Saturday, March 31, 2012

National Poetry Month and Poem-A-Day

I've done the April daily poem for five or six years, with a break one year, and rarely did it generate a useable poem, but boy did it stir up the creative juices. The fun of it is doing it in a group, seeing what others post (when they dare, if they dare) and sparking each other through sheer audacity of trying. For me the effect was post-NaPoWriMo, the poems I wrote after that terrific marathon of 30 daily poems in a row, some as slim as three lines, some more than a page. The machine was well oiled by then and running well, and some of the poems after were keepers.

Many websites are up and running to gather NaPo-ers. The fun is in the workshop effect: we are all in it together. Here are just a few sites. It's not too late to join!

Carrie Etter
Pacement NaPo
Potpourri of NaPo Writers' Sites

What is NaPoWriMo? Short explanation here.

Finally, a little bloghop to a writer blog that interests me because her new novel has similar themes to mine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloghopping - Words Dance, The Camel Saloon, Umbrella

I am so often thrilled by poetry I read in entrepreneurial litzines like the three I'm linking here, Amanda Oaks' beautiful Words Dance, and Russell Streur's exciting Camel Saloon. Words Dance pairs poetry and images, one of my favorite things an online journal can do that a print mag cannot. Some great poems up in these journals right now.

Like Kate Berndadette Benedict's Umbrella, these are magazines energized by the literary vision of one poet-editor who does things their own way, without committees and advisory boards, first readers, and junior editors. The results in these cases are stunningly original. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My new novel -- exploring publishing options

As you might know, for the last couple of years I've been working on a novel, a contemporary story about a group of college teachers and spouses touring northern Italy and finding themselves dramatically changed by that beautiful and exciting place. The book's called The Renaissance Club. I haven't secured an agent yet, but in this emerging digital world, I find I'm considering alternatives. I'd love to hear from others who've gone ahead of me in publishing novels, about your experiences, ideas, warnings even. Yes, especially warnings! So here's the elevator pitch:

Renaissance Italy, with its palazzos, hill towns, Venetian islands, and sumptuous art, sets the stage for a contemporary Midsummer Night’s Dream of comedy, desire, mayhem, and magic. A month-long art history tour promises its organizer, Norman Wesley, a new life of freedom from his messed-up marriage and deadening career, but what he gets is his old life in shambles. May is grieving over her inability to conceive a child and is distressed to find herself surrounded by images of Madonnas, infants, and cherubs. Eva's painting career has foundered on the rocks of a long-term grief that also threatens her marriage. As Norman leads The Renaissance Club through Italy, temptations, infertility, discord, betrayal, and theft shuffle the marital deck for some, illuminate the process of making art for others, and prove to several that love is a chameleon. But Italy's magic, and magical appearances by some of its most famous sons and daughters, open for more than one traveler the path to a whole new life.