Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hello 2013 - Can You Hear Me Now?

I saw this "" image today and thought it was perhaps speaking to me because I have been planning to start The Artist's Way now for several months and I've decided to make the jump into it  straight away as the new year gets underway.

There is a undercurrent that is bubbling on a low simmer within me that wants to be something grander. I have felt it and maybe it's fear, or not knowing what to do next, of being too fractured in my thinking but there is something that has allowed me to go only so far that year that we are ending. Perhaps I want not supposed to go any further. Maybe I was supposed to find myself right were I am at the end of this year on a slow burn (knowing something different was ahead in my writing) and awaiting the next phase.

I spent another fall working with a poet on some things and again I found myself feeling growth in my work and again finding inspiration. As a coach and mentor this poet has a way of bringing about transformative awareness in where you are and helping you step out of that place and move ahead.  I have to credit this low simmer as a part of that - telling me that what's cooking is something different and that I need to be ready to turn up the burner a bit and let new things happen.

So that is in this new horizon for 2013 is not in clear focus but I have some ideas. I've had ideas before and for one or more reasons this ideas have only gone so far. I've been experienced in finding one road block after another on paths here and there. 2012 has provided me with some successes for sure. I have a lot to be thankful for, but I'm not getting any younger and I've never felt that time was on my side. I do want to turn the burner up a bit and move ahead; I want to reach what is on that horizon and not feel like I'm swimming in an ocean after a point that never gets any closer.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mail Bag

Some days it's better to get no mail then the alternative if that's bills. Today was a really good day...
1. Copy of Poets & Writers magazine.
2. Check for work published.
3. Card from another poet.
4. Rumpus letter from author Elizabeth Crane.

Not a single bill!

- Happy poet

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Poetry Mentions Around the Internet

Poets & Poetry around the Internet -

Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami’s crime consisted of reciting on November 16, 2011 a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia - Sign Poets petition here

  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Barbara Mandingo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards deadline for 2013 Prize
  • Q & A on Kelli Russell Agodon's Third Poetry Collection [Read Here]
  • Benefits of Poetry for Professionals [Read Here]
  • Poets you should know about: Mark Doty, the Painter [Read Here]
  • Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Confession Tuesday

    Dear readers: 

    It's been not one, but two weeks since my last confession.

    I confess that I am so finished with last week. I can say that the sickness, the irritation, the overwhelming feelings of failure and hopelessness belong to you, the past and not the present.

    I confess that I arrived at Monday fearing that all the sinus stuff would continue to plague me but like a passing storm my head began to clear.

    I confess that even feeling like crap over the weekend I ventured into the mall maze of people and survived. I actually did it twice in one day.

    I confess I need to get serious about writing this week as I've crashed and burned too many nights last week

    My wife had a book come in the mail yesterday and while I'm happy for her I confess I wished there had been one for me as well.

    Still have several books outstanding on my want, list. I confess the list never seems to end.

    I confess that I cannot end this confession without expressing a sense of heartache over the loss of so many innocent young lives and the ultimate sacrifice of so many teachers at the Sandy Hook School shooting. This leaves a very empty feeling inside and yet I cannot begin to imagine what that feeling must be like to the families.  My prayers go out to all of them.

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Saturday check-in

    I've been neglectful in blogging past week this largely due to feeling so drained by sinuse issues. Aside from work I've come home nightly with little energy left for anything else.

    I've managed to get some reading done... little writing. Today I'm feeling better and a little optomistic though the energy levels are still at low tide.

    In the senselessness of the Sandy Hook School tragedy combined with this dull sick feeling, it is even harder to keep from becoming frozen in dysfunction.

    Saturday, December 08, 2012

    Duotrope in the New Year

    Are you looking forward to the new year, dusting off this one - out with the old in with the new?  Not so fast...  Starting January 1, 2013 Duotrope - the writer market listing and submission tracking service will no longer be available free.  Of course as it has been said many times about many things, nothing is really free.  Duotrope has operated since inception without charge. It has encouraged users to make contributions towards operating expenses and utilized a color coded warning system not unlike the old homeland security threat system. This told users if they were on track, running short, or warning Will Robinson things are dire.

    All the good stuff that is Durotrope is no longer going to be available to users unless they ante up. Now I could say, "Damn, why didn't people support it?" But I am, case in point perhaps a reason for the downfall. Yes, I have contributed to it, but not often enough.

    Now, I've seen one blogger post that this has caused a major uproar among writers and that many are saying  they will do without the service before they will pay to use it. Of course that's a choice we can all make.  If I was only submitting work two or three times a year I'm sure I could live without it. I did see one writer on Facebook objecting to the pay model that if they charged everyone $50 to use Facebook there would be mass exodus. I don't disagree, but I've never felt I could live would Facebook and I would not pay $50 to be on it. But this is apples and oranges.

    Durotrope has been a top notch site in my opinion and further, they have made major upgrades to it in recent times. Only time will tell, but I'm planning on submitting a lot of work in 2013 and I'm going to need the service.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2012

    Confession Tuesday - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Edition

    It's Tuesday again and so I've come here tonight to offer up my weekly confession. Shall we start?

    Dear Readers:

    It's been two newly purchased poetry books, a new pair of shoes, and one contract from a publisher to sign since my last confession a week ago.

    I confess that while I was about 25 minutes late leaving the office tonight I was not ready for the fact that it was well on the way to being dark downtown. It just seemed so different then last night when I left.  I mean Monday night It was still light when I arrived home and this was like spooky different. I don't mean that I was afraid or anything like that, it was just strange how different it felt. The drive home was not especially smooth.  Traffic on I-70 played with my patience. I did not let it get the best of me though.

    As I noted above I got two new poetry books this week. They are Factory of Tears, by Valzhyna Mort and In Broken Latin, by Annette Spaulding-Convy. (have more to say soon about these books) I truly am giddy when I get a new poetry book. Especially if it's one that I have had my radar on for a while. You have book radar don't you? I confess that I'm forever wanting this book or that book and usually several at a time. I just can't ever quite satisfy my thirst for books. I'm pretty sure that if you look in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) there is a code for people who can't own enough books.

    I got a contract from a publisher this week. Don't wet your pants! It's not for a book but for a single poem. I confess that in all the time I've written poetry and had work accepted and published there has never been a written contract involved. Of course there has never been any money involved either.

    This past week I've been exhausted every night by the time I've gotten off work. My work can be pretty intense, even stressful at times but since we've added a new case management program, I'm working in it essentially all day long. It's very labor intensive so I get to the end of the day and I've like done all this work and maybe moved two items off my desk. I know there is value to the case management program but I confess that I have a tendency to look at how far I've gotten into my work load and it can be depressing.

    Slowly but surely I've been working on a manuscript. I confess that I've not written like I should have this past week. Gotten off my schedule and been more miss then hit. Otherwise my days have leveled out. Not a lot of great days but much fewer bad days. I confess I'll accept that  this time of year.