Monday, February 16, 2015


When a writer poses that last-resort but all-too-common question, “What should I write about?”, she can generally expect three kinds of responses from three kinds of people.

  1. The Unintentionally Narcissist Friend: “Write about me!” 
  2. The Extremely Unhelpful Friend: “idk, like something”
  3. The Friend Who Spends Too Long Pondering Everything: “Write about how the ethics of raising and killing free-range chickens can be applied as a metaphor to war.”

I suppose it’s to be expected. Who can really rise to the sudden demand of inspiration? Who can truly fulfill the role of Writer’s Muse at a moment’s notice?

Then there’s my friend Haleigh. Also known in previous years as my blog-stalker—or if you were a keen observer of that one speed poetry post two years ago, you may have glimpsed her lurking beneath the charismatic Sirenia Featherheart’s captivating work.

Haleigh has been probably the single best prompter I’ve encountered so far. Where most people clam up and supply stupid ideas, she’s always ready to supply suggestions that are specific enough to inspire, but still vague enough to take their own form in any writer’s hands. In addition, Haleigh’s prompts tend to have the added benefit of humor, which I am sometimes prone to neglect. I’ll forget that poems can be funny, and then Haleigh comes along and tells me to write a clerihew, or a poem based on the lines “weeping, wailing / (do you care for parasailing?)”, or on the name Francesca.

So this is just to give credit where credit is due. Tonight Haleigh resorted to being the Unintentionally Narcissist Friend, but since the unintentional part was very sincere, and since she actually totally deserves a whole blog post about her, I decided to take it.

Thanks for everything, Haleigh. Let’s speed-poem again sometime soon.

(Note: This post has focused on Haleigh’s role as inspiration in my writing, but it should also be mentioned that she edits all my papers like a boss, and can absolutely knock your socks off in an iambic pentameter competition if you are foolish enough to challenge her. Girl’s cool. Don’t mess with her.)

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