Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He let it go!

John Siddique's Elder Moon "is one of a series of 13 animated films based on a sequence of poems from Recital -- An Almanac (Salt)."

Very cool.

(I would have kept it.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I teared up.

Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine, is profiled by Kevin Nance in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. Very touching, moving. Get a hold of a copy of the print issue if you can. Unfortunately, it isn't online.

And it makes me super curious to see more of Wiman's poetry, and more of Nance's writing too. Really well done.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The other literacy

I find myself considering the differences in mind-space needed for writing dialog and for writing the in between spaces around the dialog.

I can't write both at the same time. I have to go back and fill in. I focus so heavily when writing dialog, that story time, space, location, description get lost. It's like a script almost. Then I go back. I'm hoping that the dialog is pulling those things along, so maybe that is okay. But it seems sparse. I can write long descriptive passages, visual writer here, so the dialog just seems bare. Not an aural writer. I can't see conversations. Same reason I have such a hard time with meter in poetry. I can't see it. I wish there was a way for me to merge all this. Maybe in time, and practice.

But plus side, I just popped out 902 words.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This and this

This and this are excellent.

The first, Robert Peake:

"Hope is a form of desire. And so, instead of riding the constant swings of hope and disappointment, I choose instead to focus on the inherent value of courage."
The second, Chuck Palahniuk:

"And whether we envied or pitied this guy in the cold, he kept painting. Adding details and layers of color. And I'm not sure when it happened, but at some moment he wasn't there. The pictures themselves were so rich, they filled the windows so well, the colors so bright, that the painter had left. Whether he was a failure or a hero. He'd disappeared, gone off to wherever, and all we were seeing was his work."

I can only hope my writing achieves both of those some day.

Monday, November 01, 2010

the pain grows stronger, watch it grin...

Still writing, still putzing, but now I'm researching, and goodness, it's depressing. I'm afraid to click on the links because I worry there will be photos. Don't want to see it. Anyway, I hope to be able to write this scene with enough sensitivity that it will make up for lapses in research.

I'm at 58K. Maybe the Nano month will keep me in gear. Last week, I didn't accomplish as much as I had the previous few weeks, so make up time now. Now also, back to peering between my fingers at links I'd rather not see.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gwyneth Lewis



She says some incredible things about writing.

"The poem writes you."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out loud and a great idea

I meant to link to this before. Nic Sebastian is reading poems. Out loud and she's sharing them all with us. Bunches of new poets, to me, and a few I've read before. She has a great voice and does a beautiful job rendering them. I don't even necessarily feel the need to follow along with any text, so that is an impressive feat.

Not abandoned

Not an abandoned blog here, despite last date of a post, but actively writing. I am racking, wracking, wrecking (pick one) up a word count on the Trapper story, that I'm still hesitant to call a novel. Talk about pressure. As long as it's a story, no pressure. If it's a novel, then OMG.

In other news, this is fabulous. About the up and comers in what seems to be a new Detroit. I've written poetry about Detroit, I post links when ever I can about Detroit, despite not be a Detroiter. I think I'm one at heart. I grew up in Windsor, across the Detroit River so I've was able to see a great American city over the years. I love that city. It grows on you, its vulnerabilities, its scariness, its kindness, its honesty. In particular its honesty. Detroit is always truthful. It never lies. I think I used that line in a poem about Detroit once. I partied there as a young adult in its punk clubs. I once was in a car with friends in front of Clutch Cargo's (I think it was) and a man shoved his arm, a Joe Louis fist if I ever saw one, into the car to grab the car keys. Knowing how Detroit could be sometimes, I feared for my life. Turned out he was a cop who thought we had alcohol in the car. We didn't. He checked the trunk and let us go. I think he might have apologized too.

I'm very sentimental about Detroit. I think this is where my love for the city comes from. When I was 6 or so, I saw it burn. Mr Beck, our neighbour, let us use his binoculars to look across the river at the tall buildings burning. I asked my mother if it would come "here" to Windsor, and she said no. I was much relieved but I worried about the people there. A city burning, I had dreams of things burning after that. I think I'm always worrying about the people there a little. They've been through so much, and that is why I'm happy to link the film above. They mention in the film, that Detroit is a city of hope. I believe that fully. I was always hopeful when I went there. To have fun, to see a big American city. I lived in a smallish Canadian city. The draw was northwest. Yes, Detroit is northwest of Windsor. A Trivial Pursuit question I always get correct. Detroit is north of Windsor. America, north of Canada. That always amused me too. So many twists with that city, so much to give and share, which it did happily. Detroit always offered itself to America, and the world. Even in its dark days, it did, it does. How cool is that?

ETA: Detroit's poet laureate is Naomi Long Madgett. Here is a link to a few of her poems.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

time does tell

I love when something I wrote 3+ years ago on my long story, and forgot about, completely ties into the current stuff I'm writing on the same story.

I'm glad my subconscious knows what I'm doing, and apparently remembers, because evidently I don't. LOL

I can't believe it tied together so well. I've been adding the parts where I wrote in parenthesis, [ADD MORE HERE] (my process!) and it's coming together nicely.

Now I can't wait to type it all up! Probably tomorrow.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My two week vacation only resulted in one poem and no writing on my long story. None and nada. So much for those plans. I had planned and plotted but didn't actually get anything written. That is the rub. The rub on pen on paper.

I think I've gotten caught up on reading online since getting home. This saddens me. It is too bad it came to that but I understand. I think the online world lets people be who they are. It's just too bad that there are so many who use their words in ways that don't lift the conversations. On vacation we were discussing how alcohol shows who a person really is. It isn't a cover, but lifts the lid on who they really are. Same as online IMO. Who do you want to choose to be? Simple question I think.

Ron Silliman's blog opened the online poetry world to me, finding places and topics I wouldn't ever have. So for that I'm grateful.

Now to boil some potatoes and consider what words I'll write next.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who knew?

There is a new stats section on Blogger now. Apparently I have a Eastern/Northern European following (or bots that take up residence) in the last little while:

Russia 4
Ukraine 3
Germany 3
Latvia 2
Switzerland 2
Netherlands 2
United Kingdom 2
France 1

Welcome!

Speaking of stats, I've been collating word counts, and since the beginning of the year, I've written 10K+ on my long story. Plus other words on other stories, plus the April Napo count of 30 poems. I don't count those poemy words. I don't care about word count really, because the story or poem will be what it will be /Doris Day moment, but just for output reasons, it's interesting in a time spent sort of way.

Now I'm off to see if the baseball game is over, and people are home. I can't hear them over the air conditioner. Toodles.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I attended one session of the local writer's conference here the other night. The poetry section entitled: The Poetry Editor: Insights into small presses, book contests, publishing online & other poetry publishing endeavors.

I guess I went into this with different expectations than I should have. It wasn't until the end that things got interesting, and then it ended. The moderator asked a few questions of the panelists, and then they took questions from the audience.

Most of the conversation was about traditional paper publication and how to send in poems, a little discussion on how to put together poems for a collection vs. a chapbook. Good advice, much of which I've read online or in texts.

When the conversation turned to online publishing, it got more useful I think.

Kate Bernheimer, the editor of Fairy Tale Review, talked about having to "put in the hard and loving work." I love that perspective. I can't wait to read some of her publication.

Zachary Schomburg when asked if he wanted his Octopus Magazine to go to print he said it wasn't a "wannabe print journal". Loved that! He also said that there is no chance of making big money with poetry, and that keeps it pure. I certainly have thought that before.

And I think therein lay the problem I found at the session. Print is still considered the standard by the more traditional types, and there was some unawareness about what is going on online. This is when the session ended. There were people there that did not know that poets post, publish, blog, or promote online. My thought is 2010! now.

A few had inklings and whispers of what they wanted to see online, and some of it is already out there.

But you don't know what you don't know I guess. I just can't imagine the poetry world, as big and huge an umbrella that it is, not recognizing a huge part of their family. Not talking about liking it, or finding it resonant or good, but strictly knowing such a huge part of it exists. A half hour of googling will get you to a firm starting place, all linking to one another. Certainly not difficult.

I will admit that because there is so much out there, it is easy to not know it all. Myself included. But still.

Zachary suggested that because poetry is so alive now, that you can pick up a rock and find it. I laughed, because it's true.

I have a hard time finding poetry here offline, major stores and smaller ones don't carry much, so being online has opened the poetry world to me, so I will admit also a very soft spot for those that share so openly and don't keep it hidden from those that will rarely find it.

Speaking of which, I picked up Zachary Schomburg's collection Scary, No Scary after the session. Very much impressed with what I've read so far, the first 30 pages or so. One poem in particular, in a volume of interconnected, twisty, and image filled poems, Look Through a Complex Eye and See 1000 of Everything, I found the last strophe amazing and startling:

Everything I plant
I bury.


This struck me. The images move through the poems freely, but anchor each other in a way I'm not sure I've seen before. There is a raw energy here, partly built by the tone and topics, but also by the title of the volume. It's childlike in a way too, with a gentle quality that belies the title. This tension between the two is really cool. Can't wait to read the rest.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Best thing I got from the conference session

Zachary Schomburg's Scary, No Scary. Buy this book of poems. Highly recommended!

More later, when it actually gets typed up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Library finds

I checked out from the library the other day, Margaret Atwood's Negotiating With The Dead: A Writer on Writing, and liked it so much, I just got a copy on Amazon.

Best thing I've read of hers in some time. I liked the Canadian references very much. I also like the memoir-ish nature of the book. Not a huge amount of writing advice, but definitely a time-stamp on Canada's writing scene in the late 50's and 60's. She sets the table well in this, giving a pretty complete view of what it might feel like to be writing. Certainly many things I've considered before about writing.

Fun snarky quote I found the other day in The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present, edited by Peter Constantine.

A quote by someone named Christophoros of Mytiline:

How much better if an ox were to sit on your tongue,
than for your poems to plod like oxen over fields.


I laughed out loud.

When I picked up the book, I assumed from the cover that it was only the older Greek poets but was pleasantly surprised when I realized it went to the present day. Great stuff there. I wonder what it would be like to feel that sort of history behind you. The poetry hearkens back very often as one would expect. Hell, I would. It was also cool to feel the landscape change as the centuries passed. One thing I like about long views in collections, you can get that feeling and you do in this book.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

back in the saddle, or office chair as the case may be. Do people ever put saddles on their chairs?

I think that would be funny. (I'm also curious as to how long a Subject Line could be here on Blogger.)

Napo always wipes me out, and I haven't written anything since. I tried figuring Word out for chapters this morning and that is a lost cause. So I reopened yWriter and am going to read my 39168 word story, and then begin anew. Anew and anew, because that word is used often in regards to this story.

I wonder what Trapper has been up to since I saw him last. This could be interesting.

I do have an idea for the book in the story, literally back story for the story.

Now I'm closing said internet and getting to work. ::wishes really hard::

Sunday, March 07, 2010

And I give you....

Great post, and resulting comments about opening lines in novels.

Friday, February 19, 2010

out of time

I just had a *surprise* POV change in the story I'm working on. Oops. ::fixes::

Though I wonder if my story is telling me something. I'll continue for now in 1st person, but maybe the story wants to be 3rd person. We shall see.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Alive and kicking

Today, driving home, I heard three songs in a row, that were apropos to my mood. This one, Simple Minds:



This one by OMD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJfKyHR5-1M

And New Order, True Faith:



I miss the 80's sometimes.

So news. I'm now unemployed. My formerly part time job became full time, and I was unable to take it. Mostly for the good, though I will miss the money. That is what it had become. So now I have time. We still have a Christmas guest who will go home next Saturday. Then I will have even more time, something one who tries to write goes on about. Guilty as charged. Therefore I have a two pronged plan. I will eventually find another part time job, but in that interim, I am hoping to really get some writing done. Some real writing, not the sort that I have so far. I write in bits and pieces, and honestly, I feel like it looks like that too. I can't retain any sort of flow in that, and the interruption really keeps me from making headway.

::pauses for interruption by arguing children:: ::begins again::

See.

Anyway, my 2007 resolutions are still on the table. I put together a list back then of how I'd want to write given the time. I've been given the time. Sometimes life does give you what you need, and luckily I'm fortunate enough to be able to take this pause, however long it might be, or not, to actually do something I want to do.

In other news, I've been catching up on reading. Another thing which had gone to the wayside. (The wayside must be a very filled place.)

Andrew Philip's The Ambulance Box. Buy this if you can. It's sneaky. If you didn't know the center of the book, you would still love it anyway. And if you do know the center, or have experienced it yourself, then you will be blown away. Lullaby in particular. It's is very touching.

this is the man you fathered-
his voided love, his writhen pride and grief


After our son died, I scoured books to find some semblance of something of what I was experiencing. There wasn't much. Since then I've collected a group of poems that did work or got near, and now I've added this collection to it. Simply amazing. The Invention of Zero is another poem here that stunned me too.

What like was it
this abundant world

where nothing was not-
no neat ring

shackling us to absence
no way not


His twisty words, never what they should be, because this experience is not how or what it should be. Andrew also layers English and Scots. I don't know Scots, having never read it before, but it still reads as a sort of shadowed English, so there is understanding, but no understanding. Again, like this experience.

But the experience is not the whole. The poetry is the core center. Another thing I've noticed, and have written myself, is poetry that can't escape the experience. The experience has to be there, but if it's not poetry, good poetry, only the experience remains. That isn't enough to be poetry. Andrew escapes the experience enough to get the poetry there. Outside of the experience, but fully within it. Success. I keep dipping back in, and seeing more, reminding me of more, both of his own experience, and my own. That is cool. I don't mind reminders, and in fact they are comforting.