Friday, August 30, 2013

In almost quite but not really publishing news...

So a press, I'm not sure I'm allowed to say which one, what is the etiquette here b/c the email was private? let me know that my MS placed as a semi-finalist in their first-second book award contest. It doesn't mean anything in real terms, but they are the first press to do so.

And so I am encouraged to begin sending out again, after the long LONG spell of not-sending during my full-on grieving period.

Am I in my half-way grieving period now or something? Why do I write these things?

Anyway, I'd badly needed a human being to acknowledge that the MS was worth a second look to anyone. They want to see it again.

I think I'll keep the name of the press private, but let's just say I would be really proud to publish with them.

And I believe that that envelope (or electronic submission) was the latest version of the MS's maiden voyage. There's nowhere else that version is at right now. Time to start sending it.

Here's a painting:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

20 things : loose pages, gathered

1. The reading went smashingly on Saturday night.
2. I'm actually grateful to my angst for motivating me to prepare well instead of putting off or ignoring preparation.
3. Afterward I did the feared thing --I mingled a lot, talked to everyone who wanted to talk to me.
4. Even though I knew most of the people --some well, some peripherally --it was so hard to receive love from them.
5. Like they were touching a tender place that wanted to be touched, but the touch was overwhelming.
6. I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of all three of us poets who read that night. We did well.
7. I don't think the audience realized that this reading for me was my re-entry to the world, and how vulnerable I really felt, standing up there.
8. It was a return to that performance space in my head that feels like pure joy, but also, I was so vulnerable. For example :
9. I almost didn't make it through the closing poem, "In Place of Speech," which I've done 100 times. I almost lost my voice for the tears that wanted to break through it. But I finished the piece.
10. After I left the bookstore I felt like I had mastered something. Or re-learned a hard thing that I had forgotten how to do.
11. And the only feeling I felt that night was accomplishment, and I had a celebratory drink.
12. But on Sunday I started to feel a little ... strange. I'm usually pretty good about naming feelings and their motivations, but not the Sunday strange feeling.
13. On Monday after some journaling I figured out what it was.
14. That reading was me, stretching to achieve. That reading was me, at the limits of my current capability.
15. Friendly faces had asked are you teaching in the fall? and are you holding out for a really good offer on your manuscript, or has it already been accepted?
16. And I felt : sadness, derision, longing. The thought that entered my mind in the breath I took to formulate my answer was I want to die now.
17. If only. If only I were able to teach. If only my MS had an acceptance letter from anywhere I'd sent it. If only I hadn't lost a year --perhaps more, because I still don't quite feel capable of it --and had been sending the MS out relentlessly, in different versions, sending chapbooks....I can't even look at it yet. Their questions were like pieces of my previous life washing in with the tide, slapping and stinging my bare legs as I stood in the wet sand and let my heels get sucked down into it.
18. Borrowed Bodies is out of print. The press has shut down. After that, I have no artifact that says, I'm good enough. I have to be a lion. The rejections, which used to just pass through me, now slice me open when I receive them. Is this change permanent?
19. Will I get better?
20. This morning I woke up and I wanted to cry-- not just to cry, to cry so much that I let myself become unhinged with sadness-- because being unconscious was so much better than being awake, yet it was time to wake up. I got up and made the coffee instead,  b/c that's what I'm supposed to do.

Here's a painting [click to make larger] :

Bird Brother

Thursday, August 15, 2013

20 things : losses and gains

1. I've been out awhile, and struggled with how to tell people exactly why, and what I've been up to, and when I should come back to blogging, if at all.
2. The other day a friend told me she missed my blog, and so it was motivational.
3. I'm trying to participate in my life again, on a more social scale, after nearly a year of grieving.
4. For a long time now I thought we lost Ravi on August 8, but I look and it's actually August 22.
5. That's almost exactly a month before my mom did what she did.
6. I'm thinking a lot about anniversaries, because I'm being transitioned out of IOP round two, and because we are closing on our house --selling it --on Friday.
7. I dreamt about Ravi for the first time in a long time last night.
8. Around the time he went missing, a friend said, If you're dreaming about him, that means he's gonna come back. I had been.
9. I understand that's just some BS that people tell other people b/c they want it to be true, but I still wish she hadn't said that.
10. Sometimes when you love someone, they go away and don't come back. I had two someones who went away.
11. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be over it.
12. But I have to start rebuilding my life somehow, some way.
13. At first I was pressing myself to do this really hard, like I had to score an A+ on a test and the test was My Life.
14. But now after a raftload of therapy, I realize that the rebuilding will occur in its own time, and, although it doesn't hurt to encourage them, certain aspects of my life aren't going to come back before they are ready.
15. For example, I've been making status updates on fb in the past few days, and now I'm making this blog entry. But I wasn't doing those things for a long time.
16. However, if I choose to envision these things as a dramatic re-launch of Me in Social Media, then I will crawl back under the couch.
17. In other news, I'm doing a reading this weekend. When I signed up to do this reading months and months and months ago, I thought I'm gonna be so much better by August! 
18. There was another reading, in June, that I'd signed up for and actually had to withdraw myself from, because I wasn't ready. Now I think I'm sort of ready. We shall see.
19. It's hard to tell when to push and when to just let myself be. I used to think the answer was always push, and I would feel guilty every time I did not push. I don't think that anymore.
20. So this is a post. It's not an epic post. It's not an official re-launch. It may be a "soft open." But I don't even know what those words mean, when you're talking about a person. I hope I'll post again soon.

Here's a painting; click to see larger: