Saturday, January 02, 2010

Resolved


I think writers are especially fond of making New Year's resolutions that pertain to the creative life. I'm working on my list, which includes:

Reading more poetry books
Going to more readings
Giving more readings
Never failing to open when an idea knocks on the door

Diane Lockward at Blogalicious has a great list.

About.com has a good list for fiction writers. I really like the one, "Be easier on yourself," advising writers to focus on what they have done, not what they failed to do. That's one I should add to my list.

One year I made a resolution that was really a wish. It was just because someone asked me at a party what my New Year's resolution was and I hadn't even thought about it. I said, "Get a book contract by the end of the year." Call if prescience, serendipity, coincidence, or whatever, but I did! That was my first poetry book, Earth Lessons.

I'm keeping that resolution on my list for 2010: get a book under contract. Hey, it can't hurt.

And I can always go easy on myself about things as yet unfinished on December 31.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Funds for all

If anyone's interested in ideas for raising funds for a nonprofit organization -- and many presses and journals are -- you might want to browse my new blog, Funds for All and All for Funds. Stop by and say hello, leave a good idea for supporting good causes!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Novels and Poems


You haven't heard much from me in the last week or so because I fell into a novel. Not one I'm reading, one I'm writing -- much deeper waters. I started this thing about five years ago as a novel. It had morphed from a travel memoir to grow characters and a plot, and then I started to like some of the characters. Not all. But some. But it was insane to be writing a novel and trying to finish two poetry manuscripts, several plays, earn a living, contributing-edit a zine, help moderate an online poetry workshop, and do one or two other things like take out the trash and make an occasional sandwich. So I put it aside, promised my agent I'd send the first promising 60 pages I finished and --- voila! Five years went by.

Suddenly I hit the holidays, my father's death, a slowdown in work, a few other personal roadblocks of major proportions, and the only thing that could interest me were these crazy people stuck in Italy on an art history tour gone horribly wrong.

(Write that down -- I can use it in the query letter!)

The image you see is where I am currently stuck. In the Pantheon in Rome, having an epiphany about how wrong my life has gone and how if I find an eye big enough -- say as big as the oculus in the Pantheon -- I might be able to see a way out of it. My character is an accountant. I have been an accountant. He yearns for beauty. I will reveal no more, but the Pantheon is surely a great place to contemplate the need for beauty in one's life.