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A New Poetic Voice

14 Dec

Poetry Hickory Dec. 13th Flier

The 13th (essentially last night at this point) was Poetry Hickory for the month of December. I was one of the open mic readers, and I read a few new pieces that I have written in the last few months. It’s been an uphill battle for me and my poetry. Some of you who know me well may scoff at that comment. I know that I am good at poetry- in the way that anybody knows that they are good at anything- but it doesn’t always come easily to me. Especially when I’m branching out to try something new.

Typically when I write, my poems have a very definitive voice and feel to them. Generally I am sarcastic and unforgiving. But lately I’ve been trying to do something new and different. I have been working on pieces about my family. Positive pieces. Pieces that remind me of the good times. Putting some of my best and fondest memories to paper.

Tonight was the first time really sharing that with people outside of my trusted authorities or poetic friends. With the assurance from Dennis & Kimberly that they were good, and with positive feedback from Scott, I decided to give it a go and to read them at the open mic. And now I have to say that I’m very, very glad that I did.

It’s weird to bare a piece of your soul that you so rarely let others see. My family is my world- most people know that. I would do anything I could for them, and I try to prioritize my family over everything else in my life. It doesn’t always work, but damnit- I try. Even so, many of those memories are precious and sacred to me, something that I don’t take out to show the world in such a personal and revealing way. I do have a reputation to uphold, after all, and that type of work doesn’t fit in well with my reputation.

Even so- it was a successful, therapeutic, and rewarding experiment and experience. I was told once by someone I very much admire that I have a voice and a very distinct point of view that needs to be heard- and I felt that tonight. I watched the crowd when I read. Silly as it sounds, many were nodding their heads- much the way a congregation does in agreement with their pastors- and it made me feel like I struck a chord with many of the people in the audience.

Naturally, though, it wasn’t all about me. Bobbie Ackley also read. She is someone I have only known a short period of time, but someone who has always been so genuine and lovely. It was her last reading before moving out of state, and it was wonderful to get to hear her work.

The featured readers were David Rigsbee and Gretchen Pratt. Gretchen was really and truly wonderful. I loved her work. It was very vivid, and it told a story. It was something that I think many people could connect with, and it was just good. The woman has some amazing talent.

David Rigsbee, I have to admit, was probably one of the best poets I’ve ever heard. Every word he spoke had my undivided attention. He was a very talented reader, and his work was great. I was amused and entranced and that’s something I believe must be very, very hard to do. I laughed a lot, and it was good to be a part of something- a part of a community- and to get a break from the holiday rush and the constant chatter and hub-bub of the world around me… To get lost in someone else’s world, basically.

It’s been a great start to this week. I’m hoping things only get better. And soon I will have some more knitting to share. (I will be glad when my life is no longer consumed by knitting.)


I’ve Been Busy

10 Nov

Well- I’ve kind of been busy at any rate. Knitting has taken an abrupt halt as I rest my poor, aching fingers and wrists. The shawl I was working on is very slowly coming along, maybe thirty stitches at a time. But that’s because November has been a busy month full of writing for me. Writing and socializing.

I’m a part of two writing groups- The Hickory Writers Society and Tri-County Writers Group. With November also comes National Novel Writing Month. I’m very behind on word count- but I am hoping a write in tonight at Barnes & Noble will help to get me back on track. If I actually write for a solid four hours, I’ll definitely be caught up. I can easily crank out a few thousand words per hour. My word count is sitting at a measly 6224 at the moment. But I have faith that I can manage to get back on track before the month is out, if not before the night is out. I think my word count should be somewhere around 15k? Maybe 20k? Oh well.

Tuesday was Poetry Hickory. I was glad to go, and glad to have been able to go back at least semi-regularly. One of my favorite local poets read the open mic- Tony Ricciardelli. His poems always make me smile and I think he’s very talented. I was very glad to get to hear some of his work that I’d never heard before. It’s always exciting to hear any of the Open Mic readers, because I almost always see a new face. All in all it was a great night and, as always, jump started my creativity.

I’m actually going to be reading the open mic in December. I’ve been working on some new poems for it, too. I’m hoping to have a few things that are new to read. New and different from my usual style of writing. Some of the people from the Tri-County group helped me tweak a few today. I also e-mailed a couple of them to Scott to get some more “professional” feedback. I’m hoping that it goes well. They’re definitely outside of my comfort zone and a new type of subject matter and approach than what I’ve been writing.

The Poets for Change issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review is also out. It features one of Tony Ricciardelli’s poems, as well as works by Helen Losse, Scott Owens, and two of my favorite girls Shane Manier and Morgan Depue.

So that’s the update. And hopefully I’ll post sooner next time.

Tomorrow at Midnight

31 Oct

The madness of NaNoWriMo begins. No Halloween party or festivities for me! Too busy getting ready to start my novel and kick NaNoWriMo’s butt! Can’t wait to get started and get in my first thousand or so words of the novel.

I don’t have as much of an outline as I should, and I’m going to work on that some tomorrow. I’m also going to finish working on my short character profiles and figure out the best route to take for beginning my novel. I really feel like I need a prologue- but Jose says I shouldn’t pander to my audience. I’m just worried people won’t “get it” if I don’t spell it out for them. I think my official tactic is going to be writing it sans prologue, and if it is needed add one in. I really hope the friends of mine who will be invited to read it along the way enjoy what I’m working on.

22 hours and 16 minutes until go time.

Two Knitting Projects Completed

23 Oct

Since I felt so behind, I ended up finishing two projects today. First, I finished the Jayne hat for Jose. I did the last earflap, weaved in the last of the loose ends, tried it on, and it looks pretty awesome if I do so say so myself. It’s his gift for his birthday and I’m glad I got it done in time.


The MST3K hat (Mystery Science Theater 3,000 for those wondering) was truly… weird and interesting. I have never done any type of colorblocking using a pattern before, and I’m about 95% sure I did it wrong- the wrong side (inside of the hat) is a HOT MESS. The pattern turned out pretty awesome, but I definitely should have made it lower on the hat or the top of the hat higher because it bunches up a little when you put it on. Even so, I’m pretty sure the person I made it for will enjoy it. (Right DLDzioba?) The colors actually look pretty great with the hat- even though orange and purple might seem odd to some.

Other than that today was spent kind of loafing around. I did have a writer’s group meeting at 10Am at the local library. I showed them one of my more recent poems and got some feedback on my plotting thus far for NaNoWriMo. The basic consensus is that everyone cannot wait to read it- which makes me groan a little. I generally don’t allow people to read my writing, especially fiction. I know that I’m not great at writing fiction and I don’t want people to edit/nitpick in the process and discourage me. But having some encouragement along the way would be very helpful- so I’m going to share it with my friends on Google Docs throughout November.

All in all I am satisfied with today’s level of productivity- which does not happen often for me!

Unproductive, To Say the Least

22 Oct

This week has been relatively unproductive. It was nice to spend some time just hanging out at home alone- focusing on relaxing and not having much drama going down. That was something I definitely needed. But that means it devolved into me barely touching the knitting needles other than making a Jayne Hat for Jose. The first one was too small, the second one fits and is lacking the second ear flap at the moment. But I still have so much left to do for gifts for Christmas and am beginning to regret taking on the task of knitting for everyone.

I did get more done for my NaNoWriMo than I had originally expected- which is good, most definitely, but I still feel like in the grand scheme of things I’m behind in that and in my knitting. It’s semi-stressful, so I might have to be a recluse for a week to sit on the couch and knit like a madwoman for days on end. That would make me feel somewhat better.

Tomorrow is a writer’s group meeting with Kim, Dennis, & maybe David. I don’t have any writing to take with, but I think I’m going to print off a few of the things I have planned for my NaNoWriMo novel to share and maybe do some basic brainstorming with a few new people to get some more perspective on exactly what I am planning to do and how to go about executing it well.

All in all, though, a good week. And I needed that.

yWriter5 | The Perfect Plotting Tool

20 Oct

Inspiration for Main Character

So I’ve been working hardcore on my plots today for NaNoWriMo, trying to get my outline together and settle more on the characters and exactly what is going to happen when. I’ve had a hell of a lot of ideas and keeping them in a notebook is, admittedly, my usual strategy. But I thought that this time I would attempt to do something different- and that something different consists of using software to plan, organize, and even write my novel!

So far I’ve set up all 26 of my chapters. I got some help from some people on the NaNoWriMo Forums for a couple of the letters I needed for chapters- and am (at the moment) only missing one chapter title. Awesome, isn’t it?

Now that I have all of my chapters in I’m working on some character profiles and basic notes about quirks & etc. I’m also doing a little bit of research about useless science degrees (useless for the setting of the novel anyway) for my character to have so that it makes sense for him to be a genius and working in the bakery. (He’s a lot like Sheldon Cooper- hence the photo above.)

I’m so excited for NaNo now that the plotting has begun! Full steam ahead!

NaNoWriMo Update | 2 Weeks Away!

18 Oct

It’s hard for me to believe that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Only two weeks away- and I am already losing hope and steam- not good! I feel like I’m not nearly as prepared as I should be, but at the same time can’t seem to get myself to sit down and actually work on my plot. I think it has a lot to do with me being burnt out on life in general lately. I do forum based RPG and I have a lot of characters and help run the board, so that takes up a lot of time and makes me write a lot as it is. I think that might be zapping my creativity for NaNoWriMo, but we will see.

My goal is going to be to do a letter a day- which should give me a few days off in case I feel uninspired. (My chapter titles are going to be lettered A-Z for what I’m trying to do.) 26 letters in the alphabet, 30 days in November- that’s roughly one day off a week, unless I feel particularly inspired one day and do a couple of letters at a time.

I’m just worried I won’t be able to put my vision into words, too. Because in my head it plays like a movie, and I’m wondering if it would work as a movie script- if I knew how to write a script. Either way, I’m going to seriously bust my ass this year to not only win NaNoWriMo but to finally finish a novel. Even if it’s crap- as long it is on the page and finished I will probably be satisfied. (I hope I will be satisfied anyway!)

I know that a few of my friends are wanting to read it- so I’m thinking I will share it on GoogleDocs and let some of my writing ladies get a peek at it and see what they think about what I am working on. I don’t usually let people read what I write as far as fiction is concerned, because I feel like I’m not a very skilled author- certainly not as skilled as I once was. I’m so accustomed to writing for roleplaying purposes that I worry it might have affected my ability to write the way I want to for this particular project.