My gardens are two varieties: those of the fruit & vegetable and literary kind. I've been hard at work in both. Since the academic year ended several weeks ago, I made a plan to be committed to my creative endeavors.
Thus far, I have organized my fourth full length collection This Thirst, and chapbook e-Motion of prose poems and micro fictions (35 pages). I have sent out the chapbook to a contest. Hoping to put the final touches on This Thirst this week, and then I will send it out too.
My third collection Small Worlds Floating will be here in 6-7 weeks per my publisher. I began to put this together (4 years ago). Finally sent it out. It was accepted in six days. I don't know why I was dragging my big toe on this. Perhaps distracted by other work. No doubt. That is what was going on.
Now I'm working on my 'no name yet' novella. I'm over 15,000 words, which is a feat for me, and the story is just unfolding before my eyes. I'm hoping to have this done by end of June. This too was started two years ago. I've worked on it in fits and starts for the past two summers. Summer three is the charm. I have settle into the narrative. I found my form. I hear and see my characters. Consequently, this is what I'm writing. My head is so focused on story-telling.
Several weeks ago, I was working on essays. I have one that is just so fussy. It has a terrific start, but everything that has come after, well, truthfully, pretty awful. Snip! The edit x-key at work. It's that easy. Several other essays came together without a hitch. How does this happen? How can this be the same person writing? Is the process different? It must be, right? The creative zone or not. Funny too, the troublesome essay is about a second chance at what was believed to be a total loss.Of course, this makes sense, right? It's on the back burner right now. Simmering.
Meanwhile, a lot has been going on outside too. We started our seeds a while ago. I have planted 113 tomato plants, and we aren't done yet. I would say we have a serious tomato addiction. We have three new heirloom plants: Mortgage Lifter (this promises tomatoes that weigh 2 lbs each-- some big ass tomatoes!)
Boxcar Willie and Crimson Beauties. We have Carolina Gold, Honey Bunch , No name yellow tomatoes, Sweet 100s, Cherokee, Brandywine Pink and Red, Beef Steak, Celebrity, German. and a lot of Romas.
I've also planted cherry bomb (hot) peppers and red bell peppers.
Today, I plan on getting out there now, before the heat of the day really cranks up (it's going to be in the 90s).
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Wild Violets growing in the Sidewalk Cracks.
Since the Spring semester is over at both colleges, I have been settling into a slower pace. Things are gearing up for the growing season. Soon I will be planting all of the vegetables we have started from seed. They're growing by leaps and bounds now. The weather has been a bit cold, which has prolonged all of the early flowers and blossoming trees. Everything seems to be in slow motion here. It was Lilac festival last week in Rochester, but the lilacs weren't in full bloom yet. Nor here. I keep hoping it will warm up soon. . . . Since it's been cold, I have been accomplishing a lot in my writer's life. Every day for the past 10 days, I have been working on my novella. I am in serious page and word count now (more than I have ever accomplished). Somehow, I have found a stride and I am truly engaged in the story-telling. I have found a form for this narrative, and I certainly "know" its landscape and time period, but it was slow going (fits and starts, nearly two years ago). Now it's on track. Every day I write about 5 pages. Hope to be done by end of June. I have also been putting together two new collections. One is my fourth full length poetry collection, and the other is a 40 page collection of prose poems and micro stories. I'm hoping to have both of these ready to be sent off in next two weeks.
Meanwhile, I have done two full edits of my upcoming poetry collection, and it's coming along beautifully. Special thanks to my editor Kevin Walzer (Cherry Grove Collections). Small Worlds Floating looks lovely, and I am very grateful to my sister Karen for the gorgeous cover, and to Peggy Shumaker and John Roche for writing such thoughtful and supportive blurbs. Some of these poems were written in my last year of RWW at PLU my MFA program. I graduated 10 years ago this summer. (How is this possible?)
I have been writing some essays too. Some have come quickly, without much fuss, and one has been enormously difficult. All I have saved from it is the first paragraph, which makes me wonder about it all together. It so unruly. But, I guess this is how it goes, or at least for me.