I’m going to do something a little bit different for Thursday poem share this week, and no I’m not going to do my year end wrap up. I’ll still probably do that tomorrow and then look forward on January 2nd. Procrastinating already? Perhaps.
But instead of posting a poem here I’d love for you guys to stop by Blogging Along Tobacco Road where a poem and a picture of mine are up.
And below, I am going to post another poem in progress. Or actually, this is a poem I wrote when I was working on The Wait of Atom but it didn’t make it into the final manuscript. I’m trying to decide if I can salvage it. Help is appreciated!
[thanks for all the comments! time to revise!]
We host a fondue get together for family on New Year’s Eve so need to make the final prep for that and hopefully I’ll have time to come back and post tomorrow as a regular Friday Wrap-Up. We shall See!
Hope you guys have a fun and safe holiday. Remember, Designated Driver’s are awesome and feel free to post and/or link to your own poems below.
I love attending seminars and reading books about the craft of writing, in all genres. I love to learn. Can’t remember a time when I didn’t! I want to see what other people are doing and then shape it to my own ends.
From one of my many readings or seminars I have another tip from my list, I found a little note that said “Write what no one else can say.”
As I typed that in here I realized, it could mean many different things.
Perhaps you write what no one else can say because you have a story, a voice that no one else can present. It could, however, mean that you need to be a social writer and stand up for those people who are unable to have a voice. Or perhaps it is even simpler than that – avoid cliches – don’t sit down and write the same old thing that anyone else could. Be yourself.
What do you guys think? What did you take away from that sentence and how could you apply it to your writing life?
Lots of end of the year loose items to tie up for me but I am still planning on blogging each day.
And, I can almost breathe today.
This week at at Shape of a Box we presented two poems by Bryan Borland. Video embedded below but if you click on Shape of a Box it will take you directly to the website where there is a video embedded and the text of the poems. Or if you want to see the video on YouTube and the side bar where links to the used images are located then click here. Oh the variety!
Next up is me. I had two books leftover after my Monday Shout Out that I wanted to discuss. I discuss the graphic novel collection Eternal Smile by Gene Yang and Derek Kim. Then, I read a poem from Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage by Leslie McGrath as well as a poem I wrote after being inspired by that book:
And lastly I’ll give a shout out to Stanley Pacion whose name I am probably misspelling who is posting a lot of his material on YouTube. If you go directly to YouTube you can also read the poem in the side bar. He reads his poems well:
Where did the day go?
Back to Monday already? Yep!
- I finished the lit mag New South recently and I was really quite taken with the quality of the short fiction. I was about 50% of like on the poetry so I’m not sure if I’d submit again to the publication because I’m not sure my poetry is a fit but this is definitely a lit mag to check out. They also have a yearly contest. One of the stories I noted was “The Cow that Milked Herself” by Megan Mayhew Bergman.
- When I was deciding where to obtain my MFA, I had already pretty much decided on Queens but then I was super excited to find out that Cathy Smith Bowers taught there. I had read a few of her poems in literary magazines but I did not pick up one of her books until I was already a student at Queens. I took several seminars from Cathy and she is an enthusiastic and fantastic teacher. She was also kind enough to read my thesis. I just finished her latest book The Candle I Hold Up to See You and it was simply wonderful. I don’t even know how I would pick a favorite poem? There is humor and grief and enviable word combinations. Pick up a copy if you get the chance!
- I met John Hartness recently at a Charlotte Writer’s Club meeting. He self-published a collection of poetry and short fiction so stop by and see about getting a copy. Nice simple website with a variety of topics related to life, writing and poker.
- After publishing Jessy Randall in Shape of a Box last year, I picked up her poetry collection A Day in Boyland and I just LOVED it. I decided to pick up her new YA novel The Wandora Unit and I was not disappointed. The book is almost written journal style and mostly from the viewpoint of Dora who is one of the main editors of a high school lit mag called Galaxy which serves as sort of a gathering place for the nerdy yet at least hip to them people in Dora’s high school. There are teenager poems included, but what I liked most about this book is that it focused on the relationship between Dora and Wanda, best friends, and how those relationships change as we get older. There is a frank discussion of sex at least once in the book but I still would very much recommend this one. Very affirmative to girls and to nerds of all genders. Would be a great one to discuss with your young adult. If there is one thing that was odd for me with the book, was when someone besides Dora spoke. Since it is mostly in Dora’s voice that was a little odd but not overly problematic.
- Last up is Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I actually watched the movie before reading the book and I hear there is also a documentary about Jon Krakauer working on the book which I’d love to see. I thought the movie was pretty good. Wonderful acting and shot beautifully but I enjoyed the book a great deal more as the author brought himself in to the story as most good non-fiction books do. Definitely worth a read. Pretty short as well and you can actually find the bus featured on the cover on google maps. There is one chapter near the end of the book with a lot of technical jargon regarding climbing but otherwise the book is not only informative but well-written. Yay Alaska!
Anyone or anything you want to give a shout out to today? I have two more books I finished recently so think I’m going to also record a vlog soon while the tree men work on trimming the big old oak in the back yard. Very glad we don’t have to take it down
Have a great week everyone! Let’s finish this year strong!
Well, K and I both noticed the tickling of the throat, the lethargy yesterday but we hoped it would pass. He is managing to still sleep but I’m up because my throat feels like I have smalled some glass or something. Took some OTC medications and just gonna try to rest while drinking copious amounts of clear liquids.
Perhaps I’ll get some more reading done?
A confession: I have read self-help books. Especially during my late 20′s. I was trying to figure out what exactly it was I was doing with my life and many of these books did an exercise where you picked out pivotal moments. Many moments that stuck out with me were not surprising but there were a few that did make me pause to think, why am I so focused on that? One of them could really be considered two events but since they were tied to the same person and the same time in my life I tend to group them together. See, a good friend of mine in high school told me two important things 1–That I was fickle 2–That I complained too much.
First thing I had to do was look up fickle. I can see why that would have been a potentially negative thing but I actually look at it as a bit of a positive since I am inquisitive and I want to try and learn new things. When it comes to things like weight loss, however, it can be an aggravating personality trait as I have a hard time sticking with a “program.” Perhaps an inner quiet rebel? But, the fact that I complained too much really stood out for me. Yes, I had valid things I could complain about. My parents divorced when I was 8, there was alcoholism in our family and a host of other things but still – why did I always have to complain?
I made a point then to do as little as possible after it was pointed out to me. I also noted that I used to lie a lot in my teens because I wanted to have some kind of story to tell so I could fit in. I stopped that as well.
Why am I thinking of this just after Christmas? Because, as much as I enjoyed being with my in-laws for the holidays it just seemed that conversation often turns to the negative and I found myself slipping into those habits as well. Why should I beg negative when my sister-in-law bought a copy of my chapbook The Wait of Atom and also gave me a really cool cat that is a solar powered yard decoration – we named him Rusty!, and when I can laugh at one of the books I received because it was the only item left on my Amazon list which I had intended to delete like a year ago! OOPS! And both of my brother-in-laws took the time to each appreciate my love for books one who gave me two graphic novels and the other who gave me a gift card (which I spent and then SOME today!)
Life is never “perfect” if there is even a way to define perfect but I still want to remember to be more positive. Sure, we all get silly gifts and sometimes you eat too much and the noise level got to be too loud but there is always something good. Always.
If you don’t believe me look at these pictures I’m sharing from Facebook!
One of my new year’s resolutions will be to remember to be Positive!!
I wasn’t sure if I would do a wrap up this week, or if I would have time but I have a few moments as we are preparing for festivities so I thought I’d go ahead and check in.
- Subbed – 4
- Accepted – 1!! A collab poem/picture/mp3 project that I worked on with J.S. Graustein was accepted for Handshake: an Ear Drums Pop production. It will appear in 2010 but they also still seeking poets working in collaboration so click through for details.
- Rejected – 2 – although one of these is the infamous one I mentioned earlier in the week where it was turned down because it was fiction and they weren’t reading fiction, which – as you all known – is funny cause I sent poetry
42 and raining currently in Charlotte. Looks like there may be some icy conditions in our future. Happy Holidays for that! Still looking forward to spending some time with my inlaws and checking in on Facebook and such to see the festivities of my family and friends.
This has been a good week for the blog with lots of great discussions and having Thursday Poem Share made me sit down and work on some poems this week. Several rough drafts are complete and I finished revising everything I wrote in November. They are either “retired” or out the door. Also pulled a few poems from an old retired list to see if I can rework them.
Over at Shape, I think I have some very strong contenders for editor and some people who would be interested in working with the new editor when they are assigned. My computer crashed on the last video I tried to make so I may be leaving the new editor a few issues that I can not complete. We shall see. We also had a surprise this morning in that one of our vids that only had about 1500 views suddenly has over 2000 and has taken the top spot on the site! Go over and take a look.
The week coming up will be planning for New Year’s Eve party and then getting organized for the New Year. I always look forward to a new year, a new start but I also need to remember there is always a 12/31 - day when you have to see if you reached your goals.
Have a great day everyone!