Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Yet another round...
8:26 am pdt
Monday, March 26, 2012
So this week I've emerged from my bitterness sauna and into my horn-tooting studio. (God, sometimes I really miss playing
the trumpet...) Another of my scifaiku got published in inkscrawl, a short poetry journal that publishes a lot of wonderful
stuff. So, hurrah for scifaiku! And regular haiku! And all the short poetry forms I can get my hands on while I slog through
my never-ending dissertation! Seriously, writing small is a wonderful break from writing enormous sentences about Shakespeare
and Falstaff and archives and dramatic personae. You don't even want to know...
8:30 am pst
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Bitter as hell...
You know, I think there are people who expect me to be a bitter, awful person. This may be because I'm completely paranoid,
or because at heart I *am* a bitter, awful person. Really. Like Dryden, I feel nothing but bile-filled rage toward the many
hacks out there who are enjoying more success than me. Said hacks know who they are. Then I wonder to myself if I'm just
a talentless hack, and that's why no one listens to or understands or cares about my work besides me. THAT'S why I get rejections
left and right. THAT'S why many of my sentences make my innards wrench with pain when I read them a few days (hours/minutes/seconds)
later. Hackitude. I have no excuse for that.
6:30 pm pst
Then there's the bitterness. That could be contributing to my voice-shrieking-in-the-wilderness lack of appreciators. Or
maybe it's a fun combination of human misery and unpleasantness...
But then again, I've had a modicum of success, too. I always have to admit that, because I know of plenty of strong writers
who've had little-to-no success, and I'm sure they'd be pissed if they knew I was whining about my own bitterness. Bitterness,
in fact, is quite the sauna of egotism--retreat and luxuriate in your own personal snit. Bitterness may be almost as good
as writing. Maybe even better!
Aw, crumbcakes...probably should retract what's in this whole post and go lolligag in my bitterness sauna. No one's a hack.
I love all writers and writing, even when it kicks me in the teeth. Everything is chocolate ice cream and mangoes.
No, that doesn't work, either. Back to bitterness...
Monday, March 5, 2012
Two new bits of news
Time to toot my own horn again: this time it's for scifaiku, that speculative offshoot of haiku. I just got a scifaiku into
Abyss & Apex, an excellent online journal I've been admiring from afar. Also, several scifaiku were accepted to Poetry
Planet, an SF poetry podcast that I adore. So happy news all around. Hurrah!
9:37 am pst
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy Writerly Valentine's Day!
11:20 am pst
And just to follow up on my long, embarrassing rant from yesterday, writers have been hating on each other since the
dawn of civilization. Truly. The big climax in Aristophanes' The Frogs is a verbal slugfest between two poets mocking
each others' favorite patterns of meter. Dryden's famous Essay of Dramatic Poesy is partly devoted to a lengthy call-out
to some poets who (in Dryden's opinion) are pathetic hacks. This leads me to believe that writers as an overall community
just aren't cut out for loving each other. There's always going to be a certain group that hates another, either for
specific work, style, or (most likely) the accolades one group receives.
My good friend Beth Goldner says the best compliment a writer can pay another is to be envious of her. So here's
to all you fellow writers out there: may we all do each other the great honor of being completely jealous!
Monday, February 13, 2012
I have a chip on my shoulder the size of South Dakota
6:50 pm pst
This post from Mike Magnuson helped me see that. Of course, I saw one passage he'd written--about Facebook and his
irritation at writers who tout themselves there--out of context and had a furious, knee-jerk reaction that nearly took
out my dining room table. That was my bad--I'm trying to teach myself to skim, since I'm such a slow reader, but skimming
doesn't always work. Especially when I see things that I expect to see, and I expect those things to piss me off.
I think this guy has it wrong about writers peddling themselves on Facebook. This could be because I often toot my own horn
on Facebook. This could also be because Facebook is about the only form of publicity I can muster. As a writer whose reputation
is beyond microscopic, the problems of someone who has 5 novels published and who teaches graduate-level creative writing
on a regular basis YET is still not well known just doesn't make me very sympathetic. Magnuson's story tells you all you need
to know about writing in general--only a tiny percentage of authors become known, let alone famous. It's even harder to stay
known. But reading about how I'm not only not one of those known authors, I'm also not one of the unknown ones who gets to
teach and give lectures and go on book tours doesn't make me want to give up the only outlet I have for garnering a little
bit of notice for myself.
I'll tell a story about the Bread Loaf writer's conference, slightly different from the one
Magnuson tells. I went to Bread Loaf in 2006, not as a fellow or a scholar or even a work-study waiter. I got in off the wait
list and paid my way. I met a lot of wonderful people at the conference. I learned a hell of a lot. But I also got treated
like rabble by some of the go-getting participants in the levels above me, and in general got the sense that the only reason
I was there was because my money was paying for everyone else's scholarship. This feeling could have come from the fact that
I have a chip on my shoulder--likely part of it did--or maybe I was just a sleep-deprived, paranoid wreck at Bread Loaf, which
I probably was, too. But others on the bottom rung with me felt the same way and had even more outrageous stories to tell
of being brushed aside by the conference's "upper classes," as it were.
And yet, and yet: I got to go to Bread Loaf.
I know many, many people don't even get that far. I have a solid list of publications, a chapbook in print, and I've even
taught creative writing at the graduate level, albeit as an adjunct in a small, up-and-coming program. So what right do I
have walking around with a South-Dakota-sized chip on my shoulder? Maybe none. Maybe the real moral to all this is not that
we as writers should love one another, as Magnuson says, but we as writers should all take a minute and be grateful for the
successes and perks that do come our way. Because writing is life for the vast majority of us. Writing is identity. Writing
is meaning. And for the VAST majority of us who work our asses off and get precious little in return, writing is the biggest
tease, the biggest heart-breaker, on earth.
Anyway, read Magnuson's post and decide for yourself:
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Not much has been going on in the past month besides dissertating, kid-raising, and hanging out with the hubby. We all have
a cough that never seems to go away. I had a strange infatuation with sushi for the past couple of weeks--I think that's
on the wane.
7:41 pm pst
In terms of writing news, I got another poem accepted to Star*Line! Pretty psyched about that. It even happens to be about
the common cold. Ah, I love how all these topics converge. Now if only I could get my sushi haiku published...
Monday, January 16, 2012
Had to add this link...
12:08 pm pst
It's possibly the funniest thing I've seen in a long time:
Why having a toddler is like being at a frat partyhttp://www.suburbansnapshots.com/2010/06/10-reasons-having-toddler-is-like-being.html
In other news, I'm starting to read up on 2 Henry 1V, and lemme tell ya, it's so profoundly, utterly, incessantly dull.
And for those of you out there who think Shakespeare's history plays are dull, at least they were at one point meant to entertain.
These articles are just plain boring. Here's hoping I can get a) be more interesting in my dissertation so I don't put myself
to sleep, and b) that I can trudge through all this reading before the next millennium.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Long time no see!
Hey, all! I said I'd do better in 2009, and now I'm here to make good on my promise--in 2012!
6:15 am pst
Things that are different now...
--My son is 3 and a half years old. Right now, he loves dinosaurs! Go apatosaurus!
--I'm feverishly working on my dissertation, which takes up a lot of the time I have when I'm not hangin' with the hubby and
--I've been reborn as a speculative poet. I still write the non-genre stuff, but now I'm an official member of the Science
Fiction Poetry Association and have been published in great journals like Astropoetica, Mythic Delirium, and Star*Line. One
of my poems is featured on the StarShipSofa Poetry Planet podcast, AND I just got a piece accepted at Strange Horizons. Yay!
And that greatly esteemed poet who called me a spacehead? He was right on the money, and now I have the credentials to prove
it. Aw yeah, spaceheads!
So that's it for now. Here's hoping next time won't be in another three years.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
The things I WILL miss...
5:07 pm pst
Here is an incomplete list of things I suspect I'm going to miss when I'm no longer a pregnant person:
Being warm 80% of the time, even in winter; eating what I want, when I want, without images of diet consultants breathing
down my neck and chastising me for that soft pretzel I ate at 10:00 at night; letting myself rest when I need to; having an
excuse to do things I want to do, like clean my house, and get out of things I don't want to do, like hunt down and try to
consume books on critical theory; simple foods that taste amazing, much more so than I remember; peace and quiet.