03 October 2020

Writing habits, 10/1, and a forthcoming publication

EDIT: I started writing this, and it went all over the place. I'm going to leave it as it is. 

I was working late into the night last night--not really, but I was working on revisions and checking my submissions in Submittable, and I'm in a weird place with my revisions and drafts. 

Everything that is in good shape is sent out in simultaneous submissions, and while I'm working a bit, here and there, on some older pieces, I'm having trouble drafting anything new in the last few weeks. 

The anniversary of the UCC shooting was this past week, on Thursday. That date always looms, and I never forget about it, but I do tend to dismiss how many things in my life are impacted by that date.

Every September, my physical health takes a bit of a dive, and I'm filled with anxiety and dread. Usually by the second week of October (once all reminders of what was lost have been packed away for another year), I am physically better. I just have a few more days to go, hopefully, until the nausea subsides. What I've noticed this year is that I miss my friend Larry a great deal--he's been on my mind a lot this summer. I would be so excited to share my new work with him, and he would have been eager to read it. I miss his presence in the world a great deal. 

I do realize that I need to extend myself some grace each year in September and October, but I have been on such a roll . . . the writing and drafting and thinking about poetry is starting to become a habit that I look foward to for the first time since my MFA.

I have been really enjoying the forward momentum of my writing, so this temporary block has been a struggle. I realize even through writing this, that I'm still a ways away from being able to write about the shooting, but I hope to one day be in that space. I would like to write about Larry, and I've taken notes to do so, but I just haven't felt right about it yet. I used to think that I'd never want to write about anything to do with the shooting, so again--I see progress.

I'm still practicing and revising almost daily, it's just that I'm not making much headway in the last week or two. It is really encouraging to log into Submittable, though, and see how many places are currently reading my work. I am glad that I've put in that labor--it take a lot of hours and detail-oriented record-keeping to stay organized and current with who-is-reading-what sometimes. 

So the reason I brought up that I was working on revisions last night. I was revising until about 8 pm, when I went to bed. I was up by 4:00 am, which is my normal--and I'd received an acceptance overnight!

The journal In Parentheses is publishing two poems of mine in their fall print issue--"For Rus" and "Driving to Portland."

I just spent some time yesterday revising "For Rus," and I re-titled it "An Overdue Elegy." Unfortunately for how much I like the new title, it's going to be "For Rus" for now. This poem is a new, revisited draft of a poem I wrote many years ago. A high school friend took his own life, and at the time I wrote this horrendous memorial poem. Revisioning that over the summer, with a 49-year-old's lens, made it a much stronger work. I am really excited that it's going to be published. 

"Driving to Portland" is a new poem, written this summer from some notes I took down in a journal a few years back. 

I will update this post when I have details about when the fall issue will be available, and when/if the poems go live online.

In Parentheses

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