Writer’s Buzz

Honey Bee DrawingWhile I think all insects are fascinating, honey bees are one of the most amazing of all creatures. Although they have a short life expectancy of approximately 35 days, honey bees get a lot done during that time, hence the saying, “Busy as a bee.” Their wing strokes over 11,000 times per minute which is why they can make a buzzing sound.

For the first few days of honey bees’ lives, they must regulate the temperature in the hive by whirring their wings, or in extreme cases gathering water to pour over the combs. For the next three to six days they are tasked with supplying food. It is no small feat keeping the queen and depending on the colony size, around 10,000 larvae full. Then for the next ten days they have to carry pollen and nectar to the hive for honey production. And, are you ready for this? Honey bees communicate to their sister foragers the location and directions to the food sources through dance movements on the honey comb, using the sun’s position as their gps. It’s no wonder they get hungry. Over the course of a year, a colony of bees eats between 120 and 200 pounds of honey.

The life of a writer is also a busy one. In bringing a manuscript to life for example, I start with an idea, whether for a feature or an essay, conduct any necessary research, and follow the writing wherever it leads. Sometimes I discover that what began as an essay is better told as a poem. Next comes revision which is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Optimally I put what I’m working on away for a bit before final revisions are made. If I think it’s worth sharing, I send it out to literary magazines and anthologies.

The other parallel between writers and bees, aside from their tenacity for work, is the amount of passion that seems to run their lives. Curious about life, writers pen the thoughts in their minds, and work them over until at last they produce honey.

Wishing you many blessings on your journey as a writer.

Books that have been helpful to me on the craft of writing and/or the life of an artist:

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
Writing as a way of Healing – Louise DeSalvo
The Art of Creative Nonfiction – Lee Gutkind
On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Writing to Change the World – Mary Pipher
Making a Literary Life – Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers – Carolyn See

Colleen’s Links:

http://www.beckymeek.scentsy.us – This is one of my little sister’s businesses. You are sure to find a few scents you like here. Her three children also assist with the enterprise. That just makes sense.

http://www.clbwrites.com – Bloomington-based writer, Christine Brandel, is a former colleague, and a mentor and friend.

David Martin Design – David helps me maintain and update this website.

http://earthcharterindiana.org – Mentor and friend, Jim Poyser, is the Executive Director. Their mission: Earth Charter Indiana exists to inspire and advance sustainable, just and peaceful living in Indiana by promoting the values and principles of the Earth Charter.

http://www.louellabryant.com – An amazing writer, teacher and mentor, Louella injects me with a shot of courage when I need it.

https://www.mollygleeson.com – A writing friend and former colleage.

http://www.newpages.com – Where there is always something new for writers.

http://lifewithcharley.blogspot.com – My friend Sherry Palmer’s website. Sherry’s adoption memoir, Life with Charley was released in October 2014.


http://spalding.edu/academics/mfa-in-writing – A top-10 low-residency program many years over, and where I earned my MFA in Creative Writing.

http://www.theharmonioushome.net – Allison Distler who also teaches for Women Writing for (a) Change Bloomington.

http://www.womenwritingbloomington.com – A nurturing, warm environment where myself and my daughter have taken classes. From their website: We are part of a national network of affiliate writing schools who share a mission to provide opportunities for individuals to craft more conscious lives through the art of writing and the practices of community.

http://writersguildbloomington.com – An active group of vibrant writers writing in a vibrant city.

http://www.wordpoolpress.com – An independent literary press in Michigan. Wordpool’s mission is to make their authors happy.