Monthly Archives: November 2013

4 Reasons to Write the Hell out of (What’s Left of) 2013

eat pie but also writeOk so it’s almost Thanksgiving.
If shopping, family drama, travels, and/or assorted year-end hells are killing your writerly motivation, here are four reasons you’ll want to go write anyway. Like, right now.

It’s my latest for Ploughshares Literary MagazineConsider yourself kicked in the ass.

 (you’re welcome)

 

PS. If nothing else, you can always employ your bot.

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Perhaps We’ll Be Totally Harmless.*

But consider our vibrant bass for details,
The drums on the mass – on the rush – of emotion
This lust for threading needles through the story
For the chance to recognize what we can’t argue with

Again. How we’ve been socialized to respect fear
to be responsible for the corner, for a place
to store your words. Pay no good reason.
Not to ask ourselves what they really are,

Make us only a scratch. So. This is your thing:
The strength of the ways you employ names.
How the prize behind the door
Will be a bell tower / What batters

The grasping or feminine
Your women Your nothing at all
Trying to be in bed with their interiors, & strengths. Tell them
We’re all cramming into stars. Tell them
Maybe a little more.

(*All lines (including title) are found text, resulting from the “What Would I Say” app on my personal Facebook)
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(prayer)

toxic  dangerI have held the terror
Which belongs to others
Nor for that, thanks.

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To Anxious Thought:

You and I are poor lovers
But we are faithful, faithful,
Aren’t we.

step12_eyes_of_stone

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And then there’s the time you go off Cymbalta.

cymbalta love is complicatedNot because you no longer need it,
but because it may be doing harm.
Not that you know; it’s an experiment. A new doctor
playing fast and loose with neurotransmitters.

Famously terrifying to quit, Cymbalta loves and leaves
with jerks and starts, fuzzy rods between your eyes,
hilarious nausea. Blurred and frozen, then unfrozen.

Cymbalta offers no weaning methods. So at night
you stoop over your capsules: splitting them and counting
beads the size of salt granules. Placing them
in new capsules, or dumping them in applesauce.
It’s how the internets say to do it.

The meds are only monsters when you stop taking them.
Before then, they’re daily nurses, gentle masseurs
at the feet of cells and secretions you can’t name.
(Unless they’re doing harm.) (A delicious game of guesses.)

Not needing them, latching instead onto some organic
all-natural FDA-unapproved-statement supplement regimen
is a privilege for the lucky, the wealthy, the believers
whose nodding acquiescence delivers them from evil
via Jesus and placebo effects. You’d be happy
for faux fixes, but can’t muster the requisite faith.

Then there’s the way weeks begin disappearing
into snaps behind the eyes: trying not to turn the head
too quickly, to keep some shit together, eliminating maybe
several white beads at a time.

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“For to live means to sing, to love, to rage, and to tear things to shreds, while…faces look on and pupils burn.” –Nicolay Aseev

(Choosing to ignore for a moment that Aseev wrote this in a bullfighting context.)
(Because advice is advice amirite)

(listening to Russian poets)

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“It is just as well to be rash and foolish”

If you need a weekend writing push, check out Zora Neale Hurston‘s reminder to be rash. Get what’s in you out. Stop asking why and making too many demands, on yourself or others. If you later regret writing this thing, at least you made something worth regretting.

Stop waiting. Say it.

“I regret all of my books. It is one of the tragedies of life that one cannot have all of the wisdom one is ever to possess in the beginning. Perhaps, it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would be written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterwards than before. Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”

Zora Neale Hurston
Dust Tracks on a Road

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Writing in a Changing World: Craft, Readerships, and Social Media

breaking newsOk WriterFriends,

My latest blog for Ploughshares Literary Magazine is all about navigating writing as a career: Learning publishing/submissions, taking risks, defining success for yourself,  sustaining your writing practice even if you’re not part of a writing community, etc. (I KNOW.)

It’s an interview with Stephanie Vanderslice, director of the Arkansas Creative Writing MFA program, author several how-to creative writing books, and HuffPost’s resident Writing Advice columnist. She’s known for her (somewhat controversial) stance on teaching career ins & outs along with craft —
If you’re a writer, bookmark this thing.

Check it out here!

PS – Especially great for writers who have an MFA, are getting one, and/or who are contemplating one in the future. Head here and lend your thoughts in the Comments.

 

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