Yesterday I began the process of writing through my revision process for a single poem. I am continuing today, with a the binoculars focused all the way down to the closest level.

Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

Here is the poem as it stood at the end of yesterday’s post:

Be woman. Woman, be. Carve through the air with your thick belly. Let it part and bow to make way for you. Plant your hips solid in your seat. Let your warmth linger where you have been. Let the mark of your hands appear in the dirt. Let the dirt leave its mark on your…

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A very smart person in a recent workshop recently talked about process. She talked about making process part of what you put out into the world as a creative person, about letting people see things as they are coming together. I like the idea, so this weekend I’m going to revise a poem in this blog and let you see my thought process as I do it.

First draft

Be woman. Woman, be. Lead with your thick belly through the air. Let it part and bow to make way for you. Plant your hips solid in your seat. Let your warmth linger…

Photo by Radoslav Bali on Unsplash

I am looking for a new apartment. There is nothing wrong with my current apartment, I just want to live in the neighborhood closer to my partner (and my favorite park) so we can just walk to each other’s places and leave our cars parked under the old trees that line the roads.

I don’t need much. In fact, I have rejected a few places outright because they are just too big or too fancy for me. There is really only one thing I need, and that is: tall ceilings.

My current place has pretty standard 8' ceilings, with ceiling…

Photo by Chris Kendall on Unsplash

I was born and raised in Kentucky. And I don’t like the Derby. Sure, pre-pandemic, I used to run the Derby Festival Mini Marathon and loved the gentle tour of one of my favorite parks, but the actual Derby I never much cared for. Except for the last one.

2019 was the last time they ran the Derby in its usual fashion — on the first Saturday in May with crowds in the stands at Churchill Downs. It was also the first time in a long time that I actually sat down to watch the race.

Here’s what you may…

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

His personality was much too big for any room, and yet no one was ever smothered by it. You could enter a space blindfolded and backwards and still be able to tell that he was in it. His body was too large for barstools and yet he balanced there with such precision that he could turn and pivot and rotate around enough to be the life of several conversations at once.

And this man, too, would have to die. Did die, in fact, just this month

It is a tricky thing to write about the death of someone you didn’t…

Photo by Herson Rodriguez on Unsplash

I had dinner and a bottle of wine with my godmother, my Aunt Jean. I wanted to talk, really talk, about this divorce and everything that went on around it. As a veteran of divorce, both her own and her daughter’s, I felt like she could give me some insight or understanding. I wanted to talk to someone who was like a mother, but who was not my mother. I never shared the whole truth about how I was with my own mother. It felt safer to keep it at a practical, actionable, fixable level. …

Photo by John Duncan on Unsplash

In my freshman year of college, Joyce Carol Oates came to campus to give the big fancy guest lecture of the year. I had discovered her novels in my last year of high school, and already read 10 or so by the time I got to college. I loved Joyce Carol Oates.

I told everyone who would listen how much I loved Joyce Carol Oates, so much so that word got back to the head of the English Department and I was invited to interview her for the school paper and accompany him as he drove Joyce Carol Oates around…

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

I am telling myself the story of our life together, and I am telling myself the story of my new life.

I talked with my therapist about storytelling. This is how I understand my life and the world around me. If I can craft a story, define characters and articulate their motivations and inner lives, then I can understand a situation. I told her the story of my new life and how the characters in the story needed to change.

My story of today started years ago. It started, maybe on the day I got married.

On our wedding day…

Photo by Andrew Leu on Unsplash

My friend Stacey warned me not to do anything crazy: don’t adopt an African baby. Don’t move to a commune in the desert. Don’t get a tattoo.

I sat at a coffee shop in trendy Wicker Park, next to trendy Metamorph Studios, waiting for my tattoo consult appointment with one of the trendiest tattoo artists in Chicago. The coffee shop was the kind of place where the baristas make fancy designs with the soy milk in your soy latte.

The design in my soy latte looked like an albino vagina.

I had been planning this tattoo since before the marriage…

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Artful rips in jeans, hiding and revealing was the fashion. My straight-seamed, ironed-bloused mother raised her eyebrows as we walked through the department store. Who would pay money for these, she wondered, holding the very pair I coveted. They’re already ruined.

I was fat. Officially fat. Fat kid in school fat and every pair of pants I owned left an angry red line around my waist where my flesh pressed against buttons and waistbands. Fat kids move slowly so we can feel a seam just as it yawns right before it splits. …

Rebecca Sturgeon

I’m just here to love on people until they realize how much they’re worth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store