Showing posts from October, 2016

Working Hard

One of the refrains in the writing world*: "You can control only how hard you work." In other words, you can't control what "they" are publishing these days or two years from now. You can't control who else applies for an opportunity you want or need. You can't control who evaluates those applications. You also can't control world events that may make it more (or less) difficult to share your work--a new form of technology will or won't make digital reading or paper reading obsolete, a shortage of X makes it harder or easier for Y to happen, and that means publishers do Z. Yep, stuff happens, and you can't control any of it. So, the thinking goes, all you can control is your work.  I agree with that. And I think it's super-important to define what you mean by "work." Say you submit a piece of writing (or a novel) to a literary journal (or agent) and it's rejected. Okay, you can't control what your target

More Poetry? Why, Yes

Also at Definitely Superior Art Gallery: an exhibit by Sarah Link and Riaz Mehmood . (The link above goes to the gallery's exhibits page, so there should be way to find the description for a while, though the exhibit itself closes at the end of October.) The art combines technology and ceramics in a bunch of interesting ways, and I encourage everyone to visit to experience its several elements. The part I'm participating in, as one of many poets in Northwestern Ontario, is called Light Poem. In a dark room, a poem is projected briefly onto the back of a screen and then flies into bits. Motion sensors detect the presence or absence of a person in the room--and then whether that person is still or moving. For the poem to reassemble so you can read it, you have to remain motionless. It's a fabulous, physical reminder that sometimes the best way to experience life, and art, is through stillness--internal, external, both. And while it's always awesome and extreme

Randomly Poeting

Last Thursday, I put on orange construction coveralls and, as part of a "word construction crew," read some of my work as part of Random Acts of Poetry, a project of Definitely Superior Art Gallery and Artist-Run Centre. Now in its 12th year, Random Acts of Poetry takes small groups of poets, singer-songwriters, and other spoken-word artists into the community, bringing a moment of reflection and creativity. See the list above? I'm not a poet, singer-songwriter, or spoken-word artist. I'm prose all the way, baby. I still agreed to participate, because I have a few short pieces of prose, although I find it difficult to keep them short. I figured I'd read one of those. But I found something surprising in my Dropbox catch-all folder. A few weeks ago, I mentioned the writing equivalent of practicing musical scales . I even wondered about using writing prompts daily as a form of warmup--you know, like scales. Which is what I found in that folder in Dropbox. Ap


Welcome to October. The birches are in almost-full gold at the moment, but at some point this month, the leaves will swirl away. That's okay, I guess--trees without leaves show more sky and the leaves themselves do all kinds of nice things for plants and dirt and small animals. October makes it easy--too easy?--to feel wistful about the passing of time. For all the pressing issues in the world these days, though, I wouldn't go back to childhood, not for a bazillion dollars or all the chocolate in the world. October Past had its joys, but I like October Now. (I like All Months Now a quite a bit, in fact.) But I get that some people like yesterday, too. All of which brings me to "Skeletons," a brief piece of creative nonfiction. It's featured in this month's edition of The Walleye , a local arts and culture magazine. Click here for the page with the electronic issue, and then keep going until you get to page 81. I hope your October Now is as much fun as, o