Phew! We poets who were writing 30 poems in 30 days during April have made it through another National Poetry writing Month.
This is when I disappear into the small-press publisher’s world of collecting, editing, proofreading, et cetera until Autumn. I’m also trying to submit more of my own poems to journals; nobody can read my work if I never publish it. Sadly poems lack wings, so they can’t fly themselves to literary journals and squawk, “Read me! Read me!”
Both the print anthology Extra MoJo! series (Hidden Charm Press) and the print journal Tell-Tale Inklings (via Tell-Tale Chapbooks) are open to submissions this spring and summer. Please go to the web sites for details; nothing adds grief to the days of editors and publishers like submissions from writers who haven’t bothered to familiarize themselves with our Press websites, much less read the Guidelines pages.
I finished revising the upcoming “A City of Trees: poems of tribute 1” this week. It’s the prequel to the Bukowski-inspired “What Good’s a View of the Charles…?” (2013). Both from ALL CAPS PUBLISHING.
And the proof arrived for “Playground: poems” by Margie Shaheed, winner of the 2014 Hidden Charm Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. So the book will be out this month.
So guess how productive I feel right now! Here’s my Amazon page, with three books I’ve written and the Extra MoJo! anthology I edited. I will post links when the new books are officially launched. Now, off to rest my brain!
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.
Settled into the new digs in June. Had a migraine for 3+ weeks. Joined an online Fiction group; dropped out of online fiction group. Wrote absolutely nothing that I was supposed to be working on. Started writing a chapbook of flash fiction (Rosebud and other small tales). What? Since when do I write short fiction? Since never, that’s when. A breakthrough at last! Woo hoo!!!
My friend Chris Robbins’ video of me reading from Extra MoJo!
To Like the Hidden Charm Press page: https://www.facebook.com/HiddenCharmPress
Well, it’s really only Feb. 27 at 3:30am, but close enough. So my back and neck are still protesting having to sit still for 3 hours Monday night, and the cold I refused to let get the best of me until Tuesday is wiping me out…BUT it was totally worth it.
The launch of Hidden Charm Press with its first title Extra MoJo! at the Stone Soup Poetry reading in Central Square, Cambridge, MA on Monday night was fantastic! The open mic was great. My sisters-writers were an outstanding feature, making poems from the anthology leap off the page. It was truly enthralling! I couldn’t be prouder.
Hidden Charm Press (HCP) was created in July, 2011. It took until July, 2012 to put together a first draft of the Extra MoJo! anthology. By Winter, 2012 I had a cover artist and layout artist on board to make the manuscript into the book that the 20 writers deserve.
Hurrah to my co-features Toni Bee and Robin White; kudos to Denise Washington whose poem is on the back of the book; woo hoo to cover artist Jessica Grundy and to my football buddy, layout artist Steve Glines, for making a pile of papers into a gorgeous book!
The Press’s inventory for the evening sold out, so now I can afford a new computer battery, the HCP website purchase, and incidentals like food all at the same time 😀
photo of Robin White, Mignon Ariel King, and Toni Bee by chad parenteau
Yay! the first book of my new press Hidden Charm Press is finished. CLICK HERE: Extra MoJo!
..and I’m writing my second novella…even though the first one has now been rejected 3 times. “The joy of victory…and the agony of defeat!”
I’m reading Moby-Dick and continuing the poetic synopsis while reading Steven Tyler’s latest autobiography and writing a review on Goodreads (link below); and I’m editing the Extra MoJo! anthology-to-be as well as subbing some of the zillion poems I’ve written so far this year. Whew! Let’s see how much more I can write before the heat kicks in.
Finally done with all the creative work I needed to do this summer. Two months of Friday and Saturday work binges, but now I get to relax for August. Good timing. Scared to think how hot August could get. Can’t wait for Autumn!
Now all there is to do is decide whether to risk screwing up the first Hidden Charm Press book by doing the whole thing myself since I won’t have any dinero to pay experts any time soon. I’m so excited to get to the second book that I finished its mss. ahead of schedule. The Extra MoJo! anthology (The Best of MoJo! Issues 1-10) will be around 100 pages when it’s done. It makes the two+ years since I started the online journal feel so incredibly rewarding.