The Muse

One of my poems has been published in The Muse.  It is a university press literary magazine.  I was thrilled to learn that it would be published as the poem published was one of my favorites. 

When they sent me a notice they were doing an event where all the artists were going to read their work (if they wanted to), I felt ambivalent about getting up in front of a room full of people I didn’t know and reading my work.  It took me a while to answer and I’m sure they were wondering if I would respond.  I did finally decide to attend and read my poem. 

Thursday I wasn’t stressed about the reading at all.  I was so busy during the day I just didn’t have a lot of time to think about it.  I think I was more stressed about getting home to pick up Ken and get back in time then I was about reading my poem. 

We sat through the readings of all the other poems and prose.  There was artwork each artist spoke about.  Some of the work I really enjoyed and others not so much.  My poem was one of the last ones.  When I realized mine would be next, I had a momentary panic attack but I squashed it. 

Standing before the crowd, I can’t remember anything more than a sea of faces.  I know I looked around at the group.  I know I looked up in spots as I read my poem.  There were places where I was choppy and stopped when I didn’t want to but mostly I think I did a good job reading my poem.  I came down to the last stanza and slowed down to really stress the words.  When I was done, I was just relieved to have the whole thing over. 

But as I finished my poem, I realized that it wasn’t just me in that room.  There was a room full of people riding the emotions of the poem along with me.  When I read the last line there was a gasp – drawn out aaahh of satisfaction.  Then a lot of applause.  More than I expected. 

There was more artwork after me, a great shot of a cornfield in fall with a blue sky overhead that was impressive and a stairway in a yard that was gorgeous.  The Muse picks out editor’s choices for one piece in each of the three categories.  The three pieces that won were highlighted with being read or discussed. 

The Muse was raising funds by having a silent auction of each of the pieces.  The authors and artists were supposed to sign the piece.  I signed mine.  My sister, Alicia, bid on mine.  We waited after as they announced who won the auctions.  I thoroughly expected Alicia’s name to be called when it came to my piece.  It wasn’t.  I was surprised. 

Immediately after the winning poem was read, some woman behind me leaned forward, tapped me on the shoulder and said my poem should have won.  I was surprised.  I submitted my poem for publishing, winning would have been icing on my cake.  I didn’t like the poem that won but I could see why the editors would have as it was very relatable for women their ages. 

I won when my poem was accepted for publication.  I won when people I loved came out and supported me.  I won when a stranger though my poem was worth bidding on.   I won last night when the audience loved my poem.

Jammy Day?

My window shows that there are specks of white fluttering down to the snow covered ground.  More snow this morning and my first reaction is to grumble.  I think that is standard when we see the snow.  It is pretty though.  The white against the dark browns and grays of the tree right outside the window.  The white against the dark green of the evergreen tree across the road.  It is pretty and I don’t have to go anywhere today.  Perhaps I’ll even get time by the fireplace. 
At some point Ken will go out and shovel / snow blow the driveway.  So tomorrow when I get ready to leave the way will be clear – at least until the end of the drive.  I know we won’t have months of looking at the white snow turning dirty and grimy because this next week we are supposed to warm up enough for it to all melt. 
I guess I’ll have to stop grumbling over it and move on to my day.  The last two days I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff off my list done.  I’ve turned in my vision statement and read my chapters.  I’ve read the short stories we will critique in class, marked my critique on them and written the letters to go with.  I’ve transcribed half of what I needed to get done.  I still have stuff on my list of course.  I’m going to tackle those this morning but I am hoping that by the afternoon I’ll be able to sit by the fireplace and read a book – a fun book. 

Is it a jammy all day day?  I don’t know but I’m thinking it might be.  I don’t want to go out at all.  I just want to get done what needs doing and hope that I get a bit of down time.  This coming week I have two long days that I have to contend with being gone early and not getting back until late.  It would be good to have a quiet and restful day before that insanity starts.

The Perfect Sunday

Today is the last day of vacation for me and I wanted it to be relaxing.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted it to be mellow. 

The hardest part of my day was answering all the phone calls and text messages I was getting.  It is funny how when you are into what you are doing everyone seems to want to talk to you.  My day was PERFECT.  Ken, Vicki and I sat in the living room listening to music with each of us reading.  We each had our kindle and were involved in our different books.  I spent the entire day (nearly) reading a really funny, good, sexy, tear jerking, romance novel. 

I answered phone calls, texts, and handled other interruptions.  At one point I turned to Vicki and asked at what percentage did the 100 page rule apply.  For those who don’t have this rule it says that if you have less than 100 pages left to read in a book unless there is a catastrophe going on you don’t bug the person reading.  She said it was at 75% so I’m going with that. 

Nothing exciting happened.  Nothing dramatic happened.  The music was on the tv and we all had our kindles.  We lopped in our chairs and on the couch to read with each other.  Who knew that reading could be a group event?

It was definitely a great lazy Sunday and the perfect ending to a really good vacation.

Writing Momentum

I’ve been working on a manuscript since Thanksgiving weekend.  I’ve got 500 pages double spaced done.  I’m not done with the story though.  I’ve not written since January and have been frustrated with my progress (or lack of really).
I have friends who read for me.  You all know who you are so first THANK YOU!!  They often yank me back on track, encourage me, and offer an honest critique. One of the friends I sent this manuscript to has been sending me her thoughts on it as she progresses through the manuscript.  This has been great on this project for me. 
Since I’ve not written much in the past two months, it has made me go back to reread what I’ve got done.  I started reading again and low and behold – I didn’t want to stop.  I just wanted to read through this book.  It grabbed me and enthralled me.  Now I know that may sound conceited and that isn’t how I mean it.
The story captures so many of the things I’ve been coping with lately.  Some of it really resonates with me right now with the political issues we are dealing with. 
Aside from that though, these characters are familiar to me.  They seem almost more familiar than some of my family members.  It is like sitting down with old friends to say “Hey what’s going on in your life.”   Then I read some more and wow I know. 
I’m hoping to get back to writing soon.  I can see the next chapter in my head.  I know where I’ll be going and what I’ll be having these characters doing.  (No spoilers though so keep reading.)  I just need the time to sit down to the computer and work.
Interestingly enough, at my work they are doing some repairs which will involve lack of access to the elevator and asbestos removal on another floor.  Since I have asthma I don’t want to be in the building for the removal – yes I know they seal up the space but I still don’t want to be around.  So I will be having some unexpected free time at home. 
Now I just have to pray to the Goddess of Inspiration and hope she blesses me….