I was just about to complain about the achy-breakies from dust-bustering the cat-hair-matted rug because the vacuum is on the fritz (Read: D.E.A.D.). Then Buzzzzzzzz. UPS man. The books for my poetry feature are here! I didn’t have money to buy a final copy for months, thus only had the glossy sample from November.
This is the first time I’ve seen the matte covers. They are beautiful! Now if 6 people buy a $10 copy at my feature at Stone Soup Poetry, 106 Prospect St., Cambridge, MA a week from today (hint, hint) I can pay two bills I ignored to buy my own books. Hey, when we say we’re starving artists, it’s no exaggeration!
Look out, Cambridge, here I come!!!
I forgot my Feb. post. What’s to say? The pinched nerve in my back recovery and the chronic neck strains are better than one might expect in winter, so maybe I can get back to semi-regular walking (still dodging snowstorms here in New England ). At least I’ve gotten in some typing, edits on the memoir -so it might be done in March. In general I have problems if I sit at a table instead of lying on 4 pillows to type. Typing lying down doesn’t work! Frustrating as heck.
1. Somehow I’ve managed to squeeze out two of my goal three books so I can publish in 3 genres in 12 months to celebrate the big 5-0! Instead of re-posting everything, here it is on HCP: http://hiddencharmpress.com/
2. I have a feature of the poetry on March 10, 2014. 8-10pm Stone Soup. $5 cover. My book will be $10 (if I have any left by 9pm, usual feature time). And I’m doing a radio show in spring. Perhaps the memoir will be out then too.
I’m feeling pretty good about 2013, my year of prose and transitioning to more Publishing, behind-the-scenes work. But I’m psyched to read. I haven’t read at all since August, haven’t featured since May? June?
I’m 50 today, and I spent the day indulging all my peculiar little birthday traditions:
~I sat up til midnight to welcome my new year of life.
~I had Mexican food, including the mandatory frosted strawberry margarita.
~Then I took down the Christmas decorations.
~And despite doing laundry and changing my bed to ladybug summer sheets because they make me inexplicably happy (hey, don’t judge), I didn’t do a lick of brain work, so that’s enough lazing off to count.
~So tomorrow it’s going to be freezing. Maybe I’ll go to the gym. maybe I’ll write. Maybe I’ll stay in and drink the dark hot cocoa that my friend Brian sent me from Chicago. With hancrafted square marshamallows. hey, I finished a dang novella the other day. If I do nothing else this month, I don’t even care.
~Oh, except I forgot: Tell-Tale Inklings for the broadsheet. Yeah, I like that.
Happy New Year!!!
I joined a gym as a 50th birthday present to myself. No, I can’t afford $10 per month, but I’m trying to keep my neck and back in shape to avoid months of physical therapy (which will cost more than $120 now that I’ve maxed out my insurance).
What else is going on?
* Reached poem #68 of the Moby-Dick “found book” tribute – the halfway mark.
* Finished editing the hard copy of Proof #1 of my first novella A Concrete Wish: a modern fable (Tell-Tale Chapbooks, 2014). I have to bite the bullet to type the edits for Proof #2 (a real neckache/backache just waiting to happen).
*The colon broke on my Netbook, so it’s really hard to make smiley faces.
*U.M.Ph.! Prose is closed, but I’m currently brainstorming with an ex-publishing dude on starting a narrative poetry and flash fiction broadsheet alongside my new book imprint, Tell-Tale Chapbooks. The unrestricted topic should make it easier to get a higher volume of quality submissions.
Tell-Tale Broadsheet? Tell-Tale Imprints?
The long -awaited (well, I was on the edge of my seat anyhow) second volume of poems from Book II of my autobiographical trilogy has been published. Many thanks to Marian Kent of ALL CAPS Publishing!
Cover image by Hans Engelman (Dutch, 1981). Thank you very much to his daughter for letting me use it! Engelman began painting Black nudes in the ’60s, so there’s no telling when this beautiful sister actually posed for the first sketches and paintings vs. when the artist finished and signed it.
There isn’t much to report in the bookmaking world. It’s no secret that a lot of small-press publishers have taken a beating in this economy. But, more disturbing, is how crabby and nasty some writers have gotten. We’re all poor, but some folks are more bitter about it. No small victory goes unpunished. So, here’s to writers, editors, publishers, book designers, et al. who are making it work somehow. Scale back where you must, but keep going!
This is actually the bad news section of my post. I started Hidden Charm Press in 2011 with hopes of pumping out 2-3 books per year. So far, Extra MoJo! (Feb. 2013) stands alone. I’m determined to publish my memoir 2013-2014, but I’ve given up hope of having a poetry chapbook contest this year. My goal is to keep the fee low yet be able to offer a cash prize as well as publication. Perhaps next year.
For a variety of reasons, my poetry has ground to a halt. I chose to focus on my neglected genre, fiction, this year and will be self-publishing my first novella within months via Tell-Tale Chapbooks (TTC). Of course, sacrifices had to be made – the biggest being the online journal U.M.Ph.! Prose; it will become an anthology via TTC (in collaboration with Stone Soup Poetry host Chad Parenteau) … hopefully next year. So I’ve produced two decent poems this year. It’s been a lonely summer without poetry, not something I can explain unless you’re a poet too .
Now for the good news. This month, as I enthusiastically await the publication of my second book of poems What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS PUBLISHING), I’m also trying to prime the pump and get into poetry writing for the winter by writing 14 poems in November. A lot of people are writing 30. Hurrah to them, but not my goal! My point here is simple. We’re all struggling; we’re all discouraged. But we who are lucky enough to have words are holding onto them. We’re doing what we can, no matte rhow small or large, to keep the written word relevant, important. We need words…and they need to be written…and a lot of people are still comforted by reading them.
-Better get going assembling Words of Flight, poems of tribute, volume 3 to sub to publishers next year. Overwhelming whittling the pile of Maybes down to 50 poems. It’s hard to believe how much poetry I wrote from 2009-2012.
-What in hell possessed me to try to publish all 5 books of the autobiographical pentology by December 31, 2014? Madness!!!