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Next Step Blues

30 Jan

I finished something. Well several somethings. I think I may have mention that I’m writing a lot recently. Six mornings a week I trudge out of bed, turn on my computer, coffee maker and write. I’ve written two movies in the last few weeks and I feel great! Of course that does bring you to the age-old question: what’s next?

You’ll find this is a constant question with me. I often fluctuate between wanting to get my work produced and see the work on-screen and wanting to pretend the movie was never written. When I was writing poetry it was generally the same thing. I wrote a lot but I didn’t submit a lot. At least though with Poetry I had a very good understanding of what the next step was. Once you have a polished(I don’t say finished because I know some people never feel a poem is done) poem you begin submitting it to literary magazines or to poetry contests. When it comes to film I’m sort of at a loss.

Even fiction writers have a clear idea of what they are doing. I’m at a loss. Internet searches provide the same answer: get an agent or submit to producers though many of them won’t walk to you unless you have an agent or are working with a producer.  The quest begins with a lot of phone calls, emails, letters and it’s slow going. The advice also usually has a large dose of “move to  LA” in it. Something that at this moment I am in no way prepared to do.  So what will I be doing next? Editing, querying and calling. Nothing else to do about it!

I’ll be searching the web for agents names, seeing who represents whom and hopefully getting a film made. Wish me luck 🙂

You gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em

16 Jul

As promised this post is about knowing when to give up writing. I guess the title of this post suggests that I do have an idea of when this should be done but to be honest, I have no idea.

I’ve been writing this blog for how long now? almost two years. Fall 2010 begins the journey. Have I always done my posts? No way. Do I often feel like I’m not saying anything? All the time. When I am on, I feel like I am on and when I’m off I feel way off. I think for me, I struggle with agendas. Where do I want this blog to be? What “brand” am I creating with my posts? Does it matter? Do you sometimes write long letters to yourself about where you want to be right now and how off that path you are? I think about doing things like that. But I stop myself. So do I give up my blog becuase I don’t want the pressure of having to give one side of myself all the time or do I expand the blog to accommodate the multiple facets of me? Or do I start a new  blog which is solely focused on the everything else that my life presents.  I love to read all of these beautifully written blogs that focus on one thing but I struggle with how to write one.

My poetry is another story. The energy to write a poem has drained from my heart and I feel like I have forgotten what it means to write poetry. There is a lot of prose here. The desire to write essays, academic papers, plays, movies, and all sorts of words that I would not call poem. But is it a part of poetry to expand beyond genre and write what I need to write.

A part of me thinks that community has a lot to do with the problem. They say 3 in 10 MFA in Creative writing grads keep writing after they finish the degree. I have a feeling this is because they miss the community of writers and being around people who also believe this writing is worth it. This work is so much better than anything else I could be doing. Or at least just as important. That’s how  I feel right about now. I live in a place with little to no literary culture but is on the outskirts of a culture that lives and breaths and grows. Sometimes I think about not writing another poem ever again. But the thought makes me cry.

So I guess that’s where I am. The intersection of perfect balance and disheveled chaos. I’m leaning towards letting the lines bleed. Maybe this thing I’ve been trying to do where I don’t include certain things and I omit isn’t working for me. I omit so much of my life within my life already. What do you think readers: do we give up on keeping our pretty pink bows on or do we just put down our pens and turn off the lights?

I had considered

15 Jul

I had considered writing a long post about the struggles of finding time to write but i am constantly writing that. So then the question comes… Do you keep writing?

Im going to talk some more about it later this week but i want to put the question in the air. Give up or keep fighting with words for words.

Doing the 30/30 for April….

4 Apr

Are you?

 

Enjoy National Poetry Month People!

Friday Reflection: Writing routine

13 Jan

How do you build routine??? I struggled with this last year. I’ve decided to try and keep it simple this year. Each week Poets and Writers sends a newsletter called The Time is Now. Last year I ignored it. I would look at the prompt and then forget about it or delete it without looking altogether. This year, in an effort to get myself writing, I’ve decided to write at least two poems a week. The first, you all will see on the blog for the Tuesday Poem. The work will be really rough and unedited. The second will be written to the prompt from Poets and Writers. If you want to write along with me check out the website for more information.

The other thing I have to figure out is when to write. You all know my schedule is pretty hectic and finding the time to regularly write is difficult. My bed time isn’t regular. My wake-up time isn’t regular. Day-to-day is crazy. So at this time, I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to do those two poems and not worry so much about when the writing gets done.

A few writers on how they make time:

As you can see, most of them generally have an idea of what time they will write and how long they will spend doing it. Again, I’m not fighting…I’m settling into making things work. Are you making changes this year? Even if its just changing your attitude like me I want to hear about it. Comment please!

Friday Reflection: Submit!

6 Jan

So as you know, One of my goals for this year is to submit to at least 6 journals this year. To help myself with that goal I started searching for some places to submit. Some of them I have submitted to before and others are new. Here are the places that I want to submit this year (plus my usual commentary).

  • Torch: Poetry, prose and short stories by African American Women. Edited by Amanda Johnston.  I have submitted to Torch before and I will keep submitting to them because I respect the work they do. Torch features African American Women and gives emerging writers the opportunity to be seen while also showcasing the work of an established writer. It’s an online journal so it is easy to access and I appreciate that. So, I’m going to try again this year. Dates for Submission: April 15 through August 31.
  • So to Speak. Edited by Siwar Masannat. I only recently heard of this journal but I like what they offer as well. You maybe able to tell that I like journals that focus on women’s issues and feminist view points. This is the way I think of my work right now so I definitely appreciate journals who focus on this. Dates for Submission: January 1 through March 15 (Fall) and August 1 through October 15(Spring, reading fee $15)
  • Generations Literary Magazine. Edited by Kiala Givehand. This journal is edited by my good friend and I have talked about it plenty of times before. I really like the idea of the young and old, the established and the emerging and the different genres being in conversation with one another. I don’t assume I’ll be published just because I know the editor but it would be an honor to be featured in this new journal. Dates for Submission: The next dates have not been stated yet but I’m hoping to submit for issue four.
  • Lavendar Review. Edited by Mary Meriam. This a lesbian e-zine and I’ve been reading the issues and it seems really interesting. It is focused on lesbian work and work focused on lesbian issues. Dates for Submission: June 1, 2012(deadline)
  • The Postcard Press. Edited by Caitlin O’ Sullivan. I subscribed to this “journal” a few months ago. I love the concept behind getting a little post card of poetry each month and I have enjoyed receiving them. I’m a big fan of  small poems. I like haiku, the work of Lorine Niedecker and just short work. Thats why I love this concept so much. Dates of Submission: Submit by January 31, 2012: WONDER; Submit by March 31, 2012: LIES I ALMOST BELIEVE; Submit by May 31, 2012: MAGIC
  • 580 Split. Edited by Mills Graduate Students. Mills Colleges very own literary magazine. I’ve left the editor open because by the time I submit I won’t know who the editor is. Obviously it would be an honor to be published by my peers at my alma mater. I also really appreciate the fact that 580 Split has always been really  focused on the community that it comes from and I love that. Dates of Submission: Not sure yet. Probably Fall next year some time. 

Those are my 6 must submit ones. I want to submit more but I figure if I can do at least these 6 I can feel productive.  Do you have any must places to submit to? Or a journal that you want to read several issues of this year? Share!

Tuesday Poem: Day 2 Poem 2

8 Nov
Sneak out to meet you
in front of your house with your neighbors bright light
Your smile so alluring
I endure to meet your lips

Good Morning New Project

31 Oct

I mentioned last week that I will be writing a poem a day for the month of November ( in solidarity with my novel writing cohort). Tomorrow marks the start of it and I hope to get an early start in the morning. I start work at 5:00am and hope to begin writing around 6:00am. My goal for the poem a day is also to get a rhythm and routine going. This will be difficult. Production is hard but with a schedule like mine, routine can be even harder.

I am excited and nervous to be starting this new venture. I hope to succeed. Are you writing something for the month of November? Or are you starting a new lengthy project?  I want to hear about it. Share with me 🙂

Friday Reflection: Start Small

28 Oct

I’ve mentioned that I want to get writing again. The start of NaNoWriMo seemed like the perfect start. Now I’m not much in the way of a fiction writer, but my plan is to write 140 characters a day for the month of November. I’d like to call it the Twitter Poet Challenge. Each Tuesday in Nov (except Nov. 1 which is a special poem around the subject of global citizenship) I will post one of the pervious weeks tweet sized poems as well as a writing prompt. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What’s your idea?

As you may have noticed, the weekly reflection is slowly coming together. It’s funny but its more difficult to write on Fridays then I thought it would be. Which is why I’ve decided to reflect biweekly each month for the time being. It’s a littler slackerish on my part but I want to write the reflections and genuinely take the time to reflect and share. I don’t want this blog to become something that I write on Autopilot. To that end I’m going to try to write one book review a month. I think that will help me to be reading and also to keep my expository writing skills up.

The month of October is ending and the blog is changing again. Taking a new shape. I think the changes are a good thing but I would love to hear what you think. Every so often I check and see who is viewing my posts, lets just say that more often then not, I’m the only one reading. Which is fine because at least I’m stretching my writing muscles and keeping my motivation up. It’s also giving me something to put too much energy into 🙂 Which I always need. It does make me wonder about the value though. It’s the whole tree in a forest thing right? Did you notice that I fell? Did you notice that I’ve continued to do stuff and am not a one trick pony? I started my blog just over a year ago and it’s definitely been all over the spectrum. But is the rainbow worth painting if you know people aren’t going to look up? This I suppose is also the age old poet story. When people aren’t reading your work do you continue writing? Of course because you love it. Is the same true with blogging? I guess we’ll find out.

 

Monday: Video Monday

Tuesday: Tuesday Poems

Thursday: Thursday Treat-Links I’m loving

2-4 Friday: Friday Reflections

Thursday Treat: Links I’m Lovin’ 8/4/2011

4 Aug

This week with the chaos of the USA surrounding me, I found connecting to issues of Education to be really grounding. The links this week are a pretty decent mix of writing links and education links. Enjoy!