Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm baaaaaack!

Good heavens it's been a long time. And yet as soon as I click "New Post", I seem to have nothing to say. Call it inverse bloggeritis.

But I'll think of something.

Pared down the manuscript, again, for another chapbook contest submission. This is the third and shortest revision - down to 20 poems. My six loyal readers know I usually don't like to say where I've submitted until later (it feels inappropriate, somehow, while the manuscript is in process), but I'll have to make sure to say later, as the contest coordinators were very nice to work with me to correct a fairly egregious error in the submission package, rather than reject the submission because of it. I would have understood. Anyway, weeding down (was 55 pages originally, down to 28, now 20) has not only made me seriously challenge myself on what I consider "good enough", but it's permitted me to really give the collection a consistent tone. There's no fluff. This was the first revision where I felt I was sacrificing good work to get to length, but in doing to, I think I really improved the voice. I guess that makes sense that it's easier to maintain voice if you do so for fewer pages.

The annual Celebration of NJ Journals is this Sunday and I'll be in the back of the room taking photographs for posterity, Diane's website, and (hopefully) the readers' use. As usual, it's a great program, representing the literary community of NJ and the nearby, alternate, less densely populated and therefore less poetic area.

The new season at The Center for the Performing Arts at DeBaun Auditorium has been announced, so I can lift the veil on the Spoken Word Series. You tell me what you think of this lineup:
  • John Trause
  • Adele Kenny and Ed Romond
  • Penny Harter
  • Matthew Thorburn
  • Gabriel Welsch
  • George Witte and Tina Kelley
Our annual prose feature is yet to be announced. Not bad for an $18 operating budget - if I do say so myself. And I do.

I'm wrestling with the cerebeditor (the editor in my brain, that is) to see if I want to discuss my new project here. I'm really a believer that to let the light in on a new idea to soon is to risk killing it. I'm working on a series of poems in the (imagined) voice of a rather famous historical character - something close to home for me and interesting enough (I think) for a wider audience. Interesting challenges in research, content design, and the poems themselves. But I'm not ready yet. not quite.

Much more going on, of course, between Met games and the end of bowling season. But I'll challenge myself to be back before Monday with the more.

Until then: be well, sweet sextet....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Also known as the capstone to Florist's Liberation Week. To all those mothers I haven't greeted personally today: Hope your day was filled with love, appreciation, and a nap.

I don't have a good poem to quote today because I've lent out all my Maria Gillan books and no one else I know speaks nicely of their mothers (gentle corrections welcome in the comments). I have, however, run across several books I've been meaning to move to the top of the reread pile while skimming for excerpts.

This is the middle of family obligation busy season in our house, counting the birthdays and anniversaries that show up every year and the band and soccer events that are new to the dance card in 2008. But we did find time to get together with old friends this weekend to see a show performed in our old theatrical stomping grounds. Our kids seemed to hit it off famously, which was wonderful. And scary. And unexpected. And typical.

Confidential to over there on Mother's Day: They meant every word, and I didn't coach them at all. Honest.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Peeking Out

Passed through a couple of major time-eating gates over the last week. Things I've been neglecting that I'm now finding time (I hope) to finish:

A couple of these things should be worthy of a thought or two during the week. And if the Mets keep the way they have I certainly won't be distracted.

Be back soon....