Monday, November 30, 2009

Breaking in The Green of Breakable Things

In more good (and very recent) news beyond the Pushcart nomination:

The Lamplighter Review took my poems "Gold Frame," "In Praise of Kevlar" and "When You Came Home from the War." These are the first poems from my unpublished manuscript The Green of Breakable Things to be picked up, and I'm particularly proud of them. Hooray! Look for them in the next issue of Lamplighter. (Also, a side note - the response time was phenomenal, which is always much appreciated!)

I'll also have work out in the next issue of River Styx and Sow's Ear Poetry Review.

And finally for today, The Green of Breakable Things has been entered in her first poetry book contests. Wish her (and me) luck! (And, of course, if you're an editor and want to read the manuscript, I'd be happy to send it along *grin*)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pushcart Nomination!!

There is no turkey at my house. No stuffing, mashed potatoes, or any of the other foods and smells that I usually associate with Thanksgiving. I should probably be halfway to depressed. But, while I miss all of that usual foodly goodness, i can't quite bring myself to wallow very deeply. My trusty editor, Robert Ward, emailed me yesterday with some lovely news and an early Christmas gift: he nominated me for a Pushcart for my poem "The Light Becomes Us."

I'm absolutely thrilled/tickled/walking on air about it. (Choose your expression of joy and insert it as you will.) And for a number of reasons - first, well, it's a damn Pushcart, only one of the most prestigious writerly awards! Second, "The Light Becomes Us" happens to be one of my favorite, favorite poems of mine. (Can I have a favorite poem of my own without seeming too self-absorbed?) Anyway, it's a poem that makes me happy, each time I read it, that *I'm* the person who wrote it. Those are the best sort, I think, at least from the author's side of things.

And so, as we enter the holiday season and I am trying to make sure my worklife and my home/writing life remain separate and both lively, I am concentrating on how good a year this has been for me in terms of my creative writing. My first book published in June. My MFA completed in November. Various publications and anthologizations (new word!) in lit mags and journals, and now a Pushcart nomination. Quite the haul for a matter of mere months!

And for this turkeyless Thanksgiving, I am thankful to Robert for all of the support and good juju he has given me. I am thankful to the poets at Spalding (Jeanie Thompson, Phil Deaver, Molly Peacock, Greg Pape, Rosemary Royston, heather Wyatt and many others) for helping me to polish my craft and support this whimsical notion I had to become A Writer. To my mother, Joanne, for her unconditional love and support. And to the rest of my family and friends, both in meatspace and on the intarwebs, who humor me and politely ignore (or unabashedly cheer) my obsession with finding just the right word and rhythm. I am also indebted to every person who bought a copy of my book, either for yourself or for your library or as a gift for someone else - that was a wonderful gift to me, whomever the book ended up going to! I am thankful.

Back on the Submissions Train

It is 1:00am. I just finished a few hours of submitting work, limiting myself (for tonight) to only those journals that have print publications and accept online submissions. I managed to get 21 submissions done, each with tailored cover letters, paying attention to who takes simultaneous submissions, who doesn't, and the number of poems each allows. I'm happy to see that more and more folks are utilizing the online submission manager software. it's not any easier on the eyes of the readers 7 editors (having read for the past 12 months for The Louisville Review, I feel your pain!), but it sure does make life a lot easier for writers.

I separate mu submissions by online vs mailing submissions because I prefer an efficient workflow, and it's easier for me to work this way and get more done. I was goaded into action by my poet-pal Rosemary Royston, who told me she was using her post-residency energy to get out her submissions. She inspired me, as I haven't submitted anything in ages and ages. So, twenty-one. Not bad for an initial crack. I'll do a snailmail batch (which tends to be smaller, since postage is expensive) before teh year is out, as well.

And truly? Between using Duotrope to limit the field, and the quick editing between my manuscripts-in-progress and cover letters? It took all of two and a half hours. Less,if you subtract the time I spent walking the dog. Sometimes I forget that it doesn't take much to put yourself out there. Get thee to submitting, writers!

Chugging right along. Heading to bed long past my bedtime. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And She Lives....

Okay, yes, it's been four months since I've last posted. Eep. How easily those weeks fly by without a thought, and eventually I'm able to ignore that nagging little voice reminding me about this blog. And *that* is all too close to how easy it is to ignore that little voice that tells me to write anything.

The big news: I've graduated! I now hold a Master of Fine Arts in Writing (with a poetry concentration) from Spalding University. I'm so proud I could burst!

My mother and some of my best friends hauled themselves to Louisville for my graduation, and it was wonderful to know they were there to see it and share in my excitement. WOO. Big excitement. This is the degree I am proudest of, so far, in addition to my undergrad degrees. (I appreciate the MLIS, but it was easy *grin*)

I had such a great time at my last residency, and felt so healthy with having time to write (which I did instead of drinking and smoking and staying out late partaking in other writerly bad habits), that I am rededicating myself to my writing. I am working on filling in a few gaps I see in my creative thesis before sending it out, and I have an in-progress collection that's very different from my usual, but which is a lot of fun and I think it has potential. It's tentatively titled The Green of Breakable Things, and I just submitted a few to a journal. (Ack, I've been ignoring submissions, too, and that's the other thing I need to get on.) The goddess collection keeps morphing ad changing and has lost its shape a bit, but it's still in the hopper.

I am thinking about setting up a writing corner and being serious about my writing time (as opposed to perching on the couch with the laptop balanced precariously, in my lazy after-work slouch). I have the corner all set up, and am seriously considering buying a desktop computer (as mine has died, and the wee 12" laptop is not comfortable for long-term writing endeavors). I'm pretty set on the Dell XPS. Pretty, pretty (and I've promised myself if I can polish off the two manuscripts by June, I'll play WoW again, recreationally).

I'm not waiting for the New Year to make my resolutions. I will write now. I will make the changes I need to make to ensure I don't let my job take over and crowd out my writing. It feels like a rebirth. Or at least waking from dormancy. Let's see what i can make happen...