Monthly Archives: July 2012

Rejection Letters

I once read a blog post (lost to the mists of time, otherwise I’d link) wherein the author wrote about how writers, and probably all artists, are faced with a certain difficulty in our careers. So many of the “mile stones” and “progress/success indicators” are things that are utterly beyond our control… things like whether or not an editor decides to publish our story/poem/novel/essay/whatever, or whether or not we can make a living wage doing what we love and do anyway.

It can make you a little twitchy, to say the least, and can leave you trying to find the Magic Formula that will let you recreate a past success… when that success – acceptance to an anothology/magazine; landing on a best-seller list; getting a good review; etc – is based on the opinions and whims of people who aren’t and, therefore, are successes over-which you have no control.

So he suggested that we choose to recognize milestones that we can control.

He celebrates every submission he makes, when he makes it.
And he celebrates every rejection letter, too, because they mean that someone has read his work and that means that he sent his work to a stranger and, even if they didn’t buy it, they still read it, which means he still sent it out and that rejection letter is proof.

With that in mind, I would like to announce that I received a rejection letter from Best Lesbian Erotica today.

Which, conveniently, means I can send those two stories out to other places now. 🙂 (One of them can only go to reprint-friendly publications, mind you, because it’s already up at Good Vibes Magazine).



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Literary/Performance Poetry and the Process of Composition

Happy to report: I wrote 2,300 words on my novel-manuscript yesterday.
Strictly speaking, that’s not a lot, but my typical minimum is 1,000 so I’m pleased with it.

I also participated in a show – a VERSeFest Fundraiser featuring El Jones. I was one of the organizers, yes, but I also got to read in the open mic.
Originally, I was going to read one of my new Selkie poems, but decided at the last minute that it wouldn’t work on a stage.

So I read a different piece, one that can work as a literary piece or a performance piece.

After, another performer came and talked with me about poetry styles and how some poems work on paper and on stage, while others can only fit in one world or the other.

Usually, when I write poetry, I try to create pieces that work in both ways.
I… I don’t actually know if everyone does this.
It seems like a typical thing to do.
Literary poets perform their work so it makes sense (to me, anyway) that they’d have an ear to how their pieces sound when performed. I don’t know if “stage poets” – spoken word performers who specialize in poetry – do the same thing in reverse, using line-break and word-placement (on the page) as choriography to show, in writing, where the pauses, breaths, and stresses are meant to go.

Thoughts? Processes? Anyone?


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Selkie Brides

I wrote two poems yesterday.

Neither of them were the “Barrow Gang” poem I was expecting.  Instead, they were two more for my Selkie collection.

I’ve been working on this thing, off and on, since May 2008, so it’s not a particularly huge priority, but I like to drag it out every now and then and see what I can add to it.  My hope is that “eventually” I’ll have something like 60+ poems that trace the arc of a disintigrating marriage while using the metaphor of the Selkie Bride to explore both the stereotypes around bisexuality and the unspoken, unhappy power structures that develope in some marriages.

I’ve got between 30 and 35 at this point, plus half a dozen fragments and bits-and-pieces that I might be able to weave together a la Pearl Pirie.

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Chasing Poetry

I once read a quoation – possibly Louis Armstrong? – that said finding tunes was easy, you just have to pluck them out of the air.


Sometimes poetry’s like that.  Other times, it’s a flood that leaves you scrambling to find a pen, the back of an envilope, <em>something</em> to get the words down with, or onto, while their hot and pumping and unstoppable.

And sometimes poetry is like being an angler.  You put yourself in the right place at, hopefully, the right time, bate your hook and cast out your line, but life only knows if you’re actually going to catch anything.


I’ve been feeling like that last one a lot lately.  Hunting and gathering for poetry and not coming up with much.  Still, July’s VoV show gave me some inspiration.  It’s nice to hear the different styles of poetry that people do, the way they turn lists into stories or take the bones of legends and weave them into something new.

I’ve got a twist on the Barrow Gang ghosting around the edges of my head now.

I think I’m going to go chase it. 🙂

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