I made it my New Year's resolution this year to submit my poems and short stories/essays to at least three different literary journals each month. That means about 36 opportunities to be published and gain experience and recognition. Or, in my case (so far), PLENTY of opportunities for rejection and reality checks. Well, a few months ago I had an online journal show interest in one of my poems. I was freaking out. But, I never heard back from them and nothing came of it...until TODAY. That's right, I HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN PUBLISHED. Woohoo!! It's a poem I wrote about Texas, the place I lived for ten years and still consider home. An awesome online journal called Word Riot picked it up, and after months of blood, sweat and tears (okay, mostly just tears every time I opened my mailbox and email account to see the big "R" word at the top of a batch of poems...) I am very happy to share this day of celebration with you.
I know I've neglected this blog this past week. I swear I had every intention of sitting down these last few days to share something deeply profound with you all...but frankly, I got a little distracted... Mmmbop!!
It is September. This means one thing: everything I love is about to begin.
Fall. Colder weather (I hope). Hoodies. Leaves changing color. Snow. Fireplaces. Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and then New Year’s…(which all mean more excuses to see my family, and there aren't many things better than taking a train ride to New Haven in the fall to see people you really like a lot). Hot chocolate and apple cider. Pumpkins. Fairs. New school supplies (after pining for new pencils and notebooks for a few weeks now, I have decided that I do not actually need to be IN school to enjoy these things). My list goes on and on. I’ll spare you.
Fall is wonderful. I wish there was a place in this world that had year-round fall. I would move there tonight. And NYC in the fall is close to perfect (it just needs more trees). The atmosphere changes into something so alive and brisk and expectant… Watch You’ve Got Mail and you’ll understand.
September has put me in pretty high spirits, and so I decided to sit down this week and do a little work on one of the many books I keep talking about writing one day. I mean, I finally started this blog, right? Why not start a book, too?
I got one and a half paragraphs in. And getting there was pretty painful. I finally had to sit on my hands to keep myself from lying down on the backspace. Thank God I keep Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird within an arm lengths away at all times. I think I read her chapter on shitty first drafts two dozen times. So, after sitting on my hands and after a lot of reading, I continued on. Wrote a few more paragraphs until actual pages started to form, and have decided to let it go. I can always edit. I CAN ALWAYS EDIT. And the backspace isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…(we hope).
If you haven’t read Bird by Bird, do. It will change your life as a writer. Or at least inspire you. Or, if nothing else at all, it might keep you from throwing away every last piece of paper with your own writing on it (I knew I might have a problem when even my 'notes to self' and shopping lists were starting to make me angry). I keep Lamott’s words up on my wall:
A good reminder to take things day by day, paragraph by paragraph, word by word.
Happy end of summer. Happy almost autumn. The best of 2010 is on its way…