Tag Archives: poetry

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.

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!

100,000 Poets for Change

12 Oct

My Writing ProcessOn September 24th of this year we had a local even for 100,000 Poets for Change. It was a great and exciting and very moving event. So many great local poets gathered and read their works, and I was so very impressed! Scott Owens- my creative writing teacher from college- organized it. He is also the man who runs the Wild Goose Poetry Review– an online poetry journal. He’s probably the primary reason I began to take my poetry seriously, and has aided me in getting published a few times online and twice in print now!

Anyway- this is a celebratory post to let my friends & readers know that he is going to publish one of my poems into his journal from the event that I read at. I read a few poems at the event, and the one he has chosen to publish is called “Smear the Queer” and is about the injustices against homosexuals and was written as a response to the number of teen suicides due to sexuality. I also read “Fat & Happy” which is a poem about embracing oneself- because I genuinely believe that if you can’t love and accept yourself, then you cannot begin to love and accept others. The final poem I read is one that is a part of a collection I’m currently working on.

The collection I’m working on are poems inspired by my family. (Another project given to my creative writing class by Mr. Owens.) I’ve written a few already, the latest being my favorite- one that is about my great grandparents, and one of the very few poems I’ve ever written that is not cynical and truly about love and happiness.

This publication will make my fifth or sixth total- which is pretty awesome! Go me!

There is something about paper….

7 Oct

There is just something about writing with pen and paper that I love. It inspires my creativity more than typing. But I am very particular about notebooks and pens. I used to hate notebooks that were like legal pads- flip tops- until I found these notebooks. They’re amazing- the front is also cardboard so they’re stiff and they’re just perfect, I can’t explain it. And I also suggest these pens – which have a micro tip, .5mm and they don’t smear and are perfect. Just had to put that out there… So anywho…

I finished one of my Christmas knitting projects today, so I started to work on planning my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m really excited about the project, and I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. The basic premise is a guide on How To be A Serial Killer- with each chapter as a letter of the alphabet. Example: Chapter 1 would be “Always Kill Your Victims”. The narrative then goes on to introduce Alfie- the serial killer- and the woman he’s keeping hostage in his basement. Essentially it goes on to tell all about how the serial killer in question is breaking all of the rules. It’s supposed to be hilarious and ridiculaous- all for fun. Because I want to do something very light hearted for the project since I’ll have so many other things going on.

I’ve also been working on my poetry! I’m working on a collection of poems inspired by my family, and finished one about my great grandparents. I have this wonderful memory of my great grandfather painting my great grandmother’s toes, and thinking- you know what, this is what love looks like! So I wrote a cute little poem about it- and the few people I trust to give a critical eye to my poetry really liked it. I think it’s going to be a fun project- and my family is very colorful so I will have a lot of inspiration.

My next knitting project is Bender! So let’s see how things go.