06 May 2013

ROW80 update

1. Be a ROW80 sponsor.
Ugh. Totally failed last week at checking other people's blogs, commenting, and writing my own post. I blame life. Will do better this week.

But on the bright side, my guest post, "You can't get there from here," went up today on the ROW80 blog. Woo hoo!
2. Write my chapter of the chain story I mentioned in this post
Still waiting for it. Still not ready to write it when it does come.

3. Do three public readings.
On Friday I attended the second Fridays on the Boulevard open mic at The Attic Institute and was chosen to read. Woot! I read "Like a Woman in Love" and this other, short poem that originally appeared, untitled, in a post on my World Citizen blog:

A writer tells the truth about what it feels like
to read her work aloud to a roomful of strangers

It's so uncomfortable
this tearing into skin
this exposure of ribs & ligament
this passing around
of my still-bleeding heart

This open mic experience was different in that people were given feedback forms to fill out, and then I received my feedback like two minutes after I finished reading. I waited until I got home to read them, though.

As per the MC's instructions, most of the comments were positive. There were a few good constructive comments--suggestions to speed up the pace of reading a little bit and to play with the intonation. And then one comment that the images and sentiments in the first poem had "been done." Ouch. I suppose the person wanted to encourage me to reach a little farther for some imagery or phrasing uniquely my own. Or I could just chalk it up to the fact that no poem pleases everyone.

And also why do I always have to focus on the one somewhat negative comment and let that dwarf the 20 positive comments? I mean, why aren't my thoughts lingering on the person who said that they found my poem "touching"? Stupid brain.

4. Continue to try to get more involved in the local writing community.
a) My writing group had our first workshopping session last weekend, and it went really well. I got some great feedback on a story I started writing during ROW80 Round 1 and now have some ideas about what to do with it next.
b) I need to get my butt in gear and do my first interview for this blog. Goal is to post it at the end of May.
c) I applied to be a Summer Teaching Fellow at the Attic Institute and received a very nice, personalized rejection this morning, along with a line encouraging me to apply again in the future. I think probably my workshop ideas were not sexy enough. Something to work toward in the future. In the meantime, I'm inquiring about volunteer opportunities with the organization.

5. Continue to write monthly articles for VoiceCatcher
I'm super excited because Liz Prato has agreed to be my next interviewee! She's the guest prose editor for the summer issue of VoiceCatcher, a wonderful writer, and a teacher at the Attic. Seriously, check her out.

6. Focus on my pseudonym's novel.

7. Try to stop trying to do too much.
Did a pretty good job of cutting myself some slack over the last couple of weeks as a result of some...personal issues...and an impromptu family gathering, but as you can see, it resulted in a level of productivity with which I am unhappy. I did the bare minimum: my editing gigs.

Maybe I should rename this goal. Maybe the real goals here are 1) to get a better sense of what is reasonable, and 2) be satisfied with that.

8. Apply for writing fellowships/grants.
Read the application instructions for the Literary Arts Fellowship. Says I have to pick a genre. That could be a problem. My gut tells me I'd have a better chance at the fellowship if I submitted literary non-fiction, but I don't know that I have enough of it. Actually, now that I say that I realize that I do have enough of it. So what is my real hesitation?


  1. Sounds like an interesting week. Altogether, successful, I hope.
    I agree with you on #7, the best thing you can do is not be so hard on yourself, the world is already hard enough as it is.
    And good luck with the application for the Literary Arts Fellowship! Pray you get it.