Many people don't know that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed reading poetry and, before he became famous for his short stories, even attempted a few poems. Reading A Moveable Feast, I can see why. Poetry often hides in the work of good prose writers, and as I tried fashioning found poems from young Hemingway's spare language, I … Continue reading Haiku-like Hemingway
I've written about Goodreads' Book Giveaways before. To say the least, I have ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, they're good publicity for the little guy (read: humble author) who's lost in a big jungle (read: the published world). On the other hand, the odds of winning (meaning you) are longer than a certain island … Continue reading Take the Free Book (and the Long Odds)!
Most writers are fond of proclaiming their devotion to the craft (ahem) of writing and by saying this explains their lack of discipline in marketing their work. Fair enough. These are two different skills, no doubt from two different hemispheres of the brain: Samarkand has a goal of submitting work to ten markets today, while … Continue reading What? Over-Submitting?
Yesterday the topic of revision came up. I resisted the urge to revise that post and instead decided to add a few random addenda here. Ridiculous? Maybe. But often I go back and forth, day by day, on the question of definite vs. indefinite article. "The" becomes "a" becomes "the" becomes "a." Better yet, I … Continue reading Revisionary
Poet Anders Carlson-Wee once told me that he revises his poems for at least a year before he sets them loose into that sea of chance we call poetry markets. A year! When I first heard this, I marveled and considered it almost eccentrically-disciplined. Here we have a poet stoic for the ages, I thought, with … Continue reading Of Preemies and Poetry
One of the many small pleasures in writing is discovering just how much we all think alike. In my upcoming book, a poem I wrote (scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of Roanoke Review) focuses on a discussion between my wife and me about what to do with our cremains (that's "cremated remains" to … Continue reading Finding Yourself (in Another’s Writing)
What is it with people's fear of being alone (as in, not only by yourself but without any technological binkies like a cellphone)? A famous study by a team of psychologists stated that "two-thirds of men and a quarter of women would rather self-administer electric shocks than sit alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes," … Continue reading Our Yawning Need for Boredom
But two days ago I sat in front of the heat vent, a habit from childhood, reading a collection of Charles Simic poems. At the time, I missed the contrast of a nostalgic pastime (the heat passing between shirt and back) and a more modern, tongue-in-cheek experience (Simic's cool, savvy verse), but now the weather … Continue reading Contrasts: Making Juxtaposition Work for You
Dial 911. I think my poem's on something. I thought the house smelled a little odd this morning. A bit more organic than usual. My first thought was the dog, who always looks guilty, but no. Turns out, it's that poem I wrote yesterday. My fault, in a roundabout way. I left some "language" poetry … Continue reading When Poems Overdose on Language
Waking to the sounds of rain on a Sunday morning is one of life's gifts. The wrapping paper is the roof and walls of your house. Of course, in my case, I shed the coziness right away as I don rain gear to walk the dog. His thick black coat pearls up with drops. He'll … Continue reading Call Your Mother. Tell Her About the Animal Crackers.