Spotlight: Jay W Carmichael

Resting Lightly On A Page

A Guest Post By

Jay Carmichael

Writing In The Cold

I want to begin with a quote because I really enjoy quotes that I admire for some or another reason:


These words rest lightly on my page, but this heaviness pressing on me is perhaps the weight of all the words I have still not written. And the heaviness pressing on me is what first urged me to write.

—    Gerald Murnane, Inland


Now, perhaps, I shall preface this blog.

I guess it’s not a usual post about writing but is, or so I hope, a creative post and a fictitious stream-of-consciousness-like text meditating over how a writer in today’s climate must move round the world he or she is used to, to worlds where he or she needs to be to become the writer he or she aspires to.

I hope you all enjoy.



10.02.3013 at 9.46 pm … I went home for a summer ending too soon. And I had been waking on each warm morn’ waiting for a way to repeat any fit of good writing I had ever done while waiting up at night. And now the summer is ending sooner than I had wanted, too soon and I feel I didn’t follow my ambition round the limp twilight summer streets of home—to understand what of home and of home’s summer fields. And of knee-high wheat standing there and which, too, had been cut down in the listless daze it, too, had spent the summer in. In the moment when each of the collective spikelets had turned their faces into the sunshine and burred in the breeze—in dappled indolence it’d been cut down; it’s summer ending too soon.

Is it too soon this I did come back here to the writer’s room amid the ambo siren and the frequent train, to hear the bells and all the whistles chime throughout the night? Or what, when I saw the crushed orange cap, did I wonder; was it Eschscholzia californica, a petal or stamen perhaps kissing the bluestone gutter? Though no. Never here. Never near the writer’s room. Not in the city. No, Eschscholzia only now belongs in my memory of the roadside flower brighter than the circumscribed wheat. Or if, what if, I can describe the natural emotion I had when I saw a silver glint but then how that emotion tarnished when the glint itself was not a bug or a bee or a flying ant.

And so I am back. Here in the city. Alack the day.

Thinking. Knowing that I had gone home for a summer ending too soon—that’s how I should’ve begun this post; I had done this; I had done that; I had fished and I had slept ‘neath the Southern Cross and I had drunk sweet cider ‘side a warm pool with sedately conscious souls afloat; I had chatted and I had chortled and I had had fun with those souls afloat so that in the warm morning I had woke and I had waited for those images of the passed day to sift each personage into character and into scene and into passage and into theme and sound and voice and mood and climax. And I had tried to write.

But never did it come thus when I had sat, after having woken, on the edge of my still warm bed in the halfway house nestled in the wheat of the country I call home. No, never because it was still all too raw.

Yet I still hope, still hope now I am back, sitting at the end of the cold covers of the bed in the writer’s room—the city. I shall call you home just for the weeks when this project, the one whose images I still wait to form in my brain, will be realised.


You can read more from Jay on his blog, Writing In The Cold, which I have been a fan of for quite some time. You can also connect with him on Twitter @JayCarmichael2


Categories: Life, Quotes, Spotlight, Writing | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Spotlight: Jay W Carmichael

  1. Reblogged this on Writing in the Cold and commented:
    Hey! I guest-blogged for Will, who writes fantastic stuff over at “What If It All Means Something”. Have a look at my blog, if you want, and check out Will’s archives too. Have a good one. 🙂

  2. Perfect writing!

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