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.
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
…and I’m writing poetry again as well as working on my new small press, two online journals, and an arts newsletter:
**Words Happening?! firstname.lastname@example.org
** The 2nd EDITION (Nov-Feb) of this “New England arts “pub.” is online now. Rolling submissions, so check the site and submit your own poetry/arts news.
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.