and by bang, I mean the pounding of my fingers against the keyboard as I desperately worked to finish the number of challenges I set for myself at the beginning of the month.
Sunday, I travelled up to San Francisco for an evening of words at The Alchemy Slam & Open Mic, located at F8 bar & lounge. Unfortunately, I mixed up the times, so I missed the first half of the show, but caught the second half, which was plenty full up of amazing poets whose words filled the room with feelings. TheÂ Grand Slam Champion, Casey Gardner, withÂ Hadas Goshen, Kyle Liddle, Apollo, and Mic Ting rounding out theÂ Alchemy Slam Team, which will be going on to nationals.
- Winners for the Big Poetry Giveaway! Brian Wong and Renee will soon receive copies ofÂ Southern Cryptozoology by Allie Marini and A Heart With No Scars by Brennan DeFrisco, respectively. (Winners were selected by a random number generator.)
- I’m thrilled to be able to share that Zoetic Press has let me into their world, by namingÂ me an associate editor of Nonbinary Review. On that front, we’re currently seeking submissions for a number of upcoming themed issues., including an issue based on the Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet.
- Dirty Chai Press announced the winner of their Dirty Chaps Contest â€”Â Unapology by Courtney Gustafson â€” to whom I offer a hearty congrats! I’m also thrilled toÂ note that my manuscript, The Things I Own, was named as a finalist!
- Laura Madeline Wiseman and I have have received an acceptance for two poems â€” “Eleven Wild Brothers” and “Maestros of the Farmyard” â€” for publication inÂ The World Retold anthology, edited and published by The Writersâ€™ Guild of Iowa State University.
I managed to post three poet spotlights this month with three wonderful women:
- Pamela Taylor on balance in life and poetry
- Jenna Le on Whales, Womanhood, and the Writing Life
- Chella Courington on being â€œat home with voice and visionâ€
What Iâ€™m Reading
I’ve finished up the 30 selfies with poetry on my Instagram, which highlighted both new poets I’ve discovered and works that I’ve loved for years. I’ll list my complete poetry reading for the month tomorrow.
Still working onÂ In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood. So far she’s shared how she perceived genre as more of a fluid thing and her reasoning behind using the term “speculative” instead of “science fiction” to describe her own work.
What Iâ€™mÂ Writing
There were a few days toward the end of the month in which I began to doubt my ability to complete the 30/30 challenge. It wasn’t the number of poems left, as there were only about a handful left to write. But at a certain point I began to loathe every word I put down onto the page. It happens.
With reminders from fellow writers that these are meant to be drafts, not completed poems, I worked through the frustration. One of the ways I did this was to switch from screen to pen and paper for several poems and just free wrote as fast as I could to outpace my inner critic.
And it worked. I completed a total of 30 poems in 30 days and I feel good about most of them. I’ve never managed to do anything like that before. So, I’m feeling rather good.
Poems I completed lastÂ week (all will be taken down at the end of May, maybe):
- Morticia Addams â€“ Our Lady of Passionate Romance
- April Oâ€™Neil â€“ Our Lady of Why the Hell Not
- Hermoine Granger â€“ Our Lady of Intelligence
- Leia Organa Solo â€“ Our Lady of Perseverance
- Veronica Mars â€“ Our Lady of A Dish Best Served Cold
- Lisa SimpsonÂ (which will get an “Our Lady” title when I figure out what it is)
Goal for the Week:
- Take some time to chill.
- Start editing 30/30 poetry collection.
- Write at least one poem from Twelve chapbook.
“The practice of developing any kind of spiritual practice, anything that brings you greater awareness of yourself and your relationship to the world around you, is a process of stepping into a fire and allowing the flames to eat you whole. It is not gentle. Often, it even seems unkind,” writes Robin Lee onÂ the dark side of being full of light.