Donald Graves said writers are in a constant state of composition. I now realize that a  “constant state of composition”[1]  is another term for daydreamer . That is what I am. A daydreamer looks at the world in specific detail, absorbs its essence, internalizes its meaning, and then writes about it. A daydreamer brings the obvious into the light and puts a spin on it. A daydreamer shows the world another aspect to the ordinary that wasn’t there before. A daydreamer’s mind is just one notch away from commonplace.

As a child, I stare at the Oak leaves, watch them blow in the wind, and follow the fallen ones to the cold, crunchy, autumn grass in the school yard. The pirouette dance hypnotizes me as I try in vain to find a pattern. I contemplate the strength of the wind that does not allow the leaves to fall straight down. Each leaf has its own destiny. It could be a few feet away from the trunk of its tree, or it could take flight and travel all the way across the school yard where the metal fence stops its path.

Changes in the classroom seating chart does not deter the daydreamer. I focus on Sue’s hair. I notice the way the sunshine hits the red highlights in her brown hair and how the roots are darker than the ends. I follow the curls of each strand of hair. I know when her hair was washed the night before from the light bounce in her curls when she turns her head. 
 
The daydreaming does not stop in childhood. Waiting for the bus on my way to work on a cool Spring day, I notice a fat, fuzzy caterpillar. Cream color with black spots along its back, the caterpillar slowly creeps around a small patch of grass near the cement sidewalk. The fuzz looks like the long fur of an angora cat, soft and touchable, almost irresistible . Bending his body to help the numerous legs find a piece of leaf or twig is pure delight to me. Every so often, he lifts his head and looks around searching or sniffing the air. I wonder if he knows I am watching him or if he senses someone near. Is that why he looks up and around? 
 
I become the caterpillar approaching a human shoe and contemplate its purpose. It’s a strange looking tree. Should I climb it or keep looking? Is there danger there? I decide it’s too risky and move on to a more suitable environment.

I write poetry, fiction and nonfiction stories, silly letters to my friends, and entries in my diary. Never thought of myself as a writer until now, and never made the connection between daydreamer and writer until I read about Donald Graves.  His definition encompasses the budding writer in all of us. I am a writer in a “constant state of composition[l] .”

 [1]          
Donald Graves was an expert in the field of writing and writing instruction. He said, “when writers write every day, they begin to compose even when they are not composing. They enter into a constant state of composition” (Graves, 1994, pg. 104).

Graves, D.H. (1994). A fresh look at writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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Comments

03/24/2012 7:42pm

Now I'm afraid to stop writing, for fear I'll decompose!

Reply
Lisa
03/24/2012 7:53pm

Bette,

You don't have a choice. You can't stop once the writing wheel has turned. An object in motion...

:)
Lisa

Reply
Lisa
03/29/2012 6:52pm

Duh. I just read this comment again. Now I get it. Decompose! Funny.

jd
03/27/2012 4:12am

Wish I would of said that!

Reply
Lisa
03/27/2012 11:46am

JD,

I'm with you. It's brilliant.

Reply
03/27/2012 8:27am

Congratulations, Lisa. You're off to a great start. I'll be back.
David

Reply
Lisa
03/27/2012 11:47am

David,

Thank you. I am honored.

Lisa

Reply
Lillian DeCamillo
03/27/2012 3:36pm

I liked your story very interesting. I enjoyed it very much

Reply
Lisa
03/28/2012 2:20pm

Thanks Lillian. I'm so glad you liked it. Hope you keep reading.

Reply



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    Lisa Martino

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