Friday, March 26, 2010

Wake Up? ...What for?

After the week that I have had, I find myself falling asleep at my desk.  A few minutes ago, a co-worker just told me - albeit jokingly - to "Wake up!," to which I jumped and turned my attention to her with heavy lidded eyes.  Yet, I couldn't help think as I listened to her, why should I wake up?  I have a horribly boring job at a pharmaceutical company (that shall remained unnamed), and average about five minutes worth of work a day.  Even worse, there are two of us in this position.

Normally, I love being able to have all the extra time, for it allows me to get paid while writing.  If you haven't realized this, not too many writers actually get paid to do just that - write.  Most of us cram hours in here and there, pining for the flexibility and fame that celebrity-status wrtiters enjoy (read: Grisham, King, Sparks, and any other number of widely read authors out there).  But, for today, I just want to doze and attempt to catch up on lost sleep.

So, today, I'm taking the rest of the day off... at my desk.  I'll be here with my head on my hand, seeming to read the same paragraph for the next two hours.  Wish me luck, and happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

To be drained emotionally...

Is a state I wish I could claim.  Right now, I am way beyond it. The emotions have been so wild in their directions that whenever there's any downtime, it's hard to think.  Period.  That's why I have been having trouble putting up a post on here.  That's why I have had trouble writing.  I haven't picked up a pen for a literary purpose in well over a week, and I feel like I am losing the momentum that I had earlier.

To give you some more insight into why this might be, I digress to Facebook again, where its limited character input is very much aligned to my capacity to emote on the page.

So, instead of getting a house...we have a new car! It's a Subaru Outback, and it's a lot of fun.

That said, Amanda and I didn't enjoy the new car feeling very long. A friend in our complex had her apartment burn down. Quick synopsis...the apartment below had a fire, the department came and went....only 30 mins later her place is on fire!! She's probably lost everything in there. We stayed with her until 2 am, her boyfriend remained.

Who said we were done with the emotional rollercoaster? Oh, and we might have an accepted purchase agreement for a house....but don't get your hopes up yet! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010


Just to give you an idea of what things have been like (it's hectic), I thought I would post up the blips of text I wrote on my Facebook page:

3/17/10 at 11:08 am:
in the process of working out a purchase agreement....wish me luck!!!

3/18/10 at 7:54 am:
I tell you, there's a pox on us and finding a house.... hammered down an agreement with the seller, and just in a matter of hours (from 3 pm to 7pm), the seller had another offer that gave him 4K more than ours. Which one do you think he chose? Back to hunt... again.

3/18/10 at 3:03 pm:
Well, alls I have to say is.... shit. This really is an emotional rollercoaster. Just got a call from the realtor and he said the house we lost might not be lost after all and one that we lost about a month ago is now open again... did you get all that?

3/19/10 at 11:00 am:
So here's the update....turns out the house we recently lost out on is lost for sure. Ok. Now, the older lost out on house is definitely open. We are going to pursue this one until someone else comes along and outbids us. Well, at least that's what history has taught me. I'm not going to even ask for well-wishings.

This pretty much sums up my life for the past week.  Sorry I haven't been able to get more in word-wise!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gearing UP!!

I titled this entry Gearing UP!! because that's exactly what I'm doing lately.  The wifey and I are closer to getting a home (phew!), and I am readying a bunch of poems for submissions.  Right now I'm in the research part of choosing which journals, mags, etc. to submit my works.  This can be a painstakingly long process, but it's necessary to make sure the material you have will interest the editors and, more importantly, the readers of the organization(s) you're sending your stuff.  Wish me luck while searching!

On another note, after reading much on the subject, as well as many organizations views on the term "unpublished," I have decided that I cannot put up any works on this blog until they have been accepted and published.  Therefore, unless the poem is just a little something I've created specifically for here, I will not include any more works.  Bummer, I know, but sometimes it can't be helped.  I hope you all can understand.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dreaming of Yesterday

Life was great yesterday.  There was sun, there was warmth, and I was on my bike riding.  Sure, commuting can be a pain in the rear (literally and figuratively) dealing with all the traffic - read "lack of curteous drivers"- but really it is so much fun to be out on the road.  Using my body as a means for transportation, as opposed to just a lump that turns a wheel back and forth, is so refreshing.  Things move at a slower pace, nature is available for observation, and you have a real appreciation for distance!

Lately, my wife and I have been running around like crazy just trying to find a homestead.  It has been a long, gruelling eight month process, and we are still nowhere close to an end.  My wife is a teacher and I am doing some contract work, so we do not have a lot of disposable income.  Therefore, we have been searching for deals in areas where there are not that many.  It has been frustrating, and it's made even worse by all the traffic in Indianapolis.  Many areas are having bridges repaired, roads redone, or what-have-you.  The result is personified by our experience last Tuesday when we went to look at a house roughly eight miles from our apartment.  The round trip took us 2 hours - mind you, we only spent about 10 - 15 mins in the house.  Needless to say, we were completely drained by the time we got home, only to have to make dinner.

That's why yesterday was wonderful.  We did not have a house to look at, I was able to get a good ride in (I work about 18.5 miles away), and we were able to just enjoy a day of sun and fun.  What could be better!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Final version...The Sneeze Unsavored

Ok, I don't know when it will be up on the buses, and I don't know when the website will even update it, but I thought I would contribute my finalized version of "The Sneeze Unsavored" for this Flippant Friday.  I think it's fun, and that's what Fridays should be all about.  After all, it's the weekend already, and you know you're not really doing work!!

Here you go, enjoy!!

The Sneeze Unsavored
by M. Thompson

Poised, tenaciously hunched over
Waiting for blast-off like an intrepid astronaut;
The anticipation, that creeping tickle
Through the nasal cavity imploring action;
Bracing, rapidly inhaling fuel
To spread noxious bodies into space
…             …
Stupefied, but still hovering
   When is it just going to happen?
Frustrated, and tense
   Don’t tell me it’s not coming!
Exasperated, unresolved
   Argh, not again…

No climax, no soothing relief,
Only a dull, mocking throb in its place

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Working on work...

Well, I am still waiting on word for the poem submitted to Words on the Go, and I will give notice when my poem "The Sneeze Unsavored" can be viewed on the transit.  I assume everything is ok and they are just going through the steps to getting everything in order: designing backgrounds for the pieces, sending them to print, receiving the finished products, taking down the old and putting up the new.  Yet, part of me is still anxious to see it, and this feeling was reiterated upon receiving an email from a family member questioning the progress.  I had to tell them I didn't know, and there's nothing worse then not being able to give a firm answer on something you said was happening.  It makes you feel as if you're a bit of a liar.  "Yes, I have a poem that's being published.  No, you can't see it now.  It's not finished.  When will it be finished?  Well, I'm not sure.  Yes, I'm being serious."  <Sigh>

In the meantime, I am trying to continue to write despite my work's and my PL's best attempt at slowing me down.  At work I have been doing just that: work.  It's unusual and it has kept me busy - too busy to get my head in the writing game during the work hours.  House searching is still the big topic of discussion in the Thompson household, and so far we have not reeled in the big fish.  Many bits have there been, but they keep eluding our grasp.  Nevertheless, I keep plugging away at writing!

Right now, I have two goals: one is a monumentally big goal; one is smaller, and definitely achievable.  The Goliath I am working to take down is to complete a chap book by May 15th.  A chap book is a smaller version of a book, and the one I'm shooting for is roughly 30 pages worth of work.  Currently, I am about half way there right now in terms of quantity.  Quality, on the other hand, might be a different story.  I need to keep reworking the ones I have already while trying to put out new material... a daunting task while all the other things have going on concurrently.  The second goal is to have material ready for a submission to a quarterly.  I have a few in mind, but I need to see the material that I end up with and determine which quarterly will be most appropriate.

Aghh, wish me luck because I think I need it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thoughts on epublishing...

On February 25, JC Hutchins wrote a blip on the blog Writer Unboxed about the ebooks and the Amazon debacle.  I am a big fan of this blog, as it has a variety of authors that pull from their experiences and offer insight into the creative writing/ publishing world.  As an author who is unpublished, this is the best!  It is rare that you get straight answers about the publishing world, and on this blog the authors do just that.  There is no holding back on their thoughts, and I find it a breath of fresh air.

As I was saying before I side-tracked, Hutchins wrote about epublishing and its pros and cons.  I have included a link to the article and I highly recommend people read it!  Do it now.  I mean it.  What I found to be most interesting in the article were her thoughts on how DIY publishing is, more often than not, not a means for making a living.  I have no bones about her contentions, but I do find this method could be a great tool for poets.

If writing novels is the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket in terms of making money, then writing poetry is like betting the Cubs will make it to the big game, or the Buffalo Bills will have a winning season.  But then again, joking about that is like comparing the sizes of infinities... which, surprisingly enough, people actually do!  [Warning: the link provided is very heady/nerdy mathematics]  What I'm saying is that poetry is a poor man's (or woman's) pastime.  It's ubiquitous and relative: everyone does it at some point and rarely do people like another's work enough to buy.  Thus, the hardest part in the poet's job description is getting an audience that will invest in their works.

How one goes about it, in my mind, should be through the traditional formats: journals, quarterly pubs, and now online sites.  The publications mentioned do not provide a monetary sum or a very minimal one at best.  What they do provide is exposure, and that is a commodity that can go a long way when working to build a fan base.  So, to become a successful DIY publisher I feel you must not eschew the traditional formats, but embrace them as part of a marketing campaign.  Then, with your website, blog, or what have you, you can push the DIY (e)book onto your new-found loyal fan base.  It sounds so easy, right?  It's not, I know, and it takes a lot of work to be successful at it.  Yet, when you spend so much time submitting to publishers hoping to get that chap book in print, only to have it sit on shelves collecting dust, can it really hurt to throw your proverbial hat in the ring? 

What do you think?