I need to sit down and write.

I just realized this fact.  But it is a good thing.

It’s not that I’ve been lazy. The day job has been hella busy, and thank God I am still employed, so I‘ve been putting in the time needed to keep ahead of the workload. Writing has to take a backseat to my career at this point, unless somehow writing can miraculously become my career. And since we are in a recession, I doubt that’s happening anytime soon.

I’ve been blessed in the past six months - a lot of my fresh work and newly revised pieces have been accepted. Right now, I only have a few short stories and a handful of poems to circulate around, and I don’t want to over-submit those pieces. Believe me, I’m far from being a shotgun submitter.  I try to learn all I can about most places I’m considering submitting to, read past issues, study their website, etc. So I don’t want to overextend the pieces I have and flood the same poems and flash fiction pieces to every place on earth.

Being an active writer and also an active submitter has put me in an envious position amongst most emerging creative-types:  if I’m going to continue submitting to magazines, online journals, and contests, I need to generate new material.  I also need to get back to reading more.  For me, reading begets writing.

So I’m focused on this weekend coming up. Going to get some good music ready and spend a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday trying to read and/or write myself out of a creative funk. Hopefully this goal will evolve from theory to reality.

Acceptance.

Quick note:  my poem titled Instructions (for Reading this Poem) will appear in an upcoming edition of The Broken Plate.

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine produced at Ball State University featuring poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The magazine accepts submissions from writers around the world while continuing to devote pages to the work of Ball State students. The Broken Plate is beginning an exciting new phase in its growth toward a more diverse representation of the creative community. Looking at excerpts from the 2009 plate, I'm excited to see what this issue will look like.

Personally this acceptance makes me really happy, since Instructions (for Reading this Poem) is one of my favorite poems (Wait...is it vain to have favorites of your own work? Oh well...) from my unpublished manuscript The Blues Almanac.

Thanks to the editors for the opportunity to contribute – I’ll have more news as publication nears.

Winner.

My poem If Love is a Big City, Lately I've Considered Relocating recently won the Third Annual Burning the Midnight Oil poetry contest over at The Write Helper!  Big thanks to the Amy Harke-Moore for creating and judging this contest opportunity.

You can check out If Love is a Big City, Lately I've Considered Relocating on The Write Helper’s website by clicking the link below:

http://www.thewritehelper.com/id65.html

I was also given the opportunity to write a short profile about my writing on The Write Helper's site - you can read it here:

http://www.thewritehelper.com/id66.html

I better run and take this rare opportunity of Sunday afternoon free time to get some writing done.  Be good…

Three Poems Accepted by Front Range.

I’ll have three poems in the next edition of Front Range: A Review of Literature and Art. 

Front Range (formerly MO:  Writings from the River) is an annual nationally-circulated literary journal which features work from writers and artists from all around the world, many of them award winners.

I’m especially proud of this acceptance because two of the poems are prose poems – so they symbolize the growing diversity in my published works.  In other words, I’m like growing as a writer ad stuff.

Thanks to editor Fredrick Bridger for the chance to contribute.  I’ll post more info once the newest Front Range comes out in 2010.

Putting Anger to Good Use.

Good news.  My poem titled a condensed history of anger, with footnotes will appear in the upcoming edition of Interrobang?! Magazine, a web and print ‘zine for the arts based in Providence, RI.  Interrobang’s goal is to provide a formal venue for voices of all kinds, whether it be fiction, nonfiction, creative essays, fine art, or experimental music and video.  Big thanks to Poetry Editor Astrid Drew for the chance to contribute to this magazine.

About two hours.

That’s how long it took me to go from inspiration to submission when I saw this call for hint fiction earlier today.

Disregard the fact that hint fiction is the very definition of brief – it’s a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story. Considering the way I agonize over every word while editing, it’s remarkable that I cranked out two of these hint fiction pieces in less than 120 minutes.

This was a great writing exercise – even if neither piece I submitted is chosen for the hint fiction anthology, it felt good to challenge myself to do something a little outside of my comfort zone. If you are a writer (or even if you aren’t), consider taking on this challenge. Submissions are open until August 31, 2009.

Hello, old friend.

You know how it is when you get to spend time with a friend who knows you really well, how you can just fall back into conversation when you see them, like nothing’s ever changed? That’s what it was like when I found time to do some writing this evening. Like I never even had a hiatus from it at all.

What I’ve Been Doing Lately Instead of Writing

I spent a large portion of the past two months reading and critiquing poetry instead of writing it.

Why? Because I had the honor of judging a contest for the first time, the 2009 Shine Journal Poetry Contest.

The talent of the entries was impressive and choosing winners was challenging. You can read the winning poems by clicking here.

I learned a lot serving as a judge and getting a chance to be on the “other side” of the whole contest rigmarole. Thanks to Pamela Tyree Griffin for this opportunity – I enjoyed the experience and believe in the long run it will also help me in my development as a poet.

The Whitefish Review

Issue #5 of The Whitefish Review is out, and chock full of amazing art and writing. The Whitefish Review is a literary journal based in Whitefish, Montana that publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, photography, and interviews, with a slant toward mountain culture.       

My poem The Nostalgia Soundtrack is lucky enough to be in this issue - and considering the amount of revising this one poem has survived over the years, that is something for me to celebrate with a beer or two. Big thanks to editor Brian Schott for the chance to contribute.

All We Ask For.

So I fell off the grid for a moment, but I should be back here on a (fairly) consistent basis.I just hit one of those patches of life where other things were a bit more important than blogging.

But not everything has been at a standstill. Although my free time has been at a premium, I’ve still been writing and submitting whenever possible. One particular poem of mine, All We Ask For, has recently garnered a hint of success.

All We Ask For recently won the Fifth Annual Skysaje Enterprises poetry contest! Big sloppy thanks to the judges for choosing my poem for this award and also to Lawrence R. Berger, managing coordinator of Skysaje Enterprises, for this great contest opportunity.  All We Ask For will make its print debut later this year in an anthology titled Working Title Two - I'll post more information when I have it.

I better run and take this opportunity of Saturday morning free time to get some writing and errands done. Be good…

Cool giveaway for writers at The Write Helper.

Amy over at The Write Helper is offering a unique recession-busting opportunity for writers – a drawing to win free editing services for 50 pages of writing!

If you are a writer who has been stuck trying to figure out what is wrong with a story or novel, this opportunity may be for you.  All you have to do is follow some simple instructions and send Amy an email – then you’ll be placed in a drawing to possibly win the free 50-page edit.

Pretty simple, huh? Then you have no excuse - click here for the details.

April is National Poetry Month.

April is National Poetry Month.  So what does that mean?

National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, and to poetry books and journals. The hope is to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself.

So what can you do to celebrate poetry? Check out this list of 30 ways to celebrate at poets.org for a start.