Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I was at the bank, opening an account and the representative asked what brought me to Arizona and I listed the reasons I'm aware of, but I was quick to add that I was planning to move to Vermont (she told me that Bank of America recently purchased banks in New England so I won't have to worry about my banking needs once I get there!) because I like cold and snow and rain. I mentioned that now that I no longer lived in Las Cruces, they've gotten frequent snow and she asked if I hadn't seen the snow flurries earlier in the day. (it's been cold in AZ lately.)
I was indoors, at work, no windows near me.
"I saw them!" my daughter piped up.
"You like the snow and cold too?" the woman asked her.
"No," she replied. "I like it when it's warm."
I would have appreciated those flakes, even if, as I was told, they melted as soon as they hit the ground.
I will be in San Antonio reading on Feb. 11. It is something of a paying gig:) Also following yet another reading possibility.
I mentioned before how I wanted to turn this short story about a drug addict who falls for a drug dealer into a short novel, The story is "Angel Wings" -- a former NY police officer is going to show me around Brooklyn and help me out on that end when I get to NY (I met him on a previous NY trip) and the FBI agent is going to help me about the part with running guns across the US/Mexico border. Today I was talking to this guy and he said he was from Brooklyn and I said, "Oh, I might be asking you for information 'cause I've got this book about this addict who falls for a drug dealer and he's supposed to be from Brooklyn and the guy says, "What a coincidence-- I used to be a drug dealer in Brooklyn." Nothing like a bit of authenticity to make a work come alive!
Still plugging away, kinda sorta, on that 100 stories. # 67 and 68 are unfinished/underdeveloped drafts from a forms & techniques class I took with Robert Boswell back at NMSU. Will find the stories that are there. I need to research 15 of the stories, but I'm hoping for a mass mailing, say 40-45, by March, many, yes, to print journals.
I'm still working on my hair so the pic for the Amazon shorts program is still on hold but the guy I spoke to there said that once a writer is in the program, he/she is in the program, so the story is still accepted and I would love to send another, but I'd feel kind of dumb sending a second or a third when I haven't completed the process for the first.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Today I'm going to try to finish the rough drafts of #'s 62, 63, 64, 65, work on 69 [heh heh, I like that idea;-)] --what? I'm talking about that story that was calling me last night. What are YOU thinking? --and start #70. Please notice the word "try." I submitted #66 yesterday.
On my way to post office to drop a chapbook into the Nerve Cowboy competition.
Then it's back to writing writing and more writing.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Remember last year when I said that I wanted to read every month?--I'm thinking instead I want to cover the 50 states. Maryland is done, Florida, California, New Mexico, New York. Washington D.C. is upcoming, even though it's not a state. (It's not right? I've always been confused on that.) Anyway, I'm thrilled I'm thrilled I'm thrilled!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
The Binnacle will sponsor its Fourth International Ultra-Short Competition in the 2006-2007 academic year. We are looking for poetry of sixteen lines or less and prose works of 150 words or less.
All submissions should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the work in the body of the email message, if possible. If you would like to send it via attachment, we prefer ,doc, .txt, or rtf files.
A minimum of $300 in cash prizes will be awarded, with a minumum prize of $50. At least one of the prizes will go to a UMM student.
Please submit no more than two works total, prose and/or poetry.
When you submit your work, please be sure to include your postal address as well as a thirty-five to fifty word self-description.
There is no submission fee. Deadline for submission is February 15, 2007.) Notifications will be made around May 15, 2007. Publication date will be May, 2007, but printing may not be completed until October, 2007 (maybe even a bit later). Awards will be made at the time of publication.
Am spending the day (and the next and the next and the next) rebraiding my hair. Then it's a picture to be sent to Amazon.com so I can get my story up in the shorts dept. No, it's not too late even though it's been months since the acceptance. Wonderful.
Friday, January 19, 2007
On the Stage of Modernization
Deborah Colton Gallery is pleased to present On the Stage of Modernization, a selection of videos and photographs by venerated Chinese multi-media artist Han Bing. The exhibition opens Saturday, January 20, 2007 with a reception with the artist from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, and continues through March 3, 2007.
China's Opening and Reform began in 1978, opening a Pandora's Box of transformations nationwide, that were mirrored in the art world. In 1989, Chinese contemporary art suffered setbacks along with the crackdown on the student movement in Tiananmen Square. Since Hong Kong was returned from British sovereignty to the Mainland in 1997, the Peoples Republic of China has been engaged in a massive campaign of urbanized "modernization." The flourishing of contemporary Chinese art since then reflects a more tolerant attitude towards public culture, and the rise of an art that engages the everyday viccisitudes of China's transformation.
Han Bing has conducted his "cabbage walks" all over the world including Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Shanghai, The Great Wall, Tokyo, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and, this spring, across Europe (Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona). This on-going international event will be performed in not only Houston, but Texas, for the very first time this weekend. During the reception, the artist will lead a cabbage on a short journey through Deborah Colton Gallery. Cabbages and leashes will be available for those wishing to join in the ritual.
Also on view until March 3 is the U.S. debut solo exhibition Pure Space by Yang Jin Long.
Deborah Colton Gallery is founded on being an innovative showcase for ongoing presentation and promotion of strong historical and visionary contemporary artists world-wide, whose diverse practices include painting, works on paper, sculpture, video, photography, and conceptual and future media installations. The gallery aspires to provide a forum through connecting Texas , national and international artists to make positive change.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
No new acceptances, no new rejections either.
I got nothing out on the 15th; the stories weren't ready and there was nothing I could do to make them "hurry up and develop" 'cause I tried that line of thinking with 5 pregnancies and except for the last, it was 9 months and sometimes a bit more;-) Patience, dear Gwendolyn, patience.
But I do have my two fiction chapbooks --"Jumpin' and Shoutin' and Carryin' On" and "Bride For A Day" -- ready for submission to a contest.
And I've been sending out reprints. That's one way to feel productive when the writing's slow.
-- Ernest Hemingway
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
--Mary Manin Morrissey
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Manuscript off to a small press. Hopefully I will have a chapbook by the summer, maybe sooner. Limited edition copies, signed and numbered.
When I was in college and went to readings, I always bought those small chapbooks and I always dreamed of having my own to sell after my own reading and since this is my dream and therefore my responsibility, I've made the choice to get to it.
"Mother Love" is a short collection of my dysfuntional mothering stories, with a dash of hopeful ones. It will be the first of six chapbooks I hope to have published, by me or someone else.
This is the cover photograph, an image by the incredible Daphne Buter. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this -- it so visually reflects my work.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The curator is a really cool lady.
Three Metamorphoses Projects
1.11.2007 - 1.19.2007
2500 Summer Street I Third Floor
Tuesday - Saturday,
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
And maybe another reading! Have to submit poetry to them today. Let's cross fingers & everything else.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I love New York. Have to pick a date, have two choices, I'll think on that tonight.
Less Is More: A Celebration of Micro-Flash
We invite you to enter flashquake's new contest featuring some of the shortest forms of flash literature.
Our Less Is More contest will open on January 1. We're accepting entries for micro-fiction of 100 words or less and mini-poems called "Fibs." And to acknowledge flashquake's long commitment to the visual arts, we'll showcase "micro" photographs taken with cell phone or PDA cameras.
Entries will be accepted until midnight on January 31, and we'll announce winners on February 20, for publication in the Spring issue of flashquake. There is no entry fee.
We'll have ten winners in each of the writing categories. The first-prize winner in each category will receive $75, the second-prize winner will receive $50, the third-prize winner will receive $25 and seven honorable mentions will be awarded $10 each. In addition, we'll award $10 each for the ten best photographs we receive.
Subjects in all categories can be light and humorous, dark and gloomy, or anything in between. The "micro" forms often lend themselves to topical subjects.
Entries in the fiction category must be complete stories with all the main elements of storytelling: clear characters, conflict and setting. A satisfying ending is a must.
In the poetry category, we'll have some fun and try something new. "Fibs" are six-line poems originated by Gregory K. Pincus at GottaBook (http://gottabook.blogspot.com), based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence featured in The Da Vinci Code.
The first line of a Fib is one syllable and each line after that combines the total syllables of the previous two lines, so the six-line syllable count is 1-1-2-3-5-8. This challenging form of writing stimulates the mind as well as the muse. You can find tips and plenty of examples at GottaBook.
Please follow these entry rules carefully:
Writers are welcome to enter any or all of the categories with up to two submissions in each. Entries will be accepted by e-mail only. All entries must be unpublished work.
Send each category submission in a separate e-mail to email@example.com. In the subject line, put "Contest entry - (Category):Your Name." If you submit two in any category they can be put in the same e-mail, but don't mix categories; send separate e-mails if you enter more than one category.
Prepare your fiction and poetry entries as PLAIN TEXT and paste them into an e-mail message. You can indicate bold by enclosing text in asterisks, italics by enclosing text with underscores. Entries submitted as attachments will be deleted, unopened.
For photo entries, include a brief description of the picture in the body of the e-mail and attach the photo as a .jpg file. The photo must be submitted exactly as it came off the cell phone or PDA camera. No Photoshopping. And on your honor: No doctoring SLR photos to make them look like they came from a cell phone. Is it really worth being banished to artistic hell for ten bucks?
At the top of your e-mail message, provide the following personal information:
- Land Mail Address
- E-mail Address
- Brief biography (no more than 100 words, written in the third person)
Proofread your work carefully and submit your entry only once. Corrections received after the original submission will not be considered.
Entries must be received by midnight on January 31 EST. Those time-stamped later will not be considered.
Each entry must have a title with a limit of seven words for fiction and and three words for poetry. Titles will not be included in the word-count. Use them wisely to throw extra light on your story or poem.
Fiction entries must keep within the 100-word limit or they will be disqualified. Contractions count as one word, as do abbreviations, initials, acronyms and numbers, whether spelled out (ten) or written as numerals (10). Each word in a hyphenated string of two or more words will be counted separately. Punctuation marks do not count as words.
In poetry entries, syllable counts must conform exactly to the Fibonacci sequence.
By entering the contest, you agree, if your entry is selected, to allow us to publish your story online, record your story in spoken word, include it on a CD for distribution to the winners, and possible use in a future anthology for sale.
Thank you for your interest in and support for flashquake.
Meridian is excited to announce an innovative new contest. The winner of our Prose Poem Postcard Prize Contest will be printed on a postcard, and will receive an award of $100 and 100 stamped, ready-to-send postcards. The postcard will also be distributed with the Summer 2007 issue of Meridian and handed out at the 2007 AWP Conference to promote the magazine.
THE DEADLINE IS MIDNIGHT ON JANUARY 31st, 2007!!!
CONTEST SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
- This contest requires a $3 (U.S. dollars) entry fee. After uploading your submission, you will be directed to a secure credit card payment page. For your entry fee, one of our editors will review it for a final decision. We expect to announce the winner in mid-February 2007.
- You may submit up to 3 prose poems per entry. There is no set length limit, but the idea is that this has to fit on a 4" × 6" postcard, so let common sense be thy guide. All submissions must be unpublished work; simultaneous submissions are fine.
- Please submit only PDF, word processor, or text files: Acrobat (.pdf), MS Word (.doc), MS Word RTF (.rtf), and text (.txt). Use your word processor's "Save As" feature to select one of these file types. Any other file type will be rejected and deleted.
- Artistic types are welcome to design a 4" x 6" postcard featuring their work, but we must receive it in .PDF format. No Quark, Illustrator, or image files, please.
- Shorter filenames without spaces work best.
- Don't forget to give us a working e-mail (one valid through May of 2007). It's the only way for us to contact you.
- Entries will be considered for regular publication in Meridian, as well.
- You may enter more than one time; however, in the past, entering muliple times has not significantly increased a contestant's odds. If you do wish to enter more than once, please complete the contest submission process and then return to the main page to submit again, rather than using the Back button on your browser.
- Current UVA students, staff, and faculty are NOT eligible.
- UVA alumni who graduated before June 2004 may enter the contest.
- Former Meridian staff are not eligible. (If you've been on our masthead, don't enter.)
- Friends, relatives, and former teachers of current Meridian staff are not eligible.
- Current subscribers may enter the contest for the same $3 fee. Your subscription will be extended by one year (and you will remain, as always, one of our favorite people in the world, even if you get treated like everyone else for the purposes of the contest).
Monday, January 08, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
In a fiction book, perhaps the Butler one, I read that one should write as soon as one wakes up because you're still connected to the dream world/unconscious, though that idea I'd read before in a writing book during my graduate school days. I'm not a morning person, but I could (and have) gotten up to write, still I think I'd like to go to school and be done with it and have the day at home to write and do whatever. Don't know -- have 23 days to decide.
Anyway, I've got more leeway in my life than I've had in a very long time and I'm so ready to create the space--physical, pyschologically and emotionally-- to be the most creative I can be.
And on that note, it's off to work on stories.
Friday, January 05, 2007
He says something.
I shake my head. "No comprendo. Hablo espanol muy poquito."
He grins in an understanding way. "Como se llama?"
He's carrying a brown paper bag and he asks if I want a soda.
I say no.
He says something else, in Spanish, and I reply, "Otra vez, no hablo espanol. No comprendo, senor."
"How do you say," he asks me, his English heavily accented, "uh. . . pussy?"
Ha! Okay, now I know what el quiere.
Lucky for me, nothing will be lost in the translation because in English and in Spanish, my answer sounds the same.
Am reading a book about writing fiction by Robert Butler and learned why story #61 happened as it did. Stories come not from ideas, he says, but from the white hot center of you. Meaning: when I kept trying to create a story from the incident, I was "thinking" and writers don't think. They feel and they feel from their unconscious and there's where I planted the seed when I realized I was writing drivel and once there, the story --the real and emotional one-- could emerge. Really interesting book. He says it's important to write EVERYDAY, and I realized that I did that back in 2000 when I chucked my job for a writing career. I wrote everyday but then I got lazy(sometimes I don't want to write even though I want to write) and life got complicated and I couldn't find the time. He says that you have to create the time and space and regulary go there--at the same time--and eventually you'll train yourself that writing is what happens at this time and in this place. But I knew that; it was just nice have Mr. Robert Olen Butler agree with me;-)
"From Where You Dream" is the title of Butler's book and it's my "writing book" to read this week. I finished "The Art of Writing," which was some excerpts from other books (it's part of a writer's kit)-- "The Artist's Way," "Beyond Words" (which I own, but haven't yet read), and "Deep Writing." Nice refresher course. I was trying to read Gardner's "The Art of Fiction," but I couldn't get into it. Then I tried "The Writer's Compass," but that wasn't happening either. Both I will read at later dates, when it's time for me to learn what they have to say. Besides that, I have two writer's kits that I'm working from. One has daily writing exercises and so far I've done every one so far for January. Yes, it's only been four days but still. . .
I got rejected. Okay, a story got rejected. Thought it would; I'm not sure if it works or doesn't (ha ha, eventually, it DOESN'T for this magazine). Will place it back in the rewrite file and let it sit a spell before I think about sending it out again. Another story got rejected, but I'd already withdrawn it so that didn't bother me [you can't fire me--I quit;-)]. I have three chapbooks ready to be printed out and entered into two different chapbook contests and I've got a non-fiction children's piece going that I have to finish quickly because it's seasonal(it's a summer piece) and I'm pushing the deadline, I know. I have another chapbook called "Mother Love" which I'm going to self-publish and the wonderful Daphne Buter has supplied me with the most incredible photograph for my cover!
So, it's a change of clothes, a snack and I'm writing the rest of the night.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Planted a seed, watered it with my curiosity (what's this about?) and BOOM, yesterday it blossomed and I had my rough draft in the course of five minutes (it's a flash).
Sometimes I'm lazy and/or pressed for time--why can't every story happen like this?
I have decided that that night I will kill myself.
I scrounge through the medicine cabinet for unused pills. There is enough for an overdose, I hope, or at least a fatal combination that will give me the peace I long for.
Throughout the day, I go through my books, collectibles, and for the last time, remember what they mean to me. I listen to every record I own. I play my favorite, "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" again and again. One song, of course, pierces my plan.
"Someone saved, someone saved, someone saved my life tonight. . ."
I escape to the backyard, hide out to cry my silent tears. I don't want to die, but I can't live like this.
A voice inside me says, "If you kill yourself, Gwen, you will never get excited hearing a new Elton John song on the radio for the first time, you will never eat another strawberry, you will never hear the rain on the roof again."
Just three things. Small things, but big enough to keep me alive.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Yes, I'd posted my pics but I didn't write the accompanying tale, I proscrastinate. Anyway once I figure out how to get the link (or you can just go back to July 18, 2006 'cause they are posted and see them there.)
"Ass man," I said.
Fred's eyes widened and his mouth froze open.
I laughed. Enough conversations about mine, no surprise there.
"Well, you don't have to say it like that," he said.
"What? Are you a fanny man? A booty guy? A buttocks man? No, ass man sounds best."
He grinned. "Those jeans of yours must be painted; I don't know how you even get 'em on."
(Lie on the floor. Tug, tug, tug and tug some more. A sturdy safety pin pulls up the zipper. Hoist yourself to a standing position by using the nearest chair. Breathing is optional, but worth the smile on a man's face.)
"If you gain one more ounce, I swear you're gonna just bust out of 'em."
I examined the seams. "Double-stitched." I assured him. "And are you saying my butt's too big?"
Fred shook his head. "I ain't saying that 'cause I ain't complaining. . . "
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Yesterday as I was heading out the door to go to work, I had second thoughts about whether or not to take the camera. I didn't and sure enough, there was a photograph awaiting me but I wasn't poised to receive it.
I vow now not to leave without my camera or my notebook. I have to uphold my end as an artist--arms open to catch the inspiration when it comes my way.
Monday, January 01, 2007
The stories I’ve got so far. Some are old and have just needed tweaking which I never got around to last year. Let’s see if my procrastinating side will go on a bit of a holiday so I can get stuff done. Some have already been accepted/published, some currently in submission.
- Los Prisioneros Pequenos (The Little Prisoners)
- The Dying Room
- What I Call Him
- Wild & Vibrant Colors
- Maybe Today
- Dead Fish Eyes & Wails
- My Husband’s Lucky Tie
- Out In A Storm
- The Cleaning Lady
- All That She Was Given
- An Early Fall
- Lil’ Reverend
- Ernestine Watson’s Girl
- 103 In The Shade
- I’m With The Band
- A Baptist In
- How To Love A Woman
- If This Is The Wrong House
- Where I’ll Be If I’m Not There
- An Abolitionist In The Family
- Cedar Rain
- All God’s Children
- Strawberries & Cadillacs
- Lily, In Bloom
- The First Time And The Very Last Time
- Buzzard’s Roost
- Children On A Leash
- Something Like Happiness
- Taking Shape
- They Were Champions
- Fly Freddie, Fly
- Gangsta Luv
- Andre’s Rap
- One Shot, One Kill
- Soldier Boys
- Winner Take All
- A Love Story-- Revolutionary, Of Sorts
- Letting It Get To Empty
- To Have And To Hold
- Jesus With An Afro
- (untitled-about child suicide)
- (untitled-about freedom summer in
- (untitled-about grad school and grad assistants and sharing an office with someone you don’t like)