Always leave thread in the needle

September 19, 2019 @ 1:14 pm | Filed under: ,

A poem-of-sorts I shared on Medium last week: Advice to Writers: Always Leave

Always leave thread in the needle and the sentence half-written.

The plunge into chill water is the hardest part, so leave the burner on, the hot tap running.

Don’t let ink sit in the pen for too long — it clogs the nib. You’ll lose time momentum interest scraping a dry point across your skin until the clot dissolves.

Always leave the iron on. You may return to find useful scorch marks, or with luck ashes you can read like tea leaves.

Fail to secure the lids of your garbage bins. While cleaning up the raccoon rummagings, you may happen upon lost notions or revelatory peelings. Sweep up the spilt verbs and reassemble them into cracked sentences. Smells are the best glue.

Read the rest here.

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Amy says:

    Wow. I just love it. Copying into my commonplace. Thank you!

  2. Susanne Barrett says:

    Love this, Lissa!! My favorite line is this:

    “Sweep up the spilt verbs and reassemble them into cracked sentences.”

    Thanks for a lovely start to a very busy day!!

    Susanne 🙂

  3. Susanne Barrett says:


    “Upturned drawers will yield the best nouns.”


    ~S 🙂

  4. Anne Neulieb says:

    I read this when you first published it, and I love it!

  5. Cate says:

    Love the poem! And not to be too literal, but doing an NY Times crossword will also get the writing juices flowing, I used to save classmates’ in college just for this purpose. Even a Monday one will do.

  6. Carleen Elise Armstrong says:

    Oh man. That’s delicious and true. I love the idea of putting it into my Commonplace. Gonna do it tomorrow during piano lesson. <3