I have not weeded, I have not written

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Two authors provided me with food for thought during the last week or so. “Courting the Gargoyle”1 by Sheryl Monks explores the dichotomy many writers experience.

“I’ve taken to describing myself as part cheerleader, part gargoyle. The cheerleader, . . .  is a powerful avatar, . . . . hopeful, peace-broker . . . .  She sees the world democratically; it’s flawed, . . . but it’s not without beauty. . . . the gargoyle is fragile. The gargoyle sets the bar too high, and as a result, the world and the people in it disappoint.”

While you digest that idea, Ann E. Michael confesses that she is too busy to write. Unlike many writers who become jaded and obsessed with lack of discipline and failure, she is hopeful.

“I have not been weeding, as I have not been writing. Other priorities are claiming the be-here-now of my life; but I’m happy to find that the garden, and my writing life, can be sustained through other things and returned to at better times.”2

I confess, I have not weeded the garden either. Yet, providentially, the tomatoes, beans and chard have grown in abundance. I am part gargoyle. The part that never sees the light of social media. I have not written consistently (or as consistently as I planned. . . the gargoyle again.) Midimike commented that there will be time “to write about all those days when you were too busy to write!”3 I am part cheerleader. The brief smile that flickers across the light of social media.

NOTES:
[1] “Courting the Gargoyle” by Sheryl Monks, August 10, 2015. http://changesevenmag.com/portfolio/courting-the-gargoyle/
[2] “Too busy to write (sigh)” by Ann E. Michael, August 13, 2015. https://annemichael.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/too-busy-to-write-sigh/
[3] http://coffeehousejunkie.net/2015/07/22/the-purpose-of-drawing/#comment-4566

Forthcoming publication – Mortal Coil

 

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Received notification earlier this month that a piece I wrote earned second place in a writing contest. It will be published in the August 2015 issue.

The contest judge is a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. So, the acceptance of the prose piece submitted seems to have some merit. Or at least that is what I try to convince myself, because all month I have received notification of other submissions that have all been rejected.

Much gratitude goes to the members of the writers group that meets at the Graham Public Library who saw the first handwritten draft of the story. Their support has been amazing. And special thanks to novelist Justin Grimbol, for encouraging me in the craft of fiction.

Book bundles available at the book fair

 

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Who doesn’t like a deal? This weekend only at the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair (Saturday, May 23, 2015, 2-5 p.m., Rhode Center for The Arts), you can purchase copies of my books for special book fair price: four books for $16. Limited quantities are available. So come early. See you there.

Almost two weeks and counting…

DSCN2804-tiltshiftThe Rhode Center for The Arts in Kenosha, WI hosts an author reading of local poets and writers (including myself) on May 23, 2015.

I will have copies of How Long Does it Take to Write a Haiku?, The Vanishing Art of Letter Writing, Late Night Writing and other books for sale.

For invitation to the event, please contact me for more details.

Typewriter poetry and blogging

Some days all you need

A poem for a friend composed on a manual typewriter

At least five years ago, an old beat up manual typewriter provided a platform to compose poetry and other writings.1 It was an effort to return to an intentional practice of crafting poetry and prose without distraction of disruptive media.

For years and years, a notebook, journal or sketchbook was never far from reach. But one night after a long night of poetry and music at Beanstreets followed by an even longer time of coffee and conversation at Old Europe, a friend convinced me to try blogging.

Photo courtesy of @mxmulder

Sample journal page of poetry

The immediate response to blogging was infections.2 Connecting with people all over the country, networking, sharing and being part of an active digital community was exciting. The practice of writing allowed me to hone the craft of creative writing and exposed me to other writers across the country. One of those bloggers actually showed up at a poetry gig I did. She was on a cross-country trip to visit friends and wanted to visit in real life.

Over time, I noticed that my practice of writing notes, daily sketches and other activities had all but disappeared. Relying on keyboards, display screens, hard drives and servers presented became a crutch. My writing drafts and sketches appeared deceptively crisp and final in neatly formatted text documents and web blog interface windows.

So, I pulled the plug. Returned to handwriting and typing as practice.3 Some friends and fellow poets saw a few samples of typewritten work and suggested I post it on my blog. It was a novelty. A curiosity. So, I did.

One of the first photographs of a poem I composed on a typewriter was written for a friend. It was posted about this time of year — in 2011.4 A few days later I followed up with another poem5 that was later read at poetry event.

I do not claim to be the first person to post an image of a poem typed on a manual typewriter. But I noticed a trend in that direction about a year after posting those images of poem sketches.6 Not sure exactly if I started the trend. Probably did not. Maybe other like-minded individuals who sought to return an organic practice of handwriting and typing as a mode of composing their visions and ideas.

Here is to a five year anniversary of analog writing.

NOTES:
[1] In truth, I composed poems on an electric typewriter prior to that. Did it for decades. Did not own a personal computer until… well, that is another story.
[2] That was when there were a mere couple million web blogs in the world. Now, there are some platforms, like Tumblr, boasting 100 million blogs. The blogosphere has become quite congested.
[3] Examples of some the 30 poems in 30 days journal posts with photos: here, here and here.
[4] April 1, 2011, blog post.
[5] Poem: “Never Look A Doughnut Dealer in the Eyes”
[6] Examples include Typewriter Poetry, Remington Typewriter Poetry, and the most popular is Tyler Knott (though his web page has an archive going back to 2003 (which is odd because he uses Tumblr as a platform and Tumblr was launched in early 2007… maybe he migrated his content from some other source to Tumblr… but I digress) the posted images do not begin until 2012 (unless I am mistaken).

Tonight: Village Ink Creative Writers Guild open house

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The Village Ink Creative Writers Guild has an open house tonight at 6:30 p.m.

What to expect tonight? Expect puppy chow (yes, puppy chow) and cupcakes and maybe peanuts. Expect poetry and prose. Expect good stories by good writers. Expect to have a great time with local writers.

The Village Ink Creative Writers Guild authors plan to share recent works like “Animal Hospital” (children’s literature), “Disturbed” (fiction), “Popular Fiction” (fiction) “Genie-soul” (non-fiction) and selected poetry and prose.

The evening will conclude with a question and answer session for those who have questions about the guild and the craft of writing.

Hope to see you all there!

Graham Public Library, Union Grove, Wisconsin
April 7, 2015, 6:30 pm

FREE to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Tomorrow: Village Ink Creative Writers Guild open house

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You are invited to the Village Ink Creative Writers Guild authors reading open house at

Graham Public Library
Union Grove, Wisconsin
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
6:30 pm

Five local writers present selections of their work. The Village Ink Creative Writers Guild meets every Tuesday at the Graham Public Library and is open to writers of all genres and disciplines.

The open house is a great way to celebrate National Poetry month and the event will highlight the last six months of creative energy and writing endeavors.

Selected works include children’s literature, fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.

For more details, please leave a comment. Thanks!

The open house is FREE to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Next week: authors reading open house

20150403-151950.jpg

You are invited to the Village Ink Creative Writers Guild authors reading open house at

Graham Public Library
Union Grove, Wisconsin
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
6:30 pm

Five local writers (including myself) present selections of their work. The Village Ink Creative Writers Guild meets every Tuesday at the Graham Public Library and is open to writers of all genres and disciplines. The open house is a great way to celebrate National Poetry month and the event will highlight the last six months of creative energy and writing endeavors. Selected works include children’s literature, fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.

For more details, please leave a comment. Thanks!

The open house is FREE to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Rule number eight

“Every word on your blog is a word not in your book.”

Sherman Alexie

The Village Ink Writer’s Group

Village Ink Writer’s Group meets tonight, Tuesday, 6:30PM. I’m leading group tonight. Hope to see you there! http://ow.ly/IqlTW