Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Manuscript Is Done!

I did it.

No, I did not kill my husband, but I came close a few times this past week.

My goal was March 1st this year to finish my first manuscript. My first poetry book.

My first and unrealistic goal was November of this past year. But I had only begun this past summer. I picked myself up, and dusted myself off; then I got back into the swing of writing again.

What counts is my first book manuscript is done.

I hope never to re-visit some of those old wounds. God, the wine and sad music I had to put on to even begin to write this past week. Argh!

I have wanted to do it since I was young. I told so many friends I was going to publish something, I was not sure what, but I was going to be a writer. Sure life got in the way, many excuses for me, but things seem to be clearer now.

Thanks to all of you out there who support me, encourage me, and antagonized me into doing it. Also doing it right. Two in particular via email, pointing out my bad writing habits. I have been working on them. I never really cared about my blog writing. I guess because I know I am not going to get anywhere with it. Lame huh?

Realizing I was still fucked up from Anelisa's death and my own lack of excitement for life, I had begun to work on things this past year. But I have poured myself into my writing outside of blogging.

Its done. I emailed it to the publisher an hour ago.

Now, I am waiting for what happens next.

Ah yes, the waiting game.

Now to start sending out finished work to journals, on-line and actual paper journals. I am really getting excited now!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Get Sparked, My Round #2

SPARK art from writing: writing from art

This is my second go round in the website, and it can be an up and down ride for ten days. Co-creating, building together, and bringing things to life is satisfying as well.

Let me explain...

You register when they call for artist, photographers, poets and writers. Amy (she is the founder) sends you a welcome email, and explains what SPARK is all about! She then pairs you up with someone. On the day it starts, day one, your partner should have emailed you and said hello.

Whats next...

You send your partner an inspirational piece. Something from your arsenal of work. Published or not. I usually send something fresh, something I just wrote. When you get their work, then you have ten days to produce a 'Response' to their 'Inspirational Piece'.

Fun right...

Here is the 'Inspiration Piece' photograph Christina Brockett sent me, and my 'Response'.

Here is the 'Response' Christina Brockett sent me from my 'Inspiration Piece' poem.

You can view Marybeth Carshaw's 'Inspiration Piece' with my 'Response' here

Then see my 'Inspiration Piece' and Mary Carshaw's 'Response' here

You do not have to be a pro to do this. I am not. Never claimed to be. I enjoy writing. Christina Brockett is a mom, with full time responsibilities just like me. You find time to do this and then enjoy all the work everyone produces together. Its like being in a virtual artistic generated world, but on-line.

Rules of Engagement- Amy Souza,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Jessie Carty's MFA Monday this week reminded me of the good ole' days, when I managed a restaurant bar, festival booths during St. Patrick's Day, and the certification classroom (many others besides alcohol). How I would simply sit, listen as the instructor spoke, and then we took the test. If you did not pass, you did not get certified. I always looked at the questions missed, so I could go over them for future reference.

I never was a big talker in class. If I had questions I would direct them to the other students to see if they got the same message. No message is wrong I believe. We all learn from experience, and even behind the bar we ask our peers what they might think. I know we all get nervous if it is our first experience with responsibility, but I had this memory of a guy...surely you remember that one person in your class...

There Is Always One In The Class

I enjoyed attending certification classes
every other year due to state requirements

meeting new people on a Saturday morning
discussing the aftermath of too much partying

the do’s don’ts if’s and limits of being
under the influence of alcohol and drugs

But there was always this one person
who would ask question after question

as if he did not understand the past five hours
we just watched movies of wrecked cars

with bodies lying all over the highway
it was there spelled out in words on the guidebook

We all wanted to take him out back
during break and ask him what the problem was

If one consumes more per hour than is allowed
mix or did not eat enough food as they

become obnoxious calling you an asshole
or a bitch for not serving them promptly

If their speech begins to slur
they probably are beyond inebriated

The person remains after class to ask even more questions
Could this person be afraid of the responsibility

of being in control of another well being and simply cannot
tell the person they are cut off.

Here is an alternate ending...

I was that person in elementary school during
show and tell when I pulled out my fathers

encyclopedia and began reading
the story of 'The Giants of the Redwood Forest'.

(I remember this only because I was threatened by the bully's who said they were going to beat me up after class if I kept doing that why I got quiet during class, I did not want to bore anyone...self examination can be strange...)

Also, in my newletter from a writer's retreat coming up in March, she gave us this podcast link- How Do You Know When You Have A Book, by the She-Writes group.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Art of Prose

Allison Benis White, Self-Portrait With Crayon

I sadly apologize, my mind still is hiding the blog, or place I read about Allison's book. Sure it may not matter to my readers, but it does to me! We are not ready to admit the mind is going in bits and pieces the past few years. Notes! I need to keep notes. Oh well.

I searched Book of Kells and found this Thankful Thursday: Victoria Chang interviews Allison Benis White. Interviews can be fascinating. You pick up on personal preferences by the authors or such. Something you might not know just by reading their work.

Once again someone mentions they journal. I cannot tell you how often I suggest this to friends when they mention stress or sadness. This is not just only a good thing for writers. I have mentioned before, once on the paper it helps release it from your mind, that is of course unless you are writing prose and want the stream of thought to ponder, stew if you will for a few days, but still...write your ideas and thoughts down.

Allison says, 'The point is to stay calm. To be found before you disappear.' There is so much in these two sentences.

Allison's writing is great. A collection of 'Self-Discovery' in many ways. She often goes full circle, but then she directs you to a root. I wanted to study prose and have found this to be a great study. The way she moves through a thought with such flow and ease, making you think about your own life and relative wonderful. There is sadness hidden in her work. A child always carries such sadness, but she moves dancers through your mind...I always secretly dream of being a dancer, or a figure skater. I glide with such ease. No falling for my clumsy feet. My new dream. To write like Allison Benis White...and so many other great poets I have grown to know.

I do not proclaim to be a great critic, but I know when I like something, and you can go over to the site and check out her book for yourself...

More on Allison Benis White

I also wanted to apologize to Allison and you for stealing's pic for this post...I am giggling at who will try and click on the photo...did you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Voodoo Snow Curse Worked, at least in Jersey...

First I have to share a book I just was surprised with on my door step! I often put things I want in our cart, and then look to see how the status is. I forgot about this one, and hubby had it sent.  This author was noted on someone's site, I apologize, because I forgot where I saw this one. Maybe Jessie Carty? Or Book of Kells? Anyway, she has won lots of awards for her prose, so I wanted to study it. I love it! 
Allison Benis White, Self-Portrait With Crayon.

My photo above, well, I decided we needed some vodoo cursing on the snow situation. What better way than to cook some chicken feet! My trainer and I discuss food during workout sessions. He likes to try crazy stuff. Some things I have already been there, done he mentioned chicken feet from the Asian market- I knew hubby would love this one. They were fine, a bit gelatinous for me...I would have preferred fried! I will post more on my food blog soon!

If your just coming over, then you missed two new poems and photos I posted. After taking the one below to my writers round table and Jim K. taking a look at it, I got the same feedback. Needed some serious removal of the mid-section and re-writes on the rest, but over all it got some laughs, which is what I wanted!

Lesbian Zombie Crush

“You are so delicious” she softly said just before I awoke from the dream.

"For the first time I was truly hot for a woman" I thought to myself as she went back for another bite of my lower thigh. In shock I watched it slowly cover her lips. My skin burned as blood and flesh oozed through her teeth. Red was the only color to this black and white vision which animated her tussled appearance.

I blurted out, “I should be, I am a seasoned cook”.

Her eyes grew big, like a toddler reaching over a mother’s lap. She looked up with a strawberry ice cream smile while a cone dripped all over her, me and the floor. A half eaten tongue came out of her wanton mouth while her decaying arm wiped away the drying blood of her last lover. I began to find comfort in the memory of how I became so passionate with food and eating- Not only being educated in the art of cooking, from the beginning of life I was part of eating green. I helped gather my grandmother’s garden of fresh vegetables, beefsteak tomatoes, onions, and fresh grapes draped across the back fence. She cooked and we ate so well in those years. The memory smells covered the stench of rotting flesh that lay about the room.

Snapping back into reality I realized ten others like her had begun gathering around me. It was then I saw something in my attackers messy hair. A shred of Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking Volume One, First Edition. Published the year of my birth. The last flash before I blacked out were these words Beef Bourgogne, page 27- serves 12 on the corner bit of page. I found myself at ease, and thinking "I was in good hands, but felt a good wine should have been chilled, opened, and was in order".

Or, Version #2

I lean in towards her head as she begins to take another bite of my inner thigh. Was it the pain that brought me closer or the curiosity of what she was? In a soft voice she might have whispered, “You are so delicious”, but the sounds of ripping flesh and moaning was all around us. I blurted out to the world, “I should be, I am a seasoned cook you know”. Tears began to well up as she looked up at me with protruding brown eyes. As would a child devouring an ice cream cone at her mother’s side had just looked up with a strawberry smile; lips oozing with redness, and spurting through her teeth, down her chin, and onto the floor.

Somehow I found comfort in my situation knowing my whole upbringing was built around sharing food. It began with my grandmother’s garden, which I lived with my parents on the property in a trailer since birth. How I helped gather, prepare and ate all the bounty grown. And there was my upward training in the culinary field throughout my life. The memory of each flavor and smell helped drown out the stench of rotting flesh around me. It was love.

This woman was taking her time with me, as ten others like her began to surround us. She raised her body and growled at them. No sharing- she let them know I was all hers. Moving in closer I noticed a bit of shredded paper in her tussled hair. I could barely make out the writing…Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking Volume One, First Edition. It was published the year of my birth! The last flash before I blacked out was these words- Beef Bourgogne: Serves 6.

My first guess at comments- Jessie will say this is the start of a great story...heh! Now Jessie, I can totally see this also as a comic book series, with me in a diner situation, and lots of limbs either in my saute pan, or in the waffle maker, or possibly going through a juicer...ewwww!