Buh?

According to this, my poem “India” published in Bear Creek Haiku, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

I’m … stunned.

I can’t really verify whether or not it’s true. And it’s just a nomination. Still …

It’s coming at a time when I’m feeling down and out about my writing, especially as I’m distracted by the frustrations in my everyday, nonwriting life (in fact I’m so ambivalent about everything right now that I don’t even know how to feel about this news).

I’m going to try and take it as the good sign that it is and use it as inspiration to keep writing through it all. Just keep putting one word after another, as they say.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

Ten Years to the Day

The question of the day over at livejournal was: What do you expect to be doing ten years from today, and where do you hope to be living?

I always find these kinds of questions somewhat odd, especially in terms of expecting specific things. The future is such a wide open field of possibilities that I don’t want to tie it down to one in my mind. To quote Shel Silverstein: “Anything can happen. Anything can be.”

In my mind, expectations are an attempt to define the way you think reality should be. When you expect a specific thing, you place a “should” on reality. “Should”s, in my opinion are rather stupid. Reality is what it is. If it was meant to be anything other than what it is, then it would be. If you don’t like a situation or your current reality, instead of wasting time lamenting the way it should be, you have the right to change your reality. (I know I’m oversimplifying here.)

The point I’m going for here, is that arguing with reality is a waste of time. It’s much more productive to do something about reality as it’s presented to you.

I try not to “expect” anything.

However, I am a firm believer in hope. I think hoping for things is good. I think having goals is good. (It’s even better if you combine hoping and goal making with action.)

Therefore, here are some places that I may be in ten years (possible hopes, as it were):

  • I will be living my cottage-style home that I purchase five years before. The laser printer in my office will be pumping out page after page of my latest writing endeavor to be published later that year. Meanwhile, I’m on the phone with my sister and we’re jointly planning a surprise trip for the whole family to head off to Costa Rica for the week.
  • Year five of my plan to live in a different country every year (having already lived in Dublin, Mumbai, Tokyo, New York, and Paris) finds me in Rome, sitting in a small cafe, drinking wine and taking notes on my impressions of the people passing by.
  • I am pleasantly lost in the side streets of a South American town on my long term trip, whose goal is simply to find my way back to the U.S. via car, rail, bike, of feet after landing in Buenos Aires.
  • The snow is slowly drifting out the window, as I try to decide to drive into Anchorage that day, or just stay home and enjoy the fire.

There are, oh, so many more possibilities that I would find wonderful. All of them involve me making a living of some sort in the writing world.

Above anything else, though, I hope for happiness in whatever shape or form that is to look like. And I expect that I will find and have happiness in my life, because happiness is something you shape from what’s present and available in the world currently around you.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

New Online Zine

The premier issue of Cats with Thumbs is now available online as a downloadable pdf (there are a bunch of blank pages at the beginning, just scroll past them to get to the writing). It includes two of my poems, “Nature’s Mandala” and “All That is Left Behind.” This is really a great first issue, and I’ve been enjoying reading the work of the other writers within.

Under Poetry, I particularly enjoyed “Planet Pomegranate” by Angie Werren, “The Best Have No Time for It” by Therese L. Broderick, and “Selection” by Timothy Edge. (I haven’t had a chance to read through the Fiction yet, so can’t comment.)

* * * *

In terms of weekly writing progress, I’m still a bit behind. It doesn’t help that my computer has crapped out on my, trapping some of my writing within the confines of its plastic body, and relegating my to the traditional pen and pencil route.

Though if I’m going to be perfectly honest with myself, I cannot blame the computer but my own lack of motivation. I’m desperately trying not to fall back into an old pattern here. By which I mean, I find an anthology market that I would love to submit to, come up with a story that would work for that market, and then allow myself to work at such a slow pace that I miss the deadline.

I think this tendency comes from some sort of fear of failure, such as “if I don’t finish the story, then I don’t have to deal with the disappointment of its inevitable rejection,” which I know is completely ridiculous. One, because nothing is inevitable, and two, because I really do think the story could work and could have potential, if I just force myself to write the damned thing. It’s that whole failing before I even begin bull shit, which I’m tired of repeating.

So, that said, since the deadline is looming (only 13 days away), my main goal this week is to get the damn thing written and edited (computer or no computer), so that I can submit it next week.

[X-posted in part to my daily blog.]

I just finished writing 719 words, another small portion of a short story, which is at a current total of 2122 words. It always feels good to be writing, especially if I’m making progress, which I am. Currently I have a vague inclination of where the story is going and I think I can work it all out. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this story will work, because I’m hoping to submit it to Sherherazade’s Facade, a rather cool anthology market. But whatever happens, it will feel good to just have a finished story in my hands, complete with a beginning, middle, and end.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]