Thursday, May 23, 2013

Feeling ambitious, and other various nonsense.

Good afternoon, readers!

We had a very productive work shop tonight. Abbey, Rachael, and I made a goal to submit to two writing contests by the end of the summer. I feel really good about this! I will have to write 12 new poems! Unfortunately, I can't publish them here, so that they meet the basic requirements. I normally write that many poems in a year, not a couple months, but I think I'm up to the challenge! I'm excited to work for a goal, excited about the prospects of being published again, and excited about pushing myself to put out that level of content (hopefully quality).

We also decided to do a reading in mid-September, to showcase our work. Keep an eye out! It will be a reading and picnic in the park (a twirling maenad picnic, if Abbey has anything to say about it!) I'm going to start working on a flyer as soon as possible.

I'm so excited.

I'm also working on my first poetry compilation, which I imagine I'll self-publish, called A Record of Night: 14 poems. This compilation will contain several of my favorite poems.

I've also been reading You're a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. It's inspired me to keep the ball rolling, as it were. There were several tips that I'm not buying whole-sale, but the book has been really good, regardless. I don't know if you've noticed, but I changed the layout of my blog, Facebook, and Twitter to the same imagery and the professional photo taken by Pam Roe (an amazing photographer, who I definitely recommend. If you want her info, shoot me an email and I'll send it to you).

One of the things that Jeff talks about really resonated with me. He talks about self identification: do you identify as a writer? Why? Why not? And I realized that the only place I self identified as a writer and a poet is here (and a little on my twitter). He suggests that you (me) own the label. Rock it. So last night I went through all of my social media and updated my profiles to reflect my writerly bio. When I got to Facebook, I started listing all the projects I've worked on, or currently work on, and I had a moment of "Woah! I really am a writer! I guess that's a true thing!"

So I'd like to introduce myself. Hello! I'm Kirstin. I'm a writer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beware, there be sexy talk in the waters?

My friend and comrade writer, Steve, dared me to write a poem about my least favorite word. This poem is light hearted, but the dangers of void are not to be ignored. It is a nebulous word that lacks hands, feet, and concrete to stand on. I have never met a poem that uses this word in a way that I like. /rant

Pillow Clutchers

“Oh, Oh Void!”
She thought-

Ran her

fingers down
the shadow’s
knotted spine-

Must be
what an
atheist screams,
when they
clutch the pillow.

Consistently Inconsistent

If I were writing me as a character, I would immediately identify inconsistency as my fatal flaw. As a tow-headed child with long braids, the most common grade card I handed to my parents contained the phrase, "Doesn't apply herself." But applying myself is not the problem. Consistently applying myself is a different matter. I can take the plunge (eagerly, hungrily), I just get out of the pool for too many snacks or tennis games. Who doesn't like a snack, right?

This is a blog post I could easily cross-post to the yoga blog I contribute to.

There are few crafts or skills that I stick with, and my learning curve is entirely dependent on how much glitter is being thrown around me. Look, I like shiny things. I'm bad at schedules, boy am I bad.

Moving in with my wife was the best thing that ever happened to me. Not just because she's amazing, wonderful, and I love her- but because I was forced to finally adapt a sleep schedule. Several things coalesced to make this happen: I obtained a job with steady 8-5 hours, I moved in with a woman who refused to let me stay up until midnight, we moved into a house with nobody else but us (and no other schedules to knock me out of rhythm). I now consistently get up by 7 am and go to bed before midnight.

I don't think I can stress how significant of a change this has been in my life. I have always resisted a scheduled life. You could ask my mother or past roomates- as soon as I figured out how to read a book, I was up until 3 am on weeknights. In middle school, I pulled all-nighters just to finish a book, regularly. I learned the sound and distinction between my parents foot steps in the hallway. I created quick-stash places around my bed that were conducive to bookmarks. When I was reading, I was writing or drawing (but reading was easier to hide quickly). My parents knew... they aren't fools, but reading was (and is!) a valued hobby in my family of retired teachers, and the worst I would get was a finger wagging. Come to think of it, I think my dad did threaten to take away my book once and I smarted off about how he'd have to box up all of my books to be honestly effective. Look, I was a brat and I did (do) what I want.

Finding peace in a schedule that seems so simple for every other person on the planet, and so fucking hard for me sometimes feels ridiculous, but as I get older, I'm trying to teach myself to accept and honor my accomplishments, rather then focus on my failures. Or some shit.

So that's the context... here's the meat: I have been incapable of keeping a writing schedule. I try. I see my friends, friends who are fabulous writers (and published, too!)- I understand that a regular writing practice is integral to my success, to finally applying myself; but it's not easy, man. My very nature, diagnostically, is fettered with distraction and fuzziness. I am, down to my genetic code, easily put off. I could blame my genetic donors, but I think they're really marvelous people and that would be decidedly unjust and unfair.

Committing to this 8-5 thing has shown me that I do have the capacity to change. I'm hoping, this year, to add some new things to my schedule. Not giving up on either of these blogs has been a first step for me. Despite not becoming the glamorous, 2.0 blogster, just remembering to write in here once a month, forcing myself to come back, revisit, rethink, has been the best thing I've done for my craft since I left college (the second best thing: starting Wilde Workshop to get together and workshop with like-minded folks). Tangent aside, I'm not giving up, and I'm going to try to increase my consistency. Through sheer hard-headedness, I've managed to make it in the 8-5. If I can do that, I can make room for more writing.

Thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for reading so far. I know there are only like 10 people who read this blog... honestly, my stats probably only reflect me from different computers! Hah!

There may be more prose in here, in the future.