Dragons We Are II

So last week you got to read Glenda’s flamy, scorchish DRAGON story. Now here’s Janie’s riff on the same theme. Are you a dragon? We think we might be…at least sometimes.

Are We Really Just Dragons?

There are days
When my teeth feel HUGE
And pointy

And my tongue feels like
It wants to throw flames
Hither and thither

At anyone and
Every one
I behold

It happened today
I was thinking really mean things
About everyone in my path

And I began to consider
How fun it actually might be
To be


Then I thought,
“You know,
Maybe we actually all are dragons.”

We are essentially just
Barely tamed wild animals
After all

Running around doing mean things
To one another and
Making up excuses for

Why it’s OK
To do them
In the first place

Things like:
“She pushed me first,” and
“It was my turn,” and such

And then there’s all the
Yucky stuff we keep
Doing to the planet!!!

That’s a lot like flame throwing you know
Have you noticed, the forests are on fire a lot lately
Aren’t they???!!!!

Well I could go on
And on
Down this ugly road don’t you know?

So there you go.
That’s my argument
Do I win the debate?

Are we? Or are we not?
Dragons, barely disguised as humans
And running around reeking havoc?

Trying as hard as we can
To devour one another
Before we ourselves get eaten?

© Janie Wilson


Part Four: We Got a Lot O’ Learning’ to Do

erraserThough we miss our friend Emily, Glenda and I are getting so excited about our manuscript. We keep writing every Wednesday, and now we are deep into our research too. How are we going to get this thing published? How do we write a decent query? And for that matter, who do we query first—editor, agent, publisher? Does anybody out there want an anthology of poetry, short story and memoir anyway?

All the while we rework our manuscript—fixing those messy sentences, spacing challenges, missing words and awkward phrasings. We ask our mentor, Joan Garrabrant to edit what has now become a 14-chapter anthology. Graciously, she accepts—what a gift!

We edit some more (there is a lot of editing involved in this business) and come to the conclusion that the best way to get our stories read is to do it ourselves. Now, we are on the verge of publishing Make No Assumptions.

Stay tuned for a sneak peak…


Part Three: Then There Were Four

As lives and worlds change two of us have to move on to other things. So we become four women, and we write more poems, create blogs of our own. In my case http://www.gratefullyyourstoday.com , in Glenda’s http://www.glendakotchish.com

Then there are three, and we start writing short shorts, and memoir and more. At our Wednesday night sessions we choose a random topic like fences, or lets do lunch, or something like that. Then all three of us write about it for twenty minutes. We end up with the beginnings of some really interesting stuff.

This goes on for another year or so, until we decide to head off for another retreat at Glenda’s beach house. We want to see if we have anything worthwhile in all of these spontaneous first drafts.

There at the beach we scribble, correct, read to each other. We revise some more and plot and plan until we come up with a format and a rough draft. A manuscript is beginning to reveal itself to us. It is so very exciting, and a bit daunting.

We are coming to understand the commitment that lies ahead of us—researching editors, agents and publishers—revising, rewriting our own, then each other’s stories—formatting and so fretting over detail after detail. We make research assignments and set deadlines. It is an ambitious endeavor.

Fall sets in and our dear fellow writer, Emily heads back to her middle school teaching responsibilities. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that her current life is just not going to let her continue our Wednesday night gatherings, and the plans we’ve made.

Then there are just us two.

Stay tuned for Part Four: We Got a Lot o’ Learnin’ to Do…

Part 2: Then Magically, We Were Poets

So, after learning a lot about our dreams, and having fun at Glenda’s beach painting retreat, the years fall away. Glenda’s career takes a turn as she founds a thriving art studio here in Richmond, and I progress through my career in philanthropy.

And once again we find ourselves back in the same sumptuous blue and green room where we first met to study our dreams. This time we are in a poetry group—six women meeting every Wednesday evening for a year.

We write every kind of poetry one can think of, about every subject six women can dream up. And at the end of that year we decided to compile and publish a book: Room for Poetry. See the page above.

Next up: Part 3: Then There Were Four…

Part 1: Dreamy

Glenda and I met long ago when our dreams began knocking at our respective doors. (Literally, these dreams were waking us up in the middle of the night.) They were so persistent that we both ended up joining a dreaming group, so that we could get some rest.

Next thing you know, Glenda is hosting a painting workshop at her beach house. It was loads of fun and so inspiring—sitting on the beach learning about point-of-view, perspective, acrylic color mixing; then coming back to the house, drinking wine and critiquing our work.

In fact, years later the experience continue to inspire me as I wrote a haiku published in our book Room For Poetry​. It’s called Worth a Hoot:

the reality is
I have to write because I
can’t draw worth a hoot

Janie Wilson

Stay tuned for Part 2: Then Magically, We Became Poets