100 works in 2008

Quick Update

I will have a poem in the new print edition of If Poetry Journal titled Invocation of the Muse. I’m excited about this one because it will be my first published prose poem. Click here to see a list of contributors for this edition of If – it looks like it will be a great read.

I also found out my poem An Abundance of Scarcity will appear in an upcoming edition of inscape. inscape is the literary journal published annually at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. The publication, which premiered in 1972, features poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art. Happy to have this chance to contribute – big thanks to poetry editors Michelle Lassiter and Leif Anderson or the opportunity.

The Insomniac’s Lullaby

The newest issue of Bent Pin Quarterly is online, and my poem The Insomniac’s Lullaby is amongst the fine work featured in it. Click here to check out my latest published piece, then look around at the rest of Bent Pin Quarterly. The interesting bait on this journal’s hook is its philosophy – rather than giving each piece its own separate page, BPQ puts two or three works of a similar tone or subject matter on the same page, allowing them to rub together and create friction, fire, confusion, or whatever. Cool idea, and I’m glad to be a part of this issue.

Poem Published Online at The Shine Journal

My poem Tell me Lies in a Dead Language is now online at The Shine Journal. You can read it by clicking here. Big thanks again to editor Pamela Tyree Griffin for the chance to “shine” in her publication.

This poem deviates a little from my usual style (it’s more disjointed and less direct), but it tackles a tough subject – spousal abuse. This poem’s appearance in The Shine Journal is timely given that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Shine Journal was voted by the Writer’s Digest Reader’s Poll as one of the “Best Websites for Writers.” It also placed in the top ten of the 2007 Preditors and Editors poll. After reading Tell me Lies in a Dead Language, take some time to look around this month’s issue of The Shine Journal and enjoy the diverse, exceptional poetry and flash fiction. You’ll enjoy it. Trust me.

New Hampshire rocks. And so does the Ouroboros Review.

Honestly, I know little about the state of New Hampshire and whether it rocks or not. What I do know is my poem Hello Songs was awarded first prize in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s August 2008 National Contest. From the contest rules I’ve deduced that this entitles me to a nice cash prize and the chance to have Hello Songs published in The Poet’s Touchstone, a quarterly magazine. That’s enough for me to repeat my original statement – New Hampshire rocks. Thanks to the contest coordinator Lynne Birdsall for this opportunity and also to judge Mark DeCarteret for deeming my work worthy of this award.

And I received news of another acceptance yesterday – my poem Truth will appear in the inaugural edition of the Ouroboros Review, a new journal of poetry and art. Ouroboros intends to publish an online review quarterly and will offer a print magazine twice a year. I’m excited for the chance to contribute to this new publication – thanks to editors Jo Hemmant and Christine Swint for the chance to contribute.

It looks like folks can still submit to the Ouroboros Review, and the editors seem friendly and gave a prompt response . Of course, this is a fledgling publication, so the editors will have plenty of time to become overly highbrow, stodgy, condescending, and unresponsive in the future (just kidding). If you are a poet or artist who is interested in this publication, you can check out their submission guidelines by clicking here.

May Update – 100 Works in 2008

I stated on my blog awhile back that it is my goal to write 100 creative pieces in 2008. It is also my goal to publish that many works, but let’s just focus on what I can control – I can’t account for editors’ tastes.

Right now I am on track to meet that 100 works goal. I count 48 pieces of work that I’ve wrote or rebuilt so far in 2008, and a good deal of them have been published or are forthcoming in journals.

The inventory: 32 free verse poems, 9 prose poems, 3 short stories, 1 creative non-fiction/ranting piece. I am also going to count the 3 lectures I wrote on writing and the creative process during my poetry workshop/guest blogging stint over at the Scribes’ Tribe Scribblings website.

Hopefully I can keep up this workrate. Although I admit there are a few throwaway pieces in the bunch (and a few that need major revising), most of this work is up to par with my previous writing and is currently touring the submission and contest circuit trying to find a home in some magazine, journal, website, or whatever. Fingers crossed.

Such is the life of a writer, I suppose. Be good…

Goal Setting and Other Overrated Activities, 2008 edition


The obligation of every writer is to give some reflection on the year past when it's December/January.  It's lame, but true.

Last year was one of my more successful in writing. I placed in several contests (including two first place finishes in poetry competitions), had a fair amount of work published, and started to find my groove as a writer. I originally set a goal to write 100 works in 2007. That was a lofty goal that I did not meet, but I did write nearly 70 pieces of fiction and poetry, my most productive year yet. There’s nothing wrong with not meeting a high level goal if it still pushes your boundaries, right?

I also had tough experiences. For one, I severed ties to the press that was going to put out my manuscript My Own Brand of Blues, leaving the book with no publisher.  This was after the publisher decided that she wanted to focus on being an author herself rather than a publisher, despite my three years of patient waiting.  Sigh.  Also, a professional exam that I took in October left me so drained that I did not participate in the Nanowrimo challenge (write a novel in one month - November) like I had planned. And the unfortunate crash of a trusted USB drive left me scrambling to recover two years of work that I had been less than diligent about backing up. These and other setbacks have left me humble, which is good. I realize I might have some talent and am willing to put in hard work, but becoming a successful writer is not my birthright – I have to earn this. And I will.

So now, my goals for 2k8: I am going to try again for 100 works written – we’ll see if I can get that goal this time; if not, it sure makes me write a lot, so it’s a win-win for me. I want to find a home for my poetry manuscript – I think it has an urgent message that needs to be heard (by the few people who actually read poetry, lol), and getting a full length book published is a step I need to climb. Finally, I want to take part in Nanowrimo – which may take better planning than I had in 2007, so that I don’t find myself punking out when November rolls around.

I look forward to making my mark in 2008, and hope that you’ll be around to read all about it.