You know you’re a writer when: you work until stupid o’clock, go to bed feeling bad for everyone who’ll have to deal with zombie you in the morning, and then can’t sleep anyway.

So what do you do? What if you can’t count, or don’t like sheep?

For me, there’s a poem I recite to myself that always works a treat. From the first time I read it, back in high school, I was in love. The imagery is so vivid I felt like I’d been there, and when I visited Lake Bled in Slovenia, the poem came to life. Mountains? Check. Alpine lake? Check. Island centerpiece? Check.

P.S. You know you’re a writer when reciting 19th century literature is the only thing that’ll get you some sleep…

Imitation of Spenser – John Keats
  NOW Morning from her orient chamber came,
  And her first footsteps touch’d a verdant hill;
  Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame,
  Silv’ring the untainted gushes of its rill;
  Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distill,         5
  And after parting beds of simple flowers,
  By many streams a little lake did fill,
  Which round its marge reflected woven bowers,
And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
  There the king-fisher saw his plumage bright         10
  Vieing with fish of brilliant dye below;
  Whose silken fins, and golden scales’ light
  Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow:
  There saw the swan his neck of arched snow,
  And oar’d himself along with majesty;         15
  Sparkled his jetty eyes; his feet did show
  Beneath the waves like Afric’s ebony,
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.
  Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle
  That in that fairest lake had placed been,         20
  I could e’en Dido of her grief beguile;
  Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen:
  For sure so fair a place was never seen,
  Of all that ever charm’d romantic eye:
  It seem’d an emerald in the silver sheen         25
  Of the bright waters; or as when on high,
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the coerulean sky.
  And all around it dipp’d luxuriously
  Slopings of verdure through the glossy tide,
  Which, as it were in gentle amity,         30
  Rippled delighted up the flowery side;
  As if to glean the ruddy tears, it tried,
  Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem!
  Haply it was the workings of its pride,
  In strife to throw upon the shore a gem         35
Outvieing all the buds in Flora’s diadem.

P.S. This is a new blog. Anything you could do to spread the word would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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