Carolyn Lunn Discusses E.E. Cummings and Writing Inspiration
This week, author of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, Carolyn Lunn, shared with us some inspiration from one of her writing idols, E.E. Cummings, and some advice for aspiring writers.
Springtime in Colorado means we can get snow or hail on Mother's Day, then have temperatures in the high seventies the next day! With spring rain and melting snow, we get mud and puddles. It reminds me of one of my favorite poets, E.E. Cummings, who said in spring the world is "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful.” E.E. Cummings had a fun and unique way with words. In the 1920s, he wrote without conventional punctuation and syntax, which was daring and bold, and broke the rules of grammar. He was not just a writer; he was a painter and an eccentric Harvard graduate who loved nature.
His style was unique, even in the way he arranged the words in his poems:
. . . in spring
of silver gliding from sunny
thunder into freshness.
As writers we should be more like E.E. Cummings and write in whatever creative and unique way we choose. In fact, if he were still alive, Cummings would have fit right in with the Twitter world, where no words are wasted, words are misspelled, and often lack proper punctuation! Apart from Cumming's writing style, we should be more like him when we step out the door every morning and try to find delight in the small things. Bird songs. A funny cloud. A cat lounging in the sun. We should be more like children and appreciate simple pleasures. For instance, in my children's book, Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, the important things are a handful of seashells, a tangerine sun, and a lucky cowboy hat.
E.E. Cummings wrote a poem every day from the age of eight until twenty-two; writers who want to be published could learn from this. I have a spiral notebook and try to write something in it every day, whether it is a new plot idea, a poem, or just an image that may grow into a story later. Writing things down gets the wheels turning in the creative part of my brain. All my scribbles aren't successful, but it is still a good exercise. We also need to get away from our smart phones occasionally and re-connect with nature! (How many times have you heard this?!) Try stepping out the door on a spring morning and going for a short walk without your phone. Take in the air and smells and sounds, the FEELINGS the day inspire. Notice the details of life like Cummings did—like a child would.
So, happy spring everyone! Do not take things too seriously.
The wasted of all days is a day in which we have not laughed. -E.E. Cummings