  But this morning, not believing that the B and B’s inadequate bed-like structure could possibly be a queen, I Googled bed sizes and, in fact, queens are a mere sixty inches wide. I laid sideways to measure, using my 64-inch body, since I don’t carry a tape measure with me. Toes at one side, nose at the other.  Yep, it’s a queen. Never again.

And, if we’re talking about my poetry process, well, that’s much more mysterious, and organic, and a bit magical, as poetry tends to be.  Who knows where that stuff comes from?  I don’t.

Now I pass the baton to…Jennifer Swanton Brown.  Jennifer Swanton Brown published her first poem in the Palo Alto Times when she was in the fifth grade. She has degrees in Linguistics and Nursing, and completed her Master of Liberal Arts at Stanford University in 2012, with a thesis on the domestic poetry of Eavan Boland. Jennifer has been a poet/teacher with California Poets in the Schools since 2001 and joined their Board of Directors in March 2013. Her poems have been published in multiple local journals, including The Sand Hill Review, Caesura and The DQM Review. In October 2013, Jennifer became the second Poet Laureate of the City of Cupertino. You can follow her Poem-A-Day project "A Lane of Yellow" and other Cupertino Poet Laureate news at Jennifer also manages regulatory education for clinical researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine.  Her personal blog is "A Twirly Life"


  1. Thanks, Cathy, for the shout out. I will do my best to get my posts up this weekend. I'll probably write it on the Wordpress Twirly Life site and re-post to Cupertino PL. (I also have some Blogspot blogs, but they're on hiatus now and you can link to them from A Twirly Life anyway. Too many blog sites, not so much blogging.

    Now, get writing those poems of yours!!

  2. She turned me into a newt!....i got better.( I always want to say that monty python line and its NEVER applicable! So i say it anyway and laugh all by myself.)