Thursday, May 27, 2010

A link to events, people, and more

So, I have not written a post about poetry (outside of my own preoccupations) for quite some time.  I thought today, what better time than now?

While I was searching through all of the bookmarks I have grabbed for poetry resources, I rediscovered the site.  Granted, for those of you who are looking for lesser known artists...this is not the place for you.  However, what I find most interesting about this site is a map located within the it.  The map takes a look at important poets, events, and additional resources by each state within the United States.

I like this for two reasons:

First, I have a thing about knowing your local happenings.  Being involved in community is of great importance.  Without your involvement (yes I do mean everyone of you) the community cannot be vibrant.  When the community lacks, so do the amenities that people like.  You want a good jazz scene?  Be involved in the community and support it.  You want community parks and events?  Join a group that works to create those events.  You want a safe environment?  Join or create a neighborhood watch/walk and take back your streets.  It's all up to the individual to make the community.  Anyway, enough of the soapbox.

Second, knowing the history around you will help you grow as a person.  Much like being involved in the present will create a better now and future, so will knowing your past.  There are many influences on a culture - which I define as any segmented group (read community) - and they shape how people come to understand their surroundings.  Being cognizant of the past and their decisions will help an individual to understand the choices they make.  Further, it will help you assess them to see if you need to make a change for the better!'s map helps accomplish those two functions.  It lets you know who the current and past major poets in your area are, and the events, groups, companies that will support the efforts you endeavor.  Being aware of your surroundings will help you connect to your poetic community and it's local history...all of which will, in the end, make you a better writer.  What could be better than that?

To see what's up in your state, click on the link below:

National Poetry Map

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fighting to not discover the answer...

Ok, I have a big thing about not having the ending of a story ruined.  Whether it be for a play, movie, novel....anything... I don't like to find out what happens.  I like the surprise at the end, I like to not know and have it revealed to me slowly over the course of time.  As a side note, my wife is completely the opposite.  She loves to have the answers before she begins.  You can imagine that this makes for tough times when it comes to watching movies as she always asks questions during the film.  Another side note, I can't stand talking or any interruption during films.  Thankfully, my wife has accommodated my neuroses and is really good about holding off on questions.

Anyway, this desire to be surprise comes into direct conflict with the outside world when I have not been able to see the finale of the show "Lost."  My wife and I are big "Lost" fans, and can't wait to see the ending.  We also have just purchased a house, she's taking three graduate classes, and I to work on the house while preparing for a concert this coming Monday.  Needless to say, time is tight.  That's where DVR is a life saver.  I'm in love with it, seriously.  I can't stand watching commercials... it's the bane of my existance.  With DVR, I can skip all the crap.

However, we have been having to dodge nearly all media outlets for the past two days in order to not find out what happens.  This is extremely hard to do, folks!  So far, I have been successful....but I was signing into this blog and happened to see a blog I follow put up a post on "Lost."  I think I might have inadvertantly seen something I did not want to see.  Right now, I'm doing my best to forget it, but it seems that the more I try to will myself to forget, the more it's getting stuck deep in my mind.  Argh!

So, I'm going to put on some music and do my best....and cut myself from anything on the web until I have finished the four hours(!!) of the show we have yet to see.  Wish me luck, and let's hope I don't see anything else!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I should be back now....

Well, what can I say?  It has been roughly a month since my last post.  Where have I been?  For the most part, I've been somewhere secluded with a phone glued to my ear.  It is amazing how much house hunting can be a full time job.  There are schedules to the whole process that are needing of attention to ensure a smooth process.  That means you have to do a lot of calling to make sure people are doing their jobs.  If you don't do it, then you run a big risk of being late on your closing date, or some other kind of delay that can be costly time and monetarily speaking.

After roughly a year of searching, with about ten months searching in earnest, my wife and I finally closed on a house yesterday.  It was roughly a month from acceptance of our purchase offer to closing, which is a very aggressive time line.  However, this was out of necessity.  Our nine-month apartment lease is over this month along with the storage unit we have packed with most of our belongings.  So, any delays in moving were not really possible.  Further, this meant everyone (Realtors, inspectors, mortgage brokers, etc.) needed to be synced together to ensure no hiccups.  I was the one who did this.  It felt like a second job, and with the amount of hours I spent on it you really could call it just that!  But it's done.  We changed the locks and will move in next weekend.  It has been a thrilling and emotionally draining experience.

Having completed the purchase of the house, everything should be in order, right?  I should be able to just go back to writing and pursuing this dream of mine...  Yes, and no.  There is still much to be done.  This next week is clean-up and painting time, and next weekend will be the big move.  This summer will be filled to the brim with activities of weddings, reunions, etc.  My work has been slightly more time-consuming. 

All of this will be a drain on the amount of time I have to write.  But I resolve to make it work regardless.  In fact, I sent off a packet of poems to the New England Review roughly a week ago.  That means that I should have a response as next week, but as late as the middle of August.  They stipulate a response is highly likely within a twelve week time frame, but that's no guarantee.  In the meantime, I am continuing to work on my chapbook, which is tentatively titled "Cynicism & Sleeping at Work."  I was planning on sending the work out to a contest before the end of the month, but it seems this will not be likely.  Therefore, I need to find some other outlet for it.  Any suggestions?

Otherwise, there is a novel I continue to work on, but it only has a rough title I do not wish to share.  I am not good at writing longer pieces, so I do not plan on even sharing the premise of the novel until I am fairly confident that there's hope of it being finished.  Keep your fingers crossed please!

I will try to keep in touch on this, but since I have never received a comment from anyone, I will assume that no one reads this.  Which is just fine by me.  Maybe one of these days I will have an audience who demands me to keep in touch....until then, so long :)