Okay, you might be able to tell what kind of rollercoaster I’ve been on with my writing lately by the fact that I initially mistyped the title of this post as “Bot-Camp” and getting “re-sluts” – although that may have been a much more interesting post. Robots! Loose women! What a week!
However, the truth is a little less exciting and lot less salacious. After several journal rejections and disappointing news on the manuscript, Dana Guthrie Martin took it upon herself to put me through “poetry boot camp” to pull me out of my woe-is-me doldrums and to get me feeling positive about writing again. She emailed me daily admonitions to write new poems with the accountability of shipping them off to her so that I couldn’t just say I wrote them. She supported and pushed me back to a space where I was no longer discouraged, and I thank her for that. We all need some poetry friends who will do this for us – whether you call it boot camp or tough love, it is sometimes a necessary part of the process.
On a happy note, Dana’s collection of work regarding dyslexia called Diagnostic Impressions went live today. Working in the nanopress model, I served as editor for Dana on this project. It is a fascinating look at the different ways that we process the world, especially the world of text, and it is a wonderful educational tool for teachers or anyone who wants to understand dyslexia. I am very proud to be associated with this work.
Also, I spent Monday evening at my favorite monthly poetry venue in the Chicago area, Molly Malone’s. Getting there early, I was lucky enough to have a lovely meal talking poetry and life with series curator Nina Corwin, wonderful poet and Rhino editor Andrea Witzke Slot and featured reader Matt Guenette, author of Sudden Anthem and American Busboy. I had the pleasure of hearing Matt read at AWP’s Face to Meet the Faces anthology reading, and getting to meet him was a pleasure. Poems with a sense of whimsy and humor that is too often missing in poems, and an encouraging conversation about getting the work out there made the evening a success.
And…I am writing. I am looking at the manuscript with new eyes. I am waiting for lots of other news on submissions, and I am going to take my drill sergeant’s advice: move forward, always forward, and expect good things.