Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Istanbul and Exotic Inspiration

So I know it's not July 4th anymore. I know there's been a large gap in my writing for the blog. I guess my only excuses are that I took a rather nice vacation to Istanbul and that I've been furiously working on editing one of my novels. It's funny how novels are like paintings. No matter how much you stare at it, and work on it, there's always something else that can be done to it. It's kind of maddening to think that you'll just have to get the novel to a point at which you unceremoniously put it down and say, "I think it's about right now." It makes me wish I had one of those grading rubrics from my teaching days to measure my writing. "Yes, five points of characterization here, but plot development is a bit shabby."

But aside from the bane and general annoying state that is editing, I also was able to take a trip to Istanbul this summer. It's great how being in another country sparks ideas for your writing. The stray cats alone were giving me loads of ideas for writing. Cats are like Starbucks in Istanbul. They're on ever corner. There were some great characters there too, like a man who sold t-shirts every day on the corner next to our hostel. He always had a smile for us every morning. I think that's the best part of traveling. It expands your grab bag of characters and settings as a writer. I don't know why regular people travel. Anyways, aside from a rather frustrating bout of the stomach flu, (try being on the second floor of Aya Sophia with the runs) I was able to get out some nice haiku about the exotic surroundings. So I've included them below with some of my pictures to show that I wasn't playing hooky for nothing.

A flicker of tail

on persian carpets fur curls

inside Turkish designs.

Half hidden smile

as the lens sharpens on

a chipped mosaic.

Virgin Mary smiles

knowingly as a century

of dust coats her grin.

Blue glass eyes

chattering on string

in the breeze

onyx eyes flicker

to the chink of coin

at her feet

whirling robe

white folds brush nargile

smoke aside

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