Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ooooh oooh I'm still aliiiiiive: Updates on my haphazard writing life

Oh yeah, also updated my Twitter avatar.
Bc nothing says "you're out of touch" like
a B&W, look-I-just-discovered-Instagram selfie.
Follow if you want @shapeshifter43--
I try to be funny.
Still here.

Still a writer.

Felt like I should blog on what I've been up to because, while it often seems like I have zero time to read and write, I took a step back in thinking about this post and realized, wow, I have been doing stuff.

Not that you ever find your time management sweet spot and stay there forever, but I'm thinking perhaps I've managed to strike a teetering balance between full-time work, mommying, and getting some words down...?

Since I last wrote (wow, I was mad), here's what's happened, words-wise:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Open letters, closed minds, yellow bellies, red herrings: The dying art of arts advocacy

Where indeed. Attacking poets who responsibly and
intelligently advocate for our art is gatekeeping,
 pure and simple. It's also mean.
Photo by Flickr user hunter.gatherer.
I was going to just tweet about it and let it die: "Open letters are the bunnies of the written word--they just keep making more of themselves."

But I got really upset and figured the most productive thing to do was to pledge my grievance, take my fight to the one place where it makes the most sense, where people will really poor neglected blog.

Womp womp.

Poet Sandra Simonds did it better. She wrote a much-needed and increasingly publicized open letter to the Poetry Foundation asking, in a nutshell, for them to step up and help poets in economic need.

You know, to do its job, the one it purports to do bigger and better than anyone else.

Simonds' letter was published on the Best American Poetry blog, and ended up lighting a fire under enough people to spawn a 1,000-signature-strong petition and a Facebook group.

But guess what else it did.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kinds of writing, kinds of distraction, kind of an annoyingly unfocused post

Just because I don't know what to write about doesn't mean I don't have anything worth writing about.

Just because I'm not writing right now doesn't mean I'm not writing right now.

Just because there isn't enough time to write doesn't mean there isn't any time to write.

Just because I have no idea what this blog is, or is about, doesn't mean I shouldn't blog.

Right? No, really. Someone please just tell me what to do. At least then, I could decide whether to take your fabulous advice, or rail loudly against your crappy advice. Either way, it would make a good blog post.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's my blog and I'll Pearl Jam if I want to: Underrated PJ songs for newbs/clueless/haters

Gonna see my friends!
So I got Pearl Jam tickets for late October, and I haven't seen them since PJ20 two years ago last weekend, so it's an occasion. It's always an occasion, but this time, it's a blogging occasion.

I'm taking someone to see them who has never seen them before.

A Pearl-Jam-live virgin, a neophyte, someone who knows half of Ten, "Betterman," and "Last Kiss," but asks, "Wait, what's this song called again?" when I blast recognizable tags and improvs via bootlegs, or "Wait, which album is this on?" when I rock B-sides.

Time for school.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

News of the writerly sort (come for news, stay for happy owl pic)

The submission deities have smiled upon me.

Two new poems in Stone Highway Review's latest, two forthcoming in the handsome Barn Owl Review, and one receiving honorable mention by Natasha Saje for Crab Creek Review's contest.

Yes, I entered a contest.

Why, when all I seem to do on this blog is bitch about contest fees?

Because the fee is quite reasonable ($10 for three poems, as opposed to $15-$30), and I admire the journal and editors. Plus, I don't send to contests very much, so once in a while, I pick one and roll the dice.

This time, I got lucky. And happy.

OK, this isn't a barn owl, but it's a happy owl.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Contest fee blues got you feeling alone? To the Twitter!

So last week I got hyper-pissed about contest fees and wrote this.

I want to say all the positive feedback and encouragement I received (thank you!) made me feel better, but the truth is, there's a difference between feeling less alone and feeling good. If anything, I got more mad that so many of my talented contemporaries and kindreds are feeling the same weird, maddening intrusion of capitalism into our art.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

7 sexy moves to try on your poetry contest tonight! (is not the way to sell mags, I say in an open letter to Poets and Writers Magazine)

Here's another mag that promises to give you
 what you really, really want...
Photo by Flickr user Fonzie's cousin.
I read Poets and Writer's Magazine like many writers.

And because I mouthed off on Twitter recently about yet another ridiculously overpriced contest fee (ICYMI, I hate fees), I decided to click on a PW link promising "more efficient and effective" contest submissions.

Well, that's a click and five minutes of my life I won't get back.

"The Smart Approach to Contest Submissions" isn't super smart.

Go ahead, read it, I'll wait.

Conceptually, the "approach" is a little Cosmopolitan, right? A little "I know what you want, giiiirl, and I'm gonna tell you how to get and keep a man NOW," right? Except what do you really get, besides a magazine?

At the very absolute least, if you've sent even one submission before in your life, these tips are beyond duh.

Think I'm being harsh? The first tip is to, um, finish my work before sending it out.