novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Lately, I've been trying to get back into the local poetry scene. There really isn't a scene, unless you're a young adult & into slam. But I was able to reconnect with a group that meets at a bookstore downtown (Crazy Wisdom) every other week. This month, even though they traditionally have no events scheduled for August, one of the informal leaders is going to convene the group. So I'm looking forward to that. It's a good mix of experience levels so the critique is useful.

Last night, I went back to a group that meets once a month at a bookstore just a couple of miles away from me. I hadn't been there since February & before that more than I remember. Part of this was due to my writer's block, part of it to the creative writing course I'd taken since September, which caused a scheduling conflict. Well, last night was really good, really fun. I took "Existentialism" (which they all seemed to like, to my amazement) & "Near Miss", whereupon I got some really incisive feedback. It was nice to see everyone again; it truly had been too long.

One of my former classmates from the creative writing class, Diane, put me in touch with the leader of another group that meets on a side of town I rarely visit but could probably make by bus. Diane talked her up & highly recommended her. Unfortunately, she charges for every session. I've never been part of a poetry group that did this, unless it was an official class. So I'm hesitant. I don't have the funds for that--I'd rather take that money & spend it on a subscription to Poetry. But the woman very graciously offered to waive the fee for one of her upcoming groups, so I will at least take her up on that & observe her teaching style.

Diane lamented the dearth of writing groups in the area specifically devoted to poetry. It's made me even think of resurrecting Thirteen Blackbirds. But I'm still not out of my writer's block. Also, most of my instructional materials were lost in the Great Flash Flood of 2009. In the meantime, I'm reading a lot more poetry & bought Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town for behind-the-scenes discussion of how poems become.
novapsyche: hands actively utilizing a manual typewriter (activetypewriter)
prompt )

The Disappearances

The crabapple-shaped head of the female before me lolled and bobbed as her nimble hands inserted the IV into a vein near the crook of my elbow. No soothing words of comfort came, like those I remembered nurses at my local clinic intoning. No, this procedure was more businesslike and mechanical, like the ticking of a metronome.

As my blood flowed into the translucent tube, I peered down the row of other participants in this ritual. The assembly line of people reminded me of the dejected atmosphere and scenery of the plasma center back home, the flat faces like that of pennies rubbed blank by countless fingers. The dull gray walls reflected each one's inner life. No one besides myself looked around but rather straight ahead into their own imagined nothingness.

The crabapple-headed female emitted a series of clicks, whines and whistles. An assistant, a crouched, scale-skinned figure, scuttled up the aisle with a cylinder of gas and attendant mask. Again, without any assurances offered, spindle-fingered hands outfitted me with this device. The gas itself was invisible, but the scent reminded me of clove, licorice, and wet dirt.

I watched as my blood turned purple.

It was like this every day.

Read more... )
novapsyche: parchment with calligraphy framed in sunlight, a quill-tipped pen atop it (scriptwithpen)
I got this month's Current to find that there are plenty of literary readings to attend this month. Apparently the new bookstore, Literari, is really investing in readings to get more traffic through the door. Despite the fact that I've been learning more about prose this year than anything, I'm still drawn more to poetry readings. I'm planning to attend three of Literari's poetry readings this month (8th, 11th & 16th).

Also, it appears the Crazy Wisdom group has started back up (as well as advertised their goings-on; I'd expected to hear news about them back in February). I plan to attend the 9th & 23rd.

Of course the local library has some events going on as well. I'm thinking of attending the reading on the 17th.

The Rec & Ed class I've been taking starts again on the 24th. Hopefully, by then, I will have had a full month's worth of creative writing to fill my till.


Mar. 27th, 2014 10:50 pm
novapsyche: the inner view of a manual typewriter, the long thin metal keys (longtypewriterkeys)
You bring a lawsuit against the universe.
Heliocentrism be damned. "It's like
those turtles," you say, "but instead
it's cats. It's cats all the way down."
Your brief describes in exact detail
the itemization of rainbows, of polar
vortices, the intricacies of slipping
inside igloos like a sleeve.


prompt )


Nov. 6th, 2013 10:05 pm
novapsyche: the inner view of a manual typewriter, the long thin metal keys (longtypewriterkeys)
Samantha chewed on the paper bag that held her purchase from twenty minutes' prior. She'd traveled to the corner store and procured a Hershey's bar and a quarter-ounce of potato chips, all of which fit in the smallest bag available, one for three ounces. She'd stopped at Charlie's house on the way back, not the way forward, despite the momentous revelation she had for him. She'd planned to keep the purchase surreptitious, but when the words fell out of her mouth, the bag gave her sufficient cover.

"Are you sure?" Charlie asked, his face wan. He'd fallen back from a stance onto the lip of the tub. She hadn't planned on springing such information on him in such a vulnerable place as the bathroom, but here they were, and here she was spilling.

"Yeah," she said. "I took a test; it was positive."

Charlie, with his closely cropped strawberry-blond hair, looked as though he were going to faint. Samantha had never seen a male come close to such a resemblance. True, he already seemed close to such a state, with his mixed heritage and all, but still it was quite a sight. She chewed more on the bag to hide her urge to grin.

"What--what are you going to do?" he asked.

"I plan to keep it," she said, again masticating.

Charlie truly looked about to swoon. He stared at the floor and attempted to reclaim his balance, although he was firmly planted on the edge of his bathtub. Brows knitted, he kept his mouth pressed like two bookends. Samantha retained her air of silence while admiring her handiwork. Charlie stuttered, mentioning something about speaking to her again tomorrow at school. He stumbled out, apparently leaving her to find her her exit from his home.

Samantha indeed found the door, traipsed through and began her walk home, visibly smiling. He'd bought her story in utter entirety. The hilarity lay in the fact that Samantha was notoriously a bad liar. A tic would give her away, or some rhetorical anomaly: an inadvertent pause, a downward look, a revelatory stress in her choice of words. This time she had a prop! An unintentional prop, to be sure--she'd stopped at the store as a matter of circumstance, not in alignment with her proposed deceit--but useful nonetheless.

She suppressed the impulse to skip home. Instead, she maintained her steady, dolorous pace.

Read more... )
novapsyche: parchment with calligraphy framed in sunlight, a quill-tipped pen atop it (scriptwithpen)
The average man wears trousers, but the best lounge in baggy linen. One such type waltzed into a china shop, hoping to purchase a bookshelf of cedar. Within his hand he held the design he desired, a near-Celtic knotwork carved deep into the flesh. He wandered from one store to the next, his fugue a sapient one: he imbibed the sights and curiosities with unvarnished relish. His traipsing led him to the harbor, the salt-swept air lingering in his nose, astringent. He filled his hands with sand, witnessed the waves litter the shore with shells. Two ships out to sea sounded their foghorns like whales emitting mating songs. Such was his fortune, this Swede who eschewed Swiss leather, this globetrotter who peered into dark places, this lark who spelunked in underground mansions, exploring the nether secrets nestled there. His vision, telescopic, garnered him insight into the nature of shadows.

word list )
novapsyche: hands actively utilizing a manual typewriter (activetypewriter)
"And just what do you think you're doing?"

Jonathan turned around, a puzzled look on his thin face. "I'm gathering my tools so I can go fix that tire. Unless you want to do it?"

Nate grimaced and turned his face up and away. "Whatever, man. Just don't touch my stuff."

Jonathan continued on into the utility room, muttering to himself. Good God, they’d been living in the same apartment house for two years. One would think that Nate would know by now that Jon would take care of Nate's things, or at least ignore them. He'd never break anything, whether out of spite or accident. Jon felt the rise of bile but took the time to swallow.

Walking into the tiny 4x6' room cluttered with cleaning supplies and other various implements, Jon wondered why he felt the responsibility to change the tire fell to him. He wasn't the one who left nails in the driveway. What the hell had Nate been doing in the first place? Why were nails in the lane? Nate never did give him a straight answer. Seriously, was he building a go-kart or something? Making a make-shift basketball hoop with a wooden crate? Creating an IUD? Whatever it was, he sure should have cleaned up after himself, instead of doling out half-hearted apologies when Jon arrived home from work, reverse, into the driveway, into a blown tire. What kind of jackass does that?

A sigh escaped Jon's lips. The tire would get repaired. Then he and Nate would pretend as though it never happened. This was the pattern that repeated itself throughout their relationship, the same goddamn pattern, like a fractal. But what could be done at this point? He and Nate had been friends for all but eight of each of their lives. Jon had better friends, but none that had lasted as long. In the realm of friendships, longevity held its own glamor.

In twenty minutes, the rim clenched a fresh tire. )
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
So the first creative writing assignment is about dadaism:


Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are--an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

I decided, despite my lack of excitement, to give the assignment a try. I need to make a good-faith effort!

So I perused the main section of Sunday's paper & found a blurb about local crime. Read more... )
novapsyche: hands actively utilizing a manual typewriter (activetypewriter)
Realization: I'm going to have to write crap in order to learn how to write for children. Also, the crap I'll write will read miserably. Just miserably.


Jan. 6th, 2011 10:07 am
novapsyche: the inner view of a manual typewriter, the long thin metal keys (longtypewriterkeys)
As far as poetry is concerned, the money is in the young readers' market. Many poets have earned their bread & butter writing for children.

So, I've been trying to coalesce lists of vocabulary words that are targets for ages five & younger. I'm giving myself a high(!) upper limit as many rudimentary lists do not contain words that rhyme.

This is not as easy a task as it may seem.
novapsyche: a woman leaning against a wall, reading a book held in hand, legs raised against opposite wall, showing her garters (attractivereader)
Even though I didn't feel well yesterday morning, by the time the evening rolled around, I remembered that the Westside Writer's Group would meet later that night, so I decided to brave the cold.

I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a writing discussion group. It's been ages. All last year I kept telling myself I'd make it to Sweetwaters for their monthly open mic, but I never did. So, even though attending writing groups was not on my resolutions list, going out last night felt like keeping a promise to myself.

Read more... )

I plan to go back next month. I'd like to reestablish myself at Westside, since I'm on that side of town now. Also, attending might spur me to write more.


Dec. 9th, 2010 08:31 am
novapsyche: a manual keyboard tinged with teal (tealtypewriterkeys)
If you're a magazine & you take longer than a month to respond to submissions, you should allow simultaneous submissions. Six weeks, tops. Keeping someone's work exclusively for any greater amount of time is rude, IMHO.

As an actively publishing writer, I screen out magazines that violate this rule of thumb unless the market 1) pays or 2) is sufficiently exclusive that publication would be worth more than payment.
novapsyche: a manual keyboard tinged with teal (tealtypewriterkeys)
Wow. A bio of only 25 words? I thought 50 was short.

poison pen

Nov. 20th, 2010 09:22 pm
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (antiquekeyboard)
Hmm. Had an idea to write a poem using a word (or words) that I normally would not come across in a poem.

This might be dangerous. Well, they always say write as though to risk something.


Nov. 15th, 2010 07:34 pm
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (antiquekeyboard)
I completed a major project today! All in the span of one morning! Yay!

I submitted a chapbook manuscript. I had to pull together the ms (locate the best pieces & order them accordingly); proofread like mad (standardizing spacing & apostrophes [non-"smart"]); & convert the format to PDF, a task I'd never done.

This is huge for me, as I haven't submitted a chapbook ms in many months. Considering how many pieces I've had published in the last 18 months, this is really the stage to which I should be advancing, but I've been dragging my feet. Now I'm pushing forward.

(Also, I have four free PDF conversions left. So that's exciting.)
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (ascendingsailormoon)
So I'm limping along as far as NaNo is concerned. I noticed not too long ago that I was resisting in direct response to the amount of internal pressure I placed. I need to get to a place where I say to myself "I get to write a poem today" instead of "I have to".

Leafing through a lit journal today, I had the idea to reverse the literal meaning of each individual word, thus coming up with a vastly different poem than the one I was reading. So far, this seems to be a valuable vein to mine, though it's not as simple as I would have imagined. I'll post the first fruit of this labor as soon as I'm finished transliterating.

How go your writing goals?
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (ocelot)
Serious writer's block going on over here.

Some ideas for a couple of poems? Perhaps you have a starting line or a handful of words that seek completion.


Nov. 3rd, 2010 12:00 am
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
Today, I've started a poem (& I really like the beginning), but today has been a wash in terms of energy & focus (especially as I suffered from insomnia the night before, I had to take the bus [read: spend a lot of time] to vote, & I've been watching election returns since then). So, I will take today as it is.

As I did the last time I tried to run this gauntlet, I will permit a bit of leeway. 30 poems in 30 days averages to 1 poem a day. The goal is to revive my writing as a habit. Some days, the Muse rewards me with more than a poem's worth of work. I look forward to those in the coming weeks.
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (antiquekeyboard)
I'm busy submitting batches of poems to various magazines, as I won't really have the time to do so next month. A handful of journals list their deadlines as today or tomorrow, so I'm buckling down, despite doing a fair bit of research earlier in the month.

NaNo is tomorrow! Alrighty then.

I wish my Poet's Companion weren't packed up in storage somewhere.
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (antiquekeyboard)
I intend to write a poem every day next month as my way of participating in NaNoWriMo. Anyone else with me?


novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)

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