In which I read two poems.

One poem is “Nothing in That Drawer” by Ron Padgett. The second poem, called “All She Wants is a Pair of Scissors” (which was published a while back in Perigee), was written in direct response to “Nothing in That Drawer” and to Padgett’s writing in general.

That Which Hath Been Accomplished
1. Over 2200 words have been written on the short story that seems to have no end. Many of these words were of an outlining sort as I tried to figure out just how I was going to wrap things up. The good news is that I may actually know how I’m going to wrap things up. I don’t know whether the jumping back and forth between the past and present is going to work or fail, but I suppose we’ll find out once I edit it all together and actually let others read it.

2. I have successfully finished (ish, because poems can always be further edited) four poems for April’s 30 poems in 30 days challenge. (Some of which have been posted to my blog.) I also have seven poems in the ideas/draft stage of writing. It’s not a bad start, but I should really “finish” ten to twelve more by the end of this week.

3. I have completed all of my marathon training days (along with some supplementary exercises on other days), which means I ran/walked a total of 9+ miles last week. Whoo!

4. A new youtube video was completed for both my personal and the collaborative channels.

All of this means that I more or less completed three of my four to-dos from last week. *does a little dance*

That Which Need-ith Accomplishing in the Coming Week
— continue to make progress on the story (actually finishing = triple bonus points)
— finish the drafts of 10-12 new poems
— do 3-4 marathon training days
— post a youtube video
— art, doesn’t matter what, but something

[This post has been x-posted to my livejournal.]

4 Poetry Things

1. My poem “Gretel” has been published at ChiZine. I’m really honored to be included, since I’ve been reading this zine for a long time and have always loved the work that has appeared in there.

2. I’m heading up to San Francisco tonight to attend a book release party and poetry reading. My friend Marisa Crawford has published her first book of poetry, called The Haunted House. I’m so happy for her, and it looks like it’s going to be a fabulous collection, if the sample poems (which I can’t seem to find again) are any indication. There’s a great review from the San Francisco Examiner.

3. I just learned that in honor of National Poetry Month there’s a 30 poems in 30 days challenge being mentioned here and there around the net. I’m planning on participating and posting the poems here. I’m a day late, well, two, if I don’t get to it tonight, so I’ve already got some catching up to do.

4.

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.]