Monday, January 3, 2011

Heading Back for More Fairy Dust

I'm scrambling to get everything organized to start the new semester on Monday at CU, because I'll be heading out of town on Wednesday to attend a poetry writing retreat back East, held at a convent in Mendham, New Jersey. This will be my fifth time at the retreat, and I can't wait to awaken my poetic voice again. Each year, I come back from the retreat on fire to write poetry, and poetry pours out of me for months, but then it starts to trickle out, and then, by the end of the year, it's all I can do to squeeze out a poetic drop or two. So I'm ready for a torrent of poetry again, a veritable Niagra of it!

On Wednesday night, I'll stay with my sister, who now owns our childhood home in North Plainfield, New Jersey. Then on Thursday, I'll take the bus into Manhattan to connect with a couple of the other poets who will all be taking the train from Penn Station to Morristown (the station closest to the convent). But first we'll rendez-vous, as we did last year, at Alice's Teacup. We'll go to the one on the upper West side, at 102 West 73rd Street. There we'll have tea and scones, and before we leave, we'll ask to have their fairy dust sprinkled on us.

Last year, I had the fairy dust sprinkled on a new manuscript; a week later, I had an agent who was willing to represent it; two months later, I sold it as part of a three-book series to Knopf/Random House. A family member went there on the day she lost a job and had fairy dust sprinkled on her resume; she then got the ONLY job she applied for.

So I'm giving a lot of thought to what I want to ask the fairy dust for this year. I've been thinking about asking it for love, and having the fairy dust sprinkled on my heart. But the trouble with the fairy dust, I've discovered from hearing others' stories, is that it gives you what you want, but it offers no guarantee that you'll like it when you get it. And love, oh, love is risky. So maybe I'll take chapter one of my newest groping toward a book project and see what the fairy dust can do for it. I think that may be the wiser course, the safer option. But maybe with fairy dust, you're not supposed to play it safe; maybe there is something inherently unsafe about fairy dust in the first place.

Now, several friends have asked me to bring them back some fairy dust. Nope. It doesn't work that way. You have to make your own pilgrimage to Mecca; no one else can make it for you. So I think you have to go to Alice's Teacup to get your own fairy dust. But if you ever want to go, I'll meet you there.


  1. Okay, Brenda. Love it is. I will ask the fairy dust for love. And now I'll know who to blame when my heart lies in little shattered pieces! But okay. For 2011, I'll give love a try.