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.

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).

Rule number eight

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

Sherman Alexie

How To Keep Writing During the Holidays

For writers (and bourbon lovers) this is a good article on how to stay focused at the task of writing.

via How To Keep Writing During the Holidays.

The wreck of his life

Earlier this week, someone in a writers group I attend asked me where do I get the ideas I write about. My answer was a paraphrase of something Hemingway wrote to Fitzgerald. Here’s the exact quote from his letter in 1929:

“The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life–and one is as good as the other.”
–Ernest Hemingway

He also wrote something to the idea that he learned to write by examining the simplest of things.

Word count… pending

NaNoWriMo_Photo

At this point, I still do not know the word count for NaNoWriMo. It is rather difficult when they are handwritten.

NaNoWriMo: Why November Is the Best Month to Write

“I’d recommend aiming for 30k-50k. . . . So it’s up to you, depending on  how much time you’ve got, how fast you type, . . .

via NaNoWriMo: Why November Is the Best Month to Write.

Quote: the journey is your narrative

“The process of writing . . . is . . . a journey by boat. . . . If you get distracted or allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination. . . . The journey is your narrative.”

—Walter Mosley

Two rules to writing thank you notes

1. The note must be handwritten with a fountain pen.
2. The note must be on off-white, cream stationary or card.

I will elaborate more on the matter in an upcoming podcast.

Free e-book. New e-book. Book Fair.

When it comes to promoting my own work, I am extremely self-consciousness. However, here are three announcements that may interest you.

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