Thursday, July 23, 2009

Manuscript the second

So I'm working on manuscript #2 and I actually wrote two new poems for it in one day. I'm pretty excited about working on this second one now. I'd like to write maybe 2-5 more poems for it. I feel like there's a bit in the middle that needs some work. The end is lovely -- it's everything I wanted from this manuscript. The manuscript itself is a sort of a story of one character who has evolved and changed names in my poetry over time. She used to be a replacement for me but now she has a whole life of her own and this set of poems tells her story. Now that I have some distance from the poems that started the whole thing I've really been able to edit them and sculpt them into what I've wanted them to be all along.

A couple of these poems are up at Thirteen Myna Birds. However, I think only two of them remain up as of right now, so check them out before the next flight formation makes them fly away!

I never thought I'd actually be working on two manuscripts at once. Though perhaps it's just a way to avoid having to write every day -- instead of getting the writing together I organize and re-organize the manuscript, add poems, delete poems, love poems and hate them in the same 24 hour span of time, try to decide if that poem from my junior year of college is awful or awesome, you know. It's all very engaging and fun for me, especially this group of poems. The first chapbook was more laborious -- I knew what was going in the manuscript but didn't quite know where or when. This one has just been fun - tossing poems in and out, shuffling them around, writing new ones to fill in the blanks and steer my girl where she needs to inevitably go. The poems aren't playful -- they're actually much darker on the outset than my other set (check out the first poem of mine over at Thirteen Myna Birds if you wish for an example), but I love working on it nonetheless. My husband was worried that working on these poems was going to make me all dark and dreary, but instead of a dark and dreary wife he's got a poetry-obsessed wife right now. (Well, all the time, really)

SPF went very well. We at Weave met some really awesome people, sold a good number of copies, and generally had a lot of fun. Adam and the others over at Open Thread did some amazing work and I really appreciate everything they've done for the literary community in Pittsburgh with this festival. It was also lovely to hang out with some of my favorite writing people for a couple of days.

There are a lot of lovely things on the horizon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

small press festival and more

First and foremost there is a wonderful literary event - a small press festival - coming up here in Pittsburgh this weekend. It promises to be one of the most awesome Pittsburgh literary events of the year -- there's to be a bookfair, panels (which I am on one of), a workshop being run by Laura and myself, and events all throughout this month. If you're in the area you should stop on by! It's only $5.00 for panels and workshops and the bookfair is free.

I've begun to slowly, hesitantly send out my chapbook to a couple of presses. I'm very nervous and the amount of email checking that has been going on here is obscene. I like my manuscript and I really feel it works well as a unit. Now I just have to hope that an editor agrees with me.

My husband is going on retreat for the month of August and I'm not looking forward to it. He's a huge help with my son, he makes me food and coffee in the morning, he takes care of me when I've had a really bad day at work, he helps me not despair over things, and he's generally just nice to have around. I'm really really really going to miss him. Is that selfish? He says this is important to him so I'm trying to have an open mind about it, but it really makes me sad to think of him being gone for 6 out of 7 days of the week. I'll survive of course, but I'll be glad when he's home for more than one day out of the week. I'll miss him.

I've been writing a bit lately. Had a very nice workshop this weekend with Crystal, Renee and Laura. I think I've started a new poem. I hope I have.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thirteen Myna Birds

5 of my poems are up (ephemerally) over at Thirteen Myna Birds! I have a particular fondness for one of them, too. I'm very glad it's found such a lovely home!

Monday, July 6, 2009


So I've noticed the first tiny fine line on my forehead. Of course I freaked out at first. Then I calmed down. Then I got indignant because I still get tiny pimples on my forehead and I mean come on that's just unfair.

I want to age gracefully. No hair dying or plucking or face lifts or botox. There's one woman I work with who is probably in her late 40's or early 50's who has aged so gracefully - she has white streaks in her hair that are lovely because she wears them so well and so boldly. She has lines on her face that she has not tried to cover or hide or strip away. She's beautiful and she is her age and she's just elegant. This is how I want to be.

Now if I can just find the strength to be it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Small Children and Writing

Over the next two weeks I will have my son with me full time. On one hand this is absolutely wonderful -- we get to work on potty training (something I question his father's devotion to), we get to do fun things together (this weekend we went to the aviary and went out for ice cream with my friend Crystal), and Ben tends to be an all-around good time. You know, except for that potty training thing that we're still having trouble with. It's always something. Before it was sleeping through the night. Now it's the potty. In fact, I am currently sitting with Ben as he sits on the potty.

Now to the down side -- I fear I will get no writing done for the next two weeks. As I've lamented in previous posts it's not like I have a terribly high writing output to begin with, and I fear that none will get done at all these next two weeks. Perhaps I should be working on poetry rather than a blog post?

I'll probably stay late after work, go to a nearby coffee shop and write until the daycare is about to close, and perhaps I'll get a little bit in after he goes to bed. I'll manage. The weekend is usually when I write (this is when his father spends time with him), but his father will be at a convention next weekend and needs me to watch him, and this weekend I got to have him for the 4th of July (and he wasn't at all scared of the fireworks, though he did repeatedly tell my husband and I that we needed to be careful not to get burned by them), so it is to be busy busy mommy time!

Do any of you with kids have any tips on balancing having a child and getting writing done? He's 4 so he's not really all that able to entertain himself most of the time. I haven't had to develop these skills because of my arrangements with Ben's father, so any advice would be appreciated.